WAS THE VIRGIN MARY A SINNER OR SINLESS?
Some Catholics will say that they don't worship Mary but rather they venerate her.
The word venerate in the Oxford dictionary means simply to, "regard with great respect."
This is, I believe, quite an understatement to sum up how Catholics truly feel about Mary and I would imagine most honest Catholics would agree with this.
Next the Oxford dictionary tells us what the word worship means, "the felling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity." And this, I honestly believe, is what Catholics will feel happier with.
Finally and most interestingly, the word "pray" or "prayer," according to the same dictionary, means, "a request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or another deity."
So however one dresses it up when a prayer is said to Mary or the saints, in reality they are petitioning another deity to help intercede for them with the one true God.
The New Testament knows nothing of this type of hopscotch praying, but Jesus is very clear that when one prays to God, they aught to the Father, in the name of Jesus (John 16:26.)
Catholics pray to and worship Mary with repetitive prayer petitions and requests, and even credit her if and when their prayers are answered. Clearly the Mary of Catholicism is omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent - just like God is?!?
And this is clearly affirmed in the official catechism of the Roman Catholic Church, published by Geoffrey Chapman, in 1994:
"Mary, because of her faith, became the mother of believers, through whom all nations of the earth receive him who is God's own blessing: Jesus, the fruit of thy womb" (p. 570.)
There are two theological problems with this. 1) Catholics will cite John 19:27 to demonstrate that Mary is the mother for all believers, for the Lord said, "Behold thy mother." However, if one wishes to take this verse literally, then is John our son as well, vs. 26? 2) All nations do not receive Jesus/His mother by some form of automatic default, but by coming to a personal faith in Him and Him alone (John 1:12.)
The catechism also goes on a little further:
"Because she [Mary] gives us Jesus, her son, Mary is Mother of God and our mother; we can entrust all our cares and petitions to her: she prays for us as she prayed for herself: let it be according to your word. By entrusting ourselves to her prayer, we abandon ourselves to the will of God together with her: Thy will be done" (p. 570.)
She was the mother of Jesus' human nature, but never of His divine nature. Yes, Jesus is God but she didn't give birth to God the Son (2nd Member of the Trinity), but the Son of Man.
Yet not one verse in the NT is ever cited by Catholics or High Anglicans to show that the disciples or anybody ever sought her advise for anything or intercessions - that's because it never happened. Jesus was the only person who the multitudes were interested in, and John 2, cannot be supported to suggest otherwise, because she took it upon herself to request wine for the wedding. The text doesn't prove anybody asked her to ask Him.
In the Macarthur study Bible, Macarthur has the following comment on John 2:4:
"This term is not necessarily impolite, but it does have the effect of distancing Jesus from His mother and her request" (p. 1578.)
There is such ignorance of the Biblical role and understanding of Mary, that for anybody who has come to Christ from a Catholic background, once the scales fall off (2 Cor. 3:14-16) and the ex-Catholic now becomes a Christian (2 Cor. 5:17), such teachings as this cause the child of God great pain and a righteous anger, for Jesus is the One to whom all the love, prayers and worship should be given to, not Mary!
We also read in their official catechism, the following blasphemous babble:
"Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death: By asking Mary to pray for us, we acknowledge ourselves to be poor sinners and we address ourselves to the Mother of Mercy, the All-Holy One" (p. 570.)
That Mary is dubbed the Holy One is in direct conflict with Isaiah, where we read the following from the Lord about Himself:
"For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour" (Is. 43:3.)
"I am the Lord, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King (Is. 43:15.)
"Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am the Lord your God" (Is. 48:17.)
So clearly the title Holy One is very sacred and can only be applied to Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ alone (Acts 3:14.)
One can only wonder with amazement how on earth a humble Jewish girl was ever allowed to be elevated up to the place of deity.
There is one word for this type of arrogant and wilful ignorance: idolatry!
May God have mercy on the souls of millions of Catholics and their clergy, for had this type of sin occurred in the Old Testament, there could only have been one outcome: the death penalty!
And let us remember a phrase that we hear often, "ignorance is no excuse of the law."
Since Pius XII Mariology has increased tenfold, although numerous popes who reigned before Pius XII had tried to steer Rome back a more moderate view of Mary, but to no avail and even Vatican II declared that Mary worship was fast becoming a cult in Latin America, Spain and Italy, with some prelates deploring Mary being worshiped over Jesus.
