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Mariaphobic Response Syndrome: Part One
MarkShea.com ^ | 2005 | Mark P. Shea

Posted on 01/01/2013 12:39:19 PM PST by Salvation

 

Mariaphobic Response Syndrome: Part One

Recently, I participated in an online conversation about the Blessed Virgin. As an Evangelical convert to the Catholic faith, I can empathize with the deep fears many Evangelicals have about Mary. It's a terror that runs way down into the guts and marrow of many Evangelicals. It's a deep, unreasoning and nameless fear that does not lose any of its power even when every so-called "basis" for the fear is debunked. And like many irrational fears, it has the odd quality of distracting us from reality and clear thinking.

To illustrate what I mean, let me sum up not a few discussions I have witnessed between Catholics and Evangelicals.

Evangelical: You must not worship Mary!

Catholic: Relax. I don't worship Mary.

Evangelical: Oh, but you do!

Catholic: Actually, I think I'm the only one qualified to make that call, aren't I?

Evangelical: But it looks to me like you worship her! You pray to her and ask her to intercede for you, don't you?

Catholic: Yes, I do like to talk to my mother about things. But I don't worship her and I don't think she's God. She's a creature, a fellow Christian (albeit the great one). How would you feel if I said, "You worship your barber! I know you do, because you sometimes ask him to pray for you?"

Evangelical: That's totally different!

Catholic: Actually, it's exactly the same. Which is why Scripture says don't judge by appearances. If you'd just ask me rather than telling me, I'd be happy to tell you what I worship. I worship Jesus Christ fully present in the Holy Eucharist-body, blood, soul, and divinity.

Evangelical: I don't think the Eucharist is Jesus' body and blood, but simply a symbol. But let's not argue over such fine points of theology as "transubstantiation". We both celebrate Communion in our own ways. And that's the important thing.

Catholic: Did you hear me? I said I fall down in worship and adoration before something that looks just like a piece of bread and a cup of wine. I say "Hosanna" to it. I adore it as the very God of the Universe! The Eucharist is my Lord and my God, my salvation, my life, the very source of my being!

Evangelical: Yes. I think that's a bit overboard, but let's not argue about it. You have your version of Communion and I have mine. Now: about Mary worship--don't you see how incredibly dangerous it is for you to commit the grave sin of idolizing Mary....

If this were the only time I'd seen exchanges like this I would laugh it off as a singular incidence of obtuseness. But, in fact, it's not at all uncommon to see Evangelicals devoting weirdly disproportionate amounts of energy to the strange task of persuading Catholics to cease doing what they are not doing while cheerfully and warmly ignoring what they are doing.

To be sure, that doesn't mean I think Evangelicals should get on the ball and start a campaign against Eucharistic Adoration. On the contrary, I think Eucharistic Adoration the highest duty of the human race and something that should be encouraged till the glory of the Lord covers the face of the earth as the waters cover the sea. But I do think it mighty odd that somebody who doesn't believe the Eucharist is Jesus Christ cares passionately that I not fall down in worship of Mary-whom I do not adore-yet shrugs indifferently when I fall down in worship of the Host.

It gives one the strong impression that there's something other than concern about idolatry here. That something is what I call Mariaphobic Response Syndrome: the irrational terror of the Blessed Virgin that paradoxically makes her loom far larger in many Evangelical imaginations than in Catholic ones.

As a recovering MRS sufferer, I can tell you that she is perhaps the single biggest obstacle facing the potential convert to the Church from Evangelicalism. The papacy? Small beer! The Eucharist? Got it. Sacred Tradition? Not a problem! Mary?

Something in the gut stirs. The terror that the whole Catholic faith is a vast charade flares up in the mind. Say what they will, the "Catholic Mary" is some terrible pretty face on the worship of Babylonian deities! Must. Get. Out! Must. Escape! It's all a trick! Once I'm in the Church I'll be ushered into the Secret Chambers where Scary Marian Rites of Worship take place in the secret rooms beneath the sanctuary! There'll be no escape! I will be forced to worship the Goddess!!!!!

Then you enter the Church and reality hits you: Mary gets small. Or rather, she resumes her normal place. You discover the comic fact that nobody thinks she's another God, as you feared. You discover the even funnier fact that a small minority of Catholics think she's another Pope. But more on that in my next column...

