How does Mary's perpetual virginity impact our salvation?


#1

A non-denominational Christian said this:

Mary’s virginity has no impact on our salvation and should therefore not be a required belief.

Is he actually wrong?


#2

good question. can we ask the same thing about the Virgin Birth?


#3

No, because that would mean Jesus wasnt conceived by the Holy Spirit. He would have had a human father.


#4

I have asked this question myself. There seem to be two camps. There are some who say that it is required that you believe everything perfectly, or at least everything the way the Church teaches it. There are those that there is no good authority for that position.

I’m with the second camp. Life is not a theology test. Some doctrines can have an effect on salvation, (I suppose) but I don’t think this one does. That doesn’t mean its not true, though.


#5

Since Jesus is truth, any willful denying of truth is a step away from Him.
It it’s truly out of ignorance, that’s not so bad as if it’s out of pride–like not wanting to agree with certain parties (like the Catholic Church).


#6

It’s like saying, “The existence of the Andromeda galaxy has no impact on our survival here on Earth, therefore one should not be required to believe the Andromeda galaxy exists”.

We aren’t required to believe the Andromeda galaxy exists, as a matter of law in the US.

However let’s suppose that the government of the US was a just and true government, that never made mistakes, and would only make laws to help us understand something about reality. Then the government WOULD make the belief in Andromeda mandatory, because it would be the government’s nature to want to help us understand and know reality.

This is what the Church does when she proclaims a doctrine dogmatic. She proclaims something about reality so that our knowledge of reality may be INCREASED! Indeed, what person, who CLAIMS to want to know “the truth” and know all s/he can ABOUT the truth, NOT want such a gift?

Isn’t one of the common complaints against the Church that the Church “stifles knowledge”, and “prevents people from knowing the full truth about reality through its stupid rules and regulations”? And here we have someone criticizing the Church for doing the exact opposite: not for “stifling” the truth, but for telling us too MUCH about reality!

Incredible!


#7

Well actually, not everyone agrees with the Church.

I think people would be complaining that the Church is not open to considering that Mary was not a perpetual virgin. That’s why people whould be critical of the Church. That she doesnt ‘move with the times’.

The rest of your post makes sense to me.

I myself have heard no real evidence to disprove the Church’s position.


#8

I don’t think anyone disagrees that Mary was a virgin when she gave birth to Jesus. This is said clearly in Scripture and anyone who says that Mary wasn’t a virgin when she gave birth to Jesus is clearly mistaken.

Protestants don’t understand the significance of the perpetual virginity of Mary because Protestants don’t believe in a single “Church” which is one complex reality, both mystical and physical. Let me explain:

Mary is a type for the Church. Or, “Mary is the Church as it dawns in a single person.” Whatever happens to Mary is in some way what happens with the entire Church.

Besides the fact that Mary’s perpetual virginity is based on Scripture, her perpetual virginity is necessary for the Church to be fully realized. Mary devoted herself solely to God and Christ throughout her entire life, such as the Church should do in her own life.

But Protestants will often use the term, “Church of Christ,” to refer to all the body of believers, but they certainly don’t believe in a physical representation of that body of believers (aka, the Catholic Church).

In other words, the Body of Christ is Mary is the Catholic Church.


#9

In what way? Some examples please.

Besides the fact that Mary’s perpetual virginity is based on Scripture,

Scripture reference please.

her perpetual virginity is necessary for the Church to be fully realized.

Why is her perpetutal virginity necessary? You are saying a lot of things without backing them up. They just sound good.


#10

His rejection IS the example. It is a TRUTH presented by Christ throught His Church. The passage “He who hears you hears ME” basically says that if you reject the TRUTH presented by the Infallible Magisterium of the Church you reject Christ Himself. To reject Christ, is to choose condemnation. So rejection of Mary’s Perpertual Virginity is a rejection of Christ Himself and has great consequences for one’s Eternal salvation.


#11

God is the “spouse” of Mary.
Christ is the bridegroom of the Church.
We are referred to as Christ’s body, in some sense, by virtue of our marital bond with Christ. (cf. 1 Cor 7:3-4)

Thus, the relationship that God has with Mary is the same thing as the relationship between God and the Church. In Mary, all believers are nurtured, and through Mary, we receive all grace.

I would say this is pretty important for one’s salvation–from a Catholic perspective of course.

St. Jerome will help you with Scripture references. Anyway, this is a good read.

newadvent.org/fathers/3007.htm

From a book I have by Gregory Oatis:

Jn 19:27: From the cross, Jesus places Mary in John’s charge; Jesus could not have done this if he’d had brothers. This gesture would have been highly disrespectful to them.

