Newsweek magazine of August 25, 1997 brought to our attention a movement within the Roman Catholic Church to petition the Pope to "exercise the power of papal infallibility to proclaim a new dogma of the Roman Catholic faith: that the Virgin Mary is 'Co-Redemptrix, Mediatrix of All Graces and Advocate for the People of God."' At the heading of the lengthy article is this statement: "A growing movement in the Roman Catholic Church wants the pope to proclaim a new, controversial dogma: that Mary is Co-Redeemer. Will he do it, maybe in time for the millennium? Should he?"
It would be fair to say at this time that not all Catholics agree and some are even upset, and rightly so, but most would never leave the Church if it becomes a reality. According to the article, in the last four years, the pope has received 4,340,429 signatures from 157 countries and continues to receive on average 100,000 a month urging him to do so. The article also tells us that Mother Teresa (now deceased) and nearly 500 bishops and 42 cardinals at the Vatican support such a move by the pope. The petition leader is Prof. Mark Miravalle, lay theologian at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. We are also told that if this becomes official dogma, "Catholics are obliged as a matter of faith to accept three extraordinary doctrines: that Mary participates in the redemption achieved by her son, that all graces that flow from the suffering and death of Jesus Christ are granted only through Mary's intercession with her son, and that all prayers and petitions from the faithful on earth must likewise flow through Mary, who then brings them to the attention of Jesus."
Further in the article we read, "In many ways, the 20th century has belonged to Mary. From almost every continent, visionaries have reported more than 400 "apparitions" of the Virgin--more than in the previous three centuries combined, Miravalle estimates. Taken together, these visions point to what the Marian movement believes is a millennial "Age of Mary," which will produce the final dogma that confirms her ongoing maternal mediation between God and humankind."
PLEASE READ ACTS 4:12.
TO BE CONTINUED...
Last week I introduced the subject above quoting from Newsweek August, 25,1997 issue. Today I wish to continue quoting from the article and then we shall see what the Bible says about such a teaching. Professor Mark Miravalle, the leader of the petition drive also states: "Personally, I'm confident that there will be this recognition of Marian truth before the year 2000." He also stated, "An infallible papal definition...would put these doctrines 'at the highest level of revealed truth."'
George G. Passias, chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, called it "heresy in the simplest sense...It is one thing to ask Mary to intercede with her son, but it is another thing to exalt her as the Mediatrix between God and men."
Episcopal theologian R. William Franklin, a veteran of the ecumenical dialogue between the Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches is "equally outraged" and warns, "A new papal dogma on Mary ...would be a further nail in the coffin of ecumenism." He states that by doing so, two points that Protestants cannot accept would result: "the Marian de-emphasis of Jesus and the re-emphasis of the dogmatic authority of the pope." After stating he didn't think the Church (RCC) cares, He makes this statement: "It's an arrogance which stems from the THE MYSTICAL MARIAN DEVOTION OF THE CURRENT POPE."
Friends, the pope is in line with this new dogma as can be seen in the fact that "He has reflected on her role in more than 50 weekly addresses, often emphasizing her 'co-operation' in redemption." He stated in April, 1997 "...Having created man male and female,' the Lord also wants to place the New Eve beside the New Adam in the Redemption...Mary, the New Eve, thus becomes a perfect icon of the Church...We can therefore turn to the Blessed Virgin, trustfully imploring her aid in the awareness of the singular role entrusted to her by God, the role of co-operator in the Redemption..." FRIENDS, GET READY FOR THE GREATEST HERESY EVER PUT FORTH BY THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH! HOWEVER, KEEP IN MIND HOW IT FITS WITH END TIME EVENTS.
Dear Reader. Two statements were made in the previously quoted Newsweek article which hold the answer to all the discussion on the subject of Mariology as well as other Biblical questions. It was said that the pope "went well beyond the silence of Scripture..." in claiming Mary was the first to experience the risen Christ and this gives confidence to the leaders of the petition drive that the pope will hear their pleas. "They, too, see the enhancement of Mary beyond Scriptures' meager details as befitting the Mother of God."
Those two statements are precisely the point of departure from the true teachings of Scripture. The things being taught and believed about Mary are not founded upon the Bible...even in the slightest degree. If one is not willing to make the Bible and its teaching his sole source for doctrine, then he will be open to and accept "the commandments of men."
There is not one Biblical source for the teaching put forth about Mary. For example, in A.D. 431 at the third Ecumenical Council, Mary was given the title "Mother of God" and was incorporated into prayers. In 1854, pope Pius LX declared Mary preserved from original sin. Then in 1950, pope Pius XII declared Mary taken up, body and soul to heaven. According to Newsweek, this was the last time to date that papal infallibility was invoked to define dogma. There is not one verse of Scripture to back up these doctrines.
