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Scholar says Baptists neglect lessons from Virgin Mary
ABP ^ | July 30, 2009 | Robert Marus

Posted on 08/01/2009 1:51:11 PM PDT by NYer

EDE, Netherlands (ABP) -- A Latina theologian says overreaction to Catholic veneration of the Virgin Mary has caused Baptists to miss important biblical teaching associated with the mother of Jesus.

Nora Lozano
Nora Lozano, associate professor of biblical and theological studies at Baptist University of the Americas, found potential liberation for women -- both Protestant and Catholic -- in Latin America and elsewhere by taking another look at the biblical story of Mary, Jesus' mother.

Lozano, a participant in theological conversations between the Baptist World Alliance and the Vatican, made the remarks in a presentation to the BWA Commission on Doctrine and Interchurch Cooperation at a meeting of global Baptists in the Netherlands.

She noted the Mexican story of the Virgin of Guadalupe -- a purported apparition of Mary to an indigenous peasant in Mexico City in the 16th century -- and how closely it ties the identity of the nation's Catholicism with Mary, who serves as a sort of "demi-goddess."

There are analogous Virgin Mary cults of devotion in other Latin American countries.

Lozano said Mexican Baptists and other Protestants, meanwhile, actively ignore Mary, to the extent of giving the biblical character short shrift.

"It seems that there is a consensus among these Baptists to disregard, neglect or reject the Virgin Mary," Lozano said, speaking of an informal survey she had done of some of her global Baptist colleagues.

And, in countries where Catholics are a majority, she added, "Baptists tend to move back and forth between actively rejecting and simply ignoring Mary."

In those countries, Lozano noted, "This becomes one of the major barriers to relations between Catholics and Baptists."

Because Mary is so perfect in popular Catholic theology in Latin America -- perpetually a virgin, although a mother; blameless, even sinless -- Lozano said she becomes an impossible standard of womanhood. Nonetheless, many men look for this standard in the mother of their children.

On the other hand, Lozano noted, Mary's opposite -- the wanton harlot -- is what many men tend to look for in sex partners. Being forced to choose between the two stereotypes can be deadly for women.

"When these [images of Mary and her opposite] are misused, they become oppressive and a source of suffering for women," she said. "Neither one of these models is a good one for women, because they do not present women as complete human beings."

Lozano said that embracing the "life-giving" aspects of Marian veneration can be both healthy for all women and a bridge between Latin American Protestants and Catholics, she contended.

Lozano pointed to two passages dealing with Mary in the Christmas story as recorded in Luke's Gospel: The angel's announcement to Mary that she would bear Christ (Luke 1:26-38), and Mary's song of praise to God, often called the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55).

Mary is not a passive presence in those stories, Lozano pointed out, but an active and willing participant in God's work who was "well aware of social injustices," she said.

"She is subject with a strong will and a social consciousness," Lozano noted.

Lozano delivered her remarks on the second day of the BWA's Annual Gathering in Ede, Netherlands. Hundreds of Baptists from around the world came to conduct BWA General Council business as well as observe the 400th anniversary of the Baptist movement, which began in the summer of 1609 in nearby Amsterdam.

TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Evangelical Christian; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: baptist; vatican; virginmary
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To: SkyDancer

Ann, the mother of Mary conceived immaculately. This is is common knowledge and is taught by Anglican, ORthodox, Catholic and more traditions.

21 posted on 08/01/2009 2:41:04 PM PDT by x_plus_one (Only ACORN could put a long legged mac daddy, quasi-muslim, communist freak into the white house...)
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To: Colonel_Flagg

My faith in Jesus Christ as my savior requires no belief about Mary’s conception or Mary’s perpetual virginity (or lack thereof), any more than it requires a belief that the earth is 6000 years old. Salvation has no such requirements.

22 posted on 08/01/2009 2:41:52 PM PDT by TexasAg
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To: mel

Oh yes, I saw that when Mrs. Clinton was told that God painting, I did more research on Guadalupe and found that web site. Really amazing and inspiring

23 posted on 08/01/2009 2:49:14 PM PDT by mel
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To: x_plus_one

So how far back does one go?

24 posted on 08/01/2009 2:50:20 PM PDT by SkyDancer ('Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not..' ~ Thomas Jefferson)
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To: steve86
It is logically impossible for someone to be the "Queen of Heaven" (God, being the King of heaven) and not be deity. Whether you believe it or not, you have deified her.

