Skip to comments.Is Mary Worthy of Worship?
Posted on 04/12/2008 7:19:29 AM PDT by DouglasKC
A major area of doctrine that sets Roman Catholicism apart from the rest of this world's Christianity is its view of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Many weighty schools of thought and doctrine center on the person and function of Mary, and if one examines Roman Catholicism to any degree, the importance Catholics place on the mother of our Savior becomes readily apparent.
These beliefs are not just intellectual. They have led to applications and manifestations that literally fill volumes. For example, when a Catholic prays the rosary, the "Hail Mary" is said nine times as often as the Lord's Prayer. Every Catholic church boasts a statue of Mary, if not an outright shrine, and the graven images of Mary often have more prominence than those of Christ.
This emphasis on Mary caused Mark Twain to observe in The Innocents Abroad, Volume II:
In all seriousness—without meaning to be frivolous—without meaning to be irreverent, and more than all, without meaning to be blasphemous,—I state as my simple deduction from the things I have seen and the things I have heard, that the Holy Personages rank thus in Rome:
First—"The Mother of God"—otherwise the Virgin Mary.
Fourth—Some twelve or fifteen canonized Popes and martyrs.
Fifth—Jesus Christ the Saviour—(but always as an infant in arms).
I may be wrong in this—my judgment errs often, just as is the case with other men's—but it is my judgment, be it good or bad.
Just here I will mention something that seems curious to me. There are no "Christ's Churches" in Rome, and no "Churches of the Holy Ghost," that I can discover. There are some four hundred churches, but about a fourth of them seem to be named for the Madonna and St. Peter. There are so many named for Mary that they have to be distinguished by all sorts of affixes, if I understand the matter rightly.
Sources of Doctrine
This past summer, as Pope John Paul II focused his efforts on reviving Catholicism in Europe, he made numerous statements entrusting the future of Europe to Mary. According to the ZENIT News Agency, he "placed Europe in Mary's hands," so that it will "become a symphony of nations committed to building together the civilization of love and peace." In the church of God, we put things in God's hands. Catholics put things into Mary's hands.
In October 2002, an item of controversy that reappeared in the Vatican—as it does on a regular basis—was the part that Mary plays in salvation and redemption. Large numbers of Catholic scholars, theologians, and clergy—including Pope John Paul II—are pushing for Mary to be officially recognized as "Co-Redemptrix," meaning she is a vital part of a Catholic's redemption, although supporters are quick to point out that they never put her on exactly the same level as Jesus Christ.
In God's church, our sole source of doctrinal teaching is the Bible, the inspired Word of God. For Catholics, though, the Bible is only one of the sources of dogma and doctrine—and, of course, they even have their own Bible, which allows them even more liberality when they look for scriptural backing. Another source and foundation of Catholic doctrine is church tradition. This means that if a certain person who meets their qualifications makes a statement, that statement can then be used as a doctrinal reference, just as we would use a scriptural reference. Every so often, one will hear about the Catholic Church canonizing or beatifying someone. In practical terms, this means the new saint is suddenly an authority, and church scholars can now use his or her writings to "prove" their doctrines.
The third source of doctrinal material for Catholics comes from "divine revelation." This can include statements by a Pope when he is speaking ex-cathedra—at which time his words are considered to be infallible—and it can also come from a vision or dream. Very often, church tradition and the associated "divine revelation" outweigh any scriptural basis. The doctrines concerning Mary are prime examples of this.
For instance, Catholics believe in the "Immaculate Conception" of Mary. This major doctrine states that Mary was conceived and born normally, but at the instant when her soul was fused to her flesh, she was protected and exempted from the stain of "original sin." The reasoning is that, for Jesus to be untouched by original sin, his mother, the one who conceived and bore Him, had to be "immaculate" as well.
In the Catholic Encyclopedia article on "Immaculate Conception," the writer admits this cannot be found in the Bible. Under the heading "Proof from Scripture," the article says, "No direct or categorical and stringent proof of the dogma can be brought forward from Scripture. But the first scriptural passage which contains the promise of the redemption, mentions also the Mother of the Redeemer" (emphasis ours). The rest of the article then explores the "Proof from Tradition" and the "Proof from Reason." In essence, it says that this doctrine lacks scriptural backing, but it has plenty from church tradition and human wisdom. Since Catholics cannot find, or will not acknowledge, any scriptures that disprove it, then it is settled as official doctrine.
The Catholic Encyclopedia's article on "The Blessed Virgin Mary" also never explicitly gives a reason why Mary should be venerated as she is. The best it can do is to say that there is evidence that the early Catholic Church (AD 150-400) venerated her. This grudging admission becomes important later.
Worthy of Worship?
The sole scriptural reference that even remotely suggests that Mary might be worthy of worship can be found in Luke 1:26-30:
Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, "Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!" But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God."
