Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mary Vitamin?

'Under Her Starry Mantle' blog has a link to something called a Mary Vitamin.

Here's an excerpt from the linked post:
She is God’s Spouse, God’s Daughter, God’s Mother. God did not let Her body corrupt in the earth at death. In fact, He never permitted any stain of sin to mar Her beauty before Him. She never sinned, but more than that, She never lost a drop of grace poured out upon Her from God. She deserves more attention from us than any of the saints. We call this “hyperdulia.”Moreover, She deserves such great attention from us because Our Lord, with His dying breath said :"Woman, behold your son. Son, behold your Mother.” The last words from a mortal man sum up his life, what if the words are from the lips of God?

Not one phrase of that has any scriptural support. If God never allowed 'God's spouse' to have any stain of sin to mar her beauty before Him, why does He allow His real spouse, Spiritual Israel, to at first have a stain of sin to mar her beauty? Mary is not God's spouse, Israel is. Mary is not God's mother; God has none (See Hebrews 7:3). She is God's daughter only as a believer along with all who believe. She is only a representative of the bride indwelt by Christ and of Israel giving birth to her savior. Both Israel and the church are sinful and are being redeemed. Mary is no different.
And sorry, but I'd rather learn directly from God and His word and not have the fleshly veil of 'Mary' in between us. God didn't appoint Mary to teach us, but the Holy Spirit working through Apostles, pastors, and teachers.
Jesus NEVER ONCE called Mary 'mother' in scripture. When He spoke to her directly in inspired scripture, He always called her 'woman'. The Woman always represents all of God's people, not one woman. Mary was one of many 'Mary's' in scripture and she was and is just one of many believers.
Jesus didn't speak to Mary with His dying breath; His last words were 'Father, into Thy hands I commit my Spirit' and 'It is finished' probably in that order. Again notice that He still didn't call her His 'Mother' but instead gave her to John. Mary could not be His mother anymore, and she was also rebuked when she tried to act as His mother during His ministry on earth.
Finally, speaking of being 'under her starry mantle' I would rather be under something more spiritually enduring:
Psalm 91:
1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”

3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
And from the perilous pestilence.
4 He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.

173 comments:

Elena said...

What do you call a woman who has given birth?

Jennie said...

Elena,
We all know Mary was the mother of Jesus, but the point is that scripture never records Him calling her that, nor does it call her 'mother of God', so the Holy Spirit apparently didn't want her to be called that. It's a pointed omission. He was God for eternity before He became man, and Mary was only the human mother of His humanness. God has no mother.

Elena said...

I'm pretty sure to divide the human nature and the divine nature of Jesus is a heresy (Nestorianism I think).

Scripture does not record a lot of things, yet we know that they had to have happened.

If Jesus is God and Mary is his Mother, that very simply makes her the Mother of God. It isn't that hard and even if you don't like that title or object to it, you would have to admit that it is logical.

Jennie said...

I'm not dividing Christ's human nature and His divine nature; that's just a distraction. It's obvious that Jesus was NOT human before He was conceived in Mary's womb. He was only God before that. Mary had nothing to do with His Godhood, and was only a vessel for Him to come as man. So scripture never calls her the mother of God, because she isn't. His Godhood conveys no glory to her, only grace, which is undeserved favor.

Scripture, by it's own report, gives us everything that we need for our Christian lives to make us complete and perfect. The Holy Spirit works through scripture to make us holy (sanctified, separate from the world).

Elena said...

"was only a vessel for Him to come as man."

You can try to finesse it all you want Jennie, but that's a heresy.

Jennie said...

"Where Nestorianism holds that Christ had two loosely-united natures, divine and human, monophysitism holds that he had but a single nature, his human nature being absorbed into his divinity. A brief definition of Nestorian Christology can be given as: "Jesus Christ, who is not identical with the Son but personally united with the Son, who lives in him, is one hypostasis and one nature: human.""

That was a quote from 'Nestorianism' on Wikipedia. I don't believe Christ had two loosely united natures. I believe He had one nature, both human and divine, AFTER He was conceived. Then He forever remains both human and divine in one person. What I believe about Mary has nothing to do with the nature of Christ. I don't have to proclaim Mary to be God's mother in order to logically believe what I believe. There is no contradiction. Maybe if your god is Mary, what I beleive is heresy against her, but not against the truth of God's word that doesn't call Mary 'Mother of God.'

Leo said...

Jennie,

I caution you to stop demeaning Mary lest you come to the point of bringing judgment upon yourself. Something made me check your blog again today; coincidentally you have just posted your latest vitriolic assault on the Mother of God, whom He created as a perfect vessel through which to enter the world of humankind.

1. She is indeed the spouse of the Holy Spirit. She has been made sacred.

2. You continually call her sinful. That action on your part is sinful in itself. Show me one sin that she ever committed from your patently absurd and indefensible 'sola scriptura' position. You can't. So stop.

3. You sound just like a Pharisee. I am frankly surprised that you don't accuse yourself of idolatry every time you show great affection to your children or look at their pictures.

Stop picking on our Mother. Yes, in the name of Jesus Christ, I am darn proud and thankful to call her my mother! You can bet your sweet bippy that Jesus is pleased with that.

Jennie said...

Jesus is the God-Man; the Son of God and the Son of Man in one nature and one person from the moment of His conception in the womb. He also existed from eternity past in the God-head with the Father and the Spirit. This has nothing to do with Mary, except that He was united with her humanity while in her womb and then under her care as a child. Then scripture shows that her role was over, except to believe.

Jennie said...

Leo,
everything I believe has support from God's word, and nothing the Catholic Church exclusively teaches about Mary is scriptural. Scripture teaches that God fulfills all the roles of both parents, covering us with His feathers like a mother hen, and feeding with milk and bread like a mother does; carrying us like a mother and father do. He is our everything, according to His own word. Nothing in scripture gives Mary this role. The Apostles never mention her in their teachings of doctrine.

Jennie said...

So I don't think I'm in danger of being judged for believing what scripture teaches and nothing else; or for believing that God is everything to us and Mary is a fellow believer to be honored for her role, just as the other people in the Bible are honored, but no more.

Leo said...

1. Scripture does NOT show that her role was over; YOUR MISINTERPRETATION of Scripture leads you to believe that.

2. You repeatedly gloss over the fact that Jesus is FULLY human and perfect in every way. Think of the greatest love ANY human son EVER had for his mother and know that the love Jesus has for Mary MUST BE GREATER by definition because of His perfection.

3. You completely miss the point of His humanity and downplay His human nature. He retains that same fullness of humanity in heaven for eternity. He does not simply go back to being just the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. That everlasting union with humanity is why we can be united to His divinity.

You will never see the Truth until you open yourself up to it. Spiritual blindness can only be cured by divine grace working THROUGH OUR COOPERATION.

Jennie said...

Leo,
I'm not downplaying Jesus' humanity, but if you say He has a human nature and a divine nature are YOU not the one who is dividing Him into two natures, as Elena is accusing me? I know Jesus is fully human and fully divine, but WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH MARY, except that she bore Him and raised Him? She is not part of His divine nature, though He took from her humanity as her child.

Jennie said...

Certainly Jesus loved His mother, but as God He also knew that she is His child and must be saved like all of us. She was a human mother with a divine Child because of God's doing; He was a divine Child with a human mother who is also His creation and who must become His child by faith.

Leo said...

Jennie,

My cautions were only against calling Mary sinful and constantly trying to diminish her role. There is nothing wrong with honestly questioning Mary and her position.

There is a lot wrong with the way you accuse her and diminish her. I never said you could not be saved by not going to Mary.

However, the correct approach is to simply go to Jesus without assaulting His mother. Just leave her alone.

If you read your blogs objectively, you will see that you are not really trying to learn what many of us have believed about her for 2000 years and why we have believed it. You are simply trying to find reasons to help you not believe it. That is understandable. Your entire faith model collapses once you admit to any of the planks of Truth.

Your beliefs can only be true to the extent that they are not in disagreement with official Church teaching on Faith and Morals. Sorry, but that is the way it is.

Jennie said...

Mary was a child of Israel. Israel through Mary gave birth to her own savior. All Israel was born in sin and needs a savior, including Mary. Does Israel need to be sin-free to give birth to her own savior? NO. That is the whole beauty of God's plan in scripture, that sinful humanity brings forth the sinless savior. Mary is part of this, not separate from it.

Leo said...

The reason Mary was given the title 'Theotokos' was precisely because of the heresy that questioned the divinity of Jesus. If you call Mary the Mother of God, you are not saying that God originated from her. However, you ARE saying conclusively that Jesus IS GOD. Think about it.

Do you have a soul? Do you ever go around saying that your mom is 'only the mother of my body'? Of course not...any idiot can see that your soul did not come from your mother. So too can anyone see that the Divinity of Jesus did not come from Mary. Can you honestly not see how childish these Protestant arguments are? Rather than constantly trying to criticize, why not trying to understand? That would certainly be a novel approach.

Leo said...

Again, nowhere in Scripture does it say that Mary sinned. Please do not even insinuate that which is not so.

I am well aware in my role as teacher that it would be better to have a millstone wrapped around my neck and be flung into the depths of the sea than to ever lead one of His little ones astray.

I take my witness of the Faith most seriously and am most careful to only teach that which has been handed down through the Apostles and their successors.

Vivat Jesus!

Jennie said...

I don't have to call Mary something unscriptural to say conclusively that Jesus is God. I can say that Mary is the mother of my Lord and that Jesus is the Son of God and have no contradictions, because that is what the Holy Spirit taught.

I don't want to 'try to understand' something that God didn't see fit to put in His word. He gave me everything I need there and it teaches me to look to Him alone and not glorify another. If I insist on 'understanding' something that isn't there, then I may be given over to my own delusions. I fear God and love Him.

Elena said...

He had one nature, both human and divine, AFTER He was conceived.

Well Jennie, surprise, surprise, that is a heresy even if it is by a matter of milliseconds. True Christians believe Jesus was both God and Man from the instant of his conception!

Leo said...

Jennie,

Sad to say, but your comments sure seem to indicate a whole lot more fear than love...

Jennie said...

Elena, 'after He was conceived' includes the moment of His conception, which is what I meant. I was only saying that He was not human before He was conceived as a human. I think you know that.

Elena said...

From Catholic Answers


Fundamentalists are sometimes horrified when the Virgin Mary is referred to as the Mother of God. However, their reaction often rests upon a misapprehension of not only what this particular title of Mary signifies but also who Jesus was, and what their own theological forebears, the Protestant Reformers, had to say regarding this doctrine.

A woman is a man’s mother either if she carried him in her womb or if she was the woman contributing half of his genetic matter or both. Mary was the mother of Jesus in both of these senses; because she not only carried Jesus in her womb but also supplied all of the genetic matter for his human body, since it was through her—not Joseph—that Jesus "was descended from David according to the flesh" (Rom. 1:3).

Since Mary is Jesus’ mother, it must be concluded that she is also the Mother of God: If Mary is the mother of Jesus, and if Jesus is God, then Mary is the Mother of God. There is no way out of this logical syllogism, the valid form of which has been recognized by classical logicians since before the time of Christ.

Although Mary is the Mother of God, she is not his mother in the sense that she is older than God or the source of her Son’s divinity, for she is neither. Rather, we say that she is the Mother of God in the sense that she carried in her womb a divine person—Jesus Christ, God "in the flesh" (2 John 7, cf. John 1:14)—and in the sense that she contributed the genetic matter to the human form God took in Jesus Christ.

To avoid this conclusion, Fundamentalists often assert that Mary did not carry God in her womb, but only carried Christ’s human nature. This assertion reinvents a heresy from the fifth century known as Nestorianism, which runs aground on the fact that a mother does not merely carry the human nature of her child in her womb. Rather, she carries the person of her child. Women do not give birth to human natures; they give birth to persons. Mary thus carried and gave birth to the person of Jesus Christ, and the person she gave birth to was God.

