One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after;
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life (Psalm 27:4)
© Elizabeth McDonald & Dusty Peterson
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Bayith Home | Foundations | Better Than Rubies
"Just Another Expression of Christianity"?
Edited and expanded extracts from the book
by Dusty Peterson & Elizabeth McDonald,
Alpha - the Unofficial Guide: World, (2003), Part Two, Chapter 6
Roman Catholicism: Index of Articles
In this article we will briefly assess the position Mary holds, and the devotion accorded her, within the Catholic belief system. Of course, not everyone in the Catholic Church holds to all the teachings of Rome, but the fact that the following instructions about Mary represent firm dogma - i.e. they must be accepted by anyone wishing to be a member of the Roman Church - means that any treatment of Rome would be very incomplete without a look at her. There may, too, be aspects of Rome's teaching on Mary of which the reader is not currently aware...
Mother of God and Sinless Blessed Virgin
The first point to note is that Rome refers to Mary as the "Mother of God" and the "Perpetual Virgin". Catholicism teaches that Mary was "Immaculately conceived" (i.e. born free from sin) so that she was not subject to death:
So strongly does Rome maintain these beliefs that any person not holding to them will, she claims, "incur the wrath of Almighty God". Consider the following copper-bottomed statement from her:
Unfortunately, we can find no unambiguous support for these teachings in the Bible. Although Mary gave birth to Jesus Christ when He was on the Earth it is not possible for her to have been the "Mother of God", since Father, Son and Holy Spirit all existed before her:
Mary also bore other children and so she was not a perpetual virgin:
For some details of her other offspring, see Mark 6:3 and Mark 15:40. (If any of our readers feel that it is inappropriate to investigate Rome's teaching on Mary, may we remind them that John Paul II confirmed his belief in all of Rome's Marian dogmas.)
Although Mary was righteous, and found favour in God's sight, she, like us all, was still in need of a Saviour:
As additional proof of this, Mary was not exempt from making the required sin offering after Christ's birth (Luke 2:22-24, c.f. Leviticus 12:2-8).
Scripture notwithstanding, Rome goes further and claims that Christ Jesus was not our sole Redeemer, but that Mary is actually "co-redemptrix" with Him:
Yes, Mary was present at Christ's crucifixion. But if we start going down the road described above then we would have to say that the malefactor on the cross next to Jesus was also a co-Redeemer, due to his 'active participation' in the crucifixion scene. But Scripture says no such thing about Mary or anyone else. The Lord Jesus Christ alone was beaten, lashed and crucified. He alone is sinless, and therefore He alone is able to save:
The word 'Redeemer' can be found eighteen times in the Bible. In each case the surrounding text confirms that there is only one redeemer. The plural version of the word never occurs.
Luke 1:42-48 shows that God the Father permits Mary to be called "blessed" for "all generations" because He chose her to bear the Lord Jesus Christ. She was a faithful and godly Israelite woman, and hers was a unique role, but other women in Scripture are also called "blessed" (e.g. in Genesis 24:60, Judges 5:24, and Ruth 3:10).
Following on from the teaching that Mary is co-redemptrix, Rome insists that she is also the mediator between us and her Son, the Lord Jesus - and as such is to receive the prayers of the faithful:
But only a High Priest - a male - can intercede with God on our behalf. The Bible just mentions one mediator between the Father and us:
There is no mention in Scripture of our needing to reach the Lord Jesus through prayers to Mary.
For us to pray to anyone but God is wrong (Deuteronomy 18:10-12, Matthew 6:6, Luke 11:2). If people were reaching the true Mary then she would admonish them for disobeying God. Since this is not happening, whom are people really contacting? And what of the increasingly frequent 'Marian apparitions' occurring around the world? Despite there being no examples of Marian apparitions in the Bible, nor any scriptures prophesying that Mary would reappear, growing numbers of Catholics believe that the apparitions are images of the true Mary. But the messages being given by this 'angel of light' reveal her true identity:
These teachings are from Babylon. Indeed, the Babylonians too worshipped a woman whose image reappeared after her demise. An example of this is referred to in Acts 19:35. The enemy is easily capable of producing such 'lying signs and wonders' (2 Corinthians 11:14-15) and Paul warned us to be on our guard against this (Galatians 1:8).
