Protestants' Attack on Marian Devotion


#1

My Protestant friends and I are constantly arguing about one thing: Mary. I have gotten very close to convincing them that honouring Mary is proper. However, they become very stubborn and refuse to accept basic logic. Should I even attempt to argue with them? Or is there a way for me to get rid of their stubborness? Also, I would like more arguments for the honor that Mary deserves. The ones i mainly use are the comparison to the arc of the covenant, Jesus’ respect for the Ten Commandments, and being born without original sin or concupiscence. These arguments are barely enough. Can someone teach me more eficient arguments, or how to use these arguments to their full potential? thanks.


#2

also, how does Marian Devotion differ from idolatry?


#3

[quote=OMG THEOLOGIST]My Protestant friends and I are constantly arguing about one thing: Mary. I have gotten very close to convincing them that honouring Mary is proper. However, they become very stubborn and refuse to accept basic logic. Should I even attempt to argue with them? Or is there a way for me to get rid of their stubborness? Also, I would like more arguments for the honor that Mary deserves. The ones i mainly use are the comparison to the arc of the covenant, Jesus’ respect for the Ten Commandments, and being born without original sin or concupiscence. These arguments are barely enough. Can someone teach me more eficient arguments, or how to use these arguments to their full potential? thanks.
[/quote]

You can use Church Fathers, like this quote from St. Athanasius.

“O noble Virgin, truly you are greater than any other greatness. For who is your equal in greatness, O dwelling place of God the Word? To whom among all creatures shall I compare you, O Virgin? You are greater than them all O (Ark of the) Covenant, clothed with purity instead of gold! You are the Ark in which is found the golden vessel containing the true manna, that is, the flesh in which Divinity resides.” (Athanasius of Alexandria, Homily of the Papyrus of Turin)


#4

If you haven’t told them of this terminology, it might help.

also, how does Marian Devotion differ from idolatry?

Look at that last word. Of course you know what the idol part of it means. But look at the suffix -latry. This comes from the Greek latria. This is a word meaning honor, but only a specific type of honor–that due only to God.

There are two other words we can use to mean honor. *Dulia *is the honor due to human beings, especially the saints, and hyperdulia, which is a higher honor, as that due to the Virgin Mary. In fact, the term *hyperdulia *was coined for that reason.

Read Saint Worship? from www.catholic.com for more, as this is my main source here.

In short, as the Mother of God, Mary certainly deserves a great deal of honor, but in no way does honoring her impede or replace the way in which we honor God.

-ACEGC


#5

[quote=OMG THEOLOGIST]also, how does Marian Devotion differ from idolatry?
[/quote]

Idolatry would be to put someone in the place of God. It would be to worship them as they are God.

We honor Mary in reference to God. When we honor Mary we are ultimately honoring God because it is her love for God and her fiat, “let it be done to me according to thy will” that cause us to honor her. In Augustines “On Christian Doctrine” he talks about “Use” versus “Enjoyment”. “Enjoyment” is kind of like a love for the being or thing for what it is. “Use” is accorded to something that helps you to get to God. All objects would fall under use. “Enjoyment” is accorded to God, and God alone for who he is. He is the unchanging and eternal being. Mary, and all other saints, are enjoyed due to God. All “enjoyment” is in reference to God. We love our neighbor because of God.

This is the same when we are honoring Mary. It is all in reference to God. You can see that this is not placing Mary in Gods place, instead we are honoring Mary as one of Gods great creations, and consequently we are honoring God himself.


#6

[quote=edward_george]If you haven’t told them of this terminology, it might help.

Look at that last word. Of course you know what the idol part of it means. But look at the suffix -latry. This comes from the Greek latria. This is a word meaning honor, but only a specific type of honor–that due only to God.

There are two other words we can use to mean honor. *Dulia *is the honor due to human beings, especially the saints, and hyperdulia, which is a higher honor, as that due to the Virgin Mary. In fact, the term *hyperdulia *was coined for that reason.