The Nestorian claim that Mary did not give birth to the unified person of Jesus Christ attempts to separate Christ’s human nature from his divine nature, creating two separate and distinct persons—one divine and one human—united in a loose affiliation. It is therefore a Christological heresy, which even the Protestant Reformers recognized. Both Martin Luther and John Calvin insisted on Mary’s divine maternity. In fact, it even appears that Nestorius himself may not have believed the heresy named after him. Further, the "Nestorian" church has now signed a joint declaration on Christology with the Catholic Church and recognizes Mary’s divine maternity, just as other Christians do.

Since denying that Mary is God’s mother implies doubt about Jesus’ divinity, it is clear why Christians (until recent times) have been unanimous in proclaiming Mary as Mother of God.

The Church Fathers, of course, agreed, and the following passages witness to their lively recognition of the sacred truth and great gift of divine maternity that was bestowed upon Mary, the humble handmaid of the Lord.


Follows that with quotes from a slew of Early Church Fathers.

Elena said...

No Jennie. "After" implies something happened first and then something else followed it.

Jennie said...

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. Hebrews 12:28

Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king. 1 Peter 2:17

Jennie said...

Hebrews 7:1 For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, 2 to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated “king of righteousness,” and then also king of Salem, meaning “king of peace,” 3 without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually.

Elena said...

Lame Jennie - taking scripture out of context and totally misapplying.

Now let's get back to what do you call a woman who has given birth?

Answer that question if you can and then we can proceed. If you can't answer honestly I'm not wasting any more time.

Leo said...

Jennie,

If Scripture is the only source for Truth, then why bother with textbooks for your children? In fact, why bother with any other books at all? Because Sripture is NOT the only source for Truth.

Funny thing is, you have probably read hundreds of books to tell you what others think Scripture says.

Another funny thing is, I'll bet you can count on one hand the books that were written by the Saints or by the Fathers of the Church BEFORE the Reformation circa 1500A.D. Your approach just defies logic.

It's too bad that Jesus allowed the Church to wander around aimlessly until good ol' Martin Luther came around and straightened a bunch of the mess out for Him. And then, it was a good thing Jennie and her friends came around another 500 years or so later, to help straighten out some of the mess that pore ol' Martin had still left unfinished. I suppose we should all be thankful you guys came around to get us back on the right path...

;-)

Jennie said...

To avoid this conclusion, Fundamentalists often assert that Mary did not carry God in her womb, but only carried Christ’s human nature. This assertion reinvents a heresy from the fifth century known as Nestorianism, which runs aground on the fact that a mother does not merely carry the human nature of her child in her womb. Rather, she carries the person of her child. Women do not give birth to human natures; they give birth to persons. Mary thus carried and gave birth to the person of Jesus Christ, and the person she gave birth to was God.

Fundamentalists don't often claim any such thing. I don't know if I'm a 'fundamentalist' according to the popular idea of it, but I don't believe any such thing. It's not necessary to try to explain it. A real fundamentalist would know that what is given in scripture is enough.
Mary gave birth to Jesus, who is God in the flesh, and who, unlike any other human being, also existed from eternity past before He was born. So the Holy Spirit did not see fit to call Her the 'mother of God' in His word. That should be the end of it.

Jennie said...

No Jennie. "After" implies something happened first and then something else followed it.

Elena, apparently you know better than I do what I meant when I wrote my comments, so maybe you should just carry on the conversation by yourself; I'm not necessary. I just explained clearly what I meant, so accept it or refute it, but don't deny what I clearly explained. I obviously don't think Jesus was not human from the moment of conception, so get off it.

Elena said...

A real fundamentalist would know that what is given in scripture is enough.

What's given in scripture is that Mary bore Jesus, protected Him, loved Him, supported His ministry and grieved for Him after death.

This is a mother. Whether we have Jesus actually calling her that or not, we know it to be true. After all, we also know that Joseph acted as Jesus' father and that he is from the house of David because Joseph was, and yet we never have reference to Joseph as a father, or really any scriptural nod from Jesus to Joseph at all.

Your entire premise is absurd when you really think about it and you have to do a lot of twisting to get there.

Jennie said...

Taking scripture out of context. Should I quote the whole bible every time I want to explain something? The passages I used are clear. What else would they mean? Unless you just don't want to accept what it says. IT IS GOD'S WORD AND IT IS CLEAR. FEAR GOD. THE SON OF GOD IS WITHOUT GENEOLOGICAL MOTHER OR FATHER.

Elena said...

Elena, apparently you know better than I do what I meant

I know as a reader how it came across, and after all, that's the main thing about writing isn't it? That the point gets across to the reader? The way you insist on phrasing it is heretical.

I obviously don't think Jesus was not human from the moment of conception, so get off it.

Oh Jennie, I never doubted that you thought Jesus was human at the moment of conception - I doubt that you thought he was also God!

Jennie said...

You doubt that I think He was also God? Where in the world did you get that idea, Elena? After all the things I've just said and all the things I've ever said? Jesus was always God, was God when He was conceived, and is God now and forever. How's that?

Jennie said...

I'm going out of town early tomorrow, so I won't be able to comment for a while after today, by the way.

Elena said...

The passages I used are clear. What else would they mean?

Well for one thing the Hebrews vs. was paralleling the priesthood of Malchezidek to Jesus - it wasn't saying that both were motherless! Clearly Malchezidek at one point had a mother! Also it is scriptural that Jesus had a genealogy. You're misapplying the vs. to say something it doesn't.

Elena said...

You doubt that I think He was also God? Where in the world did you get that idea, Elena?

From you. For some strange reason I gather from what you wrote, that you think the two natures of Jesus are somehow divided and Mary gave birth to one, but not the other, or something like that and that the two natures got together "after" conception sometime. Beats me how you came to that conclusion but that's what you wrote.


And this doesn't need to be a long drawn out thread -

what do we call a woman who has given birth?


Answer that and we're done!

Jennie said...

So what does the Hebrews passage mean then? The whole point is that He exists forever outside of time, and as God He has none of those things. It doesn't negate His coming in the flesh, it just explains that He existed from eternity apart from us.

Elena said...

AND CATHOLICS ALSO BELIEVE THAT. If you had bothered to read the article from Catholic Answers you would have seen:

Although Mary is the Mother of God, she is not his mother in the sense that she is older than God or the source of her Son’s divinity, for she is neither. Rather, we say that she is the Mother of God in the sense that she carried in her womb a divine person—Jesus Christ, God "in the flesh" (2 John 7, cf. John 1:14)—and in the sense that she contributed the genetic matter to the human form God took in Jesus Christ.

Jennie said...

Elena, I've already said I believe Jesus had one nature and that He was both God and man in Mary's womb as one person. The only thing I'm saying is that SCRIPTURE DOESN'T CALL HER 'MOTHER OF GOD' SO WE SHOULDN'T. She was the mother of Jesus, which I've already said and which scripture says. 'Mother of God' whether the RCC likes it or not, implies that she is more than human and lifts her up to divinity in people's minds. That is the whole reason I don't accept it.

Elena said...

'Mother of God' whether the RCC likes it or not, implies that she is more than human and lifts her up to divinity in people's minds.

I think it only does that in folks with a Maryphobia and an intense dislike for anything remotely Catholic - I'm just sayin.

The early church fathers certainly understood what was meant by it as did most Christians up to and including the Reformers. This intense dislike, distrust and distaste of anything "Mary" other than little Jewish divine brood mare is something totally contemporary.

You of course are free to do whatever you like - I'm just sayin.

Leo said...

Jennie,

You said,"SCRIPTURE DOESN'T CALL HER 'MOTHER OF GOD' SO WE SHOULDN'T"

Scripture also doesn't call God as "Trinity", so you should stop using that term as well.

Have a safe trip!

Moonshadow said...

Leo said:

You sound just like a Pharisee.

I've just returned from a few evenings in Morristown, NJ listening to Jesuit Fr. Felix Just, Ph.D. lecture on the Gospel According to St. Luke and the Acts of the Apostles. I was struck by the attitude of the Pharisees towards St. Paul in Acts 23:9 -

"We find no evil in this man"

Maybe the Pharisees make a gross generalization but, to some degree, Paul's faith does not offend them.

Leo, if you think Jennie is a Pharisee, you ought to avoid offending her.

Christine said...

Jennie – you’ve kind of dug yourself a hole. I doubt you really meant to take the stand you’ve backed into. Can it really be possible that the woman who carried Jesus Christ within her body was not sanctified by that reality – backwards and forwards in time and space? Truly it was God literally, physically within her – THINK about that. The fact that “mother of God” wasn’t used in scripture is not a basis for judgment; so much of Christianity’s verbiage developed over time – the Trinity a prime example, but there are many others. The use by Jesus of “Woman” is indeed filled with beautiful significance, but was not a rebuke at all. The Church is very clear that Mary is not to be worshipped – if a Catholic does do that, she/he is not following Church teaching. Think of the Magnificat and what she says. She gives all the Glory to God, and that’s what she ALWAYS does. The wedding at Cana is the blueprint – she brings the people’s needs to her Son, he acts, she says “Do whatever he tells you.” At the cross – “Behold your mother”; the Catholic Church sees that as being spoken to all of us as “beloved disciples”. You may disagree, but it is not an unreasonable interpretation.

If you love someone, would you ever do anything but honor his/her mother – the one who carried, loved, nurtured and taught the person you love? You’ve gone much too far to a demeaning extreme in trying to minimize her.

Elena said...

Well said Christine.

and Teresa, that door swings both ways. Perhaps if Jennie would like to converse with Leo, she should refrain from the numerous offending remarks she makes about the Catholic faith and the Blessed Mother.

Moonshadow said...

Teresa, that door swings both ways.

I agree but I don't want to put words in Jennie's mouth: if Jennie thinks she's dialoguing with a Pharisee, she ought to take St. Paul as her model and not cause offense.

Leo said...

Teresa,

With all due respect, you have taken that verse completely out of context. Paul, like Jesus, did not avoid causing offense. How quickly some like to dismiss Jesus turning over the money changers' tables. We do a great disservice to the Faith when we portray Jesus and His disciples as these 'namby pamby' type caricatures. Look at what Paul said earlier in the chapter and tell me that he was not meaning to cause offense...

"Then Paul said to him, 'God will surely strike you, you whitewashed wall! How can you sit there to judge me according to the Law, and then break the Law by ordering a man to strike me?' " Gee, that sure sounds like Paul was trying to be concilliatory...

Paul then cleverly turned the Pharisees to his side by claiming that he was being attacked for believing in the resurrection, which the Sadducees did not...that's why they were sad, you see? ;-)

All kidding aside, Teresa, we have the Truth on our side. There is no charity in affirming someone in their sin and I believe that persistently accusing our Blessed Mother of sin puts one at serious risk of judgement.

If you see a blind person about to cross into traffic, are you just going to sweetly whisper that they shouldn't do that, or are you going to do everything in your power to stop them from killing themselves?

Moonshadow said...

Leo, you are not Jesus, and Paul apologizes quickly for addressing the high priest so when his rudeness is pointed out to him (v. 5). cf. Galatians 5:15.

Leo said...

Also, with regard to being conciliatory, let me explain why I referred to Jennie's approach as pharisaical.

The Pharisees were sticklers about rules and interpretation of rules. They spent all of their time trying to come up with scriptural reasons why Jesus was not who He said He was.

Fear of God does not refer to servile fear as Jennie portrays, as if I will be judged for having pictures or statues of Mary or the Saints. The iconoclast heresy arose in the 8th century in a huge way and was officially put down as heretical by the Church.

