Baptist sermon on Mary. need help

My Baptist brother told me

“you should watch the Dec 7 sermon from Dr. Brewer. He talks about Mary and mentions examples of how the Catholic church looks at her and then contrasts it with “extreme” baptists and then says there’s no reason why it can’t be middle of the road as far as how highly she is held.”

His Baptist church in Round Rock TX records their Sunday services and posts them online here (go to dec 7 and 24 minutes in)

Can someone help me dissect and refute this preacher? There’s surprisingly a lot he eventually agrees with Catholics on later on in his sermon but he pastes such a stereotypical view of how protestants view Catholic’s view on Mary in the beginning.

And can someone give a good refutation on why we shouldn’t seek out a “middle of the road” with Mary.

The best is not to go. You will be surrounded by people who will disagree with anything you say even if you are able to refute him, he and the rest will not think so making it a waste of time. Outside of the internet, religion is an argument best to stay away from…

Oh he didn’t invite me to go there. Just to watch the video (and I assume to comment)

Almost every Baptist I’ve met has mentioned their repulsiveness against Catholic Marian dogmata, and most say something along the lines of “She was just a vessel”.

For your Baptist brother to point out a sermon by a Baptist preacher who says, in essence, that Mary is more than a vessel, but less than “Mediatrix of all Graces” I would consider a quite welcome evolution in belief. I wouldn’t try to refute what was said simply because I’m flabbergasted by the fact that this preacher didn’t condemn the cult of Mary outright.

If I were you, I would count this as a step in the right direction, and I wouldn’t press the issue too much. I would respond by telling him “Hey brother! I know of some good books/sermons/videos that might interest you”. I would tell him that you very much appreciated the example of a Baptist preacher who seemingly is defying historic Baptist doctrine!

In other words: Don’t press this! Your brother is pointing out a tempered understanding of the Blessed Virgin Mary based on Baptist principles which is more Catholic than previously thought!. Praise God that Ecumenism has come so far that a Baptist might admit that the Catholics may be “kind of right”.

You could get more specific help if you presented a particular part of that sermon that you’d like to respond to…or watch it again and takes notes, and then list out all the points you’d like to address. Asking others to watch a video and respond to it is kinda like me saying, “here, read these 6 articles that have something to do with Mary” without telling you which ones, or which parts of them, might be helpful.

Thank you for your insight! I have two questions for you. How can I do this but encourage him to no just settle down for the “middle of the road”? And do you think this would be a good video to give in return as sort of a “Here’s a little more on where Catholics are coming from with the whole Mary deal”

Noted. I’ll go over it again with notes. But any of your guys’ thoughts on it in general or any areas of it that stick out to you in particular are welcomed also.

Theres a part at the end of the guy’s sermon where he says something along the lines of “we should follow Christ wherever that may lead us” I have a feeling this would be a good topic to bring up to my brother maybe?

Why seek out a middle ground and deny the truth? Baptists and other Sola Scriptura folks want to argue their cases with the a priori assumption that Sola Scriptura is true. Its not even biblical!

Dont concede anything. Its a good opportunity to point out that the authority of Church is “pillar and bulwark of faith”! And thats in the bible!

There is no need to back away from one small element of Marian doctrine. Each teaching about Mary in fact supports an important fact about who Christ is! Marian doctrine has not been revealed just to honor Mary. It has usually been revealed to support arguments about the truth of who Christ is!

For example , the teaching that Mary is the Mother of God was actually opposed by the heresy of Nestorianism that separated Christs humanity from His divinity. Insisting on the title Theotokos or God bearer, the Church fought the Nestorian heresy and enforced the hypostatic nature of Christ being BOTH man and God!

Denying the doctrines of Mary, denies the truth of Christ and His Church. There is no need for a middle ground on teaching who Christ is! Generally when we want to concede a point on Mariology its because we dont really understand why the Church teaches what She does about Mary and a fear that the Church unduly raises Mary to a level a human should not be raised. Have no fear! The Church honors Mary exactly as her Son would have us honor and entitle her!

Hey thanks for that, well put!

I guess one specific thing about what the preacher said was about the wedding at cana where he calls Mary “woman” and seems to be kinda rude in tone. i know that we connect his use of woman as the woman in genesis after the fall, but what about the rest of what Jesus said to Mary in that passage? What did he mean and why did it seem harsh. I swear there was a tract on her that mentioned it but I don’t remember which.

For others:

Went here. Looked at the December 7th video. The rant begins at about 25:00 into the video.

For Shaolen.

Many partial truths.

