Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thoughts of Francis Turretin: Was Mary Sinless?

Today TurretinFan posted this link to a friend's post about the immaculate conception. I can't help it, I have to link to it. Jesus is the only one who is sinless, and Mary stands for all of us who fall yet are redeemed by His blood.

Thoughts of Francis Turretin: Was Mary Sinless?

127 comments:

A Joyful Chaos said...

Like that thought! thanks for sharing.

Christine said...

I wonder why it is so important for you and others to spend so much time and energy proving that Mary sinned. The Bible doesn't explicitly say she did or didn't and people on both sides can find scriptures to back up their claims, as you know from previous endless discussions. This time, please try to show due respect to the one who said Yes to God and brought our Lord into the world, raised him, grieved for him and was given to us as "beloved disciples" of her Son. You can disagree without dissing her as badly as the last time. Leo can probably share quotes of Martin Luther's belief in her sinlessness. She deserves at the very least, great regard and love from all of her Son's followers as she has received since ancient times. The movement to deny her importance is of recent origin, and is, I believe, really just another attack on the Catholic Church which has to be proven wrong or - or - or - what?

Jennie said...

Christine,
i linked to TurretinFan's post because his friend made some good points about the subject that I wanted to remember. I really am pretty tired of talking about it, but I often link to other's posts so I can remember the points they made or read them later.
I like what he said because it points to Christ rather than to Mary. I believe the doctrine of the immaculate conception, and others, are in contradiction to the whole theme of scripture which is summed up in Romans 11:32 "For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all." Mary is a picture of us all who are shown grace and redeemed and are indwelt by God.

Jennie said...

But I don't want to argue about it anymore, since we've been over it in recent posts. Feel free to comment, but I may not engage you about it.

Elena said...

FYI, I find it easier to save things in a Diigo or Delicious account. I can label and tag things and find them easier. The blog is nice for sharing things and I do have it set up so that whatever I save in Diigo posts to my blog and is also saved in Delicious. But for retrieving info- Diigo and Delicious are much easier.

Leo said...

"I really am pretty tired of talking about it,"

At least have the integrity to be honest that all you want is the last word. You were not too tired to post it.

"I can't help it, I have to link to it."

That is your real issue. The Holy Spirit always guides gently and we can always 'help it', since we have a free will.

1. You have no incontrovertible proof that Mary ever sinned.

2. You persist in besmirching the Mother of God, yet even Michael did not accuse Satan himself. He simply said, "The Lord rebuke you, Satan."

3. You repeatedly quote selected sources that serve to tickle your ears.

4. Here are some early Fathers, even Origen, whom your post quotes:
Justin Martyr

Consequently, then, Mary the Virgin is found to be obedient, saying, "Behold, 0 Lord, your handmaid; be it done to me according to your word." Eve . . . who was then still a virgin although she had Adam for a husband — for in paradise they were both naked but were not ashamed; for, having been created only a short time, they had no understanding of the procreation of children . . . having become disobedient [sin], was made the cause of death for herself and for the whole human race; so also Mary, betrothed to a man but nevertheless still a virgin, being obedient [no sin], was made the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race. . . . Thus, the knot of Eve's disobedience was loosed by the obedience of Mary. What the virgin Eve had bound in unbelief, the Virgin Mary loosed through faith (Against Heresies 3:22:24 [A.D. 189]).

Origen

This Virgin Mother of the Only-begotten of God is called Mary, worthy of God, immaculate of the immaculate, one of the one (Homily 1 [A.D. 244]).

Hippolytus


He [Jesus] was the ark formed of incorruptible wood. For by this is signified that His tabernacle [Mary] was exempt from defilement and corruption (Orat. In Illud, Dominus pascit me, in Gallandi, Bibl. Patrum, II, 496 ante [A.D. 235]).


Ephraim the Syrian


You alone and your Mother are more beautiful than any others, for there is neither blemish in you nor any stains upon your Mother. Who of my children can compare in beauty to these? (Nisibene Hymns 27:8 [A. D. 361]).

The point is that there IS evidence from the earliest times.

Let me remind you: "All Authentic Marian devotion begins with Jesus Christ and ends with Jesus Christ. Mary leads us closer to her Son"

Everyone who wrongly accuses her will answer to Jesus Christ Himself. Take heed...

Christine said...

Leo- you said what I didn't how to.

Jennie said...

Leo,
Why would you consider 150 years after Christ or later to be 'the earliest times'?
I believe at least some of these quotations are dubious (http://turretinfan.blogspot.com/2009/03/peddling-imitation-patristics-rays-at.html)
(http://turretinfan.blogspot.com/2010/03/yet-another-steve-ray-patristic-error.html)
and some you are inserting words into: 'Obedient' doesn't necessarily mean 'sinless'. We can be obedient and not be sinless.

Jennie said...

You persist in besmirching the Mother of God, yet even Michael did not accuse Satan himself. He simply said, "The Lord rebuke you, Satan."

Leo, how is it 'besmirching' someone to tell the truth that they are a human and a sinner in need of a savior, like all of us? Scripture never says Mary is sinless. The article I linked to shows that the Church Fathers did not unanimously, or even mostly, believe that Mary was sinless. This was a later addition.

Jennie said...

I just wanted people to read the article to see the truth that scripture and the early Fathers don't support the immaculate conception. You can argue with the author if you like. He's very knowledgeable.

Jennie said...

You repeatedly quote selected sources that serve to tickle your ears.

Leo,
how do you know I'm the one who is choosing sources that 'tickle my ears'? I linked to this source because if you read it it shows that the Early Fathers did not believe Mary was sinless, and that scripture does not support that Mary was sinless. The epistles never once mention her, much less make her central to Christian faith. Everything that Mary is praised for by Catholics is mentioned in scripture as an office of Jesus, or the Holy Spirit. The Catholic Mary is superfluous, or even worse, a veil of flesh interposed again between us and God, when Jesus died to tear that veil.

Jennie said...

I wonder why it is so important for you and others to spend so much time and energy proving that Mary sinned.

Christine,
I am not just 'trying to prove that Mary sinned'. I and others are concerned that the Catholic Mary is lifted up so high and so particularly, even though in scripture Mary is one of many sinners in God's plan, that she obscures the gospel and the all-sufficiency of God. You don't see it because she (the Catholic Mary, not the scriptural one) is in your way. Also I would mention that the use of images and statues is part of this, and was a fierce battleground in early centuries. This is strictly forbidden in the ten commandments in Exodus 20.

Jennie said...

Thanks Elena,
I might look into using Diigo or Delicious, since I do alot of online reading and save alot of files.

Jennie said...

Leo,
if Mary can be compared to the Ark or the Tabernacle, it is because, like the Ark and the Tabernacle, she is a picture of something greater: the union between God and His people which will culminate when the marriage of the Bridegroom and His redeemed Bride is finally completed. She herself is not the bride, nor the tabernacle, nor the ark, in the sense that we should lift her up as these things. She is part of us.

Jennie said...

Thanks, Joyful, for commenting. I'm glad you stopped by!

Christine said...

"The Catholic Mary is superfluous, or even worse, a veil of flesh interposed again between us and God, when Jesus died to tear that veil."

You know, really, how dare you?

So the ark made of wood is greater to you than the mother of Jesus. Wow, your value system is quite unusual.

You did it again - disrespecting Jesus in dishonoring his mom. Congrats!

Jennie said...

Christine, I didn't say the Ark was greater than Mary. I said the bride herself and the union between the bride and Bridegroom is greater than Mary. She is one part of the bride, and represents it.

Jennie said...

The Ark is a picture of the union of Christ and His bride. The mercy seat (lid) on top of the Ark is Christ, and the box that is covered by His mercy and that contains His word in it's heart is the Bride or church, represented by Mary carrying Christ in her body.

Jennie said...

But as the incarnation is not the culmination of God's plan, but the Marriage is the culmination, so Mary is not the completion of the beauty that God intended, the church or Bride is.

Leo said...

"'Obedient' doesn't necessarily mean 'sinless'. We can be obedient and not be sinless."

Oh, but it does. You cannot be obedient to God and sin. Sin is precisely disobedience to the will of God.

"Leo, how is it 'besmirching' someone to tell the truth that they are a human and a sinner in need of a savior, like all of us? Scripture never says Mary is sinless."

