Five Reasons to Believe in the Assumption of Mary

Francesco Botticini, The Assumption of the Virgin (1476)
Francesco Botticini, The Assumption of the Virgin (1476)

Today is the Feast of the Assumption, in which we Catholics celebrate that the Virgin Mary, at the conclusion of her earthly life, was taken up into Heaven, body and soul. For Protestants and even many Catholics, it’s a hard doctrine to swallow. Here are five reasons that I believe in it (besides the fact that the Church infallibly teaches it):

1. There are No Positive Arguments Against the Assumption of Mary

What I mean here is simply that there’s nothing Christians should be shocked or scandalized by. Nothing in the dogma of the Assumption of Mary is contrary to anything taught in Christianity. The best arguments against the Assumption tend to be arguments from silence: Scripture doesn’t teach it explicitly, so therefore it maybe didn’t happen.

But notice how weak this argument from silence is. When and where did the Virgin Mary die? Scripture doesn’t say. Did Mary die? Scripture doesn’t say. Fascinatingly, even though two different cities (Ephesus and Jerusalem) claimed to be the site where St. John took the Virgin Mary after the Crucifixion (John 19:27), nobody claims to have her body. To a modern Protestant, who gives no thought to sacred relics, that might not seem strange. But the earliest Christians were huge into relics (like Catholics today). The problem that the Church has always faced is too many relics, with impostors trying to pass off their local bones as some great Saint or other (a powerful draw for pilgrims). But here, there are too few relics. As far as arguments from silence go, that strikes me at least as powerful as the whole “not explicitly mentioned” argument.

Some Protestants will go further and claim that it’s wrong to believe anything not explicitly taught in Scripture. That standard is literally impossible to hold. The canon of Scripture (that is, which books are inspired) isn’t taught in Scripture, and yet Protestants believe that their 66 books are inspired. Mary dying isn’t explicitly in Scripture, and yet they believe it happened. So the “I don’t believe in anything not explicitly taught” position invariably turns out to just be “I’m right unless Scripture explicitly contradicts me.” Watch an intra-Protestant debate and you can see this bad hermeneutic play out: instruments in Christian worship aren’t explicitly mentioned, and therefore they’re… forbidden? permitted? You can use this standard to justify virtually anything.

All of that is to say that there aren’t compelling reasons to reject the Assumption. But why should we accept it?

2. Scripture Presents Mary as the Ark of the New Covenant

To see the image of Mary as the Ark of the New Covenant, go back to Luke 1. Actually, go back much further, to 2 Samuel 6:2. There, Scripture says that King David “arose and went with all the people who were with him from Ba′ale-judah, to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the name of the Lord of hosts who sits enthroned on the cherubim.” This Ark is so holy that it can’t even be touched, as Uzzah finds out the hard way (2 Sam. 6:7). David then encamps the Ark there in the hill country of Judah, in “the house of Obededom the Gittite” for three months (2 Sam. 6:11). It’s there that there’s the great scene of “King David leaping and dancing before the Lord” (2 Sam. 6:16).

Now go back to Luke 1. After the Virgin Mary hears that her cousin Elizabeth is pregnant, Luke says that she “arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah” (Luke 1:39). Notice that even the “arose and went” verbage is taken from 2 Samuel 6 – the only time that construction is used in the entire New Testament. And notice that she goes to the same place: the hill country of Judah. She then goes to “the house of Zechariah” where she stays for… you guessed it, three months (Luke 1:40, 56). And it’s there that there’s the great scene in which, “when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb” (Luke 1:41).

And Elizabeth’s response to this is to treat Mary as holy (Luke 1:41-45):

And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”

Believe it or not, Elizabeth’s “why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” is yet another parallel to 2 Samuel 6, where King David asks, “How can the ark of the Lord come to me?” (2 Sam. 6:9).

And of course, all of this makes sense. The Ark of the Covenant was sacred and untouchable because it housed the manna, the Ten Commandments, and the rod of Aaron. Mary housed the Second Person of the Trinity in her womb. Of course she’s holier than the first Ark. (If you’re not ready to admit this, at least you can hopefully see that Scripture presents her as the new Ark).

3. Scripture Promises that the Lord Would Assume His Ark into Heaven

Psalm 132:8 says, “Arise, O Lord, and go to thy resting place, thou and the ark of thy might.” On the surface, this is a reference to the Temple, but it’s ultimately pointing towards Heaven. That, after all, is the ultimate rest of God (Hebrews 4:1, 8-11):

Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest remains, let us fear lest any of you be judged to have failed to reach it. […] For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not speak later of another day. So then, there remains a sabbath rest for the people of God; for whoever enters God’s rest also ceases from his labors as God did from his. Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, that no one fall by the same sort of disobedience.

So the Psalm ultimately prefigures Christ entering Heaven… and taking His Ark with Him.

4. Mary Reigning with Christ is Extremely Biblical.

Some Protestants are scandalized about Catholics referring to Mary as Queen of Heaven. So, for example, GotQuestions proclaims:

There is no queen of heaven. There has never been a queen of heaven. There is most certainly a King of Heaven, the Lord of hosts. He alone rules in heaven. He does not share His rule or His throne or His authority with anyone. The idea that Mary, the mother of Jesus, is the queen of heaven has no scriptural basis whatsoever.

Quite simply, this debate over the Assumption of Mary points to two radically different conceptions of God. The vision of God put forward by GotQuestions is of a God who seems almost insecure, afraid that His Saints are going to detract from His own Glory. To a Catholic, this concern is incoherent, like da Vinci being worried that people wouldn’t respect him because they liked the Mona Lisa too much. Our vision of God is of a God who happily shares his Glory. And unlike GotQuestions, we have the Bible on our side…. quite explicitly.

St. Paul says in 2 Timothy 2:11-12, “Here is a trustworthy saying: If we have died with him, we shall also live with him; if we endure, we shall also reign with him.” Revelation 2:26-29 is just as explicit:

He who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, I will give him power over the nations, and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received power from my Father; and I will give him the morning star. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

So either anti-Marian Protestants are right that God reigns alone, or the Bible is right, that God shares His reign with the Saints. And if Catholics and the Bible are right, then there’s nothing wrong with saying that Mary is Queen of Heaven.

5. There’s Good Direct Biblical Reason to Believe in the Assumption

If you want to see points 2-4 all tied together, directly connecting the Ark in Heaven and the Mother of God, look at Revelation 11:19-12:2. It says:

Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple; and there were flashes of lightning, loud noises, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail. And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; she was with child and she cried out in her pangs of birth, in anguish for delivery.

So who is this woman enthroned in Heaven? Well, her Son is the “one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron” (Rev. 12:5), which is a reference both to Christ (Psalm 2:9; Rev. 19:15) and to the Saints (Rev. 2:27). Here, the Son seems to be Christ, since Revelation 12:17 mentions “the rest of her offspring,” who are “those who keep the commandments of God and bear testimony to Jesus.”

Now, the Book of Revelation is rich in symbolism, and I don’t want to discount that this entroned Woman might also be the Church in glory. She is our Mother, as well. Just as the one who has the “rod of iron” is a dual reference to Christ and the Saints, there’s no reason to think that the Mother can’t be Mary and the Church. But to deny that the Mother of Jesus in Revelation 12 might is the Virgin Mary is to reject the most obvious and explicit meaning of the Scripture.

Conclusion

So where does that leave us? There are no positive arguments against the Assumption of Mary (many of the arguments, like GotQuestion’s, being based on heretical and unbiblical misunderstandings of God), and the arguments from silence aren’t particularly strong (and there are equally strong arguments from silence in the opposite direction). Meanwhile, there are positive arguments for the Assumption, in that Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant, Scripture points to God bringing His Ark to Heaven, and Mary appears to be enthroned in Heaven in Revelation 12. On that note, happy feast day!

 

144 Comments

  1. Very good article. I have just one small point, to whit: the Ark was holy, I believe, not because it contained the manna, tablets, and rod of Aaron, but because its lid was the Mercy Seat where the very Presence of God sat enthroned in the Tabernacle, and later in the Temple. This is more consistent with the pre-figurement of Mary as the fulfillment of the Old Testement picture, I believe.

  2. J.H. For Protestants and even many Catholics, it’s a hard doctrine to swallow.

    B.B. For clarity, it should be mentioned that any and all P & C’s who reject this doctrine, hell awaits. Per Vatican 1….”This is the teaching of Catholic truth, from which no one can deviate without loss of faith and salvation”

    J.H. Nothing in the dogma of the Assumption of Mary is contrary to anything taught in Christianity.

    B.B. I violently disagree. To make the Assumption a requirement for salvation, is no less obnoxious than what the Judaizers were doing in the book of Galatians when they sought to add even ONE requirement to the gospel. Paul threw a FIT and would have none of it. Catholics have added FAR MORE requirements, and thus we may rightly assume he would instruct all Christians to floss away this “papal plaque” from the teeth of the gospel message and have nothing to do with it because it is pinpointedly CONTRARY to Christianity.

    J.H. [They say] Scripture doesn’t teach it explicitly, so therefore it maybe didn’t happen.

    B.B. But of course! Our “maybe” is entirely justified. If Scripture is able to “fully furnish” the man of God, as it claims, and the Assumption isn’t mentioned therein, then it must be abandoned. Tricky Catholics like Karl Keating have to revert to “the church says so and therefore it must be true, case closed.” He says in his book,

    “Still, fundamentalists ask, where is the proof from Scripture? Strictly, there is none. It was the Catholic Church that was commissioned by Christ to teach all nations and to teach them infallibly. The mere fact that the Church teaches the doctrine of the Assumption as something definitely true is a guarantee that it is true.”

    Our response? Baloney!

    J.H. Some Protestants will go further and claim that it’s wrong to believe anything not explicitly taught in Scripture

    B.B. As far as what is necessary for salvation goes, YOU’D BETTER BELIEVE IT. Jesus said we would be judged by his word ALONE (John 12:48) and since the Scriptures are able to “make us wise unto salvation” (2 Tim 3:15) and the Assumption is no where to be seen or heard of as a matter ***OF*** salvation, it MUST be rejected!

    BTW, it should be mentioned in passing how amusing we find it that Catholics are always targeting…. US! Why not give your audience the low down on how Mormons feel? Or what Jehovah’s Witnesses think? Or the opinion of any OTHER group thank you very much! No, your angst must always be directed to those who hold to God’s word ALONE because you know darn well that a Protestant with a Bible in his hand AND a knowledge of what the RCC believes, is your worst possible enemy.

    J.H. That standard is literally impossible to hold. The canon of Scripture (that is, which books are inspired) isn’t taught in Scripture, and yet Protestants believe that their 66 books are inspired.

    B.B. I will deal with THAT comment on the very day when you can explain to us YOUR double-standard. It appears you are demanding from Protestants a “table of contents” to validate their canon. However, you are requiring a standard that you yourself fail to live up to. You can certainly dish it out, but you can’t take it. What I mean is….. where, may I ask, is YOUR list of infallible traditions that any good Catholic may peruse so they can be sure they’re following all that the RCC requires? And where, may I ask, is your list of infallible ex-cathedra pronouncements so any good Catholic may know how many times this has occurred? Anytime you ask an RC apologist, THEY ALL COME UP WITH DIFFERENT NUMBERS. And where, may I ask, is your list of infallibly interpreted Bible verses? Answer? They don’t exist. Pius XII in “Divino Spiritu” (paragraph 47) says that, “there are but FEW texts whose sense has been defined by the authority of the Church”….but no formal attempt was made to identify which verses he was referring to (!!!). And THAT was because he couldn’t name them if his life depended on it!

    J.H. Scripture presents Mary as the Ark of the New Covenant

    B.B. The comparisons with Mary and the Ark are merely assumed with a few passages from the O.T., and it is nothing less than reckless and irresponsible theology. The RC apologist feels free to pick and choose which aspects of Mary’s life parallels with the ark, and thinks they have earned a medal of honor. In reality, they deserve a dunce cap because there are no rules in this type of haphazard interpretation—and there is no way to test it; therefore it must be abandoned.

    The Lord specifically says that the Ark of the Covenant will NOT be the priority in the minds of His people:

    “In those days, they will say no more, ‘the ark of the covenant of the Lord; neither shall it come to mind, neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done anymore.” (Jer 3:15-17). AND NEITHER, we may assume, will any comparison with Mary AND THAT ark be required for salvation!

    Recognizing that any future remembrances of the Ark will not enter the minds of His chosen people, how much more should we logically reject the mere speculations and forced typologies culminating with the outrageous demand to either believe it or be issued a passport to hell.

    By mentioning the Ark, you lead us back to the Ark of the Covenant (the box in which the written word was laid), and by this analogy, imagine that it would only be “fitting and proper” for Jesus also to be carried in a holy vessel… (two words often used in RC theology to describe how it would supposedly only make sense for God to work in this manner). But this apologetic is weak and frought with difficulties. For instance, someone studying the Ark while it existed might have predicted the Ark to be a “type” of the future cradle of the Messiah, and conclud that such royalty would have to be born in some sort of PALACE. But that person would have been wrong in what they thought was “fitting and proper”. As you know, God chose a MANGER in a stable, defying what anyone would have predicted to be “fitting and proper”.
    One might just as soon—but just as wrongly—take the Incarnation as a compliment to Israel (“It would only be “fitting and proper” that God choose a very holy people to produce the Christ!”). But as the record shows, He persisted with that gracious choice even when Israel proved UNworthy. Likewise, the RCC is wrong in what they think was fitting and proper in postulating what sort of a mother would be appropriate for such a birth. God chose to do that, which by human reason, was NOT fitting, but was instead, a SCANDAL (1 Cor 1:23). Catholics keep on forgetting that Matthew mentions four women in the geneaology of the Messiah besides Mary—-and just WHO might they be? READ IT!
    The incestuous Tamar! (1:3)
    Rahab the harlot! (1:5)
    Ruth the Moabitess! (1:5)
    The adulterous Bathsheba! (1:6).

    Thus, the Catholic needs to FACE IT: These are Jesus’ ancestors like it or not. It is a not-so subtle hand-grenade that explodes the RC position which opines that Mary’s pristine NATURE made the Incarnation possible. However, the Scriptures don’t give the slightest indication that the maiden He chose NEEDED to wear such a spot-free cloak, and in fact, militates against the idea beginning IN THE VERY FIRST CHAPTER OF THE NEW TESTAMENT!

    1. Regarding the exalted dignity of the Blessed Virgin Mary we don’t need to speculate much, as her incomparable dignity is clearly revealed in the Gospels themselves. We can start with the evidence provided by the angel Gabriel concerning her exalted status and use that as a base for further additions, such as those provided in the Book of Revelations (as Joe mentions).

      We see in the Annunciation account a greeting from the angel Gabriel, which is so extreme as to surprise even Mary herself. “Hail, Full of Grace” and “The Lord is with thee”, said the angel. The term full of Grace is significant coming from an messenger from Heaven, because angels only impart the exact message given them by God, as compared to the imperfect expressions of men here on Earth. So, when Gabriel says “Full of Grace”… surely he means “FULL”, “COMPLETELY FILLED”, “LACKING NONE”. And, moreover He didn’t call her by her Earthly name, ‘Mary’, but by a new title “Full of Grace”, even as Jesus renamed Simon to “Rock” (Peter), and James and John to ‘Sons of Thunder’. Christ also referred to Himself as ‘The Son of Man’ on many occasions. All of these expressions are indicative of the fundamental charism of the persons re-named, pointers towards their particular graces and vocations.

      So, Mary, addressed as “Full of Grace” is significant. Moreover, the Angel also mentions to her “The Lord is with you”. Thereby, he is confirming her close union with God Almighty, which is also significant. Thirdly, He exclaims a truth pertaining to worldly dignity and concerning history: “Blessed art thou among women”. This statement is a comparison to all other women, and detailing the worthiness of Mary to become ‘The Mother of God’. Again, it is no man teaching these things, but an angel of God.

      When Mary fulfills her mandated journey to the home of Elizabeth, as Joe notes above in his article…Elizabeth also says “Blessed art thou among women”, confirming her exalted dignity and place…in comparison to all women throughout world history. And then, at the same time, Mary herself, stated to Elisabeth in prophesy: “From this day ALL GENERATIONS WILL CALL ME BLESSED”. So, Mary not only acknowledges that she is blessed among all women in History, but will be called “Blessed” in every generation until the end of the world! And her prophesy is being fulfilled by all of the Catholics who acknowledge the truth of this to this very day. (…i.e.. I personally call her blessed 50+ times per day, as do tens of millions of other Catholics around the world also.)

      So, this is where the dignity of Mary begins. And, that such recognition is desired by our Lord Jesus Christ, we can only note what Jesus honor provided Mary of Bethany after she anointed Him with the costly fragrance/spikenard before his passion. He says of her, “…Amen, I say to you, wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, that also which she hath done, shall be told for a memorial of her. ” (Mark 14:9).

      Now, if this is the way Jesus repays one of His friends with honor, and just for a simple act that took merely a few minutes of time….then how much more to the women who gave Him birth, and who was called “Full of Grace” by His Heavenly Father, even before He was conceived? And do we have so little imagination to consider all of the time Jesus spent with His mother on this Earth? …And, how it was His mother, also, that prodded Jesus to perform His first Miracle, and against His own objections at that?? And how it was the same Mary who would have a ‘sword pierce her soul’, as prophesied by St. Simeon, and which was fulfilled on Calvary, if not throughout the entirety of her mortal life? So, if Jesus praises Mary of Bethany so highly, for a single act….is it inconceivable that He would praise His mother in a much greater degree for all she did for Him throughout His life here on Earth?? It would be ludicrous to think to the contrary, and would be a great proof that one who doesn’t understand this, hasn’t studied well the ‘sacred heart’ and sacred character of our Lord Jesus Christ, yet.

      Again, these considerations are only the beginnings of such meditations on the inconceivable dignity of Mary, Mother of God. As Joe notes, The Book of Revelations reveals her as “…clothed with the Sun”. And, I might add, that as St. John was an eyewitness on the mount of the Transfiguration, and saw Jesus shining with an indescribably brilliant and white light….this same apostle knows what it is like for a human person to ‘be clothed with the sun’.

      Mary’s great and indescribably dignity is irrefutable, according to the excellent witnesses of the scriptures found above. And from this inherent dignity as a base of understanding, we can then understand better the other elements of her life such as the Assumption. But at least we have a strong foundation to build upon.

      1. AWL: But at least we have a strong foundation to build upon.

        BB: On the contrary, the foundation you build upon is about as sturdy as sinking sand. Absolutely everything you say can be countered with Scripture, common sense and reason, beginning with Jesus himself who categorically stated that of all those who were born of women, none was greater than John the Baptist.

        AWL: Regarding the exalted dignity of the Blessed Virgin Mary we don’t need to speculate much, as her incomparable dignity is clearly revealed in the Gospels themselves. We can start with the evidence provided by the angel Gabriel concerning her exalted status

        BB: It is the height of presumption to speak of her “exalted status” based on a GREEEETING, shame on you. You pump up that greeting with so much hot air, if you were a balloon, you’d pop.