Earlier in the Newsweek article the leader of the petition drive, Professor Mark Miravalle stated, "An infallible papal definition...would put these doctrines 'at the highest level of revealed truth."'
The Bible is the "highest level of revealed truth" and when there is a conflict between a denomination's doctrines and the Bible, then the denomination's doctrine is to be rejected as heresy. Revelation 22:18-19 states "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophesy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book."
Every time Satan tried to tempt Jesus in the Mount of temptation, Jesus quoted Scripture to him! Matt. 4:4 "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." Friend, it is your responsibility to "Let God be true; but every man a liar." (Romans 3:4)
To be continued...
I concluded article # 3 with the words of Christ in Matthew 4:4 which were His response to Satan's provocation. "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."
When Paul told the Thessalonians in 2 Thess. 2:15 to "...stand fast, and hold the traditions which you have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle", he did not mean the traditions of the Catholic Church. Matthew 15:1-3 states: "Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, 'why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread'. But He answered and said unto them, 'Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?"' Next, in verse 6 Jesus makes this statement: "... Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition." Then in verse 7, He calls them "Hypocrites" and quotes Isaiah: "This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. (V8) But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." Read Mark 7:1-13 and notice v8, "For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men..."
Friends, The Catholic Church does not have the authority to lay aside the commandments of God and teach these unbiblical doctrines about Mary. Neither does the Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian etc.
The Catholic Church teaches that along with the written Word there is an unwritten word, an oral tradition, which was taught by Christ and the apostles but not written in the Bible. This unwritten word (traditions) comes to light in the pronouncements of the church councils and in papal decrees. It takes precedence over the written Word and interprets it. The pope, as God's personal representative on the earth, can legislate for things additional to the Bible as new situations arise. The Council of Trent in the year 1546 declared the the Word of God is contained in both the Bible and in tradition, that the two are of equal authority and that it is the duty of every 'Christian' to accord them equal veneration and respect. Friends, that is Scripturally impossible. Both cannot be true... "Let God be true but every man a liar" (Rom.3:4) The Catholic doctrines on Mary were added by the Catholic Church in spite of the silence of Scripture as I will show in following articles.
I Tim 4:1-6 ,16 states. "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing Spirits, and doctrines of devils Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things. thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ. nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained." v16: 'Take heed unto thyself and unto the doctrine: continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee."
I would like to point out several things Paul warned Timothy of in these verses which he credits to the Spirit:
- In the latter times some shall depart from the faith,
- and give heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils (demons),
- Speaking lies in hypocrisy,
- Forbidding to marry and commanding to abstain from meats.
My point in pointing out these verses is not to do a teaching on 1 Tim. 4, but to point out the operation of "seducing spirits" and "doctrines of devils" in verse 1.
Look at 2 Cor. 11: 13-15: "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works."
Now look at 1 John 4:1. "Beloved, believe not every spirit (preacher), but try the spirits whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world." I brought these verses to our attention, friends, to show that any doctrine not built on God's word had a Demonic source and is a doctrine of Devils.
Last article I showed from the Holy Bible how Satan tries to pervert the doctrines found in the Bible with "seducing spirits" , "doctrines of devils" and "damnable heresies".
That brings me to another issue that must be confronted in the issue of Mariology...Apparitions of Mary. According to the Newsweek article of August 25,1997, there have been more than 400 apparitions of Mary in the 20th Century alone. Supposedly, God sent Mary to Rue de Bac, Paris, France in 1830 to confirm her role as Mediatrix. She appeared to St. Catherine Labour'e standing on a globe. Rings on her fingers with many precious jewels sent rays of light in all directions. Mary explained that "The rays are the symbol of the graces I shed on those who ask me for them." An oval frame formed around her with these words stamped in letters of gold: "0 Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee." Then Mary told St. Catherine to have a medal struck according to the model. The reverse side has a big "M" with a cross on top of the "M" as if the Cross rests upon Mary! Again, supposedly, Mary told St. Catherine to have a medal made and to spread devotions to her. Was this really Mary appearing at Lourdes, Fatima and more recently, Medjugore. At Medjugore, supposedly, 6 children say they began receiving visions and messages from her in 1981. Since that time 10-20 million people have gone to that sight and many leave and report their own visions of Mary. Then there are reports of pictures and statues crying, images appearing in strange places etc. I ask a simple question: "Is this Mary? And is she sent from God?"
The answer to both questions is "No". Mary has not appeared to anyone and God did not send her back from heaven to appear to anyone on earth. It is a satanic deception that has worked on those who do not accept the Bible as the final authority in faith and practice. What would Mary say to all this?
To be continued....
In article # 6 I asked the question concerning Apparitions of Mary: "Is this really Mary and did God really send her to earth to confirm her position as co-Redemptrix? I answered the question with a firm "NO".
Listen to these verses from Galatians 1:6-9. "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed."
