VENERATION OF MARY

It IS worship, even though Roman Catholics deny it... it is identical to worship except for being CALLED consecration to, adoration of, or veneration of Mary. The dictionary definition of "worship" is "an act of religious devotion usually directed towards a deity." It includes the acknowledgement of that which is glorious and above and beyond us, and can include prayer.  We realize that many have been pulled into this activity feeling they are pleasing God in this veneration, but it just isn't what God asks for.  For a starting point we cite the command in Exodus 20:4-5:

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image,
or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above,
or that is in the earth beneath, ...
thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, or serve them:
for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God..."

Think about the names given to Mary by Roman Catholics: mother of God, mother of the Church, redemptrix, Holy Queen, mother of mercy. But none of this is Biblical. Instead all the superlatives are about God: HE is our rock, our redeemer, the one to pray to, the one who delivers, our helper, our rescuer, the gracious one, the loving one, the forgiving one, our everything. But consider this:

On May 13, 1981, a man shot Pope John Paul II. As the ambulance carried him to the hospital, the Pope kept praying, "Mary, my mother! Mary, my mother!" One year later, the Pope made a pilgrimage to Fatima to thank Our Lady of Fatima for saving his life and to consecrate the entire human race to her. The video, Catholicism: Crisis of Faith, shows the Pope kissing the feet of a statue of Mary. The keys of hell and death are held by JESUS, not Mary. (Rev. 1:18).

On the EWTN TV station I heard it said that they seek domination of Mary over the souls of people. They refer to Mary as the dispenser of God's gifts at the website called Myconsecration.org. There they seek for people to be consecrated to Christ THROUGH his Mother, Mary. But the Bible speaks of DIRECT access to God and Christ in Hebrews 4:16-19. And we are told in Philippians 2:9-10 that Jesus has been exalted and has a name above every other name,  and it is at HIS feet all are to bow.

Pope Francis has reminded his people that the Fatima vision of 1917 is still valid. In this vision which Mary allegedly appeared several times to some children and asked people to be devoted to her sacred immaculate heart (and to devote Russia to her heart...which was never done). The vision indicated that people were to confess and repent of sins that offend HER heart, including not believing her to be sinless, ever virgin , and having been assumed to heaven (without dying). All of the popes since then have accepted this as a valid vision.  No one on earth every directly offended Mary; she has no power over us to demand that we not offend HER; she is not divine...she is only a glorified human.  I do not believe it was actually MARY who appeared to those children.  The requests were all a FALSE focus on Her, not Christ.

Consider what is being said in prayers to her:

   Hail Mary, full of grace, the lord is with thee blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, 
   Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us. And after this our exile, show unto us the blessed Fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

Let Us Pray: O God, Whose only-begotten Son, by His life, death and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life, grant, we beseech Thee, that meditating upon these Mysteries of the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain, and obtain what they promise, through the same Christ, our Lord. Amen

Pray for us, O holy Mother of God. - That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

WHAT?  What can she do to make us worthy?  It was JESUS' SHED BLOOD that makes us worthy of anything God has for us! In Heb. 4:14-16 we are told that Jesus as our high priest understands all we go through. HE sympathizes with us! We are told to go BOLDLY to the throne of His grace and HE will help us.

 

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT MARY?

I have imported this analysis from an EXCELLENT website that gives a lot of additional information, written by Mary Ann Collins, a former nun: formercatholicsforchrist.com.

ADORATION-- When Mary and Jesus' brothers came to see him and he was told, in Luke 8:21 he said, who are my mother and brothers? Those who hear God's word and obey it. Spiritually speaking, all who follow Jesus are on the same level as his physical mother and brothers. What is stated is that Mary is blessed AMONG women... does that put her ABOVE anyone? Note that in Judges 5:24, a woman named Jael is blessed ABOVE women!

IMMACULATE CONCEPTION -- Mary was preserved from all stain of original sin from the first instant of her conception. (Catechism 490-492).

In Luke 1:46-47, Mary said: "My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour". Mary knew that she needed a savior.

The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception was first introduced by a heretic (a man whose teachings were officially declared to be contrary to Church doctrine). For centuries this doctrine was unanimously rejected by popes, Fathers and theologians of the Catholic Church. See William Webster, The Church of Rome at the Bar of History, pages 72-77.

ALL-HOLY -- Mary, "the All-Holy," lived a perfectly sinless life. (Catechism 411, 493)

Romans 3:23 says "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God". Revelation 15:4 says, "Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? For thou only art holy". Romans 3:10 says, "There is none righteous, no, not one".

