Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Thought on Purgatory

Just a thought that occurred to me about the doctrine of purgatory.
Scripture teaches that at the end of this age Christ will return to gather His flock for the marriage supper of the Lamb. If most of the flock must still be purified by purgatory for ages, that's going to delay things quite a bit. I believe the Lord has arranged things better than that. He purifies us by His blood if we believe in Him by grace through faith.
Is not His blood our cleansing and His resurrection our hope? He also tries and perfects our faith by trials here on earth.

James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

2 Corinthians 5
1 For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, 3 if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. 4 For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. 5 Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
6 So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. 7 For we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.
9 Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 11 Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences.


Revelation 19
1 After these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, “Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God! 2 For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her.” 3 Again they said, “Alleluia! Her smoke rises up forever and ever!” 4 And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sat on the throne, saying, “Amen! Alleluia!” 5 Then a voice came from the throne, saying, “Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!”
6 And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! 7 Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” 8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
9 Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.” 10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

11 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. 15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:

KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

75 comments:

Moonshadow said...

What precedes Revelation 19 but the Great Tribulation which serves to purify Christ's people.

Anyway, a popular explanation of purgatory appeared in Slate last spring, which references the Catechism [1030-1031].

Peace of Christ.

Jennie said...

What precedes Revelation 19 but the Great Tribulation which serves to purify Christ's people.

Yes, in the sense that trials make us turn to God and repent our sins, and to depend upon Him for His grace to help us live holy lives and to endure persecution.
But the marriage supper of the Lamb occurs somewhere during the tribulation (could be the beginning, middle, or end), after Christ has gathered all the believers from the earth and before His final return to judge the earth and begin His reign. If believers are still serving time in purgatory, they are going to miss the marriage supper. That is not going to happen.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Purgatory - a place where the dead go to be purified prior to entering heaven - does not exist.

Trials and tribulations - God allows us to go through trials, tribulations,and temptations HERE ON EARTH, while we are still alive, THROUGHOUT OUR OUR LIFETIME, to purify us from sinful habits, and to strengthen our character and faith - exists.

Peace.

Peace.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Great insight into the marriage supper Jennie!

The marriage takes place now. All true believers are 'married' to Christ. The marriage supper takes place at the end of the tribulation, just before the 1,000-year reign of Christ on earth (Revelation 19:17-21; Revelation 20:1-4).

Peace.

Moonshadow said...

God allows us to go through trials, tribulations,and temptations HERE ON EARTH, ..., to purify us from sinful habits, ...

TIME Magazine agrees with you, Hillary.

And I don't disagree 'though I may think the anticipated intensity of the Great Tribulation sufficiently purifying, as blood martyrdom will run at an historical high.

Otherwise, this side of the Great Tribulation, life is a profound blessing from God, you know.

Moonshadow said...

Another thought I had was whether those purifying trials and tribulations HERE ON EARTH are universally efficacious ... or whether such benefit only Christians.

You see, purgatory benefits only Christians ... and a harsher critic than I may see universalism in Hillary's restriction of purification to the temporal realm.

Peace.

Kelly said...

Purgatory does not involve time as we know it. It is simply purification, because nothing unclean can enter heaven.

It kind of sounds as if you are saying "But think of how long it would take to bodily resurrect every person that ever lived! And reconstructing those people that got cremated! That would take forever!" It sounds like a snazzy rebuttal, but it doesn't really work that way.

Plus, Catholics differentiate between an immediate judgment which takes place after death, and the general judgment which takes place at the end of time.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Hi Teresa,

The trials/tribulations/temptations that sinners face are PUNISHMENTS to the sinner, but PURIFYING for the saved.

God upholds the righteous through times of trials and tribulations, and strengthens our faith. It is through our trials here on earth that our faith is perfected. James says:

"My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers TEMPTATIONS; Knowing this, that the TRYING of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be PERFECT and entire, wanting nothing" (James 1:2-4, emphasis supplied).


For the sinner person, trials are punishments from God. Trials do not make the sinner person perfect, but causes them to either humble themselves in repentance before God, or harden their hearts against God. Here is an example of sinners going through trials and yet are not purified of their sins.

"And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory" (Revelation 16:9).

Here is an example of sinners glorifying God after going through a trial.

13And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven (Revelation 11:13).



Peace.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

There is absolutely no Biblical basis for the doctrine of purgatory as a) a place where the dead go to be purified of sins, or b) God resurrecting all the dead believers to purify them on earth with trials and tribulations.

Believers of every era had their own unique sets of trials and tribulations to gain the victory over. God is not going to resurrect all those dead believers for the purpose of making them go through the trials of the end-time generation. As terrible as the trials for the end-time generation seem to be, they are no less ghastly than the trials our forefathers suffered in persecutions as martyrs.

Teresa wrote:

"What precedes Revelation 19 but the Great Tribulation which serves to purify Christ's people."


One need to understand that Revelation 18 is not describing trials placed upon believers by God. Revelation 17,18 is describing God's punishment of Babylon, which is a sinful entity. Revelation 16 is the pouring out of the vials of God's wrath on sinners. Revelation 15 is the victory of the believers over the mark of the beast. Revelation 14 is the reaping of the wheat and tares. Revelation 13 about the Beast/AntiChrist, and so on.

Peace.

Kelly said...

DOW, I'm not really interested in recreating the wheel right now. If you are interested in what Catholics believe to be the biblical basis for the doctrine of purgatory, you can read my article at VTC,.

I just wanted to clarify to Jennie that Catholics do not believe that purgatory takes time in the same way that we have time here on Earth.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Kelly, I do not think anyone here is disputing that Catholics believe in purgatory. We were only saying that there is no biblical basis to this belief. It is up to you to follow whatever doctrines you think is right, but as for me and my house, we will follow the Bible.

I read the article and none of the scriptures cited refer to purgatory.

