Passion Cont....

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Shua, Apr 8, 2004.

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  1. Shua

    Shua Notebook Enthusiast

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    I was reading Quickster and Slat's comments back and forth and as being a Missionary with the Catholic Church with college students, you guys really sparked my interest. Quickster I would love to talk with you sometime. I think you handled yourself and are very knowledgable about your faith. Slat I think that you are bitter, but also very knowledgable. However, your theology was a bit lacking in some arguments. Scripture interpreation is difficult, and that is why Catholics have believe intradition b/c we have a direct line to St. Peter who b/c Jesus gave him the keys started the First Christian Church, which happened to be Catholic. Thus what we do or believe so did Peter, who was taught my both Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I cold go more in depth on things, but I will leave it at that. Qwickster, please contact me somehow.
    God Bless
     
  2. Quikster

    Quikster Notebook Deity NBR Reviewer

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    I sent an email to you at the email address you used to sign up for this forum.
     
  3. Slat

    Slat Notebook Evangelist

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    You read my passion as bitterness.

    As a Christian who bases spiritual truth on the Bible alone, I see problems with the doctrine of purgatory. For example:

    It is not explicitly found in the Bible.
    It implies that the righteousness of Christ does not cleanse from all sin. Which is an absolutely ridiculous accusation.
    It implies that justification is not by faith alone.
    It implies that there is something we must do in order to be cleansed of sin. Which we do not!

    I used to beleive this rhetoric more than you guys do (I'm *sure* of that). I looked to the Bible for answers and what I received was: purgatory doesn't exist and never could. The Bible just doesn't allow it.

    Jesus alone saves. Jesus alone is Lord. Only Jesus' sacrifice can cleanse us. Only by faith are we made right before God. Justification is by faith, not by anything we do--either here *OR* in the afterlife.
     
  4. Slat

    Slat Notebook Evangelist

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    And lets tackle the 1 Cor 3:15 while we are at it eh?

    The doctrine of Purgatory in the Catholic church is explained in this statement from the Second Vatican Council, p. 63, which says,

    The truth has been divinely revealed that sins are followed by punishments. God's holiness and justice inflict them. Sins must be expiated. This may be done on this earth through the sorrows, miseries and trials of this life and, above all, through death. Otherwise the expiation must be made in the next life through fire and torments or purifying punishments.


    The Protestant church has objected to the doctrine of Purgatory by stating that this teaching denies the sufficiency and full efficacy of Christ’s atoning sacrifice. To say that our sins are expiated by our suffering is an insult to the cross of Christ since it says that the cross was not sufficient to cleanse us of our sins. It says that we must suffer, that we must do something to have our sins fully cleansed. Instead, the Protestants maintain that Jesus’ sacrifice alone is what justifies and removes from us all guilt. We look to the cross and to the cross alone for the complete forgiveness of our sins and, though our works will one day be judged, we have passed out of condemnation (Rom. 8:1). Our works reflect on rewards in heaven, not to get us to heaven. Jesus bore all our sins (1 Pet. 2:24). There are no sins left for purgatory to cleanse because it was all done by Jesus on the cross. This is why Jesus said, "It is finished," (John 19:30). In Greek the term "it is finished" is "tetelestai." It was a term used in legal contexts to state that a debt had been paid in full. "Papyri receipts for taxes have been recovered with the word tetelestai written across them, meaning "paid in full." (Walvoord, John F., and Zuck, Roy B., The Bible Knowledge Commentary, (Wheaton, Illinois: Scripture Press Publications, Inc., 1983, 1985). Therefore, there is no need for purgatory.

    Nevertheless, because the Protestants appeal so much to the Bible, the Catholics have sought to find the doctrine of Purgatory within its pages. One such verse is 1 Cor. 3:15.

    "If any man’s work is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire."


    As with any verse in the Bible, to fully understand it, we must look at it in its biblical context. Following is 1 Cor. 3:10-15

    According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building upon it. But let each man be careful how he builds upon it. 11For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12Now if any man builds upon the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it, because it is to be revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. 14If any man’s work which he has built upon it remains, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire.


    The context speaks of Paul having planted the Corinthian church and that another person was building upon that work: Verse 6 says, "I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth." Paul goes on to say that unless a person builds upon the foundation of Jesus, his work will be burned up the in the day of judgment (v. 13). See also, 1 Cor. 5:5; 2 Cor. 1:14; 1 Thess. 5:2).

    Paul is simply using the terms that are familiar with the people of the time. Fire was the tool used to purify metals and to get rid of that which was unwanted, the dross. So too, on the day when our works are examined, the fire of judgment will both purify and remove. This will not affect our salvation, but it will affect our rewards. The theme of fire used as purification is also found in 2 Pet. 3:10-13. But this is not talking about becoming saved or staying saved.

    1 Cor. 3:15 does not teach purgatory as a place we go to in order to have some of our sins cleansed from us. It teaches that even though the person is justified by faith and cannot face damnation, his works will, however, be judged on "that day." Those works which are good will survive the fires of judgment the way gold, silver, and precious stones can survive fire. But false works will be consumed the way fire consumes wood, hay, and straw. What is left has no bearing on whether or not we are saved. It has to do with rewards in heaven.