Jennie, first of all if I know for sure that someone is guilty of a sin and I expose it to the world, I am guilty of detraction. If I do not know for sure, that is far worse. If it is not true, that is the sin of calumny and that is graver still. To do so against the Mother of God is dastardly.

Scripture nowhere specifically says that Mary is guilty of any sin.

Jennie said...

Oh, but it does. You cannot be obedient to God and sin. Sin is precisely disobedience to the will of God.

Leo,
Many people in the Bible were obedient, but were also sinners. Can you deny that Moses was obedient, and Abraham, and David, and Ruth, and Esther, and Isaiah, and Elijah, and Solomon? They were obedient, yet they were born in sin, and fell into sin.

Jennie said...

Jennie, first of all if I know for sure that someone is guilty of a sin and I expose it to the world, I am guilty of detraction. If I do not know for sure, that is far worse. If it is not true, that is the sin of calumny and that is graver still. To do so against the Mother of God is dastardly.

Leo,
everything that we know is true about Mary is in scripture. The Church Fathers saw that Mary sinned, as the blog post brought out. It's there for all to see. And those terms you use, calumny and detraction, are not in scripture. I'm not saying anything that the Father's and scripture hasn't said already.

Jennie said...

Leo, did you read the article and see that all the Fathers did NOT believe that Mary was sinless? That should end the discussion.

Leo said...

Jennie,

You are now treading where angels fear to tread...

Christine said...

You are breathtakingly arrogant in your slander here. Extra-biblical, and you're the sola scriptura one. Except when you need more ammunition that it can give you.

Jennie said...

Leo,
if you keep using Catholic doctrine to hold over my head, then I'm going to delete those comments. You have no ground to stand on scripturally or historically, and the RCC has no authority over those who stand on God's word.

Jennie said...

Christine,
who is slandering anyone? Protestants have never believed that Mary is sinless, and I am not saying anything against Mary as a person, or anything that protestants haven't said before. We are all sinners, and that is not slander. Again, I believe this doctrine gets in the way of the gospel, so who should be more offended?

Jennie said...

I think the RCC Mary is a total fabrication that gets in the way of the truth, and you think I'm offending against God? I think God is offended by the lifting up of Mary and the statues.

Jennie said...

Extra-biblical, and you're the sola scriptura one. Except when you need more ammunition that it can give you.
Christine, I explained once before that Sola Scriptura means scripture is the final authority, not the only authority. History can tell us things, such as what earlier people believed. That doesn't mean they were right, it only gives us a guide of what earlier beliefs were. Then we can compare both them and ourselves to scripture.

Jennie said...

I think, Leo, that you are seeing that there is no support for the RCC teachings, and are resorting to threats by saying that I am tresspassing on some spiritual law and should tremble in fear. I don't fear Mary, but I do fear God and His word. I am not speaking against Mary, but against RCC myths about her.

Christine said...

How dare you decide for me what gets in the way of the gospel, or between me and Jesus?

Why in the world would you begrudge Catholics their honoring of Our Lord's mother? Your need to offend the true church is greater than the caution you should have in making pronouncements about your Savior's mother. You deny God's power to save Mary from her sins from the beginning.

You need to SEARCH your heart for what is motivating this. Your spiritual mother is there for you, still and all.

This is why Elena gave up - she must have been smiling as I made my fruitless attempts to reason with you - not to convert you, but just to correct your misrepresentation - actually believing that you'd want the true version. You don't, but that is your choice.

Jennie said...

I'm not deciding for you, I'm deciding for myself, and posting my opinions. You don't have to agree. Many have said the same things before, including some of the Church Fathers, and Reformers, and the article I linked to. That's what I really believe, and it really bothers and offends me when I see the Catholic teachings and practices about Mary. Apparently it really bothers TF and his friend who posted the article too.

Jennie said...

Christine and Leo,
did you read the article, since that's what this thread is about? Then maybe we can discuss it.

Christine said...

Of course I read it. It was interesting - but then you started pronouncing your own dogmas . . .

Jennie said...

The things I said about the Bride and Bridegroom and the Ark, etc. are things I see from scripture, and some of the Fathers also said similar things.

Jennie said...

Sorry if I sound arrogant. I don't mean to be. I just feel like what is seen directly in scripture is much more exciting and glorious than what I see as myths that are not taught there at all. I don't see Mary high and lifted up and glorious there. I see Jesus that way, and later on the Bride that He redeemed is shown that way, at the end when His plan is complete.

Christine said...

If having the Holy Spirit overshadow you, the Son of God within you, giving birth to and raising Jesus, isn't "high and lifted up and glorious" then nothing is.

Jennie said...

Christine,
we have all those same things spiritually that were manifested in Mary physically, and we are not high and lifted up, though the Bride will be one day. The way Mary is pictured in scripture is different than the way she is described in Catholic doctrine and literature and shown in images and statues. I believe she is meant to be a picture of the bride (Just as David the shepherd is one picture of Christ), not the reality of the bride herself and is not to be lifted up by men. Abraham is called our father, yet he isn't praised and prayed to and doesn't have statues all over the place.

Jennie said...

Here's one thing Catholics do that I wish that Baptists did:
I think it's very good to remember the Bible saints and historical saints in a regular way and think about their contributions to the church. I wish we had a way to do that too. I think they are praying for us in heaven, but I don't think they can individually hear millions of prayers or know each of us individually as God does.

Christine said...

If Mary's physical motherhood is meaningless, then where does that leave the Incarnation? Why did God come in the flesh when he could have just come in spirit?

Re: the saints and if they can hear millions of prayers. Well, it's a good question. I think a good clue is in Hebrews "since we are SURROUNDED by so great a cloud of WITNESSES. . . "

Perhaps if the saints can somehow surround and witness all of us as we "run the race", then by God's mighty power, they can hear our prayers and join their voices with ours, and inspire us along the way.

Leo said...

"if you keep using Catholic doctrine to hold over my head, then I'm going to delete those comments...I think, Leo, that you are seeing that there is no support for the RCC teachings, and are resorting to threats by saying that I am tresspassing on some spiritual law and should tremble in fear...The things I said about the Bride and Bridegroom and the Ark, etc. are things I see from scripture, and some of the Fathers also said similar things."

Jennie, I don't frankly care if you delete all of my posts. I will gladly shake the dust from my feet in that case. Your arrogance and refusal to listen to reason while constantly misinterpreting scripture are troubling to say the least. You have eyes but do not see, ears but do not hear. You act as if you cannot wait for the other person to finish so you can simply repeat your rants.

There is nothing whatsoever in scripture that contradicts what the Church teaches and that drives you nuts. You accept quotes from the Fathers that support your position while rejecting those that do not. You are not acting either reasonably or rationally when you do that. Any reasonable person can see where scripture corroborates Church teaching. Any rasonable person can also see where scripture seems to contradict certain Church teachings.

And Jennie, I am not threatening you in any way. I am just strongly advising you to tread cautiously in your treatment of the Mother of God. If the greatest angel in heaven does not dare to accuse Lucifer of anything, who do you think you are to accuse Mary of anything? Again, you are so certain that she sinned, so tell us precisely what sin she committed. Otherwise, please cease and desist in attacking her, lest the Lord rebuke you.

Leo said...

Incidentally, there is no time in heaven and all are given whatever knowledge they need whenever they need it by the grace of God. God's ways are as far above our ways as the heavens are above the earth. We are never to try to limit Him from our own beliefs and interpretations. He is not bound to act the way we believe.

Here is another thought. Does any godly and faithful son on earth ever stand by while someone verbally attacks his mother in any way? Do not forget that Jesus is fully human and retains full humanity in heaven. So, if a sinful son on earth would protect his mother and stop vicious attacks, how much more would a perfect son do so from heaven? Think of it this way, even if I ever believed that Mary sinned, I would not dare accuse her of anything or call her sinful. Nor would I constantly try to denigrate her. If someone cautioned me about minimizing any heavenly being, I would take heed. Heck, I used to be flippant in my comments about Satan and won't do so any more since a fellow believer cautioned me against that.

We are not demanding that you believe that Mary is without sin. We are sharing what we believe to be true. As Catholics, we are even cautioned about ever discussing Mary with a Protestant if there is the slightest chance it would weaken their faith in Jesus Christ.

