Help me defend Catholicism!


#1

I recently got a email from a guy on another website that I am part of, where I publicly say that I am in the process of becoming Catholic. I don’t know what to say in reply to this guy. Here is what he wrote:

"I want to talk about the doctrine of “Immaculate Conception of Mary.” Catholicism teaches today that Mary is the mother of God. Pope Pius XII’s encyclical in 1943 said “She is the mother of our head.” Catholicism claims Mary is full of grace, therefore free of original sin and kept from all actual sin. The Pope’s encyclical agreed, claiming Mary is free from any personal or inherited blemish.

Here is my argument: My own personal feeling on the subject is that the Mary of biblical theology is quite different from the Mary of evolutionary Catholic dogma. The Mary of biblical theology is a simple Jewish maiden, selected by God. She says, “Behold the handmaiden of the Lord.” She says, “My soul doth magnify the Lord…my spirit rejoices in God, my Savior.” The fact that she identifies God as “Savior” indicates the fact that she is willing to confess the fact that she’s a sinner, as everybody else, who is in need of a Savior. The fact that Mary died is proof that she was a sinner because the “wages of sin is death,” and death has passed upon all men, according to Romans Chapter 5-- in that all have sinned. Mary died, was resurrected, and assumed into Heaven, according to the doctrine of the Assumption of Mary. "

He also said that he is very protestant Baptist, and wants to debate on what catholic’s and protestants believe. I am new to the faith, and I really need help answering this guy. Please, if you would, give me some idea’s of what to say.


#2

Yes, Mary needed a Savior. The Church has never denied that. The Immaculate Conception simply means that she was saved at the instant of her conception rather than during or after her life; God, who is outside of time, took Jesus’ salvific action on the cross and applied it to Mary at her conception.
I have heard many proponents of OSAS say that once a person is saved they are incapable of committing a sin. Ask the person who emailed you if he believes that. If he does, ask him why it is impossible for Mary, who was saved at conception, to have remained sinless after her salvation.

As for Mary dying, we simply don’t know whether she did or not. The Assumption states that she was taken bodily into Heaven. Whether it was before or after her physical death, the Church has never made a definite statement.

If he truly wants to find out and debate what Catholics believe, invite him to come here.


#3

Since this thread deals with a defense of the faith, I’ve moved it to Apologetics. You should get the answers you are looking for here!


#4

Well, you could say that I want to become a member of the Christian Church that was there at the beginning. You could say that you believe that Jesus gave to Peter the keys to the kingdom of heaven and that the Pope’s have the power descended directly from Peter, and that you believe in the teaching of those that are descended from him, a Church that has been interpreting Scripture for over 2000 years. Oh, you could go on and on, quoting the Bible to prove your point. And he could go on and on quoting the Bible to prove his point. What you’ll have is an endless debate. I always say that I respect the other person’s faith, that we both believe Jesus is God come to earth. We both believe He shed His blood for us. I always tell others that for me the Catholic Faith has the REAL PRESENCE Of Christ in the Eucharist and that is why I am a member of this particular denomination. Otherwise, the debate could go on forever.


#5

Here is my argument: My own personal feeling on the subject

This guy’s “argument” it is quite simple to answer: Way to go. You have officially proved nothing. I care very little about your personal feelings. I care about truth.

-ACEGC


#6

This may be of some help ic.net/~erasmus/RAZ153.HTM and theworkofgod.org/Library/catholic/questions_about_Mary.htm


#7

Mary is the mother of Jesus. Jesus is God and Jesus is our head. Therefore, Mary is the mother of God and Mary is the mother of our head. This is basic logic. To deny that Mary is the mother of God denies the divinity of Jesus; to deny that Mary is the mother of our head denies the headship of Jesus. Referring to Mary as the mother of God merely acknowledges the fact that when the eternal Son of God chose to assume a human nature in time He chose to be conceived in the womb of Mary and to be born of her.

Catholicism claims Mary is full of grace, therefore free of original sin and kept from all actual sin. The Pope’s encyclical agreed, claiming Mary is free from any personal or inherited blemish.

