FACING UP TO THE CATHOLIC MARY

 

A REBUTTAL

 

By

Phil Scovell

 

 

 

Copyright 1994

By Phil Scovell

All Rights Reserved

 

 

Reproduction of the following is granted by the copyright holder,

Phil Scovell, if such reproduction is done in the spirit in which

it was given. It may not be reproduced and sold for financial

gain without written permission of the copyright holder: Phil

Scovell. Electronic formats may be distributed freely but this

notice must remain with each copy and the text cannot be altered

in any way. For convenience, this notification may be placed at

the end of the document if reproduced electronically.

 

Contact Information

Phil Scovell

840 South Sheridan Boulevard

Denver, Colorado 80226-8017

Toll Free: 888-936-0001

Voice: 303-936-2188

Fax: 303-936-1841

BBS: 303-935-6323

Internet: philscov@netcom.com

Internet: zenith@crl.com

Home Page: http://www.crl.com/~zenith

 

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

 

PREFACE Page 2

INTRODUCTION Page 2

OBSERVATIONS Page 3

KEY WORDS Page 5

BIBLICAL FIDELITY Page 5

SAFEGUARD Page 5

TRUTHS OF THE BIBLE Page 6

THE CATHOLIC GOAL Page 6

THE NEW TESTAMENT RECORD Page 7

THE OLD TESTAMENT AND MARY Page 12

QUEEN OF HEAVEN Page 14

SINLESSNESS OF MARY Page 15

MARY MEDIATOR Page 16

CATHOLIC OVERVIEW Page 16

THE BOTTOM LINE Page 17

FACING UP TO GOD Page 18

THE QUESTION OF BELIEF Page 18

SHEEP'S CLOTHING Page 19

DOCUMENTATION Page 20

REFERENCES - ROMAN CATHOLIC Page 21

REFERENCES - ORTHODOX CHURCH #1 Page 22

REFERENCES - ORTHODOX CHURCH #2 Page 26

AUTHOR'S ADDRESS Page 26

 

 

 

 

 

PREFACE

 

This booklet is in response to an article entitled "Facing Up To Mary" by

Father Peter E. Gillquist. Because his doctrinal claims were so clearly

erroneous, and because Catholic theology is being so easily accepted by some

evangelicals today, I felt the necessity of writing a rebuttal.

Though the article was void of any copyright symbol or date, the

following information does appear at the beginning of the electronic version

of the article: "This material is copyrighted by Conciliar Press, Ben

Lomond, CA and is made available on electronic Christian BBS systems by

special permission of Conciliar Press. It may not be modified in any way,

but can be transmitted on electronic BBS systems for the edification of

those wishing to know more about the Orthodox Church."

This single line was also included: "Reprinted with permission from

Conciliar Press."

I obtained the article electronically via a computer network. Though the

electronic reproduction of his article claims to be his own work, I cannot

guarantee all of the quotes taken from the article are in fact Father

Gilquist's. What you read in my rebuttal is exactly what I obtained

electronically. I have not modified or altered the text in any way.

On my Christian computer bulletin board Father Gilquist's article and my

rebuttal appear together to allow for equal representation. I trust other

system operators of computer bulletin boards will permit the same. If, on

the other hand, you are reading this rebuttal in print and wish a full

printed reproduction of Father Gilquist's article, please request his

article by writing to: Conciliar Press, 10090 A Highway 9, Ben Lomond, CA

95005-9217

or call 1-800-967-7377. An electronic version of both his article and this

rebuttal are available on my BBS; the modem telephone number appearing at the

end of this booklet.

INTRODUCTION

 

This rebuttal is going to get me into a lot of trouble with Christians

who find very little, if anything, wrong with Catholicism. Many evangelicals

today consider Catholics not only to be Christian brethren but doctrinally

harmonious and fellow believers with whom we should spiritually corroborate.

Many Bible preaching churches, denominations, national radio ministries and

seminaries have excepted the idea that Catholics are in fact evangelicals and

that they preach and teach the same Gospel as do other fundamentalists. As

Father Gilquist's article demonstrates, nothing could be further from the

truth and he isn't even a Roman Catholic. Catholic theology, however, is

false doctrine no matter the denominational title. This rebuttal

demonstrates that Catholicism does not preach the same Gospel, and further,

the goal of either the Orthodox Church or the Roman Catholic Church is to

inculcate Catholic theology into mainline evangelicalism for the sole purpose

of expansion and dominance. Christian liberalistic trends of today's

neoevangelism, unfortunately, is making their job much easier.

As already mentioned, the article upon which my rebuttal is based is not

written by a Roman Catholic but by a priest in the Greek Orthodox Church.

sometimes they refer to it as the Eastern Orthodox Church but mostly as just

the Orthodox Church. In the United States it is called the American Greek

Orthodox Church. These two powerful church groups, that is the RCC and the

EOC, share common doctrinal fallacies and thus this article was chosen

because of their shared doctrines.

Because this article is based upon the worship of Mary, and not all the

false doctrines of both Roman and Greek orthodoxy, I am emphasizing the

influence of Catholic theology in general upon the evangelical church today.

The Greek Orthodox Church isn't any different, as you will see, than the

Roman Catholic in many respects of false doctrine. They ardently deny,

however, any doctrinal agreement with the RCC and insist they are evangelical

Christians; howbeit "Orthodox." They even insist their doctrinal views of

Mary aren't anything like the Roman Catholic Marian doctrine. Father

Gilquist's article proves otherwise. Be sure and read the reference

materials at the end of this rebuttal, however, for verification and

comparison.

 

OBSERVATIONS

 

Before addressing the specifics of Father Gilquist's article, I need to

comment on aspects of his article which could be easily overlooked. As is so

often the case, it's what isn't said that speaks the loudest.

First, Father Gilquist, though he never claims to be a Greek Orthodox

priest, is, apparently, since the article claims to be authored by "Fr Peter

E. Gilquist." He never makes mention, for some reason, of his position as an

ordained Greek Orthodox priest anywhere in his article. I wonder why.

Perhaps the "FR" is in reference to some other designation?

Secondly, Father Gilquist never once uses the word "Catholic" in his

entire article. That's right, not once. I somehow find this strange. He

actually never even uses the term "Greek Orthodox Church;" choosing instead

to use the title the "Orthodox Church" when referring to the Greek Orthodox

Church. Though it is clear to anyone reading his booklet he is not only a

Catholic himself but believes dogmatically in the Catholic teachings of the

EOC, he goes out of his way to avoid using the word. He does, however, have

a good reason for avoiding the term "Catholic" which will become apparent as

we examine the doctrinal errors of interpretation by the Roman and Greek

Orthodox Catholics. The problem is many evangelicals today have swallowed

hook, line and sinker the myth that Greek Orthodoxy, or perhaps more

specifically the American Greek Orthodox Church, are protestant Bible

believers. The truth is they are just as much Catholic in doctrine and

practice as the Roman Catholics and thus are called "Catholic" in this

rebuttal. It makes little difference to me if the Greek Orthodox Catholics

refuse to consider the Vatican authoritative and the Pope infallible.