Leo said...

And, Elena, I can just hear you laughing and saying, "I told you so..." :-)

Jennie said...

Your arrogance and refusal to listen to reason while constantly misinterpreting scripture are troubling to say the least. You have eyes but do not see, ears but do not hear. You act as if you cannot wait for the other person to finish so you can simply repeat your rants.
Leo, I feel the exact same about you. I don't think you are seeing the arguments that are so clear that the doctrines about Mary are not in scripture and are not early church beliefs. This is clear to me.

There is nothing whatsoever in scripture that contradicts what the Church teaches and that drives you nuts. You accept quotes from the Fathers that support your position while rejecting those that do not. You are not acting either reasonably or rationally when you do that. Any reasonable person can see where scripture corroborates Church teaching. Any rasonable person can also see where scripture seems to contradict certain Church teachings.
No, as I just said, it amazes me that YOU can't see that scripture contradicts RCC teachings about Mary, and THAT drives me nuts. The point about the Fathers is that many of them did not believe that Mary was sinless, especially in the earliest years when most did not. Even in the middle ages and later it was debated. You won't accept the facts of history and scripture. Where does scripture say that Mary is sinless?

Jennie said...

If Mary's physical motherhood is meaningless, then where does that leave the Incarnation? Why did God come in the flesh when he could have just come in spirit?

When did I say it was meaningless? I keep telling you all that it means to me that I've seen in scripture. Everything about the incarnation is meaningful on so many levels that it's hard to express. I'm just saying that I don't believe it means we should lift Mary up personally and have statues of her alongside statues of Christ, or statues of her holding Christ. I don't believe statues of Jesus are good either. The Apostles didn't teach anything about her in the epistles, so apparently she as a person is not central to the faith, though her role is important, just as Abraham's role, and Sarah's, and David's, and Peter's, and Paul's, etc. I think it's understandable and natural that it developed the way it has, but it's not what the Apostles taught.

Jennie said...

And, Elena, I can just hear you laughing and saying, "I told you so..." :-)

Reminds me of a Randy Travis song ;)

Jennie said...

Leo,
if many of the Fathers believed Mary was a normal woman who sinned in normal ways, then why is it a heinous crime to say the same thing? If indeed she is not sinless and glorious, but a humble and normal woman who sometimes doubted and who, as one Father said, wanted her Son to perform miracles because of pride, then it is a greater sin to lift her up in opposition to what God's word teaches.

Leo said...

Jennie, you just proved my point yet again. You are like the person doing a crossword puzzle who comes up with a 5 letter word for an 'across' clue. You are then frustrated when the 'down' clue which intersects it doesn't seem to have the appropriate answer. What you end up doing is coming up with some other word that fits the letter of intersection but not the definition. You cannot accept that the first word you chose was wrong, so therefore every succeeding word must be forced to fit. What we are asking you to do is to reconsider your first word since there can be multiple answers but only one that works in full context.

The Catholic faith works in full context so the spiritual crossword puzzle is complete and correct. Your mistake is that you start with the wrong word of sola scriptura. Scripture is indeed the word of God but it is not the only word of God.

Jennie said...

Leo,
everything fits with Scripture alone. I see no discordance. I see that the Marian doctrines do not fit when one looks at scripture and history.

Leo said...

"The point about the Fathers is that many of them did not believe that Mary was sinless"

Jennie, you act as if you have hundreds of Fathers(by the way, I am glad you avoid the 'call no man father' stance so popular with many of your sola scripture compadres) whom you have researched.

The truth of the matter is that I can find you quotes from early Church fathers which deny the divinity of Christ, which deny the humanity of Christ, which deny the bodily resurrection, which deny Mary's virginity, which support Mary's virginity, which support the bodily resurrection, which support the humanity of Christ, and which support the divinity of Christ...so what? That is why Jesus left His Church to reveal the Truth.

Answer this question honestly. Is the Faith the way you understand it today, different from the Faith as you understood it say 3 years ago? Now mind you, I am speaking specifics even in areas such as the saints in heaven praying for us, etc.

Christine said...

Jennie - Marian doctrines cannot be either proven nor disproven by scriptures. You have no other authority to appeal to except your opinion. And that is Protestantism in a nutshell.

Leo said...

"everything fits with Scripture alone. I see no discordance. I see that the Marian doctrines do not fit when one looks at scripture and history."

Oh sure, "Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, whose sins you hold bound are held bound." And..."Believers will do the same things that I have done. Even greater things will they do."

So, Jesus forgave sins directly...hmmm what greater thing is there to do than that? And yet, you cannot see the transmission of authority by saying, "only God can forgive sins" and being blind to His giving His authority to men.

Sure, Jennie, that is not a scripture pretzel and fits perfectly with your misinterpretation. So finish your crossword puzzle and maybe no one will notice that some of the words make no sense when considering the clues...

Christine said...

Jennie - my last comment was pretty snippy. I want to have more patience than that. A coouple of comments. From the TurretinFan post:

"And then there is Augustine of Hippo, whom many Roman Catholic apologists attempt to appeal to for their belief in the immaculate conception. They like to quote a portion of chapter 42 of his treatise, On Nature and Grace, where Augustine states,

[quoting Augustine]We must except the holy Virgin Mary, concerning whom I wish to raise no question when it touches the subject of sins, out of honour to the Lord; for from Him we know what abundance of grace for overcoming sin in every particular was conferred upon her who had the merit to conceive and bear Him who undoubtedly had no sin.[16]

[back to Fisher the TurretinFan poster ]However, those who quote this passage miss the point of what Augustine is trying to communicate. He was trying to refute the Pelagian heretics (who were the ones who were claiming that Mary—among other biblical characters—were sinless, since they denied the depravity of man). The article explaining Augustine’s view of Mary on Allan Fitzgerald’s Augustine Through the Ages helps clear up misconceptions regarding this passage.

Now, from me: We SAID that the articulation of the Church at this time WAS a result of the Pelagian heresy. We've SAID that the dogmas about Mary are really all about Jesus.

Christine said...

My comment that you thought the "physical motherhood of Jesus is meaningless" was a result of your comment that "we have all those same things spiritually that were manifested in Mary physically, and we are not high and lifted up."

As though there's nothing special about being pregnant with God himself. Of course, you are right that we can have Christ's spirit within us, "give birth" to Him in our lives, etc.

It struck me that many of our differences we have are based on how Catholics see the physical body and world. And I still pose the question to you: What is the meaning and significance of the Incarnation? Did it not hallow all flesh forever, now that HE came in that form? In a way?

How could God be in a sinful body's womb? THAT is the point - we think SO MUCH of Jesus that we know he'd have a pure vessel in which to incarnate - not by Mary's own merit, but by HIS - HE who would sanctify that vessel just by being IN IT.

Christine said...

And one more thing. The TurretinFan poster speaks of Mary's need of redemption. Catholics do not disagree with that, just the TIMING of the redemption, in order to prepare a holy vessel for God's appearance in the flesh.

This applies to the Eucharist as well - the physicality, the concrete reality of Jesus - body, blood, soul and divinity.

This should not be so offensive to you, knowing as you've learned that we base it on a firm foundation of scripture and tradition AS WE SEE IT. You see it differently, but you have heard enough to RESPECT our side too.

And my final question is - who in your world is throwing Catholic beliefs in your face so that you feel you must refute them? If there is no one, then why, why, why?

Christine said...

I share Leo's frustration that:

"You were not too tired to post it"

"You accept quotes from the Fathers that support your position while rejecting those that do not. You are not acting either reasonably or rationally when you do that."

Yes.

Jennie said...

I've been out of town for our Grandma's 87th birthday today, so haven't had time to comment since this morning. I've read the comments but don't want to stay up late and answer them. Have a good Sunday!

Elena said...

Scriptural Evidence: The Immaculate Conception of Mary

Genesis 3:15 (known as the "Protoevangelion") I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.

