Thursday, October 19, 2006


Someone asked me today if blasphemy is an unforgivable sin.
And I wondered “What is blasphemy?” I remembered a moment as a 7 year old when I heard a boy in my class use a word with such emotional expression that I immediately wanted to say it to. It was in Afrikaans and sounded like “Gghhortt”. I have since heard “God” said with many other inflections. But never as guttural and expressive as then. But when I tried it on my teacher she let rip at me. Something in the Ten Commandments about ‘taking the name of the Lord in vain”. And I have carried this vague guilt about saying God’s name ever since. And have tried my best not to insult God again. But was this ‘blasphemy?’

So I looked up the meaning of the word. Blasphemy : it is a combination of two Greek words: blaptein, "to injure", and pheme, "reputation". And it is mostly used in connection with that which is holy. So blasphemy is to injure the reputation of God.

I do not believe that the Creator is in any way perturbed when someone uses the word “God” or “Jesus Christ” as an expletive. While this certainly shows lazy linguistic skill, it cannot dent the ego of God. It can, of course, be offensive to someone who respects God.

Similarly I do not believe that the Creator needs us to defend God’s honour. God is perfectly capable of self-defence. So when Salman Rashdie, or Dan Brown, offer ideas that are uncomfortable, they make people unhappy. But God is not perturbed by human opinions.

But I do see blasphemy:

* I see blasphemy in those who go to Church on Sunday, and then on Monday seek access to the world’s oil reserves through bullying, threats, and war.
* I see blasphemy in those who pray for God’s blessing before unleashing bombs that kill innocent people.
* I see blasphemy in people who use the name of Jesus to insult and denigrate those who are lesbian or homosexual.

And these are sins that will be hard to forgive. Because they claim to be done in the name of God. And as such they injure the reputation of God.


Murray & Gina UK said...

That has got to be the clearest thought on Blasphemy I have ever come across!!
Thank you Rocky...

Wessel Bentley said...

Hey, update your blog! We're missing you!

Spiritbear said...

Very interesting post. Hypocrisy is the ultimate blasphemy

The Fridge Elf said...

Hey there Rock (just as well you live in CT, in JHB that would be an insult. I agree with you re blasphemy, but I found something exceptionally disturbing on YouTube called the Blasphemy Challenge (do a search). Not that I believe that God is easily offended but I find it exceptionally disturbing that people are denying God in such a huge way. Tell me what you think.