Contentions on purgatory
I sometimes comment on the Beggars All blog, and had a brief exchange with a Roman Catholic there on the subject of purgatory, and specifically 1Cor. 3:15, and which he responded to on his own blog here, which I responded to somewhat at length below, by God's good grace.
Note that due to the way the exchange progressed, the table of contents will often not provide the complete response to the subject listed. This web page uses the ref tagger script so the Bible refs can be seen via mouse hover, and I have fixed some typos or slightly edited my responses, but which needs more proof reading (though referring to myself in lowercase “i” is on purpose) .
This is quite lengthy, yet i did not really address the aspect of making expiation for sin in purgatory, which Rome says is needed due to the temporal penalty of sin not being wholly paid for in this life, and for dying with small faults for which there was no true repentance.
But first I want to add a basic refutation of purgatory.
In Roman Catholicism (much similar to Easter Orthodoxy, which largely perpetuates the same errors of Rome, but among other things , rejects the purgatory (Lat., "purgare", to make clean, to purify) of Rome, and tends to be more mystical and less technical and precise in its theology), the salvation process begins (usually) with a morally incognizant infant, which cannot (and need not) fulfill the stated requirements for baptism, that of repentance and whole-heartened faith, (Act 2:38; 8:36,37) being sprinkled (the Greek word baptismo means to immerse) and by which the soul is made good enough to be with God, being "formally justified and made holy by his own [infused] personal justice and holiness (causa formalis).” Catholic Encyclopedia>Sanctifying Grace).

Yet as the baptized sin and defile that state they either must attain to perfection in this life and atone for all their sins, or do so in purgatory, enduring "punishments" which "are imposed by the just and merciful judgment of God for the purification of souls," through "fire and torments or 'purifying' punishments.” (INDULGENTIARUM DOCTRINA; cp. 1. 1967) and thus once again become good enough to be with God.

This is consistent with the emphasis Catholicism places upon merit, mistaking believers being judged to be believers and fit to be rewarded (under grace) in the light of the effects of true faith, (Mt. 25:31-40; Rv. 3:4) with that of being its cause. For in Scripture God justifies the unGodly by counting his faith as righteousness, without works (Rm. 4:5,6; Titus 3:5) thus Abraham believed God to do what he could not do but which God promised (in fact the only work that was required to realize the fulfillment was to have sexual relations with his wife, if that), and thus his faith was counted for righteousness, (Gn. 15:6) though he had done good works before that. Likewise the penitent publican of Lk 18 and the contrite criminal of Lk. 23 were justified by faith, with the latter going to be with the Lord that day.

The spirits of those which die in Christ now go to be with the Lord to rest and await the resurrection, "And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." (Acts 7:59; Rv. 6:9) And indeed, wherever the NT manifestly speaks of the postmortem or post resurrection place of conscious believers, it is always with the Lord. (Lk. 23:43 [cf. 2Cor. 12:4; Rv. 2:7]; Acts 7:59,60; Phil 1:23,24; 2Cor. 5:8 [“we”]; 1Cor. 15:51ff' 1Thess. 4:17) The appearing of Jesus Christ and the believers glorification was expected in the 1st century, as it always should be, but if they should die first, then they looked forward to being present with the Lord, as Paul was. Who confessed he had not yet attained to the condition of resurrected believers and perfection, but pressed toward "the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus," (Phil.3:8-17) yet expressed that if he was to die he would be "present with the Lord." (Phil 1:23,24; 2Co. 5:8)

And note that in 1Thes. 4:17 then all the believers would go to be with the Lord if He returned in their lifetime, and “ever be with the Lord.” (1Thes. 4:17) though they were still undergoing growth in grace during their time here, as was Paul. (Phil. 3:12) And which time is when they will be glorified with a new incorruptible body, as Christ was. Believers were and are to be, "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;" (Titus 2:13) "Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself." (Philippians 3:21) "For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality." (1 Corinthians 15:53) "And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body." (Romans 8:23) "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." (1 John 3:2)

Therefore, rather than expecting "purifying torments" what NT believers looked for after this life was that of immediately being with the Lord, with any future change in conformity to Christ taking place that the Lord's return! In addition, growth in grace, and chastisement to that end, is ONLY shown taking place on this world with its trials and temptations. Thus even Christ was made "perfect through sufferings" (Heb,. 2:10) here,though in His case it mean complete in victoriously being "in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." (Hebrews 4:15)

And it is only here that believers faith and character is tested and refined, thus Peter says, Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now [Gk. "arti," present] for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: (1 Peter 1:6-7) Despite attempts to compel texts to support purgatory, , there is nothing in Scripture of hope for a postmortem purification and then going to Heaven, and instead the focus is always on this life for any preparatory work.

Meanwhile, the ONLY postmortem suffering for believers is that of the judgement seat of Christ described in 1Cor. 3:8ff, and which is that of the loss of rewards due to the manner of material (tares) one attempted to build the church with, along with the grievous realization of the Lord's displeasure, (2Cor. 5:9-11) yet who are saved despite this loss, not because it purified them. And God will finally wipe away all tears at the end. (Rv. 7:17; 2:14) Thanks be to God.

Nor is the gospel of God a system of salvation by works, earning Heaven thru the attainment of practical moral perfection of character, even if stipulated as being achieved thru grace, and Titus 3:5 broadly excludes "works which we have done" as not being salvific. And the moment one believes then his heart is purified by faith, (Acts 10:43; 15:7-9) which faith is counted for righteousness, (Rm. 4:4-7) and he is washed, sanctified and justified in the name of Jesus and by the Spirit of God, (1Cor. 6:11) accepted in the Beloved and made to sit together with Christ in Heavenly places. (Eph. 1:6; 2:6) This is all on Christ's expense and righteousness.

To be sure, holiness as an attribute of faith, meaning a faith that effects holiness (according to grace given), is necessary to see God, as without it then it testifies that one has no faith real faith. However, these holy effects are justificatory in the sense of testifying to being a believer, and fit to be rewarded for what faith has effected, which God in unmerited grace as we owe God everything, and never would have even accepted Him unless God convicts, draws, opens hearts, and grants repentant faith, so that the soul can believe, (Jn. 16:9; Jn. 6:44; 12:32; Acts 11:18; 16:14; Eph. 2:8,9) doing what he otherwise would not and could not do. And who then works in us to motivate and enable us to obey Him. (Phil. 2:13) All to the glory of God.


Perpetuated Petrine papacy;
Sola ecclesia;
Jn 16:13;
Mt 5:14;
Gregory VII;
Infallible method;
Infallible statements;
Fire of 1 Corinthians 3:15;


Sola Scriptura;

Bible Alone;

Parable of tares;

1 Corinthians 3:15;

Rev 21:27;


Another location (Lazarus, Good Thief Abraham's Bosom)

Sinful nature;

Scriptural references to purgatory;

