Protestants tend to come up with snazzy new tactics for evangelism. Some of them are pretty good, and some of them just aren’t. I clicked on a web link that took me to this website: http://www.areyouagoodperson.org/
Now, it does contain some truth to it: Yes, every single one of us are sinners, this is why we need Jesus Christ. And it does take you through the ten commandments (it actually seems like an Examination of Conscience, which Catholics use every time they go to Confession). It’s useful in that sense, and at the end of the Ten Commandments review, it tells us that sinners who are unrepentant go to hell (which is true), and then it brings up a standard Protestant Gospel Tract type message. The general message is that of Penal Subsitution (or Substitutionary Atonement), the concept that Jesus actually took the punishment for our sins (which is unscriptural and heretical to proper Christological doctrine) is how you are saved and that by believing in Jesus will save you from your sins (that part is true).
Now, I have two reasons to why I bring all of this up. The first is that Protestantism does have it right when it comes to reminding all of us that we’re sinners (though this is not as if the Catholic Church has ever forgotten it, simply look to any of the Saints for confirmation). And the website does give us a good start to point out that we are sinners, and that’s crucial. Yet the website then brings out the Protestant version of the Gospel, which is only partially correct. Yes, Jesus died for our sins, and yes, we could never pay the price for our sins alone. And yes, through faith in Jesus we are saved, this is true. However, the tract works on the concept of Substitutionary Atonement, which I’ve already pointed out to as being false. Tomorrow I may write a rebuttal of Penal Substitution. The second reason why I bring it up is because it has a message at the end where it says “if you have rejected the Gospel, there is no hope for you, there is no purgatory, you will be damned”. Now, it is true that all unrepentant sinners who reject the Gospel will be damned, I agree. And yes, we should warn people that their sins merit hell and they need to repent. This is also true. However, the message given at the end of the website gets two things wrong; 1), there is always hope for people who are still breathing. Those who have rejected the Gospel can be reached to and be saved. Simply look at, well, Christianity. Or for a more specific example, St. Paul or St. Augustine or St. Anthony, all people who had lives of prestige and power and gave it up to follow Jesus Christ.
2) They use the secular understanding of what Purgatory is, and not the Catholic understanding. Purgatory is not Limbo, a vague space where you’re neither condemned nor blessed. It is not a place where people get a “second chance”. It is not even a place, technically. The Church understands purgatory to be either a place OR a state where you are purified (through the grace of Christ) of your temporal attachments to sin, so that you may be pure before Jesus Christ and may enter heaven (for the Book of Revelation clearly says that nothing impure can enter into Heaven). Note clearly that it is the grace of Christ which is purifying you. This will be argued against by many Protestants who hold to the concept of Imputation of Righteousness (which is in the bible but not understood properly by Protestantism). The thing about Purgatory is that it is for those who are going to Heaven, not for those going to Hell. Everyone gets a One-Way ticket at the end of their lives, either for Heaven or for Hell. The only difference is that some of those people who are going to Heaven make a pit stop at Purgatory.
In other words, Purgatory is for the Elect, the Blessed, those who are deemed righteous in the eyes of God through His grace. It is not a second chance; you don’t get to choose God in Purgatory. This is a common misconception which is being spread by this website, and must be corrected.
“Are you a good person?” is an interesting website. I didn’t mind the format it gave for going through the 10 Commandments, and I could actually see this being useful as an examination of conscience, something important in the spiritual life. And it does get many things right; we are all sinners, we all need Jesus Christ and His grace, and we need to repent. Yet the Oversimplified Gospel of Protestantism that it gives is lacking, and is based on false theological premises that have time and time again been proven wrong and rejected by the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Not to say that what the message it gives is entirely wrong. Jesus DID die for your sins, and through his wounds and death you ARE freed from sin and to receive salvation you MUST repent from your sins and place your trust in Jesus Christ, who IS the only one who can save you from your sins. These things are true and must be believed and lived out in our lives. The website is good in many ways, but is lacking and based on faulty theology.