Jan

18

The Unforgivable Sin

By admin

There is a Christian radio station where I live that has an interesting call-in show hosted by several well-known church pastors. People can call in with any questions that they may have about The Bible or about the Christian faith in general. It’s actually quite good. If you want to check it out, it is syndicated nationally. The program is called Pastor’s Perspective and they will take calls from anybody and responsibly answer all kinds of religious questions. If you can’t find it on a local radio station you can pick it up on the internet at: http://kwve.com.

There are a few commonly asked questions that you hear on a regular basis. Probably the most entertaining of these is about the unforgivable sin. This is in reference to a biblical passage where Jesus alludes to a certain sin which cannot ever be forgiven. What’s so entertaining about this question is that you can tell the people who call in asking about it are scared. They are genuinely worried that they may have committed this unforgivable sin (and that consequently there is no hope for their salvation).

So what is this unforgivable sin? Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. That’s it. Everything else is forgivable – murder, rape, swindling, you name it. Even sexual assault and murder of innocent children. Not only that, but Jesus specifically asserts that all other forms of blasphemy are forgivable as well. This would include blasphemy of God the Father and of Jesus himself. Here is the passage:

Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven.

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.

Matthew 12:31-32:

(These words that Jesus spoke are also reported in two of the other Gospels, Luke 12:10 and Mark 3:29.)

I was greatly reminded of this Bible passage recently when I was listening to a blues CD that an atheist friend had given me. The singer had a serious chip on his shoulder and the song lyrics were full of hateful political jargon. At one point when the music slowed down he was spewing some of that garbage and he mentioned something about the mother f—ing Holy Ghost. I kid you not. I tossed the CD in the trash shortly after that, as we had guests coming over and I was sort of previewing the CD to see if it would be OK to play while they were visiting.

So – did the singer of that band commit the unforgivable sin? Because it sure seems like if anybody ever has he is a good candidate, don’t you think? What about me for even typing that in the last paragraph and publishing it on the web? Have I just chucked my eternity into the hot coals with no hope of getting it back?

As the pastors on that radio show keep telling everybody, no. God isn’t legalistic. He isn’t going to leave you in hell forever just because you didn’t dot an i or cross a t somewhere. The Bible shows that God’s consciousness is manifested in three separate persons, that of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. But they are all God, although they are each individual functioning centers of his consciousness. How much sense does it make to single out one of these three persons (that God is) and decide that calling that particular one names is an unforgivable sin, while calling the other two names is forgiveable?

So what does it mean, then? What is the unforgivable sin? Most good pastors and Bible scholars agree that what Jesus is referring to is rejecting the testimony of the Holy Spirit. When Jesus left this earth he promised to send a helper for the Church – that is the Holy Spirit. (This promise was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost which you can read about in the book of Acts chapter two.) The testimony of the Holy Spirit is, of course, the message of the Gospel: We are all sinners and as such are lost, but Jesus died in your place and if you accept that sacrifice which was made for you, and make him your Lord, you are saved. Rejecting that message – that is rejecting Christ, is then the unforgivable sin.

Note that your status when you die is what counts. The moment before your death, are you believing in the testimony of the Holy Spirit or are you blaspheming him by calling it a lie? If you do not believe in Christ you are doing the latter and are lost. Like the pastors on the show always say, if you are worried that you may have committed the unforgivable sin that is a sure sign you haven’t!

Papa Riah

Nov

5

A Radical Muslim is a Good Muslim

By admin

Islam is one of the largest religions on the planet. There are a lot of misconceptions about it. The biggest one is that it is a generally peaceful religion and that the problems are caused by a handful of extremist nuts. The reality is that the extremist nuts are the ones who are truly practicing their religion, and all the peaceful Muslims are a bunch of hypocrites who pay their religion lip service – but don’t practice what it teaches. In other words, they are luke-warm Muslims. The overwhelming majority of those who practice Islam fall into this category. And it’s a good thing!

If all the Muslims in the world read the Quran and truly believed in it, the rest of us would be in for some serious trouble. Especially the Jews and Christians. They cannot live in peace with them according to their scriptures, and in fact are called out to kill all Jews and Christians. But they don’t. At least not yet. Many of the inactive Muslims are simply waiting for the proper time. But many more of them are just plain wimps.

The radical extremist Muslims think the time is now. The peaceful Muslims cannot disagree with their doctrine or what they are doing, just their timing. That’s important to understand. Muslims are called to kill all Jews and Christians (in that order) during the end times. The extremists say (correctly I might add) that the end times are here now and it’s time to get things started. The peaceful Muslims are a bunch of wishy-washy pansies who are afraid to get involved. Either that or they don’t want to give up their Tivo.

