Friday, March 14, 2008

The "Unforgivable" Sin?


There is no such thing as the "unpardonable sin." The idea that there is cannot make sense.

For it implies that there is a "sin" greater than God's ability to forgive, greater than God's grace or Love. This is a blasphemous suggestion, as it makes "sin" greater than God!

There is one text, in Mark 3:28, where Jesus talks about a "sin against the Holy Spirit." In the original Greek, he says that it will last "into the ages." This is a voluntary sin, harming many; and its karma lasts a long time indeed. But ultimately, in eternity, that karma, like all other, is balanced and disappears.

The problem arose with the word aionian, a Greek adjective found in the ancient manuscripts of the Bible. This word has often been mistranslated "everlasting" or "forever." This is not the meaning of the word.

For example, in most translations of the Bible, Jesus promises "everlasting" life as a reward for following him. But spiritual people such as Jesus know that all life is already everlasting; so, it would make no sense for him to promise that as a reward.

This is a mistranslation of aionian. For what Jesus promised was "timeless" life-- the life of the mystical consciousness, in the "eternal now," free of time.

And so, in Mark, Jesus says that "every sin and every blasphemy that men commit will be forgiven." Take a second, careful look at what he says:
Every sin, bar none, will be forgiven.

Then, in most translations, he contradicts himself by saying something like, "But the sin against the Holy Spirit will last forever..." or, "...will never be forgiven."

Is Jesus really selfcontradicting? No, for the latter half of this is the result of inaccurate translation. What he really said, in the ancient Greek text, is, "Every sin and every blasphemy will be forgiven, but there is one sin whose effects will last into the ages." This is very different from the mistranslation which makes Jesus say that its effects are "forever," or that it will "never be forgiven."

A "sin against the Holy Spirit" is a serious and deliberate act that harms many people. Its karmic effects can last for centuries, even millennia. They go on for "ages," to use Jesus' term. But, in the infinity of God's Love and grace, as Jesus said, every sin will be forgiven.

Why? People do not "sin" because they are evil. The word for "sin" in Greek means "to miss a target." When we miss a target, we are trying to hit it; we do not miss it deliberately. And sin is like this. Most people are doing the very best that they can. But we all slip up all the time, because we are imperfect human beings. Our imperfections, of both mind and body, are many.

Sin is not deliberate rebellion against the good; it is error, mistake, flaw. Imagine a beautiful little four-year-old girl who says, "Two plus two is five," and imagine a teacher so psychotic that she beats the child to death. Is this how God, the Compassionate, Who is Love, responds to our errors? Does not the kind, good teacher gently correct the child, and give her another chance-- in fact, many chances, to get it right?

So, the whole idea of an "unpardonable" or "unforgivable" sin is a teaching that disrespects the Love of God, for it turns It into a weak and feeble thing. In reality, the Love of God, expressed as grace, is the most powerful force in the universe!

This teaching was invented by politicians, tyrants, and sick religious leaders in order to scare, and to control, the people. But we can find comfort in the words (indeed, the prophecy) of Jesus, who assures us that "every sin will be forgiven."

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