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Catholic Mariology, Authority, and Various Other Qualms of Protestants Considering Conversion
Biblical Evidence for Catholicism ^ | 11 February 2004 | Dave Armstrong

Posted on 05/12/2008 8:08:07 PM PDT by annalex

Catholic Mariology, Authority, and Various Other Qualms of Protestants Considering Conversion

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

[originally uploaded on 11 February 2004]

[Derived from actual correspondence with one such person (without violating any confidences): hence the use of first-person address]

If you consider yourselves actually out of the Protestant position, then I will simply have to help persuade you of the Catholic one, so you can get out of this limbo. I know you are the type of people who want to be really sure of what you believe. That's good, and I admire it. I advise folks in this position to take their time and not rush into anything. But at the same time, of course I want to help you feel totally comfortable with the Catholic outlook. If you're anything like me, you hate being uncertain and unsure. It's no fun.

My wife (who grew up Catholic) wasn't really "against" the Catholic Church. She came into Protestantism mainly because there was good fellowship to be had, and the local Assemblies of God church was where "things were happening." A sad commentary . . . I'm glad she did, otherwise we may never have met. I still remember the day that the lovely young girl with the "sad" but beautiful big "French" eyes visited our singles group. She jokes about how three or four guys that night cornered her and started running down the Catholic Church and acted most rude and obnoxious, but I didn't do that at all, and showed her my fall color photographs. :-)

I used to be in Inter-Varsity, and I was a campus missionary in the late 80s (independently; out of my church). That all collapsed and was an abysmal "failure." I was sort of in a place where you are at: not knowing what was in the future for me. My dreams had collapsed and it made no sense. I didn't want to do anything except apologetics and evangelism. That was my calling. But here I am, 15 years later, a full-time apologist! God works in mysterious ways. If someone had told me in 1986 that I would be a Catholic apologist and author, I would have taken them straight to an insane asylum, to make sure they were committed. LOL


I always advise potential converts that the road to the Church is not undertaken with Protestant methods. One doesn't "figure everything out" one-by-one and then make the leap. That is the Protestant method, and it is very ingrained (I know, firsthand). When you become a Catholic, at some point you simply accept the Church's authority because it is an entity far far greater than yourself. You may not understand everything, but who does, anyway?

What you come to see is that this is the Church and authority structure -- with all its human foibles and terrible, scandalous shortcomings in practice - that was ordained by God, and how He intended it to be. The true doctrine and "apostolic deposit" was passed down and it has been known all along. It isn't to be discovered in every generation, or "re-invented" like the wheel. All other knowledge works the same way (science, engineering, mathematics, musical theory, the received outlines of history, legal precedents, etc.), yet when it comes to religion, somehow people think that it is this entirely individualistic and subjective affair. It's very weird when you sit down and analyze it.

Oftentimes, if you ask such people what they think the Catholic Church teaches about Mary, it is clear that they don't understand it. True, millions of Catholics don't, either (the "ignorant" are, unfortunately, always with us, just like the poor), but neither do most Protestants. One must at least know what it is they are rejecting. One major reason why I do apologetics is that I want folks to know WHY they believe WHAT they believe. It builds faith and confidence, and it helps to incorporate reason into faith and theology.

Women approach the prospect of possible conversion in a very slow, deliberate, "holistic," instinctual, more practical way, whereas men tend to be far more abstract and propositional (one might describe the difference as "problem-solving" vs. "life experience and spiritual truths realized on a deep instinctive and emotional level of a whole person" - though my words are very inadequate to express my thoughts here). I hasten to add that I don't think one method is superior to the other: they are simply different, based on how God made us (if anything, I think the "female way" is the better of the two, if I had to choose). Kimberly Hahn's tape on Mary (which I heard in person) is one of the most incredible, moving talks I have ever heard: I think she is wonderful. On my Converts Page I have a separate section for women converts for this reason: their journeys tend to be of a very different nature than mens'.

When I first started thinking seriously about Catholic Mariology, I approached it in a more right-brained, typically "non-male" way than one might expect from me. I had been accustomed to giving Mary great honor, as the greatest woman (and indeed, created person, period) who ever lived. She was awesome to me: the very picture of womanhood and femininity.

When my Catholic friend started explaining to me how Mary was the "New Eve", that fascinated me and resonated in my spirit with my understanding of how God works in other ways. It didn't strike me as "unbiblical" or excessive or "corrupt" at all. The concept is simple: Eve said "no" to God and Mary said "yes." Eve's choice led to the Fall, and Mary's led to the Incarnation and Redemption. She represented the human race (and for once we got it right). God wanted it to be that way. Human beings had fallen based on free choice and God wanted them to be redeemed by a free choice as well (as opposed to being declared saved apart from their free will). But Mary's choice was, of course, steeped in God's grace and entirely derived and enabled by it. She wasn't doing this on her own power, as if she were intrinsically superior to all other creatures.

As I recall, this was the first step of my deepening Mariology. But it wasn't really that big of an issue for me. My issues were infallibility; especially papal infallibility. I thought that was the most absurd and implausible thing ever to cross the mind of man . . .

The very notion that you as an individual have to "make all the Catholic pieces fit into a big puzzle" presupposes the Protestant idea of private judgment. You don't have to. What you have to do is become convinced that the Catholic Church is what it claims to be, and the Guardian of the Apostolic Deposit. Once you get to that point, you can accept all that it teaches as a reasonable, plausible choice, just as we do in all other fields of knowledge. The scientist accepts the laws of thermodynamics or Newton's laws of motion, etc.

The Catholic accepts all that the Catholic Church teaches because he believes that the Church was guided by God to be infallible in matters of faith and morals: in those things which Catholics are bound to believe as dogma. And beyond that, he believes that God desired that His theological and spiritual truth be known with a high degree of certainty: not that people have to search their entire lives to find it. Doesn't that make sense? Doesn't that sound like how God would want things to be, since Christianity has to do with the most important things in life?

It's really not that different from Protestantism's approach to the Bible. They believe that the Bible is inspired and inerrant because God desired it to be so, and because it is His word (thus, could not be otherwise). Men could have corrupted the Bible, BUT for God's protection of it. Sinful men wrote it (David, Paul, Peter), but that didn't stop it from being inerrant and inspired and infallible because God saw to it that it would be so.

And you can't figure out every "problem" of biblical exegesis or hermeneutics or difficult passages. No one can. If every "problem" and seeming contradiction had been resolved, then the Bible scholars would have far less to talk about, wouldn't they? There wouldn't be books like Gleason Archer's Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties. Obviously, if there were no "difficulties" at all, that book wouldn't be written or needed. You may believe that all the difficulties can theoretically be resolved and that there are answers whether we find them or not (as I do), but
that is different from actually resolving them and attaining certainty.

