Accusation against Imm. Concpt. I don't understand


#1

Hey,

In regards to the dogma of the Immaculate Conception and how it relates to Jesus and the Incarnation, I’ve come across an argument that I think is a bad argument because it shows a lack of understanding what the Catholic view actually is. They like make up something and say “this is what you believe?!” when in reality it’s totally wrong.

I first came across it in an anti-Catholic book a couple weeks ago, then a dude I was emailing used a similar line of thinking against me.

**I feel comfortable answering it, but maybe someofyall are more knowledgeable about it. **

** I’ll briefly state the argument in the next post. **


#2

I think it can be summed up well in just a few brief propositions for you, not necessarily in premise conclusion form, just here:

  1. If Mary was immaculately conceived, as the RCC claims, she would not have given Christ a body “in the likeness of sinful flesh.” (Romans 8:3).

  2. If it were true that Christ had been born of an immaculate mother, it would have rendered Him incapable of participating in our feelings when we are tempted and tried

  3. In order for Christ to be a propriation for our sins - he had to be fully human. Mary could not be fully and truly human if she was not in need of grace - and therefore could not transfer the human quality of Christ’s nature to Him.

See what I mean, it just doesn’t seem like a good argument. Why…? Because it doesn’t deal with what the Church actually teaches. There’s no “catch 22” here, Jesus got His human nature from Mary, the same human nature that Mary got from her parents, who got it from their parents, all the long way back to Adam, who was also born without original sin, though obviously in a little different “without” way than Mary.

Anyways, see, it’s based upon somekindof assumption that Mary had to be a sinner in order for Jesus to receive a human nature from her in order to be the propitiation for our sins, in the likeness of sinful flesh (Romans 8:3).

Is that crazy or what??:whacky:

But it perhaps deserves a good response


#3

Is this related to the idea that to be more human you need to be sinful?

Sin doesn’t make you more human. This is a good excuse people use to allow themselves to sin. "It is just human nature"
Does this mean that God cannot defeat sin or cannot. Would he ask us to reform and turn away from lives of sin if we can’t or must we try and be perfect. Is it possible to be perfect? It must if God asks us to be.

Maybe I am drifting off track here but it seems that most objections to sinlessness are somehow based on the idea that sinlessness is impossible, and therefore it is ok to sin.
Does God accept sinners or sinners who repent? If I repent then I am resolving not to sin again. Which must be possible.

I don’t know of good response, I just started typing the above and didn’t want to delete it so I posted it.

Have a good night, hopefully any part of that is remotely helpful.
God Bless
Scylla


#4

[quote=scylla]Is this related to the idea that to be more human you need to be sinful?

Sin doesn’t make you more human.

I don’t know of good response, I just started typing the above and didn’t want to delete it so I posted it.

Have a good night, hopefully any part of that is remotely helpful.
God Bless
Scylla
[/quote]

Yeah, that’s perhaps related quiet closely. As the former DRE at the local parish was fond of saying, sin is inhuman. Obviously not ultimately to the end of robbing us of our “human nature” but generally speaking, sin is inhuman in a certain way. It’s against God’s design for us. He created us upright, but we seek out various “devices” (That’s in Ecclesiastes isn’t it?).

While it’s not necessarily the most direct apologetical response, it’s definitely related and worth duly noting, thanks Scylla.


#5

Were not Adam and Eve created without the attachment of original sin and therefore immaculate?

Christ’s sacrifice saved Mary from falling into the pit of sin; unlike us who he saved by pulling out of the pit of sin.

Maranatha,
Hans


#6

[quote=Reformed Rob]I think it can be summed up well in just a few brief propositions for you, not necessarily in premise conclusion form, just here:

  1. If Mary was immaculately conceived, as the RCC claims, she would not have given Christ a body “in the likeness of sinful flesh.” (Romans 8:3).
    [/quote]

That same (incorrect) argument would apply to Jesus needing to sin Himself. If Jesus never sinned, and was never tainted by sin (as of course I’m sure this person believes), and yet had a body in the likeness of sinful flesh, then why would it be necessary that Mary, once removed from Jesus, would be a sinner and tainted by sin?

  1. If it were true that Christ had been born of an immaculate mother, it would have rendered Him incapable of participating in our feelings when we are tempted and tried

[font=Arial]3) In order for Christ to be a propriation for our sins - he had to be fully human. Mary could not be fully and truly human if she was not in need of grace - and therefore could not transfer the human quality of Christ’s nature to Him.
Exact same argument. Jesus was not in need of grace. Does that mean He was not fully human? Again, why does this person focus on the attributes of Mary and ignore the implications of the same arguments and supposedly required attributes applied to Jesus Himself?

Oh, and of course, the Church does not teach that Mary was not in need of grace. She is, rather, full of grace!

Suppose, for sake of argument, that Mary was a sinner, and that being a sinner was required to give Jesus a fully human nature. Then wouldn’t it follow that for Jesus to actually have a fully human nature He would also need to sin? If, OTOH, Jesus could have a fully human nature without Himself sinning, then the alleged linkage between sin and a fully human nature is disproven.


#7

[quote=VociMike] …

Then wouldn’t it follow that for Jesus to actually have a fully human nature He would also need to sin? If, OTOH, Jesus could have a fully human nature without Himself sinning, then the alleged linkage between sin and a fully human nature is disproven.
[/quote]

Well said Voci,

I’m happy for having some responses to this. You said it quiet well, what is probably the crux of the fault with that above stated argument. It’s “wisdom, falsely so called!”

That and the fact that of course, as you pointed out, the source of Mary’s holiness was GRACE!! She certainly was not autonomously righteous apart from Grace!

In the book I was reading, I really thought the author was implying that she believed that Christ was under the penalty of sin. Not just original, but also, as we say, actual. I don’t think the author meant that, but that’s what it was sounding like.

Thanks for the replies


#8

Well, what about Mary taking Christ’s place in the Passion and redemption of sinners?

I’m not wanting to get into the Coredemptrix topic, that’s a nice topic, but I’m not talking about Coredemptrix, I’m talking about Mary as Redemptrix.

Like, I’m sure that’s easy to answer. What first comes to mind is that Mary was human and* only *human. She was not divine. Secondly, she was not able to, by the spilling of her blood, merit salvation for anyone, much less the whole human race. Infinite righteousness was not “contained” in her, so to speak.

Maybe I’m still thinking too much like a Calvinist, but I suspect there’s enough carry over from Catholicism into Calvinism, that the answers to “why not Mary?” are similar.

Has anyone ever written anything specifically addressing “why not Mary?” from a faithful Catholic perspective. Closest famous writing that comes to mind is “Why the God Man?” by St. Anselm. But that’s just his view, though a good one that I understand is still generally upheld more or less.


#9

Adam and Eve were created in a State of Grace, and yet they sinned. Mary and Jesus were both tempted by Satan.

Think about it, don’t you see Satan tempts you the hardest when you are at your holiest? Why should he waste time tempting you if you are wollering in sin? So Satan would work especially hard on Jesus and Mary.

Notworthy


#10

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.