Mary Matters

July 25, 2014 | 69 comments

In my new book, Behold Your Mother: A Biblical and Historical Defense of the Marian Doctrines,which is now available at a reduced price if you pre-order before the October release date, I spend most of its pages in classic apologetic defense of Mary as Mother of God, defending her immaculate conception, perpetual virginity, assumption into heaven, her Queenship, and her role in God’s plan of salvation as Co-redemptrix and Mediatrix. But perhaps my most important contributions in the book may well be how I demonstrate each of these doctrines to be crucial for our spiritual lives and even our salvation.

And I should note that this applies to all of the Marian doctrines. Not only Protestants, but manyCatholics will be surprised to see how the Perpetual Virginity of Mary, for example, is crucial for all Christians to understand lest they misapprehend the truth concerning the sacred, marriage, sacraments, the consecrated life, and more.

I won’t attempt to re-produce the entire book in this post, but I will choose one example among examples I use to demonstrate why Mary as Mother of God not only matters, but how denying this dogma of the Faith can end in the loss of understanding of "the one true God and Jesus Christ whom [God] has sent" (John 17:3). It doesn't get any more serious than that!  

In my book, I use the teaching of the late, well-known, and beloved Protestant Apologist, Dr. Walter Martin, as one of my examples. In his classic apologetics work, Kingdom of the Cults, Dr. Martin, gives us keen insight into why the dogma of the Theotokos (“God-bearer,” a synonym with “Mother of God”) is such a “big deal.” But first some background information.

 Truth and Consequences

It is very easy to state what it is that you don’t believe. That has been the history of Protestantism. Protestantism itself began as a... you guessed it... "protest." "We are against this, this, this, and this." It was a "protest" against Catholicism. However, the movement could not continue to exist as a protestant against something. It had to stand for something. And that is when the trouble began. When groups of non-infallible men attempted to agree, the result ended up being the thousands of Protestant sects we see today.

Dr. Walter Martin was a good Protestant. He certainly and boldly proclaimed, “I do not believe Mary is the Mother of God.” That’s fine and good. The hard part came when he had to build a theology congruent with his denial. With Dr. Martin, it is difficult to know for sure whether his bad Christology came before or after his bad Mariology—I argue it was probably bad Christology that came first—but let’s just say for now that in the process of theologizing about both Jesus and Mary, he ended up claiming Mary was “the mother of Jesus’ body,” and not the Mother of God. He claimed Mary “gave Jesus his human nature alone,” so that we cannot say she is the Mother of God; she is the mother of the man, Jesus Christ.

This radical division of humanity and divinity manifests itself in various ways in Dr. Martin’s theology. He claimed, for example, that “sonship” in Christ has nothing at all to do with God in his eternal relations within the Blessed Trinity. In Martin’s Christology, divinity and humanity are so sharply divided that he concluded “eternal sonship” to be an unbiblical Catholic invention. On page 103 of his 1977 edition of The Kingdom of the Cults, he wrote:

[T]here cannot be any such thing as eternal Sonship, for there is a logical contradiction of terminology due to the fact that the word “Son” predicates time and the involvement of creativity. Christ, the Scripture tells us, as the Logos, is timeless, “…the Word was in the beginning” not the Son!

From Martin’s perspective then, Mary as “Mother of God” is a non-starter. If “Son of God” refers to Christ as the eternal son, then there would be no denying that Mary is the mother of the Son of God, who is God; hence, Mother of God would be an inescapable conclusion. But if sonship only applies to “time and creativity,” then references to Mary’s “son” would not refer to divinity at all.

But there is just a little problem here. Beyond the fact that you don’t even need the term “Son” at all to determine Mary is the Mother God because John 1:14 tells us “the Word was made flesh,” and John 1:1 tells us “the Word was God;” thus, Mary is the mother of the Word and so she is the Mother of God anyway, the sad fact is that in the process of Martin’s theologizing he ended up losing the real Jesus. Notice, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity is no longer the Eternal Son! And it gets worse from here, if that is possible! Martin would go on:

The term “Son” itself is a functional term, as is the term “Father” and has no meaning apart from time. The term “Father” incidentally never carries the descriptive adjective “eternal” in Scripture; as a matter of fact, only the Spirit is called eternal (“the eternal Spirit”—Hebrews 9:14), emphasizing the fact that the words Father and Son are purely functional as previously stated.

It would be difficult to overstate the importance of what we are saying here. Jesus revealed to us the essential truth that God exists eternally as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in his inner life. For Martin, God would be father by analogy in relation to the humanity of Christ, but not in the eternal divine relations; hence, he is not the eternal Father. So, not only did Dr. Martin end up losing Jesus,the eternal Son; he lost the Father as well! This compels us to ask the question: Who then is God, the Blessed Trinity, in eternity, according to Dr. Walter Martin and all those who agree with his theology? He is not Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He must be the eternal … Blah… the Word, and the Holy Spirit (Martin did teach Christ to be the Eternal Word, just not the Eternal Son). He would become a father by analogy when he created the universe and again by analogy at the incarnation of the Word and through the adoption of all Christians as “sons of God.” But he would not be the eternal Father. The metaphysical problems begin here and continue to eternity… literally. Let us now summarize Dr. Martin’s teaching and some of the problems it presents:

1. Fatherhood and Sonship would not be intrinsic to God. The Catholic Church understands that an essential aspect of Christ's mission was to reveal God to us as he is in his inner life as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Jews already understood God to be father by analogy, but they had no knowledge of God as eternal Father in relation to the Eternal Son. In Jesus' great high priestly prayer in John 17, he declared his Father was Father "before the world was made" and thus, to quote CCC 239, in "an unheard-of sense." In fact, Christ revealed God's name as Father. Names in Hebrew culture reveal something about the character of the one named. Thus, he reveals God tobe Father, not just that he is like a father. God never becomes Father; he is the eternal Father

2. If Sonship applies only to humanity and time, the "the Son" would also be extrinsic, or outside, if you will, of the Second Divine Person of the Blessed Trinity. Thus, as much as he would have denied it, Dr. Martin effectively creates two persons to represent Christ—one divine and one human. This theology leads to the logical conclusion that the person who died on the cross 2,000 years ago would have been merely a man. If that were so, he would have no power to save us. Scripture reveals Christ as the savior, not merely a delegate of God the savior. He was fully man in order to make fitting atonement for us. He was fully God in order to have the power to save us.

3. This theology completely reduces the revelation of God in the New Covenant that separates Christianity from all religions of the world. Jesus revealed God as he is from all eternity as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Dr. Martin reduces this to mere function. Thus, "Father" does not tell us who God is, only what God does. Radical feminists do something similar when they refuse to acknowledge God as "Father." God becomes reduced to that which he does as "Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier" and in the process there is a truly tragic loss of the knowledge of who God is. In the case of Dr. Walter Martin, it was bad theology that led to a similar loss.

4. There is a basic metaphysical principle found, for example, in Malachi 3:6, that comes into play here as well: "For I the Lord do not change." In defense of Dr. Martin, he did seem to realize that one cannot posit change in the divine persons. As stated above, "fatherhood" and "sonship" wold not relate to divinity at all in his way of thinking. Thus, he became a proper Nestorian (though he would never have admitted that) that divides Christ into two persons. And that is bad enough. However, one must be very careful here because when one posits the first person of the Blessed Trinity became the Father, and the second person of the Blessed Trinity became the Son, it becomes very easy to slip into another heresy that would admit change into the divine persons. Later in Behold Your Mother, I employ the case of a modern Protestant apologist who regrettably takes that next step. But you'll have to get the book to read about that one.

The bottom line here is this: It appears Dr. Walter Martin’s bad Christology led to a badMariology. But I argue in Behold Your Mother that if he would have understood Mary asTheotokos, it would have been impossible for him to lose his Christological bearings. The moment the thought of sonship as only applying to humanity in Christ would have arisen, a Catholic Dr. Walter Martin would have known that Mary is Mother of God. He would have lost neither the eternal Son nor the eternal Father because Theotokos would have guarded him from error. The prophetic words of Lumen Gentium 65 immediately come to mind: “Mary… unites in her person and re-echoes the most important doctrines of the faith.” A true Mariology serves as a guarantor against bad Christology.

 


Tim Staples is Director of Apologetics and Evangelization here at Catholic Answers, but he was not always Catholic. Tim was raised a Southern Baptist. Although he fell away from the faith of his childhood, Tim came back to faith in Christ during his late teen years through the witness of Christian...

Behold Your Mother: A Biblical and Historical Defense of the Marian Doctrines
From the cross Jesus gave us his mother to be our mother, too: a singularly holy model, consoler, and intercessor for our spiritual journey. Yet most Protestants—and too many Catholics—don’t understand the role that God wants her to play in our lives. In Behold Your Mother, Tim Staples takes you through the Church’s teachings about the Blessed Virgin Mary, showing their firm Scriptural and historical roots and dismantling the objections of those who mistakenly believe that Mary competes for the attention due Christ alone. Combining the best recent scholarship with a convert’s in-depth knowledge of the arguments, Staples has assembled the most thorough and useful Marian apologetic you’ll find anywhere.

Comments by Catholic.com Members

#1  Patrick Gnau - Springfield, Ohio

Tim,
Some grammar errors in the article you may want to fix:

 "Creator, Redeeemer, and Sanctifier" and int he process where is a truly tragic loss of the knowledge of who God is. In the case of Dr. Walter Martin, it was bad theology that lead to a similar loss.

Redeemer is spelled wrong and I think your "and int he" should be "and in the".

Good article and excited for the book!

Thanks,
Patrick

July 26, 2014 at 6:46 pm PST
#2  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Good catches, Patrick! Made the changes.

July 26, 2014 at 7:12 pm PST
#3  Logan Rieck - Albany, Illinois

Wonderful! When I was considering coming into the faith I had heard what you said at the end, "A true Mariology serves as a guarantor against bad Christology," and read St. Louis de Montfort's "True Devotion to Mary" and realized that this is an inescapable statement and helped me realize the necessity of reverance to the Blessed Virgin in order to better understand and worship her Son. It's no coincidence the Catholic Church does exactly this and I found my home in it.

It's chilling to see old heresies sprout up like the Nestorian one you showed yet it shows the helplessness of Christians without the Church, Scripture without Tradition (though Mary as Mother of God I thought was pretty able to grasp).

July 26, 2014 at 9:21 pm PST
#4  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Logan,

Wait 'til you see my book. As I said in my post, I demonstrate why it is crucial for us to understand all of the Marian doctrines. If we miss it on Mary as Mother of God, we are going to miss it on who God is as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We are going to miss it on who Jesus Christ is as one divine person with two distinct natures - one human, one divine. If we miss it on the Immaculate Conception, we are not going to understand our own dignity as sons and daughters of God. If we miss it on the Perpetual Virginity, we are going to miss it on the nature of marriage, sacraments, we are going to miss it on the very nature of "the sacred," consecrated life, celibacy, and more.