Yet Protestants believe the Bible is inspired and inerrant and infallible by faith, based on what they know, and existing strong evidences. They are justified in believing this, and it is rational. It is not blind faith. The Catholic attitude towards their Church is very similar: we accept in faith the notion that God wanted to have one Church represent His doctrine and truth in its fullness (not excluding many elements of truth in other Christian traditions at all). To do so, He had to specially protect it from error (just as He did with the Bible-writers).

The gift or charism of infallibility is a lesser one than inspiration. It is easier to believe that God simply prevented popes from teaching error and falsehood in certain circumstances (a fundamentally preventive measure) than to believe that He positively inspired the words of Bible-writers and caused them to write his very inspired ("God-breathed" - theopneustos) words. Why should one be harder to believe than the other? If one can believe the greater miracle, why not the lesser? It doesn't rest upon weak, fallible men, but upon God Almighty.

This is a roundabout way of saying that one comes to believe that the Church has authority to declare on doctrines and once having done so, the person accepts teachings like those on Mary which may be hard to understand. We acknowledge our own limitations and weaknesses and blind spots and biases. The inquirer into Catholicism and Catholic Mariology can also read stuff like my papers on Mary, which are designed to show that the teachings are not at all unbiblical or anti-biblical (though often not explicitly biblical).

If the doctrines can be shown to be biblically-plausible or at least possible, then much of the battle is won. I find that the more difficult thing to dissuade Protestants of is the more presuppositional idea that everything must be explicitly biblical, and that sola Scriptura (Scripture as the final infallible authority-in-practice over against popes and councils) is true. That's a whole separate discussion, but suffice it to say for now that it is not at all clear in the Bible itself that this is true. If it is true, then it is a truth no more explicit in the Bible (I say, far less so) than Mariology itself. And this gets into questions of logical incoherence and circularity.

None of us have all the answers. At some point we must bow to authority. Every Protestant does this, just as every Catholic does: they simply give authority to different things in different ways. Another huge discussion . . . The Bible itself (even presupposing sola Scriptura, for the sake of argument) certainly talks a lot about both authority and the Church. People differ on what exactly it teaches, but there is something there. Paul discusses tradition quite a bit. And he shows no indication that there is any doubt in his mind as to what is contained in that tradition.

You will have no choice but to follow your conscience, whatever the cost, if it leads you to Catholicism. The good news is that, oftentimes, Protestant friends and family are not as alarmed and offended and horrified by conversion as we think they might be. If we continue to love them and show that we are no different relationship-wise, then they accept it. It may take a little time (especially if they are anti-Catholic), but they'll come around. When I converted, my mother (a lifelong Methodist) somehow thought I would be this different person. I simply told her, "look; I'm the same old me. I won't be any different from the son that you have known all along. I've just moved from one brand of Christianity to another."

Some people may forsake you and think you're weird or whatever. Others may refuse to talk about those issues but otherwise you will get along fine (I have a relationship like that with a very dear Protestant friend of mine, with whom I used to live and work in the 80s - it is an unspoken agreement to avoid all the controversial issues). But this is no different from what Jesus told us to expect, anyway. He said families would be divided and that discipleship was costly. If other people can't accept our choices made under God, in conscience and faith, with the use of reason and study and bathed with prayer, then in the end that is their problem. It may be difficult and painful and hurtful, for sure, but no one ever promised that following Jesus was a bed of roses.

But it is not as hard as you think it will be. Trust me on this. God has brought you to this place to be a witness. It will be exciting, I am convinced, and you will be happy to be able to share what you have learned, after the initial (quite understandable and justified) fears that you are going through now. You are in the place you are in because God ordained it so, as He ordains all things, in His Providence. He will give you words to speak when the time comes to share your faith and your new discoveries. And it will be some of the most spiritually-fulfilling times you have ever had. I hope I am not being presumptuous. I'm trying to encourage you. Having gone through the "tunnel" and emerged out of it, I can see the light at the end of it, whereas you cannot right now because you are in the tunnel.

It is a good to want to be very sure and confident about Catholic teaching and especially the biblical rationale for them, for the sake of explaining to Protestat friends after conversion. I wholeheartedly agree with that. As with all apologetics, you shouldn't feel that you have to have a quick answer at all times. You don't. I don't. Nobody does. You can always say that you need to study so-and-so and get back to them. No one has all the answers -- let alone quickly, on the spot. This is good, though, because it shows people that you are:

1) honest;

2) not proud or arrogant and claiming to know everything, but humble, with an admission of your own limitations;

3) fully aware that such journeys (including your own) are not all based on reason and apologetics in the first place, but on God's grace, which often goes beyond words and quick responses.
To begin to give an answer with regard to Mariology, one way is to argue that more fully-developed Mariology is not inconsistent with biblical analogies. In other words, if a Protestant is objecting to the very notions as "unbiblical," then if you can show them that directly analogous notions are quite biblical, then the Mariological ones must be, too. Therefore, they are not excessive, because they flow from explicitly biblical modes of thought, at least. It's a bit subtle, but I have come to love this form of analogical argument. That comes right from Cardinal
Newman: my "hero." In this vein, see my paper (dialogue with a fairly well-known and solid Protestant apologist, Robert Bowman, who does a lot of great work): Dialogue on the Biblical Analogies to the Concept of Mary Mediatrix.

The notion of Mary as a mediatrix of all graces is a very difficult one for most Protestants to even grasp, let alone accept. I think it was based on centuries of reflection by very holy and wise Christians, of what it means to be the Theotokos and Immaculate. It comes (arguably it developed from) the idea of the New Eve. We know that in Adam, all men fell. The devil caused that, but we participated as a human race in rebellion against God; we are one entity: the human race; God's creatures, so we could all fall "in Adam" as the Scripture says (this is explicit teaching in the Bible).

So when we get to the "yes" of Eve and the historical beginning of the redemption of the human race and Christ's work for us, we see that, again, God chose to involve a human being. He could have simply said (bypassing the Incarnation and the Cross) "this group of people are saved, and these are not" - based on simply His election with no ultimate regard for human choices or based on some "middle knowledge" whereby He incorporates what He knows of how people will follow Him or not (as a function of His omniscience).

He could have chosen to not become a man. God could have done anything He wanted to do. But He chose to be born of a woman and to involve the human race in its own redemption, in order to "undo" the Fall. Once the Incarnation was God's choice, then Mary became "necessary" as a human being, to make it possible. Her very body was intimately connected with God Incarnate. It is a mystery and a beautiful truth of almost unspeakable majesty and glory and wonder.

So God involved Mary: a human being, in that. I would argue, then, that if God could do all that: then why is it implausible that He could choose to use Mary as an intercessory vessel in His plan of redemption and cause all grace to originate from Himself (of course; by definition) but to merely flow through her? He had already involved her in the Incarnation, by means of the Annunciation. The human race was already raised to extraordinary heights by God becoming Man. So why not go one step further and give Mary this awesome responsibility of being a vessel through which all grace can flow?