Ludwig Ott expounds this verse:

The literal sense of the passage is possibly the following: Between Satan and his followers on the one hand, and Eve and her posterity on the other hand, there is to be constant moral warfare. The posterity of Eve will achieve a complete and final victory over Satan and his followers, even if it is wounded in the struggle. The posterity of Eve includes the Messiah, in whose power humanity will win a victory over Satan. Thus the passage is indirectly messianic.
The seed of the woman was understood as referring to the Redeemer, and thus the Mother of the Redeemer came to be seen in the woman. Since the second century this direct messianic-marian interpretation has been expounded by individual Fathers, for example, St. Irenaeus, St. Epiphanius, . . . St. Cyprian, . . . St. Leo the Great. However, it is not found in the writings of the majority of the Fathers . . . According to this interpretation, Mary stands with Christ in a perfect and victorious enmity towards Satan and his following. Many of the later scholastics and a great many modern theologians argue, in the light of this interpretation . . . that: Mary's victory over Satan would not have been perfect, if she had ever been under his dominion. Consequently she must have entered this world without the stain of original sin. 12

Elena said...

Via Dave Armstrong:
In responding to the Protestant charge, often put forth, that "full of grace" is impermissible and indicative of Catholic bias, we cite two reputable Protestant linguistic sources to the contrary:
An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, by W.E. Vine, makes a very interesting observation:

Charitoo: akin to charis, to endow with charis, primarily signified to make graceful or gracious, and came to denote, in Hellenistic Greek, to cause to find favour, Luke 1:28, "highly favoured" (margin, "endued with grace") . . . Grace implies more than favour; grace is a free gift, favour may be deserved or gained. 13

Vine has here given a thoroughly Catholic view on this verse and what it tells us about Mary, in a nutshell. For by saying that "grace is a free gift," he shows that the traditional Catholic rendering clearly makes Mary's Immaculate Conception entirely unmerited on her part – a sheer act of mercy and grace performed solely by God. "Favour," on the other hand, the preferred Protestant translation, may imply something "deserved or gained." Thus, by a great irony, the Protestant Bibles are more likely to be misinterpreted in the sense that Mary has earned this gift, a notion expressly denied by Catholic theology and dogmatic pronouncements.

Elena said...

Likewise, Word Pictures in the New Testament, by the renowned Protestant Greek scholar A.T. Robertson, expounds Luke 1:28 as follows:

"Highly favoured" (kecharitomene). Perfect passive participle of charitoo and means endowed with grace (charis), enriched with grace as in Ephesians. 1:6, . . . The Vulgate gratiae plena "is right, if it means 'full of grace which thou hast received'; wrong, if it means 'full of grace which thou hast to bestow'" (Plummer). 14
The Catholic belief is precisely the former option, which Robertson's approved source has deemed "right

Elena said...

Charitoo: akin to charis, to endow with charis, primarily signified to make graceful or gracious, and came to denote, in Hellenistic Greek, to cause to find favour, Luke 1:28, "highly favoured" (margin, "endued with grace") . . . Grace implies more than favour; grace is a free gift, favour may be deserved or gained. 13

Vine has here given a thoroughly Catholic view on this verse and what it tells us about Mary, in a nutshell. For by saying that "grace is a free gift," he shows that the traditional Catholic rendering clearly makes Mary's Immaculate Conception entirely unmerited on her part – a sheer act of mercy and grace performed solely by God. "Favour," on the other hand, the preferred Protestant translation, may imply something "deserved or gained." Thus, by a great irony, the Protestant Bibles are more likely to be misinterpreted in the sense that Mary has earned this gift, a notion expressly denied by Catholic theology and dogmatic pronouncements.

Elena said...

Another important aspect of Luke 1:28 should be noted. The angel is here, in effect, giving Mary a new name ("full of grace"). As was mentioned earlier, the word "Mary" does not appear in the text. It was as if the angel were addressing Abraham Hail, full of faith, or Solomon Hail, full of wisdom (characteristics for which they were particularly noteworthy). The biblical and Hebraic understanding of one's name was quite profound. God was very particular in naming individuals Himself (for example, see Genesis 17:5,15,19, Isaiah 45:3-4, Matthew 1:21). God renamed persons in order to indicate regeneration (as in Genesis 17:5,15, 32:28) or condemnation (as in Jeremiah 20:3). For the ancient Hebrews, names signified the character, nature, and qualities of a person, and were much more than mere identifying labels. Thus, God chose His Son's name (Matthew 1:21).
As a passing speculation, it is interesting that the meaning of the Hebrew Miriam, (Greek, Mariam, or "Mary") is very uncertain, according to etymologists. It may be that the angel is giving the name its definitive meaning in Luke 1:28 – one who is characterized as being "full of grace."
It is permissible, on Greek grammatical and linguistic grounds15, to paraphrase kecharitomene as completely, perfectly, enduringly endowed with grace. Thus, in just this one verse, pregnant with meaning and far-reaching implications, the uniqueness of Mary is strongly indicated, and the Immaculate Conception can rightly be deemed entirely consistent with the meaning of this passage.

Christine said...

Wow, Elena. Fascinating analysis of grace/favour. Pregnant with meaning, indeed.

Jennie said...

Answer this question honestly. Is the Faith the way you understand it today, different from the Faith as you understood it say 3 years ago? Now mind you, I am speaking specifics even in areas such as the saints in heaven praying for us, etc.

I don't really know if I've found anything specific that is different than I thought. I see more details, and I see that there are some changes in the way the Church is explaining things, such as the nature of the priesthood and the Eucharist. I see some attempts at explaining justification in different perspectives than before, but not really essentially different than earlier teachings. I read an article a while back on Called to Communion about justification that was interesting, but I didn't agree with his understanding of it because it isn't what we see in scripture.
You said a while back that you think I am becoming more Catholic, in such things as not believing in 'once saved, always saved' etc. My husband and I might be becoming more 'catholic' in the original sense, but not more 'Roman Catholic' by far. There are things that the early church and Fathers wrote about that have been largely lost today, but there are things in the RC and protestant churches that have been added since then too. The reason my husband and I may seem like we're becoming more catholic, in the universal sense, is that my husband has been reading and studying only the Bible, with no commentaries at all for about 10 years. He has listened to the Bible in his car over and over and over for all these years. He noticed that when he did finally go and read a Spurgeon sermon or a book about Bonhoeffer, that he agreed on most things with these men who had also studied the Bible deeply. I think this is why we are losing the traditional protestant beliefs that have been added, but we also see the traditional beliefs of the RCC that don't fit either; that have been added over time and become so ingrained that no one can imagine questioning them, but those outside can't even imagine accepting them. One thing like that is our subject in this thread. As I keep repeating, the epistles never once mention Mary and the practices that are now so familiar. To the Apostles she does not stand next to Christ and assist in His work of salvation. Her work was done and she was not mentioned again, except as part of the believers.

Jennie said...

Oh sure, "Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, whose sins you hold bound are held bound." And..."Believers will do the same things that I have done. Even greater things will they do."

So, Jesus forgave sins directly...hmmm what greater thing is there to do than that? And yet, you cannot see the transmission of authority by saying, "only God can forgive sins" and being blind to His giving His authority to men.


Leo,
I see the giving of the Holy Spirit to all the disciples, and the giving of the grace to forgive as we have been forgiven to all disciples. I see that we will do greater things than these because we will preach the gospel and people will be raised from the dead and given sight and hearing and the ability to walk SPIRITUALLY, all by the power of God.

Jennie said...

I'm think I'm going to put up a post soon about Matthew 18, and relate it also to Matthew 16 and John 20:22-23 about the forgiveness of sins. My pastor has been teaching on Matthew for a while and is on chapter 18 now and some things he said and I saw in it relate to some of our discussions here.

Jennie said...

It struck me that many of our differences we have are based on how Catholics see the physical body and world. And I still pose the question to you: What is the meaning and significance of the Incarnation? Did it not hallow all flesh forever, now that HE came in that form? In a way?

I'll have to think about that more, but I would say that one meaning of the Incarnation is that if our 'flesh' is crucified with Him (by faith in Him) then we have the hope that just as our spirit has been redeemed and made new, so some day our bodies will be resurrected and made new. That's our hope, not yet realized.
The way that we see it is that Mary, as a Jew, had faith in God, but was not yet redeemed by the blood of Christ, just like all the other Jews and Gentiles who would believe. Her salvation was not yet complete, just as the Apostles' was not complete until they believed after the resurrection and understood Jesus' words, and were filled with the Spirit at Pentecost. She had to go through the same process of doubt and despair that the Apostles did as they saw Jesus crucified. I believe she had to come to full faith through that crucible too.
I see her in the same way I see Peter and Paul and Abraham. As someone to learn from as I read her story and remember her, but not to lift up daily and praise and pray to. I believe that is only for God, and that anything else is misplaced and gets in the way. That's my perspective.

