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What's the basis for purgatory?

Discussion in 'One Bread, One Body - Catholic' started by Hoonbaba, Apr 22, 2002.

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  1. Hoonbaba

    Hoonbaba Catholic Preterist

    +54
    Catholic
    Hi everyone,

    So far, this is the one thing that I don't know if I can agree with: Purgatory.

    What's the Catholic definition of it?

    And where's the biblical basis for it (not including the apocrypha)?

    God bless!

    -Jason
     
    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. patriarch

    patriarch Senior Member

    533
    +4
    Catholic
    Hoonbaba,

    First of all, read Purgatory for Everyone by Jerry L. Walls, professor of Philosophy of Religion at Asbury Theological Seminary. Asbury is not a Catholic seminary. This wonderful article was published in the April issue of First Things.

    http://www.firstthings.com/ftissues/ft0204/articles/walls.html
     
  3. isshinwhat

    isshinwhat Pro Deo et Patria

    +605
    Eastern Orthodox


    Purgatory is where we are cleansed of all the unrepented venial sins we have on our souls at death. When we build our lives upon ourselves, money, sex, food, etc. rather than Christ, we sin. Through the death and life of Christ we are able to see the Father face to face, but because no sin can stand in the presence of God, we must be cleansed of it. Purgatory is the place/state where the cleansing takes place. That place where we are saved, but through the fire. We know it is a place or state because Jesus speaks of people being forgiven in the age to come, not this current age:

    It is also the prison from Christ's Gospel parable that we will remain in until we have paid the last penny.

    God bless,

    Neal
     
  4. isshinwhat

    isshinwhat Pro Deo et Patria

    +605
    Eastern Orthodox
    One last thing I forgot that I overlooked for a long time. Forgiveness and punishment are two different things. The Lord chastises those whom He loves...or something along those lines :)

    Neal
     
  5. Religious Crisis

    Religious Crisis God is a Consuming Fire!!!

    +26
    Catholic
    Private
    I found me and my friends talking about this very question today. We could not find any proof anywhere. Please inform me if I missed anything.
     
  6. jukesk9

    jukesk9 Dixie Whistlin' Papist

    +82
    Catholic
    Married
    US-Republican
    Hoon,

    Another thing about Purgatory is that it's been believed before Christ. It wasn't called Purgatory, but the belief was there. In Judaism, when someone dies, for ll months, friends and loved ones of the deceased pray for the forgiveness of his/her sins. Christ never said to stop doing this. Even though it's a huge target for certain non-Catholics, it's such a minor thing to Catholics, IMHO. The Catechism of the Catholic Church devotes like two paragraphs to Purgatory. Archaeology and undisputed historical evidence show Christian tombs from the time of Christ with prayers for the dead inscribed on them. We're talking about people who died while the Apostles were alive. The Eastern Orthodox Church prays for the departed, yet they do not call their belief Purgatory. For a few years after Martin Luther split from the Catholic Church, he still taught Purgatory (though he later had a change of heart). Revelations sums it up by saying nothing unclean will enter Heaven.

    Here's how I personally believe Purgatory works. First off, if you are able to repent of all your sins as you die, I think you'll head right to Heaven. But if you die with any unrepented venial sins, here's where I believe Purgatory comes into play. Here's one example. You're a Christian. You believe wholeheartedly in Jesus. You have faith and you strive to please the Lord. Everything's going so good that you go off and buy you that '65 Mustang and restore it. One day, you decide to take it for a spin and see how fast it will really go. You're cruising a mean 95 mph on the Interstate zipping past cars. All of a sudden, you lose control, cross the median and hit another car head on, killing all the occupants.

    Murder? No. Wasn't intentional but you were reckless and in 99% of the jurisdictions, you'd be charged with negligent homicide. But, you don't live to get charged because you die too. So, sin? I most definately say yes. Mortal? No. Doesn't fit the criteria for a mortal sin and you didn't set out to kill anyone. But you did because of something really stupid. So, yea. You sinned, venially. So, does God just say, "Oh, what the heck. You accidentally killed a couple of other people but you believed in me so come on in and enjoy!" I don't believe that. Purgatory will make up for this.
     
