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What is purgatory???

Discussion in 'Eschatology - Endtimes & Prophecy Forum' started by gwyyn, May 25, 2002.

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  1. VOW

    VOW Moderator

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    To Othniel:

    Whoops, not quite. Go back to Post #7 in this thread, where I quoted 1 John 5: 16-17
    And your statement:
    Catholics have never ADDED to the Bible. In fact, it's been discussed in numerous places throughout this Forum that the Catholic Church was responsible for giving us the New Testament. Prior to the Fourth Century, people were taught about the Christian faith through Sacred Tradition, for the New Testament Canon had not been approved yet. Sacred Tradition was intended to supplement Sacred Scripture.

    As far as adding anything to the Bible, the Church has preserved it; Martin Luther, on the other hand, removed Scriptures from the Bible.


    Peace be with you,
    ~VOW
     
  2. Lion Heart

    Lion Heart Member

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    Purgatory was invented by Rome.

    The doctrine was officially introduced by Pope Gregory 1 in AD 593, but was defined as dogma only during the Council of Florence in AD 1439, and solemnly confirmed over a century later at the council of Trent. This doctrine is the reason why many catholics, especially rich ones spend a lot of money to have masses celebrated for their dearly departed loved ones.

    They believe, as most catholics here have testified, that almost all adult Catholics who do not go to hell, will have to spend time in purgatory before being admitted to heave. These masses allegedly get people out of purgatory and into heaven.

    Most recent development;

    PURGATORY had traditinally been thought of as a place, like hell, where people spend time to suffer for their sins and are later released to haven. More recently, the pope has clarified that purgatory is the condition of the soul of a person who at the time of death has not completely repented from wrongdoing.


    The Catholic church further state;

    "IF anyone saith that God always remits the whole punishment together with the guilt, and that the satisfaction of penitents is no other than the faith whereby they apprehend that Christ has satisfied for them, let him be anathema."

    (Council of Trent, Session XIV, Cannon 12 )




    The church encourages the faithfull to;

    "Pray for the dead! The prayers and good works of the living can help shorten the time that the deceased spends in purgatory. Thus Catholics have the practice of praying for the poor souls in purgatory. Modern theology has toned the idea of purgatory, although it remains part of church octrine."


    The Word of God states;

    Rom 8
    1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus,....."


    Heb 9
    27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

    2 Cor 5
    19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them;




    The Word alone is able to make one wise unto salvation.






    Richard
     
  3. Lion Heart

    Lion Heart Member

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    Rather than encouraging Gods word be believed by Faith, the Catholic Church encourages the faithful, to believe Purgatory by Faith.



    "It is of faith that there is a place we call purgatory , where petty faults, or the temporal punishment due to sin, are expiated."

    (The Catholic Church, the True Church of the Bible, p. 178 )



    This teaching contradicts and perverts the Gospel message as plainly taught in the WORD of God.










    RICHARD
     
  4. psycmajor

    psycmajor self-Banned

    +9
    Purgatory does not exist.

    If you believe that sins still need to be "burned away," then you are saying that God's grace is not sufficient, which is an insult to Him (see 2 Corinthians 12:9).

    You cannot work toward your own salvation. It is simply impossible.
     
  5. Wolseley

    Wolseley Beaucoup-Diên-Cai-Dāu

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    Is that right?

    Your date of 593 by Pope Gregory comes from page 8 of Loraine Boettner's fairy-tale book Roman Catholicism, which is just about as accurate as a copy of the National Enquirer.

    Tell me, however: if Purgatory was officially invented by Gregory in 593, then how come Tertullian mentions it in his work The Soul (58:1, 208 AD, nearly 400 years before Gregory)?

    Why does Abercius of Hierapolis mention prayers for the dead in his Epitaph (180 AD, 413 years before Gregory)?

    Why is the practice of praying for the cleansing of the sins of the dead mentioned in 2 Maccabees 12:42-46 (180 B.C., nearly 800 years before Gregory)?
     
  6. psycmajor

    psycmajor self-Banned

    +9
    No. If you believe that, chances are that you will take your salvation for granted, and use God's grace as a "license to sin," (Jude 1:4). When the Holy Spirit catches you red-handed (that voice inside, like a conscience), repent of what you have done to the Lord alone. Only he can save.