1 Corinthians 3:13-15 is referring to God destroying the worthless works of men, but saving the person. Nothing here about God punishing the people with fire, only their works. Dead people do not work. They know nothing and feel nothing!

Ecclesiastes 9:5-7:

5For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.
6Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.
7Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works.


1 Peter 1:7: Here Peter equates the 'trial of our faith' with fire. Thus fire is being used metaphorically to refer to the trials which our faith must go through (while here on earth BTW).

Jude 23: Jude admonishes us to save others with fear, even pulling people 'out of the fire.' Fire here refers to people who are in deep trouble. Out of the frying pan into the fire as the saying goes. When was the last time you saw someone pulling someone out of purgatory :-).

Now it is time for me to enjoy some of Handel's Messiah!

Have a happy and holy season :-).

Peace.

Jennie said...

Kelly,
Purgatory does not involve time as we know it. It is simply purification, because nothing unclean can enter heaven.

Jesus has cleansed believers of their sins by His blood. Purgatory is not necessary. See the following passages about cleansing (there are many more in the Old Testament about the old sacrifices representing cleansing from sin) They show that God does the cleansing and He does it well:

Acts 10:9 The next day, as they went on their journey and drew near the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour. 10 Then he became very hungry and wanted to eat; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance 11 and saw heaven opened and an object like a great sheet bound at the four corners, descending to him and let down to the earth. 12 In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air. 13 And a voice came to him, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.”
14 But Peter said, “Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.”
15 And a voice spoke to him again the second time, “What God has cleansed you must not call common.” 16 This was done three times. And the object was taken up into heaven again.

1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

2 Peter 1:9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.


Purgatory does not involve time as we know it.

That goes against every description of it I've ever heard, and sounds more like something out of Narnia than the Bible. Time does not end until all the ages are past, and there is at least one more age after Christ returns to earth: the millenium reign. Yet the marriage supper of the Lamb is described as being right around the time of Christ's second coming, so the believers must be ready for the marriage supper before the millenium reign.
One description of purgatory I read recently (I'll try to find it; I can't remember where it was) was a priest saying that the normal time in purgatory ranged from 1000 to 2000 years.
The term 'temporal punishment' which is used of purgatory in itself refers to being in time rather than outside of time. See new advent: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12575a.htm

Jennie said...

Kelly,
http://www.ewtn.com/faith/teachings/teachframes.htm
Here is some more info I found. One thing that stands out is that purgatory is for those 'who die in the state of grace but are guilty of venial sin, or have not fully satisfied for the temporal punishment due to their sins. '
One thing that is objectionable is that sin is divided into categories which are not found in scripture. So if one is guilty of venial sin one can be saved through purgatory, but if one is guilty of mortal sin that is not confessed, even as a believer, then that person goes to hell? The Bible does not teach this. The believer is justified and then endures in faith being sanctified by the Spirit and the Word. Nothing takes away this justification, unless the person apostasizes, turning away from the faith totally, which does not easily happen. We sin every day in though and action and in omittance, yet we don't lose salvation, not that we should 'continue in sin that grace may abound (may it never be).'
This division of sin is a confusing doctrine that leads to more error. Christ's blood is enough to cleanse us of any sin and to save us eternally. Our sin, big or little as we think it, is all the same to God. Saying that we lose justification over sin is an error, and saying that Christ's blood is not enough to cleanse 'mortal sins' of a believer so the believer must be rejustified is an error. Saying Christ's blood is not enough to cleanse of 'venial sins' is also a denial of His effective sacrifice.
The document above also says 'Since we do not know how long individual souls are detained in purgatory, there is need for persevering prayer for the repose of the souls of all those who die after reaching the use of reason, except those who are canonized or beatified by the Church.'
This also refers to a period of time.

Jennie said...

Kelly,
referring back to the passage Hillary quoted that is sometimes used as a proof of purgatory, 1 Cor. 3:13-15 in which the worthless works are destroyed: even if this WERE to be similar to purgatory as described in Catholic doctrine(which I don't think is true), the way that the RC teaches this purification process gives many openings for error.
First of all that it is purification from sin, when Christ's blood cleanses us from sin. If it can cleanse us here then it can cleanse us after death if we have unconfessed sins. The cleansing Paul spoke of was the burning of works not done in the Spirit. The Bible says 'if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.' I think this would apply even after death for a believer.

Secondly, that prayers or actions of those on earth can help to shorten the punishment. I've already stated that this cleansing of sin is not necessary, but why should not our own confession and repentance under Christ's blood not be enough, again? And how should another's prayer or action help to cleanse our sin?
I believe the judgment is of works, not of sin; and the purification is from works done in the flesh, leaving only those done in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Jennie,

The parable of Lazarus and the rich man proves that the dead cannot pray for those alive and those alive cannot pray for the dead. The rich man (in hell) wanted Abraham (in heaven) to send Lazarus (from heaven) to warn his five brothers (on earth) about hell; but Abraham refused because "If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead" (Luke 16:31).

God's word should be enough to persuade us about our eternal destiny. Depending upon people to pray us up into heaven, after we have wasted opportunites here on earth for repentance, is not in God's plan.

Peace.

Jennie said...

Something else occurs to me which we already mentioned above in the earlier comments, that purification also occurs by trials here on earth, which perfect us in patience and holiness if we submit to God and endure. Many of the passages used to supposedly prove purgatory may be referring to earthly trials and tribulation that will perfect us.
The main issue is that so many unbiblical traditions stem off from a belief in purgatory as taught by the RCC that obscure the understanding that salvation is through God alone, that we pray to God alone, and that we must be saved and endure here and now and not hope for rescue later if we have put off thinking of God and obeying His gospel here.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Jennie,

One of the sinful habits I need to be purged of is gluttony. As I am typing here I am stuffing my face with some cream pie topped with fresh fruit...yum, yum. I feel guilty doing this but one day I will gain the victory! I don't think it is going to be today...:-)

Jennie said...