Of course, large numbers of people believe in the errors we have cited above. But any reader who imagines that "a billion people can't all be wrong" should consider the pattern throughout Scripture where it was indeed the majority who were usually in the wrong. It was often just a tiny remnant that overcame Satan's temptations and deceptions and remained true to God's Word. Among the large numbers of examples we could list: Only two people (out of the estimated two million escapees from Egypt) made it to the Promised Land, because the rest did not maintain a living faith in the God of Israel; only a very small proportion of the people in Elijah's day stayed true to the Lord; and only an infinitesimal fraction of the exiles from Israel ever returned.
One of the ways in which Catholics believe they can pray to Mary is by recitation of the 'Hail Mary' (or Ave Maria in Latin):
This contradicts the Lord's express command to us:
Incidentally, the 'Holy Rosary' (used also by Muslims and others, and composed of a string of beads each of which is 'counted off' as the relevant prayer is recited) did not originate with Rome. It is of pagan origin, having been used for millennia in the religions of Buddhism and Hinduism:
A rosary is also to be seen around the neck of the Ephesian 'goddess' Diana (also known as "the Mother of the gods"), the worship of whom Paul thoroughly denounced in Acts 19:24-28 .
Queen of Heaven
Although Mary was respected by the people of her day, Christ Jesus took every opportunity to refute the idea that she was to be 'adored', emphasizing instead that all who hear and obey the Lord God are blessed:
From the scriptures below it can be seen that there were actually some occasions when Mary was obstructing Jesus' ministry, for which He needed to reprove her:
In fact Jesus, while naturally respectful toward Mary, did not hesitate to correct her wrong thinking concerning His actions - even as a child of twelve:
Despite all of this, Rome adores her as 'Queen':
There is only one passage in Scripture in which reference is made to 'veneration to', or adoration of, a "Queen of Heaven" - and such behaviour is shown to be an abomination to the Lord:
The "Queen of Heaven" is the Babylonian goddess, Semiramis (also known as Ishtar or Easter  etc in different countries, plus Astarte - the plural of which is Ashtaroth) who, along with her husband Nimrod (Bel or Baal - plural Baalim) and her child Tammuz, formed the false trinity worshipped by Israel during times of apostasy:
Note that the true Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Ghost have various titles (e.g. Jehovah, Adonai, Tree of Life, Lamb of God, Comforter, Spirit of Truth etc) and are described in Scripture in various ways and forms (e.g. as a Judge, a King, a Shepherd, a High Priest, a burning bush, an angel, a voice from Heaven, a smoking furnace, and so on). In a similar way, the members of the false trinity were each given various names and 'identities'. When we discover these names and characters, a number of seemingly impenetrable scriptures referring to these 'gods' suddenly make sense .
The original name of the son in the false Babylonian trinity was Tammuz. Like Christ, Tammuz dies young. Hence:
Rome teaches that Mary:
But according to God's own Word, the Queen of Heaven is an "idol" and an "abomination". It is pertinent to note that the Babylonian goddess, Semiramis, was also called "the Virgin Mother" and the "Mother of the gods". The 'Mary' that Rome worships is not the Mary of the Bible but the goddess of Babylon. (This would explain why most images of 'Mary' look nothing like the face of a Jewess.) .
Rome claims that the 'type' of worship given to Mary is different from the 'type' that God should receive. The Bible, however, does not make a distinction. ANY type of worship to anyone other than God is a terrible act in the eyes of our wonderful, holy, jealous Lord (Exodus 20:1-5, Matthew 4:10). In practice, Mary holds the central place in the hearts of many Catholics regardless.
What the scriptures say about Mary is more than sufficient to know (a) she was a sinner like us all, (b) she wasn't always helpful to the Lord's ministry, (c) she wasn't a perpetual virgin, (d) she wasn't co-redemptrix, (e) she isn't a mediator, and (f) she is not 'Queen of Heaven'.
It is also apparent that, if Mary is meant to be so central to the Christian Faith then this fact would be made very plain in the Bible - instead of her receiving just a few brief mentions. When this observation is put to Catholics, some suggest that the discrepancy is due to parts of the Bible going missing over the years. Patently this is not so. If the Lord God created the scriptures would He not ensure their preservation? Indeed He has promised to do so:
 Walter M. Abbott, S.J., Gen. Ed., The Documents of Vatican II, (Geoffrey Chapman, 1966), The Church, point 53, p86. (See also point 66, p94.)