If we miss it on the Assumption, we are going to miss out on a great gift God has given to us that engenders the "hope" that the inspired author of Hebrews refers to as "the anchor" of our souls. If we miss it on Co-redemptrix and Mediatrix, we will miss it on the essential role all Christians have in "saving souls" (I Cor. 9:22; James 5:19-20; I Cor. 7:16; Romans 11:14; I Tim. 4:16; Col. 1:24, etc.). And if we miss it on Mary's Queenship, we are going to lack in our own understanding of our royal calling in Christ.

In all of our Mariology, our Blessed Mother keeps the doctrines of our faith from remaining in the abstract. They become actualized and concretized in the life of a real human person and serve as a "hope" for us that what has been accomplished in her will be accomplished in us. Thank God for the gift of his mother and ours!

July 27, 2014 at 3:34 am PST
#5  Mark Advent - Simpsonville, South Carolina

Great article, as always. I pre-ordered the book and can't wait for it to get here.

You comment "Protestantism itself began as a... you guessed it... "protest." "We are against this, this, this, and this." It was a "protest" against Catholicism" is particularly interesting.

The Catholic Encyclopedia says that the term "protestant" was first used by Catholics because certain non-Catholic Christians "protested" the rights of Catholics to celebrate mass. The term's meaning has morphed into today's understanding.

I get a chuckle out of the fact that the Church actually names heresies by their founders name: Lutheranism, Calvinism, Muhammadanism, etc. and the names are actually used by their adherents!

Brilliant!!

July 27, 2014 at 11:16 am PST
#6  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Mark,

Great point! It was a case of, if the shoe fits... and it did!

July 27, 2014 at 12:12 pm PST
#7  Salonsar War - Shillong, Kentucky

Tim,
About those few sentences ---- "Protestantism itself began as a... you guessed it... "protest." "We are against this, this, this, and this." It was a "protest" against Catholicism. However, the movement could not continue to exist as a protestant against something. It had to stand for something. And that is when the trouble began. When groups of non-infallible men attempted to agree, the result ended up being the thousands of Protestant sects we see today. "
WOW!! ... That was the best definition of protestantism I have ever come across. It cannot be clearer than that.
Great article; will read the book for sure.
God Bless

July 28, 2014 at 12:59 am PST
#8  Kathy Muller - Dublin, Georgia

As a former Protestant, I can reiterate, that the "protest" is very true. My journey to Catholicism has been life long..as oh so sweet. Mary was a huge issue for me. But I decided to go to Mass daily and pray the Rosary..I prayed to Mary, and with complete blind faith, asked for her intercession. I cannot express the love I have for our Mother today. She is a gift, and she is our Mother, who guides us to Jesus.

July 28, 2014 at 11:06 am PST
#9  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Beautiful, Kathy!

Mary was the last obstacle for me in my journey to the true Faith. It would be understanding the communion of saints that would open the door for me to understand Mary. Then, it would be Newman's "New Eve" (that wasn't "his," he simply gleaned it from the fathers of the Church), the Ark of the Covenant, Beginning of the New Creation, etc. - the typology concerning Mary in the Old Covenant - that would bring me home. The Bible just lit up for me and I could see Mary's intricate role in God's plan of salvation at every crucial moment in salvation where a human person was involved. The Incarnation, the presentation, the wedding feast of cana, the cross, the coming of the Holy Spirit, and in the midst of the cosmic battle of the ages as it is recounted in Revelation 12.

I agree, the journey has been and still is, "oh so sweet!"

July 28, 2014 at 11:39 am PST
#10  Chaunce Shrewsbury - West Valley City, Utah

Time Staples, this was beautifully written. I've quoted you a couple of times from this article.
I'm currently in RCIA and your Blogs, as well as those written by men such as Jimmy Atkins and others along with radio host Patrick Madrid and the Catholic Answers Radio show along with all of the other great programming on EWTN, have really helped me in my journey to the Catholic Church.
I have come to a great understanding of Mary as Mother of God along to the path of coming to a greater understanding of the Trinity and through some bible study, her typology in he OT. The communion of Saints makes total sense to me and I love the truth behind it, that we are all one. My only dilemma at this time and I wonder if it is something that you touch on in this book- is the use of sepulchers, pendents, statues and the significance that they play in our spiritual life. Please forgive me if this isn't the right format to bring up questions.

July 28, 2014 at 9:25 pm PST
#11  Chaunce Shrewsbury - West Valley City, Utah

One other comment Tim, if I may, what does this book have to offer and how is it different from the other books that you have written about the same topic? I'm just wondering because as I was looking at purchasing the book, I saw that you've written several other similar books. I'm new to the faith, but I have been reading articles and listening for the last 11 months. I do want something in depth, but I'm not sure what would best serve me to help answer some of the most pressing issues that Protestants and other "Christians" ask. Thank you!

July 28, 2014 at 9:44 pm PST
#12  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Chauncy -

When you say "sepulchers," I think you meant to say "scapulars." I would recommend you get a hold of my CD set called "Friends in High Places," where I go into not only the communion of saints, but the use of statues, icons, etc. You can get it here at the shop on catholic.com
The key is to remember that God has chosen to use "stuff" - the material world in order to communicate his grace to us. The Incarnation is the ultimate example of this. "The Word was made flesh..." (John 1:14). He didn't have to become man in order to save us. But he did. He chose to use "stuff" in order to heal we who are made of "stuff."
In Mark 8:23, Jesus "spat" on the eyes of a blind man to heal him. In John 9:6, Jesus spat on the ground, made clay out of it and anointed a blind man's eyes with it. In Acts 5, God used the shadow of Peter. In Acts 19:12 God used handkerchiefs that were touched to Paul's body to heal people. In Matt. 9:20 Jesus used "the fringe of his garment" as a conduit to heal the woman who was hemorrhaging for 12 years. In the Old Testament, God used a "bronze serpent" (a statue) set up on a pole to heal his people in Numbers 21:8-9. He used "the bones of Elisha" in II Kings 13:21 to raise a man from the dead, etc.
Scapulars, statues, icons, etc. are used as ways to communicate God's life and love to us. Jesus is revealed to be "the image of the invisible God" in Col. 1:15 (the Greek word for "image" is "icon"). The reason we need this "icon" of God is because we are not angels (pure spirits), we have bodies. Thus, we needed to be communicated to and with via a physical reality. So it is with all of these examples of God using "stuff" to communicate to us and heal us.
The bottom line is: we need statues, icons, scapulars, etc. for our spiritual well-being.

July 29, 2014 at 4:55 am PST
#13  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Chaunce,

Forgive me for addressing you as "Chauncy" in my above post. That should have been "Chaunce."
Anyway, I have not written a book on Mary before. The "books" to which you refer are actually CD sets on the topic.
The reason I recommend the book is it is the culmination of many years of study. The CD sets were a part of that study over the years, but in the book I actually make a few corrections concerning things I have said over the years. I correct a number of popular myths (a few of which are believed and communicated even by Catholic apologists that are not true) about Mary, take apart Protestant arguments, and much more.
In fact, my friend Al Kresta, who wrote one of the blurbs that will be on the book said he could think of no book anywhere that does what my book does in giving an exhaustive treatment of the apologetics of Mariology.

July 29, 2014 at 5:03 am PST
#14  Chaunce Shrewsbury - West Valley City, Utah

Tim Staples,
Thank you so much for the quick response. It truly means a lot. I will take a look at the resources that you have referenced. Thank you for the correction to "scapulars" and for correcting my name. The bible references were great. God bless, I hope we talk again.

July 29, 2014 at 6:25 am PST
#15  Debbie Douglas - Fraser, Michigan

Tim,

Thank you for this article. Like Chaunce, I too am a convert...but only in my heart. Haven't begun going through RCIA yet as my Protestant husband is very upset with my conversion. And thanks too for answering Chaunce's questions above...I print these things off and have a very large folder which I am hoping to share with my husband and Protestant friends/family one day.

I've ordered your book...but cannot wait to find out who the modern Protestant apologist is. Could you give me a hint? LOL...but seriously...patience is not one of my strong points...lol.

July 29, 2014 at 11:51 am PST
#16  obayi ifeanyi - Enugu, Enugu

Great Tim,
Thank you very much for another wonderful post.
As usual,your post is always briliant,interlectually satisfying and exceedingly refreshing.
I will appreciate your responds to two issues below:
(1)Is there a catholicanswers's athourised retail outlet in Nigeria where one can buy some of your most recent books in hard copy?
(2)As the director of apologetics i think you are in position to act in an issue i would like to bring to your notice:A particular commentator in Mr.Ed O. is using very abusive,spiteful and offensive language in this blog.Above all he is attacking our devine faith with lies.He appears to be interested in biasing the minds of cradle catholic.
I have written a complaint ealier (over three weeks now)to Mr Keating in his last post but he (Mr keating) appears not to have noticed.
I am reproducing the note i wrote to Mr Keating in his last blog post (what not to expect from synods) in the hope that you may act or atleast draw his attention to act.
(link http://
www.catholic.com/blog/devin-rose/why-catholicism-is-preferable-to-
protestantism?page=1)
Mr.Ed. O should nolonger be ignored.
Thanks and God bless you.