Copyright 2005 - Mark P. Shea



TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; History; Theology
KEYWORDS: blessedvirginmary; catholic
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Addressing some of what we see on FR.
1 posted on 01/01/2013 12:39:29 PM PST by Salvation
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To: Salvation
Addressing some of what we see on FR.

In doing so, please avoid leftist tactics. Protestants are not "Mariaphobic." Nor do they "fear" Mary. Yours are lazy, small-minded arguments.


2 posted on 01/01/2013 12:47:43 PM PST by Cinnamontea
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To: Cinnamontea
Protestants are not "Mariaphobic." Nor do they "fear" Mary.

Agreed. "Mariaphobic" is an irrational pejorative, in the same way that "homophobic" is.

3 posted on 01/01/2013 12:52:36 PM PST by Constitutionalist Conservative (I'm a constitutionalist, not a libertarian. Huge difference.)
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To: Salvation
That's pretty good (and neither lazy nor small minded!).

I feel badly for Protestants who reject Mary's generously-offered graces. Like rejecting a cup of cold, clear water when you are dying of thirst. And they reject it militantly, not out of ignorance.

4 posted on 01/01/2013 12:55:59 PM PST by steve86 (Acerbic by Nature, not Nurture™)
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To: Salvation

One might suspect Mr. Shea has spent some time on FR.


5 posted on 01/01/2013 12:56:38 PM PST by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: Salvation

</rolls-eyes>


6 posted on 01/01/2013 12:59:51 PM PST by Sparticus (Tar and feathers for the next dumb@ss Republican that uses the word bipartisanship.)
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To: steve86

It’s all about Jesus


7 posted on 01/01/2013 1:03:04 PM PST by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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To: Salvation

Protestants believe that Mary was a sinner in need of salvation through the grace of God the son—just like everyone else. how does that make them “Mariaphobic”?


8 posted on 01/01/2013 1:06:16 PM PST by Fiji Hill (Io Triumphe!)
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To: Cinnamontea

Trying to read my mind, eh?

I see a lot of dissing of Mary from non-Catholics on FR.

Perhaps you don’t see them.

Anyway — you can’t read my mind. (And besides that — it’s against the rule on the Religion Forum.)


9 posted on 01/01/2013 1:07:40 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: steve86

“Mary’s generously-offered graces.”

What’s the chapter and verse on MARY’s generously offered graces? Doesn’t exist. God’s grace is the only grace — unless you’ve been smokin’ the sofa or something.


10 posted on 01/01/2013 1:08:57 PM PST by MayflowerMadam
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

LOL! That was my thought precisely when I first saw the article.


11 posted on 01/01/2013 1:09:08 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

The funny thing is that Martin Luther treats Mary with almost Catholic respect, all through his writings. About the only exception is that he denies her the title, Queen of Heaven, because that is the name that was given to the Goddess Ishtar, condemned in the Old Testament.

John Milton, a convinced Puritan, also speaks highly of Mary in his early poems, in Paradise Lost, and most notably in Paradise Regained, his last poem.

The Protestant refusal to treat Mary with respect, and pretty much to ignore her, was a fairly late development, not yet present in the early Reformation. And, of course, it goes against several passages in the Bible, for instance, “All generations shall call me blessed.”


12 posted on 01/01/2013 1:10:32 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: GeronL

Christ was true man and true God.

Would you have Jesus if it had not been for the Blessed Virgin Mary’s “YES” to the Archangel Gabriel?

From Luke: “I am the handmaid of the Lord, be it done according to thy word.”

“And the word was made flesh and dwelt among us.”


13 posted on 01/01/2013 1:11:31 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: MayflowerMadam
I'm not sure they (early Christians) even had sofas during most of the first 1,500 years or so of Christianity.

Besides, all grace through Mary originates with God.

14 posted on 01/01/2013 1:12:06 PM PST by steve86 (Acerbic by Nature, not Nurture™)
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To: Salvation; HerrBlucher; mgist; raptor22; victim soul; Isabel2010; Smokin' Joe; Michigander222; ...

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 shall call me blessed.
For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name. And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with His arm:
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
and exalted those of low degree.
He has filled the hungry with good things;
and the rich He has sent empty away.
He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy;
As He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to His posterity forever.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen

Magníficat ánima mea Dóminum,
et exsultávit spíritus meus
in Deo salvatóre meo,
quia respéxit humilitátem
ancíllæ suæ.

