The Evangelical Universalist Forum

The Biblical Basis For Purgatory And An Infinitely Heinous Punishment


#21

My impression is that you are quick to accuse many brothers on this Christian forum of holding views that are lies, and of much worse. But when qaz questions whether a mystic’s fantastical vision of the afterlife that goes far beyond Scripture is binding, you suggest he is doing something immoral. Everyone else’s visions have never been deemed authoritative in many Christian traditions.


#22

What did these investigations consist of? How do people confirm that another person saw something that they themselves cannot see? Were these investigators disinterested? Because if they already believed (without evidence) in something similar to what this lady claimed to see, they’re not exactly qualified to objectively scrutinize this lady’s claims.

Her visions agreeing with what the “church has always taught” is irrelevant, if what the church taught was not verified by outside, independent investigators.


#23

And the children at Fatima also had a vision of hell that was rigorously investigated. They have recently been canonized into sainthood.

Near the town of Fátima, Portugal, a small, rural town about 90 miles north of Lisbon, a miracle appeared to three peasant children, Lucia dos Santos and her two cousins, Jacinta and Francisco Marto. http://www.bibleprobe.com/fatimavisionsofhell.htm

The first message received at Fatima was this horrifying vision of Hell:

The first part of the Secret was a horrifying vision of hell “where the souls of poor sinners go” and contained an urgent plea from Our Lady for acts of prayer and sacrifice to save souls.

In her Memoirs, Sister Lucy (Lucy Dos Santos) describes the vision of hell that Our Lady showed the children at Fátima:

“She opened Her hands once more, as She had done the two previous months. The rays [of light] appeared to penetrate the earth, and we saw, as it were, a vast sea of fire. Plunged in this fire, we saw the demons and the souls [of the damned]. The latter were like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, having human forms. They were floating about in that conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames which issued from within themselves, together with great clouds of smoke. Now they fell back on every side like sparks in huge fires, without weight or equilibrium, amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fright (it must have been this sight which caused me to cry out, as people say they heard me). The demons were distinguished [from the souls of the damned] by their terrifying and repellent likeness to frightful and unknown animals, black and transparent like burning coals. That vision only lasted for a moment, thanks to our good Heavenly Mother, Who at the first apparition had promised to take us to Heaven. Without that, I think that we would have died of terror and fear.”

Sorry Bob. I’m going along with the interpretation of the Bible of the holy saints. In speaking of a Sovereign God Talbott made this comment:

“I will not worship such a God, and if such a God can send me to hell for not so worshipping him, then to hell I will go”

That’s insane. And Cavinism isn’t the only theology that believes in predestination. Peter Kreeft (Ph.D) is a philosopher and Catholic Apologist. He has won many awards in philosophical reasoning and has an excellent article in the “Handbook of Catholic Apologetics” that I would TOTALY agree with:

Predestination and free will: Paradox

The difference between Protestants and Catholics on this issue is not that one believes in predestination while the other believes in free will…The difference is that Catholics believe in mystery and paradox and therefore embrace both halves of this paradox.

God is both one and three, both just and merciful, both transcendent and immanent. Christ is both human and divine. So is the church. So is the Bible. We are both good and evil. The world is both beautiful and fallen. We are immersed in paradoxes. So we are both predestined and free. Augustine and Aquinas, the two greatest Christian minds of all time, both strongly affirm both parts of this paradox. How they explain it is secondary. - Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli, Handbook of Catholic Apologetics, page 430.

Kreeft here isn’t speaking of double predestination but predestination of the elect. The non-elect freely reject God and are passed over by God as Aquinas calls them they are reprobated. They stay evil forever and are punished forever - according to this view. The issue is how we define “FREE WILL”. R.C. Sproul believes in “FREE WILL” just not libertarian free will.

G.K. Chesterton was a brilliant writer. Nobody exploits the power of paradox like Chesterton. I heartily recommend his book orthodoxy. Chesterton did all he did to keep from becoming a Calvinist, and instead made me a romantic one - a happy one. The poetic brightness of his book, along with C.S. Lewis awakened in me an exuberance about the strangeness of all things, which in the end made me able to embrace the imponderable paradoxes of God’s decisive control of all things and the total justice of his holding us accountable. One of the reasons Calvinism is stirring today is that it takes both truth and mystery seriously. Read Orthodoxy…This book will awaken such a sense wonder in you that you will not feel at home again until you enter the new world of the wide eyed children called the happy Reformed…How can I not give thanks for this jolly Catholic whose only cranky side seemed to be his clouded views of happy Calvinists! - John Piper, A Godward Heart, pp. 79-82


#24

Hollytree, you didn’t answer any of my questions about the quality of these investigations.