I’ll just go into one here in this post (I may go into others in future posts). The point about Cana is just goofy. He forgot to say that Jesus’ reply (by His actions) to Mary eventually included fulfilling the Blessed Virgin Mary’s request.

He neglected to point out that “Woman” hearkens us back to Genesis 3:15.

Jesus is NOT disobeying the commandment to honor your father and mother (at Cana or anywhere else) as the preacher implies (but does not say).

Also in Jesus’ response at Cana there is a Hebrew idiom here being used by Jesus but is beyond the scope of this post to go into it.

This preacher also said the Blessed Mother was unmarried.

This is just plain wrong. When someone is betrothed, they ARE married. The Jews call this kiddushin. This is translated as “betrothal” many times. Sometimes translated in a slipshod manner as “engaged”.

Then the HUSBAND (NOT the “engaged”) goes and prepares a place for his bride.

He might say to His bride: Where I am going you cannot come. I go to prepare a place for you." Can you think of anywhere where Jesus says THAT to His bride, the Church (see John 14:1-3)?

Incidentally. when the groom takes his bride into his home that he went and prepared, it is termed by the Jews, nisuin.

Anyway. The Blessed Virgin IS married–that’s precisely WHY St. Matthew refers to Mary as Joseph’s “wife” in MT 1:20.

MATTHEW 1:18-20** 18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit; 19 and her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to send her away. 20 But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit;

You might ask: “Well WHY is THIS important–I mean who cares if they were married or merely engaged?”

It matters for several reasons but I’ll name just one. Mary’s Perpetual Virginity.

It would be non-sense for an “engaged” Mary to ask an angel about having a son; “How can this be?”

But it makes even LESS sense if Mary is already married!

And Mary WAS already married to Joseph (but Joseph had not yet taken Mary into his home yet).

“The angel . . .came to a virgin of Nazareth betrothed (they are already married) to a man named Joseph . . .”

It would be utter non-sense for a married woman to ask HOW can I have a son . . . . unless . . . . unless the woman had already taken a VOW of virginity (as you can see DOES occur in Numbers 30–a “vow to afflict herself”).

"How can this come about?"

The fact that a married woman asks such a question assumes at least a virginal intention.

Then this preacher went on and on birdshotting his gripes about many “issues” he had with the Blessed Mother and the Church.

Very shallow exegesis from him and if he wanted to criticize Catholic doctrine, instead of throwing barbs without any substance, he should do his homework first to avoid such a folly.

But if the preacher DID do his homework, he couldn’t have said and implicated the criticisms that he did . . . at least if he were honest.

And then he goes on about how we should give more honor to the Blessed Mother (he usually just calls Her “Mary”) after ripping Marian doctrine for 10 minutes implicitly and sometimes explicitly.

Nothing at all there, refutes Catholicism.

All his other implicit innuendos and explicit criticisms are fairly easily dealt with too.

I’ll look in on the thread later.

Do you have any specific questions?

Hopefully this is helping. If not I’ll leave it alone. If this is helping, I’d be glad to go further.

God bless.


Is there anywhere in the Bible that Jesus ever calls her mother? Is He being rude on the cross when He says **“woman behold your son”? **

If Jesus was sinless, as all Christians believe, then to be rude to a parent would be breaking the commandment to honor thy father and mother. I guarantee you, that no matter how much we honor Mary, it pales in comparison to how Jesus honors her. (As a side note, I have heard that in the Jewish tradition, the commandment is taken up a notch, where we say honor, they say glorify).

What amazes me about a lot of these sermons, is many times their views are a reaction to Catholics. I have attended Mass for over 40 years and I have never once heard the word Protestant used in a sermon. I HAVE heard some Protestant friends of mine say that they would view Mary in a more favorable light, if it weren’t for Catholics “overboard” love of her. How can love be “overboard”? And why should that love affect you?

I have never met a Catholic who had a deep Marian devotion, that did not have an even deeper relationship with Christ.

I have personally felt her intercession in my life. Within hours of my asking for something, a crisis was resolved in my family’s life.

So I ask your brother a question. Why should any Catholic who has felt her intercession to her Son in their lives, or for that matter any Catholic at all, ** confine her “to middle of the road”? ** When Jesus commanded us to love others as we love ourselves, He took away the “middle of the road” option for any true Christian.

I won’t waste my hearing or my eyesight on that link. I would just say could we possibly love and revere Mary more than Jesus loves and reveres His own mother? The one who diminishes her in ANY way, is a fool.

What you said in three sentences took me 100. Now I feel like a bombastic fool. Shame on you for making me feel this way.:tsktsk:

Here’s something I use with my RCIA classes:

There’s Something about Mary – Understanding Catholic Devotion to Mary

For many converting to the Catholic faith from another religious tradition, our intense devotion to the Blessed Virgin is difficult to understand and accept. And for many who do convert to Catholicism, acceptance of our Marian devotion is the last, and perhaps biggest obstacle in acceptance of their new faith.

