Heretical Religion Journalist?


#1

I found the article in the link below quite interesting. The author supposedly has been a Episcopal minister for 35 years.

I would like to hear a valid Catholic response to this.

g2.palmbeachpost.com/accent/content/accent/epaper/2005/12/09/a3e_gushee_1209.html

Incidentally, I am not going to bet MY eternity on this.


#2

Our priest fondly calls this “Welfare Religion”.

But as Scott Hahn puts it, “Salvation is free, but it doesn’t comes cheap”!

Notworthy


#3

[quote=pwright8]I found the article in the link below quite interesting. The author supposedly has been a Episcopal minister for 35 years.

I would like to hear a valid Catholic response to this.

g2.palmbeachpost.com/accent/content/accent/epaper/2005/12/09/a3e_gushee_1209.html

Incidentally, I am not going to bet MY eternity on this.
[/quote]

This bloke thinks the Bible tells him that everyone who’s ever lived, no matter what they do, is going straight to Heaven when they die. So why does he waste his time being a minister, or even a Christian, when he could live a life of total hedonism, knowing he will go straight to Heaven along with Judas, Hitler, Nero, Osama bin Laden and everybody else? He reckons Purgatory is just something the Church “invented” to “intimidate” people and Hell is just “an empty prison”, and that the Catholic Church will realise this too when they “finally discover the Gospel”. His knowledge of the Gospels must be very slight indeed! Who does he think the “goats on the King’s left hand” are in the Gospel story??

I had no idea the Episcopal Church had gone this bad. Saying you can’t go to Hell or Purgatory no matter what you do, is even worse than ordaining a so-called “gay bishop”.


#4

I hope those who deny the existance of hell change their position. If they don’t, they will when they get there. Pray…


#5

It seems to me to be a rather juvenile religion to only be good because of the reward. Besides that, some patristic fathers such as Origen believed in universal salvation. Even the conservative 20th century Hans Urs von Balthsar also believed in universal salvation.

The article’s statements about hell aren’t that is should be abolished as a doctrine but “rendering Hell an empty prison”.

As to limbo, the new catechism states that unbaptized infants are left to the mercy of God, not, as the Catholic encyclopedia states, sent to limbo.

Finally purgatory. From a protestant perspective purgatory isn’t mentioned in the Bible because the main scriptural argument comes from Maccabees. Over the centuries too much emphasis has been placed on purgatory as a place with a spefic relation to time, hence old-style indulgences which were mearsured in weeks, months and years of remission from purgatorial fire. Far from doing away with purgatory, the church should formulate purgatory in less anthropomorphic and anthrocentric terms.

One visiting English priest, who came here for the funeral of his brother (a good friend of mine) gave likely the best definition of purgatory I have ever heard. Purgatory is that instantaneous and painful realization of how much forgiveness we needed to be accepted into perfect union with God.


#6

[quote=m134e5]I hope those who deny the existance of hell change their position. If they don’t, they will when they get there. Pray…
[/quote]

They should have listened to Blood, Sweat, and Tears, “I swear there ain’t no heaven, and I pray there ain’t no hell”.

Notworthy


#7

[quote=EtienneGilson]It seems to me to be a rather juvenile religion to only be good because of the reward.
[/quote]

I guess you find St Paul rather juvenile then: “If our hope in Christ is for this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.” 1 Cor 15:19.

Besides that, some patristic fathers such as Origen believed in universal salvation. Even the conservative 20th century Hans Urs von Balthsar also believed in universal salvation.

I don’t believe either of them ever tried to deny the existence of Purgatory or Hell.

The article’s statements about hell aren’t that is should be abolished as a doctrine but “rendering Hell an empty prison”.

No, actually he claimed that Hell IS already an empty prison.

As to limbo, the new catechism states that unbaptized infants are left to the mercy of God, not, as the Catholic encyclopedia states, sent to limbo.

The two statements are not contradictory. And the encyclopedia is not a statement of Catholic doctrine, but merely information about a theological theory.

Finally purgatory. From a protestant perspective purgatory isn’t mentioned in the Bible because the main scriptural argument comes from Maccabees.

No, the main scriptural proofs of the existence of Purgatory are in the Gospels. “You will not get out of prison till you have paid the last penny” etc. etc.


#8

Saint Paul in that passage is talking about the resurrection and how, “if Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins.” 1 Cor. 15:17. By taking that particular passage out of context you are ascribing to Saint Paul a position which he doesn’t hold, namely that people should only be good out of fear of punishment or reward for proper behaviour.

The author of the article was arguing that all people are going to heaven (amongst other arguments) and Saint Paul was arguing that Christ was truly resurrected physical and in that lies our hope in the resurrection. There is no correlation between the two.

I am reminded of the first book of Plato’s Republic where Thrasymachus engages Socrates on a similar subject and the remainder of the book is Socrates’ attempt to deal with the argument from Thrasymachus that there is no advantage (in this life) to being good.

