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Author Topic: Scriptural Proof: Mary is Not the Mother of God  (Read 32615 times) Average Rating: 0
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Ben
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« on: December 03, 2003, 12:22:28 AM »

Oy, the heresy of protestantism gets worse as time goes on. Now this is clearly not the position of many Protestants but such heresy is very popular in fundamentaltist groups and denominations.

Scriptural Proof: Mary is Not the Mother of God
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In the 4th century, when Constantine the Great appointed himself Pontifex Maximus - supreme head - of the Christian Church, pagans and their pagan beliefs began infiltrating Christendom. Among the most influential of the new “converts” were those from the Mediterranean and Middle East areas where worship of the “Great Mother Goddess” and the “Divine Virgin” had existed since Babylon. According to Britannica, these groups:

 “GǪ.found within the Christian Church a new possibility of expression in the worship of Mary as the virgin mother of God, in whom was achieved the mysterious union of the divine Logos with human nature.” (Britannica, Christianity: The doctrine of the Virgin Mary and holy Wisdom.)

By the end of the 4th century, Mary the mother of Jesus, known prior to the advent of Constantine as the Christ-bearer, (Greek Christotokos,) was being referred to as the God-bearer, (theotokos.) Thus was born the doctrine of Mary, mother of God, a title foreign to Scripture where she is called only the mother of Jesus. At first, this matter drew little attention, but in AD 428, Anastasius, a presbyter in the church at Constantinople, raised objections to the theotokos appellation, and thereby originated a controversy that continues to exist here in the 21st century.

Anastasius was immediately supported in his position by Nestorius, bishop of the Constantinople church, who believed that the theotokos title adversely affected the fact of our Lord’s full humanity. Cyril, powerful bishop of Alexandria, motivated as much by envy of Constantinople’s standing among the eastern churches as he was by the theological aspects of the controversy, joined battle over the issue with Nestorius, outflanked him at the AD 431 First Council of Ephesus, and succeeded in confirming Mary as the mother of God. Nestorius, falsely accused of separating Christ’s two natures - human and divine - subsequently was excommunicated, then sacked as bishop of Constantinople by the emperor, Theodosius II, who had appointed him in the first place. He died in exile, but the controversy lives on. Is Mary the mother or Jesus? Or is she, a created being, the mother of eternal God?

The Roman Catholic Church and certain mainline churches that split from Rome during or following the Reformation, declare unequivocally that Mary is, in fact, the mother of God. Those historically and currently who oppose this teaching are accused, as was Nestorius, of “dividing Christ” into an “earthly Jesus” and a “heavenly Jesus,” thereby denying the essential unity of our Lord’s two natures. But that is merely an unproved and unprovable accusation. Christ, in fact, had two distinct natures fused into a single human body, a mystery quite as hidden to man as three distinct persons comprising a single Godhead. To say that Mary was the mother of Jesus only is no more a division of Christ’s two natures than acknowledging Christ as the only begotten Son of the Father is a division of the Godhead. Both are mysteries akin to that of a virgin being with child allegedly conceived by that same unborn child because He is a member of the Godhead. Shades, in other words, of the Babylonian “Mystery” religion.

In a document entitled, The Mother of Jesus, published by the Catholic Information Service of the Knights of Columbus, justification for calling Mary the mother of God is capsulized in the following two paragraphs:

In the natural and normal process of human reproduction, when both maternal and paternal functions unite, God simultaneously creates the human soul which enlivens the fecundated ovum in the woman’s womb, and thus a human person is conceived. It is always an individual’s human nature - a person who possesses human nature. (Emphasis added.)

 

It matters not that the woman has no part in the production of the spiritual element (directly created by God) in the human nature of the person she conceives. It suffices that she has supplied the bodily substance which goes into the constitution of human nature possessed by the person, that she rightly acquires the title of mother. (Emphasis added.)

No one disputes the fact that Mary is the mother of the human Jesus even though she was not the “supplier” of His human soul. Nor is there any question that the man Christ Jesus was created human in body, soul and spirit. What is disputed is the extension of the title “mother” to a divine nature that eternally existed and was not created in the womb of the virgin. A mother is only the mother of what originates within her womb. The second person of the blessed trinity did not originate in Mary’s body. He is without beginning - has always existed - and has no mother.

“Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.) (Psalm 90:2) “Thy throne is established of old: thou art from everlasting.” (Psalm 93:2) “But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him,” (Psalm 103:17) “Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting: and let all the people say, Amen. Praise ye the LORD.” (Psalm 106:48)

That Jesus had two natures - one created and one eternal - united in a single human body is beyond question. That only one of those two natures originated in Mary’s womb also is beyond question. And why she cannot then be called the mother of God finds an exact parallel in Christ’s relationship to King David.

“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:” (Luke 1:32) “And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David?” (Matt 12:23) “And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.” (Matt 15:22) “And, behold, two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou son of David.” (Matt 20:30) “And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.” (Matt 21:9)

In these Scriptures it is clearly established that the nation of Israel expected their Messiah to derive - as prophesied - from the tribe of Judah and the house of David, thereby attributing fatherhood of the Messiah to David in accordance with their method of reckoning descent. But David cannot be called the father of God because of his relationship to the man Christ Jesus. Our Lord Himself preempted any possibility of that erroneous belief.

“While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The son of David. He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.” (Matt 22:42-46) Parallel accounts of this episode are found in Mark 12: 35-37, and Luke 20:41-44.

In these Scriptures, our Lord has done what Roman Catholic apologists say may not be done. He has clearly drawn a line between the human nature and the eternal nature of Christ. He has clearly established the fact that David is NOT the father of God, because he is NOT the father of the second person of the blessed trinity. He has clearly shown this distinction of natures to be a mystery - one the Jews of His day could not comprehend any better than the Roman Catholics or Christians of the 21st century. This mystery of the two fused but separate natures manifest in Christ finds another reference in the following excerpt from the Gospel of John. When confronted by the Jews and constrained to identify himself, John the Baptist’s response included this interesting disclosure: “For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.” (John 3:34) Certainly the Holy Spirit could not have been given to the Second Person of the trinity for He is part of that trinity. So the Holy Spirit that was given without measure was given only to the man Christ Jesus.

  It stands to reason, then, that like King David - to whom fatherhood ONLY of the man Christ Jesus is attributed - Mary is the Mother ONLY of the man Christ Jesus. To prove this beyond a shadow of a doubt, let us insert Mary’s name in place of King David’s in the previously cited Scriptures:

“While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The son of MARY. He saith unto them, How then doth MARY call him Lord, saying, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. (Luke 1:46, 47) If MARY then call him Lord, how is he her son? And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.”

To insist that Mary is Christotokos only and not theotokos is not to separate Jesus into a “heavenly Jesus” and an “earthly Jesus” as Roman Catholicism contends. It is merely recognizing what Jesus Himself made clear, that David was not the father of God, and by parallel reasoning, Mary was His earthly mother only, and not a Goddess or Queen of Heaven worthy of the title mother of God.

Because the Second Person of the blessed trinity is an eternal being having neither a beginning nor an ending, it was the man Christ Jesus who suffered as the second Adam on Calvary and died for the sins of the world. The Second Person of the trinity did not die, cannot die or be put to death. And it’s the man Christ Jesus - not the Second Person of the trinity - who is said Scripturally to be the one mediator between God and man. (1 Tim 2:5) He who is eternal, who could not and cannot die, could not be, and was not, born of the virgin.

Conclusion: Jesus Christ the man is the son of Mary. The Second Person of the Trinity is her God, not her son, for He did not originate in her womb.

- http://www.contenderministries.org/Catholicism/marymother.php

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« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2003, 12:24:19 AM »

hmmm this person seems to forget Orthodoxy also teaches Mary is the Mother of God (Theotokos) not just Roman Catholicism!
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« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2003, 12:31:27 AM »

I have seen that sort of thing time and time again, and it never fails to make me want to puke.

Notice how the article rehabilitates the heretic Nestorius and makes a proto-Fundamentalist hero out of him? Notice how it vilifies St. Cyril of Alexandria?

If you examine their beliefs closely, you will find that some of  these people really are Nestorians or semi-Nestorians.

Some of them, OTOH, are simply confused. When you press them on the issue and ask them if Jesus was not God when He was in His mother's womb, you can get the honest ones to admit that Mary is indeed the Mother of God. I know it can be done because I have done it.

