1 John 1:7


#1

1 John 1:7 from the JB reads: But if we live our lives in the light, as he is in the light, we are in union with one another,and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

Rev 1:5 Part of this verse reads—He loves us and has washed away our sins with his blood—

Hi all,
I am having a conversation with a JW about purgatory. I can’t seem to explain to her, using the Church Fathers(whom she has no faith in anyway) commentary that purgatory is not a punishment but a blessing from God to purify us from the remnants of sin when we die. Nothing impure goes to heaven.

She is telling me that the blood of Jesus purifies us when we die so there is no need for purification after death. She says that believing in purgatory is making Jesus a liar and his blood sacrifice null and void. I think it might be important to note that the JW’s don’t believe the spirit lives after death.

I don’t think she believes there is a spiritual meaning along with the literal meaning . If it doesn’t say it in the bible than it is not true.

So am I batting my head against a stone wall?:slight_smile: How can I politely show her the error of her ways? Do I bother to try?

Thanks


#2

How is this different from Purgatory? :wink:


#3

There is no point, in fact. Members of the Watchtower Society (thank God there’s only a handful of them in the whole world, though they seem to be everywhere) are taught that the Catholic Church is of the devil, and that Catholic doctrine is demonic. This means that no matter how solid your teaching, even if St. Augustine were to preach to one of the members of this cult, they would reject his teaching simply because it’s catholic and therefore it must be wrong.

The problem is that they cannot question the teaching authority of the Watchtower. This makes sense when we speak of the Magisterium, but not when we speak of a group of anonymous writers who claim that nobody has authority to teach and yet claim that they are the only way through which God reveals the truth - forgetting that they are nothing but the remnant of a XIX century Adventist group that broke into pieces at some point. If they get to see this, then there’s hope they’ll question the authority of their teachers and be open to true, orthodox Christian doctrine. But I doubt it, for they believe Christ is a creature and an angel, and this makes them not Christian, and anyone who willfully accepts to cease being a Christian is beyond the help of human hands and in the hands of God.

That’s how I see this, and I have experience with this cult. They actually cause great harm to a great deal of people, so it’s better to avoid them entirely.


#4

As a Catholic I am taught that purgatory is a place/state of being/state of mind–a place that I might need to spend some time at before I am purified of my consequences of sin. I doubt that there are many people who die completely in the state of grace and go straight to that place we call heaven.


#5
  1. We aren’t as contrite for our sins as we COULD be.
  2. We aren’t as contrite for our sins as we SHOULD be.
  3. In Heaven, we will experience PERFECT contrition for our sins in every way.
  4. The PROCESS after we die where we go from imperfect to perfect contrition is called purgatory in the West.

See what they say to that…I’m curious.


#6

I have encountered this as well not only with JW but other non-Catholics. Catholics believe that the death and resurrection of Jesus is a one time sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins and that Jesus is alive and will receive our prayers of repentance as we continually offer ourselves and them up to Him.

The difference lies in other religions is that Jesus died once and that was it, All the sins past before that death and future are brought to the cross at the very moment of Jesus death so no need to keep asking for repentence, it was done and by the grace of God through the acceptance of Jesus as Savior, persons are inclined to do better and have left their bad ways behind. They often quote Jesus saying "It is FInished’. Almost like Jesus doesn’t remain with us to do his work because he’s already done it, but will return one day again at the second coming (that is where rapture comes in). Its like they miss the part where Jesus remains with us, and we are part of the Kingdom of God on earth and continually transforms us and does his work. JW do not have a belief of the trinity.

From what I understand JW believes that the new earth and kingdom will everything that we experience now but perfected. We don’t go anywhere, we just experience a new earth and heaven here in our present bodies. And they believe that Jesus is an angel because it says this in scripture. They don’t believe that Jesus is God.

Hebrews 2:9 But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

We believe that Jesus while on earth was fully God and fully human, AND made a little lower the the angels, in other words a human without sin, so that God may taste death for everyone. If what they say is true if Jesus was an angel, God would never have became flesh And have experienced a human death And wouldn’t have taken our sins upon the cross because as we understand spiritual angels are never human.

JW also believe that there is only a limited number of people who will be saved and unfortunately can’t see eye to eye on anyone believing other then them are capable of being saved so fight very hard to get people to think their way and really are opposed to Catholic teaching of the scriptures so afraid convincing them that their beliefs may be wrong would be a very difficult task. Though they do believe that people should live a righteous life if they were to be accepted into the NARROW gate.