They're still Catholics nonetheless and maybe it's about time somebody say

so.

Third, Father Gilquist, instead of calling his church the Greek Orthodox

Church, refers to it often as "the Orthodox Church." This is their way of

making sure everyone understands there is no other. Plus it sidesteps any

problems one might have with their Catholic theology by avoiding mentioning

the word "Catholic" in the first place. It's, of course, quite convenient

because if you are the "Orthodox Church," how can anyone question your

doctrine. I have often heard Roman Catholics likewise refer to the RCC as

the "Orthodox Church." If you think this is confusing, just keep in mind the

old axiom "If it walks like a duck and swims like a duck and quacks like a

duck, then it's unlikely to be a bicycle pump." In other words, a Catholic

by any other name is still a Catholic.

Finally, Father Gilquist nor the Greek Orthodox Church nor the Roman

Catholic church, are ecumenicalist, though he so cleverly attempts to make

the reader think otherwise. The Greek Orthodox Church and the entire Roman

Catholic Church have both for years, tried to get evangelicals of all

Christian denominations, to see them as both "Christian" and "evangelical."

This is the purpose of the Billy Graham quote in his opening remarks. More

on Billy Graham later. For now, let Father Gilquist speak for himself.

"I urge you to visit and get to know the historic Orthodox Church

which has maintained the biblical fidelity concerning Mary and

Christian faith in general. Within the boundaries of Orthodoxy, the

faith and practice of the Church safeguard true commitment to the

Lord Jesus Christ together with God the Father and God the Holy

Spirit. It is there that the truths of the Bible are taught in their

entirety, where the worship of God is experienced in Spirit and in

truth, and where Mary and the great cloud of witnesses for Christ

throughout the ages are honored and revered."

Boy, where did his ecumenical, harmonious, oneness, get along with

everybody, we're just like you, philosophy go? If you are Catholic, his

statements won't concern you at all. If you are other than Catholic,

however, his comments are, at the least, worrisome, and at the most,

alarming.

 

KEY WORDS

 

Let's focus on some key words used in his closing remarks just quoted.

BIBLICAL FIDELITY

"I urge you to visit and get to know the historic Orthodox Church

which has maintained the biblical fidelity concerning Mary and

Christian faith in general."

Apparently the rest of Christendom has done a poor job of representing

the Gospel of Jesus Christ, not to mention maintaining "Biblical fidelity,"

at least according to Father Gilquist. The Catholic Church, on the other

hand, has never wavered in their doctrinal positions? I find it difficult to

even find the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Catholic theology myself but I'll

allow you to make your own judgement based on additional quotes from Father

Gilquist's article.

SAFEGUARD

"Within the boundaries of Orthodoxy, the faith and practice of the

Church safeguard true commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ together

with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit."

Here he falls back on the old trusty standby which Catholic dogma as

maintained for its entire existence, that is, it, the Catholic church, has

helped protect (safeguard) the true spiritual relationship one can have with

Christ. Without them, apparently, you cannot have, or experience, spiritual

intimacy with Christ. In practice, they are actually much more dogmatic

about it than that. They even believe they are indeed the only true

guardians of the Holy Scriptures. For centuries the Catholic hierarchy

refused to allow their parishioners the privilege of reading the Bible

privately. Up until recent times, the Catholic church claimed their own

people weren't able to interpret, let alone apply, the Scriptures without

their help. Too bad the Catholic church as not only blatantly

misinterpreted, not to mention misapplied, the holy Scriptures but they have

even altered and added to it over the years. All in the name of, I might

add, "safeguarding" it. If you doubt what I've just said, keep reading and

make sure you read the reference documentation included at the end of this

rebuttal. He actually gets around to confirming what I've just said in his

very next statement.

TRUTHS OF THE BIBLE

"It is there that the truths of the Bible are taught in their

entirety, where the worship of God is experienced in Spirit and in

truth, and where Mary and the great cloud of witnesses for Christ

throughout the ages are honored and revered."

It is there that the truths of the Bible are taught in their entirety?

Shoot! I guess, unless you are a Catholic and attend a Catholic mass, you're

not getting the whole truth and nothing but the truth? Then, too,

apparently, true worship of God is only in the traditions of Catholicism in

the Orthodox sense of the word, according to Father Gilquist, not to mention

the true respect due Mary.

 

THE CATHOLIC GOAL

 

Though not readily acknowledged, nor accepted, by many evangelicals

today, the true Catholic goal for the past several years has been to get

evangelical Christians to believe that they, too, that is Catholics, are

evangelicals and that they, Catholics, share the same doctrines with

evangelicals. Father Gilquist begins by quoting Billy Grham to prove that

even he, Billy Graham, shares their doctrines. Here's what Father Gilquist

says about Billy Graham.

"If I have heard him say it once, I have heard Billy Graham say it at

least a half a dozen times over the years: We evangelical Christians do

not give Mary her proper due."

Actually his quote of Billy Graham was mentioned for two reasons. First,

he wants everyone to know that Billy Graham believes like the Catholics and

second, Catholics believe like Billy Graham. I admit that Billy Graham

hasn't helped anything by sharing his platform with those who doctrinally

disagree in major Biblical positions but Billy Graham, nor any other

evangelical fundamentalist doctrinally agree with the false doctrines of the

Roman and Greek Orthodox Catholics. Of course I could be wrong about Billy

Grham but unless he has in recent years changed, he doesn't believe in

praying to Mary, her intercessory authority, her perpetual virginity, her

sinlessness or her bodily resurrection. There is, of course, the possibility

that Father Gilquist may know something we don't about Billy Graham.

 

THE NEW TESTAMENT RECORD

 

From here, let's now systematically examine each of the statements Father

Gilquist mentions in his article and see if the Scriptures do indeed agree

with his Catholic theology.

Father Gilquist begins by making for statements about Mary and attempts

to substantiate Catholic theology with Scripture. He begins with:

"1. Mary is the greatest woman who ever lived."

Using the confessions of Gabriel and Elizabeth in Luke 1:28 and 42,

"Blessed are you among women," Father Gilquist attempts to prove Mary is

something other than what the Scriptures record.

Quick on the heals of this apparent Scriptural confirmation, he says:

"She is the most blessed of women and for several reasons."

Before getting to those reasons, please notice that he says "She is the

most blessed of women" immediately following the Scriptural quote of "Blessed

are you among women." Father Gilquist, the Catholic church and the Orthodox

Church, all misquote the Bible on exactly what was said. Both Gabriel and

Elizabeth said Mary was blessed "among" women; not blessed above, or superior

to, other women. The Greek word translated "among" in these two verses of

Luke's Gospel means (a primary preposition denoting [fixed] position [in

place, time or state], and [by implication] instrumentality [medially or

constructively]). It is more than obvious that the confession made of Mary

was one of recognition only and not position; position of superiority.

