Had an interesting conversation with a friend at work. He asked me about Purgatory. His wife’s family is Catholic and his mother in law made a statement about believing she is going to Purgatory when she dies. He of course doesn’t believe in Purgatory and needed some clarification about what it’s about and what it means. That lead to a long discussion on that and other topics.
Again it came back to some different uses of same and similar words in different contexts. I don’t think I was able to convey that Purgatory is not about payment for sins we commit. Christ did that for us. In his view of things, God doesn’t let us die before we are made righteous as he put it. Meaning he believes that Christians die only after they lose all attachment to sin, which is what Purgatory is all about… The purging of our residual attachment to sin.
He agreed that nothing unclean can enter Heaven. He also agreed that there are ramifications to our sins. But he also believes in a Calvinist approach to predestination I think. From comments that he has made, I think he believes that we are predestined to go to Heaven or Hell according to God’s will. That would explain the belief that Purgatory is not necessary. If we are predestined, God doesn’t need to purge us.
I explained the concept that God knows our decisions before we do, therefore he has crafted His plans according to what He knows we will do. Thereby preserving our free will and moving His plans forward at the same time. Our yes and our no are all part of the plan, but not caused or pre-determined by the plan. I think that gave him something to think about.
We also had a great time trying to wrap our brains around the concept of eternity vs. time, etc. How to envision it, how to describe it and how to understand it.
Our attempts were… limited in their success. 🙂 What else?
Also gave him a great quote that he hadn’t heard before about the Scriptures…
“The Old Testament is revealed in the New and the New is concealed in the Old.”
He really liked that one.
Oh yeah… We also talked about talking to spirits, etc. and the the nature of the Levitical sacrifices compared to Calvary and why they were instituted. Excellent discussion all around.