The real reason behind denying the Virgin Mary the title Mother of God is the pathological fear of seeming Roman Catholic.
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« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2003, 12:33:46 AM »

I have seen that sort of thing time and time again, and it never fails to make me want to puke.

My Priest was just saying this a few sermons ago. He has been a Priest for 40 years and says that every 10-15 years (it never fails), they recycle the same theories and heresies for a new generation.
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« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2003, 12:44:51 AM »

I thought I might mention what a mother really is.

This person claims that a mother is only the mother of what originated in her womb. This is not 100% true. The fact that Mary gave birth to and raised God makes her the mother of God!

I think that on one level Mary is, of course, the mother God because he lived in her womb and she gave birth to him. But on another level she is his mother because she raised him and never left his side. She loved him very very much as he also lover her more than we can even imagine.

I think that being a mom has a lot more to do with raising and loving your child than just giving birth to a child. I am now speaking from personal exprience.

I lived with my mother for about the first 3 years of my life, she then ws unable to raise me, for a breadth of problems and reasons, so I moved in with my grandparents. And my grandmother was much more of a mother to me than my mom ever dreamed of being. This does not prove Mary to be the mother of God but this points out something very important: your mom isn't always the one that gave birth to you.

Well, now I'm way of the subject, but just thought I'd throw in my thoughts....

In Christ,
       Ben
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« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2003, 12:53:19 AM »

Ps. Mary didn't give birth to me and she is most certainly my mother  Grin lol...I feel sorry for the guy that tells me the Theotokos aint my heavenly mama!
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« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2003, 12:58:45 AM »

Well, if you noticed, that article is classic Nestorianism. It may use the language of "natures," but it is really distinguishing between two persons, a divine and a human. According to it, Mary can be credited with giving birth to the human but not to God. It makes of Jesus two separate persons.

Yes, our Lord has two natures: divine and human. But He is One, unified, undivided Person. Mary did not give birth to a nature; she gave birth to a Person: the God-Man, Christ Jesus.

Thus it can be said that God Himself lived (and lives) as a man, suffered, died, and rose from the dead for us, and that "the Word became flesh" (John 1:14).

The Word did not simply assume flesh or possess the man Jesus. He actually became a flesh-and-blood man.

And He whom Mary bore in her womb was fully God, as well as fully Man.

Therefore Mary is rightfully and truly the Mother of God.

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« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2003, 07:54:45 AM »

Some of them, OTOH, are simply confused. When you press them on the issue and ask them if Jesus was not God when He was in His mother's womb, you can get the honest ones to admit that Mary is indeed the Mother of God. I know it can be done because I have done it.

The real reason behind denying the Virgin Mary the title Mother of God is the pathological fear of seeming Roman Catholic.

Linus, I think you've got a winner!

I might also mention that I think if you start from Theotokos and work from there it's a lot easier to get them over the Chalcedonian hump than if you start from "mother of God".
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« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2003, 09:42:53 AM »

Well, if you noticed, that article is classic Nestorianism. It may use the language of "natures," but it is really distinguishing between two persons, a divine and a human. According to it, Mary can be credited with giving birth to the human but not to God. It makes of Jesus two separate persons.


I agree.  

It is really amazing how the old heresies are recycled and come back again and again.  Many claim it is an original idea that was revealed to them.  It is unfortunate that many of these heresies have developed into an organized religion with millions of followers.  In some ways, the danger of heresy is even greater today in the past becasue of the following reasons:

1.  The internet and mass communications allows ideas to spread quickly.
2.  The ease of global transportation.  A heretic missionary with baskets of food can arrive in Africa in 8 hours.  
3.  The increasing marginalization of Christian beliefs in western society
4.  The whole idea from the 1960's that if it makes me feel good and does not hurt anyone, it is acceptable.
5.  The incredible wealth that exists today.
6.  the science of psychology has revealed how the mind works to some extent and how the mind learns new concepts.  This makes it easier to deveople techniques to trap people mentally.

We all need to be on our guard and be willing to defend the faith.
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« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2003, 10:49:32 AM »

Why do people misrepresent things they do not understand?  Calling Mary Theotokos does not mean that Christ was imparted his divinity from MARY only that CHRIST is/was God from the moment of conception thus Mary gave birth to GOD.  The only people I ever see trying to make a GOD out of Mary are these fools.  oh and some one should tell these morons that Pontifex Maximus does not mean supreme HEAD but supreme BRIDGE BUILDER!!  A little knowledge is worse than total ignorance.
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« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2003, 10:59:03 AM »

I started a thread over on CF that illustrates what another prominent Protestant 'theologian' thinks of the Incarnation of our Lord and Saviour.

