Protestant argument #1


#1

The Immaculate Conception:

Many people mistakenly believe that the immaculate conception refers to the conception of Jesus Christ. Jesus’ conception was most assuredly immaculate…but this concept does not refer to Jesus at all. The immaculate conception is a doctrine of the Romans Catholic Church in regards to Mary, Jesus’ mother. An official statement of the doctrine reads, “…the blessed Virgin Mary to have been, from the first instant of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of Almighty God, in view of the merits of Christ Jesus the Savior of Mankind, preserved free from all stain of original sin.” Essentially the immaculate conception is the belief that Mary was protected from original sin, that Mary did not have a sin nature. Some go so far as to teach that Mary was, in fact, sinless.

The problem with the doctrine of the immaculate conception is that it is not taught in the Bible. The Bible nowhere describes Mary as anything but an ordinary human female whom God chose to be the mother of the Lord Jesus Christ. Mary was undoubtedly a godly woman (Luke 1:28). Mary was surely a wonderful wife and mother. Jesus definitely loved and cherished His mother (John 19:27). The Bible gives us no reason to believe that Mary was sinless. In fact, the Bible gives us every reason to believe that Jesus Christ is the only Person who never committed a sin (Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 3:23; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:22; 1 John 3:5).

The doctrine of the immaculate conception originated out of confusion over how Jesus Christ could be born sinless if He was conceived inside of a sinful human female. The thought was that Jesus would have inherited a sinful nature from Mary had she been a sinner. In contrast to the immaculate conception, the Biblical solution to this problem is understanding that Jesus Himself was miraculously protected from being polluted by sin while He was inside Mary’s womb. If God was capable of protecting Mary from sin, would He not be able to protect Jesus from sin? Therefore, Mary being sinless is neither necessary or Biblical.

So, the doctrine of the immaculate conception is neither Biblical or necessary. Jesus was miraculously conceived inside Mary, who was a virgin at the time. That is the Biblical concept of the virgin birth. The Bible does not even hint that there was anything significant about Mary’s conception. If we examine this concept logically, Mary’s mother would have to be immaculately conceived as well. How could Mary be conceived without sin if her mother was sinful? The same would have to be said of Mary’s grandmother, great-grandmother, and so on. So, in conclusion, the immaculate conception is not a Biblical teaching. The Bible teaches the miraculous virgin conception of Jesus Christ, not the immaculate conception of Mary.


#2

Below is a link of the Catholic teaching regarding your view.

newadvent.org/cathen/07674d.htm


#3

Besides that cool link, on the Church’s postion, ALL protestant aruments are moot anyway just becasue all thier arguments are based on Scripture. They seem to foget that the “bible” didn’t exist as a book until around 390 A.D.[OH and who put it together?, ill give you a hint, it was the only church around at the time…the Church that Christ started…:wink: ]


#4

[quote=TheGarg], ALL protestant aruments are moot anyway just becasue all thier arguments are based on Scripture. ==================================================Hi Garg, I have to chuckle once in a while. :smiley: God Bless
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#5

Where did the idea that Mary had to be sinless come from? I understand not everything is in the bible, but wouldn’t it just be hearsay? Just asking.


#6

All I can say about this subject is that I was raised in a Protestant denomination, and everything that I was told was wrong with the Catholic Church and it’s doctrines has turned out to not be wrong after all. To top it all off, things I was taught were fact, like the Rapture, turned out to be a pipe dream.

That’s fine if people want to keep kidding themselves about the uncorrectness of the Catholic Church, they’re only short-changing themselves and missing out on quite an experience.


#7

This argument assumes the idea that every doctrine must appear complete, explicit and often in Scripture. This will destroy many non-catholic doctrines, but I’ve always maintained that anti-Catholics don’t mind destroying their own position if they think they can damage the Church. As Dave Armstrong puts it:

Catholicism needs only to show the harmony of a doctrine with the Bible. It is not our view that every doctrine of Christianity must appear whole, explicit, and often, in the pages of the Bible. We have also Sacred Tradition, Church Authority, and an acceptance of the development of understanding of essentially unchanging Christian truths. A belief implicitly biblical is not “anti-biblical” or “unbiblical,” as many Protestants would have us believe. In fact, many Protestant doctrines are either not found in the Bible at all (e.g., “Bible alone” and the Canon of the Bible), are based on only a very few direct passages (e.g., the Virgin Birth), or are indirectly deduced from many implicit passages (e.g., the Trinity, the two natures of Jesus Christ). Likewise with the Immaculate Conception and other Catholic Marian beliefs.

Scott


#8

Where did the idea that Mary had to be sinless come from? I understand not everything is in the bible, but wouldn’t it just be hearsay? Just asking.

Hearsay? No. That would be Oral Tradition.

God Bless,
Maria


#9

Actually, there is Biblical support for it. Take my namesake verse for example. The enmity between Jesus (the seed) and Satan’s seed is the same as the enmity between the woman and Satan.

Since Jesus of course never sinned their is total enmity between Him and evil. Now, the woman cannot be Eve because Eve sinned, so there would not be total enmity. The woman, the mother of the seed (Jesus), is Mary, and there was complete enmity between her and Satan. In other words, she was sinless.


#10

[quote=pacersFan]All I can say about this subject is that I was raised in a Protestant denomination, and everything that I was told was wrong with the Catholic Church and it’s doctrines has turned out to not be wrong after all. To top it all off, things I was taught were fact, like the Rapture, turned out to be a pipe dream.
.
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Amen to this !! The concept of Mary being sinless is very difficult for me to accept however, the Catholic Church was right about the Eucharist, right about the Apostolic succession, right about once saved, always saved (false), and right about the inaccuracy of salvation by faith alone. At one time I didn’t believe any of that and I was wrong. I’m going to figure that I was probably wrong about Mary being a sinner.

