WHAT IS THE TRUE POSITION OF MARY IN CHRISTIANITY?
IMMACULATE CONCEPTION: Most people believe that the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception refers to the virgin birth of Jesus Christ. But this is not true.
What it is actually referring to is that not only Jesus, but Mary was born as a sinless person.
This is a relatively new doctrine in the Catholic Church, being formally introduced as Catholic doctrine in 1854.
Article of 491 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church says:
"Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, "full of Grace" through God, was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854: 'The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of Almighty God and by virtue of the mercies of Jesus Christ, Saviour of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin".
In other words, we see that according to the Catholic Church, Jesus was not the only one who had lived a completely sinless life. Yet, a Biblical fact that is overlooked by the majority of Catholics, is that Mary herself declared her need for a savior.
Luk 1:46 And Mary said:
My soul doth magnify the Lord.
47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
48 Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid: for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
49 Because he that is mighty hath done great things to me: and holy is his name.
50 And his mercy is from generation unto generations, to them that fear him.
51 He hath shewed might in his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.
52 He hath put down the mighty from their seat and hath exalted the humble.
53 He hath filled the hungry with good things: and the rich he hath sent empty away.
54 He hath received Israel his servant, being mindful of his mercy.
55 As he spoke to our fathers: to Abraham and to his seed for ever. (All scripture, unless otherwise noted is from the Douay-Rheims Catholic Bible)
If a person is indeed sinless, they have no need of a Savior. Yet Mary declared that God was her Savior. The Truth of the matter is that according to the Word of God, we all are sinners who have fallen short of the Glory of God, and as such, all mankind (even Mary) is in need of a Savior.
The problem with man-centered religions like the Catholic religion, is that once they espouse one errant doctrine, they find themselves in a situation where they must adopt other false doctrines to go with the one they had originally embraced, until the whole theology of the Church is corrupted by error.
Here is a brief chronology of how this works:
Irenaeus was one of the first Philosophers of the early Christian Church. In about 187 A.D., he declared Mary to be the cause of salvation both to herself and the whole human race because of her obedience:
"In accordance with this design, Mary the Virgin is found obedient, saying, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word." But Eve was disobedient; for she did not obey when as yet she was a virgin. And even as she, having indeed a husband, Adam, but being nevertheless as yet a virgin (for in Paradise "they were both naked, and were not ashamed," inasmuch as they, having been created a short time previously, had no understanding of the procreation of children: for it was necessary that they should first come to adult age, and then multiply from that time onward), having become disobedient, was made the cause of death, both to herself and to the entire human race; so also did Mary, having a man betrothed [to her], and being nevertheless a virgin, by yielding obedience, become the cause of salvation, both to herself and the whole human race."
Because of her perceived role in being "the cause of salvation", she became known as the CO-REDEMPTRIX (co-redeemer) along with Christ.
Around 320 the term "THEOTOKOS" was used in reference to Mary. This term was officially approved at the council of Ephesus in 431. What the term "Theotokos" actually means is "God Bearing", and that Mary was recognized as the Mother of God, since Jesus Christ is God incarnate. The philosophers of the church reasoned that If indeed, He was God incarnate, then it could rightly be said that Mary was the Mother of God. The council at Ephesus got together, and declared that "Theotokos" was a theological term that was to be adopted in Church doctrine.
It seems that these philosophers never considered that if God is without beginning and without end, then He could have no mother, which would necessitate a beginning.
Mary was in actuality the vessel that God chose to bear His Only Begotten (Begotten refers to a fleshly birth) Son, to be born of a Virgin, conceived by the Holy Spirit of God Almighty. The Birth of Christ was a Creative Miracle of God, and Mary did not give birth to God Himself, but to Jesus Christ, the Perfect, sinless fleshly manifestation of God in Human form on earth as the Son of God.
Jesus said God is a Spirit (John 4:24).
He declared that no man had seen God at any time, but since He was the only
begotten Son of God Who emanated from the Father, He had declared Him, or
presented Him to the world through the manner in which He lived (Jn 1:18).
This was what He meant when He told Philip that he that had seen Him had seen
14:6 Jesus saith to him: I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man
cometh to the Father, but by me.
7 If you had known me, you would without doubt have known my Father also: and from henceforth you shall know him. And you have seen him.
8 Philip saith to him: Lord, shew us the Father; and it is enough for us.
9 Jesus saith to him: Have I been so long a time with you and have you not known me? Philip, he that seeth me seeth the Father also. How sayest thou: Shew us the Father?