The amazing thing is that God would use human beings like that (by extension, any of us) at all. But He chose to do so. And if Mary can be Theotokos and if all of us can potentially be vessels of grace (like a pipe serves to bring water: having no intrinsic relation to the water and not "producing" it at all), how is it implausible for her to be chosen by God to participate in His redemptive plan as an entirely secondary, not intrinsically necessary agent?

This is typically how God works: for example, consider procreation (note the very word). We don't create another human soul as parents. Yet without us (as secondary, contributing causes), these souls do not come into being, because we provide the genetic matter and the physical element which along with the soul makes a human being. God actually lets us participate in the "creation" of a human being and an eternal soul. He wants to involve people. Catholic Mariology starts with this assumption: that Mary had a sublime place in the redemptive plan of God and was the person He wanted to use in the most extraordinary fashion. It fits with how He works in many other areas.

Upon reflection, then, this is seen to be not at all contrary to biblical teaching or what we know about God. It is not explicit, but there can be no prima facie objection to it from the Bible. A sola Scriptura position will disallow it from the outset, but if that objection can be overcome on other grounds, then it is quite worthy of belief. I would recommend reading these two papers in this order:

The Imitation of Mary
A Biblical and Theological Primer on Mary Mediatrix


Many Protestants have a real hard time with the repetition in the Rosary, and what they see as an extreme over-emphasis on Mary, But repetition itself is not at all unbiblical. In Psalm 136, e.g., the same exact phrase is repeated for 26 straight verses. See my paper: A Fictional Dialogue on "Vain Repetition," the Mass, and the Liturgy.

One must understand the functional purpose of the repetitive prayers of the Rosary. They serve as a sort of "rhythm" or "background" of the meditations, just as music serves as the "carrier" of the lyrics, in hymns or even classical and secular music. It is a (rather ingenious) way to concentrate the mind on the spiritual things at hand: "Hail Mary, full of grace" . . . Repetition itself is not a bad thing. Protestants often have pet phrases and things repeated over and over ("praise God," "hallelujah," "thank you Jesus," "glory to God," etc.). The repetition is not implying a superiority of Mary to Jesus at all: it is simply a technique to foster the meditation: which itself is mostly centered on Jesus. And most of the Hail Mary is right in the Bible, as you know, so it is simply repeating (mostly) a Bible passage. In that sense, it is little different from Psalm 136 and many other such repetitious passages.

Many Protestants feel that the form prayers of Catholics are too formulaic and dry and uttered without feeling or passion. But this is often merely an example of personal bias. I understand this because I was extremely "un-liturgical" as a Protestant, and couldn't relate to that at all. I was a "Jesus Freak" who spent most of my time worshiping God in free-form, spontaneous worship services (often with rock music). I didn't like liturgy. It bored me and didn't move my spirit at all. Yet I now attend Latin Mass and absolutely love it. This form concentrates my mind and spirit on worship (along with our gorgeous German Gothic church) far more than the spontaneous worship ever did (though I continue to like that form, too: another case of "both/and" -- not "either/or").

Besides, serving God is not always about "feeling." I would hope that all Christians feel things, and deeply, but sometimes we have to do stuff that we don't particularly feel. It's true that Catholic prayers (in the heart of those uttering them) can become stale and sort of "dull", but that is not intrinsic to the prayers themselves, and has more to do with the internal dispositions of the person. Obviously, we could not oppose formula per se because that would take out the Bible as well. Protestant "chanting" of verses like John 3:16 could very well come under the same criticism. In other words, it is a general human failing, not a particularly Catholic one. A paper which deals with a similar issue would be the following: Sacramentalism and Inner Disposition.

I only hope you (if you decide to cross over) are not disappointed with our own share of nonsense and ludicrosity, on the human level, in the Catholic Church. I am reminded of something Malcolm Muggeridge wrote:

As Hilaire Belloc truly remarked, the Church must be in God's hands because, seeing the people who have run it, it couldn't possibly have gone on existing if there weren't some help from above. I also felt unable to take completely seriously . . . the validity or permanence of any form of human authority . . . There is . . . some other process going on inside one, to do with faith which is really more important and more powerful. I can no more explain conversion intellectually than I can explain why one falls in love with someone whom one marries. It's a very similar thing . . .
The conversion process is very strange - even frightening at times -, yet wonderfully exhilarating as it comes to a conclusion (as any of us who have experienced it can testify). We mustn't rush people who are going through this. And we must accept the genuine, sincere nature of their struggles. Those are my "guiding principles" - at any rate - when I counsel people in this life-situation.


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1 posted on 05/12/2008 8:08:08 PM PDT by annalex
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To: annalex

I’m getting back into the swing of things. Will read this thoroughly tomorrow.


2 posted on 05/12/2008 8:10:13 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Antoninus; ArrogantBustard; CTK YKC; dan1123; DogwoodSouth; FourtySeven; HarleyD; Iscool; Jaded; ...
50 Days of Easter 2008 Celebration ping, dedicated to converts to the Catholic faith. If you want to be on the list but are not on it already, or if you are on it but do not want to be, let me know either publicly or privately.

Happy Easter. Christ is risen!

Easter is too short. I have a few more conversion stories that I just cannot pass up.

Alex.


Previously posted conversion stories:

Anti-Catholicism, Hypocrisy and Double Standards
Hauled Aboard the Ark
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part I: Darkness
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part II: Doubts
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part III: Tradition and Church
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part IV: Crucifix and Altar
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part V: The Catholics and the Pope
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part VI: The Biblical Reality
His Open Arms Welcomed Me
Catholic Conversion Stories & Resources
My Personal Conversion Story
My (Imminent) Reception into the Roman Catholic Church
Catholics Come Home
My Journey of Faith
LOGIC AND THE FOUNDATIONS OF PROTESTANTISM
"What is Truth?" An Examination of Sola Scriptura
"Have you not read?" The Authority behind Biblical Interpretation
The Crisis of Authority in the Reformation
Our Journey Home
Our Lady’s Gentle Call to Peace
A story of conversion at the Lamb of God Shrine
Who is Mary of Nazareth?
Mary and the Problem of Christian Unity
Why I'm Catholic
A Convert's Response to Friends
My Story
Courage to Be Catholic
Finally Catholic! My Conversion to the Catholic Church
Southern Baptist Pastor Leaves Everything for the Eucharist
The Short Version (the Way International convert)
Shower of Roses-- An Independent, Fundamental Baptist Becomes Catholic Through Mary's Intecession
Confessions of a Catholic Convert
Alex Jones: the evangelical who became a Catholic deacon
A TRIUMPH AND A TRAGEDY
Women's Ordination Was Non-Negotiable

Also see:
Sheep That Go Astray
Pope Benedict Goes to Washington Ecumenical Meeting at St. Joseph's Church, New York
Orthodox and Catholic Churches are allies, (Orthodox) Bishop Hilarion says
How to become a Catholic

3 posted on 05/12/2008 8:10:52 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: Appleby

You rang...


4 posted on 05/12/2008 8:18:36 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex

For an article sourced from something titled “Biblical Evidence for Catholicism” I find an apparent lack of evidence, Biblical or otherwise.

