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Featured The Doctrine of Purgatory in Catholic Biblical Perspective

Discussion in 'Christian Debate Forum' started by Berserk, Oct 15, 2019.

  1. Berserk

    Berserk Active Member

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    Please initially respond to these 13 question on the basis of your best instincts rather than from what you perceive the Bible to teach. Subsequently, I will address all 13 questions from a biblical perspective and then you will be encouraged to respond to the cited biblical texts. The questions are relevant to the debate over universal salvation, but this thread is only intended to apply them to the Catholic doctrine of Purgatory and, more broadly, to the question of ultimate release from Hell. And no, I'm not a Catholic; I'm an Evangelical.

    13 PHILOSOPHICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT THE POST-MORTEM STATE OF THE DAMMED:

    (1) At the moment of postmortem survival, do we retain the same basic moral character that we developed in this life?
    (2) Would many carnal Christians be unable to live in a sin-free heavenly realm?
    (3) Does Jesus' principle that like attracts like in the afterlife make many professing Christians unsuitable company for the saints in Heaven?
    (4) Might not Hell be a realm of both reformative justice and retributive justice?
    (5) Because of their secular upbringing or negative life experience, millions of people have heard the Gospel with no conviction that it is true. Is it just to send them to eternal conscious torment because their spiritual intuition is fatally flawed?
    (6) Can anyone do enough in our brief sojourn on Earth to merit eternal conscious torment with no chance of postmortem redemption?
    (7) If there are multiple Heavens and Hells with different levels, might not continual progress be made from one level to another?
    (8) How does the concept of pure unconditional divine love apply to those in eternal conscious postmortem torment?
    (9) If denizens of Hell sincerely wanted to repent, rise into God's loving presence, and be spiritually transformed, would a loving God deny them that opportunity?
    (10) What keeps sinners in Hell--God, Satan, or the sinners themselves?
    (11) Shall the will of an omnipotent God to save everyone be eternally thwarted?
    (12) Is it reasonable to assume that no soul retrievals from Hell would ever be attempted?
    (13) Could Heaven truly be a realm of bliss for the redeemed if they knew that close family members and other loved ones were confined to eternal conscious torment?
     
  2. Nondenom40

    Nondenom40 Active Member

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    You want our feelings over and against what the bible says? Isn't that kinda backwards?

    I'm not catholic but there isn't anything here about purgatory. Most if not all of your questions are answered in the bible.

    Purgatory is by its own definitoin (ccc 1475) atonement. You die in this life, get whisked off to purgatory where you expiate your own sin and eventually waltz into heaven. No Jesus needed. Its an abhorrent, blasphemous doctrine that actually leads people to hell. I'm not answering all 13 questions. If you have one or two pressing questions i'll be happy to talk with you about them.
     
  3. Berserk

    Berserk Active Member

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    Nondenom: "You want our feelings over and against what the bible says? Isn't that kinda backwards?"

    Your comment illustrates the Evangelical penchant for preferring comfort for the constructive doubt created by the need for honest and open inquiry into spiritual truth. Honest skeptical seekers reject the biblical God because they honestly perceive Him to be morally monstrous. The Evangelical request that skeptics give the Gospel an honest hearing requires Evangelicals to avoid the hypocrisy of ignoring what their "best instincts" tell them about the questions posed by the OP. If the "best instincts" of skeptics tell them that the biblical God is immoral, unjust, and unloving, then they are quite justified in their rejection of biblical revelation. So they deserve an honest philosophical answer to their objections that tells them why their negative perception of the biblical God is flawed and why biblical teaching about Heaven and Hell is perfectly just and loving.

    Nondenom: "I'm not catholic but there isn't anything here about purgatory."

    Now you are pontificating from ignorance of the biblical support for Purgatory.

    Nondemom: "Most if not all of your questions are answered in the bible."

    Yes, but as you shall see, not in a way that supports the standard Fundamentalist positions.

    Nondenom: "No Jesus needed. Its an abhorrent, blasphemous doctrine that actually leads people to hell.

    That's a lie--a false caricature to avoid the need to investigate the many pro-Catholic biblical texts on this issue.
    So in effect what you're saying is that you are prepared to embrace the biblical God no matter how morally monstrous that God seems to the "best moral instincts" of honest seekers about how a truly loving and just God would act.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2019
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  4. BreadOfLife

    BreadOfLife Well-Known Member

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    That’s a flawed understanding of Purgatory.

