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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What's not on the table.

Interestingly, some things kept popping into the discussion about the scriptures that had no place being there - as if our separated brethren were trying to teach us about Christianity!  So I thought I'd bring up a few of the strawmen and assure folks that Catholics already know this - there is no need to keep bringing it up into every discussion.

1.  Scripture always points to Jesus Christ because its purpose is to reveal Him as our Savior, from beginning to end.

2.  Christ's death and resurrection and ascension to the Father are essential and central to the gospel and ARE the only gospel.

3.  The Holy Spirit always points to Christ as our gate, our way, our life, our hope, our High Priest, our sacrifice, our mediator, our Bridegroom.

4.  The gospels and the whole NT reveal that Jesus is fully human and fully divine. He is shown to be the Son of God and the Son of Man foretold by prophecy and Gabriel the archangel.

5.  The Old Testament is scripture too, and Jesus and the Apostles used it to show the plan of God prophesied and brought about from the beginning.

6.  If people couldn't read or have their own copies (of scripture), they could hear it read in their churches.


OK That's enough for now , but the above 6 points are all things that we agree on!  So I for one would appreciate not having them brought up as a debate point all the time. 
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84 comments:

Jennie said...

Elena,
1. Scripture always points to Jesus Christ because its purpose is to reveal Him as our Savior, from beginning to end.
You say you believe this, but your traditions about Mary deny it, saying that scripture foreshadows Mary and that your oral traditions are also God's word, though the traditions have been shown to appear much later.
2. Christ's death and resurrection and ascension to the Father are essential and central to the gospel and ARE the only gospel.
You say you believe this, but your traditions again deny it, because they accept later documents and known forgeries about Mary as authority above scripture that points to Christ alone.
3. The Holy Spirit always points to Christ as our gate, our way, our life, our hope, our High Priest, our sacrifice, our mediator, our Bridegroom.
You say you believe this, but your traditions point to Mary as a gate, a ladder, as hope, and life, and a co-mediator and intercessor, as co-redemptrix; and to the priests as acting in Christ's place as offering a sacrifice for sin.
4. The gospels and the whole NT reveal that Jesus is fully human and fully divine. He is shown to be the Son of God and the Son of Man foretold by prophecy and Gabriel the archangel.
You say you believe this, but then try to say that the Bible isn't clear on the Trinity and the nature of Christ, and we needed the RCC to clarify this many years later, instead of the Holy
Spirit working in believers all along.
5. The Old Testament is scripture too, and Jesus and the Apostles used it to show the plan of God prophesied and brought about from the beginning.
You say you believe this, but then deny the authority of scripture by saying the early church didn't have scripture until the RCC canonized it centuries later and that the oral traditions are equal to God's word spoken and written by His Apostles and prophets, to try to prove that the RCC has authority over scripture.
6. If people couldn't read or have their own copies (of scripture), they could hear it read in their churches.
You say you believe this, but then deny it's importance by stressing over and over that the early church didn't the Bible until centuries later when the RCC canonized it, as if this means the early church didn't have access to scripture AT ALL, so the RCC GAVE US the Bible.

If you believe all these things, then why does the RCC constantly argue to place its authority above scripture and to lift up a creature alongside the Trinity in contradiction to God's word?

Elena said...

Sola Scriptura IS one of the things on the table and has nothing to do with these other six.

No one has argued that "a creature" I presume you mean Mary, is elevated as high as the trinity - so that's not even a topic for a Catholic to consider.

Kelly said...

You say you believe this, but your traditions about Mary deny it, saying that scripture foreshadows Mary

So you don't believe the virgin birth was foreshadowed in Scripture?

Scripture can ONLY foreshadow Jesus? What about John the Baptist being the voice crying out in the wilderness?

Kelly said...

The rest of these are old topics, so I'm not going to bother . . .

Jennie said...

I believe the virgin birth and John the Baptist were prophesied in scripture s secondary figures in passages that point to Christ's coming. Mary and John decreased in scripture after their purpose was fulfilled, because their purpose was ordained by God to glorify Himself, not them. Glorifying Mary and constantly looking to her is lifting up the creature instead of the Creator.

Jennie said...

This is where the RCC insistence on the authority of tradition, which cannot be verified, leads: to exaltation of the created being: http://www.archive.org/stream/maryspraise00chanuoft/maryspraise00chanuoft_djvu.txt

The RCC lifts up itself, a created entity, above the authority of God's word; and it lifts Mary, a created being, alongside of the Creator by giving her all of the offices of the persons of the Trinity.

Elena said...

I believe the virgin birth and John the Baptist were prophesied in scripture s secondary figures in passages that point to Christ's coming.


Agreed

Mary and John decreased in scripture after their purpose was fulfilled, because their purpose was ordained by God to glorify Himself, not them.

Agreed


Glorifying Mary and constantly looking to her is lifting up the creature instead of the Creator

When I look at the Pieta or the fresco of the Last Supper, I think Michaelangelo(sp?) and DaVinci were wonderful! Indeed their creations speak volumes about their creators.

And so it is with Mary and her Creator.

That's how Catholics See it. period.

You've been told that a gazillion times Jennie - move on...

Elena said...

FYI, I'm not cut and pasting links to my browser -

How to do links.

Elena said...

Jennie has a knack for getting off topic right out of the gate!

But this is what the catechism says about Mary. Emphasis mine.


490 To become the mother of the Savior, Mary "was enriched by God with gifts appropriate to such a role."132 The angel Gabriel at the moment of the annunciation salutes her as "full of grace".133 In fact, in order for Mary to be able to give the free assent of her faith to the announcement of her vocation, it was necessary that she be wholly borne by God's grace.

491 Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, "full of grace" through God,134 was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854:

The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.135

492 The "splendor of an entirely unique holiness" by which Mary is "enriched from the first instant of her conception" comes wholly from Christ: she is "redeemed, in a more exalted fashion, by reason of the merits of her Son".136 The Father blessed Mary more than any other created person "in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places" and chose her "in Christ before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before him in love".137

Jennie said...