Oh dear :) Well, if that's so that may be one of the things the coming trials of faith may cure you (and me) of. If food is scarce and Christians can't buy or sell, we'll have to depend totally upon God, and cream pie will be a distant memory :)

Kelly said...

Oh dear! I just had a very long reply posted that I worked on for 20 minutes. I was just about to save it before I posted, just in case, when I accidentally closed down the wrong window and lost it all. :(

Well, I guess it will have to wait until tomorrow now. Rest assured, you were thoroughly rebutted. You were surely going to swoon at the soundness of my Biblical argument. ;)

Daughter of Wisdom said...

This rebuttal I gotta see!

Jennie said...

Oh no, Kelly! That is so frustrating when you work so hard on something and it disappears! Well, I usually do better the second time I have to redo something, so I'll look forward to reading it when you post the reply.:)

Moonshadow said...

Again, I'll just say that the thing I think you are missing about thinking suffering in this world fully prepares us for eternity with God is that everyone suffers here.

Moreover, if you think about it, the suffering of non-Christians is made worse than our own because they haven't any supernatural aid. Unless God is inexplicably gracious towards them, and He may be. Of course.

I stand by my hypothesis that end-times tribulation with its rampant blood martyrdom is sufficiently purifying so God's kingdom isn't delayed in coming to earth for the sake of purgatory, but that our suffering here and now isn't sufficient.

DOW said: One need to understand that Revelation 18 is not describing trials placed upon believers by God.

I meant all chapters preceding Chapter 19, not just Chapter 18. I know Chapter 18 is about Babylon ... it's my favorite chapter in the Bible. I know it very well. Incidentally, I don't accept Rapture Eschatology but, even if I did, there are the Tribulation Saints who are purified during the end-times ... you seem to be forgetting them.

Peace of Christ

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Teresa,

I have not forgotten about the 'Tribulation saints.' During the time of the end-time tribulation, when the mark of the beast is unleashed, that time will be a time of purifying for the church. Those who are really true believers will refuse to take the mark of the beast, and rather suffer persecution than betray their Lord. Those who call themselves Christian, but are not sincere, WILL take the mark of the beast, for fear of persecution. The true believers will gain strength and increased faith, while the insincere will lose faith. This is how we will know the 'wheat' from the 'tares.'

Here is what Jesus is going to do to those who fall away from the faith - the tares.

Matthew 13:40-41:

"40As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
41The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
42And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
"

But to the wheat He says:

"Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear (Matthew 13:43)."

The insincere believers will be cast out the church, and Jesus will retain only the true believers within the church.

Peace.

Jennie said...

Teresa,
I stand by my hypothesis that end-times tribulation with its rampant blood martyrdom is sufficiently purifying so God's kingdom isn't delayed in coming to earth for the sake of purgatory, but that our suffering here and now isn't sufficient.
I can't follow your reasoning about tribulation having anything to do with purgatory. If each person who has already died before the tribulation still has 1000 or so years to go in purgatory, what does the tribulation on earth have to do with them. They are still going to miss the marriage supper, if purgatory were real.

Kelly said...

You're still stuck on the literal time idea.

They are still going to miss the marriage supper, if purgatory were real.

Well, from what DOW said, they would still get in before the end of the 1000 year reign of Christ on Earth.

This is all that the Catechism states on purgatory. First, on the particular judgement of each person:

1021 Death puts an end to human life as the time open to either accepting or rejecting the divine grace manifested in Christ.592 The New Testament speaks of judgment primarily in its aspect of the final encounter with Christ in his second coming, but also repeatedly affirms that each will be rewarded immediately after death in accordance with his works and faith. The parable of the poor man Lazarus and the words of Christ on the cross to the good thief, as well as other New Testament texts speak of a final destiny of the soul--a destiny which can be different for some and for others.593

1022 Each man receives his eternal retribution in his immortal soul at the very moment of his death, in a particular judgment that refers his life to Christ: either entrance into the blessedness of heaven-through a purification or immediately, -- or immediate and everlasting damnation.

At the evening of life, we shall be judged on our love.


Note the lack of allusions to time:

1030 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.

1031 The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned. The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire:

As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire. He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in the age to come. From this sentence we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come.

1032 This teaching is also based on the practice of prayer for the dead, already mentioned in Sacred Scripture: "Therefore [Judas Maccabeus] made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin." From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God. The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead:

Let us help and commemorate them. If Job's sons were purified by their father's sacrifice, why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them.

I see that we also do not pretend to place time limits and knowledge of what will happen after the return of Jesus:

1048 "We know neither the moment of the consummation of the earth and of man, nor the way in which the universe will be transformed. The form of this world, distorted by sin, is passing away, and we are taught that God is preparing a new dwelling and a new earth in which righteousness dwells, in which happiness will fill and surpass all the desires of peace arising in the hearts of men."

Jennie said...

Kelly,
Here's the article I remembered reading: http://www.slate.com/id/2211167/

It didn't really help my understanding much of how an indulgence actually would help someone in purgatory. There does seem to be an understanding that prayers and indulgences help shorten a person's time in purgatory.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Well, well, Kelly...

Was that your Biblical rebuttal? I saw nothing but quotes from the Catechism.

It's funny how you mentioned Judas Maccabeus. Judas Maccabeus was High Priest and King during the Hellenistic Phase of the nation of Israel. During that time the Jews adopted many Hellenistic teachings from the Greeks, and one of them was Purgatory. I have solid references from original historical sources. As a writer, I cannot afford to quote or use non orginial sources in my work.

BTW, the book of Maccebees is great historical work, richly filled with historical facts about the Jews during the Hellenistic period, but it is not scripture. Here again is where the RCC has fallen into error.

Peace.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Kelly wrote:

1030 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.
----------------------------------

No evidence of the above happening mentioned anywhere in scripture. According to scripture, our perfection is completed when Christ returns to earth.