    Purgatory is not where you get to “work off” your sins. It is a state of Final Purification of the elect.
    Rev. 21:27 says that NOTHING impure or imperfect can enter Heaven. How many “perfectly pure” people do YOU know?
    Purgatory is only possible because of Christ’s finished work on the cross – not in spite of it.

    And make NO mistake – Purgatory IS a Biblical doctrine.

    - Matt. 5:25‐26 tells us that unless we have settled our matters, we will be “handed over to the prison guard and will not be released until we have paid the last penny.”

    - Additionally, Matt. 12:32 states, “whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come”, which indicates that there IS purification after death for some.

    - Matt. 18:32‐35 and Luke 12:58‐59 are additional verses that support this doctrine.

    In 1 Cor. 3:10‐15, this is how the process is described:
    "According to the grace of God given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building upon it. But each one must be careful how he builds upon it, for no one can lay a foundation other than the one that is there, namely, Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw, the work of each will come to light, for the Day (judgment) will disclose it. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each one’s work. If the work stands that someone built upon the foundation, that person will receive a wage.
    But if someone’s work is burned up, that one will suffer loss; the person WILL be saved, but only as through fire."


    - This cannot be Heaven because the person will SUFFER ‐ and there is NO suffering in Heaven.
    - This cannot be Hell because the person will be SAVED ‐ and there is NO salvation in Hell.
    - This is describing a THIRD state – a state of Final Purification.

    If you have a problem with Purgatory – take it up with Christ . . .
     
  5. Enoch111

    Enoch111 Well-Known Member

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    Chapter and verse please.
     
  6. BreadOfLife

    BreadOfLife Well-Known Member

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    Ummmm, I gave FIVE examples from Scripture.

    Go back and read them . . .
     
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  7. Nondenom40

    Nondenom40 Active Member

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    Where did i say anything about preferring comfort for the constructive doubt? I said i'd be happy to dialogue and like most good catholics ( i don't believe for a second youre evangelical from your responses ) But i certainly do have a standard for truth and its not me, or you.
    I see you removed my citing of the ccc 1475. I gave a specific paragraph in the rc ccc and you obviously avoided that like the plague. So either you read it and dismissed it which makes you guilty of hiding the truth. Or you didn't look it up which makes you, not me ignorant of the doctrine.

    Ah, now youre a mind reader? Most catholics pretend to be. Its a poor tactic but its normally what they are reduced to.

    There aren't any. Because it doesn't exist.
    I embrace the biblical God because He is a savior of mankind. While we were enemies Christ died for the ungodly. Just how loving are you to your worst enemy? Maybe you should take a look at Romans 5 and read it?
     
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  8. ScottA

    ScottA Well-Known Member

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    I was going to honor your request and just answer the questions...but your line of questioning shows a great ignorance of the scriptures and the reality of God and the eternal. Your whole line is conjecture and theory based on misinterpretation.
     
  9. Enoch111

    Enoch111 Well-Known Member

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    Just because you may have misapplied some passages does not make them support Purgatory. The whole concept of Purgatory is foreign to Scripture and had to be invented by the Catholic Church. None of those passages speak of Purgatory.
     
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  10. BreadOfLife

    BreadOfLife Well-Known Member

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    Wrong.
    They ALL speak to the reality of Purgatory.

    Explain Matt. 12:32, where it states, “whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.
    This indicates that there IS purification after death for some.

    Explain 1 Cor. 3:10‐15, where there is suffering and finally, salvation.
    - This cannot be Heaven because the person will SUFFER ‐ and there is NO suffering in Heaven.
    - This cannot be Hell because the person will be SAVED ‐ and there is NO salvation in Hell.
    - This is describing a THIRD state – a state of Final Purification.

    Instead of flat, impotent denials - try to use reason . . .
     
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  11. Mungo

    Mungo Well-Known Member

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    You are doing the same thing with CCC 1475 that many people do with the Bible - namely selecting one bit out of context and then claiming it says what is does not say. CCC 1475 is 445 paragraphs from the section on Purgatory and dealing with a different topic.

    The is what the Catechism says about Purgatory:
    All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven. (para 1030).

    This belief in a cleansing and purification after death is not just a Catholic one but is common to Judaism, Orthodoxy and Protestantism, though the form and name may be different.

