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Can We Honor Jesus Christ Through His Mother Mary? a debate

Discussion in 'Christian Apologetics Forum' started by epostle1, Apr 25, 2017.

  1. epostle1

    epostle1 Well-Known Member

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    I would like to clear up some misconceptions that seem to dominate this forum.

    DEBATE:

    Can We Honor Jesus Christ Through His Mother Mary? (vs. John Cranman)

    [​IMG]
    This led to the exchange below with one John Cranman (apparently Protestant Reformed). His words will be in blue.

    This is literally vacuous.

    Catholics think in terms of “both/and” rather than making false and unnecessary dichotomies (“either/or”). This is also the Hebrew and biblical outlook.

    The best way to honor Jesus is to simply do what He says. If we are talking about a hierarchy of ways to honor Christ, I can imagine that living out the Great Commission is way further up there than honoring Mary. So obviously, honoring Mary isn’t the “best” way to honor Christ.

    You’re still thinking in either/or terms. There is no necessity to do that. Doing Jesus’ will honors Jesus; so does honoring His mother, which (as it says above) is always intended as primarily honor and glory to the Son, Who made His very mother, as He willed.

    Okay; is honoring Mary the primary way to honor Christ, or is it not? Because, the former is what this meme is claiming.

    No it’s not. It’s saying it is up at the top of honoring Jesus, without ruling out other ways of doing that. Both/and. Honoring His mother is honoring Him, in Catholic / biblical both/and thinking. The problem in Protestant thinking (esp. Reformed) is persistent false dichotomies. It can’t comprehend honor of anyone besides God, as if such honor detracts from His honor and is necessarily idolatry. Catholics recognize distinctions between adoration and veneration, and also follow the notion of worshiping God through His creation. Thus, Paul writes:

    Romans 1:20 (RSV) Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. . . .
    Analogously, we can say, “Jesus’ eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things [in this instance, Mary] that have been made.” That’s both/and thinking.

    Dave, this is just sophistry then. Why not just speak plainly here? It doesn’t say that it’s “up at the top”. It says that “we never give more honor” than when we honor Mary. I would even argue that it’s nowhere near required, nor at the top.

    You have to see it as “sophistry” because you are restricted by your own false premises (either/or thinking). I am speaking plainly (and biblically and logically and apostolically). But to you it is sophistry because you don’t yet comprehend the biblical both/and outlook. You are too beholden to the traditions of men (either/or dichotomies).
    Stating “we never give more honor” is not saying that it is the highest or only form of honoring Christ; only that no other form could give more honor. Technically, then, one could also say, in line with the meme, that “we never give more honor to Christ than simply do what He says.” They could both be on the highest level. And indeed they are!
    Moreover, the saint makes the following equation: “we honour her simply and solely to honour him.” But there’s your “both/and” outlook again, which Protestants rarely can conceptualize, because they’ve relentlessly been taught either/or thinking in their own circles. Thus, they see it as “sophistry” or (also commonly) “idolatry”.

    These aren’t false premises. It has to do with clear communication. The meme communicates an idea. Now if the meme doesn’t actually mean what it says, then it’s communicating in a very unclear way. That’s sort of what sophistry means. Clear communication has nothing to do with the “traditions of men”. It has to do with language and passing along ideas.

    And what do you mean here?: “Stating “we never give more honor” is not saying that it is the highest or only form of honoring Christ; only that no other form could give more honor.” If honoring Mary is the maximal way to honor God, then it logically follows that honoring Mary is the highest way to honor God. But I can’t tell whether you are admitting that, or denying it. What you’re saying isn’t clear.

    I’m saying that it is the highest, and so are many other things we can do, as you note. It’s the “highest” without excluding other “highests.” Both / and . . . And it is the same as honoring Jesus Christ our Lord, as the meme says: “we honour her simply and solely to honour him.”

    That’s what you can’t grasp, because you don’t see that we can adore God through creatures (and even things) that he has made. Protestantism, for the most part. has no category for that. It’s worship God, and no honor or veneration for anyone else, or secondarily venerating them, through which we are primarily adoring God.

    Also it’s not. Honoring Mary is not the maximal, or highest way we can honor God. That’s such nonsense. It’s not even anywhere near the top. Dying for Christ, for example, is a much higher way to honor God. Maybe even the ultimate way, as there is nothing greater one can give than to lay down his/her life.
    And Jesus nowhere tells us we are obligated to show this ongoing devotion and honor towards Mary. He always points our spiritual devotion towards God, not multiplied entities.


    Jesus may not have, but there are a lot of Christian elements He didn’t talk about at all, or not explicitly: that come primarily from the epistles. The biblical motif of imitating holy people is similar to veneration (see: Romans 11:14; 1 Corinthians 4:15-16; Corinthians11:1-2; Philippians 3:17; Phillipians 4:9; 1 Thessalonians 1 Thessalonians1:6-7; 1 Thessalonians 2:9-14; 1 Thessalonians3:7-9; 1 Timothy 4:12; 2 Timothy 3:10-14; Hebrews 6:12; Hebrews 13:7; James 5:10-11; 1 Peter 3:1-2; 1 Peter 5:2-3).

