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Pergatory

Discussion in 'Christianity DIR' started by Ceridwen018, Jun 15, 2004.

  1. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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    This seems to be a more Catholic topic (as it was made up by the Catholic Church) but I am interested to see if other denominations accept it as well.

    Do you believe in Purgatory and Limbo? Why? Does it bother you that these concepts are not found anywhere in the bible, but were rather created by men?
     
  2. dan

    dan Well-Known Member

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    Where was Christ during the three days between His death and resurrection? I Peter mentions that He went, in spirit, to visit the imprisoned spirits of men. What world is this then? It's not Hell. It's not Heaven. Christ speaks of "paradise" on the cross, but he's not refering to Heaven. If the judgment happens after the end of the world, why would we be confined to one place or another before then?

    Purgatory is a purely human doctrine, but it is based loosely on truth. The Catholics had an opportunity to teach truth, but too many men wanted to mingle the Gospel with the imperfect philosophies of Plato, Aristotle and others. Augustine, Aquinas and many others tried to synthesize philosophy with religion; unfortunately, every time a conflict was found, they amended the Gospel so that it would fit into the perameters that human philosophy had set. This is why you have so many blatant changes in belief, starting immediately after the abatement of the Apostolic reign.
     
  3. harold e. rice

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  4. Tom Davidson

    Tom Davidson Member

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    Matthew 12:32
    "And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but he that shall speak against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in the world to come."

    Thus, if this sin will not be forgiven 'in the world to come', then it is logical that others sins will be forgiven in the world to come.

    A more difficult text is this:

    1 Corinthians 3:13-15
    Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire."

    This suggests that there will be a trial by fire - commonly understood to mean 'truth' - thus we could say that entering a post-corporeal state, that which is true (and thus real) survives, and that which is false (unreal) is burnt away. The essential person, however, remains.

    St Paul continues:
    Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are."

    Now this supposes that if man has become so entrenched in falsehood - in evil - that he has become evil himself and he therefore cannot survive - but again, he is not punished by an outside agency, he has destroyed himself.

    This ties in with the notion, held by the Jews as well as others, that after death man is faced with himself, and the reality of what he has done and not done. The 'pain' and 'torment' therefore is the realisation of the 'error of one's ways' rather than anything inflicted upon him by an outside agency. In short, we judge ourselves, but not from an egoic standpoint, but from truth.

    They say for the drowning man one's whole life flashes before one's eyes. Now is that the life he thinks he lead, or his life as it actually was? We are masters at convincing ourselves that we are doing what's best - but all too often the motive is entirely selfish. In the afterlife, there will be no self-deception.

    So perhaps the limbic states are perhaps a gift and a grace, a time of retreat and recollection, a time of facing ourselves before we face God, so that every iota of shame is taken away.

    Thomas
     
  5. Tom Davidson

    Tom Davidson Member

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    And yes, other denominations believe in post-eschatalogical states - the Jews, Moslems, Buddhists and Hindus I know, I believe the Native Americans, and of course all 'pagan' traditions that have variations on 'the underworld'

    Thus it's not strange that the Catholics do, it's rather more strange if other denominations don't.

    Thomas
     
  6. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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    I know that there is supposed to be judgement after death, but why have people put such human limitations on it? For example, a person could be in purgatory for any number of years. Why can't god just snap his fingers to get you where you need to be?
     
  7. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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    Dan,

    Didn't he go down to hell?

    What makes you think that?

    Oh, well that's good!

    I disagree. The bible has indeed been influenced by many things over the years, but I think that it would be much different if Plato and Aristotle had had that much influence on it. They were both very logical thinkers.
     
  8. Tom Davidson

    Tom Davidson Member

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    Why can't god just snap his fingers to get you where you need to be?

    Because then we'd be puppets.

    Look at it this way. Why is there not an undeniable proof of God - something that, once and for all, everyone would have to say, OK, you exist?

    Because then we would have no choice in the matter, and love would cease to exist. No-one loves anyone or anything because they have to, they do because they want to.

    God loves us without reserve, and that's all wants us to do, but we must be free to do that - but the price of freedom is the consequence of our actions, and responsibility is accepting that the consequence is ours, and not something visited upon us.

    Thomas
    (ps - how do you measure time in eternity - where there is no time? We might see someone as being in limbo for a couple of thousand years - to them it might be an instant - and maybe they can leave any time they want to - all they've got to do is say - sorry, it was my fault.)
     