    ------
    Purgatory is an invention of the Catholic Church. If it's a part of the "process" of being saved, why doesn't Jesus ever mention it?
     
  7. Wolseley

    Wolseley Beaucoup-Diên-Cai-Dāu

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    As has already been explained, Purgatory is not an addition to God's grace and Christ's atoning death for the remission of sins; it is a part of it.
    How do you know He didn't? John 21:25 mentions that there are a lot of things Jesus did that weren't written down, and Paul in Acts 20:35 quotes a saying from Jesus not found in the Gospels.

    It may be time to bestow upon our conversation the coveted award:

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Lion Heart

    Lion Heart Member

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    +0

    psycmajor,

    This could very well be the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, spoken of in Mat 12.


    A rejection of Gods Holy Word, which is taught by the Spirit of GRACE.

    Sin keeps mankind from understanding; despites mans desire for learning.


    2 Tim 3
    Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.


    God desires all men to come to the truth..

    For sure,


    Richard
     
  9. Lion Heart

    Lion Heart Member

    300
    +0
    Heb 10
    29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

    Closing verse.




    Richard
     
  10. psycmajor

    psycmajor self-Banned

    +9
    I prefer not to presume anything that God said, I stick to the book.
     
  11. psycmajor

    psycmajor self-Banned

    +9
    Originally posted by Lion Heart



    I think what you're saying about rejection of scripture is irrelevant , frankly.
     
  12. Messenger

    Messenger Simplicity of Life

    +37
    Christian
    Purgatory is another man made doctrine which invents an absolute answer to what we don't know or understand...much like the other doctrines when man trys to understand God. To me I'd rather not have an answer than to have the wrong one. I'm happy and content looking for answers and knowing that until this time is over I won't know for certain....it's like an unsolvable mystery.
     
  13. VOW

    VOW Moderator

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    To Messenger:

    Your INTERPRETATION may be that Purgatory is a "man-made" doctrine, but to the Catholic Church it is extremely Scriptural. I myself have posted Scripture in this very thread to explain the concept of Purgatory, and you cannot say that YOUR interpretation of Scripture is "better" than mine.


    Peace be with you,
    ~VOW
     
  14. Elnaam

    Elnaam Member

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    There is no such place as purgartory! The Bible never even alludes to its existance. God, as a matter of fact forgets one has even sin, after repentance! Hebrews 10:14 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
     
  15. VOW

    VOW Moderator

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    To Elnaam:

    True, the Bible doesn't mention Purgatory. The Bible also doesn't mention the Trinity, Communion, the Rapture, or Altar Calls.

    Catholics have posted in this thread, and elsewhere on this forum the foundation of the teaching of Purgatory, from Scripture, and from Sacred Tradition. Just because YOU do not intepret those teachings the same way does not give you the right to disparage what the Catholic Church believes.


    Peace be with you,
    ~VOW
     
  16. KC Catholic

    KC Catholic Everybody's gone surfin'...Surfin' U.S.A

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    And let's not forget to be respectful when we disagree.

    If you have no knowledge of the teachings of the Catholic Church - it's a pretty flimsy arguement to say "It's not a real place."

    We also need to consider Purgatory is NOT a second chance at redemption. Either your going to hell or going to heaven - you just can't show up at "The Banquet of a Lifetime" with the stain of sin on your soul.

    Another way to approach it...if you do not believe in Purgatory and it does exist -> that's fine. If it does not exist then we'll all go straight to heaven if we've followed Christ.

    Believing there is a purgatory is not detramental to your salvation. Unless you think you can act like "hell" and still get into heaven. Then your sadly mistaking no matter what you believe about Purgatory.
     
  17. kern

    kern Miserere Nobis

    +7
    Catholic
    Please explain further why you think that Purgatory is "work[ing] toward your own salvation". Remember when you answer that (a) it's something that happens to you, not someting that you do, and (b) it is only possible to enter Purgatory if you have faith in Christ, and you enter as a part of Christ's salvation.

    -Chris
     
  18. KC Catholic

    KC Catholic Everybody's gone surfin'...Surfin' U.S.A

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    From Catholic Answers

    http://www.catholic.com/library/purgatory.asp

    Purgatory
    The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines purgatory as a "purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven," which is experienced by those "who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified" (CCC 1030). It notes that "this final purification of the elect . . . is entirely different from the punishment of the damned" (CCC 1031).