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ(Phillipian 1:6,).


The day of Jesus Christ or the Day of the Lord refers to the 1,000-year reign of Christ. It is during the 1,000-year reign that Christ will complete this work, before we enter into eternity. Read the Messianic prophecy below.

Micah 4:1-3:

"1But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.
2And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
3And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."

___________________________________
___________________________________
Kelly wrote:

1031 The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned. The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire:

---------------------------------

This proves that the doctrine of purgatory was formulated by your church. The cleansing fire in the Bible(and many references are made to it), relates to God destroying the earth by fire to destroy the works of men - the buildings, the societies, the economic and political systems, religious systems, governments, wicked people, and so on.

Peace.

Kelly said...

Was that your Biblical rebuttal? I saw nothing but quotes from the Catechism.

No, it wasn't. My husband needed the computer last night, so I was only able to get on for a few minutes. It was easy enough to cut and paste from the Catechism in order to try and show Jennie that the Catholic Church believes that purgatory is a process of purification, and not a prison date with a set sentence time.

Jennie, again, Slate and the New York Times are news organizations. They are not theologians. Sometimes, the press just doesn't get religion.

I have an article on indulgences already written. I tell you what, let's get done with purgatory in general, then I'll bump it up to the top of VTC and we can talk about indulgences there.

I'm curious why you are so attached to this idea that purgatory must take physical time, and therefore people will miss the wedding feast. I mean, if you already believe that we're wrong because no purification is needed, then why does it matter if we're additionally wrong in how long the unnecessary purification will take?

Moonshadow said...

Jennie, again, Slate and the New York Times are news organizations. They are not theologians.

I don't see anything wrong with the Slate article.

DOW, I want to check something with you that a Bible study colleague said this morning. She said that Protestants reject 1 Maccabees because the book - a history book, if you like - describes a battle occurring on the Sabbath (either Chapter 2 or, more likely, Chapter 9) which shows the uninspired nature of the text. Does that make sense to you? I mean, would a Sabbath battle disqualify the book in your opinion? Or, on what basis do you reject it?

Moonshadow said...

I'm not inclined to force the parable of Lazarus to say more than it does.

However, how come no one has mentioned the "good thief" on the cross to whom the Lord said, "Today shalt thou be with me in paradise."

No purgatory for Dismas.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Hi Teresa,

A battle occurring on the Sabbath of itself would not make the book of Maccabees uninspired. Judas Maccabeus taught the Jews that it was okay to fight on the Sabbath. Nothing in scripture forbids this. For example, the battle of Jericho in the book of Joshua lasted for seven days. They walked around the city for six days, then on the seventh day they marched and blew the trumpets, and the wall came crashing down. No matter how you crunch the numbers, one of those days was a Sabbath.

The book of Maccabees is a powerful historical book outlining the history of the Jews during the Hellenistic period. It gives us an insight into Jewish life at that time, and the struggle of the Jewish people living under a pagan power/kingdom (Hellenistic Greek empire).

The practices of the Maccabeans cannot be necessarily considered scriptural, as they themselves were not following the theocratic mandates of the nation of Israel. Judas Maccabeus was a priest, yet after the overthrow of the Selucid empire of Hellenistic Greece, he became ruler of Israel. Nowhere in scripture is it allowed for a priest to become a ruler or king (except for priests of the order of Melchizedek, which is another story). Priests were to come from the Aaronic line, and kings were to come from the Davidic line. The two lines were not to mix - a wall of separation if you will, placed there by God.

Judas Maccabeus was a great warrior and liberator for the Jews, but that did not mean that God inspired him prophetically to write God's Word.

Peace :-)

Jennie said...

Kelly,
It is hard for me to articulate what is objectionable about the doctrine of purgatory. It is on the one hand an objection that it is not mentioned in scripture; that while scripture mentions judgment by fire for believers' works it does not elaborate on it and so all else seems like plain speculation.
On the other hand the doctrine that is taught in the catechism and other official teachings seems rather vague about the specifics of what occurs and for how long, etc., but there seems to still be other teachings out there that make people think that doing works and praying can help them or others to shorten their time or suffering. There is a systematized practice to it that seems very artificial to me, especially the indulgences and similar practices. It is very ritualized, and it seems to give the impression that there is a second chance for people after this life, even though that isn't the official doctrine. It makes people depend on works and not fear God here and now; that's my impression and my concern.
Also, Teresa mentioned the thief on the cross; he was certainly a sinner, and he repented and believed and was immediately forgiven and cleansed and allowed into paradise with Jesus. This does contradict the idea of purgatory.

Moonshadow said...

I had forgotten about Jericho, good point.

You see, whenever someone offers second-hand information about what Protestants think, I always like to check it with someone who ought to know. Otherwise, I might thoughtlessly repeat it. So thanks for setting me straight.

Jennie said...

Hillary and Teresa,
thanks for mentioning about the Sabbath and Jericho; that is wonderful and I hadn't thought of that aspect of the story. If the seven days represent the 7 millenia, then the 7th day represents the Sabbath Rest of Israel, the millenium reign of Christ in which Israel lives in peace in the promised land with God as their King. The 7 times circling the city on the seventh day is the 7 year tribulation period at the beginning of the 7th millenium. The repentant harlot Rahab is the one who leaves harlotry to be saved and enter the promised land with Israel.
Lovely.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Oh, no problem Teresa. And if you see me make any statements about Catholics which are incorrect, please do not hesitate to straighten me out.

Peace :-)

Daughter of Wisdom said...

You're welcome Jennie!

Great insight into the number 7, which is a speciality of mine. The doctrine of the 7 millenia was a doctrine espoused by the pre-Messianic Jews prior to the first Advent of Christ. This was originally an Essenic doctrine.