Dear Mr keating,
I would like to use this medium to thank you for your book "Catholicism vs
fundamentalism" it's a wonderful book that i enjoy reading over and over again.(I
bought copies for relations who also find it very interesting)I pray that our lord
will reward you abundantly for your efforts in bringing people to the one Holy
Catholic and Apostolic church which he(our Lord +Jesus)founded.
I believe that one of the most fundamental reason you founded CatholicAnswers
is to help catholics learn and defend thier faith hence catholics worldwide would
naturaly turn to catholic.com if they want a quick online response to questions
about our devine faith.However it is disturbing to allow (knowningly or
unknowningly)some of our seperated brethens to use this blog to spread lies and
hate comments that attack our faith.Take for example this link http://
www.catholic.com/blog/devin-rose/why-catholicism-is-preferable-to-
protestantism?page=1
a particular commentator (Ed.O) has been spreading lies and hate comments in
pretext of debating catholics.I appreciate that catholics and non catholics should
from time to time engage in healthy and productive debate/dialogues.But common
sense dictates that such debates should be respectful,truthful and devoid of
hateful/disrepectful remarks.People should be barred from posting comments
once they fail to adhere to this simple rule.I wish to remind you of what you
mentioned in your book which i totaly agree with and that is that it takes several
pages of informed response to refute one line of false attack from fundamentalist
against the Catholic church(I am not quoting you verbatim due to lack of time to find
your book and link up)Although,wonderful people like ChristopherTravis,Eric
McCabe and co. have done a nice job refuting some of his lies.The best thing
should be to warn such poeple not to use spiteful language and block them
outrightly if they continue to do so.
Harmless as it may seem to ignore such comments,some are intended to plant
seed of doubt in the minds of some cradle catholics.Remember this is a world
wide web.
I hope you can find time to read the comments in the link i posted,you will see
the point i am making.
Thanks and God bless.
July 6, 2014 at 4:33 pm PST

July 31, 2014 at 4:15 pm PST
#17  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Obayi,

Thanks for posting.
We do review our posts and excise some of them. It is often difficult to make the determination of which posts to eliminate. When they use vulgarities, etc. that is a no-brainer. But if a post has a bit of snark in it, we generally do not delete it. In this case, Ed.O created quite a buzz, and, as you know, stirred up some Catholics to respond. From what I've read, there is some good back-and-forth there.
I will certainly alert our monitors to take a look at Ed O.'s comments to see if he goes over the line, but from what I've seen so far (I did not read everything he has written), I think his posts can remain and should be refuted.

August 1, 2014 at 5:07 am PST
#18  obayi ifeanyi - Enugu, Enugu

Great Tim,
Thanks for finding time to reply.
Now that i know,you guys are aware.I can let go and join the debate when i can,even though i thinks that someone who refers to Catholics as satanist,Pope as beast and have very unpleasant remarks about the Holy Eucharist deserves a little caution.
Kudos to Christopher in particular,Eric,Debbie,Mcmacbe for their wonderful reply.
You to have forgotten my ealier question about your authorised retailer or publisher for catholicanswers in Nigeria.I found Mr. Keating's book through Opus Dei study center around mylocation.But have not found anything written by you in their Bookshelve.
Thanks.

August 2, 2014 at 1:23 am PST
#19  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Yesterday a dear friend of our family was laid to rest, she was very devoted to her faith and especially loved our Blessed Mother Mary. When someone asked her for her best advice in life she didn't hesitate a second when she said
"that's easy, say a Rosary every day!" That is great advice from a great witness to Christ's love. I ask for your prayers for her soul and for her family. Thank you in advance.

When I think of Christ upon the cross I think about Him giving His all. There He was, suffering and taking all of our sins, He was giving us His all both physically and spiritually. Just when you think, well what more can He give us than His life? There He goes giving us the one who gave Him life, the very nature of His flesh and blood! What more can be given? Giving us His flesh and blood, and then giving His flesh and blood!!! He didn't separate Himself from us or His Mother, He divinely joined us to Her with Himself as an eternal gift!!! There was not one cell of His flesh and blood that He did not give to us, not one I tell you! My heart aches for those who refuse to accept and treasure such a mind blowing loving gift like that. There is not a greater treasure in the world that has every been given! Our Lord did not come from a divided family, He came from a family bound like no other that has every graced itself upon this earth, and what God has joined...He tells us...LET NO MAN SEPARATE!

Thanks for your great article Tim, and I can't wait to read your book. I have no doubt it will help us all build in our relationship with our Blessed Mother. And Obayi, as always thanks for your prayers and support. God bless and the peace of Christ to all!!!

August 2, 2014 at 6:08 am PST
#20  Matthew Seymour - Long Beach, California

I think that outsiders perceive too much Marian adoration in the Catholic faith. They think that this is equivalent to worship. Mary is a Saint in Heaven who prays for us, and is Blessed by our Lord as His Mother.

The focus, of course, should be on Mary's Son - Jesus Christ - not her. But her prayer has true power, as she is unified with her Son in a unique way.

August 2, 2014 at 9:18 am PST
#21  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Obayi,

We do not have an official publisher in Nigeria, but we can ship our products anywhere in the world. If you contact our customer service at Catholic Answers, as 619-387-7200, or if you email the webmaster at www.catholic.com, our guys can get you whatever information you need to get our products into your country.

August 2, 2014 at 8:17 pm PST
#22  Sean Green - North Ridgeville, Ohio

I'm a Lutheran and have been researching the Catholic faith but perhaps Tim can clarify a few points. When one of the bloggers mentioned how Protestant was used, I thought that came about during the Diet of Speyer because of how political powers wanted Lutherans to worship or how to believe in a way contrary to their confession. I know that the Catholic church first called Lutherans Evangelicals, which had a somewhat derogatory connotation because they focused on the Gospel too much.
I started reading True Devotion to Mary and I've been attending a local Marian consecration retreat which I've found to be helpful but I'm still struggling with the notion that Mary was without sin and how she is viewed as a Mediatrix of God's graces. Are you able to show how from scripture that teaching came about? Thanks again

August 3, 2014 at 11:02 am PST
#23  Seokwon Chung - Tempe, Arizona

Dr. Staples, I love our mother the blessed virgin mary. So, I need to know her details in order to defend my faith to protestant brothers. They always say mother mary had other children and they are the brethren of the Lord. I've made these equations for myself, so I need you to check them out and correct me.

1. The other Mary(Mt 27.61)
= Maria the mother of James and Joseph(Mt 27.56)
= His mother's sister(Jn 19.25)
= the wife of Alphaeus(James's father/Mt 10.3)

2. James the son of Alphaeus(Matthew10. 3)
= James the Lord’s brother(Galatians 1:19)

For me, if the mother Mary's sister(Jn 19. 25) is the mother of James and Joseph(Mt. 56), then it makes sense that why Paul called James as the Lord's brother in Gal 1. 19. Therefore James of the brethren of the Lord is Jesus's cousin and the son of Mary the mother of James and Joseph, mother mary's sister.

Am I wrong here?
Thanks.

August 4, 2014 at 9:02 pm PST
#24  Seokwon Chung - Tempe, Arizona

Sorry, it's the same Seokwon above. But I also gotta ask this cuz my Christian friend strongly insists that Mary was persecuting Jesus by taking out of this house. And Mary is one of those people who agreed that Jesus is out of mind. I don't agree that, but somehow it seemed like Mary didn't understand Jesus fully at this point. What do you say about this event? Thanks so much.

Mark 3
20- He came home. Again (the) crowd gathered, making it impossible for them even to eat.
21- When his relatives heard of this they set out to seize him, for they said, "He is out of his mind."
31 - His mother and his brothers arrived. Standing outside they sent word to him and called him.
32 - A crowd seated around him told him, "Your mother and your brothers 12 (and your sisters) are outside asking for you."
33 - But he said to them in reply, "Who are my mother and (my) brothers?"

August 5, 2014 at 7:02 pm PST
#25  Debbie Douglas - Fraser, Michigan

Seokwon,

I think when the Bible was written the writers didn't necessarily use or have a word for cousin and therefore referred to any close relative as "brother". And in John 19 at The Crucifixion, Jesus said to of John "Woman, here is your son." and to John, "Here is your mother." If Jesus had had other brothers (from Mother Mary), there would have been no need for John the beloved to take care of Jesus' Mother.

August 8, 2014 at 12:27 pm PST
#26  Debbie Douglas - Fraser, Michigan

*Jesus said OF John*

August 8, 2014 at 12:28 pm PST
#27  Matthew Seymour - Long Beach, California

My own opinions on the matters of Mary the blessed Virgin: she was a virgin, and remained so throughout her entire life. Therefore she had no other children. Mary was Assumed into Heaven in bodily form. Other souls in Heaven have not been resurrected bodily, and therefore are "bodiless". Of course Jesus Christ is Glorified as God in Heaven, and therefore her Mother is uniquely unified with her Son (her God) in Heaven. They continue to share a unique relationship. When Jesus died, Mary felt as if God abandoned her, similar to the feeling Jesus had when he looked up and cried out "My God! My God! Why have you forsaken Me!"

I'm sure that Mary needed someone, another person, another "son" (the Apostle John) to comfort her, since her True Son had left. They all, I would imagine, felt abandoned by God at that point. Perhaps that is the reason that Jesus cried out "My God! My God! Why have you forsaken Me!" Perhaps he felt the pain (present and future) of his Mother and disciples. Depression probably came upon their heads... at least for 3 days. Then things changed once they realized what had happened to their Beloved Savior Jesus Christ.

August 8, 2014 at 2:18 pm PST
#28  Seokwon Chung - Tempe, Arizona

Debbie,
I appreciate your thoughts on this matter. However, if you tried to answer my question, I lose my chance to hear Tim Staples' opinion on this particular question. I could ask this question to a random catholic person or a priest, but the very reason why I came catholic.com was to hear from Tim Staples. Through my study on Mary I already know what you wrote above, and if you read my question again, your answers are not what I asked to Tim. I hope you understand what I mean, and thanks anyway.

August 8, 2014 at 3:37 pm PST
#29  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Amen Debbie! Who gives their mother away to someone out of the family? Blessed Mary was not just some ordinary mother either, she was the most blessed and holy mother to ever set foot on earth. This one occurrence of Christ giving Blessed Mary to John makes all the other arguments fall flat on their face.

August 8, 2014 at 7:45 pm PST
#30  Michael Rogala - Chicago, Illinois

". . . I demonstrate each of these doctrines to be crucial for our spiritual lives and even our salvation. . . "

This statement you made re: the doctrine of the BVM is close to heresy. You are way off base here.

August 12, 2014 at 10:20 am PST
#31  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Sean,

In answer to your #22:

It is generally understood that the term "Protestant" originated with the German Emperor's cancellation of the "Recess of August 27, 1526" which had stated each government within the German Empire could choose which religion it would follow between the Catholic Faith and the new religion of the Reformers. Luther, Zwingli and their followers formally signed on to a "Protest" (April 19, 1529) against that cancellation because it was, in effect, a movement back toward the Catholic Faith for the empire.

The term "Protestant" began here and has always been understood to ultimately be a "protestant" against Catholicism, which is really the essence of what "Protestantism" is.

August 13, 2014 at 8:23 am PST
#32  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Seokwan,

In answer to your #23:

You are right on!

August 13, 2014 at 8:25 am PST
#33  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Seokwan,

In answer to your #24:

The text seems to separate Mary from those who thought Jesus was "out of his mind." The text clearly says it was his "relatives," and does not include his mother as believing this.
It then states Mary came with them to call Jesus. Of course this would be the case. Mary would want to be there to protect and defend her Son.
Then, when Jesus famously said, "Who are my mother and brothers..." he does not deny Mary is his mother, but he brings all involved (including us today, of course) to consider the most important aspect of our relationship with the Lord. Being related to the Lord "according to the flesh" as is the case with the Blessed Mother and his "relatives," pales next to being related to him spiritually by "doing the will of God" (Mark 3:35). And, of course, Mary is the ultimate example of one who does just that in Luke 1:37-38.