The author makes his case on the basis that these ideas can coincide with what the Bible says. That’s no more authoritative than Buddhist’s claims that their religion is compatible with Christianity.

As much as I admire those zealous Catholics who oppose abortion and the homosexual agenda, and as much as I want to think of Catholics as my Christian brethren, postings like these tend to affirm the common Protestant criticisms of Catholicism rather than serve as the intended, effective apologetic.

Not one point is authoritatively supported by scripture, while many are outright contradictions to the clear teachings of the Bible. And the author cites the silence or apparent ambiguity of scripture, not as a difficulty in defending Catholic doctrine and practices, but as if this provides some sort of cover for their allowance.

The most egregious of errors promoted here is that Christ is not central to the doctrines or practices being advocated. Christ is what all scripture is about, and this is the key to understanding its meaning. Christ is the savior of mankind, including Mary.

To elevate her as THE channel of ALL grace is to twist and contort the plain meaning of scriptural teaching on grace beyond all recognition. It is in keeping with the disciples carnal behavior while still in their ignorance when they debated who would be the greatest. And it is like when Peter in his ignorance wanted to make tents for Elijah and Moses on the Mount of Transfiguration. Moses, Elijah, the apostles and Mary are all great examples of faith. Yet, now that Christ’s identity has been revealed in His fullness, there is no room for anyone else to glory except in Him.

But this author is stuck in a carnal mindset that predates the Transfiguration, the Cross, the Resurrection, the Ascension, and the Revelation of Christ.


5 posted on 05/12/2008 11:36:24 PM PDT by unlearner (You will never come to know that which you do not know until you first know that you do not know it.)
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To: unlearner
Not one point is authoritatively supported by scripture...

What are you calling "authoritatively supported?" Protestant agreement?

Show me a Protestant system of "authentication" that would approve Peter's reading of Scripture in Acts 1:16 and following, THEN we'll talk about the worth of what you call authoritative support.

6 posted on 05/13/2008 12:00:05 AM PDT by papertyger (That's what the little winky-face was for.)
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To: unlearner
As a Reformed (Calvinist) Christian, I am impressed by the clear linkage this writer makes between mariolatry and autosoteriology. The human will is enthroned as ultimate in both cases. "Hail holy queen, enthroned, above?"

When self is ultimate, when one's own will is the key to one's salvation, you realize pretty early that you're damned! It's too flimsy a reed to lean upon. Then, when puberty hits (every male reader know what I'm talking about) and your own thoughts and "observations" are mortal sins, the despair deepens. You start looking for shortcuts to heaven, for alternate paths to salvation -- and "find" them, in the maternal deity, the mother goddess, who can offer you the hope and assurance that God withholds.

Calvinism rejoices in a God who is at the center of the universe. We are liberated from the need to put humanity there -- either in person (autosoteriology) or by proxy (mariolatry).

7 posted on 05/13/2008 1:04:09 AM PDT by RJR_fan (Winners and lovers shape the future. Whiners and losers TRY TO PREDICT IT.)
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To: papertyger

“What are you calling ‘authoritatively supported?’ “

That would be, according to the named source, the Bible.

“Protestant agreement?”

There is no singular Protestant creed. True believers, without regard to a particular local church they identify with, must hold the Bible as authoritative. This applies to anyone who claims to be Christian, whether they are or not.

“Show me a Protestant system of ‘authentication’ that would approve Peter’s reading of Scripture in Acts 1:16”

Jesus’ standard was when two or three agree together; that is achieved on the basis of their agreeing with His word. Note that in Acts 1:14, the early disciples were in such accord.

My point is that doctrines and practices advocated in this article are not supported in this article with Biblical evidence as the news source title might imply. The author does not because he cannot. The scriptures reprove such doctrines and practices.


8 posted on 05/13/2008 1:07:09 AM PDT by unlearner (You will never come to know that which you do not know until you first know that you do not know it.)
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To: unlearner
That would be, according to the named source, the Bible.

I can think of no answer that would evince greater fatuity than this one. It goes without saying it is utterly hypocritical to claim something has no "authoritative support" from the Scripture when one can not show from the Scripture how this "support" is gained or forfeited.

True believers, without regard to a particular local church they identify with, must hold the Bible as authoritative. This applies to anyone who claims to be Christian, whether they are or not.

Where is this "rule" found in the Bible?

I'll give you a hint...it's not. It's nothing but a "tradition of men."

...that is achieved on the basis of their agreeing with His word.

So where is THIS rule in the Bible.

My point is that doctrines and practices advocated in this article are not supported in this article with Biblical evidence as the news source title might imply.

And my point is that yours aren't, either. The difference is the doctrines and practices of the Catholic Church were authoritatively developed with the mechanisms Christ gave to the Church He founded, and yours are based on accusations contrived to justify rebellion against that Church and hermaneutics designed to facilitate same.

9 posted on 05/13/2008 2:31:33 AM PDT by papertyger (That's what the little winky-face was for.)
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To: annalex

Nothing in this article that demonstrates a biblical basis for the assumption, the immaculate conception, etc.

It’s all “feeling” and “acceptance of authority.”

The way it comes across to me is: Because he feels the RC authority fits, then just accept everything the RC says, including mariology.

So, the bottom line remains. There is no biblical basis to the assumption and the immaculate conception.


10 posted on 05/13/2008 5:18:41 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain -- Those denying the War was Necessary Do NOT Support the Troops!)
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To: annalex
When I first started thinking seriously about Catholic Mariology, I approached it in a more right-brained, typically "non-male" way ... She was awesome to me: the very picture of womanhood and femininity.

That explains a lot right there since the right brain is the seat of the imagination not logic or rational thinking.

The concept is simple: Eve said "no" to God and Mary said "yes." Eve's choice led to the Fall, and Mary's led to the Incarnation and Redemption. She represented the human race (and for once we got it right). God wanted it to be that way. Human beings had fallen based on free choice and God wanted them to be redeemed by a free choice as well (as opposed to being declared saved apart from their free will).

Now there is a right-brained illogical thought for you. And just where was Mary appointed to "represent the human race"??? And if Mary made the choice for the human race, then the human race didn't have freedom of choice, did it???? especially if they never appointed her as their representative, right???

What do you guys need a teaching magisterium for??? These right-brained converts of yours become your instant theologians.

11 posted on 05/13/2008 5:34:36 AM PDT by Uncle Chip (TRUTH : Ignore it. Deride it. Allegorize it. Interpret it. But you can't ESCAPE it.)
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To: annalex
The human race was already raised to extraordinary heights by God becoming Man. So why not go one step further and give Mary this awesome responsibility of being a vessel through which all grace can flow?

Problem is; God did not do this...The Catholic church is that which elevated Mary...

