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Mary, the mother of God.

Fundamentalists are sometimes horrified when the Virgin Mary is referred to as the Mother of God. However, their reaction often rests upon a misapprehension of not only what this particular title of Mary signifies but also who Jesus was, and what their own theological forebears, the Protestant Reformers, had to say regarding this doctrine.

A woman is a man’s mother either if she carried him in her womb or if she was the woman contributing half of his genetic matter or both. Mary was the mother of Jesus in both of these senses; because she not only carried Jesus in her womb but also supplied all of the genetic matter for his human body, since it was through her—not Joseph—that Jesus "was descended from David according to the flesh" (Rom. 1:3).

Since Mary is Jesus’ mother, it must be concluded that she is also the Mother of God: If Mary is the mother of Jesus, and if Jesus is God, then Mary is the Mother of God. There is no way out of this logical syllogism, the valid form of which has been recognized by classical logicians since before the time of Christ.

Although Mary is the Mother of God, she is not his mother in the sense that she is older than God or the source of her Son’s divinity, for she is neither. Rather, we say that she is the Mother of God in the sense that she carried in her womb a divine person—Jesus Christ, God "in the flesh" (2 John 7, cf. John 1:14)—and in the sense that she contributed the genetic matter to the human form God took in Jesus Christ.

To avoid this conclusion, Fundamentalists often assert that Mary did not carry God in her womb, but only carried Christ’s human nature. This assertion reinvents a heresy from the fifth century known as Nestorianism, which runs aground on the fact that a mother does not merely carry the human nature of her child in her womb. Rather, she carries the person of her child. Women do not give birth to human natures; they give birth to persons. Mary thus carried and gave birth to the person of Jesus Christ, and the person she gave birth to was God.

The Nestorian claim that Mary did not give birth to the unified person of Jesus Christ attempts to separate Christ’s human nature from his divine nature, creating two separate and distinct persons—one divine and one human—united in a loose affiliation. It is therefore a Christological heresy, which even the Protestant Reformers recognized. Both Martin Luther and John Calvin insisted on Mary’s divine maternity. In fact, it even appears that Nestorius himself may not have believed the heresy named after him. Further, the "Nestorian" church has now signed a joint declaration on Christology with the Catholic Church and recognizes Mary’s divine maternity, just as other Christians do.

Since denying that Mary is God’s mother implies doubt about Jesus’ divinity, it is clear why Christians (until recent times) have been unanimous in proclaiming Mary as Mother of God.

The Church Fathers, of course, agreed, and the following passages witness to their lively recognition of the sacred truth and great gift of divine maternity that was bestowed upon Mary, the humble handmaid of the Lord.

Posted By:  Posted on 4/3/2012 9:11:41 AM Replies (3)

Showing 1-3 of total 3 Replies                                                             Page 1
  1. On 4/30/2015 4:07:10 PM GeoCook Said:

     I see the same problem here that many Catholic’s use when quoting Scripture – taking things out of context. Just because a certain word is included in a verse doesn’t mean that verse supports your belief. 

    You cite several special events (THE VISITATION, THE TRULY BLESSED, THE TRUE FAMILY OF JESUS) that occurred but none actually state that we are to venerate Mary more than anyone else. Paul was a special writer. Are we to venerate him as well? How about Peter (oh yeah, he was elevated to pope by Pope Damasus around 379 AD). How about James? Philip or Bartholomew? These were men who were able to bring the church that Christ died for into the world. Perhaps you do pray to them but we in the Church of Christ do not. We pray to God through Jesus Christ, our sole mediator.

    You use Luke 11 to show that she is blessed. We see that Jesus is correcting the lay person, the “certain woman?” Your ability to see what is not there leaves me puzzled.
    Interestingly, we are using the same verses to prove opposite positions. Reviewing our use of Luke 11:27-28 I see it is not Jesus who said “Blessed, nor one of his apostles. It was a woman in the crowd. Jesus then corrects her when he said “rather” (instead of Mary) the blessed are those who hear and obey. I agree with Christ, that Mary is NOT blessed more than others. 
    I’m not going to address all the other items you raised as our subject is veneration of Mary. If you wish to present them one at a time in this forum we will address them.
    I understand your church has invented a doctrine unsupported by Scripture, one using Pagan mentality to produce statues and prayers to one who was a good, decent Jewish girl who provided the human birth needed by our Savior!  That she was special is not in dispute. We question elevating her to godlike status.