August 13, 2014 at 9:13 am PST
#34  Matthew Seymour - Long Beach, California

See posts #20 & #27.

August 13, 2014 at 9:21 am PST
#35  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Michael,

In response to your #30, I would ask you to explain how I am "close to heresy" and "way off base." To extend such a serious accusation as this without any evidence is, to say the very least, irresponsible.

I would respectfully ask you to consider just a few things before you tell me where I am "close to heresy." I am assuming you are Catholic so I would first ask you to consider, CCC 971:

"The Church's devotion to the Blessed Virgin is intrinsic to Christian worship."

That tells me that rejecting devotion to Mary is to act contrary to our Catholic Christian Faith and that would be to endanger your soul.

Second, CCC 89:

"There is an organic connection between our spiritual life and the dogmas. Dogmas are lights along the path of faith; they illuminate it and make is secure. Conversely, if our life is upright, our intellect and heart will be open to welcome the light shed by the dogmas of faith."

There is nothing here that would exclude the Marian dogmas; thus, we must say the Marian dogmas are essential for our spiritual lives.

Third, Lumen Gentium (the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, from the documents of Vatican II) 65:

"But while in the most holy Virgin the Church has already reached that perfection whereby she is without spot or wrinkle, the followers of Christ still strive to increase in holiness by conquering sin. And so they turn their eyes to Mary who shines forth to the whole community of the elect as the model of virtues. Piously meditating on her and contemplating her in the light of the Word made man, the Church with reverence enters more intimately into the great mystery of the Incarnation and becomes more and more like her Spouse. For Mary, who since her entry into salvation history unites in herself and re-echoes the greatest teachings of the faith as she is proclaimed and venerated, calls the faithful to her Son and His sacrifice and to the love of the Father."

Our Marian dogmas are not some pious add-ons that are optional. They are essential to the Christian Faith and to deny them is to deny that same Christian Faith.

Where am I "close to heresy" here?

I would respectfully suggest you get a copy of my book and read it ("Behold Your Mother," and it is available to order now, even though it won't be on the shelves until October, at http://shop.catholic.com/featured/coming-soon/behold-your-mother-a-biblical-and-historical-defense-of-the-marian-doctrines.html). Or, if you cannot wait until October, get a hold of my CD sets on Mary called "The Gospel Truth About Mary," Volumes 1 and 2, and "New Eve, Mediatrix, and Mother." Then, you will have a better sense of what I am saying so that you can respond to it with all of the facts involved.

Does that make sense?

August 13, 2014 at 9:52 am PST
#36  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Matthew,

In response to your #34:

First, while I agree with you that all "focus" must ultimately be on Jesus Christ, we must not perceive that to mean we do not honor the saints, and especially Mary, as well. It was Jesus that told St. John to "Behold, your mother" on the cross. Was he sinning by telling St. John to "focus" on his mother? Was St. Paul wrong in saying we need to honor leaders in our Church? (see I Tim. 5:17; I Thess. 5:12-13). Was the Psalmist wrong in saying all generations and all peoples would "praise" to Mary in Psalm 45:17? which is most likely the text alluded to by Mary herself in Luke 1:48. I think you get my drift here?

Second, I would caution against the notion of saying, "Jesus felt abandoned by God." CCC 603 tells us he was so one with us in our "wayward state" that he could say "in our name" "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" It was not that he was forsaken. He experienced our pain.

Similarly, Mary never wavered in her faith, and she certainly would not have descended into "depression" at the foot of the cross. It was because of her faith at the foot of the cross that never wavered even while she suffered more than any human person in history, that, Pope St. John Paul the Great would say:

"It is especially consoling to note—and also accurate in accordance with the Gospel and history—that at the side of Christ, in the first and most exalted place, there is always his Mother through the exemplary testimony that she bears by her whole life to this particular Gospel of suffering. In her, the many and intense sufferings were amassed in such an interconnected way that they were not only a proof of her unshakeable faith but also a contribution to the redemption of all."

August 13, 2014 at 10:29 am PST
#37  Matthew Seymour - Long Beach, California

Tim,

Jesus wasn't telling John (future St. John) to "focus" on his mother! He was telling him to care for her. And that is what he did, in obedience and love of the Lord Jesus Christ. Not because John obeyed Mary, but because John obeyed His Lord Jesus. Mary was His mother, but Jesus was/is/will be her GOD.

John loved Mary, because he loved Jesus.

August 13, 2014 at 11:11 am PST
#38  Matthew Seymour - Long Beach, California

Tim,

Remember the wedding feast?

Remember was Jesus told his mom there?

August 13, 2014 at 11:12 am PST
#39  Matthew Seymour - Long Beach, California

Tim, you said:

"Second, I would caution against the notion of saying, "Jesus felt abandoned by God." CCC 603 tells us he was so one with us in our "wayward state" that he could say "in our name" "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" It was not that he was forsaken. He experienced our pain."

My dear Tim, this is not opposite what I said. Please pay attention. Reread my comments. I never said that Jesus was forsaken by God! Jesus is God! How can God forsake Himself!

Reread and comment again, please.

August 13, 2014 at 11:21 am PST
#40  Perry White - Thomson, Georgia

Dr Martin certainly does better than will I and if you won't believe him then you won't believe me. BUT like all Catholic doctrine this one is made up of thin air and not one shred of Biblical evidence. Please direct us to the verse that tells of Mary's sinless birth, perpetual virginity, Assumption, and intercession, and her part in our salvation or any verse instructing us to pray to her or any other saint. When us Christians hear Catholics praying to Mary we wonder why you don't understand the John 14:6. You worship Mary (or whatever demon is behind your Mariolatry. You worship a cracker (your Jesus in a wafer which you keep safe in a box) but you do not worship God. He does not share His worship and you have divided it up. Mary is made CoRedemptrix in which Bible verse?? I keep looking but can't find it. Please help us poor Protestants who are against idolatry and against error no matter how nicely you couch it in religious terms.

August 13, 2014 at 12:19 pm PST
#41  Seokwon Chung - Tempe, Arizona

Dr. Staples

I just wanna say We love you, we support you, and we appreciate your patience, anwers, and love. I'm reading Scott Hann's "Hail, Holy Queen". When I'm done, definitely gonna have your "Behold your mother." Can't wait. Thanks so much.

August 13, 2014 at 5:05 pm PST
#42  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Matthew,

In response to your #37:

The text does not say, "Care for your Mother." It says, "Behold, Your Mother." Behold (Gr.-idou) means "to behold, look upon, see." We know from our tradition that St. John took Mary into his home. And because she had no other children, this makes perfect sense. But the text says, "Behold, your mother." We have to begin with the literal sense of the text before we go to the spiritual senses.
Jesus was saying to St. John (and to all of us because, according to St. John who also wrote the Book of Revelation, John represents all Christians to whom Jesus gave to his mother - Rev. 12:4-5, 17) that he must "behold his mother." And his mother must also "behold" her Son. He did not only give his mother to St. John, but he have St. John to his mother as well. This indicates the importance of the communion of saints and how we "need" each other as St. Paul says in I Cor. 12:21. Most especially, we "need" the Blessed Mother.

August 14, 2014 at 3:50 pm PST
#43  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Matthew,

In answer to your #38:

Yes, he said, "Ti emoi kai soi, gune," or "What to me and to thee, woman," followed by "my hour has not yet come. There is appears to rebuke him mother, and yet he does exactly what she asked him to do revealing Mary's essential role in giving birth the Jesus' ministry, his first miracle, the revelation of his glory, and the apostles coming to faith (see John 2:11).

Again, get my book. I go into greater detail than I can do here in this comment.

But you'll want to draw a parallel to the Canaanite woman in Matt. 15:21ff where the Lord appeared to reject her petition three separate times. Like with the Blessed Mother, this was a rebuke "ad mentem" or "to an end" (for a purpose) of testing her faith, and using her intercession in the healing of her daughter. In the Blessed Mother's case, her intercession launched Jesus' ministry, etc., as I said above.

August 14, 2014 at 3:55 pm PST
#44  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Matthew,

In answer to your #39:

I will cut and paste what you said here and put it in quotes:

"They continue to share a unique relationship. When Jesus died, Mary felt as if God abandoned her, similar to the feeling Jesus had when he looked up and cried out "My God! My God! Why have you forsaken Me!"

I'm sure that Mary needed someone, another person, another "son" (the Apostle John) to comfort her, since her True Son had left. They all, I would imagine, felt abandoned by God at that point. Perhaps that is the reason that Jesus cried out "My God! My God! Why have you forsaken Me!" Perhaps he felt the pain (present and future) of his Mother and disciples. Depression probably came upon their heads... at least for 3 days."

That is what I disagreed with. Jesus did not "feel abandoned by God," nor did Mary. They did not fall into "depression" either.

August 14, 2014 at 4:00 pm PST
#45  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Perry,

In response to your #40. I would urge you to get my book (you can order it here: http://shop.catholic.com/featured/coming-soon/behold-your-mother-a-biblical-and-historical-defense-of-the-marian-doctrines.html

I answer all of your questions and more. After you've read it, we will have a point of reference.

August 14, 2014 at 4:02 pm PST
#46  Victor Sweeney - West Fargo, North Dakota

Would someone please moderate Perry? He's a disrespectful troll who is only interested in slinging derogatory remarks about the Eucharist from blog post to post. If he were interested in debate, rather than attack, he would present himself differently, I imagine.

August 14, 2014 at 7:25 pm PST
#47  Perry White - Thomson, Georgia

Tim
Maybe I will buy your book. But first let's look at The Book. Just pick one of my questions and answer it from the Bible. Lets agree to use KJV, NIV, ESV for starters. Please give me one verse that will support any of the exaltation of Mary from the Bible. One. It's all I ask. I mean there are so many that claim Jesus was sinlessly born. Wouldn't there be at least one to support that claim for Mary?
There are many claims of Christ to be God. Is there not one for Mary's as CoRedemptrix?
We have a passage that claims Christ Ascended into Heaven. Is there not one account of Mary also? Just one???
Come on Tim, toss me a lifeline here. Use the Scripture which teaches boldly and plainly that Christ is the only way to heaven and show me where He gave Mary a part to play. Surely there is one verse which will shut me up and clearly display the sinless perfection of Mary and her role in saving us by her constant intercession for us.
Come on Tim, why do I need to read your book? All it would take is for you to give me one Bible verse that tells me I can or should pray through any other entity other than Jesus.
Seriously, I am asking you to make the Bible our point of reference.