Jesus is the only person who is referred to in Scripture as sinless. Hebrews 4:15 says, "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." 1 Peter 2:22 says, "Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth".

In contrast, Mary said that God is her Savior. (Luke 1:47) If God was her Savior, then Mary was not sinless. Sinless people do not need a Savior.

In the Book of Revelation, when they were searching for someone who was worthy to break the seals and open the scroll, the only person who was found to be worthy was Jesus. Nobody else in Heaven or on earth (including Mary) was worthy to open the scroll or even look inside it. (Revelation 5:1-5)

PERPETUAL VIRGINITY -- Mary was a virgin before, during and after the birth of Christ. (Catechism 496-511)

Matthew 1:24-25 says, "Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS." "Till" (until) means that after that point, Joseph did "know" (have sexual relations with) Mary. (See Genesis 4:1 where Adam "knew" Eve and she conceived and had a son.)

Jesus had brothers and sisters. The Bible even tells us their names. Matthew 13:54-56 says,

"And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hatch this man this wisdom, and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us?"

Other Scripture verses which specifically refer to Jesus’ brothers are: Matthew 12:46; John 2:12; John 7:3; Acts 1:14; and Galatians 1:19.

I was always taught that "brothers" and "sisters" were general terms that really could refer to any kind of kinsman, including cousins. This is true in the Hebrew language. However, the New Testament is written in Greek, which is an extremely precise language. It makes a clear distinction between the words used to describe family relationships. There is a Greek word which refers to people who are relatives but not of the immediate family, such as aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces and cousins. There are other Greek words which refer specifically to a person’s brother or sister within a family.

(Sharon's addition:) By the way... since when is being ever-virgin as a WIFE, a sign of holiness.  God said to be fruitful and multiply, and in I Cor. 7:4-5 it indicates that it is a SIN to withhold intimacy from a spouse!  Pity Joseph if the RC view is correct!  Her "holding out" would have been a stumbling block to him, 

MOTHER OF GOD -- Because she is the mother of Jesus, and Jesus is God, therefore Mary is the Mother of God. (Catechism 963, 971, 2677).

The Incarnation means that Jesus was both fully God and fully man. Mary was only the mother of Jesus as man, and not the mother of Jesus as God. According to the Bible, the world was created through Jesus. This was long before Mary was born. Hebrews 1:1-2 says,

"God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds".

Colossians 1:16-17 says,

"For by him [Jesus] were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things [including Mary] were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things [including Mary] , and by him all things consist".

John 8:58 says, "Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, before Abraham was, I am." Jesus existed before Abraham was born. That means that He also existed before Mary was born. In John 17:5, Jesus says, "And now O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was." So Jesus existed even before the world began. Jesus came first -- not Mary. As His human nature had no father, so His divine nature had no mother

MOTHER OF THE CHURCH -- Mary is the Mother of the Church. (Catechism 963, 975).

Acts 1:13-14 gives a picture of a group of people praying together. Mary is mentioned as one of them, but nothing indicates any special prominence.

"And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Phillip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren."

Mary was probably in the Upper Room when the tongues of fire fell upon the 120 disciples. However, she is never mentioned again in the Book of Acts, which is our only historical record of how the Church was born. She is also not specifically identified in the epistles. Paul did send greetings to "Mary", but that was a common name. (In the Gospels and in the Book of Acts, she is referred to as "Mary the mother of Jesus" to distinguish her from other women named Mary.)

It is notable that John, who took Mary into his home after Jesus was crucified, does not mention her in his epistles, and he only mentions her on two occasions in his Gospel (the wedding at Cana and the crucifixion of Jesus). John mentions Mary Magdalene more than he mentions Jesus' mother.

ASSUMPTION -- At the end of her life, Mary was taken up ("assumed") body and soul into Heaven. (Catechism 966, 974)

There is no biblical reference to the assumption of Mary. The Gospel of John was written around 90 A.D., which is more than 100 years after Mary was born. (Surely Mary was more than ten years old when Jesus was conceived.) If Mary had been supernaturally assumed into Heaven, wouldn’t John (the disciple that Mary lived with) have mentioned it? When Enoch and Elijah were taken up to Heaven, the Bible recorded it. With Elijah it was recorded in some detail. (See Genesis 6:24 and 2 Kings 2:1-18.)