Over the last 200 years the Catholic Church has only spoken ex-cathedra on two occasions. Both have dealt with Mary. However since Rome's conception in the 4th century AD, she has only spoken ex-cathedra on less than 20 ocassions:
"The number of texts infallibly interpreted by the church is small; it has been estimated indeed that the total of such texts in under twenty" (Catholic Commentary, p. 59.)
I would also like to share the following facts, taken from O. C. Lambert excellent book, Catholicism Against Itself. (Although this book was written a good ten years before Vatican II, it still helps the reader understand how Rome has taught, thought and operated for centuries:)
1) Mary never laughed (p. 46.)
2) Shunned Conversation with Parents (p. 46.)
3) Without Praying to Mary [one] cannot be saved (p. 46.)
"[The] Catholic Encyclopaedia says that the Assumption of the Virgin is largely based on Dionysius" (p. 63.)
Lambert argues persuasively that Dionysius the Areopagite (a serial forger) cannot be trusted as being authentic or even orthodox, with even the following quote from Rome herself about another of his infamous writings:
"It is plainly for the purpose of deceiving...It was intended to create the impression that the author belonged to the time of the Apostles" (Catholic Encyclopaedia, Vol. V, pgs. 13, 14.)
Therefore with this church "authority" being exposed as a liar, how can Rome expect Catholics and non-Catholics alike to take the heresy of Mary's alleged Assumption seriously.
And even Roman Catholic scholar, Peter De Rosa, affirms how fabricated Marian apparitions had been planned and concocted up.
According to "tradition" Mary's mother and father were named as Joachim and Anna. The dubious source is as follows:
"Apocryphal Gospels of Catholic Origin - The Proto-evangelium Jacobi, or Infancy Gospel of James, purports to have been written by 'James the brother of the Lord,' i.e., the Apostle James the Less. It is based on the canonical Gospels which it expands with legendary and imaginative elements, which are sometimes puerile and fantastic. The birth, education, and marriage of the Blessed Virgin are described in the first eleven chapters and these are the source of various traditions current among the faithful. They are of value in indicating the veneration paid to Mary at a very early age. For instance it is the 'Protoevangelium' which first tells us that Mary was the miraculous off-spring of Joachim and Anna, previously childless; that when three years old the child was taken to the Temple and dedicated to its service, in fulfilment of her parents' vow" (Catholic Encyclopaedia, Vol. I, p. 607.)
Amazingly with Rome distancing herself from the above, we read the following hypocrisy:
"A tradition of very doubtful value states that Mary, at the age of three years, was presented in the Temple, and remained there until she attained womanhood. A feast commemorative of this has been observed in various parts of the world since about the twelfth century. It was suppressed by Pius V., but was later permitted by Sixtus V. in 1585 and has been gradually kept since the seventeenth century" (Externals of the Catholic Church, p. 131.)
Once again Rome speaks out of both sides of her mouth. To her scholars (those which can afford to buy her expensive books and Encyclopaedias, such a myth is rejected), yet for those who cannot afford books and accept everything blindly, Rome omits to tell her faithful that such feasts are totally in vain.
In 1908, some thirty years before former Jesuit priest, George Tyrell fell foul of his church, he wrote to Cardinal Desire Mercier, about his concern over Mary worship:
"Your Eminence, on the communion-tessera of this year, approved by the Archbishop of Milan, I find Mary and the Pope twice put side by side: Gloria alla madre Immaccolata: Gloria al santo Padre! I have seen one of the crosses sold to the faithful of Rome on which the figure of Christ is replaced by that of the Pope. I admit the logic of it all, but I ask myself: where is it to end"? (Medievalism, p. 71.)
Another Jesuit, Albert Gillo, also echoed George's concerns:
[This] "Childish endeavour to raise the Pope to the level of a demigod...This campaign of fulsome flattery...Our hero worship is growing into a disease...If it is not stopped the Popes in a hundred years will be AS SACRED AS THE LAMAS OF TIBET" (A Catholic Plea for Reunion, pgs. 46, 47.)
Throughout George's torturous life, he would continually try and speak out again the errors of his church:
"I must go by my own moral certainties."