August 15, 2014 at 6:34 am PST
#48  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Perry,

I don't just give one verse for any of these topics. I give multiple. After you read my book, we'll chat.

August 15, 2014 at 6:58 am PST
#49  Matthew Seymour - Long Beach, California

Dear Tim,
You are free to disagree with me.

September 1, 2014 at 9:26 am PST
#50  Tony Engen - Minnneapolis, Minnesota

Dear Mr. Staples,

So to begin with, I must agree with Mr. Perry White that I do not see one shred of Biblical evidence for the divinity of Mary. Jesus says "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me" not "we are the way....through us." I would contend that there is actually evidence to the contrary coming straight from the mouth of Jesus in Matthew 12:46-50: "While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.” He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” Oh, and this verse also denies the false dogma of the perpetual virginity of Mary. How did Jesus have brothers, and even sisters that are mentioned in other NT passages, if Mary was a perpetual virgin? Did Mary and Joseph adopt? I think not... Regardless, Jesus actually downplays the role of his earthly mother in this passage; something that seems almost blasphemous coming from the standpoint of her being "co-redemptrix" and "co-mediatrix," which you purport to hold. In short, I believe the Catholic heresy of Marian idolatry to be the great lie and deception of your church sir. I will not be reading your book, as I have seen more than enough in your promotional article to understand how deeply entrenched in this idolatrous practice you are and I would much prefer to guard my heart from this insidious falsehood. "Hear o Israel, the Lord your God, the Lord is one." "I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me, but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments." Stop worshiping idols. Accept that Jesus did enough to save you on his own. He did not then, nor does he now, need any help from anyone to accomplish the act of salvation that he alone achieved on the cross. Take off the blinders sir, scripture is clear. Don't twist it to say what you want it to, just take God for His Word.

Blessings and peace in the name of our Lord Jesus,

Tony Engen

September 23, 2014 at 10:38 am PST
#51  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Tony, I know your post was directed to Tim but I can't help but respond to what you wrote. The Catholic Church does not see any evidence either for the divinty of Blessed Mary. The Church has never taught that and never will, she is a creature, not God.

September 27, 2014 at 5:23 am PST
#52  Perry White - Thomson, Georgia

Hmmmmm, just a creature and not God. But she was born without sin (like Jesus who is God), was "highly favored" which catholics say means something other than just a righteous person, and she can be prayed to by a billion catholics who earnestly believe she will intercede for them with her Son. She has been given the title Co Redemptrix (who can redeem sinners other than God I must ask?). And the pop pope JPII credited her with saving his life (like say an actual God might do). Oh, and she is venerated far more than is Jesus in actual catholic practice, but at least she isn't a God. Imagine our relief!

October 3, 2014 at 9:09 am PST
#53  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Tony,
In response to your #50:
I agree with you that there is no evidence in Scripture "for the divinity of Mary." But the Catholic Church does not teach Mary is God.
If you are saying Jesus is denying Mary is his mother, that is simply wrong. To deny Mary is Jesus' mother is tantamount to denying his full humanity, which is unbiblical in multiple ways. First, in John 19:26-27, John says that Mary is Jesus’ mother long after Matthew 12. "When Jesus saw HIS MOTHER and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to HIS MOTHER..."
Even after the resurrection, Mary is referred to as the Mother of Jesus in Acts 1:14. "All these with one accord devoted themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren."
There is no doubt there is an on-going maternal relationship between Mary and the God/man, Jesus Christ.
Once again, when we read: “Who is my mother, and who are my brethren?” And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brethren! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, and sister, and mother," Jesus is not saying Mary is not his mother. In his encyclical Redemptoris Mater, Pope St. John Paul II explains in simple terms the proper interpretation of this text:
"He [Jesus] wishes to divert attention from motherhood understood only as a fleshly bond, in order to direct it toward those mysterious bonds of the spirit which develop from hearing and keeping God’s word."
Jesus was not denying that Mary was his mother; rather, he was teaching us the most important aspect of Mary’s divine maternity and, indeed, of all human motherhood: that it is first and foremost spiritual. Mary is both the mother of Jesus on the biological level and the ultimate example of spiritual motherhood in the order of grace. She is the one who first says, "Let it be..." in Luke 1:38, so that Jesus could be born into the world and so that we could be saved.
Also, we agree that "no one comes to the Father except through Me (Jesus)." But Jesus chooses to use his body to bring people to God. It's that simple (Matt. 10:40; I Tim. 4:16; James 5:19-20; I Cor. 3:5; Col. 1:24; II Cor. 1:6; I Cor. 9:22, etc.). Mary is the pre-eminent example of this.
And as far as the "brothers and sisters of the Lord" is concerned, in Hebrew culture "brothers" and "sisters" did not necessarily mean uterine brothers and sisters so that verse does not necessarily mean Jesus had uterine brothers and sisters.
We know, for example, that the mother of "James and Joses" of Matt. 13:55 had a mother named Mary, but it was not the Mother of Jesus, according to Matt. 27:56-John 19:25.
And James, who is again referred to as "brother of the Lord" in Gal. 1:19 is also referred to as an apostle. We know there were only two apostles named James. One was the son of Zebedee and one was the "son of Alphaeus" if you check out Luke 6:15-16. Do the math. That means his father was not Joseph.
Jesus does not downplay the role of his mother. He elevates it because Mary is the first example of the one who does the will of God for the salvation of souls.
All Christians are called to be mediators and co-redeemers with Christ as I showed you above with a litany of verses that show we are involved with Christ in the salvation of souls (see also I Cor. 3:9). Mary has these titles because she is Co-redemptrix and Mediatrix to a greater degree than any other Christian because she alone brought the whole Christ to the whole world.
I am sorry you won't be reading my book. But be careful what you do read. The Bible leads to the Catholic Church. If you keep reading the Bible, praying, and pondering these things in your heart like Mary did, you will end up Catholic. I know. I've been there, done that. I can understand why you would be afraid to read my book. You want to hold on to your man-made traditions. Just be careful because if you knowingly reject the word of God for your traditions, you commit serious sin. God alone is your judge as to your culpability. But I warn you as a brother in Christ. Do not reject God's word for your traditions.
You claim I am deeply entrenched in "this idolatrous practice," but you've yet to show me biblically what that practice is.
You quote Deut. 6, but the Catholic Church agrees that we must adore God and God alone.
Finally, we agree with you that Jesus "did enough to save us on his own." But the fact is, he chooses to use his body - the Body of Christ, to be his hands and feet in this world and the instrument through which he saves the world (Eph. 1:22-23; Eph. 3:10; I Tim. 3:15; Matt. 18:15-18, see above for a litany of verses that show how individual Christians "save souls" as well)
Jesus doesn't "need" our help. He could certainly answer your objections on this post better than I ever could. But he chooses to use me. He chose to use sinners like Peter, Paul, Luke, etc. to communicate his word. And he continues to choose to use his Church. That is what the Bible teaches.
And so I will leave you with your own words, "Take off the blinders sir, scripture is clear. Don't twist it to say what you want it to, just take God for His Word."
God Bless!

October 4, 2014 at 3:44 pm PST
#54  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Perry,
In answer to your #52:
Because Mary was "born without sin," or even more, conceived without sin, that does not mean she was God. She was saved from all sin by God (Luke 1:47). Thus, she is infinitely beneath God according to Catholic teaching.
Yes, we believe there is "joy in heaven" over each sinner that repents as Jesus said it in Luke 15:7 because the saints and angels in heaven have abilities that far surpass anything we can even imagine (see I Cor. 2:9). Both Revelation 5:8 and 8:2-5 tell us that both saints and angels in heaven can hear and respond to multiple prayers from multiple people on earth at the same time because God empowers them to be able to do that. We believe Scripture rather than your tradition.
"Co-redemptrix" means Mary cooperates with God who redeems. It is God who empowered her to be able to cooperate with his grace and bring Christ into the world just as it was and is God who empowered St. Paul to cooperate with his grace in bringing the Corinthians to saving faith (see I Cor. 3:5, 9). And it is God who empowers all Christians to be able to save souls (see I Tim. 4:16; I Cor. 9:22; Romans 11:14; James 5:19-20; II Cor. 1:6; Col. 1:24; John 14:12; John 17:21; etc.)
Pope John Paul II understood that prayer really does change things. Protestants think God does everything, making intercession superfluous. We can't agree with that because Jesus doesn't agree with that in Matt. 18:19. St. Paul does not agree with that in I Tim. 2:1-4. All Christians prayers are powerful. Mary's are the most powerful because God has chosen to use her in a unique way as mother of "all who have the testimony of Jesus Christ and keep his commandments" (see Rev. 12:4-5, and 17). Pope St. John Paul the Great may well have had insight from God that it was Mary's prayers that saved him. That is certainly possible and biblical. After all, she cooperated with God in saving all of us when she cooperated with God in bringing Jesus into the world.
I challenge you to attend the highest form of prayer in the Catholic Church, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and then tell me that Mary is venerated more than God. That is simply a lie, sir. The entire Mass (as all prayer, ultimately) is ordered to God through Jesus Christ, and the times we invoke the saints at Mass, which are relatively few, are manifestly on the periphery while Christ is in the center.
I cannot blame you for presenting the myth that Catholics venerate Mary more than God. I did it myself before I learned the truth. However, I do caution you not to continue to propagate that lie after you have been corrected. Show us where the Catholic Church teaches what you say, or stop claiming she does. You endanger your soul, otherwise. Don't think you won't stand before God and give an account for misrepresenting the faith of over a billion souls and climbing if you do so knowingly and willingly. Be very careful here, my brother. Be very careful!
God Bless!

October 4, 2014 at 4:06 pm PST
#55  Perry White - Thomson, Georgia

Tim
Who were Mary's parents? How was she sinlessly born? Only Jesus was sinlessly born as he had no earthly father, but Mary was sinlessly born with sinful parents but she isn't a god? Not logical and not scriptural.

So if we are going to use Apocalyptic Literature as a primary source for doctrine then I submit Rev 17 and its obvious reference to the whore of Babylon and it's stunning resemblance to the catholic church headquartered in Rome wearing scarlet and purple.

The angel you reference took the symbolic bowls holding the prayers and offered them but did not respond to them . The Bible in no place teaches we should pray to any creature dead or alive. But your church does.

Rom 8:33. It is God who justifies and Jesus who was raised who intercedes. I don't see your Mary there.

Your statement regarding protestants is ridiculous and ignorant. No, actually its an intentional lie as you know better.