10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The words that I speak to you, I speak not of myself. But the Father who abideth in me, he doth the works.
11 Believe you not that I am in the Father and the Father in me?
Just an aside: When we are Born Again into the Kingdom of God, we should be able to have it said about us that when people see us, it's as if they have seen Jesus. Just as Jesus said that He is in the Father, and the Father is in Him, He followed up His statement by saying that He is in us, and we are in Him.
Joh 14:20 In that day
you shall know that I am in my Father: and you in me, and I in you.
21 He that hath my commandments and keepeth them; he it is that loveth me. And he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father: and I will love him and will manifest myself to him.
It would be well for Oneness Pentecostals who deny the Trinity to find the real meaning of John 14:9 by looking in context at what Jesus was really saying in this passage by looking at John 14:20 & 21.
Just as Jesus was the Son of God, and not the Father, although one could clearly see God the Father when they looked at Jesus because of the Life He lived fully consecrated to His Father, so we have become Born Again children of God, and not Jesus, although Jesus is in us, and we are in Him. A very relevant question we should ask ourselves is this: "Are people seeing Jesus in us?" (see also John 17:20-26)
Mary was NOT the Mother of God…But there is no denying that she was the virgin mother of the Only Begotten Son of God. Truly, Mary was Blessed above all women, to be chosen for such an honor as this!
Once the doctrine of "Theotokos" was formally accepted by the Catholic Church, then more errors would naturally take place.
Since she was the Mother of God, the church's philosophers reasoned, she must of necessity be the QUEEN OF HEAVEN.
When praying to Mary, Catholics often refer to her as the Queen of Heaven. The damnable error of this line of logic is really made evident when the sincere seeker of Truth reads the only references to the Queen of Heaven in the Bible.
There we see that these references were not talking about Mary, but about a false goddess who the people of Israel had turned to, placing their trust in her, rather than the One True God, thereby inviting the wrath of God to fall upon them.
7:17 Seest thou not what they do in the cities of Juda, and in the streets
18 The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead the dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to offer libations to strange gods, and to provoke me to anger.
The Bible, in Ecclesiastes declares that there is no new thing under the sun:
Ecc 1:9 What is it that
hath been? the same thing that shall be. What is it that hath been done? the
same that shall be done.
10 Nothing under the sun is new, neither is any man able to say: Behold this is new: for it hath already gone before in the ages that were before us.
I believe the honest Catholic, when looking at the present condition of the Catholic Church today could see that this statement pertains in a very real way to the church today, in the light of what the Lord was saying to the people of Israel through the prophet Jeremiah. Like Israel, the Catholic Church has embraced the Queen of Heaven, and has given her the name of the Virgin Mary.
Just as Israel provoked God to anger by turning their affection to the Queen of Heaven, Catholics can be sure they are filling the bill today.
Jer 7:19 Do they provoke me to anger, saith the Lord? is it not themselves, to the confusion of their own countenance?
When it comes to Biblical doctrine, Catholics are totally confused. They have embraced the man-made philosophy and traditions of the Church over sound instruction from the Word of God. Ask a Catholic what will get them to Heaven, and from the majority of Catholics, you will hear all kinds of answers, most of which are works oriented. They may give answers like the following: "Maybe my good will outweigh the bad I have done." "I was baptized as an infant." "I'm a good person. I go to mass once a week." "I pray the rosary every day." "I am a member of the church."
Eph 2:8 For by grace you
are saved through faith: and that not of yourselves, for it is the gift of
God. 9 Not of works, that no man may glory.
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus in good works, which God hath prepared that we should walk in them.
Ask them if they know that if they died, they would go to heaven, and you will hear all kinds of answers, ranging from "I hope so", to "No one can really know for sure, can they?"
1Jo 5:11 And this is the
testimony that God hath given to us eternal life. And this life is in his
Son. 12 He that hath the Son hath life. He that hath not the Son hath not
13 These things I write to you that you may know that you have eternal life: you who believe in the name of the Son of God.
More confusion comes when we see Catholics and their blatant idolatry with all the statues in the church, or the anti-Christ nature of the Mass, which denies the once-for-all work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Most Catholics will tell a person "I don't need to be Born Again. I am a Catholic." Or they will say "I'm a Catholic. We don't do the 'Born Again' thing," despite the fact that Jesus Christ Himself declared that unless a man is Born Again, they cannot see the Kingdom of God" (John 3:3).