    Paul makes it clear more than once that imitating him is in complete harmony with the notion of imitating Christ, whom Paul is imitating (see, e.g., Ephesians 5:1: “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children:): “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (1 Cor 11:1); “And you became imitators of us and of the Lord . . .” (1 Thess 1:6). It’s not either/or.

    By analogy, it is altogether proper to venerate and honor saints, who have more perfectly attained God’s likeness (Matthew 22:30; 1 Corinthians 13:9-12; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Philipians 3:21; Hebrews 11:40; 1 John 3:2; Revelation 21:27;Revelation 22:14), in light of the example of how “heroes of the faith” are regarded (Hebrews 11) and also the biblical injunctions to honor all sorts of people:
    Romans 12:10 love one another with brotherly affection; outdo one another in showing honor. (cf. 1 Corinthians 12:23-26)
    Romans 13:6-7 For the same reason you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay all of them their dues, taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due.
    Ephesians 6:2 “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), (cf. Ex 20:12; Deut 5:16)
    1 Timothy 5:3 Honor widows who are real widows.
    1 Timothy 5:17 Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching;
    1 Peter 2:17 Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.
    1 Peter 3:7 Likewise you husbands, live considerately with your wives, bestowing honor on the woman . . . (cf. Gen 30:20)

    King Asa was honored after his death:
    2 Chronicles 16:14 They buried him in the tomb which he had hewn out for himself in the city of David. They laid him on a bier which had been filled with various kinds of spices prepared by the perfumer’s art; and they made a very great fire in his honor. (cf. 21:19, showing that this was a general practice)
    King Hezekiah was also so honored:
    2 Chronicles 32:33 And Hezeki’ah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the ascent of the tombs of the sons of David; and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem did him honor at his death.

    Only Catholicism tells us otherwise, through its own interpretive liberties. And not everyone agrees with those liberties. So if I’m seeing things through “Protestant” lenses, then likewise you, through Catholic ones.

    There are many more examples in the Bible of veneration of both men and angels (often as direct representatives of God):
    Genesis 18:1-4, Genesis 18:22 The text in-between goes back and forth, referring to “men” or “they” or “them” (Genesis 18:9, Genesis 18:16) and “The LORD” or first-person address from God (Genesis 18:10, Genesis 18:13-14, Genesis 18:17-21) interchangeably, for the same phenomenon and personal / physical / verbal encounter.
    Joshua 5:13-15

    A “man” is equated with God also in Genesis 32:24, Genesis 32:30. The Angel of the Lord is sometimes referred to as God Himself, but not always; and is venerated. So. for example:

    Judges 13:15-22

    This passage is remarkable in that it goes back and forth between God (13:16, 19, 22) and the angel of the Lord (or of God) as His direct representative (13:15-18, 20-21 and in the larger passage, 13:3, 6, 9, 13). The angel is honored (v. 17), they fall on their faces to worship (v. 20) and at length the angel is equated with God as His visible manifestation (v. 22). But the difference between the angel and God is highlighted by the angel being described as a “man of God” (13:6, 8) and “the man” (13:10-11).
    The angel of the Lord is also equated with God (theophany) in Gen 31:11-13; Judges 2:1; but differentiated from God as well, as a representative: (2 Sam 24:16; 1 Kings 19:6-7; 2 Kings 19:35; Daniel 3:25, Daniel 3:28; Daniel 6:23; Zechariah 1:8-14).

    The Bible, in summary, is quite clear: there is an occasional use of angels or men as direct representatives of God, and they are “worshiped” [i.e., venerated] only insofar as they represent God, as a visual image or object, through whom God is working and communicating. But veneration is strictly separated from the adoration due to God alone (see: Acts 10:25-26; Rom 1:25; Col 2:18; Rev 22:8-9). Everything has to be considered together, as a whole.

    All of this explicit biblical evidence is precisely in line with what the Catholic Church teaches. It is the outright prohibition of all veneration and honor of creatures whatever in most forms of Protestantism that is a grossly unbiblical notion.

    Moreover, “worship” is used in a wider (literary) sense of showing reverence or obeisance to men of authority (in this instance, a king), in 1 Chronicles 29:20: “And David said to all the congregation, Now bless the LORD your God. And all the congregation blessed the LORD God of their fathers, and bowed down their heads, and worshipped [shachah] the LORD, and the king” (KJV). RSV has: “worshiped the LORD, and did obeisance to the king,” but it is one Hebrew word applied to both.

    Much of what you point out here in scripture is not at all incompatible with my position. Of course we honor people, and even imitate their example. Of course I’d fearfully honor an angel if one were before me.

