religion

[ANALYSIS] Luke 12: 8-10

Luke 12: 8-10

8 “I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God. 
9 But whoever disowns me before others will be disowned before the angels of God. 
10 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. (New International Version)
A firm belief in the doctrine of God’s universal providence and the extent of it would satisfy us when in peril, and encourage us to trust God in the way of duty. Providence takes notice of the meanest creatures, even of the sparrows, and therefore of the smallest interests of the disciples of Christ. Those who confess Christ now shall be owned by him in the great day, before the angels of God. To deter us from denying Christ, and deserting his truths and ways, we are here assured that those who deny Christ, though they may thus save life itself, and though they may gain a kingdom by it, will be great losers at last; for Christ will not know them, will not own them, nor show them favour. But let no trembling, penitent backslider doubt of obtaining forgiveness. This is far different from the determined enmity that is blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, which shall never be forgiven because it will never be repented of. (Matthew Henry)

Introduction

The Gospel According to Luke also called the Gospel of Luke, or simply Luke is the third of the four canonical Gospels. It tells of the origins, birth, ministry, atonement, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ. The Gospel of Luke is very positive in nature and is doctrine-oriented.
Who is Luke?

Luke is only mentioned by name three times in Scripture, and all three references are in Paul’s letters: Colossians 4, 2 Timothy 4, and Philemon 1. Most biblical scholars support Luke as the author of the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts. We can come to this conclusion because of the similarity of writing styles and vocabulary in both books; another reason is that Luke used the term “we” several times to refer to his missionary travels in the book of Acts. Though Luke was not present with Jesus during His ministry, and likely was not a believer until after Jesus’ resurrection, Luke’s attention to detail and abundant eyewitness accounts serve him as a credible historian for the life, death, and resurrection of Christ.

Luke’s gospel contains several parables and eyewitness accounts that are only in his gospel, such as a pre-birth account for John the Baptist, the story of the two men who met the resurrected Jesus on the road to Emmaus, as well as stories of miraculous healing. His gospel is the longest of the 4 gospels and includes the most healing stories, showing his interest in and compassion for the sick. His gospel also has the most detailed birth account and a more descriptive death and resurrection account for Jesus. The Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts total 52 chapters, making Luke the author of 1/3 of the New Testament, just like Paul.

It is most likely that Luke wrote his gospel in 63AD before the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem since he does not mention it. As a detailed and observant writer, it would be odd for him to leave out such a historic event, but there are still some scholars who argue for a later date.

8 “I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God. 
This is a direct indication for the believer to promote the message of God in a way that proclaims the believers’ steadfast belief in God. The reward for doing this that God will pass it along to the angels of God. In this context “angels of God” could referrence those that have done this in the past and have resin into heaven or, a literal organization of angels in heaven to show what you’ve done for the cause of God. 
9 But whoever disowns me before others will be disowned before the angels of God. 

This counteracts and covers those that will not publically proclaim God as the Son of Man. However, there is a minor discripency here; what would occur if an individual disowns God and then wants to reprent? Is that an option? The most common translation of “repent” is “turn” or “return”. Two requisites of repentance included in sub are “to turn from evil, and to turn to the good.” Most critical theologically is the idea of returning to God, or turning away from evil. If one turns away from God, apostasy is indicated. Three times Ezekiel included God’s call to the people of Israel: “Repent! Turn from your idols and renounce all your detestable practices!” “Repent! Turn away from all your offenses”, “Turn! Turn from your evil ways”. Such a call was characteristic of the prophets. Interestingly enough, Luke mentions repenting directly in Luke 24:46-47:

Luke 24: 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

Therefore, according to verses 46-47, we clearly see that The Messaiah has suffered in order for repenting to be possible. 

The second question would be to ask if “disowning God” is under the weight of sin as any other sin? This would also imply that there are levels of sin. If this is true, how does one know what level of sin is being committed? And, how do you know whether or not you can repent and be forgiven for it. At the onset, this would contradict the very message of Christ that all sins have been forgiven due to Christ paying for the sins of the world when he died on the cross. 