    Paul goes on to say in 1 Cor. 4:5, "Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God."

    Note also, 1 Pet. 1:6-7, "In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, 7that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ."

    2 Pet. 3:10-13, "But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. 11Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, on account of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! 13But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells

    Purgatory is a dangerous doctrine that makes the Cross of Christ insufficient by requiring the person to undergo suffering in order to be made worthy of being with God. This is a false teaching and is to be avoided. We are justified by faith (Rom. 5:1), not by faith and works (Rom. 3:28).

     
  5. Slat

    Slat Notebook Evangelist

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    According to the Handbook for Today’s Catholic, page 47, "If you die in the love of God but possess any ‘stains of sin,’ such stains are cleansed away in a purifying process called purgatory. These stains of sin are primarily the temporal punishment due to venial or mortal sins already forgiven but for which sufficient penance was not done during your lifetime."

    The Catholic Catechism, paragraph 1030, says that purgatory is for "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."

    Among the many doctrines that Catholicism claims to be derived through Sacred Tradition, purgatory is one of the most interesting and puzzling, particularly to a Protestant. In light of the Pauline doctrine of justification by grace through faith, how is it possible that an afterlife cleansing through punishment is necessary for a Christian who has trusted in Jesus to cleanse him from all His sins? Wasn't Jesus' punishment for our transgressions sufficient? Didn’t He take our place in that He suffered our death? It would seem that the words of Christ, "It is finished," (John 19:30) do not mean that the cleansing of our souls was completed on the cross.

    Of course, Roman Catholic doctrine states that eternal life is bestowed upon the one who receives baptism (Catechism, par. 1265 - 1266, 1992). It is the stains of the sins committed after baptism and not removed through penance, good works, prayers, the Mass, etc., that are removed in the fires of purgatory (Handbook for Today's Catholic, page 47).

    In light of the doctrine of justification by faith (Rom. 5:1), where Jesus bore all of our sins, purgatory would seem to have no theologically justifiable right to exist. But the Bible alone is not appealed to by Catholic theologians in support of Purgatory. By far, the main support for Purgatory is found in the Catholic doctrine of Sacred Tradition. Nevertheless, what does the Bible say about justification, punishment, and our sins?

    What is justification by faith?


    To ‘justify’ means ‘acquit’, ‘declare righteous’, the opposite of ‘condemn’. It means to not be guilty of breaking the Law and to be deemed as righteous by the standard of the Law.

    God gave the Law, i.e, the 10 commandments. The Law is a reflection of God’s character and it is a perfect standard of righteousness which no one can keep. Since no one is able to keep God’s Law, no one can be justified by the Law (Rom. 3:20). There is, therefore, none righteous (Rom. 3:10-12). This is the problem of all people. We have all broken God’s Law and are in need of justification, of being declared righteous in God’s sight. This can only be done through the Messiah, our sin bearer.

    Jesus is the one who took our place on the cross (1 Pet. 2:24), became sin on our behalf (2 Cor. 5:21), and turned away the wrath of God from us (Rom. 5:9) by being a propitiation (1 John 2:2) that turned away the wrath of God. He was punished in our place. Therefore, Jesus was our substitution. The righteous work of Christ is imputed to the believer by grace (Titus 3:7) and through faith (Rom. 5:1). This justification is a legal action on the part of God ‘reckoning’ the believer as having satisfied the Law — all of the Law.

    It necessarily follows that to be justified in God’s eyes, is to be fully justified. It is not ‘part’ of the Law that must be satisfied, but all of it. Perfection is the standard. Likewise, it is not ‘part’ of our sins that were born by Christ, but all of them. This justification includes all of the sins of the believer (past, present, and future) or else we could not be justified.

    What does the Catholic Catechism Say?


    The Catholic Catechism (paragraphs 1990-1992) says, "Justification detaches man from sin which contradicts the love of God, and purifies his heart of sin. Justification follows upon God’s merciful initiative of offering forgiveness. It reconciles man with God. It frees from the enslavement to sin, and it heals"...."Justification is at the same time the acceptance of God’s righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ..." and "...justification is conferred in Baptism, the sacrament of faith. It conforms us to the righteousness of God, who makes us inwardly just by the power of his mercy."

    Of particular interest is the reference that "justification is conferred in Baptism, the sacrament of faith." There are many verses in the Bible that deal with baptism and ‘putting on Christ’ (Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:1-11). This discussion is not intended to discuss the nature of baptism. Nevertheless, I strongly affirm that baptism is a covenant sign for the believer who is already justified by faith and for the children of believers who are under the covenant headship of the family. Baptism is not what justifies a person. Rather,

    Justification is a gift by His grace through Jesus (Rom. 3:24)
    Justification is by grace (Titus 3:7)
    Justification is by faith (Rom. 3:28; 5:1; Gal. 3:24)
    Justification is by Jesus’ blood (Rom. 5:9).
    Justification is in the name of the Lord Jesus (1 Cor. 6:11).
    Justification is not equated with baptism, but with grace, faith, and the blood of Jesus.
    Jesus said, "It is finished," (John 19:30)


    Jesus bore our sins in His body, paid the penalty for them, and died. He said, "It is finished." In Greek, the phrase, "It is finished" is one word, tetelestai. In ancient Greek papyri texts that were receipts for taxes, when a debt was paid in full, the word tetelestai, was written on the document. This meant that the debt had been paid in full. In other words, Jesus had finished the work of atonement. But not only atonement (to make amends, to make right), but also of propitiation (turning away God’s wrath). He had fully paid the debt invoked by the sinner. There was nothing more to be done... It was finished.

