Sinless Mary

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_Christopher

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JasonTE said…
People were referring to Mary as a sinner long before anybody referred to her as sinless from conception. The Immaculate Conception is absent from scripture and is contrary to the earliest patristic evidence. Even when the doctrine began to be advocated by some sources, it was still widely contradicted for hundreds of years. And we’re supposed to believe that it’s an apostolic tradition always held and taught by the church?
Where is the evidence of “people referring to Mary as a sinner long before anybody referred to her as sinless from conception?”

Let’s see some early Church writings that called her a sinner, if there are any.
 
We are all sinners and Mary is also a sinner. The only human being that is not a sinner is Jesus Christ for he is the Son of God.

Mary was a great person of course since God has chosen her to carry his son, but that doesn’t mean that Mary is not a sinner. Every single human being is a sinner and needs to accept Jesus Christ in his life for he only is the savior.

That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (John 3:6)

Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one. (Job 14:4)


Only Jesus was born without a sin. If Mary was born without a sin that means that her parents should have been born without a sin and the parents of her parents … and this is impossible. Jesus is born without a sin through the Holy Spirit.

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.(Romans 5:12)


Mary herself said: And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. (Luke 1:46, 47)

There is not doubt whatsoever that Mary was a great person since she was the mother of Jesus the man, but after all she is a human being and every human being is a sinner and needs Jesus as a savior.
 
The analogy that is often used to understand that Mary preserved from sin is this. If you are walking throught the jungle and fall into a pit of quicksand and I pull you out, I saved you. However, if I am at the pit of quicksand and stop your from stepping in it, I still saved you, I just did it in anticipation. That is what happened with Mary, she was saved from original sin by an anticipatory application of grace by God. She still needs a Savior, she just had to be a pure vessel to be able to bear the Son of God.

Therefore, being conceived in an Immaculate state by the anticipatory application of salvic grace, Mary was indeed sinless. Consider the Arc of the Covenant. It was by necessity a holy object because of what it contained, The Law of God, the Staff of Aaron, and the bread of Life. Consider what Mary was carrying, The Law, the High Priest, and the Bread of Life, our Lord Jesus Christ. If you degrade the nature of Mary, you by proxy degrade the nature of Jesus.
 
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homer:
Only Jesus was born without a sin. If Mary was born without a sin that means that her parents should have been born without a sin and the parents of her parents … and this is impossible. Jesus is born without a sin through the Holy Spirit.
In the Catholic universe, God is so powerful as to preserve Mary from the stain of Original Sin with the Grace that Our Lord merited for us on the Cross.

Impossible? By the Grace of God, not even close.
 
I find homer’s treatment of the topic extremely convincing. Can someone(s) provide a Catholic treatment, dealing one-by-one with each of the scripture verses that homer quoted? That is, an explanation of why those verses, either inividually, or as a set, are insufficient to support the position that Mary was not sinless.

Perhaps the Job 14:4 quote can also be used against his argument, in that, how can Jesus (clean) be brought out of Mary (allegedly unclean).
 
homer said:
That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (John 3:6)

Notice that this is in the context of being “born from above” or “born again.” From the Catholic perspective, Mary was “born from above” at the moment of her conception. God gave her the Grace of justification the moment she came into existence and preserved her from “inheriting” the fallen wounds of human nature.
Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one. (Job 14:4)
If Mary is unclean (as homer believes) then this argument backfires against him. It would mean that “Not one” – *not even God * – can bring a clean thing (Jesus) out of an unclean (Mary). But this is absurd.

If God can bring a clean thing like Jesus out of an unclean thing as homer believes Mary to be, then God’s powerful enough to bring Mary out of an unclean thing like Mary’s parents and preserve her from uncleanliness at the very beginning of her existence. Preserving a human person from inheriting the stain of Adam’s sin is far from impossible for God, and this is all the more clear with the Catholic Church’s understanding that her Immaculate Conception is “by a singular privilege and grace granted by God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the human race.”
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.(Romans 5:12)
All. Including Jesus, who is fully Man? No. So these verses do not exclude exceptions. That permits Mary to be a possible exception. These verses don’t prove than Mary is an exception, any more than it proves that Jesus is an exception. What it does show is that our presupposition that Jesus is Man and that Jesus is sinless demonstrates that such verses don’t address the exceptions.
Mary herself said: And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. (Luke 1:46, 47)
Amen to that. God is, thanks to Him, her Savior. In fact, the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception means that Mary has more reason than anybody on this earth for calling God her savior. While others were saved after falling into sin, God saved her before falling into sin in the first place. That’s salvation par excellence!

So there is no question that God *could * have done it. The question is, rather, did God in fact do it? The Catholic Church says, yes.
 
Mary herself said: And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. (Luke 1:46, 47)
If a person falls into quicksand and someone pulls them out, that person, it is commonly said, is their savior.

If a person is about to fall into quicksand and another person catches them before they fall, the same is also said.

We are saved in the first sense. We have fallen into the quicksand of sin and have been pulled out by Christ. He is our Savior.