The Pharisees claimed that Jesus could not be from God because He healed on the Sabbath, and they viewed that as gravely sinful because they took the Sabbath law completely out of context. That is exactly what Jennie did by recycling the iconoclast heresy.

Let me give you something to think about. Jesus said to them," You diligently study the scriptures thinking that by them you possess eternal life. Yet these same scriptures testify about me, and you refuse to come to me to have this life."

Think about this in terms of the Eucharist. We sometimes think that the Apostles had it easy because Jesus was with them. Yet, they were REQUIRED to believe that the Eucharist is His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, just as He requires us. This is how He will remain physically with us until the end of time on earth.

Remember that this was the ONLY teaching that His disciples left Him over in the New Testament. Meanwhile, Protestants diligently study the scriptures while refusing to come to Jesus in the Eucharist. However, not all Protestants are closed to hear and understand what the Church teaches and why. I am simply trying to get Jennie to see this.

Elena has warned me time and again that my efforts are futile. Perhaps they are, but it is up to the Holy Spirit. I just cannot stand by while our Blessed Mother is attacked. Finally, notice that Jennie still has not answered Elena's question...

Leo said...

Teresa,

I never claimed to be Jesus, so why are you putting words in my mouth? And, Paul apologized ONLY because it was the high priest who was sitting on the seat of Moses(now the chair of Peter).

I love Jennie as a sister in Christ, even though I have never met her. My only desire is for her to open her heart to at least listen to what the Church teaches. Can you even begin to imagine the type of witness she would be if she ever became Catholic?

Her fervent tenacity reminds me of Saul before his conversion. She thinks that she is doing God's will by persecuting Catholics. I know that Jennie will be laughing by the time she reads this far...

I do believe that Jennie understands that I share out of love and passion for our Lord and for her...the same passion that she has for our Lord...even if not for me ;-)

I simply cannot be lukewarm for our Faith.

Christine said...

Jennie, you are ignoring or twisting scripture to come to weird conclusions, such as that Mary is not God's spouse. The "Holy Spirit overshadowed her" and she became pregnant. Pregnant with God in the person of Jesus. That's clear and needs no interpretation.

She was given an honor that should cause "all generations" to call her blessed - hence the Catholic title "Blessed Virgin Mary" - scriptural without a doubt. There's NO scriptural evidence that she sinned. It doesn't say she didn't, but it doesn't say she did, and you claim that scripture is ALL you need.

Above all, Mary was given a choice, and her "let it done unto me" is the cooperation with grace that brought us the Incarnation. Yes, mediated it in a very real sense. It is the "yes" that undid Eve's "no" - hence the significance of "Woman". Just another sinner? Hardly.

Leo said...

Teresa,

You identify yourself as a Catholic, yet your words and actions are most troubling. You said that you spent 3 days with Fr. Felix Just and that speaks volumes. Just look at some of the links on his website:
Call To Action
Catholics Speak Out
Future Church
Voice of the Faithful
Women's Ordination Conference

These are all heretical organizations and show his true colors. Some of them are even officially excommunicated, and rightfully so. I did not even mention such flagrantly anti-Christian groups such as Greenpeace and the pro-Obama pseudo-catholics. It certainly explains why this priest misinterpreted that passage from Acts.

Please tell me that you do not support any of those groups or what they stand for...

Moonshadow said...

Christine said: weird conclusions, such as that Mary is not God's spouse.

Come again? Mary is God's spouse? Can you supply a reference in the catechism that calls Mary God's spouse?

Leo said: notice that Jennie still has not answered Elena's question...

Now, since Leo wished Jennie a safe trip (above), I supposed she was away.

Leo said: why this priest misinterpreted that passage from Acts.

I gave my own interpretation: the Pharisees find no evil in Paul. And, in defending him to the Sadducees, the Pharisees suggest maybe a spirit or angel has spoken to Paul (v. 5). Not a purely "by the book" group, despite your characterization (above).

Elena said...

507 At once virgin and mother, Mary is the symbol and the most perfect realization of the Church: "the Church indeed. . . by receiving the word of God in faith becomes herself a mother. By preaching and Baptism she brings forth sons, who are conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of God, to a new and immortal life. She herself is a virgin, who keeps in its entirety and purity the faith she pledged to her spouse."

See also This

Leo said...

Teresa,

The Pharisees used scripture for their own ends. Again, they only defended Paul when he claimed that the argument was about the resurrection and afterlife. They were simply defending their own position.

By the way, do you support or agree with any of those organizations?

Jennie said...

I'm back from New Jersey, and I see everyone has been busy. Teresa, I was at the Old Mill Inn in Morristown over the weekend for my cousin's wedding, and the wedding was held at the chapel at Villa Walsh Catholic school there, where my cousin went to high school. It was a beautiful wedding!
Leo, you were right, I was laughing by the time I got to your comment :D
And I have answered Elena's question that Mary is Jesus mother, but scripture doesn't call her that.
Hi Christine; welcome to my blog; have you been here before? I just got in from a two day drive and am too tired to check; I'll answer the comments later on.

Jennie said...

Oops! I mean scripture doesn't call Mary 'Mother of God'. It does call her the mother of the Lord. Names are very important in scripture, and the Holy Spirit apparently inspired the writers to call Mary what He wanted her to be called.

Moonshadow said...

Elena, 507 of the catechism is speaking of the Church as Christ's spouse. LG 64 makes that identification crystal clear.

Leo, I don't support those organizations.

Morristown is very elegant, by Jersey standards. I hope you received some gracious hospitality, Jennie.

Jennie said...

Teresa,
The Old Mill Inn was beautiful. My Aunt and Uncle had planned for everyone to stay there, since the reception would be there. The Inn people did a wonderful job, and it was a pleasure to stay there.
We also had a funny episode while we were eating out at a pizza restaurant nearby. We were almost done eating and a young man went by our booths and accidentally knocked our kids' pizza tray off the stand (which was next to the booth instead of on the table). We assured him that the kids were done and we didn't need the pizza, but he went up front and quietly ordered us some more slices. That spoke very well for New Jersey!

Leo said...

What a small world...two of my children live in Morristown at Delbarton campus where they teach and I was most recently there in May when our middle daughter graduated from Seton Hall. She applied and was interviewed at Villa Walsh, which is the sister campus of Delbarton. She ended up taking a job as science coordinator at a Catholic grammar school, and she is going to grad school at SHU. Our four oldest have actually all gotten their undergrads at SHU as well. Now we go to visit our two granddaughters in Morristown.

Jennie said...

Leo,
my aunt and uncle have lived in Ledgewood, near Morristown, for many years. My cousin Michael, brother to Marianne who just got married, went to Seton Hall. My family is originally from up north: my dad came from New Jersey and my mom grew up in Utica, New York. Her sister is my aunt from Ledgewood.

Leo said...

Jennie,

More coincidences...it is really funny when you think about it. In fact, our oldest daughter got married in the Seton Hall chapel. If you have ever seen it, it is beautiful. Well, off to China and then India in the morning...

Elena said...

I think you need to go back and re-read LG 64 Teresa and while you're at it read 65.

So Teresa are you trying to understand your own Catholic faith or are you looking to swing over to Jennie's side. It's hard to tell with you most of the time.

Moonshadow said...

trying to understand your own Catholic faith

I'm trying to understand Christine's expression of it, above.

"the Church with reverence enters more intimately into the great mystery of the Incarnation and becomes more and more like her Spouse [Church, Christ, respectively] ... the Church becomes more like her [Church] exalted Type [Christ] ... the Blessed Virgin is honored under the title of Mother of God" - not "God's spouse," as Christine would have it.

Elena said...

Well Teresa I gave you a link and also suggested you read the paragraph below the one you referred to in LG!

Moonshadow said...

Now, I'll grant you this: I've found a prayer that refers to Mary as "spouse":

"and I believe that thou art the daughter of the Eternal Father,
the Mother of His Divine Son,
and the Spouse of the Holy Ghost."


Maybe I'll come back to this after lunch ... a little kosher sandwich might clear the cobwebs. Peace.

Jennie said...

I think it helps to remember that Paul refers to the church as the body of Christ, and to each believer as a member of that body, each with a different function. Some have more exalted functions, and some have more lowly or unpresentable functions. Mary is one member of the body that is altogether the bride or spouse of Christ. Maybe just as the pregnant mother receives much attention and pampering while the child is in her womb but then she moves to a lower place after the birth so the child can receive the attention, so it is with the incarnation of Christ. Mary's part was over after she helped raise Jesus to adulthood, except to now accept Him as her savior and become part of the Body of Christ.

I remember when I was pregnant with my firstborn, which was also the first grandchild on either side. I got lots of attention, but as soon as the baby was born, everyone followed her out and left me lying on the bed alone. Even the nurses left. It was very humiliating in a way. I think that's a big part of being a mother; giving one self up for the good of the child. I think Mary had to learn this in a big way, with God as her child. She had to give Him up even more than we give up our children as they grow.

Elena said...

Mary's part was over after she helped raise Jesus to adulthood, except to now accept Him as her savior and become part of the Body of Christ.

I don't think "mothering" is over once our children reach adulthood. It changes certainly, but it isn't over. My mother "mothered" me until she died, and I still "mother" my new 21-year-old. The role changes, it doesn't disappear.

I think Mary had to learn this in a big way, with God as her child.

you just made my point.

Jennie said...

I agree that mothering doesn't end when children reach adulthood, for us. But I think the situation was different with Jesus because He is God in the flesh. Mary had to give up more than any mother has to because she couldn't remain His mother in the way that other mother's can. She was more blessed to bear Him, but had to sacrifice more to give Him up when He came of age and then died and rose again. This doesn't convey glory to Mary, but to God. The focus shouldn't be on Mary but on Christ. That is reflected in the fact that Mary is not seen again in scripture after Pentecost, and she is never shown in glory, but in humility, along with the other believers.
I think we need to love her for who she really is, as we see her in scripture, and not add one iota to that. Christ is always the focus.

Christine said...

Moonshadow said: "the Blessed Virgin is honored under the title of Mother of God" - not "God's spouse," as Christine would have it."

I never "would have it" that Mary be "God's spouse" as OPPOSED to "Mother of God". I only meant that Jennie had dismissed the notion of Mary's spousal role, when in fact Jesus was "conceived by the Holy Spirit" and Mary was then pregnant. The Holy Spirit is God, so it seemed to me that there is certainly a sense in which Mary could be said to be God's spouse. Elena fleshed it out more.

I was really just trying to point out areas in scripture, which is an authority we can all share, that Jennie seemed to be dismissing.

Jennie, thanks for the welcome - that was nice. I feel that your position has modified somewhat. All I hope is that you can see there is MORE of a basis than what you may have initially thought for at least SOME of our beliefs about Mary. We highly honor her for saying yes to God and being our beloved Jesus' mother. That's basically the point.

Jennie said...

Leo,
I just reread one of your comments and wanted to say that I do not persecute Catholics. I do not advocate people being dragged away to prison and mistreated or deprived of the freedom to practice their religion. I don't have any power to harm anyone and wouldn't want that power. Discussing ideas is not persecution, even if I strongly disagree. Are you persecuting me when you strongly disagree with me and call me pharisaical? No, I don't think of it that way. We disagree; that is all. We're even praying for each other, so I think calling my blog 'persecution' is way out there.

Jennie said...

Christine,
I am always learning, and while I will never be Roman Catholic, I have learned that many Catholics are brothers and sisters in Christ. Since you don't know me, I also say that many Baptists, etc. are NOT brothers and sisters in Christ. All denominations have a remnant of true believers and many who are not. I just see that there are many things that divide us and would like to point each one (including myself) to the commands of Christ in Revelation 2 and 3 to turn from everything that separates us from Him and from each other. All visible organizations are man-made and have man-made divisions, including Roman Catholicism. We all have to 'Come out of her' as Jesus commands: out of Babylon the man-made religion that seeks to reach heaven on its own. That's my perspective.