        AWL: So, when Gabriel says “Full of Grace”… surely he means “FULL”, “COMPLETELY FILLED”, “LACKING NONE”.

        BB: However, what blows your cover is that the greek word, “kecharitomene”, used in Luke, is also used in Eph 1:6…”to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has given to USSSSS in the One he loves”, referring to the elect. Need it be said that if the word is used in similar fashion somewhere else other than Luke, will you then try to convince us that the elect have been “fully graced” likewise, and therefore, sinless as well? Of course you won’t. So your argument collapses like a house of cards.

        Furthermore, what have you to say of “Stephen, full of grace and power…[and] full of the Holy Spirit…(Acts 6:8; 7:55). “Full of grace” and “full of the Holy Spirit” are synonymous terms! Thus, Mary could NOT have been sinless because
        a. David was full of the Holy Spirit (Ps 51:11)
        b. Liz likewise (Luke 1:42)
        c. Zack also (Luke 1:67)
        d. Paul, the same (Acts 13:8)
        e. Ditto for Barnabas (Acts 11:24)
        f. And still others (Acts 6:3-5)

        AWL: the Angel also mentions to her “The Lord is with you”.

        BB: Big deal! The same can be said of all born again Christians who have the promise of Christ to be with us… “always”. We see here you scrapping the bottom of the barrel to prove your point, and we are not impressed.

        AL: “Blessed art thou among women”. This statement is a comparison to all other women, and detailing the worthiness of Mary to become ‘The Mother of God’.

        BB: Nonsense! Actually, the term, “blessed ABOVE woman” goes even one step further in notoriety, and this we read of in regard to Jael in Judges 2:4. And since THIS gal wasn’t sinless, neither was Mary. And if she wasn’t sinless, then she wasn’t immaculately conceived either. And if that isn’t true, neither was she “assumed bodily” into heaven and you are spending your life believing a lie!

        AL: Mary prodded Jesus to perform His first Miracle, and against His own objections at that

        BB: Spare us all your reading into Scripture the notion of “prodding”. THAT IS ABSOLUTELY FALSE. Mary’s statement implies nothing more than her anxiety over the embarrassing situation for the bridal couple; she did not, in point of fact, ask ANYTHING of Jesus! Need I remind you that the miracle of the water into wine was “the FIRST of His miraculous signs” (John 2:11)? Therefore, it seems more likely her statement was simply a concerned observation, and not a request, for to portray Mary as expecting Jesus to perform a miracle—something that heretofore He had never done—is completely anachronistic.

        AWL: So, if Jesus praises [the other] Mary of Bethany so highly, for a single act….is it inconceivable that He would praise His mother in a much greater degree for all she did for Him throughout His life here on Earth??

        BB: YES, it is definitely inconceivable because the Scriptures simply will not allow it. The Scriptures continually make burnt toast out of ALL your arguments, there can be no doubt!
        If your position was true, we should have expected a different response from the Lord when one person shouts out from the crowd: “Blessed is the womb that bare thee!” (Luke 11:27). If Jesus wished to emphasize what this voice from the crowd (and to confirm RC doctrine), all logic demands we would hear words to the effect that, “Indeed, she is even more blessed because of our biological ties.” But He does not. Instead, when the crowd-seeker suggests that the mother of Jesus must be blessed BECAUSE of her biological connection to Him, He emphatically points AWAY from the “womb” (singular) that bare Him, to… “those” (plural) who hear the word of God and keep it. It definitely appears that this passage serves as a warning for all subsequent interpretations of Mary’s supposed spotless and pristine virtue. Certainly, if Jesus rebuffs this woman’s comparitively minimalistic praise of her, that He would much more forcefully rebuff the inherent praise and unique status heaped upon her by such titles as Co-Redemptress, Co-Mediatrix, Dispensatrix of all graces, Divine Aquaduct, Celestial Ocean, Ladder to Paradise, ad nauseum, or the most popular, “Queen of Heaven” (a title and entity, by the way, utterly condemned in Jeremiah 7:18, and 44:17-25). Or how about the equally obnoxious prayer said after each Rosary declaring Mary to be “our life, our sweetness and our hope”? This is in DIRECT contradiction to the word of God which says Christ is our life (Col 3:4), our sweetness (Ps 34:8) and our hope (Col 1:27, Titus 2:13). Instead, the answer Jesus gave here and elsewhere, is a distinct warning to the perceptive reader that He knew very well in the years to come her whole person would be blown out of proportion. It is a fact that the status of Mary is never elevated above the level of any other disciple and the notion of honoring her in any RC dogmatic sense, is entirely foreign to the N.T. writers.

        AL: [We need to study] the‘sacred heart’ and sacred character of our Lord Jesus Christ.

        BB: And I have done so, and his “sacred heart” must have a ruptured aorta after listening to all the fluff and bluster about this dear girl, “which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind.” (Jer 19:5).

        Let’s go a step further with his “sacred character”? His “sacred character” politely downgrades Mary at the wedding by calling her, “Woman”. “Woman, what have I to do with thee?” While it is true that speculation abounds as to his intent in using this term, what most agree on is that it is not exactly the most flattering thing to be said. A Catholic commentator, making the most sense in my opinion, does rightly observe that, “Neither in antiquity nor today does the usage prevail of a son addressing his mother as “woman”….however, this would seem to indicate that Jesus DID NOT wish the relationship of natural motherhood and authority to be the basis of Mary’s dealings with Him in His public life and ministry of salvation.” Well said! (“The Marian Significance at Cana” by S. Hartdegen, p. 91-2).

        Moving right along to Matt 12:46: “While He yet talked to the people, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak to Him”….and someone went to tell Him. His response is once again, noteworthy, but is not what the RCC wants to hear. But hear it you must….

        “WHO IS MY MOTHER? AND WHO ARE MY BRETHREN? And he stretched forth His hand towards His disciples and said, “Behold my mother, and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father, the same is my brother, and sister and mother.” The import of these words cannot be underestimated in contradistinction to the “mary” of Catholicisim. Note well that His mother and brethren that came to see Him are seen as a unit, as though they are of the same household, and to posit that these “brethren” are in reality, “cousins” or “distant relatives” as the RCC desperately tries to imagine, severly weakens the “punch line” (if you will) that Jesus delivers at the end. The intended effect of His answer is to direct his audience AWAY from any notion of special status with Him through biological ties—indeed, and to SEVER those biological ties to establish a new family based on obedience to the will of God. Asking us to “hate our parents” elsewhere, in comparison to our love for him, is indicative of this. His meaning is effecively, “She who bore me and grew up with me are not my mother and brothers; rather it is they who are doers of the Word. If that happens to include those who were part of my biological family, well and good.” Does it not seem remarkable to you, that without exception, everywhere Mary appears during the course of Jesus’ ministry, He is at pains to establish distance between them??? (Luke 2:48-9, 8:19-21, Mk 3:31-35, John 2:4, as well as the present passage). If you truly want to arrive at a balanced and biblical Mariology concerning the “sacred character” of Jesus, I would suggest that these passages offer compelling evidence that weighs AGAINST the belief that Mary’s status is higher than any other believer. If you reject this advice, I can only say to you as Jesus said to them, “you do greatly err, not knowing the Scriptures.”(Matt 22:29).

        1. The Bull Dog has barked.

          May God give you His gift of wisdom so as to understand His scriptures as He intended them to be understood.

          Your comment is not worthy of time for a response.

          1. My son made an interesting comment, based on a conversation with one of his priest-mentors at seminary. Flaming, foaming-mouthed Catholic-hating evangelicals like the recurrent incarnation of barry are not the real problem. They are like flies that buzz and annoy, but pose no real threat. Their theology is built on sand, which is the “why” of so many public conversions to Catholicism of truly thoughtful theologians, and the opposite (conversion of Catholics to other belief sets) is more the poorly catechized and emotionally vulnerable.

            The real enemy are the motivating temporal forces behind secularism, relativism, and atheism, which are well-funded, deeply evil, and dedicated to chaos and dissolution. Their foot soldiers, often simply deluded, need to be the number 1 targets of our efforts to convert by examples of love, faith and service. The others, by their love of Christ and (admittedly incomplete ) knowledge of Scripture, are already partway there; they will eventually Matthew 16:18 and cross the Tiber.

          2. AK: My son made an interesting comment, based on a conversation with one of his priest-mentors [saying] Flaming, foaming-mouthed Catholic-hating evangelicals and their theology are built on sand.

            B.B. Well it grieves me to know your son is going to a Catholic seminary, which is a complete waste of time. The only kind of theology that is built on sand is the PAPAL kind. True Christians find their theology in the Bible. The papal kingdom does not. For nowhere do we read of popes, or any such buffoonery such as infallibility, the sinlessness of his servants, their assumption into heaven, the ludicrous idea of a purgatory to atone for sins, the wicked thought of eating the bodily components of the Lord Jesus Christ… OR the fact that he gave himself in sacrifice at the Last Supper BEFORE he went to the cross, as Trent taught. Neither do we read that he ATE himself at the Last Supper (which he would need to have done if Transubstantiation had occurred). “I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer”…..Did you get that? He instantly repudiates the idea that he suffered in sacrifice at the Last Supper because…HELLOOOO!…it was “BEFORE I SUFFER”!
            Honestly, there are so many holes in your salvation ship, there aren’t enough hands on deck to dump the evil waters of your theology out before it sinks.

          3. Barry, you can’t even get a link right.Your onerous, interminable, dubious cut-paste posts are at this point not worth even checking out, because it’ll yield the same result I’ve gotten multiple times, contextual errors, faulty translations, or downright screwups.

            However much Pastor White is paying his half-trained parrots to try and inflict chaos on Catholic websites, with you, he’s not getting his money’s worth even if he’s just paying you in crackers.

          4. AK: Barry, you can’t even get a link right.Your onerous, interminable, dubious cut-paste posts are at this point not worth even checking out

            BB: I have not provided an actual link anywhere on this thread, which just goes to prove that in your mad dash to dispute everything I say, you accuse me of something I didn’t do. Then you say everything I say is not even worth checking out, which is beyond ridiculous and simply the lazy way out of doing the research you know you ought to do. Not one coherent argument has been shown here to refute my submissions, so either deal with them directly or don;t say anything at all. “Barry is wrong” simply won’t cut it.

          5. whoops….I did indeed include that link about “loss of salvation”. Now kindly tell me just exactly what is it that you are disagreeing with that the ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH has said…..because ***I*** sure didn’t say it!
            My feeling is that you regret they announced issuing a passport to hell to all non-compliers and simply can’t deal with it in this ecumenical age where the Pope goes to Switzerland to play footsie with the Lutherans, then comes home and erects a statue to Martin Luther in the Vatican, then receives a jumbo copy of his 95 gripes against the RCC from one of his deluded fans, and finally is set to print a stamp in honor of the Reformation! So,naturally I understand very well why today’s ecumenism does not at ALL fit into the puzzle of Vatican 1 and you are embarrassed. Why? Because the behavior of both parties contradict one another and there is no way out of it for you other than to blow smoke over the obvious inconsistencies. I sure would hate to be in your position, having to believe two opposing views at the same time. I feel sorry for you actually.

          6. “BB: I have not provided an actual link anywhere on this thread,…”

            Really?

            Posted by BB 17 August 2017 at 4:21 PM:

            >>>So is the misquote of Vatican 1 purposeful or accidental? The document states “without endangering his faith and salvation.”

            B.B. “Endangered”? Nice trick in an effort to whitewash what was originally said.
            Read it and weep…

            AD APOSTOLORUM PRINCIPIS

            Scroll to #46 and see footnote 17…

            http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xii/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xii_enc_29061958_ad-apostolorum-principis_en.html

            ***************************************

            We Catholics love you and will pray for you no matter how difficult you try to make it for us to do-just-that…..

        2. ….whoops….still got the wrong link for the discussion. No surprise there.

          Why would I bother to explain anything to you about the Church (you know, the One True) philosophy and dogma on salvation when you, in your unquenchable hatred for Catholicism, would listen to nothing, accuse me of ‘blowing smoke’ and similar fundie bile.

          So, believe what you want. On your way….Parster Jimmy is waiting for his homage.

          1. AK: ….whoops….still got the wrong link for the discussion. No surprise there.

            BB: The link is clear as the light of day and proves that I have stated EXACTLY what the RCC teaches. You are mad.

            AK: Why would I bother to explain anything to you about the Church

            BB: If you had one drop of common sense you would could figure out, “Well if there are other people reading this thread, I will write it for THEM, and not Barry, so they may learn”. But you can’t and won’t do that because you know you are in danger of being refuted, and so since your ego is petrified of being humiliated, all you are able to muster is to throw a grenade saying I am filled with “fundie bile”.
            I am not impressed.

          2. Barry:

            I’ll paraphrase Orwell in his great “1984.” At one point early in the book, Winston Smith was musing on how, in his nightmare world, the only thing one truly owned “was the few cubic centimeters in one’s skull.” If humiliation or anything analogous exists as a result of these exchanges, it is solely in your likely few CCs…..this also applies to belief in post-Reformation and/or Second Great Awakening theological inventions (John Nelson Darby, indeed) or perversions of the dogmas of the One True Church. Knock yourself and your errant theological handler, out.

            “…. so they may learn…”

            I was under the impression we were talking about the Assumption. I did allow myself to get sidetracked into this inane segue on ecumenism – bad AK. My assumption – and I have good reason to believe it’s validity – is that most of the readers and posters here already understand the concept of the unfolding of doctrine as a reflection of the gradual human understanding of immutable, eternal truths. God did not drop an Ark and Torah on Abraham, and tell him, “get to work.” Bottom line is, I see no inconsistency in the soteriology of ‘nulla salus extra Ecclesiam’ and Catholic ecumenical outreach. You might – refer back to my paraphrase of Orwell. You’d do better to research John Henry Newman on development of doctrine, but it might be lost on you. Actually, you are quite consistent in having nothing positive to offer this venue, just the bilious results of your digging through mountains of material, drawing tenuous and incomprehensible connections in the vain hope of finding something, anything that might make your case to someone, anyone that the Catholic Church is, well, other than what she is, the One True Church ordained by Christ through Apostolic Succession in Matt 16:18.

            How’s that working out for you? More on that later…..

            I’m not sure where you get the notion that the Catholic Church ignores or discounts, what did you say, 99% of Scripture. I just completed four years of the Denver Catholic Biblical School, and 9 months out of each year, we went through **every word** of Scripture, Genesis to Revelations, and were taught the whole picture of associations and continuities between Old and New Testaments. No theologically truncated fundie cherry-picking going on there. Those Augustine Institute instructors and course creators have their act together. I humbly hold that the next great generation of Biblical scholars are coming from the Catholic Church, as the peculiarly American evangelical subculture slides into irrelevance, and it’s best and brightest swim the Tiber (re: Evangelical Exodus). Deal with it.

            Speaking of….on a flight home from San Antonio last week, I was reading Acts of the Apostles (Douay-Rheims, of course) on my Nook, specifically Acts 5:34-39 and was struck by Joe’s brilliance in allowing open, lightly moderated inputs to this blog. If you, Barry, are the channel of God’s Word and wisdom, then that fact will assert itself. If not, well, I have seen the disparaging comments on the tone and tenor (not to mention the actual quality of the content) of your posts from even evangelical Protestants here, and all I can say is, keep up the good work convincing people you are doing God’s will….

            By the way, the manner in which the Catholic Church is exploding with reverts and former Protestants here in the original American Protestant Vatican, Colorado Springs, is just amazing. We’re doing something right, or simply, Acts 5:34-39 applies. Have a nice day…..

        3. “BB: However, what blows your cover is that the Greek word, “kecharitomene”, used in Luke, is also used in Eph 1:6…”

          Wrong…..Kecharitomene is used one place in Scripture and one-place-only….Luke 1:28. No, it ain’t the same as the ‘echaritosen’ used in Ephesians. Kecharitomene denotes continuity; echaritosen, a momentary action completed at the usage. Mary’s past and future singular gift of the fullness of grace (i.e., sinlessness), versus the state of grace bequeathed upon mankind at the sacrifice of the Cross, and not before.

          Illustrates two points…the danger of private interpretation (if I may paraphrase Barry, “MIS-using the brains God gave you”) and two, just-another-case of many where I and others humbly have found Barry the Thumper’s errors: contextual, referential, and factual.

          Someone somewhere might listen to you, Barry, and buy what you are selling. Not here.

          1. AK –

            Thank you for exposing this troll as a fraud. Another theological liberal whose pride causes him to sin.

          2. TT:

            This is a great forum, including those non-Catholics who want honestly and civilly to debate dogmas and issues of faith. It’s spiritually and intellectually invigorating, to parse through a post from someone like Craig or Irked that makes me think and research ‘what is that all about? with nothing but an inquisitive spirit.

            BB is another story. Troll is very apt; looks to me that someone like the Catholic-hating Pastor James White enlists minions to infest, like body lice, Catholic websites that do not strictly moderate. It’s a pitiful, pathetic, impotent way to hawk your beliefs….I have seen ‘you’re making us all look bad’ comments on this site over the past year from Protestants aimed this venomous character and others like him. As I said earlier….maybe it’s God’s way of setting people on the right path, every time a fence-sitter reads through and sees the psychotic nature of BBs “discourse.”

          3. AK: Wrong…..Kecharitomene is used one place in Scripture and one-place-only….Luke 1:28. No, it ain’t the same as the ‘echaritosen’ used in Ephesians. Kecharitomene denotes continuity; echaritosen, a momentary action completed at the usage. Mary’s past and future singular gift of the fullness of grace (i.e., sinlessness), versus the state of grace bequeathed upon mankind at the sacrifice of the Cross, and not before.

            BB: Your answer will not bolster your position in the least. The perfect tense utilized in Luke speaks only of the CURRENT STATE of the subject without any reference to how long Mary was been ***IN*** that state! Thus, you are 100% DEAD WRONG to assert that Luke proves her sinlessness by her “past and future singular gift of the fulness of grace”. THERE IS NOT ONE BIBLICAL SCHOLAR WHO WILL AGREE WITH YOU. NOT ONE!

            AK: [What Barry says] illustrates the danger of private interpretation

            BB: Your speaking gibberish and are refuted.
            Now let’s move on to the very dangerous “private interpretation” of Pius IX when he made that “infallible” pronouncement. This trickster, supposedly with God’s blessing, decided to go outside the safety harbor of Holy Writ to bamboozle gullible Catholics without a shred of biblical proof and without the support of even one reputable Scripture scholar. He tells us that Mary was preserved free from all stain of original sin from the…”INSTANT” of her conception.
            Again, “oh thou fool”, the perfect tense utilized in Luke speaks only of the CURRENT STATE of the subject, without any reference to how long she has been ***IN*** that state. If you think for one minute that God Almighty is going to use the Pope to fill in the gaps, unsupported by any one with great learning, then I am sorry to say you may not be as smart as you look…(that is, if you do indeed think you look smart!).
            For, were he to do so, he knows this would invite “controversial speculation”. But since we know he despises doctrine that promotes controversial speculation (1 Tim 3), then he most certainly did not inspire the Pope to say it, and hence, infallibility is a lie and the marian dogmas are a fraud.

