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Mary and the Protestants

Discussion in 'One Bread, One Body - Catholic' started by Michie, Sep 18, 2021.

  1. Michie

    Michie Human rights begin in the womb. Supporter

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    When I was a Protestant seminarian, I thought I had good reasons not to venerate or pray to Mary. The mother of Jesus, however holy, was only so because of Christ, and thus any special honoring of her necessarily detracted from the unique, unparalleled honor due to our Lord. That’s certainly what the Reformers thought. As John Calvin writes in his Institutes of the Christian Religion, “one who takes refuge in the intercession of saints robs Christ of the honor of mediation.” It wasn’t until reading Manfred Hauke’s Introduction to Mariology that I realized the ecumenical stakes regarding Mary are quite a bit higher than avoiding “idolatrous worship.”

    The early Reformers revolted against the Catholic Church preeminently over salvation. Whereas the Church taught that man’s cooperation was required for his own salvation, Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, among others, rejected this as undermining both the doctrines of grace and God’s sovereignty. Salvation must be wholly and entirely the work of Christ, they declared, asserting the Protestant doctrines of sola fide (faith alone) and sola gratia (grace alone). As Luther wrote in The Babylonian Captivity of the Church, “all works are measured before God by faith alone.”

    Nevertheless, first-generation Reformers maintained a view of Mary that most contemporary Protestants would blanche at. Martin Luther continued to believe in the perpetual virginity of Mary and her immaculate conception. Calvin was willing to accept her perpetual virginity as at least possible and criticized other Protestants for rejecting the Catholic doctrine out of hand. One may speculate as to whether these Reformers’ retention of certain Catholic conceptions of Mary was motivated more by residue from their own upbringing or their reading of Scripture.

    Continued below.
    Mary and the Protestants - The Catholic Thing
     
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  2. anna ~ grace

    anna ~ grace Newbie Supporter

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    I never understood as a Protestant why we weren’t allowed to talk about Mary. Like, at all. We could talk about Ruth, Naomi, Sarah, Esther, Mary Magdalene and Martha, and female disciples like Susana, Lydia, and Phoebe. And read entire books about them. But not Mary, not the Woman who gave birth to God.

    There’s no way that’s a balanced, truly Scriptural approach to her. No way.
     
  3. Michie

    Michie Human rights begin in the womb. Supporter

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    Oh yeah. There is all sorts of beliefs out there concerning Mary and her importance or lack of it. One tidbit I remember was (If Mary said no, God just would of used someone else). Among other things. It makes so sense at all. Genealogy, etc. the types and shadows in the OT... it does not pan out. It takes a lot of mental gymnastics to not see she was very important in God’s plan.
     
  4. Bob Crowley

    Bob Crowley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I was fortunate enough to have a pastor who accepted Mary had a role, although it was hardly ever mentioned in church.

    In one sermon, he said about the Protestant "rejection" of Mary that "I think we've lost something."

    In a private conversation he remarked "There's been a lot of them (Marian apparitions)... They line up with Scripture ....(and) I think they're a judgement on a divided church".

    But as I said she was very rarely mentioned by him or anyone else.
     
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  5. anna ~ grace

    anna ~ grace Newbie Supporter

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    He sounds like a really cool, wise Pastor.
     
  6. Bob Crowley

    Bob Crowley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I developed a lot of respect for him, as he was both wise and prophetic, in that if he said he thought something would happen, it did sooner or later. If someone wanted to argue theology or church history with him, they would have needed to know their stuff. He was a gifted speaker too.

    I've said before the night my father died, he appeared in my room. I was an atheist at the time.

    He made a few predictions of his own, some of them quite sinister. But amongst the more ordinary ones were "You'll become a Christian" and "You'll meet a pastor. You'll think he's great, but all he'll do is discourage you even more!"

    That was how he put it, but mind you he didn't have a kind word for anybody.

    Anyway the pastor he was referring to was the one above, whom I met nearly 4 years later when I became Christian.

    Towards the end of our time together he said to me "I owe you an apology."

    I asked why. He replied, "You needed encouragement, but all I've done is to discourage you even more."

    I said to him "I've often mentioned to you the business about my father appearing the night he died?"

    He nodded. I continued, "Want to know one of the things he said?"

    I said "He said 'You'll meet a pastor. You'll think he's great, but all he'll do is to discourage you even more!'" I added "You've just quoted him back to me almost word for word."

    That startled him and he blurted out "You really did see your father that night!" Then he went on, "I tend to discourage people. I don't mean to, but I do."

    Despite the discouragement, I learnt a lot from him, and as I said he was prophetic. He predicted I'd become Catholic for example, and also warned me that there'd be a lot of pedophile cases years before they hit the media fan saying "I think there's going to be a LOT of them!" So when it happened, I wasn't surprised. Irritated maybe, but as he used to say to me "One bunch of sinners is pretty much the same as the next."

    PS - In one of his sermons on abortion, he ended the sermon saying that "If we keep going the way we are, I see nothing ahead of us but judgement."

    Most of our state governments have gone all out to allow abortion on demand, and more recently legalised euthanasia. Over the last few years we've had massive bushfires, drought, Covid-19 (along with the rest of the world), soured relations with China with economic penalities, and now we look like possibly having trouble with the EU due to the cancellation of a submarine deal with France. Our state and federal government budgets are up the spout, we've been involved in wars with the USA in Moslem territories and our nearest neighbour is Moslem Indonesia. Meanwhile we have a small defence force and will now be waiting years for our submarine force.

    I think we're being set up, much as I hate to say it. It's depressing.

    As part of another prediction he said "I think you'll move to (certain suburb). And that's when all this trouble will start to hit."

    We haven't moved yet, and that depends on another of his predictions coming true first.

    He also said "The church is asleep" and "I think they (Catholics) soft-pedal judgement. I think they do anyway."

    Whether that's true or not remains to be seen.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2021
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