Unanimous consent of the fathers

Eastern Orthodox Churches

I correctly stated that the Church was given by Jesus the authority to “bind and loose” granting the charism of infallibility of the bishops together (in unity with the See of Peter) and in particular the bishop of the See of Peter alone. The Scriptural basis for such an understanding comes directly from Matthew 16:18-19 and Matthew 18:18. Cross-reference the former with Isiah 22:22 for a prophecy that Jesus fulfills in naming Peter the Steward of His Kingdom.
Your correctness was simply an assertion, and as i stated that is based upon the premise that Rome is infallible, when speaking (n accordance with her infallibly defined (scope and content-based) formula. You did not invoke Is. 22:22 for support, and though i have dealt with the polemic elsewhere, yet as you reject anything but official Roman Catholic teaching, i would be interested where this is officially defined. What all encompass official teaching can differ from Catholic to Catholic, and is an issue further on as well.
As for the attempt, although this is strangely never referenced by prophesy-intensive Matthew or anyone else, that it is applicable to Mt. 16:18 need not be disputed, but this is far from establishing Rome's perpetuated Petrine papacy.
The Targum, Jerome, Hitzig, and others assume that Eliakim is the peg, which, however glorious its beginning may have been, comes at last to the shameful end described in Isa. 22:25, and which position classic commentators Keil and Delitzsch contend is the case. However, whether v. 25 refers to Eliakim or Shebna, it is evident is that being fastened in a sure place does not necessarily establish perpetuation. Nothing is provided by way of literal fulfillment of this prophecy in the Old Testament which states such [correction from my previous analysis: this prophecy regarding Eliakim ascendancy was apparently fulfilled in the OT, as 2Ki. 19:1 2Ki. 18:18, 2Ki. 18:37 and Is. 36:22, 37:2 all refer to Eliakim being over the house, ("bayith," same in Is. 22:15,22) which Shebna the treasurer held, (Is. 22:15) and who evidently had much prestige and power, though the details of his actual fall are not mentioned [and who may not be the same as "Shebna the scribe" (sa^kan) who is mentioned later. Therefore, being a nail that is fastened in a sure place does not necessarily denote permanency of that person, or through his offspring. Meanwhile, if we are looking for permanency, both the language concept of a key and with the authority described, and being a father to the house of David corresponds more fully to Christ, as], it is Christ to whom it is promised that His kingdom will never cease, (Lk. 1:32,33), who shall be an everlasting father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, that being their holy Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah, out of which our Lord sprang and made a new covenant with. (Heb. 7:14; 8:8 ), And upon Him shall hang “all the glory of his father’s house”, for “in Jesus Christ dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” (Col. 2:9) And who “hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth,” (Rev. 3:7) which is what best corresponds to the prophecy of Isaiah. ^
As per usual, you assert as fact what needs to be proven, which is that Mt 16:18-19, refers to Peter (which also does not have the required “unanimous consent of the fathers”) and along with 18:18 establishes the perpetuated Petrine papacy. My response did not deal with the linguistics of the texts which Rome enlists for support, because establishing claims by Scriptural warrant and substantiation is not the real basis for her claim that such is infallible, but that she is anointed with the charism of infallibility when ever her supreme magisterium speaks to the whole church on faith and morals. They may invoke Scripture for support, but what they declare is considered assuredly infallible by way of an explicit statement and manner, and no amount of Scriptural refutation can be allowed as refuting her. By such presumption whatever Scripture tradition, or even history says can be made to confirm to her claims.
Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, Henry Edward Manning (1808-1892): “It was the charge of the Reformers that the Catholic doctrines were not primitive, and their pretension was to revert to antiquity. But the appeal to antiquity is both a treason and a heresy. It is a treason because it rejects the Divine voice of the Church at this hour, and a heresy because it denies that voice to be Divine... Primitive and modern are predicates, not of truth, but of ourselves.” (Cardinal Henry Edward Manning, The Temporal Mission of the Holy Ghost: Or Reason and Revelation (New York: J.P. Kenedy & Sons, originally written 1865, reprinted with no date), pp. 227-228.
Thus are explained both her respect for the writings of the Fathers of the Church and her supreme independence towards those writings–she judges them more than she is judged by them.” (Catholic Encyclopedia, “Tradition and Living Magisterium”)
While it may be accepted by most that she is infallibly interpreting the above verses to support her claim, yet it is of interest that very little of the Bible has been defined, and also, it is the definitive result itself that is guaranteed to be infallible, and not necessarily the reasons given as leading up to the dogma. What verses Rome has infallibly defined is a matter of interpretation, as is how many infallible declarations there are out of the multitudes that potentially are.
As for verses themselves, i did briefly address them by expressing that what has abundant Scriptural substantiation is that the “rock” being referred to is faith in the subject of Peter’s confession, and thus Christ Himself is the Rock foundation upon which the church is rests.
And since you look to the catechism, we see that it tries to have it both ways in affirming,
On the rock of this faith confessed by St Peter, Christ build his Church,” (pt. 1, sec. 2, cp. 2, para. 424,
And which understanding many other of the ancients (whom Rome forbade interpreting Scripture contrary to) concur with, or otherwise disagree that Peter is the rock referred to.
The linguistic arguments on this from both sides are extensive, and I understand that you see Peter as the rock that is upon the Rock, but this is a most critical doctrine, as important to Rome's ecclesiology as the resurrection is to the gospel, and for which we must expect much clear confirmation, and Peter as the foundation of the church has no such support, nor does the formal perpetuation of his office. For in contrast to Peter, that the LORD Jesus is the Rock (“petra”) or "stone" (“lithos,” and which denotes a large rock in Mk. 16:4) upon which the church is built is one of the most abundantly confirmed doctrines in the Bible (petra: Rm. 9:33; 1Cor. 10:4; 1Pet. 2:8; cf. Lk. 6:48; 1Cor. 3:11; lithos: Mat. 21:42; Mk.12:10-11; Lk. 20:17-18; Acts 4:11; Rm. 9:33; Eph. 2:20; cf. Dt. 32:4, Is. 28:16) including by Peter himself. (1Pt. 2:4-8)
As regards the perpetuation of Peter's office, the election of Matthias in Acts 1 is invoked, but that was in order to maintain the number of apostles, (Acts 1:16-21; Rv. 21:14) which Rome does not do, nor have its claimed successors fulfilled the requirements for that apostolic office, that of personal encounter with and revelation from Christ and the manner of supernatural attestation that was uniquely given to such mortals. (Acts 1:21; 1Cor. 9:1; Gal. 1:11,12; 2Cor. 12:12)
Nor (TMK) has Rome ever used the O.T. method that was used in Acts 1 to elect Matthias, which prevented delay and politics, which was often part of papal elections (besides favoring Italians, while sometimes there was not pope to continue the unbroken succession for up to 3 years). In contrast, nothing is said or evidenced as to a successor for the martyred apostle James, (Acts 12:2) or for preparation to replace others, which is just part of the highly conspicuous absence of support for this most primary doctrine which Rome must extrapolate out of texts that do not established this.
As for binding and loosing, this is not seen in Scripture as sanctioning Rome's effectively autocratic authority, which like the Pharisees presumed (who had authority, but not as supreme over Scripture), allows her to teach any “tradition of the elders” she chooses as binding doctrines, but is exercised in church discipline, together with the church, (1Cor. 4,5) or do declare one is bound in his sin, (Act 8:23) the basis and definition for which is that which is already and abundantly established as being supremely authoritative and requiring binding obedience, that being the Scriptures. As far as doctrine is concerned, as in the prior examples, its authority was based upon Scripture and the manner of supernatural attestation it establishes God gives to truth. "For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power." (1 Cor. 4:20) That makes us uncomfortable, we want to rest authority on formal decent so as to preclude challenges, which is why the Pharisees had a problem with John the Baptist (not quite Southern) and the Lord, but this forces the church to manifest that it is the church of the living God, not one that is in a museum .^
As far as you can tell that may be how you see it, but as Rome claims to infallibly determine the extent and meaning of Tradition and Scripture, then it makes her the supreme authority on faith and doctrine, defining history as needed and non-“unanimous consent of the Fathers as unanimous, while the instrument=assured infallibility logic behind this argument (another thread) would require us to submit to the Jews. But as Rome exalts herself, what is asserts is more precisely sola roma.
As for sola scriptura and sola fide, both are manifestly Scriptural, if defined corrected, which Roman Catholic apologists constantly do not do, in order to burn a straw man. In which it is supposed that only the Bible can be used, and that it alone has any authority. And that faith alone means a faith is salvific but that has no works, rather than Scripture being the supreme authority, by which the magisterium, whose conditional authority it affirms, and all other sources are judged. And that Scripture is formally and materially sufficient, that latter providing for the magisterium, and that the faith that is counted for righteousness is one that produces obedience towards its Object, including repentance when convicted of not doing so. .^
This is another stretch, as preservation of truth and expanding that does not require a assuredly infallible magisterium, or “AIM” for short, after the manner of Rome, as seen in God progressively writing and establishing most of Scripture as being that, and preserving faith among a remnant (per usual) without such an AIM prior to the establishment of the church. Note that the contention is not against an ability to speak infallible truth, which would be established by Scripture and it means, and which even stating that there is a Creator God exist basically is, but that of Rome's assuredly infallible status and her reasoning and formulaic basis for it.
And as far as the Holy Spirit leading (hodēgeō) believers into all truth, there is only one transcendent objective authority on earth that has been established as wholly inspired of God, and thus assuredly infallible, and that is the authority on all truth claims. In contrast, Rome supposes that she is, yet she has infallibly defined very little of Scripture, and even what she has can require some interpretation, while despite her plethora of pronouncements (or because of them), what overall doctrinal parameters she has yet leaves Roman Catholics with much liberty to interpret Scripture, as well as church “fathers.” .^
It is such commitment to self-promoting that prevents objective thinking and sees Rome whenever it needs to, as these texts do not make Rome what you claim, but Mt. 5:14 is about disciples in general, who “shine as lights in the world.” (Phil. 2:15) The church is visible insomuch as believers do so, and it is evangelical believers that have let their light shine far more in proportion to its numbers than those who identify with Rome, and also evidences greater unity in many core doctrines and moral views. And much of Rome's number are carnal believers, and much of its predominance in the world is owed to the use of the sword of men.
In addition as regards leading into all truth, it is the Protestants who have provided the most extensive classic commentaries on Scripture in the relative short time of their existence, with great conflation, and the evangelical gospel with its manifest regeneration effects far greater literacy of the Bible than that of Rome, who joins the Mormon's and other cults in making another source of revelation equal to Scripture, and themselves supreme over both. .^
Rather than making it look like i had no substance for my position, the fact is that you provided no support for Rome's authority outside pasting (Mt 16:18-19, 18:18) before quitting that blog to move the polemic here, which i responded to according to real basis for this claim, and here my reference to Pope . Gregory VII was in response to your statement minimizing the abuse of indulgences, as the statement from Gregory conveyed broad protection from error. .^
I do understand the criteria, but let us examine your statement. You state that his method provides assurance to Catholics of the infallibility nature of statements, which is needed in order to require assent of faith, thus you should be able to tell me how many there are. Can you provide a total exact number or is this a matter of interpretation? .^
Thusly because Rome has infallibly spoken in accordance with her infallible defined formula then such can never be contradicted by anyone or anything! On such a basis anything can be “infallibly” stated.