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« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2003, 11:13:15 AM »

I started a thread over on CF that illustrates what another prominent Protestant 'theologian' thinks of the Incarnation of our Lord and Saviour.



What a crank!

Jesus' body was "prepared" in Mary's womb without the use of one of her eggs?

She contributed nothing to  Jesus' physical body?

Oblio -

You should bring that thread over here and post it. Everybody needs to see what Hunt had to say.

Incredible!
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« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2003, 11:17:08 AM »

oblio: welp, I'm done at CF.  Their "moderation" is faulty.  They Ban people with out warning - edit posts without notification - have NON-Christians on the staff - and when you point these things out they get very angry.  VERY angry.  

The next trip I will take over to CF will be to do two things:

1 - REINSTATE my deleted tag line.

2 - take down my profile.
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« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2003, 11:21:57 AM »

Br. Max,

Have you been to TBTSNBN ? whispering ...That's christianity.com
CF ain't perfect, but it is a far cry from what it could be.  Many of us mods are trying to make it better Smiley
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« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2003, 11:25:08 AM »

Br. Max,

Have you been to TBTSNBN ? whispering ...That's christianity.com
CF ain't perfect, but it is a far cry from what it could be.  Many of us mods are trying to make it better Smiley

One way to make it better would be to eliminate the MJ forum.

They don't let the JWs and Mormons have their own forums. Why therefore do MJs have one?
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« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2003, 11:27:24 AM »

Let's not forget that Christ's human nature came from Mary.  If Mary wasn't really His mother, then he had no human nature and therefore we aren't saved.   Also, as others have said, Christ was God while still in the womb.  

Another thing that ticks me off is when you mention that we owe a great debt to the Theotokos for saying "yes' to God, and they tell you that if she hadn't, God would have just found someone else to carry Christ!  Well, it only took many centuries to produce a woman holy and pure enough to conceive and give birth to God in the flesh (as well as contribute His humanity).   I guess we could have waited centuries longer for another woman holy enough to be produced!  Roll Eyes  

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« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2003, 11:30:55 AM »

Quote
One way to make it better would be to eliminate the MJ forum.

They don't let the JWs and Mormons have their own forums. Why therefore do MJs have one?

I'm not quite sure, and some of them actually deny the Trinity.  

I can't go into details, but there are discussions on the back boards over there that allows an astute person see the paradoxes and inconsistensies of MJ with Christianity.
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« Reply #17 on: December 03, 2003, 11:31:17 AM »

oblio: welp I've asked time and again for an explanation of WHY I was banned without notification and without explanation and gotten NO response.  I finally created a new handle and went in and IM'ed thebear.  Told him I only created this handle to ask as simple question and get an answer: WHY was I banned?  He banned that handle and gave no reason for why I was banned in the first place other than I had three official warnings - when I got those - who knows.  I had one that was supposedly removed but apparently not.  As best as I can figure, I got banned for standing up and pointing out that SIMCHAT is NOT a Christian even under the rules of CF.  He PUBLICLY denied the Nicene creed and rejected the trinity - as do MOST of the MJ's there.  Oh and I did call some one a HERETIC for denying the trinity.  *gasp*  since all Christians agree, deny the trinity and you are a heretic.
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« Reply #18 on: December 03, 2003, 11:32:38 AM »

linus: according to CF Momrons and JW are NOT even allowed to be considered Christians.
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« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2003, 11:33:44 AM »

The problem most prots have with the title THEOTOKOS is that they mistakenly feel it adds merit to MARY.  It does not.  It is a statement of the identity of her SON.
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« Reply #20 on: December 03, 2003, 11:34:32 AM »

I think we tend to forget the source of such Protestant heresies: the devil.

We refrain from saying it and "calling a spade a spade" because our pluralistic society has elevated what is now called "tolerance" to the rank of Supreme Virtue. We wouldn't want to offend the heretics.

