Assumption Of the Blessed Virgin – August 15

by Steve Ray on August 13, 2007

Great doing the show with Gus today on the Assumption on Sirius Satellite Radio channel 159

The other day a man called to say my argument for the Assumption of Mary from the Old Testament was wrong. I had quoted 1 Kings 2:19 where Solomon had raised his mother to Queen of the Kingdom was the ONLY case of a mother being queen in the Old Testament. He prefaced his comment by saying he knew the Old Testament. Well, it seems he is incorrect.

Devaux.jpgIn the Old Testament, the queens of the Judean kings were their mothers — with one exception of the queen being a grandmother. Solomon had 1,000 wives and concubines — but he only had one mother. Click here to read the section on The Great Lady or Queen Mother in Roland de Vaux's book Ancient Israel: Its Life and Institution.

The Queen Mothers of the earthly kings of Judah were not always good queens. Many of them were sinners and would make improper intercessions to the king. But, this takes nothing away from the perfect King and Queen –Jesus and his mother Mary.  It is the pattern and the office that is important.

MaryDVD.jpgJesus is a king sitting on the throne of his fathers David and Solomon and all the subsequent kings of Judah. They all had queens and the queens were not their wives, they were their mothers. This is the pattern and ultimately Christianity and the Kingdom of God are based on the Old Testament model.

Click on Mary to learn more about our DVD Mary, Mother of God filmed on location.

Follow the logic: 1) The kings of Judah, following Solomon who raised his mother to Queenship, had their mothers as queens which became established as an official office; 2) the mothers were referred to as the Queen Mothers or the Great Lady; 3) they sat on a throne near their sons (1 Ki 2:19); 4) Jesus is the quintessential Jewish King with an eternal kingdom; 5) Jesus is the fulfillment of the Israelite offices of Prophet, Priest & King; 6) As the Davidic king, Jesus would honor his mother more than earthy kings honored their mothers; 7) It is biblical, historical, and reasonable to expect the perfect Jewish king to follow in the stead of the kingdom and his fathers by assuming his mother to a throne at his right hand. 8) It is proper and biblical to consider Mary in a position of intercessor.

To see a picture of the Church of the Dormitian, built over the place Mary "fell asleep", click here and here. To see the grotto below, click here.

For more articles on Mary by Steve Ray
visit his
Free Resources page.

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Thos August 13, 2007 at 8:19 PM

Thanks, I appreciate this post. Could you share your view on how Mary’s position of intercession (her position you outlined in your #8 above) differs from all the other saints? What I mean is, it’s a much longer logical chain to reach this position than the logic you would follow for any old Saint as intercessor. Is the difference in the role Mary is able to play (in your construct) one of QUANTITY or TYPE?

Kristyn Hall August 14, 2007 at 9:38 AM

In reply to the previous comment…
I think the idea is (and I’m speaking as a Protestant who is currently considering the Catholic church) that the Church tradition and the teachings of the Magisterium do not come from thin air. If the idea of the “development” of doctine is true, we can assume that the dogmas like the Assumption are at least found in “seed form” in the Scripture—that though it took some time for understanding to develop, it was always true. Some might have said the Fathers had to “work hard” to pull all the various verses from here and there together to come up with the Trinity. It seems to me that this might be what separates “doctrine and dogma” from “disciplines and devotion.” The question is, Was it there from the beginning—part of the faith “once delivered”? Since I am no Catholic theologian, please feel free, Steve or anyone else, to correct me if I am way off. I am still trying to sort things out—and there’s a lot to sort out! :o)

Tom Nourse August 14, 2007 at 1:08 PM

“There is no Queen Mother tradition in the Scriptures that would allow you to take these sorts of logical leaps” — There absolutely is, King Solomon and his mother Bathsheeba… 3 Kings 2:19 (Douay Rheims).

One must remember, everything in the Bible is truth, however, not all truth is in the Bible… John himself tells us that many teachings of Jesus are not written down. It helps to read how the following generations understood and lived what was taught both orally and written. Also, one must remember the Jewish Heritage of Christ… He was a Davidic King (Jewish) and all but 2 of the Davidic Kings had Queen Mothers (official office) who were seated at their right hands.

Just because the Bible doesn’t specifically mention a term (Queen Mother) doesn’t mean that it can be denied (find the word Trinity in the Bible, I dare you… yet you probably hold fast to the idea behind the term, not a far reach for Queen Mother either)

Brian McLaughlin August 14, 2007 at 2:26 PM

Hard to believe what people believe.
Jesus Christ will never satisfy the heart and mind of a person He hasn’t saved.

Scott Montgomery August 14, 2007 at 6:28 PM

When combined with Rev 12:1 (which refers to both the Church and our Lady),
the passage from 1 Kings 2:19 forms a wonderful Scriptural basis for the Crowning of Mary as Queen of Heaven and earth. As for her glorious Assumption, body and soul, into Heaven, the Church has taught throughout the centuries that this is not only a logical extension of her Divine motherhood, but is theologically based upon two things:

1. Her complete freedom from both original and personal sin.

Because Mary was never under the dominion of Satan for one
moment of her earthly life, she was not subject to the penalty of
physical death and decay imposed by our Lord in Genesis 3:19.
While it is true that she chose to suffer the pains of death in order
to more closely unite herself with her Divine Son, it has been the
constant teaching of the Church that her immaculate body could
not be allowed to decay in the grave.

2. Her complete union with Christ in the work of our redemption.

Our Lady is inseparable from our Lord in the whole plan of
Salvation History: it was Mary who humbly brought Jesus to us
in the Incarnation and served as the Ark of the New Covenant;
it was Mary who presented our Lord in the Temple shortly after
His Nativity and dedicated Him to the work of Heaven; and it
was Mary whose heart was pierced as she stood at the foot of
the Cross and offered to God Our Father the Sacrifice of her Son.
Thus, it is entirely fitting and proper that she should be given her
glorified body prior to the Final Judgment and be placed in a
singular position of honor at her Son’s right hand in Heaven. This
is the perfect fulfillment of the Old Testament role of the Queen
Mother that has been outlined for us above by Mr. Ray.