The Bible does reference itself, but these writings were progressively established as being from God (most being before Christ) due to their unique enduring qualities, complementarity, and supernatural attestation by the Lord. God first revealed Himself to man and supernaturally attested to His reality and truth, (like to Abraham) and of the faith and character of those who believed, obeyed it and testified of it (like Moses), so was the written testimony of them and through them established as being from God, which writings progressively became the standard by which further revelation and men of God were tested and established, as a continuing principle*. (Is. 8:20; Ps. 19: 7-11; 119; Mt. 22:29-45; Lk. 24:27,44; Jn. 5:39,42; Acts 17:2,11; 18:28; 28:23; Heb. 1-5-2:4, etc.) .^
It is a common appeal by Roman Catholic apologist, or “RCAs,” but which is revelatory of their desperation, and ignorance, as can be further seen.
And which was for you.
This requires so many answers it is not one. Is this rule itself infallible teaching? [Or are you stating that you consider only infallible decrees to be infallible? If so, p0lease provide an infallible list of all of them.] I am sure they will be interested to know that their stamps are invalid, though as James provides it has some real history and are supposed to mean “a book or pamphlet is considered to be free from doctrinal or moral error.”
So according to your interpretation this NAB note is contrary to an infallible definition of what 1Cor. 3:15 means, or is otherwise or in doctrinal error. Are you saying only infallible texts can be stamped? Is the catechism immutable and infallible? Are all papal encyclicals infallible?
In any case you have the one true church that we are supposed too look to putting out a liberal official Bible with liberal notes and a stamp that means it contains nothing contrary to faith or morals, but there really is, and Roman Catholics are expected to know to reject this and only heed texts that are in communion with Rome, and know which one's these are. It is rather telling that this is the kind of laxity in her own American Bible. But at least they can access it freely, unlike much of the past. But rather than leading into all truth, Rome's official magisterium leads into much uncertainty, as [so many of] her forums show.
[Further research reveals the Nihil obstat ("nothing stands in the way" of publication) and Imprimatur ("let it be printed") were a product of the Inquisition, and was later enforced,
The Pascendi Dominici Gregis, Encyclical of Pope Pius X on the doctrines of the modernists (08/09/1907), states in part,
2. But it is not enough to hinder the reading and the sale of bad books - it is also necessary to prevent them from being printed. Hence let the Bishops use the utmost severity in granting permission to print. Under the rules of the Constitution Officiorum, many publications require the authorisation of the Ordinary, and in some dioceses it has been made the custom to have a suitable number of official censors for the examination of writings. We have the highest praise for this institution, and We not only exhort, but We order that it be extended to all dioceses. In all episcopal Curias, therefore, let censors be appointed for the revision of works intended for publication, and let the censors be chosen from both ranks of the clergy - secular and regular - men of age, knowledge and prudence who will know how to follow the golden mean in their judgments. It shall be their office to examine everything which requires permission for publication according to Articles XLI. and XLII. of the above-mentioned Constitution. The Censor shall give his verdict in writing. If it be favourable, the Bishop will give the permission for publication by the word Imprimatur, which must always be preceded by the Nihil obstat and the name of the Censor
Rather than leaving the reader to determine whether stamped literature is in communion with Rome, or rendering all teaching that is not infallibly defined as possibly spurious, as my opponent here has placed these NAB notes as, “the "Nihil Obstat" and "Imprimatur" “are official declarations that a book or pamphlet is free of doctrinal or moral error. No implication is contained therein that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat and the Imprimatur agree with the content, opinions or statements expressed,” which is a common definition and is found in the NAB translation itself.
Besides this being a testimony to the diversity of opinions that can exist among orthodox Catholics, this assures us that while my opponent disagrees with the liberal NAB notes, they are free of doctrinal or moral error. If one disagrees, this places him in the position which Roman Catholic apologists criticize, that of having an infallible authority without an infallible interpreter, which is indeed the case. But Scripturally, Truth was not established through a perpetually infallible human office on earth, but while the office of the teaching magisterium is given authority, Truth is revealed as being established by the manifest power of God attesting to it and those who preached it, and its heavenly qualities and by being in conformity to what was already established as being from God. ^
This is a classic example of ecclesiastical eisegesis of Scripture and Sola Scriptura. SS does not hold Scripture as the only authority, but as the only supreme authority and thus “rule” or standard under God, and thus it upholds the magisterium. Westminster states, “It belongeth to synods and councils, ministerially, to determine controversies of faith, and cases of conscience; to set down rules and directions for the better ordering of the public worship of God.”
But as Scripture is the only transcendent material source of truth on faith and morals that is is wholly inspired of God, so it is the standard for faith and morals.
Scripture evidences* that “the word of God/the Lord” was normally written down, and that certain writings in distinction to others became established as being from God, and became the authority for obedience and for establishing truth claims*, not only by textual conflation and complementarity, but by conformity to the manner of supernatural attestation God gave to new teachers such as through Moses, the Lord and the apostles. Both the words of God and men of God were established as being so by Scripture, once it existed, and by such Scriptural testimony. (Is. 8:20; 1Kg. 17:24; Mt 22; Lk. 24:44; Jn. 5:36,39; 14:11; Acts 4:33; 17:2; 28:23; Rm. 15:19; 2Cor. 6:1-10; 12:12)
Thus Scripture is the supreme authority, and also establishes the principle of progressively revelation and its writing, with its full sufficiency pertaining to that. If anything were to be added to the canon today, it would have to go through the same supernatural means of establishment prior books did, but like as the prophetic silence that concluded the completion of the Old Testament, so have we see such as pertains to the New Testament.
In contrast, no such perpetual affirmation is given that whatever the church magisterium shall ever teach in agreement on faith and morals to the whole church will be infallible (rather, Rome asserts it and defines itself as it) nor was this necessary for most of Scripture to become established as being such, and for the faith to be preserved. Instead of a perpetual infallible magisterium, while God used it, He often raised up men from without the seat of Moses, who did not have formal transference of the Levitical office as they did, but who reproved it.
As for 2 Pt 1:20-21; 2 Pt 3:15-17, the second applies to a good degree what RCAs does with the first verse. What Peter is referring to here is how the Messianic prophecies were written, not how it is to be understood, but that in contrast to “cunningly devised fables” (2Pt. 1:16) the “prophecy of the scripture” was not by the will of man, this being “private interpretation,” but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” Thus as Peter stated in his first letter, such men were “Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.” (1Pt. 1:11)
In contrast to prophecy, in genres such as Paul's theological treatises it seems that the writer did understand what he was writing, but such was still wholly inspired of God. At most 2Pt. 1:20 is forbidding the idea that Scripture was written apart from plenary Divine inspiration, and is not saying that one cannot have doctrinal certitude apart from implicit trust that Rome's magisterium is assuredly infallible, else the Bereans were not so noble, and Timothy from a child could not have known salvation from the holy Scriptures, and 1Jn. could not provide criteria by which one may know that they have eternal life. Trent actually allows that one may know that they are assuredly in the number of the predestinate by “”special revelation.” (Trent, The Sixth Session, CHAPTER XII,, which is more subjective than reading Scripture apart from the magisterium.)
In addition, even if Peter was teaching that Divine inspiration was also needed to understand Scripture, Rome's AIM does not claim it has the Divine inspiration that Peter refers to.
*Partial list of references to Divine written revelation being written (Scripture) and references to it, and being the standard for obedience and truth claims: Ex. 17:14; 24:4,7,12; 31:18; 32:15; 34:1,27; 35:29; Lv. 8:36; 10:10; 26:46; Num. 4:5,37,45,49; 9:23; 10:13; 15:23; 16:40; 27:23; 33:2; 36:13; Dt. 4:13; 5:22; 9:10; 10:2,4; 17:18,19; 27:3,8; 28:58,61; 29:20,21,27; 30:10; 31:9,11,19,22,26; Josh. 1:8; 8:31,32,34,35; 10:13; 14:2; 20:2; 21:2; 22:9; 23:6; 24:26; Jdg. 3:4; 1Sam. 10:25; 2Sam. 1:8; 1Ki. 2:3; 8:53,56; 12:22; 2Ki. 1:8; 14:6; 17:37; 22:8,10,13,16; 23:2,21; 1Ch. 16:40; 17:3,9; 2Ch. 23:18; 25:4; 31:3; 33:8; 34:14,15,18,21,24; 34:30; 35:6,12; Ezra 3:2,4; 6:18; Neh. 6:6; 8:1,3,8,15,18; 9:3,14; 10:34,36; 13:1; Psa. 40:7; Is. 8:20; 30:8; 34:16; 65:6; Jer. 17:1; 25:13; 30:2; 36:2,6,10,18,27,28; 51:60; Dan. 9:11,13; Hab. 2:2;
Mat. 1:22; 2:5,15; 3:3; 4:4,6,7,10,14; 8:4,17; 11:10; 12:3,5,17; 13:35; 19:47,8; 21:4,13,16,42; 22:24,29,31; 24:15; 26:24,31,54,56; 27:9,34; Mark 1:2,44; 7:3,10; 9:12,13; 10:4,5; 11:17; 12:10,19,24,26 13:14; 14:21,47,49; Lk. 2:3,22,23; 3:4; 4:4,6-8,10,16,17,20; 5:14; 7:27; 10:26; 16:29,31; 18:31; 19:46; 20:17,28,37,42; 22:37, 24:22.27,32,44,45,46; Jn. 1:17,45; 2:17; 3:14; 5:39,45-47; 6:31,32,45; 7:19,22,23,42,52; 8:5,17; 10:34; 12:14,16; 15:25; 20:31; 21:24; Acts 1:20; 2:16-21,25-28,34,35; 3:22; 7:42; 8:28,30,32; 7:42; 3:33; 13:29,33,39; 15:5,15,21; 17:2,11; 18:24,28; 21:24; 23:5; 24:14; 26:22; Rom 1:2,17; 2:24; 3:4,10; 4:3,17,23; 8:36; 9:3,13,15,17,,33; 10:5,11,15,19; 11:2,8,26; 12:19; 14:11; 15:3,4,9,21; 16:16,26,27; 1Cor. 1:19,31; 2:9; 3:19; 4:6; 9:9,10; 10:7,11; 14:21; 15:3,4,45,54; 2Cor. 1:13; 2:3,4; 3:7,15; 4:13; 7:12; 8:15; 9:9; Gal. 3:10,13; 4:22,27; Eph. 3:3,4; Col. 4:16; 1Thes. 5:27; 2Tim. 3:15; Heb. 7:28; 8:5; 10:7,28; 13:22; 1Pet. 1:16; 5:12; 2Pet. 3:15,16; 1Jn. 2:21; 5:13; Rev. 1:3,11; 22:6,7;10,18,19 (Note: while the Bible reveals that there is revelation which is not written down, (2Cor. 12:4; Rv. 10:4) yet interestingly, i know of no place where the phrase “the word of God” or “the word of the Lord” refers to unwritten revelation that was not subsequently written down.) Mouse hover over verses to see.
Thus what Scripture does establish is its own supremacy, and in fact if Rome's claims were dependance upon it, rather than her own authority, then she would be acknowledging its supreme authority. While Rome may seek to wrest texts to make them support her assertion that Scripture gives perpetual affirmation that whatever her church magisterium shall ever teach in agreement on faith and morals to the whole church will be infallible, these are so forced that they basically need prior assent to her claim. .^
How you think this is foolish is unclear. The separation occurs at the end, and the chaff are burned up, not purified. The context of 1Cor. 3:15 is clearly is how one is building the church, (1Cor. 3:10) thus “let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.” And the fire is not that of personal purification but the loss of rewards. “If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.” If not, “he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” The “by” is not due to him being purified of negative character traits and making expiation for sin, but as one who loses his belongings but is saved himself. And rather than some saints escaping this, which would be the case if it were purgatory, all are subject to the fire, and which occurs not after death, but after the Lord second coming. Reading purgatory into this defiles the passage. .^
You have contended that this verse pertains to purgatorial suffering for attachment to sin, with this fire being that of purgatory, though it takes place when Christ returns, and all must go through it, and it is the loss of workmanship that is the suffering, but I am not surprised that some of these pious men would see it as a purgatory, but “all understand” infers all the church fathers expressed this refer to purgatory, and as if it there was a standard view. While it is a typical Roman Catholic polemic to infer such, are you interpreting Scripture contrary to the “unanimous consent of the fathers?” For what it is worth, here is a compilation of what many of the so-called church fathers said about purgatory. No less a Roman Catholic theologian (and strong papist) than Bellarmine stated on 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 On Purgatory (Book 1, Chapter 4, volume 2 - of his works, I believe), “For there are six opinions” and list the difficulties.
As for Aquinas, he supported a purgatory, but not all of Rome's traditions, and also said as concerns the [punishment situation in the] former, “Nothing is clearly stated in Scripture about the situation of Purgatory, nor is it possible to offer convincing arguments on this question.” Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Appendix II (Purgatory), Article 2
But in seeking to define it, he states,
Therefore it follows that the pain of Purgatory, both of loss and of sense, surpasses all the pains of this life.“ (Aquinas T. The Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas, Appendix I, Article 1.). Cntd below. .^