Leo said...

Jennie,

From Webster's online:
1 : to harass or punish in a manner designed to injure, grieve, or afflict; specifically : to cause to suffer because of belief
2 : to annoy with persistent or urgent approaches (as attacks, pleas, or importunities) :

I hope you will agree that your approach does fit the definition. I do not have a blog that publicly criticizes Protestant teaching. We Catholics do take attacks on our Faith seriously as we well should, since we hold to the concept that we have the fullness of Truth revealed to us by Christ Himself through His Apostles.

We also view Mary and the Saints as our elder brothers and sisters in Christ and they are family. When you attack them, you attack us. As a brother in Christ, I feel it to actually be my duty to ask you to stop talking badly about our Mother. By the way, I would do the same for you to a non-Christian.

Of course, my comparing you to Saul was hyperbole, but with a ring of truth. I did not mean that you physically harmed us, but your approach is eerily similar. Saul was knew a lot about what Scripture said, but he really missed what it meant. He was sort of a B.C. Protestant, whereas you are an A.D. Protestant.

Saul was convinced that he knew what Scripture meant according to his interpretation. It took Jesus to knock him off his horse, so to speak, to get him to see what it really meant.

Well, and you know where this is going...I am praying for Jesus to 'knock you off your horse'. Although, I don't think He will as you to change your name after your conversion... ;-)

Jennie said...

Well Leo, then according to the number 2 definition, we are apparently both 'persecuting' each other, but I think with kind intentions on both sides.
Actually I do agree that Mary and the saints are our elder brothers and sisters, I just think the treatment of Mary is not based on truth and is blown way out of proportion to her true role. I believe she is Christ's earthly mother, and our elder sister.
And I feel that it is my duty to warn you and others, as brothers and sisters in Christ, that certain beliefs and practices are not according to truth.
If I need to be 'knocked off my horse' then I hope Jesus does it, but I don't think it will be to convert me to Catholicism :) He is always humbling me, because I need it alot.

Leo said...

Jennie,

God has a way of humbling all of us, for without Him, we can do nothing. And, yes, I believe our intentions are sincere...

However, remember that you have habitually kept accusing our Blessed Mother of sinfulness.
We should not dare to ever accuse anyone of sins by supposition. If you really believe that those in heaven are our elder brothers and sisters in Christ,you should tread softly in your comments about them. Think about how Christ refers to Abraham as our spiritual father and Mary is way above him in heaven, having been perfectly united with the Holy SPirit to give birth to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

It is also both presumptuous and incorrect for you to say that the Church's teaching about Mary is not according to truth. It may not be according to your misinterpretation of scripture, perhaps, but not not according to truth.

What I cannot understand is why you have such a difficult time acknowledging the logic behind the Catholic teaching. It is okay for you to say you disagree, but you simply cannot seem to acknowledge any position and weigh it upon its own merits.

Let me give you an analogy. You tell your children not to watch television while you are out. You come home and find that the set is warm to the touch and you proceed to discipline your children. You choose to ignore their pleas of innocence and the fact that it is a black TV sitting in the summer sun shining through the window.

Be open to other explanations and don't act as if God will remove your Faith for bringing reason into the equation...

Leo said...

Jennie,

As I am sitting here in the airport in Singapore, I am looking forward to going to Mass tomorrow at the Church of St. Thomas the Apostle in Chennai. There are only 4 Apostles whose tombs have churches built on them and his is one. It is really cool, since he brought the Faith to southern India and it is fervently practiced there even today.

It's funny, but you can tell you are on holy ground just by being here. You won't find that in Scripture, by the way, but it does not make it any less true. Like the wedding you attended at Villa Walsh, there is something beyond words here. Think about it this way.

If the Catholic Church and the Mass are not the pure work of Jesus Christ, you would not have been able to say it was a beautiful wedding. The venue really does matter. The Mass is the heavenly banquet and the venue is meant to give us a vision of heaven. That is why Catholic weddings must be in a Church.

Three other facts about Catholic weddings:
1. The priest will never say "I now pronounce you man and wife." He is merely a witness and the man and woman actually confer the Sacrament on each other.
2. You will never hear "With this ring I thee wed." Rather, you will hear, "Please accept this ring as a sign of my love and affection." Just like point #1, it is only a sign.
3. You will never hear the priset say "if there is...let him speak now or forever hold their peace." Again, it is strictly between the man and woman, once the Church has found them able to wed.

This is why the Church can never grant a divorce under any circumstances. WHat God has joined together, let no man put asunder.

Jennie said...

Leo,
My standard of measure is to weigh everything against scripture. If it doesn't meet the standard then I can't accept it. Something can seem logical on it's own, but when compared to the plumbline of scripture, it doesn't match up. Logic is not our final authority. The things I have said about scripture not calling Mary the 'mother of God' are logical when compared to scripture. I didn't say she wasn't Jesus' mother, I just said inspired scripture never calls her the mother of God. I think there is a logical reason for that: other scriptures tell us not to lift up the creature, but to exalt the Creator alone. I don't see any evidence in scripture that God exalted Mary. I see evidence in history that man exalted her later on. God certainly blessed her and showed her much favor (grace), and she responded in faith and obedience and humility.

Jennie said...

The Bible never says Mary is above Abraham in heaven. We don't know who is above whom in heaven, except for Christ Himself being above all at the Father's right hand. There is a good reason for everything that is mentioned in scripture and everything that is not. God has given us everything we need spiritually there.

Christine said...

Jennie - here's the problem: the bible itself doesn't say that it has "everything we need spiritually". So then is that a man-made teaching? It says that scripture is authoritative, but it nowhere says that is it our sole authority. There were Christians for hundreds of years before there was a New Testament or people who could actually read it. It also doesn't tell us which books are to be the canon of the New Testament. Man-made teaching then? It doesn't delineate the three-persons-in-one-God definition of the Trinity. It also says things that I don't think you agree with, such as "unless you drink my flesh and drink my blood", etc. And the sheep and goats judgement from Matthew 25 is not at all what "bible" Christians believe.

These are the types of things that, being raised in the born-again world and having had a born-again experience, got me thinking when I read the bible on my own from cover to cover and noticed what all had been ignored in the evangelical world. I especially noticed how we hung on Paul's every word, and well we should, but placed very little emphasis on the Gospel teachings of Jesus. The very last thing I expected was to become a Catholic, but I started with my faith in Jesus and the bible and my study and prayer led me there. Every time I thought to myself, "Well, I know I will NEVER come to terms with" this or that teaching of the Catholic faith, I would be stunned by the explanation and the, yes, scriptural basis for it. So, I'm just saying that there ARE things that born-again Christians believe that are not in scripture - at least they are certainly not explicitly there - which is only relevant because you say that is your only standard. You will not agree with me, but do you at least see the problem?

Jennie said...

Christine,
2 Timothy 3:16-17 says
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
It says scripture is inspired by God for all these purposes to make us COMPLETE (perfect) and THOROUGHLY equipped for EVERY good work. That says scripture has everything we need spiritually.

Jennie said...

And we never say scripture is the ONLY authority. We say it is the final authority against which everything else must be judged.

Jennie said...

There were not 'Christians for hundreds of years before there was a New Testament'. There were the Apostles speaking and writing the word, and then their writings remained, even if not all bound together, after they died. (Also they had the Old Testament scriptures). We consider God's word to be the spoken and the written word. But the new revelation of spoken word ceased with the Apostle's deaths.

Jennie said...

It also says things that I don't think you agree with, such as "unless you drink my flesh and drink my blood", etc. And the sheep and goats judgement from Matthew 25 is not at all what "bible" Christians believe.

Jesus said in John 6:35 "And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst....40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”"

Jesus is equating coming to Him and believing in Him with eating His flesh and drinking His blood. It is a spiritual eating and drinking, which is symbolized by the eating of bread and drinking of wine. It shows that we have become one flesh, or one loaf, with Him as the Body of Christ, by believing in His word and being made new creatures by the regeneration of the Holy Spirit.

The sheep and goats judgment is probably a description of what happens immediately after He returns, after the tribulation and as He begins His 1000 year reign. Those who were good to His people during that time will be rewarded with entering His kingdom on earth. Those who were not will be punished.

Christine said...

In saying there were Christians who didn't have the New Testament, I meant that the books/letters weren't officially gathered for a long time (2nd Timothy is speaking of the Old Testament), and there's no way that the mostly illiterate people could have based their beliefs on it. Right? But I am surprised that you say you do NOT think scripture is your sole authority. Could you give me an example of a belief that is not found in the bible, and what you base it on? This is new to me in my experience with evangelicals. I'm surprised at the sheep/goats interpretation too - a plain reading says we'll be judged by our works.

Maybe I have been mistaken and you are neither sola scriptura nor sola fide, which is very interesting. I'd just assumed . . . and we know what that does.

Jennie said...

I think I am both sola scriptura and sola fide, but that maybe you are misunderstanding what that means, and maybe some evangelicals misunderstand too.

Jennie said...

In other words, the solas are not really 'alone' as there are 5 solas. And 'faith alone' really means 'faith apart from works' as Paul puts it, I believe. We are justified by faith apart from works, and then we produce good works by faith with God's help and grace. If we don't produce good works our faith is in question. Works are proof of faith. They don't save us.

Elena said...

"I don't see any evidence in scripture that God exalted Mary"

From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me--holy is his name. Luke 1:48

Jennie said...

"The Mighty One has done great things for me" reflects what God did for Mary in graciously blessing her to be the mother of the Messiah. That is a great thing for her, and for all of us. This in no way says that she is exalted as a queen. She is praising and thanking God for what He has done, lifting Him up. Certainly all generations call Mary blessed, because she was blessed to be the mother of the long-awaited Messiah. All Israelite women hoped to give birth to the Messiah.

Elena said...

This in no way says that she is exalted as a queen.

What is the mother of a king usually called?

Leo said...

Beautifully said, Elena!

Jennie said...

Elena,
the mother of a king could be called the queen mother, or also could be a queen in her own right. Again, scripture doesn't call Mary a queen, but it does indirectly describe the church (Israel) as the bride of the King, as the church will be when God's plan is complete. Mary is part of the bride of Christ which will be queen, but isn't yet.

Jennie said...

If Mary is someday to be exalted as a queen, which isn't in scripture so it's only conjecture, it will be for God to do in the future, in His time. Man has lifted her up, as is seen gradually developing in church history, and from my perspective it gets in the way of exalting God. I don't think you guys can see from your perspective inside the RCC how the Mary doctrines a hindrance to people looking in. I see the Catholic Christ as standing next to His mother who shares power with Him, as opposed to scripture which says He is mighty and sits at the right hand of the Father in heaven, not mentioning Mary.
1 Peter 5:6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

God will exalt us, and Mary, in due time, and we should cast our care only upon Him, because He cares for us, tenderly as a mother does.

Elena said...

the mother of a king could be called the queen mother, or also could be a queen in her own right. Again, scripture doesn't call Mary a queen,

Scripture doesn't use the word "trinity" either.

I wrote a piece on this a while back on Visits to Candyland But basically if Jesus is King, Mary is Queen. Even if scripture doesn't call her that directly it doesn't specifically say that she is not the queen, which it seems it should say if it says Jesus specifically is King.

As for the time thing, God's ways are not our ways, and he is not bound by linear time frames the way we are.


I don't think you guys can see from your perspective inside the RCC how the Mary doctrines a hindrance to people looking in.

I think more importantly she's not a hindrance to those who are in.

Jennie said...

