Mary (Mother of Jesus)

 

Introduction   Matt. 1:16-23

 

One of the most important women in scripture undeniable is Mary the mother of our Lord. Important but not as viewed of the world. Religion has adopted an entire belief of falsehood concerning the role Mary plays in our spiritual upbringing. Mary’s life shows how the hand of God moves in his servant’s life and the role God blesses with.

 

 

1.      The Call   (Matt. 1:16-23)

·        Very little is said about Mary prior to the miraculous conception, what sets Mary apart is the Child.

·        Mary was never intended by God or Mary herself to be the focus of the visitation of God.

·        The genealogy’s state that it was Joseph’s descendants that have the real kinship to Christ (Mt. 1:1-16)

  i.      Mary was a young lady a Virgin that was selected by God to bear the Messiah. 

ii.      She had problems her pregnancy and unknown father, God had to visit Joseph. ( vs 20 & 21)  

iii.      Mary was a sinner that needed saving (Luke 1:45-47)

iv.      It is safe to say that Mary was a person that God decided to use and nothing more, she’s human.

v.      Mary was a virgin from Israel, a servant of the most high God (Isaiah 7:14).

vi.      The bible record that the child was the issue not Mary, Herod wanted to worship him. (Mt 2:1-13)

 

 

2.      Mary’s Religion

·        Today we have Mary as the focal point of God’s saving grace, no longer Jesus but Mary.

·        Mary is put as an equal to Jesus or higher by the church.

·        Many believe Mary worship comes from old Babylonian worship of Semiramis.

  i.      God never intended for Mary to save the world, in this case we wouldn’t need Jesus.

ii.      It’s not that Mary put herself in this status but there has been metamorphism of pagan worship.

iii.      This worship is not of God and just changing names to those of Christians does not validate them.

1.      There is none holy save God. All have sinned (Romans 3:23)

2.      Mary was blessed by being chosen to birth God (Emmanuel).

  • Prior to this she was a young Jewish girl, common.
  • Religion now makes her the 4th deity in the godhead? If you worship it is God.
  • For this reason Christianity is against Mary, not her but the worship of Mary (Pagan)
  • People that worship Mary are not right with God, they break the Ten commandments Ex 20
  • It is a worship of devils, False Gods, false doctrine anti Christ (Explain)

 

 

3.      Mary Life

·        Mary was a godly women one that served God and was a willing vessel for the Master.

  i.      Mary was counted as faithful, she suffered that pain of bearing a son that was put to death.

·        We should examine her life and learn from it how to be a faithful steward for God’s Kingdom.

Mary was common after Christ she had family (MT13:54-58 & Acts 1:14-17)  

   i.      There is nothing special about Mary in her; she is one that was blessed to be used of God.

Luke 2:41-49 This shows that Jesus parents are believers and doers of the word, Jesus has a task.

Mary did not have authority above Jesus after all he is God (Matthew 12:46-13:1)

ii.      Mary play a very important role of bearing the Messiah but Jesus grows up and build disciples.

iii.      Like most mothers Mary rises children only to allow them to catch destiny and leave their love.

iv.      Important lesson that Mary teaches us to support ministry at all cost.

v.      John 19:26-27 – Mary at the feet of Jesus

 

_____________________________________________________________________

 

 

Matthew 1:16-23

16 And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.

20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,

23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

 

Luke 1:26-50

26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,

27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.

28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.

30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.

31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.

32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:

33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?

35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.

37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.

38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

39 And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda;

40 And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth.

41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:

42 And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.

43 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?

44 For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.

45 And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.

46 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,

47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.

48 For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.

49 For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.

50 And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.

 

Isaiah 7:14

14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

 

Matthew 2:1-13

2:1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,

2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.

4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.

5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,

6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

7 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, inquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.

8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.

9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.

10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.

12 And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

13 And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.

 

Romans 3:23

23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

 

Luke 11:27-28

27 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.

28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

 

Matthew 13:54-58

54 And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works?

55 Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?

56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?

57 And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.

58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

Acts 1:14-17

14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.

15 And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)

16 Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.

17 For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.

 

Luke 2:41-49

41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover.

42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.

43 And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it.

44 But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance.

45 And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him.

46 And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.

47 And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.

48 And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.

49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?

 

Matthew 12:46-13:1

46 While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him.

47 Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.

48 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?

49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!

50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

 

John 19:26-27

26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!

27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.

 

 Matthew 13:54-58

The carpenter's son. Mark's account (6:3) indicates that some called Jesus "the carpenter," showing that our Lord had learned Joseph's trade. His brethren. (For a detailed discussion of whether these are uterine brothers, half brothers, or cousins, see J. A. Broadus, Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, pp. 310-312, or P. S. Schaff in Lange's Commentary on Matthew, pp. 255-260.) In the absence of any intimation that these brethren are to be regarded in an unusual sense, the common understanding of them as children of Joseph and Mary should be inferred. It seems strongly probable that two of them, James and Judas (Jude), became writers of NT epistles. 56,57. Though Christ's mother and brothers had moved to Capernaum (4:13), his sisters had evidently married and remained at Nazareth (with us). Since Christ's boyhood and early manhood had been undistinguished by any miracles (cf. John 2:11), his fellow townsmen were unable to account for or to accept this new development. Thus Jesus employs the same proverb as before to explain their response (Luke 4:24). 58. Not many mighty works there. Only a few healings (Mark 6:5). Because of their unbelief. Christ's power did not depend on men's faith (cf. John 9:6,36; Luke 7:11-15). However, unbelief prevented many opportunities for miracles inasmuch as not many people came to him.

(from The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1962 by Moody Press)

 

Matthew 13:55

[Is not his mother called Mary, and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?] This insulting question seems to intimate that our Lord's family was a very obscure one; and that they were of small repute among their neighbours, except for their piety.

It is possible that brethren and sisters may mean here near relations, as the words are used among the Hebrews in this latitude of meaning; but I confess it does not appear to me likely. Why should the children of another family be brought in here to share a reproach which it is evident was designed for Joseph the carpenter, Mary his wife, Jesus their son, and their other children? Prejudice apart, would not any person of plain common sense suppose, from this account, that these were the children of Joseph and Mary, and the brothers and sisters of our Lord, according to the flesh? It seems odd that this should be doubted; but, through an unaccountable prejudice, Papists and Protestants are determined to maintain as a doctrine, that on which the Scriptures are totally silent, namely the perpetual virginity of the mother of our Lord. See Matthew 1:25.

(from Adam Clarke's Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Biblesoft)

 

John 19:26; John 19:27; John 19:28-30

 

John 19:26

 

When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!

[The disciple ... whom he loved] See John 13:23.

[Woman] This appellation certainly implied no disrespect. See the notes at John 2:4.

[Behold thy son!] This refers to John, not to Jesus himself. Behold, my beloved disciple shall be to you a son, and provide for you, and discharge toward you the duties of an affectionate child. Mary was poor. It would even seem that now she had no home. Jesus, in his dying moments, filled with tender regard for his mother, secured for her an adopted son, obtained for her a home, and consoled her grief by the prospect of attention from him who was the most beloved of all the apostles. What an example of filial attention! What a model to all children! And how lovely appears the dying Saviour, thus remembering his afflicted mother, and making her welfare one of his last cares on the cross, and even when making atonement for the sins of the world!

 

John 19:27

 

Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.

[Behold thy mother!] One who is to be to thee as a mother. The fact that she was the mother of Jesus would secure the kindness of John, and the fact that she was now intrusted to him demanded of him affectionate regard and tender care.

[From that hour ...] John seems to have been in better circumstances than the other apostles. See John 18:16. Tradition says that she continued to live with him in Judea until the time of her death, which occurred about fifteen years after the death of Christ.

 

John 19:28-30

 

After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.

See the notes at Matthew 27:46-50.

