‘how much will that sin cost me?’

An indulgence, in Roman Catholic theology, is the full or partial remission of temporal punishment due for sins which have already been forgiven. The indulgence is granted by the church after the sinner has confessed and received absolution. The belief is that indulgences draw on the storehouse of merit acquired by Jesus’ sacrifice and the virtues and penances of the saints. They are granted for specific good works and prayers. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indulgence

In recent months, dioceses around the world have been offering Catholics a spiritual benefit that fell out of favor decades ago — the indulgence, a sort of amnesty from punishment in the afterlife — and reminding them of the church’s clout in mitigating the wages of sin.[1]

Catholic churches have recently revived indulgences, a spiritual tradition that faded away in the 1960’s after the Second Vatican Council. The indulgence, as Paul Vitello of The New York Times explained in a recent article, is “a sort of amnesty from punishment in the afterlife.” Some liberal Catholics see the return of indulgences as a setback to modernization of the church. But church leaders say they deepen the spiritual experience of seeking penance. [2]

Religion thrives on the elements and works of the flesh to convince one that they can find favor with God. It’s like the individual who says “have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?”

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. Trust me, God is not impressed with religion or the rites that it often propagates. Look to Jesus Christ my friend, the captian of our salvation.

Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you. 1 Peter 1:18-25

My friend let me encourage you to turn to Christ and rest in His precious blood to redeem the penalty for your sin…. leave your wallet in your pocket. “What shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”

This sounds a little like the priest in the days of Hosea….

When the people bring their sin offerings the priest get fed. So the priest are glad when the people sin. Hosea 4:8

malachi

[1] http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/10/nyregion/10indulgence.html?_r=1

[2] http://roomfordebate.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/02/13/sin-and-its-indulgences/

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5 Comments

  1. To even consider for a second that there is something we, the dust of the earth, could do to pay for our sin is reprehensible. Indulgences were a way of taking time off your stay in “purgatory’. Purgatory is a place Catholics believe you go if you die in the “state of grace” but must still make up for past sins. It is a place they go before heaven.

    The blasphemy of purgatory is that it indicates that Christ’ death on the cross wasn’t quite enough payment for your sin. You had to pay in purgatory also. Therefore indulgences could lessen the time you had to spend suffering for your sin in purgatory.

    Paul spoke emphatically throughout the Scriptures about the sufficiency of the sacrifice of Christ. To add anything to the cross is to empty the cross! Christ himself NEVER mentioned anything about having to burn off sins in purgatory. In fact, he told the thief on the cross that he would be in paradise that very day! Why did not this criminal have to pay in purgatory?

    I pray that people return to the truth. Jesus Christ is all that you need. He alone paid the price because he alone is the only one worthy to do so. He is the spotless Lamb who sacrificed for us and said that he would remember our sins no more, as far as the east is from the west. His blood paid it all. IT IS FINISHED!!!!!

  2. I’m sending this again after the spelling has been corrected…..

    Hello Marianne

    For many years I felt deeply as you do, and it’s right! But in order to understand what the deep meaning of penance, we have to experience it in our own spirit, would you believe that I’ve been ‘enlightened’ on this subjects? Yes I have, and I can guarantee you that is not trying to take the place of to add to the free gift of Christ’s Salvation, and try to merit anything, but to me it has added to the dimension of the knowledge that I am nothing of myself in my deep thankfulness to my Savior Jesus Christ , I see suffering and penance as a model of Jesus and gladly I will ‘suffer’ to see a soul free from chains…To me it’s a great honor to be able to be made predisposed to even ‘pay some penance’ for myself and my brothers and sisters, but this honor doesn’t have anything to do with pride of achievement, it’s an honor to be able to participate of the suffering of Christ, often Christians accept gladly the Cross that Jesus gives, but think that we don’t have to ‘die’ on that Cross ourselves, because He did it already. But you’ve to understand what the Cross that Jesus has entrust us to carry really means in all his dimensions. There is so much that we can learn about ‘penance’ and other Catholic teachings, and that is what ones need to do : learn it in the ‘Spirit’ and without prejudice, because only by the spirit of God we can understand the real meaning. I’m very thankful that I’m learning that Catholics teaching are not what I thought they were, because actually it brings Unity with them and not antagonism, believe me.. I found out that criticism against Catholic teaching stems from ignorance, and ignorance that criticize things that doesn’t understand brings disunity within the Body of Christ, and where do you think that disunity comes from? I would think it comes from Satan, the ‘divider and conqueror’…. Forgive my English, I am Italian, living in England for many many years… and for many years I was not a Catholic even though born and bred in a Catholic faith being in Italy and being pure Italian, if you know what I mean, I thank God every day now to have been ‘enlightened’ in my darkness about the Catholic teaching, because truly often ‘all what it seems…is not…’
    take care and I pray that you could study in the spirit those teaching if for nothing else to just understand and respect deeply their beauty….you could find a place where Catholics retreats are held and for the sake of being a Christian to humbly participate in one, trying to deeply understand what your Catholics brothers and sister are experiencing about….you will not be disappointed.
    Love in Jesus Christ, our only Life, Love and Unity…
    Maria