It was God’s messenger Gabriel in God’s word (Luke 1:28) who addressed Mary as “full of grace” (Greek: kecharitomene). If Mary was full of grace, would there be any room in her for sin?

The Mary of biblical theology is a simple Jewish maiden, selected by God. She says, “Behold the handmaiden of the Lord.” She says, “My soul doth magnify the Lord…my spirit rejoices in God, my Savior.” The fact that she identifies God as “Savior” indicates the fact that she is willing to confess the fact that she’s a sinner, as everybody else, who is in need of a Savior.

The assumption that the use of the word “Savior” refers to salvation from personal sins is unwarranted since the concept of her personal sin appears nowhere in Mary’s song. Mary does refer to herself as being lowly (of low estate or low degree) but this does not imply sinfulness; Jesus refers to himself as being lowly and He was sinless. (Matthew 11:29) The word “Savior” in this context has nothing to do with spiritual salvation but with material salvation, with freeing the descendants of Abraham from the oppression and injustices in the land through the coming of the Messiah and the establishment of His everlasting kingdom. However, even if this refers to spiritual salvation, Mary could rightly call God her Savior for preserving her by His grace from contracting the spiritual effects of Original Sin and from ever falling into actual sin.

The fact that Mary died is proof that she was a sinner because the “wages of sin is death,” and death has passed upon all men, according to Romans Chapter 5-- in that all have sinned. Mary died, was resurrected, and assumed into Heaven, according to the doctrine of the Assumption of Mary. "

The Bible does not say that Mary died. And, the dogmatic statement on Mary’s Assumption does not say that Mary died but only that at the end of her earthly life she was bodily assumed into heaven. The same thing could be said of Enoch and Elijah. However, even if Mary did die, her death would not necessarily mean that she was a sinner since Jesus died and Jesus was not a sinner. Additionally, the Church does not claim that Mary was free from the physical effects of Original Sin, such as from contracting illness or experiencing death, but only that she was free from all the spiritual effects of Original Sin.

It is clear that Romans Chapter 5 uses the word “all” in a general way that admits exceptions. Jesus is one noteable exception to this general rule. By a singular grace of God, Mary is another exception to this general rule as indicated by the various accolades given her: full of grace (Luke 1:28); the Lord is with you (28); you have found favor with God (30); handmaid of the Lord (38); blessed are you among women (42).

The Bible describes Jesus as the sinless “second Man” and “last Adam.” (1 Corinthians 15:45, 47) What is Mary’s place in salvation history? Was she just some vacant Jewish womb chosen at random by God or is she the sinless ‘second Woman’ and ‘last Eve’, “full of grace” and “blessed…among women”, “the handmaid of the Lord” and spiritual mother of “those who keep the commandments of God and bear testimony to Jesus” (Revelation 12:17), chosen by God from the beginning to be, with her son, the devil’s enemy (Genesis 3:15, Revelation 12)? This latter view, the Catholic view, is the more Biblically-sound view of Mary’s place in salvation history.


#8

[quote=edward_george]This guy’s “argument” it is quite simple to answer: Way to go. You have officially proved nothing. I care very little about your personal feelings. I care about truth.

-ACEGC
[/quote]

I assume this directed at the one who wrote to Lydia (as it is part of her quote.) and not toward Lydia herself.

Scott


#9

Yes, Mary needed a Savior. The details were just different. Mary was saved at conception. Nothing about being saved requires that one first be damned, only that one cannot save oneself. By analogy, I can be saved after a car accident by an emergency room doctor, or I can be saved from ever having that accident by the person who designed my anti-lock brakes.

Consider the question of babies who die. Does he think they need a Savior, and if so, why? What actual sin has a baby committed?

As to the argument about death, Jesus’ death is the obvious exception to his own argument.

And as to Mary being a simple Jewish girl, that’s true, but then Jesus was a simple Jewish boy. Now what?