[That the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst] See Psalms 69:21. Thirst was one of the most distressing circumstances attending the crucifixion. The wounds were highly inflamed, and a raging fever was caused, usually, by the sufferings on the cross, and this was accompanied by insupportable thirst. See the notes at Matthew 27:35. A Mameluke, or Turkish officer, was crucified, it is said in an Arabic manuscript recently translated, on the banks of the Barada River, under the castle of Damascus. He was nailed to the cross on Friday, and remained until Sunday noon, when he died. After giving an account of the crucifixion, the narrator proceeds: "I have heard this from one who witnessed it; and he thus remained until he died, patient and silent, without wailing, but looking around him to the right and the left, upon the people. But he begged for water, and none was given him; and the hearts of the people were melted with compassion for him, and with pity on one of God's creatures, who, yet a boy, was suffering under so grievous a trial. In the meantime the water was flowing around him, and he gazed upon it, and longed for one drop of it; and he complained of thirst all the first day, after which he was silent, for God gave him strength" - Wiseman's Lectures, pp. 164, 165, ed.

Verse 30. [It is finished] The sufferings and agonies in redeeming man are over. The work long contemplated, long promised, long expected by prophets and saints, is done. The toils in the ministry, the persecutions and mockeries, and the pangs of the garden and the cross, are ended, and man is redeemed. What a wonderful declaration was this! How full of consolation to man! And how should this dying declaration of the Saviour reach every heart and affect every soul!

(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

 

John 19:25-27

Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.

 

Three women, all named Mary, took their station near the cross, sorrowfully contemplating the one who was so dear to them. The Greek text, however, is rather favorable to the mention of four, the mother's sister (Salome, the mother of John) being noted but left unnamed. If so, these four may be intended to present a sort of contrast to the Roman soldiers. Solicitous for his mother, Jesus gave her into the care of the 'beloved disciple.' His own brethren were not believers at this time. The unity of the Church, which the Lord was bringing into being, was to be spiritual rather than natural (cf. Matthew 12:50). His own (home). If John had a residence in Jerusalem, his acquaintance with the high priest is more readily explained (John 18:16).

(from The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1962 by Moody Press)

 

 

Mary Worship

One of the most blatant displays of the practice of Babylonian paganism is the manner in which the Roman Catholic church permits the worship of the pagan mother goddess under the name of Jesus' mother Mary. Historically, many pagans had been drawn to Christianity, but their avid adoration of the mother goddess Semiramis prevented them from forsaking her worship. Compromising church leaders incorporated the worship of the mother goddess Semiramis in Trinitarian Christianity by simply consolidating all her former names into Mary the mother of Jesus, and worshiped her as the virgin Mary by avowed pagans who professed to be Christians. In Rome, the divinity of Jesus the Christ relied on the very divinity of His mother Mary.

The very features and complexion of the Roman madonna Mary are none other than those of Semiramis, the madonna of Babylon.100 The famed pictures of the virgin Mary were obviously copied from the very same prototype as all other pagan divinities portraying the Babylonian Queen Semiramis.

Until the famed artist Raphael departed somewhat from the beaten track, there was nothing Jewish or even Italian in the madonnas of Rome. The artisans of Trinitarian Christianity consistently represented the madonna with blue eyes and golden hair and a complexion attributed to the goddess queen of Babylon, but not with any of the distinguishing Jewish features that would logically belong to the mother of Jesus.101 If these images of Mary had been intended to represent the mother of Jesus, they would have naturally been cast in a stereotypical Jewish light of dark eyes and raven hair.

Archaeologists concede that the Roman Mary agrees in form and complexion to the madonnas found among ancient Babylonian ruins and throughout the ancient pagan world. In nearly all the lands, the great goddess was described with golden or yellow hair, indicating that there must have been one prototype from which all other pictures were derived. In addition, many of the golden-haired goddesses have the very same epithet applied to them. For instance, Europa, who Jupiter carried away while in the form of a bull, is called "the yellow-haired Europa;" Minerva is called the "blue-eyed Minerva" by Homer, and the "yellow-haired" by Ovid. The huntress Diana, who is commonly identified with the moon, is addressed as the "yellow-haired daughter of Jupiter." Dione, the mother of Venus is herself frequently called "Aurea Venus," the "Golden Venus." The east Indian goddess Lakshmi, the "mother of the universe," is described as having "a golden complexion." Ariadne, the wife of Bacchus, was called the "yellow-haired Ariadne." Even the snake-haired Gorgon Medusa, was celebrated for her beauty and golden hair before she underwent her reptilian transformation. "The Ellewoman," which is the Scandinavian name for the mermaid that figures so prominently in romantic tales of the north, was frequently seen combing her long golden hair. The mermaid of the north was evidently borrowed from the story of Atergatis, the fish goddess of Syria, who was called the mother of Semiramis and sometimes identified with Semiramis herself.

Further evidence that Mary worship evolved from the worship of the pagan Babylonian mother goddess, may be seen in the titles ascribed to Mary (Table 3). Mary is often called the "madonna," which is a translation of a title of the Babylonian goddess.102 In deified form, Nimrod was known as Baal and his wife Semiramis became the female equivalent Baalti, which means "my lady" in English; "mea domina" in Latin; and corrupted into Italian as the well-known "madonna."103 Among the Phoenicians, the mother goddess was known as "the lady of the sea,"104 which is a title eventually applied to Mary although there is no connection between Jesus' mother Mary and the sea. Also, Mary is often called "the queen of heaven,"105 but Mary the mother of Jesus was not, and is not, a queen of heaven. The queen of heaven, however, was a title of the Babylonian mother goddess who was worshipped centuries before the birth of Mary.106 A title by which the Egyptian goddess Isis was known is the "mother of god," later applied to Mary by the Trinitarian Christian clergy of Alexandria, Egypt.107 In fact, Semiramis was worshiped as a fertility goddess because she mothered many pagan gods108 which all represented her god-incarnate son Nimrod. In Ephesus109, where Semiramis was worshiped as the goddess Diana, she was depicted with numerous teats so that she could nurse her myriad of pagan god-incarnate sons (Figure 2).110 Thus, the blasphemous names bestowed on Mary by the pagan papacy have not one shadow of biblical foundation, but they were all present in the Babylonian Mystery religion.

Mary worship was not part of the original Christian faith. Neither Jesus nor His apostles ever hinted at the idea of Mary worship. To the contrary, biblical scriptures imply that Mary did not even believe in the teachings of her son Jesus:

While he [Jesus] was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him. But he replied to the man who told him, "Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?" And stretching out his hand toward 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."

- Apostle Matthew111

And as he [Jesus] said this, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, "Blessed is the womb [of Mary] that bore you, and the breasts [of Mary] that you sucked!" But he said, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!"

- Apostle Luke112

The Catholic Encyclopedia states that no emphasis was placed upon Mary during the first centuries of the church:

Devotion to Our Blessed Lady in this ultimate analysis must be regarded as a practical application of the doctrine of the Communion of Saints. Seeing that this doctrine is not contained, at least explicitly, in the earlier forms of the Apostles' Creed, there is perhaps no ground for surprise if we do not meet with any clear traces of the cults of the Blessed Virgin in the first Christian centuries, the worship of Mary being a later development.

- Roman Catholic Encyclopedia113

Mary was not viewed as a goddess until the early part of the fourth century. Even then, such worship was frowned upon by the church, as evident in the words of Epiphanius (d. 403 A.D.), who denounced the worship of Mary as a goddess and the offering of cakes at her shrine. "She should be held in honor," he said, "but let no one adore Mary."114 Later, Mary worship was not only condoned by the Roman Catholic church, but it was even instituted as an official doctrine at the Council of Ephesus in 431 A.D.

Pagans at Ephesus adopted the name of Christianity and continued a form of mother-goddess worship at the council of Ephesus. They reasoned that they could gain more converts by simply substituting Mary's name for Diana, the pagan goddess of virginity and motherhood. When the Apostle Paul taught in Ephesus, however, no compromise was ever made with this goddess idolatry. This paganism had to be rejected by the people converted to Christianity by the Apostle Paul:

About that time there arose no little stir concerning the Way. For a man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Artemis [Greek name for the Roman goddess Diana], brought no little business to the craftsman. These he gathered together, with the workmen of like occupation, and said, "Men, you know that from this business we have our wealth. And you see and hear that not only at Ephesus but almost throughout all Asia this Paul has persuaded and turned away a considerable company of people, saying that gods made with hands are not gods. And there is danger not only that this trade of ours may come into disrepute but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis may count for nothing, and that she may even be deposed from her magnificence, she whom all Asia and the world worship.