Let me first post the verse in context, (emph. mine)”

"Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. 8 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building. 9 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 10 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 11 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 12 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. 13 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 14 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. 15 " (1 Corinthians 3:8-15)

Rather than these works being personal faults which one must be purified from, and sins expiated (atoned, compensated for) through potentially thousands of years of “fire and torments or purifying' punishments,” (INDULGENTIARUM DOCTRINA; cp. 1. 1967) so they can enter heaven, instead the scene is already are in heaven, the time of this judgment being the time of the Lord's return, (1Cor. 4:5; 2Tim. 4:1,8; Rev. 11:18; 22:12) when believers will forever be with the Lord, (1Thes,. 4:17) that being the “day of Christ,” (2Thess. 2:2; 1Cor. 1:8; Phil. 1:6,10; 2:16) and which “day shall declare” the manner of works, (1Cor. 3:13) and the works are what one builds the church with, whether in planting or, watering, this material being souls, who are “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone,” “builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit,” (Eph. 2:20; cf. 1Cor. 3:11) as living stones are “built up a spiritual house,” (1Pt. 2:5) with true believers being God's “jewels,” (Mal. 3:17) with Paul himself calling the Corinthians themselves “my work in the Lord.” (1Cor. 9:1)
In contrast the tares among the wheat are the “wood, hay and stubble, which shall be burned up. (Mt. 13:30; cf. 1Cor. 3:17) While those who suffer loss due to false converts being burned up will themselves be saved so as by a man who lost his possessions in a fire, one must have some fruit to be considered a believer. (Mt. 25:30; cf. 8:12; 22:13) And Paul labored in the Lord, so that whether present of absent when He returned, he would find “Well done” for being faithful over a few things. (2Cor. 5:9; Mt. 25:21,23)
Christ is a person who returns, the building material here are persons, and what is tried by fire here is not man himself, but his works in building the church, true believers being Paul's etc. “joy and crown,” (Phil. 4:1) while the suffering, in context, is loss of rewards. (1Cor. 3:15) This is what is most clearly revealed, and to read purgatory into it is ecclesiastical eisegesis. .^
Nothing that defileth shall enter the heavenly holy city, and thus the need to be washed, sanctified and justified, which occurs when one is born again and converted. (1Cor. 3:11; Acts 15:8,9) with believers being “accepted in the Beloved” (Eph. 1:6) and positionally in Heaven. (Phil. 3:21) Peter and apostles were not faultless but they were clean, unlike Judas. (Jn. 13:10,11; 15:23)
While the faith that saves must be a kind that effects practical holiness, (Heb. 12:14) and overall overcomes, (1Jn. 5:4,5) yet this is done in this life, (Rv. 2.7,11,17,26; 3:5,12,21) as it is here that we face the trials and temptations by which believers are made overcomers. Thus even Christ came down from heaven, to be “in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin,” (Heb. 4:15) and be perfect. (Heb. 2:10)
But while one should strive toward complete Christ-like perfection, this is not what gains him access to Heaven, else Paul and company, who had not arrived, (Acts 15:39) could not expect to be with the Lord upon death, (2Cor. 5:8) nor the penitent criminal who went to Paradise the day he died. (Lk. 24:43; cf. 2Cor. 12:4) Although Catholics assert that the latter was making expiation for his past sins by his suffering on the cross, though this was what Christ did, yet this suffering would not have given him a perfect heart, which takes various sufferings (plural) in various trials on earth, which is how Christ became “perfect,” (Heb. 2:10) in being victorious, though he came down from heaven. No other place but earth is shown to be the place where men are tried and grow in grace toward spiritual perfection. .^
Rather, misunderstanding of Scripture is what these attempts to defend purgatory depend on, and now the Rapture is an unScriptural Protestant invention? Or are you simply saying verses such as 1Thes. 4:14-17; 1Cor. 15:21ff speak of the (one) resurrection, verses the pretrib rapture (which i am not inclined to agree with)?
If so, then you must uphold the rapture, the harpazō, this meaning seizing, catching (away), as seen in Acts 8:39; 2Cor. 12:2,4; 1Thes. 4:17; Rev. 12:5. And which is contrary to believers dying and then spending potentially thousands of years in postmortem purgation and making expiation for sins, as all those who are raptured at the end will meet the Lord in the air, and will then be forever with the Lord. (1Thes. 4:17) And Paul said to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, (2Cor. 5:8) where they is “fullness of joy” and “pleasures forever more.” (Ps. 16:11) And when the Lord returns he will be accompanied with all those who “sleep” in Christ, which catching away was always considered imminent
And it is at that time that the judgment of 1Cor. 3 takes place, and which again, is not for character faults but what manner of converts one built the church with, tares or wheat, in his sowing and watering and converting. This certainly reflects what kind of heart the believer had, but God judges faith according to works. (1Cor. 3:13; Rv. 2:23; 20:12) though it is faith-confidence in Christ, and not our works, out of a poor and contrite heart, that is counted for righteousness, (Rm. 4:4-8) and is justified by its fruit.
As for inventing the Rapture, which i take you mean the premillennial, pretrib “catching away,” rather than this being a Protestant invention, some Orthodox ( and Protestants ( see the Futuristic system of interpretation and its accompanying premillennial rapture as being a Roman Catholic invention, though other Protestants deny that, yet Futurism itself did have early support. ( (
Catholic Answers, which has the NIHIL OBSTAT and IMPRIMATUR, for what it is worth), states “Catholics certainly believe that the event of our gathering together to be with Christ will take place, though they do not generally use the word "rapture" to refer to this event (somewhat ironically, since the term "rapture" is derived from the text of the Latin Vulgate of 1 Thess. 4:17—"we will be caught up," [Latin: rapiemur]). Though the resurrection is meant, yet the Roman Catholic view on this issue is not dogmatically defined, among many other things, though the Catechism (668-672) affirms the Lord's coming and rejects millennialism.
Yet while Rome makes dogma out of something that has no real support in Scripture, but at best can only be proposed by inference, it is not dogmatic and of necessity is extremely superficial in a basic eschatological aspects which is critical to its attempt to find support and conflation for its doctrine of purgatory in Scripture, as the the judgment in key texts which she sees as inferring purgatory take place at the Lord's return, the “day of Christ,” His second coming, or can refer to the literal millennial reign of Christ. .^
Search the Scriptures. These clearly speak of another period, that of Christ's millennial reign, in which the temple will be rebuilt (Ezek. 37ff) which is not the same as the “blueprint” given for Moses, and it is when Christ shall “rule the nations with a rod of iron,” (Rv. 2:26,27; 19:15) and those who have part in the first resurrection (the resurrection of life:” Jn. 5:29a) shall reign with him a thousand years. (Rv. 2:27; 19:15; 20:6) During which time those who “will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.” (Zech. 14:17) Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (likely hardening one's heart to conviction so that one attributes demonic power to Christ) cannot be forgiven then or now.
This period is one in which the devil is bound, which is certainly not now, and is followed by his loosing and gathering the vast rebellious souls (the rod of iron was needed for such) against the Lord and His anointed, whom the Lord burns up. And is followed by the resurrection of damnation, and its sentencing of the lost. (Rv. 20:7-15; Jn. 5:29b) .^
This is quite simple, which the Lord Himself answers, among other complimentary texts. In Lk. 16:19-31 we have the story of a certain rich man and Lazarus and Abraham. While annihilationists attempt to explain this away as a parable, in no parable are real names used, and the Lord always uses real physical realities which correspond to those in the spiritual realm, but as according to annihilationists there is no such thing as souls being conscious and in torment immediately after death, then the Lord for the first and only time is using science fiction.
In this account of the afterlife, Lazarus is resting in Abraham's Bosom, sometimes called Paradise, a Jewish belief that Jewish martyrs would be received by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. (4 Maccabees 13:17) And which place the Lord affirmed as true, and which Hippolytus and Tertullian held was a real place for the righteous, without suffering but distinct from Heaven, which they awaited the day for.
Yet while they see it as a place for both O.T and N.T. believers, the Lord stated that there was a great impassable gulf fixed between it and Hades, with communication taking place between the two, which sets it in contrast to Heaven. Moreover, as it is “not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins,” (Heb. 10:4) and “the way into the holiest of all [the inner heavenly tabernacle] was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing,” (Heb. 9:8) and so O.T. saints would not be able to enter glory. (Enoch and Elijah were caught up to God, but their residence as dwelling perpetually in God's holy of holies is not clear, and even the devil had some access to God. And while it may be said that one cannot ascribe a spatial home to God, the Lord did and the Scripture do, as well as affirming His transcendence.)
But additional Scriptures state that after Jesus death, in which He would spend 3 days and nights in the heart of the earth, (Mt. 12:40) He “descended first into the lower parts of the earth” (Eph. 4:9) and preached unto the spirits in prison who had disobeyed Noah, (1Pt. 3:19,20) — as in so doing they rejected Him — and as He “ascended up on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.” (Eph. 4:8)