Let's see if this works.

http://www.archive.org/stream/maryspraise00chanuoft/maryspraise00chanuoft_djvu.txt

Elena said...

catechism on the church!

874 Christ is himself the source of ministry in the Church. He instituted the Church. He gave her authority and mission, orientation and goal:

In order to shepherd the People of God and to increase its numbers without cease, Christ the Lord set up in his Church a variety of offices which aim at the good of the whole body. The holders of office, who are invested with a sacred power, are, in fact, dedicated to promoting the interests of their brethren, so that all who belong to the People of God . . . may attain to salvation.389

Kelly said...

Exactly what part of that full book would you like to call our attention to? It isn't exactly something I'd use in my 2nd grade catechism class.

Moonshadow said...

some things kept popping into the discussion about the scriptures that had no place being there

OK, but at the same time can we not have Catholics trotting out their silver bullets like 2 Thess. 2:15 and assume that settles it?

I mean, I'm all for little 't' and BIG 'T' tradition but obviously not everyone sees that in Scripture in that way. Can we just respect that?

Elena said...

I don't think the problem with respect is coming from our side Teresa. (although sometimes I wonder which side you are on anyway. I'm guessing your own?)

Respect is a two way street. Some things regarding scripture have been repeated at great length and it's as if 1) they are ignored or 2) they aren't believed. I think most of the time scripture has been brought out to support a view after MUCH explanation and dialogue like 2 Thess. But it seems to have little effect.

Kelly said...

The purpose of this blog, as I understand it, is to be available to clear up what Catholics really believe. When asked to provide Scripture to support our beliefs, I provide it.

I have said many times that we are not out to convert people, nor do I expect anyone to agree with the Scripture interpretation which I have provided.

However, I do not see this respect in return. I am tired of being told that not having the same Scripture interpretation as someone else means that I lack the Holy Spirit and am clearly not saved.

Which is probably a good indication that it is time for me to take a little break.

Elena said...

Let me second what Kelly said!

I don't give a hoot if any other Christian Tradition does not want to accept the Catholic interpretation. But it would be nice if they respected that we had a scriptural interpretation.

And I'll take Kelly's statement one step farther. Not only does it imply that we "lack" the guidance of the Holy Spirit, but that we apparently are somewhat lacking in IQ points as well - because obviously if we were just smart enough - we'd become Protestant.

Well I reject that as well.

Jennie said...

Kelly,
I don't want you to look at any part of the book in particular; the whole thing is a documentation of homage to 'Mary' throughout history all over the world. Don't you see that just the fact of someone writing such a book of page after page gushing over Mary is an affront and a denial of the word of God, which says 'every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord'?

Kelly said...

Well, I see that it uses the word "honor" in reference to Mary. We have explained time and time again that this is not the same honor which we give to God.

I graduated from college with honors. I was given special robes. I received my diploma directly from the hand of the University president. People stood when I walked across the stage. Is that an affront to God?

I once more have to wonder why you continually drag up things which are not the Catechism to prove your points. The Catechism is not a replacement for the Bible. It is our Statement of Faith. If I want to know what the Vision Forum believes, I look for their Statement of Faith page.

Elena has already quoted parts of this Statement of Faith regarding Mary here, in this thread. Please tell me what you find offense to God in it.

Jennie said...

I think we're all really getting on each other's nerves right now, so maybe I should step back too. I am very upset by the continual denials of the supremacy of scripture and the fact that it doesn't seem to matter that some of the things you are accepting as dogmas are based totally on myths and outright forgeries with NO basis in scripture, and yet they are still accepted. Maybe I shouldn't bother about it, but I can't help it.

Elena said...

I'm going to say this as lovingly and gently as I can Jennie.

i don't think you have a gift for apologetics. If you desire to talk, discuss and dialogue with others about their beliefs, then you need to refrain from using phrases like "totally on myths and outright forgeries"

On the other hand if your goal is to stir the hornets nest - well done!!

Jennie said...

Kelly,
giving somebody honor for something they've accomplished is fine. Giving somebody honor for doing something that God has done and for being something they are really not is just practicing a lie.
Mary did not give us her Son. God gave us His Son. Jesus gave Himself for us. It says this over and over in scripture. It never says Mary gave us her son. This is one example of unsciptural exalting of Mary.
This really bothers me, in case you can't tell.

Moonshadow said...

I think it's not believed, #2.

And I'm guilty of that, of not taking what's said at face value, and of not respecting ... sometimes both sides.

I don't like seeing us prooftexting. For alot of reasons. And I've been aware from the beginning that Elena isn't sure whose side I'm on ... I've admitted to not being sure myself, so I can't blame her. But I also don't think it's relevant, if we want to bring forth truth.

As far as honoring people at graduation, you may remember, in May, I attended the commencement of my friend from seminary. And the faculty were very conscious of keeping things simple, low-key and Christ-centered. We sang hymns, prayed prayers, read Scripture and heard an excellent address from Alistair Begg. If you can find it online, I recommend listening. He has the right stuff.

Still, it was hard for me to see them as anything less than smug, especially when the title of one student's thesis was announced, "The Legitimacy of the Westminster Confession of Faith 25:6 : Is the Pope the Antichrist?" ... and the entire place snickered. And maybe they snickered at the absurdity of the very idea, I don't really know. But it says alot about me that I still nitpick and find fault.

And the same thing goes on here. The Marian stuff is fine for those inclined because all things are lawful (don't forget the conditions) and because it's nobody's place to judge Another's servant.

Peace of Christ.

Kelly said...

Mary did not give us her Son. God gave us His Son. Jesus gave Himself for us. It says this over and over in scripture. It never says Mary gave us her son. This is one example of unsciptural exalting of Mary.

Which is acknowledged in the Catechism quotes Elena provided, and you are still avoiding.

Kelly said...

