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Featured Did Mary consent to being impregnated?

Discussion in 'Christian Philosophy & Ethics' started by cirrutopia, Dec 3, 2017.

  1. cirrutopia

    cirrutopia Moravian

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    So tell me, did Mary get a say in being impregnated? Because sometimes that part of the story just reads like get gets told that she'll be getting pregnant now, and, well, sure, she does say later on, "Okay, let it be so," that part of her response seems pretty inconsequential given the fact that she's already been told that it's going to happen regardless.

    Believe me, I have a burning desire to want Mary to have agency. She did say, "Let it be according to your word." I want to let her yes be yes! What an empowering story that one would be, and what a deep and meaningful testament to the trust Mary had in God! Being pregnant was even more dangerous then than it is today. To top it off, being unwed and pregnant? And all that traveling. God didn't put her in an easy position, that's for sure. But she trusted God. And goodness knows the good book needs a woman or two with agency!

    Her "Let it be according to your word," doesn't feel like consent. It feels like the child who pretends to be asleep when her dad comes into her room at night because she knows there's nothing she can do to stop what he is about to do anyway... and even if she wanted to try, how would she even begin to say "no" when they are on such unequal playing fields; she doesn't have the language yet to describe what he is doing.

    How much did Mary know of the OT God? I'm not sure I know a lot about her regarding what education she would have had? Did she know enough to know how the OT women got treated? Look at Hagar. She was raped, repeatedly, and later mistreated by the wife of the man who raped her. She ran away and what did God do? God said, "Go back to the place where you get hurt." Where women do come up in the OT, it's no secret that they are generally either "vessels" or they meet unpleasant ends (or maybe both!) Would Mary have felt like she had any power to say "no" to a God who the OT credits with some pretty... strong... punishments?

    So what is there to take away from that passage that just seems to be Mary being taken advantage of/being reduced to a vessel. I get the whole theme of obedience and all but the annunciation bit itself really still eats at me.
     
  2. yeshuaslavejeff

    yeshuaslavejeff simple truth, martyr, disciple of Yahshua

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    So there appears to be a lot of the old self , old prejudices, to be dealt with.
    Until that happens, it is not likely that pure heart and wholesome understanding is possible, is it ?
    Mary was very cognizant of TORAH, and of YAHWEH (more than anyone here today).
    Yes, she like all the other believers serving Yahweh serve Yahweh with totally willing joyousness, even unto martyrdom/ death.
    This is the truth about all the Apostles and disciples also - when Jesus calls a man, He calls him to die. Most people are not willing even just to give up family in order to enter heaven, let alone to give up their lives,
    even though the alternative is much worse than any horror movie.
     
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  3. Mskriskris

    Mskriskris Well-Known Member

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    I would imagine that Mary had a deep understanding of the responsibility of her bloodline and that a promised Savior was to come from that. Its a heavy burden, its not like having sex with someone you're sexually attracted to like your husband, and saying "yes", its recognizing that God has chosen you for a task that is of great magnitude, so I wouldn't think she would be all like "yes!!! woohoo!". Plus the impregnation process itself isn't like how humans have sex, so the physical dangers and the psychological damage from that isn't a factor in this case.She had the power to say "no", and she had her reasons to (what about my husband, wouldn't i be stoned, etc), but she upheld the promises of God more than herself. And for that she was blessed.

    And I beg to differ on that women treated as just vessels or taken advantage in the OT, as there are just as much women who has cause division and strive because they wanted to show control on things. Sarah, Rebecca, Leah, and Rachel, are just some examples.Hell Lot's daughters got their own daddy drunk and basically raped him.Some women also wanted that responsibility for the sake of honoring God and helping their people out, no matter the cost, Esther and Ruth comes to mind on that. So women of the OT were extremely influential and instrumental, and God recognized that.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2017
  4. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Evangelical Catholic Supporter

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    I would tend to go along with the Catholics, inasmuch as I do see Mary giving her consent, at least implicitly (the other idea, that she didn't consent, is just sort of yucky, IMO, as it would treat a woman's body as merely an object). But at the same time, God knew she would say "yes" which is why she was chosen, and why she is rightly called blessed.
     