I remember seeing JPII at an outdoor mass years ago. I noticed that he took his holy smoker and swung it a couple times toward the Jesus statue but when he got to the Mary statue he twirled it over his head between his legs and around his back. Not that he venerated her more than Jesus. Not that his motto was Totus Tuus Sum Maria, not that he carved an M on his coffin. Pure coincidence I am sure.

Now where would I get the idea that Catholics worship Mary??? Oh how about fatima.org for starters. There we see instructions regarding "other devotions of at least a half hour in length (in case Mary has short attention span) in reparation for the sins comitted against the Blessed Virgin Mary." Yes, I know we can sin against our brothers but I don't get the idea that's what is intended here.

How about Alphonse Ligouri in "The Glories of Mary" who says it is more effective to pray to Mary than to Jesus? Who calls her "all holy one"?

HOw about the fact that if one listens to catholic radio all one hears is constant reference to her? How many prayers to her vs Jesus are in your rosary? How many roadside shrines to her vs Jesus. How many votive candles are lit for her vs Jesus? How many statues of her vs Jesus are paraded around in Latin American countries? Actions speak louder than your words.

Now if you are going to tell me that these are not official church doctrine then I would like to know where is the renunciation from your infallible pope regarding such outright heresy?

So as long as you and your saints are going to say such blasphemous things I am going to point out that your church is a cult which is responsible for leading millions to hell because you teach what is not revealed in Scripture. You fabricate doctrines from thin air. You demand service to the "church of Rome" but not to God. You say one thing and practice another. You parse words so that you can say we give a lesser veneration to Mary but a better grade of veneration to God. "You shall serve the Lord and Him ONLY shall you serve." Luke 4:8

I appreciate your concern for my soul, but rest assured my soul has been redeemed. By the Redeemer, and not some person who happened to be a chosen vessel for His earthly delivery. Not by some "church" which demands obedience to itself instead of to Christ. Not by a church which violates the second commandment (except that it removes it from the list so as not to violate it). Every time you exalt Mary you dethrone Christ. You SAY you order prayers through Christ and that you invoke saints seldom and peripherally, (that's nice, at least you don't pray to them all the time. That should make God happy.) but "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." Not even a little bit.

All through the BIble Mary is minimized, not given a special place but you invert that and give her what is due to God alone. It is you who must be careful. You even think I endanger my soul by speaking against a "church". How corrupt. I endanger my soul by speaking against it's Creator and not some conglomeration of christian/Jewish/pagan goddess worship. You are a very intelligent and gifted man, but you are a blind leader of the blind. You have attained a position and pride will not let you relinquish it. I don't know what happened to you that you embraced pagan Rome, but I suspect that you never had much of a faith to begin with. Perhaps you were never a christian, and you fell victim to that persuasive friend in the Marines. But despite your skill you serve what you do not know.

I pray that you will trust Christ and only His sacrifice for salvation and not the edifice of Rome.

Blessings
Perry

October 11, 2014 at 1:37 pm PST
#56  Debbie Douglas - Fraser, Michigan

Dear Perry,

Below is from www.barnhardt.biz, I think it might clarify a few things for you....especially in SHY Mary was/is sinless. It's much more logical than thinking she is no more special than any other person who ever walked the earth.

The one about THE SCIENCE OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION AND ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
Originally penned and posted on August 15, ARSH 2011.

“The Assumption” is the Dogma that the Blessed Virgin Mary was assumed BODY and SOUL into heaven at the end of her life. The archaeological record is one of the most compelling confirmations of this truth. The veneration of burial places, tombs and relics of dead saints is universal and consistent in the early Church and has carried right through to this day. Everyone knows where St. Peter is buried, and the relics of St. Paul and the other apostles and saints, even recent saints like St. Bernadette are venerated and in some cases spread all over the earth. Almost every Catholic Church contains the relics of multiple saints.

But one saint has NEVER had any location venerated as her permanent burial place, nor have there ever been any relics purported to be part of her body. Never. Who is this person whom everyone has always agreed has no earthly tomb and for whom there are no earthly relics? Only the second-most-important person to ever walk the earth, and THE most important person who was NOT God Incarnate: The Blessed Virgin Mary.

The reason why she has no tomb and no relics is because at the end of her life (the Church is not sure whether or not she actually died, and so that question is intentionally left open) Our Lord immediately granted to her the promise made to all Christians of the resurrection and heaven, BODY AND SOUL. So, there are exactly two physical human bodies locally present in heaven right now: Our Lord and His Mother. We don’t know exactly how to explain this, but I suspect that it has something to do with temporal or dimensional phase shifting, as Our Lord walked through walls, doors and other solid objects after the Resurrection (John 20:19). As Einstein discovered, mass and energy are equivalent, and thus can phase back and forth. We also know from the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass itself, which is a bending of time such that the moment of Calvary touches today, that while we experience time in a linear continuum, God is in no way constrained by linear time, and can manipulate, bend and intersect points in time. How? Oh, no clue. There is so much about physics that we don’t understand. But hey, that’s all part of the fun of the Mystery, right?

Only after the Second Coming and the Judgment will the rest of the Church be reunited to their resurrected (for those who have died) or glorified (for those who are alive at the Second Coming and Judgment) bodies, to be united to the Trinity, dwelling inside the Beatific Vision forever. But Mary is already there. She has already been ASSUMED into heaven, and is the proof of God’s promise of what lies in store for those who die in the Church, in friendship with Christ. And today, August 15th, is the Feast of the Assumption. This is a Holy Day of Obligation, which means that all Christians are required to attend Mass just as if it was a Sunday. So, what better time to talk about and explain the doctrines of the Immaculate Conception (the feast of which is December 8th, also a Holy Day of Obligation – you MUST go to Mass that day as if it was a Sunday) and the Assumption, and the science that underpins both dogmas.

First, the Immaculate Conception. This doctrine and non-negotiable tenet of Christianity teaches that Mary was, by the grace of God, prevented from carrying the stain of Original Sin from the moment of her conception. This is a deal-breaker. The logical consequences of denying the Immaculate Conception inevitably lead to denying the Incarnation and Divinity of Jesus Christ Himself. The Blessed Virgin cleared all of this up herself when she appeared to Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes, France and told her in no uncertain terms, “I am the Immaculate Conception.” Case closed. All that remained was for science to progress sufficiently to confirm this – and that has now happened. More on that in a second.

Mary was saved from sin by her Son, like all of the other faithful, it is just that the timing of her salvation was different from everyone else. This is why Mary, sinless though she is, still calls God “my Savior” in her Magnificat in Luke 1:46-55. Instead of letting Mary fall in the mud puddle of sin like the rest of us, God stuck out His Arm back through time from the Cross and kept her from falling in the mud puddle – but if it wasn’t for God’s positive action of reaching out across time from the Cross and holding her from falling, she would have fallen. This is called “grace”, and is what the Angel Gabriel was referring to when he greeted Mary at the Annunciation with the words, “Hail! Full of grace! The LORD is with thee. Blessed art thou among women.” Luke 1:28

Full of grace means FULL. OF. GRACE. How full is full? Full is totally full. To the brim. Full does not mean half-full or mostly-full. Full means full. Mary was FULL OF GRACE.

And because Mary was FULL of grace, as we know directly from the inerrant words of the Gospel of Luke, there was absolutely no room for sin. Mary didn’t sin because God her Savior had filled her with grace and therefore she just COULDN’T sin. Most of us reading this have a tiny taste of what this is like. For example, I’m guessing that everyone reading this would be incapable of killing a baby. We just COULDN’T do it. No matter what threat was made against us, no matter what the adverse consequences to our own lives might be, we would take any adverse consequence before killing a baby. We are simply incapable of performing that act. Why? What is that internal force of energy that prevents us from committing acts of evil even when under intense duress and threat? It is grace. Pure and simple.

Sadly, most of us have a little grace, but are not in any way FULL of grace. I am personally much closer to being full of **** than of grace (which many of you have already pointed out to me – thank you very much), hence the daily, persistent, repeated sinning on my part. And I suspect it is a similar situation with you, dear reader, with the grace-to-**** ratio being much higher for you than for me. I really am quite full of ****. With Mary there was no **** because God her Savior had FILLED her with grace, and thus there was no room for ****, and thus there was no sin. It’s really just 2nd grade math if you think about it. But WHY? Why was it essential for Mary to be sinless and sinless from the moment of her conception? That’s where the science comes in.

There are two phases to Mary’s existence. The first phase was from the moment of her conception until the Annunciation, which is when Jesus was conceived in her womb. The second phase was from that moment of Jesus’ conception forward for all eternity. Each phase has its own physiological delight attached to it which required Mary to be a sinless vessel for Our Lord.

First, the pre-Annunciation period. As it has been discovered just within the last few decades, all baby girls have all of the eggs that are ever going to be in their ovaries fully formed not just at birth, but fairly early in their fetal development phase. Unlike men who are continuously producing new sperm, a woman’s eggs aren’t created and formed with each menstrual cycle. All that is happening during a cycle is that an egg, which has been fully formed in a woman’s body since she was a pre-born fetus, is released into the reproductive tract. What this means theologically is that the egg containing the 23 chromosomes that God would miraculously fertilize with 23 chromosomes that He miraculously supplied (including a Y chromosome) to become the Word Made Flesh, Jesus Christ, was physically present inside Mary’s body from the time that Mary was inside of her mother’s womb. That egg, and those chromosomes, that physical constituent of Our Blessed Lord was present inside of Mary’s body, waiting to be . . . if I may use the word . . . consecrated. The word consecrate, when broken into its Latin components means:

Con: With
Secr: Holy
Ate: Territory of a Ruler

And so, Mary was, from the time she was inside St. Anne’s womb, already carrying a portion of Our Lord’s physicality, namely 23 of His chromosomes. And thus Mary was, from her very beginning, already a proto-tabernacle, already the Ark of the New Covenant, carrying within her what would be consecrated into The Law Incarnate, The High Priest, and The Bread of Life – just like the Old Ark, except perfected and fully fulfilled as God Incarnate. And as we know from the book of Exodus, the Old Ark had to be “perfect”. And thus, the Ark of the New Covenant was TRULY perfect, except this perfection was a perfection that only God Himself could accomplish: the perfection of Mary, full of grace and thus saved from all sin, including Original Sin.

The second phase is actually broken into two sub-phases. The first sub-phase is when Mary was pregnant with Jesus and His entire body was inside of hers.

The second phase is that phase from the time of Jesus’ birth forward into all eternity. Jesus is STILL physically inside of Mary in a unique way. It was discovered just a few short years ago that immune cells pass from a pre-born child to the mother across the placenta. Not only do these immune cells, which are the child’s and thus carry the exclusive and complete DNA of the child, pass across the placenta, but they persist in the mother’s body for the rest of her life. A woman who has carried a son has immune cells with Y-chromosomes in her bloodstream that can now be filtered out of her blood and observed. Female children also pass cells to their mothers.