    Judaism
    “According to Judaism, the purifying process that a sullied soul undergoes to cleanse it from its spiritual uncleanliness is a temporary one, and is restorative in its intent, and not punitive, as many mistakenly believe. Ultimately, all Jews have portion in the World to Come, as do Righteous Gentiles, non-Jews who observe the Seven Noahide Commandments.” (http://www.chabad.org/library/articl...-teachings.htm)

    The view of purgatory is still more clearly expressed in rabbinical passages, as in the teaching of the Shammaites: "In the last judgment day there shall be three classes of souls: the righteous shall at once be written down for the life everlasting; the wicked, for Gehenna; but those whose virtues and sins counterbalance one another shall go down to Gehenna and float up and down until they rise purified; for of them it is said: 'I will bring the third part into the fire and refine them as silver is refined, and try them as gold is tried' [Zech. xiii. 9.]; also, 'He [the Lord] bringeth down to Sheol and bringeth up again'" (I Sam. ii. 6). The Hillelites seem to have had no purgatory; for they said: "He who is 'plenteous in mercy' [Ex. xxxiv. 6.] inclines the balance toward mercy, and consequently the intermediates do not descend into Gehenna" (Tosef., Sanh. xiii. 3; R. H. 16b; Bacher, "Ag. Tan." i. 18). Still they also speak of an intermediate state. (PURGATORY - JewishEncyclopedia.com)

    Rabbi Shammai (50 BC - AD 30), one of the two main teachers of early rabbinical Judaism, also is on record as having interpreted Zechariah 13:9 as referring to a state of purification after death. Isaiah 66:15-16 and Malachi 3:2-3 were also interpreted in rabbinic literature as referring to the purgatorial process.

    Orthodoxy
    Some Othodox teach Aerial Toll-Houses regarding the souls journey after its departure from the body after death.
    But if souls have departed this life in faith and love, while nevertheless carrying away with themselves certain faults, whether small ones over which they have not repented at all, or great ones for which – even thought they have repented over them – they did not undertake to show fruits of repentance: such souls, we believe, must be cleansed from this kind of sin, (St. Mark of Ephesus)
    (Aerial Toll-Houses - OrthodoxWiki)

    St. Mark of Ephesus was the main spokesman and theologian for the Orthodox at the Council of Ferrara in 1438. He also wrote that “the souls of people who die with unforgiven minor sins will experience spiritual sufferings in the afterlife, which, however, are not divine punishments but self-inflicted consequences of these sins”

    Protestantism
    Many Protestants believe in a purification after death but they call it Glorification.
    Glorification is the Protestant alternative to purgatory, as it is "the means by which the elect receive perfection before entering into the kingdom of Heaven."

    The majority of Protestant denominations believe in this form of glorification, although some have alternative names.

    (askdefine.com)

    “Glorification involves first of all the believer's sanctification or moral perfection (2 Thessalonians 2:13-14; Hebrews 2:10-11 ), in which the believer will be made glorious, holy, and blameless (Ephesians 5:27 ). The process of sanctification is at work in us now (2 Corinthians 3:18 ) but moves from one degree of glory to another until it reaches final glory.”
    (Bakers Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Terms)

    “Glorification marks the completion of Christ's work of redemption as the believer stands before God having been awakened from sin's deadly slumber, having been given a new heart and having been purified completely in soul and body.”
    ( Dr. James E. Bordwine – Westminster Presbyterian Church)
    Covenant Theology: Glorification (Part 1)
     
  12. epostle

    epostle Well-Known Member

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    Then why don't you re-apply those passages in a way that is accepted by all, instead of just saying they are "misapplied". Good luck with that, since you guys can't agree on anything.
    Purgatory was not "invented" by the Catholic Church. It began in kernel form out of Judaism, not the Catholic Church. Throwing out 7 books to justify man made doctrines is one thing, but denial of the history of Judaism is a form of anti-Semitism IMO. If you don't know by now how much Luther hated the Jews, you should do some reading.
     
  13. Giuliano

    Giuliano Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for that. I think the Jewish concept of gehinnom and the Catholic concept of purgatory are the same thing. There may be differing views about souls there, but I think they're still the same thing.

    Let's remember that Jesus was a Jew talking to other Jews. He used words the way they used them. When he talks about gehinnom, I think we should interpret the way his hearers would have.
     