            AK: Someone somewhere might listen to you, Barry, and buy what you are selling. Not here.

            BB: That’s your opinion. When a reader sees that you have failed to provide any evidence to support your position, they will have no choice BUT to agree with me whether they like it or not.

          4. BB: I can call you a fool with impunity 100 times over and it would be justified, as it was the honorific title given to you in the exact same way Jesus used the term with those “fools” on the road to Emmaeus. (you really should use spellcheck…).

            Hmmm….I see a lot of Matt 5:44 brimming in your cauldron. I guess you pick and choose your “imitation of Christ” the way you do Scripture verses.

            BB: THERE IS NOT ONE BIBLICAL SCHOLAR WHO WILL AGREE WITH YOU. NOT ONE!

            Do you really want to go there, with quoting Biblical scholars? We’ve been there in the past, and it didn’t go well for you. We’ll agree to disagree on Kecharitomene but you’d still be wrong. Also, all-caps makes you look like a Fundamentalist Special Olympian.

            BB: And do you see anyone disputing what I said about Mr. Newman, and bringing me to task because I misquoted him? No you don’t…

            I’d say the same thing for ‘silence = assent.’ In that case most of what you are hawking here is refuted, based on, you are the only one saying it. Maybe everyone else has less tolerance for your abuse and circularity of error than I, but I am reaching my limit.

            BB: Neither have you an explanation as to WHERE THE HELICOPTER the word “endangered” was snuck in to whitewash the clearly hellhound tone of Vatican 1.

            Nothing was “snuck in.” You misleadingly referenced a Papal encyclical, which I pointed out, twice. The reference is there for anyone to see, in the link, the abridged version of the **actual ** V1 documents…chapter 3, line 4. If you don’t like the EWTN sourcing, deal with it.

            https://www.ewtn.com/faith/teachings/papae1.htm

          5. Now let’s move on to the very dangerous “private interpretation” of Pius IX when he made that “infallible” pronouncement.

            There was nothing private about it (the dogma of the Immaculate Conception). He made that dogmatic judgement under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, based on history of belief going back millenia. Read the posts here, which bear that out. If you don’t believe that, we agree to disagree. Same applies to any other ex cathedra pronouncement.

            Shall we address the two off-topics, Newman’s development of doctrine and Papal infallibility?

            I can see Naughty BB has been cherry picking Cardinal Avery Dulles for his ideas on supposed Catholic monarchical tendencies….or reading your Jimmy White Cliff Notes?

            It’s true JHN was soft on infallibility when he was Anglican, but his own personal doctrine ‘developed’ when he converted. Let’s see what he really had to say, from his own words:

            “To show how natural this process of partial and gradually developed teaching is, we may refer to the apparent contradiction of Bellarmine, who says “the Pope, whether he can err or not, is to be obeyed by all the faithful” (Rom. Pont. iv. 2), yet, as I have quoted him above, p. 52-53, sets down (ii. 29) cases in which he is not to be obeyed.”

            “Cases in which he is not to be obeyed”….sound monarchical?

            Here’s another:

            “It in no way depends upon the caprice of the Pope, or upon his good pleasure, to make such and such a doctrine, the object of a dogmatic definition. He is tied up and limited to the divine revelation, and to the truths which that revelation contains. He is tied up and limited by the Creeds, already in existence, and by the preceding definitions of the Church. He is tied up and limited by the divine law, and by the constitution of the Church. Lastly, he is tied up and limited by that doctrine, divinely revealed, which affirms that alongside religious society there is civil society, that alongside the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy there is the power of temporal Magistrates, invested in their own domain with a full sovereignty, and to whom we owe in conscience obedience and respect in all things morally permitted, and belonging to the domain of civil society.”

            My, my…limits on a monarch, obedience to the sovereignty of temporal magistrates, along with conditions for disobedience. And subject to the limits of divine law. Sounds like your characterization of Catholics grovelling before an absolute “monarchial monstrocity” (that spellcheck thingy again) needs some…work..back to the Cliff Notes.

            Here’s the reference (unlike you, I remember when I post links):

            https://the-american-catholic.com/2013/10/19/cardinal-newman-on-papal-infallibility/

          6. As for soteriology…

            Absolutely, nulla salus extra ecclesiam. You told me you have a highlighted copy of the Catechism on your desk. Read 846-848, esp 847. The Church does not decide the “who or why,” of those who “through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience – those too may achieve eternal salvation.”

            Maybe, just for example, someone raised in another faith (like you) is faultless because they are incapable of internalizing the truth of Catholicism. Unlike BB who revels in declaring who and who will not be damned, the Catholic Church does not condemn anyone to hell. Just lays out the rules as the Holy Spirit guides her. And even you can see that this is no deviation from past doctrine, just a development, like a flower unfolding. Again, I am sure we will agree to disagree, and that’s OK with me.

            Final thought:

            BB: When a reader sees that you have failed to provide any evidence to support your position, they will have no choice BUT to agree with me whether they like it or not.

            How about it, Irked? Shane? Anyone else out there want to make BB the new Pharoah of Shameless Popery?

            I am taking the weekend off. You enjoy the eclipse…or, being eclipsed…..which you just were….

          7. Oh, on soteriology, I meant also to add, God’s mercy is great as is His justice. That’s the message Jesus gave – emphatically – to St. Faustina Kowalska.

            We all need a measure of the former, while justly fearing the latter.

          8. BB: THERE IS NOT ONE BIBLICAL SCHOLAR WHO WILL AGREE WITH YOU. NOT ONE!

            AK: Do you really want to go there, with quoting Biblical scholars? We’ve been there in the past, and it didn’t go well for you. We’ll agree to disagree on Kecharitomene but you’d still be wrong

            BB: Obviously, if we were in a public debate you would be laughed off the stage. My position is secure and do not need to quote a scholar because…”been there, done that”, or else I could not be so sure of challenging you. You just don’t like the fact that I am confident in my position…and am CORRECT. Now I pushed you to the wall and to provide ONE person, living or dead, who would agree with Rome’s “infallible” pronouncement that the word of which we speak connotes that she was in a state of grace from the MOMENT she was conceived. You have failed the challenge by leaving me essentially, a blank box filled with nothing but huff and puff. You suppose to intimidate me by “we have been there before and it didn’t go well with you”.
            Baloney. You are a master of revising history…just like your masters are masters of reinventing the meaning of words!

            AK: Also, all-caps makes you look like a Fundamentalist Special Olympian.

            BB: I will use caps any time I see fit, thank you so much for your unsolicited opinion.

            AK: most of what you are hawking [about JHN) here is refuted, based on, you are the only one saying it.

            BB: Another idiotic response. Are you trying to break some sort of record? Everything I quoted the man as saying is easily affirmed by YOU YOURSELF since you said you read his work. Well????? If I am misrepresenting him, then kindly say HOW. However, YOU DID NOT DO SO. What you submitted at 9:38 pm regarding his opining on the
            “limits on a monarch, obedience to the sovereignty of temporal magistrates” etc…does not have a THING to do with what I was talking about; namely the establishment of the papacy itself from an “acorn” in the early church, to the full blown monstrosity we see today, and how Newman rests his case on the fact that it must all be “PRESUMED” (!!!). And I furthermore told you that Vatican 1 did not LEAVE any room for any acorn theory because they say Peter’s primacy was recognized by the entire church militant FROM THE MOMENT after Matt 16:18 took place. That ridiculous assertion is INSTANTLY refuted by the argument the apostles had afterwards as to who was the greatest. Need it be said that THEY didn’t get the memo Vatican 1 said they should have received, neither did Christ end the argument by telling them to look to Pope Peter! Consequently, all of these wild-eyed assertions from Newman to Vatican 1 is nothing but a bunch of hogwash.

            Previously I said… Neither have you an explanation as to WHERE THE HELICOPTER the word “endangered” was snuck in to whitewash the clearly hellhound tone of Vatican 1.

            AK: Nothing was “snuck in.” You misleadingly referenced a Papal encyclical, which I pointed out, twice.

            BB: I would appreciate it if you kindly shut your lying filthy mouth. I DID NOT MISLEAD ANYONE. My very PURPOSE was to link to a papal encyclical you most ignorant man, to prove Vatican 1 said what I reported them as saying! You seem to have the ludicrous idea that I was obligated to prove my case by ***ONLY*** linking to the actual Vatican 1 document. ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND? If my proof is contained in another document quoted by the Pope himself, I dare say THAT I ENOUGH. Truly, your reasoning, as well as your accusations, are baseless and obnoxious to the extreme.

            AK: The reference is there for anyone to see, in the link, the abridged version of the **actual ** V1 documents

            BB: Oh… NOW you use the word “abridged”, whereas previously you laughed at ME for using it (!!!). You hadn’t realized it was at the top of the very page you linked to. I won’t hold my breath for an apology because experience has shown that Catholics rarely admit their mistakes in public, only in confession

            AK: If you don’t like the EWTN sourcing, deal with it.

            BB: Excuse me, but if you don’t like the Vatican website source, then YOU deal with it. You certainly expected THAT comment to come out of my mouth, didn’t you?
            Obviously, I don’t like the EWTN source because there is a fundamental disconnect with what I read on the Vatican website and EWTN, for which you have offered no solution and we both know you never will. You would have to admit that there was some mistake in the papal encyclical, and this you don’t DARE do. Nevertheless, you don’t even seem to care about how the origin of the word “endangered” got in there, and why it is NOT used in the encyclical. One would think you’d at least be curious.

            In any case, the preponderance of evidence must lead one to conclude that the quote from Vatican 1 in MY source from the encyclical, BETTER represents the mindset of the RCC based on the numerous other quotes from antiquity that basically say the same thing (namely, hell awaits for all non-compliers) in addition to the unspeakable murders from RC personnel who snuffed out the wholly innocent lives of all those non-compliers. We simply do not get the impression AT ALL that salvation merely hangs on being “endangered” if you do not comply. NO. The impression left is the clear threat of “LOSS OF SALVATION” …and therefore that threat must STAND. You have provided ZERO evidence for the “endangerment” hypothesis and why your source reads it that way and so it is closed for discussion.

            BTW…your repeated references to how much you despise James White are only comical to me. You seethe with rage only because you know that if you were one of the over 300 moderated debating challengers he had over the last 25 years, you would surely lose, and this bothers you immensely, I quite understand.
            Deal with it.

          9. BB: Good mornin’! How’s my teammate this fine day?

            Not so good Ah reckon if that’s the best you can do.

            S’Ok…keep studying the Catechism, the Fathers, Church theologians, and above all, Scripture and you’ll get closer to the Truth. Maybe even swim the Tiber. And to avoid embarrassing mistakes, do stay away from Parster White’s Cliff Notes..

            Meantime, got things to do. So….final thought..given the absence of thunderations of support for you from anyone else’s pulpit here, I would guess – by your own assertion….

            …wait for it…

            YE ERE REFUTED! (yep, all-caps).

            Have a nice day!

          10. AK: Oh, on soteriology, I meant also to add, God’s mercy is great as is His justice. That’s the message Jesus gave – emphatically – to St. Faustina Kowalska.

            BB: Oh stop it. “Jesus” no more appeared to that woman than there is a man in the moon. The real Jesus, preparing us for these delusions, flatly said that when anyone henceforth comes along saying they have seen me, to “BELIEVE IT NOT”.
            If it weren’t so sad it would be funny, but Catholics appear to be on a mission to do precisely the OPPOSITE of what the Lord commands. This, and hundreds of other examples, PROVE IT.

          11. AK: The reference is there for anyone to see, in the link, the abridged version of the **actual ** V1 documents

            BB: Oh… NOW you use the word “abridged”, whereas previously you laughed at ME for using it (!!!). You hadn’t realized it was at the top of the very page you linked to. I won’t hold my breath for an apology because experience has shown that Catholics rarely admit their mistakes in public, only in confession

            AK: You’re right on that observation! In my original post, I **should** have used the word “disparagingly.” I have no problem, BTW, with credible abridgements.

            Even a master of the King’s English occasionally mis-vocabularizes…..I stand corrected, by you – hey, Teammate, even a blind pig finds an occasional acorn (be careful it doesn’t develop into a Church).

            You can stop holding your breath now.

            Otherwise, my-post-stands….

    2. So is the misquote of Vatican 1 purposeful or accidental? The document states “without endangering his faith and salvation.” Consistent with the history of the Church’s teachings, it’s a warning from the Christ-appointed shepherds to the sheep, not a verdict on anyone’s soul. Let those with ears to hear, hear and heed, the warnings.

      1. Shane – I spent a lot of time in a previous post debating with Barry. I found all I had to do was dig a little ways into most of his deconstructive arguments to find the out-of-contexts and misquotes. When I responded, I was always met with a deflection, segue, or just a plow-through holding onto the debunked argument. James White debate techniques, filtering throughout the evangelical world and evincing desperation. After awhile, it became repetitive and boring – just too easy. I won’t re-engage.

        Please see my response to Awlms above; Barry, while annoying, in my opinion is not the real threat to the One true Church.

        1. AK: I spent a lot of time in a previous post debating with Barry. I found all I had to do was dig a little ways into most of his deconstructive arguments to find the out-of-contexts and misquotes

          B.B. Spare me the accusation of misquotes and out of contexts! You did not prove any such thing, and the only reason you will not “engage” now is because you know you were refuted thoroughly and absolutely.

          1. “You did not prove any such thing, ”

            Of course I did. You just ignore it. Refer back to a previous thread where you posted falsehoods about the joint Catholic-Lutheran statement on justification. I corrected you and you spluttered out. I also corrected you on historical references (cf: Schaaf) which you later said, oh, those just aren’t important. This is – and you are – boring.

            Blah blah refuted…blah blah passport to hell…blah blah spare me…..classic James White debate techniques – bluster, segue, bully, insult, deflect – anything but quality content. Step away from the mirror and have a look at the effect you’re having on your intended audience. Or maybe not…I suspect you are doing God’s work by driving more people solidly to His One True Church.

        1. Try referencing the right document. You linked to an encyclical of Pope Pius XII. We were discussing Vatican I.

          Try here, chapter 3, entry 4. ….this document talks about the “poisonous food of error” of which you and your fellow Jimmy White psycho adherents partake with their cornbread and beans..

          https://www.ewtn.com/faith/teachings/papae1.htm

          Case in point re: my observation about your incorrect references and persistent out-of-contexts. Case closed, Rufus. Better refuel the generator in your bunker before you belch out another long-winded steaming pile of nonsense.

          1. AK: Try referencing the right document. You linked to an encyclical of Pope Pius XII. We were discussing Vatican I.

            BB: Get ready for more humiliation AK. The encyclical REFERENCED VATICAN ONE IN THEIR FOOTNOTE (!) which I clearly instructed you to look at when I posted the link. You obviously didn’t do that.

            AK: my observation about your incorrect references and persistent out-of-contexts…

            BB: ARE WRONG.

            AK: Case closed, Rufus. Better refuel the generator in your bunker before you belch out another long-winded steaming pile of nonsense.

            BB: Let’s go over it again, shall we? The RCC DISGRACEFULLY teaches that failing to submit to all of her peculiar addendums to the gospel, shall result in being issued a passport to hell.

            QUOTE: “This is the teaching of the Catholic truth from which no one can depart without loss of faith and salvation.”

            This is taken directly from the Vatican website.

            You submit a page from EWTN quoting the sentence as only being “in danger” of losing their salvation. WELL ISN’T THAT INTERESTING!
            I do indeed smell an ecumenical rat here! As we all know, modern day Catholics are typically ashamed of all those “be a member of the RCC or else!” statements left over from antiquity, and methinks this is another attempt to tone down and WHITEWASH the clear intentions of Vatican 1 to issue passports to hell for all non-compliers. SOMEBODY did not like that idea and of course it’s fruitless to figure out who.

            OK…so tell me…. whyyyyyyy should I reject what I am seeing on the Vatican website, and accept in its place, the EWTN abridged version which says something different?

        2. “OK…so tell me…. whyyyyyyy should I reject what I am seeing on the Vatican website, and accept in its place, the EWTN abridged version which says something different?”

          Simply because, the “Vatican document” you prefer is an adjuration to Catholics living under the nascent rule of Chinese Communists. Strongly worded as it needed to be, then and now. The other (laughably referred to as the ‘EWTN abridgement”) is the actual text of Vatican 1, which does not support your assertion that there is any disconnect between ‘nulla salus’ and ecumenical outreach. There isn’t…see my post above, read John Henry Newman on the development of doctrine and otherwise, do try to keep up.

          Of course the One True Church is reaching out. How else can we restore salvation to the lost, like yourself?

          1. BB: “OK…so tell me…. whyyyyyyy should I reject what I am seeing on the Vatican website, and accept in its place, the EWTN abridged version which says something different?”

            AK: Simply because, the “Vatican document” you prefer is an adjuration to Catholics living under the nascent rule of Chinese Communists.

            BB: No more idiotic response could ever be imagined. Congratulations, you receive the Flying Fickle Finger of Fate award.
            Now let’s get it straight: Vatican 1 taught that salvation was to be forfeited if one did not accept Catholic doctrine, PERIOD, END OF STORY. The words are crystal clear so you do indeed waste your time trying to twist them to make them say what they do not say. Simply amazing! You not only terrorize the Bible by kidnapping and taking it captive, but you do the same thing with the words of your own church when even THEY do not suit you.

            AK: You laughably refer to [it] as the ‘EWTN abridgement

            BB: Because, you fool, that it is exactly how it identifies itself at the top of the page (!!!). Honestly, your responses are pure misery to endure, but I do so because others reading may see the clouded thinking of a deluded Catholic mind.

            AK: read John Henry Newman on the development of doctrine

            BB: Yes, let’s talk about Mr. Newman and his “development of doctrine” theory, where RC doctrine supposedly starts off like an acorn and eventually grows into a fully grown Roman Catholic tree, where, for one thing, papal subordination is now necessary for salvation.
            I trust you understand that our position is that this is not a “development”, but a COMPLETE DEPARTURE from the faith “once delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3).
            Now the immediate problem with the “acorn theory” is that the RCC doesn’t ALLOW for the slow growth from an “acorn leadership” in the early church, to the full-blown monarchial monstrocity we see today situated in Rome.
            V-1 strictly and unambiguously stated that there has ALWAYS been a papacy with universal jurisdiction from the MOMENT of the Matthew 16:18 episode, at which time Peter’s authority was allegedly recognized by the entire Christian church, and should we not believe it, one will lose their very salvation! So this theory is not only dead on arrival, but is emphatically rejected by Jesus in Matt 20:25, where the type of tyrannical authority that was exercised over others by certain people, was not to be hoped for. He demanded, “IT SHALL NOT BE SO WITH YOU.”

            Hence, the ghost of the acorn theory that RC controversialists dress up to frighten us with, is best dealt with by walking right up to it and pulling off the deceitful mask that they call, “development of doctrine”. Having done so, we discover it to be nothing more than a mere bogey.

