The "Unforgivable Sin"?


#1

I’m not asking this out of concern for myself (lol), but because I have gotten conflicting responses regarding this issue, so I thought this might be a good place to ask.

My understanding on this matter, is that the sin against the Holy Ghost, is basically pushing God out of your life and rejecting Him. If this is an unforgivable sin, then does that mean if one commits this sin in his life, but later realizes the error of his ways, he still won’t be forgiven if he repents? In other words, if you confess this sin, does that mean you still will not be forgiven?

I was debating this issue earlier today with a friend, and both of us believe that God will forgive this sin, and that it is only unforgivable if you die without ever repenting. Are we on the right track? Or even with repenting is this sin still unforgivable?

I hope I have been clear with my question. Thanks for taking the time to read!

God bless


#2

The Catholic Church teaches, in simple terms, that the “unforgivable sin” is dying in a state of unrepentance.


#3

Maybe after the rejection you are unable to rationalize back into belief. This would be far better reasoning then i would have thought.


#4

[quote="sealoch, post:3, topic:339164"]
Maybe after the rejection you are unable to rationalize back into belief. This would be far better reasoning then i would have thought.

[/quote]

the fact that many have returned to the faith after spending time as atheists would suggest this is wrong


#5

[quote="saveusfromhell, post:4, topic:339164"]
the fact that many have returned to the faith after spending time as atheists would suggest this is wrong

[/quote]

By chance did you know them, if so where they truly militant atheists? Or where they not interested in god?


#6

atheists don’t believe in God.
start a thread an ask I’ve often seen people here declare themselves former atheists.
still your former statement is still wrong its people who die without repenting


#7

[quote="sealoch, post:5, topic:339164"]
By chance did you know them, if so where they truly militant atheists? Or where they not interested in god?

[/quote]

I know I was, in fact i still have all my pro-atheism/skepticism books.

As for the OP, of course you will be forgiven if you repent your past rejection, because repentance renders that initial act of rejection null. By seeking forgiveness and acknowledging God's Mercy you have accepted God once more, and there is no more rejection on your part.


#8

Some people do worry about what it actually means to sin or blaspheme against the Holy Spirit thinking that is a thing that could accidentally be fallen into. Matthew, Mark and Luke all speak of this unforgivable state and John in Revelations refers to some ‘mark’ that will render someone damned. We have a comprehensive list of teachings of the Church to put us on the path to heaven, but what the teachings are for is to cultivate holiness in everything we do. They are meant to cultivate an attitude of humility and obedience within us. When Jesus told us this it was in the face of the Pharisees claiming that Jesus had an evil spirit in Him. They were proving by their inner state, that regardless of the outward shows of holiness, they could not recognise the good holy spirit within Jesus.

Essentially, we have to cultivate inner holiness in regards to everything we do, say and don’t do, in order that we to can recognise the good Holy Spirit when we encounter Him. When we have an inner attitude of pride and disobedience regarding the teachings of Jesus and the Church, we groom ourselves to be more attracted to the evil spirits that are in a battle for our souls, believing that to be the highest good and rejecting the goodness of the Holy Spirit.


#9

I always thought the unforgivable sin was believing that you haven't been forgiven.


#10

[quote="billcu1, post:9, topic:339164"]
I always thought the unforgivable sin was believing that you haven't been forgiven.

[/quote]

My pastor told me, similar to this, that the worst sin one could ever perform is despair, which is the belief that God could not forgive some instance of sin.


#11

[quote="SMGS127, post:10, topic:339164"]
My pastor told me, similar to this, that the worst sin one could ever perform is despair, which is the belief that God could not forgive some instance of sin.

[/quote]

so if someone believed they had committed a sin that couldn't be forgiven and despaired, then down the road they realised that God could forgive any sin it was too late because here is a sin God couldn't/ wouldn't forgive.

that would just contradict itself


#12

Perhaps it could be more rightly defined as in practicing unforgiveness ourselves since Jesus said of our petition to the Father… “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

This demonstrated through the parable of the Unmerciful Servant…

biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+18%3A21-35&version=NIV

Thomas Aquinas devoted a whole chapter of Summa Theologica to this sin. He said that it contains a certain type of malice. A malice that is a habit over a long time can lead to final impenitance… but he also says that a person who has committed no sins in his life can commit this sin suddenly through that same malice. My understanding of how this could happen is perhaps through a sense of deep hurt that causes a hardness of the heart. There are times when a person has hurt you so deeply that you commit to *never * forgiving them … even if that person is touched by Gods grace and repents. That rejection on our part, would be a rejection of the Holy Spirit working through someone.