Moreover, upon Christ's death, the atoning work being finished, (Jn. 19:30) the heavy curtain “of the temple, the second veil into the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all” (Heb. 9:3); was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.” (Mt. 27:51-43) In addition, we now see that paradise is the third heaven. (2Cor. 12:4) The thief went with Christ to Abraham's Bosom, and then to heaven.
Thus it can be understood that Christ, being the perfect scapegoat, and having made the perfect atonement, the way into the holiest of all in heaven was opened, and having descended first into the lower parts of the earth, He led those who were captive in Abraham's Bosom, or paradise, to the holiest of all to personally commune with God upon His resurrection — although some first testified to His resurrection by appearing to some on earth — and gave gifts unto men, pouring out the Holy Spirit to believers of all flesh, (Jn. 7:39; Acts 2:17) and giving spiritual gifts to the church. (1Cor. 12:7)
Thus while you postulate that the Lazarus of Jn. 11 was in purgatory, i see many texts testifying to the above scenario, which although is not dogma, has a depth of complementary systematic support you can only wish purgatory had as a dogma. .^
Again you interpret Scripture contrary to the required “unanimous consent of the fathers,” while taking a place of rest and comfort (Lk. 16:25) and turning it into place of “fire and torments or purifying punishments,” in order to convert it to Romanism. And the penitent thief was with Christ after death, in His kingdom, (cf. Col. 1:13) paradise now being the third heaven. (2Cor. 12:4) .^
Meaning that Rome is, and can autocratically define what it needs to, while allowing souls like you to great liberty to variously interpret the Bible to support her. But the Scriptures manifestly are the only supreme authority, and upon it the magisterium depends, but to reiterate, “sole” rule and authority under God does not exclude the church or anyone or anything else as having authority, but that all is subject to the only transcendent material authority on faith and morals on earth that is wholly inspired of God. (2Tim. 3:16) And the man Paul told Timothy to heed was one whose teachings were Scripturally established, (Acts 17:2,11; 18:23) and likewise must those do who today “preach the word” which the whole church does to some level. (Act 8:4)
This does not preclude oral words from being the word of God, which much of Scripture first was, and some it is not written (yet we know this for sure from Scripture, (1Ths. 2:13; Jn. 21:25; 2Cor. 12:4; Rev. 10:4) but by its amorphous nature oral tradition is highly subject to undetectable distortion, and is hardly uniform, and thus requires a transcendent objective authority that has been established as being wholly inspired of God, and can be examined for uniformity. Scripture separates the wheat from chaff.
Even if some oral tradition and Rome's authority itself was of God then it is not equal to or superior to Scripture, as it depends upon it and its manner of attestation for its establishment. And the instruments of divine revelation or its stewards cannot be superior to it. But instead, Rome effectively presumes supreme authority over Scripture, as did the Pharisees whom the Lord reproved by Scripture for making the unScriptural tradition of the elders equal to it, yet using Rome's autocratic presumption to define what is truth, such could be justified as being Scriptural.
And as expressed, Scripture itself was not established due to a perpetual, assuredly infallible formal office of men under God, but by its evident enduring qualities and the manifest power of God affirming it, which continues to be the case. .^
Another bold assertion in lieu of a real argument, but the ignorance here is of Scripture and what you manifest as regards your knowledge of evangelical apologetics. We are not ignorant of Rome's devices, including attempted proof texts to support what really came from one strand of Tradition, and the reason we earnest contend for things we agree with you on is because we find them Scripturally warranted, and thus we likewise contend against cults and those who teach traditions of men due to effectively holding something or someone as supreme over Scripture, as if they were infallible, versus requiring all to be established Scripturally. .^
From the infallible magisterium or another Roman Catholic apologist whom you depend on so much? The catechism (1030-32) only misappropriates five, 1 Cor 3:15; 1 Pet 1:7; Mt 12:31; 2 Macc 12:46; Job 1:5, and rather than these or the rest dealt with here establishing it, to varying degrees this is an exercise in how to take ambiguous texts, or those which can be show to not apply to purgatory, and contort them or list them to make it look like they support a tradition of men which is at best can only be a proposal.
Mt 5:26: This verse is only the part about being reconciled to thy brother, and the whole lesson is Mt. 5:23-26, where the Lord teaches the need for immediate and effectual repentance upon being made conscious a sin, (Mt. 5:23) least we be handed over to judgment, which is not the same as suffering for confessed sins we have repented and found forgiveness for.
As for what the prison and suffering denotes, given that continued impenitence after being convicted of sin is a denial of faith, (Rm. 2:4,5; 1Cor. 5:1,5; 1Tim. 5:8) and the context, in which the Lord just warned about the danger of Hell-Fire for being angry with a brother without a real cause, (Mt. 5:22) and proceeds to advise cutting off an offending appendage rather than the whole body be case into Hell, (Mt. 5:27-30) the Lord could be warning about the same place, being bound (Mt. 22:13) with no escape till the whole sin debt is paid, as if it could, but which is forever. This should not be a problem for Catholics, as they reject that “till” (heōs) denotes a terminus and a change in Mt. 1:25, though it almost always does.
Then again, universal salvationists (vainly) also invoke the time limit here in support of their position that all will obtain salvation someday, while some Protestants see this and like texts as referring to a captivity and chastisement during the millennium for carnal believers.
There is also the prison of one's bitter hard heart, being in the “bond of iniquity.” (Acts 8:23; Heb 12:15) even delivered by the church (the magistrate) to the devil till repentance is effected, (1Cor. 5:1-5) or of otherwise suffering the spiritual and temporal consequences of impenitence, which Israel suffered in its captivities due to the same.
In any case, 1Cor. 3:15 does not support Roman Catholic purgatory, and to make this support 1Cor. 3:15, in which one's works that he built the church with are consumed, and which judgment takes place at the time of the Lord's return, the Catholic must insist that this really means that when he dies he may go to a place where he could spend eon's of time suffering, not to pay off his brother, but for his sin of not doing so.
Mt.18:34: This also teaches the need for immediate and effectual repentance upon being made conscious a sin, least we be handed over to judgment. This lesson is from Mt. 18:33-35, and deals with willfully holding a grudge, and thus being delivered to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. This relates to being in the “bond of iniquity,” such as a resentful heart, (Acts 8:23; Heb 12:15) which is a cause of loss of joy and of torment to differing degrees, until one effectually repents (Act 26:22) which includes making restitution if possible. But which is done in this life, whereas to knowingly continue in willful sin does not have a promise of any future with Christ but of “a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries,” (Heb. 10:27) versus works.
Besides being effected by the sins as well as virtues of others, including those of sins done in ignorance, that there are consequences for sins a believer is culpable for (and there is a difference between sins of ignorance and weakness versus willful rebellion) is clear in Scripture, but again, the chastisement needed in order to make one more holy in character (Heb. 12) is done in this life, where alternatives to submitting to God can be made, which even suffering Job could make, (Job. 2:9) and one either dies in saving faith or one does not. But gaining or suffering loss of rewards at the judgment seat of Christ is not for the purpose of refinement of character, while willfully continuing in sin resurrection response Roman Catholicism
Luke 12:58-59: Both responses to the preceding apply here.
Mt 5:48: This calls for perfection, which is completeness, maturity, but it can hardly be thought that heaven is reserved those who are perfect “even as their Father is” which is not what the Lord says is necessary for enter heaven, which believers are positionally in after being washed, sanctified and justified.
But contextually what the Lord means by perfection here is that of “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you,” as God makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good. (Mt. 5:44,45) And this denotes saving faith, which one either has or he does not when he departs this life. And as the penitent thief went to be with his Lord and savior upon death, and all who will be caught up at the end when the Lord returns — which again, was always considered imminent, so that these believers expected to be with the Lord — so the same holds true today for those who died in the Lord.
Mt. 12:32: Applies to a 3rd place, and answered above.
Luke 12:47-48: This teaching is about the judgment upon stewards of the flock and the necessity of being ready for the Lord's coming, (Lk. 12:35ff) which is when this judgment takes place, not upon death, and in which those who are careless and abusive, seeking to serve two masters, especially the flesh, are cut asunder, and appointed their portion with the unbelievers. (Lk. 12:45,46) The section invoked in support of purgatory as regard making expiation for sin comes next, and the question here is whether either of these two unprepared servants are saved at all. There are two classes evident in Lk. 12:42-46, one being a true believer and the other and the other a false one, and two in Lk. 12:47, one who knew what he was required of him by the Lord and did it not, and one who was ignorant of the Lord but also did things worthy of punishment. The first of the latter two does not fit the description of the blessed believers which the Lord had prior spoken of in Lk. 12:37, “whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching” and who will eat with the Lord, who actually serves those who served Him, and continued with Him, (Lk. 22:28) land are called to His supper, (Rv. 19:9) but are unprepared, like those who had no oil in their lamps and were shut out, (Mt. 25:1-13) and in which we see the same essential message. (Lk. 12:40; Mt. 25:13)