    But that’s worlds apart from offering my ongoing spiritual devotion towards any of the above, or singing psalms and praises to them in some ongoing fashion.
    Well, John, we Catholics read the same Bible you read, that says “honor all men” — so we think that the Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who was God, is worthy of great honor: above all other creatures. Martin Luther very much thought so, too. It’s not just a Catholic thing. He wrote:

    The “great things” are nothing less than that she became the Mother of God, in which work so many and such great good things are bestowed on her as pass man’s understanding. For on this there follows all honor, all blessedness, and her unique place in the whole of mankind, among which she has no equal, namely, that she had a child by the Father in heaven, and such a Child. She herself is unable to find a name for this work, it is too exceeding great; all she can do is break out in the fervent cry, are great things, impossible to describe or define. Hence men have crowded all her glory into a single word, calling her the Mother of God. No one can say anything greater of her or to her, though he had as many tongues as there are leaves on the trees, or grass in the fields, or stars in the sky, or sand by the sea. (The Magnificat, June 1521; tr. A. T. W. Steinhaeuser)

    [P]raise and thank God through Mary and the grace given her. Laud and love her . . . Similarly, our prayer should include the Mother of God as we say: O God, what a noble person you have created in her! May she be blessed! And so on. And you who honored her so highly, grant also to me . . . (Personal Prayer Book, 1522, tr. Martin H. Bertram; in LW, v. 43)
    We do not want to take away from Mary any honor which is her due. . . . let the Blessed Virgin keep her place of honor. Among all the women of the world she has this privilege from God, that as a virgin she gave birth to the Son of God.
    (Lectures on Genesis, Chapters 1-5, Feb. 1536, ed. Jaroslav Pelikan, tr. George V. Schick; in LW, v. 1)
    www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2015/04/can-we-honor-jesus-christ-through-his-mother-mary-vs-john-cranman.html
     
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  2. epostle1

    epostle1 Well-Known Member

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    An Ordinary Woman and Mother of God
    by Ven. Catherine Doherty
    Consider Mary as she really is. Everybody honors Our Lady. Of course she is to be honored. She is the Mother of God. But I would like to tell of her ordinary life. There are many women like me who feel that she is so high up that nobody can touch her. It is true that she is high up, but she is also very ordinary.

    What did she do all day? I imagine she washed and scrubbed and cleaned. She was married to a carpenter. She wasn't a big shot in Nazareth. Nazareth was a small town. Joseph wasn't a big shot, just a carpenter.
    She tended to her husband and Son, especially when he was small. She cooked, she scrubbed and she washed and wove and attended to the garden and did the laundry. Our Lady was the first person who really knew how to do the will of God in its minute details.

    I revel in her normality because she is ordinary and at the same time extraordinary. It was an ordinary household and that is a most fantastic thing. Our Lord chose for his mother a working woman; that's what she was, a working woman.
    She got up in the morning, and on some days of the week carried the laundry to the pool. The women of Nazareth must have come to her constantly because she was who she was. She must have kept, not a cookie jar, but the Eastern sweets that all the Eastern people love, and children must have come to her.

    I think of her in realistic terms, but I also think of her as the woman with the power to stand silently under the cross of her Son, and in some sort of an incredible way, I understand that at that moment she became the mother of all humanity, for whom he died.
    She's the woman of speech and she's the woman of silence. She's stronger than an army in battle array and as weak with God as only a woman can be. She dusted and she cleaned. And she cooked and she knew how to weave.


    She wove his seamless garment. Her life was a sea of small things so infinitely small that they're almost not worth mentioning. The corn had to be ground, her house swept, the meals prepared; day after day the Mother of God did those things.
    From her we can learn the quality of listening, and of taking up the words of others as well as the words of God, holding them in our hearts until the Holy Spirit cracks them wide open and gives us the answer as he did to her as her Spouse.

    You asked me to explain who Our Lady is. You could say that she's the gate. She's the gate to the way to the Father, because it is through her that Christ came to us and it is through her that we return to him.
    Who is Our Lady? A woman like you and me. She is someone to whom my heart goes out all day and who is with me as a friend, and with whom I can talk.

    We all should talk about her Son. For you see, she changed his diapers and he drank her milk, and she kissed his boo-boos away like any woman does to a toddler.
    He scratched himself, so she kissed it away. He went, and he fell and he got up and he grew up, and she probably said, “Eat your porridge,” and she probably said, “Don't forget your sandals. It's wet.”
    Who has lived with God as Mary has lived with him? To whom can we go and find out that he is really a man? From whom shall we know the Incarnation better than from the woman who carried him in her womb nine months?
    How can anyone talk about throwing out devotions to Our Lady? Do you want to throw out the woman who was pregnant with God and who will never lead you away from him but always to him?

    We think of her as the queen of the angels, and queen of the universe, which she is. But you see, God was a carpenter and she was a house-wife. And God is in heaven and he still has calloused hands in his glorified body.
    And she, who also has been assumed into heaven and has a glorified body, still has hands that show she was just a working woman. She is all things to all people because she is the mother of mankind.
    How can we not love her? How can we not go to her, run to her? She has the secret of everything, now that she is where she is. And when we worry about some kind of a mystery or have a hang-up on something or other in spiritual matters, why don't we go to her? She'll say, “Oh relax, kiddo. Let us sit down and talk.”
    What a strange thing it is that God chose her. Because she is the gate through which he came to us, she is the gate wide open for us to go through to him.
     
  3. FHII

    FHII Well-Known Member

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    I just wrote a great response, only to hit the wrong button and erased it!

    Here's the key points:

    1. I do nelieve we should honor Mary.
    2. That honor should be in truth; I've spoken out about certain doctrines concerning Mary that I don't agree with. No need to rehash them.
    3. Kelpha mentioned 1 Pete 2:17... We should indeed honor all men. Jesus also told us to love the brethren as [we] love him.
    4. I can't fully support the quote by Louis de Montfort without reading the whole context of the pulled quote. I suspect there is more to the philophy he was putting forth than what is presented in the quote.
     