  2. On 4/27/2015 9:14:23 AM George Pierson Said:

    Should we regard with great respect; revere the mother of our Lord? Yeah.
    You think God had nothing to do with it since it involves the very person who gave birth to the mother of the Lord?
    The Protestants believe that any great respect equals worship, regard, or treat (someone or something) as a god.
    It is not just her womb that is "eternally virgin"; it is the entire person of Mary that is eternally virgin. That is why we call her the Blessed Virgin Mary.
    (Luke 1:39-45)
    Mary set out at that time and went as quickly as she could into the hill country to a town in Judah. She went into Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. Now it happened that as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She gave a loud cry and said, “Of all women you are the most blessed, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. Why should I be honored with a visit from the mother of my Lord? (2 Samuel 6:9) Look, the moment your greeting reached my ears, the child in my womb leapt for joy. (2 Samuel 6:14) Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.”
    Notice that it was through the Holy Spirit and not a personal opinion of one person.
    Is Jesus now contradicting the Holy Spirit in the following passage? I would point out that not only did Mary hear the Word of God, but kept it for nine months in her womb, through the Holy Spirit.
    (Luke 11:27-28) (SEE: Luke 1:46-56)
    It happened that as he was speaking, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said, “Blessed the womb that bore you and the breasts that fed you!” However, he replied, “More blessed still are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”
    (Matthew 12:46-50; Mark 3:31-35; Luke 8:19-21)
    (SEE: Matthew 15:1-9; Mark 7:1-13)
    He was still speaking to the crowds when suddenly his mother and his brothers arrived, standing outside, anxious to have a word with him and sent in a message asking for him. A crowd was sitting around him at the time someone said to him, “Your mother, brothers, and sisters are standing outside and they want to speak to you.” However, to the man who told him this Jesus replied, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” In addition, stretching out his hand towards his disciples and looking at those sitting in a circle around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
    Mary did the will of the Father.
    1 Corinthians 11:2
    [ Head Coverings ] I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions just as I handed them on to you.1 Corinthians 11:1-3 (in Context) 1 Corinthians 11(Whole Chapter) Other Translations
    Galatians 1:14
    I advanced in Judaism beyond many among my people of the same age, for I was far more zealous for the traditions of my ancestors.Galatians 1:13-15 (in Context) Galatians 1 (Whole Chapter) Other Translations
    Colossians 2:8
    See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ.Colossians 2:7-9 (in Context) Colossians 2 (Whole Chapter) Other Translations
    2 Thessalonians 2:15
    So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by our letter.2 Thessalonians 2:14-16 (in Context) 2 Thessalonians 2 (Whole Chapter) Other Translations
    2 Thessalonians 3:6
    [ Warning against Idleness ] Now we command you, beloved, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to keep away from believers who are living in idleness and not according to the tradition that they received from us.2 Thessalonians 3:5-7 (in Context) 2 Thessalonians 3 (Whole Chapter) Other Translations
    Do you honestly think that the Church and true devotees cannot tell the difference between an apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima, and what someone claims to see in a potato?
    While you are pointing your finger at the Catholic Church, why not look at what the Reformation did since October 31, 1517. Protestants contradict God, the Church, the Bible, and each other, but are too blind to admit it. In fact, not only do you all make excuses, but also you encourage it.

  3. On 4/27/2015 1:24:58 AM GeoCook Said:

    I’m going to reduce your well written but lengthy tome to one issue: Should we venerate Mary?

    As the story goes, the Vatican was “deluged” with requests from Catholics desiring the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception be formalized. This was accomplished by Pope Pius IX in 1854. He was “highly devoted to the Blessed Virgin” and hoped to inspire others as well.

    Sounds suspiciously like a popular doctrine is made official by a pope predisposed to do so. Normally one would expect the process to work the other way – God selects a doctrine and man obeys.   

    In any case, Catholics deify Mary and her body parts to the consternation of non-Catholics. Her womb is blessed and considered “eternally virgin.”

    Some support for this is found in:
    Luke 11:27-28 (KJV)
    And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.
    Notice, it is not Jesus who calls Mary blessed but “a certain woman.” Jesus corrects her and says, “they who
    hear the word of God and keep it” are more blessed than his own mother. We agree with Jesus, the Catholic Church places too much emphasis on Mary and not enough on following the word of God.
    Mary was a decent devoted Jewish girl who was selected by God to bear His son. Nothing more, nothing less.
    In the gospel of Matthew (Mt 12:46-50) we see the episode where Mary is outside wanting to speak to her son.
    Christ points out how he is busy and puts his ministry ahead of his mother. By asking her to wait is not
    dishonoring his mother. Nor is this an example of the super-exalted reverence that is bestowed on her by your

    Adoration of Mary was never suggested by anyone inspired by the Spirit of God. I am aware you accept Church
    Tradition in lieu of Scripture. Perhaps that is why followers seem excessive in their veneration of Mary. They
    travel hundreds, thousands of miles to visit out of the way locations to view her image in everything from potato
    skins to tree bark. How do they know it’s not Mary but the likeness of Sarah or Rachel?

    All this in spite of the fact the apostles often beseeched followers of Christ to avoid accepting anything other
    than what they wrote.
    Jude 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. (See 2 Tim 2-2; 1 Tim 6:3-4 )

    Notice, it does not say, “It is all right to teach something else after a few hundred years.” It does not say,
    “Hold fast for a thousand years.” It does not say, “Now I praise ye that ye remember me in most things and keep
    the ordinances until 1048, 1914 or 2002.” The only period of time specified in the New Testament refers to the
    second coming of Christ. These words are applicable from the day they were written to the time our Lord and
    Savior returns to claim his church.

    Acts 2:42
    And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and
    in prayers.

     Rather than continuing in the apostle’s doctrine you have decided to add the “Tradition” of deifying Mary,
    something no one did before the Roman Catholic Church decided it wanted to venerate and pray to her.
    Praying in front of a statue of Mary is praying to an idol (I know, it’s not Mary herself but a replica to remind
    you, etc., etc.)
    I see no difference between praying in front of a statue of Mary and praying in front of a golden calf. We agree she is the mother of Jesus (God among us) but where Jesus did not venerate her, neither should we. We find the deifying of Mary repulsive and offensive and chose to not participate in this unholy practice.


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