Friday, May 5, 2017

Purgatory - Another Unscriptural Lie

How this article ends up in my General newsfeed is beyond me, but it did. The National Catholic Register (NCR) published an article in defense of the Catholic belief in purgatory. Their irresponsible (and completely illogical) use of scripture to attempt the doctrine’s defense is mind boggling. So let's take it a step at a time.

The first scripture the writer cites is Psalm 51:6-10. They cite an unreferenced archaic translation. I checked my personal copy of the Confraternity-Douay, Saint Joseph Edition Catholic Bible (copyright 1963). Even it has more understandable English than the version the writer chose to cite. A modern English version (NWT) renders it:

6 Look! You find pleasure in truth in the inner person;
Teach my innermost self true wisdom.
7 Purify me from my sin with hyssop, so that I will be clean;
Wash me, so that I will be whiter than snow.
8 Let me hear sounds of joy and rejoicing,
So that the bones you crushed will rejoice.
9 Turn your face away from my sins,
And wipe away all my errors.
10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
And put within me a new spirit, a steadfast one.

As the reader can easily see, there is no mention of the purgatory the Catholics teach as a temporary place between heaven and hell. But then the writer acknowledged that. He claims the concept of “cleansing” is the point he is making. Okay, so we need cleansing. That is true. In the context of the scripture above, this is a cleansing we request from God while still here on earth. However, to claim that since the word purgation is the same as cleansing and that this supports a cleansing that is forced by God on us after we leave earth is foundless. To illustrate: If someone were to tell you to “go jump in the lake,” you would understand they were telling you to go away, not to literally find a lake and jump in it (unless, of course, you were all at a lake and having fun). For someone to later claim that “lake” and “go way” were synonymous, would be ludicrous. Yet that essentially is what the writer of the purgatory article is doing.

Pretty much, the same goes with the rest of the scriptures the writer played so loosely with. 1 John 3:2-3 speaks of person purifying themselves, not God purifying us.

Now let's move onto a fascinating claim: “Purgatory is the culmination of that process by which a human being who has died in the grace of God is made utterly and completely full of the life…” Interesting claim. Absolutely no direct, undeniable link in scripture. While scripture does encourage us to live moral lives (and, because we are imperfect, constantly adjust our course), while scripture does say that God disciplines those he loves, these are all actions taking place here on earth, during the life of the individual, NOT something after we die.

The FACT is, there is not even one scripture teaching even the concept of an after-life “purgatory.”

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