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Catholic view of Purgatory ... Is it real?

michael_legna's picture

You are the one misrepresenting my position and approach

ML said -
That would be true if we could hold all of scripture in our heads at one time, but we cannot. So the only way to get to the overall message of scripture is to derive specific interpretations for each and every verse then compare those specific interpretations against one another to see if there is any contradiction. If there is then one of those specific interpretations must be wrong. That is the only way we can do it relying on scripture alone, besides one other method I know you do not accept.

The other approach is to trust and accept the teachings handed down from the one Person Who could hold all of scripture in His head at once and Who passed this knowledge of proper doctrine down through the Church - but I know you don't accept this process so we are left doing it the hard way.

Dan Fugett said -
To me, this discussion has reached its typical point. The above quote speaks for itself. To spell our what I get from this, we have two choices according to this poster.

Having failed to provide scriptural proof for the existence of Purgatory, the poster is attempting a two-fold ploy.

I have provided all kinds of support for the doctrine of Purgatory and you tried to avoid it by making some vague claim to "...ideally, one would consider the overall message of scripture and the specific applications of scripture before deriving a specific;

Of course that would be ideal but the ideal is hardly ever possible, so I listed the two alternatives I saw and then eliminated the one I knew you would not accept, so I made no appeal to the authority of the Church and instead made it clear I was willing to play on your field and restrict myself to "relying on scripture alone".

Dan Fugett said -
First, to attack those who insist on proving the concept from scripture which, by the way, are the rules of the thread. Each person is welcome to read them again. This poster has made an assertion for the existence of Purgatory, which he is obligated to prove with scripture, and has not done so.

I have indeed done so, unless you consider your inability to offer a consistent set of alternative interpretations and your lack of any verses which you could prove contradicted it a proof that I have failed.

Dan Fugett said -
This first ploy is coupled with a logical strawman. "So the only way to get to the overall message of scripture is to derive specific interpretations for each and every verse then compare those specific interpretations against one another to see if there is any contradiction."

Just claiming something is a strawman is not enough - you must show how this is a weaker description of your position than your true position. Is it not true that all of Scripture is inerrant? Does it not follow that for an interpretation of a verse to be true it must not contradict any other interpretation of any other verse? Is it then not true that we must be willing to check our interpretations of a verse against any other applicable verse to make sure our interpretation is correct? Is it not true that we cannot know every applicable verse in advance? Does that not mean that we must be willing to consider any verse someone suggests is applicable? This is hardly a strawman - this is merely taking the exegesic principle of interpreting scripture with scripture to its logical conclusion.

Dan Fugett said -
The primary scriptures dealing with salvation and the afterlife negate the need or existence of Purgatory.

Easier claimed then shown and without such a presentation and analysis of each verse in light of the rest of scripture this is hardly a proof the doctrine of Purgatory contradicts scripture.

Dan Fugett said -
This is the standard Catholic apologetic: we either accept the authority of the Roman Catholic Church or we reconcile every scripture in the Bible to a given doctrine.

No this is standard Protestant exegesis, interpreting scripture with scripture. I am not appealing to the authority of the Church I am accepting your principles of scripture study and you are the one who does not want to play by their own rules.

Dan Fugett said -
Having not proven from scripture that Purgatory exists, the 2nd ploy is obvious. To blindly accept the teaching of Roman Catholocism as authoritative and reflecting the teaching of Christ on this topic.

There are two problems to your claim, the first is I feel I have proved the doctrine of purgatory since I have addressed all your rebuttal (however few there were) and I never asked you or anyone else to accept the authority of the Catholic Church, in fact I did just the opposite and admitted you would never do that.

Dan Fugett said -
There is only one problem: Jesus doesnt teach Purgatory or the need for purgation.

Yes, He does and I have provided scriptures which show Him referencing the same ideas contained in 1 Cor 3.

Dan Fugett said -
Jesus teaches eternal life or perish (Jn 3:16), in simplest language.

But John 3:16 is only simple if you do not ask what it means.

John 3:16 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.

So what does it mean to believe? Is it simply accepting that Jesus is the Son of God? No - The devils believe - and they do not have eternal life. Is it simply believing in Him in just one aspect of His mission, in just one role? No. Can we simply accept His sacrifice and be saved, letting Him do all the work? Or do we have to accept Him in all His roles as shepherd and King, and Lord and Gate and Way and Truth etc> which mean we have to follow Him?

Other than by having Faith, what does the Bible teach us that we should do to properly accept the free gift of salvation?

Mt 5:19-20 Obey the commandments in such a way as to exceed the righteousness of the Pharisees
Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Mt 7:21 Do the will of the Father
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Mt 12:37 Control what comes out from you – the fruit of your works
For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

Mt 16:25 Hate our worldly life
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

Mt 18:3-4 Be converted and humble ourselves
And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Mt 19:16-21 Obey the commandments fulfilling them in the spirit of the law through love.
And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness. Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

Mt 25:45-46 Do good works in service to others
Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

Mk 8:35 Hate our worldly life
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it.

