Skip to comments.Was Mary Sinless?
Posted on 12/05/2010 6:14:57 PM PST by RnMomof7
............The Historical Evidence
The Roman Catholic Church claims that this doctrine, like all of their other distinctive doctrines, has the unanimous consent of the Fathers (contra unanimen consensum Patrum). They argue that what they teach concerning the Immaculate Conception has been the historic belief of the Christian Church since the very beginning. As Ineffabilis Deus puts it,
The Catholic Church, directed by the Holy Spirit of God has ever held as divinely revealed and as contained in the deposit of heavenly revelation this doctrine concerning the original innocence of the august Virgin and thus has never ceased to explain, to teach and to foster this doctrine age after age in many ways and by solemn acts.
However, the student of church history will quickly discover that this is not the case. The earliest traces of this doctrine appear in the middle ages when Marian piety was at its bloom. Even at this time, however, the acceptance of the doctrine was far from universal. Both Thomas Aquinas and Bernard of Clairvaux rejected the immaculate conception. The Franciscans (who affirmed the doctrine) and the Dominicans (who denied it, and of whom Aquinas was one) argued bitterly over whether this doctrine should be accepted, with the result that the pope at the time had to rule that both options were acceptable and neither side could accuse the other of heresy (ironic that several centuries later, denying this doctrine now results in an anathema from Rome).
When we go further back to the days of the early church, however, the evidence becomes even more glaring. For example, the third century church father Origen of Alexandria taught in his treatise Against Celsus (3:62 and 4:40) that that the words of Genesis 3:16 applies to every woman without exception. He did not exempt Mary from this. As church historian and patristic scholar J.N.D. Kelly points out,
Origen insisted that, like all human beings, she [Mary] needed redemption from her sins; in particular, he interpreted Simeons prophecy (Luke 2.35) that a sword would pierce her soul as confirming that she had been invaded with doubts when she saw her Son crucified.
Also, it must be noted that it has been often pointed out that Jesus rebuke of Mary in the wedding of Cana (John 2:1-12) demonstrates that she is in no wise perfect or sinless. Mark Shea scoffs at this idea that Mary is sinfully pushing him [Jesus] to do theatrical wonders in John 2, arguing that there is no reason to think [this] is true. However, if we turn to the writings of the early church fathers, we see that this is precisely how they interpreted Marys actions and Jesus subsequent rebuke of her. In John Chrysostoms twenty-first homily on the gospel of John (where he exegetes the wedding of Cana), he writes,
For where parents cause no impediment or hindrance in things belonging to God, it is our bounden duty to give way to them, and there is great danger in not doing so; but when they require anything unseasonably, and cause hindrance in any spiritual matter, it is unsafe to obey. And therefore He answered thus in this place, and again elsewhere Who is My mother, and who are My brethren? (Matt. xii.48), because they did not yet think rightly of Him; and she, because she had borne Him, claimed, according to the custom of other mothers, to direct Him in all things, when she ought to have reverenced and worshiped Him. This then was the reason why He answered as He did on that occasion He rebuked her on that occasion, saying, Woman, what have I to do with thee? instructing her for the future not to do the like; because, though He was careful to honor His mother, yet He cared much more for the salvation of her soul, and for the doing good to the many, for which He took upon Him the flesh.
Now why on earth would Jesus care for the salvation of Marys soul at this point in time if she was already preventatively saved through having been immaculately conceived, as was claimed earlier? That does not make any sense, whatsoever. Likewise, Theodoret of Cyrus agrees with John Chrysostom in saying that the Lord Jesus rebuked Mary during the wedding at Cana. In chapter two of his Dialogues, he writes,
If then He was made flesh, not by mutation, but by taking flesh, and both the former and the latter qualities are appropriate to Him as to God made flesh, as you said a moment ago, then the natures were not confounded, but remained unimpaired. And as long as we hold thus we shall perceive too the harmony of the Evangelists, for while the one proclaims the divine attributes of the one only begottenthe Lord Christthe other sets forth His human qualities. So too Christ our Lord Himself teaches us, at one time calling Himself Son of God and at another Son of man: at one time He gives honour to His Mother as to her that gave Him birth [Luke 2:52]; at another He rebukes her as her Lord [John 2:4]. And then there is Augustine of Hippo, whom many Roman Catholic apologists attempt to appeal to for their belief in the immaculate conception. They like to quote a portion of chapter 42 of his treatise, On Nature and Grace, where Augustine states,
We must except the holy Virgin Mary, concerning whom I wish to raise no question when it touches the subject of sins, out of honour to the Lord; for from Him we know what abundance of grace for overcoming sin in every particular was conferred upon her who had the merit to conceive and bear Him who undoubtedly had no sin.
