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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A little Apologetics about Purgatory

One of the best little apologetics sites around, The Bible Christian Society. I can't vouch for all these ideas being my own as some of them come from their but I ran across this blogpost and thought it worthwhile to respond to protestant criticism that their is no purgatory.

There has never been a place called Purgatory and there never will be a place called Purgatory. It does not exist. If you search the scriptures you will not find this place in there at all.

First, to understand what I am trying to show here it would behoove you to read the post and the line of reasoning that Mr. White presents. Alright, now that you are back let us look at the line of reasoning.

What seems to be laid out is that if purgatory existed it would be mentioned and laid out in the Bible and by Jesus in the Bible. Now, on the face this doesn't make a whole lot of sense for the following reasons.
  1. Taken to absurdity, for something to exist it must be presented in the Bible. Cars are never mentioned in the Bible but who would say that they don't exist. The same could be said of airplanes and many other things including the very computer that you are reading on.
  2. Reducing back to an area that is more generous, let us assume only that if it is a theological principle it would be mentioned in the Bible so that we could have knowing of it. Why did Christ not write anything or command the writing of the scriptures? It can't be found in the Bible, if it can, please show it to me!
  3. "There are also many other things that Jesus did, but if these were to be described indicidually, I do not think the whole world would contain the books that would be written." John 21:25. It would seem to me that this particualr point of the text indicates that the reality of faith and that which is is not and cannot be limited to the Bible alone.

Now let us look and see what we can find about this whole idea of purgatory, is it Biblical? Yes, it is and I will lay out the texts to show you how it is.

  1. "Then David said to Nathan, 'I have sinned against the Lord.' Nathan answered David: 'The Lord has forgiven your sin: you shall not die. But since you have utterly spurned the Lord by this deed, the child born to you must surely die." 2 Samuel 12:13-14. This first principle of the Bible shows that their is still punishment due to sin, even after the sin is forgiven.
  2. "So be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect." Matthew 5:48. The second principle shows us that we must be made made perfect, it is a direct command and the will of Jesus Christ.
  3. "the work of each will come to light, for the Day will disclose it. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire [itself] will test the quality of each one's work. If the work stands that someone built upon the foundation, that person will receive a wage. But if someone's work is burned up, that one will suffer loss; the person will be saved but only as through fire." 1 Corinthians 3:13-15. The third principle from the Bible is one that shows us how we will be judged on "the Day" and what will happen with the work we have done. On "the Day" after we are judged (translation=dead) it is interesting that we can a) suffer loss (something that doesn't happen in heaven), b) still able to be saved (enter heaven) but through fire (purification).
  4. "The dead were judged according to their deeds, by what was written in the scrolls. The sea gave up its dead; then Death and Hades gave up their dead. All the dead were judged according to their deeds. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the pool of fire. (This pool of fire is the second death). Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the pool of fire." Revelation 21:12-15. I find it interesting that people who had died were not in heaven or in hell but under the possession of Hades and Death that were thrown in the pool of fire that is second death. Some of these people were thrown into the second death (hell) and some were not and went to heaven. Conjecture on my part, but I believe it is possible that those who were to be damned were in one place and those who were to join Christ in heaven were in the other.

Okay, so we have found that their is punishment due for sin after the forgiveness of sin, we must be perfect as Christ himself commands, we can be purified after the day of judgement and we will be somewhere else until we are judged for our sins. As a Catholic, that is my understanding of purgatory, those four biblical principles.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S

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1 comment:

the Mom said...

Just stumbled across your blog. Love it!