In short, Mary has been Assumed into Heaven not only because she is the sinless and Immaculate Mother of God, but because she has conformed herself to Christ more perfectly than any person who has ever lived. Our Lord alludes to this in Luke 11:27-28… When a woman cries out from the crowd, “Blessed be the womb that bore Thee, and the paps which gave Thee suck”, Jesus responds:
“Yea, rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep it”. What our Lord is saying in this passage is that Mary is to be revered on earth and exalted in Heaven not merely because she is His mother, but because she has perfectly lived her life in accordance with God’s Law and His most Holy Will. Thus, the Protestant argument that this Scriptural passage is actually a rebuke of Mary (and of Catholic devotion to her) is proven to be quite false.

Steve Ray August 14, 2007 at 6:36 PM

To Ten Logics Leaping:

For a Protestant tradition kind of guy, that has accepted “invented doctrines” like “sola Scriptura” and “faith alone” and and the “Rapture” by twisting Scritpure, you have a lot of audacity to criticize Catholics.

We DO admit we have a Magisterium and a Sacred Tradition and our teachings can be confirmed in Scripture or early tradition which do not contradict Scripture.

But you have a tradition too though it is usually denied. I wish I had time to write more but time does not allow at this moment.

Kevin D. Johnson August 15, 2007 at 7:58 AM

Comment Deleted: I don't want this trash on my site. If I had infinite hours in a day to respond to every pontificating anti-Catholic I would leave these all up to refute them. But I just don't have that luxury any more and don't want trash up here that might advsersely effect someone not fully educated in the faith. Some will huff and puff that I am censuring them. You bet! It is my board. Many people don't want honest discussion but only to rant and rave and cause trouble. I notice most of them don't have their "Comments" open to the public so they avoid having to answer longwinded diatribes at a moment's notice.

My "Blog Comments" are open to honest and helpful discourse — not diatribes against the Catholic Church. For now I now have "Comments" set so I will approve them before they are posted. If anyone doubts my ability to confront and refute, just view the hundreds and hundreds of pages I used to write when I had the time. But I am not going subject myself or my readers to "bullies" who want to dictate what I do with my time — nor will they pollute my blog with their endless debate for the sake of debate.

If trolls and anti-Catholics want to discuss on my website, they can take their chances on my Discussion Forum which IS open to long-winded debates and discussion. This blog was never set up to be that. If you want to take your chances with Siggy on my Message Board, visit http://forums.catholicconvert.com.

I will post a general response to much of the criticism of Mary and the Church, but I will do it in my own time.

Steve Ray August 15, 2007 at 10:51 AM

Hello Kevin: Thanks for sharing your name– it was not on the post. I wish I had time to dialog but unfortunately I am swamped and not able to take on detailed debates. Back in the old days I had plenty of time but such is not the case now. I hope others jump in to dialog with you. One of the problems I face Kevin is that you are one of 33,000 denomoninations that have sprouted out of the Reformation and to take the time to understand the various details that each of you hold with a multitude of beliefs and traditions would be impossible.

I have no time to visit your website along with the hundred websites attached to the 100 e-mails I get a day to try to understand your intricacies of doctrine and beliefs. There is such a wide spectrum that spreads all over the map.

So, in short, if I offended you or misrepresented you I am sorry. But, I doubt I am far off and without taking a day to study you and your website, I often have to generalize. I wish I had as much time as some others have but it is simply not the case since I am packing to lead three pilgrimages in the next three months along with 10 speaking engagements and finishing two books.

Anyway, I appreciate you visiting my blog and hopefully others will interact with you. God bless.

Tom Nourse August 15, 2007 at 10:56 AM

Kevin,
You say that Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide are NOT invented doctrines? Then show us where in the Bible it states that we are to believe ONLY what is in the Bible (the written 1/2 of Sacred Tradition) and show us where in the Bible it is stated that we are saved by faith ALONE…

2 Thessalonians 2:14 tells us the the spoken Word of God is every bit as authoritative as the written Word (which by the way, we didn’t have a complete New Testament until 393-397 AD). Both the Written Word and the Spoken Word are part of Sacred Tradition and binding on the faithful.

And, James 2:17-24 tells us that we are saved by WORKS and NOT by Faith ALONE… even the devil and his minions believe… belief is not enough.

Just because there are some verses that say we are saved by Faith (they do not say by Faith ALONE) does not mean you can neglect the verses that say other things are required as well… it’s not either Faith or Works, it’s Faith AND Works AND Baptism (1 Peter 3:21) AND …

Furthur, St. Paul tells us in Phillipians 2:12 to WORK out your Salvation with fear and trembling… hmmmm

Sola Scriptura and Sole Fide were INVENTED at the time of the Prostestant revolt when Luther rejected 2 or the 3 legged stool of Authority that traces all the way back to Moses. He rejected the teaching authority of the church and the Oral Tradition passed down from Christ through his Apostles who passed the teachings on to their successors, the Bishops. Read Eusebius’ history and you’ll see this in action (Apostolic Succession, Authority, the lineage of Succession by Names for each of the major churches).

As for the Assumption of Mary being invented, re-read Reveleation 12 and you’ll see that it is not invented, John, who outlived Mary was shown that she was assumed bodily into Heaven.

Peace,
Tom

Steve Ray August 15, 2007 at 11:32 AM

Folks in Kevin’s camp believe in Sola Scriptura. Of course I have not taken the time to study his website to see if he has any permutations on that Protestant doctrine.

But that doctrine basically says that the Bible is the only binding authority on the Christian, yet “the Bible alone” never says such a thing. I would challenge those who hold to Sola Scriptura to check out this list of 36 Questions.