However, those who quote this passage miss the point of what Augustine is trying to communicate. He was trying to refute the Pelagian heretics (who were the ones who were claiming that Maryamong other biblical characterswere sinless, since they denied the depravity of man). The article explaining Augustines view of Mary on Allan Fitzgeralds Augustine Through the Ages helps clear up misconceptions regarding this passage:
His [Augustine's] position must be understood in the context of the Pelagian controversy. Pelagius himself had already admitted that Mary, like the other just women of the Old testament, was spared from any sin. Augustine never concedes that Mary was sinless but prefers to dismiss the question Since medieval times this passage [from Nature and Grace] has sometimes been invoked to ground Augustines presumed acceptance of the doctrine of the immaculate conception. It is clear nonetheless that, given the various theories regarding the transmission of original sin current in his time, Augustine in that passage would not have meant to imply Marys immunity from it.
This same article then goes on to demonstrate that Augustine did in fact believe that Mary received the stain of original sin from her parents:
His understanding of concupiscence as an integral part of all marital relations made it difficult, if not impossible, to accept that she herself was conceived immaculately. He specifies in [Contra Julianum opus imperfectum 5.15.52] that the body of Mary although it came from this [concupiscence], nevertheless did not transmit it for she did not conceive in this way. Lastly, De Genesi ad litteram 10.18.32 asserts: And what more undefiled than the womb of the Virgin, whose flesh, although it came from procreation tainted by sin, nevertheless did not conceive from that source.
As can be seen here, these and many other early church fathers did not regard Mary as being sinless or immaculately conceived. It is quite clear that the annals of church history testify that Rome cannot claim that this belief is based upon the unanimous consent of the fathers, since the belief that Mary was sinless started out among Pelagian heretics during the fifth century and did not become an acceptable belief until at least the beginning of the middle ages.
As has been demonstrated here, neither scripture nor church history support the contention of the Roman Catholic Church that Mary was sinless by virtue of having been immaculately conceived. In fact, Rome did not even regard this as an essential part of the faith until the middle of the nineteenth century. This should cause readers to pause and question why on earth Rome would anathematize Christians for disbelieving in a doctrine that was absent from the early church (unless one wants to side with the fifth century Pelagians) and was considered even by Rome to be essential for salvation until a century and a half ago. Because Rome said so? But their reasons for accepting this doctrine in the first place are so demonstrably wrong. After all, they claim that this was held as divinely revealed from the very beginning, even though four and a half centuries worth of patristic literature proves otherwise. This ought to be enough to cast doubt not only on Romes claims regarding Mariology, but their claims to authority on matters of faith and morals in general.
How does someone “disparage the mother of Christ” by exalting the Savior?
I’ve been blessed by Roman Catholics, but some of your doctrines really diminish the efficacy of Christ’s sacrifice.
Ecumenism is an attempt to overthrow the true Gospel of Jesus Christ by overwhelming it with false religions in a democratic consensus. (National Council of Churches, World Council of Churches, etc.)
Well, I am always looking for clarity.
I appreciate your openness.
Yep. As I said, she could have chosen a much better illustration. While the choice was in poor taste I don't think the intent was to offend but rather was not well thought out. However, I try to keep a default mode of giving others the benefit of the doubt.
At the risk of offense, I believe Mary was a brave and obedient child. She answered God's call and became the vessel through which God entered the world so He could take on our sin and pay our debt. She did this even though she would expect Joseph to publicly condemn her.