Ecce enim ex hoc beátam
me dicent omnes generatiónes,
quia fecit mihi magna,
qui potens est,
et sanctum nomen eius,
et misericórdia eius in progénies
et progénies timéntibus eum.
Fecit poténtiam in bráchio suo,
dispérsit supérbos mente cordis sui;
depósuit poténtes de sede
et exaltávit húmiles.
Esuriéntes implévit bonis
et dívites dimísit inánes.
Suscépit Ísrael púerum suum,
recordátus misericórdiæ,
sicut locútus est ad patres nostros,
Ábraham et sémini eius in sæcula.

Glória Patri et Fílio
et Spirítui Sancto.
Sicut erat in princípio,
et nunc et semper,
et in sæcula sæculórum.

Amen.

She became the Mother of God, in which work so many and such great good things are bestowed on her as pass man’s understanding. For on this there follows all honor, all blessedness, and her unique place in the whole of mankind, among which she has no equal, namely, that she had a child by the Father in heaven, and such a Child . . . Hence men have crowded all her glory into a single word, calling her the Mother of God . . . None can say of her nor announce to her greater things, even though he had as many tongues as the earth possesses flowers and blades of grass: the sky, stars; and the sea, grains of sand. It needs to be pondered in the heart what it means to be the Mother of God.

(Commentary on the Magnificat, 1521; in Luther’s Works, Pelikan et al, vol. 21, 326)


15 posted on 01/01/2013 1:12:31 PM PST by narses
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To: Salvation

I have never met a protestant who is fearful of Mary. the whole premise of the article framed this way shows the bias.

There are large differences in dogma in terms of how protestants and catholics view Mary. Because we don’t look at Mary the same - we consider her a great and special person, but not a sinless person or that she was assumed bodily to heaven, that protestants must “fear” her? Nope.

We relate to Mary far more closely than the catholics do as far as I am concerned. And this from a person who’s been in both “camps”.


16 posted on 01/01/2013 1:12:31 PM PST by Secret Agent Man (I can neither confirm or deny that; even if I could, I couldn't - it's classified.)
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...

Catholic and Orthodox Ping!


17 posted on 01/01/2013 1:13:09 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation; HerrBlucher; mgist; raptor22; victim soul; Isabel2010; Smokin' Joe; Michigander222; ...

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 shall call me blessed.
For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name. And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with His arm:
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
and exalted those of low degree.
He has filled the hungry with good things;
and the rich He has sent empty away.
He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy;
As He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to His posterity forever.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen

Magníficat ánima mea Dóminum,
et exsultávit spíritus meus
in Deo salvatóre meo,
quia respéxit humilitátem
ancíllæ suæ.

Ecce enim ex hoc beátam
me dicent omnes generatiónes,
quia fecit mihi magna,
qui potens est,
et sanctum nomen eius,
et misericórdia eius in progénies
et progénies timéntibus eum.
Fecit poténtiam in bráchio suo,
dispérsit supérbos mente cordis sui;
depósuit poténtes de sede
et exaltávit húmiles.
Esuriéntes implévit bonis
et dívites dimísit inánes.
Suscépit Ísrael púerum suum,
recordátus misericórdiæ,
sicut locútus est ad patres nostros,
Ábraham et sémini eius in sæcula.

Glória Patri et Fílio
et Spirítui Sancto.
Sicut erat in princípio,
et nunc et semper,
et in sæcula sæculórum.

Amen.

She became the Mother of God, in which work so many and such great good things are bestowed on her as pass man’s understanding. For on this there follows all honor, all blessedness, and her unique place in the whole of mankind, among which she has no equal, namely, that she had a child by the Father in heaven, and such a Child . . . Hence men have crowded all her glory into a single word, calling her the Mother of God . . . None can say of her nor announce to her greater things, even though he had as many tongues as the earth possesses flowers and blades of grass: the sky, stars; and the sea, grains of sand. It needs to be pondered in the heart what it means to be the Mother of God.

(Commentary on the Magnificat, 1521; in Luther’s Works, Pelikan et al, vol. 21, 326)


18 posted on 01/01/2013 1:13:17 PM PST by narses
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To: Salvation
Prayer is worship. It belongs to God and God alone.

...And for the record, MY God is not the slacker that needs to be nagged by his mother to get his work done as Catholics insinuate.