“Questions for ‘Bible Christians’ ” here http://www.catholicconvert.com/LinkClick.aspx?link=~/Portals/0/Documents/QuestionsForBibleChristians.doc&tabid=83&mid=372

Kristyn Hall August 15, 2007 at 3:51 PM

The issue—from the beginning—is that Steve Ray is being somehow disingenuous by “using” Scripture to support the idea of the bodily Assumption of the Mother of God. Tradition and Scripture have been pitted against each other, as though somehow “never the twain shall meet.” There is nothing in Scripture that says “Mary was assumed into heaven” (though Rev. 12 could be called as a witness) and at the same time, there is nothing that says she wasn’t. I have been pondering this today… if something is true, it will not be “Traditionally true” but “Scripturally false,” or vice versa. Then I picked up the church bulletin I got on Sunday, which listed the readings for the Assumption vigil and holy day. I was reminded that every day of the year, Scripture is proclaimed within the Tradition of the Catholic Church. I don’t think Mr. Ray is scrambling to find verses to defend HIS position, he is simply presenting the Church’s position. Now, SMILE, all of you, for heaven’s sake. Jesus is Lord!
These readings can be found at:
http://www.usccb.org/nab/081507a.shtml
and
http://www.usccb.org/nab/081507b.shtml

Steve Ray August 15, 2007 at 7:22 PM

"Magisterial Reformation"? Good grief, what is that? The first generation of reformers could not agree with each other (e.g., Marburg). Who in the world sits in the chair of the "Magisterial Reformation" — especially today? I wish I had time to take these questions on point by point. But I don't have the time on my hands that Kevin seems to have. but he obviously does not have the time to answer the questions posed.

Light of the East August 15, 2007 at 11:38 PM

One of the things which I had to overcome on my way to converting to the Catholic Faith was my perception that the honors given to the Blessed Virgin Mary were way out of line. Because as a Protestant I did not have a biblical foundation upon which to base these honors, I found myself wincing even after entering the Church upon hearing the accolades which we pour out upon our Blessed Mother.

The biblical pattern which came to my rescue was a proper understanding of the covenant of God, how God deals with mankind in that covenant, and the original intent of God in the Garden of Eden. Once I understood this, I understood that Our Lady simply cannot be praised enough.

Covenantally speaking, what was it that God had in mind in Genesis when He created Adam from the dust of the earth? To understand this, one must use the anthropomorphisms which God has built into human existence. He begins by calling Adam His son!! (Luke 3:38). We must therefore take all that we know of a father/son relationship and apply it to Adam to get a proper understanding.

1. God is King. The Father is the Great King of the Universe accoring to many passages, especially in the Psalms. Now what is the son of a king but a prince? And what is the expectation of a prince? That he will mature in to either taking the place of his father, or of ruling over a vassal kingdom which is under his father’s reign. That is what Adam was created for. He was intended to ultimately rule over all Creation.

2. We see furthermore that God gave to Adam a wife. As with all wives of princes, she would have been elevated to the status of queen over Creation upon the succession of Adam to the throne.

3. The Fall derailed this plan for Adam and Eve, but it did not frustrate the plans of God at all to have a human male/female, king/queen couple ruling in covenantal authority over Creation. Promises of this coming Redeemer were made in Genesis in the Protoevangelium.

4. The Last Adam is the man, Jesus (1 Corin. 15: 45). The use of this phrase “last Adam” is a very strong key tying Jesus, the man, with the man Adam, and showing us that the office of rulership and federal headship over mankind has now been taken by another. Through His perfect life, substitutionary death, and glorious resurrection, in which He defeated death, our Lord Jesus now reigns as King over Creation. God the Father has found His replacement for the man who failed. A New Man now reigns over Creation, and has been given all authority and privileges of that position which Adam could have had. The effect of the Fall on the covenant has been reversed. We are now in the New Covenant with a new covenantal Head over us.

5. But for the program of regeneration to be fully accomplished, not only does the federal headship over Creation have to be restored, but the position of covenantal helpmeet must also be restored. If this is not restored, if the Edenic family is not restored to the exact condition as before the Fall, then the redemption program has failed. The Last Adam must also have with Him the New Eve, a woman, fully human, just as Eve was. Protestants somehow cannot see this because they do not understand covenant and they do not see that the whole purpose of the Father in the Incarnation was to restore the federal headship of man over Creation through the Last Adam. They are so locked in on the idea of individual salvation that they forget that mankind is a family and salvation is not only individual, but familial as well.

5. Finally, what if Adam and Eve had not sinned and were still on earth? Would we bow to them? Would we honor them? Of course we would, for they would be the mother and father of the whole human race, and the Holy Scriptures state that we are to honor our fathers and mothers. Father is a term of covenantal headship. Mother is a term of being covenantal helpmeet. That perfectly describes the relationship of Jesus and Mary. Jesus is the covenantal Head. The Blessed Virgin is His helpmeet, beginning with Her fiat at the Annunciation. Without Her being helpmeet in bringing Him into the world, making the Incarnation possible by giving to Him a body of flesh, He could not have entered the world. Her role as helpmeet began at that moment. By their cooperative work, they have birthed a new Edenic family and are the King and Queen over all Creation. Everything that Adam and Eve could have had Jesus and Mary have now, including all the honors for their lives of obedience unto God.

Protestants fail to make the connection, and then turn around and claim that we as Catholics have “dreamed this all up” or such the like. It is either presuppositional blindness or a willing refusal to study the typology and the interpretive keys to properly understand how the covenantal family of the Edenic Garden is restored in King Jesus and Queen Mary.

Quite frankly, if I might say this with kindness, there are none so blind as those who refuse to see.

Brother Ed

Kevin D. Johnson August 16, 2007 at 2:21 PM

Comment Deleted: I don't want this trash on my site. If I had infinite hours in a day to respond to every pontificating anti-Catholic I would leave these all up to refute them. But I just don't have that luxury any more and don't want trash up here that might advsersely effect someone not fully educated in the faith. Some will huff and puff that I am censuring them. You bet! It is my board. Many people don't want honest discussion but only to rant and rave and cause trouble. I notice most of them don't have their "Comments" open to the public so they avoid having to answer longwinded diatribes at a moment's notice.

My "Blog Comments" are open to honest and helpful discourse — not diatribes against the Catholic Church. For now I now have "Comments" set so I will approve them before they are posted. If anyone doubts my ability to confront and refute, just view the hundreds and hundreds of pages I used to write when I had the time. But I am not going subject myself or my readers to "bullies" who want to dictate what I do with my time — nor will they pollute my blog with their endless debate for the sake of debate.

If trolls and anti-Catholics want to discuss on my website, they can take their chances on my Discussion Forum which IS open to long-winded debates and discussion. This blog was never set up to be that. If you want to take your chances with Siggy on my Message Board, visit http://forums.catholicconvert.com.