Nobody seems to notice God's wisdom in choosing Joseph as Jesus' earthly father. Instead of publicly humiliating her, he intended to put her aside quietly (wouldn't you if your "Virgin bride" was suddenly pregnant). He too was obedient when the Angel of the Lord spoke to him and confirmed she was a virgin and carried the Messiah. Let's be real, Joseph faced humiliation by those who would mock him and claim she was unfaithful.
While Joseph and Mary were both brave and obedient, neither of them are the equal of Jesus.
The early Christian writers
that the sun comes up in the morning,
any dubious Christian dogma.
What nonsense that the
bureaucratic political powermongering magicsterical theological elites coming 400 years later
could rationally have the audacity to claim that the early Christian writers
unanimously agreed on
THEIR magicsterically convoluted mishmash of
STILL not the least consistent and homogeneous body of even Scriptural commentary.
Where do such jerks get off claiming unanimous anything?
They STILL aren’t unanimous . . .
About the closest they get to being unanimously agreeing about anything is the horrific pile of Maryolatry they seem to mostly agree with . . . on alternate days.
I think saying that Catholics desire to worship Ishtar is rather personal but that is not my call. The gentleman was in error, he spoke falsely, he wrote things that have no veracity. Thus stands my correction.
>>Ive been blessed by Roman Catholics, but some of your doctrines really diminish the efficacy of Christs sacrifice.<<
That sentence is unparsable.
It is Romans 3:23.
Continuing on in Romans 3:24 -
And are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
Similar is 1st John 1:18-19 -
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Christians test all things through the scriptures.
The traditions of men are purely humanist and sinful.
You say this as if Christ remains contained by Mary; as the elements of remembrance are contained perpetually within the Ark of the Covenant. I take great offense to the statement that Jesus is who he is because he proceeds from Mary, and only because He does. He is not, and will never again be, a baby any longer. He is pre-eminent, pre-existent, and Lord of all things. This fact infinitely subordinates everything else into nothingness.
I guess you do not believe her own words then when she said she was the Immaculate Conception.
I think there is something in the Gospels about “you believe because you see but blessed are they who do not see but believe.”
It amazes me that some look only to scripture for belief but only three of the Gospels may have been written by those who actually saw and heard Jesus.
Ah, insults. The first refuge of Catholics.....
those are called facts....if you are insulted by fact, so be it
“Ecumenism is an attempt to overthrow the true Gospel of Jesus Christ by overwhelming it with false religions in a democratic consensus. (National Council of Churches, World Council of Churches, etc.)”
Ecumenism per that article and the words of Jesus via the Book of John talk of the UNITY of Christians....that the world might know the Truth. Period.
It is obviously HIS plan. It is equally obvious that the world NEEDS this plan.
;-) May His will be accomplished. Amen.
That is cool om so many levels.
It is wrong in this case, but its cool points outweigh its probative value.
Catholic doctrine is that Jesus Christ, Risen Son of God Almighty through Mary, is fully man and fully God.
No, the Immaculate Conception was not the conception of Jesus, it was the conception of Mary. Catholic 101.
Forget Catholic "doctrine;" what does Scripture say?
However beloved Mary is due to birthing Jesus, he made clear that fleshly family relationships were very secondary to being “my mother and brothers” by following his commandments.
And yes, there's no shortage of pettiness and meanness displayed on these religion threads. sadly.
Will you also pray to an unnamed Greek woman as your intercessor? Mary's not the only woman who seems to have convince Jesus to do what he had not intended.
As someone else posted on this thread -
Jesus left that place and went to the vicinity of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it; yet he could not keep his presence secret. In fact, as soon as she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an impure spirit came and fell at his feet. The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter.
First let the children eat all they want, he told her, for it is not right to take the childrens bread and toss it to the dogs.
Lord, she replied, even the dogs under the table eat the childrens crumbs.
Then he told her, For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter.
She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.
Did it ever occur to Catholics that it could just have been that Mary went to Jesus about the wine not knowing HOW He was going to handle it? We can look at it in hindsight but that colors our perspective. Try putting yourself in that situation without any preconceived notions of what was going to happen.
Marriage suppers were family affairs in those days. It could very well be that somehow Mary was connected with hostessing the supper and when they ran out of wine, she came to Him to have Him deal with procuring more in the normal way, presumably because she knew that if she asked Him to do something, she could trust Him because He had proved Himself dependable.
