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A Mary T. Hoffman Commentary from


"Joyful Curmudgeon" An oxymoron?
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful.  At the same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true peace and compassion.


“Unclean Spirit” – 24 January 2007
By Mary T. Hoffman

In Matthew 12:43-45, Jesus says:

43 "Now when the unclean spirit goes out of a man [or woman], it passes through waterless places, seeking rest, and does not find it.

44 "Then it says, 'I will return to my house from which I came'; and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order.

45 "Then it goes, and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man [or woman] becomes worse than the first. That is the way it will also be with this evil generation." ~ New American Standard Bible

Whether a person believes that “unclean spirits” actually exist or that Jesus is using metaphorical language, He presents an accurate description of the downward spiral of one who succumbs to temptation after he or she has “cleaned up their act” and “turned a new leaf.”

Reading this scripture, I thought of those who “sell out” or go back to behaviors that they had once abandoned. In my opinion, one who has “seen the light” and later makes an about-turn, going back into the “darkness,” places himself or herself in a very dangerous position – spiritually speaking. The one who has not as yet been informed by the Holy Spirit about their ungodly activities may yet be touched and transformed. But the one who, having once experienced God’s redemption, backslides, places himself or herself in great peril.

In Matthew 12:31 Jesus says –

31 “Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven men [and women], but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven.” ~ New American Standard Bible

In Matthew 12:24 the Pharisees, who were religious leaders, blasphemed the Holy Spirit by falsely accusing Jesus of casting out demons – healing the afflicted – by demonic power:

24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, “This man [Jesus] casts out demons only by Beelzebul the ruler of the demons.” ~ New American Standard Bible

Leaders of animal welfare or protection organizations who “sell out” and work with animal exploiting industries, or “water down” the message with lies and “doublespeak” (“humane” veal, for example), are on a downward spiral. There is no excusing their actions, because they already know the horrendous emotional and physical pain of the animals they are betraying.

Jesus’ commentary about “unclean spirits” (Matthew 12:43-45) coming back to occupy a person who had once experienced positive change is an apt description of the consequences of the treachery that they inflict on God’s creatures.

Go on to: The Humane Charity Seal of Approval – 25 January 2007
Return to: “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” – 23 January 2007
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