And no, it doesn't "ruin my day" to think that there are Christians who have allowed paganism to seep into their faith. But it does give cause for sadness.

25 posted on 08/01/2009 2:50:20 PM PDT by Guyin4Os (My name says Guyin40s but now I have an exotic, daring, new nickname..... Guyin50s)
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To: Guyin4Os
The Queen of Heaven, the mother of Jesus, was conceived immaculately also. Mary, was transported to heaven just after her death (in scripture). She is the enemy of Satan.

The Baptist tradition has taken the King James version of the new and old testaments to be the only information extant on the existence of Mary and Jesus.

Knowledge about the life and death of Mary and Jesus has also been handed down in Catholic history/tradition. Jesus is King of Heaven. Mary is the Queen Mother at his right hand.

26 posted on 08/01/2009 2:52:03 PM PDT by x_plus_one (Only ACORN could put a long legged mac daddy, quasi-muslim, communist freak into the white house...)
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To: Mr Rogers

“Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”

Jesus underscored the virtue and need of our holiness without taking any honors away from His Mother. He did that because He wanted to emphasisze that He came on Earth for us and not just His Mother.

27 posted on 08/01/2009 2:57:37 PM PDT by 353FMG
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To: NYer

I don’t think Baptists ignore Mary. They just don’t deify her. I’m not sure exactly what lessons he thinks we’re missing. The article does not say, really.

28 posted on 08/01/2009 2:59:00 PM PDT by Brilliant
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To: devane617

Baptists believe what they want.

29 posted on 08/01/2009 3:01:21 PM PDT by AceMineral (Offically unapproved of since 1973)
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To: mel

Im Baptist. But I do notice that people who believe that Mary popped down into a cave near Mexico City to talk with Juan Diego, are often the same ones scoffing at the Mormons saying Jesus Christ popped down here with the indians.

30 posted on 08/01/2009 3:04:06 PM PDT by DesertRhino (Dogs earn the title of "man's best friend", Muslims hate dogs,,add that up.)
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To: NYer

The scriptures tell us: “For ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”

Notice it doesn’t say “except for Mary.”

The existence of the Christ who is a wholly Divine member of the Godhead does not require a mother born of a virgin... logically or structurally. Mary’s holiness did not come from a sinless life or an immaculate conception but from the same place ours does: through a belief in the Godhead and faith in the redemptive work of the God. The source of her holiness was not of herself, but was imputed unto her via Christ.

As for the supposed double standard of womens’ purity and sexuality, where’s the rub? A chaste woman who remains pure and modest before the world is not defiled in one iota by a wanton and expressive marriage bed. How else does a man and woman become “one flesh?”

31 posted on 08/01/2009 3:06:58 PM PDT by Sparticus (Libs, they're so open minded that their brains leaked out.)
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To: Sparticus
Whoops! Spellchecker madness!

structurally = scripturally

32 posted on 08/01/2009 3:08:32 PM PDT by Sparticus (Libs, they're so open minded that their brains leaked out.)
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To: NYer

Baptists focus on the important things like
Christ and his redemption of the world.

His mother was Mary. She did a great and wonderful thing but she wasn’t perfect, didn’t remain a virgin and doesn’t have anything to do with what God and Christ do for us in the present tense.

33 posted on 08/01/2009 3:11:41 PM PDT by swmobuffalo ("We didn't seek the approval of Code Pink and before deciding what to do")
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To: Guyin4Os
It is logically impossible for someone to be the "Queen of Heaven" (God, being the King of heaven) and not be deity.

No, you have fallen victim to a fallacy:

God is a deity and is a king
Mary is a queen.
Therefore, Mary must be a deity.

That is fallacious.

Mary is the Queen of Heaven and Earth without being a deity and there is no logical necessity that she must be.

34 posted on 08/01/2009 3:15:25 PM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by nature, not nurture)
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To: Mr Rogers
“As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.” He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”

Luke's Gospel says:

And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed;

35 posted on 08/01/2009 3:15:58 PM PDT by NYer ("One Who Prays Is Not Afraid; One Who Prays Is Never Alone"- Benedict XVI)
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To: swmobuffalo
doesn’t have anything to do with what God and Christ do for us in the present tense.

I agree: she doesn't do anything for you in the present tense because you reject her graces.