I would say that the doctrines may be a hindrance to you more than you realize because you can't see beyond them. I believe that Mary is a person who was called by God and blessed in a special way, like the other people in the Bible that were called; and I believe that, like them, she represents something larger than herself. In Mary's case she represents the people of God, Israel and the church united, because she is part of both. She represents the 'woman' of prophecy, but she herself is not the woman. Peter also represents the church, as Augustine said, and as I brought out in my post "Who is the Rock?" We can see ourselves in Peter and in Mary as we walk by faith, and sometimes stumble too, as they both did.

Elena said...

I don't think you should be pointing fingers at anyone about what they can or can't get past.

After all Jennie, y ou seem to have an incredible amount of trouble getting over the very evident - Mary as Mother because she gave birth to Jesus. Mary is Queen because Jesus is King.

If it doesn't fit into the twisted pretzel that passes for doctrine in your belief system you reject it.

The funny and ironic thing to me is that people think Catholicism is so complicated - and yet in this thread this aspect of it is so simple. It is you that demands we play twister to avoid what is very very plain.

Jennie said...

I've already said why I don't accept those things: because God's word has avoided using those titles for Mary, even though it would seem logical or good to people. If indeed she is to be such a central figure in the practice of our faith, why did the writers of the New Testament not speak of her after Acts 2 or teach the Catholic doctrines about her? The writers apparently don't hold her in such a central role, or any role at all beyond what is shown in the gospels.
I think it bothers me so much partly because I strongly believe these doctrines separate believers from each other and from a full relationship with God. I know you would as strongly disagree, at lease with the second part.

Leo said...

Jennie,

Part of the problem is that you are elevating your own status by putting yourself on a par with Mary and the Saints in heaven. Your writing reflects the attitude of one who, upon entering the heavenly banquet, would simply feel free to take whatever seat happened to look good to you. Heaven happens to be a kingdom and it contains ranks and positions; we absolutely can earn merits in heaven because of how we have responded to God.It is not just about getting there; we will be rewarded based on how we have responded to the graces that have been given to us. We will not all be on the same level and you seem to miss that concept entirely.

Elena is correct in that Mary is no obstacle for Catholics. You seem to struggle greatly that God is somehow diminished because He works through others by giving them authority. Let me use this example. You leave the home and leave the eldest in charge, or you place one of your daughters in charge of doing the laundry every day. Has your authority been diminished? Of course not. So it is with Mary. God is God and to think that any creature can lessen His authority is like thinking that a remote control lessens your authority over your television set. You simply choose to work through your remote control.

And, by the way, I am not saying that we make God's life easier. He simply chooses to involve us in running His kingdom. Do you not understand that He shares His divinity with us and this is how we receive eternal life? This is also how He works through us to run His kingdom.

Leo said...

Jennie,

You also seem to miss the fact that you give yourself more authority than the pope has. Even though he is infallibly guided by the Holy Spirit on Faith and Morals, he is completely without the authority to change any teaching that has been handed down from the Apostles.

This is why the Church has never allowed divorce, which has been forbidden from the time of Christ and the Apostles. It is also why Pope John Paul II clearly and definitively stated that neither he nor anyone has any authority to change Christ's teaching that only men can be ordained to the priesthood.

You seem to think that the Church changes teachings according to her fancy. Far from it...the main role of the Church is to faithfully preserve the deposit of Faith handed down to us from the Apostles. She also clarifies and makes official articles of the Faith as the Holy Spirit deems necessary.

Again, who do you think defined the Trinity? Christ as fully God and fully man in one nature? Sunday as the day of worship to replace the commandment requiring that day to be the Sabbath?(find that one in Scripture for me)

Jennie said...

Part of the problem is that you are elevating your own status by putting yourself on a par with Mary and the Saints in heaven. Your writing reflects the attitude of one who, upon entering the heavenly banquet, would simply feel free to take whatever seat happened to look good to you. Heaven happens to be a kingdom and it contains ranks and positions; we absolutely can earn merits in heaven because of how we have responded to God.It is not just about getting there; we will be rewarded based on how we have responded to the graces that have been given to us. We will not all be on the same level and you seem to miss that concept entirely.

Leo, actually I do understand that the Kingdom of heaven contains ranks and positions. I've already stated that here when I said we don't know who is above whom except for God Himself. I think it would be safe also to include the Apostles and other people of faith in scripture as being above most others. I would definitely not feel entitled to just go and sit down anywhere at heaven's banquet. My attitude is just one of freedom to express the understanding that I have been given. I can see both the faults and the strengths of the people in scripture, as they are clearly evident, and I can see that their faith and strength comes from the Holy Spirit. That gives me hope for myself that I will also continue to be made more like Christ as I abide in Him.

Jennie said...

Elena is correct in that Mary is no obstacle for Catholics. You seem to struggle greatly that God is somehow diminished because He works through others by giving them authority. Let me use this example. You leave the home and leave the eldest in charge, or you place one of your daughters in charge of doing the laundry every day. Has your authority been diminished? Of course not. So it is with Mary. God is God and to think that any creature can lessen His authority is like thinking that a remote control lessens your authority over your television set. You simply choose to work through your remote control.

I did not say that God is diminished; nothing can diminish Him. I mean that the Mary doctrines cause PEOPLE to elevate Mary too much which diminishes their perception of God. I do understand that God works through people; that is seen throughout scripture, that He uses fallible people to accomplish His eternal plan. The only one who never fails is God Himself, yet He uses us with our faith and our failures, and He uses the wicked as well to accomplish His will.
What I don't see anywhere in scripture is that God has given any authority or office to Mary to influence anything on earth since His ministry began before or after she died.

Elena said...

I did not say that God is diminished; nothing can diminish Him. I mean that the Mary doctrines cause PEOPLE to elevate Mary too much which diminishes their perception of God.

OK, I'll say this. I think Mary SOME PEOPLE who are poorly catechized and do not understand the Catholic church's teaching on this properly. I would include you in that group.

Everyone else, including the reformers like Luther and Calvin, understood the place, position and purpose of Mary.

That you "don't see" really means, you "haven't really looked."

And here is the fork in the road - where as I am agreeable and even amenable to teach, I am not interested on further debate with a mind unwilling to learn.

To that end, if you check back around May or 2008 in VTC, there are plenty of articles on Mary. Go take a look.

Jennie said...

You also seem to miss the fact that you give yourself more authority than the pope has. Even though he is infallibly guided by the Holy Spirit on Faith and Morals, he is completely without the authority to change any teaching that has been handed down from the Apostles.

I don't believe the pope has any valid authority over the universal church. That's my opinion, and is shared by many. Bishops were appointed by Apostles or by other bishops to lead local churches, or later on, to lead several churches in a city or area.
I don't have any authority, but I recognize the authority of God's word, which has been taught to me by teachers, pastors, my husband, and the Holy Spirit over many years. I'm just saying what I have learned. No one has to accept it, unless the Holy Spirit convicts them by the word given.
1 Peter 4:11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Jennie said...

You seem to think that the Church changes teachings according to her fancy. Far from it...the main role of the Church is to faithfully preserve the deposit of Faith handed down to us from the Apostles. She also clarifies and makes official articles of the Faith as the Holy Spirit deems necessary.

I believe that in church history ideas have come in later on and that the RCC has attempted to say that these things were taught all along, when it can be seen by examining the historical and biblical evidence that these things were not taught all along. This has happened with the Marian doctrines and with the Papacy.

Jennie said...

The Jews before Christ saw the concept of one God in three persons in scripture. They could not understand it fully then, and later on Jews rejected it as they rejected Christ. The word trinity was not used of course, but the concept was there, and the early church understood it.

Elena said...


I don't believe the pope has any valid authority over the universal church. That's my opinion, and is shared by many.


FYI that's an appeal to the majority and/or appeal to the authority logical fallacy.

Whether or not an opinion is shared by few or many has no bearing on whether or not something is true.

Elena said...

don't have any authority, but I recognize the authority of God's word, which has been taught to me by teachers, pastors, my husband, and the Holy Spirit over many years.

I want to make another point here. Jennie you have to recognize that you most likely have picked up the biases of your teachers, pastors and husband. I'm not saying that they are or aren't spirit led in somethings. In fact I'm sure you are acquainted with many people who have been led by the Holy Spirit in many things. However, I think you also need to recognize that as fallible men/women they have not been lead by the spirit in all things and in fact it is very probable and possible that some of what you have learned is of men and not of the spirit.


I believe that in church history ideas have come in later on and that the RCC has attempted to say that these things were taught all along, when it can be seen by examining the historical and biblical evidence that these things were not taught all along. This has happened with the Marian doctrines and with the Papacy.

That would depend on which historian you want to follow. They, after all, have their bias as well.

The word trinity was not used of course, but the concept was there, and the early church understood it.

I could say the same thing about Mary and the Papacy. I'm afraid Jennie this makes you look like a bit of a hypocrite - picking which "concepts" you will accept and which you won't!

Jennie said...

I could say the same thing about Mary and the Papacy. I'm afraid Jennie this makes you look like a bit of a hypocrite - picking which "concepts" you will accept and which you won't!

The concept of the trinity is clearly seen in scripture and was always taught, whereas the Marian doctrines and the papacy are not seen and were not taught from the beginning. That is the test.

Elena said...

The "concept" of Mary and the papacy are clearly seen in scripture and have always been taught.

And as sola scriptura itself isn't scriptural I'd say the "test" is inadequate to begin with.

At this point I see us going in circles. When I first started really taking an interest in my Catholic faith I started by looking at protestant apologists to see if they could knock down the Catholic perspective on things like the papacy and Mary. The answers I searched for and read were always unsatisfying, incomplete and simply not logical. They still are. This blog hasn't changed that.

Jennie said...

Elena,
When someone accepts the Catholic idea that the Bible is not the final authority, but the Church is, then it's not surprising that nothing from scripture can convince that person. I'm using scripture as my foundation and you're accepting everything the RCC says even though it's all highly debatable.

Jennie said...

I want to make another point here. Jennie you have to recognize that you most likely have picked up the biases of your teachers, pastors and husband. I'm not saying that they are or aren't spirit led in somethings. In fact I'm sure you are acquainted with many people who have been led by the Holy Spirit in many things. However, I think you also need to recognize that as fallible men/women they have not been lead by the spirit in all things and in fact it is very probable and possible that some of what you have learned is of men and not of the spirit.

Elena,
replace my name with yours, and my teachers with yours, and I would say the exact same thing about you. The Catholic Church and it's leadership is no more infallible than my teachers, even though it claims this. Only God's word never fails.

Elena said...

When someone accepts the Catholic idea that the Bible is not the final authority, but the Church is, then it's not surprising that nothing from scripture can convince that person.

Actually it was scripture itself that convinced that sola scriptura is unscriptural.



The Catholic Church and it's leadership is no more infallible than my teachers, even though it claims this.

In your opinion. However on matters of faith and morals (which are the only two things it can be infallible on) it has an impressive record.

Protestantism - how many divisions and denominations now?

Only God's word never fails.

Agreed. But God's word isn't only what is written down in the scriptures and you certainly can't prove via scripture that it is.

Leo said...

Jennie,

You said," I can see both the faults and the strengths of the people in scripture, as they are clearly evident"

Okay, so show me where the faults of Mary are 'clearly evident' from scripture. Since you cannot, please refrain from saying that she was sinful.

This is but one example bolstering Elena's point that you are biased by erroneous teachings of others.

Jennie said...

Agreed. But God's word isn't only what is written down in the scriptures and you certainly can't prove via scripture that it is.