I don’t think there’s anything in Scripture to indicate that she expected Him to deal with in any way out of the ordinary, that is sending someone out to buy more.
This will answer many questions.
You’re right. And along the lines of your post, I refuse to believe that God “rewarded” Joseph’s obedience by condemning him to have a wife who he was not allowed to touch (So she could remain a perpetual virgin), and further condemning him to remaining childless.
At the risk of being condemned as a blasphemer, some report seeing Mary's image on a piece of burnt toast. Other's have claimed to have seen Elvis working at diners, gas stations and music stores.
This is not intended to "bash." My faith is in Jesus and not the claims of man.
Jesus sought unity in belief of the truth; the ecumenists, on the other hand seek the total destruction of the truth through binding consensus.
What was the purpose of the apostles? To teach scriptures? Write Scriptures? To hand down the Lords messages? Could only those messages have been in writing form?
They wrote, taught, and were inspired by the Holy Spirit. Do you believe that only the written guidance of God are true inspiration or were their acts also guided by the Holy Spirit?
I believe God, Jesus left much more than some selective written words, IE “Traditions”. To believe he only left limited written words seams odd to assume. Does the Bible say it is everything? Where in the bible say these are the books of the bible and that is all?
You left out Ashoreth, the original Ishtar.
St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies (C. 180 A.D.):
“Consequently, then, Mary the Virgin is found to be obedient, saying:’ Behold, O Lord, your handmaid; be it done to me according to your word.’ Eve, however, was disobedient; and when yet a Virgin, she did not obey. So also Mary, betrothed to a man but nevertheless still a virgin, being obedient, was made the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race...Thus, the knot of Eve’s disobedience was loosed by the obedience of Mary. What the virgin had bound in unbelief, the Virgin Mary loosed through faith.”
**Does this mean that you dont believe that Christ was both human and divine? Part of him died? Heresy.**
The scriptures refer to the Christ as the ‘Son of God’, but never ‘God the Son’. There is a dynamic, divine reason for that. But, we’re heading off thread here, so I’ll be brief.
In scripture, we find that Jesus Christ had a soul, that was put into a perishable body, with the Father (Spirit; John 4:24) in him doing “the works” (John 14:10), the miracles, the giving of divine instruction.
“This Jesus hath God raised up...” Acts 2:32
Why create confusion with ‘persons of God’?
What is so bad about just reading it like it is written, for example in Acts 10:38,39,40.
“How God” (hmm..which person?) “anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost” (the so called ‘third person’) “AND with power” (power? uh..now which person is that?). “..whom they slew and hanged on a tree. Him God” (which person or persons) “raised up the third day”.
The type of ecumenism you speak of with regard to the World Council of Churches is NOT what the article speaks of(nor do endorse it either) and is not the UNITY that Jesus calls us to.
Can you not agree that Jesus calls us to unite in HIM, because of a great plan?????
I am not Catholic
very apparent...it is too difficult for many people to become Catholic. However, if you recieved a legitimate baptism, you are a Catholic. You may not actively participate in Catholicism, but you can be legitimately baptized ONLY a Catholic (welcome home)...seeing that the Catholic church is the true church founded by Christ, on the apostles, you can’t be baptized anything else. You can be baptized in a Lutheran, Methodist, Presbeterian, etc. church, but you are still Baptized Catholic...
Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, Dogs and Cats . . .
Here we have YET MORE PROOF of the idolatrous attitudes of the RC's toward Mary.
Proddys are accused of ". . . blaspheming the 'Blessed Virgin . . .'"
Then there's the falsehood that the forum was 'established for the sole purpose of . . . '
I'm beginning to think that they must have some sort of vulcan mind zapping mind-meld lobotomizing something or other in the 'holy' water or maybe the wafers--or maybe in the sound system--some sort of wave-length thing??? Where do they get and how do they distribute such horrific inaccuracies, falsehoods, errors, claptrap?
That they brazenly proffer such horrific falsehoods is outrageous enough.
THAT THEY BELIEVE THEM IS WORSE!
As to honest discourse, Since when has the
Vatican Alice In Wonderland School of Theology and Reality Mangling and all its subunits been the least bit interested in truly honest discourse?