Jennie said...

How could God be in a sinful body's womb? THAT is the point - we think SO MUCH of Jesus that we know he'd have a pure vessel in which to incarnate - not by Mary's own merit, but by HIS - HE who would sanctify that vessel just by being IN IT.

I believe He could, and did, come in the womb of a faithful woman, who was also not perfect, and sinned. Just as He comes to live in us who are redeemed and made righteous by His blood. We are not perfect, but He lives in us, and sanctifies us by His Spirit and word as we abide in Him. Mary had to learn to abide and grow in Him just as He had lived and grown in her. That's part of His great love, that God came to be with us while we (Mary) were yet sinners. He forgave us (Peter) though we denied Him. And so on. To me that's much more meaningful. That's what I believe.

Jennie said...

And one more thing. The TurretinFan poster speaks of Mary's need of redemption. Catholics do not disagree with that, just the TIMING of the redemption, in order to prepare a holy vessel for God's appearance in the flesh.

This applies to the Eucharist as well - the physicality, the concrete reality of Jesus - body, blood, soul and divinity.

This should not be so offensive to you, knowing as you've learned that we base it on a firm foundation of scripture and tradition AS WE SEE IT. You see it differently, but you have heard enough to RESPECT our side too.


I've already mentioned why I don't believe it's necessary for Jesus to be in the womb of a perfect, sinless woman. He came while we were yet sinners. Again, Mary is 'us' and Peter is 'us' and Abraham is 'us' to show us faith, etc.

About the Eucharist, I agree that Jesus gave us the Lord's Supper or Eucharist to have a physical reality of His death. It's a picture and a remembrance, as He commanded "Do this in remembrance of Me". It's an act of obedience and faith, in which the Body of Christ shows how it is one with Him, our Head. We are 'one loaf' together and with Him. It's an act of faith. We remember His death until He comes: our hope and faith that our Bridegroom will come again and drink the wedding cup with us. But first we may have to drink the same cup of suffering with Him, if we love Him.

I do see why you believe as you do. And I respect that there is alot that can be interpreted the way you interpret it. I see that there is much tradition that is beautiful in its own way. I don't see it as the same beauty that I see in scripture. In the same way that I don't believe Calvinism is 'the gospel' as they like to say. I agree with some things, and definitely don't agree with other things. Their tradition is 'in the way' of their seeing the whole truth. I don't understand everything about it, but I see Calvinism contradicts some other things I see in scripture.

Jennie said...

"You were not too tired to post it"

"You accept quotes from the Fathers that support your position while rejecting those that do not. You are not acting either reasonably or rationally when you do that."


Hey, it only took 30 seconds to post it. I was hoping you could all go argue with him. :)


I understand that the Fathers all had different beliefs on specific things like this. The point is that all didn't believe as you do, and the beliefs about Mary were not the earliest beliefs. They came later.

Jennie said...

Elena,
I haven't forgotten you. I'm trying to answer in order, so it may be later or tomorrow that I get to your comments. Thanks for posting!

Jennie said...

Scriptural Evidence: The Immaculate Conception of Mary

Genesis 3:15 (known as the "Protoevangelion") I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.

Ludwig Ott expounds this verse:

The literal sense of the passage is possibly the following: Between Satan and his followers on the one hand, and Eve and her posterity on the other hand, there is to be constant moral warfare. The posterity of Eve will achieve a complete and final victory over Satan and his followers, even if it is wounded in the struggle. The posterity of Eve includes the Messiah, in whose power humanity will win a victory over Satan. Thus the passage is indirectly messianic.
The seed of the woman was understood as referring to the Redeemer, and thus the Mother of the Redeemer came to be seen in the woman. Since the second century this direct messianic-marian interpretation has been expounded by individual Fathers, for example, St. Irenaeus, St. Epiphanius, . . . St. Cyprian, . . . St. Leo the Great. However, it is not found in the writings of the majority of the Fathers . . . According to this interpretation, Mary stands with Christ in a perfect and victorious enmity towards Satan and his following. Many of the later scholastics and a great many modern theologians argue, in the light of this interpretation . . . that: Mary's victory over Satan would not have been perfect, if she had ever been under his dominion. Consequently she must have entered this world without the stain of original sin. 12


It can't be called 'scriptural evidence' of the immaculate conception, as the passage itself directly has nothing of Mary or her state regarding sin. The commentary shows evidence that a few of the Fathers beginning in the second century connected the Woman with Mary.
I would disagree with the author and say that this passage is a direct Messianic prophecy, not indirect. I would say that the Woman, as in all other prophecy refers to the people of God all through history, not specifically to Mary. She is part of the Woman, but not the Woman. I would say that the Woman is God's people who are victorious over Satan only in Christ and only when they stand upon Christ.
I especially would say that the modern scholars and theologians Ott mentions are wrong to assume that it is Mary's victory, when it is Christ's victory, and the victory of all God's people who stand with Him but only by His power. Mary did not fight Satan. She is one of us. Jesus did. That's what I see in scripture.

Jennie said...

Vine has here given a thoroughly Catholic view on this verse and what it tells us about Mary, in a nutshell. For by saying that "grace is a free gift," he shows that the traditional Catholic rendering clearly makes Mary's Immaculate Conception entirely unmerited on her part – a sheer act of mercy and grace performed solely by God. "Favour," on the other hand, the preferred Protestant translation, may imply something "deserved or gained." Thus, by a great irony, the Protestant Bibles are more likely to be misinterpreted in the sense that Mary has earned this gift, a notion expressly denied by Catholic theology and dogmatic pronouncements.

I never heard 'favor' as something that specifically had to mean something deserved. To me it means 'given a good thing'. And when it says 'highly favored' I believe it means 'shown much grace'. We believe it means she was given a great and undeserved gift by being chosen to bear the Messiah. She showed faith by accepting the gift, as we do when we accept the gift of salvation. We don't believe the 'grace' has anything to do with her being immaculately conceived. There is no statement of that in scripture. We know Jesus had no sin because scripture directly tells us. We know all people have sin because scripture directly tells us. If Mary was without sin, why does scripture not tell us directly?

Jennie said...

"Highly favoured" (kecharitomene). Perfect passive participle of charitoo and means endowed with grace (charis), enriched with grace as in Ephesians. 1:6, . . . The Vulgate gratiae plena "is right, if it means 'full of grace which thou hast received'; wrong, if it means 'full of grace which thou hast to bestow'" (Plummer). 14
The Catholic belief is precisely the former option, which Robertson's approved source has deemed "right


If 'full of grace' means 'full of grace which thou hast received' then it just means Mary was shown much grace, not that she is full of grace to be given to us by her or through her. That agrees with protestant doctrine. Isn't Mary called 'Mediatrix of all Graces' by Catholics, as the one through whom all graces are given? To me it sounds like what you quoted above is the opposite of what the RCC is always saying.

Jennie said...

Another important aspect of Luke 1:28 should be noted. The angel is here, in effect, giving Mary a new name ("full of grace"). As was mentioned earlier, the word "Mary" does not appear in the text. It was as if the angel were addressing Abraham Hail, full of faith, or Solomon Hail, full of wisdom (characteristics for which they were particularly noteworthy). The biblical and Hebraic understanding of one's name was quite profound. God was very particular in naming individuals Himself (for example, see Genesis 17:5,15,19, Isaiah 45:3-4, Matthew 1:21).
....It is permissible, on Greek grammatical and linguistic grounds15, to paraphrase kecharitomene as completely, perfectly, enduringly endowed with grace. Thus, in just this one verse, pregnant with meaning and far-reaching implications, the uniqueness of Mary is strongly indicated, and the Immaculate Conception can rightly be deemed entirely consistent with the meaning of this passage.


Again, Mary being shown grace and named like many other Bible saints does not have anything to do with being sinless. Grace implies an undeserved gift. The saints in scripture are all pictures for us of different aspects of God's plan and examples for us. This in no way makes Mary above all the rest of the saints, and in no way means that she has to be sinless or was sinless. She is a picture of us all who are shown much grace by having God with us and in us when we accept Him by faith. Faith itself is a gift of grace.