            Again, concerning the papal interpretation of Matt 16, V-1 told us that it was an “absolutely manifest teaching of the sacred scriptures” that “has always been understood by the catholic church” … “known to all ages”.
            Ummmm….history refutes that claim.
            The earliest interpretations of M-16 are either non-papal or anti-papal (!). Hence, either the Catholic Church is what it claims to be, or it is the most colossal, pernicious plot ever foisted upon man by the forces of darkness. There are only two choices: Either God’s intention was for the doctrine of an infallible pope to “develop from an acorn” and be declared dogma 1800 centuries after Christianity began, or it is a complete departure (not a development!) from the faith.

            We say that the “development” theory is a novelty, emerging circa 1850 with Cardinal Newman’s, “Essay on Development”. Pertaining to the development of the papacy in his “Essay”, Mr. Newman quoted approvingly of a gent’s work circa 1830 AGAINST papal supremacy. He noted that it was quite right for the Protestant to point out that there are historical facts that are contrary to a functioning, world-wide recognized papacy. And Newman is indeed correct. But his solution is to assert that the validity of the papacy depends then on the “PROBABILITY of a monarchial principle in the Divine Scheme.” He says that accepting the papacy requires the ASSUMPTION that God simply wanted there to be a papal office in the Christian church! READ IT! “All depends on the strength of that PRESUMPTION ”

            So there you have it. The reason most Catholics are enamored with the papacy is because they find it philosophically appealing– (contra Col 2:8 warning against “philosophy and vein deceit” I might add). They simply ***LIKE*** the idea that there should be an institution with all of the authority that the RCC claims to have. But excuse me: what if ***I*** think some OTHER way is more appropriate- –such as letting the Bible breathe on its own and realize that the Holy Spirit did not mention the office of a papacy because He simply never meant for there to be one? Oh no, we can’t have THAT, can we?

            You are refuted.

          2. “Because, you fool…’

            OOOhhh, Mr. Righteous, am I making you angry enough to violate that Scripture you take so literally and lovingly? Matt 5:22 applies. See you in Hell with all of us Papists.

            As for the rest of your rants where you (humorously, albeit transparent to you) twist and cherry-pick to make Catholic churchman look like Jimmy Swaggart, you just need to understand…

            NO ONE BUT YOU BUYS IT! No matter how hard you rant….how many Google searches you do, hunting for just -the-right-words to spin into something that makes sense to your obscurantist worldview, you’re all alone, Barry…..all….alone……

            Back to my paraphrase on Orwell.

          3. BB: Either God’s intention was for the doctrine of an infallible pope to “develop from an acorn” and be declared dogma 1800 centuries after Christianity began, or it is a complete departure (not a development!) from the faith.”

            Let’s rearrange slightly,shall we?

            Either God’s intention was for the doctrine of ‘sola fide’ and ‘sola scriptura’ to spring from literally nowhere and be declared dogma 1500 centuries after Christianity began, or it is a complete departure (not a development!) from the faith.

            See how easy that was?

          4. AK: OOOhhh, Mr. Righteous, am I making you angry enough to violate that Scripture you take so literally and lovingly? Matt 5:22 applies. See you in Hell with all of us Papists.

            BB: I can call you a fool with impunity 100 times over and it would be justified, as it was the honorific title given to you in the exact same way Jesus used the term with those “fools” on the road to Emmaeus.

            AK: As for the rest of your rants where you (humorously, albeit transparent to you) twist and cherry-pick to make Catholic churchman look like Jimmy Swaggart, you just need to understand…

            NO ONE BUT YOU BUYS IT!

            BB: As anyone can see,you have utterly failed to refute one word I said, so you may be likened to nothing more than the big bad wolf trying to blow the house down with all your huffin and puffin.
            Now do spare me the idea that “no one is buying what I’m saying”. Do you see anybody replying to the Vatican link I provided and saying things like, “oh it doesn’t say that”. No you don’t, because the words are crystal clear and there is no escape. The RCC teaches all non-catholics will have hell to pay and THAT, as they say, is THAT. Do you see anyone trying to make you the King of Egypt for furnishing the abridged version? No you don’t, because they darn well know the Vatican carries more weight than EWTN and so the Vatican version must stand supreme. Neither have you an explanation as to WHERE THE HELICOPTER the word “endangered” was snuck in to whitewash the clearly hellhound tone of Vatican 1.
            And do you see anyone disputing what I said about Mr. Newman, and bringing me to task because I misquoted him? No you don’t, and that is because he did indeed say that the entire edifice of the papal kingdom rests on the mere PRESUMPTION that the papal kingdom is true! His essay was a work you encouraged me to read…but not even you believes Newman (if you did indeed read him at all) because you know deep down what he said is a miserable apologetic for the RCC. For you know that anyone who wants to rest their eternal soul on the mere “presumption” that Jesus established a papacy, would have to be a fool. Yet that was the best he could do, and oh boy, am I happy I’m not a passenger on the Roman Catholic ship of salvation. It is surely bound to experience the same fate as the Titanic when Jesus himself will destroy it forever on that final day.

    3. Hello Friend,
      I havent responded to everything here but there is evidence for the Assumption in the Bible
      the Early Church considered her the ark of the covenant, even the reformers had a high view of the Blessed Virgin.
      Also neither of those 4 women you mentioned were his actual Mother just distant descendants. Lastly the Bible needs to be interpereted in the context of the Tradition from the Apostles.

      You quoted from 2 Timothy, but it is referring to the Old Testament, it says Timothy knew them in his infancy. in context it means the Old Testament led him to Christ, who saves us, no-one is denying that the Bible can lead us to salvation. And with regards to making the man of God perfect, it is referring to how the Bible can help in moral perfection and being complete (not we only need the Bible) it talks of good works in the same line. Nowhere does it say everything we need is in the Bible alone.
      God Bless

      1. If Timothy knew them in his infancy then that woud exclude the letter Paul wrote to him. It doesnt teach Bible alone in that passage.

    4. Baseless Baritone , YOU SAID :
      J.H. For Protestants and even many Catholics, it’s a hard doctrine to swallow.

      MY RESPONSE : No it isn’t brother , its only hard for those that are trapped in the shallow traditions of men like protestants . Your are so steeped in error and have lent so much of your understanding to these stand alone POPE TYPE FIGURES like Luther and every other protestant pastor who claims to have the truth of the Gospel , that you couldn’t bring yourself to the truth but through a special grace of God .

      In fact I find the Assumption of Mary , and all the other teachings of the church surrounding her , when weighed all together in context , leave the protestant position utterly devoid of credibility whatsoever . Its protesting just for the sake of protesting . There are simply too many OT and NT scriptures that weigh against the ultra-protestant man made traditions and positions and protestations

      You cannot refute them all ……… you can’t refute any of them

      The very Bible ( which is all you have ) , is itself is your greatest enemy .

      I think that you might like to a great book by Fr Stefano M Manelli FI titled “all generations shall call me blessed”

      Maybe you could critique this book for all us and point out all the errors in his book , lol .

  3. Barry, you raised a lot of points which need to be unpacked by Joe. What I would add is before the dogma was defined centuries later, it was part of the fifteen mysteries(5th mystery of the glorious mysteries) of the Holy Rosary.

    1. Let’s be honest and more specific than it just being defined “centuries later”. The Assumption was coined just 10 years before I was born! On its face then, it is impossible to believe that a doctrine of the faith be required for salvation nearly 2 thousand years after the Lord Jesus Christ bid this earth farewell. It is no more believable than Joseph Smith saying he saw a vision in 1835 telling him that “everyone” was wrong and “I now choose you to set the world straight”.
      What is so frustrating about Catholicism is that on the one hand she has gone on record as agreeing with Protestants that there is no new revelation to be had after the first century. But at the same time try to wiggle around that with “new revelations” via the Pope ex-cathedra, which somehow doesn’t count as the “new revelation” they referred to by which they agree with Protestants!

      1. Barry,

        Are you claiming to have been born in the first century? Or are you claiming that the Assumption was “coined” in the 20th century, after it’s just been pointed out to you that Christians have been praying on the Mystery of the Assumption for as long as there’s been a Rosary? Because either of those claims is outrageous, and hardly passes your alleged “specific and honest” standard.

        *Of course, the Assumption predates the Rosary, so you can’t even “honestly” and “specifically” claim that it dates to the creation of the Rosary.

        1. J.H. Are you claiming to have been born in the first century? Or are you claiming that the Assumption was “coined” in the 20th century, after it’s just been pointed out to you that Christians have been praying on the Mystery of the Assumption for as long as there’s been a Rosary?

          B.B. May I say that I don’t give a rat’s tail HOW long people have been contemplating the Assumption? Once again, at your core, you expose your true self by intimating that the biblical evidence MUST take a back seat to popular opinion. However, true Christianity is built on fidelity to God’s word, period, and not on the popular and repetitious mumblings when holding a rosary.
          Not only does the biblical evidence refute your article, but an array of facts which you omitted to say, would throw your case out of court if brought before a judge. I compiled the following from a Catholic forum submitted by a distressed poster who had very good reason to be distressed after he found out…

          “It would seem that Christians didn’t universally know or believe in the assumption almost 400 years after the fact, if not later. The first Church Father to affirm explicitly the assumption of Mary in the West was Gregory of Tours in 590 A.D. But the basis for his teaching was not the tradition of the Church but his acceptance of an apocryphal Gospel known as the Transitus Beatae Mariae which we first hear of at the end of the fifth century. There were many versions of this literature which developed over time and which were found throughout the East and West but they all originated from one source. Mariologist, Juniper Carol admits that it was from, ‘an intriguing corpus of literature on the final lot of Mary formed by the apocryphal Transitus Mariae (Mariology, Vol. II, p. 144). And that, ‘The first express witness in the West to a genuine assumption comes to us in an apocryphal Gospel, the Transitus Beatae Mariae of Pseudo–Melito’ (Vol 1, 149).

          Juniper Carol explicitly states that the Transitus literature is a complete fabrication which should be rejected by any serious historian:
          “The account of Pseudo-Melito, like the rest of the Transitus literature, is admittedly valueless as history, as an historical report of Mary’s death and corporeal assumption; under that aspect the historian is justified in dismissing it with a critical distaste (Mariology, Vol. l p. 150).
          The Transitus literature is highly significant as the origin of the assumption teaching and it is important that the nature of these writings is understood. Some would have us believe that this apocryphal work expressed an existing, common belief among the faithful with respect to Mary and that the Holy Spirit used it to bring more generally to the Church’s awareness the truth of Mary’s assumption. The historical evidence would suggest otherwise. The truth is that, as with the teaching of the Immaculate Conception, the Church has embraced and is responsible for promoting teachings which originated, not with the faithful, but with heretical writings which were officially condemned by the early Church. History proves that when the Transitus teaching originated the Church regarded it as heresy. In 494 to 496 A.D. Pope Gelasius issued a decree entitled Decretum de Libris Canonicis Ecclesiasticis et Apocryphis. This decree officially set forth the writings which were considered to be canonical and those which were apocryphal and were to be rejected. He gives a list of apocryphal writings and makes the following statement regarding them:
          “The remaining writings which have been compiled or been recognised by heretics or schismatics the Catholic and Apostolic Roman Church does not in any way receive; of these we have thought it right to cite below some which have been handed down and which are to be avoided by catholics (New Testament Apocrypha, Wilhelm Schneemelcher, p. 38).
          In the list of apocryphal writings which are to be rejected Gelasius signifies the following work: Liber qui apellatur Transitus, id est Assumptio Sanctae Mariae, Apocryphus (Pope Gelasius 1, Epistle 42, Migne Series, M.P.L. vol. 59, Col. 162). At the end of the decree he states that this and all the other listed literature is heretical and that their authors and teachings and all who adhere to them are condemned and placed under eternal anathema which is indissoluble.”
          ________________________________________________

          What also swings the recking ball at your Assumption article is the corruption of Jerome’s translation of Genesis 3:15 in the Vulgate. With regard to the phrase, ‘He shall bruise your head,’ Jerome correctly translated the Hebrew masculine pronoun (he) with the Latin masculine pronoun ipse (he). Yet, in later versions of the Vulgate, the masculine pronoun ipse (he) was corrupted by various copyists to read ipsa (she).

          We read from this writer…

          “Today, the officially approved edition of the Vulgate by Rome, the Nova Vulgata Bibliorum Sacororum Editio, translates the Hebrew masculine pronoun (he) with the Latin neuter pronoun ipsum (it), which seems to be a compromise between the masculine pronounipse and the feminine ipsa. But the text remains incorrect compared to the accuracy of Jerome’s original translation. Moreover, the corruption appears in the Roman Catholic English translation of the Douay-Rheims Bible, which reads, ‘she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel’ and even the Catholic Jerusalem Bible. This demonstrates how one corrupted translation (the Vulgate) is perpetuated in another translation (Douay-Rheims) when there is a refusal to be corrected by recourse to proper textual evidence. Although modern day Roman Catholic scholars have identified this corruption in the Latin Vulgate, it has been ignored by Mariologists who seize upon it as proof of Mary’s cooperation with her seed in the crushing of the head of the serpent. [Holy Scripture, The Ground and Pillar of Our Faith Vol. 1 (Battle Ground: Christian Resources, 2001), p. 159]

          And this corruption was not ignored by Pius IX when he fell victim to this lie in his “Ineffabilis Deus”, which was a snowball that rolled down the hill of Catholic fantasy straight into the laps of gullible Catholics.
          MR. HESCHMEYER… there is absolutely no doubt that Pius IX was alluding to a faulty Latin translation of the Vulgate when he referred to Mary as the crusher of Satan’s head (!!!). And that being so, there can also be no doubt that God would EVER overshadow the pope to use this sort of typology, grounded in an inaccurate translation that is diametrically opposed to His word. (Rms 16:20, Heb 2:14, 1 Jn 3:8).
          Thus, if what was proclaimed circa 1850 is false, so is what was proclaimed in 1950.

          1. Jimmy Akin, a former member of one of the thousands of do-it-yourself religions like Barry’s, now converted to the One True Church, wrote an excellent screed on the subject of Genesis ‘gender confusion’ perfectly understandable even by Barry and explanatory of the fake conundrum he posits (Barry, do you work for CNN?). Here’s a quote and a link:

            https://www.catholic.com/magazine/print-edition/the-woman-the-seed-the-serpent

            “In Genesis 3:15 it seems that there are several non-exclusive interpretations, at least three of which may be intended by the text itself: (a) a natural conflict between snakes and the human race, (b) a spiritual conflict between (righteous) humans and the devil, (c) the conflict between Messiah and the devil, and (d) the conflict between Mary and the devil. This is an example of a prophecy that has multiple fulfillments based on the different levels on which the text may be read—literal, moral, Christological, and Mariological.”

  4. Joe,

    So I don’t think that this is a particularly persuasive case.

    Let me open with the obvious concession: Scripture doesn’t tell us how Mary died. I think it would be highly inappropriate, on those grounds, for me to declare as a matter of absolute fact that Mary was not bodily assumed. I think it is equally inappropriate to assert as a matter of absolute fact that she was.

    But I think it’s bizarre to call the simple statement, “We don’t know how she died,” an argument from silence. Let me be silly for a moment: suppose that I assert that Mary, in fact, never died – that she lives up to the present, and has in fact been cybernetically enhanced into an unstoppable robot-woman of destruction. There is, I note, nothing in Scripture to contradict this claim! It’s not an argument from silence for you to reply, “There’s, uh, no reason to believe that’s true, dude.”

    Now, if a Catholic said to me, “I personally think Mary was assumed, even though we don’t know for sure” – well, fine! We all have theological suspicions: I personally think Hebrews wasn’t authored by Paul, where others personally think it was, but neither side has an absolute certainty. But that isn’t at all the situation we have here. Munificentissimus Deus declares that, “It is forbidden to any man to change this, our declaration, pronouncement, and definition or, by rash attempt, to oppose and counter it. If any man should presume to make such an attempt, let him know that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.” If you’re going to call down the wrath of God on someone, I don’t think it’s sufficient to say in defense, “Well, you can’t prove it didn’t happen.”

    Relatedly, you say:

    Some Protestants will go further and claim that it’s wrong to believe anything not explicitly taught in Scripture. That standard is literally impossible to hold.

    Well, yeah. That’s why it’s not a Protestant doctrine (Most Protestants believe 2+2=4 without explicit biblical support) – though it may be the way some Protestants sloppily express it. Rather, the Protestant claim is that we do not take as an infallible theological doctrine anything not revealed in Scripture – we do not hold that any such things are essential to salvation.

    With respect, this is a topic that has come up before; your posts do not accurately represent the Protestant doctrine of sola Scriptura. I will grant you freely that many Protestants don’t do so, either – but I’d urge you to be the better man in that regard, to work with your counterparts’ best definition, and not a sloppy man-in-the-street misstatement of it.

    I think that’s actually the bulk of my reply, here, because the rest of the post doesn’t provide a lot of positive evidence for your claim. Some of it is just too vague for me to cleanly reply to; when you say that the “arose and went” construction is paralleled only in Luke 1:39 and 2 Samuel 6:2, what construction exactly do you mean?

    Other parts just seem a bit… well, thin. Say that the parallel you mention is real; wouldn’t that suggest a parallel between Mary and David, both ancestors of Christ, rather than between Mary and the ark? The ark, after all, isn’t the one “arising and going” to Judah. Likewise, the parallel between John the Baptist “leaping” in the womb, and David “celebrating” before the Lord, seems extremely forced – those aren’t remotely the same Greek word.

    But still further: let’s say that Luke is making a deliberate parallel between these passages; let’s say that I was to grant entirely that Luke is metaphorically comparing Mary to the ark. To say, on those grounds, that Mary is the new ark is fundamentally ungrounded. Reference is not identity – and yet reference is the absolute strongest claim that can be built from this passage. It works equally as well to grant entirely the parallels you draw, and then to say simply, “See, and Luke wants to make the point that, just as the God of Abraham dwelt with men through the ark, so he now dwelt with men in physical form” – to say, in other words, that the intended parallel is between the same God in both passages, and that the rest is incidental to his point. (That would explain nicely why Mary parallels David in one place, and the ark in another: she’s not the important part!)

    Likewise, let’s say that I granted entirely that “the woman clothed with the sun” is Mary – I think “the true Israel” is a more natural read, but let’s grant your reading for the moment. There are countless people in heaven, in Revelation; there are thousands of those beheaded for their faith before the throne of God. Is presence in heaven alone to be taken as proof of their bodily assumption? Surely not – why, then, would we assume differently for Mary?

    ***

    One of the charges that’s been brought against me in previous debates is that I cherry-pick single verses to support my point; the Marian doctrines are a place where I have to shake my head at that charge a bit. Scripture nowhere says that Mary is the ark, that words said of the ark apply to her, that there is such a thing as “the queen of heaven,” that Mary was bodily assumed, etc. None of these are said, anywhere! If none of this has any better support than a possible mild parallel structure… I mean, we can establish anything that way. We can defend Dispensationalism; we can find the claims of Islam or Mormonism foreshadowed; we can support any of a hundred heresies with this hermeneutic!