I will post a general response to much of the criticism of Mary and the Church, but I will do it in my own time.

Donald T. Hartley August 16, 2007 at 2:44 PM

I was invited to give a talk in Clarksville TN at the Church of the Immaculate Conception. I entitled the talk “This Woman” as it related to Mary, the Mother of Jesus. During the talk, two teenage girls walk in from the street not affiliated with the study group. They were simply interested in what was going on and was looking for something to do. My two older sons, Nathan and Joshua were present and so that worked out well. My talk was based from the bible and my personal experience:

This woman was first made known to us in the story of man’s fall. She was referred to as ‘woman’ by God, recorded in Genesis 3:15, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers.” This woman is also revealed in Revelation 12:1 as “a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and a crown of twelve stars.” This woman was referred to as the virgin that would bring the redeemer into the world (Isaiah 7:14). Jesus spoke to her from the cross and said, “Woman, behold your son.” She subsequently remained in the care of Saint John as his ‘mother.’

From the apostles to the fathers, this woman became known as ‘mother of the church.’ Who is this woman that all generations shall call her blessed (Psalms 45:18, Luke 1:48)? This woman is Mary, whose heart would be pierced by a sword (Luke 2:35); early church fathers called her the ‘queen of
heaven’ (Psalms 45 vs. 10).

The church gives special honor to this woman who was chosen by the Father, for the Son, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Some people have become confused about this woman and the honor given her. Some say she is worshipped as a goddess, others call her an idol who has no power, a replacement for the Roman goddess Diana. Others simply regard this woman as a ‘good woman.’

So, this woman, who should be a source of unity for Christians, has become a most controversial figure. Is this what Jesus would want? Luke 1:46 records Mary as saying her “soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my savior.”

To challenge this woman is to challenge the church itself, and the one who established it. What is it that some people can’t accept about this woman? Let’s take a look at the church’s teaching. One of the titles by which this woman is invoked is ‘mediatrix.’ This title, according to Vatican Council II (’62 – ’65), ‘neither takes away from nor adds anything to the dignity and efficacy of Christ the one mediator.’ What the title ‘mediatrix’ truly conveys is that this woman, through her own free will, chose to become the mother of the promised one. (See Luke 1:26-38.) Her role in redemption began with her ‘yes’ to God, and so she became the vehicle in which the Son was sent from heaven (John 3:16).

This woman’s obedience and faith allowed the door to be opened for you and me. She was chosen for God’s plan, and she followed it as called. She is honored as ‘model of the church,’ ‘daughter of Zion,’ ‘the new Eve,’ ‘ark of the new covenant.’ The Council of Ephesus in 431 A.D. taught that this woman is “in virtue of the incarnation, truly theotokos, Mother of God.”

The church teaches that God had prepared this woman for the purpose of bringing Jesus into the world, and at the moment of her beginning of existence, God protected her from original sin. This is called ‘The Immaculate Conception.’ Pope Pius IX solemnly defined the Immaculate Conception in 1854, making her the first fruits of her Divine Son’s redemption.

Our Protestant friends will quickly remind you of Romans 3:23, “all have sinned and are deprived of the Glory of God.” This is true. Mankind fell from grace and became separated from God. However, God’s plan was to send the mediator who would restore life and salvation to mankind making the glory of God attainable through Jesus’ death and resurrection. This woman needed the messiah as does everyone else who ever lived, and it is only through God’s grace and protection that this woman could handle the responsibilities that came with the job.

What is the basic message of this woman? She tells us in John 2:5 to “do whatever He tells you.” This woman has echoed this statement many times through the centuries at various times and places (Guadalupe, Mexico, 1531; Paris, France, 1830; Lourdes, France, 1850; and Fatima, Portugal, 1917.

Acts 2:17-19 states “it will come to pass in the last days, God says, I will pour out a portion of my spirit upon all flesh, your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. Indeed, upon the servants and my handmaids, I will pour out may spirit in those days, and they shall prophesy. And I will work wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below.”

I will honor this woman with her most known prayer, “Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you (Luke 1:28), blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb Jesus (Luke 1:42), Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, (Rev 8:3), and at the hour our death. Amen!

I began to lead the group in the Rosary when a lady began to get very excited. Everyone stopped to see what was going on as she was reacting to her rosary changing to gold. That became a source of excitement to us all. I was glad that my boys were present as this would be hard to explain if you were not there. I resumed leading the Rosary when a second lady began to express excitement. This time, we all were alert of what was happening. This ladies rosary turned to gold, one that she had for several years. It was the most incredible thing. Every time we met in prayer, she always had that rosary and we always retold the story. I was wondering if we were going to get through with the prayer itself! The two teenage girls were able to witness a miracle and they left very excited about the situation!

The Virgin Mary is the woman of Revelation 12:17. If you proclaim Christ then she is your Mother too!

Kevin D. Johnson August 16, 2007 at 3:20 PM

Comment Deleted: I don't want this trash on my site. If I had infinite hours in a day to respond to every pontificating anti-Catholic I would leave these all up to refute them. But I just don't have that luxury any more and don't want trash up here that might advsersely effect someone not fully educated in the faith. Some will huff and puff that I am censuring them. You bet! It is my board. Many people don't want honest discussion but only to rant and rave and cause trouble. I notice most of them don't have their "Comments" open to the public so they avoid having to answer longwinded diatribes at a moment's notice.

My "Blog Comments" are open to honest and helpful discourse — not diatribes against the Catholic Church. For now I now have "Comments" set so I will approve them before they are posted. If anyone doubts my ability to confront and refute, just view the hundreds and hundreds of pages I used to write when I had the time. But I am not going subject myself or my readers to "bullies" who want to dictate what I do with my time — nor will they pollute my blog with their endless debate for the sake of debate.

If trolls and anti-Catholics want to discuss on my website, they can take their chances on my Discussion Forum which IS open to long-winded debates and discussion. This blog was never set up to be that. If you want to take your chances with Siggy on my Message Board, visit http://forums.catholicconvert.com.

I will post a general response to much of the criticism of Mary and the Church, but I will do it in my own time.