  4. Angelina

    Angelina Prayer Warrior Staff Member Admin

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    Louis De Montfort also quoted ~ “three steps to climb to go to God: the first, which is the nearest to us, and the most suited to our capacity, is Mary; the second is Jesus Christ; and the third is God the Father. To go to Jesus, we must go to Mary; she is our mediatrix of intercession.”

    I do not take much too much stock in theological discussions/debates on subjects like this because it's mostly based on personal opinion. What the bible teaches holds much more credibility for me.

    1 Timothy 25 tells me that ~ For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus,
    John 14:6 Jesus answered ~ “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
    In Romans 8:34, Paul tells us ~ Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.

    Hebrews 9:15 ~ For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.

    Hebrews 12:23 ~ to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

    It seems to me that If Mary was to be an intercessor on behalf of all people, she would have to be a sinless sacrifice [and the bible tells us that all have sinned, till Christ's death and resurrection on our behalf] and she would have to die for the forgiveness of the sins of the people. This was not in God's fore-ordained plan for her life. Jm :9qcrib:
     
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  5. epostle1

    epostle1 Well-Known Member

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    Louis De Montfort is grossly misquoted and taken out of context by a majority of anti-Catholic web sites, the source of your quote. Your quote does not negate the meme in post #1 if taken in context and properly interpreted, and I am not going to argue about Louis De Montfort's unique literary style. None of your Bible quotes disproves true devotion to Mary, and that is why I started this thread, to educate those who have no clue. A prevailing problem in this forum is understanding what true devotion really is, and the use of your Bible quotes makes your misunderstanding rather obvious. I think you skipped over post #1 or skimmed over it with the usual Protestant bias. All your Bible quotes have been Catholic teaching since the beginning of the Church, but your last paragraph is typical misrepresentation of intercession, and can't cover your list of objections in a single post. We have to cover the basics first. Throwing Louis De Montfort into the thread when we haven't discussed Luke 1:28 is jumping the gun.

    "The mediatorship of Mary is a vastly misunderstood doctrine of the Church. It horrifies many Catholics, as well as virtually all Protestants who hear about it. But if it is understood against the biblical backdrop of things like Paul’s own mediatorship (see chapters 18 amd 19) it is not at all the terrible and allegedly grossly “unbiblical” thing it is too often made out to be.

    One common problem with many people who object to the Catholic Marian doctrines (that is, the “Catholic Mary”), is that they are unfamiliar even with the basic outlines of historic Marian theology (going back to the early Church and the Bible itself). Yet they will jump right into St. Louis or St. Alphonsus de Liguori: books that present a very advanced, nuanced Mariology. Of course that won’t be understood at first, because the person has not learned about the underlying premises upon which they are based."
    Was St. Louis de Montfort a Blasphemous Mariolater?

    St. Louis de Montfort's Marian Devotion: Idolatry or Christocentric?
    The end of St. Louis de Montfort's Marian devotion is “being conformed, united and consecrated to Jesus.”
     
  6. Angelina

    Angelina Prayer Warrior Staff Member Admin

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    My quote is not taken out of context nor was it from an anti-Catholic website but rather from "The Saint Louis de Montfort collection [7 books in one] by Louis De Montfort, published by Catholic Way Publishing. This Collection includes Saint Louis de Montfort's works, including the original English translation of True Devotion to Mary with a supplementary 33-day Preparation for Total Consecration and a biography sketch.

    Oh I think that many of us know what true devotion means it's just not given out willy nilly to anyone but Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. That is what my bible quotes are pointing toward because he is not a Lord who is far away but one who is near and he speaks through his word, through interaction with him during prayer and in my daily walk with him. I do not need a human intercessor who has gone to be with Jesus to speak on my behalf. Christ made himself available so I have a direct line with him to God through the Holy Spirit who dwells in all believers who has accepted him into their heart by grace through faith. Nothing more, nothing less...and yes, I read post #1 and I'm a Trinitarian Pentecostal believer.

    Blessings!
     
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  7. epostle1

    epostle1 Well-Known Member

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    This is Catholic teaching since the Church discerned it's inspiration almost 2 centuries ago.

    Jm :9qcrib:


    This has nothing to do with intercession and nothing to do with Jesus' mother. What "seems to you" is typical Protestant misunderstanding. I don't expect a child who has just learned the times table to jump into calculus or trigonometry. Like everything else, you have to take it gradually. St. Lois de Montford is
     
  8. epostle1

    epostle1 Well-Known Member

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    That's plain evidence you don't understand. More unbiblical either/or thinking, not biblical both/and thinking. See the OP that explains false dichotomies.

    God bless you, I have no problem with any of that. Intercession of saints is not a requirement, but it needs to be explained when it is misrepresented, which is a built in problem with Protestants. I am a born-again Trinitarian spirit filled Charismatic Catholic believer.
     
  9. epostle1

    epostle1 Well-Known Member

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    For once I agree with you.
     
  10. epostle1

    epostle1 Well-Known Member

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    The rationale for devotion to Mary, and devotion means honoring her and seeking her intercession, is simple and forceful. Mary's primary role in the divine scheme of salvation revealed in Scripture is to lead all her children to her Son.

