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Honoring Mary

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  • Honoring Mary

    Sin entered the world through the actions of a woman.
    When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.
    Genesis 3:6 ESV
    God used a woman to bring the Redeemer into the world to atone for sin.
    Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
    Matthew 1:18-21 ESV
    Certainly we should honor her for her faith and her willingness to be used by God. Here is how Elizabeth responded when Mary visited her.
    And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!”
    Luke 1:41-42 ESV
    Here is Mary’s response.
    And Mary said,
    “My soul magnifies the Lord,
    and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
    for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
    For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
    for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
    and holy is his name.”
    Luke 1:46-49 ESV
    But is it possible that some people give her more honor than she deserves? In the quote above she considered herself blessed because of what God had done for her, not because of any innate goodness she possessed. But some have gone beyond this and claimed that she was somehow inherently greater than anyone else who ever lived. An article on Catholic Online begins with these words.

    Mary, also known as St. Mary the Virgin, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Mary, Mary Mother of God or the Virgin Mary is believed by many to be the greatest of all Christian saints. The Virgin Mother “was, after her Son, exalted by divine grace above all angels and men.”

    Mary is venerated with a special cult, called by St. Thomas Aquinas, hyperdulia, as the holiest of all creatures. The main events of her life are celebrated as liturgical feasts of the universal Church.

    Mary the Blessed Virgin
    Jesus would certainly not have agreed with this.
    As he said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!”

    But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”
    Luke 11:27-28 ESV
    The Bible only records one command given by Mary.
    His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
    John 2:5 ESV
    This took place at the wedding at Cana where Jesus turned water into wine. If we want to honor Mary we should not give her titles such as Queen of heaven or Mother of God, or pray to her, but obey her command to do whatever her Son, Jesus, tells us to do.

    Mary has supposedly appeared to many people and given them commands. Perhaps her most well known appearances are the ones at Guadalupe, Mexico, in 1531, at Lourdes, France, in 1858, and at Fatima, Portugal, in 1917, but there have been many more. You can learn about some of them here: marypages.com. Are these really appearances of Mary or is there some other explanation? Before you decide I suggest that you read this: Queen of All. Notice what is said on page 11.

    Testing the Spirits Those who are familiar with the Word of God know that we are to be cautious when dealing with alleged heavenly visitors. The apostle John reminds us: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God” (1 John 4:1).

    The apostle Paul adds this warning: “For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness” (2 Corinthians 11:14, 15). Furthermore, the New Testament repeatedly warns of deception, in the name of Christ, in the last days. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect (Matthew 24:24). Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons (1 Timothy 4:1).

    The principal way to test these reported “Messengers From Heaven” is to test their messages with the Bible. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).
    What do you suppose Mary thinks of these attempts to honor her in ways that contradict the Bible? Jack Chick wrote a tract in which he speculated about what her response might be.

    Why Is Mary Crying?

    I don’t agree with everything Jack Chick says, and I even disagree with some of the statements in this tract, but I believe it gives a good idea of how Mary feels about some of the ways we “honor” her.
    Clyde Herrin's Blog

  • #2
    Originally posted by theophilus View Post
    I don’t agree with everything Jack Chick says, and I even disagree with some of the statements in this tract
    I have zero respect for Chick and would never dream of using anything by him as a source.
    Comment>

    • #3
      There is only One mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus. 1 Timothy 2:5
      What about this is everyone missing? Pray to Mary, go to hell. Simple.
      Comment>

      • #4
        I think we've just defiled Mary with praying to her. We're just honouring her because she's the one from whose womb, the king of the world had entered the world.
        Comment>

        • #5
          Originally posted by Origen View Post
          I have zero respect for Chick and would never dream of using anything by him as a source.
          I agree that a lot of his beliefs are wrong yet some of his tracts accurately explain the way of salvation and are interesting enough that people are likely to read them.
          Clyde Herrin's Blog
          Comment>

          • #6
            Originally posted by theophilus View Post
            I agree that a lot of his beliefs are wrong yet some of his tracts accurately explain the way of salvation and are interesting enough that people are likely to read them.
            That was his early stuff and I agree that was much better.

            Comment>

            • #7
              I've always been taught that Mary, the mother, is the mother of all, and we should pay respects as such. She looks out for everyone, which says a lot because whenever I was a kid growing up, especially in class, the teachers always held more regard for Mother Mary, compared to Jesus or God. I've always wondered about this, but I guess I never got the time to ask. But I think it's because kids always listen to their mother, and if you ask Mary for help, you can always count on Her talking to God or Jesus about it. But then again, I'm never really the religious type, and I guess that's the assumption that I have made through the years. I don't think I'm right, but I always like to believe that that's really what happens behind the scenes.
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              • #8
                When Catholics ask Mary to pray for them, is it advisable since Mary died long time ago and she has no powers over the dead or those who are alive? I believe that Mary was like any other person and should not be honoured that much. We should direct our prayers only to God through Jesus Christ and not anybody else. Others act like they do worship her, which is not advisable.
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Russell Lee View Post
                  There is only One mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus. 1 Timothy 2:5
                  What about this is everyone missing? Pray to Mary, go to hell. Simple.
                  And yet just prior to this Paul writes:

                  “1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men,
                  2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way.
                  3 This is good, and it is acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour”

                  Is Paul contradicting himself?
                  Comment>

                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Francis View Post
                    When Catholics ask Mary to pray for them, is it advisable since Mary died long time ago and she has no powers over the dead or those who are alive? I believe that Mary was like any other person and should not be honoured that much. We should direct our prayers only to God through Jesus Christ and not anybody else. Others act like they do worship her, which is not advisable.
                    Mary is alive in heaven.