#7

. Hi Karen

We believe that Jesus while on earth was fully God and fully human, AND made a little lower the the angels, in other words a human without sin, so that God may taste death for everyone. If what they say is true if Jesus was an angel, God would never have became flesh And have experienced a human death And wouldn’t have taken our sins upon the cross because as we understand spiritual angels are never human.

I know quite a lot about what the JW’s believe and the business about Jesus being Michael the arch-angle but I never thought of your argument above. I’ll have to try that one.

They believe that 144,000 are going to heaven and the rest will be on earth. Albeit all JW’s.


#8

I’ll she her next Friday and let her read your post and I’ll let you know what she says. It will probably be that we don’t need #4 because of the verse that I started this thread with. We are purified by Jesus blood and when we die we don’t have to suffer the consequences of our sins.


#9

[quote="Phyllo, post:1, topic:316854"]
She is telling me that the blood of Jesus purifies us when we die so there is no need for purification after death.

[/quote]

what's her Scriptural citation for this (especially the 'after death' part)?


#10

Yes think about it. Angels are angels and they are ranked, and if we make it heaven we will be saints… ! Or become a Saint Lord Willing! :slight_smile:

St. Michael the archangel defends US (the church) in battle. I’m learning that prayer better, a little bit at a time…St. Michael was written about several times through the scriptures, Michael meaning ‘he is like God’, is probably where the confusion is and it does stem from 7th day Adventist beliefs about the end times and Jesus being St. Michael instead .

Your post made me think about two things though and maybe someone could answer. If St. Michael is an archangel, why is he called a saint. Catholic teaching clearly says he is a principal angel so I found this on it.

americancatholic.org/e-News/FriarJack/fj082102.asp

How can an angel also be a saint?

In the Litany of the Saints, we pray to “all the angels and the saints.” Angels and saints are two different groups. Angels have no bodies. Saints are humans who achieved a high level of perfection and are role models for other humans.

But the archangels Michael, Raphael and Gabriel are also saints. Angels and humans have this in common: They have a free will which they can use wisely (in a saintly way) or not wisely (as Lucifer and anyone in hell did).

Probably the best reason for calling the archangels “Saint” is to be found in Webster’s dictionary. The word saint comes from the Latin sanctus and French saint. Sanctus means “holy.” And calling or titling a person “Saint” is recognition of his or her holiness. Calling an angel “Saint” is also a recognition of holiness.

Holiness is the wise and generous use of one’s freedom in accord with God’s plan. Thus, the Catholic and Orthodox Churches have seen no problem with invoking angels and archangels as patrons of persons, places or institutions.

And I also thought about this.

And Narrow is the gate, the hard way, must mean like the Canonized Saints who make it straight in without going to purgatory, and the wide gate would be people like me who might have a bit of purification to be done first…:wink: What does it mean?

Thoughts?


#11

[quote="Phyllo, post:1, topic:316854"]
1 John 1:7 from the JB reads: But if we live our lives in the light, as he is in the light, we are in union with one another,and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

Rev 1:5 Part of this verse reads---He loves us and has washed away our sins with his blood---

Hi all,
I am having a conversation with a JW about purgatory. I can't seem to explain to her, using the Church Fathers(whom she has no faith in anyway) commentary that purgatory is not a punishment but a blessing from God to purify us from the remnants of sin when we die. Nothing impure goes to heaven.

She is telling me that the blood of Jesus purifies us when we die so there is no need for purification after death. She says that believing in purgatory is making Jesus a liar and his blood sacrifice null and void. I think it might be important to note that the JW's don't believe the spirit lives after death.

I don't think she believes there is a spiritual meaning along with the literal meaning . If it doesn't say it in the bible than it is not true.

So am I batting my head against a stone wall?:) How can I politely show her the error of her ways? Do I bother to try?

Thanks

[/quote]

I wish your friend all the best because she has to be perfect when she checks out of this life.

Christ's blood redeems a person but does not make him perfect. A person must be perfect to behold the beatific vision.


#12

[quote="Karen107, post:6, topic:316854"]
If what they say is true if Jesus was an angel, God would never have became flesh And have experienced a human death And wouldn't have taken our sins upon the cross because as we understand spiritual angels are never human.

[/quote]

[quote="Phyllo, post:7, topic:316854"]
I know quite a lot about what the JW's believe and the business about Jesus being Michael the arch-angle but I never thought of your argument above. I'll have to try that one.