Besides, who cares? If God wanted her to be sinless, she was sinless. She isn’t the focus anyhow - she points the way to our Savior Jesus Christ. Of that we can agree, right?


#11

[quote=marilee27]Where did the idea that Mary had to be sinless come from? I understand not everything is in the bible, but wouldn’t it just be hearsay? Just asking.
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Hi Marilee!
From the Bible… See this thread forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=40979

The Immaculate Conception is tied to the idea that Mary lived a sinless life, but they really are two different things.
The thread above will answer it to some degree and there is scriptural evidence that is worth considering.
Pax vobiscum,

Valtiel, if you’ll search first you will probably find that most all of these Prot arguments have been well and truly beat to death in other threads and save yourself a bunch of C&P.


#12

[quote=pacersFan]All I can say about this subject is that I was raised in a Protestant denomination, and everything that I was told was wrong with the Catholic Church and it’s doctrines has turned out to not be wrong after all. To top it all off, things I was taught were fact, like the Rapture, turned out to be a pipe dream.

That’s fine if people want to keep kidding themselves about the uncorrectness of the Catholic Church, they’re only short-changing themselves and missing out on quite an experience.
[/quote]

This is my experience as well PacersFan. I’m a cradle Catholic and REvert. This is one reason that I am so into talking about these things. Had I known at 17 what I know now…I’d never have left the faith to begin with and I think my life might have been a lot better.
Pax vobiscum,


#13

[quote=Church Militant]Had I known at 17 what I know now…I’d never have left the faith to begin with and I think my life might have been a lot better.
Pax vobiscum,
[/quote]

Hmmm. I’ve read your posts a lot and so I’m familiar with the journey that has lead you to where you are. Do you think your understanding, devotion, and faith would be where they are now if you had not taken that journey, if you had just stayed in the Church? You’re one of my favorite posters and one of the most effective and I wonder if you’d be so good at defending the faith if you didn’t have the experience you have. You know what I mean?


#14

[quote=Genesis315]Hmmm. I’ve read your posts a lot and so I’m familiar with the journey that has lead you to where you are. Do you think your understanding, devotion, and faith would be where they are now if you had not taken that journey, if you had just stayed in the Church? You’re one of my favorite posters and one of the most effective and I wonder if you’d be so good at defending the faith if you didn’t have the experience you have. You know what I mean?
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shaking his head, then shrugs Who can tell? I’ve always been one to dive in whole hog and to take a stand for what I really believe. (can we say “Irish”) As a Prot I was this same way, dilligent in study and committed to spreading the gospel and winning souls. It took me most of my life to figure out that I am a mystic, but I am without question a Catholic mystic, so none of that new age trash for me.

Had I stayed in the church I suspect that the knowlege might have come a bit easier and the greater conversion might have been with much less conflict, but I think I would’ve gravitated to a site like this and to defense of the faith because my search is always for truth and apologetics is about offering the truth to both those w/in & w/out the church. I believe that any Christian of any stripe who is ignorant of why he believes what he believes is nothing more than a lamb waiting to be led astray. I believe that we owe it to ourselves to be thinkers like St Thomas Aquinas because logic really can help us know and love God. If Jesus is the truth then that truth calls us in every aspect of our beings…but not the least of which is our reason. One who is honestly and sincerely seeking…will indeed be led of the Spirit of God to Christ because He is the spirit of truth.
If that makes sense and answers that question great…if not, just write it off to my trying to write about some of the intangibles in my life and their tangible effects therein :eek:
Thanks for the compliment… Glory Be To God!
Pax vobiscum,


#15

I agree with what Carol Marie said about struggling to accept the Immaculate Conception and why I had to (everything else the Church said was right). I understand the Church’s defense of it, but it’s still hard to stomach. In the end, though, I finally felt that there really wasn’t any point in fighting it. How could I know if she was sinless or not, and what difference does it make in my relationship with God? Even if the Church was wrong on this point, it doesn’t change anything crucial in my life. It’s not an “essential” doctrine, like the Eucharist or baptism, so it just doesn’t seem like an issue to argue about with Protestants or within myself.


#16

Folks…there is a big difference between Mary’s sinless life (if any…I say why not?) and the Immaculate Conception, which is actually pretty easy to get in the context of scripture that is implicit. It’s worth the research…I recommend it to you.


#17

I guess ignorance truly IS bliss.
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#18

[quote=cherirose]I agree with what Carol Marie said about struggling to accept the Immaculate Conception and why I had to (everything else the Church said was right). I understand the Church’s defense of it, but it’s still hard to stomach. In the end, though, I finally felt that there really wasn’t any point in fighting it. How could I know if she was sinless or not, and what difference does it make in my relationship with God? Even if the Church was wrong on this point, it doesn’t change anything crucial in my life. It’s not an “essential” doctrine, like the Eucharist or baptism, so it just doesn’t seem like an issue to argue about with Protestants or within myself.
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Actually, while God making Mary sinless was not strictly “essential” in the sense that God had no choice but to do it that way, it is essential in the sense that Our Lord is not just tell–he is show and tell, and the Immaculate Conception shows the salvation we all receive. Just as the Assumption is the proof that all of the faithful will enjoy heaven with their souls and bodies united.

Scott


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