Some people who come from a Catholic background have asked us what we believe about “Mary.” Our answer is very simple,… we believe what Sacred Scripture teaches us about Mary.
- We believe that she is the Mother of God the Son, our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus. (Luke 1:42-43)
- We believe that she conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Luke 1:35)
- We believe in her virgin birth of Jesus. (Matthew 1:18-25)
- We believe that she is a woman of great faith and a mother who at times was able to influence her Son, Jesus. (John 2:3-5)
- We believe that she is Blessed among women and rightfully and respectfully should be called “Blessed Mary.” (Luke 1:28 and Luke 1:48 – KJV/NKJV)
Although we do not elevate Mary to the same high level that the Roman Catholic Church does,… we don’t completely ignore her either like some churches/denominations do. Make no mistake about it,… we have a very sincere appreciation for Mary and see her as a wonderful example of obedience and faith deserving of our utmost respect.
For reference, there are currently four (4) distinctive Catholic teachings on Mary that must be believed by Catholics under the penalty of sin and anathema (Dei-fide Dogma):
- the Mother of God
- her Immaculate Conception
- her Perpetual Virginity
- her Bodily Assumption into Heaven
We find very strong Biblical support for #1 – Mary is indeed the Mother of God the Son, our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus.
Regarding the other three (3) distinctive Catholic teachings on Mary,… her Immaculate Conception, her Perpetual Virginity, and her Bodily Assumption into Heaven,… we consider those distinctive teachings to be “non-binding” for the purpose of an individual’s salvation,… but worthy of thought/meditation if somehow it helps individual movement toward God.
Our position is based on what we feel to be a lack of explicit Scriptural support for Mary’s Immaculate Conception, her Perpetual Virginity, and her Bodily Assumption,… although a fragile “implicit” argument could be made for them using the ancient Biblical interpretive tool of typology,… and to some degree, reason. In light of this, you are free as an individual to accept those teachings as a “personal“ belief,… we just do not make them mandatory beliefs under the penalty of sin like the Roman Catholic Church does,… “mortal sin” if you intentionally miss a Mass on a “Holy Day of Obligation” in connection with one of those Marian Doctrines/Dei Fide Dogmas,… or Anathema if you elect not to believe in one (or all) of them. This we feel is ecclesiastical over reach.
Keep in mind that any belief (or lack thereof) in Rome’s claim of Mary’s Immaculate Conception, Perpetual Virginity, or Bodily Assumption has absolutely no bearing on our faith and total dependence on Christ Jesus as our Lord and Savior,… or on our respect for Mary, His Blessed Mother.
There can be no argument that Mary has helped lead many people to her Son, Jesus,… and we fully recognize that. We are just very careful that “honoring” Mary never crosses the line of “worshipping” her. Mary herself would not want that (as obedient as she was). “Worship” is reserved for God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), alone (emphasis: alone).
Throughout our life, we will experience many things that help us draw closer to God. For some people, it may be Mary that is helpful to them. However, it must be understood,… very clearly understood,… that we “worship” and depend on Jesus Christ “alone” for our salvation and that He is the one mediator between God and all of humankind. “No one goes to the Father except through me,” (Jesus speaking in John 14:6).
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