  9. dan

    dan Well-Known Member

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    In response to Ceridwen's inquiries:

    1) No, he went to the spirits in prison. No one goes to Hell until after the resurrection and the judgment. Christ hadn't even been resurrected at this point, and we still haven't seen the judgment, so no one was in Hell. He went to a spirit world.

    2) Christ didn't go to heaven. God is in heaven, isn't He? And He told Mary that He had not yet ascended to His Father. Other scriptures let us know He was visiting spirit prisoners. They say nothing of Him going to heaven. Paradise does not denote heaven; the word didn't even exist during Christ's time. We don't know what word He really used, the original texts have been destroyed or lost. At the same time, Hell means only "the place for the dead." All of the meaning we ascribe to it is purely colloquial.

    3) It is good.

    4) All the ideas on time, the soul, Hell, heaven and the nature of God (especially that one) are based entirely on the ideas of Plato and Aristotle. Did you know that it was common knowledge that there was a pre-mortal existence up until Aristotelian philosophy was wedded with Christianity? Y'see, Aristotle was a monist. He didn't believe in two realities, only one, so they scrapped every doctrine that had to do with another reality (pre-mortal existence, immaterial soul). I find it disgusting that Christianity was always changed so that human philosophies didn't have to be. Platonic thought is even more prevalent in Catholic dogma. This whole idea about an immaterial "incomprehensible, uncreate" God without body parts or passion is all based on neoplatonic thought that was popular during the second and third centuries. The Gospel that has trickled down to you and me is a lifeless husk of what Christ personally introduced. I like to call that time period the Apostasy. The Bible predicts it, and todays churches prove it.
     
  10. Tom Davidson

    Tom Davidson Member

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    Hang on Dan -

    "Did you know that it was common knowledge that there was a pre-mortal existence up until Aristotelian philosophy was wedded with Christianity?"

    What knowledge, precisely?

    I'll accept that Greek thinking, whether dualistic or monistic, has muddied the waters, but to say "The Gospel that has trickled down to you and me is a lifeless husk of what Christ personally introduced" in the absence of any sure evidence, is taking things a bit too far.

    It has sufficed the saints and sages through the ages, has it not?

    Thomas
     
  11. dan

    dan Well-Known Member

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    Tom-
    If you go back and look at writings from before the end of the first century you will see that many things were accepted as true without an argument that have later been dismissed by these "church fathers." I'll gather together soome examples if you like.

    As for the saints and sages through the ages (hey, that rhymes), I think a short history lesson will reveal that Christianity has been (for the better part of the last two millenia) the bane of humanity. The dark ages are a result of "Christianity" as are the crusades and racism (oh, that's an interesting one there. Ask me about it some day). Christ taught us to be as one, even as He and His Father are one, but "Christianity" has done nothing if not divide the world. There are more different brands of Christianity than any other religion. BILLIONS have died at the hands of "Christianity" and it's precepts. I do not deny that it has saved many and made many lives better, but the cost is to great for me to recognize it as the religion Christ founded. It is different and it has been, since 325 A.D., a human institution built upon the divine precepts it borrowed.

    I know they sound like harsh words, but I am prepared to substantiate them upon request. Please don't assume I do not think highly of Christians, because I do. A line must be drawn between the institution and it's members. I hold the faithful and devout of all religions in the utmost and highest respect.
     
  12. Bdkimmel61

    Bdkimmel61 Member

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    I have tried on several occassions to discuss this topic with Catholic Priests. Not is a debate or critique.Simply as a layman trying to understand. Each time I was turned away with exception of once when I was told that the Catholic Church was in the process of reassessing its view on purgatory.

    To me that says the Catholic Church is not sure of its own techings and therefore cannot be a church that I would follow into everlasting union with the Creator.I have chosen to follow Christ Jesus alone.
     
  13. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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    Bdkimmel61,

    You got turned away? Wow, that is very interesting!

    Yeah, the catholic Church is on rocky ground right now, and I'm not singly talking about all the scandal. It will be interesting to see what happens to it in the next couple of years.
     
  14. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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    Tom,

    But we do have to-- if we don't we'll go to hell. Negative consequence takes away free choice. In true free-will, each choice in a decision would have equal reward and punishment (approximately).

    Think of it this way, if there was no punishment for denying god, and no reward for accepting him, people would be much freer to accept or deny god based on what they think the right decision is. As of now though, that particular choice is severly influenced.
     
  15. Tom Davidson

    Tom Davidson Member

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    Well the influence is surely reality itself - the reality of God is a matter of choice. The implicit 'threat' in not believing doesn't seem to upset non-believers much, so I'm not sure we can use that as a credible argument. I do accept that it is wrongly used when employed as a tool to coerce the laity - but that is a fault of man, not god nor, in essence, religion.