Light of the East August 16, 2007 at 4:18 PM

Hello Kevin –

Allow me to respond to several point which you have made. I, of course, believe that you are in error, or have at least refused to deal with my initial position as outlined in my opening post here.

1. The Church is indeed the Bride of Christ. That was not, however, the point of my initial contention. You have not addressed the issue that Adam and Eve must be restored for the salvific work of Christ to be complete. You also are not separating the two natures of our Lord. Christ is the Incarnate Word, fully divine person. Jesus is the perfect man, the Last Adam, the new federal Head of mankind. When you speak of the Church being the Bride of Christ, you are dealing with spiritual reality. I am speaking of the restoration of mankind — the creation in the flesh, so to speak. Two entirely different approaches and entities. Do you wish the devil to be successful in destroying the intial work of God in the Garden in our earthly parents? If not, then you must accept that God has, through the Incarnation, restored and regenerated the Edenic family as it was initially found. Furthermore, the Church is not a human being. Human beings must be found to replace those who fell from their original position of headship over us.

2. We do not “worship” the Blessed Virgin. Yes, we do pray to Her, as we do to all those of our family who have been redeemed, who are truly alive in Christ in a manner beyond anything we could begin to comprehend, and because of that state of life, can hear our prayers and intercede for us. Again, you fail to make the connection between the our first parents and our last parents.

Everything in the Holy Scriptures points to the kingdom of God being familial in nature. Protestantism approaches the kingdom from the aspect of the Roman courtroom and nothing more. That is a huge error, for it not only affects your theology, but your eclessiology and your anthropology as well.

We have the commandments and they are quite clear “Honor your father and your mother” Why? Well, for one reason, as Ray Sutton makes clear in his book THAT YOU MAY PROSPER — Dominion by Covenant, it is by doing this that we acknowledge the higher authority of God over us. We honor the earthly authority set over us and by doing so, acknowledge God’s ultimate authority over us. Adam and Eve are the parents of a doomed family which was separated from God by Adam’s sin. Mankind is now offered a new family by the redemption work of Christ on the Cross. In order for that family to have all the earmarks of family, there must be male and female, covenant head and covenant helpmeet. Jesus and Mary fit this pattern. Thus, as an earthly child does with his/her parents, we go to our parents for succour and help. Why would you deny the Blessed Virgin the opportunity to exercise Her motherhood in loving intercession for us, which was divinely given to Her by the sovereign choice of God.

3. You state that these are “hadly necessary conclusions?” I find them to be absolutely essential. The Westminster Confession makes appeal not only to “sola scriptura” but also to “necessary and proper conclusions” (meaning anything that can be interpretted to prove Calvinism). I have shown you why these are indeed very necessary conclusions. The evil one destroyed (or so he thought) the work of God in the Garden. Do you think that God would not meet him face to face and say “See? I make all things new!” in recreating all that was lost? Or would you just rather take the semi-Gnostic position of the Full Preterists I know and just deny the need for the resurrection altogether by denying the need for our bodies and thus, the need for Adam and Eve to be reconstituted in new human parents?

4. You then claim “But none of these things force us to the conclusion logically that we must pray to our Blessed Mother or consider her as an intercessor or mediatrix with Christ in any special way.”

You can only think this way if you ignore the analogies which God has set in the Holy Scriptures for us. Over and over the Holy Scriptures analogize the kingdom with family. The words “Father, son, brother, sister, etc. continually get our attention in the scriptures. Salvation is being adopted by grace. If you are willing to use such language, then you must take this analogy and use it according to its function. In a family, the child goes not only to his/her father, but to Momma also!! Do we not see earthly mothers interceding with a father for some legitimate desire that the child has? Of coruse we do? Why are you so scared to treat the Blessed Virgin as the true Mother that God has made her to be in restoring the Edenic family to completeness?

5. You mention that our view of Mary has nothing to do with the Gospel. On one hand, I agree with you. The presentation of Christ’s substitutionary death to the sinner in need does not need any reference to the Blessed Virgin. On the other hand, Her involvement in our Lord’s life, beginning with Her fiat to God through the angel is very much a part of the Gospel message in that She is the first to receive the benefits of salvation, is an example of faith in God for the believer to follow, and Her elevation (along with the Transfiguration) foreshadows the dignity to which we shall all be raised through the work of Christ, Her Son. This should give us great hope as we travel this pilgrim journey.

If some Catholics in their speech appear to either make or wish Her to be divine, that is their error. Good, solid, orthodox Catholics know proper adoration and honor from worship which is to be given only to the Creator, and we know that She, Herself, points to Her Son in every icon ever written in the Orthodox Church!

As on earth a wife holds authority over her children from her covenantal relationship to her husband, the head of the family, so the Blessed Virgin is what She is because of Her relationship to Her Son. She is the first to be blessed with honor because of Her relationship to Her Son. We who persevere to the end shall follow in Her blessed footsteps!

Brother Ed

Donald T. Hartley August 16, 2007 at 7:43 PM

I believe that the rich in Christ, those who have been given abundant graces from Christ do seek the Blessed Virgin Mary’s favor because who she is. She is the Queen of Heaven. This follows the Jewish tradition that the Mother is the Queen, not the wife.

Psalms 45 beginning with verse 10 says, “Daughters of kings are your lovely wives; the princess (Queen) arrayed in Orphir’s gold comes to stand at your right hand”. The following verses relate to this Queen:

“Listen, my daughter, and understand; pay me careful heed. Forget your people and your father’s house, that the king might desire your beauty. He is your Lord; honor Him, daughter of Tyre, Then the richest of the people will seek your favor with gifts. All glorious is the king’s daughter as she enters, her raiments threaded with gold;”

It goes on to say, “I will make your name renowned through all generations; thus nations shall praise you forever”.

Rich Mullens felt that the Catholic Church didn’t over glorify the saints, but rather the Protestants underated the Glory of God. I think this is the basic issue here. The Lord honors His Mother with His Divine Glory, we simply imitate Him when we honor her.

Steve Ray August 16, 2007 at 10:45 PM

I will be posting my brief response tomorrow. Gary Michuta wrote the response and I will just add a few items. Gary is a very good apologist and you can learn more about him at http://www.handsonapologetics.com. Stay tuned.