    The purification is necessary because, as Scripture teaches, nothing unclean will enter the presence of God in heaven (Rev. 21:27) and, while we may die with our mortal sins forgiven, there can still be many impurities in us, specifically venial sins and the temporal punishment due to sins already forgiven.



    Two Judgments

    When we die, we undergo what is called the particular, or individual, judgment. Scripture says that "it is appointed for men to die once, and after that comes judgment" (Heb. 9:27). We are judged instantly and receive our reward, for good or ill. We know at once what our final destiny will be. At the end of time, when Jesus returns, there will come the general judgment to which the Bible refers, for example, in Matthew 25:31-32: "When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats." In this general judgment all our sins will be publicly revealed (Luke 12:2–5).

    Augustine said, in The City of God, that "temporary punishments are suffered by some in this life only, by others after death, by others both now and then; but all of them before that last and strictest judgment." It is between the particular and general judgments, then, that the soul is purified of the remaining consequences of sin: "I tell you, you will never get out till you have paid the very last copper" (Luke 12:59).



    Money, Money, Money

    One argument anti-Catholics often use to attack purgatory is the idea that the Catholic Church makes money from promulgating the doctrine. Without purgatory, the claim asserts, the Church would go broke. Any number of anti-Catholic books claim the Church owes the majority of its wealth to this doctrine. But the numbers just don’t add up.

    When a Catholic requests a memorial Mass for the dead—that is, a Mass said for the benefit of someone in purgatory—it is customary to give the parish priest a stipend, on the principles that the laborer is worth his hire (Luke 10:7) and that those who preside at the altar share the altar’s offerings (1 Cor. 9:13–14). In the United States, a stipend is commonly around five dollars; but the indigent do not have to pay anything. A few people, of course, freely offer more. This money goes to the parish priest, and priests are only allowed to receive one such stipend per day. No one gets rich on five dollars a day, and certainly not the Church, which does not receive the money anyway.

    But look at what happens on a Sunday. There are often hundreds of people at Mass. In a crowded parish, there may be thousands. Many families and individuals deposit five dollars or more into the collection basket; others deposit less. A few give much more. A parish might have four or five or six Masses on a Sunday. The total from the Sunday collections far surpasses the paltry amount received from the memorial Masses.



    A Catholic "Invention"?

    Fundamentalists may be fond of saying the Catholic Church "invented" the doctrine of purgatory to make money, but they have difficulty saying just when. Most professional anti-Catholics—the ones who make their living attacking "Romanism"—seem to place the blame on Pope Gregory the Great, who reigned from A.D. 590–604.

    But that hardly accounts for the request of Monica, mother of Augustine, who asked her son, in the fourth century, to remember her soul in his Masses. This would make no sense if she thought her soul would not benefit from prayers, as would be the case if she were in hell or in the full glory of heaven.

    Nor does ascribing the doctrine to Gregory explain the graffiti in the catacombs, where Christians during the persecutions of the first three centuries recorded prayers for the dead. Indeed, some of the earliest Christian writings outside the New Testament, like the Acts of Paul and Thecla and the Martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicity (both written during the second century), refer to the Christian practice of praying for the dead. Such prayers would have been offered only if Christians believed in purgatory, even if they did not use that name for it. (See Catholic Answers’ Fathers Know Best tract The Existence of Purgatory for quotations from these and other early Christian sources.)



    Why No Protests?

    Whenever a date is set for the "invention" of purgatory, you can point to historical evidence to show the doctrine was in existence before that date. Besides, if at some point the doctrine was pulled out of a clerical hat, why does ecclesiastical history record no protest against it?

    A study of the history of doctrines indicates that Christians in the first centuries were up in arms (sometimes quite literally) if anyone suggested the least change in beliefs. They were extremely conservative people who tested a doctrine’s truth by asking, Was this believed by our ancestors? Was it handed on from the apostles? Surely belief in purgatory would be considered a great change, if it had not been believed from the first—so where are the records of protests?

    They don’t exist. There is no hint at all, in the oldest writings available to us (or in later ones, for that matter), that "true believers" in the immediate post-apostolic years spoke of purgatory as a novel doctrine. They must have understood that the oral teaching of the apostles, what Catholics call tradition, and the Bible not only failed to contradict the doctrine, but, in fact, confirmed it.