In 2 Thess. 2:1-2 states, "Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand."
It is obvious in both these verses that The Scriptures have the highest authority in matters of doctrine. In the Galatians passage, even an angel from heaven speaking was to be rejected if the message was not in harmony with God's Holy Word! In 2 Thess. 2:1-2, A spirit speaking was to be rejected when the message does not harmonize with the truth of God's Word!
So, What does one do when an apparition of Mary speaks those things which are not in harmony with God's Eternal Word? Reject it as a seductive spirit, a demon spirit under the guise of an angel of light.
Friends, it is as simple as this: Not one doctrine about Mary which is held by the Roman Catholic Church can be substantiated by the Word of God. You must choose Catholic dogma over the Bible to believe any of the doctrines put forth about her.
The Apostles never prayed to Mary, never gave her special recognition or honor and not one of them even mentions her in all their writings. John, into whose care she was committed never mentions her in his epistles or in the Revelation.
To be continued...
In articles 1-7, I have dealt with every conceivable area of this subject. I have pointed repeatedly to the total disregard of Scriptures to support the dogma. I pointed to traditions and commandments of men being the basis of all the Catholic doctrines about Mary. I pointed to the apparitions and showed from Scripture how these are to rejected as unscriptural and even Satanic. Sadly, most Catholics don't know, don't care and cannot explain this doctrine...but will defend it blindly. This is precisely how Mary has grown into an unscriptural goddess.
I stated that I would eventually go to the Scriptures and show what is known of Mary. Here is what we can say about her from the Bible.
- Mary was the fulfillment of Isaiah 7:14 "a virgin shall conceive...bear a son...call His name Immanuel."
- Mary was "...Highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women."
- Mary had the distinct, unique privilege of bearing the incarnate Son of God. She was not the mother of God, however. She did not give birth to God. Jesus did not get His being from Mary. He got his body through her.
- Mary had other children. (See Mt.12:46-50; Gal. 1:19; Mt. 13:55-56)
- Jesus committed Mary to John's care in John 19:25-27, and "from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home." In all probability, Joseph was dead at this time, therefore Jesus made provision for his mother.(Joseph was still alive when Jesus was 12 years old, see Luke 2:41-42). In Luke 2:35 Simeon prophesied "...(Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed."
- Mary suffered agony over the death of Jesus, However, she did not suffer for sin, nor did she share in the atonement for sin as is being put forth in this new doctrine.
- In John 2:4-5, Mary tells Jesus they have no wine at the wedding, and He responds, "Woman, what have I to do with thee?" She turns and says, "whatsoever He saith unto you, do it." That does not make Mary our intercessor! In fact Jesus rebuked her!
I will end this subject next week with Luke 1:46-56, The Magnificat , where Mary magnifies the Lord, not herself!
Last week in part eight I said I would end this series today with Mary's Magnificat in Luke 1:46-56 which gives Mary's attitude about the Lord as well as herself.
"My soul doth MAGNIFY THE LORD, and MY SPIRIT HATH REJOICED IN GOD MY SAVIOUR. For He hath regarded the LOW ESTATE OF HIS HANDMAIDEN: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall CALL ME BLESSED. For HE THAT IS MIGHTY HATH DONE TO ME GREAT THINGS; AND HOLY IS HIS NAME. And HIS MERCY IS ON THEM THAT FEAR HIM from generation to generation. He hath shewed strength with His arm; He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich He hath sent empty away. He hath holpen His servant Israel, IN REMEMBRANCE OF HIS MERCY; As He spake to our fathers; to Abraham, and to his seed for ever."
Notice some truths put forth by Mary about herself and her Lord:
- Mary magnified the Lord, not herself. v46
- Mary confessed herself a sinner v47 "God my Saviour." Mary would not need a Saviour if she were not a sinner!
- Mary confessed to being a female slave! v48 "the low estate of His handmaiden."
- Mary confessed God's holiness! v49 "HOLY IS HIS NAME!"
- Mary magnified HIS MERCY ,HIS STRENGTH HIS JUDGMENT, HIS GOODNESS in vs.50-53
- Mary knew the Bible promises of God to provide a Saviour and Deliverer "in remembrance of His mercy," as HE SPAKE TO OUR FATHERS."(vs.54-55) Mary claimed lineage from Abraham. Mary was born with a sin nature just like you and I friend. v55 If we were to ask Mary what she thought of all these doctrines which have been manufactured about her, she could easily point to the Magnificat and say, "MY SOUL DOTH MAGNIFY THE LORD, AND MY SPIRIT HATH REJOICED IN GOD MY SAVIOUR."
"Neither is there Salvation in any other: for there is NONE OTHER NAME UNDER HEAVEN GIVEN AMONG MEN, WHEREBY WE MUST BE SAVED." Acts 4:12