While the angel gives Mary a number of high compliments, nothing indicates that she is worthy of worship, let alone being an intercessor between Jesus Christ and His followers, a Co-Redemptrix, sinless for her entire life, or given any other honor aside from being God's chosen vessel for the purpose of the Son of God being made flesh and blood. This is not to denigrate that role in the least, because truly it is a great honor, but God has throughout the ages chosen various people to fill different roles according to His will and purpose—and none of them are shown to be worthy of worship.
In verse 28, Gabriel tells Mary in his salutation that she is "highly favored," and in verse 30, that she "has found favor with God." The Greek word translated highly favored means "to grace," "to endue with special honor," or "to be accepted." The only other place it is used is Ephesians 1:6, where Paul says to the church at Ephesus and to the body of Christ generally, ". . . to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved." From this example, we can see that being "highly favored" is not synonymous with being worthy of worship. Everyone in the body of Christ is highly favored because God has accepted us through the justification brought about by Christ's sacrifice.
In verse 30, Gabriel tells Mary that she has found favor with God. "Favor" is the Greek word charis, which means "graciousness of manner or action." It indicates favor on the part of the giver and thankfulness on the part of the receiver. It is most often translated "grace" in the New Testament. Gabriel tells Mary that she is the recipient of charis, of grace and favor by God—the emphasis is on what God is doing. The type of grace bestowed on Mary is implied to be sweetness, charm, loveliness, joy, and delight. Again, we see nothing in this verse to give any indication that Mary should be worshipped. She simply received God's favor by being chosen to fulfill this role.
Blessed Among Women
Mary's cousin Elizabeth is inspired to recognize that Mary's baby is not just an ordinary baby, and she calls both Mary and her unborn Son "blessed":
And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!" (Luke 1:41-42)
Blessed literally means "to speak well of." It signifies celebrating with praises and invoking blessings upon a person. The New Testament uses it frequently, sometimes in relation to Christ, but often in relation to inanimate objects such as fish and loaves of bread. The Amplified Bible translates it as "favored of God." Again, nothing in the wording indicates that Mary is worthy of worship.
Mary is not the only woman to be given the title of "blessed" in the Bible. In the Song of Deborah, Jael—the woman who invited the fleeing Sisera into her tent, encouraged him to sleep, and then drove a tent peg through his skull—is accorded this same honor: "Most blessed among women is Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite; blessed is she among women in tents" (Judges 5:24). Here, she is lauded as "blessed"—even "most blessed"—but there is no record of a shrine dedicated to her or of anybody worshipping her. She is simply recognized with a very honorable mention for the part she played in carrying out God's plan.
During Christ's ministry, a woman tries to draw special attention to Jesus' mother, and Christ puts things in the proper perspective for us:
And it happened, as He spoke these things, that a certain woman from the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, "Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts which nursed You!" But He said, "More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!" (Luke 11:27-28)
Jesus agrees that, even though his mother was "happy and to be envied," as the Amplified Bible puts it, even more blessed is anyone who hears God's Word and obeys it. He acknowledges that, yes, His mother was a fine lady—but anyone focusing on the personage of Mary was really missing the point. Christ was interested in the attitude and conduct of people, not their veneration of any human being!
We see a similar phenomenon within mainstream Christianity. Protestants tend to twist the gospel into simply a message about the person of Jesus Christ, and they like to gloss over the message that He actually spoke: "Repent [hear and obey], so you can be in alignment with the soon-coming Kingdom of God!" (Matthew 3:2; 4:17; Mark 1:15). They are so in love with the personality that they cannot hear what He says.
In addition to receiving a unique calling and favor by God, Mary was blessed in other ways. Evidence from the few Scriptural references to her shows that she was poor in spirit, meek, merciful, and pure in heart, and so, according to the Beatitudes of Matthew 5, she was blessed. She was undoubtedly persecuted for righteousness sake because she gave birth to what the world believed to be an illegitimate child. More than three decades afterward, there was still remembrance of Mary being pregnant without being married, when the Pharisees snidely remarked that they were not born of fornication—implying that Christ was (John 8:41). If the people did not believe that Christ was the Son of God—even after seeing Him live a perfect life and perform many miracles—it is unlikely they would have had any reason to believe that Mary was a virgin when she bore Him. She was persecuted and stigmatized because she accepted a responsibility that was anathema to those around her. She knew the truth, Joseph knew the truth, and of course, God knew the truth, and that was enough for Mary. It appears she endured the circumstance without complaining, and so was blessed.
The references to Mary in Luke 1 are the core scriptures that Catholic scholars use to try to prove that Mary is worthy of our worship. It is evident that the verses say little more than that Mary was given grace and favor by God, as we all have. They simply cannot be used as a starting point for establishing a doctrine of worship.