I think it could be proved via scripture that the Bible is the only word of God that now remains to us. Scripture is God's revelation of Himself to us. God is 'the beginning and the end' and scripture begins with Genesis (the beginning) and ends with the last book written which is Revelation (the ending). Scripture is one complete thought and revelation of Christ from start to finish. It cannot be broken, and nothing can be added to it. Nothing compares to it in any way. It was written through the Spirit by prophets and Apostles and it was complete when the last Apostle finished the last word. Anything else that has been written later about God for and by believers must be a derivative of scripture, not new revelation, or else it is a lie. God's sheep know His voice.
Certainly something can be proved NOT to be God's word by comparing it to Scripture also.

Leo said...

Jennie,

You said,"When someone accepts the Catholic idea that the Bible is not the final authority, but the Church is, then it's not surprising that nothing from scripture can convince that person. I'm using scripture as my foundation and you're accepting everything the RCC says even though it's all highly debatable."

Jennie, as Elena has been saying tirelessly, you are hearing but not listening.

Both Scripture and Church teaching are infallible when it comes to Faith and Morals. You cannot simply interpret Scripture separately according to your fancy without reading it in light of the understanding which has been faithfully handed down through the centuries.

You are correct in saying that it is highly debatable when you when you try to live according to 'sola scriptura'. This is because scripture can be interpreted in many different ways. This is precisely why Christ gave us an infallible teaching authority.

It is frustrating to you, I believe, because you can see the logic of our arguments and you cannot logically refute them from scripture alone. Yet, you must desperately try to refute them lest your entire belief system begins to fall apart.

We can show you how scripture at the very least alludes to each of our teachings and how they flow logically from the Old Testament to the New, and we can show you that scripture never directly contradicts Church teaching when understood properly. I simply cannot because Truth is Truth.

At the same time, your misinterpretations run into many brick walls in scripture.

Don't forget that we hold scripture to be without error just as you do.

Also, no bishop or pope can ever change any Church teaching. The authority of the Catechism is binding on all and if anyone in authority denies a teaching, any of us can call them on heresy. The Catechism was a direct outflow of Vatican II because the Holy Spirit deemed it necessary to counteract the false teachings were being introduced from many sides.

Jennie said...

Okay, so show me where the faults of Mary are 'clearly evident' from scripture. Since you cannot, please refrain from saying that she was sinful.

I said 'clearly evident' because I see them clearly in scripture.

In Luke 2 when 12 year old Jesus stays behind in Jerusalem, Mary, who should know more than anyone whose Son Jesus is, seems to have slipped into unbelief, and doesn't understand who He is. She calls Joseph His father, and doesn't understand when He corrects her.
Luke 2:48 So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.”
49 And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” 50 But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them.


In Mark 3 it says that when His own people heard about His ministry and the multitudes following Him, they went out to lay hold of Him because they thought He was out of His mind. Later in the chapter, we see Mary coming with Jesus' brothers, who do not yet believe in Him, to call Him out from His teaching. The passage clearly stresses the difference between those 'outside' and those 'inside' with Him. It appears that Mary was influenced by others around her to doubt what she had originally been told by the angel about her Son. We see later at Pentecost that she is with the believers, so she along with them has understood the gospel.

Leo said...

Jennie,

You said,"Bishops were appointed by Apostles or by other bishops to lead local churches, or later on, to lead several churches in a city or area.
I don't have any authority, but I recognize the authority of God's word, which has been taught to me by teachers, pastors, my husband, and the Holy Spirit over many years. I'm just saying what I have learned."

Think carefully about what you have just said, because it is both profound and insightful. You are right in saying that you are just saying what you have learned. You are also right in recognizing your own lack of authority.

However, the people you have listed as having learned from are similarly lacking in that authority. Let's go back to your intial statement..."Bishops were appointed by Apostles or by other bishops to lead local churches, or later on, to lead several churches in a city or area."

What you have said is completely true. Every single priest in the Catholic and Orthodox Churches can also trace the laying on of hands back to the Apostles. This same unbroken succession of authority has been faithfully transmitted to the present day.

This is not true outside of the Catholic or Orthodox Churches. This is why only 2 of the 7 Sacraments exist outside of these churches. All Christians are part of the general priesthood of believers by virtue of Baptism, and so we have each been given the authority to baptize.

Most Catholics do not even realize that we are actually obligated to baptize in the case of an emergency where a priest is not available.

When a man is officially ordained a priest, however, he is 'in persona Christi' and Christ works directly through him in administering the Sacraments. Yet, the priest is obliged to follow a specific formula. For example, the formula for Confession is as follows:

God, the Father of mercies,
through the death and the resurrection of his Son
has reconciled the world to himself
and sent the Holy Spirit among us
for the forgiveness of sins;
through the ministry of the Church
may God give you pardon and peace,
and I absolve you from your sins
in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit"

Jennie said...

Leo,
I didn't say scripture was highly debatable, I said the things the RCC says are highly debatable.

I don't know why you keep saying I have to refute you or my belief system will come crashing down. My belief system comes from scripture, and I have no trouble with beliefs that come from much later additions to Church doctrine. The Marian doctrines of the assumption and the immaculate conception and Mary's elevated status don't appear until centuries later. The idea of an early papacy has no historical support. It developed centuries later as well.
I just can't stand things that are false, and that obscure the pure truth, as I believe those doctrines do.

Jennie said...

Leo,
Apostolic succession, if it were necessary, must move through the Spirit and the truth, not through physical succession.

It isn't true that my husband, my pastors, and my teachers don't have any authority. The pastors were called by God directly and ordained by other men of God. My husband is the head of our home and has the authority to teach and lead our family as a man of God. Scripture says "But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God."
And I do have the authority and a duty to give the truth of God's word by the understanding given me through the Spirit, who lives in me. I just meant I don't have official authority over anyone else, except my children of course.

Leo said...

Jennie,

You said,"I said 'clearly evident' because I see them clearly in scripture.", referring to sins. You then said that she 'seemed to have slipped into unbelief', while scripture only clearly said that she did not understand. Things are not always as 'they seem', are they?

There is a huge difference between not understanding and not believing. Do you not remember how Zechariah was chastised for not believing Gabriel, while Mary did not understand and asked, "how could this be, since I know not man?" Yet, scripture later clearly credited her with believing what the angel had told her.

Leo said...

Jennie,

Once again, you are misrepresenting what scripture actually is saying. Jesus had just returned home and Mary did not travel with the Apostles on a regular basis. He was not dismissing His mother; rather, He was saying that the important thing was to do His will. Which, by the way, is what Mary did perfectly.

Jennie, you have failed to show where scripture says that Mary ever sinned. You so desperately wish to bring her down to our fallen level that you are even willing to take scripture out of context to do that.

Leo said...

Jennie,

You said, "I didn't say scripture was highly debatable, I said the things the RCC says are highly debatable."

By saying what you just said, proves that scripture is highly debatable if you do not have an authority to explain it.

You cannot possibly disprove anything the Church teaches on Faith and Morals from scripture precisely because they are both in agreement.

I know that you are unable to see it, but you are desperately trying to use a book of the Church to show that the Church is wrong. It is no coincidence that you cannot find incontrovertible evidence from scripture to disprove Church teaching.

By saying that Catholic teaching is highly debatable, you are in essence admitting such. What you are saying is that it works if we use our interpretation but not according to your take on it.

Look, let me make it simple. You cannot find anything in scripture that is not logically explainable and in perfect harmony with Church teaching. I can find plenty in scripture that you simply cannot defend logically from your Protestant position.

Leo said...

Jennie,

You said,"I just meant I don't have official authority over anyone else, except my children of course"

What I meant was that those that taught you do not have official authority since they have broken the succession from the Apostles.

The Church has that authority through ordination and it is unbroken. That is why when the priest says over the bread and wine, "...and so, Father, we ask you to bless these gifts by the power of your Spirit, so that they become the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, at whose command we celebrate this Eucharist.", they become Christ Himself.

You, your husband, or I could say these words over the bread till we were blue in the face, yet it would remain bread.

That does not mean that we have not been given authority to tell others about Jesus Christ. By virtue of our baptisms, we have been restored to God's family and we become His disciples who are called to proclaim Him to the world.

Leo said...

Jennie,

You said, "Leo,
Apostolic succession, if it were necessary, must move through the Spirit and the truth, not through physical succession."

That contradicts scripture directly. Paul said that they needed to be careful who they laid hands on because of the authority.

Judas had authority despite his betrayal. So too, the Sacraments are valid even if the priests are sinful and lost.

Jennie said...

Leo,
I don't see a passage about being careful about laying on of hands 'because of the authority.'
"Do not be hasty in laying on of hands, and do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure. " (1 Tim 5:22)
I see also a passage about women having a symbol of authority on their heads:1 Corinthians 11:10 "For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels."

The second passage isn't talking about laying on of hands.

Jennie said...

Leo,
I've already mentioned several things in RCC teaching that aren't in harmony with scripture, about Mary and the Papacy.

Ok, tell me the scriptures that my 'protestant' position can't defend logically. I haven't run across anything that gives me problems logically.

Elena said...

I think it could be proved via scripture that the Bible is the only word of God that now remains to us.

shrug... go for it.

Elena said...

It is frustrating to you, I believe, because you can see the logic of our arguments and you cannot logically refute them from scripture alone. Yet, you must desperately try to refute them lest your entire belief system begins to fall apart.

BINGO!!

Leo I think you nailed it!

Elena said...

I've already mentioned several things in RCC teaching that aren't in harmony with scripture, about Mary and the Papacy.

They aren't in harmony with your interpretation of scripture. Huge difference.

We give you scriptural arguments and you reject them.

It is a very wise protestant who gains much good will who can explain the Catholic perspective from scripture with respect even if he respectfully disagrees with it. That's what builds the body of Christ, not the constant name calling and ad hominems you engage in Jennie.

Elena said...

Ok, tell me the scriptures that my 'protestant' position can't defend logically

Sola sciptura. There is not a single verse that says that the scriptures are to be the sole, only and complete authority on faith and morals for a Christian. In fact scripture says that the pillar of truth is the Church - referring to one church founded by Christ incidentally. On that alone one of the big pillars of the Reformation falls.

Jennie said...

Elena,
I think we've already discussed before that 'Sola Scriptura' doesn't mean that scripture is the sole or only authority, but that scripture is the final authority against which everything else must be measured. I do believe scripture is a complete authority which gives us everything we need spiritually.

Jennie said...

All of scripture testifies that it is the word of God, and His word must be the final authority by definition.

Jennie said...

Elena,
Yes, scripture says the church is the pillar and ground of the truth. This means that the true church is that which is upholding the truth of God's word. That pillar also stands upon the foundation of the truth. If it doesn't then that pillar (church) is not upholding the truth, nor is it upon a firm foundation. It will fall. The truth is Christ and His word, and we have to stand upon the Rock and uphold (show, declare, live out) the word of God.
The Reformation doesn't fall because of that passage. The Reformation was a call back to the authority of God's word. The RCC is not the original church founded by Christ. All churches descend from that original one, but the RCC was a departure from it. The reformation was a call to return to the original standard. It may not have been a perfect return to it, but it certainly drew it back in the right direction.

Elena said...

You know you just keep writing these platitudes and you don't back them up with anything Jennie.

Come up with a coherent argument - back up your beliefs, including the historical ones.


Of course knowing how this is going to end I wonder why I bother.

Jennie said...

It is frustrating to you, I believe, because you can see the logic of our arguments and you cannot logically refute them from scripture alone. Yet, you must desperately try to refute them lest your entire belief system begins to fall apart.

BINGO!!

Leo I think you nailed it!


Scripture itself does refute your arguments for the Mary doctrines and the papacy. It is because you do not accept scripture as the final authority that you will not accept the fact that scripture doesn't support those teachings. You have to add the very questionable history and fables of the Church to support those doctrines. The only frustration I have is that you both can't see that you are accepting the teachings of men over the word of God. My belief system doesn't stand or fall based on those fables. It stands on scripture. If I don't refute them, it doesn't affect my faith; it's only for your sakes that I'm upset.