#25

Research it qaz.


#26

Here’s what I shared on visions, on another forum thread here:

And let me add this P.S. Neither the Eastern Orthodox Church nor the Roman Catholic Church…would give credence to any Christian vision…that violates Sacred Tradition or Holy Scripture.

No. I see no difference, between the visions of Emmanuel Swedenborg and those of the zombie visionaries. What visions need, is experts in visions - to declare if they are real or not. And what they mean.

For the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches…

They are investigated by bishops…as well as medical doctors and psychiatrists of the church…who specialize in these things.

In the Native American world, it would be the tribal holy and medicine people.

Holy People are akin to the saints, of the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. Medicine people specialize in spiritual and herbal healing. Holy People are akin to the
saints, of the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. Medicine people specialize in spiritual and herbal healing.

Outside of these avenues, what are the qualifications…for those evaluating the visions and visionaries? And there are questions to ask. Normally, for the EO and RC churches - they put things into 3 categories:

  • They are from God
  • Demonic activity
  • Natural Causes

For the Native Americans, they consult the spirits on these matters. In the book, Christ and the Pipe…by a Roman Catholic author…he talks about spirits of heaven, hell, and the earth. So the Natives consult the spirits of the earth.

Each body (Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Native American tribes)…have their own experts, to uncover the validity - of visions and visionaries.

Academics - for all their research ability…sometimes don’t know enough, to come in - out of the rain!


#27

Randy,

I believe they are from God because they agree with what the church has always taught and they agree with Edwards argument that hating Christ is an infinitely heinous sin that plausibly requires infinite justice. Aquinas made the same argument.


#28

Saying “research it” is a copout. I’ve asked you specific questions to help judge the veracity of this lady’s claims, but you’re unwilling to answer them. So I’ll conclude her claims deserve to be taken no more seriously than those who claim to see Vishnu, Bigfoot, or aliens.


#29

Like I told Randy

I believe they are from God because they agree with what the church has always taught and they agree with Edwards argument that hating Christ is an infinitely heinous sin that plausibly requires infinite justice. Aquinas made the same argument. It fits with what we know about reality.


#30

Well, NOT exactly. Look at

Let me quote a bit:

It was that vision that filled me with the very great distress which I feel at the sight of so many lost souls, especially of the Lutherans – for they were once members of the Church by baptism – and also gave me the most vehement desires for the salvation of souls; for certainly I believe that, to save even one from those overwhelming torments, I would most willingly endure many deaths.

Well, this element would directly contradict the theological direction…of the Roman Catholic Church, since Vatican II.


#31

Maybe the church has changed their position. It still agrees with the traditional church.


#32

What church? RCC? Eastern Orthodox? Oriental Orthodox? Anglican? Baptist? Assyrian? In which of the church’s documents is “hell” described this way?


#33

I assume what you mean by “traditional church”…you mean the Roman Catholic Church before Vatican II? That was the Pope, Cardinals and a counsel of bishops - deciding theological matters - at Vatican II.


#34

Most importantly the Bible. The word for “torment” means “torture” according the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible I have.


#35

20:10 the lake of fire Hell, where the devil joins his former agents, burning since 19:20. tormented: The damned are not annihilated or disintegrated, but kept alive to be tortured for eternity.

Ignatius Catholic Study Bible page 519.


#36

From Thayer’s Greek Lexicon:

  1. prop. to test (metals) by the touchstone

  2. to question by applying torture

  3. to torture; hence univ. to vex with grievous pains of body and mind, to torment

  4. Pass. to be harassed, distressed


#37

I’m not a Catholic so whatever their tradition says is irrelevant to me.


#38

Well, you asked. And you still haven’t dealt with Edwards argument.


#39

What argument?


#40

Killing a blade of grass isn’t as bad as killing a cat and killing a cat isn’t as bad as killing a human. The worst evil ever committed was the killing of the Son of God. We see this because of who Christ is being infinite in value and worth.