Catholicism, however, would like us to believe that Mary was exalted above

all other women and yet the Scripture simply states was blessed "among" or

(in) women. Luke's actual record of the angel's confession is, "And the

angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, [thou that art] highly favored, the

Lord [is] with thee: blessed [art] thou among women. (Luke 1:28). The Greek

rendering of "highly favored" is, (be highly favored, make accepted, to make

graceful, charming, lovely, agreeable, to peruse with grace, compass with

favor, to honor with blessings). Mary was most certainly chosen by the

Heavenly Father to give birth to His Son miraculously but He never made her

superior or a symbol of personal worship by the rest of the Body of Christ.

Father Gilquist, the Greek Orthodox Church and the RCC, changed the meaning

of Scripture when he said, "she is the most blessed of women." That isn't

what the Bible said nor is it what the Bible meant. The Greek meaning simply

means she was picked, out of all other women, to give birth to Christ. If

the reader will take the time to carefully study the passages of Scripture

referring to Mary and her life, it will be discovered she was a Godly woman

and in fact believed the angel when God's intentions were made known to her.

It was because of her faith in God and her confession of faith in Him as Lord

that allowed the blessings of God to come upon her.

Before moving into his second point, Father Gilquist makes the following

astonishing statement concerning Mary.

"She was sovereignly chosen by the Father to bear His only begotten

Son. In that role, Mary is the first person in all history to

receive and accept Christ as her Savior."

Who says? Father Gilquist? The Greek Orthodox Church? The American

Greek Orthodox Church? The Roman Catholic Church? There is absolutely no

Scripture anywhere in the Bible which makes this erroneous claim but Father

Gilquist makes it anyway. He does so, however, as if it is gospel. A

practice, I might add, the Greek Orthodox Church and Roman Catholic Church

has exercised dozens of times throughout their history.

May I quote from the oldest book in the Bible? "Oh that my words were

now written! oh that they were printed in a book! That they were graven with

an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever! For I know [that] my redeemer

liveth, and [that] he shall stand at the latter [day] upon the earth: And

[though] after my skin [worms] destroy this [body], yet in my flesh shall I

see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not

another; [though] my reins be consumed within me" (Job 19:25-27).

Job knew Christ personally thousands of years before Mary. Where does it

say, because Mary was favored by God to give birth to Christ as a virgin, she

was the first person to accept Christ as her Savior? He later states:

"Early in Christian history she is called [the first of the redeemed.]"

He additionally states the following:

"Do you want to be favored of God? Then give Him everything you have, give

Him your very life. This is precisely what Mary did, and why she is to be

considered the greatest woman who ever lived."

Father Gilquist, in his article, attempts to substantiate his claim that

Mary was the greatest woman who ever lived by comparing what Jesus said about

John the baptizer when Jesus said no one was greater than he. Father

Gilquist, however, as is so often true in Catholic dogma, fails to quote the

complete statement of our Lord. "Verily I say unto you, Among them that are

born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist:

notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

(Matthew 11:11). If he is going to make a parallel comparison between John

the baptizer and Mary, Father Gilquist must, by Scriptural necessity,

conclude with Jesus the least in the kingdom of God are greater than Mary.

That is, however, something never mentioned in Catholic theology. Thus, it

is Scripturally obvious that this, too, is simply another Catholic

theological position unrelated and unsubstantiated by Scripture.

Another astonishing omission by Father Gilquist and those sympathetic

with Catholic theology is what Jesus said himself about His own mother.

Following the casting out of a demon, and subsequent teaching on the power of

God, a woman spoke out concerning the mother of our Lord. Listen closely to

what she said and then how Jesus Himself responded. "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). Here was a woman attempting to

focus upon Mary and her role in giving birth to the Son of God. Jesus, on

the other hand, redirects the focus and places it upon those who believe He

is the Son of God; not on the blessedness of Mary. For some unknown reason,

the RCC and the EOC has tried for centuries to keep that focus upon Mary when

Jesus Himself clearly states, if Mary is blessed, we are even more so because

we believe.

"2. Mary is our model for Christian Service."

This is one point of Father Gilquist's statements with which I fully

agree. He simply states that Mary is our example of Christian service,

dedication to Christ and faithfulness and he is certainly correct. It is his

next statement which could choke a horse.

 

 

 

"3. Mary is the Mother of God."

In all fairness, Father Gilquist makes it absolutely clear that Jesus

Christ is God and that Mary is not, in fact, the mother of the Holy Trinity.

He furthermore clearly states that Mary did not give birth to God Himself,

that is, the Father God. I'm glad to hear that Father Gilquist believes

Jesus is God and that Mary isn't the birth giver of the Trinity. Why

Catholic theology insists, however, that we address Mary as the mother of God

when the Bible clearly calls her the mother of our Lord, that is, Lord

Messiah, can only be explained as more Catholic doctrine unfolds.

Note what he says concerning this Catholic doctrine:

"To see Jesus Christ as something less than God in the flesh is sub-

Christian. For unless the one in Mary's womb was and is God, we are dead

in our sins. To safeguard the full deity of Christ, the Church has

always insisted that Mary be rightly called -as Elizabeth called her -

the Mother of God."

The longer I spend time reading Father Gilquist's article, the more I

wonder if we are reading the same Bible. He actually states before this

amazing leap in doctrinal interpretation:

"After Christ had been conceived in her womb, Mary paid a visit to the

home of relatives Zacharias and Elizabeth, soon to be parents of John the

Baptist. When Mary greeted her cousin, Elizabeth called her blessed and

said, "Why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to

me?" (Luke 1:43). Elizabeth knew that her Lord, the Messiah of Israel, was

in the womb of Mary."

One moment he admits Elizabeth is saying Mary is the mother of the Lord

Messiah and the next minute he is saying that she calls Mary the mother of

God. He even quotes the Bible and proves exactly what Elizabeth said but

still insists she calls Mary the mother of God when Elizabeth said no such

thing. Why does Catholic theology insist upon calling Mary the mother of

God? Though the answer to this question will be obvious as we examine more

Catholic theology, follow the progression of drift from the plane

interpretation of Scripture as Father Gilquist continues.

"Just as we insist on the Virgin birth of Christ, we also insist that for

the nine months she carried Him in His humanity He was at every moment

fully God as well. Thus we say boldly and with great insistence that

Mary is the Mother of God, Theotokos, God-bearer. To say anything less

is to side with those who deny His deity."

There it is! If you claim to be a Christian and refuse to agree with

Catholic theology which states Mary is actually the mother of God, you aren't

a believer in Christ's deity and labeled "sub-christian" by the "Orthodox

Church."