36 posted on 08/01/2009 3:17:52 PM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by nature, not nurture)
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To: steve86
>I call her “The Queen of Heaven,” ... but am a Christian and do not deify her nor consider myself a “pagan” ...

But all of us can
slip into bad practices
that need correction:


Now I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things.
And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship
at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me.
But he said to me, "Do not do it! I am a fellow servant
with you and with your brothers the prophets and of all
who keep the words of this book. Worship God!"

Revelation 22:8-9 (NIV)

37 posted on 08/01/2009 3:18:00 PM PDT by theFIRMbss
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To: SkyDancer
It need go back no further than St. Anne.

God was intervening in history to enter the world. He prepared the Virgin Mary to be the new Ark of the Covenant, so that he would have a fitting home for nine months, and a fit mother to raise him. Not through any virtue of her own, but by God's grace.

The Virgin's immaculate conception is not the flip side of Original Sin. It did not need to be inherited.

38 posted on 08/01/2009 3:22:10 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: Mr Rogers
"Baptists don’t put much emphasis on Mary because Scripture doesn’t."

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you.

Luke 1:28 "And coming to her, he said, "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you." The Greek kecharitomene means favored by grace, graced. Its tense suggests a permanent state of being "highly favored," thus full of grace. Charity, the divine love within us, comes from the same root. God is infinite Goodness, infinite Love. Mary is perfect created goodness, filled to the limit of her finite being with grace or charity.

Blessed art thou among women

Luke 1:41-42a "When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, "Most blessed are you among women..."

Luke 1:48 "For he has looked upon his handmaid's lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed."

Among all women is a way to say the highest/greatest etc. of a group in Semitic languages (these words would likely have been spoken in Aramaic). Mary is being called the greatest of all women, greater than Ruth, greater than Sarah, greater than EVE! Since Eve was created immaculate (without original sin), Mary must have been conceived immaculate. And, although Eve fell into sin by her own free will, Mary must have corresponded to God's grace and remained sinless. She could not otherwise be greater than Eve. Thus, as the Fathers of the Church unanimously assert, Mary is the New Eve who restores womanhood to God's original intention and cooperates with the New Adam, her Son, for the Redemption of the world.

Blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus

Luke 1:42b "and blessed is the fruit of your womb."

Jesus is Mary's fruit. Good fruit does not come from anything but a good tree (Mt. 7:17-18)! The all-holy Son of God could not be the fruit of any other tree than the Immaculate Virgin.

Holy Mary, Mother of God

Luke 1:43 "And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?

Kyrios is the Greek word used by the Jews in the Septuagint Bible (Greek translation) for Yhwh, the Divine Name of God. In her greeting of Mary, Elizabeth is saying: "How is it that the mother of my God should come to me." Against the heresies of the 4th and 5th centuries which tried to split the Person of Jesus into two, divine and human, denying one or the other, the Council of Ephesus in 431 AD proclaimed Mary Theotokos (God-bearer, i.e. mother of God). Jesus is a single Person, a Divine Person, the 2nd Person of the Most Holy Trinity. To be mother of the Person Jesus is to be mother of a Person who is God. Mary's title protects this truth against errors which emphasize or deny, either the divinity or humanity of the Lord.

Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Luke 2:35 "...and you yourself a sword will pierce so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed."

John 2:5 "His mother said to the servers, "Do whatever he tells you."

Mary sees a need and appeals to Her Son to satisfy it. He does. We turn to Mary to ask her to intercede with her Son in our daily spiritual and material needs, but especially at the hour of our death. At that moment our salvation hangs in the balance as the devil makes his final foray to deter us from the path to God (Rev. 2:10). It is not surprising, therefore, that both the Hail Mary and the Our Father conclude with an appeal to be delivered from the evil one.

39 posted on 08/01/2009 3:23:02 PM PDT by Natural Law
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To: RobbyS

Well, scripture says, “Joseph...took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son.”

It says, “And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths...”

And it says, “And his mother and his brothers came, and standing outside they sent to him and called him. And a crowd was sitting around him, and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, seeking you.” And he answered them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! “Whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”

and, ““Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.”

If you want to claim Jesus was an only child, it seems the burden of proof is on you. And FWIW, both Greek and Aramaic had words for cousins or kinfolk.

40 posted on 08/01/2009 3:30:02 PM PDT by Mr Rogers (I loathe the ground he slithers on!)
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