Read Saint Worship? from www.catholic.com for more, as this is my main source here.

In short, as the Mother of God, Mary certainly deserves a great deal of honor, but in no way does honoring her impede or replace the way in which we honor God.

-ACEGC
[/quote]

That is a sharp arguement there edward. I have never noticed the -latry ending.


#7

[quote=OMG THEOLOGIST]My Protestant friends and I are constantly arguing about one thing: Mary. I have gotten very close to convincing them that honouring Mary is proper. However, they become very stubborn and refuse to accept basic logic. Should I even attempt to argue with them? Or is there a way for me to get rid of their stubborness? Also, I would like more arguments for the honor that Mary deserves. The ones i mainly use are the comparison to the arc of the covenant, Jesus’ respect for the Ten Commandments, and being born without original sin or concupiscence. These arguments are barely enough. Can someone teach me more eficient arguments, or how to use these arguments to their full potential? thanks.
[/quote]

It may go deeper than just Mary. It’s probably the whole communion/intercession of saints.

Links:
geocities.com/thecatholicconvert/biblecheatsheet.html
for verses to use on intercession (print out .doc version!)
catholic.com/library/Praying_to_the_Saints.asp
catholic.com/thisrock/1992/9209fea1.asp

Books:
Refuting the Attack on Mary, by Father Mateo, available at catholic.com

Any Friend of God’s is a Friend of Mine, by Patrick Madrid
basilicapress.com/index.asp


Also, it wouldn’t hurt to talk about other stuff, too. For example, if you can get them to reject Sola Scriptura and show them the authority of the Catholic Church, then they’ll have to accept what the Church teaches about Mary.


#8

[quote=OMG THEOLOGIST]also, how does Marian Devotion differ from idolatry?
[/quote]

Point them to the Catechism where it talks about our attitude toward the Blessed Virgin as compared to that of God:

971 “All generations will call me blessed”: “The Church’s devotion to the Blessed Virgin is intrinsic to Christian worship.” The Church rightly honors “the Blessed Virgin with special devotion. From the most ancient times the Blessed Virgin has been honored with the title of ‘Mother of God,’ to whose protection the faithful fly in all their dangers and needs. . . . This very special devotion . . . differs essentially from the adoration which is given to the incarnate Word and equally to the Father and the Holy Spirit, and greatly fosters this adoration.” The liturgical feasts dedicated to the Mother of God and Marian prayer, such as the rosary, an “epitome of the whole Gospel,” express this devotion to the Virgin Mary.

If they don’t believe you when you say we don’t worship her as God, show them the Church’s own words. Also, point out how little space the Catechism devotes to Mary (About a dozen short sections --compare that to the extensive sections devoted to the Trinity, and, individually, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit). If we considered her anywhere equal to God it would be much more. A similar observation could be made about the Mass, our highest form of worship. In the course of a typical Mass, Mary is mentioned only twice, almost in passing. Is that any way to treat someone who we supposedly worship? :hmmm:


#9

[quote=OMG THEOLOGIST]My Protestant friends and I are constantly arguing about one thing: Mary. I have gotten very close to convincing them that honouring Mary is proper. However, they become very stubborn and refuse to accept basic logic. Should I even attempt to argue with them? Or is there a way for me to get rid of their stubborness? Also, I would like more arguments for the honor that Mary deserves. The ones i mainly use are the comparison to the arc of the covenant, Jesus’ respect for the Ten Commandments, and being born without original sin or concupiscence. These arguments are barely enough. Can someone teach me more eficient arguments, or how to use these arguments to their full potential? thanks.
[/quote]

There are so many things that are unique to the Virgin Mary.

She is the Woman Propecied in Genesis 3, Isaiah 7, and Revelation 12, whose seed crushes the head of the serpent.

She is the woman uniquely to counter the disobedience of Eve, by saying Yes to God, rather than No.

She was the only one who gave her flesh and humanity to
the Son of God, and she is uniquely to be blessed throughout all
generations (Luke 1:48).