As for the last type of servant, being one that is ignorant of the Lord's will speaks of one who knows not the Lord, and while they are not culpable for not doing what they did not know, they are culpable for the reason they did not know, which is not obeying the light they had. (Eph. 4:18; Rm. 2:7-16) Those who do know and do not and do contrary to Christ are the more accountable, and as “the judgment of God is according to truth,” with the amount of light and grace given being taken into account, and thus there are different degrees of punishment, not only in this life but eternally in the Lake of fire. (Mt. 11:2-24; 23:14) And which is why souls are judged according to their works, (Rv. 2-:12-14) and not simply due to their not having believed on Christ, though that is the ultimate sin, and which sends to Hell in the first place, and testifies that they loved darkness over light. (Jn. 3:19-21)
Note again that this occurs at the Lord's coming, (Lk. 12:40,46; Mt. 25:18,31; not upon the death of the servants. Thus rather than this teaching that some souls who are not fit for heaven upon death will then go to a place of suffering for possibly eons of time in order to be made ready for heaven, those who are saved are those are overall faithful, if not utterly faultless, and are present with the Lord at death, and will come with Him in His return, and then the judgment of their works takes place, with the suffering of some loss and gaining of rewards. (1Cor. 4:5; 2Tim. 4:1,8; Mt. 25:31; Rev. 11:18; 22:12; 1Jn. 2:28)
Luke 16:19-31: This is also dealt with above.
1 Cor 15:29-30: Even if baptism for the dead is actually being affirmed such an enigmatic text (which is a Mormon favorite) it hardly offers support for purgatory.
Phil 2:10: Yes, every knee should and will bow to the Lord Jesus, but not all will do so out of love (Rv. 5:13: “under the earth' should include demons), and this does not give any manifest support for purgatory.
2 Tim. 1:16-18: Paul here prays one who showed mercy to him will find mercy with the Lord, but in context he is referring to the judgment that occurs at the Lord's return, not in a prolonged purgatorial existence.
Heb. 12:14: This is consistent with the historical preaching of sola fide, which preaches that the faith that saves is one the effects obedience with its holiness, and perseveres. And that those who do not will not see life but the wrath of God. 1 John speaks of the overall character of true Christians but only God knows which side of the line each one falls, but rather than a postmortem second purification, that work is done in this life, and at the end one goes to be with the Lord and then the “resurrection of life” and judgment of works for rewards, or to Hell to await the “resurrection of damnation.” (Jn. 5:28,29; Rv. 11:18; 20:12; 1Ths. 2:19; )
Heb. 12:23: “The spirits of just men made perfect” is what is latched onto her in support of purgatory, but besides the words for either “men” or “made” not being in the Greek, the spirits of righteous men made perfect or complete corresponds to what we see in the previous chapter, in which the Old Testament saints, whose faith showed they desired “a better country, that is, an heavenly,..for God hath prepared for them a city, (Heb. 11:13-16) had not yet realized the promise but had to await the fulfillment of the promise, not their moral perfection, but the Lord by His sinless shed blood of opening the way into the holiest, to bring them and all who are “blessed with faithful Abraham” by faith in Christ (Gal. 3:9) into the heavenly holy place, to perfect them together, “that they without us should not be made perfect,” (Heb. 11:40) “For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified,” (Heb. 10:14) through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once.” (Heb. 10:10)
The closest you can get to a purgatory is Abraham's Bosom, but which the Lord showed was not a place of fiery torments and of making expiation, but of comfort. And they are all in heaven now.
1 Peter 3:19; 4:6: The first is dealt with above, while even if preaching the gospel to the dead (1 Peter 4:6) meant Abraham's Bosom then that is not support purgatory, while often “dead” refers to those who are spiritually so, who are judged by the preaching of the word of God in the flesh, which convicts, (Heb. 4:12) so that believing they will escape judgment unto damnation (v. 5) and “live according to God in the spirit.”
Rev. 21:4: This verse simply (but graciously) promises no more negatives, contrary to the lake of fire, as the Lord makes all things new, and corresponds perfectly to the suffering or 1Cor. 3:15 and eschatology i have described, and provides no evidence of purgatory.
Rev. 21:27: Likewise. See Heb. 12:14, etc. And it is on earth that man is tested to work abomination, while the distinction here is not between two classes of saints in the Lamb's book of life, but between the damned and the saved.
Luke 23:43; Dealt with above.
Gen. 50:10; Num. 20:29; Deut. 34:8: These are all about making lamentation right after the deceased had died, and i suppose this to support purgatory by inferring that the lamentation was due to their being in purgatory, or by imagining they were seeking some sort of indulgence for the benefit of the decreased, but they were not, and “devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him,” (Acts 8:2) and being a martyr who called upon the Lord Jesus to receive his spirit, (Acts 7:59) it should be expected that he went to be with his Lord.
Baruch 3:4: This apocryphal book, one of many rejected and obscure for good reasons (and see here as regards the canonization of them), has a prayer asking God to hear the prayers of the dead Israelites, which could be invoked for praying to the departed, though that has zero support in Scripture, but it does not manifest support for purgatory.
Zech. 9:11: One might as well invoke Ps. 40:2 as well if they are going to resort of allegorical language, but as said before, the description of the abode of Old Testament saints is not that of torment, but rest, and if there was no water where Lazarus was than why was the rich man pleading for him to dip his finger in some and cool his tongue (which he ate lavishly with on earth)?
But the immediate allusion here is seen as to “the misery of the Jewish exiles in Egypt, Greece, etc., under the successors of Alexander, especially under Antiochus Epiphanes, who robbed and profaned the temple, slew thousands, and enslaved more. God delivered them by the Maccabees.” (Jamieson, Fausset and Brown).
Delivering them out of a pit without water is a figure denoting their liberation out of the bondage of exile. This is represented with an evident allusion to the history of Joseph in Gen_37:22, as lying in a pit wherein there is no water, such as were used as prisons (cf. Jer_38:6). Out of such a pit the captive could not escape, and would inevitably perish if he were not drawn out.
2 Macc. 12:43-45: Though this has been often invoked as providing clear proof of purgatory by Roman Catholic apologists, support is again looked for in vain from this source, not only because it is an apocryphal book, but it problematically “proves” more than they want.
The focus is on vs. 44,45, in which it expresses that prayer for the dead evidences faith in the resurrection, and great favor being expected for them, and affirms making a sin offering for such. However, in the whole of the story we see that these men died because they were idolaters”
Now under the coats of every one that was slain they found things consecrated to the idols of the Jamnites, which is forbidden the Jews by the law. Then every man saw that this was the cause wherefore they were slain. (2Mac. 12;40)
...Besides, that noble Judas exhorted the people to keep themselves from sin, forsomuch as they saw before their eyes the things that came to pass for the sins of those that were slain. (2Mac. 12;40, emph. mine)
Yet that is a mortal sin according to Roman Catholicism, for which there is no purgatory or deliverance, nor was it confessed sin. Thus this sanctions prayer for the lost. One can propose that their motive was to die for a cause of God, versus simply survival or patriotism, but that God does not make them believers. Incredibly, but of necessity, Catholic Answers seeks to make these men virtuous by minimizing the import of this idolatrous amulet which is said to have caused their death, by equating it to a good-luck charm.
The verse commentary for 2 Maccabees 12: 42-46 from the New Catholic Answer Bible, as well as my NAB, states that:
12, 42-46: This is the earliest statement of the doctrine that prayers (v 42) and sacrifices (v 43) for the dead are beneficial. The statement is made here, however, only for the purpose of proving that Judas believed in the resurrection of the just (2 Mc 7,9. 14. 23. 36)....His belief was similar to, but not quite the same, as the Catholic doctrine of purgatory.
Zachary J. Hayes, retired teacher of theology at the Catholic Theological Union states, "Since the text seems to be more concerned with helping the fallen soldiers to participate in the resurrection of the dead, it is not a direct statement of the later doctrine of purgatory" (Zachary J. Hayes, Four Views On Hell (Grand Rapids, Zondervan, 1996) p. 105).
For an outside historical view, Jacques Le Goff', a famous (agnostic) French historian specializing in the Middle Ages , states that "at the time of Judas Maccabeus- around 170 B.C., a surprisingly innovative period- prayer for the dead was not practiced, but that a century later it was practiced by certain Jews (The Birth of Purgatory [Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981, p. 45).