I don’t believe either of them ever tried to deny the existence of Purgatory or Hell.

Perhaps you had better read up more on Origen and the apokatastasis panton then if you understand Hell as eternal torment:

“(4) Universality of the Redemption and the Final Restoration

Certain Scriptural texts, e.g., I Cor. xv, 25-28, seem to extend to all rational beings the benefit of the Redemption, and Origen allows himself to be led also by the philosophical principle which he enunciates several times, without ever proving it, that the end is always like the beginning: “We think that the goodness of God, through the mediation of Christ, will bring all creatures to one and the same end” (De princip., I, vi, 1-3). The universal restoration (apokatastasis) follows necessarily from these principles.”
newadvent.org/cathen/11306b.htm

No, actually he claimed that Hell IS already an empty prison.

I stated that the doctrine of Hell should be explained so Catholics will understand that hell is an empty prison. No one, not me nor the author, thinks that if the Church pronounced Hell empty, it would automatically empty itself. His writings are essentially in accordance with the writings of Hans Urs Von Balthasar theuniversityconcourse.com/II,9,5-6-1997/Healy.htm

The two statements are not contradictory. And the encyclopedia is not a statement of Catholic doctrine, but merely information about a theological theory.

Actually, the two statements are very much contradictory and hence the present papal commission on the status of Limbo in Catholic theology. Though the CE is not a doctrinal source, neither is the Catechism. Both however reflect positions which are doctrinal, as the CE article on the fate of the unbaptized reads:

“The Catholic teaching is uncompromising on this point, that all who depart this life without baptism, be it of water, or blood, or desire, are perpetually excluded from the vision of God. This teaching is grounded, as we have seen, on Scripture and tradition, and the decrees of the Church” newadvent.org/cathen/02258b.htm

No, the main scriptural proofs of the existence of Purgatory are in the Gospels. “You will not get out of prison till you have paid the last penny” etc. etc.

If this were true you would expect the CE to emphasize it, however the CE emphasizes prayers for the dead:

“The proofs for the Catholic position, both in Scripture and in Tradition, are bound up also with the practice of praying for the dead.” newadvent.org/cathen/12575a.htm

Praying for the dead is found in 2 Maccabees 12: 43-46, not in the Gospels. Though certain ECF’s held to various proofs in the Gospels, under modern biblical scholarship the ‘proofs’ do not old up.

As the old act of contritions reads, essentially, to deny the purer motivation (love) in right behaviour and rely solely on imperfect contrition (fear of punishment) is to deny the very core message of the Gospels and deny the essence of natural law.


#9

[quote=pwright8]I found the article in the link below quite interesting. The author supposedly has been a Episcopal minister for 35 years.

I would like to hear a valid Catholic response to this.

g2.palmbeachpost.com/accent/content/accent/epaper/2005/12/09/a3e_gushee_1209.html

Incidentally, I am not going to bet MY eternity on this.
[/quote]

I couldn’t suffer through the entire article, but I like the repetition of “The Church might finally discover the gospel.” Apparently, the gospel disappeared for 1500 years after the death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ. Good thing those Reformers discovered it again.

The ability of people like this to deliberately misrepresent Church teaching and be so darned smug about it never ceases to amaze me. Of course, maybe he’s just ignorant and irresponsibly writing about what he doesn’t know.


#10

The whole belief in universal salvation makes no sense because if we’re all going to heaven, what is the point of this life? The Bible is awfully long and unnecessary if everyone is saved. Why bother giving us the Bible? To cause all these religious wars? Universal salvation is completely illogical and scripturally unfounded. St. Paul sure thought we needed to do something to gain salvation. He was afraid of losing his right up to the end. It says so. Right in the Bible.


#11

[quote=pwright8]I found the article in the link below quite interesting. The author supposedly has been a Episcopal minister for 35 years.

I would like to hear a valid Catholic response to this.

g2.palmbeachpost.com/accent/content/accent/epaper/2005/12/09/a3e_gushee_1209.html

Incidentally, I am not going to bet MY eternity on this.
[/quote]

I should hope not :smiley:

The church, on the other hand, has long talked out of both sides of its mouth. It teaches that Christ died for you and loves you unconditionally.
[list]
*]He does, unconditionally.
[/list]It quickly reminds you, however, that in one way of another, by good works or faith alone, you have to earn that love. If not, it’s Limbo, Purgatory or Hell.

Er…no. Not a bit of it
[list]
*]One: love can’t be earned - it is given; or not.
*]Two: God always takes the initiative in salvation - our business is to respond (which is impossible without the grace of God; we need grace to respond to grace. God is in charge of the whole of our salvation - and allows us an active part in some of it)
*]Three: none of those states (or whatever they may be) is in the slightest degree contrary to the Love of God for us. There would be no Hell, if God were not Love. ##
[/list]


#12

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