- Luke115

In an attempt to justify the worship of Mary, Roman Catholics quote the blessing of Mary by the angel Gabriel:

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, "Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you!"

- Luke116

"Mary being blessed among women," is no reason to elevate her to a divine station. Centuries earlier, an angel of the Lord bestowed a similar blessing on Jael for killing Sisera, who fought against Israel for twenty years as captain of an army commanded by the king of Hazor:

"Curse Meroz, says the angel of the LORD, curse bitterly its inhabitants, because they came not ... to the help of the LORD against the mighty.

"Most blessed of women be Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, of tent-dwelling women most blessed.... She put her hand to the tent peg and her right hand to the workmen's mallet; she struck Sisera a blow, she crushed his head, she shattered and pierced his temple. He sank, he fell, he lay still at her feet ... there he fell dead.

- Judges117

Thus, the blessing of Mary by the angel Gabriel does not deify her anymore than the angelic blessing of Jael.

Notes

100 Babylon Mystery Religion, pp. 15-29; The Two Babylons, pp. 82-90, 265-267.

101 The Two Babylons, pp. 85-86.

102 MADONNA. Baker's Pocket Dictionary of Religious Terms; Babylon Mystery Religion, p. 18; The Two Babylons, p. 21.

103 The Two Babylons, p. 21.

104 Harper's Bible Dictionary, p. 47; Babylon Mystery Religion, p. 18.

105 QUEEN OF HEAVEN. Baker's Pocket Dictionary of Religious Terms; Babylon Mystery Religion, p. 18.

106 QUEEN OF HEAVEN. Baker's Pocket Dictionary of Religious Terms.

107 Babylon Mystery Religion, p. 18.

108 The Two Babylons, p. 5.

109 DIANA. Baker's Pocket Dictionary of Religious Terms.

110 Babylon Mystery Religion, p. 17; The Two Babylons, p. 29.

111 Matthew 12:46-50.

112 Luke 11:27,28.

113 VIRGIN MARY. The Catholic Encyclopedia.

114 Ibid.

115 Acts 19:24-27.

116 Luke 1:26-28.

117 Judges 5:23-27.

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Mary Worship?

A Study of Catholic Practice and Doctrine

Mary Ann Collins
(A Former Catholic Nun)

June 2001
Revised January 2006

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INTRODUCTION

Jesus said that the truth will set us free. (John 8:32) However, He did not say that the truth would necessarily be easy to accept. It was painful for me to learn the information that I am about to share with you, but it was also liberating and it led to a closer relationship with God.

As a faithful Catholic, and later as a nun, I was devoted to Mary. The prayers and practices were so familiar. They were taught to me by sincere people. I prayed the rosary, including rosary novenas. I wore a Brown Scapular and a Miraculous Medal. (You can read about these things in the Glossary, which is Appendix C.) I visited shrines that honor Mary. I had beautiful statues of Mary. I attended special services where we prayed to Mary and recited a litany of titles honoring her. I read books about apparitions of Mary, and dreamed of visiting Lourdes and Fatima. I participated in processions honoring Mary. A statue of Mary was put on a platform that was decorated with flowers. There were poles on the platform, so that men could carry it. The men walked through the streets, carrying the statue on the platform. We walked behind the statue, singing songs in Mary’s honor.

Was this worship? At the time, that question never occurred to me. Now, looking back on what I did, I believe that it was.

If modern Catholic teachings and doctrines about Mary are true, then they will not be contrary to Scripture, the writings of the Early Fathers, or the decrees of past popes. For a devout Catholic to question these issues and put them to the test can be painful. It certainly was for me. However, it would be far more painful to have God correct us when we face Him on Judgment Day.

LETTING THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
SPEAK FOR ITSELF

I believe in letting people speak for themselves. Therefore my primary sources about Catholic doctrines and history come from the Catholic Church.

First and foremost is the official "Catechism of the Catholic Church" which was written for the purpose of summarizing the essential and basic teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. It was approved by Pope John Paul II in 1992 and the English translation was released in 1994. The latest English edition was printed in 2000. Most of my other sources are either practicing Catholics or else former Catholics whose approach is loving and respectful and who have thoroughly documented their work.

The “Catechism of the Catholic Church ” comes in numerous editions and languages. Because it has numbered paragraphs, statements can be accurately located in spite of the variety of editions. Therefore, when I cite the “Catechism,” I will give paragraph numbers rather than page numbers. That will enable you to find the information in any edition of the book. (Note 1)

Scripture quotations are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible.

If you really want to understand Catholic teaching in the light of Scripture and the history of the Catholic church, then I strongly recommend reading the following two books. The authors are former Catholics who love and respect Catholics. They are gentle and respectful in their approach. (See the Bibliography for information about these books.)

(1) "The Gospel According to Rome: Comparing Catholic Tradition and the Word of God," by James G. McCarthy. This book is easy to read, well documented, objective, and gentle. It is a comprehensive guide to Catholic beliefs, based on Catholic sources. It examines Catholic teachings in the light of Scripture.

(2) "The Church of Rome at the Bar of History" by William Webster. This book compares modern Catholic doctrines with the teachings of the early Church.

For a good overview of Catholicism, I recommend the video "Catholicism: Crisis of Faith". A friend of mine said that in one hour, this video gave him a better understanding of Catholicism than he had received from a college course on the subject. This video is gentle and respectful. An annotated transcript is available on-line. (Information about videos follows the Bibliography.)

WILL THE REAL CATHOLIC CHURCH
PLEASE STAND UP?

When I was in the convent, our mother superior told us about Catholics in Mexico who, in their devotion to Mary, were doing things that we would only do when worshipping God. We were concerned about this. We considered this practice to be unusual and unbalanced. We thought that the American practice of Catholicism was the true thing. However, many years later I realized that if you want to know what something really is, then look at how it behaves when it is in a position of power. In America, Catholics are in the minority. To see the true spirit behind Catholicism, watch what the Catholic Church does in countries where it is in power.

One place where the Catholic Church is strong is Spain, which is known for the Spanish Inquisition. I always thought that the Inquisition was ancient history. However, the last official Spanish execution for heresy occurred in 1826. A schoolmaster was hanged because he substituted the phrase "Praise be to God" in place of "Ave Maria" ("Hail Mary") during school prayers. (Note 2)

I always thought that abuses of power by the Catholic Church were something that happened long ago. However, look at the following example from the Philippines, where the Catholic Church is strong.

Beginning in 1948 there was a series of apparitions of Mary in the city of Lipa. These apparitions were sometimes accompanied by showers of rose petals and other supernatural phenomena. They occurred in a convent. The local bishop personally experienced a shower of rose petals and thereafter supported the apparitions. The media mocked the supernatural events in Lipa and street vendors sold phony "holy rose petals." In response to the bad publicity, the Vatican sent a Papal Administrator to take over the diocese where the apparitions occurred. He replaced the bishop and the mother superior. The nun who saw the apparitions was forced to leave the convent. The nuns were ordered to destroy all materials associated with the apparitions, including a statue. The convent was sealed and the nuns were not allowed to talk to anyone outside the convent. An official Commission of Inquiry was convened, which unanimously ruled that the apparitions were not valid. However, they did not interview anybody who had personal, first-hand knowledge of the events. Several of the bishops who were part of the Commission of Inquiry stated on their deathbeds that the Papal Administrator had forced them to sign the verdict by threatening to excommunicate them if they did not sign it. (Note 3 )

After years of no longer being a Catholic, I attended a Catholic funeral. When I went into the church something hit me hard. It had always been there, but I had never noticed it before because I was used to it. There were statues of Mary and the saints. They looked solid, real, as if they represented people of power. Jesus only appeared as a helpless baby in Mary’s arms, as a dead man nailed to a cross, and as little wafers of bread hidden inside a fancy box. Visually and emotionally the message was very clear -- if you want real power, if you want someone who can do something for you, then go to Mary and the Saints.

