Purgatory? Doesn’t that Deny the Work of Christ?

by Steve Ray on September 18, 2019

What’s the Deal with Purgatory?
by Steve Ray

Purgatory4Isn’t the finished work of Christ sufficient? Didn’t he pay for all my sins? Why the heck do Catholics teach that we have to suffer in Purgatory for our sins? Plus, the Bible never mentions purgatory so it must be an unbiblical doctrine, right.

Wow! Sounds like me back in my old days — before I discovered the fullness of the Faith in the Catholic Church. I used to argue like this against Catholics because my Baptist tradition told me so.

(Picture at bottom: Communion of Saints with the Mass in the center: 1) above the Church Triumphant in heaven; 2) middle the Church Militant on earth, and 2) below the Church suffering — being purified in Purgatory.)

After converting to the Catholic Church an a Baptist asked me why we believe in Purgatory so I wrote an explanation using many examples like hitch hiking in the Alps, driving off the road and more.

Plus, from my old Baptist tradition, what could St. Paul possibly mean when he said he suffers to “fill up that which is lacking in the sufferings of Christ” (Col. 1:24)? That was one of the verses I had to “blip over” when I was a Baptist–many don’t even see the verse!

Anyway, for my response to the Baptist antagonist and other helpful information on Purgatory . . .

-For my letter explaining Purgatory, click here.
-For Jimmy Akin’s explanation, click here. For Catholic Answers, click here.
-For more such articles and letters, click here.

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“Bible Christians”
(a misnomer, since Catholics are the real and original Bible Christians), based on their recently devised “Reformation” principle of sola Scriptura, study the Bible with the following premises:

1. There is no binding authority but the Bible alone;
2. There is no official binding interpretation or interpreter; each person ultimately is their own pope;
3. The Bible is perspicuous (i.e., easy to understand) and it can be interpreted and understood by anyone.
4. An individual can/should read the Bible and interpret the Bible for themselves.

Catholics have a different set of premises that direct their study of the Bible.

1. The authority of the Apostles and the Church preceded the Bible and the Sacred Tradition of the Church is an equally infallible authority (2 Thes 2:15; CCC 80-83). The Bible is part of the Apostolic Tradition.
2. The authoritative interpretation of the Bible is the prerogative of the Catholic Church (1 Tim 3:15; Mt 18:17; CCC 85-88).
3. The Bible is not always easy to understand (2 Pet 3:15-16) and needs to understood within its historical and contextual framework and interpreted within the community to which it belongs.
4. Individuals can/should read the Bible and interpret the Bible for themselves—but within the framework of the Church’s authoritative teaching and not based on their own “private interpretation” (2 Pet 1:20-21).

These basic differences place the Catholic and Protestant worlds apart even though they are opening the pages of the same book and accepting it as an authoritative revelation from God. The Catholic position is biblical, and has been espoused from the first days of the Church. The Protestant position is unbiblical (assumed from their newly devised tradition) and is of recent origin. The Catholic is in full continuity with historical Christianity; Protestants are in discontinuity.

For the best Catholic Bible software, visit www.Verbum.com/SteveRay

My article “Bible Study: Playground or Minefield? Why We Need the Church”

My article: “How to Start a Parish Bible Study”

“Questions for ‘Bible Christians'”

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Riddle: What is the New Testament?

by Steve Ray on September 16, 2019

This is a question that very few people think about. The natural reaction to the question, “What is the New Testament?” is that it is a collection of books in the Bible.

But before you say the New Testament is “a book” ask yourself what the book says the New Testament is. A hint is found in Luke 22:20 and 1 Corinthians 11:25. In this verse the words “testament” and “covenant” are synonyms (see KJV and Douay-Rheims).

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Why Steve Ray Loves Verbum Software

September 15, 2019

Steve Ray here. I can’t tell you how much I love and use Verbum Catholic Software. It has replaced many of my physical books and the power of its search and research has to be seen to be believed. It is on my iPhone, laptop, desktop and on the cloud. Here is a 55-second promo […]

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My Respectful but Honest Radio Show concerning Pope Francis

September 13, 2019

Today I was invited on the Terry & Jesse Show to discuss the uncomfortable situation we Catholic find ourselves in with Pope Francis. Hope you appreciate the show. My interview starts 15 minutes into the hour.

