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Purgatory

Yesterday I wrote on Romans 4: 7-8 entitled “The Blessed Man”. Today that passage is essential in our discussion of purgatory. I listen to a lot of Dr. James White’s debates. One that I recently came across was on purgatory, in which Dr. White squared off against Peter Stranvinskas. The interaction was interesting to say the least. Here is a clip of one of the cross examinations:

As you may be able to tell, Stravinskas was not enjoying his time during the debate. What floored me was when Dr. White asked, “Are you the blessed man?”

All Stravinskas could say was, “I hope so.”

Let me lay out the argument. Romans 4:7-8 says:

Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered;

 blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.

Christ’s death on the cross was enough to save us from our sin. Not some of our sins but all of our sins. God will not take into account our sin because the penalty for them was paid by the sacrifice of Jesus. This then leads us to question the doctrine of purgatory.

An Angel Frees the Souls of Purgatory c. 1610, a painting by Lodovico Carracci.

“The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines purgatory as a “purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven,” which is experienced by those “who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified” (CCC 1030). It notes that “this final purification of the elect . . . is entirely different from the punishment of the damned” (CCC 1031).”

Click the “Catholic Answers” link to see the discussion on purgatory.

Now first we must understand that the Catechism of the Catholic Church does say that the “final purification” in purgatory is completely separate from the punishment that non-elect will face. The problem is that the doctrine of purgatory still takes into account the believers sins.

The doctrine of purgatory cannot be reconciled with Scripture because at its foundation it rejects the clear teachings of Scripture. Purgatory says that believers will go to a place to be “purified” from their sins. This purification is said to be painful and extensive. You only need to read St. Thomas’ “Summa Theologica” to see that. So, here is the blatant contradiction.

Roman Catholicism says that purgatory is a place where God purifies his people from their sins so they can enter heaven.

The Bible says, “blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.

So, which is it? Does God take into account our sins by placing us in purgatory? Or, does God not take into account the sin of the ones that believe in him?

I will end this post as I did the last one.

Are you the blessed man of Romans 4:18?

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About Travis Berry

I am a blatantly honest person who loves to think, read, discuss, and write about God and theology. I have a bachelor's degree in Youth Ministry from Crown College. I work at a church in Houston, TX as a Youth Director and love every minute of it! I am married to a wonderful woman named Becky and we have one amazing child! I have a love for God's Word, and a fervor to live it out in the fullest, and I pray this blog reflects that. Thanks for checking out AnotherChristianBlog!.

Posted on December 6, 2011, in Christianity, Theology and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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