10 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.
This verse is where a direct contradiction occurs in multiple ways. 1. You can be forgiven ONLY if you speak agains the Son of Man(Jesus Christ) but you can’t if you speak again the Holy Spirit. 2. If the God/Holy Spirit are omnipresent(everywhere all the time)then you have little hope of both; having the ability to reprent and, Sin(becuase humans aren’t perfect and will make mistakes). You are therefore stuck in a perpetual circle of messing, attempting to be sorry; just to realize that you can’t reach the gates of heaven by that method. Unless, of course, you know who you are sinning against. But, can you know? 
Advertisements

Using Habits to Your Advantage

Image

 

We struggle with habits that seem to keep us from reaching the next stage in our development. Whether we are attempting to cease smoking or simply trying to stay away from those morning sweets, we find ourselves struggling at every turn of the journey. Why? Because the nature of habits are for them to stick once fixed in the mind. Think of each habit like as if it were a train car barreling down the tracks at full speed. It doesn’t matter the number of cars you have, the important thing to remember is the direction of the train tracks. Symbolically, we never look at the tracks when a train goes by – we are always fixated on the train cars. Habits are, in this way, the very same. Habits pay no mind to disposition, religion or race. Habits are really insane thoughts that become “comfortable” to stay with. These are thoughts(that turn into actions)that are repeated in the mind over and over and over and over then – POOF – you no longer think about that which was once just a thought. When you cross-examine our human situation, most of our thoughts are just that – habitual. Andrew Carnegie was quoted saying that men will spend the same amount of effort to avoid thinking as it takes to think. His point is sound, it takes a little effort to think. Meaning, to think outside your normal comfortable habitual thinking zone. Therefore, we can apply this same methodology to habits that propel us in the right direction, all we need to do is change the direction of our thoughts. This will take work to change your thinking. But the chance to bring your habits to your side, working to your advantage, is a chance you must not miss.  

 

High Vatican official arrested in €20M plot

Photo credit: AP | An undated photo of Monsignor Nunzio Scarano in Salerno, Italy. A Vatican official already under investigation in a purported money-laundering plot involving the Vatican bank was arrested Friday, June 28, 2013, in a separate operation: Prosecutors allege he tried to bring 20 million euros ($26 million) in cash into Italy from Switzerland aboard an Italian government plane, his lawyer said. Monsignor Nunzio Scarano, a recently suspended accountant in one of the Vatican’s main financial departments, is accused of fraud, corruption and slander stemming from the plot, which never got off the ground, attorney Silverio Sica told The Associated Press. He said Scarano was a middleman in the operation: Friends had asked him to intervene with a broker, Giovanni Carenzio, to return 20 million euros they had given him to invest. Sica said Scarano persuaded Carenzio to return the money, and an Italian secret service agent, Giovanni Maria Zito, went to Switzerland to bring the cash back aboard an Italian government aircraft. Such a move would presumably prevent any reporting of the money coming into Italy. The operation failed because Carenzio reneged on the deal, Sica said. (AP Photo/Francesco Pecoraro)

The Vatican has been dealing with issues surrounding their ethics for years. We seem unfazed when information is released regarding misconduct within the Vtican walls. Friday, the Associated Press reported that a Vatican cleric and two other people were arrested by Italian police for allegedly trying to smuggle 20 million euros ($26 million) in cash into the country from Switzerland by private jet. It’s the latest scandal to hit the Holy See and broadens an Italian probe into its secretive bank.

Monsignor Nunzio Scarano, already under investigation in a purported money-laundering plot involving the Vatican bank, is accused of corruption and slander and was being held at a Rome prison, prosecutor Nello Rossi told reporters.

Nicole Winfield(AP) of in Newsday reported that, Pope Francis has made clear he has no tolerance for corruption or for Vatican officials who use their jobs for personal ambition or gain. He has said he wants a “poor” church and a church that is for the poor, one that goes out to the “peripheries” to minister to those most needy. He has also noted, tongue in cheek, that “St. Peter didn’t have a bank account.”

The DailyMail said today that, “

The high profile arrests come just 48 hours after Pope Francis announced the line up for his commission into the Vatican Bank.

The so-called ‘Bank of God ‘ has been tarnished by scandal and suspicion for 30 years.

Any attempt to investigate by Italian authorities was viewed as an attack on the sovereignty of the Vatican state. “

These are problems. But maybe these are issues that should be highlighted in order to dissect the actions of an religious organization. Religion, by default, are exempt from established taxes. The Vatican is not only exempt from taxes but also privy to their own rules and regulations. This gives the illusion, to those looking o gain, that they are exempt from laws and rules generally instituted within society. We need to target some of these organizations and dissect their operations to see as to if they are abusing their privileges.