[/quote]

Before you use that argument we need to consider Genesis 18 & 19 and the book of Tobit. It’s clear in both of these references angels had taken on human form...


#13

[quote="Phyllo, post:4, topic:316854"]
As a Catholic I am taught that purgatory is a place/state of being/state of mind--a place that I might need to spend some time at before I am purified of my consequences of sin. I doubt that there are many people who die completely in the state of grace and go straight to that place we call heaven.

[/quote]

The aspect of "time" isn't really part of the dogma. Even Pope Benedict, when he was Cardinal Ratzinger, warned against trying to assign temporal measure to the matter. History's use of "time" with regards to purgatory always referred to a severity of cleansing necessary. Ultimately, purgatory is purification, just as you said of those who need cleansing from temporal consequences of sin. This occurs upon death, and really doesn't conflict with " Jesus purifies us when we die." And even if purgation did take time, the theology of this JW is the same, which admits to the need for purification!


#14

Oh now I’m really confused. that is thought provoking. I do believe angels can look like humans but I don’t believe that Jesus was an angel from all we know about Jesus.

I just read something on Raphael in the book of Tobit. That the angel was in disguise in human form. Tobit 12: 15 Who am I? I am the angel Raphael, and my place is among those seven who stand in the presence of the Lord.

The opposite of that would be us in heaven who will be like angels. We know we won’t be an angel, we will be a saint. Mark 12:25

I still contend that if the scripture says that Jesus was made a little lower than the angels that would make God human. It certainly doesn’t make him an angel by ranking.

Hebrews 2:9

Interesting to think about…:slight_smile:


#15

Purgatory is indeed a punishment as well as a purification (cf. Denzinger 1304). The Catholic Encyclopedia article Purgatory has a section called “Temporal Punishment” which goes into the scriptures which refer or allude to the same. But if you get into “No, the Scriptures mean this” battles, unless she’s open it’s probably going to be a waste of time. You might have better luck with just living a good example, fielding any sincere questions she has, and of course praying for her.


#16

I just wanted to throw in a little caution because some JW’s use this in their defence :hmmm:

I usually present the following argument to JW’s:

If Jesus was not God but an angel then his sacrifice on the cross would be in vain. God is infinite, therefore he requites nothing less than an infinite atonement for our sins. A finite atonement will not be sufficient. If Jesus was an angel, a created being he would then be finite and so a finite atonement offered for an infinite offence will not be just.

Sorry for the side track, I just wanted to bring this up. I have NEVER received a satisfactory rebuttal to this argument


#17

I don’t think she had one of her “Proof Texts” for this. If she did, I don’t remember it. Sometimes she talks so much I can’t get in a word. They must be taught that at the Hall:)


#18

[quote="Augustine3, post:12, topic:316854"]
Before you use that argument we need to consider Genesis 18 & 19 and the book of Tobit. It’s clear in both of these references angels had taken on human form...

[/quote]

Good point. Thanks


#19

That is her MO. Always pointing me to one of her proof scriptures. As Catholics we don’t do that. I know in my heart/mind that she is off base but I can’t
point to scripture and she doesn’t want to hear any thing about Tradition.


#20

Actually the Church has proof texts for all her doctrines. Here is a website you may find handy:

socrates58.blogspot.com.au/2008/02/biblical-evidence-for-purgatory.html

This is one of my favourite bible references to purgatory:

That is why the kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who decided to settle accounts with his servants. When he began the accounting, a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount. Since he had no way of paying it back, his master ordered him to be sold, along with his wife, his children, and all his property, in payment of the debt. At that, the servant fell down, did him homage, and said, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.’ Moved with compassion the master of that servant let him go and forgave him the loan. When that servant had left, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a much smaller amount. He seized him and started to choke him, demanding, ‘Pay back what you owe.’ Falling to his knees, his fellow servant begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’ But he refused. Instead, he had him put in prison until he paid back the debt. Now when his fellow servants saw what had happened, they were deeply disturbed, and went to their master and reported the whole affair. His master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to. Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?’ Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers until he should pay back the whole debt. So will my heavenly Father do to you, unless each of you forgives his brother from his heart."

If we read the context we’ll find the story is not about settling financial debts but forgiveness in the context of the kingdom of heaven, not earth, as the story begins with “the kingdom of heaven may be likened”


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