DEVOTION TO MARY

If you want to see what a person's real priorities are, then watch what they do when their life, or the life of a loved one, is in danger. When Pope John Paul II was shot, while the ambulance was rushing him to the hospital, the Pope was not praying to God or calling on the name of Jesus. He kept saying, over and over: "Mary, my mother!" Polish pilgrims placed a picture of Our Lady of Czestochowa on the throne where the Pope normally sat. People gathered around the picture. Vatican loudspeakers broadcasted the prayers of the rosary. When the Pope recovered, he gave Mary all the glory for saving his life, and he made a pilgrimage to Fatima to publicly thank her. (Note 4)

Jesus said, "[W]here your treasure is there will your heart be also." (Luke 12:34) Some statues of Mary have real crowns made of gold. The web sites listed in the Notes show pictures of statues of Our Lady of Fatima and Our Lady of Lourdes wearing crowns. (Note 5) The statues in the pictures are replicas, and their crowns are ceramic and painted gold. But the crowns on the original statues at Fatima and Lourdes are real crowns made of real gold.

Vast sums of money are spent on jeweled crowns and lavish clothing for some special statues of Mary. (You can see pictures of them in the Catholic devotional book, “Miraculous Images of Our Lady.”) In the Philippines, there is a statue of Our Lady of the Rosary that is nearly 5 feet high. It wears a crown of gold studded with diamonds, rubies, and other gems. There is a large halo like a sunburst behind its head, made of gold and diamonds. In Spain, a statue of Our Lady of the Forsaken has elegant gowns and mantles decorated with gold and jewels. It has a large collection of jewels, including $50,000 worth of jewels that are a gift from Queen Isabella II. Our Lady of Guadalupe is best known for a painting in Mexico, but there is also a statue in Spain that wears gold and jewels. It has a sunburst headdress with 30,000 jewels. In Germany, a statue of Our Lady of Alotting has a gold crown covered with rubies, emeralds, sapphires, and diamonds. It wears a necklace of pearls and rubies, and a gown that is decorated with gold, pearls, diamonds, emeralds, and rubies. The statue is in a shrine with a silver altar and walls that are decorated with silver. In Spain, a statue of Our Lady of the Pillar wears clothing decorated with gold and jewels, and a large gold crown covered with jewels. There is a sunburst (halo) behind the statue with a diameter that is larger than the height of the statue. A full-color, close-up picture of the crown and sunburst shows that they are covered with diamonds, emeralds, and rubies. (There are so many jewels that I can’t see the gold underneath them.) On the wall behind the statue are 148 gold stars; 80 of them are set with jewels. Even paintings of Mary can wear jewels. In Russia, there is a painting of Our Lady of Kazan that is covered with a rizza (a structure of gold that covers the entire painting except for the faces of Mary and baby Jesus). This rizza has more than 1,000 diamonds, rubies, pearls, and sapphires on it. (Note 6)

In Sabana Grande, Puerto Rico, preparations are underway to construct a huge statue of Our Lady of the Rosary. Inside the base of the statue there will be chapels, conference rooms, apartments, a food court, and radio and TV stations. There will also be observation decks. This statue will be part of a 500-acre "Mystical City" complex. According to an article in "Caribbean Business," this statue "will top at 1,500 feet". According to an article by the Associated Press, the statue will be 305 feet high. (Note 7) The discrepancy in numbers can be explained by looking at the Statue of Liberty, which is a 151 foot statue on top of a 154 foot base. Some sources say that the Statue of Liberty is 305 feet high (which includes the height of the base) and some say that it is 151 feet high (which is the height of the actual statue). What we probably have in Sabana Grande is a 305 foot statue with a 1,200 foot base.

I have personally participated in American processions which honored Mary. We walked through the streets following a statue of Mary which was carried on a platform, high up where it was clearly visible. We sang songs in Mary’s honor. We prayed rosaries and other prayers to her. These were small processions. At Fatima, Portugal, crowds of over a million people gather on the anniversary of the apparition of Our Lady of Fatima. The celebration includes a procession of a million people following a statue of Mary and singing her praises. (Note 8)

One popular prayer in Mary’s honor is the "Hail Holy Queen," which is known in Latin as the "Salve Regina". It is traditionally included as part of praying the rosary.

For Catholics who are reading this, please try to overcome your familiarity with this text and really look at the words. Doesn’t this sound like worship?

"Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy! Our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping, in this valley of tears. Turn, then, most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us; and after this our exile show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary."

Alfonsus de Liguori (1696-1787) was a principal proponent of the Marianist Movement, which glorifies Mary. He wrote a book entitled "The Glories of Mary" which is famous, influential and widely read. In this book, de Liguori says that Mary was given rulership over one half of the kingdom of God; Mary rules over the kingdom of mercy and Jesus rules over the kingdom of justice. De Liguori said that people should pray to Mary as a mediator and look to her as an object of trust for answered prayer. The book even says that there is no salvation outside of Mary. Some people suggest that these views are extreme and not representative of Catholic Church teaching. However, instead of silencing de Liguori as a heretic, the Catholic Church canonized him as a saint and declared him to be a "doctor of the Church" (a person whose teachings carry weight and authority). Furthermore, his book is openly and officially promoted by the Catholic Church, and his teachings have influenced popes. (Note 9)

Pope Benedict XV said of Mary that "[O]ne can justly say that with Christ, she herself redeemed mankind." (Note 10) Pope Pius IX said: "Our salvation is based upon the holy Virgin... so that if there is any hope and spiritual healing for us we receive it solely and uniquely from her." (Note 11)

A lay movement called "Vox Populi" ("Voice of the People") gathers signed petitions to send to the Pope, seeking to have him officially declare that Mary is Co-Redemptrix. Over six million signatures have been sent to him, representing 138 countries and all seven continents. This doctrine is supported by over 40 cardinals and 600 bishops worldwide. (Note 12)

The Catholic Church exalts Mary as an idealized, larger-than-life, perfect mother. However, the Bible shows that at one point Mary misunderstood Jesus’ calling to the point that she thought He was insane and she tried to prevent Him from doing what God wanted Him to do. Look at Mark 3:20-34.

"And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.’" (Mark 3:20-21) 

The New International Version says "His family". The New King James Version says "His own people." The King James Version says "his friends". According to "Strong’s Greek/Hebrew Dictionary," the Greek word has a variety of meanings, including "kinsmen". However, we don’t have to depend on the exact meaning of the word here because it will be made clear in verse 31. "Strong’s" defines "lay hold on" as "to use strength, i.e. seize or retain". It defines "beside himself" as "become astounded, insane".

Verses 22 through 30 describe a confrontation between Jesus and the scribes. Then we get back to what is happening with the people who thought that Jesus was out of His mind and were so concerned that they were coming to "lay hold on him" (seize him).  

"There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him calling him. And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee. And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren? And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother." (Mark 3:31-35)

CATHOLIC DOCTRINES ABOUT MARY
COMPARED WITH WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS

My sources for this section are the Bible and the "Catechism of the Catholic Church," which has numbered paragraphs. For the sake of simplicity and brevity, I will just say "Catechism" plus the number of the paragraph(s). For example, "'Catechism' 411, 493" means "'Catechism of the Catholic Church,' paragraphs numbered 411 and 493".

For each doctrinal category, I will indicate the Catholic doctrine, followed by the appropriate references from the "Catechism". I will follow this with quotations from the Bible which relate to the doctrine. The last book in the Bible is called "The Book of Revelation" in Protestant Bibles and "The Apocalypse" in Catholic Bibles. I will refer to it as "Revelation".

IMMACULATE CONCEPTION -- Mary was preserved from all stain of original sin from the first instant of her conception. ("Catechism" 490-492).

In Luke 1:46-47, Mary said: "My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour". Mary knew that she needed a savior.