Is this Catholic doctrine really worth an argument? I mean, as Bible

Believers today, don't we, too, believe Jesus Christ is God? If so, is it

wrong, or at the very least theologically incorrect, to refer to Mary as the

mother of God? Before this question is answered, let's look at Father

Gilquist's next Marian statement.

"4. We are to honor Mary and call her blessed."

on the surface, this appears to be an agreeable position but Catholic

theology carries it far beyond Scriptural bounds. Note Father Gilquist's

comments concerning what he really means by saying we should bless Mary.

"Now comes the toughest test of all. Not only is Mary the most blessed

of women, our model for obedience, and the Mother of God, we are called

to honor her and to bless her. How do we know? The Bible tells us so.

During her three-month stay at Elizabeth's house, Mary offered one of

the most beautiful prayers of praise to the Lord in all the Scriptures.

It begins, "My soul magnifies the Lord," and thus it has become known as

"The Magnificat." In that prayer, inspired by the Holy Spirit, Mary

prophesied, "hence-forth, all generations will call me blessed" (Luke

1:48). Essentially, all generations in Church history have done so;

only the last two centuries have faltered. Our generation of American

Christians is filled with those who refuse to bless her, and we must

change our ways. For some Christian bodies have come to stand

dogmatically against Christ and the New Testament by refusing to bless

her."

Father Gilquist, along with the EOC and the RCC, claims the Bible

commands us to "bless" Mary in some way. Mary, on the other hand, simply

said she would be called (considered) blessed by all others; not that we

should "actually literally bless" her. This is just another Catholic

addition to Bible doctrine that Scripture never once confirms. Why does

Catholic theology insist we "bless" Mary in some special way? I'm coming to

that but first read carefully Father Gilquist's next statement concerning why

we should bless Mary above all others.

"And because Christ is our elder brother, the first born of many

brethren, we honor the Virgin Mary as our Mother, our lady, as well.

Just as Eve was mother of the old Adamic race, so Mary is the true Mother

of the new race, the Body of Christ, the Church."

Also he states:

"we are called by God in no uncertain terms to bless the Mother of our

God. We cannot get around that point in Scripture."

Mary has moved from a woman who is blessed among other women to the

"blessed of all women." From there she has moved from the virgin who gave

birth to our Lord to the "mother of God." Then she moves from one who is

honored and "called blessed" to one who is one who becomes an object of our

adoration and prayers as we "bless" her. Then she moves into more defined

Heavenly prominence as she becomes "our mother" and "the true Mother of the

new race, the Body of Christ, the Church." It is impossible for the student

of the Bible to ignore this doctrinal progression of Scriptural inconsistency

resident in Catholic Mariology. Actually, it is that very fact, that is,

Catholic theology has made Mary a doctrine, which causes the conflict. No

where in Scripture are we given license to consider Mary a doctrine upon

which personal relationship with God is based. Catholic theology says

otherwise.

Though shortly I will consider the Catholic doctrines of Mary's

sinlessness, her perpetual virginity, her intercessory authority and her

supernatural ability to save souls, for now it is important to recognize that

the entire Catholic doctrinal position on Mary was flawed from the beginning

and all subsequent doctrinal positions thereafter are based upon that flaw.

It makes little difference if such is proclaimed by the Eastern Orthodox

Church or the Roman Catholic Church; they are both Scripturally and

doctrinally in error.

 

THE OLD TESTAMENT AND MARY

 

Father Gilquist, along with both the RCC and the EOc, insists the Old

Testament confirms Mary was a perpetual virgin, that is, she was a virgin

before during and after the birth of Christ. Before leaving the Old

Testament section of his article, he says things such as:

"From the very early years of the Church, Mary was called not only

Virgin, but Ever-Virgin. She was seen as never having had a sexual union

with Joseph, before or after the birth of Christ."

He also attempts to use a single Old Testament passage to prophetically

identify Mary's perpetual virginity.

"Ezekiel 44:1-2 is a passage often referred to by the early Fathers in

this regard. It states: "Then He brought me back to the outer gate of

the sanctuary which faces toward the east, but it was shut. And the Lord

said to me, 'This gate shall be shut; it shall not be opened, and no man

shall enter by it, because the Lord God of Israel has entered by it;

therefore it shall be shut.'" In traditional interpretation of this

passage, Mary is the temple and Christ is the Prince of Peace. The gate

mentioned is seen as a picture of Christ's passage through the door of

Mary's womb."

Boy, you certainly have to use your spiritual imagination on this one. I

am always amazed the length people will go in order to make the Bible

Scripturally applicable to personal theology. Of course if you are the

guardian of true commitment to Christ, along with the protectorate of the

Holy Scriptures, you can interpret anyway you wish and if you are the

"Orthodox," no one can question that interpretation. This passage, of

course, clearly has nothing to do with Mary nor her virginity. When he

says, "In traditional interpretation of this passage," he actually means in

Catholic tradition because they, the Catholics and those who doctrinally

concur with Catholic Mariology, are the only ones who stretch the spiritual

imagination beyond hermeneutical bounds with this rendering. If the student

of the Bible will take the time to read carefully the record of Ezekiel, it

will be easily seen that God was referring to judgement come upon Israel

because they forsook Him and His, the Lord's, house including the sacrifices

for sin. How Catholic theology, or anyone for that matter, renders this

passage a prophetical utterance of Mary's virginity is truly amazing. When

your foundation is false, however, it is easy to build on that false idea

until what you wind up with is something totally unbiblical.

Father Gilquist then takes one more step beyond Scriptural bounds.

"At this point, however, a very valid question can be raised. If she

remained a virgin, why does the Gospel of Matthew tell us that Joseph

knew not his wife until after Christ was born (Matthew 1:25)?"

He then does some Scriptural hocus pocus and attempts to explain that

this really doesn't need to mean she sexually knew her husband after the

birth of Christ. Frankly, he dismisses everything by saying the following

concerning Mary and her offspring:

"But doesn't the Bible also mention other brothers and sisters of Christ?

Who are they and where did they come from? For one thing, they are never

directly called the sons and daughters of Mary and Joseph. In several

passages the Bible speaks of the children or relatives as "brothers."

Abraham and Lot are called brothers, although Lot was actually Abraham's

nephew. And Jacob and Laban are called brothers, even though Jacob was

the son of Rebecca, Laban's sister. Scripture is therefore silent

concerning the nature of this relationship between Christ and these

brothers and sisters. Early Fathers differed slightly in their

understanding of what the terms meant. Some, such as Saint Ambrose,

believed that they were children of a former marriage between Joseph and

a wife who died prior to Matthew chapter 1. Others taught that they were

cousins. But on one point, almost everyone is in agreement: Mary and

Joseph had no sexual union whatsoever, before or after the birth of

Christ."