The amazing thing is that God would use human beings like that (by extension, any of us) at all. But He chose to do so. And if Mary can be Theotokos and if all of us can potentially be vessels of grace (like a pipe serves to bring water: having no intrinsic relation to the water and not "producing" it at all), how is it implausible for her to be chosen by God to participate in His redemptive plan as an entirely secondary, not intrinsically necessary agent?

It's implausable because there is no need for it...God never said He needs Mary to dispense Grace...God never said He would use Mary to be a conduit for Grace...

Your church has 'made this up' to glorify Mary...

Looking thru the entire article, I see hardly any mention of Jesus the Christ...It's all Mary and the church...

In fact, the only times Jesus Christ is mentioned in this Catholic sales pitch, it is in the negative...

It may be difficult and painful and hurtful, for sure, but no one ever promised that following Jesus was a bed of roses.

Protestants often have pet phrases and things repeated over and over ("praise God," "hallelujah," "thank you Jesus," "glory to God," etc.).

PET PHRASES??????

I was a "Jesus Freak" who spent most of my time worshiping God in free-form, spontaneous worship services (often with rock music).

You're far better off being a 'Jesus Freak' than a repetitious Mary moaner...

Obviously, we could not oppose formula per se because that would take out the Bible as well. Protestant "chanting" of verses like John 3:16 could very well come under the same criticism.

And for those of you that have forgotten John 3:16,

oh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

There's God's plan of Salvation and the Catholics call it 'Protestant chanting'...

I only hope you (if you decide to cross over) are not disappointed with our own share of nonsense and ludicrosity, on the human level, in the Catholic Church.

They sure hit the nail on the head on that one...

Read the article closely...You have a choice...Mary, or Jesus...

12 posted on 05/13/2008 6:49:47 AM PDT by Iscool
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To: Iscool
You have a choice...Mary, or Jesus...

*************

We choose both.

13 posted on 05/13/2008 6:57:28 AM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: Uncle Chip
And if Mary made the choice for the human race, then the human race didn't have freedom of choice, did it????

Did we have freedom of choice when Adam and Eve sought to become like God? Nevertheless, Original Sin still entered the world. The act of disobedience brought forth death - Mary's act of obedience brought the Lamb who conquered death into the world. God doesn't operate a Heavenly Democracy - He appointed Mary to represent us, and she did her job perfectly.

14 posted on 05/13/2008 7:03:17 AM PDT by thefrankbaum (Ad maiorem Dei gloriam)
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To: trisham
We choose both.

Read the article...

15 posted on 05/13/2008 7:04:19 AM PDT by Iscool
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To: Iscool
Problem is; God did not do this...The Catholic church is that which elevated Mary...

Really? So God had nothing to do with the Virigin Birth? That really Iscool.

It's implausable because there is no need for it...God never said He needs Mary to dispense Grace...God never said He would use Mary to be a conduit for Grace...

The article isn't saying God needed Mary to do His work - it says He CHOSE Mary. Grace came into this world through Christ. Christ came into the world through Mary. C'mon now.

16 posted on 05/13/2008 7:06:51 AM PDT by thefrankbaum (Ad maiorem Dei gloriam)
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To: Iscool

No response, eh?


17 posted on 05/13/2008 7:07:44 AM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: annalex
I will have to read this later, but as of yet I haven't seen any convincing arguments for the Marian doctrines apart from appeals to the Magisterium (it's true because we say so!) of the church.

As attracted as I am to the Catholic Church, and as much as the encroaching liberalism in the Protestant world has been goading me toward the Catholic Church, I simply cannot get past the Marian doctrines. I have stated elsewhere on this forum why and how I believe the Marian doctrines developed.

Can't buy it. From a logical standpoint, a Scriptural standpoint, and a standpoint of basic reason, the Marian doctrines just don't add up.

18 posted on 05/13/2008 7:34:32 AM PDT by Boagenes (I'm your huckleberry, that's just my game.)
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To: unlearner

The website contains a blog. This is a blog entry. The entry itself is not dedicated to biblical evidence for Catholicism. You are correct that it does not rely on scripture quotes and presumes that the reader is familiar with the relevant scripture.

Regarding the Holy Scripture vis a vis Catholicism, the situation is this:

Individual interpretations of isolated verses exist that, some Protestants claim, contradict the Catholic doctrines. In fact, only the interpretation is in contradiction, and it is thereby a wrong interpretation, or at least one lacking substantial authority. Such is for example, the putative contradiction of Mary being free from all sin and prooftexts like “all have sinned” in Romans or the fact that she called Christ her Savior. Neither implies Mary sinned.

At times it is not the interpretation of what is in the scripture, but rather imagining things that are not in it. such are for example, things that attempt to prove that Mary had other children because of the use of the word “brother”. This must be where you fault the author for relying on “the silence or apparent ambiguity of scripture [...] as if this provides some sort of cover”. It is true that the scripture does not definitively say that Mary had no sin, or had not marital relations with St. Joseph. This is not “cover” or a “difficulty in defending Catholic doctrine” to point that out.

Often, stuff is alleged against Catholicism that is in fact not taught by Catholicism: that Catholics worship saints or holy objects like pagan gods or idols, they they resacrifice Christ, that they can pay money to get sins absolved, that they invent novel doctrines to contradict old, etc. Then the scripture is brought to bear against these fallacies.

At other times, devotional practices are said to contradict the scripture because they are not described in the scripture, or a similar practice condemned in a different context. That is simply silly; it might make sense for a practitioner of Sola Scriptura to seek “biblical authorization” for various prayers and devotions, but then the concept of Sola Scriptura is itself counter-scriptural.

There is nothing in the scripture that contradicts Catohlicism. It is that simple. And we did not have to censor whole books or mangle translations to say that.

You don’t offer specific criticism, but you mention that some of Catholic practices seem to you “stuck in the carnal mindset” and not centered on Christ. The answer to that is that we are not stuck in the carnal any more that Christ Himself, who chose to be incarnate to suffer carnally and die carnally for us. He also chose one woman — not two or more, and not zero — to bring Him into the carnal world. A prayer to a saint is a prayer to Christ, always. If it doesn’t seem to you that way, well, this is why you are not Catholic, yet.

If you want to discuss any particular scripture that you think contradicts Catholicism, let us do so.


19 posted on 05/13/2008 7:50:32 AM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex; All
I thoroughly enjoyed this post, especially the portions below. It fully and accurately stated what I've been trying to do vis a vis my own apologetic efforts in the last few months.

I always advise potential converts that the road to the Church is not undertaken with Protestant methods. One doesn't "figure everything out" one-by-one and then make the leap. That is the Protestant method, and it is very ingrained (I know, firsthand). When you become a Catholic, at some point you simply accept the Church's authority because it is an entity far far greater than yourself. You may not understand everything, but who does, anyway?

What you come to see is that this is the Church and authority structure -- with all its human foibles and terrible, scandalous shortcomings in practice - that was ordained by God, and how He intended it to be. The true doctrine and "apostolic deposit" was passed down and it has been known all along. It isn't to be discovered in every generation, or "re-invented" like the wheel. All other knowledge works the same way (science, engineering, mathematics, musical theory, the received outlines of history, legal precedents, etc.), yet when it comes to religion, somehow people think that it is this entirely individualistic and subjective affair. It's very weird when you sit down and analyze it.