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  5. Tom Farebrother

    Tom Farebrother Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I’d suggest revisiting Luke 1 using one or a few in-depth commentaries that look at different interpretations or speculations and the reasons behind them, and absorbing those fully before examining your own view. As I’m sure you’re aware how we ‘feel’ about a text is not a comment on the text itself, it’s a reaction based on what we bring to the reading of the text.
     
  6. mozo41

    mozo41 Well-Known Member

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    And Mary said, "Behold, the Lord's handmaid. May it happen to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.
     
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  7. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    Lord have mercy.



    I'm sure you didn't mean it so really, but comparing the Virgin Mary's consent to being Jesus' mother to a child being incestually raped .... is borderline blasphemous. That is a horrifying thought.


    Mary well knew a great deal about the faith of Israel. She wasn't just some person chosen at random. God never does things in such a way, and especially not something so important as the Incarnation.

    Not only did she give consent, but she asked first how such a thing could happen, since she was consecrated to virginity. The Archangel Gabriel explained this to her, and then she gave her consent, with great joy. She praised God, and realized it would bring her great honor among all women.


    46 And Mary said:

    “My soul exalts the Lord,
    47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
    48 “For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave;
    For behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed.
    49 “For the Mighty One has done great things for me;
    And holy is His name.
    50 “And His mercy is upon generation after generation
    Toward those who fear Him.
    51 “He has done mighty deeds with His arm;
    He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart.
    52 “He has brought down rulers from their thrones,
    And has exalted those who were humble.
    53 “He has filled the hungry with good things;
    And sent away the rich empty-handed.
    54 “He has given help to Israel His servant,
    In remembrance of His mercy,
    55 As He spoke to our fathers,
    To Abraham and his descendants forever.”



    It is rather significant that she said yes, in a way reversing the no of Eve, who refused to abide by God's terms. So I hope that does make you feel better about the situation.

    God be with you.
     
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  8. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Evangelical Catholic Supporter

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    I agree, Anastasia. What are we saying about women's bodies in general when we think of the mother of our Lord's body as just being an object in a cosmic plan, like a chess piece being moved on a board or a switch being flipped? It is indeed offensive, and I think it shows more our attitudes towards women in general that we even contemplate this as real theology.
     
  9. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    True.

    And if we delve a bit more into the theology ...

    I hope the OP and any other interested parties will consider this:

    The fact that God became man - took on human flesh - is significant in our salvation. He made the way for us to be reconciled with God, for human flesh to be returned to glory, by entering into it. That is a great part of our salvation and restoration. And God did not just create a human man. Rather Jesus took his actual human flesh from Mary, as all children who are born do. She was not just a container, or vessel, but an integral part of the process of the Incarnation. As such, she deserves the honor she recognizes when she says "all generations will call me blessed" ... she was very blessed when God bestowed such an honor upon her.

    But if she is just a container of sorts, we miss the real impact of the Incarnation - Christ-God entering fully into humanity. And that makes our theology pale compared to what we could have.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2017
  10. DavidFirth

    DavidFirth Saved by grace

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    Mary absolutely consented. There is no doubt.

    God is Almighty, All-knowing and Most Holy. He would not choose a girl who would not want to give birth to His only Son.
     
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  11. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Evangelical Catholic Supporter

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    I don't think its coincidental this theology developed during a time in Protestant Europe immediately after the Reformation. Women had been taken out of the monastery and stuck in a home and told their duty in life was to breed children. Their autonomy had been taken away. It would take a few hundred years before people would challenge this attitude. Then feminists read the Nativity story through that paradigm they inherited and they see a cosmic violation... it's not surprising at all. What is surprising is that conservative evangelicals continue to countenance it.
     
  12. amariselle

    amariselle Jesus Never Fails

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    I'm not sure what you're trying to say here, but if you're saying that it is "Protestant" theology that taught that women were only good for (or primarily good for) having children, you may want to take a closer look at Catholic theology/doctrine/tradition in regard to married women, birth control, family planning etc.

    And you may want to also research monasteries, convents etc. It would be a mistake to think that everything is as it seems on the surface.
     
  13. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Evangelical Catholic Supporter

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    That's very presumptuous of you to say. I've devoted years of my life to studying Church history.