Heb. 12:29: Yes, God is a consuming fire, which in context here is not that of a purifying purgatory but of consuming those who draw back into perdition. The other postmortem fire is that of consuming tars, not the hearts of believers. As in many other places, anything more is reading into the verses what simply is not there.
1 Cor. 3:10-15: Simply does not apply. Se above.
1 Cor. 3:17: This promises destruction, not purification.
1 Peter 1:6-7: Here again, the refinement is on earth, “now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations,” where we are to pass the time of our sojourning in fear, (1Pt. 1:17), not after death, which it to be with Christ, and is thus far better, so that their faith might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.”
Jude 1:23: This again is dealing with this life, and that of saving lost souls, with compassionate love or the appeal to fear,with defiled clothing being like defiled things contrary to Jewish ritual cleansing, all of which means saving sinners from their future damnation even though they are repulsive to a holy man. And the opposite of falling (which is what the book warns of) is to be presented faultless as one sanctified by faith, while the warning against impenitence and dying defiled in such texts is not that of purgatory but eternal damnation.
Rev. 3:18-19: A verse calling for repentance unto true faith, in this life, in which souls are tempted by, and are overcome, the world, the flesh and the devil, (1Jn. 2:16 with no promise of a postmortem opportunity.
Dan 12:10: As with other promises of refinement, this is in this life) and there is nothing that warrants a postmortem purification, which is only read into the verse.
Wis. 3:5-6: Like the above, this passage from an apocryphal book reveals no more than the normal promise of refinement.
Sirach 2:5: Ditto.
Zech. 13:8-9: A prophetic chapter that is open to some interpretation, and likely referring to two-thirds of the Jewish nation perishing, and a third surviving, (Zec_14:2-9), which has never yet been fulfilled, but thus a remnant shall be saved, what is left of Israel, when it turned to the Lord when the fullness of the Gentiles is entered in, and God removes the judicial blindness that is overall on the natural branches. See Israel: chosen or forgotten? here.
Mal. 3:2-3: One more refinement promise, and here it refers to the Lord's return, when the whom they seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, and His refinement of the sins of Levi , and Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years. (Mal. 3:1-5) If this refers to the church, then it stills is not purgatory, as this occurs at His return, not upon their death.
Additionally, the catechism invokes Job. 1:5 in support of making offerings for sin, and while we can sacrificially intercede for others that God may have mercy on them (2Cor. 12:15; 2Tim. 3:10) — though it is Christ alone who made the sacrifice by which believers have redemption through His blood — yet Job's offerings were for the living, as were any such in Scripture, while the offerings and affirmation of prayers for the departed in the apocryphal book of 2 Macc. 12:43-45 does not support purgatory itself.
I have also seen Rv. 5:13 called upon to support purgatory, based upon “under the earth,” but this would include demons, and thus it is invoked by heretical universal salvationists.
Conclusion on examination of proof texts.
And so we come to the end of the texts which are somewhat officially used to support purgatory, but rather than the Roman Catholic “fullness of truth” manifesting itself in Scripture, her attempts to establish a tradition of men as a command of God by invoking Scripture shows failure after failure. If she was simply proposing this then it would be of less consequence, but instead she seeks to find support in Scripture for a dogma that came out of one strand of tradition, and has a long history of development with various influences.
Rather than asserting texts support it, they should admit it is a speculative tradition, and not a dogma, and preach to put the fear of God in souls they are damned for their sins and destitute of any merit whereby they may escape their just eternal damnation in Hell fire, much less gain eternal life, and so cast all their faith reliance upon the mercy of God in Christ, trusting the risen Lord who died for them to save them by His sinless shed blood
The aforementioned Catholic scholar Zachary J. Hayes states,
"If Roman Catholic theologians find the evidence of Scripture ambiguous, what follows after that is unavoidably a matter of tradition and the development of church doctrine." "So for Roman Catholic theology, it is not surprising that we cannot find a clear textual 'proof' of the doctrine of purgatory in the Scriptures. But we are inclined to ask whether there are issues that lie at the heart of the biblical revelation that find a form of legitimate expression in this doctrine. One way or the other, the issue of purgatory is clearly an issue of development of doctrine" (p.109)." ( Four Views On Hell (Grand Rapids, Zondervan, 1996), pp.107,109). —
Meaning, that Roman Catholicism extrapolates its purgatory out of ambiguous texts but which is the result of the art of Development of Doctrine, due to lack of “unanimous consent,including on purgatory, while the clearest texts on the postmortem place and condition of the redeemed shows them to be with the Lord, and that judgment of works occurs after the Lord's return.
For my part, i cannot say there cannot be some type of suffering in the afterlife for believers before entering the marriage supper of the Lamb, but i cannot establish more than what 1Cor. 3 reveals about the judgment seat of Christ, (2Cor. 5:10) which would entail the grief of seeing one's work that He could have done for Christ burned up, and (it reasonably seems) knowing it caused others to suffer, and above all the Lord's disapproval. And which would be an effect of character defect, and the Lord will wipe away every tear at the end, but as Scripture reveals it this is not a process of refinement of character and personal purification through suffering beginning after death, and for possibly eons of time. ^
That is what is considered to be true, and it is held that most of what Roman Catholics believe and practice comes from the Ordinary magisterium, in which it is held that some degree of dissent may be allowed, but this much restricts the doctrinal certainty which Catholics boast of, nor does an infallible authority, being the Scriptures or Rome (hypothetically), ensure infallible interpretation of them and even infallible decrees require some. As regards the “father's” V1 states,
Now since the decree on the interpretation of holy scripture, profitably made by the council of Trent, with the intention of constraining rash speculation, has been wrongly interpreted by some, we renew that decree and declare its meaning to be as follows: that
in matters of faith and morals,
belonging as they do to the establishing of christian doctrine,
that meaning of holy scripture must be held to be the true one,
which holy mother church held and holds,
since it is her right to judge of the true meaning and interpretation of holy scripture.
In consequence, it is not permissible for anyone to interpret holy scripture in a sense contrary to this, or indeed against the unanimous consent of the fathers.” (Decrees of the First Vatican Council: SESSION 3 : 24 April 1870 - Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Faith; Chapter 2 On revelation:
And from Trent,
"I also admit the Holy Scriptures, according to that sense which our holy mother the Church has held, and does hold, to whom it belongs to judge of the true sense and interpretation of the Scriptures; neither will I ever take and interpret them otherwise than according to the unanimous consent of the Fathers."(The Tridentine Creed:
You have undertaken to assert and contend that 1Cor. 3:15 refers to Roman Catholic purgatory, a passage that “presents considerable difficulty” according to the Catholic Encyclopedia, but which some ancients saw as a purgatorial fire, but where is your required “unanimous consent of the fathers?” Or is “unanimous” itself another matter allowing wide interpretation?
Joseph A. Fitzmyer, S.J.: When one hears today the call for a return to a patristic interpretation of Scripture, there is often latent in it a recollection of Church documents that spoke at times of the ‘unanimous consent of the Fathers’ as the guide for biblical interpretation. But just what this would entail is far from clear. For, as already mentioned, there were Church Fathers who did use a form of the historical-critical method, suited to their own day, and advocated a literal interpretation of Scripture, not the allegorical. But not all did so. Yet there was no uniform or monolithic patristic interpretation, either in the Greek Church of the East, Alexandrian or Antiochene, or in the Latin Church of the West. No one can ever tell us where such a “unanimous consent of the fathers” is to be found, and Pius XII finally thought it pertinent to call attention to the fact that there are but few texts whose sense has been defined by the authority of the Church, “nor are those more numerous about which the teaching of the Holy Fathers is unanimous.” — (fn. 24) Joseph A. Fitzmyer, Scripture, The Soul of Theology (New York: Paulist Press, 1994), p. 70.
Cardinal Congar: “ does sometimes happen that some Fathers understood a passage in a way which does not agree with later Church teaching. One example: the interpretation of Peter’s confession in Matthew 16.16-19. Except at Rome, this passage was not applied by the Fathers to the papal primacy; they worked out exegesis at the level of their own ecclesiasiological thought, more anthropological and spiritual than juridical. . . . Historical documentation is at the factual level; it must leave room for a judgement made not in the light of the documentary evidence alone, but of the Church's faith.”
Which requires what Cardinal Congar goes on to insist “It is the Church, not the Fathers, the consensus of the Church in submission to its Saviour which is the sufficient rule of our Christianity.” — Yves M.-J. Congar, Tradition and Traditions: An Historical and a Theological Essay (London: Burns & Oats, 1966), pp. 398-399.
And likewise what Cardinal Henry Edward Manning said above.
Thus Rome can autocratically conform all to support here, which is becoming increasingly difficult in this age of information access. .^