Dozie August 16, 2007 at 11:43 PM

No Catholic here owes Mr. Johnson an explanation of Catholic doctrines if he does not have the humility to ask questions in appropriate manner. He claims that his blog is for Protestants and would quickly ban Catholics from there (I was banned, and so were some other Catholics). On what basis can a Catholic engage a Protestant? They can easily dismiss or redefine the Christian history and Christian story as they see fit. In the long run, who is going to mediate between Catholics and this lone ranger Protestant? How will the truth about Mary or any other dogmatized teaching of the Church be decided between this man and faithful Catholics? Be careful not to wate your time here.

Dozie August 16, 2007 at 11:49 PM

“But again, the logical disconnects and unhindered and blind reliance on the Magisterium and the particular traditions of the Catholic Church give us pause regarding the rest of what is said.”

This man is here to pick a fight and the sooner you recognize this the better for everyone.

Donald T. Hartley August 17, 2007 at 3:39 AM

The Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception is described as a “Past Perfect Participle” meaning that the effecacy of Christ redemptive work was in play at Mary’s conception preparing her for her role in Salvation history. It’s evident the early Church seen this and that the Church continues to uncover the beauty of this truth.

The Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception was debated and looked at for many centuries before 1854. It just took that long for the Church to make the ruling. Sometimes the Church is quick to respond as it did concerning circumcision (Council of Jerusalem) and concerning the Trinity (Council of Nicea). Other times, it might take awhile. It’s when St. Peter stands up that ends the debate.

Jesus honored His Mother with His divine glory, she is my spiritual Mother and I honor her imitating Jesus who is my Lord. He who honors the Mother, honors the Son!

Dozie August 17, 2007 at 7:49 AM

James White says: “As to hanging out with Ray, or any of his buddies, that’s right. I have no interest in so doing.”

In the same light, neither James White nor Kevin Johnson has the right to make claims on any Catholic’s time. They cannot ask any Catholic, as a matter of debate or otherwise, to give them reasons to think they are spending their time doing something important. Why, they are not about to abandon their positions and they are not looking for evidence to believe. They want simply to keep protesting. Catholics should not be cooperating in these diversions. Besides, the Church has written enough already.

vynette August 17, 2007 at 6:37 PM

Donald T. Hartley said: "I believe that the rich in Christ, those who have been given abundant graces from Christ do seek the Blessed Virgin Mary’s favor because who she is. She is the Queen of Heaven." I think it is wise to remember that the worship of the 'Queen of Heaven', under her various names of Ishtar, Isis, Ashtaroth, etcetera, was roundly condemned by the Hebrew prophets. You also claimed that Mary was Revelation's "woman arrayed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars." The woman 'arrayed with the sun' is the nation of Israel. In Genesis 37:9-10, the twelve tribes of Israel are described with exactly the same symbols.

Vynette, Steve Ray here: Before you pull this old argument out of the hat, you may want to read the blog I wrote on Jeremiah's Condemnation of Israelites Worshiping the Queen of Heaven. You can read it here http://blog.catholic-convert.com/?p=1459

Remember also the Bible begins with a real woman, a real man and a real snake. It also ends with a real woman, a real man and a real snake. No one denies the dragon (snake) is really the devil, or the male child is really Jesus, so why try to reason away that the woman is only symbolic? Probably because to let the Bible speak for itself about the woman clothed with the sun would sound too Catholic. It is not either-or. Mary is very real in heaven, but she also represents not only the Jewish people but the Church. John writes very profoundly.

Light of the East August 17, 2007 at 10:11 PM

First, I want to question the assumption here that you are putting forward that “Adam and Eve must be restored for the salvific work of Christ to be complete” is somehow not covered in our Lord’s death and resurrection.

1. Why would God leave anything that the devil had distorted or undone to be unredeemed and not returned to its orginal state. As I said, by using analogy to the human condition, we understand what God intended simply by seeing the word "son" in reference to Adam. When I first really "saw" that, it was a tremendous surprise to me, as we tend to think of the "son of God" as being Jesus alone, don't we? Why would God create a human being and call him "son" with all that this entails, if there was nothing further for Adam to grow and mature into? So, I believe it is up to you to establish the idea not only that the Blessed Mother is the New Eve but also that there is any need for a new Eve beyond her role in initially bringing Christ into this world.

2. What was the purpose of Eve in the Garden? Was it just to be a baby incubator by which Adam would populate the world? Or was there something indeed deeper in the sense of a completion in love, a self-giving, and rulership together? I must opt for these, and especially the last, stating once again that the son of a king is a prince. Use the analogies we have from true life. They were given to use by God so that we could understand that which is profound.

The queen rules in the kingdom, the mother rules in the family, the Blessed Virgin rules in Heaven all by dint of their relationship to the one who is the covenant head. To me, this assertion strikes hard at the sufficiency and completeness of Christ’s work and asserts that without Mary’s continued intercessory role as a New Eve salvation was not and will not be completed. Yet was it not our Lord at the Cross who uttered, “It is finished”?

3. First of all, I never said nor intimated that Christs work on the Cross was not complete. When Jesus cried out "it is finished" what specifically happened at the same time? The Veil of the Temple was rent in twain and the Holiest of All exposed to public viewing. You know what that means? That the Old Covenant was finished. That is what Jesus was referring to. The Bible talks about an old Adam and a New Adam but there is never any mention of a New Eve.

4. Neither is there mention of the word "Trinity" (Which you well know). I find it interesting that you as a Calvinist will admit to "necessary consequences" with those doctrines which you find appealing, but not allow for the same necessary consequences when discussing that which you disagree with. Isn't that a tad inconsistent? The Kingdom of God is no doubt familial in nature but Mothers do not marry Sons and there is certainly no evidence that Mary is looked at in this way in the biblical text.

5. You might find this interesting and worth pondering: Isa 62:5 For [as] a young man marrieth a virgin, [so] shall thy sons marry thee: and [as] the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, [so] shall thy God rejoice over thee. No, mothers do not marry their sons in the sense of having sexual relationship with them, but we are not presenting marriage in that light. We are discussing covenantal headship and helpmeetship alone — i.e. positions of authority in the kingdom.