#10

Most people who reject the Immaculate Conception have a faulty view of human nature that is at odds with the Catholic view. It can be summed up like this. Mary is human, therefore Mary sinned. This false anthropology insists that sin is constituitive of human nature. The Catholic position is that sin is NOT natural to the human being, but it is normal. This is a big difference. Sin is NOT part of what it means to be human. In fact, sin reduces our humanity. We were created in the image and likeness of God after all. ( and sin makes us stupid)

It seems there was an objection to the title "Mother of God. " Remember that all Marian dogmas (including the Immaculate Conception) are either about Jesus or about the true nature of humanity. Mary as “Mother of God” was believed from the start but it was defined when people started denying the divinity of Christ. “Mother of God” says that Jesus is God and as such he wsa born to the Virgin. It was put in terms of Mary because it was in Marian trerms that these people denied the divinity of Christ. If you start denying Marian dogmas, you start attacking Christ or the belief that we were made in the image and likeness of God


#11

I would just like to add to all the others Luke 1:43.
“And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”

First of all Elizabeth is giving honor to Mary, just as we Catholics do. She is in awe that Mary is in her presence, not her savior in her mother’s womb, but Mary.

And if you look at the Greek, the word used for “Lord” in that verse translates to God. So, Elizabeth recognized that Mary was to be the mother of God.

Mary was full of Grace. The absence of Grace is sin, so in Mary there was no room for sin. If you have a glass of pure water and a glass of part water part mud and you mix them, do you get pure water? NO! So, Mary could not have sin.

God Bless!


#12

Mary is indeed the “Mother of God” (note - not mother of the Trinity).

The reason why Mary is called by Catholics “Mother of God” is because Jesus has two natures, a human nature and a divine nature.

A human being, Mary, because she is human CAN ONLY GIVE BIRTH TO A PERSON… remember, Jesus has two natures, human and divine. This is called the Hypostatic Union.

Therefore, since Mary, a human, can only give birth to a person, not a nature, Mary is Mother of Jesus who is God…Mary is “Theotokas” or “God Bearer” or - MOTHER OF GOD.

Denying the fact that Mary is Mother of God is to deny the divine and human nature of Jesus Christ, born of her, that very first Christmas day!

Ken


#13

[quote=LydiaW] the doctrine of “Immaculate Conception of Mary.” Catholicism teaches today that Mary is the mother of God.
[/quote]

He’s goofy and look what he doesn’t know!

The three “pillars of the reformation”, Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli, all believed that Mary was the mother of God.

Mother of God:

Martin Luther: “In this work whereby she was made the Mother of God, so many and such good things were given her that no one can grasp them… Not only was Mary the mother of Him who is born [in Bethlehem], but of Him who, before the world, was eternally born of the Father, from a Mother in time and at the same time man and God.” (The Works of Luther, English translation by Pelikan, Concordia, St. Louis, Vol. 7, page 572)

John Calvin: “It cannot be denied that God in choosing and destining Mary to be the Mother of His Son, granted her the highest honor…Elizabeth calls Mary Mother of the Lord, because the unity of the person in the two natures of Christ was such that she could have said that the mortal man engendered in the womb of Mary was at the same time the eternal God.” (Calvini Opera, Corpus reformatorum, Braunschweig-Berlin, 1863-1900, Vol. 45, page 348 and 335.)

Ulrich Zwingli: “It was given to her what belongs to no creature, that in the flesh she should bring forth the Son of God.” ( Zwingli Opera, Corpus reformatorum, Berlin, 1905, in Evang. Luc., Op. Comp., Vol.
6, I, page 639.)

Catholicism claims Mary is full of grace, therefore free of original sin and kept from all actual sin. The Pope’s encyclical agreed

The Catholic Church doesn’t just say that Mary is full of grace. That’s straight from the Word of God isn’t it? The problem is that the post reformation religions have no clue what all that entails. The problem is not the Catholic Church…it’s their understanding.

My own personal feeling

on the subject is that the Mary of biblical theology is quite different from the Mary of evolutionary Catholic dogma. So in what way does he figure that his personal feeling is infallibly correct? Ask him if he realizes that the Trinity is also an evolutionary Catholic doctrine?