But Satan hates the Mother of God and will do all he can to bring her into disrepute. Look at the Jews' "Pantherus" or "Pantera" story.

"And the dragon was enraged with the woman . . ." (Rev. 12:17).
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« Reply #21 on: December 03, 2003, 11:37:02 AM »

linus: according to CF Momrons and JW are NOT even allowed to be considered Christians.


Well, as you yourself know only too well, neither are MJs.

Just ask them. They will tell you themselves that they are not Christians.
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« Reply #22 on: December 03, 2003, 11:50:54 AM »

linus: true. Sad  They too hate the mother of our Lord.
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« Reply #23 on: December 03, 2003, 04:47:56 PM »

As a Protestant inquirer drawn to Orthodoxy, I don't see any problem with calling Mary, "Theotokos", as that's what she was.  The one she conceived and bore in her womb was God Incarnate.

The problems I (yet) have with Mariology is what seems to my (at least nominally) Protestant ears to be Mariolatry when I read statements like this taken from the Akathist:
"Priest: Our most gracious Queen, our hope, O Theotokos, Who receivest the orphaned and art the intercessor for the stranger; the joy of those in sorrow, protectress of the wronged, see our distress, see our affliction! Help us, for we are helpless. Feed us, for we are strangers and pilgrims. Thou knowest our offences; forgive them, and resolve them as Thou dost will. For we know no other help but Thee, no other intercessor, no gracious comforter, only Thee, O Theotokos to guard and protect us for ages of ages. Amen."

This sounds like a prayer to a deity.  How could one call Mary the only "intercessor" or "gracious comforter" or "help" when Biblically the Holy Spirit has these roles?  Is this prayer exclusively attributing to Mary what more properly may be attributed to God the Holy Spirit?

I know, I know...Mary and the saints intercede for us much as our friends down here do with their prayers.  I guess my big hang-up is the idea about there being no other intercessor, comforter, or help than Mary.  Seems to me that such exclusive titles should be reserved for God alone.

 

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« Reply #24 on: December 03, 2003, 06:47:57 PM »

Thomas don't the scriptures tell us:

1 - pray one for another

and

2 - seek the prayers of the righteous

WHO is more righteous than those in heaven with God, and among those - she who gave birth to Him and was keep from corruption by Him?
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« Reply #25 on: December 03, 2003, 07:06:44 PM »

I was just reading how as one progresses towards Theosis, the prayers offered up are in effect strengthened as they are offered by one more in communion with God.  How much more then, are the prayers of His mother received.
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« Reply #26 on: December 03, 2003, 07:12:20 PM »

From A Night in the Desert of the Holy Mountain The Fruits of the Jesus Prayer:

The ascetic, then, aquires great love for Jesus Christ through the Jesus prayer, and he is joined with Him through this love. It is natural, therefore, for him to love whatever God loves and desire whatever He desires. God "desires all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Tit. 2. 4). This is what the athlete of prayer wants. He is shaken by the evil that exists in the world and grieves deeply for the loss and the ignorance of his brothers. Since sin always has ecclesiastical and cosmic dimensions and affects the entire world, it is natural that he who prays experiences all the tragedy of humanity and suffers deeply for her. He lives the agony of the Lord in Gethsemane. He reaches a point, therefore, where he ceases praying for himself and prays continually for others, to come to the knowledge of God. His purification from passions, his acquisition of the life-giving divine grace, and prayer for others -which is the result of his experiencing the unity of mankind in Jesus Christ- is the greatest mission. This is how the Fathers saw the missionary effort: as a striving for the renewal of the human being and a reintegration of nature. Each person who is purified becomes a valuable part of society, as we are all members of the blessed body of Christ. We can see this vividly in the person of the Most Holy Mother of God. She was "full of grace", and then bestowed grace and adorned all of human nature. Purified and "full of grace", she prays for the whole world. And thus we can say that the Most Holy Mother of God performs the greatest mission of all and benefits all of mankind effectively.

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« Reply #27 on: December 03, 2003, 09:47:01 PM »

Thomas don't the scriptures tell us:

1 - pray one for another

and

2 - seek the prayers of the righteous

WHO is more righteous than those in heaven with God, and among those - she who gave birth to Him and was keep from corruption by Him?