Aside from the little that the Bible says about Mary, there are other significant biblical principles that directly contradict a doctrine of Mary-worship. We could also examine a whole host of scriptures relating to human death and resurrection to show that Mary is in the same condition as the rest of the dead in Christ—awaiting the resurrection, without consciousness, and not in heaven (Psalm 146:3-4; Ecclesiastes 9:5; Job 14:12; John 3:13; Acts 2:29-34; I Corinthians 15:12-55). We could look at a vast array of scriptures that show that Mary-worship is indeed idolatry, because only God the Father and Jesus Christ are worthy of our worship (Exodus 34:14; Matthew 4:10). We could delve into the singular role that Jesus Christ plays as Mediator of the New Covenant—a role in which He does not need any help (Hebrews 8:6; 9:15; 12:24). These are not difficult concepts. Nevertheless, there is a vital lesson to be learned from this obviously erroneous doctrine.
The veneration of Mary, like many pagan practices, has its origin in the heathen religious system created by Nimrod and Semiramis, and more specifically, from the worship of the "Mother and Child." Through the millennia, the symbol of the "Mother and Child" has been endlessly repeated; one can find evidence of Mother-and-Child worship in all of the nations in ancient times. Though her characteristics varied from culture to culture, the common element is that the Mother was the Queen of Heaven, and she bore fruit even though a virgin.
In China, Semiramis became known as the "Holy Mother." The Germans named her "Hertha." The Scandinavians called her "Disa." Among the Druids, the "Vigo-Paritura" was worshipped as the "Mother of God." To the Greeks, she was "Aphrodite." To the Romans she was known as "Venus," and her son was "Jupiter." The Canaanites, and sometimes even the Israelites, worshipped "Ashtoreth" (Judges 2:13; 10:6; I Samuel 7:3-4; 12:10; I Kings 11:5, 33; II Kings 23:13), who was also known as "the queen of heaven" (Jeremiah 7:18). In Ephesus, the Great Mother was known as "Diana." T.W. Doane in his book Bible Myths sums it up this way: "Thus we see that the Virgin and child were worshipped in pagan times from China to Britain . . . and even in Mexico the 'Mother and child' were worshipped."
This false worship, having spread from Babylon to the various nations, finally became established at Rome and throughout the Roman Empire. James George Frazer in his The Golden Bough observes:
The worship of the Great Mother . . . was very popular under the Roman Empire. Inscriptions prove that the [Mother and the Child] received divine honors . . . not only in Italy and especially at Rome, but also in the provinces, particularly in Africa, Spain, Portugal, France, Germany, and Bulgaria. (vol. 1, p. 356)
One of the repeated patterns of the Roman church is syncretism, bringing pagan beliefs and practices into the church to keep certain groups happy. This is the same mechanism by which Christmas, Easter, Sunday-worship, and the pagan trinity-god were brought into the Roman church—and which most of mainstream Christianity has accepted without question. The church allowed the pagans within it to continue their practices—in this case, the worship of the Great Mother—only in a slightly different form and with a new name. Many pagans had been drawn to Christianity, but so strong in their mind was the adoration for the Mother-goddess, that they did not want to forsake her. Compromising church leaders saw that, if they could find some similarity in Christianity with the Mother-goddess worship of the pagans, they could increase their numbers by bringing many pagans into their fold. Of course, Mary fit the bill perfectly. So the pagans were allowed to continue their prayers and devotion to the Mother-goddess, but her name was changed to Mary. In this way, the pagan worship of the Mother was given the appearance of Christianity, and the course was set.
We saw earlier that Scripture cannot be used as a starting place for attempting to prove that Mary is worthy of worship. The true beginning for this practice lies with Semiramis and the Babylonian system begun by Nimrod. When the Catholic Encyclopedia presents as proof the historical fact that early Catholics venerated and worshipped Mary, it conveniently leaves out the fact that this adoration started in paganism and was shifted to the personage of the mother of Christ. Once the Roman Church adopted this practice, support had to be found for it, so it "interpreted" Scripture in a way that would lend credence to this practice. However, in these explanations it is apparent that Catholics start with a conclusion and then attempt to find support for it. These Catholic Encyclopedia entries are excellent examples of this.
Even though the worship of Mary will likely never be introduced as doctrine in the church of God, there is still an important object lesson here: Each of us has his own preferences, perspective, inclinations, and weaknesses. These things accompany us when we study the Bible. There are things we would like the Bible to say, based on our experiences, perspective, and particular circumstance. Just as the Catholics created a number of major doctrines out of nothing but pagan tradition, so there is also the potential for us to start with a conclusion or a thought of what makes the most sense to us, and then interpret or even twist the Scriptures to fit our worldview.