Jer 7:20 Therefore thus
saith the Lord God: Behold my wrath and my indignation is enkindled against
this place, upon men and upon beasts, and upon the trees of the field, and
upon the fruits of the land, and it shall burn, and shall not be quenched.
21 Thus saith the Lord of hosts the God of Israel: Add your burnt offerings to your sacrifices, and eat ye the flesh.
22 For I spoke not to your fathers, and I commanded them not, in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning the matter of burnt offerings and sacrifices.
23 But this thing I commanded them, saying: Hearken to my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people: and walk ye in all the way that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you.
There is no new thing under
the sun. All God asks is for His children to obey Him, but the Catholic Church
teaches that obedience to the Church and its man-made doctrines is synonymous
with obedience to God.
Jer 7:24 But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear: but walked in their own will, and in the perversity of their wicked heart: and went backward and not forward,
The Fruit of Catholicism is seen in the annual Mardi Gras festival where Catholics indulge their flesh before Ash Wednesday, walking in the imagination of their evil hearts, and going backward, away from the Righteousness of God, instead of forward. They honestly believe that after Fat Tuesday they can go to Mass, partake in a man-made ritual, have some ashes put on their foreheads, and be forgiven for their excess and abominations that they committed the past few months. To complete the deal, all they have to do is give something up for the 40 day period of Lent, which is another mockery of Jesus' Work here on earth. The Catholic Encyclopedia states:
"During Lent, for 40 days, excluding Sundays, fasting is recommended for all Catholics, according to the laws of fast. This is reminiscent of the 40 days of our Lord's unbroken fast (Mt 4:3-4)".
A few years ago, I was in LaRose, Louisiana, in the heart of the wonderful Cajun country. This area, called the Lafourche Bayou, has a very strong Catholic presence. I was coming out of the Dollar General store, when I heard a man saying to another man, "Yeah, I gave up my beer for Lent." I was intrigued, so I slowed down and listened for a little, as they continued their conversation, cussing and smoking cigarettes. I had to interrupt them, and said, "Excuse me, I'm sorry to interrupt your conversation, but I heard you say that you gave up beer for Lent." The man nodded in assent to my statement. "Man, let me encourage you both. Jesus isn't interested in us just giving a little bit of our selfish lives to Him. He wants all of us. You see, He surrendered all for us, and we really aren't honoring Him if we say we give up one of our pet sins and hold on to the rest of them." I then proceeded to tell them what it means to be Born Again. They listened intently to all I had to say, and I left them each with a tract and a prayer that they might realize their need for Jesus Christ in their lives.
I related this story, because it shows the mentality of the majority of the people who are in the Catholic Church. It is very important that the reader understands at this point that I am not against the Catholic People, nor do I stand in Judgment of them. God declared that His people perish for lack of knowledge. My intent is to draw back the veil of religion and man-made traditions that have blinded the Catholic people for close to 1700 years, and to expose the anti-Christ nature of the institutions of the Church. Some will see the Truth. But just as it was in the days of Jeremiah, it can be said of many who are willingly entangled by the false doctrines of the Church:
Jer 7:25 From the day
that their fathers came out of the land of Egypt, even to this day. And I
have sent to you all my servants the prophets, from day to day, rising up
early and sending.
26 And they have not hearkened to me: nor inclined their ear: but have hardened their neck, and have done worse than their fathers.
27 And thou shalt speak to them all these words, but they will not hearken to thee: and thou shalt call them, but they will not answer thee.
28 And thou shalt say to them: This is a nation which hath not hearkened to the voice of the Lord their God, nor received instruction: faith is lost, and is taken away out of their mouth.
So it is in the Church. And just as it was in Jeremiah's day, the reason Faith is lost (the King James translates it as "Truth has perished", is because the people of the Catholic Church have embraced the Queen of Heaven in addition to, or more than Jesus Christ.
And although throughout the ages, the Lord has raised up men and women as prophets who have cried out against Catholicism's idolatry and error, those who have been deceived by the Church's' false doctrines have hardened their neck, killed the prophets of God, and said "We will continue to give honor to the Queen of Heaven."
Jer 7:29 Cut off thine hair, O Jerusalem,
and cast it away, and take up a lamentation on high places; for the LORD hath
rejected and forsaken the generation of his wrath.
30 For the children of Judah have done evil in my sight, saith the LORD: they have set their abominations in the house which is called by my name, to pollute it.