Christine said...

Jennie: If 'full of grace' means 'full of grace which thou hast received' then it just means Mary was shown much grace, not that she is full of grace to be given to us by her or through her."

You are just making it up again, reducing everything Elena said to this:

Jennie says it just means that Mary was shown much grace.

Elena - you have your answer - you didn't need to do all that research and exegesis.

Jennie said...

Christine,
the word used of Mary is the same one used in Ephesians when speaking of believers. It means we have been shown much grace by being given a Savior. If it's the same word, then how does that equate to anything more than we are given?

Jennie said...

TurretinFan has a new post up about a debate on this subject, which is probably why he's been posting about it lately. I just linked to his post.

Leo said...

" We know all people have sin because scripture directly tells us. If Mary was without sin, why does scripture not tell us directly?"

Jennie, why doesn't scripture directly tell us that Jesus Christ is God? Oh sure, it says it in many ways, but not point blank it those words. Why doesn't scripture directly tell us that God is three persons, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit?

And, by the way, we already know that not all people have personal sin...the unborn, the mentally incompetent, so the scripture did not really mean 'all'. Remember that it says 'all have sinned', not 'some have sinned but all carry the stain of original sin'.

Also, Adam and Eve came into the world full of grace (immaculate), and they chose to sin. Mary came into the world full of grace and she chose not to sin. Had she had a sinful nature, she would have sinned and passed it along to her Son.

The point is God chose not to make things perfectly clear in scripture alone. Why that is I cannot say...He is God and I am not.

Jennie said...

The point is that central doctrines are clearly seen. The RCC makes Mary central and puts her next to Christ, when she is only a creature. Jesus and the Apostles didn't teach that Mary was central and had no sin. All the focus is upon Christ alone. God worked salvation by His own arm, because no one else was found who could do it. No one helped Him. Scripture makes this clear. I believe your version of Mary is an idol.

Jennie said...

Also, Adam and Eve came into the world full of grace (immaculate), and they chose to sin. Mary came into the world full of grace and she chose not to sin. Had she had a sinful nature, she would have sinned and passed it along to her Son.

Scripture doesn't say that Adam and Eve were full of grace or immaculate. We only know that they were created and then they sinned.
Scripture does not say that Mary came into the world full of grace. It says that at the time she was called, she was shown much grace. It nowhere says she did not sin.

She had a sin nature, like her parents before her, and she did not pass this on to Jesus. He knows what He's doing. He comes and lives in us, and our sin does not taint Him. It's impossible for anything in us to taint Him, no matter how close He comes. Mary was physically pure, and that is all that was needed to symbolize that when He comes to be in us He makes us clean and pure. But we can still sin, and then be forgiven.

Leo said...

"Leo,
I see the giving of the Holy Spirit to all the disciples, and the giving of the grace to forgive as we have been forgiven to all disciples. I see that we will do greater things than these because we will preach the gospel and people will be raised from the dead and given sight and hearing and the ability to walk SPIRITUALLY, all by the power of God."

Jennie, that is perverting the meaning of Scripture. Tell me what is greater than forgiving sin directly. Jesus forgave certain people whether they believed or not...you miss the point entirely. He was literal in giving sight to the blind, healing the sick, and raising from the dead PHYSICALLY and not just spiritually. Remember that He said "will do the SAME things that I have done..."

Saints have raised people from the dead throughout the centuries and miracles continue to take place today regarding multiplication of food, etc.

Do not diminish the power to forgive sins given to the Apostles and passed on to the priests. It is not just a namby pamby, 'oh, I forgive you, do you forgive me too? Oh thanks...' You and I can only forgive sins against us and even then there must be an answer to God for He has been offended too. And, we cannot ever withhold forgiveness by holding bound a sin against us. We are powerless to actually forgive all sins and consequences due them.

Leo said...

"I believe He could, and did, come in the womb of a faithful woman, who was also not perfect, and sinned. Just as He comes to live in us who are redeemed and made righteous by His blood. We are not perfect, but He lives in us, and sanctifies us by His Spirit and word as we abide in Him."

Jennie, please do not confuse the physical with the spiritual. Jesus received His full humanity from Mary and He was fully human. We inherit tendencies to sin from our parents, such as towards alcoholism, addiction, etc, due to original sin. Jesus received His full humanity without those weaknesses; in other words, He did not inherit a fallen nature. This is because He drew His full humanity from Mary, who also did not have a fallen nature...not of her own merit but as a gift of God applying His saving grace on the cross...

Leo said...

"It's a picture and a remembrance, as He commanded "Do this in remembrance of Me"."

Misinterpretation...

Do WHAT in remembrance of Him?

Turn the bread and wine into His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity!

Christine said...

Then answer this: How is the three-persons-in-One-God Trinity clearly seen in scripture?


If you cannot answer that, then the Trinity is not central to Jennie-type Christianity.

Christine said...

The fact you said this: "I believe your version of Mary is an idol."
shows that you don't listen or really care about anything we say. You are a broken record with a closed mind.

This is a waste of time.

Leo said...

"You said a while back that you think I am becoming more Catholic, in such things as not believing in 'once saved, always saved' etc. My husband and I might be becoming more 'catholic' in the original sense, but not more 'Roman Catholic' by far."

Jennie, you are indeed becoming more 'Roman Catholic' because your understanding is coming into more agreement with the faith of the Church. In other words, you are adding beliefs of the Church while not giving up other beliefs which we hold to be true. One of those areas is in your acknowledgement of prayers of the saints in heaven. You are starting to see the light, as it were, pun intended...

Jennie said...

Jennie, that is perverting the meaning of Scripture. Tell me what is greater than forgiving sin directly. Jesus forgave certain people whether they believed or not...you miss the point entirely. He was literal in giving sight to the blind, healing the sick, and raising from the dead PHYSICALLY and not just spiritually. Remember that He said "will do the SAME things that I have done..."

Leo,
I'm not perverting the meaning of scripture. The Apostles and others did do the same miracles that Jesus did, and God does continue to do miracles every day. Spiritual salvation is always greater than the physical, however, and God is using people to lead others to salvation every day.
The power to forgive sins was given to all believers. We are to forgive by the same grace that we are forgiven. Yet God's forgiveness is greater than ours.

Leo said...

"Wow, Elena. Fascinating analysis of grace/favour. Pregnant with meaning, indeed."

Clever play on words ;-)

Jennie said...

Jennie, please do not confuse the physical with the spiritual. Jesus received His full humanity from Mary and He was fully human. We inherit tendencies to sin from our parents, such as towards alcoholism, addiction, etc, due to original sin. Jesus received His full humanity without those weaknesses; in other words, He did not inherit a fallen nature. This is because He drew His full humanity from Mary, who also did not have a fallen nature...not of her own merit but as a gift of God applying His saving grace on the cross...

Jesus received His full humanity from Mary, and He also was fully God, who cannot sin. He could be tempted because He was human, but He could not sin, because He was God.

Jennie said...

Then answer this: How is the three-persons-in-One-God Trinity clearly seen in scripture?


If you cannot answer that, then the Trinity is not central to Jennie-type Christianity.


Christine, here are two posts I did on this, with scriptures that show the trinity.

Jennie said...

Oops, here's the link on the trinity:

http://pilgrimsdaughter.blogspot.com/search/label/Trinity

Jennie said...

Jennie, you are indeed becoming more 'Roman Catholic' because your understanding is coming into more agreement with the faith of the Church. In other words, you are adding beliefs of the Church while not giving up other beliefs which we hold to be true. One of those areas is in your acknowledgement of prayers of the saints in heaven. You are starting to see the light, as it were, pun intended...
Leo,
You are contradicting everything I said. We are using scripture alone, and so will never come to accept the RCC view on justification, Mary, purgatory, the papacy, the priesthood; all of which are specifically Roman Catholic doctrines. We have already seen that these are contrary to scripture, and can't change that view.

Jennie said...

Now let's stick to the subject, since we're not talking about the Trinity or forgiveness of sins.

Jennie said...

The fact you said this: "I believe your version of Mary is an idol."
shows that you don't listen or really care about anything we say. You are a broken record with a closed mind.