2 Sam 6:6-7: Uzzah was killed for simply touching the ark, even though he meant no harm; he only wanted to save it from tipping over. Mary is the new ark and spouse of the Holy Spirit. Joseph could not have defiled her without suffering the same punishment that was meted out to Uzzah

1 Cor 7:37-38: In short, it is not surprising that Mary would have followed the path of greatest piety.

Mary’s virginity is necessary for the Church because, as the Church, we must remain fully devoted to God and Christ in all things. Mary is the model which we must act out in our own lives.


#12

I still don’t see what any of this has to do with salvation, or even with how to live one’s daily life. I understand that theologians have and will continue to work out the theological details of the Faith. But getting the theology right isn’t salvic. I don’t know of anything in Scripture that suggests that we have to understand theology to be saved.

I would agree that rejecting Christ is sinful, and that rejecting His Church can be sinful. But just being wrong is not.

If one chooses to study the Faith, then of course it is good to study it properly. But simple believers that no nothing of theology and have never heard the word “Christology” or “eschatology” or any of the other ‘ologies’ can be, and probably is, holier than the most erudiate theological scholar.


#13

To be honest, I really don’t know why it is necessary or what it even means for something to be necessary. All I know is that it is true and to deny it is a serious detriment to the understanding of one’s faith.

I guess I would just emphasize my last point: Mary is the model, especially for women, for good Christian living. Because God judges us by faith and works, anyone who follows in her example is likely to be saved.

Ultimately, the perpetual virginity of Mary is true. And nothing anyone can say can disprove it definitively. There have been attempts, but they have all fallen short.


#14

Are you suggesting that if Mary wasnt a perpetual virgin she wouldn’t be fully devoted to God and Christ? If so, what about everyone else who isnt celibate.


#15

You’re missing the point. Mary’s entire life, her entire being, was devoted to her “YES” to God. Even before she was asked to be Jesus’ mother, she was a consecrated temple virgin, a girl that was dedicated to the temple and devoted to God for life. From day one she was dedicated to God, doing what He asked of her, and living for Him. Her virginity is part of that. She was spent her life constantly saying that “YES” even after Jesus was born, grew up, began His ministry, and completed His work. She is the new Eve, she is the woman that did what Eve could not do in the garden. And she is the person that every Christian should emulate and follow. We should all be constantly saying “YES” to God, and living for Him.

That is all theology that the Catholic Church has developed, passed down from what the Apostles knew about Mary, believed about her, and what was revealed to them by God. And it’s certainly important, and it’s not something you get if Mary wasn’t in fact a perpetual virgin. Because if she was just a 1st century soccer mom that happened to get lucky to give birth to Jesus, and really played no part in any of His work, then all that is lost and we as Christians have nothing to aspire to. And in fact, that is lost on most protestants, which is directly reflected in their beliefs.


#16

The Perpetual Virginity of the Theotokos is the LAST thing I’d bring up with someone who doesn’t even believe the Virgin’s Son is God.


#17

Scripture please? Or are you just selecting from the apochryphal texts? You can’t say this when you don’t know its fact.

There’s also the Gospel of Thomas, should I believe that as well?

Please don’t use this argument against Sola Scripturists. They will run all over this.


#18

The thread title is “How does Mary’s perpetual virginity impact our salvation?”

What you are saying here does not only apply exclusively to a woman who must be a virgin. Please highlight the part that youve said that can only apply if Mary was a perpetual virgin.


#19

Mary’s virginity has no impact on our salvation and should therefore not be a required belief.

You have to look at this statement from both a catholic and protestant perspectives on salvation. Because they are not the same, and that’s something people miss out on.

From the protestant perspective of salvation, this is a valid statement. Especially for most protestants that believe in the whole ‘saved’ brand of theology. Where all you have to do is believe in Jesus, have a ‘personal’ relationship with Him, read your bible, and you’re ‘saved’. Salvation is that simple. So if that’s all it takes, all the other stuff isn’t important. Especially Marian docterine.

The catholic perspective on salvation is much different though. It takes a bit more than just believing and reading the bible. For a catholic, salvation is not a one time thing, or an assured thing. It’s a journey through life, moving away from sin and toward God, to live as He asks of us, doing His will not ours. It’s constant repentence and conversion. In effect, it’s a journey and a mission to say “yes” to God.

So for a protestant, salvation is a simple thing and it centers around you, your bible, and Jesus. But for a catholic, it’s much more complex, difficult, and more is required. From a catholic perspective, the other stuff does matter.

And the example of Mary is very important. Her perpetual virginity is just another example for us of her “YES” to God. She is the new Eve, the mother to us all, and the First, Best Chrisitian. Someone we should look to as an example, and a road map on our journey through life. She was full of grace, and that’s our mission in life. Sinners who reject sin to follow God and fill ourselves with His grace.

So for a catholic, absolutely Mary’s virginity impacts our salvation. Without her “yes”, without her example, our journey and our mission would be a lot more difficult.


#20

Read it again. It all applies. Sorry you can’t see that.


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.