Almost everyone is in agreement? Father Gilquist, you know very well

that statement is a million light years from the truth. Innumerable scholars

and theologians over the centuries, not to mention denominations and church

leaders, adamantly disagree with this Catholic interpretation and have been

for centuries. A lot of fancy Scriptural foot work is evident in the

Catholic view of Mary's perpetual virginity and the only group holding fast

to this unscriptural view happens to be the Catholic church and those

sympathetic with Catholic Mariology. Anyone who can simply explain away the

brothers and sisters of Christ, the children born to Mary and Joseph, will

attempt to make us believe anything. Speaking of which, here it comes.

QUEEN OF HEAVEN

Catholic Marian theology takes another giant step away from Biblical

evidence as is clearly seen so graphically in Father Gilquist's next

statement. This is under his heading of "ROYALTY."

"If we as the Church are called to be "without spot or blemish or any

such thing, but holy and blameless" (Ephesians 5:27), does it not follow

that she who is the progenitor of the Lord of that Church should be of

that same holy character? Not only has Mary by the mercy and power of

God conquered both sin and death, the Psalmist sees a glimpse of her in

heaven through prophetic eyes. For in Psalm 45:9, Christ is King and

Mary is at His side as Queen - and rightly so. If God can make us "kings

and priests" (Revelation 1:6) for all eternity, certainly He has the

prerogative to crown her with higher honor in heaven's royal procession.

Little did John and James realize the day they argued about which of

them might occupy the seat of honor at Christ's right hand in the

Kingdom, that God the Father had already reserved that space for the

marvelous woman He chose to bear His Son for our salvation. The honor is

appropriate for the most blessed of all women, the one who is our very

icon of holiness. Who else could be more rightly rewarded? Thus the

Psalmist is well within the mark when he writes of Christ, "At Your right

hand stand the queen!"

Conquered sin and death? Queen? My! I bet you weren't aware Catholic

theology considers Mary the "Queen" of Heaven. Now you know. Father

Gilquist slipped that one in on us without even quoting the passage and his

paraphrase of the passage leaves a lot to be desired. If one will take time

to read all of Psalm 45, it will be understood that the Psalm is in reference

to God and his throne and His eternal righteousness. It is a poetic

rendition of God's eternal glory and the rightful place Jesus Christ takes as

King. No where is any reference made of Mary prophetically, or

symbolically, in the passage unless, of course, you're Catholic. If the

queen in Psalm 45 is symbolic of anything, it would be the Church (the body

of Christ) to whom Christ is married; not His mother. The last time I

checked, it was wrong to wed your mother. Jesus never was figuratively,

symbolically or literally married to His mother and Scripture never once

suggests Mary is Queen of Heaven. The Orthodox Church, not to mention the

Roman Catholic Church, have both made it a doctrinal position."

SINLESSNESS OF MARY

In Father Gilquist's article, he makes some confusing statements about

the Catholic doctrinal positions on Mary's sinlessness and bodily

resurrection.

"Not only has Mary by the mercy and power of God conquered both sin and

death, the Psalmist sees a glimpse of her in heaven through prophetic

eyes."

He then says:

"There are two other beliefs concerning Mary that must be briefly

mentioned and addressed. The first is her bodily assumption into heaven,

the other her immaculate conception. It was widely reported in the early

Church that shortly after her death, Mary's body was assumed into heaven.

In later centuries, the Roman Church ratified this belief as dogma,

while the Eastern Church withheld such an official imprimatur. Most

Christians agree that such a miracle is within the realm of firm biblical

precedent, Enoch and Elijah being two examples. Further, there is no

known record of any gravesite or relics of the Holy Virgin. The

assumption of the Virgin is safely seen as an historic Christian

tradition, though not recorded in the Scriptures.

The Immaculate Conception of Mary is a doctrine unknown in the ancient

Church and unique to the modern Roman Church. In an effort to distance

Mary (and protect Christ) from the stain of sin, the Immaculate

Conception holds Mary was conceived and born without sin. This teaching

has no basis either in Scripture or in the Creeds of the Church.

Whatever other excesses may have cropped up in history, the Roman Church

has never believed or officially taught that Mary was in any way coequal

with the Trinity or was to be worshipped with the Trinity. Such

allegations are sometimes set forth by critics of the Roman Church, but

without basis in fact."

One minute Father Gilquist is saying Catholic theology doesn't believe

nor teach in the sinlessness and bodily resurrection of Mary and then in the

very next breath he says the opposite. The reason for this confusing

dichotomy is related to the difference of authoritarian recognition in the

Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches. Amazingly he admits the Bible

never says Mary was either born sinless or became sinless. He, and his

church, along with the RCC do in fact believe Mary was sinless however. One

may say she was born sinless while the other claims she became sinless but

frankly it makes little difference; it's still unscriptural. Why Catholic

theology chooses to superimpose their doctrines over Holy Scripture is a

mystery. He may say the Orthodox and Catholic church doesn't teach it but

their official doctrinal positions clearly state otherwise. I'm sure Father

Gilquist is aware no priest would ever be allowed by either the Greek

Orthodox Church nor the Roman Catholic to pastor if he denied Mary's

sinlessness and her bodily resurrection or, as it is stated, "her

assumption."

MARY MEDIATOR

Father Gilquist spends a little time attempting to explain why the

Catholic church believes Mary is one of our intercessors to God. His

argument is so weak and fragmented, I won't take the time to quote his

explanation. He concludes his doctrinal arguments on the topic of Mary

mediator by saying:

"Mary has a unique role in our salvation because she provided the body of

Christ and thereby became the "mother" of all those who would be saved.

That is why Jesus, while on the Cross, said to His mother, "Woman, behold

your son!" and then said to Saint John, "Behold, your mother!"

Catholic theology has to justify the claim that we need to pray to the

virgin Mary and this is it. Catholic theology clearly teaches Mary can

assist others in getting into Heaven. Thus it is reasonable that she not

only should be blessed but prayerfully entreated to obtain salvation both for

oneself and for others. Hence, Mary is a mediator between God and man.

There is, of course, not a single reference to substantiate this claim for

the Bible clearly states, "

For [there is] one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ

Jesus," (1 Timothy 2:5).

 

 

 

 

CATHOLIC OVERVIEW

 

Well, we've come a long way with our Catholic Marian theology. We began

with the concept of simply giving Mary her due into making her "the greatest

woman who ever lived." Though Mary simply said all peoples would henceforth

called her a blessed woman, Catholic theology thinks we are to bless her and

to literally offer her our prayers. We then moved into an area which we are

told makes Mary the first Christian. We then progressed from simply honoring

her and calling her blessed to accepting the fact that she is the mother of

all Christians; the Church. Of course this is logical because we must also

believe that Mary was, and is, the mother of God. For some reason we then

must believe that Mary was a virgin before during and after her marriage to

Joseph. Of course we know the Bible says she was a virgin when Christ was

born so why not go beyond Scripture and believe she was "forever virgin." We

must dismiss, therefore, the Scriptural references to Mary and Joseph's

children following the virgin birth of Christ. They were probably from a

previous marriage of Joseph anyway. Maybe they were cousins...who knows or

cares. She must have been a perpetual virgin no matter what the Bible says.