Mary was saved in the second sense. Christ prevented her otherwise sure fall, so He too is her Savior.
 
Dude, I already started a thread on this. And its my only thread. 😃

I hope to post something tonight or tomorrow going through ALL the Fathers from 100 AD to about 1300 AD up to Dun Scotus. It is all covered in Carol’s Mariology, the 3 volume set. Plus I’m comparing with other sources…

HERE is that thread

Phil P
 
Sorry bro, didn’t see you had one already…

Did JasonTE answer yours, at least?
 
Chris << Did JasonTE answer yours, at least? >>

Yeah, he answers everything eventually. In his own way… 😃

This thread is more on the biblical stuff…I’ll try to do a quick sketch of the entire patristic period later today, using what sources I have. JasonTE is correct certain eastern Fathers mentioned specific “sins” such as doubt, etc of the Blessed Mother, and they interpret a couple Scripture passages that way.

The sinlessness of Mary becomes explicit in the 4th century, and from the 5th forward it was no longer questioned in east and west. The Immaculate Conception is a further specification of the sinlessness (saying it goes back to conception, rather than just after conception), just as transubstantiation further defines the Real Presence. I’ll add details in the other thread.

The same analogy can be made of the Trinity. From Svendsen who works with JasonTE at NTRMin.org

“Very little was said about a belief in the Trinity before the council of Nicaea and the Athanasian creed. Are we to assume that the church did not widely hold to a belief in the Trinity before Nicaea? Of course not…The reason little was said about the Trinity before Nicaea is that it was not an issue until Nicaea. Arius could well have argued that belief in the Trinity was unhistorical in his day (after all, there were no explicit statements about the Trinity for three-hundred years)…” (Eric Svendsen, Evangelical Answers, page 120 [1997 edition] or page 92 [1999 edition])

If Arius could well have argued that, then the seeming contradictory statements on the Trinity in the early centuries are no problem, and the same with total sinlessness which some of the Fathers doubted or questioned. She was always the “holy virgin” from the earliest times, but not totally or absolutely sinless…details later.

Phil P
 
No one said it was “always taught as doctrine” and that is not necessary for Catholics to know the truth. There is some fancy theological word for this, when truth becomes evident, not by decree from the pope, but the people, and the pope is in essence making it doctrine because it already IS doctrine. The Body of Christ established the doctrine, in other words, the truth of the belief becomes evident without any papal assistance and the pope just finally gave his seal of approval. Someone here smart about that doctrinal stuff can explain how it works. But protestants have this misunderstanding that unless something was encoded in Year One it cannot be true.

What’s interesting is that Mary HERSELF confirmed this doctrine when, only three years or so I believe after the pope’s declaration, she appeared to the Fatima children with the words, “I AM THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION.” Thanks, Mary, for letting the Church know she had it right all along, and forgive those who maligned you! Of all the words she could have chosen, Mary verified the long-held tradtional belief of her people.
 
I respect all your opinions and i do agree that Mary was indeed a unique person no doubt.

Apologia100, you gave the example of the jungle, where did you get that from?! Is there any proof in the Holy Bible that supports your idea and proofs it or it is just from the imagination of human beings?!

Vincent (God is so powerful as to preserve Mary from the stain of Original Sin): who told you that? Show me a proof from the Holy Bible. Because if it doesn’t show in the Holy Bible than it is man made …

Vincent ( From the Catholic perspective, Mary was “born from above” at the moment of her conception): again a proof. Where do you bring those ideas from? Who is the source of these ideas? Is it man by any chance?

Vincent (If Mary is unclean (as homer believes) then this argument backfires against him. It would mean that “Not one” – *not even God *-- can bring a clean thing (Jesus) out of an unclean (Mary). But this is absurd.): I did mention that only Jesus was born without a sin through the HOLY SPIRIT.

Vincent (Mary has more reason than anybody on this earth for calling God her savior. While others were saved after falling into sin, God saved her before falling into sin in the first place. That’s salvation par excellence!): there is absolutely nothing mentioned in the Bible about this! Please tell me what is or who is the source of these ideas?
Who needs a Savior? A sinner! It’s so simple. There no mention in the Holy Bible about the fact that Mary was saved before falling into sin.

Brendan: Same story. How can you support this? Did God say anything about it? If he did, please do show me where it appears in the Holy Bible.

As a conclusion: everything i mentioned in the previous post has as a source the Holy Bible the word of God. I cannot accept the examples of the jungle … because they do not have as a reference the Holy Bible and they were invented by human beings.
Please do understand that i beleive that Mary was a great person but why this stuggle to make her sinless while this contradicts the word of God.
 
homer << Is there any proof in the Holy Bible that supports your idea >>

homer << Show me a proof from the Holy Bible >>

homer << there is absolutely nothing mentioned in the Bible about this! >>

homer << If he did, please do show me where it appears in the Holy Bible. >>

homer << everything i mentioned in the previous post has as a source the Holy Bible the word of God. >>

I see a pattern here. 😃

Where did you get the Holy Bible? Answer: from the Holy Spirit in the Holy Catholic Church. Catholic bishops developed and defined the canon.

