Friday, October 1, 2010

Martin Luther's Broken Hammer

St. Peter's Cross, Part V.

You are Peter, and upon this Rock I will build my Church and
the Gates of Hell will not prevail against it.

- Matthew 16:18

The Maccabee Steps in Jerusalem

Martin Luther's Hammer Missed the Nail at the Gates of Purgatory

Ironically, Protestant mythology never ceases to emphasize how Brother Martin Luther triumphantly left the monastery after 'nailing' his 95 theses to the door of his cell. Today, one finds that, especially in this country, the United States, the vast majority of Protestants follow Luther in their theology and doctrine. Amazingly, their emphasis on Scripture (Sola Scriptura) and Justification by Grace alone stem directly from Luther, completely ignoring the deeply Catholic tradition that England created for themselves by their simple, basic imitation of the Roman Church using English as the primary language.

This has resulted in a situation that many people, without finding the words to express them, find to be fanatically dualistic and extremist. All things considered, it seems quite logical to conclude that the roots, the deeply-embedded source, of this American extremism (Gay Marriage, Abortion, Euthanasia, Sex Education) is to be found in a single word- Purgatory. Yes, Purgatory that bland, boring, old-fashioned, passe', topic which, in reality, makes all the difference in the world. The common folklore that almost everyone is going to Purgatory immediately after death has been passed on from the first Jewish-Christians of the 1st Century A.D. to the European Gentile Crusaders of the 11th Century to the Kindergarten classrooms of the late 20th Century where a stern Polish nun told our class the exact same thing. Personally, I believe it is Purgatory alone that will save Christianity from extinction in the modern world, especially among the English-speaking chattering classes.

The Cross of St. Peter's

The Protestants, most especially among the much-despised 'Christian Right' refuse to budge, almost as if Luther still has a stranglehold upon the entire movement. This is from a Protestant website: 'The doctrine of purgatory developed in the late patristic and early medieval periods.'

Current historical research, along with a lot of common sense, now tells a different story. The concept of a dark, underground world of ghosts where the dead await God's judgment and eventual salvation is as old as Abraham who 'gave up the ghost, and was gathered to his people' and has continued, non-stop, as both Scripture and folk-lore ever since. Originally called 'the Sheol' this God-given Underworld was never Hell, as many Protestants now claim, but a calm, resting abode for the spirits of dead ancestors who no longer had access to material bodies. Here's just a few understandings which the Protestants still try to either hide or deny:

Modern Anthropology has discovered that numerous other cultures throughout the world have also believed in a vast middle area between Heaven and Hell, including the Chinese.
Except for the exclusively American branches of Reform and Conservative, Judaism has always believed in Purgatory. Even after transferring their languages and traditions from Yiddish (Hebrew/German) to English, today's Rabbis openly and publicly affirm their theology by using the word 'Purgatory' specifically. Check the websites yourselves.

Because of this 'newly discovered' fact, the Gospels can clearly be interpreted as originating from a Jesus Christ who also believed in Purgatory, a temporary middle place or state. This helps to explain numerous passages, such as the prophet's reward, or the 'cup of water for a child' reward, obviously implying a hierarchy of rewards and punishments (meaning Purgatory).
Untold, countless secular liberals (many of them from Protestant heritage) do not believe in Christianity simply because they disagree with the idea that anyone and everyone burns in Hell forever and ever.
Not only does the New Testament Second Letter of Peter (II Peter) talk about grace without works as wrong and 'ignoramus', he also discusses the spirits enduring temporary punishment (meaning Purgatory).
Although woefully neglected today in the West, there are still countless legends and tales about the Harrowing of Hell and the defeat of both Hades (Pluto) and the Devil (Satan) by Jesus Christ and the Angels. This means that the Greco-Roman land of the dead was cleared out and sanctified by Christ's presence, thus becoming Purgatory for future generations. Using Protestant logic, the whole place became Hell once again after Jesus and the Angels left!
While Pagan Rome never even came close to conquering pre-Christian Europe. the Church eventually won over the barbaric hearts and minds of the entire continent. Even so. whatever happened to all the European Pagan lands of the dead, including Pagan 'paradise' or Heaven? They sure didn't become Christian Heaven. Numerous Catholic literature strongly suggests that these spiritual realms were eventually included in the expanding regions of Purgatory as the Church spread the faith throughout Europe both above the ground and below, buried six feet under. St. Patrick is said to have conquered the Pagan Celtic paradise and taken those who were worthy back up to Heaven! What is the old pre-Christian 'paradise' probably called now? Purgatory!

The Throne of St. Peter's
The Evangelical Protestant's modern hero, C.S. Lewis, unabashedly believed in Christian Purgatory and publicly acknowledged its existence, even though he wasn't Roman Catholic and had absolutely no theological precedent for his opinion.
Protestant Billy Graham has said, maybe more than once, that he intends on being with his wife when he dies. If there is no marriage in Heaven and marriage is until death do us part, where would this take place? Purgatory!

The number of discrepancies in Protestant logic about Purgatory has created a expanding global consensus among most of the non-English speaking Catholic intellectuals, especially the young Turks in the Clergy, that is openly hostile to the U.S. and encourages their fellow-countrymen to say. 'Well if Protestant Christianity is that stupid, then so are you!' Hispanic Clergy semi-secretly plot a national re-taking of American soil. Why? Because no Hispanic soul in Purgatory would be safe in a nation that not only denies Purgatory, but refuses any establishment of religion. Read carefully, there is every reason to believe that the Founders were referring to Purgatory specifically when using the words, 'establishment of religion'.

Because of the continuing Protestant denial of Purgatory, the anti-Catholic agenda seen in today's politics will not be going away any time soon, whether it comes from the right or the left. The reason? Martin Luther's protest is only 500 years old and still refuses to accept a Juedo-Christian institution nearly 4000 years old. His hammer falters when it tries to hit Purgatory, both then and now. I'll end with a revealing quote and all that it implies about his legacy:

Be a sinner and sin stoutly, but trust in Christ much more firmly…even should you practice whoredom a thousand times a day.

- Martin Luther

May the LORD God bless you in the name of St. Judas Maccabaeus.

Jason Nicholas Korning