Emphasis added. The portion in bold is why I have recently recommended everyone at least examine Communion and Liberation. Among such bold claims as "One can come to know Christ exists with as much certainty as anything", CL also teaches the basic concept in bold above, a reasonable concept, but one that is often forgotten and overlooked, even among many Catholics. Many are inclined to believe that "faith" and "reason" are separable, and indeed SHOULD be separated, because "faith isn't objective, it IS subjective". While that's true if one doesn't apply reason TO one's faith, this is not how faith SHOULD be and indeed, if one's faith cannot stand up to reason, then it truly isn't a HUMAN experience. It's just something done because one's family does it, or because one wants to look good in the community. It's a treasure set on a shelf, never used, just looked at and "admired" for its beauty. It's not something that is actually a PART of the person holding it, it's not something that's a natural expression of the "faithful's" HUMANITY. It's a piece of art, a trinket, an *ASIDE*, not a *REALITY*.

The portion in bold above points to another way of looking at "faith". This is, indeed, IMO, what sets the Church apart from every other church, belief system, or institution that competes for my spiritual attention. The Church offers a faith that is a method of reason. It doesn't deny the capacity of man to reason, it actually INVITES man to USE his reason to come to it, and to strengthen his own humanity, that is, to be TRULY human, WHOLLY human.

This concept is what continues to strengthen my resolve with regards to the Church. For, I reason, if there is a God who created me, and if He wants me to follow Him, the BEST way to follow Him is to follow Him the way He created me, through my HUMANITY. That is, why would God create me human, but yet not want me to be human? It is preposterous to believe that. Indeed, it follows from Catholic teaching: We are actually LESS human when we SIN. It's not "human nature" to sin, it's actually human nature, the way God intended that is, to NOT sin. This is one example. Another, is that clearly God gave us ability to reason. It therefore is unreasonable to believe that He wouldn't want us to use said reason, thus, our task as humans is to find a way to use our reasoning ability in harmony with God. This doesn't mean rationalizing our reasoning away, as some are inclined to do ("God gave me reason to make me realize that reason is not only unnecessary, it's a burden"). This cannot be the conclusion we should draw, because it's ultimately circular in its logic.

I digress however. The portion in bold is the key point to remember, and one I've been trying to make. For everything else, we always say, "I'll rely on that person's testimony; I'm not going to work out everything for myself". For science we say this. For art. For finances. No one is completely "self sufficient" in all of those areas. Even the professionals IN those areas rely on other's past experience to guide them. Why shouldn't we do the same for our religious experience? Is not the cliche "Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it" relevant here? I believe it is; I believe it's unreasonable, and therefore, inhuman, to do otherwise.

20 posted on 05/13/2008 8:37:48 AM PDT by FourtySeven (47)
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To: thefrankbaum
Did we have freedom of choice when Adam and Eve sought to become like God?

No -- but you did exercise that freedom of choice when you rebelled against the word of God like she did and sinned.

Nevertheless, Original Sin still entered the world. The act of disobedience brought forth death - Mary's act of obedience brought the Lamb who conquered death into the world. God doesn't operate a Heavenly Democracy - He appointed Mary to represent us, and she did her job perfectly.

Sorry but your theology is flawed. Scripture does not say that sin entered the world through Eve but through Adam, and it was the representation of the Second Adam, the Son of Man, that was effectual for us, but only for us who believe it -- not for those who believe He needed a Marian co-redeemer or co-representative.

It's either Jesus as your representative redeemer or Mary -- exercise your freedom -- make your choice .

21 posted on 05/13/2008 8:48:07 AM PDT by Uncle Chip (TRUTH : Ignore it. Deride it. Allegorize it. Interpret it. But you can't ESCAPE it.)
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To: thefrankbaum
The article isn't saying God needed Mary to do His work - it says He CHOSE Mary.

The article pretty much says your church chose Mary...And we know that to be true...

22 posted on 05/13/2008 9:01:18 AM PDT by Iscool
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To: Uncle Chip
Scripture does not say that sin entered the world through Eve but through Adam

The woman saw that the tree was good for food, pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves. ~ Gen. 3:6-7

What is the act of sin?

not for those who believe He needed a Marian co-redeemer or co-representative.

"Co-Redeemer" is a Half English, Half Latin bastardization of the theory of Mary as the "Co-Redemptrix". You've got the Redeptrix = Redeemer part down, but you are confused as to the "co-". From the Latin "con," meaning "with" - quite literally, for nine months, Mary was "with" the Redeemer. She co-operated in the Redemption of humanity by saying "yes" and being obedient to God, unlike Eve in the passage above.

23 posted on 05/13/2008 9:03:43 AM PDT by thefrankbaum (Ad maiorem Dei gloriam)
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Comment #24 Removed by Moderator

To: RJR_fan
You start looking for shortcuts to heaven, for alternate paths to salvation -- and "find" them, in the maternal deity, the mother goddess, who can offer you the hope and assurance that God withholds.

You know, RJR_fan, I've been a Catholic since I was baptized at the age of 6 weeks.

I do not recognize myself, or my faith, or any aspect of my spiritual life at present, in your post at all. It's like you are writing about some sort of alternate, warped, backwards, un-real reality.

To the extent that I recognize my spiritual life at any stage of my life in your post (which isn't much), that's because I was poorly catechized. (Which is partly the church's fault but also my parents'.)

Mary is exalted precisely, and exactly, because she said to the angel, "I am the handmaid of the Lord ... Let it be done unto me as you say".

If there was any doubt, in John 2 she points to her Son and says "Do whatever he tells you.".

Does those sound like "escape clauses" to get away from God's authority to you? Autosoteriology? No, it's the complete opposite: "Let it be done unto me as you say." Any attempt to treat Mary as some sort of alternative path to heaven hits a stone wall at that, which is why the idea is not merely impossible, but unrecognizably meaningless.

25 posted on 05/13/2008 9:13:04 AM PDT by Campion
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To: thefrankbaum
Here, try this from a letter delivered to the ancients of the Church in Rome many moons ago:

"12Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned ... 14Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. 15But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many." [Romans 5:12-15]

Do you see the word "Eve" in there??? Jesus continually referred to himself as the Son of Man [Adam], but nowhere is Mary referred to as the Daughter of Eve.

But take a hint. Just as Eve was part of the deception of sin that overwhelmed Adam, so your Mariology is part of the deception of sin that is overwhelming those who fall for it.

26 posted on 05/13/2008 9:22:31 AM PDT by Uncle Chip (TRUTH : Ignore it. Deride it. Allegorize it. Interpret it. But you can't ESCAPE it.)
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To: Uncle Chip
Do you think Eve wasn't involved?

nowhere is Mary referred to as the Daughter of Eve.

