[forthright] Purgatory (1)

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2011 06:30:40 -0700 (PDT)
Forthright Magazine
http://forthright.net/
Straight to the Cross

Richard Mansel goes to the Bible to answer ... "The
Most Important Question." Great for classes, groups,
evangelistic studies and individuals.
http://richardmansel.com/most-important-question/


COLUMN: LIVING THE FAITH

Purgatory (1)
 by Richard Mansel, managing editor

The doctrine of Purgatory is a complex doctrine
contradicting the facts of Scripture in terms of
salvation, works and grace. It invalidates the efficacy
of the blood of Christ and opens the door to
universalism.

False doctrines originate with misunderstandings and
the trappings of a special need and context, until it
grows its own apparatus and becomes a stand-alone
truth.

In time, the misunderstandings, contexts and special
circumstances are forgotten and new hearers just assume
the doctrine originated in the mind of God. Meanwhile,
adherents have searched to find some type of Scriptural
justification, so they have something to argue with
those who seek Biblical foundations.

The term "purgatory" is not found in Scripture but the
disagreements with the doctrine go deeper.

The Roman Catholic Church formulated the doctrine of
purgatory by an article of faith at the Council of
Florence in 1429 and at the Council of Trent in 1545./1

They teach that we all have sinned and these sins are
divided between mortal sins, which separate us from
God, and venial sins, or lesser sins, for which we must
seek atonement. /2

In short, if we have lived a life that is not worthy of
heaven, we go to purgatory to suffer intense pain, so
our sins can be burned away and we can be worthy of
entering heaven. The duration depends on our sins and
whether we have those on earth who can commit
indulgences for us, so that we can leave purgatory
faster.

   "Why would anyone go to purgatory? To be
   cleansed, for 'nothing unclean shall enter
   [heaven]' (Rev. 21:27). Anyone who has not
   been completely freed of sin and its effects
   is, to some extent, 'unclean.' Through
   repentance he may have gained the grace
   needed to be worthy of heaven, which is to
   say, he has been forgiven and his soul is
   spiritually alive. But that's not sufficient
   for gaining entrance into heaven. He needs
   to be cleansed completely."/3

In an astounding admission:

   "The Catechism of the Catholic Church
   states: "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."/4

Pope Benedict XVI wrote:

   "Purgatory is not, as Tertullian thought,
   some kind of supra-worldly concentration
   camp where one is forced to undergo
   punishments in a more or less arbitrary
   fashion. Rather it is the inwardly necessary
   process of transformation in which a person
   becomes capable of Christ, capable of God
   [i.e., capable of full unity with Christ and
   God] and thus capable of unity with the
   whole communion of saints."/5

Finally, they teach that we must take personal action
against every sin we have committed.

   "The reason why we have to pass through
   Purgatory after death is that we have
   committed sins and have not made
   satisfaction for them. Every individual sin
   must be expiated–in this life or the next!
   Not even the slightest shadow of sin or evil
   can enter the all-holy presence of God."/6

As we continue the study, we shall see that these ideas
are steeped in works salvation and are completely
opposed to the saving blood of Christ.

Scripture tells us:

   "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" (1 John 1:7).

Christ's blood cleanses us from all sin or it does not.
There isn't a third option. In our next study, we shall
see the correlation.
_____________ 
1/ http://tinyurl.com/426ct68 
2/ Printable checklists of these sins exist online. 
3/ http://www.catholic.com/library/Purgatory.asp
4/ http://tinyurl.com/d6g287
5/ http://www.ewtn.com/library/ANSWERS/HOW2PURG.HTM 
6/ http://www.ewtn.com/library/SPIRIT/AVOIDPRG.TXT

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