From this point we discover that Christ is King and Mary is Queen; Queen

of Heaven. She became queen, of course, after her bodily resurrection which

just so happens to have occurred following Christ's bodily resurrection.

Then it becomes quite easy to believe that Mary was sinless and now can, and

does, intercede in our behalf as a mediator. Father Gilquist avoids

mentioning that Catholics are instructed to pray to Mary and he flatly denies

they worship her. I don't know what you call it when you pray to someone or

something if it isn't worship, but that's what he says anyway.

 

THE BOTTOM LINE

 

I began this booklet by quoting Father Gilquist's final remarks because

it so clearly reveals his true intentions. His final section was entitled

"TAKING ACTION." What he suggests, of course, is that if you really want to

be a Bible believer, become theologically correct, that is, Orthodox in your

beliefs. Start by joining the Greek Orthodox (the Eastern Orthodox or the

American Orthodox Church), and embrace their unscriptural stand on Mary for

starters. By doing so, of course, you'll be embracing Catholic theology;

something the Orthodox Church fails to mention up front. His overall

intention, however, was to attempt to make other Christians believe Catholic

theology is compatible with evangelicalism. He concludes, on the other hand,

by making it clear that the Orthodox Church is the only outfit in town and if

you really want to be a true Christian, well then, join them and adopt

Catholic theology but without association of the roman Catholic title.

The true doctrine of the Catholic Church is salvation by works. Praying

to Mary, participating in "Holy Communion," baptism by sprinkling and a

zillion other such works are all requirements in Catholic theology for true

and secured salvation. Actually, it's a whole lot easier than that. "If you

shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your

heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved. (Romans

10:9). Notice, nothing was said about praying to or believing in Mary's

sinlessness or bodily resurrection. Try telling a Catholic that.

 

FACING UP TO GOD

 

A number of years ago we lived next door to one of the finest men I've

ever known. He was our landlord. All of his children were grown and he

lived alone. My children were all very small at the time and he became like

a grandfather; spending hours with them every week. Eventually we learned he

was diagnosed with terminal cancer and had but a few months to live.

We often had him in our home, and once, shortly before he died, we sat

across the dinning room table from each other and I began sharing with him

the Gospel. "Where will you spend eternity, Frank," I asked. Of course, he

said, "I hope I'll go to Heaven." Here was a man who had lived his entire

life as a Roman Catholic, prayed to Mary that he might be saved and ushered

into Heaven when he died, took Holy communion weekly, had been sprinkled by

the priest with holy baptismal water, and faithfully practiced every thing he

had been taught by the Catholic Church. Yet he was uncertain about where he

would wind up when it was all over. Though I tried my best to show him how

he could no for certain he would be in Heaven when he died, his Catholic

theology continually blocked the plane simple truth of God's Word on the

subject of salvation. When I asked him if he had ever confessed he was a

sinner and invited Christ into his heart as Lord, he said the same thing I've

heard every Catholic say with whom I shared the Gospel. "Oh sure. We do

that every time we take Holy communion." By the way, the term "holy

communion" is never once used in the New Testament. Was he depending upon

his confession of sin and admission of Christ as Lord of his life for his

salvation? Was there a great deal of dependency placed upon his works and

what he believed concerning communion? I personally would not want to take

the gamble but, thanks to the false doctrines of the Catholic Church, not to

mention the Greek Orthodox Church, millions today do. When coming to the end

of one's life, facing up to God becomes a lot more important than facing up

to Mary. The Heavenly Father is going to judge us based upon what we did

with Christ; not His mother.

 

THE QUESTION OF BELIEF

 

From here the question is always raised, "Is a Catholic born again?

Besides, they believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Don't they?" Simply

believing isn't enough. The bible clearly states confession must be made

that Jesus Christ is Lord; not communion, not baptism, not prayers to Mary,

not her bodily resurrection, not the infallibility of a pope no matter his

denomination. We must direct our confession of sin to Christ; not to Mary or

a priest. We must make Christ Lord of our life and depend fully upon His

Word for salvation; not works or church customs, practices or creeds of any

kind. If a Catholic, or anyone else, believes anything they've done will

secure their salvation and home in Heaven, they are placing their faith on

something other than Jesus Christ. Salvation is unavailable to those who

focus on anything other than Christ as Lord and Saviour; the only Mediator

between God and man.

SHEEP'S CLOTHING

The real danger today is an infiltration of erroneous doctrinal

interpretation of what is so clearly established in Scripture. Today many

pastors, seminary professors, denominational leaders and media ministers are

succumbing to Catholic theology via personal fellowship, ministry association

and mutual admiration. I could easily mention a dozen public Christian

figures that nearly everyone reading this booklet would recognize whom either

refuse to speak against the false doctrines of Catholic theology or, worse

yet, embrace it as Christian and apart of the biblical Gospel of Jesus

Christ. Why? One reason is the power behind the Catholic Church. Frankly,

it's pretty impressive. They don't call it "The Universal Church" for

nothing.

Secondly, the skill in which the subtlety is presented. Father Gilquist

does an excellent job in attempting to compare mainline Christian doctrine

with that of Catholic theology.

Thirdly, Catholics are moral, honest, faithful, church-going folks.

Their against sin, corruption, dishonesty, abortion and a whole lot of other

things Christians should be. Of course, so are Mormons and Jehovah's

Witnesses.

Fourthly, Since other well-known Christians are accepting their beliefs.

Why not us. They, those well-known popular church leaders, couldn't be

wrong.

Fifthly, and this is probably the biggest reason, there's a lot of money

in the Catholic Church. Radio and television ministries need lots of money

to continue operating and expanding. Catholic dollars can help build those

ministries and those ministries are not going to take a public stand against

Catholic false doctrine because those dollars will be lost.

Finally, there's another reason why Catholic theology is so easily

accepted by well-meaning evangelicals and some fundamentalists today. What

they say, on the surface, looks a lot like what we believe. They believe

Jesus is the Son of God and most say they believe Jesus is God. They say

they believe the blood of Jesus Christ was shed for our sins. They believe

He needs to be your personal Lord and Savior. They believe in our Lord's

bodily resurrection. So what if they believe Mary was bodily resurrected,

too. That can't hurt anything; can it? Shoot, they believe almost like we

do so where's the beef. Anyone who teaches that Mary was sinless, a

perpetual virgin, the queen of Heaven, the mother of God, the mother of the

Church and can assist in getting our prayers answered, not to mention her

intercessory authority to help people get into Heaven, does not accept the

finality and authority of the Bible. Jesus warned us of wolves in sheep's

clothing. We either believe what the Bible says or we believe what Catholic

theology tells us the Bible says. Does this mean we should reject Catholics?