    It is no wonder, then, that those who deny the existence of purgatory tend to touch upon only briefly the history of the belief. They prefer to claim that the Bible speaks only of heaven and hell. Wrong. It speaks plainly of a third condition, commonly called the limbo of the Fathers, where the just who had died before the redemption were waiting for heaven to be opened to them. After his death and before his resurrection, Christ visited those experiencing the limbo of the Fathers and preached to them the good news that heaven would now be opened to them (1 Pet. 3:19). These people thus were not in heaven, but neither were they experiencing the torments of hell.

    Some have speculated that the limbo of the Fathers is the same as purgatory. This may or may not be the case. However, even if the limbo of the Fathers is not purgatory, its existence shows that a temporary, intermediate state is not contrary to Scripture. Look at it this way. If the limbo of the Fathers was purgatory, then this one verse directly teaches the existence of purgatory. If the limbo of the Fathers was a different temporary state, then the Bible at least says such a state can exist. It proves there can be more than just heaven and hell.

    Sometimes Protestants object that Jesus told the thief on the cross that, on the very day the two of them died, they would be together in paradise (Luke 23:43), which they read as a denial of purgatory. However, the argument backfires and actually supports purgatory by proving the existence of a state other than heaven and hell, since Jesus did not go to heaven on the day he died. Peter tells us that he "went and preached to the spirits in prison" (1 Pet. 3:19), and, after his resurrection, Christ himself declared: "I have not yet ascended to the Father" (John 20:17). Thus at that time paradise was located in some third state besides heaven and besides hell.



    "Purgatory Not in Scripture"

    Some Fundamentalists also charge, as though it actually proved something, "The word purgatory is nowhere found in Scripture." This is true, and yet it does not disprove the existence of purgatory or the fact that belief in it has always been part of Church teaching. The words Trinity and Incarnation aren’t in Scripture either, yet those doctrines are clearly taught in it. Likewise, Scripture teaches that purgatory exists, even if it doesn’t use that word and even if 1 Peter 3:19 refers to a place other than purgatory.

    Christ refers to the sinner who "will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come" (Matt. 12:32), suggesting that one can be freed after death of the consequences of one’s sins. Similarly, Paul tells us that, when we are judged, each man’s work will be tried. And what happens if a righteous man’s work fails the test? "He will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire" (1 Cor 3:15). Now this loss, this penalty, can’t refer to consignment to hell, since no one is saved there; and heaven can’t be meant, since there is no suffering ("fire") there. The Catholic doctrine of purgatory alone explains this passage.

    Then, of course, there is the Bible’s approval of prayers for the dead: "In doing this he acted in a very excellent and noble way, inasmuch as he had the resurrection of the dead in view; for if he were not expecting the dead to rise again, it would have been useless and foolish to pray for them in death. But if he did this with a view to the splendid reward that awaits those who had gone to rest in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Thus he made atonement for the dead that they might be freed from this sin" (2 Macc. 12:43–45). Prayers are not needed by those in heaven, and no one can help those in hell. That means some people must be in a third condition, at least temporarily. This verse so clearly illustrates the existence of purgatory that, at the time of the Reformation, Protestants had to cut the books of the Maccabees out of their Bibles in order to avoid accepting the doctrine.

    Prayers for the dead and the consequent doctrine of purgatory have been part of the true religion since before the time of Christ. Not only can we show it was practiced by the Jews of the time of the Maccabees, but it has even been retained by Orthodox Jews today, who recite a prayer known as the Mourner’s Kaddish for eleven months after the death of a loved one so that the loved one may be purified. It was not the Catholic Church that added the doctrine of purgatory. Rather, any change in the original teaching has taken place in the Protestant churches, which rejected a doctrine that had always been believed by Jews and Christians.



    Why Go To Purgatory?

    Why would anyone go to purgatory? To be cleansed, for "nothing unclean shall enter [heaven]" (Rev. 21:27). Anyone who has not been completely freed of sin and its effects is, to some extent, "unclean." Through repentance he may have gained the grace needed to be worthy of heaven, which is to say, he has been forgiven and his soul is spiritually alive. But that’s not sufficient for gaining entrance into heaven. He needs to be cleansed completely.

