• Welcome to Christian Forums
  1. Welcome to Christian Forums, a forum to discuss Christianity in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to be able to join in fellowship with Christians all over the world.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

  2. The forums in the Christian Congregations category are now open only to Christian members. Please review our current Faith Groups list for information on which faith groups are considered to be Christian faiths. Christian members please remember to read the Statement of Purpose threads for each forum within Christian Congregations before posting in the forum.

Featured Why Believe in Perpetual Virginity?

Discussion in 'Denomination Specific Theology' started by brightlights, Jan 26, 2017.

  1. NeoScholasticism

    NeoScholasticism New Member

    40
    +24
    Catholic
    Private
    Superhero Sam,

    I'm not sure I follow your argument, if it is something like this:

    (1) One should dismiss the arguments of those who hold at least some erroneous views on important matters.
    (2) The Church Fathers have held at least some erroneous views on important matters.
    (3) Therefore, one should dismiss the arguments of the Church Fathers.

    The first premise is strong, and probably you are not holding it. It is likely the case that almost everyone has some erroneous views on some important matters, including almost everyone on this forum. But you seem to have no qualms in engaging in dialogue with some people here, without dismissing their arguments (or at least you appear not to). Why should one dismiss the Church Fathers' arguments on account of (1) but not dismiss other correspondents' arguments? Conversely, if you do not believe your correspondents' argument should be dismissed out of hand, though they seem to you to hold at least some erroneous views on important matters, why not believe that the arguments of the Church Fathers should not be dismissed out of hand, though they too seem to you to hold at least some erroneous views on important matters?

    It seems fruitless to quarrel over controversial facets of the Church Fathers' doctrine unrelated to the Perpetual Virginity, since the whole reason such facets were brought up, i.e. the first premise, may very well be wrong or otherwise misplaced.

    In Sanguine Agni
     
  2. NeoScholasticism

    NeoScholasticism New Member

    40
    +24
    Catholic
    Private
    Hank77,

    In Catholic theology, the very grace making Mary sinless in conception, life, and death was a grace applied retroactively, and on account of the merit of Christ; she was sinless in those ways precisely because of the merit of Christ. It is not as though her grace of sinlessness is from some other source which acts in opposition to Christ's merit.

    In Sanguine Agni
     
  3. DRobert

    DRobert Baptized, reborn, catholic christian

    91
    +23
    Christian
    Married
    Dear Protestants,

    Why would the Protestant Reformers support Mary's perpetual virginity if it isn't biblical?

    Maybe because it's biblical.
     
  4. Hank77

    Hank77 Well-Known Member Supporter

    +9,657
    United States
    Non-Denom
    Married
    US-Others
    Thanks that explanation it brought back to memory the teachings from almost 50 yrs. ago.

    If the Immaculate Conception is an important doctrine for the Church wouldn't at least one of the Apostles have taught it?
     
  5. hooverbranch

    hooverbranch My Avatar is so a picture from 2005

    239
    +45
    Christian
    Married
    US-Libertarian
    Yes as far as doctrine of Mary's life many if not all of the reformers would of agreed with the Catholic Church. The point was not that they agree with me but that they started the emphasis on putting Glory to God above all else. (Especially Calvin) Which is the real reason Protestants have an issue with this doctrine we feel it steals Gods Glory and places it on a human woman.
     
  6. psalms 91

    psalms 91 Legend

    +12,068
    Word of Faith
    Private
    US-Democrat
    Show me scripture to back this up, otherwise it is just mens imaginations and nothing more. I know of no scripture supporting this so what I said I stand by
     
  7. hooverbranch

    hooverbranch My Avatar is so a picture from 2005

    239
    +45
    Christian
    Married
    US-Libertarian
    Dear Non-Protestant,
    Because the Protestant Reformatiom brought a lot of questions to the Catholic Church. But you can not expect for there not to be doctrines that were held true for over 1000 years to all disappear over night. But we do not believe doctrines based on who else believed it, but by what Scripture says. And say what you want but at best we can not disprove the Perpetual Virginity with scripture, with all these threads I have not been convinced it can be proven "by scripture".

    Sincerely
    A Protestant who admires the 15th Century reformers but does not blindly follow them or anyone.
     
