My Karma vs Your Dogma: Purgatory


So a friend asked me about purgatory and this is one of those I don’t want my karma to run over your dogma moment. 😀

But, yeah, sometimes you need to give out an answer.

Purgatory comes from a classical Roman Catholic teaching which assumes we need to be fully sinless to get into heaven.  But what if you still have a shitload of sin when you dropped dead?  As a baptized Roman Catholic, you will still head off towards heaven, but you need to pass by an “in-between” place to complete that purging of sins, so purgatory.  Not a big deal if you were raised a Protestant who has been taught that at the cross all payment for your sins were paid for and by believing in Jesus you now have a free pass to heaven.

So then let the debates begin.

And what do I think?  Hold on tight …

Purgatory is:

1. It is real
2. It is NOW
3. It is a safe place

Most would agree that there is some “change” happening to a believer when he joins the faith because of the work of the Holy Spirit.  The early Reformers were reacting to Medieval Roman Catholic’s scheme of things which devolved into an extortion scam involving indulgences which both Martin Luther and Jose Rizal complained about.  The Reformers downplayed that part; even though they had a name for it—sanctification.  That was recovered and emphasized again when the Holiness Movement (Methodist and others) came around.

There is a cleansing or purging process going on now: purgatory is real and it is now.

So, yeah—I was raised a Protestant.

But wait!

Assume for a moment that the Roman Catholics are right and that there is an in-between place you need to be purged of sin on your way to heaven.  Somehow it was presented as a scary place where you are tortured to fess up to you sins or where an enema is stuck up your ass to rid you of all the crap you are holding in.  Almost scary as hell—but I guess to make the extortion work in the Medieval Ages, they had to scare the hell out of you.  Or, scare you out of hell.  Hell, yeah!

This is where I run over the dogma.

Nope.  I don’t think so.  You are in God’s hands and that is as safe as it could get.  Purgatory isn’t like hell—it is as good as heaven!  Every time you go to a resort or swim in a pool, you are required to take a shower, or at least wash your feet in this little foot bath, before you are allowed to dive in.  Purgatory is that little bathroom where you wash off before the main event!

So what’s so scary about being in God’s bathroom?