"And the man called his wife Eve, because she was the mother of all the living." Gen 3:20

27 posted on 05/13/2008 9:27:16 AM PDT by Campion
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To: Uncle Chip
The man called his wife Eve, because she became the mother of all the living ~ Gen 3:20

When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son." ~ John 19:26

Using your interpretation style of Scripture, I would conclude that women are immortal, since what you've quoted from Romans says that death passed upon all men. But you'll say that "men" means humanity in context - ok, fine. But then why can't "by one man" mean one member of humanity - Eve? With your little authority-free system, we'll disagree and both think we are right. But I've got 1.15 Billion people and 2000 years of history and the promise that the Gates of Hell will not prevail against His Church - thank God for that!

28 posted on 05/13/2008 9:32:53 AM PDT by thefrankbaum (Ad maiorem Dei gloriam)
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To: Campion
Do you think Eve wasn't involved?

She sure was. She was part of the deception because surely, as the serpent reasoned, Adam wouldn't say "No" to her and wouldn't refuse anything that came from her hand. But Paul in Romans still says that sin entered the world through "one man" not "one man and one woman" -- and Jesus is called the second Adam not the second Husband of Eve.

"And the man called his wife Eve, because she was the mother of all the living." Gen 3:20

So then how many "living" were there before Mary???

29 posted on 05/13/2008 9:45:59 AM PDT by Uncle Chip (TRUTH : Ignore it. Deride it. Allegorize it. Interpret it. But you can't ESCAPE it.)
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To: xzins
There is no biblical basis to the assumption and the immaculate conception

Sure there is: Apocalypse 12:14 and Luke 1:28. However, the author gives you more than that: he explains how the entire mindset of Protestant textproofing is an error and a misunderstanding of the scripture.

30 posted on 05/13/2008 9:54:57 AM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: thefrankbaum
But then why can't "by one man" mean one member of humanity - Eve?

You can exercise your freedom and believe that all you wish but you have to rebel against the word of God that was in the hands of the forefathers of the church in Rome to do:

"12Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned ... 14Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. 15But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many." [Romans 5:12-15]

31 posted on 05/13/2008 9:55:32 AM PDT by Uncle Chip (TRUTH : Ignore it. Deride it. Allegorize it. Interpret it. But you can't ESCAPE it.)
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Comment #32 Removed by Moderator

To: annalex

Rev 12 doesn’t mention Mary or any assumption of Mary.....at all. It does mention the child (Jesus) being caught up to the throne of heaven. It does mention the nation going into the wilderness due to persecution.

Luke 1:28 says absolutely nothing about any assumption or immaculate conception. The words don’t come up, the concept doesn’t come up, nothing about it at all comes up.

I’ve read Hahn on this. He is so totally unconvincing that I’m concerned for the viability of his rationality.


33 posted on 05/13/2008 10:14:40 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain -- Those denying the War was Necessary Do NOT Support the Troops!)
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To: FourtySeven
This concept is what continues to strengthen my resolve with regards to the Church. For, I reason, if there is a God who created me, and if He wants me to follow Him, the BEST way to follow Him is to follow Him the way He created me, through my HUMANITY. That is, why would God create me human, but yet not want me to be human?

So there's your first mistake...You are using man's widsom, not Gods...

You want to follow God thru your HUMANITY...It's a pity they brain-washed you into rejecting what God says about it...

Joh 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

NOT the flesh...Maybe you guys don't understand that...

Your HUMANITY can not follow God...It will not follow God...

Rom 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
Rom 7:15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
Rom 7:16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
Rom 7:17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
Rom 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
Rom 7:19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

The Apostle Paul (and Peter) couldn't follow God in their HUMANITY, how in the world do you thing you guys can do it???

34 posted on 05/13/2008 10:15:23 AM PDT by Iscool
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To: Uncle Chip
where was Mary appointed to "represent the human race"???

31 Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. 33 And of his kingdom there shall be no end. [... 48] from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed (Luke 1)

His mother saith to the waiters: Whatsoever he shall say to you, do ye. [...] This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee; and manifested his glory, and his disciples believed in him. (John 2)

thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed. (Luke 2:35)

Woman, behold thy son ... Behold thy mother (John 19)

the dragon was angry against the woman: and went to make war with the rest of her seed, who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. (Apoc. 12:17)

I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she [some translations say, her seed] shall crush thy head (Gen 3:15)

These verses place Mary in relation to all the Christian Church: all generations of the elect call her blessed; on her urging the Church adopted Christ's first believers; faith of the disciples she continues to adopt is revealed through her maternal suffering; the entire Christian race is called her children, and her seed is predicted to triumph in the end.

if Mary made the choice for the human race, then the human race didn't have freedom of choice, did it?

Correct, human race as a whole had no freedom of choice as far as the Incarnation of Christ is concerned; the only human person consulted about it was Mary.

35 posted on 05/13/2008 10:16:37 AM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: Iscool
Your church has 'made this up' to glorify Mary

Why, I just gave a list of places where the Gospel glorifies Mary, in my previous post. It is true, of course, that it is the Church who wrote these same gospels in the first place, so yeah, in that sense, guilty as charged...

36 posted on 05/13/2008 10:20:18 AM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: Boagenes
cannot get past the Marian doctrines

Then this article is for you. Also check out Tim Staples on Mary: TIM STAPLES - Catholic Audio CD, Tapes, DVD and Videos

My wife, then Baptist, decided to go to a Tim Staples seminar and got his books. It looked over the top for her: not enough direct "pray thee to Mary for thy salvation or perish" prooftext. But that gave her the knowledge of the scriptural basis of mariology, - the notion that it was all an artifact of the Medieval Church no longer held. Then, I showed her how both the Real Presence and Mary as first Eve were with the Early Church from at least as early as St. Justin Martyr. Finally, I showed her what exactly the Catechism says about Mary and her role in the Redemption and it looked completely reasonable and patristic to her. That was, pretty much how her conversion happened.

She had a problem with the repetitiveness of the Rosary too, also addressed in the article.

37 posted on 05/13/2008 10:31:58 AM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex
on her urging the Church adopted Christ's first believers;

Nonsense...There was no adoption...They were Jews...

faith of the disciples she continues to adopt is revealed through her maternal suffering;

More nonsense...Mary has never adopted anyone...And never will...

the entire Christian race is called her children,

You're making that up as well...And, there is no Christian race...

38 posted on 05/13/2008 10:31:58 AM PDT by Iscool
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To: FourtySeven
We are actually LESS human when we SIN. It's not "human nature" to sin, it's actually human nature, the way God intended that is, to NOT sin. This is one example. Another, is that clearly God gave us ability to reason. It therefore is unreasonable to believe that He wouldn't want us to use said reason, thus, our task as humans is to find a way to use our reasoning ability in harmony with God

Very much to the core of the issue, thank you. Man's creation as a deathless creature in the image of God, Whose Icon is Christ is one thing to bear in mind that the Protestant mind cannot easily embrace; the concept of intelligent human agency in doing the divine will, despite being the very essence of the Holy Scripture, is also somehow foreign to Protestantism.

