I tried to post this response once before, but it seems to have disappeared, so I will post it again now and also post a copy of it to my blog:
I am also not implying that there was any ill-will on Mr. Swan's part and that he may have deleted my earlier response. I was quite tired that evening when I attempted to post it - and it's possible after I did a
few "previews" that I neglected to click "publish." So, on with the response:
Mr. Swan, quoting Luther:
St Paul, in 1 Corinthians 3, says of the fire of the last day that it will prove the good works, and by it some shall be saved because they keep the faith, though their work may suffer loss. Of this fire also they make purgatory, according to their custom of twisting the Scriptures and making of them what they will.
Well, there's no "twisting" done by Catholics
here! If Luther would just read on in the same
context he'd find Scripture provides us with
the truth of the matter. Let's do that now,
and I will bold the text which Luther
quotes from and italicize the text which
1Co 3:12 Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,
1Co 3:13 each man's work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work.
1Co 3:14 If any man's work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward.
1Co 3:15 If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. (NASB)
It must be noted, this "testing by fire" is done as a judgment for those ALREADY SAVED and it mentions that if a man's work is burned up, he will "suffer loss." He will "suffer" yet, still is saved! This is a VERY CLEAR reference to Purgatory in Scripture.
May God allow each of us to read this with objectivity and humility. Purgatory IS scriptural - even if
Luther didn't see it as such. It also must be noted, this article of Mr. Swan's reveals that even though
Luther did not believe Purgatory was scriptural, he still believed it was true! Quoting again from Mr.
"That there is a purgatory cannot be proved by those Scriptures which are approved and trustworthy. I have never yet denied that there is a purgatory, and I still hold that there is, as I have many times written and confessed, though I have no way of proving it incontrovertibly, either by Scripture or reason..."
(We have just seen it is clearly found in Scripture)
"...in a word, I have decided for myself that there is a purgatory, but cannot force any others to the same decision."
(1521, Luther's response to Exsurge Domine qtd.
at: Beggars All Blog.
So Luther, though he THOUGHT he could not prove Purgatory by Scripture - still believed in it.