    Yet, the doctrine of Purgatory, in effect, is saying that we must suffer in purgatory for sins not ‘covered by baptism’ and not covered by the cross. It is to say that the work of Christ is not finished and that there are things we must do to complete the sacrificial, cleansing work of Christ. This amounts to earning heaven by our good works, albeit, a work of suffering. Additionally, the doctrine of Purgatory implies that a person must atone for his own sins. It implies that the person must do more than what the Law of God requires of him. This is called supererogation.

    When Jesus said, "It is finished," all that was necessary in the atonement was concluded and all in Christ were justified. We cannot complete or add to Christ’s work through our suffering. Purgatory is not only unnecessary, but it contradicts God’s word.

     
  6. TheShaman

    TheShaman Notebook Consultant

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    The underlying differences between your arguments have nothing to do with purgatory.
    The difference lies within the tenet of sanctifying grace. Catholics believe that paradise is earned through a lifetime of striving toward the unattainable, failing, and being forgiven. The only sins, theoretically, which prevent entrance to paradise are those mortal sins which separate the soul from the love of God. If one accepts the tenet of free will, then one must also accept that despite "accepting Jesus as personal savior," people can and do change and make mistakes later on. Sanctifying grace must be earned right up until death.

    Most other Christians (we'll leave Mormonism out of the discussion for now) accept that Christ washes us of our sins completely. Accepting of that forgiveness earns one the forgiveness of Christ prior to failure.

    To me, it seems a rote argument. Whether you believe that Christ forgives your sins a priori, or whether you must confess and ask for that forgiveness, it still stems from Christ's sacrifice. Whether purgatory exists or not is equally rote. If you believe it exists and it does not, you've still either lived a righteous life or not. If you deny its existence, it still shouldn't change how you live your life. Most religions say that theirs is the path to the light, whereas I accept a different line common to most: The mystery of God's love.
    We just don't know. Wouldn't it be best to love Christ, accept his forgiveness, and still willingly confess your transgressions? All I know is a good person is more likely to achieve paradise than a bad one, and living one's life in a tolerant, loving, and charitable manner should be the objective of all, no matter what we believe.
     
  7. Slat

    Slat Notebook Evangelist

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    <blockquote id='quote'>quote:<hr height='1' noshade id='quote'>Originally posted by TheShaman

     
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  8. Quikster

    Quikster Notebook Deity NBR Reviewer

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    First off, granted you can not get in on works alone. But, if you say one thing and live another you are not really believing in what you are saying. As is often said actions speak louder than words. Thereofore, works alone will not save, but they are necessary since you must live a christian life. Loving thy neighbor as thy self can only be done through actions and believe, saying it means squat.

    Also, I think its funny how you take the time to go through the background of the texts the Catholic church uses but you just simply state yours as part or whole versuses but not going into them qutoting only what fits your point.

    Finally, you view purgatory as "punishment." Purgatory is not normally thought of as punishment, rather a cleansing time to prepare oneself for the precense of God and entrance into heaven. I wouldn't think of studying for a test or training to be punishment, just normal preparation for the final reward. As TheShaman poinded out whether you believe you are fogiven right before death or right after in purgatory what difference does it make? You still must live a good christian life and you still can not atone for your sins alone, and must ask for the divine intervention of God.

    Once again, though this debate is not a debate since in a debate one has a chance of proving their point and since everything including the bible, everything is believed through an act of faith you can not prove anything for either side.
     
  9. noahsark

    noahsark Notebook Evangelist

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    Hello. Shaman, why do you say "Most other Christians (we'll leave Mormonism out of the discussion for now) accept that Christ washes us of our sins completely."

    I am a faithful Latter Day Saint, or Mormon, and we certainly believe and rely on Christ's atonement to cleanse us of our sins.

    Noah
     
  10. Shua

    Shua Notebook Enthusiast

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    I could respond to all of your respsonses, but don't have the time. But if you are living by Bible alone, then how can you believe in the trininty b/c it's nowhere in there either. Also what did the first Christian so before the NT was written.........TRADITION. And without Tradition we wouldn't even have the Bible. Funny how that works. I am not trying to start a theological war here, but think that your views on Catholicism are very wrong. It is the only Christan religion that has been going on from the time of Christ. I wold say they are doing something right. I think you might be obsessed with the purgatory thing, but I woldn't worry about that, b/c I imagine that you are on your walk with Christ. I would worry about one thing. Is Jesus truly present in the Eucharist, if so, then Catholicism is the way to go. Just some food for thought, no pun intended.
    God Bless
     
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