    And ninety-nine of those y’all would rightly reject, as inference beyond what the text supports. I’d argue the same is true here: the text does not positively support the claim, and “fails to contradict” is not enough for a required dogma.

    The Catholic can, of course, reply, “But the Catholic Church teaches this one, and not the others” – and that’s fine! If that’s the reason to accept the claim, so be it. But the appeal to Scripture simply fails to establish the point.

    1. Irked,

      Catholics nearly universally believed in the Assumption of Mary for eons before it was ever dogmatically defined by the Church.

      Given that, the difference in how we’re arriving at our conclusions can’t just be that Catholics believe Magisterial definitions and Protestants don’t.

      Rather, it has a lot more to do with how we read Scripture. Protestants tend (and I’m describing only a tendency here) to approach Scripture expecting explicit doctrinal propositions. And certainly, parts of Scripture contain that, and if one’s exposure to the Bible is mostly Pauline texts and/or the Mosaic Law, that’s an easy distortion to fall into. But big chunks of Scripture are descriptive and narrative – things like the parables of Christ can’t be approached as dry or explicit theological propositions.

      And so a different set of eyes are needed. Here, Catholics are aided by (a) the four “senses” of Scripture, and (b) a two-millennia interpretative tradition. If I was left to my own intelligence, I wouldn’t notice a lot of the Marian imagery or parallels, but I wouldn’t notice a lot of other parts, either. And I daresay that this is true of all of us, Catholic or Protestant.

      A person who cuts Scripture off from Tradition guarantees themselves a shallow reading of Scripture, since they get only the gleanings of a single lifetime, where the Christian with Tradition gets the fruit of the gleanings of untold millions over a couple thousands of years.

      Now, I’ll readily concede that many Protestants have interpretative traditions – it’s not a coincidence that Calvinists tend to read the Bible like Calvin did, for example. But these traditions are much younger, much less reliable (different Protestant traditions contradicting one another, e.g.), and so on.

      But of these two points, I think (a) may actually be the more important one. Very little is said about Mary propositionally, but Catholic Christians since well before the Reformation (and well before Pope Pius IX or Pope Pius XII) have had a rich theology of the Mother of God and her place in the story of salvation. No small part of that is due to the way we read Scripture. And the fact that someone can employ the four senses badly (to lead to faulty understanding of prophecy, etc.) doesn’t discount the four senses, anymore than someone misunderstanding the literal meaning discounts the authentic literal meaning.

      I.X,

      Joe

      1. J.H. Very little is said about Mary propositionally, but Catholic Christians… have had a rich theology of the Mother of God and her place in the story of salvation. No small part of that is due to the way we read Scripture.

        B.B. Yes indeed. “The way you read Scripture”…… is to blow it all out of proportion, making yourself smarter than God who chose on the other hand, to have “very little said about Mary propositionally”. Admit it. You simply don’t like the Text as it stands because it doesn’t support your traditions. Consequently,…”the way you read Scripture”… is to conform it with, (as we read) “the vain traditions you received from your fathers”, and like Yankee Doodle Dandy, you go on to stick a feather in your hat and call it macaroni.

      2. Joe,

        I would argue rather that the Protestant tries to approach Scripture consistently: that his goal is to apply a hermeneutic that only produces true claims. Let me see if I can make sense of that: the evidence you presented from Scripture is that there may be a very minor parallel between these two passages. On those grounds, you argue that we can take statements made of the Ark of the Covenant and apply them to Mary. My claim, again, is, “I can apply that same hermeneutic to defend all manner of heresies – things you and I would both repudiate.” So I can’t use that standard of interpretation, because I can’t apply it consistently; I have to try to take one that doesn’t produce heresies.

        Do you disagree with the claim in quotes? Because, like, examples are easy to come by; I can start a list, if this is a point of contention.

        But if it’s not a point of contention, then the Scriptural evidence isn’t really the basis here. It seems like you acknowledge this with your point (b): you hold to the Marian doctrines because the Catholic Church says they’re true.

        And that’s fine! That’s consistent with your doctrinal positions. But let’s be up-front about it, if so: there are no meaningful biblical arguments for this position from the Bible – no way to read this from the text without reading a hundred errors as well.

        Or let me put that a different way: you say here that the difference is that Protestants and Catholics read the Bible differently. I don’t think that’s true – or, well, more precisely: I don’t think you interpret all of Scripture the way you interpret this passage, precisely because you reject so many places where the same standard would produce crazy things. So I don’t think it’s (a) that divides between us at all on this point; I think it’s almost purely (b). Again, that’s fine as far as it goes – but it means the “five reasons” boil down to one.

          1. >>> “Consistency” in Protestant interpretation of Scripture? That’s rich.

            BB: Perhaps you have forgotten that the RCC has left 99% of the Bible UNINTERPRETED, which leads one to logically conclude that her supposed gift of infallibility has been, for all practical purposes, USELESS.
            Second, since the RCC has no intention to ever “officially” interpret Scripture by an ex-cathedra trumpet call, that leaves me on precisely the same level as you when I come to any conclusions.
            Third, you intimate in your mocking tone, that Protestant interpretations have not always been “consistent”…as if this is some reason that negates the Bible being upheld as the sole rule of faith. Uhh…let me tell you something. The Lord has not a worry in the world even if there were a million denominations emerging all claiming to have interpreted the Bible rightly. What izzzzz to be dreaded, is an elite company of papal dignitaries interpreting a select group of passages so as to give them total control and power. A thousand denominations claiming legitimate Christianity holding up their Bibles, is to be preferred over the menacing unbiblical religion of Rome.

            The Lord knows who are his own, and the true Christian is convinced that the meaning of the Bible is not elusive in matters pertaining to salvation, thank you very much.

          2. Shane,

            *shrugs* We’re imperfect people, and we achieve the goal imperfectly. It’s still the goal.

            I’d put the question back to you: set aside tradition for a moment. Would you agree that the purely Scriptural evidence for the assumption of Mary, as Joe’s presented it here, is no stronger than the evidence claimed by a number of heresies that you and I would both reject? Because if so, it seems like we have to say it’s not really the biblical evidence that’s the relevant feature here.

            Conversation’s running a little hot today, isn’t it?

          3. Irked,

            Yes, the conversation is running a little too hot. When will we all realize that we are on the same team? Right?

            In any case, yes, you are correct, I can cherry pick Scripture and come up with support for a whole host of heresies. Heresies aren’t anti-Scriptural, they are less than a full understanding of the totality of what has been divinely revealed. But we, as 21st century Christians, have the luxury of grounding ourselves in 2,000 years of agreed-upon understanding of the collective group called Christians. Does it not seem strange to you that Christianity itself is based on two principles (God is 3 persons/God is 1 and Jesus is 100% God/Jesus is 100% man) that are not clearly defined and laid out in Scripture – that both were vigorously debated and defined by the Church hundreds of years later?

            I think it’s clear cut from history that Scripture-alone was not followed until the Reformation and that it has been a train-wreck since, but again, I respect your allegiance to The Truth (and I’m not talking about Carl Williams) and will agree to disagree on this point.

          4. Hi Shane,

            To your example, I think the Trinity has a lot stronger support here – that it’s easy to find a number of verses that clearly and unambiguously indicate, say, the divinity of Christ. “Our great God and savior Jesus Christ” doesn’t admit a whole lot of alternate interpretations, and there are similar passages for other facets of Trinitarian doctrine. Even if Joe’s interpretation of these passages is correct, I think the purely biblical evidence for the Assumption is a lot – a lot – thinner on the ground than that for the Trinity.

            (Would you agree/disagree?)

            And that’s basically my major point so far: if the defense here is really tradition-based rather than Scripture-based, that’s totally reasonable from the Catholic perspective – but let’s acknowledge it as such, in that case.

            At that point, we could start to have a conversation about how much of those two thousand years of history really does acclaim the Assumption, and on what grounds – but I’m not sure that’s territory worth covering unless we agree that it’s the core defense of the position here.

          5. Shane says: Yes, the conversation is running a little too hot. When will we all realize that we are on the same team? Right?

            BB: WRONG! This is what is so completely frustrating about you Catholics, trying to make it appear we are on the same team! WE ARE NOT. Catholics demand you believe in papal subordination, infallibility, the marian dogmas, eating the physical anatomy of Christ in the Eucharist, and cannot imagine “ANY OTHER WAY” other than baptism to get into heaven (CCC 1257) and then goes on to require an unspecified quota of good works which have the salvific efficacy to open heaven’s gate! (CCC 1821), completely contradicting Titus 3:5! All of this connotes that you are embracing, “another jesus and another gospel” per 2 Cor 11:4, there can be no doubt. If Paul threw a fit in the book of Galatians when the Judaizers attempted to add just ONE thing to the purity of the gospel, then how much more furious would he be with the RCC which has added FAR MORE.
            It is clear to me that you are avoiding ALL the implications of not only your own belief system (condemning to hell all non-compliers) but the logical ramifications of the biblical evidence which refutes you. And the only reason you are doing it is to be “nice” to one another, so you can start off each post with “Hi Toothless”, or “Hi Shane”, whatcha doing? Isn’t it lovely that we’re all going to heaven and Jesus doesn’t care about doctrine but will let everyone in?

            On the contrary, Jesus said WOE UNTO YOU WHEN ALL MEN SHALL SPEAK WELL OF YOU. In other words, if you continue to play patty cake patty cake bakers man, with everyone you come across just to be LIKED and so as not to rock the boat, there is obviously something wrong with the way you are presenting the gospel. In my opinion, you have created a cartoon charicature of the Lord Jesus Christ as walking around with a feather duster and sprinkling angel dust over everyone’s head. You do misrepresent him BADLY, which is simply still yet another reason why we believe Catholics adhere to “another gospel.”

          6. there are limits though on interpretation though so we are not in the same boat. And was not Jesus’ prayer that All May be one.

          7. there are limits though on interpretation though so we are not in the same boat.

            Please explain what you mean.

            And was not Jesus’ prayer that All May be one.

            It absolutely was, and is. Irked and I have had several back and forths here and he knows how much I appreciate his presence on this site. He’s a brother, for sure. I probably could have been more charitable with my reply, but in this case, his argument of consistency was a head scratcher for me.

        1. Irked –

          The logical conclusion from your analysis is that the Trinity doesn’t exist. Not enough evidence. Good day.

          1. Hi TT,

            If the biblical evidence for the trinity were of the same caliber as that expressed in defense of the Assumption, I might dispute that doctrine as well. As I said to Shane above, I think there’s a lot more, and a lot more explicit, biblical evidence for the Trinity. Would you disagree?

          2. Irked,

            This is where we’ll have to agree to disagree. If the Trinity and nature of Jesus are as Scripturally clear cut as you claim them to be, there is no need for the first four ecumenical councils of the Church. God could have certainly revealed these truths as plain as day, but He seems to have chosen a messier, less simplistic route. My assertion is that you (and I) enjoy the fruits of our forefather’s labor (via the Holy Spirit) and neither of us would have as full of an understanding without them.

            In either case, He, and He alone, revealed it to us. Thanks be to God

        2. irked , YOU SAID

          Joe,

          On those grounds, you argue that we can take statements made of the Ark of the Covenant and apply them to Mary. My claim, again, is, “I can apply that same hermeneutic to defend all manner of heresies – things you and I would both repudiate.” So I can’t use that standard of interpretation, because I can’t apply it consistently; I have to try to take one that doesn’t produce heresies.

          MY RESPONSE ;
          Can you really use them to make all sorts of heresies, ?????? and maybe you can

          Perhaps you could give us a few examples ??????

          Secondly your premise seems to dismiss all of the correlations of Mary as The ark of the covenant , which is really nonsensical , because to deny them is to deny the scriptures themselves

          Why so anti-Marian . What is it within your understanding and spirit that will not let you see what IS , as apposed to what you aught to SEE ?????

          Is it pride ???? Is it brainwashing by anti catholic teachers ?????

          Anyways I want to address the following

          Jeremiah prophecies that the the messiah will not come until the Ark of the covenant is seen again .

          The typological fulfilment of Mary as Ark are horribly against you , Irked .

          St Luke makes an unmistakable reference to Mary as fulfilling the prophecy of Jeremiah and makes a DIRECT correlation to Mary as the new ark in the following way

          Luke describes Mary’s decision to to visit Elizabeth in parallel terms to to David moving the Ark to Jerusalem……. 2 SAM 6:2 & LUKE 1:56

          John the baptist leaps in his mothers Womb at the appearance and voice of Mary just like David leaps before the Ark ….. 2 SAM 6:14 & LUKE 1-41-43

          Elizabeth cries out ” And why is this granted to me that the Mother of my Lord should come to me ” echoing Davids words when he realized the great privilege of the Ark going with him …… 2 SAM 6:9 & LUKE 1 41-43

          Mary stays with Elizabeth for three months , just like the Ark stayed with Obed-Edom for three months ….. 2 SAM 6:11 & LUKE 1:56

          Furthermore Luke says that Elizabeth “exclaimed with a loud cry” when she expressed her joy at the arrival of Mary using a greek word found NOWHERE else in the NT but found 5 times in the Greek OT with every instance in direct connection to the Ark of the covenant . LUKE 1:47

          The ark returns to its home and ends up in Jerusalem, where God’s presence and glory is revealed in the temple (2 Sm 6:12; 1 Kgs 8:9-11).
          Mary returns home and eventually ends up in Jerusalem, where she presents God incarnate in the temple (Lk 1:56; 2:21-22).

          Then there is the word ” overshadowed in relation to the annunciation of the Angel Gabriel :
          the Spirit of God will overshadow ἐπισκιάσει her (Luke 1:35).
          Cf. the Ark of the Covenant being overshadowed by the cherubim συσκιάζοντες (Exodus 25:20), and the Presence overshadowing the Tabernacle ἐπεσκίαζεν (Exodus 40:35)

          Then there are the elements contained within the Ark itself , which are are typological references to Christ jus as the Ark is an OT typology of Mary

          1. The manna from heaven = the prefigurement of Christ who is the bread of life

          2. The priestly rod of Aaron = the prefigurement of Christ as Eternal the high priest

          3. The ten commandments ( Word of God in stone ) = the prefigurement of Christ the eternal Word of God made flesh .

          I cannot imagine how the mind of a protestant works especially against such overwhelming evidence .

          I find it comical that so called BIBLE CHRISTIANS , who think they know the bible inside out , are either unaware of the weight of evidence or they apply very strange hermeneutics to justify NOT believing what is so incredibly evidential .

          1. Paul,

            All excellent points. By the time Jesus got down speaking to Nathaniel in John 1, Nathaniel knew exactly who he was and said as such. Because Jesus told him explicitly? No, rather Jesus did exactly what you just did, he unveiled the Old Testament by revealing the New.

            As you know, all heresies have been defended by Scripture and I’m sure their defenders were convinced of their “consistency” in interpretation. But all of them failed the true “consistency” test, which is being aligned with the totality of Scripture.

            As to why some people don’t see the logical consistency of this argument? Well, there are likely as many answers to that question as there are to the conclusions arrived at by each individual interpreter trying to be consistent. Makes me tired just thinking about those days and grateful they are over for me.

  5. >>> none of this has any better support than a possible mild parallel structure…

    B.B. Correct. Since the Lord is against doctrine that promotes controversial speculation (1 Tim 3), then it is certain he is not going to require us to find a salvific doctrine under the nebulous tree of “mild parallelisms” which, if anything, would take an ADULT to dig up. Yet we are told that Timothy “from a little child” knew that the Scriptures were able to make him “wise unto salvation.” Since no child today can pick up a Bible and expect to find papal infallibility, the marian dogmas, and all the other RC paraffunalia that has been iced on to the cake of the gospel, they simply cannot be true.

    1. We’re not going to find all the Protestant paraffunalia that has been iced on to the cake of the gospel, so they simply cannot be true.

      1. My dear, I think you need to take a wake-up pill. Protestants strive to stay within the bounds of Holy Writ and are uninterested with adorning the gospel with any extra paraphernalia.The RCC is the one who has one doctrine after another being hoisted up on 3 legged chair and setting them on the flimsiest of implications…and you expect it to STAND?

    2. BB,

      I did not intend to come across as mocking anyone, especially Irked, who I have history with and hold up as an example of how to have constructive dialogue. He and I disagree on some things, but I’ve always found his positions to be well thought-out and his attitude charitable.
      We, I believe, consider each other fellow members of the body of Christ – at least I do.

      As to your points….

      “the RCC has left 99% of the Bible UNINTERPRETED”
      The Catechism of the Catholic Church includes an index of Scripture references that is over 30 pages, citing over 3,000 verses or passages, and includes every book in the Bible with the exception of Ruth, Obadiah, Nahum, and Haggai.

      “The Lord has not a worry in the world even if there were a million denominations emerging all claiming to have interpreted the Bible rightly”
      Philippians 2:2 and John 17:21 would seem to directly contradict this assertion.

      1. Shane,

        Your simple, evidence-based, historical arguments, is what keeps any sane unbeliever (and believer) from falling into the trap of me-myself-and-I-am-my-own-pope (except-when-my-pastor-interprets-for-me) Protestant life.

      2. Shane: We, I believe, consider each other fellow members of the body of Christ – at least I do.

        BB: Well I must call you a fool then because you are ignorant of both what the Bible says and the teachings of your own church. You put your index finger parallel to your lips and rub it up and down and “blah blah blah we are all members of the body of Christ we are all going to heaven”. This you say ONLY BECAUSE POSTER IRKED IS BEING “CHARITABLE” TO YOU and never comes right out and says, like Jesus, “you do greatly err, not knowing the Scriptures”. If he did, you would hate him just as much as you hate me…because I DO tell you that you greatly err and will not ever shrink from doing so when I see that is the case.

        So get it straight….Your church has gone on record as requiring a whole BUNCH of peculiar mandates for salvation, NONE OF WHICH poster Irked would agree to. You CANNOT logically say then that he is a member of the body of Christ, according to official RC teaching! It is completely nonsensical.
        And don’t bother replying with the typical, “God makes room for the ignorant to be saved”. That excuse cannot stand because then EVERYONE would be saved no matter WHAT they believed due to the “ignorance factor”. Honestly, will you wake up?!

        Shane: [You say] “the RCC has left 99% of the Bible UNINTERPRETED”

        [But] The Catechism of the Catholic Church includes an index of Scripture references that is over 30 pages, citing over 3,000 verses or passages, and includes every book in the Bible

        BB: That was not my point. When I say they have left the Bible 99% uninterpreted, I meant “officially interpreting it by means of infallibility”. The catechism is NOT INFALLIBLE as you should well know, and so what the RCC has to offer is on the same level of fallible knowledge as Protestants.

        1. BB,

          Sorry man, but you don’t get to choose who and what I hate for me. There’s no hate for you whatsoever here.

          I won’t waste my time quoting Vatican II to demonstrate that baptized believers are accepted as Christians, etc. Facts don’t seem to dissuade you.

          You also don’t get to set the bar as to what the Church must claim infallibly in order for it to be binding. Church teaching is Church teaching and those of us who are working out our salvation with fear and trembling (not earning it, just trying to become what God would have us be) listen to it all and try to soak it in.