The Assumption of Mary was officially declared to be a dogma of the Roman Catholic faith in 1950. This means that every Roman Catholic is required to believe this doctrine without questioning it. However, as we will see, the teaching of the Assumption originated with heretical writings which were officially condemned by the early Church.

In 495 A.D., Pope Gelasius issued a decree which rejected this teaching as heresy and its proponents as heretics. In the sixth century, Pope Hormisdas also condemned as heretics those authors who taught the doctrine of the Assumption of Mary. The early Church clearly considered the doctrine of the Assumption of Mary to be a heresy worthy of condemnation. Here we have "infallible" popes declaring something to be a heresy. Then in 1950, Pope Pius XII, another "infallible" pope, declared it to be official Roman Catholic doctrine. [15]

CO-MEDIATOR -- Mary is the Co-Mediator to whom we can entrust all our cares and petitions. (Catechism 968-970, 2677)

There is only one mediator and that is Jesus. 1 Timothy 2:5-6 says, "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus: Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time." Hebrews 7:25 says,Wherefore he [Jesus] is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them." Ephesians 3:12 says, "In whom [Jesus} we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him."

If Jesus is constantly interceding for us and He is able to save us "to the uttermost," (utterly, completely) then He doesn’t need Mary’s help. If we can approach God with "boldness" and "confidence" because of our faith in Jesus, then we don't need Mary’s help either.

QUEEN OF HEAVEN -- God has exalted Mary in heavenly glory as Queen of Heaven and earth. (Catechism 966) She is to be praised with special devotion. (Catechism 971, 2675)

Psalm 148:13 says, "Let them praise the name of the Lord: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven." This makes it quite clear that only God’s name (not Mary’s) is to be exalted. (In Catholic Bibles the numbering of the chapters and verses of some of the Psalms is slightly different.)

When people tried to give Mary special honor and pre-eminence because she was His mother, Jesus corrected them.

"And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it." (Luke 11:27-28)

In chapters four and five of the Book of Revelation, we are given a quite detailed picture of Heaven. God is seated on the throne, surrounded by 24 elders and four living creatures. The Lamb (Jesus) is standing in the center of the throne. Thousands upon thousands of angels circle the throne, singing God's praises. And Mary is not in the picture at all.

In the book of Jeremiah there are references to the queen of heaven.   She was a false goddess!  Jer. 7:18, 44:17-25 

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AN EVOLVING DOCTRINE:

No one suggested praying to Mary in any church until 600 a.d. The idea came from the apocryphal books of the Bible which no church accepted officially as inspired until 1546 AD, when the Roman Catholic Church added them to the Bible. The idea that Mary never sinned was not accepted as church doctrine until 1854 AD and the idea that Mary was sinless was added as official doctrine in 1950.

FLAWED LOGIC 

   I have heard of Catholics saying that Mary, being Jesus' Mother had an "in" with him that we can share in... she can convince Him to answer our prayers.  The idea that a HUMAN is more powerful to pray to than to GOD is ridiculous!  Does Mary now know all languages?  Jesus answers prayers based on principles consistent with His divinity, not based on a mother pulling on His arm! Such an idea suggests she has power NEVER ascribed to her.   We are told to bring our requests to Jesus Christ -- to the throne of grace -- in order to find mercy and help we need - Hebrews 4:16.  We do no need to go through Mary. 

 

DEMOTING GOD

Below is an example of how Catholics substitute devotion for Mary for devotion to God
From: The Psalter of the Blessed Virgin, by Saint Bonaventure

Psalm 16: ‘Preserve me, O Lady, I have hope in thee etc’

Psalm 19: ‘The heavens declare thy glory, O Virgin Mary, and the balm of they perfume is spread over all nations etc.’

Psalm 25: ‘Unto thee, O Lady, do I lift up my soul, etc.’

Psalm 27: ‘O Lady, may the glory of thy countenance be my light etc.’

Psalm 32: ‘Blessed are they who cherish thee in their hearts, O Virgin Mary; their sins will be mercifully effaced by thee.’


What?  Mary forgives sins?

Psalm 34: ‘I will bless our Lady at all times, and never shall her praise depart from my mouth.’

Psalm 42: ‘As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thy love, blessed Virgin.’

Psalm 46: ‘O Lady, thou art my refuge in all our necessities....’

Psalm 68: ‘Let Mary arise, and let her enemies be scattered.’

 

Dare we use the word blasphemy?