I'm not arguing with those points.  (In fact, I pretty much agree with them. )  I'm concerned about the wording that says she's the only "intercessor", "comforter", and "help". That "only" would seem, at the very least, to rule out the intercession of the other saints.
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« Reply #28 on: December 03, 2003, 09:58:03 PM »

As a Protestant inquirer drawn to Orthodoxy, I don't see any problem with calling Mary, "Theotokos", as that's what she was.  The one she conceived and bore in her womb was God Incarnate.

The problems I (yet) have with Mariology is what seems to my (at least nominally) Protestant ears to be Mariolatry when I read statements like this taken from the Akathist:
"Priest: Our most gracious Queen, our hope, O Theotokos, Who receivest the orphaned and art the intercessor for the stranger; the joy of those in sorrow, protectress of the wronged, see our distress, see our affliction! Help us, for we are helpless. Feed us, for we are strangers and pilgrims. Thou knowest our offences; forgive them, and resolve them as Thou dost will. For we know no other help but Thee, no other intercessor, no gracious comforter, only Thee, O Theotokos to guard and protect us for ages of ages. Amen."

This sounds like a prayer to a deity.  How could one call Mary the only "intercessor" or "gracious comforter" or "help" when Biblically the Holy Spirit has these roles?  Is this prayer exclusively attributing to Mary what more properly may be attributed to God the Holy Spirit?

I know, I know...Mary and the saints intercede for us much as our friends down here do with their prayers.  I guess my big hang-up is the idea about there being no other intercessor, comforter, or help than Mary.  Seems to me that such exclusive titles should be reserved for God alone.

 



I can understand how you feel about such language, DT. Honestly, some of it seems a bit excessive even to me.

I think what is meant is that there is no better merely human intercessor or advocate than the Blessed Virgin.

Perhaps there is a better explanation for some of the language of the Akathist you quoted. It seems to me to be hyperbolic. I think the background for such a prayer and hymn of praise is the full understanding of the part Mary played in the salvation of mankind. Without that background, that Akathist certainly would seem out of line.

Whatever help, intercession, and comfort Mary can supply comes only because of her Son.
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« Reply #29 on: December 03, 2003, 09:59:34 PM »


This sounds like a prayer to a deity.  How could one call Mary the only "intercessor" or "gracious comforter" or "help" when Biblically the Holy Spirit has these roles?  Is this prayer exclusively attributing to Mary what more properly may be attributed to God the Holy Spirit?
 

The Holy Spirit isn't an "intercessor" as one of the Trinity....as I understand it.

This is what I had in mind...

"Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses.  For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.  Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God." Romans 8:26-27
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« Reply #30 on: December 03, 2003, 10:18:03 PM »

Where did you get that Akathist, DT?

Those in my Orthodox prayer books do not contain the lines you quoted.
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« Reply #31 on: December 03, 2003, 10:23:38 PM »

Where did you get that Akathist, DT?

Those in my Orthodox prayer books do not contain the lines you quoted.

Linus, here's the link:
http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/m_akathist_e.htm

Scroll down to the bottom and then count up to the fourth (from the bottom) Priest paragraph.  It's in that paragraph.
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« Reply #32 on: December 03, 2003, 10:25:08 PM »

Yes...which translation? And thanks for clarifying...


That's from the NKJV.  The old "King Jimmie" pretty much says the same thing.  Smiley
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« Reply #33 on: December 03, 2003, 10:32:25 PM »

Where did you get that Akathist, DT?

Those in my Orthodox prayer books do not contain the lines you quoted.

Linus, here's the link:
http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/m_akathist_e.htm

Scroll down to the bottom and then count up to the fourth (from the bottom) Priest paragraph.  It's in that paragraph.

Curious.

It's there where you said it is, all right, but it's not in the Akathists in my prayer books, and I've never heard those lines in any Orthodox Church.

Strange.
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« Reply #34 on: December 03, 2003, 11:38:29 PM »


Curious.

It's there where you said it is, all right, but it's not in the Akathists in my prayer books, and I've never heard those lines in any Orthodox Church.

Strange.

Yeah, and I certainly can't explain it.  I've never seen an Orthodox prayer book, and I have not heard that sentiment in either of the Orthodox services I attended.  I just assumed in reading this, however, that this was not an uncommon prayer in Orthodox worship.

Can anyone else explain it?  Huh
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« Reply #35 on: December 04, 2003, 09:25:01 AM »

Hey DT.

