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What is purgatory???

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

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  1. TruelightUK

    TruelightUK Tilter at religious windmills

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    Forgive me if I'm re-stating something I've missed through coming late to this thread, but I'd like to make a couple of points which I don't think have fully come out.

    Firstly - and this is something I myself have only recently really taken on board - there is a big difference between the attitude of the early Church to Scripture and that of modern day evangelicals (certainly of the more fundementalist variety). While the Old Testament, and the apostolic writtings which came to form the Canon of the New Testament, were highly valued and honoured by the Early Church, they were not necessarily taken as literally and definitively as we protestants might wish to think. Certainly the New Testament was written, not at the very outset of the church, but after several decades of oral tradition - at a time when folk realised that Christ was not going to return before all the first generation Apostles died out. By this time, a considerable body of teaching had been passed on by word of mouth, from the 12 Apostles to those they chose to oversee the new local congregations. The Church was, from the start, devoted to the Apostles' doctrine - not to a book or collection of books, but to a body of spoken teaching.

    The concept of Purgatory may well have been one of the doctrines that formed a part of that oral tradition - passed on through the apostolic succession as central to the Church, who is the pillar and ground of truth. And I can see kernels of this concept within the New Testament - those who are saved 'only as through fire', for example.

    However, having said that, I believe it is true to say that the full-blown doctine of purgatory as we know it today did not really take shape until the vision of St Perpetua (ca 203). Just prior to her martyrdom, she saw a vision of her brother, who had died as a young child from a cancer on his face. She saw him suffering from the cancer, and struggling to reach a fountain above his head. She was moved with pity, and prayed for him. Later she had another vision, where he was now able to drink from the fountain, and the cancer had shrunk. She continued praying, and later saw her brother, the cancer totally gone, laughing and playing with other children, blissfully happy.

    From this came the belief that the prayers of saints on earth can speed their loved ones' progress through purgatory to heavenly bliss.

    Anthony
     
  2. Wolseley

    Wolseley Beaucoup-Diên-Cai-Dāu

    +1,711
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    If you happen to hear from Rome, Truelight, it's because I have sent your name into the office for the Causes of Sainthood. :)

    Well done.
     
  3. kern

    kern Miserere Nobis

    +7
    Catholic
    No, you are reading this passage with a Protestant mindset.

    For Catholics, there is no single moment of salvation where all of your past, present, and future sins are instantly forgiven. Remember that for Catholics, salvation is a process and not an event. Wolseley is better at explaining this than I am, but sins will only be forgiven in Purgatory if you went to the grave in a state of grace through faith in Jesus.

    -Chris
     
  4. VOW

    VOW Moderator

    +15
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    To Kern:

    Point of niggling, no biggie: Sins aren't FORGIVEN in Purgatory, they are CLEANSED.

    The forgiveness was already taken care of.


    Peace be with you,
    ~VOW
     
  5. kern

    kern Miserere Nobis

    +7
    Catholic
    If elnaam has quoted the Catechism correctly it says:
    "From this sentence we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come." That certainly sounds like sins will be forgiven in "the age to come" which is either Purgatory or Heaven, right? How else is that passage to be understood?

    -Chris
     
  6. VOW

    VOW Moderator

    +15
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    To Kern:

    Is this the passage that you meant? I don't know if that is from the actual Catechism, or St Gregory. It had a St Gregory reference after it.

    I do know the Church teaches that God is infinitely merciful and loving and kind, so if there are people in this world who never were exposed to the message of Salvation that Jesus taught, there will somehow be a redemption for them. Perhaps this passage refers to that.

    Yoo HOO, Wolseley??


    Peace be with you,
    ~VOW
     
  7. TruelightUK

    TruelightUK Tilter at religious windmills

    441
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    I'd just like to ask the non-catholics in this thread what they feel happens about unconfessed sins?

    John's 1st epistle tells us that "if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness". But what if we don't confess our sins - or at least some of them? The implication is, surely, that they remain unforgiven and uncleansed?

    If we die with those sins still unconfessed, how can we then stand in the presence of a holy God, without some form of cleansing taking place? If it hasn't taken place in this life, through our confession, then, clearly, it must either take place 'in the next life', or not at all. If this is not in Purgatory, then how do you see the problem being dealt with? Or is it not a problem?

    Anthony
     
  8. kern

    kern Miserere Nobis

    +7
    Catholic
    I was unsure about that too, but I believe it is a Cathecism quotation which uses St. Gregory as a source, followed by the interpretation of the source ("therefore we understand...")

    I will wait for Wolseley as well. :D

    -Chris
     
  9. Lion Heart

    Lion Heart Member

    300
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    Us non-catholics, simply believe what the bible says, about our sins being forgiven by the blood shed on the cross for us.

    The Angel spoke to Mary, and said;
    "You shall call him Jesus, for He shall save HIS people from their SIN. Mt1:21

    The Apostle Paul says;
    "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Jhn 3:16

    And, Jesus himself speaks;
    "And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. Jhn 6:40
    "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. Jhn 6:44
    "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. Jhn 6:47

    "Take heed lest any man deceive you: Mk 13:5

    Faith in the promises of God, will allow God to fulfill them in every man who places his trust in HIM.
     
  10. Lion Heart

    Lion Heart Member

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    By the way look at these verses;

    "24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
    25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;" (Rom chap 3)


    There are all sorts of teachings out there today, just like what Jesus spoke about, concerning the latter days.