The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception was first introduced by a heretic (a man whose teachings were officially declared to be contrary to Church doctrine). For centuries this doctrine was unanimously rejected by popes, Fathers and theologians of the Catholic Church. (Note 13)

ALL-HOLY -- Mary, "the All-Holy," lived a perfectly sinless life. ("Catechism" 411, 493)

Romans 3:23 says "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God". Revelation 15:4 says, "Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? For thou only art holy". Romans 3:10 says, "There is none righteous, no, not one".

Jesus is the only person who is referred to in Scripture as sinless. Hebrews 4:15 says, "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." 2  Corinthians 5:21 says, "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." 1  Peter 2:22 says, "Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth".

In contrast, Mary said that God is her Savior. (Luke 1:47) If God was her Savior, then Mary was not sinless. Sinless people do not need a Savior.

In the Book of Revelation, when they were searching for someone who was worthy to break the seals and open the scroll, the only person who was found to be worthy was Jesus. Nobody else in Heaven or on earth (including Mary) was worthy to open the scroll or even look inside it. (Revelation 5:1-5)

PERPETUAL VIRGINITY -- Mary was a virgin before, during and after the birth of Christ. ("Catechism" 496-511)

Matthew 1:24-25 says, "Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS." "Till" (until) means that after that point, Joseph did "know" (have sexual relations with) Mary. (See Genesis 4:1 where Adam "knew" Eve and she conceived and had a son.)

Jesus had brothers and sisters. The Bible even tells us their names. Matthew 13:54-56 says, "

And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hatch this man this wisdom, and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us?"

Other Scripture verses which specifically refer to Jesus’ brothers are: Matthew 12:46; John 2:12; John 7:3; Acts 1:14; and Galatians 1:19.

I was always taught that "brothers" and "sisters" were general terms that really could refer to any kind of kinsman, including cousins. This is true in the Hebrew language. However, the New Testament is written in Greek, which is an extremely precise language. It makes a clear distinction between the words used to describe family relationships. There is a Greek word which refers to people who are relatives but not of the immediate family, such as aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces and cousins. There are other Greek words which refer specifically to a person’s brother or sister within a family. (Note 14)

MOTHER OF GOD -- Because she is the mother of Jesus, and Jesus is God, therefore Mary is the Mother of God. ("Catechism" 963, 971, 2677).

The Incarnation means that Jesus was both fully God and fully man. Mary was only the mother of Jesus as man, and not the mother of Jesus as God. According to the Bible, the world was created through Jesus. This was long before Mary was born. Hebrews 1:1-2 says,

"God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds".

Colossians 1:16-17 says,

"For by him [Jesus] were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things [including Mary] were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things [including Mary] , and by him all things consist".

John 8:58 says, "Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, before Abraham was, I am." Jesus existed before Abraham was born. That means that He also existed before Mary was born. In John 17:5, Jesus says, "And now O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was." So Jesus existed even before the world began. Jesus came first -- not Mary.

MOTHER OF THE CHURCH -- Mary is the Mother of the Church. "Catechism" 963, 975).

Acts 1:13-14 gives a picture of a group of people praying together. Mary is mentioned as one of them, but nothing indicates any special prominence.     

"And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Phillip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren." 

Mary was probably in the Upper Room when the tongues of fire fell upon the 120 disciples. However, she is never mentioned again in the Book of Acts, which is our only historical record of how the Church was born. She is also not specifically identified in the epistles. Paul did send greetings to "Mary", but that was a common name. (In the Gospels and in the Book of Acts, she is referred to as "Mary the mother of Jesus" to distinguish her from other women named Mary.) 

It is notable that John, who took Mary into his home after Jesus was crucified, does not mention her in his epistles, and he only mentions her on two occasions in his Gospel (the wedding at Cana and the crucifixion of Jesus). John mentions Mary Magdalene more than he mentions Jesus' mother.

ASSUMPTION -- At the end of her life, Mary was taken up ("assumed") body and soul into Heaven. ("Catechism" 966, 974)

There is no biblical reference to the assumption of Mary. The Gospel of John was written around 90 A.D., which is more than 100 years after Mary was born. (Surely Mary was more than ten years old when Jesus was conceived.) If Mary had been supernaturally assumed into Heaven, wouldn't John (the disciple that Mary lived with) have mentioned it? When Enoch and Elijah were taken up to Heaven, the Bible recorded it. With Elijah it was recorded in some detail. (See Genesis 6:24 and 2 Kings 2:1-18.) 

The Assumption of Mary was officially declared to be a dogma of the Roman Catholic faith in 1950. This means that every Roman Catholic is required to believe this doctrine without questioning it. However, as we will see, the teaching of the Assumption originated with heretical writings which were officially condemned by the early Church. 

In 495 A.D., Pope Gelasius issued a decree which rejected this teaching as heresy and its proponents as heretics. In the sixth century, Pope Hormisdas also condemned as heretics those authors who taught the doctrine of the Assumption of Mary. The early Church clearly considered the doctrine of the Assumption of Mary to be a heresy worthy of condemnation. Here we have "infallible" popes declaring something to be a heresy. Then in 1950, Pope Pius XII, another "infallible" pope, declared it to be official Roman Catholic doctrine. (Note 15)

CO-MEDIATOR -- Mary is the Co-Mediator to whom we can entrust all our cares and petitions. ("Catechism" 968-970, 2677)

There is only one mediator and that is Jesus. 1 Timothy 2:5-6 says, "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus: Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time." Hebrews 7:25 says,Wherefore he [Jesus] is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them." Ephesians 3:12 says, "In whom [Jesus} we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him."

If Jesus is constantly interceding for us and He is able to save us "to the uttermost," (utterly, completely) then He doesn't need Mary's help. If we can approach God with "boldness" and "confidence" because of our faith in Jesus, then we don't need Mary's help either.   

QUEEN OF HEAVEN -- God has exalted Mary in heavenly glory as Queen of Heaven and earth. ("Catechism" 966) She is to be praised with special devotion. ("Catechism" 971, 2675)

Psalm 148:13 says, "Let them praise the name of the Lord: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven." This makes it quite clear that only God’s name (not Mary’s) is to be exalted. (In Catholic Bibles the numbering of the chapters and verses of some of the Psalms is slightly different.)

When people tried to give Mary special honor and pre-eminence because she was His mother, Jesus corrected them.

"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." (Luke 11:27-28)

In chapters four and five of the Book of Revelation, we are given a quite detailed picture of Heaven. God is seated on the throne, surrounded by 24 elders and four living creatures. The Lamb (Jesus) is standing in the center of the throne. Thousands upon thousands of angels circle the throne, singing God's praises. And Mary is not in the picture at all.

COMPARING CATHOLIC TEACHINGS ABOUT MARY
WITH MODERN GODDESS WORSHIP

Goddess worship is not ancient history.  It is going on today.  It is practiced in Wicca and a variety of modern pagan religions.  (Wicca is a religion based on witchcraft.  It involves goddess worship, rituals and spells.)

The credibility of goddess worship has been increased through its acceptance by university professors and its incorporation into textbooks. Wiccan doctrines are being promoted in publicly funded, accredited colleges and universities. Nursing school textbooks are overtly promoting goddess worship, including textbooks written by the National League for Nursing (an accrediting agency for nursing schools). (Note 16)

In the following table, I will compare Catholicism's version of Mary with the goddess who is worshiped by Wiccans and modern pagans. My reason for doing this is that Wiccans and modern pagans live in modern America. If I compared Catholic doctrine about Mary with the goddess worship of ancient civilizations, it would seem remote and far removed from the real world. It would seem like a legend instead of real life.

As we will see later in this article. Overt goddess worship has infiltrated a number of main-line Protestant denominations. There have been some conferences in which Catholics and representatives of various Protestant groups worshiped the goddess Sophia and openly said that Jesus Christ is irrelevant. (Later in this article I will give some detailed information about those conferences, along with Internet addresses of articles about them.)

All Christian groups need to guard against goddess worship. According to the Bible, God's people are not supposed to worship any other deities. The Old Testament prophets often rebuked the people of Israel for worshiping "foreign gods." The people who worshiped the goddess Sophia at those conferences were doing the same kind of thing that the ancient Israelites did. They claimed to be God's people, but they were worshiping a "foreign god." (In this case, a goddess rather than a god.)

