Can Someone Help Me With This Debate on Mary?

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i am currently over at the “Former Catholics For Christ” ezboard debating w/ someone regarding the Immaculate Conception. i would greatly appreciate everyone’s (name removed by moderator)ut, especially concerning how you all think i’m doing, what i can say to be more effective, or anything that i should do differently.

i am “phatcatholic” and my opponent is “garee.” i pretty much ignore everyone else’s comments as they are quite counter-productive.

here is the debate.

thanks in advance for all your help,
You have your work cut out for you…:whacky: but here is a question I would ask.

Moses had take his sandals off when he was at the burning bush,because it was Holy ground. The Temple Priests were not allowed in the Holy of Holies where the Ark was kept and the held the tablets of the Commandments and Mana from the desert. Because that is where God dwelled, the High Priest was the only one allowed in the Holy of Holies and then he had to be alone, tied with a rope to his ankle in case he died while he was in there and they could pull him out without going into the Holy of Holies.
Now, how Holy would the place that carries the Eternal Word of God have to be?

Excellent job in this debate. Good job of citing specific sources.

One thing I would explain in a different way would be how and when Mary was saved. I think Stephen Ray illustrates this point well in his video series “Footprints of God” in which he says that there are two ways to “save” someone. One way is to pull them out of the hole after they’ve fallen in. Another is to prevent them from falling in the hole in the first place…I know that Stephen Ray isn’t the only one to make this point in this way, but he is the one that immediately comes to mind.

Second, I would make the point that God DID create other sinless humans…Adam and Eve. They, however, still chose to sin where as Mary did not. Even though God made Adam, Eve, and Mary without sin, he still did give them free will. They still could have chosen to sin.

Also, about the “Full of Grace” vs. “Highly Favored” issue, I will refer you to the CA tract about the Immaculate Conception, although I’m sure you’re familiar with it already:

----"When discussing the Immaculate Conception, an implicit reference can be found in the angel’s greeting to Mary. The angel Gabriel said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you” (Luke 1:28). The phrase “full of grace” is a translation of the Greek word kecharitomene. This word represents the proper name of the person being addressed by the angel, and it therefore expresses a characteristic quality of Mary.

The traditional translation, “full of grace,” is more accurate than the one found in many recent versions of the New Testament, which give something along the lines of “highly favored daughter.” Mary was indeed a highly favored daughter of God, but the Greek implies more than that (and it never mentions the word for “daughter”). The grace given to Mary is at once permanent and of a unique kind. Kecharitomene is a perfect passive participle of charitoo, meaning “to fill or endow with grace.” Since this term is in the perfect tense, it indicates a perfection of grace that is both intensive and extensive. So, the grace Mary enjoyed was not a result of the angel’s visit, and was only as “full” or strong or complete as possible at any given time, but it extended over the whole of her life, from conception onward. She was in a state of sanctifying grace from the first moment of her existence to have been called “full of grace.”–
I will be praying for you as I have read part of your ongoing discussions there and think the best thing I can do is pray.

One thing I did see is where they are having a hard time accepting that Christs actions on the cross are not from that day forward.

I have talked with people about Luke 18: 22-31. If Christs sacrifice could not be beyond the bonds of time then how could this talk exist. There is no way into heaven with out our Lords sacrific, Abraham in comfort while the other is in torment. In addition I like to talk with them about the transfiguration, Christ had not yet died yet here was Moses to aid him, and then we can always talk about Enoch. I also like to take them to 2 Kings 2: 1-12, no there is no man that can get to heaven with out Christ yet here is one who went prior to Christ walking the earth, how simple the Father saw his son’s sacrifice then as he does now.

Dont know if this will help but it has helped me int the past.

thanks for ur imput. i have a question though. could it be claimed by opponent that these people were actually not going to heaven, but instead to “hades” or the “waiting place” of hell where the righteous dwelt while they were waiting for the saving work of Christ?

i need hard, irrefutable proof of the timelessness of Jesus’ work on the cross–how it can even save people before it was done.

thanks to u and to everyone,

thanks for ur imput. i have a question though. could it be claimed by opponent that these people were actually not going to heaven, but instead to “hades” or the “waiting place” of hell where the righteous dwelt while they were waiting for the saving work of Christ?

i need hard, irrefutable proof of the timelessness of Jesus’ work on the cross–how it can even save people before it was done.

thanks to u and to everyone,
Look at 2 Kings 2:11
“As they walked on conversing, a flaming hariot and flaming horses come between them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind.”