Wait, am I #2? Sometimes you're too cryptic for me, Moonshadow. Remember, I'm a sleep deprived Mom who works in short bursts between breaking up arguments between kids. You have to spell things out. :)

Jennie said...

Elena,
I don't think I'm an apologist. I only think I'm sounding a warning because the signs say the time is short until Christ returns. He says those who love Him will obey His words and abide in Him. How can you do this if you don't accept His word as sufficient for all your needs and as the final authority? How can you do this if you are looking to Mary to intercede for you with Him who IS our intercessor?

Moonshadow said...

Cryptic? More like, I'm lazy.

Some things regarding scripture have been repeated at great length and it's as if 1) they are ignored or 2) they aren't believed.

I said not believed #2 but on second thought, I think it's both: not believed and so ignored.

I tend to assume that either 1) everyone already knows what I'm about to say or 2) nobody cares what I'm about to say. :-)

Elena said...

I don't think I'm an apologist. I only think I'm sounding a warning because the signs say the time is short until Christ returns.

I understand (With the caveat that I believe "short" could mean anything from sometime today to anytime within the next couple thousand years). You've given the message. We get it. Can we not leave it at that?



He says those who love Him will obey His words and abide in Him.


#7 of things not on the table.


How can you do this if you don't accept His word as sufficient for all your needs and as the final authority?

But we do accept His word as sufficient. We just don't believe that His word is only His word as written in the scriptures as compiled by the Catholic church in the first millenium.

How can you do this if you are looking to Mary to intercede for you with Him who IS our intercessor?

The same way I can do it if I ask you to pray for me. To a practicing, devout, well-catechized Catholic- it's the same thing.

Moonshadow said...

Here's another excerpt from Knox's book on the mind games that go on between Catholics and Protestants. I think there's something for everyone in this section. Enjoy.

Jennie said...

The same way I can do it if I ask you to pray for me. To a practicing, devout, well-catechized Catholic- it's the same thing.

You can ask me to pray for you, but don't try calling me 'gate of heaven', 'refuge of sinners', 'ladder of paradise', or 'our life, sweetness, and hope'. Those names belong to God alone.

Elena said...

I wouldn't think of calling you any of those things Jennnie. We all know that you were not conceived without sin, and that you are not sinless now!

Moonshadow said...

Jennie said: 'our life, sweetness, and hope'.

Isn't that "mother of Mercy, our Life, Sweetness and Hope?" IOW, Mary is the mother of Jesus who is mercy, our life, sweetness & hope?

http://www.ourladyswarriors.org/prayer/hailholy.htm

Jennie said...

I wouldn't think of calling you any of those things Jennie. We all know that you were not conceived without sin, and that you are not sinless now!
That was my point, that no mere human should be prayed to or called those names. There is nothing in scripture or even the earliest Church Fathers that says Mary was sinless. Jesus is the only one that is said to be without sin in scripture.

Elizabeth@Frabjous Days said...

I'm sorry if I helped derail the last discussion, and for giving the impression of the 'silver bullet' etc.

I'm not a theologian, and I have read very little of the Church Fathers.

But I am a former evangelical, who has since become a Catholic, because the Bible told me to ! That sounds facetious, but it isn't. It just seemed to me that the whole discussion about Mary boiled down to whether the Church has authority to teach on such things -- a discussion y'all have clearly had many times before.

Anyway, I've enjoyed reading the discussion, but I think I'll leave you to it, given my ignorance both of the nitty-gritty and of the groundrules here.

Jennie said...

Teresa,
I don't read it that way. It looks like it says Mary is 'our life, sweetness, and hope.'

Moonshadow said...

Try praying it and you may end up "reading" it right, then.

Elena said...

Teresa's read is correct.


Elizabeth you don't have to leave. Stay and play - there are no professional apologists here!

Elena said...

That was my point, that no mere human should be prayed to or called those names.

Ah!! #8 of things not on the table!

Kelly said...

Mary was preserved from sin by the grace of God. It was not due to any effort that she made. Her spotless soul magnifies the glory of the Lord.

Or do you believe God is not capable of creating someone without sin? He did it for Adam and Eve, and we know that Mary is the new Eve.

Clare said...

Moonshadow

Sometimes I find your observations really illuminating and helpful.
Oftentimes I find them baffling and I'm struggling to understand what you are driving at ( recent examples being your geographical point about the Kidron Valley and Mount Zion, I wasn't sure whether you were just being pedantic or if it was truely germane to the point. Also your latest comment about "#2". Was that Kelly? I still don't know)
But this:
OK, but at the same time can we not have Catholics trotting out their silver bullets like 2 Thess. 2:15 and assume that settles it?
I found sneeringly patronising to the point of being truely obnoxious.
That kind of loftiness makes me feel very unsettled about the wisdom of joining in the conversation here.
I don't get it.

Moonshadow said...

One of the Webster links provided by Paul quoted Munificentissimus Deus:

"And, since it was within His [Christ's] power to grant her [Mary] this great honour, to preserve her from the corruption of the tomb, we must believe that He really acted in this way."

Now I spent several days this summer listening to Fr. Jerome Murphy-O'Connor, O.P. and his big problem with us Americans is that we don't allow Jesus to be human. Jesus' first followers were certainly comfortable with Christ's humanity, to the degree that they even projected their own thoughts to him. Now, Murphy-O'Connor may go too far for many Christians but he's right that we overemphasis Jesus' divinity if we can't accept that Christ would do anything for his mother. That's what the pope is saying here.

But there's more:

Hence [Mary], from all eternity joined in a hidden way with Jesus Christ in one and the same decree of predestination,

Predestination ... pure & simple. There it is. Catholics believe in Providence and Sovereignty and Predestination. How can this be a problem for a Christian?

Moonshadow said...

Clare, are you telling me to pick on someone my own size? :-)

How is Kelly #2?

I do get bored when the same things are trotted out over and over. I want to see original thoughts and I want the discussion to pique us all in the very ways that we need to grow.