  7. Apologist

    Apologist 2 Tim. 2:24-26

    +11
    Christian
    Just because something was taught that long ago does not necessitate it's truthfulness.

    So you are saying that Christ's atonement was not sufficent? If we must pay for our sins in purgatory then Christ died needlessly.

    "The sixth word or saying that Jesus spoke from the cross was the single Greek work tetelestai which means It is finished. Papyri receipts for taxes have been recovered with the word tetelestai written across them, meaning “paid in full.” This word on Jesus’ lips was significant. When He said, “It is finished” (not “I am finished”), He meant His redemptive work was completed. He had been made sin for people (2 Cor. 5:21) and had suffered the penalty of God’s justice which sin deserved."
    (The Bible Knowledge Commentary)

    God Bless
     
  8. Wolseley

    Wolseley Beaucoup-Diên-Cai-Dāu

    +3,586
    United States
    Catholic
    Married
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    No, that's not what we're saying, and we never have.

    What we're saying is that cleansing of venial sin in Purgatory is part of Christ's atonement---it is not an "addition to it." Christ's death on the Cross covered all sins, but that covering operates in different ways.

    Belief and baptism removes original sin.

    The sacrament of confession removes post-baptismal mortal and venial sin.

    Purgatory removes post-death venial sin.

    All of them are part of what Christ did on the Cross. It's His work, not ours.

    it's also not a "work", because going to Purgatory is not something you do on your own. You go there whether you want to go or not.
     
  9. patriarch

    patriarch Senior Member

    533
    +4
    Catholic
    The idea of purgatory only being a place where venial sin is removed leaves aside the issue of a person's character at his death. I think this passage from late in Wall's article treats this very well:



     
  10. isshinwhat

    isshinwhat Pro Deo et Patria

    +605
    Eastern Orthodox
     
  11. isshinwhat

    isshinwhat Pro Deo et Patria

    +605
    Eastern Orthodox
    Sorry about the quote mix up, I'll fix it on a different computer, this one won't let me edit...

    Neal
     
  12. Hoonbaba

    Hoonbaba Catholic Preterist

    +54
    Catholic
    Honestly I don't find the scriptural references convincing...aren't we free in Christ (Galatians 5:1)?

    Maybe I ought to read that article. At the moment, this is the only thing that I have some trouble with.

    Fortunately it's not that big of a deal =)

    -Jason
     
  13. isshinwhat

    isshinwhat Pro Deo et Patria

    +605
    Eastern Orthodox
    We are definately free in Christ. But this freedom also allows us to submit again to slavery:

    Galatians 5:1   
    For freedom Christ has set us free; stand fast therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

    The final purification (Purgatory) is for those of us who have through weakness and not consent built our lives on things of the flesh, rather than Christ. Because they were not mortal sins we will not suffer damnation for them, but we still must be cleansed from them. 1 Cor 3:15 says we will be cleansed of them through fire. We do not say this is done without Christ, rather this is how Christ has chosen to purify us. Just as Isaiah was forgiven his sins by the coal in the hands of an angel, so shall we be cleansed of our unrepentant venial sin, and all of through the mercy granted us through Christ's passion.

    in Christ,

    Neal
     
  14. Religious Crisis

    Religious Crisis God is a Consuming Fire!!!

    +26
    Catholic
    Private
    I think that you have taken 1 Cor 3:15 out of context. In 1 cor 3 it is talking about cults and false religions. Not that sins will be burned away. Correct me if I'm wrong.
     
  15. VOW

    VOW Moderator

    +15
    Catholic
    Married
    To Jason:

    If you can accept Confession (Reconciliation) in your heart, then Purgatory is a sort of extension of it. In Confession, we are FORGIVEN our sins; in Purgatory, we are CLEANSED of the stains of the sins upon our souls, plus we eliminate any unforgiven venial sins still upon us at the time of our death.


