How to Answer Protestants Forum: Serious Problems
Serious Problems QUESTION from L Smith on September 19, 2002 There is a petition of some 6 million Catholics to make Mary the Co-Redeemer. This apparently was the specific request of Mary by an approved apparition site. To say that the Catholic Church only venerates Mary is changing rapidly. I think that the whole apparition thing needs to be seriously looked at.
Don't you see where this is heading? It has been a long process of apparitions leading to this request, a slow acceptance has arisen. Quite honestly, I am shocked that the church cannot see what these apparitions really are. I cannot tell you the order in which these have transpired, but please notice. The rosary, immaculate conception, ever virgin, apparitions. Here we are placing Mary equal to Jesus Christ 1. Prayers 2. She is being claimed as sinless 3. She is being claimed as the Mother of God, the Queen of Heaven and now the apparitions themselves are stating that she should be considered co-redeemer.
Absolutely none of this is scriptural. Let me reference a bit of scripture.
John 14:6 Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Romans 3:10 As it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one.
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Even Mary stated she needed a savior, The above words do not exclude Mary from the statements. Mary cannot redeem us. This can only be done by Jesus Christ. He does not need any Co-Redeemer. It is saying that Jesus is just not enough, he needs a partner. Remember, he is a jealous God!
This is but one of many many issues I have with the beliefs of the Catholic Church.
Matthew 16:18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this Rock I will build my church.
Jesus is the Rock in which the church is built upon, not Peter. Peter is merely a pebble of that Rock which was used to spread the word, just as all who believe and have faith spread the word. We are all deciples, we are all pebbles of that Rock. There is none infallible, even the apostles did not claim this title. Peter was not only in Rome, but other places as well. Bottom line is that he was crucified in Rome, hardly the place in which (as Catholics believe) Christ would create the True Church The true church is not any denomination of Christianity, but any person who believes in Jesus Christ, has faith in their salvation through Jesus Christ, and follows the word of scripture.
I do not need Mary, I do not need the Church I do not need Works. Matthew 3:16 Jesus Christ said For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Why do we want to make the very clear and simple message of our loving Jesus so very complicated. He could not make it any plainer, any easier, if you truly believe, you desire to live for him and will not perish (no purgatory) but have eternal life.
Remember the criminals who hung near Jesus on the cross? One of the criminals hurled insults at him, but the other criminal rebuked the first criminal. He then said, Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. And Jesus answered I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.
Why did he not say...After you serve your time in purgatory, and if enough prayers are said for you, you might get to heaven in XXX years. This was a criminal, who had no good works. During the last few seconds of his life, he believed and asked to be remembered. That was all it took. We all know that Jesus cannot lie. Therefore, purgatory and works are the lie. The simple truth is that if you believe and have faith in your heart, you will be in heaven with our Father. Anything else is but a deception.
I am well aware that you will have some answer to my comments, as you are well trained to do that. I realize also that you honestly believe in what your Church teaches, but I beg you to open your eyes to what is happening.
ANSWER by Mr. Troy Martz on October 15, 2002 Dear L. Smith:
You certainly do have a lot on your mind! If you will kindly read over my answers from the past year plus, you will find that I have answered most of the points you bring up. Each of these charges are common objections that viciously anti-Catholic bigots use to try to fool the poorly educated into rejecting the One True Church founded by Jesus Christ!
As a recap, I will address a couple of these points. Let me reference a bit of Scripture:
1. Mary as Queen of Heaven -- See Revelations 12:
12:1 A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.
If you read the rest of the chapter, it is clear that the woman is Mary since the Child she bears is Jesus. By rejecting Mary as Queen, you are rejecting Jesus as King since in the Davidic Kingdom (of which Jesus is the perfect fulfillment) the Queen is the Mother of the King. Brush up on 1 Kings 2:19 where King Solomon places Bathsheba his mother on a throne at his right hand -- the highest place of authority in the kingdom after the king himself. If you study the Davidic dynasty, you will find that the Queen Mother is a constant part of the form of the kingdom and is never criticized by the prophets as contrary to God's will. 2. Mary as Mother of God -- Is not Jesus God? If He is God, has He not always been God? Is Mary His mother? If Mary is Jesus' mother, and He has always been God, then Mary is the Mother of God. What your anti-Catholic teachers failed to teach you was that this term was first used in the early Church to fight two different heresies. One claimed that Jesus was not really God, or alternately, that He became a god through His sacrificial death. The other claimed that Jesus was never truly a man, that He only took the shape of a man. By asserting that Mary is the Mother of God (Theotokos -- God bearer --in the Greek), the Church saved Christianity from heresy and destruction. That should not be surprising since Jesus Himself promised that the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. Without the clear assertion that Jesus is both truly God and truly man, your salvation would be meaningless. If Jesus is not truly man then He cannot offer Himself as a sacrafice for mankind. If Jesus is not truly God, then His sacrafice would not be enough. The simple word -- Theotokos -- saved Christianity from degenerating into either hero worship or angel worship over a millennium and a half before the first of these anti-Catholic charges was ever dreamed of.
That should be sufficient considering past answers. Just two more things to keep in mind:
You do not need works -- read James 2 (in fact read the entire book, it is short and easy to understand). Claiming not to need works is VERY un-Scriptural.
You do not need Mary -- those are pretty insulting words even if you only accept that Mary is the earthly mother of Jesus. If you are an adopted son of God and brother to Christ that is certainly not obeying the commandment to Honor Your Father and Mother. If that is not enough to convince you that you should treat Mary as your mother, read Revelations 12:17:
Enraged at her escape, the dragon went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep God's commandments and give witness to Jesus.
As for me, if that is the definition of a child of Mary then I will happily seek refuge in the arms of my Mother! Count me as someone who needs Mary. You say that I should open my eyes. I opened them over 14 years ago when I left the Pentecostal/Charismatic background and found the True Church.
I pray that someday you may find the Peace that I have found.
Pax Christi, Troy
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