          Finally, and this will be my last correspondence with you, I would ask that you prayerfully consider Matthew 5:22 and Acts 9:4-5 and ask yourself, is there any possible way that I may be acting in a manner contrary to what God would have me do? I know, some reading this, and you yourself, will say that this request is a waste of time. But, nothing is impossible with God and at some point in the future, God may knock you off of your proverbial horse and decide to use your passion and fervor for some other purpose.

  6. For me it, all goes back to Jesus.

    If the Catholic Church is founded by Jesus, then you should listen to Her when She speaks on matters, both great and small.

    I believe in the Assumption of Mary for the same reason I believe in the Canon of Scripture:

    This is what the Church teaches.

    It is that simple.

    If you don’t believe that the Catholic Church was founded by Jesus, then all bets are off on anything you can name, The Assumption being just one.

    1. Well said RJ!!!

      It all gets back to whether the RCC is who she claims to be. If she is wrong, then Christ failed and Protestantism is another false religion built upon a false religion. Many people like Barry Baritone don’t have the guts to take such a logical and reasoned position about the RCC if she so mightly failed right out of the gate. Just keep making up a version of Christianity that you like and history be damned. There had to be some unknown group that got Christianity “right.”

      1. Dear Toothless,

        It’s time to get dentures so you may articulate common sense and reason. Your statement that supposes that “if the RCC is wrong, then Christ failed”, is perhaps the single most ridiculous statement I have heard this year. It is completely illogical and you ought to be ashamed, primarily because you simply ASSUME what you have yet to prove! The word of God smashes your thesis into a million pitiful pieces, for it NOWHERE mentions any authority of the Roman church, not even in the book of ROOOOOmans, where it should be found if your thesis was correct. Moreover, the word “church” is mentioned over 100 times in the N.T. and NOWHERE does it refer to a monolithic superstructure situated in Italy where it is proclaimed that, “it is altogether necessary for salvation for every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff”. Boniface VIII tried to sell the world that insidious bit of drivel, but all true Christians know it is completely false. The RCC can claim anything she darn well wants, but by adding papal subordination to the gospel, and by adding the marian dogmas to the gospel, and by adding the eucharist, good works and baptism to the gospel, we KNOW she is not who she claims to be because the work of Jesus Christ is thrust into the background and brought to nought by these insane and never-ending “necessary for salvation” requirements which ultimately leads millions to embrace, “another jesus and another gospel” per 2 Cor 11:4. And this “other jesus”, I can assure you, will NEVER save a single soul who clings to it, including you.

        1. Barry –

          Your voice might be low, but your history is non-existent. What is this Church in history that is mentioned in the NT? If it wasn’t the RCC, then please tell us who and what people called this Church? Just Church? Never saw that argument from history but it wouldn’t surprise me given all the mental gymnastics protestants attempt to make their made up religion stick. Oh wait, everything was set right 1,500 years after the initial failure. If the Church was wrong for 1,500 years then Christ failed and it’s all one big lie like Islam, Zoroastrianism, witchcraft, etc.

          1. TT,

            Church history is an important witness to the true nature and identity of the Church. And this is because Christ the Lord established it as a living organization composed of varying vocations and apostolates according to the needs of the mystical Body of Christ. That is, the Church is not an ad hoc assembly of freelance Christians all doing their own thing and following their own fantasized theology/ecclesiology. Jesus clearly denoted the differences of vocations inherent in His Church membership, especially when he instructed Peter to “Feed my sheep”.

            Peter, and the apostles by implication, are thus deemed ‘shepherds’, as they are responsible for the special task of feeding, guiding and caring for sheep…as all shepherds do. That is to say, there is a difference between the two, the shepherds and the sheep. They are not all equal or the same, the sheep in this sense lack the ability to find the food on their own, and NEED the shepherds help and guidance for survival. So…’sola scripture’ does’t work in this scenario.

            So, we see here a distinction in the various callings/vocations given by God to the members of Christ’s holy Church. Herein we see the beginnings of ‘Ecclesiastical Institutional Order’, as compared for instance, to Church institutional anarchy.

            Moreover, the Apostles created even another class of apostolate very early on, when they added the ‘diaconate’ to the Orders in the Church, as is detailed in the ‘Acts of the Apostles’. Therein, the Apostles understood that the Church had not only spiritual needs, but physical/worldly ones as well. So, they set apart men for this particular apostolate and gave them a new name: “deacons”.

            So, we see that the Church has always been mindful of BOTH body and spirit from the very beginning of it’s foundation. Moreover, as the seedling Church grew in size and membership, new needs were discovered at each stage, and the Church…as it did in the Acts of the Apostles, made changes or added new institutions, such creating the organized institution of the ‘catechumenate’ for the sake of catechizing multitudes of new members throughout the world quickly and in an efficient way. You can read about this in the ‘Apostolic Copnsitutions’ and int the ‘canons of the Synod of Alvira’ online. This is also the beginning of ‘canon law’, which was necessary to guide and organize the multitudes of new Christians being added to the universal Church, as the Roman Empire was being quickly converted in the 3rd and 4th centuries.

            If you read only the Bible, as most Protestants do, you will never understand the realities of ecclesiastical life and development in the Early Church. But, those who desire wisdom, and truth, rejoice to know such history. It is the history of the mystical body of Christ here on Earth.

            Why should Christians be so fascinated by the History of the Old Testament prophets, priests, kings etc… and not be interested in the history of the New Testament prophets, priests, saints, kings etc…? It is absolutely ludicrous….as Jesus taught that the least in the Kingdom of God is greater than the greatest of those prophets of the Old Covenant.

            Protestants are highly confused as regards to all of these items, as it takes wisdom to understand the plan of God for this world. It’s even as the’ Liturgy of the Hours’ states in it’s daily prayers : “They are a people who’s hearts go astray and they do not know my ways. Therefore have I sworn in my anger, they shall not enter into my rest.”

            Keep up the good comments.

          2. T.T. If the Church was wrong for 1,500 years then Christ failed and it’s all one big lie

            B.B. This is now the SECOND time that you dared to make that same stupid comment.
            Fine. If you wish to showcase your stupidity for all to see, more power to ya.
            Now let’s pick apart this asinine statement even further because you apparently don’t get it. It is illogical on its face because it merely assuuuuumes that Christ founded the RCC to be his mouthpiece (which the Bible no where indicates) and then just assuuuuumes that if he didn’t, then he must be a failure. This logic is on the same level of a bank robber caught down the road from the crime scene with the money bag in his hand and expects us to believe, simply because heeeee says so, that he found the bag on the side of the road.
            The use of “Christ being a failure” to buttress your own assuuuuumed position, is nothing less than a miserable apologetic that seeks to rig the outcome in your favor! It is downright PATHETIC. Much can be said here, but I will only say that your theory of a PRISTINE CHURCH WITHOUT ERROR is unbiblical to the max! From the start, the early Christians were “putting up” with false gospels (2 Cor 11:4). From the beginning, “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you and turning to a different gospel….some are throwing you into confusion and trying to pervert the gospel…you foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you? (Gal 1:6-7; 3:1).
            Does all this mean Christ was a failure Mr. T.T.?
            Again, they were under the influence of “false doctrine, myths, endless genealogies…wandering away, turning to meaningless talk…teachers of the law who do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm” (1 Tim 1:3-7).
            Does this mean Christ is a failure?
            To boot, the early church was RIPE with accepting a whole BUNCH of baloney, such as the church at Pergamos tolerating the doctrines of Balaam and the Nico’s. The church at Thyatira tolerating Jezebel, and do you not know of what is said of the the church at Laodicea?
            Does Christ deserve a dunce cap for failing to keep the church in order?
            The only church to receive commendation was at Philadelphia, WHO STOOD ON HIS WORD, and by doing so, was able to avert the novelties the others were guilty of.
            In fact, far from Christ being a failure, you do not realize that has has ALLOWED these failures and heresies to creep in, so that when two positions are compared, the better of the two will be made manifest to all (1 Cor 11:19). Heresy is a good thing if it gets us off our lazy butts to go check things out…with THE WORD, something lazy Catholics are lax to do.
            Hence, the Protestant position, which is ever seeking to stand on the bedrock of the word of God, will always win at the end of the day.
            In Revelation, God tells us of a religious entity that would arise that he shall be disgusted with, yet he ALLOWS it to occur for his own good reasons. The allusions to Catholicism in that book simply cannot be denied, and that being so, the emergence of that false religious institution HAD to start somewhere, and they HAD to start early on to bring his prophecy to pass. I have clearly showed the propensity of the early to be seduced by novelty and so it is not Christ who has failed, it is your THESIS that he has failed if Catholicism is not true…which fails!

            Nevertheless, God has always had his remnant who were not effected by these errors and who had simply no idea of, or did not give in to, a papal dominion. And do not try and convince us for a nanosecond that Christ built his church on the Roman papacy of Peter in Matt 16 and that EVERYONE recognized his universal power from the get-go as Vatican 1 so vainly tries to convince the gullible. Ummm…Rome was 1500 miles away at the time and place Jesus said those words to Pete. And he DEFINITELY was not infallible as shown by the biblical Text, nor did Jesus bestow infallibility on the church, as I just proved from the Text, and therefore, he did not instruct the RCC to infallibly declare ANY marian dogma to have any salvific efficacy WHATSOEVER. All the supposed “infallible” dogmas you imagine are necessary for salvation, cannot for a moment stand on the same level as even ONE DROP OF THE PRECIOUS blood shed in our behalf. But that is exactly what the RCC does by requiring them for salvation, therefore, the RCC must be considered as a “synagogue of Satan” (Rev 3:9).

      2. AWL: Church history is an important witness to the true nature and identity of the Church.

        B.B. You err at the get-go. You want “church history” to be the rule of faith—and what the Bible has to say must CONFORM with that history! By asserting this, you’re just as guilty as those Christians who believe in evolution because science has “proved” it, and therefore the Bible must conform with modern day science! Your whole mindset is backwards I am sorry to say.
        On the contrary, the Bible does not speak of a capital “C” Church so as to refer to the Roman Catholic Church in particular, as you infer. You should know very well what the word means, but you SUPPRESS the true meaning of the word and twist it into a religious monstrosity situated in Rome where we are to believe resides the fount and apex of all truth! Sheesh! I would have more respect for Catholics if they just throw their Bibles under the nearest bus and create their own religion WITHOUT it. To spend their lives tryiing to make what the word of God does NOT say is nothing less than terrorism. They kidnap the Bible and “make it go on T.V. to read from a cue card and force it say something it does not want to say because there is a gun to its head”.

        AWL: Christ the Lord established it as a living organization composed of varying vocations and apostolates

        B.B. These varying “vocations” (otherwise known as the offices of the church) are clearly set forth in 1 Cor 12:28 and Eph 4:11-12. But lo and behold, there is no mention of the highest vocation, (the pope), nor even a whisper of the role of a “priest” who was to preside over the metamorphosis of bread and wine so that we could eat the physical anatomy of Jesus Christ and thus have our sins forgiven, not by faith, by via the mouth!

        AWL: especially when he instructed Peter to “Feed my sheep”.

        B.B. The instruction to feed the sheep….”especially”…..cannot be an apologetic for the papacy because no such office was ever instituted, as I just told you. We find our theology by comparing Scripture with Scripture (1 Cor 2:13). Catholics do not.

        AWL: Peter, and the apostles by implication, are thus deemed ‘shepherds’, as they are responsible for the special task of feeding, guiding and caring for sheep

        B.B. Bulletin: All Protestant churches have sheperds.

        AWL: shepherds help and guide for survival. So…’sola scripture’ does’t work in this scenario.

        B.B. This is completely nonsensical. God has instituted the office of a teacher, and that teacher, or pastor, or shepherd, may certainly teach from the vantage point of S.S., which does not go against the principle of S.S. at all. Honestly, your arguments are atrotious.

        AWL: the sheep in this sense lack the ability to find the food on their own,

        B.B. Oh stop it. We all have different gifts and different levels of intelligence (1 Cor 12:4-6) and wisdom is given to the degree he sees fit. Those who have studied the word of God in depth are certainly worthy to be listened to. But just because we are listening to them does NOT mean we “LACK THE ABILITY TO FIND THE FOOD ON OUR OWN”, which is more ridiculous than your previous nonsensical blurb. Your ulterior motive is to make Holy Writ as complicated as possible and to remove all hope of anyone understanding it without a little papal guardian angel sitting on their shoulder. But nothing you say can be proved by the Text, and in fact, militates against it with a fury.

        “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law” (Ps 119:18).
        “Thy word…gives understanding to the SIMPLE” (Ps 119:130).
        “Whereby when ye read, ye may UNDERSTAND my knowledge in the mystery of Christ” (Eph 3:3).
        “For we write nothing to you that you do not read and UNDERSTAND” (2 Cor 1:3).

        Timothy knew the Scriptures from early childhood, and was NOT taught from any magisterium, but BY HIS MOTHER AND GRANDMOTHER (2 Tim 1:5).

        Priscilla & Aquila were TENTMAKERS, yet a church resided in their house (1 Cor 16:19), and they were capable teachers who had not gone to seminary; instructing a man even as eloquent as Apollos (Acts 18:26).

        “The annointing which you received from Him abides in you (the Holy Spirit!!!) and you have NO NEED THAT ANYONE TEACH YOU…” (1 Jn 2:27)…a verse all Catholics are obligated to despise. And to the two on the road to Emmaus, to them “opened Heeeeee their eyes to understand the Scriptures!” (Luke 24:31,45). Not by any magisterium.

        And Jesus CERTAINLY expected the people of His day to make “private interpretations” of His word, contrary to the RC game-plan which opines that we “lack the ability”. “Search the Scriptures” (Jn 5:39), “Have ye not read?” (Matt 12:3), “Is it not written in your law?” (Jn 10:34)—serve to show that we are EXPECTED to exercise our senses on the Word so that we may be able to discern good and evil—just as I am doing now, exposing the EVIL of Roman Catholic thought (Matt 12:3, 5; 19:4; 21:16, 42; 22:29-31, Luke 10:26; Acts 17:2-3; 18:8, Heb 5:13-14, Eph 5:17).

        AWL: If you read only the Bible, as most Protestants do, you will never understand the realities of ecclesiastical life and development in the Early Church.

        B.B. The ecclesiastical infrastructure of the RCC is forthrightly DEBUNKED by Christ telling the apostles that the kind of authority they should keep is precisely the OPPOSITE of what we observe in the papal kingdom. READ IT! “But Jesus called them aside and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their superiors exercise authority over them. IT SHALL NOT BE THIS WAY AMONG YOU (Matt 20:25)…..which also debunks that devil, Boniface VIII who told us that “it is altogether necessary for salvation for every human creative to be subject to the Roman Pontiff”.
        Just as “Satan entered into Judas”, so did Satan enter into Boniface when he made that disgusting statement, which (happily) proves and confirms to the true flock of Christ that the RCC teaches a false gospel.

  7. Why is that,whenever the Blessed Virgin Mary comes up for discussion,people become worried and attack everything Catholic in the process?I think people should not hate and dislike her.God could have chosen any woman on the face of the earth,but He chose Mary instead.Let’s accord her the honour due her.All the honour due her is because of her Son,Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour.

    1. Scripture promises a couple of important things about Mary:

      1. That “henceforth all generations will call me Blessed” (Luke 1:48); and

      2. That God “will put enmity between [the serpent] and the woman” (Gen. 3:15) and that “the dragon was angry with the woman” (Rev. 12:17).

      For every generation, Catholic Christians have praised Mary, as Scripture promised. But the Devil, who is at war with Mary, hates this, and seeks to stir up fear of Mary and hatred of her.

      (This isn’t to say that everyone with concerns about Mary has fallen into the snare of the devil, but to recognize frankly that the vitriol of some of these anti-Marian attacks is because they’re Satanic in origin.)

      1. Joe,
        these are very good points. I’ve never thought about the blatant animosity against honoring Mary for her role in God’s plan in these terms. Thank you for pointing them out.

        1. LLC: I’ve never thought about the blatant animosity against honoring Mary for her role in God’s plan

          B.B. That’s because no such animosity against Mary ever existed, nor can you provide any Protestant Christian who ever thought to detract from anything said about her in Holy Writ. You are foolishly taking the Protestant and biblical admonition to NOT think about men (and Mary!) above that which is written (1 Cor 4:6) and you have turned that into ANIMOSITY on our part. This is disgraceful and proves how gullible you really are.
          So count on it: Because those things which the RCC teaches about Mary go BEYOND WHAT IS WRITTEN, then they must all be false according to the word of God, period, end of story.

          1. BB,
            “That’s because no such animosity against Mary ever existed” = please read carefully. I wrote “…against honoring Mary…”, not “…against Mary…”.
            “nor can you provide any Protestant Christian who ever thought to detract from anything said about her in Holy Writ” = actually, yes, I can. Starting with the fact that many Protestant, you included, refuse to acknowledge her Immaculate Conception (see Luke 1:28).
            “1 Cor 4:6” = classic misquoting. Paul is talking “about human leaders” (1 Cor 3:21), which Mary is not. Interestingly enough, 1 Cor 3 is a clear condemnation of the Protestant fragmentation into churches (small “c”) relying only upon the charisma of their pastors (leaders), instead of the teachings of Jesus.

          2. LL: [I can provide many examples of Protestant Christians] who thought to detract from what is said about her in Holy Writ”… starting with the fact that many Protestants, you included, refuse to acknowledge her Immaculate Conception (see Luke 1:28).

            BB: Thanks for my laugh of the day. You throw a verse out which you think justifies the I.C. and use that UNPROVEN ASSERTION to prove that non-catholics always seek to cast a black cloud over her person by denying what you have as yet to prove! Oh please. You assume at the get-go that Christ gave the gift of infallibility to the RCC and so everything you believe must be correct. But we deny that claim COMPLETELY, and even if we were wrong, we could not be accused of trying to eclipse the dignity of her person, but rather, are trying to defend her to the extent that Scripture permits. Hence, this is an issue of we trying to “expose the unfruitful works of darkness” as instructed (Eph 5:11) and we are quite confident we are correct. At the end of the day, your criticism fails because we simply have no desire to say anything against Mary.

            LLC: “1 Cor 4:6” = classic misquoting. Paul is talking “about human leaders” (1 Cor 3:21), which Mary is not.

            BB: Classic misquoting? I’d say this is a classic case of DODGING the main point of my argument, which was that the RCC rejects the principle therein; namely…

            “…that in us you might learn not to exceed what is written…” (I Corinthians 4:6b).

            Catholicism exceeds the speed-limit of Scripture at every turn, at every intersection, at every mile marker and at every fork in the road. THAT is the point you ignore and cannot deal with because you know it is the TRUTH.