How Silly! It does mean, however, sharing services, ministries and platforms

is not only an act of biblical and doctrinal compromise but endangers the

plane simple message of the Gospel. Why? We either believe what Jesus said,

I'm repeating myself, or we don't. Anything done which will shift the focus

of the Gospel or, which frustrates doctrinal clarity, should be avoided at

all costs. The real danger is when people begin comparing what they believe

with another's beliefs. We can always find similarities; it's the

differences which separate us doctrinally. The real issue is "Will it take

them to Heaven." Some misinformed and mislead, but well-meaning, Christians

believe God somehow, and for some reason, overlooks their small biblical

inconsistencies. Besides, doesn't God love them, too? Won't He just go

ahead and forgive them and save them anyway? After all, they're so

sincere. If it blocks, or in any way hinders the simple message of the

Gospel, it should be resisted, refuted and renounced at all cost.

 

DOCUMENTATION

 

Lest I be chastised for over stating Catholic theology, I conclude my

rebuttal with some documentation which, I might add, Father Gilquist should

carefully consider if he wishes to remain a priest in the "Orthodox Church."

 

REFERENCES - ROMAN CATHOLIC

 

1. In 1854, Pope Pius IX declared that "by a singular grace of God, Mary

was preserved sinless from the moment of her conception."

2. In 1950 Pope Pius XII decreed her Assumption.

3. In 1890, Pope Leo XIII said, "As no man can come to the Most High

Father except through the Son, so, generally, no man can come to

Christ except through Mary."

4. On March 22, 1918, Pope Benedict XV said, "She suffered so much for us,

almost to the point of dying with her suffering and dying Son. Therefore

we may rightfully say that she has, with Christ, redeemed the human race."

5. In 1954, Pope Pius XII said, "Mary is indeed worthy to receive honor and

might and glory. She is exalted to hypostatic union with the Blessed

Trinity."

6. Louis de Montford, TRUE DEVOTION TO MARY, commenting upon Genesis 3:15,

"God has never made and formed but one enmity; but it is an

irreconcilable one. It is between Mary, His worthy Mother and the

devil. He has inspired her with so much hatred against that cursed

enemy of God, with so much power to crush that proud and impious rebel

that he fears her, in a sense, more than God Himself."

7. From DEVOTIONS FOR THE HOLY SOULS, Catholic Truth Society of Ireland,

Imp. Colmanus a Doineraile, page 32. "Be to me, O Virgin, nigh. Lest

in flames I burn and die in His awful judgment day."

8. "Just as a woman had a share in bringing about death, so also a

woman should contribute to life" (LUMEN GENTIUM, 11/21/64, Ch. VIII, Sec.

II).

9. At the Rosary for Peace Rally, Dayton, Ohio, 10/28/84, it was stated

that Mary is venerated by 1600 different names in Roman Catholicism.

10. On St. Stanislaus' Roman Catholic Church, 524 W Mitchell St.,

Milwaukee, Wisconsin: "Ascend mortals to this mountain top for here

through Mary all shall receive salvation."

11. From WOMAN CROWNED WITH STARS by Michael Malone (Imp: Bishop

Sullivan, Baton Rouge, 1981), page 3. "Our Blessed Mother's Rosary

concludes with the Mystery of the Coronation of the Immaculate Virgin

Mary as Queen of all creation; however, the crowning of Our Lady is not

the culmination, but the actual commencement, of all that has even

happened from the very beginning of time. ... "Psalm 84 presents

graphically for us this incarnational union between God and man - heaven

and earth, grace and nature - in the precious palace of the Virgin

Mary's womb: Mercy and truth have met each other (heaven and earth);

Justice and peace have kissed (grace and nature); Truth is sprung out

of the earth (that's Mary!); And justice hath looked down from heaven

(that's Jesus!); For the Lord (God the Father) will give goodness

(God the Son) and the earth (the Blessed Virgin Mary) shall yield her

fruit."

12. Pope Leo XIII, "God chose the august Virgin Mary from all eternity

to be the Mother of the Incarnate Word, and for that reason has so

eminently distinguished her among all of His most beautiful works in the

triple order of nature, grace and glory, that the Church justly applies to

her these words: I came out of the mouth of the Most High, the first-

born before all creatures."

13. Ibid, page 7. "We can hope to attain the divinity of God only in the

same way He attained the humanity of man: through Mary. We must travel

the identical route, and the name of that Royal Road is Mary. `For by

Mary', St. Fulgentius tells us, `God descended from Heaven into the

world, so that by her men might ascend from earth to Heaven.' We don't

need Mary to be the sons of men, but we do need Mary to become the sons of

God."

14. Ibid., page 14. "God Himself explained to (St. Gertrude) that Jesus was

indeed Mary's first-born according to the flesh, but that all mankind

was to be her second-born according to the spirit. St. Bonaventure

said, "All the sons of the womb of the Church are the inheritance and

fruit of the womb of Mary."

 

REFERENCES - ORTHODOX CHURCH #1

 

Though the Orthodox Church generally denies their doctrines are even

remotely similar to the Roman Catholic, the following documentation claims to

be their theological positions. I have included several quotes which not

only confirm their stand on Mariology but others which confirm they are

Catholic in doctrine, practice, principle and application. I am not

suggesting, however, they are identical with Roman Catholic theology in every

respect. They do, on the other hand, have similar doctrinal positions and

their own statements confirm such to be the case even if they refuse to see

it. The reader should note that, in some cases, the quotes are not complete

doctrinal statements but explanations of their doctrinal positions. Hence,

some information is vague. Such is a common practice of those espousing

false doctrine based on something other than Scripture.

The following quotes come from a publication called "20 Most Often Asked

Questions About Orthodoxy, by Fr Paul O'Callaghan."

 

The True Church

"EVANGELICAL CHRISTIAN: The Orthodox believer can understand your

enthusiasm for Christ and what you believe to be the Gospel. But certain

attitudes common to evangelicals reveal serious confusion in their thinking.

There is need on the part of many evangelicals for a more balanced,

historical approach to the Eastern Orthodox Church. Also, many evangelical-

fundamentalist teachings need to be seriously re-examined in the light of

Scripture and authentic Christian tradition. It is the conviction of the

Orthodox that their Church is in fact the true Church of Christ. It is to

her fullness that you are called, and her fullness is the fullness of life

in Christ."

 

Mary Worship

"First of all, Orthodox Christians do not worship Mary. Worship is

reserved for God alone. However, Mary is greatly esteemed and honored as the

one chosen by God to bring forth His Only-Begotten Son into the world.