Aquinas reports that Augustine says… “so great is the downfall of this sin that it cannot submit to the humiliation of asking for pardon.”

We can carry a hardness of the heart through our entire lives and through it, reject the Holy Spirits work around that person in the end.

newadvent.org/summa/3014.htm


#13

Yeah but if someone hurts us deep down and we can’t forgive is that full knowledge and consent? Sounds like more of a subliminable thing. Like suicide is that unforgivable? One must be in control and knowledge of his faculties for a sin unto death. How can one who kills him/herself be in their right mind?


#14

Not ‘subiminal’… ‘spiritual’. That’s why Aquinas says that this sin is marked by a particular kind of ‘malice’. He says… "The Master says (Sent. ii, D, 43) that “to sin against the Holy Ghost is to take pleasure in the malice of sin for its own sake.”" It would be marked by a sense of pride, defiance and deviant lust in that malice.


#15

Sounds like someone like that is going to have an invalid confession.


#16

this thread is starting to worry me now, as there is so many people who visit this site suffering from scruples. by posting that

but he also says that a person who has committed no sins in his life can commit this sin suddenly through that same malice.

and then that

Sounds like someone like that is going to have an invalid confession

I know you mean no harm but these posts can send people with scruples over the edge.

in divine mercy, Jesus told St Faustina that no matter what a soul has done, if it comes and asks him for forgivness he will wash that soul clean


#17

[quote="saveusfromhell, post:16, topic:339164"]
this thread is starting to worry me now, as there is so many people who visit this site suffering from scruples. by posting that and then that
I know you mean no harm but these posts can send people with scruples over the edge.

in divine mercy Jesus told St Faustina that no matter what a soul has done if it comes and asks me for forgivness he will wash that soul clean

[/quote]

Wouldn't someone with scrupulosity be more comforted by Aquinas treatment of this sin, since their very concern and uncertainty defies the contempt and certainty that defines 'malice'?


#18

[quote="LongingSoul, post:17, topic:339164"]
Wouldn't someone with scrupulosity be more comforted by Aquinas treatment of this sin, since their very concern and uncertainty defies the contempt and certainty that defines 'malice'?

[/quote]

probably... If you had posted the above and if they understood what it meant.
might be easier just to post that if your worried about having committed the sin you probably didn't do it.


#19

The unforgivable sin mentioned in Luke 12:10 and Matthew 12:32 " Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come." is easier to understand if you interpret it in its context. Luke and Matthew are writing to Jewish people, using the Old Testament writings to explain Jesus.

Luke 12:10 and Matthew 12:32 are referencing Jesus' teaching to Psalm 95:6-11, which states:

Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.
Today, if only you would hear his voice, “Do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah, as you did that day at Massah in the wilderness, where your ancestors tested me; they tried me, though they had seen what I did. For forty years I was angry with that generation; I said, ‘They are a people whose hearts go astray, and they have not known my ways.’ So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’

The unforgivable sin Jesus mentions is defined is Hebrews 3:7-12 (the passage on warning against unbelief):

So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the wilderness, where your ancestors tested and tried me, though for forty years they saw what I did. That is why I was angry with that generation; I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.’ So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’ ” See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.

The unforgivable sin {"whoever speaks against (synonyms include blasphemes, reviles or denounces) the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him"} is when someone does not believe, who outright rejects God and hardens their heart to his existence, love and forgiveness. If someone "turns away from the living God", knowingly rejects God, and refuses to follow his ways, it angers Him and He declares an oath that ‘They shall never enter my rest.’.

God offers us a gift of love. If we reject His gift, He doesn't force us to accept it. He is always open to us returning to Him, but if we harden our hearts, and do not want to be with Him, He allows this and we will not enter his Kingdom (‘They shall never enter my rest.’).

This is how I understand it, and I hope it's helpful.


#20

I remember at the catholic school I went to, we were taught that to blaspheme against the holy spirit is unforgivable, which is hard to understand, because the trinity says all 3 are actually 1, so not sure how one could blaspheme JUST one of the trinity?

If they say it is unforgivable, then Id assume that is accurate and those who do that simply cannot be forgiven. You can only justify so many sins.


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