Of course, there is a deeper mystery than this. The Blessed Virgin is the Spouse of the Holy Spirit. Since She is married to God in this sense, and in the sense that the Godhead exists in Trinity……well, you ponder it. I don't want to say more than that since it could lead me, who is not a scholar, to make a heretical statement somewhere down the road!! Additionally, the idea that Protestantism approaches the kingdom merely from the aspect of the Roman courtroom is a baseless and empty charge and undoubtedly untrue especially for classical Protestants mindfully aware of their reformational heritage.

6. Not at all. I still interact with Protestants and they still insist upon using the language of the courtroom in discussing the covenant. In fact, I am in the midst of taking Ray Sutton's book to task right now for doing that very thing. Calvinists, and by extension, Evangelicals, treat the covenant as if it is a contract. The language they use makes it quite clear that they are doing such. For instance, I can't tell you how many times I used to hear my fellow Calvinists in the PCA refer to "unconditional covenant".

The only problem is that when I studied the Bible, I found no such beast at all. The reason for this is that covenant is relationship, and relationship can be broken! A contract, that is, a legal and binding document, cannot be broken When you make a contract with someone, you are legally bound to fulfill it!! That, my fine friend, is the difference between covenant and contract, and it is huge! It’s ironic to me that you say this on the one hand and then on the other you quote a Protestant/Anglican bishop (Ray Sutton–and a Reformed Episcopal bishop at that!) to provide support for your non-Roman court understanding of these issues!

7. Not at all ironic. Sutton's book is a good work as far as it goes. He gets the principles correct, he just wiffs on the application, using the Roman courtroom model over and over again. In my spare time, and when I feel like it, I am writing a book to shred his idea of covenant, which is erroneous at best. For my own part, I’m happy to see the fuller picture of Christ reconciling all things to Himself and not just looking at salvation as a matter of forensic justification alone and the Reformers as well as many Protestants today are also quite inclined to see these issues as important and not limit our understanding of salvation merely to what you indicate above.

8. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm…..do I understand you to be saying that forensic justification is not the "be all and do all" of salvation? I don’t deny our Blessed Mother anything. She may very well be praying for us but what I deny is that there is any logical necessity to what you are saying.

9. Is it necessary to have flowers? Is it necessary to see in color? Is it necessary to taste food in order to get nutrition? Yes, I suppose you could have a "bare bones" salvation, but isn't it nicer that we can enjoy the Communion of the Saints, including the Blessed Mother, and their love for us? Do you realize that in Heaven, we will enjoy a depth of love and fellowship that is beyond our comprehension here on earth? Why? Couldn't we just be saved individually and just enjoy God? Well, sure, but how much better that we are a community of love. Additionally, the biblical analogy as I indicated earlier is that of Christ and His Bride, the Church. The need for any woman to restore a family in our salvation is met not in the Virgin Mary but in Christ Himself. You will note that Acts 2:39 says that our salvation in Christ is not merely a matter of individuals coming to Christ (though it is certainly that) but also that these promises are for us and our children. If anything, the salvation of Christ most certainly covers salvation for all men women and children who repent and believe in Him.

10. Kevin, that's not the point. For some reason, God wanted to establish a man and woman in positions of authority over Creation. I don't know the full reason, but we do see that it was important enough for God not to make Adam just a monadic being. Part of that has to do with mankind being created in the "imagio Deo". Have you read anything about the love/union of the Father and the Son in Heaven. How the Father looks upon the Son in love and pours Himself out completely into the Son in self giving love? Then, in the instant that the Father is emptied of everything He has and is, the Son does the same to the Father in return. This is whqt love is, and a far cry it is from the selfishness that we call "love" here on earth. The relationship of Adam and Eve was to be an "image and likeness" of the divine love between the Father and the Son. There is no need for Mary to fulfill the role you propose to her and the only way to establish such a role is by reaching outside the text of Scripture in doing so.

11.. Wrong. There is every need in otder to again exist in the "imagio Deo". Christ poured Himself out in to the Blessed Virgin in love for Her. He gave Himself to Her fully, and She in return did the same. Why? Because they were both sinless (one by nature and one by grace) and could operate on a completely sinless plane which we know nothing about We can't even begin to understand the relationship between the Blessed Virgin and Christ because we are limited by our flawed human understanding. I am starting to repeat myself, but again, these analogies go well beyond what the Bible indicates and it does not automatically follow that because Mary was Christ’s Mother (and in a sense our Mother) that we have any obligation to pray to her. Please demonstrate to me–I’ll be happy to say I’m slow and not getting what you’re saying at first pass–the logical necessity here.

12. Not obligation. Again, you sound so legal here. Love never thinks in terms of obligation. I have no doubt that Mary was directly involved in bringing Christ to our world with the aid of the Holy Spirit and on that basis alone I have little problem seeing this basic mediatorial role for the reality and the example that it is for us. But the issue goes well beyond that in Rome’s theology as you likely know. It is an addition to the gospel now because Vatican I declared Mary’s Assumption and Immaculate Conception as part of the gospel and that is where the trouble is.

13. These two doctrines are deeply tied into the Gospel, for if the Blessed Virgin is just an ordinary sinner, then how could She have brought forth the sinless Son of God as our spotless Lamb? Jesus got His Flesh and Blood from Her. Take away the Assumption and the Immaculate Conception, and you set the foundation for denial of Christ's Deity somewhere down the road. As a result, emphasis on these Marian issues in certain Catholic circles most especially leads to idolatry and it ought to be condemned openly when it is occurring and to say otherwise is to ignore a serious and worldwide problem in Catholic theology and practice.

14. After joining the Church, I thought it prudent as a new Catholic to read the entire Catholic Catechism. I found nothing which would encourage idolatry, either of itself, or in relation to our devotion to the Blessed Virgin. I think the problem, if there are some overstepping the bounds of propriety, is one of a lack of catechesis, which has been a major problem in the Church for a while.