Jennie said...

As far as 'goodwill' goes, when I see that a teaching divides people and distorts the truth, I can't ignore it and say it doesn't matter, just so we can be 'united'. That isn't real goodwill. We have to be united in Spirit and truth. If we are not all in truth then we are not truly united. Goodwill is to tell the truth of God's word as best I can.

Jennie said...

And if you want the scriptural and historical support, we've gone through all that before in other posts on Mary and the papacy and aposolic succession on your site and mine. I don't have the desire to go look it all up again. It didn't make a dent then, so I don't see the point. If anyone else wants to, they can look up those subjects in the sidebar.

Elena said...

It is because you do not accept scripture as the final authority that you will not accept the fact that scripture doesn't support those teachings.

Let's try this another way. Why should I accept scripture as the final authority?

Elena said...

as far as 'goodwill' goes, when I see that a teaching divides people and distorts the truth, I can't ignore it and say it doesn't matter, just so we can be 'united'.

LOL! I note that doesn't extend to any other denominations - say the Anglicans who will now ordain openly gay men and women as bishops, or the PCUSA that considers abortion an act of mercy!!!


It didn't make a dent then

...some substances are so hard they defy "denting."


I knew it would end this way.

Jennie said...

If you are a child, your father is the final authority. He makes it clear what he wants you to do. Do you go by other people's words, or even your mother's, if they are not the same as his? Isn't it clear if their words are not the same as his words if you accept His authority? If a child is rebellious then they will disdain their father's words and allow others' words to influence them.

God is our Father. His word is the final authority for us. Scripture is His word. We know this. That should be the end of it.

Jennie said...

LOL! I note that doesn't extend to any other denominations - say the Anglicans who will now ordain openly gay men and women as bishops, or the PCUSA that considers abortion an act of mercy!!!

This blog reflects my personal interest in studying Roman Catholicism compared to scripture. I don't agree with the Anglicans or the PCUSA at all, but I don't have any connection with them, and have no desire to address these things at the moment. It seems I have much less in common with them than with Catholics, since those groups are sanctioning wickedness.

Jennie said...

And disagreements or differences between those who are family are more painful and evident than differences between those who have no relation to each other; so the parties may try even harder to reconcile the differences than they would with a stranger.

Elena said...

If you are a child, your father is the final authority.

OK. But my father is about his business. Most of the time his authority over me would come through my mother. And while he may occasionally write down his instructions, most of the time his words would be "handed down" via the family tradition. In fact in a family, most of what the father wants is passed on or passed down via family tradition or orally. It is a rare dad would "write" his authority down. An even rarer one would write everyone down and expect all the kids to be able to read and understand everything that is meant on it!


Nice try but not compelling and certainly not persuasive and in fact strengthens my beliefs in the need for a magisterium and sacred tradition.

Jennie said...

Yes, but our heavenly Father HAS given us His words in written form, as well as spoken by His messengers. The word that we know is inspired is now in the form of written scriptures. This Father has spoken to His children through messengers, through letters and family histories, prophecies, and instructions. He also speaks directly to His children by His own Spirit, leading, comforting, and teaching.
This Father is an eternal Father, who has been working His will and building His family for ages, and the written word has been the best and most reliable way to pass on His instructions and history to each generation.
The most important point is that the Father's word is the final authority, and the only word we can know for sure is His is the written scripture. It's like a last will and testament which tells the will of the one who has passed on, except this testament is given by the one who never dies to the ones who die every generation, so each generation after can remember it.

Elena said...

Yes, but our heavenly Father HAS given us His words in written form,

Yes he has. He has also given us Sacred Tradition.

as well as spoken by His messengers. The word that we know is inspired is now in the form of written scriptures.

Absolutely! But not everything God wished us to know and follow is written. And there is not a single verse in the bible that says that it is.

This Father has spoken to His children through messengers, through letters and family histories, prophecies, and instructions.

Right. ANd he left the apostles who via apostolic succession have handed these things on to the generations. After all Jennie it was some centuries later that bishops and the pope, successors to the apostles, determined what were the final books of the canon of the bible and then closed the canon. That is an historical fact. Every time you pick up your bible you are are able to because of apostolic succession!



He also speaks directly to His children by His own Spirit, leading, comforting, and teaching.

Individually sure. But for correct interpretation and instruction of that word, he left the Holy Spirit to guide the church. It is the church that scripture calls the pillar of truth and it is the church that safeguards the deposit of faith.

This Father is an eternal Father, who has been working His will and building His family for ages, and the written word has been the best and most reliable way to pass on His instructions and history to each generation.

Which is of course nonsense. First of all the final canon of the bible didn't even exist for about four hundred years. And even if it had, most of the people would not have been able to read it! Jesus didn't say "go out and print bibles!" He said to go out and preach the gospel - preach - verbal - person to person.

Secondly, it is because of a misinterpretation of the written word that we now have how many protestant denominations? Each claiming they have it right.

When I look at that mess I know the wisdom of Christ leaving us the church and the magisterium.

Jennie said...

Which is of course nonsense. First of all the final canon of the bible didn't even exist for about four hundred years. And even if it had, most of the people would not have been able to read it! Jesus didn't say "go out and print bibles!" He said to go out and preach the gospel - preach - verbal - person to person.

Elena,
The scriptures include the Old Testament, and the people of God includes Israel, who for centuries passed on the written word.
As for the church, the earliest churches had the Apostles and those who learned from them to preach; they had the Old Testament; and they had the gospels and epistles as they were written, though not all in one book, so that when the Apostles passed on there would be a record of their teachings and of Christ's.
Even if many people couldn't read, their pastors and teachers could read it to them; and at the beginning it would have been possible for the teachers to remember and pass it on by word of mouth, but as the eyewitnesses passed on, the written accounts were necessary to preserve it as the Holy Spirit wanted it to be remembered. Word of mouth is not reliable over long periods of time, unless there is a written account to refer back to. The written word is the plumb line that any tradition has to be compared to. How can one know that the oral tradition has not changed over time if a record isn't kept?

Jennie said...

Absolutely! But not everything God wished us to know and follow is written. And there is not a single verse in the bible that says that it is.

I don't know if that's true, but there is not a single verse in the Bible that says that tradition is different or separate from the written doctrines.
There are verses where the Jews are criticized for blindly following Jewish traditions that are separate from scripture and that made scripture of no effect in their lives.

Elena said...

Well I have a lot to say on this but your com box won't accept my HTML and I've tried to post it 4 times. Since we are at about 150 comments I think I'll post this on VTC.

Leo said...

Jennie,

You said, "I don't see a passage about being careful about laying on of hands 'because of the authority.'
"Do not be hasty in laying on of hands,..."

So then, why do you suppose they should not be hasty in the laying on of hands? Could it be that they did not want to heal everybody? Of course not...

It was precisely because they did not want to transmit the authority of Christ to just anyone. Perhaps you are not fully aware of just how that authority works, so let me explain.

Once a man is ordained into the priesthood, his very substance is changed forever. This is similar to how the bread and wine are changed in substance into the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ at the Consecration.

This is why even when a priest has been 'laicized' and forbidden from exercising his priestly faculties, he is still compelled to administer the Sacraments to anyone who needs them in an emergency, such as the Last Rites at the moment of death.

A priest retains his priestly identity even if he ends up in hell.

This is also true of bishops. They receive the apostolic office and are able to act as heads of the Church. Many people misunderstand the pope's role as successor to Peter, in that he is the shepherd of the entire Church.

He does not run the Church like a CEO, where he can hire or fire at his will. Remember that even a priest retains his priestly faculties and they can never be taken away from him. So too it is with a bishop. Look at the Orthodox Church.

Even though the bishops there do not give allegiance to the Bishop of Rome, they nonetheless have the same transmitted authority that the bishops in the Catholic Church do. In other words, they can administer all 7 Sacraments, including the Ordination of new priests through the laying on of hands. As long as they use the formula passed down from the Apostles, the Sacraments are valid.

The difference is that they no longer have the authority of proclaiming new official doctrines which serve to further edify the Faithful. This is because they have broken their collegiality with the Holy Father and the College of Bishops in communion with him.

This is why they will not have official teachings such as on in-vitro fertilization, etc. which address the changing world and new technology as it comes along and may involve issues pertaining to Faith and Morals.

Christ left us a Church in order to preserve the deposit of Faith and to guide us until the end of time. The same Holy Spirit who wrote infallible Scripture through fallible men likewise infallibly interprets this same scripture through fallible men.

So, the laying on of hands was all about the transmission of authority.

Jennie said...

Leo,
there is absolutely no particular and singular connection of Peter with the bishop of Rome that would make it follow that all bishops must descend from the Roman bishop. Peter was not a bishop, but an Apostle, and he and the other Apostles appointed many bishops (elders, pastors). Peter may have been in Rome for a short time; historically it isn't clear. There is nothing that gives any city priority over any other in the church. If anything, all the bishops appointed by all the Apostles conferred succession. This would include all the cities in the world. Let each city rule itself, and let churches of other cities influence each other, but not rule over the others. That's the scriptural pattern.

Leo said...

Jennie,

You said,"Peter may have been in Rome for a short time; historically it isn't clear."

Actually, it is abundantly clear historically that Peter was in Rome and died there. In case you are interested, he is buried there as well. Even his first epistle has been identified as being in Rome which he referred to as Babylon.

Anyway, from Clement of Rome, Eusebius, Ignatius of Antioch and on and on through the centuries, this has been reported and referred to as common knowledge.

Scripture clearly gives the authority to Peter and the keys clearly indicate succession. Don't confuse primacy with authority, since bishops have authority in their own dioceses. Remember that the bishops in the Orthodox churches have separated themselves from Rome but they maintain apostolic succession and authority despite breaking away.

Leo said...

Jennie,

You said,"Ok, tell me the scriptures that my 'protestant' position can't defend logically. I haven't run across anything that gives me problems logically."

Fine...when Jesus appeared to the apostles in the upper room and breathed on them, saying, "Receive the Holy Spirit. I give you the power to forgive sins. Whose sins you forgive, are forgiven them. Whose sins you retain, are retained."

Incidentally, the only other time God breathed on man was when He did so to impart life to Adam. That was in the Old Testament that spoke about creation and bodily life. This was in the New Testament and speaks about spiritual life.

Anyway, this is clearly the institution of the Sacrament of Confession. Every honest Protestant friend I know, admits to difficulty with this text. They can give convoluted explanations which are admittedly illogical when looked at contextually.

Jennie said...

Leo, but you haven't answered why the Roman bishop should be the primal bishop, since Peter and the Apostles appointed many bishops in other cities. You haven't shown that there should be a primal bishop, since there were 12 Apostles.

Jennie said...

About the forgiveness of sins, I believe priests do not withhold forgiveness at their own discretion, but that people who are truly repentant are forgiven whether a priest says so or not. So forgiveness is based on faith and repentance, not on whether a priest or Apostle says so. So the passage is referring to the gospel being given, and repentance bringing forgiveness.

Jennie said...

About the keys, there is another passage where Jesus gives the same power of binding and loosing, which came with the keys, to all the disciples. The keys to the kindom would be the gospel of Jesus Christ that all believers can share. I believe all the Apostles could pass on appointments and also that the Spirit can appoint men without any succession as He pleases. 'The Spirit goes where He will.'

Jennie said...

Matthew 18:18 is the passage; I forgot to put it in.

Leo said...

Jennie,

You said,"You haven't shown that there should be a primal bishop, since there were 12 Apostles."

1.Peter was mentioned far more than the other Apostles
2.He was always mentioned first when they were listed
3.He alone was given the keys to the kingdom by Jesus
4.Jesus prayed for him alone for his faith to be restored after Satan asked to sift him as wheat. Then Peter was to pray for the rest of the Apostles to restore their faith
5.Peter was recognized by all succeeding bishops of Rome, as the first bishop of Rome

Jennie said...