    • Hello Maria, thanks for stopping by ‘A Word From Malachi’ and having the conviction to comment. Marianne is a dear sister in the Lord, that I am sure will take the liberty to respond to your comments, but I would like to add just a few thoughts. One you have had some time to digest the discussion please feel free to respond.

      Maria’s comment:
      “I can guarantee you that is not trying to take the place of to add to the free gift of Christ’s Salvation, and try to merit anything, but to me it has added to the dimension of the knowledge that I am nothing of myself in my deep thankfulness to my Savior Jesus Christ”

      That is an encouraging statement… for one’s redemption rest in nothing more or nothing less than the finished work of Christ at Calvary.

      I have followed the persecuted church for many years now and to liken the ‘paying of penance’ to the present day suffering of the Body of Christ is not a fair assessment. Please spend some time reading what our brothers and sisters are enduring for simply naming the name of Christ.

      Concerning Satan and his attempts to sow discord among the brethren, you are correct, but the Word of God keeps him from dividing and conquering. Satan and ‘religion’ takes every opportunity to blind and deceive one that is not grounded in the Word of God. It’s much about spiritual perceptions…. Perception is reality!

      The crux of the matter is Paul Vitello’s propagation of these indulgences….

      “For Catholics, a door to absolution is reopened”- http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/10/nyregion/10indulgence.html?_r=1

      Consider what the word ‘absolution’ means? What perceptions might be out there for those immersed in the Catholic faith?

      ab·so·lu·tion
      –noun
      1. act of absolving; a freeing from blame or guilt; release from consequences, obligations, or penalties.
      2. state of being absolved.
      3. Roman Catholic Theology .
      a. a remission of sin or of the punishment for sin, made by a priest in the sacrament of penance on the ground of authority received from Christ.
      b. the formula declaring such remission.
      4. Protestant Theology . a declaration or assurance of divine forgiveness to penitent believers, made after confession of sins.

      What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus… for without the shedding of blood in NO remission of sin. To give the slightest hint that the ‘paying of penance’ is the “formula declaring such remission” for what the Word of God says is only absolved through the sinless blood of Christ is opportunity for gross perception problems.

      Maria’s comment:
      “I found out that criticism against Catholic teaching stems from ignorance,”

      Back to my point about the importance of a clear teaching from God’s Word. When religion finds one ignorant of the clear teaching of God’s Word, they find that same one vulnerable to religious rhetoric that not only profits little, but also can be down right dangerous at the spiritual level. Consider the dialogue of Jesus and the religious leaders of His day- Matthew 15. http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=Mat&c=15&v=1&t=KJV#top

      Maria, I do not disdain those in the Catholic Church. I have many friends that I dearly love in Christ that are members of the Catholic Church. But when one considers themselves a Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, etc… before they do a ‘Christian’, there is a very good chance they are immersed in a religion that will not stand the test of time and eternity.

      God’s rich blessing Maria

      malachi

  3. Hi Maria, first of all, I would like you to know that I was a Catholic for most of my life so I fully know all about the Catholic Church.zI am not ignorant of any of the teaching of Catholicism! I went through 12 years of Catholic school. With all that said, I want you to know I harbor nothing against Catholics. I do regret that they teach that salvation through Christ is not enough and that you must add works. To say this is to say that Christ death on the cross was not enough. That is sheer blasphemy. The Apostle Paul said to add anything to the cross is to empty the cross! Maria, you CANNOT do a single act of peneance to pay even an iota of the debt of your sin. That is made very clear in the bible, the true word of God! It is arrogance to the highest degree to even think that you can do anything to repay a holy God for your sin!! I am glad that you said that you understand you are nothing of yourself, therefore, there is nothing you can do to “help” with your salvation.