19 posted on 01/01/2013 1:14:04 PM PST by SENTINEL (I lie, I cheat, I steal, I communize, I sacrifice unborn babies, I'm Harry Reid and I'm a mormon)
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To: steve86

I feel badly for Protestants who reject Mary’s generously-offered graces.

And where in the Bible is there any record of Mary offering anything to me?


20 posted on 01/01/2013 1:15:04 PM PST by freedomfiter2 (Brutal acts of commission and yawning acts of omission both strengthen the hand of the devil.)
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To: Salvation

And who is Mark Shea? Some blogger who who suffers from Scripturaphobia? He creates his own mythical character and undercuts his own arguments.

ho hum. Next?


21 posted on 01/01/2013 1:15:30 PM PST by count-your-change (You don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: Salvation
I would like to comment as a Catholic convert to the Evangelical church. I do not fear Mary. Maybe, as a little girl, I used to "fear" spending recess praying the Rosary as a punishment for any minor infraction in class. But I do no fear Mary. I admire her, her faith, her role in the Salvation story. I just don't light candles or pray to her.

On the other hand, I agree with you that it is far more serious how we differ in our views of the Eucharist. When I've gone home in the past, I would go to mass with my parents but would not partake of the Eucharist. The differences are too big, too important, to be swept under the rug. My mom did not like it, but I thought that if it was given to me with the belief it was the Body and Blood of Christ, and I received it as a symbol... well, at the very least it showed a tremendous lack of respect to both my parents and my beliefs. So I just sat in the pew and spent the time in prayer.

22 posted on 01/01/2013 1:16:21 PM PST by Former Fetus (Saved by grace through faith)
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To: Salvation

My point is that she is not a deity


23 posted on 01/01/2013 1:18:14 PM PST by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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To: freedomfiter2

Comments of this kind are disingenuous because Protestants know Catholics reject Sola Scriptura. But still, I wish you a Happy and Prosperous New Year (you’re gonna need the prosperous part!)..


24 posted on 01/01/2013 1:18:28 PM PST by steve86 (Acerbic by Nature, not Nurture™)
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To: SENTINEL

“To pray,” as a verb, has two very distinct meanings:

1 : to make a request in a humble manner
2 : to address God or a god with adoration, confession, supplication, or thanksgiving

2 is worship

1 is a request to a saint or the Blessed Mother.


25 posted on 01/01/2013 1:22:51 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: GeronL

Did I say that the Blessed Virgin Mary was God?


26 posted on 01/01/2013 1:24:29 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

“Mariaphobia”? Talk about tearing a page right out of the LGBT tactical manual...

Make sure to plasticize that victim card; one rainy day or forget it in the wash and you’ll have no one to blame but yourselves.


27 posted on 01/01/2013 1:24:59 PM PST by fattigermaster
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To: Salvation

Yet another article demeaning those who disagree with key Catholic principles for sound reasons. No discourse, just insults.


28 posted on 01/01/2013 1:26:41 PM PST by ctdonath2 (End of debate. Your move.)
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To: Salvation

Another post yesterday claimed she was the “mother of God”, as if she birthed the universe and he only claimed credit. He is much much older than mortal, human Mary.


29 posted on 01/01/2013 1:26:58 PM PST by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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To: SENTINEL

Prayer is worship. Prayer is worship. Prayer is worship. Prayer is worship. Prayer is worship. Prayer is worship.

Well, not really.

But if you want A to equal B then in your own special world, it can.

Would you pray for me, brother?


30 posted on 01/01/2013 1:27:10 PM PST by narses
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To: steve86

Pretty obvious you’re worshiping Mary if you contend she’s in a position to offer graces.


31 posted on 01/01/2013 1:29:31 PM PST by ctdonath2 (End of debate. Your move.)
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To: Salvation

“Would you have Jesus if it had not been for the Blessed Virgin Mary’s “YES” to the Archangel Gabriel?”

Yes. She was chosen, not asked.


32 posted on 01/01/2013 1:30:46 PM PST by ctdonath2 (End of debate. Your move.)
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To: Secret Agent Man

The Bible does not indicate we should be fearful of Mary any more than any other sinner. She was chosen as a vessel, not imbued with power.


33 posted on 01/01/2013 1:32:45 PM PST by ctdonath2 (End of debate. Your move.)
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To: Cinnamontea

I have a pretty deep devotion to Mary, but I agree that “mariaphobic”, unless Shea was trying to be funny, doesn’t move the ball in any helpful direction.