39 posted on 05/13/2008 10:40:36 AM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: FourtySeven
Communion and Liberation.

Interesting site, thanks.

40 posted on 05/13/2008 10:43:41 AM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: Iscool

Those verses you quote don’t contradict what I’m proposing at all, really. For example, Joh 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

In spirit, and in truth. “Reason”, is the search for truth.

Similarly for the passage from Romans. Here St. Paul describes how he does things he knows to be wrong. He *knows*, to be wrong. How does he *know* these things are wrong? Certainly from the gift of faith, however, this gift from God must be a fact to him, or else it would be a fantasy, not able to convince him that what he does on occasion really *is* wrong. This fact is probably, at least one aspect, his encounter with Christ on the road to Damascus. However, this only points to the need for a fact (or facts) to base our faith upon, for all of us. That is, unless one believes St. Paul is somehow different than us, somehow, not human.

Facts can be derived from either direct experience or indirect experience (that is, through the witness of another). However, to truly separate fact from fiction using the latter method, “reason” is required. One cannot separate fact from fiction, based on the witness of others, if one does not apply reason.

So, what we have is a need for a fact (from the passage in Romans), but the only way to obtain such fact today (normally speaking) is through indirect knowledge. (unless one actually does encounter Christ physically, in some kind of miracle, like happened to Saul).

This is how I respond to your reply. Basically however, what you’re saying in your post to me is also, that when God created humans, He made a mistake. Or, the only other thing you can say is, that our ability to reason is a result of the curse of the Fall. That is, our ability to reason is a curse.

Pretty contradictory to Scripture, both thoughts really, since Scripture exhorts us to always be ready with a reason for our faith, and also, to strive for maturity in it. How can we strive to be mature in our faith, if we reject reason? We are to expect that God is just going to somehow “zap us” into maturity, with no cooperation and/or action on our part?

Ok! I’m still waiting for that magical zap from Heaven. Of course, what I’m waiting for is something that’s going to change me from a human being (something capable of independent reason) into a robot.


41 posted on 05/13/2008 10:45:23 AM PDT by FourtySeven (47)
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To: xzins
Rev 12 doesn’t mention Mary or any assumption of Mary

LOL. And you are concerned about someone else's rationality? Who do you think mother of Christ is?

Luke 1:28 says absolutely nothing about any assumption or immaculate conception.

Fullness of grace in the past tense (kecharitomeneh) means Mary had been full of grace prior to the Annunciation. One can speculate whether she was filled with grace at some other than her conception point, but then THAT would be a counterscriptural speculation.

42 posted on 05/13/2008 10:51:11 AM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex

You’re welcome. I strongly recommend everyone (Catholic, non-Catholic Christian, non Christian) attend at least one School of Community, if there is one in one’s area. I believe the charism Fr. Guissani had is something that addresses a need and issue that faces the Church today, which is, a “rediscovery”, if you will, of the broader application of “reason” to the issue of faith. After all, it really is a relatively modern invention that only the scientific could ever be described as “reasonable”.


43 posted on 05/13/2008 10:52:00 AM PDT by FourtySeven (47)
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To: Iscool

I am showing you the relevant scripture and explain what it means. If you want to interpret it differently, start your own church, if you haven’t already.


44 posted on 05/13/2008 10:53:52 AM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex

You really must read Rev 12 again.

A simple question is this: Who gets caught up to the throne and who goes into the wilderness?


45 posted on 05/13/2008 11:01:18 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain -- Those denying the War was Necessary Do NOT Support the Troops!)
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To: annalex
31 Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. 33 And of his kingdom there shall be no end. [... 48] from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed (Luke 1)

Right -- "call her blessed" not call her "Our Lady", "Our Lady of Perpetual Help", "Queen of Heaven" and all that other stuff.

His mother saith to the waiters: Whatsoever he shall say to you, do ye.

Excellent advice. Do what he says not what she says --

Woman, behold thy son ... Behold thy mother (John 19)

And who did she go home with??? Just John or the entire Christian Church of that day???

the dragon was angry against the woman: and went to make war with the rest of her seed, who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. (Apoc. 12:17)

Hmmmm??? Have the testimony of Jesus Christ not the testimony of all those Marian visions and Immaculate deceptions.

I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she [some translations say, her seed] shall crush thy head (Gen 3:15)

"15And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; he shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

"16Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

Sola Scriptura shall rule over Mariology despite its desire to the contrary.

46 posted on 05/13/2008 11:06:15 AM PDT by Uncle Chip (TRUTH : Ignore it. Deride it. Allegorize it. Interpret it. But you can't ESCAPE it.)
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To: xzins
Who gets caught up to the throne and who goes into the wilderness?

You can specualte as day is long, the fact remains, the woman is identified as the physiological mother of Christ.

Christ ascends to heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. Mary goes to fight Satan with her children (the Church) while out of his reach herself, equipped with wings, till Satan is "cast unto the Earth". The river of slander (your handiwork) does not reach her. So where is she?

47 posted on 05/13/2008 11:20:24 AM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: Uncle Chip
who did she go home with??? Just John or the entire Christian Church of that day?

The Bbile does not say that she went into anyone's home, especially St. John's who was a teenager at the time and had an older brother. The Bible says, St. John took her "eis ta idia", that is with the rest of the disciples.

Hmmmm??? ... Immaculate deceptions

If you want an adult conversation, I am happy to have it; if you'd rather do childish clowning, prepare to be ignored.

48 posted on 05/13/2008 11:24:51 AM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: thefrankbaum
the promise that the Gates of Hell will not prevail against His Church - thank God for that!

I sure thank God for that! Actually, God sent His Son to die and be resurrected, which proves that the Gates of Hades will not prevail against His "called out ones." This is our "blessed hope," right?

But I'm curious...what do you, personally, think that promise means?

49 posted on 05/13/2008 11:32:26 AM PDT by Truth Defender (History teaches, if we but listen to it; but no one really listens!)
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To: annalex; P-Marlowe; blue-duncan
As you have pointed out, it is Christ who ascends in the story of Rev 12. The woman DOES NOT ascend to heaven at any point in the story.

The woman who gave birth is taken to the wilderness where she is protected for "a time, times, and half a time." As many know, this is "time" language from the prophet Daniel.

Therefore, if this is the mother of Jesus, then she also has other children, for it identifies a group known as "the rest of her children."

13 When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14 The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent's reach. 15 Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. 16 But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. 17 Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring--those who obey God's commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.

The bottom line is that Jesus Ascends. The woman does not. The woman is also the origin of those children who "obey God's commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus."

She is called a "sign." It would be wise at this point to see the bible by its word choice giving allowance to think symbolically.

50 posted on 05/13/2008 11:40:50 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain -- Those denying the War was Necessary Do NOT Support the Troops!)
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