  8. truefiction1

    truefiction1 Fool

    +1,643
    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    Married
    If anyone thinks that it is possible to steal God's glory, then those such as these do not (yet) know God's glory. God's glory cannot be stolen, because god freely gives His glory to all who seek it by repentance with faith in Jesus Christ. God's glory is revealed in the Beatitudes of Christ. Blessed are those who become partakers of God's glory (2 Peter 1:4) (2 Corinthians 3:18) (John 17:22) (1 John 3:2) (John 17:24) (Romans 8:29) (2 Corinthians 4:4) (2 Corinthians 4:6) (1 Corinthians 13:12) (2 Corinthians 3:17).

    *The Beatitudes of Christ are taught in His sermon on the mount, which can be found in the Gospel of (Matthew 5:1-12).
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2017
  9. PrettyboyAndy

    PrettyboyAndy • Andy • Supporter

    +300
    Canada
    Baptist
    Married
    This is interesting, can you explain this a little more for me, as I am having a difficult time understanding this?

    Your saying Mary was sinless? Would that be because in order to give birth to Christ, she would also need to be without sin?
     
  10. PrettyboyAndy

    PrettyboyAndy • Andy • Supporter

    +300
    Canada
    Baptist
    Married
    The Immaculate Conception is not a virgin birth. Catholics believe Mary was conceived the normal way, but God made her immune from imputed or inherited sin. For as long as she’s been in existence, Mary has been free of sin. This allowed her to be the “second Eve” to give birth to the “second Adam” (see 1 Corinthians 15:45). Overshadowed by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35), Mary was a pure and holy “ark,” fit to carry the Son of God. As the ark of the Lord in Moses’ day carried the elements of the Old Covenant within it, so Mary carried the Author of the New Covenant within her.

    The Roman Catholic Church argues that the Immaculate Conception is necessary because, without it, Jesus would have received His flesh from one who was herself a slave to the devil, whose works Jesus came to destroy (1 John 3:8). Mary, as the mother of the Redeemer, needed for her flesh to be free from the power of sin, and God gave her that privilege. From her time in the womb, Mary was sanctified because of her special role in bringing the Son of God incarnate into the world.

    From Got Questions
     
  11. chevyontheriver

    chevyontheriver Well-Known Member Supporter

    +5,877
    United States
    Catholic
    Married
    US-American-Solidarity
    Talking everyone else down is not the best way of glorifying someone. Making Mary small does not in itself make God any bigger. Not in reality, nor in perception. I think the opposite actually works, or it works for me. Giants of the faith point to a massive God. God glories all the more when that glory shines on His people. He is the only source of light, but by that light other objects shine with reflected light. I consider that a good thing, allowing us to better appreciate the source. Your approach, to remove any luster from anyone but God, is too reductive for me. Yes, you are trying to protect the sovereignty of God, but by attacking those whom God would have glow in His sovereignty.
     
  12. BukiRob

    BukiRob Newbie

    +959
    Messianic
    Married
    US-Constitution

    As I study this question I see the thesis (Mary was a perpetual virgin) to be highly problematic which ignores scripture itself. First and foremost we must agree that G-d would not issue a command that violates his own word.

    First is the command G-d gave to man "Be fruitful and multiply"
    Second, it ignores the hierarchy that G-d created the family to operate under... the Husband is the head of the family.
    Third, it violates what Joseph was told in the dream concerning Mary "Do not be afraid to take her as your WIFE"

    While it may be "popular" to Christianize Mary and Joseph THEY WERE JEWS.

    Without scriptural evidence (there is none) that Joseph was told to not have intimate relations with Mary the position truly begins to fall apart.

    Even more problematic is the rights of the wife under Jewish custom. *Sex is the woman's right, not the man's. A man has a duty to give his wife sex regularly and to ensure that sex is pleasurable for her. He is also obligated to watch for signs that his wife wants sex, and to offer it to her without her asking for it. The woman's right to sexual intercourse is referred to as onah, and it is one of a wife's three basic rights (the others are food and clothing), which a husband may not reduce. Although sex is the woman's right, she does not have absolute discretion to withhold it from her husband. A woman may not withhold sex from her husband as a form of punishment, and if she does, the husband may divorce her without paying the substantial divorce settlement provided for in the ketubah.

    * Judaism 101: Kosher sex

    Jews did not, do not have a "Victorian" view concerning sex within the boundary of marriage.

    There simply is no evidence that Joseph was told that she was to remain in a sexless marriage.
     