This is a waste of time.


Christine,
By 'your version' I mean the official RC version, so I apologize to you, because if you don't agree with all the official teachings, that doesn't apply to you.
If you read the latest blog post, you'll see why I say this. I should say though, that while I think the RC magisterium is not teaching the truth in this regard, that there is a wide variety of beliefs and practices with regard to Mary by the people themselves, and only God knows each person's heart as to how they regard Mary. But 'Ineffabilis Deus' which is quoted in my new post, is evidence of idolatry in those that came up with it and agree with it.

Leo said...

"I especially would say that the modern scholars and theologians Ott mentions are wrong to assume that it is Mary's victory, when it is Christ's victory, and the victory of all God's people who stand with Him but only by His power. Mary did not fight Satan. She is one of us. Jesus did. That's what I see in scripture."

Jennie, this is where you seem to miss the point about Jesus working directly through others. You have a habit of elevating yourself to the level of Abraham, Peter, Mary, etc. You really seem to relish knocking everyone else down to your level with a sort of 'well, they were only able to do it because of Jesus so, so what? I could have done the same and they are just as fallen as I am.'

You just love knocking Mary down as well. Just look at how you worded your comments...you painstakingly pointed out that it was not Mary's victory, but Christ's. Then you conveniently added that 'oh yeah, it was also everybody's victory who is with Christ by His power.' So, in other words, you cannot accept that it was Mary's victory by Christ's power, but you include yourself in the victory by God's power. Well, I hate to disappoint you, but what exactly have YOU done by Christ's power to defeat Satan? You are actually helping him by attacking Mary in the first place.

Did Jesus cast Satan out of heaven?
No, Michael did. Did he do it by his own power? No, by God's power...yet we still say that Michael cast him out. What is so difficult in accepting that Christ uses Mary to defeat Satan? I have no problem with Him using a five year old girl to defeat Satan and saying that the girl defeated him.

Of course it's by the power of Jesus...everything is. Without Him, the universe would cease to exist. If anyone or anything would leave God's thoughts for a microsecond, it would cease to exist.

Perhaps the real issue is that you cannot grasp how powerful God really is. If you compared the majesty of the entire universe to the smallest subatomic particle, it would not remotely approximate comparing God to any created being.

It's like dividing by zero. You cannot even divide one by zero, yet comparing God to us would be like trying to divide infinity by zero.

Yet, this same God will share His divinity with us if we accept His invitation to become His adopted sons and daughters in heaven. Thus everyone in heaven is so far above us that we cannot imagine. And our Blessed Mother has not only a share in His divinity, but He has decided to bless her with a special share of His authority as well.

You simply do not see Mary's appointed role. Imagine a person 5000 years ago trasported to today while looking at the moon in the sky at night. He sees a man looking down into a telescope, having no clue what it is. He strikes up a conversation with the scientist about the moon, and the scientist begins to tell him how the telescope magnifies the moon.

The transported person cannot get out of his mind that the scientist is an idiot because he is looking down into a tube when the moon can be seen perfectly well by looking up at the sky. He refuses to accept the explanation that the telescope gives a better view and understanding of the moon.

The scientist does not deny that the man can see the moon; yet the transported man not only denies that the scientist can have a better view, he doubts that he can even see the moon in the first place.

Would you care to take a peek in the telescope?

Leo said...

"The power to forgive sins was given to all believers."

Really, so you claim the authority to forgive Osama bin Laden both his sins and the temporal effects of those sins?

Leo said...

"Scripture doesn't say that Adam and Eve were full of grace or immaculate. We only know that they were created and then they sinned."

Oh really? So you are claiming that they sinned PRIOR to eating the forbidden fruit??

If not, then they were full of grace. Concupiscence, or fallen nature did not come about until their sin.

Jennie said...

"Scripture doesn't say that Adam and Eve were full of grace or immaculate. We only know that they were created and then they sinned."

Oh really? So you are claiming that they sinned PRIOR to eating the forbidden fruit??


No, since I am going by scripture, obviously I mean that we see when they sinned because it is recorded in scripture. No where does it say they were 'full of grace' or immaculate. It just says that God saw all that He had made and it was very good. It doesn't go so far as you have said.

Jennie said...

Leo,
my telescope is scripture, and yours is the RCC. We aren't going to see it the same way if the teaching is contrary.

Christine said...

So you don't believe in original sin? This is a new wrinkle.

Leo said...

"Jennie, you are indeed becoming more 'Roman Catholic' because your understanding is coming into more agreement with the faith of the Church. In other words, you are adding beliefs of the Church while not giving up other beliefs which we hold to be true. One of those areas is in your acknowledgement of prayers of the saints in heaven. You are starting to see the light, as it were, pun intended...
Leo,
You are contradicting everything I said. We are using scripture alone, and so will never come to accept the RCC view on justification, Mary, purgatory, the papacy, the priesthood; all of which are specifically Roman Catholic doctrines. We have already seen that these are contrary to scripture, and can't change that view."

Jennie, how have I contradicted everything you have said? You have changed your position on prayers of the saints and that brings you more in line with Church teaching, plain and simple. You did not abandon any other Truth in the meantime, so the fact is that you have come closer to Church teaching, albeit modestly.

Leo said...

"Again, Mary being shown grace and named like many other Bible saints does not have anything to do with being sinless. Grace implies an undeserved gift"

Jennie, the problem is that you do not understand what grace is. True sanctifying grace is a share in God's life. Since God will not fully unite Himself to anyone with any stain of sin, Mary could not have been 'full of grace' were she tainted by sin. Everyone in heaven is full of grace. We on earth are not.

Leo said...

"The RCC makes Mary central and puts her next to Christ, when she is only a creature"

Again you misunderstand...it is Christ who puts her next to Himself. The role of the Church is to pass on the Faith directly by the Holy Spirit. It is not for us to choose who sits at His right or His left. He chose Mary and I am fine with that.

Leo said...

"Jesus received His full humanity from Mary, and He also was fully God, who cannot sin. He could be tempted because He was human, but He could not sin, because He was God."

Jennie, so are you saying that the human Jesus was born with the stain of original sin?

Leo said...

"Mary was physically pure, and that is all that was needed to symbolize that when He comes to be in us He makes us clean and pure. But we can still sin, and then be forgiven."

You know, it's funny how you sound so much like a member of the Sanhedrin. You are so much more worried about her physical purity than her spiritual purity. Your inability to see the importance of spiritual purity in the woman giving birth to Jesus is just mind-boggling...

Leo said...

"All the focus is upon Christ alone. God worked salvation by His own arm, because no one else was found who could do it. No one helped Him. Scripture makes this clear"

Of course that's true...so what? It is His dying on the cross that opens the door to heaven for all of us, including Mary. The fact that Jesus chose Mary to participate with Him is fine with me. She did have a free will and could have said no to the angel Gabriel.

Sin entered the world through a sinless woman(Eve) and salvation(Jesus) entered entered the world through a sinless woman(Mary). It is so like God to do it so poetically that it should at least make you ponder it if you really know God.

Leo said...

"Christine,
By 'your version' I mean the official RC version, so I apologize to you, because if you don't agree with all the official teachings, that doesn't apply to you."

Christine, in other words, if I can get you to acknowledge that the Church can be in error, you're okay in my books ;-)

Christine said...

The Church cannot be in error. If She could then we'd have no bible and no faith that we could count on. We wouldn't know if there were one God or Three or Two. We wouldn't know which books should be in the canon. We wouldn't know if Jesus was God, man, half and half, neither, or both. We wouldn't know if abortion is right or wrong. And on and on.

Jennie's Christian faith is built on the authority of the Catholic Church, but she's disowned that Mother as well as Mother Mary, while still claiming to follow the One who built that Church, and who blessed us with his beautiful mother.

Christine said...

Jennie - you should be embarrassed that these words are still on your blog: "the innocent are trampled in the Roman Catholic Church's quest for power and money." That Concordat post was a total bust.

There's no good faith effort on your part here, and that's why I think only Leo has the holy gift of patience for your rash, reckless, irrational, wildly erratic ways.

Jennie said...