    At one time Protestants taught the exact same doctrines regarding birth control and family planning as Catholics. In England, ministers regularly preached against contraception (condoms, mostly) and were firmly against family planning until the 1920's.

    There are no Protestant equivalents of Hildegard von Bingen or Julian of Norwich, two prominent theologians and mystics in the pre-Reformation era. Not until the mid 19th century did women become religious authorities in Protestant churches, and even then they faced extreme resistance. In fact, Protestants, in England during the Reformation, called Julian a witch and tried to destroy her works... and almost were successful.

    I am a member of an historic Protestant church. But that doesn't mean I think our tradition is not without its faults, and I believe in the principle that the Church must always be reforming and acknowledging our sins. The attitude towards women is one of them, and that is exemplified in readings of the Nativity.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2017
  14. amariselle

    amariselle Jesus Never Fails

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    As have I. It is also "presumptuous" to say that treating women as objects only good for bearing children is the result of "Protestant theology". That is false.

    Remember, it was you who said that such a perspective on women, and putting them in homes simply to have children, came from "Protestant theology."

    I didn't say such things were never taught in "Protestantism", my point is it was not only Protestants who believed and taught this perspective on women. You said it is the result of Protestant theology, it is not.

    And? What does any of this have to do with Mysticism? That's a whole other issue.

    "Religious authorities", in what way do you mean this? The Catholic Church doesn't allow women to be Priests, last I read.

    As I said, Mysticism is an entirely different issue than women's rights. And there are in fact major problems with Mysticism.

    And I didn't say Protestantism is perfect either. My point is that one cannot correctly say that the attitude and belief that married women belong in the home to bear and raise children originated with Protestantism. That is false.
     
  15. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Evangelical Catholic Supporter

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    The Catholic Church does recognize women to be teachers of the faith and doctors. That is what I mean by religious authorities.

    Priests are not the only religious teachers. There are more women as doctors in the Catholic Church's canon of saints than men.

    Catholics do not have a male priesthood because they denigrate women or consider them unable to teach men. That is a complete misunderstanding. They have a male priesthood because Jesus chose only males to be apostles, that is their logic. And to a lesser extent, because Jesus was male and the priest physically stands in for Jesus. My church does not necessarily agree with that logic, but we should not accuse Catholics of being sexists. They officially reject sexism as sinful- does your church?
     
  16. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Evangelical Catholic Supporter

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    That's not my point. Protestants took choice and autonomy away from women. Before the Reformation, celibate life in a convent was an option for a woman, and a source of empowerment over her own life separate from a man. It was not until the restoration of the diaconate for women in the 19th century, that single, unmarried women found honorable vocations in mainstream Protestant churches.
     
  17. amariselle

    amariselle Jesus Never Fails

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    Well, by that definition, so do Protestant and Evangelical churches.

    However, in the official hierarchy of the Catholic Church, the prominent positions are all held by men.

    When did I say they did?

    You inferred that was my understanding. It is not.

    Again, I did not comment on why they have a male priesthood. Nor did I say I disagree with male leadership in the Church.

    I did not accuse anyone of being "sexist." Perhaps you can go back to my post and address what I actually said.
     
  18. amariselle

    amariselle Jesus Never Fails

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    Really? Do you have any documentation to back that assertion up?
     
  19. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Evangelical Catholic Supporter

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    What I stated is obvious, I don't see why I should have to back it up. Having more choices in ones life is always better than having fewer choices, when it comes to defining autonomy. Protestants denied women a vocation that had previously been considered honorable.

    I am beginning to think you are just anti-Catholic.
     
  20. amariselle

    amariselle Jesus Never Fails

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    Well, we should always be able to back up such a serious assertion/accusation, I would think.

    I wasn't aware that Protestant women had fewer autonomous choices. Interesting. (Also, if one must have the choice of being a nun and entering a convent, there are Protestant orders, as I'm sure you're aware.)

    In any case, it's not as though Protestant women are forced to get married and have children.

    That is false. As I said, there are "Protestant" orders.

    Think whatever you like. Just because someone questions something or objects to a statement made, does not make them "anti" anything, nor does it make them hateful.

    Perhaps you should remember what my initial response was all about. You seem to have forgotten.
     
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