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Catholic view of Purgatory ... Is it real?

michael_legna's picture

Your approach of attacking individual interpretations is unfair

Dan Fugett said -
Statement from infallible scripture.
Mat 5:25-26 25 Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. 26 Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.

Your 2nd interpretation of this passage.

This verse is telling us that we must make restitution and be reconciled to those whom we offend as part of a true repentance, because if we do not we will find ourselves having to suffer a loss as this lack of restitution is purged from us in a place of judgment until we are in a state of true repentance.

Your 1st interpretation of this passage

These verses allude to a temporary state of purgation called a "prison." There is no exit until we are perfect, and the last penny is paid.

Complete passage
23 “Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering. 25 “Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way, so that your opponent may not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. 26 “Truly I say to you, you will not come out of there until you have paid up the last cent.
New American Standard Bible : 1995 Update. LaHabra, CA : The Lockman Foundation, 1995, S. Mt 5:23-26


What in this verse creates a foundation for the assertions contained in this interpretation?

Of course this one section of scripture in isolation cannot provide the full development of the assertions, but taken with the others to get a complete view of the harmony of the Bible we can see the basis for the assertions.

Still the intent of the scripture is that we cannot make an offer pleasing to God until we are in a state of proper and full repentance, and that requires not just feeling sorry but actually making it up to those whom we may have offended. If we do not do this when we do face God He will put us through a purification process where we will suffer loss which is comparable to the restitution we should have made such that these sins of omission are burnt away and we lose that which defiles us and prevents our entering into the kingdom of heaven.

Dan Fugett said -
What is your proof that makes the adversary, officer, judge, and prison represent more than whet those words represent in everyday life???

Because God does not threaten us with everyday punishments for failing to reconcile with our brother. Would you contend God is merely warning us to reconcile to avoid earthly prison because that is more important than worshipping Him? Those who take that approach are placing the world above God and that is a clear error.

Dan Fugett said -
Where did the word perfect come from? The vulgate doesnt use this word in the passage (v26) "Amen dico tibi, non exies inde, donec reddas novissimum quadrantem." and neither does the greek "26 ἀμὴν λέγω σοι, οὐ μὴ ἐξέλθῃς ἐκεῖθεν, ἕως ἂν ἀποδῷς τὸν ἔσχατον κοδράντην. "

The word perfect is in reference to the state we must be in to enter heaven - it is based on one of the other verses we need to consider along with this one to see the doctrine fully developed as you ask. That verse is of course:

Rev 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.

We can have no imperfections associated with us if we are to enter into His presence. That is why we must have the inferior works burnt away as described in 1 Cor 3:10-16

Dan Fugett said -
What is the proof, from this passage, that we must make restitution as a spiritual requirement as opposed to saying that Christians should expect no lattitude at a court of law??

Because it is placing this restitution above the offering of worship to God, which means it must be an act of restitution aimed at pleasing God, not civil authorities. That is what identifies it with a spiritual aspect.

Dan Fugett said -
Having not proven the first premise of the syllogism (the need for spiritual restitution as part of forgiveness), what is the proof derived from this passage that we have to be reconciled to those we offend for repentance to be true?

This idea is not derived from this section of verse it is used to derive other conclusions from the verse.

I assumed everyone understood the need for restitution as part of true repentance and that forgiveness is dependent on true repentance; but since you seem to not know this I can quickly develop it for you.

Any child can tell you that if you break your neighbors window and say you are sorry but refuse to pay to have it repaired or replaced you are not truly repentant and the neighbor and God should not forgive you because your confession and repentance are obviously a sham. So this proves restitution or reconciliaton (since the neighbor does not even have to accept your offer for it to be truly felt) is required for repentance, and thus plays a role in forgiveness; unless of course you want to suggest that forgiveness is granted to people who are not really repentant. I don't know about you but I don't think God can be fooled in this regard.

Dan Fugett said -
How does this second premise (reconciliation constitutes real repentnace) even happen if the offended party isnt willing? Does that mean that the offender is bound for loss if this reconciliation with another person does not occur?????

No the offer of restitution or the sincere attempt at reconciliation (even if rebuffed) is all that is needed, because God does not judge based on outward appearances but He sees into the heart of men. The works that get burnt off in 1 Cor 3 are those acts of omission when we do not even attempt to make this restitution or in some other way have a less than full repentance of our sins and offenses.

Dan Fugett said -

Having provided no support for either premise (1) we must make restitution and (2) we must be reconciled to the offended, the conclusion isnt valid either.

It's way to early to be coming to conclusion when you have only just now asked me to provide development for standard Christian doctrines which should be known to even the youngest members of the Church.

Dan Fugett said -
There is nothing in this passage that allegorizes or spiritualizes the jailer, judge, officer or prison. The conclusion that this leads to a place of judgement is invalid and unfounded based on this scripture.

There is more to spiritualize it than there is to equate them to real civil authorities, unless one is more concerned with the world than with God.

Dan Fugett said -
You have not proven your case from scripture but inferred them from traditional Roman Catholic interpretation of this passage.

Now that I have answered all your I guess that means I have proved my conclusions and not inferred them.

Dan Fugett said -
That is, the assertion being made was not proven scripturally; the burden of proof lies with the poster; and Tradition, History and the writings of the Church Fathers may be used as witnesses, not as proof.

I did support my interpretation from scripture, which you conveniently ignored by trying to take one scripture in isolation from among the entire development. If you disagree with my complaint of your approach then tell me just how does one prove the interpretation of one verse from scripture if you can only use that one scripture to interpret itself. That is simply a meaningless requirement or worse circular reasoning. Because that is eactly what you are faced with if your opponent can ignore all the other scriptures you used.