The pagans brought their inclinations and preferences of the Mother-goddess into the Roman Catholic Church, and the church officials then sanctified the paganism. This can happen to us, too, if we do not seek the "whole counsel of God" first, and then draw our conclusions later. This can happen to us if we are not careful to "prove all things, and hold fast to that which is good" (I Thessalonians 5:21).
It is a great irony that it was Augustine, the renowned Catholic theologian, who said, "If you believe what you like in the Gospel and reject what you do not like, it is not the Gospel you believe, but yourself" (emphasis ours).
Nearing the end of his life, Peter warns of twisting Scripture and of following those who do:
Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked. (II Peter 3:14-17)
The false doctrine of Mother-goddess worship is propped up by scriptures that have been twisted—and those who have done this have done so to their own destruction, because they have led millions upon millions of people into idolatry. Peter's warning applies to us, too. It is prudent, then, when we are studying, to at all times recognize our limitations, our biases, and our inclinations, so we can see biblical truth without interference from a faulty lens.
In our case the final authority is the elite political power mongers affirming themselves as correct AND MOST IMPORTANT, IN !!!!CONTROL!!!!
EXCEEDINGLY well put. THANKS.
There's no difference between "before" and "without" in this context. If you think Mary was sinless "before" Christ sacrificed then you think Mary was sinless "without" the sacrifice of Christ. If the sacrifice didn't happen yet, then it didn't happen. If I didn't go to the store yet, then eggs still got in my refrigerator without me going to the store. Just because you believe the eggs got there magically doesn't mean I have to buy into your belief.
So Moses is damned? Abraham damned? Adam, David, Solomon - all damned?.
No and again this is where you err because you don't know the scriptures. Scriptures says that they haven't received the promise of eternal life...YET.
Heb 11:39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
Heb 11:40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
Paul was discussing Moses and other old testament figures who had faith. He is saying that they did not receive the promise in their faith.
Likewise David has not received the promise of heaven:
Act 2:29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulcher is with us unto this day.
Act 2:30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;
Act 2:31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
Act 2:32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
Act 2:33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.
Act 2:34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
Now here's the thing. All of these people knew the Lord. But all of these people were also sinners, they were under the death penalty for sin. The sacrifice of Christ DID take away the penalty for sin, but these people ARE NOT in heaven. They're in their graves waiting for the return of Christ. That is when they will come to glory:
1Co 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
Now Mary is in the same boat. She WAS a sinner. She knew and accepted the Lord. BUT her sin could not be atoned for UNTIL the sacrifice of Christ. And she's STILL in the grave waiting the return of Christ to be resurrected to glory.
The simple fact is that Christs grace can be applied to anyone he chooses to do so. He is sovereign and all powerful.
"Grace" can be applied, but being in God's grace is different than having your sins atoned for by the death of Christ. No sins were atoned for until Christ died on the cross. This is fundamental Christianity. And being sinless is impossible for any human being even with indwelling of Christ. Only deity's are sinless which is probably why people think you guys consider Mary a deity to be worshiped.
Wrong. You lied about what I believe and what I said.
The religion moderator would say at this point "Discuss the issues all you want but don't make it personal". I don't appreciate you repeatedly calling me a liar. I may disagree with your position and I may misunderstand your position, but characterizing my statements as "lies" is ascribing a motive to my character that just isn't there. You're being quite rude and insulting and I'm doing my best to keep the conversation at a respectful level. I would appreciate the same consideration.
Thats not Twain making things up, thats a neutral observation.
(I’d ping the quoter but I forget his name)
Funny how someone could disrespect and deny the One, Holy, Apostolic and Catholic Church, the very Church which chose with the help of the Holy Spirit, the Canon of the Bible, which holds the Tradition of over 2000 years, with an unbroken line of Apostolic successors, and take Mark Twain’s words as gospel. It is just kind of silly and shallow. I mean, the man was a comedian, he was funny and I love his writing but since when did anyone get their theology from a humorist?
“The problem occurs when the term “Mother of God” is the accepted translation, it implies all kinds of things that just aren’t true.”
Perhaps the problem is not so much implication as inference.
From the article at your link:
The Virgin Mary is the living shrine of the Word of God [...] the shadow of the Most High envelops and penetrates the tabernacle of the New Covenant that is the womb of Mary (cf. Luke 1:35) (Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, The Shrine: Memory, Presence and Prophecy of the Living God).
No, the 'Tabernacle of the New Covenant' is the heart of Man.
1Co 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
1Co 3:17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
I remain unconvinced. Typology is well and good, but it should not be used for a primary evidence, as it can easily be misleading, as I feel is the case in this matter.
A subject given such iconic veneration, given such a central role, as is the case with Mary among the RCC, should have evidences found in the Scriptures which are declaratory, and many, rather than relying on such evidences as can border upon gnosticism, waiting for centuries to be revealed to men.