    All those who are true disciples of Christ WILL suffer for their faith. But that suffering is not for their sin, Christ paid the debt for their sin. Our suffering is the cost of our faith from the rulers of darkness of this world. People will suffer for believing that Chris did it all!!! Maria, the Catholic Church went through some dark ages when they killed and tortured people who would not convert!. That is in your history books.

    I praise God that he opened my eyes to the truth that Jesus is more than enough for my sins and that he has FINISHED the work on the crosss! Christ finished the work so that you don’t have to add anything to it!

    God bless you.

  4. Dear Malachi

    I wasn’t sure if I should post here again or not, but this morning I felt a certain ‘prodding’ in the spirit to do so, even though I don’t feel ‘theoretical’ enough to try to explain what I’m experiencing right now with my understanding of Catholic doctrines. one thing I want you to believe that I am not just speaking from my own point of view, but from my own ‘spiritual’ experiences of the last 3 years within the Catholic body of Christ.. I agree with you that being ‘religious’ is not all that is necessary, but, by the garce of God, having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is what everyone should experience and keep as primary focus in our daily life . For me Jesus is not only my Savior, but everything: my life, my love, my guide, my thoughts, my longing, my song, my desire, my pleasure, my lover and husband, my mother and father, my brother and sister, my friend, my fire, my breath, my wisdom, my prayer, my dream, my reason for living, my light in darkness, my sure strong tower to run…. and much much more…. as you’ll probably know as well. We could never ever stop expressing what Jesus Christ means to us, no? And maybe that it’s what we all should do more often, and surely that is what I mostly love doing. Praise God! I would like though also give you a bit of my own reaction of what you’d wrote me, for which I thank you for having taken the time to do so.

    This is what you wrote:
    I have followed the persecuted church for many years now and to liken the ‘paying of penance’ to the present day suffering of the Body of Christ is not a fair assessment. Please spend some time reading what our brothers and sisters are enduring for simply naming the name of Christ.

    I say:
    Of course we are not ‘paying of penance’ to the present day suffering of the Body of Christ. However together with them and Christ we partake of the same suffering, because when one member suffer, the whole body suffer too. And we can intercede
    at the throne of God for our persecuted brothers and sister, and also plead for the souls of the persecutors Yes? Thank God that we can do that. Glory to Him forever!!

    You wrote:
    Concerning Satan and his attempts to sow discord among the brethren, you are correct, but the Word of God keeps him from dividing and conquering. Satan and ‘religion’ takes every opportunity to blind and deceive one that is not grounded in the Word of God. It’s much about spiritual perceptions…. Perception is reality!

    I say:
    Yes, thank God for the Word of God, truth and powerful sharper than any two edges swords…..and the entrance of His word gives us light to our own understanding and to the simple…and to our perception as well. However we also need to make an extra effort to keep united in spirit and love, and also trying to understand the Lord working in other people lives. And for us Christian to be praying and desire that the Holy Spirit can help us to understand and grasp some other truths given by the Body of Christ, in saying this of course I am also referring to the Hierarchy of the Catholic Church, of course in order to do so , we really have to be open because as I said again we cannot understand those doctrines only with our own good Christian reasoning.

    You wrote:
    ab•so•lu•tion
    –noun
    And you give the points of the meanings of it….

    I say:
    If you don’t even believe in all those beliefs, how on earth I can ever tell you anything about it? Therefore all that I can say is: I will suggest that you take time to truly study, possibly with a Priest, the meanings and values that those beliefs have for us Catholics. Even if it was just for your own insight, so you could experience a least in part the meaning, because is not a matter of ‘doing good deeds’ or ’good penance’ etc… but is to partake again in unity with the suffering of the Body of Christ, being through persecution, or prejudice, or violence, or discrimination, or many other sufferings, especially SINS, which many Christians are slaves and we need each other ‘s help and prayers, And it goes also for all the souls that have already passed on to their place in God. I believe we are still very much linked with them, especially our loved ones, and they probably appreciate our intercession and even ‘loving penance’ for them,. I say: loving and voluntary penance as a ‘brother laying down his life for the brethren’… I know you will object on this in applying the way I do… but again I say: you have to experience it in the Spirit. Also there is still so much about this subject, that it would taking me many pages…
    To end now I would like to say; please for the love that Christ has shed in our souls, desire to understand those teachings under a different light, I believe that , like me, Christ can show you their real meaning. Take care
    Love in Christ
    Maria


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