This guy makes some good points. Why should I believe that purgatory exists?
Because the teachings of your church and the the teaching of the saints said so.
Unless you don’t believe in these teachings… and one more thing Purgatory is a sign of the infinite Mercy of God (we all know and believe that God is merciful , loving and just) because of our many and grave sins , most of us would end up in hell if Purgatory didn’t exist and it is a state where you get purified to meet God in Heaven for God is Holy and Pure you can’t be with Him if you aren’t completely pure . ( I haven’t looked at the video to see if it says Purgatory exists or not)
Look on the main website for a tact on this very topic. It’s in the top 5 main recent articles.
Why should you believe that it does not? You are placing God’s revealed truth and 2,000 years of solid, unchanging teaching against one man’s opinion.
First, this guy’s definition of purgatory is inaccurate. Purgatory is not “a place that those who died in God’s grace go to be purged of their venial sins before going to be with God in heaven.” If this were the definition of Purgatory, then I’d be able to prove that it was in error, too!
Purgatory has nothing to do with sin, per se. Sin is forgiven in the Sacrament of Reconciliation – once forgiven, the sin doesn’t need to be ‘purged’. However, the Catholic notion of Purgation has to do with the effects of sin. Having sinned, we are – in a particular way – changed; we see things differently, and we are ‘warped’ in a certain sense. Even once we are forgiven, the damage has been done, and we have lost some virtue.
Is it possible to regain that virtue? Yes. Is it necessary to be completely virtuous – that is, ‘perfect’ – in order to attain salvation? No… if that were the case, and only ‘perfect’ people got to heaven, then heaven would be a pretty empty place.
Scripture talks about the fact that it is impossible to be imperfect and yet be in the presence of God. Even Paul talks about how we will be “clothed with incorruptibility” (1Cor 15:53) at the point that we are united with God in heaven.
Why should you believe in Purgatory? Simple. The next time you walk out of confession, ask yourself these questions:
[list]*]Am I forgiven? (Yep.)
*]Am I perfect? (Nope.)
*]Must I be perfect in order to be in heaven, in the presence of God? (Yep.)
Congratulations! You are in need of purgation (that is, of ‘Purgatory’)!
(OK… I only got through 30 seconds of that guy’s video. I’ll go back now and listen to his “good points”… )
Christ talked about not being let out of prison until paying the very last penny. We believe that was a reference to purgatory.
OK… I got through his video. A point-by-point rebuttal doesn’t make sense, considering that his premises are flawed, but just another thought or two:
He mentions that the problem with purgatory is that sins are forgiven by virtue of the “finished work of the Cross;” so, if he means what he says, then what he’s saying is that post-baptismal sin is automatically forgiven by virtue of the crucifixion. A Christian robs a bank? No problem… already forgiven. A Christian murders his neighbor? No problem… already wiped away by the cross.
There’s a huge problem with this theological assertion: it makes Jesus a complete loon. :rolleyes:
In the Gospel of John, the very first thing Jesus does after His resurrection, when He visits His apostles, is to tell them to forgive others’ sins (see John 20:23). Now, if all sin was forgiven by virtue of the cross, why in the world would Jesus have to say this? Wouldn’t He instead simply say, “hey, guys… don’t worry about forgiving sins – they’re already forgiven by virtue of my crucifixion!”…? So, since Jesus does command the apostles to forgive sins, it’s clear that sinfulness is still a problem, even after Jesus’ resurrection.
That pretty much demolishes this guy’s case, right there: all our sins (including post-baptismal sin) are not automatically forgiven by virtue of Christ’s resurrection. So, he can’t use ‘the victory of the Cross’ as the reason that purgatory is wrong.
It’s a shame that his youtube comments are disabled, and his webpage doesn’t have any place to leave comments. It would be interesting to see his reaction upon being told that he’s wrong on two counts: he misunderstands (or at least, mischaracterizes!) the Catholic doctrine of purgatory, and he fails to understand the importance of forgiveness of sin…
Any time a Catholic asks “why should I believe _____,” this is pretty much my answer. If you believe that the Church is in fact the sole holder of the complete revelation of God. . . why in the world would you disagree with it? IMO, the prevalent attitude today is to reject any authority but one’s own, and this attitude has crept into the thinking of Catholics as well.
Wow some really good answers! Especially you Gorgias. You really helped clear some things up for me. You’re right, once you stand back and look at this guys argument piece by piece, it doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. I do think it’s funny how a number of protestants will say purgatory is made up because the word “purgatory” is not mentioned in scripture but at the same time the words “trinity” and “incarnation” are not mentioned in scripture either.
- The “sinner’s prayer” is not in scripture.
- Altar calls are not in scripture.
- “The Lord laid it on my heart” is not in scripture.
- Bible alone is not in scripture.
- Sunday “services” are not in scripture.
This can go on almost forever.
But the Catholic Church, the world’s dartboard, is the one who makes things up. :shrug:
In addition to the other good replies - if the person in the video believes one is prone to sin in this life but will be perfected in heaven, then the person in the video believes some sort of purification will take place at death too regardless if they are willing to call it “purgatory.”
There was a good discussion about this on Catholic Answers Live last week with Jimmy Akin.
Sorry, but I don’t remember the minutes, but it was pretty good.
Also see this: catholic.com/tracts/purgatory for starters
Many people often do not understand purgatory. I would argue that for every “good argument” against purgatory, there are several better arguments for purgatory.
God is good!
(Edited to add: )
I was reading another thread around here and saw a question about purgatory, and a thought came to mind:
if, by ‘venial sin’, he means ‘venial sin that was unforgiven at the time of death’, then yeah, purgatory cleanses us of that guilt. However, if he means "venial sin already forgiven’, then no, that’s not accurate…
First of all, the Bible quote he mentioned doesn’t contradict purgatory.
Secondly, the thief on the cross next to Christ was forgiven BY GOD at the time of his death. That kind of cleanses the soul, wouldn’t you say?
Thirdly, is he saying that we have a license to sin because if we believe in Christ, we are automatically destined to go straight to paradise upon death?
Purgatory is the only thing that makes sense to me. To go to straight to Heaven, you must be pure. To go straight to hell, you have to be evil. Most of us fall somewhere in between.
This was very helpful…thank you.