  13. hooverbranch

    hooverbranch My Avatar is so a picture from 2005

    239
    +45
    Christian
    Married
    US-Libertarian
    And I think this is a matter of perspective. In your Perspective from what I can tell. By us protestants being un-willing to agree to Mary the Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ being Sinless and without blemish. (Correct me by all means if I am wrong on your perspective) We are not only downplaying the Role of Mary we are tearing her down.

    Where from our perspective by having the doctrines that we can not see are supported by scripture then we are lifting up a Human to the Level or near the Level of God Himself.

    See where you see us as tearing her down and throwing her in the garbage. We see you as putting her on a pedastool that is reserved for Jesus Christ Alone.

    Throughout the entire New Testament how prevelant is Mary in regards to Worship and Salvation? Not at all. Yet we are told that "None come to the father but through Me." (By Jesus) (jude 1:25, colossians 1:13, 2 Peter 1:16-18) So we are clearly called to admonish the Glory of Gods Son. And its not just one or two verses that we can debate. I gave 3 examples but there are so many more Praising and lifting up Our Lord Jesus Christ.

    So for a Protestant like me. And from my perspective to honor Mary and put her in the same category as Jesus. (In that she was without Sin) Is shifting the focus off of the amazing fact that there has been but One who was without Sin and that is the Son of God Our Lord Jesus Christ.

    I am sorry from your perspective that looks like I am talking down to Mary. But the truth is I admire Mary and Joseph for being faithful servants of Our Lord and the HUGE role in which God used them for in bringing about and raising the Savior of our Sins.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2017
  14. Hank77

    Hank77 Well-Known Member Supporter

    +9,657
    United States
    Non-Denom
    Married
    US-Others
    Good supporting verse for my view.

    Popular? That's a strange statement.
     
  15. 2Timothy2:15

    2Timothy2:15 Well-Known Member

    +1,208
    Christian
    Married

    Luke 2:7 — where, had Mary borne no other children after Jesus, instead of υἱόν πρωτότοκον, the expression υἱόν μονογενῆ would have been used, as well as from Acts 1:14, cf. John 7:5, where the Lord's brethren are distinguished from the apostles. See further on this point under Ἰάκωβος, 3. (Cf. B. D. under the word ; Andrews, Life of our Lord, pp. 104-116; Bib. Sacr. for 1864, pp. 855-869; for 1869, pp. 745-758; Laurent, N. T. Studien, pp. 153-193; McClellan, note on Matthew 13:55.)

    I will take the scripture as authority over the traditions of men that fit nicely into their own doctrine any day. I would like to see your examples using chapter and verse, otherwise it is just another "tradition".
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2017
  16. Jack Isaacks

    Jack Isaacks Member

    169
    +104
    Eastern Orthodox
    Private
    The way this seems to you bears no resemblance to reality.

    I don't like discussing Mariology on sites like this since there are so many participants who don't believe that the Virgin's Son is God Incarnate.

    ALL the pre-Reformation Churches, regardless of Christological differences, believe in the perpetual virginity of the Theotokos.

    Oddly enough, so did the Reformers.
     
  17. SolomonVII

    SolomonVII Well-Known Member

    +4,705
    Canada
    Catholic
    Married
    CA-Greens
    There was a trend in the Reformation, that was also prominent in Catholic reformers such as Erasmus, that was very critical of much of the superstition and magical thinking that developed around Mary in his day.

    What the reformers brought to the table was a restoration of critical thinking to the process, and an insistence that historical claims be based in documented history rather than in lore.
     
  18. chevyontheriver

    chevyontheriver Well-Known Member Supporter

    +5,877
    United States
    Catholic
    Married
    US-American-Solidarity
    First let me say that you didn't respond directly to what I wrote at all.
    I would agree that God would not issue any command that would violate His own word.
    Mary was the mother of Jesus. If that's not being fruitful, I don't know what is. Joseph was head of her household and took her as his wife. None of this ignores God's word.
    With all that entails. Self evident. First century Jews, and we should not anachronistically apply other expectations upon them.
    Not at all. Lots of people PRESUME that Mary had to have many children. They see it written that Mary had other children and they think it's settled. They don't understand John Calvin's argument about about how the 'brothers' of Jesus would likely be actual cousins. They see 'brothers in the original KJV English and they KNOW Mary couldn't have been a virgin. They understand less than Calvin did. If you wanted to respond directly to my actual post you could have tried to show me why you think Calvin was all wet about 'brothers' really being cousins.

