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What is blasphemy?

Q: What is blasphemy? And is it unforgivable? Thank you for your insight.

A: Blasphemy is defined as:

1. (Christianity / Ecclesiastical Terms) blasphemous behaviour or language

2. (Law) Also called blasphemous libel Law—the crime committed if a person insults, offends, or vilifies the deity, Christ, or the Christian religion.

Other words for blasphemy include: discourtesy, disrespect, profanity—vulgar or irreverent speech or action; the act of depriving something of its sacred character; desecration, profanation, sacrilege, irreverence...

In these days, only the most strict of religions punish their members for blasphemy...these are the religions of authority. In Jesus' day, he was accused of blasphemy by the Pharisees for claiming that he was the Son of God, presuming to heal on the Sabbath, and other infractions. This was the religious atmosphere of those days in the Jewish religion. Jesus was not disrespecting anyone—certainly not God—but the Pharisees were so defensive in their positions that any deviation from the "law" was unthinkable. Jesus was testing their presumptions, and they took mighty offense at that. They presumed to be defending God, but they were really only defending their positions, and Jesus was threatening to them and the power they held by speaking truth.

The charge of blasphemy is a relative thing...one religion may accuse a person of blasphemy for something that another religion considers harmless. There are those fundamental believers in many religions who adhere to the letter of the law, and suffer no leniency for any who transgress that letter. These are the laws of men springing from the religions of authority. It makes me think of this passage from The Urantia Book:

(48:7.30) The argumentative defense of any proposition is inversely proportional to the truth contained.

In other words, if you have to go to such lengths to defend your religious position that you punish someone for transgressing it, it may not be as true as you think...

This is not God's way...the rule of God is love. Our heavenly Father does not call down wrath and punishment on his erring children who may misunderstand or even disrespect his laws and his precepts of truth, goodness and beauty. God is too big, too good, and too loving to take such things personally. But the men who hold religious laws and creeds and rules in such high esteem are quick to take offense.

It is never a good idea to deliberately disrespect God, though. It is simply not a polite or courteous thing to do to the creator of the universe, and our spirit Father. When one knows God as a loving Father, and has felt his love as a personal experience, it seems unthinkable to disrespect or insult him. But it is the laws of man that determine this charge of blasphemy—God is almighty in power and omnipotent in love...I think he does not need his children to hurt one another because one of them doesn't treat him right. I think that God is very capable to take care of himself. If we love God, our job is to love one another as well.

As for blasphemy being unforgivable—there is no sin that is unforgivable by God. As sinful behavior goes, I would think that blasphemy might be pretty far down the scale—behind murder, child abuse and betrayal of trust—just for starters...

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Date published:
Author: Staff