I did a study on heretical literature some years back, the subject of which brought to light the intentional misreadings of Scripture and early writings to promote an iconic state for John the Baptist, which are very similar in structure to the nature of the arguments presented to me here...
Very little declares Mary definitively in the Scriptures. What proofs do lie there (at least those offered to me thus far) are exaggerated, or need to be extrapolated, to say the least. Such, indeed, is the case with the comparison of Mary to the Ark of the Covenant. Nary a one of those attributes need apply to Mary at all, and rightly find their place in Christ Himself. He is the Living Testament. He is the fulfillment of the promises in the Old Testament. It is He who is to reside in the Most Holy Place in the New Temple, *not* Mary.
Please forgive me FRiend, if my statements cause offense, as that really is not my intention. My goal is to outline the need for a better proof which, in my opinion, is incumbent upon you (all) to provide.
Physical land promises made to Abraham and to his seed are a part of the New Covenant, so I think it is too simplistic to say that the Tabernacle of the New Covenant is the heart.
Neverthrless this Mary presented as the “shrine” is cerainly not any one of the six Mary’s of the New Testament, who were all as sinful as any other descendent of Adam, and needed a Saviour as much as any other sinner. Mary could have birthed the Son of God (which she did) and died and gone to Hell, had she acted as the majority of her nation did. She had to personally believe upon Him as her personal Saviour and be born-again like any other sinner.
Obviously she is blessed among women for the honour of being chosen to carry and deliver that which had been begotten in her of the Holy Ghost. She is not the only women in the /bible, however, that enjoyed a wonderful beatitude directly from God.
There is no indication in the New Testament that any person ever worshipped Mary; ever thought about worshiping Mary. There is evidence in the New Testament, actually, that one should not.
You are right, of course, in the need for a physical temple, and wrt promises made to Abraham. The spiritual aspect of the tabernacle/temple however, does apply.
There is no indication in the New Testament that any person ever worshipped Mary; ever thought about worshiping Mary. There is evidence in the New Testament, actually, that one should not.
I don't disagree that Jesus is the one who IS the Word, nor that He resides in the New Temple. However, at its most basic level, the old Ark was a holy vessel which contained the Ten Commandments, Manna from Heaven, and the Staff of Aaron. Mary contained all three of these in her womb - the Word of God (made flesh), the Bread of Life, and the authority of the Priesthood.
I understand you may disagree. So be it. The beauty of my faith is that I can also rely on the thousands of years of teachings from holy men. Mary as the Ark was a common theme with the early Fathers, held by the Church. If it was bordering on a heresy as you claim, I cannot believe the Holy Spirit would let it stand for so long.
I am off for the day - God bless!
“There’s no difference between “before” and “without” in this context.”
Yes, actually the two words are entirely different in this context. “Before” is about time and “Without” is about method. Time and method are not the same thing. I can’t believe you are reduced to saying two entirely different words mean the same thing.
“If you think Mary was sinless “before” Christ sacrificed then you think Mary was sinless “without” the sacrifice of Christ.”
No. Mary was saved by Christ. When His sacrifice happened is not related to its power or effect. The TIME of His sacrifice in no way reduced His ability to save.
“If the sacrifice didn’t happen yet, then it didn’t happen.”
Again, when it happened has no impact on Christ for He transcends time and space. He is GOD, in case you didn’t know.
“If I didn’t go to the store yet, then eggs still got in my refrigerator without me going to the store.”
You’re not God. God transcends time and space. You don’t.
“Just because you believe the eggs got there magically doesn’t mean I have to buy into your belief.”
God’s power is not magical. See what you are reduced to? To thwart the power of God you are reduced to making up silly analogies - all wrong - that claim God’s power is magic. How sad for you.
“No and again this is where you err because you don’t know the scriptures. Scriptures says that they haven’t received the promise of eternal life...YET.”
Yet? As in 2008? You’re claiming that they’re not in heaven yet? You’re making less and less sense.
Also, Acts points out that David did not ascend into heaven. Only Christ did. Your idea that the patriarchs are not in heaven is simply bizarre and completely out of touch with reality. You offer no scriptural support either since none of the verses you cite actually say what you claim.
“Now Mary is in the same boat. She WAS a sinner. She knew and accepted the Lord. BUT her sin could not be atoned for UNTIL the sacrifice of Christ. And she’s STILL in the grave waiting the return of Christ to be resurrected to glory.”
No. Mary was saved by Christ’s grace at her conception. His sacrifice was so momentous that it helped her even before Christ’s birth into the world. Christ was all powerful.
The simple fact is that Christs grace can be applied to anyone he chooses to do so. He is sovereign and all powerful.