Brother Ed

Steve Ray here. Thanks for your excellent work Brother Ed!!

vynette August 18, 2007 at 12:10 AM

Steve: "No one denies the dragon (snake) is really the devil, or the male child is really Jesus, so why try to reason away that the woman is only symbolic?" I did not say the the woman is only symbolic: I said that the woman, Israel, is described by using the symbols of sun, moon and stars. After reading your blog entry on "Jeremiah's Condemnation of Israelites Worshiping the Queen of Heaven," I must point out that Marian dogma is also pagan and therefore falls under Jeremiah's condemnation. The concept of virgin mothers belongs to the Graeco-Roman world – it is not only absent from the Bible but is the very antithesis of Hebrew thought. All Marian dogma rests on the doctrine of the 'Miraculous Incarnation' which is demonstrably false.

Steve Ray here: You are not at all clear. You say the woman is not symbolic but then you say "the woman, Israel". That the doctrines of Mary are pagan is your opinion, and a wrong one at that. If you say the concept of Queen Mother is unbiblical, all one has to do is notice that the queens of Judah were mothers, not wives. That seems to make it a bit biblical, yes?. Are you saying that the Christian concept of the Virgin Mother as in Mary has a pagan source? So are you a non-Christian? Let's just get the facts straight so I know who I am talking to. If it is demonstrably false, then the burden of proof is on you.

vynette August 18, 2007 at 11:40 AM

I am a follower of Jesus of Nazareth. My position is that Christian church theology has always been incorrect in its interpretation of the Hebrew God YHVH and in its characterisation of the Hebrew Jesus of Nazareth.

The New Testament writers claimed that Jesus of Nazareth was a perfectly normal human who exemplified and enacted the values and principles required of creatures by their Creator and that he was ‘anointed’ with plenipotentiary powers to speak and act in the name of God.

The New Testament was written to prove that Jesus of Nazareth was the man appointed by God to rule the world in righeousness. It was not written to promote the post-apostolic doctrines imposed on scripture by the Graeco-Roman church fathers, nor was it written to prove that Jesus was in any sense equal to God, except as it pleased God to make him so.

When the scriptures fell into Greek, and subsequently Latin, hands, the teachings underwent a change in accordance with the predilections of those particular nationalities. Because their minds were set in the key of a different structure, they retrojected into the scriptures their own prevailing national religions.

Doctrines were crystallised by the disputes among early Gentile church fathers and then imposed upon the Hebrew Scriptures through the medium of ecclesiastical councils called by Roman Emperors from 325AD onwards. Christendom bears the image, not of the mind of Jesus and the character of the Supreme Being, but of early Gentile theology.

Steve Ray August 18, 2007 at 2:45 PM

So you are basically an Arian who has started her own religion and who has an exclusive on the correct interpretion of the Bible and Jesus. I am not trying to be sarcastic, but that is how your situation appears to me. Do you follow a group or is this your private opinion? Are you Jewish?

vynette August 18, 2007 at 6:51 PM

Steve,

If by “arian” you mean the theological positing that Jesus was some sort of lesser deity born before time began and creator of the world, then my position is most definitely not one of Arianism. I re-iterate – the New Testament authors recorded that Jesus was a perfectly normal human, born of perfectly normal parents, in the perfectly normal fashion. The ‘deification’ of Jesus gradually came to be accepted because the post-apostolic fathers were ignorant of the nature of the Hebrew God and the role of the Hebrew Messiah.

I do not self-identify as a “Christian” only because the word carries with it an implication that one is committed to doctrines and teachings I hold to be unscriptural. No, I am not Jewish but have long recognised that to understand the mindset of the Jewish Jesus and the apostles it is first necessary to evaluate 1st century Hebrew messianic expectations and the way in which those expectations were addressed by the NT authors.

As to whether I belong to any church or group, I would reply that I am an ally of all those, known or unknown, whose goal is to “prove all things and hold fast to that which is good.” I think all of us should reflect on the fact that the founder of Christianity was considered by his religious contemporaries to be just a “heretical” Jew with a pathetic handful of followers.

Thanks for providing the opportunity to put my case.

Light of the East August 19, 2007 at 10:50 PM

If by “arian” you mean the theological positing that Jesus was some sort of lesser deity born before time began and creator of the world, then my position is most definitely not one of Arianism. I re-iterate – the New Testament authors recorded that Jesus was a perfectly normal human, born of perfectly normal parents, in the perfectly normal fashion. The ‘deification’ of Jesus gradually came to be accepted because the post-apostolic fathers were ignorant of the nature of the Hebrew God and the role of the Hebrew Messiah

I’m sorry to make what may appear as a rude statement, but honstly, I find your response here to be highly offensive. You have no idea what the thoughts of the “post apostolic” Fathers were. I am consistently amazed by the writings of non-Catholics who wish to put words and thoughts into the mouths of the patristic authors. Either that, or the Early Fathers are treated as ignoramouses or apostates who didn’t know what they were talking about — uneducated buffoons, for instance, because they weren’t Calvinists (for instance).

The burden is upon you to prove what you have said, but being 2000 years removed from not only these men, but the cultural understanding in which they wrote, I find this an impossible task. I would suggest that what you should do, rather than put words and concepts into the mouths of these men, is to accept at face value what they said of Christ Jesus — the He was indeed God Incarnate!

Brother Ed

Light of the East August 19, 2007 at 10:51 PM

Would someone PM me at stannrlc@mindspring.com and tell me how to code in blue, bold, and quotes in this blog,

Thanks!

Brother Ed

vynette August 20, 2007 at 9:12 AM

Brother Ed,

You said: “I would suggest that what you should do, rather than put words and concepts into the mouths of these men, is to accept at face value what they said of Christ Jesus — the He was indeed God Incarnate!”

I am not putting any words or concepts into the mouths of the patristic authors. On the contrary, I am lamenting their lack of words and concepts – their knowledge of the Hebrew God and Hebrew messianic expectations.

As you rightly claim, after 2000 years the burden of proof rests with me to prove that the writings of the Graeco-Roman fathers are in total disagreement with the authors of the New Testament on basic issues such as the “Miraculous Incarnation” and the “deity” of Jesus of Nazareth. I am more than willing to take up this burden.

I acknowledge that many find my statements “offensive” to their beliefs but, as a follower of Jesus, a man who claimed he was born to bear witness to the truth, I must follow in his footsteps no matter how “offensive” it may appear to others.

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