            I am very well aware of the fact that he was making the point that there were teachers among them who were guilty of creating and heading parties; and in essence, he would have them not to value them above what he said of teachers in general in that epistle. When we use the brain God has given us, it only makes sense not to go beyond the Text about anyone or ANYTHING because the very same principle is seen elsewhere…
            Repeatedly, the Israelites were told not to go beyond the word which was commanded (Deut 4:2; 12:32; 13:1-4). Balaam could not go beyond the word (Num 22:18). The man of God could not go beyond the word (1 Kings 13:7-8). The waves of the sea were told not to go beyond the word (Job 38:11). Satan was told not to go beyond the word (Job 2:6). Saul was told not to go beyond the word (1 Sam 13:13). Uzzah was told not to go beyond the word (1 Chron 13:10/Numbers 4:15-20). Paul did not go beyond the word (Acts 26:22).

            LLC: Interestingly enough, 1 Cor 3 is a clear condemnation of the Protestant fragmentation into churches (small “c”) relying only upon the charisma of their pastors (leaders), instead of the teachings of Jesus.

            BB: Kindly cease with the obnoxious accusation that your opponents are not interested in the teachings of Jesus! If anything, it is the RCC who is not interested, as over and over again their devotion to the Bible is seen merely to be lip service, so that ultimately, her traditions may rule the day.

            Moreover, in light of Paul bemoaning some who were saying “I am of Apollos”, or I am of this one or that one…..Rome cannot escape Paul’s implicit charge of creating a “Corinthian faction” disruptive to church unity when it urges THE PRIMACY OF PETER OVER PAUL! (1 Cor 1:10-13; 3:3-9). I’ll bet you never stopped to think of that, did you?
            The RCC is guilty as charged.

          3. Whatever you say, Barry MPT BOTTUM NOTE: Something like: ‘Count on it! Whatever the RCC teaches about Mary..it must all be false.’

            So according to you, the Luke infancy narrative is false since Mary is its source?

          4. D: So according to you, the Luke infancy narrative is false since Mary is its source?

            B: I never for a moment intimated any such thing.
            I try to write as clearly as possible and THAT’S the response I get??? Either I don’t know how to write well, or you have a mental comprehension problem. Methinks it’s the latter.

        2. Hi LLC,

          Can I offer a bit of a perspective from the other side? I can’t help feeling that “Because of the Devil,” is a little bit reductive as to why we say what we say.

          Suppose for a moment that there was some new denomination – let’s call them Elizabites – who declared that Elizabeth was the holiest of all women, on the grounds that her son John was the greatest man born of women. They offered hyper-dulia to Elizabeth; they declared that she was the locus of major miracles, both in life and in the intervening years; they prayed to her to intercede for them before the wrath of Mary (because who better than her close relative to turn away her anger?); largely on the basis of their traditions, they own her greatest in the kingdom of heaven, and say that she was born without sin. (There is, in fact, a major faction of Elizabites who believe Elizabeth was an active participant in Christ’s redeeming work.)

          Finally, they hold these things, not as personal convictions, but as absolute dogmatic necessities, declaring that anyone who denies them will be under the wrath of God.

          I’m going to pause here, because rereading, I’m afraid that parses offensively – and yet I don’t know any better way to express the idea from our perspective. If it seems an offensive comparison – to take a lady who is important in Scripture, but not of that sort of status, and to give her things that rightly belong to someone else – well, that’s kind of my point; that’s exactly what we believe you’re doing with Mary. Of course we oppose such doctrines forcefully! It isn’t that we dislike the lady; it’s that we oppose giving her titles that we don’t believe she holds – that, in fact, we think she’d be horrified by. I imagine you and I might both react in basically that same way towards an Elizabite.

          Now, we can debate about whether you guys have good reasons for viewing Mary as you do (where the Elizabites would not); that’s fine! Those are questions of fact we can debate elsewhere. But if your question is why we have strong reactions… does that help at all to understand why we feel the way we do? We believe that in arguing against false attributions to Mary, we are arguing in defense of Mary – and more critically, arguing in defense of the truth of her Son’s gospel.

          1. Irked, that is one of the reasons I come here. Your articulation of the Protestant side of the discussion was one of the clearest I have ever seen. Thank you for that.

            From a Catholic viewpoint, by saying ‘a lady who is important in Scripture,’ you are glossing over what I and others here believe is clear language (to include the one-time-use of kecheritomene) setting her so far apart from anyone else in Scripture. We can argue the foreshadowing’s (and in the case of Revelations, the prophecies)…but in the end, being chosen – and accepting the role of – the Mother of God is a pretty earth-shattering just by itself, and in our opinion, sets the stage for all before and since.

            Not that you didn’t know all of that already…..

          2. Hi AK,

            Thanks for the kind words – it’s always a pleasure discussing these things with you.

            From a Catholic viewpoint, by saying ‘a lady who is important in Scripture,’ you are glossing over what I and others here believe is clear language (to include the one-time-use of kecheritomene) setting her so far apart from anyone else in Scripture.

            Right, I get that. A big Protestant/Catholic split on this issue is definitely going to be whether or not that language conveys what you guys take it to convey; I’m mostly just trying here to demonstrate how the debate feels for someone who doesn’t read it that way.

            In the interests of keeping the conversation to the finite topic of the assumption, I might not move further into the more general debate on that language right now.

          3. Irked, I am bowing out myself for a bit. But with better understanding of the reasoned and thoughtful side of the discourse.

            Thanks again…..

          4. Irked,
            My post was a specific response to BB’s challenge to “provide any Protestant Christian who ever thought to detract from anything said about her in Holy Writ”. Luke 1:28 is proof that Mary was granted unprecedented and unsurpassed grace by God. Protestant like BB glaze over it as if it was nothing special. Linguistic, historical and Biblical studies show the opposite to be true.
            Coming to your analogy, it fails on various levels:
            1) Catholics do not call themselves Marionites, but Christians
            2) Was John greater than Jesus? For this only reason, if hyperdulia were due to Elizabeth, even more it should be given to Mary
            3) Miracles do not have any relevance here, because they are not the result of Mary or Elizabeth direct actions but God’s
            4) Prayers to Mary, Elizabeth or any other Saint on Earth or Heaven are perfectly Biblical
            5) Wrath of Mary? please explain
            6) They own the greatest? Perhaps “they hold [her] the greatest”?
            7) There is no base in the Bible nor Tradition that Elizabeth, unlike Mary, was born without sin
            8) Elizabeth, like Mary (and all the Saints), is an active participant in Christ’s redeeming work
            9) “Finally, they hold these things, not as personal convictions (?), but as absolute dogmatic necessities, declaring that anyone who denies them will be under the wrath of God” = for the Church authority to discern in matter of teachings, please see Matt 16:18.
            Therefore, your reductio ad absurdum does not apply. While Elizabites do not have foundation in the Bible, the hyperdulia Catholics give Mary is Biblically, historically and Traditionally consistent.

          5. Hi LLC,

            I want to be clear that this wasn’t meant as an argument against your position, just as a “Here’s how to understand how the Protestant sees the world, and why he reacts as he does.” It seems like a couple of your replies (#2, #7) are of the form, “The Elizabite position is unreasonable,” and yes, absolutely it is. This isn’t, as you say, a reductio ad absurdum – I’m not trying to show that your position is the same as theirs. I’m just trying to convey the way someone who isn’t persuaded by your evidence feels about these conversations. This isn’t meant to be a proof, in other words; it isn’t trying to demonstrate that your position is unreasonable. Like I say, that would be an entirely different conversation.

            1) Catholics do not call themselves Marionites, but Christians

            Sure, but I had to call ’em something.

            5) Wrath of Mary? please explain

            It’s a riff on, e.g., the “Prayers to the Blessed Virgin for Every Saturday”: “with thee to guard me I fear no ill – no, not even my sins, because thou wilt obtain God’s pardon for them; neither evil spirits, because thou art far mightier than hell; nor my Judge Jesus Christ, for at thy prayer He will lay aside His wrath.” Our hypothetical Elizabites believe Elizabeth will persuade Mary to lay aside her wrath, that she may intercede for us to Christ, that he may intercede for us to the Father.

            6) They own the greatest? Perhaps “they hold [her] the greatest”?

            “Own,” when used as a verb, means something like “acknowledge” or “claim,” i.e., “I own you as my trueborn son.” So “They own her greatest in the kingdom” is another way to say exactly what you said.

          6. Irked –

            This all gets back to whether Rome is who she claims to be. If the RCC is who she claims to be how can you reject her since this is God himself speaking on planet earth? If not, your argument above makes perfect sense. But if she is, then man is commanded to follow.

          7. TT,

            Yes, precisely. That’s exactly the thing I’m trying to express: here’s why someone who doesn’t hold to Catholic tradition would react as we, in fact, do.

            Again, though, I’m not really making an argument down here – I’m not offering evidence that one side or the other is correct. I’m just trying to explain the way the world looks to us, in answer to William and LLC’s posts above.

  8. >>>I think people should not hate and dislike her

    B.B. NO CHRISTAIN HATES MARY, now stop being ridiculous. What we hate is what the RCC has done to her reputation, blowing it up to such an extent that she is now appointed “to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation” (CCC 967). That is nothing but a religious soundbite and is totally unbiblical and a slap in the face to Christ. Then they tell us that we are to bring “ALL”….(again, ALL) our cares to HER (CCC 2677), another bold-faced lie and a complete contradiction to Phil 4:6-7, 1 Pet 5:7, Heb 4:15-16 and how Christ taught us to pray. This is all part of the reason why Catholics cannot stand the thought of sola scripture. The Scriptures demolish their doctrines at every crossroad and intersection, so they cling tight to their “traditions” —-but Christ said these things NULLIFY the word of God. And indeed they do, there can be no doubt.

    1. Hi Barry, you have a very interesting interpretation. Do you know the entire context of the verses you quoted? Because it seems to me as though you’re using pieces of the verse to prove your own fallible point.

      That being said, being half evangelical protestant and half catholic, I do not see how the scriptures demolish any of the Catholic doctrines.

      Thanks be to God.

      1. T.T. [I’m] half evangelical protestant and half catholic [and] I do not see how the scriptures demolish any of the Catholic doctrines.

        B.B. Well if you’re convinced RC doctrine is true, may I suggest you do away with classifying yourself as being half evangelical if that is not what you are any longer?
        Now you were replying to my post wherein prayer is specifically and ONLY said to be addressed to God alone. But I pointed out that the catechism completely contradicts that and presents us with the idiotic advice to bring ALLLLLLLLL our cares to Mary! Thus, for you to say that you do not see how the scriptures demolish that, or anything else I proved, is only being, what the Bible calls, “willfully ignorant”.

        1. Barry, let’s make sure we are speaking the same language. What’s your definition of prayer? I’m sure you know where I’m going with this.

          1. CK: let’s make sure we are speaking the same language. What’s your definition of prayer? I’m sure you know where I’m going with this.

            B.B. The only place I see you going with this is OUTSIDE the word of God, where Catholics are of course, most comfortable. It simply is not enough to hear them asking, “Teach us to pray”, and Christ not even HINTING at the Catholic position in his answer.
            It is clear to me that whatever it is you have to say (and I’m sure you know where I’m going with this) is that an examination of your concluding thoughts will demonstrate that your reverence for the word of God is mere lip service and defending your traditions is the ultimate goal.

        2. Hello Barry,

          I’m convinced that from the Old Testament into the New, Jesus brought with Him an oral Tradition that fulfilled the Old Testament. Jesus didn’t write down this Tradition Himself, but instead entrusted men to carry on this Oral Tradition, so maybe the Catholics are those men that Jesus entrusted his Tradition to.

          I mean after all, they did preserve the Scriptures for us, Evangelical Protestants, right? So thank all you Catholics for that.

          As for everything else, well I’m still learning and praying and asking the Holy Spirit to guide me through the scriptures and am willing to admit that I don’t know everything and i’m not out to condemn people, but I know that I am saved and born again through baptism and I continue to be saved, but waking up each day and trusting in Jesus Christ as my King, my Lord and my Savior.

          I’m also thankful for the Blessed Virgin Mary who gave birth to Jesus Christ. I call her blessed because scriptures tell me so.

          Hope we Evangelical Protestants and other factions of Non-Catholic Christians can all communicate with kindness and respect as we work through our different interpretations.

          1. Tron,

            Can’t tell you how much I appreciate this post. We should all make good faith attempts to recognize the fruit of the Spirit in each other and appreciate, as much as we can, the various ways in which God uses our diversity to sow the seed — which is Jesus Christ risen from the dead! — in the hearts of men.

          2. TT: I’m convinced that from the Old Testament into the New, Jesus brought with Him an oral Tradition that fulfilled the Old Testament. Jesus didn’t write down this Tradition Himself, but instead entrusted men to carry on this Oral Tradition, so maybe the Catholics are those men that Jesus entrusted his Tradition to.

            BB: The only thing that is described as being “theopnuestos” (God-breathed) are the Scriptures. There is zero evidence that “Jesus brought an oral tradition with him” to be considered “theopnuestos” as well, if for no other reason than the RCC can’t list off exactly what they are!!! How can you believe such nonsense when they cannot even identify this gift for you on paper? How can any Catholic ever know they are keeping them all? It’s pure madness.
            Besides that, God has magnified his WORD even above his very name (Psalm 138:2) which automatically excludes anything else being on the same level of authority.

            TT: I mean after all, they did preserve the Scriptures for us, Evangelical Protestants, right? So thank all you Catholics for that.

            BB: May I ask you, quite sincerely….are you on medication? Are you not aware of the fact all Protestants universally REJECT the Catholic canon? Thus, to throw roses at the feet of RC personnel, is severly misguided.

            TT: I know that I am saved and born again through baptism

            BB: NO! if you are saved at all, you were “born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God (1 Pet 1:23). The RCC on the other hand, actually has the nerve to say that they cannot imagine “ANY OTHER WAY” other than baptism that open’s heaven’s gate (CCC 1257). Really? Then Jesus Christ certainly wasted ***HIS*** precious time going through THAT bloody death, did he not?

            TT: I call her blessed because scriptures tell me so.

            BB: And where did I ever deny that?

            TT: Hope we Evangelical Protestants and other factions of Non-Catholic Christians can all communicate with kindness and respect as we work through our different interpretations.

            BB: I’m doing the best I can to be kind, but forthright, but you must understand that the RCC will never change and has publicly stated that her agenda is to ultimately bring everyone under the umbrella of Rome. That being so, there is really nothing to “work through” as you say, and now, like any other war that was ever fought, this becomes a theological war. Jesus congratulated those who investigated them that “claimed they were apostles, but are not, and hast found them liars”. My position is that I have indeed investigated and am convinced more than ever that Catholicism is counterfeit Christianity.
            Just look at yourself. Up until 5 minutes ago you thought you were born again by baptism because they told you so. But I just told you that is a downright, damnable LIE. God says that is not the way he intends to save ANYONE.
            Only via the “foolishness of preaching” by word or on paper (1 COR 1:21) the Holy Spirit will then decide to either blow into the ear of that person and wake them up out of their spiritual coma (John 3:8) or pass them by for his own good reasons.
            Will you have the guts to change your mind now, or will you just believe baptism is your ticket to heaven because it makes you feel good? The moment you trust in any good works or rituals to save you, you are lost….as this 3 minute brilliant video aptly conveys

            http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=7PK7YWNX

          3. Hello Barry,

            Thank you for being charitable. I believe and am baptized and therefore I am saved, Mark 16:16. Also, 1 Peter 3:21, baptism now saves me… because those who are baptized are baptized into Jesus’ death, Romans 6:3. And I am born again not of works or anything of my own doing (including my ability to believe) but through the waters of Baptism that God uses as a means to show that I am saved.

            The one thing that I respect the Roman Catholic Church for is the unity of interpretation it has from All of the scriptures…. on salvation and on being saved and on baptism…. I have noticed that at my Evangelical Non-denominational Church that I go to every Sunday, the pastors often take one verse out of a chapter without taking into account other verses in the entire bible on the same topic. And this is dangerous because it’s drawing conclusions only a small part of God’s Word and not its entirety.

            Sincerely, I am not on medication. But I am drunk… drunk on the Spirit! I am saved and reborn with the Spirit of God within me. I am half Evangelical and Half Roman Catholic.

            As for as the Protestant Canon, the New Testament was completely preserved and is exactly identical to the Catholic Canon, so even if the old testament isn’t the same, the New Testament is, and we do have to thank Catholics for that preservation. I’m not sure why the Old Testament isn’t the same though, but I heard rumor that Martin Luther wanted to get rid of them because they didn’t agree with his theology but John Calvin wanted to keep some of them because he thought they were inspired. But I don’t know all of that.

  9. St. Louis De Montfort on the dignity of Mary:

    “I avow, with all the Church, that Mary, being but a mere creature that has come from the hands of the Most High, is, in comparison with His Infinite Majesty, less than an atom; or rather she is nothing at all, because He only is “He who is,” and thus by consequence that grand Lord, always independent and sufficient to Himself, never had, and has not now, anything. Nevertheless I say that, things being supposed as they are now, God having willed to commence and to complete His greatest works by the most holy Virgin, since He created her, we may well think He will not change His conduct in the eternal ages; for He is God, and He changes not either in His sentiments or in His conduct.
    God the Father has not given His Only-be gotten to the world except by Mary. Whatever sighs the patriarchs may have sent forth,—what ever prayers the prophets and the saints of the ancient law may have offered up to obtain that treasure for full four thousand years,—it was but Mary that merited it ; it was but Mary who found grace before God by the force of her prayers and the eminence of her virtues. The world was unworthy, says St. Augustine, to receive the Son of God immediately from the Father’s hands. He has given Him to Mary in order that the world might receive Him through her. The Son of God has made Himself Man ; but it was in Mary and by Mary, God the Holy Ghost has formed Jesus Christ in Mary ; but it was only after having asked her consent by one of the first ministers of His court.
    God the Father has communicated to Mary His fruitfulness, as far as a mere creature was capable of it, in order that He might give her the power to produce His Son, and all the members of His mystical body. God the Son has descended into her virginal womb, as the new Adam into the terrestrial paradise, to take His pleasure there, and to work in secret the marvels of His grace. God made Man has found His liberty in seeing Himself imprisoned in her womb. He has made His Omnipotence shine forth in letting Himself be carried by that blessed Virgin. He has found His glory and His Father’s in hiding His splendours from all creatures here below, and revealing them to Mary only. He has glorified His Independence and His Majesty, in depending on that sweet Virgin, in His Conception, in His Birth, in His Presentation in the Temple, in His Hidden Life of thirty years, and even in His Death, where she was to be present, in order that He might make with her but one same sacrifice, and be immolated to the Eternal Father by her consent ; just as Isaac of old was offered by Abraham’s consent to the Will of God. It is she who has suckled Him, nourished Him, supported Him, brought Him up, and then sacrificed Him for us. ” (Derived from “Treatise on the True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary by St. Louis De Montfort”, here:

    https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=r70CAAAAQAAJ&rdid=book-r70CAAAAQAAJ&rdot=1

  10. Baseless Baritone –

    Have some guts and just admit that everyone was wrong for 1,500 years and the RCC wasn’t created by Christ. Can you at least do that? Your actions and beliefs say yes, but will you actually say it so we can all move on here.

    1. T.T. Have some guts and just admit that everyone was wrong for 1,500 years

      B.B. Have some guts to admit that the RCC tore OUT the guts of those who did not bow their knee to her demands, which makes your insinuation that “EVERYONE” was following the Pope, absurd to the highest degree.