Blind obedience was "the profoundest idolatry and immortality" (Life, Vol. II, pgs. 293, 405.)
(Since the fourth century, Catholicism has rather successfully incorporated the pagan worship of goddesses such as Ashtaroth, Minerva and Dianna in to Mariology, who of course had long been on the scene and worshiped by non-Christians for many years. And it must also be mentioned that dedicated Catholics adore Mary very much like Muslims love Mohammed, and its not surprising that both religions seem to have a closer bond and interest in Mary, than they do with Jesus.)
On 13 May 1981, the late Pope John Paul II, was very nearly assassinated in St. Peter's square, by a KJB trained Bulgarian agent.
The Pope would spend five and half hours on the operating table and in the process lost six pints of blood. When he fully recovered he dedicated the success of his surgeons in saving his life not to the Lord of Glory, but regrettably to Mary. (This Pope also wanted to include her as part of the Trinity, but thankfully he was talked out of this (The Times, 12 August 1997.)
Today Roman Catholic pilgrims can see the bullet that almost killed their pontiff in Fatima, Portugal, one of many Marian shrines.
It should be pointed out to the reader that JPII, in particular, was one of the most ardent and compassionate of all Popes when it came to worshipping Mary. When he was only five his mother died, so his father in sadness, told him that from this day on, Mary would be his mother; and to his final days, she had been.
Therefore the following quote from this Roman Pontiff, should come as no surprise to the reader, for John Paul thinks nothing of putting the name of Mary before Jesus' (Phil. 2:9-11:)
"I beseech the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Incarnate Word and Mother of the Church, to support with her powerful intercession the catechetical work of the entire Church on every level II October 1992, the thirteenth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, in the fourteenth year of my Pontificate" (Official Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church, pg. 6.)
Mary is mentioned only 32 times in the New Testament, in which only 4 times does she speak; with Luke 1:38; 1:47 & John 2:5 being the most monumental words ever uttered by mortal woman.
Peter, Paul and even her own sons, James and Jude, never once mentioned her in any of their Epistles, nor did John the Apostle, who out lived her and looked after her until her death in Ephesus. Not even her alleged bodily assumption got a mention.
In Acts, we read Mary is waiting, with the Apostles and the others, for the Holy Ghost to come upon them (1:13,14.) We also discover two things:
1) She is listed 13th place in rank/superiority.
2) After this verse she is never mentioned directly or indirectly ever again. She simply vanishes.
(Recently it was pointed out to me by a Catholic fundamentalist that Romans 16:6, in which a women called Mary is cited, is in fact the mother of Jesus. In my response, I pointed out to this fundamentalist that if it had been Mary, why then did the Holy Spirit list the "queen of heaven" in 5th place? No adequate answer was forthcoming.)
Peter, after Acts 10, also vanishes from the scene, only to be briefly mentioned by Paul on certain occasions, with later additions from himself, being I and II Peter.
Yet in today's Catholic church, more prayers are said to Mary (their omnipresent lady) than Peter, the saints, popes and even the Lord Jesus Christ. How very sad. Mary, through Roman Catholicism, has gone from a humble Jewish maidservant, to supreme queen (with altars) in heaven. (I have long thought, why do they pray to inferior sources when they can go straight to the Superior source, that being God?)
Catholics will respond by saying that Paul taught that we should pray for one another, but his point was this: those saints were alive and living on earth, not in Heaven.
"For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten" (Ecc. 9:5.)
(When I watched The Passion of the Christ, I found it interesting that the Catholic director allowed his scriptwriters to call Mary, mother and even had her dressing like nun. I know that this is called artistic licence and I also know that Catholics have been chanting this for many years, yet incredibly, nowhere in the New Testament does the Lord ever call Mary, mother. He simply refers to her as woman.)
Please refer to the Catholic Douay-Rheims Bible for such evidence (John 2:4 & 19:26.)
Please see the following difference between traditional Biblical theology and that of progressive Roman Catholic theology:
Black: Biblical Christianity
Red: Roman Catholic theology
Blue: Biblical truth
Jesus is the Son of God.
Mary is called the mother of God.
She is never called this in any Bible anywhere in the world. Even Catholic Bible's don't call her this. Mary was the mother of the Lord Jesus Christ, and this is how one should remember her.