The more I read in Knox's book, the more I see that we are all influenced by what he's written whether we realize it or not. He really had his finger on the pulse, even way back then.

I would like very much for Elizabeth to stay because we need her, especially as a convert. And I apologize for pointing out that Paul ate her lunch on that 2 Thess. 2:15 invocation without breaking a sweat. My manners should be better than that.

Peace of Christ.

Jennie said...

Here is a quote from the book I linked to:
[Mary is]
3. A sharer in His titles and qualities.

(a) Jesus is our King, our Father, our Advocate, our life,
hope, consolation. Mary is our Queen, Mother, mediatrix,
our life, our sweetness and our hope.

1 Adapted from Father Gallifet, p. 25.

Moonshadow said...

A sharer in His titles and qualities.

As are we, partakers of the divine nature. We have a different idea of what that means here & now (and maybe eternally, too) but she's got her reward already while we're still waiting.

Clare said...

Clare, are you telling me to pick on someone my own size? :-)

No. But I note the question assumes that you are the 'bigger' party.

How is Kelly #2?

Again. I'm baffled. I have no idea what you mean.

I do get bored when the same things are trotted out over and over...
I would like very much for Elizabeth to stay because we need her, especially as a convert. And I apologize for pointing out that Paul ate her lunch on that 2 Thess. 2:15 invocation without breaking a sweat.


Can you see how patronising and lofty this sounds?
I'm a newbie here and don't want to bore anyone, or be sneered at if you think that someone "ate my lunch without breaking a sweat".
Perhaps this is just not the place for an arriviste like me.
I've learned alot listening in to the conversations here, but this sneering tone just sets my teeth on edge.
I don't want to find myself on the recieving end so perhaps I ought to bow out here.

Moonshadow said...

Clare, you're going to give me ulcers from fret.

Can you see how patronising and lofty this sounds?

No, I'm not thinking about myself at all. I'm thinking about you and Kelly and Jennie and maybe Elena and Paul a little but they don't need me to think about them. Did you miss the comment in which I said I wasn't as strong or convinced or sure as everyone else here? Now I confess to occasionally thinking there's some virtue in that but I wish I was otherwise. I envy the certainty of y'all.

Jennie said...

Teresa,
did you miss my point that the author of 'Mary's Praise on Every Tongue' thinks 'our life, sweetness, and hope' is applied to Mary?

Moonshadow said...

You called my bluff. ;-)

Kelly said...

Jennie wrote: Here is a quote from the book I linked to:

No! It's not going to work! I absolutely refuse to entertain another attempt to change the subject again.

For the third time, please tell me what exactly you object to the the Cathechism #490-492 which Elena quoted previously.

And Moonshadow, I don't think anyone has any idea what the hell you're talking about. (Excuse me if you are offended, Jennie.) Why do Clare, Jennie and I need you to think about us, but not Elena and Paul? And think about us in what way? I'm utterly lost. Can you please speak in English? Ich spreche ein bischen Deutch, auch.

As to Fr. Murphy-O'Conner, I was delighted to hear him speak briefly when he received an honorary law degree from Notre Dame the year my husband graduated. We used some of his books in my Life of Paul class, so getting to see him was a real treat.

It was really the highlight of the speakers, because the Mexican congress had passed some law so the President couldn't give the graduation address, and we got some ND basketball alum who is now a judge as a hasty replacement. Notre Dame always gets such big name speakers that it was disappointing that after Elizabeth Dole, George Bush, and Kofi Annan, we got the sporty judge. Well, my husband did, anyway. I was just a guest, of course.

Moonshadow said...

Why do Clare, Jennie and I need you to think about us, but not Elena and Paul?

My impression is that since neither Elena nor Paul habitually interact with what I say, they must already know what I'm saying and have made up their minds already one way or another. That is, I'm not telling them anything. By the same token, since Clare and Jennie and you ask me questions and point out how I'm wrong (or right), I feel as if I may be sharing something worthy of consideration.

Look, I am deeply sorry for my sins here. Bitte, pray I make some time tonight or tomorrow to recognize the full extent of my transgressions and for genuine sorrow and repentance. Vielen Dank.

------------------------------

I imagine you used his A Critical Life. What else, do you remember? What I find amazing about him is that he has arguments for everything that he believes. I don't have that. I envy that. I'm so bankrupt.

------------------------------

I shared this article with Jennie in response to the post she isn't taking comments on.

Living with Tares

It makes alot of sense to me.

Flannery said...

In all of this interesting discusion on the topic of Mary, one point seems to be missing. When the Angel Gabriel asked Mary, the simple teenager from Nazareth, to be the Mother of God she had a choice: She could have said no to God in the plan for salvation. While it is true that she didn't give HER son to God, but that God gave His Son to her, it is also true that she gave her Yes to God and in that moment became the Gate to Heaven, the Ladder to Paradise, the Morning star. A girl of fifteen or so had the completely free choice to cooperate with God's plan or not and she had the courage to say Yes.

Jennie said...

Ok Kelly,
132 The angel Gabriel at the moment of the annunciation salutes her as "full of grace".133 In fact, in order for Mary to be able to give the free assent of her faith to the announcement of her vocation, it was necessary that she be wholly borne by God's grace.


The most accurate translation is 'highly favored' instead of full of grace. She was shown much grace, not made full of grace. Certainly I agree that she was wholly borne (carried) by God's grace, to help her do God's will.

491 Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, "full of grace" through God,134 was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854:

The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.135

The Bible says nothing of her being sinless from conception, or preserved from sin. If God was going to create someone without sin and who could never sin, why did He not create everyone this way and avoid the whole problem in the first place? Adam and Eve were made without sin, yet with the ability to choose good and evil. They sinned at the first temptation. If Mary was conceived without sin then she could still sin later as Adam and Eve did. If then she was made without sin and given so much grace, as the RCC says, that she could not sin even later, then she did not need a savior at all because she never sinned or understood what it is to sin. She would have no concept of it. She herself said God was her savior, so she did understand her sinfulness and need of salvation. There is no necessity for her to be sinless to bear the Savior, only to be humble, faithful, and forgiven, all by God's grace and to His glory.