  14. Giuliano

    Giuliano Well-Known Member

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    What I find a little distressing about people who deny purgatory is their lack of an explanation for people who die with spiritual flaws remaining. Are they kept out of Heaven eternally because they lack the white garments? Or does God have a way of burning away those impurities?
     
  15. epostle

    epostle Well-Known Member

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    "purgatory where you expiate your own sin" is a straw man fallacy. Make stuff up and then knock it down. It's one thing not to understand something, but refusing to understand is something else.
    An excellent post. Unfortunately, it falls on deaf ears. Anti-Catholics don't care what their own scholars say, because their Individualism trumps any authority. "ME, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit" mentality deifies the Self.
     
  16. epostle

    epostle Well-Known Member

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    There is no such thing as dying with spiritual flaws if you have "faith alone". Just how snow covered poop piles can get into heaven is beyond me.
     
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  17. epostle

    epostle Well-Known Member

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    Please enlighten us as to your private interpretation of the above verses.
     
  18. Nondenom40

    Nondenom40 Active Member

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    ccc 1475 says you expiate your sin in purgatory. Expiation has to do with sacrifice. Its part of the definition of propitiation found in Romans 3:25. Jesus is our propitiation, not you. This is atonement, not simply 'purifying' yourself. Catholics need to brush up on their definitions. By this your church teaches you can leave this life with sin not atoned for by Jesus and still make it to heaven. Thats pure hogwash! But thats your church not mine.

    The bible says no such thing. Do a search, you'll find that God does all this in the believer, not you. God purifies us, God makes us holy, God makes us able to stand in His presence....Jude 24-25. Its God, not you.
    Its not biblical.

    And?
    Glorification is not an alternative to purgatory. Thats just ridiculous.
     
  19. David Taylor

    David Taylor Well-Known Member

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    1. It depends if you were saved or not.
    2. What do you mean when you say carnal Christian?
    3. When Christians die they lose the flesh of this world. Remember Christ makes us holy.
    4. No.
    5. Yes it is just.
    6. The smallest of sin deserves eternal conscious torment. You realize this right?
    7. Multiple Heavens and Hells? Where in the world do you get that?
    8. What concept of pure unconditional divine love? Where are you getting that from?
    9. Yes, they had their chance.
    10. God. Satan is bound to Hell just like they are. He has no real power.
    11. You assume that he wills to save everyone. Romans 9 says otherwise.
    12. Yes it is not only reasonable it is fact.
    13. Yes.
     
  20. Berserk

    Berserk Active Member

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    Nondenom: "Where did i say anything about preferring comfort for the constructive doubt?"

    Constructive doubt in the quest for truth requires careful attention to "the best instincts" of conscience and what conscience says about the nature of justice and pure unconditional love. By disdaining my request to respond to the OP's conscience-based questions, you are in effect preferring comformt to the constructive doubt of an honest quest for truth. You commit the fallacy of begging the question with your insistence that Bible verses be considered first, when it is precisely the validity of the Bible as God's Word which honest skeptics call in question on the basis of many issues, including conscience. As Loren Cunningham, founder of the witnessing organization "Youth with a Mission," once told me, "I was only able to minister in the miraculous power of the Holy Spirit" when I was totally willing to become an atheist!"


    :Nondenom: "I see you removed my citing of the ccc 1475. I gave a specific paragraph in the rc ccc and you obviously avoided that like the plague. So either you read it and dismissed it which makes you guilty of hiding the truth. Or you didn't look it up which makes you, not me ignorant of the doctrine."

    Other posters have aptly exposed your warped caricature of the doctrine of Purgatory.

    Nondenom: "There aren't any [supportive verses] . Because it [Purgatory] doesn't exist."

    This claim has already been refuted by other posters and I will add to that refutation in future posts.

    Nondenom: "I embrace the biblical God because He is a savior of mankind. While we were enemies Christ died for the ungodly. Just how loving are you to your worst enemy? Maybe you should take a look at Romans 5 and read it?"

    Your condescending presumption is breath-taking! I don't need to "take a look at Romans 5 and read it" because I have already taught a course on Paul's theology at the Masters level. Your judgmental presumption that my claim to be an Evangelical is a lie is another typical Fundamentalist ploy to mask the unwillingness to reassess their position on biblical teaching. I have spent considerable time witnessing to the Gospel in city streets and house to house. Have you done the same?
     
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