The Mary of biblical theology is a simple Jewish maiden, selected by God. The fact that she identifies God as “Savior” indicates the that she’s a sinner, The fact that Mary died is proof that she was a sinner because the “wages of sin is death,”

I think that many people fail to recognize the really awesome power of Jesus’ sacrifice.

What does St. John call him in Revelation13:8? “And all that dwell upon the earth adored him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb, which was slain from the beginning of the world.” (Emphasis mine)

So if that sacrifice was a done deal even then, then we can begin to understand how Old Testament saints were saved by it…and even more wonderful is how that same saving sacrifice could (and was!) applied to the Blessed Virgin to purify the Ark of the New Covenant within which would be carried the Son of the Most High God. We must never forget that the sacrifice of the cross flows in both directions in time in ways that only God could have planned.

Mary died, was resurrected, and assumed into Heaven, according to the doctrine of the Assumption of Mary.

These articles should give you some good info to help you counter his assertions.

He also said that he is very protestant Baptist, and wants to debate

Here’s the good answer for this guy on this.

  1. I am a new convert, but I can direct you where to look for people who will be happy to answer you. :whistle: I wonder where that would be? :thumbsup:

  2. Tell him that you are not interested in debates and again refer him here to us and to the CA mainpage Library. One thing that many people seem to forget is that we are under no obligation to debate anyone at any time. Certainly we want to defend the faith, but there really are no points for going up against a mismatch with some dude who apparently has made a study of anti-Catholic arguments in order to rattle the faith of people like you. Just tell him that you have some new found friends (here) who will be quite happy to discuss and debate with him. Then by all means stop by to check on the discussion so that you can learn how to answer him.

If you’re not comfortable with talking to him then just blow him off and enjoy your faith. You are under no obligation to do this kind of thing until you feel that you are comfortable with it, and by all means use this as an opportunity to learn these aspects of your faith. We’ll be happy to help any way we can.

If you need to please feel free to PM me with anything at all.
Pax tecum,


#14

[quote=LydiaW]I recently got a email from a guy on another website that I am part of, where I publicly say that I am in the process of becoming Catholic. I don’t know what to say in reply to this guy. Here is what he wrote:

"I want to talk about the doctrine of “Immaculate Conception of Mary.” Catholicism teaches today that Mary is the mother of God. Pope Pius XII’s encyclical in 1943 said “She is the mother of our head.” Catholicism claims Mary is full of grace, therefore free of original sin and kept from all actual sin. The Pope’s encyclical agreed, claiming Mary is free from any personal or inherited blemish.

Here is my argument: My own personal feeling on the subject is that the Mary of biblical theology is quite different from the Mary of evolutionary Catholic dogma. The Mary of biblical theology is a simple Jewish maiden, selected by God. She says, “Behold the handmaiden of the Lord.” She says, “My soul doth magnify the Lord…my spirit rejoices in God, my Savior.” The fact that she identifies God as “Savior” indicates the fact that she is willing to confess the fact that she’s a sinner, as everybody else, who is in need of a Savior. The fact that Mary died is proof that she was a sinner because the "wages of sin is death," and death has passed upon all men, according to Romans Chapter 5-- in that all have sinned. Mary died, was resurrected, and assumed into Heaven, according to the doctrine of the Assumption of Mary. "
.
[/quote]

Here is what I would say to him. “Since Jesus also died does it mean that He too sinned?” I don’t think that he would say “yes” to that? Then if he tries to make an exemption then tell him that he is not being biblical taking his very own premis. Tell him also that theology does evolve, which means that we get to know God better as time goes on. That’s just a fact. The disciples never got it 'til pentecost. The revelation of God is better understood the more we seek him.


#15

Thank you for all the great thoughts on this matter. I will have a good email to send this guy now! Thanks to everyone!


#16

Ask him if he is familiar with the Ark of the Covenant. Of course, he is. Ask him why there are so many similarities between the Ark and Mary. We can go into them if you wish, or you can find several threads on this topic.

Notworthy


#17

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