The point is that you have churches which disparage Scripture as being the supreme authority, due to divisions, and exalt tradition as equal to it or the same, and the church alone being the supreme and assuredly infallible arbiters of both (sola ecclesia), while they themselves are divided over tradition.

While the EOs are far from uniform, as stated by one source,

The Orthodox Church does not believe in purgatory (a place of purging), that is, the inter-mediate state after death in which the souls of the saved (those who have not received temporal punishment for their sins) are purified of all taint preparatory to entering into Heaven, where every soul is perfect and fit to see God. Also, the Orthodox Church does not believe in indulgences as remissions from purgatoral punishment. Both purgatory and indulgences are inter-corrolated theories, unwitnessed in the Bible or in the Ancient Church, and when they were enforced and applied they brought about evil practices at the expense of the prevailing Truths of the Church. If Almighty God in His merciful loving-kindness changes the dreadful situation of the sinner, it is unknown to the Church of Christ. The Church lived for fifteen hundred years without such a theory.” —

We cannot hold that we are assuredly infallible interpreters, but are to seek to persuade souls by “manifestation of the truth” presenting ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. (2Cor. 4:2) By such the Bereans were convinced, among others, (Acts 17:2,11) and even if they had not Scripture this Scripture-dependant method was used. (Jn. 5:36,39; Mk. 16:20)

As this allows division based upon interpretation it has less appeal than an assuredly infallible magisterium, the latter is not Scriptural and is self-proclaimed, while the former requires overcoming error by demonstration of Scriptural corroboration and its manner of attestation, by the Spirit who inspired it and His power, which is how men of God and words of God were progressively established, and the power of the gospel.

This has resulted in a basic widespread evangelical unity in core salvific essentials, and thus the essential “unity of the Spirit” (Eph. 4:1) among those who birthed by the Spirit, and which transcends formal bodies, while allowing varying degrees of liberty in other areas. But which basic union is also evidenced in a general evangelical front against those who deny these core truths (marked as cults), and division from institutionalized religion, in which a gospel which promotes confidence in one's own merit for salvation prevents regeneration and a relationship-based faith, with emphasis on ritual and confidence therein fosters often perfunctory professions.
Rome also has her core truths which requires assent of faith, and allows, both by valid sanction and effectual sanction, varying degrees of differences in other areas, although it seldom results in formal divisions. But what spiritually separates the evangelical type church from its institutionalized counterparts is that of the preaching of the gospel of grace which effects conviction “of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment,” (Jn. 16:9) and manifest transformative regeneration. And which we see less of as we become more conformed to this world, rather than passing the time of our sojourning here in the fear (and love of God as we ought, 1Pt. 1:17; Jude 1:21) having single eyes for Jesus. (Mt. 6:22) Applies to me too much as well, but the Lord has not forsaken them that seek Him, (Ps. 9:10) thanks be to God. .^

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