    The Genesis 3:15 prophecy of the Woman and her seed in battle with the Devil reaches its climax in Revelation 12 where the Woman's seed now includes not just the Son but also all His followers.

    The author of Revelation had already laid the groundwork for this startling image with John 19 in which the "beloved disciple" (symbolizing all believers) is given the Woman as his Mother by her Son. In Marian devotion and in Marian appearances throughout history and throughout the world we see this Scriptural portrait come to life with the Mother of all believers leading them to salvation in her Son.

    She is not the Savior and she is not the source of salvation but she leads us to the Savior and to salvation. This is the mission assigned to her by God that we see in Scripture. The fundamental theme of Marian devotion is of going "to Jesus through Mary".
    The choice we face is not:
    "Do I surrender to God directly or do I go through Mary to God?"
    Rather, the choice we face is this:
    "Do I surrender to God through the instrumentality He has set up, i.e., through Mary, or do I surrender to God through the instrumentality I set up, i.e., without going through Mary?

    The choice is: "Do I go to God on His terms or on mine?" The choice is not: "Do I want to follow Jesus or Mary?"
    but "Do I want to follow Jesus (by going to Him through Mary)?"

    It is a hard fact of history that devotion to Mary has been a fundamental part of the historic Faith for 20 centuries. The Sub Tuum prayer dating back to the 2nd and 3rd centuries establishes this to be the case along with numerous other pieces of evidence.
    Any criticism of Marian devotion must overcome this "hard fact". Also Marian devotion has always been directly related to the centrality of Christ and has been the surest protector of sound Christology.

    Marian devotion stems from the surest sources:
    the witness of Scripture;
    the inerrant interpretation of Scripture handed down by Councils, Creeds and the Fathers;
    the universal and ancient practice among Christians of venerating Mary and seeking her intercession in line with scriptural teaching;
    the Marian experience of the faithful;
    and the appearances of Mary throughout history in the most diverse cultures that have resulted in mass conversions and the renewal of Christian life.

    It may be argued that Christians were in error on this matter from the beginning but in response we will have to ask who has the authority or competence to make such an arbitrary interpretation.

    Should we trust the interpretations of Augustine or Jimmy Swaggart, the teachings of the Council of Ephesus or the pronouncements of Dave Hunt? Should we be guided by the prayer and worship practices of Christians in the first three centuries who were the closest to the New Testament Church or the prayer-and-worship routines of thousands of denominations?

    The "world" of Marian devotion is one which has been familiar to almost all Christians, including the holiest and the wisest, for the last 20 centuries. The Fundamentalists and Evangelicals have not entered this world. Neither have Mormons or Buddhists.
    Before they criticize or reject a part of Christian experience that has been accepted as basic and normal by most Christians, 21st century Christians should consider understanding or even better entering it.

    Three aspects of Marian devotion are vital here.
    (i) The basic objective of Marian devotion is growth in sanctification on our path to salvation. From Mary came Jesus Who brought salvation to the world. Through Mary came the first of Jesus' miracles wrought at her request and bringing faith to the disciples.
    Now Mary comes to us from Jesus Who gives her to us as our Mother. Her children, we are told by Scripture, are those who "keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." Her God-given mission is to help us in keeping the "commandments", in battling the world, the flesh and the devil.

    Those who believe, like Luther, that the Christian can "be a sinner, and sin boldly" and "even commit fornication and murder a thousand times a day" may decide that we do not need assistance in resisting the world, the flesh and the Devil since our salvation is "assured" regardless of our future choices and actions.

    But this is a perilous decision. It ignores the dire warnings of Paul and James and Our Lord's own admonition: "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 7:21).
    We have seen that Hebrews 10:26 warns us, "For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation which shall devour the adversaries."
    If we take these warnings seriously we will gladly accept the assistance of the maternal love that has been experienced by millions of Christians.
    (ii) Secondly, Marian devotion can only be comprehended in relation to the Christian belief in the "communion of saints", an article of faith preserved even in the Apostles' Creed.
    According to the Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, "For many centuries believers have affirmed in the Apostles' Creed their faith in ‘the communion of saints.’ ... This affirmation of belief has been interpreted in various ways.
    The traditional, and probably the best interpretation refers the phrase to the union of all believers, living or dead, in Christ, stressing their common life in Christ and their sharing of all the blessings of God."1
    The communion of saints is clearly a scriptural teaching that is emphasized in the New Testament references to the cloud of unseen witnesses and the mystical Body of Christ ("Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"). Among Protestants, Methodists have shown a lively awareness of the close relation between the communion of saints and a scriptural faith.
    According to John De Satge: "The solidarity of which Christians find themselves members is therefore one into whose ongoing life they are caught up so as to be penetrated by it, and ultimately transformed. It is a solidarity which stretches back at least as far as the call of Abraham. ... It is a solidarity ... which implies resurrection of its members, to whom death has become incidental to their ultimate destiny."2

    Once we have understood the historic affirmation of the communion of saints, an affirmation that has dropped out of the Fundamentalist and Evangelical theological systems, we are in a better position to understand the role of Mary.
    (iii) Finally we must ask ourselves how we would respond if we were given the opportunity to spend a day with Mary. Would we ask her questions about Jesus and the Holy Spirit? Would we ask her how we can grow closer to God and learn to obey Him better?
    Would we seek her guidance in fighting the Dragon? Even suspicious Fundamentalists would find it hard not to ask these questions to the Mother of their Savior - the one so favored by God the Father as the Angel Gabriel tells us - if given the opportunity.
    Marian devotion springs from the realization through Scripture and universal experience that the Mother of Jesus will be with us every day of our lives guiding us to her Son and away from her adversary. Her Son has given her to us as our Mother (John 19, Revelation 12). Dare we refuse His gift?