I too believe that 6,000 years of sin must be completed before the start of the 7th millenium of peace. The problem lies however in people trying to set dates based upon that. For one thing, we do not know exactly when sin began. How many years passed before Adam sinned we do not know. Will Jesus appear at the end of 6,000 years or DURING the beginning of the 7th millenium? How close are we to the 7th millenium? These questions and more are part of my investigations and research, with the help of the Holy Spirit. I do not think we will ever know the day or hour, until it is upon us, but we will definitely know when it is very near.

As for Jericho, that was great insight. The only thing was that on the seventh day, they circled the city seven times, blew the trumpets, and destroyed the city. The fall of Jericho therefore represents the truimph of God's people over their enemies; therefore, on the seventh day (the seventh millenium), we will triumph over our enemies (those opposed to God), and truly get a rest from sin.

Peace.

Kelly said...

It is hard for me to articulate what is objectionable about the doctrine of purgatory. It is on the one hand an objection that it is not mentioned in scripture; that while scripture mentions judgment by fire for believers' works it does not elaborate on it and so all else seems like plain speculation.
On the other hand the doctrine that is taught in the catechism and other official teachings seems rather vague about the specifics of what occurs and for how long, etc.


So, you can't point out what it wrong with the official teaching that a purification may occur after death, because it is a Biblical principal. But you don't like it that the official teaching is general because then you can't point out where it goes wrong?

As I have already explained, the Catholic Church stopped referring to purgatory in the language of years and days specifically because it was giving people the wrong impression. And rather than appreciate that the Church saw the confusion and acted to clear it up, you fault them for it?

It isn't specific, because we don't know the specifics. We don't pretend that we know.

but there seems to still be other teachings out there that make people think that doing works and praying can help them or others to shorten their time or suffering.

Yes, we do believe this. We are all a part of the body of Christ, even the dead. If your prayers can help someone who is suffering from cancer, then why can't my prayers help someone who is suffering during their purification? In Col 1:24, Paul writes that his actions/sufferings can benefit the body of Christ, which is the Church. The dead are part of the body of Christ, too. I won't bring Maccabees into it, but I'm sure you know I could go there. ;)

It is very ritualized, and it seems to give the impression that there is a second chance for people after this life, even though that isn't the official doctrine.

So, you think the Catholic Church should change their teaching because people might misunderstand it? Would you suggest that for your Church? If something is the Truth, you have to stand fast. Many, many people misunderstood Jesus, but He did not change his message.

It makes people depend on works and not fear God here and now; that's my impression and my concern.

I can't do anything about your impressions. You are very resistant to me correcting them when they are wrong.

Also, Teresa mentioned the thief on the cross

Yeah, thanks a lot, Moonbeam! :P

he was certainly a sinner, and he repented and believed and was immediately forgiven and cleansed and allowed into paradise with Jesus. This does contradict the idea of purgatory.

It does not contradict the idea of purgatory at all. Dismas experienced perfect contrition for his sins. Through his belief in Jesus, he was baptized by desire. He certainly would have been baptized by water if he had the opportunity. For this reason, he did not need to experience the purification of purgatory.

If you scroll back up to read through the Catechism excerpts, you will see that it says that some experience heaven immediately. Purgatory is not required for everyone.

Kelly said...

Jennie, do you now accept my assertion that the Catholic Church does not teach that purgatory takes a specific amount of time?

DOW, you never addressed my comments regarding the dead knowing and feeling nothing. Do you still feel that way, in light of the scripture I mentioned earlier in the thread?

Jennie said...

Kelly,
my concerns still stand; the RC teachings go much further than scripture and enter into the realm of speculation. They add the ritual of indulgences and prayer for and to the dead which is not taught in scripture. The idea of it causes people to rest secure in sin here and now and not 'fear Him who has the power to throw body and soul in hell.'
The doctrine as taught in scripture causes us to fear God because we will be judged by our works, not for salvation but for reward or loss of reward. I think as the RC teaches it it does the opposite.

Jennie said...

And there may be people who trust in 'being in the Church' rather than trusting in God and think their destiny is purgatory rather than hell. Do you not see this in your church? I see it in mine in the doctrine of 'once saved always saved' combined with 'quick prayerism'.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Kelly,

I am sorry but I did not see any scripture posted about the dead knowing or feeling anything. I was the one who posted a scripture that shows that the dead do not know or feel anything.

Ecclesiastes 9:5-7:

5For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.
6Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.
7Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works.


For God's sake, let the dead rest in peace.

Peace.

Kelly said...

I am sorry but I did not see any scripture posted about the dead knowing or feeling anything.

Boy, that's strange! I posted it, and thought I saw it and got it in my inbox. It must not have gone through, after all. I wrote three or four replies all at the same time, so I must have missed that it got lost.

Okay, one more time one this one. What I wrote was, you should be careful in quoting from the Old Testament to prove that the dead do not know or feel anything.

No one could be saved prior to Jesus' life, death and resurrection. The Old Testament speaks of a place called Sheol or Hades, which was a place where the dead rested, hearing and feeling nothing, while waiting the Messiah.

Once Jesus died, He freed the souls of the righteous from that place.

1 Peter 3:18-19 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison

1 Peter 4:6 For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

We believe that God is the God of the living and not the dead, because the dead are alive to Him (Matt. 22:32; Mark 12:27; Luke 20:38) and that they are aware of us on earth, surrounding us as a great cloud of witnesses (Heb. 12:1). The saints present their prayers to God before His throne in heaven (Rev. 5:8).

My word verification is "proof." How's that for irony!

Jennie said...

Kelly,
Here is an article from justforcatholics.org that expresses what I was trying to say: http://www.justforcatholics.org/a93.htm

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Kelly wrote:

"What I wrote was, you should be careful in quoting from the Old Testament to prove that the dead do not know or feel anything.
No one could be saved prior to Jesus' life, death and resurrection."
-----------------------------------

Kelly, I beg to differ. Old Testament saints could have been saved prior to Jesus. We have the record of Enoch being translated directly into heaven without seeing death, and also Elijah. We even have a record of Moses being resurrected from the dead and taken to heaven in the book of Jude.