It’s obvious to anybody who was not brainwashed from childhood and who truly studies the religions of the world that Islam is a bunch of hogwash. Your eternal reward for abstaining from sin is an eternity of indulging in sin. Now how much sense does that make? I think it’s obvious who is responsible for this whole concept. The Quran, written some seven centuries after the Bible, was obviously written in direct contradiction to it. It doesn’t even have any original ideas, just a blatant opposition of the Bible. They have their own version of end-time prophecy, one in which the Muslims kill all the Jews and Christians and live happily ever after in eternity. You probably could have guessed that’s how it ends, right?

The really frightening thing is that leaders of Muslim nations not only believe in it, but are actively attempting to bring about the Islam end-time prophecies. Iran is now working frantically to develop nuclear weapons, the primary purpose of which is to use them against Israel. If you think the threat of mutual destruction will deter them from that, think again. That’s not how they roll. Surely 9/11 proved that. Mutual destruction suits them fine. After all, they have 72 virgins waiting for them in heaven to have eternal sex with.

So the only really good Muslim is a radical extremist. Don’t be mad at them. If you are going to get upset at somebody, yell at the rest of the Muslims for being hypocrites. While you are at it, you might also want to yell at your own government for being so blind.

Papa Riah

Oct

29

What Happens to Atheists when they Die

By admin

Ever wonder what happens to an atheist after they die? Well, there are two distinct possibilities. The first is: absolutely nothing. That is what happens if their belief turns out to be right. Most atheists do not believe in anything supernatural, just what they can see and feel. No God, no creation, no afterlife. So they assume that when they die it’s all over. Their consciousness is snuffed out, a concept known in theology as annihilation. So there can never come a moment when they have the satisfaction of finding out that their belief turned out to be right.

The other possibility is that they discover their belief was wrong. This is where it gets interesting. This cannot be a good moment for an atheist. Now some of them do acknowledge that there might be some kind of continued spiritual existence beyond this life, as a way to explain paranormal phenomenon such as ghost sightings. However they refuse to believe in God or the Bible or creation for various reasons. (Atheists are typically rather vehement in their denial of God.)

Therefore if the Bible turns out to be true, dying is going to be a rude awakening for atheists. A gigantic oops! Now Papa Riah does not endorse any particular religious belief, nor does he belong to any particular theological camp. I’m just a guy who is completely detached from everything and happens to be blessed with a keen sense of unbiased observation. So I’m not religious, nor am I an atheist. That may sound like a contradiction to some people, but it’s really not. I am a smart gambler and have my bets hedged. If the Bible turns out to be true I’ll be in fine shape. If atheists turn out be right I have nothing to worry about either.

The thing that really bothers me about some atheists is their willingness to argue their point of view. This makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever. I can’t understand the motivation behind it. What is the point of trying to convince somebody else that there is no God and existence ends at death? That just seems like a complete waste of energy to me. If you are right it doesn’t matter what anybody believes. But if you are wrong the stakes are enormous.

Since there is no possible upside to your belief and a huge possible downside, why in the world would you spend an ounce of effort attempting to recruit others into this dangerous position? Does it make you feel better to think that if you are wrong you won’t be going down alone? There is no need to be concerned about that! In fact if the Bible turns out to be true there will be plenty of religious people in hell.

Ask an atheist how we all got here, that is to explain existence itself, and they will usually give you the explanation that everything happened by an incredible series of coincidental accidents. The protein cell, the DNA cell, the fact that if the earth were 5 miles closer to the sun we would all burn to death in 8 minutes and if the earth were 5 miles further from the sun we would all freeze to death in 8 minutes – all just random chance. Our ancestors crawled out of the sea and this chain of accidents eventually led to us hitting golf balls on the moon. It all started with a big explosion a long time ago – however they can’t tell you where the combustible material for that explosion came from.

Perhaps I sound a bit hypocritical to you. Perhaps you think that not being an atheist just to have my bets hedged is an insincere stance on the issue and therefore doesn’t count somehow. Don’t worry about me; I have that handled as well. Just to make sure I have everything covered, I have taken a sincere position on the Bible in order to hedge my bets. According to the Bible the reason you believe doesn’t matter, as long as you truly believe. Not being an atheist because it’s a stupid gamble is apparently an acceptable line of reasoning to God. Perhaps that’s why the wisest (and richest) man to ever live said The fear of God is the beginning of all wisdom.

If you insist on arguing with an atheist, they will probably ask you Why the Bible? Why not some other religion? What makes that the thing I should go with? Trust me, if I needed to hedge my bets with any of the other world’s religions I would. But as it turns out, there are only two other types of religions – those that were invented centuries after the Bible was completed in an obvious attempt to directly contradict it, and ones that do not claim to be a communication from God at all.

Read my post on What Different Religions Believe for a breakdown. When you really start researching and studying this subject, it becomes obvious that it’s either atheism or the Bible that is going to end up being true. If there is no God and no Heaven then nothing really matters. But if there is a God and a Heaven then that’s the only thing that matters. Why risk everything you own on a bet that can lose and not win anything?

Papa Riah