492 The "splendor of an entirely unique holiness" by which Mary is "enriched from the first instant of her conception" comes wholly from Christ: she is "redeemed, in a more exalted fashion, by reason of the merits of her Son".136 The Father blessed Mary more than any other created person "in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places" and chose her "in Christ before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before him in love".137
Certainly Mary was chosen and predestined just as all believers are. But she is holy and blameless by His blood just as other believers. If Mary had been so beautiful, graceful, and perfect as she is described, people would have been falling at her feet and worshiping her as a goddess during her lifetime. There is no mention of such exceeding beauty and grace and perfection in scripture, or of people treating her as she is now treated. She is shown as a normal human being, and even one who doubted her own son for a while, and tried to manipulate Him and even interrupt Him in the middle of His teaching because she and His brothers thought He was crazy.
We see Peter's imperfections, yet still he was filled with the Spirit and used mightily, and we love and honor him as the great Apostle. In the same way, we see Mary's imperfections, yet she was called to be given a great blessing so that the rest of us could receive a great blessing as well. By God's grace she was a faithful and humble girl who loved God, and by God's grace she was able to obey Him, and by God's grace she was saved from her own sins by her own Son, representing Israel bringing forth her own Savior, God with us.

Jennie said...

Hi Flannery,
You said:
it is also true that she gave her Yes to God and in that moment became the Gate to Heaven, the Ladder to Paradise, the Morning star. A girl of fifteen or so had the completely free choice to cooperate with God's plan or not and she had the courage to say Yes.
Those titles belong to Christ. He is called the Gate and the Morning Star. and He Himself alluded to Himself as the ladder to heaven, Jacob's ladder here: John 1:49 Nathanael answered and said to Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”
50 Jesus answered and said to him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” 51 And He said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”

Why do you give the titles of Jesus to His mother?

Jennie said...

Revelation 22:16 “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”

Moonshadow said...

The Bible says nothing of her being sinless from conception, or preserved from sin.

We can get so bogged down debating how to translate what the angel says, the "highly favored" part - a word used only here and in Eph. 1:6 ("To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.") that we may overlook what Elizabeth says by the Holy Spirit:

Blessed [art] thou among women, and blessed [is] the fruit of thy womb.

The word here translated "blessed" is used twice in this verse, of Mary and of Jesus, and occurs frequently in the NT. Matthew uses a different word in the beatitudes but does use this word in the Sermon on the Mount, in 5:44, and again later in his Gospel. It's what the multitudes cry out on Palm Sunday and is spoken over the bread at the Last Supper as well as over the cup at the church in Corinth.

I posted a link to this write-up on "blessed" - the beatitude kind of blessedness - on Jennie's "something about Mary" post in July. Maybe most of you read it then. The Greek word is not the same even though the English is. I don't know, then, how different the concepts are. Maybe someone here knows.

Just looking at the word, "eu" + "logos" - it's like our word "eulogy" - a "good word". So it may not have the depth that makarios has.

But, getting back to Luke 1:28, in light of Eph. 1:6, there's a possible connotation of Mary being made right or acceptable even before her fiat. And so we can quibble about how far back in time that acceptability applies.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

I for one do like the six points raised by Elena. It shows us where she at least stands with regards to her beliefs. I would not be a simpleton however to believe that all believe the same things. Diversity of belief has always been a factor in the Christian church,even from the very beginning, and so if one person believes one thing, it does not translate that all believe the same. I cannot even use the doctrines of any particular church to judge the beliefs on any one individual, for even within churches, you will find variety of beliefs under the same denominational cover.

The reason why Protestants sometimes feel that Catholics do not know Christianity is not because of the above points raised by Elena, but because the application of those beliefs in Catholic teaching, according to the Protestant mind, seem to go contrary to what the Catholic church professes to believe.

Now this controversy over Mary has been raised time and time again. What Catholics have done is taken a few verses from scripture and made an interpretative doctrine according to their beliefs about Mary. I say here "their beliefs" because much of what is said about Mary by Catholics cannot be verified by scripture, and so this creates a conundrum for Protestants, who try to correct these doctrines by using scripture. The rejection of the scriptural evidence presented by Prostestants that run contrary to Catholic belief is what creates the controversy. Controversy also arises because Protestants reject any explanation that runs counter to scripture, or does not have a sound historical basis. Many Protestants see the Catholic reliance upon Tradition to explain doctrines as unsatisfactory, as the basis of these Traditions require one to have faith in the Traditions themselves, even if those Traditions are contrary to the written Word.

Each person has a personal responsibility to find God for him/herself. Church is a place where we can learn ABOUT God, but is only through quiet personal Bible study, prayer, and the opening of the mind to promptings of the Holy Spirit, that one can truly KNOW God. Reading about a person, or hearing about a person is not true knowledge. That's just an intellectual experience. Knowledge becomes living knowledge when we start to apply the principles of God's kingdom in our everyday lives, and the Bible now comes alive and becomes a living document, that nourishes our souls. Experiencing a person, interacting with that person, getting to know that person's likes and dislikes, and having a relationship with that person is how you get to know a person. We do that for our marriages and relationships. Why not do this for God? Truly, to know Him is to love Him.

Peace.

Elena said...

Knowledge becomes living knowledge when we start to apply the principles of God's kingdom in our everyday lives, and the Bible now comes alive and becomes a living document, that nourishes our souls. Experiencing a person, interacting with that person, getting to know that person's likes and dislikes, and having a relationship with that person is how you get to know a person. We do that for our marriages and relationships. Why not do this for God? Truly, to know Him is to love Him.


#9 of what we can leave off the table.

Kelly said...

The most accurate translation is 'highly favored' instead of full of grace.

Oh, so NOW you're all about the most accurate translation, huh? ;)

Thank you for finally responding. I'll get back to you later.