Idolatry is an abomination to the Lord, and the Catholic church is full of idols.
Jer 7:31 And they have
built the high places of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Ennom,
to burn their sons, and their daughters in the fire: which I commanded not,
nor thought on in my heart.
32 Therefore behold the days shall come, saith the Lord, and it shall no more be called Topheth, nor the valley of the son of Ennom: but the valley of slaughter: and they shall bury in Topheth, because there is no place.
33 And the carcasses of this people shall be meat for the fowls of the air, and for the beasts of the earth, and there shall be none to drive them away.
34 And I will cause to cease out of the cities of Juda, and out of the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride: for the land shall be desolate.
Again remember the verse that says there is no new thing under the sun. The Book of Revelation is written to the seven churches which were in Asia concerning the things which were to come upon the earth.
Remember that Jeremiah chapter 7 is dealing with the Israelite's sin of worshipping the Queen of Heaven. And keep in mind that the Catholic Church today identifies Mary as the Queen of Heaven. And see that in the letter to the Churches in Revelation, there is a passage that parallels that of Jeremiah 7:34:
Rev 18:23 And the light
of the lamp shall shine no more at all in thee: and
the voice of the bridegroom and the bride shall be heard no more at all in
thee. For thy merchants were the great men of the earth: for all
nations have been deceived by thy enchantments.
24 And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints and of all that were slain upon the earth.
No honest person can deny the historical fact of the Catholic Inquisition in which countless people were burned at the stake, tortured and murdered as heretics for questioning certain doctrines of the Catholic Church, one of which was the worship of Mary and other dead saints. Nor can anyone deny the historical reality of the Crusades in which thousands of Jews and Muslims were murdered in the name of the Church. Certainly, it can be said that in her (in the Catholic Church) can be found the blood of prophets and of saints.
For more concernng the Queen of Heaven, see also Jeremiah chapter 44.
Eventually, as the fascination with Mary increased in the church, Mary acquired new titles and new attributes.
Around 1100, she became known as "MOTHER OF HUMANS". In the thirteenth Century, she was designated as the "MOTHER OF ANGELS".
The philosophers in the church reasoned that with such ever increasing honor being bestowed upon her, the logical conclusion would be that this co-redemptrix, the God bearing Queen of Heaven, who is the Mother of Humans and the Mother of Angels could never have been stained with sin, to bear such wonderful titles.
If she had been stained with sin, they reasoned, she would have been God's enemy, and unfit to bear Him. Hence, she must have been "immaculate" (wholly free from any sin) from the moment she was conceived. In 1854, Pope Pius IX declared the doctrine of Mary's IMMACULATE CONCEPTION to be an official dogma.
I think it is amazing that the Catholic philosophers wouldn't take this line of reasoning to an even greater extent. For Mary's conception to be immaculate, certainly, her mother would have had to have an immaculate conception, until we had a whole line of Holy Mothers all the way back to Eve!
Since she was now recognized as the co-remptrix, God bearing Queen of Heaven, who is the Mother of Humans as well as Angels because of her Immaculate Conception, it was only logical that she should be recognized as the MEDIATRIX OF ALL GRACES, and in 1921 the Church approved a proper Mass and Office of Mary, Mediatrix of all Graces.
Article 969 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church states (Speaking of Mary's motherhood to humanity):
"This motherhood of Mary in the order of grace continues uninterruptedly from the consent which she loyally gave at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, until the eternal fulfillment of all the elect. Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation…Therefore the Blesed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix"
As men pondered and speculated on the Immaculate conception, they also espoused her PERPETUAL VIRGINITY despite the fact that the Bible mentions the fact that Jesus had brothers and sisters:
Mat 13:55 Is not this
the carpenter's son? Is not his mother called Mary, and his brethren James,
and Joseph, and Simon, and Jude:
56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence therefore hath he all these things?
SEXUAL RELATIONS between a man and wife are sanctified by God. There is nothing sinful in it at all. The simple fact is that according to the Bible, Mary bore children after the birth of Jesus. There is no shame in that. She was still Blessed beyond any woman that ever lived, because she was priveleged as a virgin to have given birth to Jesus Christ, the Savior of all Mankind. But to retain it's Anti-Christian influence over a large portion of humanity, the Catholic Church through the past 1700+ years has fabricated false doctrines centered around the Queen of Heaven to entangle countless souls in it's error of religiosity.
