To Purgatory, or not to Purgatory…

A recent question arose in a religious discussion, and it concerned the existence of Purgatory. While the only major Christian denomination which has an official doctrine of a place called Purgatory, most Eastern Rites acknowledge a place of “purification”; normally denoted by fire, either spiritual or physical. For the most part, the question among Protestants is mute, except within those denominations which hold the rope between Protestantism and Catholicism.

The question was raised when a Protestant who had began to read the Early Church Fathers, etc, questioned the theology of these Fathers due to the majority of the ones he had read mentioned a place of purification, prayer for the dead, trial and purification by fire, etc. To him, it proved that the theology of the Early Church was not as pure as it is today, and gave him further credence in his mind of the teachings of Luther, Calvin, etc. Also, he noted the prominence of praying for, and saying Mass for the dead. Of course, in his Protestant frame of mind – Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide, as well as the belief that once you die you go straight Heaven, etc, that this was a pointless ritual and act, in fact, a waste of time, and even heretical – though he did not go as far as to call the Early Church Fathers heretical, he claimed that these teachings and beliefs is what lead the Roman Church, and even the East, to heresy, and away from salvation.

I am interested in responses, I thought it was an interesting question.


5 thoughts on “To Purgatory, or not to Purgatory…

  1. Reading the Fathers… led to a confirmation of the “heresy” of the original, one holy apostolic church…I wonder how many others have come to the same conclusions based on preconceived ideas about the Ancient Church vs the many “churches” of the post-Reformation era.

    Mike Baldwin

  2. Reading the Early Church Fathers proved that the church is not as pure as it is today? WHAT!!! With all due respect to your friend it sound as this protestant read the church Fathers in protest. He mentioned Luther, while I pretty much agree with Luther’s ambition, was it not in rebellion?? Let’s talk about that. Then Calvin…. I won’t even go into Calvin’s view on the sacraments.

    Big Bro,


  3. My great concern regarding the existence of purgatory is, in my humble opinion; it in essence states that the blood of Christ is in some way weakened of there is a secondary step that is necessary. Almost as if our Saviors blood cannot wash us of all darkness and sin. I am for obvious reasons, not comfortable with that train of thought.

    Take Care.

  4. Second paragraph, last 4 words, “and away from salvation.”

    What and pray tell leads one to believe that the Roman and Eastern chuches have fallen away from salvation?

    Can man view ones liturgy and have the wisdom to declare someone is not born again?


    Big bro.

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