Jennie said...

Kelly,
Oh, so NOW you're all about the most accurate translation, huh? ;)

I wasn't before? When was that?

Barbara C. said...

Jennie said:
"If Mary had been so beautiful, graceful, and perfect as she is described, people would have been falling at her feet and worshiping her as a goddess during her lifetime."

Or maybe they would have just thought Mary was a good girl, since they would not have been aware that she was sinless. They would not have been able to see into her heart or her soul. WE know she was made sinless in order to be the perfect vessel to give birth to Jesus. And she would not have been made sinless if she were not meant to give birth to Jesus. Therefore, she did need Jesus to be saved.

After all, no one considered thato Jesus could be the Son of God until he started his public ministry around age 30 and he was beautiful, graceful, and perfect. In fact, most people didn't fully realize who he was until after his death and resurrection, including many of those close to him.

Jennie said...

Those titles belong to Christ. He is called the Gate
I couldn't find a place where the actual English word gate was used specifically for Jesus, though I had thought I remembered it. My husband looked it up on Bibleworks, and said the Greek word for door (thura) in John 10 where Jesus says 'I am the door' is the same Greek word used in Acts 3 for the 'Gate' that is called Beautiful where Peter healed the lame man.

John 10:9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.

Acts 3:
2 And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple


So Jesus is calling Himself the gate or door of the sheep, and the Beautiful gate to the Temple of God.

Barbara C. said...

DOW said:

"Controversy also arises because Protestants reject any explanation that runs counter to scripture, or does not have a sound historical basis."

Here's the thing. Catholics do not believe that our interpretation runs counter to scripture. It may not be found in scripture, but it does not go against scripture.

I remember in my OT class at my state university the professor talking about two main ways that the Jews argued about interpretation. Some said that you could not do anything unless scripture explicitly said that you could. Others said that you could do anything unless scripture explicitly said that you could not.
Many Protestants seem to take the first path. "It doesn't explicitly say that Mary was born without sin, so she must have been born with it."

Many Catholic doctrines have been developed after taking what is known from scripture and oral tradition and applying logical reasoning (not just common sense but the philosophical art and science of reasoning). "If the Bible and sacred tradition tell us THIS is true then THAT must be true."

Barbara C. said...

DOW, what exactly is your religious affiliation? I think that is the problem. Sometimes you appear to be writing as a Catholic, but then again you sometimes seem to espouse non-Catholic doctrine. If you are a "neutral" that's fine, but I think it's very unclear what your angle is.

Jennie said...

Teresa,
But, getting back to Luke 1:28, in light of Eph. 1:6, there's a possible connotation of Mary being made right or acceptable even before her fiat. And so we can quibble about how far back in time that acceptability applies.
Ephesians 1:6 is talking about how all believers are chosen before the foundation of the world and made acceptable in the beloved by His grace. This does not help the Catholic position, but shows that Mary was made acceptable by grace just as all believers are.

Barbara C. said...

Jennie said:
"If you believe all these things, then why does the RCC constantly argue to place its authority above scripture and to lift up a creature alongside the Trinity in contradiction to God's word?"

The scripture is all of the things that Elena said. And Catholics believe that. But no where in scripture does it say that it is the only or final authority for Christian belief and practice. Nor does it say anywhere in the NT that everything that was revealed to the apostles (or that the Apostles passed down orally to their presbyters) was written down. That is something YOU are adding to scripture that is not there or supported historically.

And even though the Catholic Church has the authority to determine what is correct faith and practice (just as it determined which writings about Jesus demonstrated correct faith and practice) its doctrines never contradict what is written in scripture from the Catholic point of view. That Catholic point of view was determined using the lens of sacred oral tradition as well as logic and historical evidence to interpret scripture correctly by men that were commissioned by God through the apostles to lead His Church.

And for the 5 Billionth time, WE DO NOT PUT A CREATURE (AKA Mary) ON THE SAME LEVEL AS THE TRINITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
SHE IS THE SAINT OF ALL SAINTS! SHE'S THE BEST HUMAN THE WORLD HAS EVER SEEN THAT WASN'T GOD! THAT IS WHY SHE IS SO HIGHLY REVERED!!!

Barbara C. said...

Jennie feel free to disagree with Catholic interpretation all you want. If you feel that Catholics have it wrong and you need to explain what the "true interpretation is" that's one thing.

However, you basically keep spreading lies about what the Church teaches. Then you accuse all of us of either being liars about what the Church Teaches or being ignorant of what OUR Church teaches.

Now I'm sure you wouldn't take very kindly to being called a liar. I am sure that you have do not intend to be a liar (since we both know that lying is a sin), but you are in fact being a liar when you constantly misrepresent the teachings of the Catholic Church. And part of the reason you are being a liar is because you keep using anti-Catholic sources for your information of the Catholic Church.

I know the Catechism isn't exactly a page-turner but there are other really nice sources of information...like a book by Scott Hahn for instance. They tend to be fairly short if action-packed and explain Catholic doctrines pretty well. And how about some GOOD history. Why don't we start with "From Jesus to Christianity" by Bart Ehrmann. It's not Catholic, and he actually has a few conclusions that don't completely agree with Catholic doctrine but I bet you would find it eye-opening to read a neutral academic resource about Christian history rather than crack-pot, conspiracy theorist versions to which you keep turning.

Barbara C. said...

I'm sorry to be so angry. I really should step away from the computer. In fact, I should probably just step away from this blog as much as I love certain things about it.

I think it diminishes my path to be the person God wants me to be. Not because I give any credence to Jennie and her ilk (in fact it more firmly resolves my trust in the Catholic Church), but because it does not bring out the best in me and it sucks up time that I should be expending towards my vocation as wife and mother.

Maybe if I just avoid the com boxes....

Kelly said...

I'm sorry to be so angry. I really should step away from the computer. In fact, I should probably just step away from this blog as much as I love certain things about it.

