Church started to grow, believers shared their possesions with each other, and so a couple decided to sell part of their land and donate the money to the Christian community, however, they lied how much they received from it and stated they gave it all to the church when in truth, they kept part of it to themselves. It was done to get praise from other people, and Peter the Apostle saw through their deceit and accused first Anabias, then Sapphire of lying to Holy Spirit, which caused their instant death.
While this story has it’s merits, and for sure shows how important it is to not go for praise but be a humble servant of God, I can’t accept it as authentic. The same as with Job, I understand the lesson from the book, but I can’t accept that God really let his children die while later giving him more children as a remedy. And that’s okay, Job is quite obviously a theological argument in form of a story, this chapter though, claims itself to be a genuine story ( telling history of early christianity and all ) and because of that, I have to see this story as a way to show Peter authority, or importance of keeping true to Holy Spirit, not really what happened. Just as two different genealogies of Jesus were created to show Jesus’s uniqueness.
Wait a second, isn’t that cherry picking? If I just say this story is fiction, then I can just tell every story that I don’t like to be a fiction and the one I accept as real. And this is a fair point. But there are reasons to doubt this story other than “I just don’t like it”. Jesus was really a forgiving person, once and once again he showed mercy to people that others thought of as deserving of death and promoted that fellow believers should instead help one another and strengthten each other’s faith instead of condemning.
Peter could’ve just rebuke them or/and exorcize the demon out of Anabias if it caused the problem. Instead he just killed a fellow Christian even though all of us make mistakes, even more, Peter himself rejected Jesus in spite of his promises ( and yes, he saw his mistake, but if he could’ve repent then why he took this opportunity from Anabias and Sapphire ), and Jesus didn’t just slain him after he was resurrected right there and then, so it just seems to be out of character for Peter and out of character for God to follow through with Peter’s judgement.
Yes, there is Matthew 12:31 “All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men; but the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit shall not be forgiven unto men”.
But I see it as rather sin that refuses forgiveness, if you undermine the mission of Jesus and say for example that his death did nothing and won’t save you, then obviously you flatly reject the forgiveness making it impossible to achieve relationship with God, making it a mortal sin. I didn’t for once see it as something that you need to be killed immediately after doing.
Those are my thoughts about it, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.