[quote:32l5rnxw]I think their is a problem in understanding purgatory.[/quote:32l5rnxw]
Absolutely. That is why I asked herkman to explain purgatory to me as he understands it. Because based on what he has said, he has a different understanding than what the Church teaches.
[quote:32l5rnxw]Catholic theology argues that purgatory (state after death) is God’s way of pardoning all sins (I think so).[/quote:32l5rnxw]
Close. You cannot get into purgatory (a state, not a place) unless you are already on the way to heaven. Everyone who enters purgatory is destined to enter heaven. What purgatory does is removes all the last stains of sin, all the little inclinations we have that lead us to sin in our life even after our baptism and conversion to Christ. We know that, because we sin after we convert, some imperfection remains. These imperfections are removed in purgatory.
[quote:32l5rnxw]Herkmen on the other hand as not being Catholic finds this doctrine wrong because God’s grace of salvation (blood of Christ) = immediate cleansing, or at least in some Evangelical circles, that once a Christian dies, he or she will enter heaven without the need of purgatory.[/quote:32l5rnxw]
I find that even these Evangelicals, when you put the facts before them and make them think about it, admit that there is some kind of cleansing that must happen between life and heaven. That cleansing is purgatory. However, because they only learn half of purgatory (and usually distortions cast in a negative light at that), they refuse to acknowledge that cleansing as being the same as purgatory (as herkman objected above).
Catholics have long spoken of purgatory in terms of time, saying that doing X will require Y years in purgatory or some such. This is not necessary in the theology of purgatory but simply a way for laymen to grasp the concept. Purgatory could very well last for only the barest of split seconds.
[quote:32l5rnxw]Most Evangelicals deny the doctrine of purgatory because to them it is one of those “extra-biblical” doctrines (rosary, Mary, and other things they struggle with coming to grips with in Catholic practice).[/quote:32l5rnxw]
On the ball once again. When I started reading about Catholicism, I found there were things I objected to without even knowing what they were. It seems hardwired into some sects of Protestantism to oppose things simply because they are Catholic. At some point, the opposition of the Reformation became merely habit.