The following table compares the Mary of Roman Catholic theology and religious practices with the Biblical portrayal of Mary and with the goddess who is worshipped by Wiccans. If you do an Internet search for “Queen of Heaven,” you will find two kinds of websites--Catholic and Wiccan. You can also find websites showing that Wiccans call themselves the “hidden children” of their goddess. (Note 17 tells how to find them.)

BIBLICAL MARY

CATHOLIC MARY

THE GODDESS

Humble and obedient. Calls herself "the handmaid of the Lord."

The Pope officially gave Mary the title "Queen of Heaven" and established a feast day honoring Mary, Queen of Heaven.

Wiccans call their goddess the "Queen of Heaven".

Knew she needed a savior: "And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my saviour." (Luke 1:47)

"Immaculate Conception" (Mary was conceived sinless, without original sin) and "All-Holy" (Mary lived a sinless life).

Goddesses don't need salvation. They make the rules.

Normal wife and mother who had other children.

"Perpetual Virginity" (Jesus' brothers and sisters are considered to be cousins).

Goddesses don't have human children.

No biblical evidence that Mary didn't die like a normal person.

"Glorious Assumption" (Mary was bodily taken up into Heaven).

Goddesses don't die.

Jesus told John to take Mary into his home and take care of her as if she was his own mother.

Catholics are the adopted children of Mary. "Woman behold your son" (John 19:26) is taken to apply literally to every Catholic.

Witches are the adopted, "hidden children" of the Queen of Heaven.

Normal woman.

Sometimes pictured standing on a crescent moon, wearing a crown or with a circle of stars around her head.

Moon goddess.

Normal woman.

Supernatural (apparitions accompanied by miracles and healings).

Supernatural.

Points people to Jesus. Mary said, "Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it."  (John 2:5)

Can make Jesus do things. A full page newspaper ad showing Mary and Jesus says, "He hasn't denied her anything in 2,000 years. What would you have her ask Him?" This is not official Catholic doctrine but it is a widespread attitude which is encouraged by pious literature.

Points to herself.

Wants to be worshipped.

Knew that she needed a savior. (Luke 1:47)

Apparitions of "Mary" have promised that if people wear certain objects (such as a Scapular or Miraculous Medal) or say certain prayers then they are guaranteed to go to Heaven. The Catholic Church has not officially approved of these practices, but it has also not discouraged them.

Invoked to make supernatural things happen through witchcraft (the use of special objects and special verbal formulas).

Goddesses don't need a savior.

Goddess worship has infiltrated main-line Christian denominations. In November 1993, a Re-Imagining Conference was held in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Most of the 2,000 participants were women. This ecumenical church conference was sponsored by and attended by members of over a dozen denominations, including Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Catholics, Lutherans and Methodists. They prayed to Sophia, the goddess of Wisdom, calling her their Creator. They did rituals for this goddess, including a communion service where bread and wine were replaced by milk and honey. They openly rejected the doctrines of the incarnation and the atonement. This conference was repeated in 1996, 1998 and 2000. (Note 18).

There are Wiccan web sites with web pages devoted to individual goddesses. The Virgin Mary is included among the goddesses of the following web sites: The Spiral Goddess Grove, The White Moon, and Goddess 2000. They consider Mary to be the "Divine Feminine" and say that for centuries, many people have "blended" their ancient goddesses with Mary. (Note 19)

HOW DID WE GET HERE?

How did modern Catholic doctrine about Mary wander so far away from the teachings of the Bible and the Early Fathers? Two reasons are the importance given to Church tradition and the doctrine of papal infallibility.

The Catholic Church officially states that Church tradition is equal in authority to the Bible. ("Catechism" 80, 84, 86, 97) The problem is that Catholic tradition consists of various expressions of worship and belief of the Catholic people. ("Catechism" 78, 98, 113, 2650, 2661) It is nebulous. It keeps changing. You cannot find it written in one place. You can’t really put your hands on exactly what it is.

The Early Fathers used Scripture as the standard against which they tested Church tradition. The modern Catholic doctrine that Church tradition is equal in authority with the Bible is contrary to the writings of the Early Fathers. (Note 20)

According to Jesus, Scripture is the plumb line for measuring everything else. He judged religious traditions by comparing them to Scripture. When religious traditions contradicted Scripture, he condemned them. This shows clearly that nothing is equal in authority to Scripture. The Bible stands alone as the standard by which all other things are to be judged.

"Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem. And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault. For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders. And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables. Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands? He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death: But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free. And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye." (Mark 7:1-13)

According to the official teaching of the Catholic Church, Catholic men and women are not allowed to believe what they read in the Bible without checking it out with the Catholic Church. They are required to find out how the bishops of the Church interpret a passage and they are to accept what the bishops teach as if it came from Jesus Christ Himself. They are not allowed to use their own judgment or follow their own conscience. They are required to believe whatever the bishops teach without questioning it. ("Catechism" 85, 87, 100, 862, 891, 939, 2034, 2037, 2041, 2050)

The Catholic Church teaches that when the bishops officially teach doctrine relating to faith and morals, then God supernaturally prevents them from making any errors. This is called "infallibility". It applies to official councils, such as the Second Vatican Council. It also applies to other teachings, as long as the bishops and the Pope are in agreement about them. ("Catechism" 890, 891, 939, 2033, 2034, 2049)

The Pope is said to be infallible whenever he makes an official decree on matters of faith and morals. According to Catholic doctrine, it is impossible for the Pope to teach false doctrine. Catholics are expected to obey the Pope without question even when he is not making an "infallible" statement about doctrine. They are expected to submit their wills and minds to the Pope without question. ("Catechism" 892, 2037, 2050)

The Early Fathers, and the theologians and canon lawyers of the Middle Ages, never taught that the bishops or the Pope were infallible. This is demonstrated by the fact that in 680 A.D. the Sixth Ecumenical Council condemned a pope as a heretic. It was not until the fourteenth century that the theory of infallibility began to emerge. With the development of this theory came a change in the interpretation of some biblical passages. (Note 21)

The history of the early Church shows that the Bishop of Rome was considered to be just another bishop. For example, Pope Gregory (590-604 A.D.) explicitly stated that all of the bishops were equal. He specifically repudiated the idea that any one bishop could be the supreme ruler of the Church. (Note 22)

The claim for papal infallibility does not stand up to the test of history. For example, Pope Zosimus (417-418 A.D.) reversed the pronouncement of a previous pope. He also retracted a doctrinal pronouncement that he himself had previously made. Pope Honorious was condemned as a heretic by the Sixth Ecumenical Council (680-681 A.D.). He was also condemned as a heretic by Pope Leo II, as well as by every other pope until the eleventh century. So here we have "infallible" popes condemning another "infallible" pope as a heretic. In 1870, the First Vatican Council abolished "infallible" papal decrees and the decrees of two "infallible" councils. (Note 23)

In the seventeenth century, the Catholic church officially condemned Galileo as a heretic because he taught that the earth revolves around the sun. This did not conflict with the Bible or with the teachings of the Early Fathers. However, it was contrary to seventeenth century Catholic theology. The Greek philosopher Aristotle taught that the sun revolves around the earth. Aristotle influenced Thomas Aquinas, a thirteenth century theologian and "doctor of the Church" whose theology had a major impact on the Catholic Church. Some modern astronomers believe that Galileo was right. Others believe that Einstein's theory of relativity makes the question irrelevant. (Note 24) Either way, Galileo was not a heretic for disagreeing with Aristotle. The "infallible" pronouncement of the Catholic Church regarding Galileo's teaching was wrong.

Have you ever wondered what an “infallible” papal declaration is really like? Here is an example of one.

On December 8, 1854, Pope Pius IX declared the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. After defining the dogma, the Pope said that if any person dares to "think otherwise than as has been defined by us" they thereby shipwreck their faith, are cut off from the Church, and stand condemned because of it. The Pope went on to say that if any person says, or writes, or in any other way outwardly expresses "the errors he thinks in his heart," then they thereby "subject themselves to the penalties established by law". (Note 25 gives a link to this papal bull. You can read it for yourself.)