Where do we get the Immaculate Conception? Answer: from the Holy Spirit in the Holy Catholic Church. Catholic bishops and doctors (eventually) developed and defined the Immaculate Conception.

homer << Please do understand that i beleive that Mary was a great person but why this stuggle to make her sinless while this contradicts the word of God. >>

It is the Catholic belief God made her sinless preemptively, and no its not in the Bible as such, but neither is it contradicted by the Bible. Does “All have sinned” (e.g. Rom 3:23) apply equally to retarded children, and babies? No, they are exceptions. The Blessed Mother could be an exception, and some of the Fathers indeed made her an exception. Two of the biggies there are St. Ephraem (east) and St. Augustine (west).

It is a doctrinal development in the Church, just as the explicit doctrine of the Trinity and the canon of the New Testament is a development. Same Church, same Holy Spirit, same doctrinal development. It would help to read about the history of the sinlessness of Mary or the Immaculate Conception. There are no differences between eastern (Orthodox) and western (Catholic) Christians on the former (sinlessness), but some on the latter (Immaculate Conception) due to our differences on original sin.

This article from NewAdvent.org is fairly complete

Phil P
 
Agnes << she appeared to the Fatima children with the words, “I AM THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION.” Thanks, Mary, for letting the Church know she had it right all along, and forgive those who maligned you! >>

Fatima was well after the definition (1854). Here you mean Our Lady of Lourdes, and her appearance and words to St. Bernadette. Yep it is further confirmation, shortly after the definition…

Apparitions at Lourdes

Phil P
 
Homer,
Using the Holy Scriptures alone, ask yourself what you are told regarding the dwelling place of God.

Was Mt. Sinai holy or unholy? If holy, then how holy was it?

Why was Moses commanded to remove his sandals?

Was the Ark of the Covenant holy or unholy?

What happened to those who touched it imprudently?

What is the significance of the following passage:
Ezekiel 44
1 Then he brought me back the way of the gate of the outward sanctuary which looketh toward the east; and it was shut.
2 Then said the LORD unto me; This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the LORD, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut.

What gate was used by God to enter the world at the end of the Old Testament?

Is the fulfillment of Old Testament “types” lesser or greater than the shadows that preceeded them?

Peace in Christ…Salmon
 
PhilVaz, same old same old! You made a good disertation but what is your reference? You didn’t answer my question. Well of course you will not because the Bible is not your reference but the tradition of human beings.

But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? (Matthew 15:3)

PhilVaz: (Where did you get the Holy Bible?): From God
through the Holy Spirit.
(Where do we get the Immaculate Conception?): From
traditions and ideas of human beings.

PS: There is no doubt that you will see a pattern and you will
always see this pattern since the Holy Bible that is the word
of God is my reference.
 
homer-

I think you are missing Phil’s point. The reason that you know the Bible is God’s Word is because God’s Church said so.
 
Christopher, i know the Bible because God said so and not because the church said so. Your reply has the same problem, you are giving authority to man instead of giving it to God. So if the early church decided that the Bible should not be published,then the Bible will not be available today?! (Of course it wouldn’t but i want to show that the decision is not in the hand of the church). It’s the will of God to give us the Holy Bible through the Holy Spirit.

In fact, the main point (problem) is that what Phil is discussing is not mentioned or supported by the Holy Bible. Everything we know about the Christ and Christianity is present in the Holy Bible and every opinion supported by traditions is man made.
 
Christopher said:
(Quoting JasonTE) People were referring to Mary as a sinner long before anybody referred to her as sinless from conception.

Do you see what JasonTE has done? He (and you) have failed to distinguish between Original Sin and Actual Sin. Just because some early Father questioned or even “contradicted” the Immaculate Conception (which goes to Original Sin) doesn’t mean they believed Mary was a “sinner”, having Actual Sin.

Referring to Mary as “sinless from conception” is misleading. It fails to account for many who believed that, at some point, the Holy Spirit purged Mary from the inclination to sin: having no Actual Sin.
 
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Homer:
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.(Romans 5:12)


Just as Christopher and JasonTE above confound Original Sin and Actual Sin, I believe Homer here is confounding the sinlessness of Mary with the sinlessness of Christ.

Mary’s sinlessness was a gift from God, a singular act of Grace. Not because of her own person/nature/power. As we all know, one cannot boast about grace.

(Since Mary’s sinlessness was due to divine help and not her own power, it’s possible that even she came short of the glory of God.)

Christ’s sinlessness, on the other hand, is due to His own person/nature/power. It wasn’t due to grace. So one can boast about that.

IMO, what St. Paul means is that nobody can save themselves; everyone needs a savior. We don’t have the nature or power to save ourselves. And as has already been pointed out, God was Mary’s savior, due to a singular act of grace.
 
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