“The religion moderator would say at this point “Discuss the issues all you want but don’t make it personal”. I don’t appreciate you repeatedly calling me a liar.”
Yet what I said was irrefutable. I said one thing and you deliberately claimed I said something entirely different. Now you’re claiming both statements mean the same thing when they clearly can not mean the same thing.
“I may disagree with your position and I may misunderstand your position, but characterizing my statements as “lies” is ascribing a motive to my character that just isn’t there.”
Then why would claim something that is categorically untrue? I said one thing and you claimed I said something entirely different. No matter how offended you claim to be it is still true.
“You’re being quite rude and insulting and I’m doing my best to keep the conversation at a respectful level. I would appreciate the same consideration.”
I am not being rude in the least. Again, I said one thing and you DELIBERATELY said I said something I never said. Now you’re claiming the two statements are the same thing when they are not. As soon as you DELIBERATELY claimed I said something I never said, any hope of this being a “conversation at a respectful level” was dashed. Why claim I said something I never, EVER, said?
no, only God is worthy of worship — we Catholics do NOT worship Mary.
I realize that (at the basic level you describe), and I grant you that linkage. But we would then have to figure out whether that linkage makes Mary the Ark, or if, by some wild and crazy chance, it was the Ark that she carried within her... You know, the first and only container of flesh to ever hold the Spirit of God within it. The first container of flesh to be resurrected, ascended, imbued with the full power of God... You know, just sayin'...
Is Mary the Ark or is Jesus the Ark- As for me, I think it to be the latter.
I understand you may disagree. So be it.
The beauty of my faith is that I can also rely on the thousands of years of teachings from holy men. Mary as the Ark was a common theme with the early Fathers, held by the Church.
I can also rely upon those writings, where they apply. Yet I need not take them for Gospel truth.
If it was bordering on a heresy as you claim, I cannot believe the Holy Spirit would let it stand for so long.
Perhaps one of the reasons in God's great design that led Luther to nail a notice to a door.. ;)
I am off for the day - God bless!
Same to you FRiend.
well, not distraction — it’s more like this, after Luther lead a mostly political split, then Calvin and others led more heretical thoughts, leading to things like Unitarianism and Mormonism.
Are you saying the Jews had a special place in their religion for a container touched by God and bearing his Word? And there was nothing wrong with that even though they adorned it with gold and had it in their temple? Gee, the things you learn on Freerepublic....
And you call Constantine a sun-worshipper when he was the one who fought under the sign of the cross?
315 posted on April 14, 2008 12:49:08 PM MDT by Cronos
He also issued for promulgation the beginning of anti-semitism Constantine was a Pagan throughout all of his life; Constantine convened the Nicene Council in 325 AD and issued this edict: ON THE KEEPING OF EASTER. From the Letter of the Emperor to all those not present at the Council.
Or Possibly: shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach Adonai
Acts 20: Constantine the Pagan Pontiff called and presided over the Council of Nicea.
28 "Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock,
among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers,
to shepherd the church of God which He purchased
with His own blood.
29 "I know that after my departure savage wolves
will come in among you, not sparing the flock;
30 and from among your own selves men will arise,
speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.
31 "Therefore be on the alert, remembering that
night and day for a period of three years I did
not cease to admonish each one with tears.
and the paganism of Sun Day and Easter into the State Religion.
he was baptized on his deathbed by a heretic.
(Found in Eusebius, Vita Const., Lib. iii., 18-20.)
