Virgin Mary and the Saints


We often think of the progenitor to be greater or equal to that of the offspring. Yet when examining the role of Mary in relationship to Jesus this is clearly not the case.

Mary was a chosen vessel who was given the privilege of supernatural birth and though honored and blessed to bring forth the Son of God she was not even considered the greatest human to ever live even though she served the unique role in birthing/mothering the Son of Man.

As representing those who were still under the old covenant law it was actually the forerunner of Jesus who was given this honorary title, namely John the Baptist and though Mary’s identity is not to be diminished John’s redemptive work would be even  greater by preparing the hearts of the people to receive their Lord and Savior, Luke 7:27-28.

Also according to the biblical text some lady who desired to honor Mary called out in Luke 11: 27-28 saying

“Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.” and in verse 28 Jesus

28 replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”

On another occasion Jesus downplayed the role of His natural mother in contrast to  those to whom He would relate to as His spiritual mothers in the faith, Mt. 12:46-50.

46 While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. 47 Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.”a

48 He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49 Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

Mary has also been mistakenly identified as a perpetual virgin when on many occasions the scriptures make reference to her having both sons and daughters in Mt 12:46-47, John 2:12, John 7:3-10, and Mt. 13:55-56.

55 “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? 56 Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?”

The Catholic’s position on Mary states that she is without sin which is unbiblical and can not be substantiated by the scriptures, 1 John 1:8-10 and Romans 3:23.

23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

In addition to this, Catholics have taken the position  in recognizing papal infallibility which interestingly enough Catholicism for the first 1500 years had not done until the 1800’s under Vatican 1.

Yet biblically speaking Jesus is the only one to whom the scriptures point to as being morally perfected without sin, Hebrews 4:15.

As a result of Catholic tradition, which attributes sinlessness to Mary, it was believed that she was directly translated to heaven without tasting death and there were  only a couple of instances in the bible where this had taken place which included the persons of Enoch and Elijah and therefore there is no mention of Mary’s ascension to heaven in the scripture.

Another issue as related to Mary’s role within Catholicism has extended beyond the boundaries of biblical authority by stating her position as a mediator between man and God which includes the forgiveness of sins and yet in 1 Timothy 2:5 it states

5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,

In Hebrews 7:25 Jesus serves as our intercessor and these functions have not been extended to others under the New Covenant which includes the likes of Mary or the Saints. The scriptures protest to this position.

In summary the biblical text gives a high view of Mary yet with limits and to give her this kind of status puts her on a spiritual plane that is directly in line with Godhood. This is a position that neither the scripture nor the early church adopted during the first 400 years of its history.

So if Mary  was a foundational component or such an important figure then why is she only mentioned only once outside of the gospel accounts?

Also something else that Catholicism has put allot of stock in is its heroes of the faith. I believe that these people are symbolic in that their stories are inspirational as leading exemplary lives that were submitted to the will of God sacrificially but when they are embellished and exalted  with mythical components then they begin to diminish the “One” to whom alone is to be given glory.

God is a jealous God and he will not share his glory with another, Isaiah 42:8.

This concept is one of the first restrictions God gave in his commandments in prohibiting the making of idols or images to be worshipped, Exodus 20: 1-5.

God knows how easily mankind can be deceived and drawn away to seek a mere physical representation over the reality of the unseen God. Even the children of Israel out of a need for religious expression made a golden calf as recorded in Exodus 32, Romans 1:21-23.

After all God had done for them in delivering them from Egypt and then making a covenant with them as a great nation under God they still rebelled anyway in exchanging the glory of God for an inferior image of the creation over the creator.

Is this the same dilemma that is being repeated today within Catholicism after God has bought us out of the slavery of sin by giving us a new covenant in making us His children and heirs of His promises that now we should neglect so great of salvation by substituting the glory of God for the image of religion based upon the parading of statues, embracing of relics, wearing and adornment of iconic medallions like charms, and  the exaltation of mere mortals as demigods.

If this is the case then Catholicism is no different then the devotees that you see in other religions or cults who have this same type of behavior .

Today we see this same phenomena even beyond the boundaries of religion such as when it comes to the personalities and events in conjunction with the cultural venues of society as related to music, art, cinema, sports,  academia, etc,etc. We have a tendency without even knowing it sometimes to elevate people and things beyond their inherent worth or value.

We even see some New Testament examples of this when Paul and Barnabas after healing a man in Lystra was given the status of being gods and were worshipped Acts 14:8-18 and even the Apostle John was tempted to worship an angel in the book of Revelation, Rev. 19:10.

The church is to be in the world and not of it and this very ideal was even communicated to the Israelite community not to be like the other nations around them in  the making of unsanctioned images or idols of which they did anyway by fabricating altars, Asherah poles, sacred stones, images, and even golden ephods Exodus 34:10-17. This behavior was repeated throughout the entire course of the Old Testament and eventually it led Israel into exile and the Diaspora.

Though God commanded the building of the temple and all of it fixtures  he never intended for the temple to be the object of their affection nor was it to be a place for idolatry and yet this was the very sin which they committed in Ezekiel 8.

Sometimes religion forgets that it isn’t the institution but it is the God of the institution that is to be worshipped and honored.

In conclusion when I visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem  I saw something that greatly disturbed me. On the positive side I saw people who perhaps were touching and visualizing out of devotion the only tangible and visible evidence that connected them with the person of their faith. Yet on the other aspect of what I saw were people prostrating themselves on these objects in an obscene kind of passion that appeared sacrilegious. Honestly, only God knows these peoples hearts and my challenge to you is  where is your heart? Is it based firmly in the person and work of Christ or does it have cultish trappings of devotion to a society of religious rules and practices.

Lastly, I would not purposely write these things just for the sake of being confrontational or to hurt my dear Catholic friends. I realize there are people in the Catholic religion that are really born again and this post that I wrote here does not directly apply to them.

Also I can say all this stuff because at one time I too had a form of godliness and denied the power and the reality of God in my own life, 2 timothy 3:5.

I was simply going through the motions without any change of heart and therefore I would encourage you to read my blog on “born again” to see whether or not this is your true spiritual state of being.

Again I pray that I have not just offended you by my words  and  I hope you see it as a positive challenge to affirm the matter of “Truth” which as Christians we are committed and encouraged to pursue.



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