Thus, a woman truly does carry her children around inside of her, with their DNA coursing through her heart, for the rest of her life. That isn’t just a sentiment – it is a physiological fact.

Thus, Mary continued and continues to this day to be a perpetual, living physical tabernacle of her Son, as she carries cells with His DNA in her bloodstream. And so now we see why Mary was and had to be filled with grace and thus saved from the stain of sin from the moment of her conception eternally forward – because she was and is a perpetual Ark of the New Covenant.

This also explains why Mary’s body was assumed into heaven immediately at the end of her earthly life, because her body literally contained living cells of Our Lord and thus her body could not remain on earth in physical death to decay in any way.

She simply was afforded the same physical resurrection that all of the faithful will receive, albeit instantaneously for her, given her very special state, both spiritually and physically. This is what is doctrinally referred to as “The Assumption”.

Finally, if you are a quasi-Christian Protestant-pagan reading this and it has made you the least bit angry, you need to sit down and ask yourself one excruciatingly simple question: WHY? Why are you so utterly consumed with hatred for the MOTHER. OF. GOD.?

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

The Immaculate Conception, as artistically extrapolated from the image of her Son on the Shroud of Turin.
The Immaculate Conception, as artistically extrapolated from the image of her Son on the Shroud of Turin.

October 23, 2014 at 7:49 am PST
#57  Debbie Douglas - Fraser, Michigan

*WHY not shy

October 23, 2014 at 7:49 am PST
#58  Perry White - Thomson, Georgia

Right off the bat she is wrong. Archeological evidence (or lack of in this case) does not prove anything.
One of the reasons the lack of Christ's bones help prove the resurrection is because the Bible tells us it happened AND there are no bones.
The Bible in no way tells us Mary was assumed, and her bones have not been found. Who says we found Peter's bones? The people who most want it to be Peter's bones, the catholic church. By the way, is there DNA evidence? No. So there is no way to prove whose bones they found.

What about all the other disciples bones? Have they been assumed? What about King David?
Her logic is flawed.

Where is Enoch's body? Was he full of grace? Is he also divine as Mary?

Full of grace does not make her free from original sin. The entire argument is fabricated without any Biblical proof. The Bible does not say Mary was sinless. I got news for you, Mary was a sinner. But she was full of grace in that she believed God's promises, and submitted to His will.

Mary was not the Mother of God. She was the Mother of Jesus who is God, but if she is God's Mother then she is the mother of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. She was the earthly receptacle of the body of the Lord. She is never referred to in the Bible as aving any other role than that.

IF there were any other role for her then I believe we would have at least one reference from Jesus telling us not to bother Him, but to talk to His mother, and then He would listen to our requests. BUT NO, Jesus said No man comes to the Father but by me. If you look at how little is said of Mary in the Bible you MUST ask yourself why the catholic church says so much about her. The short answer is that the catholic church is a pagan religion with christian trappings holding to doctrines that are not mentioned in the Bible and practices which are forbidden.

And please, the shroud of turin is a known fake. Christ gave you a picture of himself in Scripture. Why are you looking for it on shrouds, tortillas, and everywhere else?

Nobody hates the Mother of GOd, because God has no Mother!!!!

But if you wish to worship Mary, a normal human being now deceased, that is your choice. But you better make sure you know why you are doing so. The devil can appear as an angel of light and the Mary apparitions certainly qualify. IN NO PLACE IN THE BIBLE are we told to pray to Mary. She disappears from the pages of Scripture very quickly and is not referrred to by the writers of the New Testament after the history of the crucifixion. Please tell me why the catholic church wishes to worship what we are not told to worship.

Thanks

October 24, 2014 at 8:22 am PST
#59  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

The Assumption of Blessed Mary is more believable than the false assumptions made by Perry. Time to put these false assumptions he makes to rest...

1) That the Bible is the sole pillar and foundation of all Christian truth.
2) That Mary had sin.
3) That Mary was not assumed into heaven.
4) That Catholics believe Mary is divine.
5) That Catholics worship Mary.

#1- The Bible has never been the sole rule of Christian truth nor does it take the place of the Church established by Christ. The Church existed before the Bible and without the Church there would be no Bible. There is no divorce between the two just as there is no divorce between Christ and His bride, the Church. Even within Scripture (1Tim3:15) we are told the Church is the pillar and foundation of the truth. And if Perry believes the Bible contains everything Jesus said or did then perhaps he should reread John 21:25, "There are also many other things that Jesus did, but if these were to be described individually, I do not think the whole world would contain the books that would be written." Uh oh, so much for the false assumption that everything Jesus has done, is doing, or going to do has to be written in the Bible! The truth is, God is not limited or restrained by the short books that make up the Bible, God is omnipresent.

#2- If Perry wants to use the Bible alone to say Mary was a sinner, can he please point out where she sinned? He can't do it because there is no Scripture saying she was a sinner. But on the other hand there is Scripture saying just the opposite, that she was FULL of grace, not lots of grace, or has some grace, but FULL of grace. And how could an angel (also without sin) declare this if not informed by God Himself? This angel was hand picked by God out of the billions upon billions of angels to deliver the sweetest and most important message ever to be given. If an angel, a pure angel in the full light of our Creator can greet Mary as full of grace, then what better example do we have? Mary never reflected sin, she only reflected a perfect love for her Son, and who else besides the Son of God would deserve such a perfect mother? Our Catholic faith honors and respects the mother of our Savior, we don't degrade her or try and minimize her role. Blessed is she among all women, then, now, and forever!

#3- Can Perry please show where Mary was buried in Scripture and where her body decayed in the ground? Of course he can't, that Scripture also does not exist. So by his own standards he can not prove Mary was not assumed into heaven, so he can only assume she was not. Common sense answers the question about Marys assumption...can God do it? Yes! If we had the power to prevent our mothers from decay would we do it? Yes! It really is a no brainer! Would Jesus really leave His Mothers precious body in the ground for some satanic nut job to come along one day and desecrate? Heck No! The truth is that Satan hates the Holy Tabernacle, the one woman among all women that would give herself fully to God, give her flesh and give birth to the incarnate Word made flesh, our salvation, and Satans defeat! Our faith has news for you non believing Protestants...our Lord would never let that stinking, evil, degrading, dark, lieing, cheating, filthy protesting rebellion angel called Satan EVER influence or lay a hand on His mother! My gosh, don't you love your mothers and do everything humanly possible to love and protect her????? Do you really think God would do less than even the greatest of humans? Really???

#4 Perrys assertion that Catholics believe Mary is divine deserves no answer, that is just a made up assumption also.

#5 The Catholic Church does not worship Mary, we honor her as the most blessed creature to ever walk the earth. Perry once again makes a false assumption by mistaken our love for worship. If he can bring forth another creature who ever had greater faith, let him do so now. If he can bring forth a creature whose yes to God was greater than Marys, let him do so now. Go ahead and tell us of a woman who ever carried more. Tell us what woman has ever been given such a miracle of the immaculate conception or the virgin birth! Tell us what mother ever gave her own flesh and blood to a greater Son! Show us a mother who ever held more as she nursed the Savior of the world! Tell us what mother ever had a greater responsibility or one that showed greater care and love than Mary did for her Son! Find me a mother who has ever had her heart pierced more by the pain of watching her Son be mocked, tortured, and crucified! Find me a mother who has ever had more joy than when her Son was ressurected and returned to her! You can't tell me a woman that deserves more honor and respect! We do that because it is more pleasing to God to honor, love and respect than to divide, degrade, and disrespect!

I've got news for ya Perry...how many times a person is mentioned in the Bible isn't the measuring stick for the importance of someone very dear to God, and it sure isnt a measuring stick for Gods love! There is nothing you can say or do that will ever make us honor or love her any less so the best thing you can do is stop with your false assumptions, they carry no weight!

October 29, 2014 at 5:40 am PST
#60  Perry White - Thomson, Georgia

2 Timothy 3:16-17
16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Chris, please notice the words "All" and "complete". I have to ask do you believe the Bible? Or must you have some supposed priesthood interpret it for you? Is it not plain enough? Oh, that's right, the RCC says scripture is a three legged stool with their tradition equally as important as Scripture.

Chris, here is where I give a verse showing Mary was a sinner....
Rom 3:23 2"for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith." Is this clear? "All" have sinned (oh but as Jimmy Aiken says that does not include Mary since God loves His mother. Jimmy also says the verse means "all the wicked who have sinned". This is what we call "adding to Scripture" which will bring damnation on a fella. Please tell Jimmy that God meant "all" which is why He wrote "all"). We won't bother discussing the received by faith thing right now because of course that's not what the Bible means when it says "by faith" right?

Regarding your points:
1. the church began at Pentecost. Jesus said "I will build my church". Catholics do believe in the future tense correct? In John 1 we see that the Word existed eternally so I am not sure why you reverse this. The church had a beginning the Word did not.
There is much Jesus said that was not recorded. You know why? Because He didn't want it recorded. Not sure why you think I believe it was.

2. Sin is common to man. There is no need to prove what is the common condition of mankind. But if you are going to make claims regarding Mary's sinlesness you need some proof. Saying she was full of grace does not mean she is sinless and perfect. Plenty of people were filled with the Holy Spirit but weren't perfect. When Paul says "grace to you" is he imparting perfection? You make the verse say what it doesn't. Nowhere in the Bible is Mary given any special place other than being the blessed Mother of Jesus.

You may want to cover your eyes for this next comment. What did Mary do that was so special? She got pregnant. Wow! That's a first. And RC doctrine even says she felt no pain because her sinlesness required it. So, I would say she had the easiest childbirth in history. Plenty of people were used by God in Scripture to harder stuff. Why does this make her born without original sin? She was used by God in a special way. But she was still a normal person, born a sinner, who had more children with her husband after Christ. We know this because in the Bible Jesus' brother and sisters are mentioned. Oops, sorry adelphos means "cousins" for catholics. Greeks of course, knew it meant...brothers and sisters.
Now, Joseph you guys ignore, but think about it. The poor guy gets married and can never have sex with his wife. You ought to worship him instead of her. He really made a sacrifice! Or maybe he was the first monk??? Hey, the Bible doesn't say but it sure would be convenient for the RCC to believe it. Could help in justifying that whole monastery thing.

