Saturday, July 13, 2019

Is Mary The Mother of God?

  • Information To Ponder:
          -In 431 AD, the Council of Ephesus declared that Mary was "theotokos," a Greek term which is translated to mean "God-bearer." This was done to affirm the deity of Jesus Christ in response to the Archbishop Nestorius, who believed in separating His human and divine natures (heresy termed "Nestorianism"). In summary, the title theotokos was originally used to defend the full deity of Jesus Christ.
          -Pope John Paul II, in a speech in 1996, encouraged people “not only to invoke the Blessed Virgin as the Mother of Jesus, but also to recognize her as Mother of God” (L'Osservatore Romano, 4, December 1996, p. 11). Today, the Church of Rome uses this title which was initially centered around the nature of Christ as a way to exalt Mary.
          -"...the term God-bearer as it was used in the [Chalcedon] creed and as it was applied to Mary in these controversies said something about the nature of Christ, not the nature Mary. "Mother of God" is a phrase that has proper theological meaning only in reference to Christ. Hence, any use of the term that is not simply saying, "Jesus is fully God, one divine Person with two natures," is using the term anachronistically, and cannot claim the authority of the early church for such usage." (James R. White, Mary--Another Redeemer?, p. 47-48)
  • Understanding This Title In A Proper Sense:
          -God is eternal (Genesis 1:1; Psalm 90:2). Jesus Christ is God come in the flesh. So Mary could not be His mother in that His divine nature originated in her whom. It is biblical to say that Mary was the mother of Jesus during His incarnation on earth. Mary did indeed carry both of Christ's natures in her womb as His body was still developing. These statements are in accordance with Scripture, and Roman Catholics would readily agree with them. The problem is that the Roman Catholic Church has added all sorts of bizarre teachings regarding Mary to the biblical concept of her motherhood.
  • Further Commentary On The Mother Of God Title:
          -Roman Catholic apologists have taken advantage of the ambiguity surrounding this title for the purpose of giving credibility to their Marian theology. Mary in the Catholic Church shares several of the same qualities and abilities as Christ Himself. The many titles ascribed to her perfectly fit the description of a goddess. Nowhere does the Bible justify erecting pillars in the name of Mary, giving her religious titles of honor, and assigning providential roles to her. Kissing and weeping in front of statues of prominent Christian figures is also idolatry. The Roman Catholic Church calls Mary the mother of mercy. It has even been said that Mary sits at the right hand of the Lord Jesus Christ! None of this has any foundation in Scripture.
          -It is not necessary for us to resort to titles created by men (much less a Marian title) in drawing inferences relating to the nature of Jesus Christ. Statements about how we come to understand Him can be made firsthand from His person (God-man, etc). Scripture already has enough information on the the person of Christ. Moreover, the Marian title mother of God has been mishandled to support an aberrant ideology. Church councils are authoritative, provided that they are consistent with the written Word of God. The sayings of men about theology are mere subjective opinions apart from an objective standard of divine revelation.

1 comment:

Sean said...

I would question the bottom parts such as the building of pillars and statues and the weeping before them. I believe these may go too far. I would want to know the history of calling Mary the mother of mercy, like who first began that. But the first part as giving Mary the honor of calling her mother of God, doesn’t seem wrong and you seem to have more problem with the ambiguity of the title. Mary didn’t beget Jesus, but she did carry the divine part of Him, and through her the divine part didn’t take human existence. As I think about this more, she seems to be have even more qualities of being a mother. Because when it comes down to it, no mother actually brings about the existence of a person, or at least the soul of the person which is most important. God brings that existence. Mary seems to be in the same position. She as all other mothers is just the median for a human’s existence, only this time it is the Lord Himself. There seems to be no objective problem with calling her the Mother of God, because giving other mothers, that seems to be what she is.