When the question relative to the sacred festival of Easter arose, it was
universally thought that it would be convenient that all should keep the
feast on one day; for what could be more beautiful and more desirable,
than to see this festival, through which we receive the hope of
immortality, celebrated by all with one accord, and in the same
manner? It was declared to be particularly unworthy for this, the
holiest of all festivals, to follow the custom [the calculation] of the
Jews, who had soiled their hands with the most fearful of crimes, and
whose minds were blinded. In rejecting their custom,(1) we may
transmit to our descendants the legitimate mode of celebrating Easter,
which we have observed from the time of the Saviour's Passion to the
present day[according to the day of the week]. We ought not,
therefore, to have anything in common with the Jews, for the Saviour
has shown us another way; our worship follows a more legitimate and
more convenient course(the order of the days of the week); and
consequently, in unanimously adopting this mode, we desire, dearest
brethren, to separate ourselves from the detestable company of the
Jews, for it is truly shameful for us to hear them boast that without
their direction we could not keep this feast. How can they be in the
right, they who, after the death of the Saviour, have no longer been led
by reason but by wild violence, as their delusion may urge them? They
do not possess the truth in this Easter question; for, in their blindness
and repugnance to all improvements, they frequently celebrate two
passovers in the same year. We could not imitate those who are openly
in error. How, then, could we follow these Jews, who are most
certainly blinded by error? for to celebrate the passover twice in one
year is totally inadmissible. But even if this were not so, it would still
be your duty not to tarnish your soul by communications with such
wicked people[the Jews]. Besides, consider well, that in such an
important matter, and on a subject of such great solemnity, there ought
not to be any division. Our Saviour has left us only one festal day of
our redemption, that is to say, of his holy passion, and he desired[to
establish] only one Catholic Church. Think, then, how unseemly it is,
that on the same day some should be fasting whilst others are seated
at a banquet; and that after Easter, some should be rejoicing at feasts,
whilst others are still observing a strict fast. For this reason, a Divine
Providence wills that this custom should be rectified and regulated in a
uniform way; and everyone, I hope, will agree upon this point. As, on
the one hand, it is our duty not to have anything in common with the
murderers of our Lord; and as, on the other, the custom now followed
by the Churches of the West, of the South, and of
the North, and by some of those of the East, is the most acceptable, it
has appeared good to all; and I have been guarantee for your consent,
that you would accept it with joy, as it is followed at Rome, in Africa,
in all Italy, Egypt, Spain, Gaul, Britain, Libya, in all Achaia, and in the
dioceses of Asia, of Pontus, and Cilicia. You should consider not only
that the number of churches in these provinces make a majority, but
also that it is right to demand what our reason approves, and that we
should have nothing in common with the Jews. To sum up in few
words: By the unanimous judgment of all, it has been decided that the
most holy festival of Easter should be everywhere celebrated on one
and the same day, and it is not seemly that in so holy a thing there
should be any division. As this is the state of the case, accept joyfully
the divine favour, and this truly divine command; for all which takes
place in assemblies of the bishops ought to be regarded as proceeding
from the will of God. Make known to your brethren what has been
decreed, keep this most holy day according to the prescribed mode; we
can thus celebrate this holy Easter day at the same time, if it is granted
me, as I desire, to unite myself with you; we can rejoice together,
seeing that the divine power has made use of our instrumentality for
destroying the evil designs of the devil, and thus causing faith, peace,
and unity to flourish amongst us. May God graciously protect you, my
He also issued for promulgation the beginning of anti-semitism
Constantine was a Pagan throughout all of his life;
Constantine convened the Nicene Council in 325 AD and issued this edict:
ON THE KEEPING OF EASTER.
From the Letter of the Emperor to all those not present at the Council.
I was just going to let this go, but I'm not going to let you deliberately keep misstating my claims and intentions. I got curious about how you ever came to believe this so I went back and looked at my posts. As far as I can tell sir, it was you who created the whole notion that I "claimed" you said something you hadn't. From post 289:
I said: She could not be made sinless without the sacrifice of Christ. If she did, then Christ was a liar. He did not die for our sins.
You said: Yet another straw man!!!!!!!!! Who here is claiming that Mary was sinless WITHOUT Christs sacrifice? Who? I have never, EVER, claimed any such thing. I really dont take it personally that you disagree with orthodoxy. I do take it personally when you flat out lie about what I have said or about what Catholics believe. Why lie? And heres the proof: multiple times I have said Mary was sinless because of Christs death on the cross, His sacrifice. Multiple times I have said this! "
I made a statement that Mary could not be made sinless without the sacrifice of Christ. This is absolutely true and I believe it to be absolutely true because I do not believe anyone could have had atonement for any sins BEFORE the sacrifice ever occurred.
You then blustered that I'm a liar BECAUSE YOUR BELIEF IS DIFFERENT. You say that I claimed that YOU SAID that Mary was made sinless without the sacrifice of Christ. I never did that and you know it. I stated my belief about the topic and YOU claimed that I said you said it.
Anyone interested can look back at the entire exchange and see that this was exactly the way it happened. I'm sorry you had to go down this road because I think it took away and distracted from the article and the discussion that followed. But maybe that was your intention all along.
I'm done responding to you on this issue, so have the last word if that's your wish.
“I was just going to let this go, but I’m not going to let you deliberately keep misstating my claims and intentions.”
As expected you have presented yet another tact.
Here’s the simple truth in order of posts:
Who here is claiming that Mary was sinless WITHOUT Christs sacrifice?
In post #278 you wrote: “She could not be made sinless without the sacrifice of Christ.”
In post #286 I wrote: “Who here is claiming that Mary was sinless WITHOUT Christs sacrifice? Who? I have never, EVER, claimed any such thing...And heres the proof: multiple times I have said Mary was sinless because of Christs death on the cross, His sacrifice. Multiple times I have said this! See the following examples AGAIN:
Post #269: Mary was always sinless, but she was made sinless by the grace won on the cross by Christ. Christ was Marys Savior too, only He saved her FIRST.
