Church Membership as Purgatory


There was a discussion of purgatory on the BH list. Someone summarised it as follows: [1]

“Or, perhaps, with Peter Kreeft, one might interpret purgatorial cleansing as a form of heightened and perfected awareness, effected by the light of God’s presence as an illuminating and purifying fire. Thus, in death, in coming face-to-face with God, we finally see ourselves as we truly are, the depths of our own sin and brokenness, and all the consequences and ruin wrought by our own sin and unfaithfulness in our own lives, the lives of others, and the ongoing life of our family, church, and world.

In this case, it seems to me, there would be no reason to see purgatory as something distinct from the moment of death itself, entering into the blessed presence of God, and the immediate perfecting of our souls. While such a perfecting awareness would be painful, in the light of the comprehensiveness of God’s promised salvation, it would also be most joyful.”

I think this definition is spot on. Death is one’s Day of Atonement “division”. The corrupt body of death is sent to Azal, and that is a blessing. [2]

Typologically, the Laver is the crystal sea, and the crystal sea is now standing up “as walls.” Purgatory is passing through the open gates [the place of judgment] into the ascended church. [3]

But that means purgatory is prefigured on earth by baptism, church membership and the table. We enter those gates to be washed every week in an ongoing process of sanctification by death and resurrection.

[1] Neither can I remember who posted this nor locate it now. I have asked for permission to use here but received no reply, and it’s too interesting not to share. Happy to remove it if anyone protests.
[2] See Joints and Marrow.
[3] See Crystal Walls 1 and 2 .

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