Purgatory, Pictures and Statues, Ashes on Ash Wednesday, Vestments, HolyWater

The Bible teaches (a) that some sins are forgiven in the next world (b) that some soulsare saved in the next world "by fire"; (c) that it is useful and beneficial to pray for thedead.
       Matt. 12:32 - And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of Man it shall beforgiven him but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him,neither in this world, neither in the world to come. (Some sins can therefore, be forgiven afterdeath.)
       I Cor. 3:13 and 15 - Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shalldeclare it because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of whatsort it is. 15. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall besaved, yet so as by fire.
       2 Machabees, 12:46 - (This is one of the Old Testament books omitted from theProtestant bible). It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead that theymay be loosed from their sins.
       Comment: As nothing defiled can enter Heaven, there must necessarily exist a state ofcleansing or purgation usually called "purgatory."

                                                             PICTURES AND STATUES
The Bible teaches that God approves the use and veneration of sacred pictures andimages to stimulate religious fervor.
       Exod. 25:18 - And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shaltthou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat.
       Numbers 21:8, 9 - And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, andset it upon a pole; and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he lookethupon it, shall live.
       John 3:14: And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must theSon of Man be lifted up.
       I Kings 6:29 - And he carved all the walls of the house about with carved figures ofcherubims and palm trees and open flowers, within and without. (Also see verses 32 and35.)
       Comment: Hence you are not forbidden "to make to thyself a graven image," except whenthis is to be set up and adored as a god.

                                                ASHES ON ASH WEDNESDAY
The Bible teaches the utility of ashes as a sign of penance.
Job 42:6 - Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.
       Jonas 3:6 - For word came unto the king of Nineveh and he arose from his throne,and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth and sat in ashes.
       Comment: Hence criticism of blessed ashes and similar Catholic sacramentals, is irreverentand irreligious.

                                                    VESTMENTS AT MASS
The Bible teaches that special vestments are worn by those exercising sacred functions.
Exod. 28:4 - And these are the garments which they shall make: a breast plate, andan ephod, and a robe, and a broidered coat, a mitre and a girdle: and they shall make holygarments for Aaron thy brother, and his sons, that he may minister unto me in the priest'soffice.
       Comment: Hence Catholic vestments are by no means "superstitious," butconformable to Bible precedent.

                                                            HOLY WATER

The Bible teaches that already in ancient times, God not only permitted butcommanded the use of Holy Water.
       Numbers 5:17 - And the priests shall take holy water in an earthenvessel, and of the dust that is in the floor of the tabernacle the priest shall take, and put itinto the water.
       Comment: Hence the Catholic church should be commended, not blamed, forfollowing Scripture.