She is the only human in scripture to be named Kecharitomene, that is, Full of Grace.

Mary was the first human being who did receive Christ. Out of the millions of “decisions” made for Christ, Mary’s was the first. Therefore, whatever promises the Holy Scriptures hold for us, Mary already possesses. If the sacred Scriptures declare that we are all kings (Revelation 1:6), is it so
strange that the Church refers to Mary as Queen?

She is the mother of the Son, therefore the mother of the Church, which is His body.

If the Holy Bible promised that you and I shall judge angels (1 Corinthians 6:3), is it so odd that the Church should sing that Mary is “more honorable than the cherubim and more glorious beyond compare than the seraphim”?

If we who are called “holy brethren” (Hebrews 3:1) are commanded to be holy as God is holy (1 Peter 1:15, 16) and are to present our bodies as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1), is it so unthinkable that she whose holy body was the recipient of God Incarnate should be called “most holy” by the Church?

Even early protestants like Luther showed honour and devotion to Mary:

“[She is the] highest woman and the noblest gem in Christianity after Christ. . . She is nobility, wisdom, and holiness personified. We can never honour her enough. Still honour and praise must be given to her in such a way as to injure neither Christ nor the Scriptures.” (Luther, Sermon, Christmas, 1531)

“No woman is like you. You are more than Eve or Sarah, blessed above all nobility, wisdom, and sanctity.” (Luther, Sermon, Feast of the Visitation, 1537)

“Mary is the Mother of Jesus and the Mother of all of us even though it was Christ alone who reposed on her knees . . . If he is ours, we ought to be in his situation; there where he is, we ought also to be and all that he has ought to be ours, and his mother is also our mother.” (Luther,Sermon, Christmas,1529)


#10

If we are brothers and sisters in Christ we are the body of Christ,then who is our mother?:hmmm: Are we not supposed to honor our mother:hmmm: Tell your friend that you want to hear him or her give an explaination to our Lord as why Mary is good enough for Him but not them;)


#11

As the New Eve, Mary is the new “Mother of the living.” How is Mary’s motherhood also a royal motherhood? The woman in Ch. 12 of Rev. appears with a “crown of twelve stars” (Rev. 12:1) on her head. Why is John depicting Mary as a queen? And what is the nature of this queenship?

         The number twelve in Scripture connotes the twelve sons of Jacob, and later the twelve tribes that constituted the nation and kingdom of Israel.  The twelve stars also echo the story concerning the dreams of Jacob's favorite son, Joseph.  One of Joseph's dreams prophetically predicts, through the symbols of the sun, moon, and stars, that Joseph will rule over his brothers and even his parents:  "Behold, I have dreamed another dream; and behold, the sun , the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me" (Gen 37.10).  Just as the stars in Joseph's dreams represent the 12 tribes of Israel (Gen. 37:10), a woman wearing a crown of 12 stars would have authority over the twelve tribes of Jacob, Israel.  This woman would be the Queen Mother of Israel.  Yet there is another dimension to the number twelve.  Remember also, that Jesus had 12 apostles, thus reestablishing the twelve tribes around Himself; the new Israel.  The number 12 signifies the new kingdom of God established by the new and eternal king, Jesus Christ.  Thus, the crowned woman, with the 12 stars of the new kingdom, reveals Mary as the queen of the kingdom of God!

         Let's take a closer look at the role of queens in the Davidic Kingdom.  Jesus was a descendant of David, and therefore heir to the kingdom (cf. Lk. 1:32-33).  Today when we think of queens, we think of the wife of the king.  In the ancient Near East, the wife normally did not rule as queen.  Since Solomon had 700 wives, this prevented a lot of confusion!  Because the queen receives her authority from a familial relation to the king, it was common that the mother of the king took the office of queen, known as the ***Gebirah***, or Queen Mother.  So, for instance, when Solomon reigned as king, Bathsheba (Solomon's mother) reigned as Gebirah, and "sat at the right hand of Solomon" (1 Kings 2:19).  This denotes that the queen's position is second only to the king.  Throughout the Book of Kings, when a king takes the throne, both the king and the queen mother are named (e.g., 1 Kings 15:2; 2 Kings 12:1; 14:1-2).  The Gebirah is listed with the king in order to prove the king's legitimacy as the rightful heir of David.  This was very important to Israel, since the covenant with David (cf. 2 Sam. 7) included the promise that the messiah had to come from the Davidic line.  Thus, when the angel announces that Mary's son is of the line of David and will inherit his throne forever, he is announcing Mary's queenship as well as Christ's kingship.