If you are confused, and especially concerned that Marian devotion is a non-negotiable requirement for entering the Church, don’t be. You are not required by the Church to pray to the Father through Mary. But many of us who converted from Protestant traditions, after accepting Mary for the blessed figure she is to Catholics around the world and throughout the ages, will tell you their reluctance to embracing Marian devotion was based entirely on the one-sided opinions they were exposed to before their inquiry into the Catholic faith.

So, through the use of scripture, let’s take a look at why Mary, the mother of Jesus, is such an important figure to us.

If we are to believe the bible to be the true Word of God, we should be quite comfortable in calling Mary, the Blessed. In Luke 1:42, Elizabeth (mother of John the Baptist) when visited by the pregnant Mary after being filled with the Holy Spirit, “cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!”” Note: This verse is the biblical source for the Hail Mary as well as the 2nd Joyous Mystery (the Visitation) of the Holy Rosary.

Since we have mentioned the Rosary, lets set something else straight. Catholics, do not pray to Mary in the sense that we believe she has the power of God to do things for us. Rather we pray to Mary (or perhaps some might say, we pray with Mary – and the other saints), that she will pray for us.

Asking Mary (or other saints) to pray for us makes perfect sense. We ask friends and relatives to pray for us. And prayers of others do work! Just think of Mary and the saints as others (others much closer to God) joining in prayer for us. Revelation 5:8 makes reference to the saints offering prayers on our behalf: “And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and with golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints, …”

And, if you need more scripture to lend support to what you may have considered our over-the-top love of Mary, in Mary’s canticle (the Magnificat), Mary claims (Luke 1:48b) “…behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed.” So, more often than not, in accordance with the scripture, we refer to her not just as the Virgin Mary, but the Blessed Virgin Mary.

But, because all things in our faith have to do with Jesus, this is a good point to remind ourselves that whether we are Catholic, Baptist, Pentecostal, Methodist, Lutheran, or non-denominational Evangelical, we agree on this indisputable fact: JESUS IS GOD!

Now, while Catholics clearly venerate Mary (the definition of veneration is the showing of profound respect and reverence, it is NOT defined as worshipping), some Protestant denominations seem to avoid discussing Mary (often such discussion is viewed simply as just too Catholic) at all. At best she is scantly mentioned around Christmas time, and only thought of as some nice woman we see as part of a Nativity scene.

One reason we venerate Mary goes back to our common beliefs that since Mary is the mother of Jesus and, Jesus is God, we can safely reach the logical conclusion that Mary is the Mother of God!

As indisputable, the fact that Jesus is God, we learned from the the Nicene Creed that Jesus was just as much human. While his human nature came from his mother, Mary, his divine nature came from his Father (God, through the Holy Spirit – See Luke 1:35 …”The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God…”).
So now lets draw another, equally logical conclusion that gives us cause for our intense respect and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Mary was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit, and the power of God. That is, she was impregnated by the Holy Spirit.

From the very time of creation, we learn that it was God’s divine plan for men and women to pro-create. And scripture further tells us that this plan was for the creation of children after man and woman had joined as one – that is, children were intended to be a gift from God given to a married couple.

So it was intended by our creator that the mother and father of a child would be spouses.

With this established we can add to a pretty compelling list to why it is right and just to venerate Mary.

As the mother of the Son of God (conceived through the power of the Holy Spirit), Mary is not only the Mother of God, but the Spouse of God (the Holy Spirit)!

So, if you accept these facts, you will now understand the high esteem that we as Catholics hold for Mary, the Blessed Virgin is not just some blind, random or meaningless act of faith, but is deeply enrooted and justified in scripture.

If you are still having difficulty accepting the Catholic devotion to our Blessed Lady, pray to the Father that the Holy Spirit open your heart through the understanding that only He can provide.

I hope this is of some help for use in a discussion with him!

Thank you so much for this! Please if you can elaborate on the idiom you mentioned regarding cana

Some other parts I’d like to know about is where he mentions Jesus being asked where’s his mother etc. and he states all the people following His word. What’s the context for that passage and why did he say that? Also it really is silly but what would you say about the preacher’s charge about us having too many churches devoted to Mary and only a few devoted to Christ.

How would he know, did he count them??? Every Catholic Church, no matter what the title, is devoted to Our Lord and His Holy Mass!!!
God Bless. Memaw

thank you for that. Very helpful

[accidental double post, please see next post]]

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