A Confessional Lutheran blog on the distinction between the Law and the Gospel, and scrupulosity- also known as religious OCD
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From "Patrick's Places"
"The law saith to the sinner. Pay thy debt; the Gospel saith, Christ hath paid it. The law saith, Thou art a sinner, despair, thou shalt be damned; the Gospel saith, Thy sins are forgiven thee, be of good comfort, thou shalt be saved. The law saith, Make amends for thy sins; the Gospel saith, Christ hath made it for thee. The law saith, The Father of heaven is angry with thee; the Gospel saith, Christ hath pacified Him with His blood. The law saith, Where is thy righteousness, goodness, and satisfaction? The Gospel saith, Christ is thy righteousness, goodness, and satisfaction. The law saith, Thou art bound and obliged to me, to the devil, and to hell; the Gospel saith, Christ hath delivered thee from them all.”
--Patrick Hamilton, Scottish Lutheran martyr Burned at St. Andrews February 29, 1528
Since people in the Group found this helpful in dealing with the Unforgivable Sin, I thought I'd post it here.
1. Blasphemy, by its very definition, must be spoken out loud. "Blasphemous thoughts" are thoughts that would be blasphemy if uttered. No matter how nasty a thought may be, thoughts cannot be blasphemy unless they are uttered. Even if the thoughts somehow could be blasphemy,...
2..... Jesus says in the very statement in which He speaks of the Unpardonable Sin that ALL blasphemies will be forgiven, whatever their content- but that THE blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will not be. It is obvious from this that since THE blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is not included in "ALL blasphemies," it must be something very different from merely saying something nasty about God (again, thinking something nasty about God, if it is not uttered out loud, cannot be blasphemy in the first place). It is unique.
3. Since Jesus says categorically that He will never, under a…
C.S. Lewis wrote something which I think goes right to the core of religious obsessions: "Humility is not thinking less of oneself. It's about thinking of oneself less."
That is Law, and as always is the case with Law, it functions for our good only when, as Paul put it, we "use it lawfully." It can do damage if we misuse it.
Being obsessed with the self is pride. OCD will seek occasion to make us feel guilty about obsessing because it means thinking about ourselves. It will lose track of the fact that we obsess because of a neurological condition which can have spiritual ramifications, not a spiritual condition as such. And of course, it will lose all sight of the fact that the whole problem is that a person who is paying attention to how he or she is doing spiritually is fixated on himself (or herself) and isn't looking outward, to Jesus, Who is the only righteousness we have or ever will have, and to our neighbor.