    She is the mother God has given us. If we say we do not need a mother, then we are presuming to question the wisdom of God's provision for our needs.
    The awareness of Mary's intercessory and maternal presence was a secure part of Christian experience from the beginning. Several exegetes have been quoted on this (McHugh, Breck, Miguens).
    The clearest line of separation between Fundamentalism and historic Christianity, when it comes to devotion to Mary, is the differing perspectives on the dictum "to Jesus through Mary."
    Historic Christianity has never seen Mary in isolation from Jesus and has viewed Marian doctrine and devotion as the safest, surest and swiftest path to a true and lasting commitment to Christ. Fundamentalists claim that they "do not need Mary" to go to Jesus and that they prefer to go directly to Jesus.
    This response is a misunderstanding of the traditional teaching. All Christians can and should pray directly to Jesus. But no one actually "goes" to Jesus "alone". We all carry with us some mediating group or individual when we go to Jesus.
    Fundamentalists approach him with a Calvinist picture of a god who has predestined the majority of mankind to damnation or with a Dispensationalist picture of a god who operates through various covenants and dispensations established with Israel and the church.
    Faith movement Charismatics have their own health-and-wealth conception of god. Nobody goes to Jesus "alone". We go with various pictures of God and salvation. If we go to Jesus through Mary we go with the right picture, the historic picture, the God-given picture.
    When we talk about going "to Jesus through Mary" we are not suggesting that Mary's function is to "introduce" us to Jesus. We are talking about growing deeper in our life in Jesus with and through Mary's assistance.

    With Mary as our model, teacher and guide we become the kind of Christian God wants us to be. With and through Mary we become more and more like Jesus. Thus "through Mary" does not mean that she functions as a door-opening "go-between".
    In actuality, it means that she is acting as our Mother trying to make us more like her divine Son. We are simply doing what Jesus commanded in John 19 and what the book of Revelation teaches when it says that those who "keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" are "her seed." (Revelation 12:17).

    To go to Jesus through Mary is to have a maternal companion at your side given to you by Jesus to help you follow His commandments and stay faithful to Him. We may ask why we need this companion when Jesus can do this for us just as well. This is like asking why God has given us guardian angels when we could go directly to God for all our needs.

    The question is: how does God want things to work? Does He want us to work with our guardian angels, does He want our angels to protect us? If the answer is yes, as Scripture tells us, our conceptions of what is or is not "appropriate" are irrelevant. Similarly if God ordains Mary to be our Mother and guide - as Scripture and the historic Faith affirm - then that is what is best for us.
    In practice the Fundamentalist does not go to Jesus "alone". He is nurtured by his minister, his Bible teacher, his church and other such "support groups" in forming his understanding of Jesus and then "goes" to Jesus on the basis of the training and guidance he gets from these groups, often with the groups or individuals actually praying with him and guiding him.
    To go to Jesus through Mary is simply to embrace another "support" or "fellowship" group in our journey - one whose role in this regard has been biblically mandated. True, we cannot see Mary. But we cannot see our guardian angels either - and we are perfectly justified in seeking their help.
    To put it another way, a father who helps his son learn to pray, corrects his misconceptions about God, teaches him the Bible, and directs him in leading a Christian life is not "supplanting" Jesus or acting as an obstacle between his son and Jesus. He is helping his son establish a full and lasting commitment to his Savior.
    Of course the son could try to "go" to Jesus alone - but how much easier and how much safer it is to have the guidance of someone who is an experienced Christian and who loves him with a father's tenderness. This is all that is involved in going to Jesus through Mary. "Do whatever he tells you" is her constant encouragement.

    "To Jesus through Mary": according to the historic Faith this is the path to salvation ordained by the Trinity. "To Jesus through Calvinism, Dispensationalism, the Faith Movement, etc.": this is the path to salvation taught by Fundamentalism.
    The historic Faith is authoritative simply because it originates from the apostolic community. It is also more true to our experience. No one came to Jesus alone.

    Apostles, missionaries, preachers, theologians, writers, parents, and the Church brought us to Jesus. God could have chosen to act directly but he did not. He chose to act through human beings. These human beings were pathways to Him not obstacles. So it is with Mary.

    Now it may be said that Mary is just another human being and so it would be wrong to put our trust in her or to rely on her to come to Jesus. Here we must not forget that all the individuals and institutions that brought us and bring us to Jesus are human as well.
    Both the Israelites and the early Christians honored the "holy ones" of their time and tried to be guided by them. When you became a follower of a "holy one" like an Old Testament Prophet or John the Baptist you focus not on him but on Whom they point to: GOD.
    The "holy one" protects and guides his followers in their spiritual journey and provides them companionship sharing the benefits of his greater experience. We are fellow creatures on the same journey to God. Some of our fellows are more advanced than others and we may need their help in overcoming the hurdles we face in our spiritual life.

