I can not begin to tell how disappointed I am in the closing of the thread: Thoughts on Mary: sinless. I certainly understand why however. Perhaps I should be thankful it lasted as long as it did. I thought it was going wonderfully until a certain individual corrupted it’s original intent. Perhaps that was inevitable considering the world we live in today, but I am saddened nonetheless.
I am was going to ask everyone to please stop their posts in reaction to it’s obvious derailment. I didn’t “own” that thread but I was its original poster (OP – yep, I figured out what that meant … finally!) and I felt a personal responsibility to keep that discussion on track, on a course that I had set as follows:
“I am looking for personal statements rather than what doctrine and Tradition teach.”
But I was too late! It had already gone wildly off track, derailed deliberately I should think. Everyone is free (in the US) to post as they feel led, but I truly was hoping to stay within the guideline I posted above. I am absolutely positive everyone EVERTYONE who had posted a remark on that “Mary …” thread could have dumped those kinds of references, doctoral thesis’s, doctrines, dogma … ad nauseam, as quotes anytime they wanted, but they didn’t. Almost everyone, pro and con, had shown the kind of restraint and respect I was hoping to achieve. Well almost everyone… until …
What can I say? What was done was not necessary and is an example of the arrogant, puffed up thinking that is so rampant in human discourse concerning Protestant and Catholic Church theology. If I wanted that, I could have gone to any number of sites around the internet and received plenty. I know Catholic and Protestant theologians that could spin me around like a top in an instant with their knowledge. For heaven’s sake, I have a couple of those in my own family, my brother (who is a protestant minister) and his wife. They could tear anyone to shreds with their logic, rational thought, Biblical knowledge, command of ancient languages and shear depth of perspective. However, they would do so without compassion or passion. They would do it starting from what I believe is an errant premise to begin with. They would do it confined, as I have been almost my entire life, to that little box of thinking called Protestantism.
If I could I would have had that one post expunged, in its entirety, from this thread. Those references that took so much time to type out and quote, then in a instant posted here, and clogged up a meaningful and passionate discussion on Mary, can be found conveniently in one place: in the 37 volume collection called the Early Church Fathers available in most church libraries, the entire set can be downloaded off the internet (zeitun-eg.org/ecfidx.htm)), I even checked the local city library and they have the entire set as well, and then of course they can be bought from any number of book sellers (I have a few volumes myself.) A simple reference would have sufficed along with some personal views or comments – but nope that just wasn’t done. Again, probably deliberately.
I have many questions, honest questions, like and starting with: Why do the many protestant churches ignore Mary, making her little more than a footnote? Why does the Catholic Church venerate Mary, making her one of most important figures in the church? Sarcasm, cynicism, swearing, subjectivity, and prejudice are all signs of fear, arrogance, contempt, disrespect, and I asked, pleaded – begged, that those be kept out of the responses. But it just couldn’t be resisted … my naiveté showing through as well as victim to my own wishful thinking.
God has challenged me to break out my little box of thinking. He has challenged me to see my belief and faith in Him as more than just “knowledge”, “church” and “Sunday school”. He is challenging me to see the Church, Christ’s Church, in a different light, in His Light of Truth. I am also on a quest to discover who I am (it’s never too late!) and what God’s purpose is for my life. I have been to the depths of my soul, seen the darkness of my final hour and God has pulled me back from the brink of destruction for a purpose, yes, for a purpose, but first and foremost because He loves me.
I am not a great man or a wise man, a great intellect or scientist, I don’t have piles of degrees or years of training, I am but a simple, ordinary man – one person – in a world full of people just like me. I love my family, even though I am separated from them right now, I love my country, even though I feel it is on a path of destruction, and I love my God, because He first loved me. Even though I am just a man, one person, I know I can make a difference and I am here to discover what that difference includes - just why God has led me here.
I started with questions about Mary and I will continue my questions, as time permits, in these forums … a bit wiser from this experience, but still determined; disappointed, but not discouraged; frustrated, but undaunted; sad but still hopeful.