So I came across this term yesterday, 'unforgivable sin' (I was looking up unicorns in the bible!) I was kind of curious since I'd never heard this before. Turns out there are sins that can never be forgiven ( of course now that I think of it isn't suicide one of these?) Here's what wiki has to say:
Eternal sins or unforgivable sins or unpardonable sins, are a concept in Christian theology of sins which cannot or will not be forgiven, whereby salvation becomes impossible. It has its origin in several biblical passages.
Although the Bible doesn’t employ the term “unpardonable sin”, there is one sin frequently considered “eternal” and that is the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit; however this phrase is rarely taken to have its literal meaning. Some sins that are frequently considered eternal include deliberate rejection of the mercy of God, and ascribing the work of the Holy Spirit to the Devil.
I guess that tosses freedom of expression out the window! And some bible passages:
- Mark 3:28-30: “Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven all their sins and all the blasphemies they utter. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven, but is guilty of an eternal sin. He said this because they [the Pharisees] were saying, ‘He has an evil spirit’.”
- Matthew 12:30-32: “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. And so I tell you, people will be forgiven every sin and blasphemy. But the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.”
- Luke 12:8-10: “I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God. But he who disowns me before men will be disowned before the angels of God. And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.”
Ok, so it looks like I could never get off for my many, many offenses, both on the blog and in person. But wait a sec, "however this phrase is rarely taken to have its literal meaning." What the hell does that mean? I'm thinking it means we don't actually enforce it, ie; we'll still give you all the lip service and let you sit in our special places and we'll even be nice enough to take your 10% 'donations' as well. We just won't really tell you it won't help, you're still screwed.
Of course the Catholics get around this by saying:
However, the Church further believes there is no offence, however serious, that cannot be taken away by Baptism, or absolved from in the Confessional—that no one, however wicked and guilty, may not confidently hope for forgiveness. Note that while Our Lord did declare blasphemy against the Holy Spirit unforgivable, He did not except it from the sins that may be forgiven by Baptism and Penance (Mt 16,19; Mt 18,18; Joh 20,23). St. Thomas explains that its unforgivability means that it removes the entrance itself to these means of salvation—however, it cannot hinder Almighty and Merciful God to take away this obstacle by sort of a miracle. This is affirmed by the Catechism which says that Christ desires “the gates of forgiveness should always be open to anyone who turns away from sin.” The Sacraments of Baptism and Penance, notably, take away any sin if received.
The Eastern Orthodox churches essentially hold the same principles in regards to this doctrine.
I guess, the bible IS open to interpretation after all... But if baptism takes away ANY sin, then John Paul the BAPTIST was taking it away before Jesus was nailed to those sticks... So what was the point of that then? Don't you just LOVE religion? Now that's some logic and reason!
I seem to be talking about sin a lot lately, sorry unfortunately it is the cornerstone of most religions and they love to go on and on about it.