Here, you try to do the right thing and take a break from Beatles Rock Band, and this happens. Must be a sign from God that you should go back to the Beatles! ;)

Jennie said...

Barbara,
In this book, http://www.archive.org/stream/maryspraise00chanuoft/maryspraise00chanuoft_djvu.txt
Mary is described in this way, and much more that gives her the titles and offices of the Trinity, and also of the Bride which is not a single person, but the whole Church:
St. Tarasius, Patriarch of Constantinople (d. 806),
referring to the Patriarchs, thus addresses our Lady : " O
Mary, where shall I find words to praise thee ? Hail,
maiden Mother, blessed art thou among women ; thy glory
is in thy guilelessness, and thy name is a name of purity.
In thee is the curse of Adam done away and the debt of
Eve paid. Thou art the Ark of Noah and the bond of
reconciliation with God in a new generation. Thou art
the exceeding glory of the kingdom and priesthood of
Melchisedech ; thou art the unshaken trust of Abraham,
the burnt offering of Isaac. Thou art the ladder that Jacob
saw going up to heaven, and the most noble of all his chil
dren. O purest ! thou art the book of Moses, the law-giver,
whereon the New Covenant is written with the finger of
God. Thou art Aaron s rod that budded. Thou art as
David s daughter, all glorious within, wrought about with
divers colours. Hail, just hope of the Patriarchs ! Hail,
special honour of all the Saints ! Hail, source of health to
all dying creatures ! Hail, O Queen, ambassadress of
peace ! Hail, advocate of all under heaven ! Hail, thou
that art full of grace, the Lord is with thee, even the Lord
that was before thee and from thee, and that is with us.
To Him with the Father, and the most holy and life-giving
Spirit, be ascribed all praise now and ever, world without
end. Amen." Petitalot, 22, 23.
On Prophecies of Mary, see Ibid. 16 seq.

In this passage Mary is first given the foreshadowed names of Christ, and then is called the Queen and Bride, and then is again given titles that belong only to God: Hail, just hope of the Patriarchs ! Hail,
special honour of all the Saints ! Hail, source of health to
all dying creatures ! Hail, O Queen, ambassadress of
peace ! Hail, advocate of all under heaven !

You say you are angry; well this makes me angry, and according to scripture it makes God angry when His glory is given to another.

Paul said...

Barbara wrote:

"I know the Catechism isn't exactly a page-turner but there are other really nice sources of information...like a book by Scott Hahn for instance. They tend to be fairly short if action-packed and explain Catholic doctrines pretty well. And how about some GOOD history. Why don't we start with "From Jesus to Christianity" by Bart Ehrmann. It's not Catholic, and he actually has a few conclusions that don't completely agree with Catholic doctrine but I bet you would find it eye-opening to read a neutral academic resource about Christian history rather than crack-pot, conspiracy theorist versions to which you keep turning."
--------------
Barbra,
Are you referring to William Webster as a "crack-pot, conspiracy theorist"?
Notice that Webster quotes from sources that are approved of by the RCC, including Ludwig Ott, John Hardon and even then Cardinal Ratzinger. His use of the ECFs can typically be found on New Advent.
Are you really recommending Bart Ehrman as a writer of "good history"? I was at the Ehrman vs. White debate in Jan. Bart Ehrman actually denied that the Christians in the 2nd and 3rd century were persecuted if found in possession of Scripture.

I have read some of Dr. Hahn's books and they are not very scholarly. Hail Holy Queen was really bad.

Elena said...

Hahn's books aren't meant to be "scholarly." They are written for regular, lay people.

But I used Hahn's book quite extensively a year or so ago when I wrote at great length about Mary on this blog. It is a very good reference for information about Mary.

Paul said...

Hahn's books aren't meant to be "scholarly." They are written for regular, lay people.

Elena,
I did not mean scholarly as unapproachable. I meant scholarly as in accurate, careful, precise. Dr. Hahn is a brilliant guy and is capable of doing very careful work. However James White went through Hail Holy Queen chapter by chapter on his webcast back in 2001 I believe. He spent 3 hrs over 2 programs and thoroughly refuted it. He had invited Dr. Hahn on the program to defend his book but was turned down.

Elena said...

Yea, because you White is so open minded when it comes to Catholic research and dialogue. I wouldn't have debated White either - as Professor Hahn has said, it would generate more heat than light.


Now at the risk of sounding repetitive = can we possibly look at more stuff that we agree on "not on the table?"

anymommy said...

I don't wish to enter into philosophical debate, because it makes me very uncomfortable to be so confrontational, but I want to point out something at this point as someone who haas been following along with interest.

After 20 years in fundamentalist churches, it is EXACTLY this sort of attitude that has driven me back to Catholicism. Closed minds, refusing to enter into dialog, just repeating the same untruths.

Jennie, you keep quoting from books that do not express the belief of every Catholic. Perhaps I think you think and believe like Fred Phelps, since you are both Protestants. I don't believe that, though. I have better sense than that.

As an observer, it looks a lot like an angry litle girl stamping her foot because the grown-ups won't take her seriously.

Repetition will not make your version of Catholic doctrine true.

Elena and Kelly, I hope I'm not out of line. If so, you can delete me.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Barbara C asked:

"DOW, what exactly is your religious affiliation? I think that is the problem. Sometimes you appear to be writing as a Catholic, but then again you sometimes seem to espouse non-Catholic doctrine. If you are a "neutral" that's fine, but I think it's very unclear what your angle is."
-----------------------------------

Barbara, thanks for asking but my religious affiliation is of no consequence for the purposes of this blog. I am not here to promote any church or denomination. I am here to promote the scriptures and the pure Word of God, without religious or denominational bias. I am a Christian, of Protestant background, but if some of what I write sounds 'Catholic' that is only coincidental, as I am not here to put others down, but I am here to bring an unbiased view, to the best of my ability, and according to the leading of the Spirit. If I see something that agrees with scripture I will say so, and if I see something that does not agree with scripture, I will say so too, regardless of denominational background. I am well-studied in scripture, and I know my Bible inside-out. There is hardly anything there I am not familiar with. Study of the Bible is my life work and calling. Spiritual teaching is my calling and Spiritual gift, as well as Biblical prophecy, and the natural healing arts.