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Msgr. Pope Writes Powerfully to Pope Francis on his latest comments on “rigid young priests”

September 13, 2019

A widely-recognized and respected American priest has responded to Pope Francis’ recent remarks on “young, rigid priests,” saying in a social media post addressed to the Pope that he must “honestly and painfully say that I am wearied from being scorned and demonized by you.” Msgr. Charles Pope .  September 10 at 8:54 PM · Papa Francisco says, “I […]

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Mary’s Sorrows: Known and Unknown

September 12, 2019

Mary’s Sorrows,  September 15 (Our Lady of Sorrows) I did several radio shows on the sorrows of Mary this week, mentioning the Seven Sorrows of the popular devotion, but also some sorrows that are unknown. From times in the land of Israel meditating on her life, I pondered other sorrows she suffered. You can read my notes […]

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Questions I Answered on Catholic Answers Live: “Open Q & A for Non-Catholics”

September 12, 2019

Great fun. Here are the questions asked and my answers: 06:23 – I am Protestant, but I find praying the rosary very comforting and listen to Catholic radio a lot. I am overstepping by saying the rosary?  17:45 – I am a former Catholic. Why do people have to pray for special Masses?  24:06 – What is the Vatican hiding […]

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EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo is Under Attack; Pope Says He’s Honored to be Attacked by Americans

September 11, 2019

The post below was from a year ago but certainly still very timely. The blog hit a nerve so I am reposting this. Having been on EWTN a couple of times since this original posting, I must say that EWTN and affiliates are spot on and I support them and their ministry and assessment of the Church all […]

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Steve’s “EWTN TV Bookmark Brief” with Doug Keck

September 10, 2019

To see the webpage of my recent Bookmark Brief, click here.  And to watch the 2-minute video, click below… “As a convert, I had all the usual misconceptions about the Papacy, and since becoming Catholic, I’ve discovered that even many Catholics have the mistaken ideas I had,” Steve Ray tells Doug Keck on EWTN Bookmark. Dennis Walters and Steve Ray have put together a small […]

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Birth of Mary in the Protoevangelium of James

September 8, 2019

In the early 2nd century the early Church held a document in very high regard. From this document we learn about the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary and her own birth. Since today is the Feast Day of the Birth of the Virgin Mary, I thought I would provide a link to the Protoevangelium […]

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Set a Date for the Family – Watch this Movie

September 7, 2019

Janet and I have never been busier, so this Saturday afternoon we took time to cook Janet one of her favorite dinners and watch a favorite old movie – black and white no less. After two hours of laughing, singing and even a tear or two we thought we should share it with you. Janet, […]

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Join us in England!

September 7, 2019

We have put together a marvelous pilgrimage to England. The Catholic history is remarkable. The martyrs stamped their image on this land. Experience the history of St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher. Visit the pub of CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien. Study GK Chesterton. See the itinerary below and check out the interactive map […]

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“If the Eucharist is only a Symbol, then to Hell with it!”

September 6, 2019

‘If The Eucharist Is Just A Symbol, To Hell With It’ (quote by Flannery O’Conner) Friday, 06 September 2019  An article written by my good friend and attorney Bob Sullivan; published in the Southern Nebraska Register A few months ago, I devoted four consecutive columns to transubstantiation. In that series I said that there was one Catholic teaching which […]

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Questions for “Bible Christians”

September 4, 2019

For a PDF printable version, click here. This list was developed to show the weakness of the Protestant “Sola Scriptura” or “Bible Alone” position. ***************************************************** 1) Where did Jesus give instructions that the Christian faith should be based exclusively on a book? 2) Other than the specific command to John to pen the Revelation, where […]

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St. Moses, Sts. Adam & Eve, St. Abraham, St. Moses – Did you know some Old Testament people are Saints?

September 4, 2019

Today is the Feast Day of St. Moses. What? Moses is a saint? Yes, and so are many of the heroes of the Old Testament. Adam and Eve have liturgical feast days, so do Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, King David and many others. The Roman Martyrology (1600) lists saints recognized up to that point including many […]

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