CATHOLICISM AND THE WORSHIP OF MARY
“For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.” 1 Timothy 2:5
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
“And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.” Matthew 23:9
“For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” Hebrews 10:14
“And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him. But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.” Acts 10:25-26
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God.…” 2 Corinthians 10:5
It is interesting to see that many of the idolatrous doctrines and practices of the Catholic Church, including inordinate respect for Mary, extra-biblical mysticism, and veneration for the Pope, are leaching into the hearts of Protestants, especially those in charismatic and non-denominational congregations. I am surprised to see that these teachings, doctrines and practices are taking root with little to no scrutiny. Few seem to have even a minimal level of discernment regarding Satan’s brilliant plan to deceive the church by, among other things, weaving darkness and light together in a way that pleases the flesh and enriches and empowers those who lead.
For more than a millennium the Catholic Church has done everything in its power to obscure the knowledge of God from mankind. For many centuries the church successfully kept the scriptures out of the hands of the commoner, and instead kept it, as translated by their scholars, solely in the hands of the priests who read and interpreted the scriptures as they pleased, subject only to Bishops and Popes. The scriptures were translated and interpreted in a way that supported traditional Catholic doctrine (which Erasmus exposed by showing intentional mistranslations favoring man-made catholic doctrine in Jerome’s Latin vulgate) in order to allow the excesses (and deceptions) of the church to go unchallenged. These excesses, of course, centered primarily around maintaining their vise-like grip on power…and their desire to amass and horde riches, as they preach wealth redistribution to the rest of us. The catholic church should start by disgorging their own outrageous wealth, and distributing it to the poor and to the victims of sexual abuse.
The Catholic Church was also highly successful in usurping the role of Jesus Christ, the Creator God, who was in the beginning and through whom all things were made, by replacing the One and Only, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End, with Popes, Bishops, and Priests, most of whom surround themselves with the same type of self-aggrandizing pomp that Jesus rebuked the Pharisees and Sadducees for having. Jesus called such men whitewashed tombs. Even prayer has been funneled away from God the Father and Jesus Christ, as the catholic flock was/is encouraged to pray and light candles to mother mary and to many others whom they call “saints.”
The Church, in its desire for wealth and control, replaced the reality of a personal, intimate relationship with the Living God…with a Priest, a confessional booth, and a crucifix. While some certainly could stumble into communion with God despite the church, the catholic masses abdicated their role in establishing a close, personal relationship with God, and instead blindly accepted the church’s teaching, and chose to relate to God through many of the same lifeless formalities established by the Old Testament’s ecclesiastical leadership…which Jesus destroyed by his life of love, power, humility and truth. I suggest that it is impossible to plausibly deny the hand of Satan in the many church practices, which take the minds, eyes and hearts of the people off of Jesus Christ, and instead turn them to idols.
The non-biblical Catholic doctrine forbidding priests from marrying has led to the rape and abuse of hundreds of thousands of women and children across the planet, embittering them to, and alienating them, from anything connected to religion or God, often forever. I have met some of those people. The primary purpose of this rule was almost certainly to avoid contentions over inheritance rights, which could of course, diminish the Churches precious real estate holdings and bank account balance. Clearly, the goals of the catholic Church have always centered around growing it’s wealth and extending it’s power rather than spreading the message of the love of Jesus Christ like a good shepherd to his precious flock.
Now more than ever, an inordinate focus on Mary, the mother of Jesus, is creeping into the Protestant Church. Non-Catholics are praying and lighting candles to her, and even look to her for help in times of trouble. There is only one mediator between man and God, and His name is Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 2:5). He was in the beginning with God, through Him all things were made, and without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him is life and that life is the light of men (John 1:1-5). This great God chose to step off of His throne, and become flesh. In His sovereignty and mercy, in union with the Father and Spirit, He became flesh, and lived 33 years on this Earth. Then, in obedience to His Father, and of His own volition, he chose to suffer a brutal death as atonement for the sins of mankind once and for all. It. Is. Finished!
It is abundantly clear that Satan is doing everything he can in these last days to get the eyes of humanity, and especially believers, on anything other than Jesus Christ. Whether it is material possessions, signs and wonders, temporal power, relationships, or even veneration for previous generations of believers, Satan wants our hearts, our eyes, and our minds off of Jesus Christ. It seems clear that one of his newest tactics is to slowly move the catholic tradition of Mary worship, along with other Catholic mystic traditions, into Protestant circles.