                    Mary is righteous and James says “The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective” (Jas 5:16)

                    Catholics do not worship Mary.

                    There is whole thread on this:
                    Christian Forums -Christforums
                    Comment>

                    • #11
                      Originally posted by theophilus View Post
                      Jesus would certainly not have agreed with this.
                      As he said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!”

                      But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”
                      Luke 11:27-28 ESV
                      Do you think that Mary did not keep the word of God?

                      Elizabeth said to Mary:
                      “And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord." (Lk 1:45)





                      Comment>

                      • #12
                        Why do Catholics (& Orthodox honour Mary above all other creatures?

                        The simple answer is that because God did.

                        I’ll take three topics (there are more).

                        The Incarnation
                        The Incarnation was promised by God:
                        “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” (Gen 3:15)

                        In Luke 1:26-38 we read of the most important encounters in the history of the world when the Angel Gabriel announces to Mary:
                        “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.” (Lk 1:31).

                        This son was God’s Son:
                        “God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law” (Gal 4:4).

                        This son was the Word made flesh:
                        “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (Jn 1:14)

                        God’s plan for our salvation was no accident but prepared from the beginning. His choice of Mary was planned from the beginning.

                        In God’s plan of salvation he picked out certain people to have a special role. Noah, Abraham, Moses, David and others. God chose them, though they had to freely accept their role, and God gave them special graces to fulfil that role. Mary is another such person and we know she was given great grace. The angel Gabriel addressed her as “full of grace”. Yet Mary was given an even greater role that the others, the unique role of bearing the Son of God in her womb.

                        She was chosen by the Father to bear His only begotten Son. In that exalted role, Mary is the first person in all history to receive and accept Christ as her Saviour. You and I are called to enthrone the Lord in our hearts and lives, to follow her example in doing so. Early in Christian history she is called "the first of the redeemed".


                        Mother of God
                        "The Holy Virgin is the Mother of God (Theotokos) since according to the flesh she brought forth the Word of God made flesh" (Council of Ephesus, 431 AD)

                        The early centuries of Christianity were marked by controversies over the nature of Jesus Christ. Was he God? Was he man? Was he born human and became God?
                        The definition of Mary as Theotokos (literally “God bearer”) at the Council of Ephesus in 431 was made in response to a fifth century heresy called Nestorianism which said that Mary did not carry God but only carried Christ’s human nature in her womb.

                        Nestorians claimed that Mary did not give birth to a unified person but tried to separate Jesus’ human nature from his divine nature, creating two separate persons, one human and one divine in a loose affiliation.

                        But a woman carries a person in her womb, not just a human nature. Mary carried, and gave birth to, the person of Jesus Christ, and that person was God, the second person of the Trinity.

                        This does not mean Mary is older than God, or that she is the source of her Son’s divinity. She is the Mother of God in that she carried in her womb, and gave birth to, a divine person – Jesus Christ, God “in the flesh”

                        The definition of Ephesus was not to glorify Mary but to affirm that Jesus’ two natures – divine and human were united in one divine person, “truly God and truly man” (Chalcedonian Creed)

                        If we do not accept that what Jesus did and experienced in his humanity was experienced by God (the Son) then we cannot say that God died on the cross and we are not redeemed; we cannot say that God shed his blood for us and our sins are not forgiven.


                        The logic is:
                        Jesus is God
                        Mary is the mother of Jesus
                        Therefore Mary is the mother of God

                        Holiness
                        Salvation is not just being raised up from sin. It is being raised up to glory to share the in life of God, to an intimate union with God.

                        “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, that through these you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of passion, and become partakers of the divine nature.” (2Pet 1:3-4).

                        This is a gift from God - grace, the grace that only Jesus can give.

                        “Be holy because I am holy”.
                        How holy is God? – 100%

                        “Be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect”
                        How perfect is our heavenly Father? – 100%

                        We must be 100% holy and perfect without even the slightest hint of a shadow of a spot or wrinkle if we are to be united with an all holy God. Pretence (covering up) will not do. We must be totally purified, full of grace.

                        When Gabriel greeted Mary he said Chaire Ketcharitomen, which is often badly translated as Hail, favoured one.
                        Kecharitomene is the perfect passive participle of the Greek charitoo. It means endowed with grace. The Greek perfect tense denotes something which took place in the past and continues in the present.