    Fundamentalists claim, as an article in Jimmy Swaggart’s magazine, The Evangelist, put it, that "Scripture clearly reveals that all the demands of divine justice on the sinner have been completely fulfilled in Jesus Christ. It also reveals that Christ has totally redeemed, or purchased back, that which was lost. The advocates of a purgatory (and the necessity of prayer for the dead) say, in effect, that the redemption of Christ was incomplete. . . . It has all been done for us by Jesus Christ, there is nothing to be added or done by man."

    It is entirely correct to say that Christ accomplished all of our salvation for us on the cross. But that does not settle the question of how this redemption is applied to us. Scripture reveals that it is applied to us over the course of time through, among other things, the process of sanctification through which the Christian is made holy. Sanctification involves suffering (Rom. 5:3–5), and purgatory is the final stage of sanctification that some of us need to undergo before we enter heaven. Purgatory is the final phase of Christ’s applying to us the purifying redemption that he accomplished for us by his death on the cross.



    No Contradiction

    The Fundamentalist resistance to the biblical doctrine of purgatory presumes there is a contradiction between Christ’s redeeming us on the cross and the process by which we are sanctified. There isn’t. And a Fundamentalist cannot say that suffering in the final stage of sanctification conflicts with the sufficiency of Christ’s atonement without saying that suffering in the early stages of sanctification also presents a similar conflict. The Fundamentalist has it backward: Our suffering in sanctification does not take away from the cross. Rather, the cross produces our sanctification, which results in our suffering, because "[f]or the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant; later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness" (Heb. 12:11).



    Nothing Unclean


    Purgatory makes sense because there is a requirement that a soul not just be declared to be clean, but actually be clean, before a man may enter into eternal life. After all, if a guilty soul is merely "covered," if its sinful state still exists but is officially ignored, then it is still a guilty soul. It is still unclean.

    Catholic theology takes seriously the notion that "nothing unclean shall enter heaven." From this it is inferred that a less than cleansed soul, even if "covered," remains a dirty soul and isn’t fit for heaven. It needs to be cleansed or "purged" of its remaining imperfections. The cleansing occurs in purgatory. Indeed, the necessity of the purging is taught in other passages of Scripture, such as 2 Thessalonians 2:13, which declares that God chose us "to be saved through sanctification by the Spirit." Sanctification is thus not an option, something that may or may not happen before one gets into heaven. It is an absolute requirement, as Hebrews 12:14 states that we must strive "for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord."
     
  19. kern

    kern Miserere Nobis

    +7
    Catholic
    Well, then I suppose you should not be Catholic.

    (Note that Catholics do not believe they are just "guessing" at what Jesus said. We believe that the Apostles passed the oral teachings of Jesus on to those who did eventually write them down.)

    -Chris
     
  20. Ben johnson

    Ben johnson Legend Supporter

    +374
    Christian
    I have never been able to understand why there is no belief in a "single instant of salvation". It seems Catholics accept that "salvation is not by works" (though as James labored to convey, works DEMONSTRATE a saved heart); in light of verses like 1Jn5:12 (he who HAS the Son has the LIFE; I write this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may KNOW you have eternal life), why is "believing" not sufficient for salvation (in Catholic perspective)?

    Paul affirms "you were washed, sanctified, justified in the name of Jesus" (1Cor6), do we not "wash our robes and make them white in His blood" (Rev7:14)? If Jesus is the "propitiation for our sins" (1Jn2:2,4:10), is He the propitiation only for some of our sins? Those up to when we receive Him?

    My grasp of "salvation" in many ways is parallel to Catholics. It is FELLOWSHIP, thus it is a lifelong walk. But divergent from Catholics, in that it is received, and is not a process ("He who HAS THE SON..."). If receiving Christ (Jn1:12) confers salvation and forgiveness of sins, does not that forgiveness persist throughout our life-long-fellowship with Him?

    Does anyone think God keeps a TALLY-SHEET, marking off WHICH sins specifically have been confessed (and therefore forgiven), or does GRACE (not LAW) mean that our APPROACH is submission to Him, and an attitude of repentance (so that if there is a sin that we have not mentioned, nevertheless our spirits walk in submission and repentance, so that His blood has washed EVERY sin)?

    Am I making sense here? How can "WE-IN-CHRIST" die with unforgiven sins?
     
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