I think this verse say right out where he goes and then use this to build the point with Abaharam and the others.

In answer to your question here though when people see no authority they can claim anything. I think one thing you may consider is using time to get the talk onto authority, how I dont know but I will ask Mary for you.

God Bless and Love them more.
Shake the dust from your feet and move on to the next town. You have come upon a well-prepared quotation expert of isolated words from scriptures who will totally ignore your every argument. Their inspiration is from the prince of this world. They do not believe in the “communion of saints,” therefore praying to and asking for the help or intercession from a “dead person” is total nonsense to them. They apply scriptures only to prove their hatred of the Catholic Church.

They can quote the Ten Commandments, but they will never allow a connection between the Fourth Commandment and the relationship between Jesus Christ and His Mother. Even though Christ could have appeared on earth as a fully grown man and could have been the same God-Man He is through His birth from Mary, they cannot see that the relationship with Mary, His Mother, was a purposeful design by God.

They will sidestep the issue that perhaps God would obey His own rule and Honor His True Mother by preserving her from all sin. If they believe at all in His birth from Mary, their belief leaves one to assume they believe He then tossed her aside to get along on her own. That would be quite an example for Christ to set. But they will avoid every fact that weakens their hatred for Mary. As for explaining devotion and respect for Mary, they will not accept the infinite difference between cultus latriae and cultus hyperduliae or cultus duliae.

Unless you see that you can stay ahead of this person in argument to impress others into a belief in Mary, I would “shake the dust” as our Lord said and remit this case to prayer.
Phatcatholic, while I do not have much to contribute to your debate, I respect your ability and success in providing good solid information. I learned a bunch from you! Thank you.


thanks for ur imput. i have a question though. could it be claimed by opponent that these people were actually not going to heaven, but instead to “hades” or the “waiting place” of hell where the righteous dwelt while they were waiting for the saving work of Christ?

i need hard, irrefutable proof of the timelessness of Jesus’ work on the cross–how it can even save people before it was done.

thanks to u and to everyone,
Phat we are in time, but Jesus [God-man] is outside of Time. Even when He walked the Earth, his Divine Nature was outside of time.
All “time” is always present to God all the time. so he can listen to all people and apply saving grace anywhere He wants.
Tony D…i’m glad that you learned from my indeavors there. that alone is encouragement to continue.

cmom…good call. sometimes my mind gets caught up w/ complex arguments and i forget the obvious ones.

i think i’m gonna stay a little while longer. i think i’m making progress b/c my opponent gradually has less and less new things to say about the topic, and he really hasn’t refuted any of my arguments.

–although–jason engwer jumped aboard (probably b/c of this board) which freaks me out a little b/c he’s a veteran protestant apologist and i’m like 2 years strong! oh well, i’m gonna do my best.

ur continued support and comments are encouraged, and if anyone wants to hop in this debate and help me out, PLEASE feel free.

Hi phatcatholic,

You are doing an excellent job explaining and defending the faith. Don’t forget to pray constantly and remember that “winning” the debate doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve done God’s will. IMHO, keeping your cool, explaining with intellectual honesty, debating in charity, and sharing what you have about your faith journey does as much to convince your “audience” about the truth of your faith as your excellent points and counterpoints.

Keep praying that God is glorified in your work there.

Keep it up. There is always something we can learn from each other, including non-Catholic Christians. I’ve also learned a lot from your debate. You handle the insults pretty well (ignore them). Responding to them wouldn’t be productive at all.
Hi phatcatholic,

By the way, JasonTE makes some good points, that are worth exploring in your “free time”. I know you are really responding to “garee”. There are church fathers who did consider Mary sinless. See Corunum Apologetics . But that won’t end the debate.