You are right in that The Akathis him is "over the top". The first time I went to the service, when I left I was pretty disgusted with what I had heard. To me it IS almost like a service to a deity.

So, I just don't go to it anymore.

There most definitely is a "Cult of Mary" in the Orthodox Church that makes me very uncomfortable. I have talked to my Priest about it, and he said that I can't expect to agree with everything that my Church does, just focus in on the important parts.



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« Reply #36 on: December 04, 2003, 10:12:16 AM »

TomS,

Jesus Christ glorifies His mother. The church is the body of Christ. We, the body of Christ, with Christ at  the head, glorify His mother. These hymns have been written by saints in the church, people filled with the Holy Spirit who were inspired by God to write these words.

It might help to put yourself in the shoes of someone in 1st century Palestine who has just received the gospel with joy. Then you learn that the mother of Christ your saviour is still alive and living a few hours away. Filled with awe and wonder you go to visit her to meet this wondrous lady.

Me personally, I would probably fall at her feet with tears in my eyes and not stop thanking her and praising her for her part in my salvation. I would definitely beg her to pray to her Son on my behalf and would quickly come to love her almost as much as I loved her Son.

Now since her falling asleep, Mary has appeared many times to christians and non christians alike, directly interceding for them, saving entire cities from invasion (and countries) either personally or through the many miracle working icons of her. The churchs experience of her intercessions has grown immensely since that time and it is no wonder that the hymnography of the church reflects that.

I can understand your difficulty in accepting the place Mary has in the church as I have been through all that myself (still struggling through it actually). but I have come to understand that it is impossible to truly love God and not have the same love and devotion to His mother. That love will of course spread to all the saints as we begin to see Christ in them, and as we become more pure we will see Christ in all men and women and love them accordingly.

Orthodoxy is a package deal and I hope you will overcome these difficulties and be able to fully appreciate the church in all its fullness. Your priest's advice is good. Focus on loving God and a life of prayer, and in time everything else will fall into place for you.

John.
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« Reply #37 on: December 04, 2003, 10:27:24 AM »

Orthodoxy is a package deal and I hope you will overcome these difficulties and be able to fully appreciate the church in all its fullness. Your priest's advice is good. Focus on loving God and a life of prayer, and in time everything else will fall into place for you.

I am sorry John, but Orthodoxy is NOT a packaged deal. Orthodoxy is a FORM of worship, a way to RELATE to God. It is not a checklist.

If it was a "packaged deal" then throughout history ALL Orthodox would be adhering strictly to ALL the Canons of the Church.


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« Reply #38 on: December 04, 2003, 11:28:48 AM »

I think TomS and Doubting Thomas were not referring to the veneration of the Blessed Virgin per se but rather to these specific words of the Akathist quoted by Doubting Thomas: "For we know no other help but Thee, no other intercessor, no gracious comforter, only Thee, O Theotokos to guard and protect us for ages of ages. Amen."

That passage does seem somewhat excessive even to me, and I very much love and venerate the all-holy Mother of God.

Of course the Blessed Virgin is our intercessor and comforter, etc., but are there no others? No other source of help?

That is the idea that TomS and DT reacted to negatively.

I could not find that passage in the Akathists in my prayer books.

And frankly, although I pray to the Blessed Virgin to intercede for me and my family and I am happy to praise and venerate her, I would not feel comfortable saying "no other help, no other intercessor, no gracious comforter, only Thee," simply because such exclusive language is not true.

Our Lord Himself called the Holy Spirit the Comforter (John 14:26), and we know that God is our ever-present help and Christ our intercessor with the Father (Ps. 40:17; Heb. 7:25).

Perhaps someone can explain the excessive-sounding language of the Akathist quoted by DT.

Until such an explanation, however, I cannot see how it could be right.
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« Reply #39 on: December 04, 2003, 11:33:51 AM »

I think TomS and Doubting Thomas were not referring to the veneration of the Blessed Virgin but rather to these specific words of the Akathist quoted by Doubting Thomas

That is correct Linus. I certainly revere, respect and love the blessed Theotokos, but sometimes I think that this reverence is taken a little  too far.
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« Reply #40 on: December 04, 2003, 11:41:17 AM »

I think TomS and Doubting Thomas were not referring to the veneration of the Blessed Virgin but rather to these specific words of the Akathist quoted by Doubting Thomas

That is correct Linus. I certainly revere, respect and love the blessed Theotokos, but sometimes I feel that this reverence is a little too much for me.

