Absent from the body present with the Lord


#1

Charles Stanley of In Touch Ministries constantly uses this verse (sorry, I can’t recall where it’s from) as proof against purgatory.

Any suggestions for an effective response?


#2

%between%

2 Corinthians 5:6
Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:

2 Corinthians 5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

These are the “proof texts”. Notice, however, there is no such statement as “to be away from the body (dead) is to be present with the Lord.” Pay close attention to the words. In every such usage, it’s more along the lines of:

*I wish I were with the Lord instead of here…
*or
I would just as soon be with the Lord as present in my body here…

It’s deceptive wording the way your evangelist is using it. They also use:
%between%

Hebrews 9:27
And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,

Again, this is irrellevant to the argument. We also believe in the particular judgement after death.

It should be stressed when dialoging that Purgatory is not a “second chance”, nor is it a “perminant destination”. It is more like a bath before entering the Royal Throneroom of God Almighty. In eternity, there is only heaven and hell. Period.

You may also try the main site library.

God Bless,
RyanL


#3

Their arguements are weak when it comes to this subject. I think their best arguement would be: “The word ‘Purgatory’ is not in the Bible, so therefore it doesn’t exist.” They should stick with that arguement instead of proof texting irrelevant parts of the scriptures, lol.


#4

If one’s soul is absent from the body, through death, it IS present with the Lord in the* particular judgment* which occurs at death. What happens then depends on the state of one’s soul and God’s judgment. It certainly is no argument against purgatory.


#5

[quote=RyanL]%between%

These are the “proof texts”. Notice, however, there is no such statement as “to be away from the body (dead) is to be present with the Lord.” Pay close attention to the words. In every such usage, it’s more along the lines of:

*I wish I were with the Lord instead of here…
*or
I would just as soon be with the Lord as present in my body here…

RyanL
[/quote]

Absolutely. There’s a good reason why they don’t directly quote these verses when using them to try and disprove Purgatory—doing so shows how embarassingly ridiculous the argument is.


#6

Thanks for the responses.

One can’t help but ask serious questions about the motives of men who seemingly play with scripture this way.

More and more I find it very troubling that many of these Pastors have ministries that generate significant revenue.

I am being too cynical?


#7

[quote=Fidelis]Absolutely. There’s a good reason why they don’t directly quote these verses when using them to try and disprove Purgatory—doing so shows how embarassingly ridiculous the argument is.
[/quote]

Actually, James White uses this phrase all the time…

God Bless,
RyanL


#8

[quote=Sugar Ray]Thanks for the responses.

One can’t help but ask serious questions about the motives of men who seemingly play with scripture this way.

More and more I find it very troubling that many of these Pastors have ministries that generate significant revenue.

I am being too cynical?
[/quote]

While I don’t believe in turning a blind eye to direct evidence, I think it’s always admirable to believe the best of other people. And, there’s just no way you can know the motives in someone’s heart. I’d say most intelligent Protestant ministers who use these arguments recognize that they’re weak arguments. But, it doesn’t follow that the ministers recognize that their own doctrines are in error. If you think you’re defending the truth against the legions of hell, you’ll probably try to use your jammed-up 9 millimeter, even when the enemy’s got a tank. It’s better than surrender.


#9

Interestingly enough, I wonder what Stanley thinks when he reads the verses that follow his quote:
“We are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive good or evil, according to what he has done in the body.” (2 Cor. 5:8-10, RSV-CE)
Note that these verses go together. IF we want to be at home with the Lord, THEN we should make it our aim to please him, BECAUSE we are judged according to what we have done. Hmm… Wonder how I missed that all these years.


#10

[quote=RyanL]Actually, James White uses this phrase all the time…

God Bless,
RyanL
[/quote]

Actually, I was referring to the scripture verses themselves, rather than the convenient anti-Catholic’s paraphrase of it. I’m right there with ya, Ryan! :slight_smile:


#11

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