3. Again death is normal. Why do I need to prove she died? Everyone dies. You need to prove that she did not die. Let's see the Bible tells us Enoch didn't die. Was he sinless? This mother God loves so much didn't even get mentioned as to what happened to her body. If the RCC knew where Mary's bones were they would dig her up and enshrine her. That might be one reason she can't be found. I mean there were enough pieces of the "true cross" around in medieval times to build Noah a second ark. By what logic are you attempting to prove things that are not mentioned in Scripture happened just because Jesus loved His mother? God loves us all but we all are subject to death. Oh, but Jesus's mother was special so he took real good care of her. Jesus loved Lazarus but he let him die twice. Seriously Chris, you cannot just make up stuff because earthly emotions of love for ones mother require God to do things He has not told us He has done. IF God did all this for Mary why would He not say ONE WORD about it? It's all just catholic conjecture. This is where RCC's go completely off the farm. You have created a religion out of the thin air.

4. What you pray to you, you worship. I notice that the rosary has many more prayers to Mary than Jesus. That you light many more candles to her. That you have many more shrines and cathedrals to her. Websites too. And she seems to pop up all over the world on tortillas and walls and in visions. What's Jesus doing? He never seems to appear to some kids in Fatima. You know, kids make the best witnesses of events. They are so dependable in what they say. Well, maybe yours are. How come Jesus doesn't show up and leave us a message? You say she is Co-redemptrix making her a goddess who can forgive our sins. Outright heresy, my friend. Oh, that's right, the Apostles teach Mary is the path to Jesus who is the path to God in the book of....... Help me out Chris, I can't remember the verse.

Perhaps you have read some of Ligouri's work on Mary? If not you should. I quoted him elsewhere so I won't do it again but that dude worships Mary most seriously.

I do like how RCCs like to separate worship into categories. Oh sure, you only venerate Mary a little. Right. Just for fun I googled for pictures of the pope bowing. Guess what? He bows in front of Mary quite a bit. Not one picture bowing in front of Jesus. But I guess he just venerates her a lot huh? I have been listening to Catholic Radio for several months and I got to say you guys sure do worship Mary a lot. Oops, I mean venerate. It's as if Jesus doesn't even exist. Oh sure, He is there in the background waiting on his mother to give him an order. I read that in the book of ..... shoot, I forgot which book again. Where is that verse that tells us we should pray to Mary? Can you remind me?

I never said that the number of times someone is mentioned determines their importance. That's ridiculous. BUT my news for you would be that when the Bible says little or nothing about a person it is very dangerous to start making up doctrines and beliefs just because Jesus loved His mother, or you love yours, or you just think it could happen because God can do anything He wants to so He surely would have done what a bunch of pseudo priests say He did. If you cannot see that the safe ground is to believe what God has revealed to us versus what He hasn't, then you leave yourself open to all sorts of heresy. The reason we don't believe in Mary's sinlesness, redemption capabilities, assumption and super duper channel to Jesus is BECAUSE THE BIBLE NEVER TEACHES IT! So, why do you believe it?

October 31, 2014 at 10:01 am PST
#61  Debbie Douglas - Fraser, Michigan

Now, Joseph you guys ignore, but think about it. The poor guy gets married and can never have sex with his wife. You ought to worship him instead of her. He really made a sacrifice! Or maybe he was the first monk??? Hey, the Bible doesn't say but it sure would be convenient for the RCC to believe it. Could help in justifying that whole monastery thing.

St. Joseph was an elderly man....he was a widow with children.

I would guess that the error the Protesters churches of allowing/encouraging contraception is what makes you, Perry put such emphasis on sex for pleasure first.

A quick search here at this website has this to say of Mary:

To begin with, the Protoevangelium records that when Mary’s birth was prophesied, her mother, St. Anne, vowed that she would devote the child to the service of the Lord, as Samuel had been by his mother (1 Sam. 1:11). Mary would thus serve the Lord at the Temple, as women had for centuries (1 Sam. 2:22), and as Anna the prophetess did at the time of Jesus’ birth (Luke 2:36–37). A life of continual, devoted service to the Lord at the Temple meant that Mary would not be able to live the ordinary life of a child-rearing mother. Rather, she was vowed to a life of perpetual virginity.

November 6, 2014 at 2:29 pm PST
#62  Debbie Douglas - Fraser, Michigan

Note: Notice how society now objectifies women? How sex has become something used for every and anything else besides what God intended it? The proof is in your statement I quoted above at the top of #61

November 6, 2014 at 2:38 pm PST
#63  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Perry, of course 2 Tim 3:16-17 is true and I believe it, but the question has to be...Why do I believe it? What Scripture was Timothy referring to? Because when the letter to Timothy was written there were no Bibles as we have it today, as a matter of fact, other writings we believe are Scripture weren't even written yet. It took an authority to make the claim that certain writings would be considered Sacred Scripture and binding upon all Christians. Hmm, I wonder who that authority was? Perhaps St. Paul had already told us who was the pillar and foundation of the truth we could rely upon to give us this list (please see 1 Tim 3:15). You see, I do believe in ALL words of Scripture, and we can not be COMPLETE without it, but I also believe in and respect the authority established by God that gave, determined, and preserved that Scripture for me. It wasn't the laity, common Christians as you and me, it wasn't the laity that held councils, and it wasn't the laity that made sure every church was one and in communion with one another on this new Scripture. The church did not act independent, they acted as one. Yes sir, if you yank out the leg of authority, the magisterium of the Church, there is zero, 'notta, not one way to accept any NT Scripture as being the authentic Word of God and that the table of contents is complete and accurate!

PS...What you do is a critical error by inserting the word "alone" into your translation of 2 Timothy 3:16-17. It wasn't Scripture alone in the OT, and its not Scripture alone in the NT. God's authority has always been present and visable, and as Christ said..."I will not leave you as orphans." This is why Christ established a visible church with a visible authority. I mean really, do we send our children to school, pass out books without teachers and tell our children they are on their own??? We are the Children of God and its laughable to think He wouldn't leave us a teaching authority when our puny human inttelect is smart enough to know that books without teachers = chaos. For Bible alone folks, there is nothing but chaos. A prime example...what I like to call 30,000+1...check out this website from a poster on another blog on here Perry, its yrm.org. Just another example of men undermining God's authority with the Bible alone concept. What seperates you from them when they are probably just as intellegent and probably just as well intended? Are they the pillar and foundation of the truth St. Paul was referring too? I say no, because their church was founded by a couple men 2000 years after Christ founded His. Their Church is built around these mens interpretation of the Bible, they are doing what every other Protestant founder is doing, claiming they are the truth and setting themselves up as ambassadors and shephards of God's flock. They are another example of the secular setting themselves up as pastors of souls. Who sent them? Who appointed them with such an enormous responsibility? Just like the thousands of other churches who claim they too are the true church, they have no direct mission from God, either immediate or ordinary, they are not apostolic and their mission is their own.

God bless everyone and may the peace and love of Jesus Christ be with you.

November 8, 2014 at 5:48 am PST
#64  Perry White - Thomson, Georgia

Debbie

Where does the Bible record Joseph's age????

God created sex for procreation and pleasure. The RCC makes it only for procreation. It has to make sure there are plenty of little catholics running around for the future. Your nuns and priests sure aint doing the job. Who is it that is always talking about guilt regarding sex? Catholics. Who is it that has all the hangups about who is supposed to do it and who is not? That would be catholics.

The Bible condemns sex outside of marriage but not inside it.

PW

November 17, 2014 at 1:27 pm PST
#65  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Wow Perry, where does it say in Scripture sex is suposed to be selfish and only about our own pleasure? Where in Scripture is birth control OK? The nuns and priests are doing a great job imitating the celibacy of Christ, and St. Paul.

Debbie, you are so right in what you say in post #62. I never realized this until I came back to my faith and saw the secular world for what it is. It is driven into our heads by society as men to objectify women, every where we turn there it is, commercials, TV shows, magizines, billboards, cheerleaders, just every where! Women are beautiful and precious, and their bodies are the Temple of God, not objects of pleasure as Perry implies. I would imagine Perry and Margeret Sanger would get along great.

November 17, 2014 at 6:05 pm PST
#66  Perry White - Thomson, Georgia

Chris

First, i dont think I will bother discussing anything with you since you are twisting what I have said.

Second you must be a first class jackass for attempting to compare anything I have said as supportive of murder of the unborn or euthanasia policies.

I will accept your apology or you and I will not be conversing any longer.
Really, you should be ashamed of yourself hurling a charge like that at me. I have no problem with a heated discussion but you are throwing an accusation at me not supported by anything I have said. I have never called you names or made such charges against you. I have said much against your Catholic faith, but nothing I have said has marred your beliefs as much as what you just did.

November 19, 2014 at 7:56 am PST
#67  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Perry, funny how you twist the teachings of the Catholic Church to whatever you feel like then your the one who cries for an apology when someone might misunderstand you. It isn't just this blog but others as well. Your statement about the Catholic Church teaching on sex is to make sure there are plenty of little catholics to run around for the future is nothing short of a lie and rude. Thats why I said the things I did. You have no clue what our faith teaches about sex, you just get on here and run your mouth about what you do not know...so deal with it!

I'm very correct about you and Sanger, you both misrepresented what the Catholic Church teaches about sex, and you both have hatred for our faith! And I have not called you names either. You need to understand when you get on here and say things against my faith you are saying things about me, my faith is who I am, there is no seperation, it is my life, my love for God, and you try and trample upon it just about every post you make! I know a whole lot of Protestants and none of them act like you, they are kind and respect the Catholic Church! Your no different than Ed and Dick, it is clear that you have the same hatred of all things Catholic. This blog is about Blessed Mary yet you just can't help but send it in a thousand anti Catholic directions.

November 19, 2014 at 8:01 pm PST
#68  Kade Palmer - Portland, North Dakota

Tim Staples,

Sorry, this is not on the topic of Mary matters but my dad who is a non-Catholic gave me a book called "The Pursuit of God/The Pursuit of Man" By A. W. Tozer.

I don't know anything about it.

Should I read it?

November 21, 2014 at 9:29 am PST
#69  Debbie Douglas - Fraser, Michigan

Perry,

We Catholics ought to worship St. Joseph instead of "her". I'm thinking there will be hell to pay for that one Perry. Might want to consider getting on your knees and begging Our Lord for forgiveness for disparaging His Mother that way and for perpetuating the lie that we Catholics "worship" anyone but God.

And you may want to consider taking a closer look at the "faith" you hold dear. Maybe help clean-up the 20,000 plus denominations which don't agree on everything which you conveniently dismiss as it being only small stuff which divides you....yet you Protesters can't find it in your hearts to be charitable to your fellow Catholic Christians with the same respect. Why don't you hop on over to a Protestant site and argue with them in respect to "once saved, always saved" or talk to your people who like to cluck like chickens , roar like lions and handle snakes during "worship" service.

November 23, 2014 at 8:06 pm PST

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