    Faith in what HE taught, will result in eternal salvation.


    Jhn 7; again Jesus speaking;
    16 ....said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.
    17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.


    Richard
     
  11. Wolseley

    Wolseley Beaucoup-Diên-Cai-Dāu

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    How did I get to be Chief Theologian for this thread? My degrees are in History, not Theology! :D

    Fine points of doctrine, here, and I am no Aquinas; but the operative Greek word in Matthew 12:32, aphiemei, while usually rendered "forgive", can also be rendered "remit". So, while the venial sins which landed the soul in Purgatory are indeed forgiven, the final remission of them is accomplished through Christ's operative vehicle of Purgatory.

    In any event, as with all points of doctrine, Matthew 12:32 cannot be taken alone, in isolation from all other relevant teachings of the Church which deal with the same subject. The point appears to be that the soul with unremitted venial sins at the point of death will cleansed of them after death, while acknowledging that there are some sins which cannot be remitted ("forgiven") after death---all mortal sins, certainly, and also blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

    Does that make sense? :)
     
  12. Lion Heart

    Lion Heart Member

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    So to sum up what us non catholics, believe and hold dear is Gods promises not only to Israel but to us,

    And, that is that HIS blood shed one time is sufficient to forgive ALL of our sins, FOREVER.

    John 1
    7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from ALL sin.

    Rom 5
    34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I WILL REMEMBER THEIR SIN NO MORE.

    And Jesus himself puts it this way;

    Jhn 3
    15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have ETERNAL LIFE.
    16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have EVERLASTING LIFE.,

    He not only died for us while we were yet sinners, but he gives ETERNAL EVERLASTING LIFE to them who believe in HIM.

    Purgatory is no where in site, concerning HIS promises.
     
  13. Lion Heart

    Lion Heart Member

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    The Bible makes no distinction between sin (except for Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, since this is the the SIN everyone who has NOT received Jesus as Lord and Savior is under. Therefore anyone who comes to Him with a broken spirit and a contrite heart are given to Jesus by the Father, Jesus gives them ETERNAL LIFE Jhn 10:28, and He KEEPS them and will lose NOT ONE , but will raise him up at that day.

    How great it is to able to say;

    "........for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.



    Richard
     
  14. UnderdogEnt

    UnderdogEnt Prayer Warrior

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    Yeah, Lion's Heart pretty much hit the nail on the head on that one. I believe that you need to confess your sins to be forgiven, but just the one time when you accept Jesus, acknowledge that you are a sinner and cannot get to heaven on your own, and ask for forgiveness. Still, I believe that it is good to ask for forgiveness from God at times after the original acceptance too, it helps to give us a feeling of cleansing and a fresh slate to live for Jesus. After the first time we accept Jesus, we are saved, but still, in the Lord's Prayer Jesus asked God to forgive us of our trespasses.
     
  15. Trento

    Trento Senior Veteran

    +550
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    Sam Jesus is showing us how to pray to the Father. :bow:
    Matthew
    Chapter 6
    But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.
    7
    3 4 In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words.
    8
    Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
    9
    5 6 "This is how you are to pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
    10
    your kingdom come, 7 your will be done, on earth as in heaven.
    11
    8 Give us today our daily bread;
    12
    and forgive us our debts, 9 as we forgive our debtors;
    13
    and do not subject us to the final test, 10 but deliver us from the evil one.
     
  16. VOW

    VOW Moderator

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    To LionHeart:

    But it does. I have quoted 1 John 5: 16-17, and JOHN sure seems to make distinctions between different types of sin.

    PAUL even gives a LIST of deadly sins in Galatians.

    And every time I bring this up, people tapdance all around the subject, giving me different definitions, of what the writers REALLY MEANT to say in the New Testament.

    And then folks give Catholics a difficult time about Purgatory. <sigh>


    Peace be with you,
    ~VOW
     
  17. kern

    kern Miserere Nobis

    +7
    Catholic
    Why do people always say this?

    John 19:11 says -- Jesus answered him, "You would have no power over me unless it had been given you from above; therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin."
    How can Jesus speak of "a greater sin" if there is no distinction between sins?

    Try this link as well:
    http://www.catholicintl.com/epologetics/mortalvsvenialndex.html

    -Chris
     
  18. TruelightUK

    TruelightUK Tilter at religious windmills

    441
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    So, surely, do most, if not all, Catholics!

    But you haven't answered my question: in the light of 1 John 1:9, what happens about post-conversion sins which are not confessed?

    Anthony

    BTW I'm not a Catholic either - at least, not under the leadership of the Bishop of Rome! - in vcase you were wondering.
     
  19. UnderdogEnt

    UnderdogEnt Prayer Warrior

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    Trento-
    I know Jesus was showing us how to pray, but in the way we are supposed to pray he tells us to ask God for forgiveness. I was just saying that in my last post to show that I still believe it is important to ask God for forgiveness even after we are saved. I don't believe that we have to so that we will be saved, accepting grace once covers all transgressions (at least that is my and most Protestants belief) but it still an integral part of our relationship with God to confess our sins, as it shows that we acknowledge that we sin and that we need God in our lives.
     
  20. PNJai

    PNJai New Member

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    ....If you are really truly saced you will always be saved....yes we will all still sin...that will happen as long as we have breath in our bodies...BUT it's the repentance of those sins...and the will to want to sin less ,and mature as a Christian that is the basis for "staying saved"
     
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