 Abbott, Documents, point 69, p96.
 Catechism of the Catholic Church, Part One, Section Two, Chap One, Article 1, Para 7, point IV, http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s2c1p7.htm#IV as at 14 march 2013.
 Abbott, Documents, The Church, point 59, p90. (See also point 56, p88.)
 The Decree of Pope Pius XII on the Assumption of Mary, From the Bull Munificentissimus Deus (A.D. 1950), Quoted in William Webster, Saving Faith: How Does Rome Define it? (Christian Resources Inc., 1995), pp35-36.
 Marcus Meyer, No Mother, quoted in Loraine Boettner, Roman Catholicism, (Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1962), p135.
 The Holy Father - Pope John Paul II - Teachings, http://www.theworkofgod.org/JonhPll/JohnPaul.htm as at 14 March 2013. See also Abbott, Documents, The Church, point 56, p88, and point 58, pp89-90.
 Abbott, Documents, The Church, point 62, pp91-92. See also point 66, p94 and point 69, p96.
 As David Cloud points out, the word “venerate” primarily means “to solicit the goodwill of a god, [to] worship” [Webster’s College Dictionary, Random House].
 Ineffabilis Deus of Pope Pius IX, December 8th, 1854, quoted in Pagan Sun Worship and Catholicism: The Sunburst Image, the Queen of Heaven and Baal, www.aloha.net/~mikesch/sunburst.htm as at 02:Nov:2002.
 Boettner, Roman Catholicism, pp147-148.
 Annie Kirkwood, Mary’s Message to the World, (Perigee, 1991), p45 as quoted in Roger Oakland, New Wine and the Babylonian Vine, (Understand the Times, 2002), p311. Note that Lourdes is one of the places the Vatican has confirmed as a site of ‘genuine’ Marian apparitions. (These famously occurred in 1858 to Bernadette Soubirous, and five million pilgrims now visit there yearly.)
 Kirkwood, Mary's Message, p154, as quoted in Oakland, New Wine, p311.
 Kirkwood, Mary's Message, pp40-44, as quoted in Oakland, New Wine, p312.
 Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons, (Loizeaux Brothers, 2nd ed., 1959), pp187-188.
 One danger of importing pagan practices into the church is that pagan faiths which continue to use those practices can, with time, appear to be ‘church-like’ and ‘on the right track’ to Christians who have adopted those same practices and think them to be of Christian origin.
 Abbott, Documents, point 59, p90.
 Ad Caeli Reginam, Encyclical of Pius XII on Proclaiming the Queenship of Mary, October 11, 1954, http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xii/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xii_enc_11101954_ad-caeli-reginam_en.html as at 02:Nov:2002.
 The Babylonian festival of ‘Easter’ is a pagan fertility festival – hence the preponderance of rabbits and eggs in Easter celebrations.
 For example, Bel is another name for Nimrod – the man behind the tower of Babel where the Lord confounded the speech of the people, so we get: “Declare ye among the nations, and publish, and set up a standard; publish, and conceal not: say, Babylon is taken, Bel is confounded … [Babylon’s] idols are confounded, her images are broken in pieces” (Jeremiah 50:2).
 Incidentally, the annual forty days of bewailing (a form of self-punishment) for the Babylonian god Tammuz has been adopted into the church, through Rome, and renamed ‘Lent’.
 There can now be no doubt too that the ‘Jesus’ which Catholics reach through ‘Mary’ is a different person from the Lord Jesus Christ – as per 2 Corinthians 11:4a. (This would likewise shed light on why Rome’s pictures and statues of Christ do not look Jewish either.) See Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons, Chapter 2, Section 3 for a very comprehensive treatment of the subject of Mary and Semiramis.
 As an aside, if the reader feels that 66 is a rather odd figure as a total for the number of books in the Bible and is tempted to think that four might be missing - because seventy is a much more 'biblical' number - it is worth remembering that the Psalms comprise 5 books on their own, bringing the actual total to 70.