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.
“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?
I really enjoy listening to debates. They are a great way to hear both sides of a specific topic and then way the evidence for both. This clip is from a debate entitled “The Marian Doctrines Debate”. <———Click the link to buy the debate. It is well worth the dough.
Anyway, this debate featured Dr. James White and Gerry Matatics. It was a heated discussion but I thought it brought the points up well and really showed us what the Catholic position boils down to. What is that?
When you ask a Catholic to show where the Bible speaks about Mary’s assumption or perpetual virginity the Catholic is forced to say, “The Church tells me it is true. Thus, it is true.”
Take a listen and see if I am not speaking the truth:
Would anyone reading Matthew 12:46, which says, “While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him,” actually think that Jesus’ cousins were outside waiting for him? I don’t think so. That is why the Roman Catholic Church forces the believer to believe what the Church tells them instead of what Scripture tells them.
I pray that my Catholic friends come to realize this.
On a lighter note here is a little comedy to prove that I am not such a mean guy 🙂
I heard an interaction between Dr. James White and Tim Staples a while back that caught my attention. Dr. White is a reformed Baptist and Staples is a Roman Catholic. Dr. White quoted a prayer that is common among catholics and it really shocked me when I heard it. Here is an excerpt of it:
“Count me among thy most devoted servants; take me under thy protection, and it is enough for me; for, if thou protect me, dear Mother, I fear nothing; not from my sins, because thou wilt obtain for me the pardon of them; nor from the devils, because thou art more powerful than all hell together; not even from Jesus, my Judge Himself, because, by one prayer from thee, He will be appeased. But one thing I fear; that, in the hour of temptation, I may neglect to call on thee, and thus perish miserably. Obtain for me then the pardon of my sins, love for Jesus, final perseverance, and the grace always to have recourse to thee, O Mother of Perpetual Help.”
Now I hope for most people reading this I don’t need to say much about how wrong this prayer is. However, I think it is important to understand the reasons why this is a wrong view of Mary.
I want to point out the bold-faced section in this text. This prayer is saying that because of the prayer’s faith in Mary they need not fear his/her sins. Mary is apparently able to “obtain” the “pardon for them”. This is anything but biblical. There is no where in Scripture that begins to suggest this concept. On the other hand Scripture is clear about who does obtain the pardon for sin…Jesus!
“And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” -Acts 4:12 (ESV)
If you would like to read the full prayer “click here”
There will be more to come on this topic so make sure to check in tomorrow.