                        "It is permissible, on Greek grammatical and linguistic grounds, to paraphrase kecharitomene as completely, perfectly, enduringly endowed with grace." (Blass and DeBrunner, Greek Grammar of the New Testament).

                        Mary was completely, perfectly, enduringly filled with grace from the moment of her conception. She was not just saved from the effects of original sin but was made fit for an intimate union with God, both in this life (she carried God in her womb) and in the life to come.

                        She was totally holy as a fitting mother for Jesus. Why would God allow his only Son to be born by a fallen sinful woman when he could fill her with grace to be holy and pure?

                        As Job said “Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? There is not one.” (Job 14:4).

                        As Mary herself said “he who is mighty has done great things for me” (Lk 1:49)
                        Comment>

                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Bede View Post
                          When Gabriel greeted Mary he said Chaire Ketcharitomen, which is often badly translated as Hail, favoured one.
                          Kecharitomene is the perfect passive participle of the Greek charitoo. It means endowed with grace. The Greek perfect tense denotes something which took place in the past and continues in the present.

                          "It is permissible, on Greek grammatical and linguistic grounds, to paraphrase kecharitomene as completely, perfectly, enduringly endowed with grace." (Blass and DeBrunner, Greek Grammar of the New Testament).

                          Mary was completely, perfectly, enduringly filled with grace from the moment of her conception. She was not just saved from the effects of original sin but was made fit for an intimate union with God, both in this life (she carried God in her womb) and in the life to come.
                          I always find it amusing when people cut and paste the work of others. Why? Let me show you.

                          Note the quote above "It is permissible, on Greek grammatical and linguistic grounds, to paraphrase kecharitomene as completely, perfectly, enduringly endowed with grace." Supposedly it was taken from Blass and DeBrunner, Greek Grammar of the New Testament. The minute I saw it I knew something was wrong. Notice that no page number is given. The reason for that is clear. Blass and DeBrunner never said that. It cannot be found in their grammar. Thus the claims made in regard to the Greek are false.

                          I am always suspicious of those who make claims about Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic or Latin who do not know any of the languages and that (the above example) is the reason why. If someone is going to cut and paste someone else work that person ought to check the sources. I promise I will.
                          Comment>

                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Origen View Post
                            I always find it amusing when people cut and paste the work of others. Why? Let me show you.

                            Note the quote above "It is permissible, on Greek grammatical and linguistic grounds, to paraphrase kecharitomene as completely, perfectly, enduringly endowed with grace." Supposedly it was taken from Blass and DeBrunner, Greek Grammar of the New Testament. The minute I saw it I knew something was wrong. Notice that no page number is given. The reason for that is clear. Blass and DeBrunner never said that. It cannot be found in their grammar. Thus the claims made in regard to the Greek are false.

                            I am always suspicious of those who make claims about Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic or Latin who do not know any of the languages and that (the above example) is the reason why. If someone is going to cut and paste someone else work that person ought to check the sources. I promise I will.
                            How about this that I collected from another forum:

                            Here is what a professor of New testament Greek has to Say about Lk 1:28 (Full of grace) and its implications to the immaculate conception.

                            "The reason why the verb in Ephesians 1:6 does not imply sinless perfection, whereas the form of the same verb in Luke
                            1:28 does so imply, is this: The two verb forms use different stems. Every Greek verb has up to nine distinct stems, each expressing a different modality of the verb's lexical meanings.(FH. W. Smyth, Greek Grammar (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1968), 108-109.) Ephesians 1:6 has the first aorist active indicative form, echaritosen, "he graced, bestowed grace." This form, based on an aorist stem, expresses momentary action,(Blass and DeBrunner, Greek Grammar of the New Testament (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1961), 166. ) action simply brought to pass.(Smyth, sec. 1852:c:1.) It cannot express or imply any fullness of bestowing because "the aorist tense . . . does not show . . . completion with permanent result."(Ibid., sec. 1852:c, note.)

                            Luke
                            1:28 has the perfect passive participle, kecharitomene. The perfect stem of a Greek verb denotes the "continuance of a completed action";(Blass and DeBrunner, 175.) "completed action with permanent result is denoted by the perfect stem."(Smyth, sec. 1852:b.) On morphological grounds, therefore, it is correct to paraphrase kecharitomene as "completely, perfectly, enduringly endowed with grace.


                            Comment>

                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Bede View Post
                              How about this that I collected from another forum:Here is what a professor of New testament Greek has to Say about Lk 1:28 (Full of grace) and its implications to the immaculate conception.

                              "The reason why the verb in Ephesians 1:6 does not imply sinless perfection, whereas the form of the same verb in Luke
                              1:28 [I] does so imply, is this: The two verb forms use different stems. Every Greek verb has up to nine distinct stems, each expressing a different modality of the verb's lexical meanings.(FH. W. Smyth, Greek Grammar (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1968), 108-109.)
                              Let me do these one at a time. I take it you mean A Greek Grammar for Colleges by Herbert Weir Smyth. Is that correct?
                              Comment>
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