Because of this, she is the most exalted of all creatures. She herself

prophesied "All generations shall call me blessed" (Luke 1:48).Jesus Christ

is an eternal, divine Person who took on a complete human nature through the

Virgin Mary (cf. John 1:1, 14). He is expressly called "God" in the

Scriptures (cf. John 20:28). As Mary gave birth to and nurtured a divine

Person, she is rightly called the "Mother of God." This, of course, does not

imply that she is the mother of God the Father. Many of those who question

the title "Mother of God" are those who also doubt the full divinity of Jesus

Christ. There is nothing paganistic in the Church's veneration of the

Mother of Our Savior."

Author's Note:

It is clear that the Orthodox believers practice worship of Mary for it

is she to whom they OFFER prayERS. they may call it something else but it is

worship nonetheless. They even believe she can help them, and others who

have already died, get into Heaven.

 

 

 

 

Prayer To Mary And The Saints

[The Orthodox pray to Mary and the other saints. Isn't this worship?]

"Orthodox Christians ask Mary and other saints to intercede for us before

God in prayer. The Orthodox believe that the reality of the Church

encompasses both the living and those who have died and are now "with Christ"

(Phil. 1:23). Those who have died in Christ do not care for us any less, nor

do they cease to pray for us because they have passed into eternal life. We

approach the saints with veneration as we ask their prayers. In no way can

this be compared to the worship we offer the Triune God."

[Why do the Orthodox pray for the dead? It is too late for prayers once a

person has died.]

"The Orthodox Church teaches that all persons are dependent upon God's

mercy, whether living or dead. Christians as well as unbelievers will stand

before the "dread judgment seat of Christ." According to St. Paul, our works

will be "tried by fire" (cf. I Cor 3:13). We will be held responsible for

"every idle word" that we have uttered (cf. Matt. 12:36). In the face of

such a rigorous judgment, our prayer goes up to God for those who have

departed this life."

[But receiving the sacraments of Baptism and Communion does not save

anyone.]

"Christ's saving power is mediated through the sacraments if they are

received according to the intention of the Church. Mere mechanical or

formalistic reception of the sacraments does not save. In fact, if we

partake unworthily, we receive damnation, not salvation (cf. I Cor. 11:29).

However, God's grace is available in the sacraments to those who approach

with a living faith in Christ."

[The bread and wine of the Lord's Supper cannot possibly be the real body and

blood of Jesus Christ. They are symbols only.]

"Protestant Evangelical teaching upon this point unfortunately does not

reflect the Word of God, but rather the teachings and opinions of men. Such

teaching about the Eucharist is totally unscriptural. The Scriptures say

that when the Lord took bread and blessed it at the Last Supper, he stated

"This is my Body" (cf. Matt. 26:26). Taking the cup, he spoke these words:

"This is my blood..." (Matt. 26:27). Many who consider themselves "Bible

Fundamentalists," however, cannot accept the plain truth as Jesus stated it.

Yet the teaching of Jesus is clear: "He that eats my flesh and drinks my

blood, dwells in me, and I in him" (Jn 6:56). And, "Except you eat the flesh

of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, you have no life in you" (John 6:54).

Just as in the present, there were many then who heard this teaching of the

Lord but could not accept it. The Scripture tells us that these disciples

ceased to follow the Lord rather than accept His teaching (John 6:60-66).

They were in truth the first Protestants!

This teaching of the Lord has never been a subject of debate in the

Orthodox Church. The Church's doctrine has been consistent from the

Apostolic times through the Patristic period up to the present. The great

Fathers of the Church all witness to her literal understanding of the words

of Jesus."

 

The Scriptures

[The true Christian faith is based on the Bible alone.]

"The Bible never has been and never can be "alone". It was the Orthodox

Catholic Church that finally decided what books belonged in the Bible and

what did not. In the era following the death of the Apostles, there were

many books that claimed to be Apostolic Scripture. The Church decided what

books were authentic and what were not, based on whether or not those books

conformed to the oral tradition she had received from the Apostles. Without

the Church there would be no Bible. Heresies and distortions result when the

Bible is torn away from the Church or interpreted privately outside the

catholic tradition of the Church (cf. 2 Pet. 3:16). The same Holy Spirit

that inspired the Scriptures is promised to guide the Church unto all truth

and preserve her from error (cf. John 16:13). The Bible is not "alone" - it

belongs to the Church."

[But Orthodoxy de-emphasizes the Bible and stresses the importance of

tradition.]

"Orthodoxy does not de-emphasize the Bible. The Orthodox Church accepts

the Bible as the divinely-inspired, infallible Word of God. The Bible has

unparalleled authority in the Church of God when it comes to faith and

practice. But the Orthodox Church insists that the Scriptures must be

interpreted according to the catholic tradition of the Church. This

"catholic tradition" is based on the oral teaching of the Apostles as it has

been handed down in the Church (cf. 2 Thess. 2:15). It is the result of the

fact that the Holy Spirit lives in the Church (cf. John 14:26). It is

enshrined in the teachings of the Ecumenical Councils of the Church and the

teachings of the saints and Church Fathers. Those who live in the fullness

of the Holy Spirit are our best guides to the Scriptures; it is they who

testify to the deep union between Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition in the

Church."

REFERENCES - ORTHODOX CHURCH #2

 

The following quotes are taken from a publication called "What Orthodox

Christians Believe - A Conciliar Press Compendium."

"MARY is called Theotokos, meaning "God-bearer" or the "Mother of God,"

because she bore the Son of God in her womb and from her He took His

humanity. Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, recognized this reality

when she called Mary, "the Mother of my Lord" (Luke 1:43). Mary said of

herself, "All generations shall call me blessed" (Luke 1:48). So we, in our

generation, call her blessed. Mary lived a chaste and holy life, and we

honor her highly as the model of holiness, the first of the redeemed, the

Mother of the new humanity in her Son. It is bewildering to Orthodox that

many professing Christians who claim to believe the Bible never call Mary

blessed her honor nor who bore and raised God the Son in His human flesh."

"PRAYER TO THE SAINTS is encouraged by the Orthodox Church. Why? Because

physical death is not a defeat for a Christian. It is a glorious passage

into heaven. The Christian does not cease to be a part of the Church at

death. God forbid! Nor is he set aside, idle until the day of judgment."

"The True Church is composed of all who are in Christ--in heaven and on

earth. It is not limited in membership to those presently alive. Those in

heaven with Christ are alive, in communion with God, worshipping God, doing

their part in the body of Christ. They actively pray to God for all those in

the Church--and perhaps, indeed, for the whole world (Ephesians 6:18;

Revelation 8:3). So we pray to the saints who have departed this life,

seeking their prayers, even as we ask Christian friends on earth to pray for

us."

AUTHOR'S ADDRESS

Phil Scovell

840 South Sheridan Boulevard

Denver, Colorado 80226-8017

Toll Free: 888-936-0001

Voice: 303-936-2188

Fax: 303-936-1841

BBS: 303-935-6323

Internet: philscov@netcom.com

Internet: zenith@crl.com

Home Page: http://www.crl.com/~zenith

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