Mk 10:17-21 Obey the commandments fulfilling them in the spirit of the law through love.
And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

Mk 16:16 Be baptized to be saved
He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Lk 10:25-28 Obey the commandments fulfilling them in the spirit of the law through love.
And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.

Lk 17:33 Hate our worldly life
Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.

Lk 18:9-14 Humble yourself do not think you can earn or deserve to be justified
And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Lk 18:18-22 Obey the commandments fulfilling them in the spirit of the law through love.
And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother. And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up. Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.

Lk 9:23-24 Follow all of Christ’s teachings
And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.

Jn 4:34-36 Do the work of God and spread the Gospel
Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.

Jn 6:54 Eat His body and drink His blood
Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

Jn 10:27-28 Follow all of Christ’s teachings
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

Jn 12:25 Hate our worldly life
He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

Rom 2:13 Do the law to be justified
For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

Rom 2:7 Patiently continue in good works to accept the gift of eternal life
To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:

2 Cor 7:10 Repent – turn your life around - to be saved
For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

Php 2:12 Obey to work out your salvation
Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

1 Tim 4:16 Continue in the proper doctrine
Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

1 Tim 6:12 Fight for your salvation by professing your faith
Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

1 Tim 6:18-19 Do good works to lay hold on the free gift of eternal life
That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

Heb 5:9 Obey Jesus to receive eternal salvation
And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

1 Peter 3:20-21 Be Baptized to be saved
Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

1 Peter 4:17-18 Obey the Gospel to be saved
For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?

Dan Fugett said -
However, I completely agree with the conclusion that nothing unholy or unclear will enter Heaven. No work of humanity will either.

Sure some will, that is the whole point to rewards as mentioned in 1 Cor 3 and the crowns almost all of even main line Protestantism recognizes and the issues that distinquish some as vessels of greater honor (vessels of silver and gold instead of wood and earth).

Dan Fugett said -

Who will?

Rev 7:14 I said to him, “My lord, you know.” And he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

Yes, but obviously not just these, because many will not get to come through that tribulation having lived in different times. So this is a satisfactory condition but not a necessary one.

Rev 22:14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city.

Yes, and just how does one wash their robes? Not simply by making mental assent to the fact of Christ's sacrifice, but through beliving in Him in all His roles which of course requires us obeying the Gospel and following Him, working out our salvation with fear and trembling.

Re 22:17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

Oh! - "Hear" amnd "Come"? Is that what you mean? Sounds like obeying and following to me.

Dan Fugett said -
The RCC and the poster would like us to agree that Puragrory and the idea of purgation does not weaken the need for Christ, or lessen the work of Christ on Calvary.

No it is just necessary to recognize what that sacrifice accomplished, and it was not salvation itself, because then all men would be saved. It is instead the offer of the gift, the making available of salvation, such that we can choose to believe and then perfect that faith through works to accept that offered gift. That is how men are distinqguished with regard to salvation. That acceptances requires obedience to the Gospel and works of love. Those times when we do His will we add to our reward and crowns and distinguisihing ourselves as vessels of honor and those works which do not measure up must be burnt away so that nothing which defiles enters into His presence.

Dan Fugett said -
Yet no scripture has supported the necessity of purgation on the basis of any sin (venial or mortal) that isnt totally washed away in the eyes of God.

If that were true you would have been able to rebut muy interpretations with consistent interpretations of those very same verses I offered but so that they fit your doctrine. However you have not done that. Instead you try to change the topic and attack a concept which is not related and you do so by misrepresenting my position in as weak a manner as possible. That is the strawman in this discussion and it is one you built.

Dan Fugett said -
Who will enter Heaven, from the vision of the only person in the New Testament who wrote about it at length? Those washed by the blood of the Lamb. Any purgation process mentioned here? Nope. The only purgative agent ever explicitly or implicitly asserted in scripture is Jesus blood that is effective to wash away all sins (including those sins that purgation would supposedly be for)

Dan Fugett said -
In closing, I can understand how easy it was for the believers in the Reformation to reach a firm and manly conclusion.

What does that even mean - firm and manly - get real man. Try to keep this on a reasonable and intelligent level without resulting to name calling and insults.

Dan Fugett said -
If the only logical option is to accept the authority of the Roman Catholic Church, here is my reply.

No one here has made an appeal to the authority of the Catholic Church. I have provided scriptures and consistent interpretations of them, as well as logical arguments. You have avoided addressing them and try to redirect the topic to other issues because you have no answer.

Dan Fugett said -
For your non-Catholic brothers and sisters, to the extent councils and popes agree with the plain and clear teaching of scripture, the Christian is obligated to embrace those teachings. To the extent the teachings of any pope or council goes against scripture, the Christian is obligated to reject it as opposed to the gospel itself.

That is correct. But since you have not shown a single verse of scripture which this teaching goes against and those you have tried to suggest you misinterpreted or missed entire points within them, while at the same time being unable to offer consistent interpretations of the verses I offered I don't see where this recommendation plays any role in the discussion.




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