    This is a simple fact of human experience, one which has been experienced also by Christians at all times.
    When we take Mary for our companion and guide we are choosing a fellow creature but one who is the Mother of God, untainted by Original Sin, the Woman clothed with the Heavenly Sun, the Spouse of the Spirit through whom we receive the grace won by her Son.
    She is a fitting leader of humanity because she is the only human person who did not give in to the greatest Adversary of God ("our tainted race's solitary boast" said the poet William Wordsworth). She is the Mother of Jesus and the one who has been instituted as our Mother by her Creator.

    Devotion to Mary is almost instinctive for a Christian. The first generation of believers who reflected on the Christian revelation inevitably saw the link between Mother and Son, the New Eve and the New Adam. This is the origin of the "To Jesus through Mary" path. To reject this great scriptural insight is really a kind of regress, a fall from grace.

    The main obstacle to Marian devotion for some Fundamentalists is the fear that somehow their conscious prayer life will be "cluttered up" or confused. How can we integrate devotion to Mary with prayers to Jesus or to the Holy Spirit?
    This apparent difficulty was not a problem to the greatest pray-ers of Christendom. For the great "prayer warriors" we call the saints, Marian devotion was a pathway to a rich and robust prayer life in which God was all-encompassing.
    In praying to Mary we must come back again to the point that there is no "competition" between devotion to Jesus and to Mary. Once we realize that she is our Mother, a Mother who leads us to God, to the Holy Trinity, we realize that devotion is a matter of understanding relationships.

    When we realize that God is infinite love, we see this love expressed as a human Mother in Mary. All human beings long for the love of a mother and God Who has implanted this yearning in us gives us a Mother in Mary.
    We have a relationship with her on one level as mother and on another level we have a relationship with the Trinity, with God. She is the Mother who draws us closer to the God to Whom she is so intimately united.

    Does a focus on Mary and the saints take us away from attention to God? The answer to this question is a question: Does attention to our closest friends and family in this world take us away from God?
    In both instances we see the love of God expressed through these other human persons. They enable us to appreciate His glory in newer and fuller ways. At the same time we should and can pray to Him without restraint.
    If there is any confusion in prayer life and devotion we find it with the Fundamentalists. In real life they find it hard to focus on more than One of the Three Persons of the Trinity.
    That is why some focus on the Father, others on the Son and a third group just on the Spirit. Marian devotion, on the other hand, will clarify the distinctions within the Trinity while leading us to a real relationship with each of the Three Persons.
    The infinite love of God is central to our Christian experience. In embracing Mary as Mother we enter more fully into this great Love. She loves us like she loves Jesus and we should love her like Jesus loves her.
    All that we have said here helps us know about Mary. But knowing about Mary is simply a stepping-stone to knowing Mary. And knowing Mary is immeasurably more important than knowing about Mary since she takes us right to Jesus.
    Our fellow pilgrims can help us in knowing about Mary. But only we can know Mary. So it is time to take the plunge. The Consecration to Jesus Through Mary is the gateway to a personal relationship with Mary that deepens and consolidates our relationship with Jesus.
    source mariology.com not available on line
     
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  11. FHII

    FHII Well-Known Member

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    Kelpha

    Its too great a task to respond to all you just said, so I am going to focus on a few that I believe to be most important.

    First, I didn't see you quoting the Bible that Mary led anyone to Jesus or interceded for anyone. Mary did intercede once that I remember and thats at the wedding at Cana. You did briefly mention that. Its actually a great point if you understand what the wine represents (revelation or the new doctrine). You would've done well to develop that point. Mary did bring Jesus into the world and raised him as a human born child. Those two points are good. But other than that, Mary was not an evangelist nor did she intercede for individuals. Likewise, we have no scripture that she, being in Heaven is now interceding for anyone.

    Who intercedes for us? In the OT Moses made intercession for Israel. Its noted that the prophets made intersession. In the NT Romans 8 says the spirit and Jesus make intercession for us. Hebrews says to obey them that have rule over you for they watch for your souls. That would apply to ministers (i think you even made that point). There is one verse (1Tim 2:1) where intersession be made for all men. That was Paul teaching an evangelist what to do. I suppose you can apply that to everyone.

    If that last verse does apply to all of us, then it also does apply to Mary (if those in heaven do interce for us) but its not unique to Mary. You would do just as well to ask me to offer intercession if that is the case.

    Next, you seem to be trying to make the case that Mary is our mother as well. Mary was Jesus's earthly mother. She is not his spiritual mother... I don't know that the spiritual Jesus (God) has a mother. He's eternal... How could he? For someone who is the alpha and omega to have a mother means he wouldn't be the alpha.

    Yes, Jesus did say those that do the will of the father were the same as his mother and brethren. He was speaking as a man and making the point that there is no pereffral treatment for his earthly family.

    We are Jesus's spiritual brother, but Mary is not our spiritual mother. Gal 4:26 says Jeruslem above is the mother of us all. This is new Jerusalem the bride of Christ which is identified as his Church. This is the womean in Rev 12. Mary is a part of that woman, but not the woman herself.
     
