Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Catholic Mary

Finished the 3-week series on Mary last night. It was interesting to talk and discuss what the Catholic Church teaches about Mary. I pulled all this material from Scot McKnight's book The Real Mary. Thought the book was an easy read and very helpful in laying out what Catholics really think about Mary. So, we will start with some similarities bewteen Catholics and Protestants.

- Would believe with us Protestants in the supernatural conception of Jesus
- Would believe with us Protestants that Mary is the mother of God

- Believe Mary was sinless (still had to grow and mature, just never chose to sin, sinless because God enabled her to be)
o We, in the Wesleyan camp, believe a person can live above sin and not choose to sin, we believe that such a life is only possible because God enables it.
o This could be a good stepping stone to talking about Christian Perfection, or entire sanctification.

- Perpetual virgin (so did Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Wesley)
o Arose around the time when the commitment to celibacy was thought of as noblest form of the spiritual life.

- Immaculate Conception – Mary, the moment she was born, was made sinless by God.
o In our view of sinlessness we would disagree because we believe heavily in choice in regards to these matters.

- Glorious Assumption – Mary taken to heaven with God. The stories tell that she died in the presence of others and was placed in a tomb, when they checked on her, she was gone. Believe this because they say Mary was not affected by Original Sin (aging, death, decay, etc.)

- The Mediatrix – Catholics pray to Mary by asking her to intercede for them.
o From incident in John where Mary intercedes on the behalf of others for her Son to make wine.
o Catholics do not look at Mary as an idol (though we may think they do).
o Believe so strongly in the fact that there is life after death that their prayers are heard by saints in heaven.

That is a summary of Catholic teaching on Mary. Any thoughts?

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