Certainly not since the rubberizing of history for 1600 years and particularly since all the lies about history before 400 AD.
Certainly not since all the UNBIBLICAL fantasies piled on top of microscopic splinters of Scriptural toothpicks rationalizing and justifying dogmatic skyscrapers built on nasty fantasized fumes!
Certainly not since all the horrifically outrageously behaved Popes and now in our era all the ecclesiastical altar boy 'educators, trainers and users' and their protectors in the higher hierarchy.
What a joke--the implication that the RC's are really interested in "honest discourse."
And they have the audacity to think a drunken gnat should take their hideous theology seriously.
> Lord, she replied, even the dogs under the table eat the childrens crumbs.
Next thing you know they’ll be declaring all dogs to be without sin...
>> Lets stop with this nonsense of tearing the Body of Christ apart.
We are Christians first and foremost.
Bigger battles abound.
>>At the risk of being condemned as a blasphemer, some report seeing Mary’s image on a piece of burnt toast.<<
The appearances I list are heavily researched and are not just images on burnt toast.
Juan Diego, to whom Our Lady Of Guadalupe appeared was beautified a few years ago — after 500+ years of investigation by the RCC. That is a heck of a lot more than a face in some toast. If you do some research, you will see that microscopic messages — readable by electron microscope — were left in the Manta’s eyes: in 1531!
Likewise, the message from Our Lady of Fatima was opened just a few years ago and the Pope has been very quiet on its contents.
Mary has been very active — it is only the spiritually stunted (and bashers) who refuse her love.
The other thread was locked because of flame baiting from all I could see. It didn't start out that way.
And neither did this one.
Rnmom is as entitled to post threads that reflect her beliefs as any FReeper. Simply because Catholics disagree with those beliefs does not by default mean that its flame baiting. Nobody forced anyone to participate on this thread. Everyone came on here of their own free will. It was their choice.
And anyone who wishes can choose to stay off it as well.
“We are Christians first and foremost.
Bigger battles abound.”
BIGGER than we have ever seen before....and it’s time to work together. ;-)))
Yes, I would pray for intersession from any saint or apostle for I need all the help I can get. But your example would not lead me to pray for intersession via this lady because her status is not known to me. Jesus did the same for several others such as the one who touched his garment but that did not mean she made it to heaven.
As I would pray for other I would also ask the same for me.
> “Can you not agree that Jesus calls us to unite in HIM, because of a great plan?????”
But he also made plain in his word that all of the congregations were deeply corrupted with tares, that only He and his angels could separate.
I think there are a few fonts, sizes and colors you didn’t use in your rant.
I am sure you can go back and give your bash the real emphasis missing from that one.
Much of the extravagant language about Mary comes from medieval writers seemingly trying to outdo each other in their eulogies attempting to allergorize every statement they found in the OT even to rewriting Scripture to do so.
Of course it is. You promote your church over Jesus, and by doing so you diminish Christ. You promote the corrupt church over Christ’s Church, and so diminish Christ.
But this is America, and you’re free to believe what you want.
May Christ increase, and may Rome decrease. Indeed, may Rome go to hell, for Christ’s sake.
This seems to be another example of mind-reading and potty language by the usual suspects.
Your more than welcome to not infer anything from the story of the wine but for me the facts are:
Wine was out
Mary Asked Jesus to resolve the problem
Mary told the servants to follow Jesus directions
Jesus did it
Thus Mary knew Jesus would “Honor thy Mother” so for me cases closed.
Personally, I believe that He is purifying His Bride.
“...just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy ...( Ephesians 5)
What unmitigated balderdash.
Ever read Hebrews?
Paul outlines how throughout Scripture, RIGHTEOUSNESS was IMPUTED BASED ON FAITH.
The individual was not perfect--GOD'S GRACE DECLARED THEM RIGHTEOUS IN HIS EYES based on their faith AND ON HIS GRACE.
GOD'S GRACE TO OVERLOOK THEIR SINS AND FLAWS.
That's pretty basic Bible; very basic theology; very basic Christianity.
The unwarranted, UNBIBLICAL insulting to her Mary worshipping claptrap is from the pit of hell.