  11. Baseless Baritone –

    Is the RCC who she claims to be? If not, then what actually happened in history? Error for 1,500 years? Just admit failure and that everyone was wrong and there were hidden groups of true believers that nobody knows about. Makes perfect sense.

    I didn’t even mention the Pope. Of course, when one is trapped make up a logical fallacy to deflect.

    History and your worldview aren’t congruent. Not surprised. Made up theological fantasyland.

  12. BB,
    Your first rebuttal is a non sequitur. Luke 1:28 is a (not the only) Biblical proof that Mary, intended to be the vessel to carry Jesus into this world, was made “Kecharitomene”. As perfect passive participle, it indicates that Mary has been favored (in the past) and continues (in the present) to be favored by God, therefore she has been granted supernatural grace and remains in this state. Your accusation was that “nor can you provide any Protestant Christian who ever thought to detract from anything said about her in Holy Writ”. I provided proof of your detraction. Therefore, you stand corrected.
    Your second rebuttal is also a non sequitur. 1 Cor 4:6 does not refer to Mary but to human leaders, therefore you stand corrected. The other Bible verses are also misquotes, as they refer to God’s immediate commands.
    Finally, your third rebuttal: “BB: Kindly cease with the obnoxious accusation that your opponents are not interested in the teachings of Jesus” = again, read my post carefully. It doesn’t say anything about interest, or the lack of thereof, in the teachings of Jesus, but how Protestant and Evangelical churches rely heavily on the charisma of their pastors. Proof of this is that a pastoral change often causes the church to wither and close. You stand corrected.

  13. St. Louis De Montfort on the REASONS for true devotion to Mary:

    “If we are in Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ in us, we have no condemnation to fear. Neither the Angels of heaven, nor the men of earth, nor the devils of hell, nor any other creatures, can injure us; because they cannot separate us from the love of God which is in Jesus Christ. By Jesus Christ, with Jesus Christ, in Jesus Christ, we can do all things; we can render all honour and glory to the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost; we can become perfect ourselves, and be to our neighbour a good odour of eternal life.
    If, then, we establish the solid devotion to our Blessed Lady, it is only to establish more perfectly the devotion to Jesus Christ, and to put forward an easy and secure means for finding Jesus Christ. If devotion to our Lady removed us from Jesus Christ, we should have to reject it as an illusion of the devil ; but on the contrary, so far from this being the case, there is nothing which makes devotion to our Lady more necessary for us, as I have already shown, and will show still further hereafter, than that it is the means of finding Jesus Christ perfectly, of loving Him tenderly, and of serving Him faithfully.
    I here turn for one moment to Thee, O my sweet Jesus, to complain lovingly to Thy Divine Majesty that the greater part of Christians, even the most learned, do not know the necessary union which there is between Thee and Thy holy Mother. Thou, Lord, art always with Mary, and Mary is always with Thee, and she cannot be without Thee, else she would cease to be what she is. She is so transformed into Thee by grace that she lives no more, that she is as though she were not. It is Thou only, my Jesus, who livest and reignest in her more perfectly than in all the Angels and the Blessed. Ah! if we knew the glory and the love which Thou receivest in this admirable creature, we should have very different thoughts both of Thee and her from what we have now. She is so intimately united with Thee, that it were easier to separate the light from the sun, the heat from the fire. I say more: it were easier to separate from Thee all the Angels and the Saints than the divine Mary, because she loves Thee more ardently, and glorifies Thee more perfectly, than all other creatures put together. After that, my sweet Master, is it not an astonishingly pitiable thing to see the ignorance and the darkness of all men here below in regard to Thy holy Mother? I speak not so much of idolaters and pagans, who, knowing Thee not, care not to know Thee; I speak not even of heretics and schismatics, who care not to be devout to Thy holy Mother, being separated as they are from Thee and Thy holy Church: but I speak of Catholic Christians, and even of doctors amongst Catholics, who make profession of teaching truths to others, and yet know not Thee nor Thy holy Mother, except in a speculative, dry, barren, and indifferent manner. These doctors speak but rarely of thy holy Mother, and of the devotion which we ought to have to her, because they fear, so they say, lest we should abuse it, and should do some injury to Thee in too much honouring Thy holy Mother. If they see or hear any one devout to our Blessed Lady, speaking often of his devotion to that good Mother in a tender, strong, and persuasive way, as of a secure means without delusion, as of a short road without danger, as of an immaculate way with out imperfection, and as of a wonderful secret for finding and loving Thee perfectly, they cry false reasons by way of proving to him that he ought not to talk so much of our Blessed Lady, that there are great abuses in that devotion, and that we must direct our energies to destroy these abuses, and to speak of Thee, rather than to incline the people to devotion to our Blessed Lady, whom they already love sufficiently.
    We hear them sometimes speak of devotion to Thy holy Mother, not for the purpose of establishing it and persuading men to it, but to destroy the abuses which are made of it, while all the time these teachers are without piety or tender devotion towards Thyself, simply because they have none for Mary. They regard the Rosary, the Scapular, and the Chaplet as devotions proper for weak and ignorant minds, and with out which men can save themselves; and if there falls into their hands any poor client of our Lady, who says his Rosary, or has any other practice of devotion towards her, they soon change his spirit and his heart. Instead of the Rosary, they counsel him the seven Penitential Psalms. Instead of devotion to the holy Virgin, they counsel him devotion to Jesus Christ.
    O my sweet Jesus, have these people got Thy spirit? Do they please Thee in acting thus? Is it to please Thee, to spare one single effort to please Thy Mother for fear of thereby displeasing Thee? Does devotion to Thy holy Mother hinder devotion to Thyself? Is it that she attributes to herself the honour which we pay her ? Is it that she makes a side for herself apart ? Is it that she is an alien, who has no union with Thee? Does it displease Thee that we should try to please her? Is it to separate or to alienate ourselves from Thy love to give ourselves to her and to love her? Yet, my sweet Master, the greater part of the learned could not shrink more from devotion to Thy holy Mother, and could not show more indifference to it, if all that I have just said were true! Keep me, Lord,—keep me from their sentiments and their practices, and give me some share in the sentiments of gratitude, esteem, respect, and love which Thou hadst in regard to Thy holy Mother, in order that I may love Thee and glorify Thee all the more by imitating and following Thee more closely.”

    Source:
    https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=r70CAAAAQAAJ&printsec=frontcover&output=reader&hl=en&pg=GBS.PA38

  14. Irked,
    Sorry for responding here; perhaps only one reply per post is allowed.
    I completely understand and have understood your position (“how the Protestant sees the world, and why he reacts as he does”). Unfortunately, I disagree with your affirmation that “This isn’t meant to be a proof, in other words; it isn’t trying to demonstrate that your position is unreasonable”, as proven by your hypothetical situation, where you introduce arbitrary claims to lessen what the Bible actually says about Mary. It is like discussing a drink’s benefits: if I compare your taste for coffee and its benefits to “a hypothetical and non-existing tribe in South America where they regularly drink the polluted water of the Amazon and claim it has miraculous but unproven health benefits”, I automatically deride and belittle your position. Perhaps I am unaware of it, but it is nevertheless my opinion. In other words, how the hypothetical situation is presented speaks volumes about the speaker’s perspective.
    As demonstrated by your points:
    “It seems like a couple of your replies (#2, #7) are of the form, “The Elizabite position is unreasonable,” = I did not say is unreasonable. I said it has not base on, or even directly contradicts, the Bible. The Bible, from a human viewpoint, is completely unreasonable.
    “Sure, but I had to call ’em something” = actually, it was not necessary to call them anything (“the tribe of the dirty-water drinkers”, in my example, would already convey my low opinion of them and, by reflection, of coffee drinkers).
    “It’s a riff on, e.g., the “Prayers to the Blessed Virgin for Every Saturday” = nothing in that prayer refers to Mary’s wrath – if anything, it mentions to her love and care for us.
    Regardless, I welcome your polite and civil tone. It’s a true breath of fresh air. Hopefully we’ll cross paths again.
    Have a great weekend!

    1. Hey LLC,

      I can follow that, I guess, but I’m not sure how to handle it any better. For me to try to draw any kind of analogy at all, I must say, “Well, to the Protestant, it looks the way it would look to you if someone tried to give these honors to someone who didn’t deserve them, and to whom Scripture doesn’t say to give them.” We of course are going to disagree as to whether that comparison is fair – but I don’t see any other way to communicate the different perspectives. That both you and I think the other’s theology on this matter is kind of offensive is rather my point!

      I said it has not base on, or even directly contradicts, the Bible.

      Right, and I agree. That was my point in using the example, though: from a Protestant perspective, Catholic claims regarding Mary are similarly ungrounded. (Our perspective may, of course, be wrong, but that’s again a separate conversation.)

      nothing in that prayer refers to Mary’s wrath – if anything, it mentions to her love and care for us.

      Hm, we’re missing each other. Let me try being more explicit: the Catholic prayer I cite has Mary interceding for us against the wrath of Christ. My fictitious prayer has Elizabeth interceding for us against the wrath of Mary. That’s the metaphor: Elizabeth stands in for Mary, and Mary for Christ. If you’d say, “But we don’t need someone to intercede for us with Mary,” well, that’s again my point – from a Protestant perspective, we don’t need someone to intercede for us with Christ.

      Hopefully we’ll cross paths again.

      See you then!

      1. Hi Irked.

        “But we don’t NEED someone to intercede for us with Mary,”

        –As a Catholic, I agree, completely but God asks us to intercede for each other. Yes we can go straight to Jesus Christ, but we also ask each other to pray for each other…

        …apologies if responding to your explanation to LLC is out of context, but it would appear that your protestant view, is the same as most protestant views of Mary’s intercession–which is not so much an argument against intercession (as i’m sure you have asked people to pray for you to Jesus), but more of an argument against intercession with those people that are no longer physically present on earth. Correct me if I’m wrong.

        Thank you.

        1. “But we don’t NEED someone to intercede for us with Mary,”

          My **very humble** opinion is, yes, I can talk to Jesus directly, but His mother might have a mite more credibility with Him, than I….

          I am married to a Jewish mother. They are very convincing. Especially with their sons.

          1. Hello old friends Irked and AK,

            As for whether we NEED someone to intercede for us and why it should be Mary:

            Jesus called his brothers any who believe in him. His disciples believe in him so we are his brothers. From the cross, he gave the care of his mother to his disciple and the care of his disciple to his Mother. We, therefore, as disciples have the care of her and she of us. This, at the command of her son.

            She reminded us at Cana to do whatever He tells us. He tells us to honor our Mother and our Father. She is our Mother if He is our brother. Listen to Him. Listen to Her. At Cana, Jesus seems hesitant to do as she asked. but he acted as she asked. Why ought she not still retain a special influence upon Him? Just as He loves us, so does she, and He loves her. We’re all in it together, Brother.

          2. Hello margo!

            Jesus called his brothers any who believe in him. His disciples believe in him so we are his brothers.

            But if we’re to apply that passage, we have to apply it in full: “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother,” emphasis mine. If we’re to read ourselves into the role of John, we have to also read ourselves into the role of Mary, and the application becomes simply, “Love and care for one another.”

            I don’t think we should read that into either part of his crucifixion words, though: I think Christ’s words there are precisely what they seem to be, an appointing of the man and woman he dearly loved to care for one another in their grief and need after he was gone. We see the tenderness of a loving son for his mother – the real, actual humanity of Christ – but to read more seems to me to go beyond the text.

          3. Hello Bro,

            No way! If we read ourselves into Mary do we become thereby the mother of God? No way! We are, however, disciples (like John). Therefore, we are the brothers and sisters of Jesus and children of God by inheritance and by adoption. We do not become His mother!

          4. Hey Margo,

            But these are the words of Jesus in Matthew 12: his disciples are more his sisters, and brothers, and mother than his actual flesh-and-blood family are. I don’t think “Christ’s mother” carries the metaphysical weight that Catholics do, of course – but regardless, I don’t think we can apply one of the relationships Christ ascribes to his followers unless we’re willing to apply both.

            Again, I wouldn’t substitute us in for either John or Mary, in my own interpretation of the scene; I think the point of John’s inclusion of this verse is that it’s a very personal, bittersweet moment with specific individuals, and not a general command for the whole of the church. Mary is assigned to John to care for, in a unique way not given to Peter or James or any of the other disciples – or to me. She isn’t my mother; I’m not her son.

        2. Hi Tron,

          I didn’t really intend it to launch a broader intercession argument, but to answer your question: yes, that’s basically right. I don’t believe we’re given any particular reason to believe that those Christians who have died – who have “fallen asleep” – are aware of us specifically as individuals, or are able to perceive requests for intercession. I think, then, that any such requests are very plausibly directed to the empty air, to no effect whatsoever.

          I would add the slight modification, though, that I ask people to pray on my behalf to the Father; I don’t know that I’ve ever asked anyone to pray on my behalf to the Son, because the Son is already actively interceding for me to our Father. I think this is also somewhat my reply to AK, below: you approach a mother if you think she’s more sympathetic to your plight than the son is, and so she’ll nag him into it. But no one – no one – could ever be more sympathetic to my plight than Christ; he loves me more deeply, and cares for my welfare more truly, than Mary (or any created being) ever could.

          1. Irked,
            “I don’t believe we’re given any particular reason to believe that those Christians who have died – who have “fallen asleep” – are aware of us specifically as individuals, or are able to perceive requests for intercession” = In my opinion, the Bible does not support your point of view. The Parable of the rich man and Lazarus shows that the dead have feelings for those who are still alive; Rev 6:9-11 shows how the dead are well aware of the world’s situation (“Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long will it be before you judge and avenge our blood on the inhabitants of the earth?”).

          2. Hi LLC,

            To clarify a little bit: I don’t think there’s good reason to believe that dead Christians, in general, are aware of any specific individual event. I think an argument can be made that those who have fallen asleep have a general knowledge of world events, or perhaps even that they are able to observe specific particular events of interest to them – though I don’t think the argument adds up to certainty. But I don’t think any of these accounts give us reason to believe that when I pray to Saint So-and-So, that he’s particularly aware of me in specific, or that he’s automatically able to hear my prayer/read my thoughts/etc.

            He may be! I just don’t think we have grounds to know, and so I don’t think we should teach that such prayer certainly is efficacious.

            Again, not really looking to start a big conversation here, just trying to clarify as requested.

          3. Hi Irked,

            Why, if Jesus is fully Divine and He and the Father are One, does Jesus need to intercede to the Father on your behalf? Also, will not Jesus be the judge?

          4. Also, Irked, Mary brought Christ forth for you. Her Fiat was necessary. God respected her freedom to choose. On her choosing to follow God’s will the Incarnation hinged. Therefore, she DOES care for you, for me, and for all poor suffering humanity. She chose God’s will for herself and therefore us. She brought forth Jesus for our benefit. She will bring forth Jesus in us too. She is the best model since we are human, as is she, chosen to bring forth Christ.

          5. Hey AK,

            Eh? Sorry, dude, that one’s going over my head – referencing something in particular? (Did I miss a post?)

            ***

            Hi Margo,

            Why, if Jesus is fully Divine and He and the Father are One, does Jesus need to intercede to the Father on your behalf? Also, will not Jesus be the judge?

            So it feels like this would take us off into a much larger Trinitarian discussion. In brief: as Christ and the Father are different persons, it makes sense that one person might advocate to the other.

            Different verses emphasize different aspects of Christ’s role in this regard, sure; some describe him primarily as judge, while others primarily as advocate and defender. Both are true.

            Therefore, she DOES care for you, for me, and for all poor suffering humanity.

            So I’d disagree with a fair bit of your framing here, but I don’t think your thesis contradicts anything I’ve said. Say Mary does care for us; Jesus cares more.

  15. Irked –

    I guess the next question is whether Rome is who she claims to be. Historically speaking, I have no idea how someone can argue the first Christians (directed by Apostles and should have a solid understanding of what Jesus taught) rejected the Mass. Sacrifice was central to Judiasm and naturally followed to Christianity. The Church Fathers thought it was an actual sacrifice (not something less).

    So that begs the question whether everyone was wrong for all these years?

    Mormonism gets around this epistemological issue by admitting the Church failed and having a new canon of scripture.

    1. Hi TT,

      The very very short answer to that is that I don’t think the early church consistently held a view of the Mass that matches that of the modern RCC – that I think a more symbolic view was common for perhaps five hundred years, and present for another six hundred years after that. More generally, I think a lot of modern Catholicism is read back into history in ways that aren’t merited – that the church of the first three or four centuries is neither Catholic nor Protestant, though it gradually shifts towards something more recognizable as modern Catholicism.

      If you’d like to see a much longer expansion of my position on the Mass, we had that fight in Joe’s post “How do we know Ignatius’s letters are genuine?” from a few weeks back. I’m going to bow out of any further conversation along those lines in this post, though.

    2. Toothless Tenor,

      This is very interesting. How does one go about proving that the 1st Christians, especially those with Authority to teach as such that the view of the Mass matches with the modern Roman Catholic Church and how does one go about proving a view that the Mass was merely symbolic and with the precise number of 500 years?

  16. Joe,

    As a Catholic who, in my younger days, found the Assumption difficult (because I lacked spiritual dimension), your summation is powerful, particularly Point No. 2 which is totally fresh. All points are powerful!

    Bl. Sheen (in “The World’s First Love”) explains the Assumption as Love descending from Divinity/Divinity/Divinity to Divinity/Humanity (Jesus) to Immaculate Humanity (Mary) to Corrupt Humanity and thence in the opposite direction as Divinity/Humanity ascending, thence Immaculate Humanity ascending to join her Humanly Divine Son. So on through Corrupt Humanity (divinized as a result of all preceding) ascending. Sheen also relates the timeliness of the Church proclaiming this doctrine as a foil to Freud, Marx, and Darwin.

  17. Hello, I don’t usually comment here but I figured I’d start. I’ve been following your blog on and off for a year. I’m a fan of your work, as your content is generally thought-provoking and are obviously well-researched. However, I think this is one of your weakest works, I don’t blame you though, defending the indefensible is a tall order. I wrote a response on my blog, if you’re interested.

    http://www.sinnersinthehandsofanangryblog.com/2017/09/the-faulty-assumption-of-mary.html

    Your proddy friend,

    Tony.

  18. You said: “Our vision of God is of a God who happily shares his Glory.”

    Isaiah 42:8 I am Yahweh, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another or My praise to idols.

    1. Johanna,

      The word “glory” is one of the most common words in scripture and it’s used in a variety of way; it develops as scripture unfolds, but it’s usually associated with physical manifestations of God’s power and might. In the OT, these are seen and heard – wind, fire, light – but he is not seen directly. So it makes sense that he would prohibit graven images since he had taken no form and didn’t want his people to be led astray – see Deuteronomy 4:15-24.

      But at just the right time, he not only took a visible form, he took our form. His body incorporates us, and binds us, as his body. So He could say to the Father in John 17:22, “And I have given them the glory that you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one.”

      Thanks be to God and blessings to my glorious sister in Christ.

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