Post #256: Mary was made sinless by Christs grace. That only resulted from His death. Christs death was so momentous a sacrifice that it effects souls before it and after it in time.
Post #249: Christ saved Mary from sinfulness with His grace.
Post #240: We are not making Mary sinless. CHRISTS GRACE made Mary sinless.
You claimed I was saying Mary was made sinless WITHOUT Christ. I never ONCE, ever, EVER, said that. Never.
Thus, it is absoultely CLEAR, OBVIOUS AND IRREFUTABLE that I believe Mary was made sinless by the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. I pointed out multiple times that Christ’s sacrifice was so momentous, so perfect, so powerful, that it worked backward and forward in time.
Yet you persist in saying this:
“I made a statement that Mary could not be made sinless without the sacrifice of Christ. This is absolutely true and I believe it to be absolutely true because I do not believe anyone could have had atonement for any sins BEFORE the sacrifice ever occurred.”
NO ONE HERE IS CLAIMING MARY WAS MADE SINLESS WITHOUT CHRIST. NO ONE.
“You then blustered that I’m a liar BECAUSE YOUR BELIEF IS DIFFERENT.”
NO. You said point blank, “You are” when I asked who here was claiming that Mary was made sinless WITHOUT Christ. You even insisted that BEFORE and WITHOUT had the same meaning - which is not only bizarre but completely untrue.
“You say that I claimed that YOU SAID that Mary was made sinless without the sacrifice of Christ. I never did that and you know it. I stated my belief about the topic and YOU claimed that I said you said it.”
No. I can’t believe I have to point this out to you yet again, but here is you own post #289. After quoting my own statement again in italics (”Yet another straw man!!!!!!!!! Who here is claiming that Mary was sinless WITHOUT Christs sacrifice?”) You wrote — “You are!”
Read it again: YOU wrote “You are!” to the question about WHO was saying “Mary was sinless WITHOUT Christs sacrifice”.
Now you’re claiming otherwise: “You say that I claimed that YOU SAID that Mary was made sinless without the sacrifice of Christ. I never did that and you know it.”
Your own post #289 proves you wrong on this.
“Anyone interested can look back at the entire exchange and see that this was exactly the way it happened.”
Yes, indeed, they can look at post #289 and see that you wrote; “You are!” in answer to my question. I, however, NEVER claimed Mary was made sinless WITHOUT Christ and yet you claimed I did.
“I’m sorry you had to go down this road because I think it took away and distracted from the article and the discussion that followed. But maybe that was your intention all along.”
Actually I think you claiming I said something I never said (see post #289) and now claiming you never did that (see post #319) is indicative of much in this thread - and not from my side. Again, compare posts #289 and #319 and see for yourself. Those words, “You are!”, end the case on this point and it’s not in your favor.
“I’m done responding to you on this issue, so have the last word if that’s your wish.”
Here, let’s let you have the last word: “You are!”
1. That Emperor Constantine was a Pontiff of the Church and
2. That he was a Sun-worshipper when he saw a vision from Christ and fought under the banner of the Cross?
Your post quotes Acts 20 "Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock.... after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.." -- these are all the break-away heretics from The Church who come up with outlandish ideas and take away Christians from The Church of Christ. If you wish to be saved, you should be born again in the Catholic Church -- the Church of Christ, which is faithful to His teachings, not to some human being or some splinter-splinter group.
you call Constantine the Pagan completely forgetting that he was God's instrument for the Faith, just like Cyrus the GReat.
322 posted on April 17, 2008 2:19:15 PM MDT by Cronos
Please review before you call me a lier ! I believe on Free Republic, calling someone a lier is a personal attack. Your statement speaks to your emulation of Yah'shua or lack thereof. Now to the facts: He was also the Pontiff of the Roman religion all of his life. We are warned by John that wolves will enter the flock
Items one and two are not my statements they are yours. shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach Adonai
Constantine was a Pagan throughout his entire life.
He was baptized on his deathbed by a known heretic.
and to test everything against the Holy Word of Elohim.
Please review before you call me a lier !
I believe on Free Republic, calling someone a lier is a personal attack.
Your statement speaks to your emulation of Yah'shua or lack thereof.
Now to the facts:
He was also the Pontiff of the Roman religion all of his life.
We are warned by John that wolves will enter the flock
Discuss the issues all you want, but do not make it personal.
Well, will take your statement, however, I did say that, and I quote “the lies you said” — I did not call the poster a liar. Yes, that’s being pedantic, but those are two mutually different things in my mind.
Ok, then, re-wording it —> those two statements were ABSOLUTELY incorrect. Your implication that Emperor Constantine was not a Christian Emperor, was somehow a pagan who created The Church, is absolutely incorrect and you are spreading something that is incorrect.
I should have added that you are correct on the other point, your statement was not accusing the poster, personally, of being a liar.