Years ago I recall witnessing to a Catholic. Their Bible promised a plenary indulgence is granted, if this reading is continued for at least one half an hour. (Enchiridion of Indulgences. Authorized English edition. 1969. Catholic Book Publishers. New York. Page 68. # 50)
Did I need further proof? Salvation is by faith and not works (Ephesians 2:8-9). Isn’t that the reason Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the Wittendoor Door?
500 years later, do those Catholics still believe in the power of indulgences? YES. The Catholic Catechism states: “An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints.”
As Mary Moorman states: “Indulgences are a way to buy back the time lost due to the consequences of a sin already forgiven.”
That sounds like a Baptist speaking.
How many times to do I read the Bible in the morning to make me feel stronger or even to lesson the effects of sin? As a church we might visit the widows and orphans or take a bus trip and visit historic landmarks. I don’t do my acts of service to achieve forgiveness of sin. I do this to feel better for my acts of selfishness.
Paul asks us to “buy back the time for the days are evil.” Catholics do this through indulgences and Baptists do this under the category of service.