You just love knocking Mary down as well. Just look at how you worded your comments...you painstakingly pointed out that it was not Mary's victory, but Christ's. Then you conveniently added that 'oh yeah, it was also everybody's victory who is with Christ by His power.' So, in other words, you cannot accept that it was Mary's victory by Christ's power, but you include yourself in the victory by God's power. Well, I hate to disappoint you, but what exactly have YOU done by Christ's power to defeat Satan? You are actually helping him by attacking Mary in the first place.

Where does Scripture say that it was specifically Mary's victory? I include all believers in the victory, including Mary, all with Christ's power.

Did Jesus cast Satan out of heaven?
No, Michael did. Did he do it by his own power? No, by God's power...yet we still say that Michael cast him out. What is so difficult in accepting that Christ uses Mary to defeat Satan? I have no problem with Him using a five year old girl to defeat Satan and saying that the girl defeated him.

The Bible doesn't say that God used Mary to defeat Satan. The RCC is elevating her to a place she doesn't occupy in God's word. That is wrong.

Jennie said...

Perhaps the real issue is that you cannot grasp how powerful God really is. If you compared the majesty of the entire universe to the smallest subatomic particle, it would not remotely approximate comparing God to any created being.

It's like dividing by zero. You cannot even divide one by zero, yet comparing God to us would be like trying to divide infinity by zero.

Yet, this same God will share His divinity with us if we accept His invitation to become His adopted sons and daughters in heaven. Thus everyone in heaven is so far above us that we cannot imagine. And our Blessed Mother has not only a share in His divinity, but He has decided to bless her with a special share of His authority as well.


I am very aware of how powerful God is. I think it is you who are not aware That God gave us His inspired word to teach us everything He wanted us to know about the Christian life and His plan for the world, and that God takes it seriously when people contradict His word or add to it. Mary defeating Satan is not spoken of. Jesus defeating Satan is spoken of.

Jennie said...

Christine,
I believe in original sin, if that means that we all inherit our sin nature from Adam and Eve. I don't believe that Jesus inherited the sin nature, because He is God. Mary's parents inherited the sin nature; Mary inherited it from them. The early church believed Mary inherited it, even if some later argued that she was given grace not to sin; they still thought she had it. So if He could have inherited it, He would have anyway. No one believed Mary was actually conceived without sin until much later. Why is it all of a sudden impossible for Him to be conceived without sin if Mary isn't? I don't believe it is even a question. Why don't you just push immaculate conception back a generation and then keep going until we get to Adam and Eve again? God could have made all of us that way if He wanted to, but He didn't. We are all sinners, and Mary who bore Him was a sinner too. As much as the RCC wants it to be so, scripture doesn't teach that Mary was without sin in any way, whether immaculately conceived or given the grace not to sin after she was born. The stories in scripture show Mary as a normal woman who was anxious and doubtful and who even 'butted in' where she didn't belong.

Jennie said...

Again you misunderstand...it is Christ who puts her next to Himself.

Where does it say that Christ put Mary next to Himself in Heaven or in any office?

Jennie said...

Leo,I said and then you anwered:
"Jesus received His full humanity from Mary, and He also was fully God, who cannot sin. He could be tempted because He was human, but He could not sin, because He was God."

Jennie, so are you saying that the human Jesus was born with the stain of original sin?


What part of "He could not sin, because He was God" don't you understand? Jesus is human and God in one person, and did not sin, and had no stain of sin.

Jennie said...

There's no good faith effort on your part here, and that's why I think only Leo has the holy gift of patience for your rash, reckless, irrational, wildly erratic ways.

I don't agree with the Roman Catholic doctrines, and think many of them are contrary to scripture. My views are not irrational and erratic, only scriptural. Did you read 'Ineffibilis Deus'. This is the official teaching on the Immaculate Conception and details the purpose of the doctrine. Did you agree with that quote I gave from it? It is offensively contrary to God and His word.

Jennie said...

Jennie - you should be embarrassed that these words are still on your blog: "the innocent are trampled in the Roman Catholic Church's quest for power and money."

Christine,
In my post I make it clear that I'm talking about hierarchies being corrupt. I should make it clearer that I'm not talking about all the members and priests and others who do good things in the world. I believe there are many who are doing good, but that all hierarchies by nature become corrupt very quickly, and that people are going to eventually have to see that this is so, and has been so throughout history; I believe that all church hierarchies will at the end be united to persecute true believers of every denomination. That's when Jesus commands all His people to come out of Babylon, the false church.

Christine said...

As far as Mary doubting and anxious - that isn't sinful. Did Jesus sin by sweating blood and saying "My God, why have you forsaken Me?" Of course not.

If she "butted in" at the Cana wedding, then Jesus rewarded that by acting on the attention she drew to the needs of the people at the wedding. It's not sinful to bring needs to Jesus, especially when we then say to "do whatever He tells you". She perfectly modeled, there, what our own actions and attitudes should be. So these are weak arguments, and you draw extra-biblical conclusions, just as you accuse the Church of doing.

Saying that Popes JPII and Benedict, for example, are people who would "persecute true believers" is, once again, incredible slander and arrogance. You're obsessed with the Catholic Church because it threatens your invented theology. You didn't answer who is even making this an issue for you in real life - you say you have Catholic relatives. Do they challenge you on your beliefs? If so, I could possibly understand a tiny fraction of your obsession.

Jennie said...

You know, it's funny how you sound so much like a member of the Sanhedrin. You are so much more worried about her physical purity than her spiritual purity. Your inability to see the importance of spiritual purity in the woman giving birth to Jesus is just mind-boggling...

Leo,
I'm not 'more worried about her physical purity than her spiritual purity.' I think she was a chaste virgin and a faithful girl who loved God. Scripture said Jesus would be born of a virgin, not born of a goddess who had no stain of sin. I believe God can do anything, and that Jesus was conceived without sin because God was His Father, not because Mary was sinless. It's just one more thing we don't completely understand, and that people are trying to explain and can't.

Jennie said...

I'm going to end this thread soon, so whoever wants to comment, please do so quickly tonight. There are new posts up and some other posts I want to work on.

Christine said...

Jennie - you are absolutely right that Jesus' sinlessness did not depend on Mary's being sinless - the Church never says that. God indeed could have done whatever he wanted.

She was simply "full of grace" in order to be a fit vessel for the King of Kings. As the ark of the Covenant was painstakingly created to be the vessel for the Bread of Life (manna), Word of God (stone tablets) and the High Priest's staff (budding branch). She, Mary, is the Ark of the New Covenant - and this connection is shown in Revelation, but there's no point in going there with you.

You often don't answer questions put to you. Just pointing it out. You just ignore things that upset your easily-toppled apple cart.

Jennie said...

Christine,
God is able to do what He wills, and He also tells us in His word what He wants us to know. He didn't tell us that Mary was without sin, or that she is Mediatrix of all graces, or that she intercedes for us. Jesus is said to do all these things. I believe the Catholic Mary is therefore put in place of Christ in many ways, which is blasphemy.
That's why I keep posting on this.

I've written about Mary as the Ark before. I have a post on it. Again there is not room for one human being to be lifted up next to God. The offices given to Mary by the Church belong to God alone, and the Ark of the Covenant symbolizes the union between God and His people, which Mary also symbolizes. The Bride and Bridegroom are the greater reality. Mary is part of the Bride and is not shown to be above it in scripture.

Jennie said...

http://pilgrimsdaughter.blogspot.com/2009/05/mary-as-ark-of-covenant.html

Here's the Mary as the Ark post.

Christine said...

" There is not room for one human being to be lifted up next to God"


What an odd statement. WHERE is there "not room"?

"He also tells us in His word what He wants us to know" To be consistent, you really need to throw out the Trinity and the canon, and the fully man/fully God nature of Jesus, since "His word" does not explicitly tell us. That would be the honest thing to do, if you really believe what you say about the Bible's all-sufficiency. You've got WAY too much Catholic council teaching going on, girl! You need to "come out of her" at once and stop claiming beliefs that are not explicit in not just the bible, but the epistles, where Mary isn't mentioned and therefore is negated!

Jennie said...

There is not room in scripture.

Jennie said...

No one said Mary is negated. That idea would not even be a consideration if the RCC hadn't promoted her to virtual godhood. What I've said is what is seen in God's word and no more.

Jennie said...

I'm closing comments for now. I may go back and answer some more if I see something I've missed. I'm only one person and there have been alot of comments.