I will now go verse by verse on some of those passages you quoted, and show you what those passages really mean.

Peter 3:18-19 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison.

You forgot verse 20:

20Which 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 above passage is about the AnteDeluvians to whom the PRE-INCARNATE Christ preached repentance, through the agency of the Holy Spirit. Do you remember Noah preaching (by the power of the Spirit of Christ) for about 100 years about the coming Flood and no one listening to him? Unless of course, you do not believe in the pre-incarnate Christ.

You also quoted:

1 Peter 4:6 For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

All Peter was saying is that the gospel had been preached to those who had died (when they were alive of course),and that they WILL (future event) be judged in the flesh (in a body), but live for God in their spirit (will/mind). Read the whole passage from verse 1.

God is a God of the living: yes! (Matthew 22:32). Those who have died in Christ will not face the second death. They sleep in the grave awaiting the resurrection.
This was what Jesus was teaching to the multitudes there, especially the Saducees, who did not believe the resurrection. Here is that scripture in context.

"31But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying,
32I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.
33And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine.
34But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together. "

Context is everything.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

I have learnt that whenever there is a conflict in doctrine, we can always go to Jesus to clarify that doctrine. Here is what Jesus taught about the state of the dead.

When Lazarus was sick, Jesus was summoned, but Lazarus died before Jesus got there. Here is a part of the conversation Jesus had with His disciples about Lazarus prior to going there.

John 11:11-14

"11These things said he[Jesus]: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.

12Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well.

13Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.

14Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead."

Now for the conversation Jesus had with Martha about Lazarus.

John 11:21-26:

"21Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.

22But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.

23Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.

24Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.

25Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

26And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?"

And of course you know the rest of the story. Lazarus was raised from the dead by Jesus. According to Jesus, Lazarus was "asleep" meaning that his soul was not condemned to eternal death and damnation, but that Lazarus will rise again on the day of resurrection to live eternally. Nothing here about Lazarus being in heaven or purgatory. If Lazarus was in heaven, why would Jesus call him out of heaven back to this world of sin? Which person is there, except Jesus, who had gone to heaven and come back? If Lazarus was in purgatory, why did Jesus not mention that? All Jesus said was that Lazarus was asleep. A beautiful metaphor to depict the soul-rest of the saved in death.

When a believer dies, their soul sleep in rest, awaiting the resurrection to eternal life. When a sinner dies, their soul is condemned to death, and will be resurrected in the final judgment to face eternal retribution and condemnation from God.

Peace.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

The cloud of witness in Hebrews 12:1 are angels. Remember the cloud that lead the children of Israel through the desert? There was an angel in it! Also, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are also witnesses.

The saints present their prayers before God in Revelation 5:8. These saints are not cannonized saints, but regular believers who petition God (you and me, Jennie, Teresa, and Elena!).

Peace.

Kelly said...

Wow, how fascinating, DOW. I didn't realize we had this point of disagreement. That Christ descended into hell was in the Apostles Creed, which is usually held in agreement by Christians.

1 Peter is short, so I read it through while my husband was on the computer, but I still feel that my verses are in context.

I am not familiar with the term "pre-Incarnate Christ" other than the verse "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

I will certainly have to do some more reading on this topic, and I'll try to post over at VTC at a later date. Thank you for the discussion.

Jennie said...

Hillary,
I don't believe in soul sleep; I believe Jesus was speaking metaphorically of death when He said Lazarus had fallen asleep.

Kelly,
did you see my link to just for catholics on purgatory?
When you say Christians believe Jesus descended into hell, I believe the Bible actually says He went into Hades, the realm of the dead, also called 'the grave'. Does the RCC teach that Jesus had to suffer in hell for our sins as well as dying on the cross? That is an error that some 'word of faith' churches have, I believe.

Moonshadow said...

Speaking of death, I started to read the beginning of the apostolic constitution referenced in the justforcatholics link Jennie posted. I came up short over this portion:

"It is a divinely revealed truth that sins bring punishments inflicted by God's sanctity and justice. These must be expiated either on this earth through the sorrows, miseries and calamities of this life and above all through death ..." (emphasis added) Supporting verses cited are the following: Gen. 3:16-19; Luke 19:41-44; Rom. 2:9 and 1 Cor. 11:30.

Christians die. Eccl. 2:16 "And how dieth the wise man? as the fool." C. S. Lewis said, "He [Christ] meant what He said. Those who put themselves in His hands will become perfect, as He is perfect - perfect in love, wisdom, joy, beauty, and immortality. The change will not be completed in this life, for death is an important part of the treatment." (emphasis added)

Kelly said...

Yes Jennie, I commented on the article above.

Jennie said...

Kelly,
I don't see a comment about justforcatholics.org above, just your answer to DOW on the Peter references and Jesus descending into hell. Am I missing something?

Daughter of Wisdom said...

That's right. Hades, sometimes translated Hell, is the same as the grave. Jesus did not go to Hell as we think of Hell, i.e place of torment in the underworld. Jesus died, and was resurrected on the third day.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Teresa quoted:

"It is a divinely revealed truth that sins bring punishments inflicted by God's sanctity and justice. These must be expiated either on this earth through the sorrows, miseries and calamities of this life and above all through death ..." (emphasis added) Supporting verses cited are the following: Gen. 3:16-19; Luke 19:41-44; Rom. 2:9 and 1 Cor. 11:30."
-----------------------------------

Teresa, I don't know who wrote this, but if that were true, then criminals who pay for their crimes either in jail, or with their lives, would make it into heaven on that basis.

It is the blood of Jesus that cleanses us from sin, but the trials serve to mold our character and make us strong, and purge us of bad habits (if we learn our lesson from the experience). Some people learn, and others do not, but become more hardened in sin. Trials without the cleansing blood of Jesus to atone for us whenever we 'mess up' will not work in us righteousness - we would still be condemned.