Fortunately, for those who love and trust the word of God, and know that it alone is objective truth, there are answers from Jesus himself as to how his mother is to be viewed. Jesus addresses this issue directly in Luke 11:27-28, when a woman in a crowd said to Jesus, “Blessed is the woman who gave you birth and nursed you.” Jesus, rather than affirming her statement, or even in a small way agreeing with the blessedness of the human vessel that birthed Him, corrected her, because He knew that her heart was focused on the created rather than the Creator, who is forever to be praised. In response, Jesus said to the woman, not blessed is the virgin Mary, but rather, “blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”
Another incident similar to the one mentioned above, occurred in Luke 8:20-21, when Jesus was told that His mother and brothers were looking for him outside the building where Jesus was ministering. In response to that statement, Jesus responded that his mother and brothers are those that hear the Word of God and obey it. There is not even a hint of special respect or honor for any member of His family in these two passages, because, like all men and women, his family members returned to dust. Jesus alone is the maker of all things(John 1:1-18), and He wants us to worship the eternal Creator rather than temporary created things which fade away like flowers in the sun (1 Peter 1:24-25). But…If we are going to worship a human, shouldn’t it be John the Baptist, since Jesus Himself says in Luke 7:28 that he is the greatest man born of woman? Yet, how silly would it be to light candles and pray to John the Baptist, a mere man – and a hairy one at that, rather than the everlasting God Himself, who is forever to be praised?
Clearly, Jesus loved His mother. He loved her so much, that even as He was dying, He made sure that she had someone to care for her all the days of her life. That person was the apostle John, the disciple whom Jesus loved. It is truly a beautiful portrait of Jesus’ heart to see Him reach out and care for His mother in the midst of His agony. There can be no doubt that she was precious to Him. The problem however, is not that Jesus loves his mother. Problems, in the eyes of the Living God, come when Mary is elevated to a demigod (co-redemtrix) and is worshiped and praised instead of or in conjunction with the one and only God.
Interestingly, pagan religions throughout history have often worshiped a “mother” god. Even in the Old testament, the Jews were warned by the prophet Jeremiah (Jeremiah 44), not to worship the so-called “queen of the universe” rather than the one and only God. In Catholic circles (and in catholic literature), Mary is commonly referred to as “queen of the universe.” There is even a Catholic Church in my home town called “Mary, Queen of the Universe”. The Egyptians worshiped Isis, as mother and “queen of the universe” and the Babylonians before them worshiped a universal “mother” god (Semiramis, wife of Nimrod) as well. Catholic symbols also replicate the symbols of the pagan god Dagon (the pope’s mitre hat), baal/ashteroth (the obelisk in St. Peter’s square), and Mithrian/Egyptian sun-worship symbology is featured prominently in the monstrance, church architecture, and on the formal dress of catholic clergy. These my friends, are not coincidences. Catholicism, sadly, with it’s required rituals, false teachings on salvation, and overt paen to paganism, is nothing more than the babylonian mystery religions renamed and repackaged.
Why is it so difficult for all of us to fix our eyes solely on Jesus Christ, the author and perfecter of our faith who, for the joy set before him, bore our sins in his broken body on a cold hard cross, scorning it’s shame and ultimately, sat down in glory at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:3)? Perhaps it is the warm feeling we get by opening ourselves up to the angel of light through the quiet, deceptive stillness of the contemplative, or the deep emotional needs filled by the sweet and clever sounding lies of false religious practices and false “christian” teachings, which rely on the wisdom of men rather than the wisdom of God. The enemy is delighted to see how we so easily replace the one and only God with created things that, like Satan himself, will soon burn away. Jesus Christ will never leave us or forsake us…and most importantly as we walk on this earth, His eternal word will never, ever lead us away from what is true and right. So let us all use the word and only the word to test and approve what God’s will is; His good, pleasing and perfect will (Romans 12:2b). If we use the sharp double-edged sword of the scriptures to divide truth from lies and to “test the spirits” of the practices and doctrines that are creeping into the church (and into our lives), then we, with the help of the Holy Spirit, will never, ever be led astray (Hebrews 4:12-13; 1 John 4:1).
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.