Purgatory: Does it exist?
Using comments from Isa 6:5 as an example, “… It is a symbol of it once one understands and accepts the doctrine …” Who said it was a symbol? Does the NT support the assumption that this typifies purgatory??? So basically will one see purgatory in this verse once one accepts the doctrine just because the RCC said so???
The reply to my comments of Matt 5 were, “Perhaps you would be able to see it if you read more on the subjhect because many other Catholic sources explain that this verse makes it clear that the the mere mention of the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit not being forgivable even in the age to come implies that other sins can be forgiven in the age to come.” While I respect the RCC people, it doesn’t take long to understand that the thrust in this statement is the only valid source of interpretation of these passages is RCC sources.
Another reply is, “then offer an alternative interpretation of the symbolism in 1 Cor 3:11-15 and not just gloss over it with a general interpretation of the verses. Dig into the word of God and study it deeply, stop being superficial and actually study to show yourself approved.” Therein lies the problem. The official system of interpretation being used to support this doctrine is so steeped in reading types and symbols into scripture that the simple, plain meaning of scripture is lost. The judge is Matt 5 is simply a judge. In 1 Cor 3:11-15 suffice to say, from my standpoint, the fire tests the quality of each person’s works. The person whose works are burned up escapes AS through fire … a simple simile turned into a huge doctrine that clouds the issue.
I welcome a reply to the Scriptures of a sure place when the believer dies and how the doctrine of purgatory squares with that. These include being absent from the body and present with the Lord, not being plucked from the Father’s hand and the promise that not even death can separate us from the love of God.
The final comment I have to make is to this reply to my reply, “That is just your opinion and it has been shown to be contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church and so you are arguing against your own private doctrine regarding purgatory and not against the actual position of the Catholic Church. Why you would choose to do this I cannot imagine. I can only assume that it is because it makes it easier for you to argue against it. This need to hold onto the prejudice and bias toward the Catholic Church at the expense of being honest and truthful about its teachings is disturbing.” News flash. While I respect your right to the theology you choose, I am not a Roman Catholic. Other than understanding it to dialogue, the official teaching of the Catholic Church isn’t the final authority to me but that which can be proven from the plain interpretation of scripture is.
Dan Fugett, Sr Moderator