The Pope's reference to legal penalties is significant because a man had been executed for heresy 28 years before this papal bull was issued. In 1826, a Spanish schoolmaster was hanged because he substituted the phrase "Praise be to God" in place of "Ave Maria" ("Hail Mary") during school prayers. (Note 26)

MARIAN APPARITIONS

On May 13, 1981, a man shot Pope John Paul II. As the ambulance carried him to the hospital, the Pope kept praying, "Mary, my mother! Mary, my mother!" One year later, the Pope made a pilgrimage to Fatima to thank Our Lady of Fatima for saving his life and to consecrate the entire human race to her. (Note 27) The video "Catholicism: Crisis of Faith" shows the Pope kissing the feet of a statue of Mary. (Note 28)

Millions of pilgrims go to shrines which honor apparitions of Mary. Every year fifteen to twenty million pilgrims go to Guadalupe in Mexico, five and a half million go to Lourdes in France, five million go to Czestochowa (Jasna Gora) in Poland, and four and a half million go to Fatima in Portugal. Special dates draw huge crowds. On August 15, half a million pilgrims go to Czestochowa. On October 13, a million people go to Fatima. On December 12, 1999, five million pilgrims went to Mexico to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe. (Note 29)

Are these pilgrims worshipping Mary? You can observe them and see for yourself, thanks to a video entitled "Messages from Heaven". (Information about this video is given following the Bibliography.)

If you watch the video, you will see the Pope bow in front of a painting of Mary and cover the area with incense. You will see a million pilgrims walking in a procession, following a statue of Our Lady of Fatima and singing songs in her honor. You will see several million people in a procession following a painting of Our Lady of Guadalupe. You will see people weeping and raising their arms towards Mary. You will see the largest assembly of bishops and cardinals since the Second Vatican Council, gathered together to join Pope John Paul II in solemnly consecrating the entire world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. (You can watch this video online.) (Note 30)

KINDS OF WORSHIP

There are many traditional ways of expressing devotion to Mary. You can read about some of them online and decide for yourself whether or not these constitute worship. (Note 31)

Catholic theologians speak of three degrees of homage, which have Latin words. “Latria” is the kind of worship which is due to God alone. “Dulia” is appropriate for honoring the saints. “Hyperdulia” is appropriate for honoring Mary. It is higher than “dulia” but not “latria”. Therefore, Catholic theologians say that Catholics do not worship Mary.

However, in the practical, down-to-earth, real world, these theological distinctions don’t work. Most Catholics have never heard of these words. Of those who have, how many know how to apply them in practical ways? Catholics are not told how to engage in “hyperdulia” without crossing a line that results in actually practicing “latria” towards Mary without realizing it.

When asked about praying to Mary and the saints, I always used to say that actually I was just asking them to pray for me, like I would ask a friend. Well, that is not really accurate, because when I talk to my friends I am not talking to people who have died. Also, I just ask them directly for what I want. I would never begin talking to my friends by saying something like: “Hail holy Queen, mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve.”

I personally participated in many kinds of Marian devotions. (“Marian” means something relating to the Virgin Mary.) I prayed the Rosary, which uses beads to keep track of the prayers. There are ten “Hail Mary’s” for every “Our Father” (the Lord’s Prayer). The words of the Hail Mary are: “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among 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.”

I wore the Brown Scapular (two pieces of cloth attached with strings, worn in honor of Mary). I also wore the Miraculous Medal. Both the Brown Scapular and the Miraculous Medal resulted from apparitions of Mary. There are special prayers associated with them. The apparitions of Mary promised to help people who were faithful to these devotions. I went to special services where we recited litanies (a series of titles honoring her), prayed to her, and sang songs in her honor, or else recited the words of the songs. I participated in a procession where people carried a statue of Mary, and we all followed it, singing songs in her honor. I visited several Marian shrines. I read books about apparitions of Mary, and dreamed of some day going to Lourdes.

I did not realize that what I was doing was actually a form of worship. I thought that it was pleasing to God. I thought that Jesus wanted us to honor His mother in this way.

CONCLUSION

Proverbs 14:12 says, "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." Our minds can be deceived and so can the minds of bishops and popes. Only the Bible is totally trustworthy. When religious traditions conflict with the plain meaning of Scripture then we need to discard those traditions. We cannot afford to do otherwise, because our eternal destiny is at stake.

The Apostles told the religious leaders of their day, "We ought to obey God rather than men." (Acts 5:29b) As an old hymn says, "On Christ the solid rock I stand. All other ground is sinking sand."

If you are not persuaded that Catholicism encourages and even requires a level of "devotion" to Mary that really is a form of worship, then I challenge you to ask God what He thinks about it. If you are sincere in your prayer and open to letting God show you the truth, then He will.

CONTACTS

I welcome correspondence, but I don't do debating. My email address is:

MaryAnnCollins@juno.com

I have a website with an online book and over 50 articles. It is:

www.CatholicConcerns.com

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USE OF THIS ARTICLE

I encourage you to link to this article. You have permission to quote from this article, as long as you do it fairly and accurately. You have permission to make copies of this article for friends and for use in classes.

The information in this article is the result of many years of personal struggle and search for truth. I want to make it as easy as possible for people to get this information and to pass it on to anyone who might be helped by it.

May the Lord bless, guide, and reveal His truth to everyone who reads this article.

Mary Ann Collins
July 1, 2001

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Is worship of saints / Mary Biblical?

 

 

 

 

Question:  "Is worship of saints / Mary Biblical?"

 

Answer:  The Bible is absolutely clear that we are to worship God alone. The only instances of anyone other than God receiving worship in the Bible are false gods, which are Satan and his demons. All followers of the Lord God refuse worship. Peter and the apostles refused to be worshipped (Acts 10:25-26; 14:13-14). The holy angels refuse to be worshipped (Revelation 19:10; 22:9). The response is always the same, "Worship God!"

 

Roman Catholics attempt to "bypass" these clear Scriptural principles by claiming they do not worship Mary or saints, but rather that they only "venerate" Mary and the saints. A definition of "venerate" is "to regard with respect or reverence." There is nothing wrong with respecting those faithful Christians who have gone before us (see Hebrews chapter 11). There is nothing wrong with honoring Mary as the earthly mother of Jesus. The Bible describes Mary as "highly favored" by God (Luke 1:28). At the same time, there is no instruction in the Bible to revere those whom have gone to Heaven. We are to follow their example, yes, but revere or venerate, no.

 

The major way Catholics "venerate" Mary and the saints is by praying to them. As the following article demonstrates, prayer to anyone other than God alone is anti-Biblical - http://www.gotquestions.org/prayer-saints-Mary.html. Another way Catholics "venerate" Mary and the saints is by creating statues and images of them. Many Catholics use images of Mary and/or the saints as "good luck charms." Any cursory reading of the Bible will reveal this practice as blatant idolatry (Exodus 20:4-6; 1 Corinthians 12:12; 1 John 5:21).

 

The terminology is not the issue. Whether the practice is described as "worship" or "veneration," the problem is the same. The Bible nowhere instructs us to revere, pray to, rely on, or "idolize" anyone other than God. We are to worship God alone. Glory, praise, and honor belong to God alone. Only God is worthy to "...receive glory and honor and power..." (Revelation 4:11). God alone is worthy to receive our worship, adoration, and praise (Nehemiah 9:6; Revelation 15:4).

Recommended Resource The Gospel According to Rome: Comparing Catholic Tradition and The Word of God by James McCarthy.


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Is prayer to saints or Mary Biblical?

 

Is Catholicism a false religion?  Are Catholics saved?

 

Is apostolic succession Biblical?

 

What is the immaculate conception?

 

Are apparitions of Mary, such as Lady Fatima, true messages from God?


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You are here: Religion >> Learn More about Mary! >> Worship of Mary

Is the worship of Mary biblical?