    Even so, the continuing presence of sin and evil in the world would seem to indicate that one's 'own good' is a lot more pursuasive than the collective good, let alone the Divine Good.

    Free choice is shaped by the real - I don't view hell as a 'punishment' but as a natural consequence - and without such 'justice' and 'mercy' become meaningless terms, and in effect man would determine reality according to his own desires and appetites.

    The Fear of God, as the Fathers understood it, is different from the fear that most preachers talk about today (bear in mind the most -repeated phrase in Scripture is 'fear not'!). The fear is the awesome Presence, whereas today man has yet to realise his deepest fear is the 'awesome absence' imposed by empricial science which can provide no meaning nor purpose for man's existence other than its own continuance.

    The Christian of old had a very profound sense of that 'Awesome Presence' but in equal measure of 'Enfolding Love'

    Even the non-theist traditions of Asia takes as a baseline the intrinsic non-reality of existence - Buddhism is in this sense a lot more nihilistic than Christianity.
     
  16. New Jerusalem

    New Jerusalem New Member

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    perhaps Earth is pergatory.
     
  17. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    Hi all!

    This thread is a bit old, but I figure I, as a member of the Roman Catholic Church might chime in and give show the teaching about purgatory from the Catechism:

    III. THE FINAL PURIFICATION, OR PURGATORY

    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.606 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:607


    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.608

    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."609 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.610 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.611

    606 Cf. Council of Florence (1439):DS 1304; Council of Trent (1563):DS 1820; (1547):1580; see also Benedict XII, Benedictus Deus (1336):DS 1000.
    607 Cf. 1 Cor 3:15; 1 Pet 1:7.
    608 St. Gregory the Great, Dial. 4,39:pL 77,396; cf. Mt 12:31.
    609 2 Macc 12:46.
    610 Cf. Council of Lyons II (1274):DS 856.
    611 St. John Chrysostom, Hom. in 1 Cor. 41,5:pG 61,361; cf. Job 1:5.


    If anyone has any questions about this or the references, I would be happy to try and explain this topic further.

    Peace,
    Scott

    p.s.
    Don't worry about Christ's Church...... it has been around for 2000 years and survived much worse than anything this world can dish out....
    Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

    WHAT???????? :eek:mg: I find this hard to believe..... and I can assure you that the RCC is NOT "reassessing" its view on purgatory. ( and I teach this stuff for a living... I think I would have heard something!!)
     
  18. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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    Scott,

    You teach Catholocism? Like in a school or something? That's awesome! You'd be the first Catholic I've met here who really knows their stuff then (not saying that the other Catholics aren't smart or anything, but they're certainly not teachers.). I used to be Catholic myself, for about the first 16 years of my life.

    Anyway, lets get down to business! My biggest question on pergatory is where it came from. I mean, I see the logic in the things you've sighted, but it all still seems pretty vague to me. The concept of people making up doctrine based on their own personal interpretations has never sat well with me. The bible obviously doesn't dwell a whole lot on the idea, so it seems strange to me that the Catholic Church would make it such a big thing. Well, perhaps not so strange--it made them a lot of money in the Middle Ages, but is that the deal then? Is that how the idea came about and for tradition's sake you hang onto it?
     
  19. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    Ceridwen018,

    Hiya! Thanks for your question. Sorry so long to reply.... I have been spending a lot of time working on my site.

    As far as your post:

    I teach Catechism to adult converts to the Catholic Church as part of the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) program in the diocese. I am a convert from the Protestant faith, and I enjoy helping those who wish to learn about my faith.

    Well, I am no scholar, but I will try to help with what limited knowledge I have. By the way, you are still catholic (little "c") and I hope you love the Lord and have a wonderful life in the Good News of Jesus Christ. You are always welcome to come home........... just so ya know!!! 8)

    I guess it would help me if I knew what denomination you belong to....

    It really is not a big of "thing" as you are making it out to be...... I spend most of my time worshiping the Father, Son and Holy Spirit........ where and what happens when my flesh dies is not a concern AT ALL to me. I pray that I may always love Jesus, I don't care what else happens.

    I understand that it is sometimes more "fun" to talk about doctrine that we don't have in common, but I choose to focus more on Jesus Christ and what we DO have in common.

    Loads of it............ :oops:

    Once I get an idea of your beliefs, I will be happy to explain why I "hang onto it"............ :wink:

    Peace be with you,
    Scott
     
  20. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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    Hey Scott,

    Succinctly put, I am an Atheist. (as broad of a term as that is!)
     
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