Moonshadow said...

DOW said, in agreement with Jennie: Jesus did not go to Hell as we think of Hell,

This strikes me as watered down.

Here's some Reformed, not Roman Catholic, thoughts on the controversial clause in the Creed:

'He descended into hell' is the starkest and yet most accurate way of summing up what happened on cross that there is. The Blessed One who, for all eternity had known nothing but the highest heaven of intimacy with God, on the cross plumbed deepest depths of the anguish of hell in order to secure salvation for all his people. The intensity of what that meant is distilled into the words that pierced darkness when Jesus cried out, 'My God, why have you forsaken me?' (Mt 27.46).

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Teresa, I have another thought. The person who dies for their own sins is not a saved person. The Bible says that the soul that sins will die, therefore, that is why we need a sinless sacrifice to die on our behalf, so that we don't have to die for our sins. Death is the punishment for sin, and is final. The wages of sin is death.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Oh well Teresa, if you are calling what Jesus suffered on the cross as Hell, then I am in total agreement. The physical punishment and the separation from God were just too intense for words to describe. That ordeal was truly Hell.

Moonshadow said...

Kelly said: I am not familiar with the term "pre-Incarnate Christ"

Nothing wrong with "pre-Incarnate Christ," theophany or Christophany.

Moonshadow said...

Alright, good. I'm out of thoughts right now.

g'night and thanks for the discussion.

(my word verification was 'dismac' ... very close to 'dismas.')

Jennie said...

Teresa,
I skimmed the article you linked to about the 'reformed' view of Jesus descending into hell. I can't tell from what I read if Calvin really taught that Jesus suffered in Hell as part of taking our punishment. I never heard of that being the reformed view. I'm not 'reformed' and am not familiar with all the ins and outs of that view, but Baptists don't believe Jesus suffered in hell. They believe that He finished the work on the cross. He said 'it is finished' or 'paid in full' in the Greek to English translation.
Jesus said 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken Me!' which is a reference to Psalm 22, the prophetic psalm about the crucifixion. The first verses say the line about forsaking, but later it says this: For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted;
Nor has He hidden His face from Him;
But when He cried to Him, He heard.

I don't believe this was the cry of someone deserted, but one who felt the separation because of bearing our sin. God never deserted Him. The Bible never says Jesus suffered in Hell or suffered anything after death. He preached His victory in the realm of death.

Moonshadow said...

Jennie said: God never deserted Him.

I agree with you ... I don't take the Reformed view of the phrase "He descended into hell," but I gave it as a biblically-based alternative.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Oh wow! Psalm 22 is one of my favorite Messianic psalms. A prophetic psalm about the sufferings of the Messiah.

"1My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?

2O my God, I cry in the day time, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent."


And then verses 23-24:

"23Ye that fear the LORD, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.

24For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard."


David/Jesus felt separation from God during moments of affliction and trials. On the cross, Jesus HAD TO SUFFER punishment and separation from God, as one alienated from God by sin (the whole sin of the world rested on Jesus). For a moment, God abandonded Him, and left Him to suffer, but Jesus knew within His heart that God would come and rescue Him after His sacrifice was successfully completed, with a resurrection from the dead on the third day.


"Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand" (Isaiah 53:10).

After God made Jesus' soul an offering for sin, then God "prolonged his days," with a resurrection to eternal life, "and the pleasure of the LORD" prospered in Jesus' hand.

What a risk Jesus took for our sakes! For one small moment, He took on the affliction of men, even death, so that we could be saved. For one small moment, God died, so that we could live. Amazing!

Peace.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Jennie wrote:

"He preached His victory in the realm of death."
--------------------------------

Jennie, the sacrifice on the cross without the resurrection is useless. It would have paid the penalty for sin in this life, but would not guarantee eternal life for the next life. The resurrection represents God's victory over death and the grave. It would have been premature for Jesus to 'preach victory' before His resurrection.

Peace.

Jennie said...

Jennie, the sacrifice on the cross without the resurrection is useless. It would have paid the penalty for sin in this life, but would not guarantee eternal life for the next life. The resurrection represents God's victory over death and the grave. It would have been premature for Jesus to 'preach victory' before His resurrection.

Yes, of course the resurrection is His victory over death, but the suffering for sin was over and the debt was paid in full. Jesus had triumphed over sin and over the principalities and powers who thought they were making Him a spectacle on the cross; He took the symbol of death and made it a symbol of life:
Colossians 2:13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

Jennie said...

Just the fact that Jesus went through the crucifixion with grace, willingly laying down His life in obedience to the Father was a victory over death even before the resurrection. His victory is won, yet even now it's not completed until all God's plan is accomplished at the end of time.

Jennie said...

Here is a discussion (called 'A Believer's Privilege at Death') mentioning purgatory that was linked on TurretinFan's blog, turretinfan.blogspot.com under one of his posts on purgatory:

http://www.fivesolas.com/watson/privileg.htm

Here is TurretinFan's search results page for purgatory: http://turretinfan.blogspot.com/search?q=purgatory

Jennie said...

Romans 7:24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.

Romans 6:5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. 7 FOR HE WHO HAS DIED HAS BEEN FREED FROM SIN. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him.

Kelly said...

And there may be people who trust in 'being in the Church' rather than trusting in God and think their destiny is purgatory rather than hell. Do you not see this in your church? I see it in mine in the doctrine of 'once saved always saved' combined with 'quick prayerism'.

Jennie, I do earnestly assure you that I have never met any Catholic, devout or lackluster, that worships Mary, worships idols, or believes that purgatory is some sort of second chance. As I mentioned previously, most Catholics today don't think much at all about purgatory, and I've met very few who pray for the dead or have Masses offered for them.