34 posted on 01/01/2013 1:36:07 PM PST by Mad Dawg (In te, Domine, speravi: non confundar in aeternum.)
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To: count-your-change

Did you read the article? He tells who he is.


35 posted on 01/01/2013 1:36:43 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: narses; SENTINEL

Hail Sentinel, full of grace.
The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst men,
and blessed is the savior of thy soul, Jesus.
Holy Sentinel, Child of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.
Amen.

...doesn’t sound quite right, does it? According to Catholic rationale, this should be perfectly acceptable.
Reducto ad absurdum.


36 posted on 01/01/2013 1:37:23 PM PST by ctdonath2 (End of debate. Your move.)
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To: GeronL

Mary is the Mother of God — she is the mother of Jesus Christ, true God and true man, the second person of the Holy Trinity.

Are you saying that you don’t believe in Jesus, that you don’t believe in the Trinity?? What??


37 posted on 01/01/2013 1:38:58 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Secret Agent Man

Sorry, mistook the meaning of “fear” for a moment.


38 posted on 01/01/2013 1:38:58 PM PST by ctdonath2 (End of debate. Your move.)
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To: narses
I'll pray for you, but not to you.

Prayer is a form of worship to be reserved for God. It's the very first commandment.

Why do you Catholics believe that God is so flawed he has to be nagged by his completely human mother to take care of his children ? You act as though His kingdom is a giant Chicago-style bureacracy where who and what you know will get you ahead.

Disgusting and unChristian if you ask me.

Don't you forget you started this thread accusing Christians of being afraid of a dead human woman.

39 posted on 01/01/2013 1:39:25 PM PST by SENTINEL (I lie, I cheat, I steal, I communize, I sacrifice unborn babies, I'm Harry Reid and I'm a mormon)
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To: narses; SENTINEL

Two kinds of prayer

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/2973991/posts?page=25#25


40 posted on 01/01/2013 1:40:22 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Mother, yes.
Imbued with greater rank fitting a deity, no.
Born without sin, no.


41 posted on 01/01/2013 1:41:01 PM PST by ctdonath2 (End of debate. Your move.)
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To: ctdonath2

I understand the shock effect you were looking for, and you are 100% right, but please don’t do that again.


42 posted on 01/01/2013 1:41:53 PM PST by SENTINEL (I lie, I cheat, I steal, I communize, I sacrifice unborn babies, I'm Harry Reid and I'm a mormon)
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To: Salvation

lol

Mary is not one of the Trinity


43 posted on 01/01/2013 1:42:05 PM PST by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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To: Salvation

CVS Pharmacy was closed but my sister was able to squeeze a couple of doses out of them to get her through the day.... so I have no idea what the point of that is


44 posted on 01/01/2013 1:43:12 PM PST by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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To: ctdonath2
The graces originate with God. He gave her permission to intercede, just as a child's mother intercedes. She isn't a deity and couldn't be one if she tried. Why don't we capitalize "her" if we think she's God? LOL "But I don't worship her and I don't think she's God."
45 posted on 01/01/2013 1:43:40 PM PST by steve86 (Acerbic by Nature, not Nurture™)
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To: SENTINEL; narses

Sentinel: I won’t.
Narses: Sentinel sure didn’t appreciate it. Why would Mary?


46 posted on 01/01/2013 1:45:18 PM PST by ctdonath2 (End of debate. Your move.)
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To: steve86

“He gave her permission to intercede”

He did?
Does your mother still intercede for you?


47 posted on 01/01/2013 1:47:13 PM PST by ctdonath2 (End of debate. Your move.)
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To: GeronL; Salvation
Mary is not one of the Trinity

But as Mother of god,
she is superior to all three gods.,

no ?

shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach
48 posted on 01/01/2013 1:47:55 PM PST by Uriel-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your teaching is my delight.)
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To: ctdonath2

You are almost right Two out of three is pretty good.

Jesus — being God — knew from the beginning (read the prologue to the Gospel of John) who his mother would be. She was given the gift of sinlessness in advance of her birth by God. Remember — there is no timeline as we know it with God.


49 posted on 01/01/2013 1:50:33 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Uri’el-2012

Of course Mary is superior, that is why she has more power than them. :p

She delivers your prayers to deaf and blind Jesus. If Jesus was God, then he wouldn’t need this unbiblical “intercession”.


50 posted on 01/01/2013 1:51:11 PM PST by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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