  12. epostle1

    epostle1 Well-Known Member

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    That's dividing Jesus into 2 natures. Mothers give birth to persons, not natures. That controversy over the Incarnation was settled at the Council of Ephesus in 431.
    And it came about that Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. And she cried out with a loud voice, and said, "Blessed among women are you, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" [Luke 1:41-43; NASB]
    "Lord" in Hebrew means "Adonia". Even The American Heritage Dictionary recognizes Lord (with a capital "L") as God. Now it may be true that the Bible does not dogmatically teach Mary as the Mother of God; however, inspired by the Holy Spirit, Elizabeth refers to Mary as "the mother of my Lord":
    Jesus is God.
    Mary is His mother.
    Therefore Mary is the Mother of God. (not the mother of the Father)
    ​It's a logical syllogism. It may not be scripturally explicit, but definitely scripturally based. It shouldn't cause so much resistance if the title is understood.

    A syllogism is a kind of logical argument that applies deductive reasoning to arrive at a conclusion based on two or more propositions that are asserted or assumed to be true.

    This is either/or thinking, not both/and.The point He was making was that anyone who does the will of God is His mother and brothers. They were models of faith. Jesus wasn't denigrating His mother down to our level, He was elevating us to her level when we do the will of God. That's what Mary is for, a model of faith. If she didn't do the will of God, would Jesus have been born? Furthermore, would any rabbi bring his mother down like that, thus violating the 4th Commandment (honor your parents)???
    Spiritual brothers with no spiritual mother are orphans. Mary is a silent mother to the Jesus in your heart, otherwise you make Him an orphan too. But she doesn't care about that. As long as you do whatever He tells you (John 2:5) her purpose is already met.

    Revelation 11:19 should be read as a single verse with Revelation 12:1, giving it a triple meaning. Who is the woman in Revelation 12:17? That topic is premature at this point. This stuff is deep, it's better to ignore it until the basics are covered:


    Zephaniah [3:14-18a-20] speaks of the Daughter of Zion, the personification of the city of Jerusalem. Let us reflect on the significance of this title of the holy city of Jerusalem and see how and why the Church appropriated the title for Mary, Mother of the Lord.
    Daughter of Zion is the personification of the city of Jerusalem. Zion was the name of the Jebusite citadel that later became the City of David. In the many texts of the Old Testament that speak of the Daughter of Zion, there is no real distinction to be made between a daughter of Zion and the city of Jerusalem itself.

    personification definition: the attribution of a personal nature or human characteristics to something nonhuman, or the representation of an abstract quality in human form.

    In the Old Testament, the title Virgin of Israel is the same as the Daughter of Zion. The image of the bride of the Lord is found in Hosea, Chapters 1-3: It reflects the infidelity of the people to their God.

    Jeremiah 3:3-4 speaks of prostitution and the infidelity of the bride. Virginity in the Old Testament is fidelity to the Covenant. In 2 Corinthians 11:2, Paul speaks of the Church as a pure virgin. Here, virginity is the purity of faith.

    read more here
     
  13. epostle1

    epostle1 Well-Known Member

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  14. epostle1

    epostle1 Well-Known Member

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    Timothy George is dean of Beeson Divinity School, an interdenominational, evangelical theological school within a Baptist university (Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama), and an executive editor of Christianity Today.

    He answers 8 questions about RECOVERING A PROTESTANT MARY

    It's not as long as my other posts :)
     
  15. tabletalk

    tabletalk Well-Known Member

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    Dave(kepha31) said:

    "All that we have said here helps us know about Mary. But knowing about Mary is simply a stepping-stone to knowing Mary. And knowing Mary is immeasurably more important than knowing about Mary since she takes us right to Jesus.
    Our fellow pilgrims can help us in knowing about Mary. But only we can know Mary. So it is time to take the plunge. The Consecration to Jesus Through Mary is the gateway to a personal relationship with Mary that deepens and consolidates our relationship with Jesus.
    source mariology.com not available on line"

    The question you posed is: Can we honor Jesus Christ through his mother Mary?

    I can't do that for two reasons:

    1. I reject the authority of the Catholic Church, and the doctrine of the immaculate conception. The Mary your church teaches is not the Mary that the Bible teaches.

    2. I don't want a "personal relationship with Mary".

    And this should be understandable to the Catholics on this web-site, as it is a Protestant site, and most of them do reject your church's infallible teachings, so I wonder how there can be any meaningful debate on this subject.



     
  16. mjrhealth

    mjrhealth Well-Known Member

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    I have yet seeing one person who claims to be a protestant, but seems many being called such. How worshiping Mary can bring Glory to Jesus I have no idea,
     
  17. Mungo

    Mungo Well-Known Member

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    Catholics do not worship Mary.

    As usual with anti-Catholic bigots like yourself you make these statements with not a shred of evidence to back them up.
     
  18. bbyrd009

    bbyrd009 Groper

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    i keep meaning to ask someone if that "autosaved" thingy i keep seeing might help me recover from an episode like that?
     
  19. bbyrd009

    bbyrd009 Groper

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    yes, so let's not rest until we have reduced the mysteries of God into facts that we can all understand lol.
    "You will see and not see" is Scripturally based, too.
     
  20. mjrhealth

    mjrhealth Well-Known Member

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    Just remember I was one, I do know what we did.Even as a child I recognised teh futility of mens religions.
     
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