I even went so far as to call up my mother, and ask her what her memories of the older generation of Bible Catholics in our family would have felt. She said purgatory was always referred to as a cleansing of your sins that you might not have had a chance to confess prior to death. Purgatory is for people who are already Christians. It isn't some sort of second chance.

There are plenty of less than stellar Christians in the Catholic Church. But the most common errors I've seen are the same that I've seen in other churches, namely buying into the idea that all that matter is "being a good person" and the whole punchcard thing, where you show up at church on Sunday, but never think about religion the rest of the week.

Jennie said...

Kelly,
I enjoyed reading about your Great-grandfather and how he found comfort and help in the Lord by reading his Bible. I am glad that there are many Catholics such as you and he who trust in God and love His word.
In all my reading this past year or so, I have gone back and forth between wondering if the Roman Catholic Church (as an institution, not each person) is an apostate church or is like one of the churches of Revelation 2-3 which (like all of us) needs to repent of her particular sins and trust in Christ alone as her Husband and Lord. I don't know if I have found the answer to that question, or if I will find a different question to ask altogether, but from what I have learned so far I believe the institution itself is apostate, but that there are many within it who have found the truth from God's word, but who mistakenly think the RCC is THE church. There are many reasons why I believe it is not.
I believe your experience, from what you have said, is not the same as many who do in fact place trust in Mary and in the Church instead of in God alone, and that the scriptural way is not taught clearly in much of the Church. Of course I see the same thing in different ways in the Baptists and others, though I think the Baptists have only recently gone so far astray.
To summarize, since what I really want to say would take several blog posts, I think there are Christians in all denominations, who may or may not see the errors of their own denomination, but who will probably soon hear the call to 'Come out of her, lest you share in her sins...' Our own church may end up leaving the Baptist fold, for example. If you see all churches uniting with other religions and persecuting those who won't join in, that will be a good sign, though other earlier signs may come before that happens. Jesus never taught conversion by force, and if this happens it isn't of Him.

Jennie said...

I also want to add that, based on what I said above, I believe the ecumenical movement, which wants to unite all institutional churches under the pope, is not a good thing; it is uniting man-made institutions full of mainly unsaved people. The unity of the church of God is in Spirit and truth and is a more informal thing in which those who love Jesus Christ and believe He is the only way to the Father will recognize each other by the Spirit and work and fellowship together to make true disciples, not to unite the world in a false peace, which is prophesied and will be very short-lived.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Yes, while it is true that Jesus' death on the cross paid the penalty for sin, His death did not guarantee eternal life. It was His resurrection that guaranteed for us eternal life.

If Jesus had just died, with no resurrection, then He too would have succumbed to the sting of death. His mission would have been a total failure in securing for us eternal life. If He had just simply died to pay the penalty for sin, with no resurrection, then all He would have done was remove the death penalty for sin, and we would just live until we died of old age, without facing any judgment or punishment for sin. His resurrection from death is proof of His victory over death. I like the scripture you quoted which says it all.

Romans 6:5 "For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. 7 FOR HE WHO HAS DIED HAS BEEN FREED FROM SIN. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him."

Death truly frees us from sin because a dead person cannot sin. After death, we are resurrected in newness of life to live eternally.

Peace.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Do you remember the days when they used to stone people to death for sins such as adultery? That penalty has been removed in large part, but it does not guarantee eternal life. Nowadays people commit adultery, especially in our Western nations, and not face the death penalty, but it does not guarantee eternal life.

Jesus death on the cross removed the death penalty for sin, such as the mandatory stonings, but eternal life is obtained only in the resurrection.

Peace.

Kelly said...

I believe your experience, from what you have said, is not the same as many who do in fact place trust in Mary and in the Church instead of in God alone

But where have you found these many Catholics who trust in Mary??? I have not found them. Are you talking about people who used to be Catholic and would say "I see now that I was trusting in Mary instead of in Christ?" Do you know people who are actually Catholic now and say that they trust in Mary? I'm just not seeing it.

I believe the ecumenical movement, which wants to unite all institutional churches under the pope, is not a good thing

I also wanted to point out that the Catholic Church, as far as I am aware, is not part of an ecumenical movement that would unite all branches of Christendom. I believe we only have unification talks with a few churches. The recent provision for former Anglicans indicates that the Vatican considers the Anglican church too far removed now to have any serious "ecumenical dialog" with anymore.

I do understand what you are trying to say, though. I especially appreciated the kind words about by Bible Catholics post.

Jennie said...

Kelly,
I do understand what you are trying to say, though. I especially appreciated the kind words about by Bible Catholics post.

That you understand gives me alot of hope; that's about the best comment I've read all year :)

Jennie said...

Kelly,
But where have you found these many Catholics who trust in Mary??? I have not found them. Are you talking about people who used to be Catholic and would say "I see now that I was trusting in Mary instead of in Christ?" Do you know people who are actually Catholic now and say that they trust in Mary? I'm just not seeing it.

I see it in the widespread devotion to the various Marian apparitions, such as 'Our Lady of Guadalupe' that is so popular among Latin Americans that I see her image constantly here where I live. That is only one example.
I have heard quite a few examples of people saying they pray to Mary because she always answers or gives them what they ask for.
I see it in the religious orders dedicated to Mary, such as the one linked on your blog with messages from a Father Bonaventure, who I assume took his name from an earlier Bonaventure who was devoted to Mary, and who rewrote many Psalms with Mary's name substituted for God's names. The Father also praised Mary using many of the names that only apply to God.
Many people wear the brown scapular that an apparition said would be sure to get them into heaven if they wear it in devotion to her.
Eucharistic adoration is even being linked to Mary, saying she is present whenever the mass is celebrated.
Many people of other religions are coming to the apparition sites to worship because of miraculous signs that are happening there. Many religions honor the Catholic Mary, though they don't accept Christ as God. It seems a way to unite the religions in honor of 'Mary' rather than a way to draw them to Christ and away from their false religions.
All these things are drawing people away from the fear of God to trust in someone else.