In the end, I think the debate illustrates the major difference between Protestantism and Catholicism. Your opponents won’t be satisfied unless you can “prove” the Blessed Virgin Mary was immaculately conceived with a verse that says, “And so Mary, the mother of Jesus was conceived without sin.” The only authority they accept is Scripture and their interpretation of Scripture that they believe to be guided by the Holy Spirit. They will not accept the Catholic interpretation, the Church Fathers, or Sacred Tradition.

God bless you!
Hey Phat,

Grace and Wisdom and JOY in the Risen Lord!! I only had a brief moment to read (rapidly, I confess) through the dialogue you linked. Just two QUICK (gotta run!!) suggestions regarding Scriptural passages that seem to be particularly relevant:
  1. Mary as Ark–perhaps mention that chapter divisions were of course not in the original texts and so between Rev 11 and 12, it seems quite clear that Mary is the New Ark (heaven has New Covenant fulfilments, not Old Covenant types; the Woman gives birth to a son [Christ], so obviously it is not Christ giving birth; etc. etc.)
  2. Your interlocutor keeps mentioning the “blessed is is the woman that nursed you…” passage (Lk 11:27f). The Greek word there does not necessarily mean “rather,” but in fact can also mean “yes, and MORE SO” (cf. Liddel-Scott, for example); thus, within the unity of the Scriptures–with which you are obviously more than familiar–this latter option certainly makes more sense (i.e. of course Mary WAS blessed–the angel, God’s messenger affirmed this–and Jesus did HONOR her in accord with the 4th Commandment and the meaning of the Hebrew word for “honor”–to bestow glory, etc. etc.)
Sorry I can’t say much more right now…let me know if it helps, and in the meantime, you are doing a great job!! 🙂 Thank you for a witness of CHARITY before your KNOWLEDGE–we need more Catholic apologists like that, and I certainly admire and can learn from such an example!! Continued prayers in Christ through Mary… 👍
i need hard, irrefutable proof of the timelessness of Jesus’ work on the cross–how it can even save people before it was done.
Here’s some interesting verses I stumbled across:

Gal 3:8 - The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.”

It suggests that the gospel message went out long before Christ was even around, through it probably wasn’t fully understood until Christ showed up on earth.

Here’s what St. Peter says about Noah and Christ:
For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water. (1 Peter 3:18-20, NASB)
Unlike the common interpretation saying that Jesus literally went into the Hadean realm and preached to these spirits, I have a completely different interpretation (and fortunately the NASB translation brings this out): Jesus preached to these people who happened to be in prison at the time of St. Peter writing his epistle.

So who are these spirits? The ones who were ‘disobedient in the days of Noah’. So how did Jesus preach to them under this interpretation? This may sound bizarre but here’s what I believe: Jesus preached through Noah.

And here’s my reasoning: Noah was a ‘preacher of righteousness’ (2 Pet 2:5). And it’s the righteous who are given eternal life (Matt 25:46).

Also, check out Luke 20:1. Apparently Jesus was preaching the gospel even before he died! Now compare that with Acts 8:40, where Philip preaches the gospel (after Jesus’s death. So people like Abraham, Noah, and Jesus were preaching the gospel message even before Jesus died.

For me at least, this suggests timelessness in God’s work on the cross.

I hope some of this is useful
faithfulfinger…i would love for you to expound on your points further when you have the time

chosunhood…interesting points. i will have to review the scriptures and ponder this more
Hi phat,

I’m new to this forum. I saw your post and could not help adding my two cents worth on that other web site.

Chris G
I’m really out of my league with most of the Marian doctrine - I entered the Church this past Easter and I’m not yet very familiar with it.

However, on the topic of praying to Mary, saints, and angels, it’s basically the same thing as asking a fellow Christian to pray for you or a loved one, which Protestants do on a regular basis. The only difference is the location of the spirit.


if you are interested in learning more about our Blessed Mother, here is a good place to start.

i have compiled many articles on all the marian doctrines, which should be of great service to you. of course, if you have any questions, please let me know.

pax christi,
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