Bishop Alphonse de Ligouri is more responsible than any other for promoting the worship of Mary, therefore dethroning Christ and enthroning Mary in the hearts of the people. Rather than excommunicating him for his heresies, the Catholic Church canonized him as a saint and published his book, called "The Glories of Mary," which is famous, influential, and widely read. He noted that Mary was given rulership over one half of the kingdom of God and rules over the kingdom of mercy while Jesus rules over the kingdom of justice. He wrote that people should pray to Mary as a mediator and look to her as an object of trust for answered prayer. The book also states there is no salvation outside of Mary. Even though the Catholic Church mentions his views are extreme and not representative of the church, no one bothered to silence de Liguori as a heretic. Rather, he was canonized as a saint and declared to be a "doctor of the church." His teachings have influenced many popes.

Allow me to present here the versions of the Catholic doctrines about Mary compared to what the Bible says. The sources for this section are the Bible and the "Catechism of the Catholic Church," which has numbered paragraphs. For brevity's sake, I will use "Catechism" plus the number of the paragraph(s).

  • ALL-HOLY - Mary, "the All-Holy," lived a perfectly sinless life (Catechism 411, 493).

    Romans
    3:23 says, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."

    Revelation 15:4 says, "Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? For thou only art holy."

    Romans
    3:10 says, "There is none righteous, no, not one."

    NOTE: In contrast, Mary said that God is her Savior (Luke
    1:47). If God was her Savior, then Mary was not sinless. Sinless people do not need a Savior.
  • CO-MEDIATOR - Mary is the co-mediator to whom we can entrust all our cares and petitions (Catechism 968-970, 2677).

    There is only one mediator, and that is Jesus. 1 Timothy 2:5-6 says, "For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all men -- the testimony given in its proper time."

    Hebrews
    7:25 says, "Therefore He (Jesus) is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them."

    Ephesians
    3:12 says, "In Him and through faith in Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence."

    NOTE: If Jesus is constantly interceding for us and He is able to save us "to the uttermost," then He doesn't need Mary's help. If we can approach God with "boldness" and "confidence" because of our faith in Jesus, then we don't need Mary's help either.

These are only two of many doctrines regarding the worship of Mary. There is not enough room to list all of them here.

On
May 7, 1997, Pope John Paul II dedicated his general audience to "the Virgin Mary" and urged all Christians to accept her as their mother. He noted the words spoken by Jesus on the cross to Mary and John -- "Woman, behold thy son!" and "Behold thy mother!" (John 19:26, 27), and he claimed that in this statement, "It is possible to understand the authentic meaning in the worship of Mary in the ecclesial community. . .which furthermore is based on the will of Christ" (Vatican Information Service, May 7, 1997). He said "the history of Christian piety teaches that Mary is the path that leads to Christ, and that filial devotion to her does not at all diminish intimacy with Jesus, but rather, increases it and leads it to very high levels of perfection." He concluded by asking all Christians "to make room for Mary in their daily lives, acknowledging her providential role in the path of Salvation."

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Blessed Virgin Mary: Primary Doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church
The Blessed Virgin Mary was the mother of Jesus Christ. In addition to her Biblical biography, there are three primary doctrines that the Roman Catholic Church teaches about Mary: (1) The Immaculate Conception, (2) Mary as co-mediatrix with Jesus Christ, and (3) The Assumption.

Blessed Virgin Mary: The Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception
The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception teaches that the Blessed Virgin Mary was born without original sin. She was a virgin when she conceived Christ, impregnated through the power of the Holy Spirit. In 1854, four years before the apparitions of Mary at Lourdes, Pope Pius IX defined the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception which stated that "the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instant of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of Original Sin." The Bible teaches that only Jesus Christ, the last Adam, was born without original sin, and all other men and women are born into original sin, inherited from Adam (Romans 5:12).

Furthermore, the Roman Catholic Church teaches that Mary was a virgin during her entire lifetime. Yet Matthew, a Jew writing to Jews, calls Jesus "her firstborn son" (Matthew 1:25), an expression used by Jews only if other children were born after the first one; otherwise, "only son" would have been used. Scholars believe Matthew wrote his gospel about 35 years after the birth of Christ and he evidently knew that Mary had children after Jesus was born. The Bible specifically says that Jesus had brothers and Matthew even tells us their names: "Isn't Mary known to be his mother, and James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas his brothers? Aren't his sisters our neighbors?" (Matthew 13:55-56). Roman Catholic scholars claim that Matthew, Luke and Paul (1 Corinthians 9:5) didn't mean brother when they said brother, but meant cousin. This view is based on the Greek word "adelphos," which can be translated "brother" or "cousin." However, the Jews compared Jesus to His ordinary brothers in an attempt to question the validity of His ministry; it would have been much less compelling to compare Jesus with His cousins.

Blessed Virgin Mary: The Doctrine of Mary as Co-mediatrix with Jesus Christ
The most disturbing doctrine affords the Blessed Virgin Mary a place positionally as co-mediatrix with Jesus Christ. In the words of Pope John Paul II: "In union with Christ and in submission to him, she collaborated in obtaining the grace of salvation for all humanity...In God's plan, Mary is the 'woman' (cf. John 2:4; John 19:26), the New Eve, united to the New Adam in restoring humanity to its original dignity. Her cooperation with her Son continues for all time in the universal motherhood, which she enjoys in the order of grace. Trusting in this maternal cooperation, let us turn to Mary, imploring her help in all our needs."

There is no scriptural basis for placing Mary in a position as co-mediatrix for the church on earth. Christ's words were also very clear on this point: "Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). The doctrine of Mary as co-mediatrix has never been declared by any pope while speaking "ex cathedra," or under the cloak of infallibility. There is currently some pressure within Catholicism for the Holy See to issue such a statement. However, the outcry from Protestantism would shake the foundations of Christianity around the globe, and would be tantamount to the Vatican launching a missile strike against the Ecumenical (Christian unity) movement.

Blessed Virgin Mary: The Doctrine of the Assumption
The Assumption is a doctrine that teaches that the Blessed Virgin Mary had been taken up, body and soul, into heaven. This process is called "translation" in the Bible and there are two notable examples in the scripture, Enoch (Hebrews 11:5) and Elijah (2 Kings
2:11). At the Council of Chalcedon in A.D. 451, when bishops from throughout the Mediterranean met in Constantinople, Emperor Marcian asked the Patriarch of Jerusalem to bring the relics of Mary to Constantinople to be enshrined in the capitol. The patriarch explained to the emperor that there were no relics of Mary in Jerusalem, that "Mary had died in the presence of the apostles; but her tomb, when opened later . . . was found empty and so the apostles concluded that the body was taken up into heaven." There is no scriptural evidence to support or deny this doctrine as applied to Mary.

Blessed Virgin Mary: Model for Faith, Not Idol for Worship
If the admiration of the Blessed Virgin Mary becomes anything more than using her as a model of faith in God the Father, Roman Catholics delve into dangerous theological territory. The tendency to elevate her to a position of divine status is alarming. Mary can be a model (like Paul or Peter) for our faith, but she is not divine nor is she able to provide for our salvation. Jesus Christ alone is God and is the only person capable of enabling the salvation of all mankind. The Word of God is explicit on this subject.

In the book, ‘The History of Christianity’, which falsely claims Roman Catholicism to be Christianity, it is revealed that: "Some scholars believe that the worship of Artemis (Diana) was transferred to Mary....Many people connected Mary with Isis the Egyptian goddess whose worship spread throughout the Empire in the Christian era. The devotees of Isis—herself called ‘the great virgin’ and ‘mother of God’—naturally tended to look to Mary for comfort when paganism was outlawed...at the end of the fourth century."

In actual fact, the whole Roman Catholic system of Mary worship may be traced back to Babylon. As we shall see later, the present-day characteristics assigned to Mary were originally attributed to pagan goddesses centuries before the arrival of Christianity! The supposed ‘immaculate conception’ and ‘assumption of Mary’, along with the titles, ‘Mother of God’ and ‘Queen of Heaven’, were all originally given to pagan goddesses!