    Peace be with you,
    ~VOW
     
  16. Hoonbaba

    Hoonbaba Catholic Preterist

    +54
    Catholic
    Hi Neal,

    It's very clear to me that Gal 5:1 is referring to the old covenant rituals and such. In fact that's what Paul was addressing to the Galatian church. I think Gal 5:1 is a reiternation of Gal 4:9:

    But now that you know God--or rather are known by God--how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? (Gal 4:9)

    Contextually, Galatians 5:1 is referring to the old covenant rituals and such. Verse 3 says it very clearly.

    -Jason
     
  17. pax

    pax Veteran

    +94
    Catholic
    Single
    2 Maccabees 12:39-46

    Hope it helps
     
  18. jukesk9

    jukesk9 Dixie Whistlin' Papist

    +82
    Catholic
    Married
    US-Republican
    Apologist,

    That's where we disagree. I say that "It is finished" refers to the Passover and that the Eucharist is now instituted in place of the Passover. After he took a drink from the Hyssop branch (the 4th Cup), he said "It is finished." He fulfilled the Passover as the sacrificial lamb.
     
  19. Hoonbaba

    Hoonbaba Catholic Preterist

    +54
    Catholic
    Hi Jukesk9,

    Do all Catholics agree with your statement? I'm just curious =)

    I wouldn't agree with "It is finished" referring to the work of redemption, as well, since the following soteriological benefits were yet unfulfilled and undelivered at the time of the apostle's writing their epistles:

    * Salvation (Romans 13:11, 1 Peter 1:5, Heb 9:28, Heb 10:36-39, Rom. 8:24-25, Rev 12:10, Rom 5:10-11, Acts 15:11, Matt 10:22, 1 Thess 5:8) * Eternal Life (1 Tim 6:19, Titus 1:2, Titus 3:7, Luke 18:30, Jude 1:21, 1 John 2:25, Col 3:3-4) * Entrance into the Kingdom (2 Pet 1:11) * Redemption (Luke 21:28, 1 Tim 2:6, Eph 4:30, Titus 2:13-14) * The Ransom ( 1 Tim 2:6) * Righteousness by Faith (Gal 5:5; Gal 2:17) * Grace (1 Pet 1:13) * Becoming Christ's Body and partakers with him (Heb 3:6,14) * The New Covenant Temple of God (Heb 3:6, Eph 2:19-22, 1 Peter 2:5) * The Adoption of the sons of God (Romans 8:23-25, Rom 8:19) * The blotting out of sins (Acts 3:19, Heb 8:13) * The inheritance in Heaven (1 Pet 1:3-4) * The inheritance of the promises of Abraham (Heb 6:11-12, Heb 10:36-39) * The End of the Old Testament Age and Law of Moses (Heb 10:9 taken along with Heb 8:13; 2 Cor 3:6-12; 1 Cor 15:56; Matt 5:17-19) * The Transfer of Shekinah Glory to the Church-Temple (2 Thess 1:10, Col 3:4, Romans 8:16-19, Titus 2:13-14, 1 Pet 5:1, 1 Pet 4:13-14, Romans 5:2, Col 1:27, Matt 13:43, Rev 21:11, Eph 5:27, Col 1:22, 1 Tim 2:6)

    But of course I'm a full preterist and I believe all of it was granted to the church in 70 AD at the fall of Jerusalem =)

    -Jason
     
  20. VOW

    VOW Moderator

    +15
    Catholic
    Married
    To Jason:

    Find Scott Hahn's lecture on "The Feast of the Lamb," (I THINK that's the name) where he talks about the Covenantal relationship. That man did an extensive study on Hebrew covenants, and the result of his research is what pulled him into the Catholic Faith! Jesus's last drink of wine on the Cross fulfilled the Covenant of the Passover.


    Peace be with you,
    ~VOW
     
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