[Mark 3: 22-30 (HCSB)]    (22)  The scribes who had come down from Jerusalem said, “He has Beelzebul [“Lord of the Flies”) in Him!” and, “He drives out demons by the ruler of the demons!”  (23)  So He summoned them and spoke to them in parables: “How stupid ARE you people, anyway?” [Well, no, not in those words, but that’s the idea in what Jesus says to them.] “How can Satan drive out Satan?  (24)  If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.  (25)  If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.  (26)  And if Satan rebels against himself and is divided, he cannot stand but is finished!  (27)  “On the other hand, no one can enter a strong man’s house and rob his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he will rob his house.

(28)  I assure you: People will be forgiven for all sins and whatever blasphemies they may blaspheme.  (29)  But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin” — (30)  because they were saying, “He has an unclean spirit.”

All right, what IS this thing, this unforgivable sin”, this blasphemy against the Holy Spirit? And how do you do it?

I, like many others, have done huge amounts of reading and study on this over the years. I’ve listened to teachers, preachers, scholars, great men and women of the Bible from all ages and parts of life. There are a goodly number of possible answers given. If you google it, you’ll see most of them – – many of them expertly explained and passionately defended. And here’s the conclusion I’ve come to.
What is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, and how do I know if I’m doing it? It’s a two-part answer:

1) I really, truly don’t know.

2) I really, truly don’t care.

The scriptures never tell us what this means. There isn’t so much as a hint, except in the context of verse 30: Jesus said this to them “because they were saying, ‘He has an unclean spirit.’ ” Their reaction to his work and his words was to blame Satan for it. But it is never explained any more than that.

If you come up to me later and say, “Well, I think it’s . . . “, then I’ll smile and nod my head and say, “That’s certainly a possibility that I have heard and read a number of times. You could be right.”

But I really don’t care. And here’s why:

I’m not gonna do it.

You’ve perhaps seen some of the programs, on the History Channel and the National Geographic Channel and some others, that show the most dangerous roads in the world, the roads that run along thin driving lanes next to ready-to-crumble-and-collapse drop-offs of hundreds of feet. How do those truckers and other drivers survive those roads? It ISN’T by seeing how close to the edge they can drive and get away with it. It’s by staying as far away from that drop-off as they can stay.

I intend to live in such a way that I will never even come close to anything that could be considered blaspheming the Holy Spirit. I will live a life that is as committed and devoted to God as I am able at any given moment. And I believe that I have scriptural authority to promise you that if you live that way, then you will never blaspheme the Holy Spirit. Rather than trying to figure out what it is so that you can avoid it, or so that you can win an argument, live a life of loving God to such great depth that you never have to think about doing or not doing a particular thing that might be blaspheming the Spirit.

Does that answer work for you?  Comment, or argue, below.

More from Beliefnet and our partners