On Unpardonable Sins II
This post relates to the unpardonable sin, but in a roundabout way. I have read Ekhart Tolle‘s book, “The Power of Now.” It’s not a bad read, but could be considered as filled with “woo,” too vague or filled with what I think Daniel Dennett would call deepities. That aside I find him generally uplifting and insightful regarding intrusive thoughts and borders on deepities with other topics, but strikes me as fresh, if a bit rehashed from Buddhist/Hindu thought. What I find extremely strange is that Christians of conservative stripes (Evangelicals, Catholics, etc…) do not like the guy and think of him as the anti-Christ. While I understand that he may not jive completely with established doctrine, the guy is pretty harmless. At the same, time I was taught to look at good things with an unhealthy suspicion. This got me to thinking. Where does this paranoia come from?
I had a mystical experience at a pretty young age that would have been considered a great experience if not brought up in a Catholic/Christian household. I was taught that meditation and yoga even free of the religious elements of their tradition, were evil or of the devil. Despite the mounting evidence that meditation reduces stress and is a great tool for someone with anxiety to learn is lost in the paranoia that is fundamentalist/conservative Christianity. So, how does this relate to the unpardonable sin mentioned in the bible?
One interpretation of this sin relates to the pharisees accusing Jesus of casting out demons using the power of the devil (view previous post to view referred scripture). Jesus rebukes them by stating that a house divided can not stand. Yet, look at this verse!
- 2 Corinthians 11:13-15: For such boasters are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is not strange if his ministers also disguise themselves as ministers of righteousness. Their end will match their deeds.
What does it mean that Satan can disguise himself as an “angel of light?” I would add that one can’t have it both ways. Either a house divided can not stand or a house divided can stand just fine. So were the pharisees correct to question Jesus or not? If the devil can look like a benevolent being, then the pharisees were correct to question. How would they know if Jesus is of “light” or not? This ties into OCD and scrupulosity as well. I’ve had many thoughts that God or Jesus was the devil because of this verse and the double-think inherent in Christianity. I would imagine that there are people, while not necessarily mentally ill, who have had to deal with the cognitive dissonance of these two ideas. The idea that God can appear as both good and evil (via punishments), as demonstrated throughout the bible, AND Satan can appear as both good and evil (as per the verse above), muddles and complicates one’s faith. One would have to be on guard to not be “deceived.” This heightened sense anxiety creates a certain paranoia about anything religious. It’s why many fundamentalist Christians have spoken out against Harry Potter books, evolution, meditation, mysticism, Mormons, Game of Thrones, The Beatles etc… Fundamentalists have found the anti-Christ in everyone. Names that follow have been asserted as the anti-Christ; Saddam Hussein, Barack Obama, Maitreya, Nero*, apparently Ekhart Tolle, Mohammed, any sitting pope, just about every world leader and the list goes on and on. So what is behind all this: fear. Fear of being deceived, fear of being wrong, fear of the world, fear fear fear.
Links on Atheism
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