If Mary’s queenship is impicit in Luke’s Annunciation, in the Visitation, Mary’s queenship is explicit. When Elizabeth greets Mary, she doesn’t call her by name, or refer to their family ties, but by humbling herself and saying, “Why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord might come to me?” (Lk. 1:43). This might seem like pious humility and nothing more. But if we are aware of the Gebirah tradition as Elizabeth surely is, we can see that she is declaring her amazement that the Gebirah and queen of Israel should come and be her midwife.

In the royal courts of that time, the Gebirah’s intercession for the poor and needy gave her the role of advocate. As Gebirah, Bathsheba often interceded on behalf of the weak and the needy. “Open your mouth for the dumb, for the rights of all who are left desolate. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and maintain the rights of the poor and needy” (Prov. 31:8-9). If Mary’s queenship was alluded to by Gabriel, and announced by Elizabeth, Mary’s queenship is manifested by her intercession with the king during the wedding at Cana. The wedding in Cana is the first place where we see Mary publicly performing the Gebirah’s intercessory role. When the couple ran out of wine, Mary interceded with Jesus for them. Mary’s intercessory role began at Cana and extends to all those who are in need within her Son’s kingdom.


#12

Let him/her read Luther’s Magnificat. He probably will never agree with all the teachings about Mary, but he can get another point of view. :smiley:


#13

We do not honor or worship Mary contrary to what many protestants beleive, we pray to them asking them ot intercede to God for us. That is just like instead of asking your father if you could go to see Star Wars epsiode 3 with your firends, you ask your Mom who will probably approve, and with her asking your dda with you, then it will be more likely that he will agree. And if that doesn’t work, then why not ask you grandfather? He will probably agree, and then you will be able to go to the movies if he agrees. Then you thank them later, and maybe give them something. This is just like venerating the saints and Mary. At funerals we sing hyms and give praise. I will continue later I ,must go now.


#14

[quote=OMG THEOLOGIST]However, they become very stubborn and refuse to accept basic logic. Should I even attempt to argue with them? Or is there a way for me to get rid of their stubborness?
[/quote]

Considering how some Marian doctrines (e.g., Perpetual Virginity, Assumption) do not actually affect Protestant theology at all, there has to be something more behind their vehement rejection of such things. I suspect that these things are rejected simply because they pertain to Mary, and for no other reason. When you get down to it, Protestants think of Mary as being Catholic herself, and since she has something to do with the Church, they are somehow not allowed to believe.
They have to get over their anti-Catholicism if they want to begin to understand the Truth.


#15

You know, the one problem I have with the numerous Mary Threads we’ve got going on, is that honoring Mary in the way most Catholics do is not absolutely positively necessary for our Salvation. I think too many people get caught up on Mariolotry. Personally, Mary is a big part of my prayer life. But if my wife did not pray to Mary, and yet still practiced the faith the way we are supposed to do, I won’t be getting to Heaven any quicker than she will.

Most of the Mary Debate I see going on is based on other Christians over-exagurating our emphasis on Mary. We all know that Jesus died for our sins, and He forgives our sins, and He redeems us, and He Sanctifies us. If we use Mary as a focus on the divinity of Christ, so be it. Most of us know that Mary’s message is consistently and simply, “Listen to Him”! Look at all of her visitations, and they all boil down to the old Jewish phrase, "Have I got a Son for You!"
It’s simple and it’s beautiful. Jesus is very proud to have a mother like her.