Again, there is "No new thing under the sun." Jesus berated the religious leaders of His time by saying:
Mat 23:15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you go round about the sea and the land to make one proselyte. And when he is made, you make him the child of hell twofold more than yourselves.
But there is still more to add to the list of false doctrines that have been imposed on the unsuspecting masses over the years.
Since she was perpetually a virgin, the philosophers reasoned, she must have lived a sinless life, and if so, then after she died, her body and soul were taken up into Heaven.
This doctrine was formally called the ASSUMPTION OF MARY and accepted as dogma in 1950 by Pius XII.
Anyone who is honest with themselves would have to admit that Biblical doctrine nowhere teaches any of these things about Mary. Just as Israel had been taken over by confusion because they had given their lives over to the Queen of Heaven, the same can be said of the millions of Catholics who have been deceived through their worship of the Queen of Heaven.
Biblically, Only Jesus is referred to as our REDEEMER:
Act 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other. For there is no other name under heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved.
Gal 4:4 But when the fulness
of the time was come, God sent his Son, made of a woman, made under the law:
5 That he might redeem them who were under the law: that we might receive the adoption of sons. Gal
Tit 2:14 Who gave himself
for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity and might cleanse to himself
a people acceptable, a pursuer of good works.
15 These things speak and exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.
1Pe 1:18 Knowing that
you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as gold or silver, from your
vain conversation of the tradition of your fathers:
19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb unspotted and undefiled
20 Foreknown indeed before the foundation of the world, but manifested in the last times for you: 21 Who through him are faithful in God who raised him up from the dead and hath given him glory, that your faith and hope might be in God.
CONSIDER THIS: IF MARY TRULY DID PLAY MORE OF A ROLE THAN TO BEAR THE SINLESS LAMB OF GOD, SURELY THE BIBLE WOULD HAVE LET US KNOW!
Only Jesus is designated as the MEDIATOR between God and man:
1Ti 2:5 For there is one God: and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus:
The Mariology (Maridolatry) that prevails in the Catholic Church attributes much of the same Authority and Qualities that belong to Christ to Mary. We can see this very clearly in the following entry from the Catholic Church's standard work.
THE CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, CONCERNING MARY AND THE CHURCH:
Article 829: "But while in the most Blessed Virgin the Church has already reached that perfection whereby she exists without spot or wrinkle, the faithful still strive to conquer sin and increase in holiness. And so they turn their eyes to Mary": in her, the Church is already the "all-holy".
We see that according to the Catholic Church's doctrine, it is Mary who has caused the church to reach the perfection whereby she exists without spot or wrinkle. But the Biblical doctrine declares that it is Jesus Christ Who is the One that presents the church as not having spot or wrinkle.
Eph 5:25 Husbands, love
your wives, as Christ also loved the church and delivered himself up for it:
26 That he might sanctify it, cleansing it by the laver of water in the word of life:
27 That he might present it to himself, a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
Article 829 above is a clear example of how the Catholic Church usurps the Authority that is possessed by Jesus Christ alone, and attributes that authority to their "Queen of Heaven".
Truly, Roman Catholicism is an anti-Christian religion that needs to be forsaken by all who have a sincere heart to serve the One True God in Spirit and in Truth.
I believe that any sincerely seeking Catholic would see the anti-Christ roots of many of the doctrines we have studied here, and thus, there is only one conclusion that one can come to when confronted by the Truth:
Repent, give your heart entirely to Jesus Christ, and experience the privilege of being Born from Above.
PRAY A PRAYER SIMILAR TOTHIS:
Father God, I confess to you that I am a sinner. I confess that I have turned to the Queen of Heaven out of ignorance to the Truth. I realize now that Jesus Christ is the Only Truth I need. I believe there is no other Name by which I can be saved, other than Jesus Christ. I believe that Jesus Christ died for me to take my sins upon Himself. I believe that He rose again to give me Hope of eternamy sins, and come into my heart, Lord Jesus, and be the Lord of my Life. Help me to live for You, Lord, and to serve you the rest of my days. Thank You for saving my soul, dear Jesus! In Jesus Christ's Name I Pray; Amen.
ARE WE LIVING IN THE LAST DAYS?
WHY DOES CHRISTIANITY PROFESS TO BE THE ONLY WAY TO HEAVEN?
CATHOLICISM: STATUES IN THE CHURCH - IDOLATRY OR VENERATION?
CATHOLICISM: IS THE MASS A CHRISTIAN RITUAL?
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