I am thinking that perhaps the words of the Akathist quoted by Doubting Thomas - apparently the Akathist written by St. Romanus the Melodist in the 6th century - should be understood to mean no other merely human intercessor, comforter, helper, etc.

Still, it would be a lot easier to understand if that was what was actually said, or if the exclusive words "no other" were not there.
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« Reply #41 on: December 04, 2003, 11:43:46 AM »

There is similar language in latin prayers.  

Prayer to Our Mother of Perpetual Help

O Mother of Perpetual Help, grant that I may ever invoke Thy most powerful name, which is the safeguard of the living and the salvation of the dying. O Purest Mary, O Sweetest Mary, let Your name henceforth be ever on my lips. Delay not, O Blessed Lady, to help me whenever I call on You, for, in all my needs, in all my temptations, I shall never cease to call on You, ever repeating Your sacred name, Mary, Mary. O what consolation, what sweetness, what confidence, what emotion fills my soul when I pronounce Your sacred name, or even only think of You! I thank God for having given You, for my good, so sweet, so powerful, so lovely a name. But I will not be content with merely pronouncing Your name; let my love for You prompt me ever to hail You, Mother of Perpetual Help. Amen.
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« Reply #42 on: December 04, 2003, 12:04:53 PM »

There is similar language in latin prayers.  

Prayer to Our Mother of Perpetual Help

O Mother of Perpetual Help, grant that I may ever invoke Thy most powerful name, which is the safeguard of the living and the salvation of the dying. O Purest Mary, O Sweetest Mary, let Your name henceforth be ever on my lips. Delay not, O Blessed Lady, to help me whenever I call on You, for, in all my needs, in all my temptations, I shall never cease to call on You, ever repeating Your sacred name, Mary, Mary. O what consolation, what sweetness, what confidence, what emotion fills my soul when I pronounce Your sacred name, or even only think of You! I thank God for having given You, for my good, so sweet, so powerful, so lovely a name. But I will not be content with merely pronouncing Your name; let my love for You prompt me ever to hail You, Mother of Perpetual Help. Amen.


Wow. That IS a bit much.
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« Reply #43 on: December 04, 2003, 12:36:31 PM »

I think TomS and Doubting Thomas were not referring to the veneration of the Blessed Virgin per se but rather to these specific words of the Akathist quoted by Doubting Thomas: "For we know no other help but Thee, no other intercessor, no gracious comforter, only Thee, O Theotokos to guard and protect us for ages of ages. Amen."

Linus, you are exactly right.  I've actually come around to seeing the reason for the veneration of Mary, but passages such as these which I have occasionally encountered are very worrisome.


Quote
Of course the Blessed Virgin is our intercessor and comforter, etc., but are there no others? No other source of help?

That is the idea that TomS and DT reacted to negatively.

Right.  (I refer readers to my comments regarding the Holy Spirit above on my first post in this thread)

Quote
And frankly, although I pray to the Blessed Virgin to intercede for me and my family and I am happy to praise and venerate her, I would not feel comfortable saying "no other help, no other intercessor, no gracious comforter, only Thee," simply because such exclusive language is not true.

That's the problem I'm having.  As I mentioned I feel I've made progress, so to speak, in accepting certain Orthodox dogmas regarding Mary.  However, this statement bothers  me, and I can imagine how much it would repel my wife should she ever read it!

Quote
Our Lord Himself called the Holy Spirit the Comforter (John 14:26), and we know that God is our ever-present help and Christ our intercessor with the Father (Ps. 40:17; Heb. 7:25).

Amen!  And I cited Romans 8:26-27 which states the Holy Spirit intercedes for us.

Quote
Perhaps someone can explain the excessive-sounding language of the Akathist quoted by DT.

Until such an explanation, however, I cannot see how it could be right.

I'm glad there are Orthodox believers here who share my concerns.  I would appreciate any such explanation as I am continuing on my quest.
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« Reply #44 on: December 04, 2003, 12:37:26 PM »

and people wonder why protestants have issue with Mary. Sad
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