Mark 3:28-30


#1

Is being spiritual is a key factor in faith? I had someone quote scripture (Mark 3:28-30) and said to blaspheme the Holy Spirit is unforgivable.

Also how does a Catholic respond to someone who states that they stand firmly against anyone claiming God and living in a set of rituals (just as Jesus did in scripture)?

They further stated that they stand firmly for “true religion,” which is just as Jesus taught: the great commandment (to love the Lord your God with all your heart soul and mind) and the great commission (to love your neighbor more than yourself and to spread the Word of God to all the nations). I agree with this, but there is so much more isn’t there…

This person I’m conversing with also thinks to focus on religion and organization leads to spiritual deadness… Which is what they said they are experiencing on the mission field in England and where much of the United States has already succumb to as well in their opinion. Then they go on to state that they aren’t against the church or true religion, but thinks it needs some rebuking at times just as Paul did in almost all of his epistles. They say that blindly following church leaders and religion has lead to tragedy throughout history, but people who have sought the Lord with all their hearts and put others before themselves, have sparked revivals all over the world…

They finished this off by saying to me that having a whole hearted seeking of a religion or of spirituality will always leave you face down in the mud…


#2

Depends on what you mean. We’re all spiritual – we’re body & soul. No one is “not spiritual” in this sense. What did your acquaintance mean by ‘spiritual’?

I had someone quote scripture (Mark 3:28-30) and said to blaspheme the Holy Spirit is unforgivable.

Right. This is generally interpreted to mean that, if you say “my sin is so bad, even God can’t forgive me,” you’re blaspheming against the Spirit.

Also how does a Catholic respond to someone who states that they stand firmly against anyone claiming God and living in a set of rituals (just as Jesus did in scripture)?

Not quite sure what you mean here, either. Are they claiming that God is against rituals? That’s pretty odd, given the amount of ritual that God prescribed in the Mosaic covenant… :shrug:

They further stated that they stand firmly for “true religion,” which is just as Jesus taught: the great commandment (to love the Lord your God with all your heart soul and mind) and the great commission (to love your neighbor more than yourself and to spread the Word of God to all the nations). I agree with this, but there is so much more isn’t there…

Right. Plus, Jesus believed in ritual and formalized worship – the Scriptures attest that He regularly attended worship services at synagogue on the Sabbath!

This person I’m conversing with also thinks to focus on religion and organization leads to spiritual deadness

Partially correct, I’d say: to ‘focus on religion and organization’ without keeping our gaze on Jesus can (but doesn’t necessarily) lead to bad results. I’m not going to dispute their experiences… but I do think they’re over-generalizing, based on their experiences…


#3

Depends on what you mean. We’re all spiritual – we’re body & soul. No one is “not spiritual” in this sense. What did your acquaintance mean by ‘spiritual’?

Not really sure. His stance is that spirituality is more important or a key factor in faith than a focus on organized religion, but too much spirituality and too much religion is not good. He is a promoter of seeking Jesus Christ above everything else. He said to me “Being spiritual is a key factor in faith as scripture says to blaspheme the Holy Spirit is unforgivable (Mark 3:28-30).” I’m not sure how Mark 3:28-30 relates to being able to state that being spiritual is a key factor in faith? I interpret Mark 3:28-30 differently… Is there anything in Scripture that states being spiritual is a a key factor in faith?

Not quite sure what you mean here, either. Are they claiming that God is against rituals? That’s pretty odd, given the amount of ritual that God prescribed in the Mosaic covenant… :shrug:

Yes, he is claiming that God was against living in a set of rituals and that he stands firmly against anyone claiming God and living in a set of rituals as he said Jesus did in scripture. I responded back to him that God instructed the Jews very carefully in the rituals He wished them to use in worship and there is no suggestion in the New Testament that God has changed His mind, or that we are no longer to worship using ritual. And that in fact, a careful study of the New Testament will show continued parallels to the Old Testament way of worshipping. And that God is only against empty rituals that are performed with no heart behind them. He really didn’t have any response back to me. I think his believe is that worshipping “in spirit” means worshipping without ritual or liturgy.

Partially correct, I’d say: to ‘focus on religion and organization’ without keeping our gaze on Jesus can (but doesn’t necessarily) lead to bad results. I’m not going to dispute their experiences… but I do think they’re over-generalizing, based on their experiences…

Well said. Yes, I think he is over-generalizing as well based upon his experiences, beliefs about organized religion (probably the Catholic church particularly) and his upbringing. Some of his statements just threw me off since he is pursuing a Masters in Divinity and has a ministry in Northeast England,and is partnered with UK/USA Ministries and when I tried to go deeper into discussion with him, ask for clarification with some of his statements, he backed away from any discussion…Once I started to try to talk to him about organized religion, rituals, and how there is a visible church and God instituted His Church, created the hierarchy and the sacraments, promised that He would not leave us as orphans while using scripture in the process he totally backed away from the conversation. I asked him Don’t you think we should do things the way God planned it for us, if we are going to claim a deep relationship with Him? Or is it okay to reject what He gave us, and still claim a relationship with Him? I guess he just didn’t want to really get into it…

Thank you for you response to my questions though and Merry Christmas.


#4

It sounds like he’s making a personal interpretation of Scripture here – he seems to be saying that ‘blasphemy of the Holy Spirit’ means underappreciating the role of personal spirituality in one’s life. That’s an odd (and not normative) interpretation of that verse – it’s a difficult verse to understand, but a common interpretation I’ve heard is the one I gave: if we claim that the Spirit is unable to forgive a sin, then it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy – that lack of trust in God’s forgiveness is, itself, unforgivable.

I interpret Mark 3:28-30 differently… Is there anything in Scripture that states being spiritual is a a key factor in faith?

It’s kind of difficult to answer that question without a fairly rigorous definition of what you mean by ‘being spiritual’, wouldn’t you say? :shrug:

And that in fact, a careful study of the New Testament will show continued parallels to the Old Testament way of worshipping. And that God is only against empty rituals that are performed with no heart behind them. He really didn’t have any response back to me.

I think that you gave him a really good answer… and that’s probably why he really didn’t have any answer… :wink:

I think his believe is that worshipping “in spirit” means worshipping without ritual or liturgy.

Hmm… that’s a hard sell, if you read the Gospels and what they disclose about the way that Jesus prayed… :shrug:

he totally backed away from the conversation. … I guess he just didn’t want to really get into it…

Hmm… hard to get a read; could be a number of different things. Sometimes, it’s best just to pray for a person, that they’ll understand God’s revelation more clearly…


#5

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