Contrary to RCC teaching, there was not a primal bishop in any city that ruled over all the other churches. Peter by himself as an Apostle did not rule over all the churches historically. All the Apostles shared in founding the churches, and even in Rome there was a group of bishops that headed the several churches in that large city. There was not one ruling bishop in Rome for centuries. It was much later that one bishop in Rome claimed primacy over the others of the city, and even later than that that the Roman Bishop began to claim influence and then primacy over other cities. This is a historical fact that everyone accepts but Rome itself.

Leo said...

Jennie,

You said, "About the forgiveness of sins, I believe priests do not withhold forgiveness at their own discretion, but that people who are truly repentant are forgiven whether a priest says so or not. So forgiveness is based on faith and repentance, not on whether a priest or Apostle says so."

Oh, so you know more than Jesus? Jesus specifically breathed on them and said nothing more than "whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, whose sins you retain are retained." So He said this just to toy with them? How can you possibly distort the meaning of 'whose sins you retain are retained'? He obviously gave them the power to retain sins. This is not a stretch of any sort. Did He not say that they would do ALL of the things that He did and even greater things?

This is a perfect example how you distort the Word of God to your own ends. You twist so effectively, I suggest you start a new business...Scripture Pretzels...

Jennie said...

Leo,
would God refuse to forgive someone who was truly repentant and faithful? Does someone have to go to a priest to be forgiven?
The Apostles had the Holy Spirit to tell them if someone was or was not repentant, so they would not refuse to forgive if a repentant person asked. The thing is, there was no practice in the early church where people went to their pastors or the Apostles to confess every sin. We are also said to confess our faults to one another, so it is possible that all believers, since we receive the Holy Spirit as well, can do this. The disciples that Jesus first said this to may have been a pattern for all. I don't believe that when Jesus did that, He meant it only for them. We can see from the historical practice of the early church that they did not practice auricular confession constantly and for every sin and situation. What Jesus did obviously didn't mean the same thing to them that the RCC teaches today.

Leo said...

Jennie,

You said,"About the keys, there is another passage where Jesus gives the same power of binding and loosing, which came with the keys, to all the disciples. The keys to the kindom would be the gospel of Jesus Christ that all believers can share"

No, the keys would NOT be the gospel that we can all share singing kumbaya...

1.Jesus gave Peter ALONE the keys to the kingdom.
2.The only other place keys appear in scripture is Isaih 22, referring to the prime ministership of the kingdom
3.Note the verse you referred to, in its proper context:
"If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church. If he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector.
Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Again, (amen,) I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father."

1. The Church was the final authority
2. The bishops are jointly the authority of the Church
3. Whatever 2 or more BISHOPS ask in Jesus' name regarding Faith and Morals, will be granted. This is how the Ecumenical Councils all teach without error. It is the Holy Spirit who protects the results

Moonshadow said...

would God refuse to forgive someone who was truly repentant and faithful? Does someone have to go to a priest to be forgiven?

Let's not forget the Confiteor, hmmm, Leo?

"This prayer is referred to as the 'absolution', a prayer for forgiveness, not a granting of forgiveness as in the Sacrament of Penance. It is therefore classified as a sacramental, not a sacrament."

Leo said...

Jennie,

Once again, you misunderstand the Sacraments. They are the ORDINARY means by which God gives grace, just as doctors are the ORDINARY means by which God heals.

Can you get healed simply through prayer? Yes, but I bet you still take your kids to the doctor since you realize that this is how God works to heal as well. Do you also pray for them? Of course you do, but you still take them to the doctor and give them medicine.

Let me explain Confession. You can be forgiven even without perfect contrition. So, for example, a person who has had an abortion can go to Confession out of fear and still be forgiven. In other words, they do not need to be completely sorry out of love for God; they can be afraid of the consequences.

That same person, however, would need perfect contrition to be forgiven at the moment of death if they did not go to Confession. Christ gave us the Sacrament so we would not miserably live our lives out in a state of grave sin.

Let me also clarify a few things:
1. Anyone with perfect contrition at the moment of death will be forgiven and not go to hell.
2. A person must at least be sorry and have a firm purpose of amendment in order to be forgiven in Confession. God will not be mocked.
3. Confession is a great grace and we are strenghtened in our ability to resist future sin.

I just went to Confession today, and it was great and uplifting, praise God!

Leo said...

Jennie,

The other beauty of the Sacrament of Confession is the seal conferred by the Holy Spirit. This to me is one of the great signs proving the divine origin and protection of this mechanism of grace.

What I mean is that you never, ever hear of any priest revealing what was told to them in Confession. Think about how profound that is. Even the enemies of the Church and corrupt priests and bishops who left and do everything in their power to bash and destroy the Church, have never broken the seal of the Sacrament.

It would be so easy to trash that Sacrament by revealing secrets, and yet that has never happened. I have heard of countless instances where Protestants confessed to their pastors and the sins were promptly leaked and/or revealed to the congregations.

That is how I would expect human nature to be. Yet, God preserves that which is His. And so, no sinful priest or bishop has ever revealed what was told to them under the seal of Confession.

Pretty amazing, huh? I'm impressed...God is so cool!

Jennie said...

Leo,
in the passage in John 20 where Jesus breathed on the disciples and told them to receive the Holy Spirit,
it says the disciples were assembled. When scripture speaks of 'disciples' it doesn't just mean the 12 Apostles, it often means all the followers of Christ. This passage doesn't say only the 12 were there; Jesus has breathed on all the disciples, men and women, and has given them the Spirit and the charge to give the gospel of forgiveness of sins.

John 20:19 Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.
21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

Leo said...

Jennie,

You said,"There was not one ruling bishop in Rome for centuries. It was much later that one bishop in Rome claimed primacy over the others of the city, and even later than that that the Roman Bishop began to claim influence and then primacy over other cities. This is a historical fact that everyone accepts but Rome itself."

No, it is NOT a historical fact but rather, a historical fabrication.
1.St. Ignatius AD 107--addressed the Roman Church as presiding over all other churches
2.St. Irenaeus (disciple of Polycarp who was appointed by St. John the Apostle--repeatedly gave the authority to the Church of Rome
3.St. Victor AD 190--pope who excommunicated entire churches but rescinded upon plea for mercy

I could go on and on but you choose to believe your fictional sources. By the way, the Church has always had enemies and heretics just as our Lord did. You would not go to the Sanhedrin to get true information about Jesus, because they would tell you He came from Beelzebub and that he was a sinner. Come to think of it, that's how you treat Mary as well as Christ's Church...

Leo said...

Just to address another point head on...let's look at the Hail Mary, and I don't mean the desperation pass...

Hail Mary, full of grace,(Luke)
the Lord is with thee. (Luke)
Blessed art thou amongst women, (Luke)
And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.(Luke)

Holy Mary, Mother of God (Jesus is God and she is His mother)
Pray for us sinners now
and at the hour of our death,Amen.

Does that sound like we are making her to be God?

Jennie said...

Leo,
Here's an article about the changing understanding of the development of the papacy.

http://reformation500.wordpress.com/2010/01/14/historical-literature-on-the-earliest-papacy/

Moonshadow said...

Jennie said about John 20: "it says the disciples were assembled. When scripture speaks of 'disciples' it doesn't just mean the 12 Apostles,"

And then the next book in the NT is "The Acts of the Apostles." I know y'all shorten it down to "Acts" but the full, traditional title is instructive.

St. Paul says his apostolic ministry is one of reconciliation and that oughtn't be missed or downplayed. It's significant (and that bit about retaining sins is frightening to me, that someone, any human should have that power).

Search the NT for "apostle" or "twelve" and while one may read John 20 in isolation from the rest (esp. Acts 1:2-4?!) as being ambiguous (i.e., inclusive), the rest of the NT shows a limiting leadership, beginning if you like in Acts 1:2 -

"after that he [Jesus the Lord] through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen"

peace

Leo said...

Jennie,

Although new revelation ended with the death of the last Apostle, the understanding of the Faith has continued to grow. All one needs to do is to read the Gospels to understand that John lived the longest and thus presented the most developed theology.

Just look at the example of the Trinity. You yourself claim that the Jews saw that in the Old Testament(and I think that is a stretch. I actually find it humorous that you can accept that concept and yet reject the clear signs and foreshadowings we have presented you about Mary, the papacy, etc.) This concept took a while for the Church to fully understand.

It's like mathematics. The truth is there, but later generations and textbooks find better and different ways to explain those mathematical truths.

Leo said...

Jennie,

You said,"it says the disciples were assembled. When scripture speaks of 'disciples' it doesn't just mean the 12 Apostles, it often means all the followers of Christ. This passage doesn't say only the 12 were there; Jesus has breathed on all the disciples, men and women, and has given them the Spirit and the charge to give the gospel of forgiveness of sins."

I find it troubling how you can so easily twist scripture to your own interpretation and then present it as truth itself. Look at how you quoted the passage and led right into the lie that He breathed on women too and then you watered down the meaning of the authority He had just given.

I also find it disturbing that you can so easily dismiss Church teaching because you say that the Scripture doesn't state it unequivocally, and then you immediately proceed to add your own fabrications which are not even remotely alluded to from that very same Scripture. You have drunk too much Kool-Aid from a number of clever sophists.

Scripture pretzels, anyone?

Jennie said...

Leo,
in the other gospels when Jesus appeared to them after He arose, it shows all the believers there as well, so it is not a stretch to say that this is the same situation. It is a stretch to say that it is only the 12 and that, even though auricular confession was not practiced in the early church, that this is what Jesus was conferring. If it was, then they would have practiced it from the beginning in all situations. The RCC is reading back into scripture to justify a priesthood separate from the other believers that did not exist.

Jennie said...

And I don't believe in ordination of women, by the way; I just believe Jesus was giving the Holy Spirit and the gospel charge and also the charge to forgive each other.

Leo said...

Jennie,

Let's just look at this logically.

1. Jesus said, "whose sins you forgive are forgiven them; whose sins you retain are retained."

2. The simplest and most direct reading shows that He clearly conferred the authority to forgive or retain sins.

3. Simple logic dictates that the Apostles must therefore somehow learn what the sins and circumstances are in order to be able to judge which sins to forgive and which sins to retain.

4. So how do you suppose they learned about the sin? e-mail? Word document? Text message? Written on parchment? Mental telepathy? Or...by the penitent's mouth? hmmmm...I think I'll go with the last one...you? Jennie, you give yourself away when you use the term 'auricular confession'. This is not a phrase one would typically come up with on their own when reading scripture. "Gee, forsooth, reading that passage causeth me to wonder and doubt the veracity of that repugnant Roman concept of auricular confession..." Oh, admit it, even you are laughing now...it's more of that Kool-Aid you have drunk from your fellow scripture pretzel makers.

By the way, the retention of sins is simply at that Confession and is usually because the penitent is not remorseful or remains in the sin. For example, a girl living with her boyfriend confesses the sin of fornication. The priest asks her when she is going to move out. She says, "move out? why would I do that? I love him." Because she has no intent of repentance, neither will she be granted absolution. However, as soon as she moves out and commits to trying to be chaste, she can return and be forgiven.

Jennie said...

I am making a correction to s comment I made above:
That was a quote from 'Nestorianism' on Wikipedia. I don't believe Christ had two loosely united natures. I believe He had one nature, both human and divine, AFTER He was conceived. Then He forever remains both human and divine in one person.

Not understanding what was meant by 'natures' I misstated what I believe. I should say that Jesus has a fully divine nature and a fully human nature united in one person, and that Jesus and the Son are the same person from eternity past to eternity future.