Thanks,

John


#16

Our love for the Blessed Mother is evidenced by our Rosary prayers. The Protestants should know that the Rosary is scriptural.
THE ANNUNCIATION:
"And when the Angel had come to her, he said, "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women."
Luke 1,28

THE VISITATION:
**Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and cried out in a loud voice, “Blest are you among women and Blest is the fruit of your womb.” Luke 1, 41-42
**
DESCENT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
**All were filled with the Holy Spirit. They began to express themselves in foreign tongues and make bold proclomations as the Spirit prompted them. Acts 2,4
**
THE ASSUMPTION
**You are the glory of Jerusalem… you are the splendid boast of our people…God is pleased with what you have wrought. May you be blessed by the Lord Almighty forever and ever.
Judith 15, 9-10
**
THE CORONATION
**A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. Revelations 12, 1
**
The Blessed Mother was with the Apostles during the Decent of the Holy Spirit but she is not good enough for us to honor?
Ask the Protestants where in the Bible it says NOT to give due respect to the mother of Jesus Christ. As He was dying on the Cross, among Christs last words were, "Behold your mother."
He is saying look upon your Mother, the one who who will lead you to Me. This is very important to see the underlying meaning of giving His Blessed Mother to us.


#17

We are part of the Body of Christ, right? Which means that we’re adopted heirs of Christ, right?

If we’re his heirs, that means that his Father is our father, right?

And we’re part of the mystical Bride of Christ, right? Which means that his Father is also our father-in-law, right?

Now, when Jesus was a toddler, and someone asked him who his mommy was, who did he point to?

Mary, right?

So Jesus recognises Mary as his mother, right?

So since we’re part of the Bride of Christ, this makes her our mother-in-law, right?

And since we’re part of the Body of Christ, this also makes her our mother, right?

And Christ honored his mother perfectly, right?

And we’re to imitate him, right?

RIGHT!!


#18

[quote=OMG THEOLOGIST]My Protestant friends and I are constantly arguing about one thing: Mary. I have gotten very close to convincing them that honouring Mary is proper. However, they become very stubborn and refuse to accept basic logic. Should I even attempt to argue with them? Or is there a way for me to get rid of their stubborness? Also, I would like more arguments for the honor that Mary deserves. The ones i mainly use are the comparison to the arc of the covenant, Jesus’ respect for the Ten Commandments, and being born without original sin or concupiscence. These arguments are barely enough. Can someone teach me more eficient arguments, or how to use these arguments to their full potential? thanks.
[/quote]

Discussing with them is often useless. They will always fall back on Sola Scriptura and since we have Tradition and The Bible and the teaching authority of the church, they can’t get a grip.

Idolatry? In what way? The images of just devotion to the Blessed Virgin in general? Here’s a link to a thread on the images issue that should help you a bit.

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=40742

The devotion to Mary and the saints is easier still since we reverence them for their holy lives and do not give them the worship that is due to God alone. See the CA Library tracts for a great article or two on all that. catholic.com/library/mary_saints.asp
Pax tecum,


#19

This explanation was written by Fr. Vincent Serpa in a differant thread:

"Acknowledging God to be who He is constitutes worship. Only God, therefore can truly be worshipped. We do not acknowledge Mary to be God. We revere her and love her for the holy mother that she is. We give her no more honor than God Himself has given her. No other human being has ever been honored to the degree that Mary has by God. We simply treat her as Jesus treats her: as our holy Mother whom He gave to the whole human race when from the cross, He gave her to the apostle John.

We ask her to pray for us just as we ask each other for prayer. To ask someone to pray for me does not put that person in competition with Jesus. All prayer goes through Him anyway. But the more people are praying, the more love is happening. We are a part of each other in that we are all members of the Body of Christ. It’s all about love. (Jn 20:26-27)."

The dead are ALIVE in Christ, and so why not ask for prayers from physicaly dead christians?

Robin


#20

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