Thanks again for asking.

Peace.

Flannery said...

Jennie,

Sorry I couldn't respond earlier. I can't comment on blogs from work.

What I am trying to say is this:

Mary had a free choice to accept or reject God's request bear His Son who would bring salvation to the world. She could have said no. If she had said no, you and I would not be discussing this today. If she had said no, the gates of Heaven would have remained closed, Christ would not have become Man, the Word would not have been made Flesh, our Salvation would not have been accomplished.

She said yes to God. She is so much more than just a vessel. She is the surest path to her Son, Who is the only way to His Father. She is the Gate that leads to the Door. She is the Dawn and Christ is the Day. Without her consent, where would we be?

Jennie said...

Flannery,
She could have said no. If she had said no, you and I would not be discussing this today. If she had said no, the gates of Heaven would have remained closed, Christ would not have become Man, the Word would not have been made Flesh, our Salvation would not have been accomplished.
If Mary had said no to God, which doesn't seem to happen very often in the Bible when God tells someone He has chosen them for something, He would have chosen someone else. None of us is indispensable to God. If we say no, we miss out on the blessing, but it goes to someone else, and God's plan is accomplished. See what Mordecai told Queen Esther when she is afraid to do as Mordecai asks to help her people:

Esther 4:13 And Mordecai told them to answer Esther: “Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews. 14 For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

Jennie said...

She is the surest path to her Son, Who is the only way to His Father. She is the Gate that leads to the Door. She is the Dawn and Christ is the Day. Without her consent, where would we be?
Sorry, but the Bible does not say Mary is the path or the way to Jesus, who is then the way to the Father. Jesus is the Way, period. We go to the Father directly through Jesus because of His sacrifice for us. We don't need a 'middle man' to the 'middle man'. We don't need a bridge to the bridge or a gate to the gate. That is putting something else between us and God, when Jesus says He is the only Way and the only Door and the only Rock. He is everything for us. 'God is my refuge and strength; a very present help in trouble.'
Jesus is the Dayspring, not Mary. He is everything.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Barbara C wrote:

"Many Catholic doctrines have been developed after taking what is known from scripture and oral tradition and applying logical reasoning (not just common sense but the philosophical art and science of reasoning). "If the Bible and sacred tradition tell us THIS is true then THAT must be true."
-----------------------------------

Dear Barbara, the practice of using human reasoning, logic and wisdom to interpret scripture may lead to error at times. Spiritual things can only be spiritually discerned.

1 Corinthians 2:10-15, NLT

10 But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. 11 No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. 12 And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.

13 When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths. 14 But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means. 15 Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others. 16 For,

“Who can know the Lord’s thoughts?
Who knows enough to teach him?”

But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.



Peace.

Jennie said...

Anymommy,
Hey, I FEEL kind of like an angry little girl lately; because I've let myself get too emotionally invested in these debates. I need time to step back and go back to my own studying and just write down what I learn on my own blog, and not try to answer every challenge that comes up here.
I feel a little better tonight because my husband took us to a minor league playoff game tonight and I got to yell at something besides my computer and my kids, though I don't really yell at the computer, I just grumble and groan and sometimes blow a razzberry at it if I get really annoyed. :)

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Finally, one of my great concerns is the coming rise of the one-world religion. Christians who are willing to put away scripture for the sake of 'church teaching' will fall victim to this new and upcoming one-world religion. This is not just a Catholic issue, but a Christian issue. It is a sad thing that many Christians are willing to side-step scripture in favor of some popular erroneous teachings by some popular theologians, whether Prostestant or Catholic, but this is true. Please see One world governnment myth.

Already the workings of one-world religion are underway, and in due time it WILL BE REVEALED. The call of Christ now is for Christians to become grounded in scripture, REGARDLESS OF DENOMINATIONAL BACKGROUND, so that they will not be lead astray into worshipping a false god (The AntiChrist). BTW, the notion of Obama being AntiChrist is only a distraction by Satan to hide the identity of the real AntiChrist, who will be a false Messiah, imitating Christ. Obama is NOT THE ANTICHRIST. The exact identity of the AntiChrist is hidden from our knowledge now, but will be revealed in due time. Only those who are grounded in the Word of God will be able to distinguish this false Messiah from the true Messiah, Jesus Christ.

Peace.

Jennie said...

You may be right Hillary, about Obama being just a distraction. You are certainly right about the one world religion that is prophesied, and is looking like all the world is preparing for it, including most of the leaders of Christian denominations, unfortunately.
We all need to open our eyes and watch as Jesus warned and study His warnings and the other prophecies that are there to help us see the signs as they happen.

Elena said...

I am not here to promote any church or denomination. I am here to promote the scriptures and the pure Word of God, without religious or denominational bias.

I don't believe that it is possible to not have a denominational bias. Everyone was raised one way or another, exposed to some kind of thought or another, attended or not attended some sort of church with some sort of philosophy behind it. I don't believe that when it comes to all of the different flavors of Christianity that neutral is one of them!

Elena said...

If Mary had said no to God, which doesn't seem to happen very often in the Bible

Jonah immediately comes to mind. So do the israelites - quite frequently in fact!


when God tells someone He has chosen them for something, He would have chosen someone else..

Possibly. Although Mary's lineage was also from the house of David, which limits the choices a bit. Having to be born in Bethlehem narrows them a bit as well. And no, I do not believe God could just have picked anyone off the street to be the mother of Jesus.

Elena said...

Dear Barbara, the practice of using human reasoning, logic and wisdom to interpret scripture may lead to error at times.


Right. we call it the Reformation.

So since no one seems to be interested in discussing how we are similar, this thread too is going into the history books.