Jesus is Virgin born.
Mary is immaculately conceived.
We find no evidence whatsoever for this anywhere in Holy Scripture. To the contrary we read that she believed herself to be in need of a Saviour like all of mankind (Luke 1:47; Rom. 3:23.) And although she was sinful with sinful blood, this does not in anyway change the fact that Christ was born sinless. How, one may ask? The medical profession tells us that a mother's blood does not pass the placenta. This is just as well, for had Mary's sinful blood flowed through into Jesus' veins, there would have been no salvation.
Jesus is the perfection of Man.
Perpetual virginity of Mary.
We discover that she had at least four other sons and three daughters (Ps. 69:8; Matt. 12:46-50.) We also learn from Matt. 12, that Jesus didn't rebuke His Jewish audience for committing "heresy" when they said thy brethren. The Greek word is adelphos, which clearly means: a brother, whether born of the same two parents or only of the same father or mother. Also the word for cousin is found in the New Testament and never once is it used for Christ and His half siblings.
Finally on this strange doctrine, had Mary been a perpetual virgin, then she would have sinned, for the apostle Paul writes about wives who refuse their husbands marital sex: "Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency." (Ex. 19:15; 1 Cor. 7:5.)
And in Matt 1:25 we read: "And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS." This makes it very clear that as a married woman, normal sexual relations would have occurred in their marriage, after Jesus was born.
Unfortunately, Catholic fundamentalists do not allow Mary to fulfil her female role under the Mosaic covenant. They rob her of this by twisting Scripture, and subsequently creating a superstitious belief that she became divinity or even worse, near deity (The Times, 21 August 1997.)
Jesus was resurrected into heaven.
Mary was bodily assumed into heaven.
Again, Scripture is silent on this alleged event. Nor did the church teach this until many centuries after she died.
Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords.
Mary was crowned queen of heaven and the universe. Paul V called her "mother of the church."
Such lavish and idolatrous titles would cause Mary much blushing. Again, there is no Scripture for any such claims about her.
Jesus Christ alone saved the world from sin.
Mary is proclaimed Mediatrix of all graces: she mediates between mankind and Christ, and also shares in the work of salvation with Jesus Christ.
The Bible makes it abundantly clear that God has only given mankind one Saviour and Mediator and that is Christ Jesus: "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." (1 Tim. 2:5.) Mary's part was important and sacred, but it was short lived. Once she gave birth to the Godman, her role ceased.
The Lord Jesus Himself (possibly prophetically), rebuked such a person for praising Mary instead of God:
"And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it" (Luke 11:27, 28.)
Please note: the Bible calls other individuals blessed which simply means happy, i.e. Gen. 26:29; 30:13 & 49:25, yet nobody worships or prays to these people.
And we read the following in Judges 5:24:
"Blessed above women shall Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite be."
Mary was a recipient of God's grace, not a dispenser. Therefore she mustn't be worshipped or prayed to; and this commandment can be also found in all Roman Catholic Bibles, like this from the Douay-Rheims Bible:
"And I, John, who have heard and seen these things. And, after I had heard and seen, I fell down to adore before the feet of the angel who shewed me the things. And he said to me: See thou do it not. For I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren the prophets and of them that keep the words of the prophecy of this book. Adore God" (Rev. 22:8,9.)
According to De Rosa, until the twelfth century, the church believed that Mary was born in original sin like all of us, and citing numerous Biblical texts, showed where Mary committed many sins. Only Ambrose and Augustine believed Mary did not sin.
Church fathers such as Tertullian, Irenaeus, Chrysostom, Origen, Basil, Cyril of Alexandra, Thomas Aquinas, and others such as St. Bernard and St. Bonaventure, all taught and believed that Mary had been born in original sin.
This would also be echoed many years later by two Roman Pontiffs, Gregory the Great and Leo I, who both said:
"Christ alone was conceived without sin."
One of the Catholicism's greatest scholars, Anselm the archbishop of Canterbury (AD. 1033-1109), said of Mary:
"The virgin herself was conceived in iniquity and in sin did her mother conceive her, and with original sin was she born, because she too sinned in Adam in whom all sinned."
The reader may be interested to know that the Church of England, and the Greek and Russian Orthodox Churches have also traditionally held the belief that Mary was born in original sin like all of mankind.
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