    Now there is no quote in Scripture where God tells Joseph not to have sex with Mary. But there is a hint that Mary was a vowed celibate who had no intention of having sex with anyone. There were vowed celibates in first century Israelite religion. Mary, when the Angel Gabriel tells her she will have a child says, "How shall this be, since I have no husband?" She SHOULD have said that of course she will have a child after she moves in with Joseph who she was betrothed to. Her reply hints that she knew the normal way she could have a child but that she had no expectation of a husband who would be a sexual partner. That she was a vowed celibate who would live under Joseph's protection but not having sex and having children. Joseph would have known about this and consented to it, or not married her. Paul speaks of exactly this kind of thing, so we know it existed.
    All well and good. Mary had a right to sex. Joseph even had a right to sex. Makes sense. Neither could withhold sex if the other asked. But if Mary was a vowed celibate and Joseph wanted to honor her commitment then there is no requirement for sex, no requirement for children. It's odd by my standards but it's not 'problematic'.
    I would hope not.
    No direct quote, I agree. But there is a real hint right in Scripture that she had no expectation of a child, that she had become a vowed celibate. Joseph would have known that, and he could choose accordingly. Mary as a virgin is not at all crazy. Paul attests to virgins, and even those under the care of men. Mary hints by her own words that this is her life plan.
     
  19. chevyontheriver

    chevyontheriver Well-Known Member Supporter

    +5,877
    United States
    Catholic
    Married
    US-American-Solidarity
    This thread WAS about the perpetual virginity of Mary, even if it has expanded to other aspects of Mary.

    The typical Protestant reaction is that honoring Mary 'takes away' or 'shifts the focus' from Jesus. It is part of a larger reaction that honoring anyone but God 'takes away' or 'shifts the focus' from God. Of course you can point to examples where in honoring Mary or honoring anyone, some people have lost their perspective and that it has taken away from the honor due to God alone. But you have thrown out the baby with the bathwater in doing that. By all means throw out the bathwater. Just don't throw out the baby.

    It's not a zero sum game. Honor given to Mary does not remove honor from God. Limited honor given to Mary in fact can and ought to give greater glory to God. But if you play the zero sum game any honor given Mary takes from the honor due to God.

    Mary being sinless is more akin to Eve, who was also born without sin. God can make sinless people. That does not make them gods. It does not take anything away from God that Adam and Eve were created sinless. Nor does it take away anything from Jesus that his mother was not a sinner. Especially in that she was saved from sin by the same redemption as every other human being, by the power of the sacrifice of Jesus.
     
  20. NeoScholasticism

    NeoScholasticism New Member

    40
    +24
    Catholic
    Private
    Hank77,

    Thank you for your comments. There are three points I'd like to make.

    The first is that you begin with the supposition that 'all important doctrine was taught by at least one of the Apostles'. Perhaps you are right, but why would one be wrong in not believing this?

    The second is that it is unclear what you mean by 'important'. Perhaps that seems like a silly comment to make, but it is ambiguous as to what you think important doctrine is relevantly important for -- for salvation as a necessity? for salvation as an unnecessary help? for the edification of the pious? etc. And even there, we would have to split hairs. For example, if we took the doctrine of the Trinity and claimed it as necessary for salvation, then we have to further say 'for whom?' Certainly Justin Martyr, who was hailed universally in the early Church as a saint, did not stand up to the Trinitarian orthodoxy of Nicaea a couple centuries after his death. But then he either was not saved, or the the doctrine of the Trinity in its Nicene form was not necessary for his salvation. If the latter, then we go down the rabbit hole of determining 'for whom?' as I said.

    The third is that you are implicitly saying something like 'we do not have evidence that the Immaculate Conception was taught by the Apostles'. I have never seen explicit reference to the Immaculate Conception in an Apostolic writing, but then again, absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence. That is, even if the Apostles never penned anything about the Immaculate Conception, we cannot know that they did not, in some inchoate way, teach it. Now, if the first point holds -- that all important doctrine was taught by at least one of the Apostles -- if that point holds, then I suppose that, if it turns out likely that the Apostles did not explicitly teach the Immaculate Conception, then it turns out likely that the Immaculate Conception is either (a) an unimportant doctrine or (b) not a doctrine at all. But even if such likelihood is the case, there would be no reason to believe (b) rather than (a), or vice versa, without further proof. (And (a) is somewhat vacuous without a relevant definition of 'important'.)

    In Sanguine Agni
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2017
Loading...