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Why don’t Protestants Honor Mary?

Bible Question: First of all, let me say I admire you for [answering] questions about Our Lady. Most Protestants will simply glaze over and stare into space as if on "standby" mode whenever she is mentioned. I've seen it many times!

Any Jew worth their salt knew that in Genesis 3:15 a savior was promised, who would be born of "the woman". They knew it was prophesied that "a virgin will give birth to a son, and name Him "Emmanuel".

Skip ahead to the New Testament. Didn't Luke say that an angel was sent to "a virgin", and the Lord addressed her as being "full of grace"? Did she not, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, say, "all generations shall call me blessed"? Was she not there, of course, at His birth, but also at His first miracle, (when she interceded for the couple when they ran out of wine?). She was there at His crucifixion, and at Pentecost, she was with the apostles in the upper room. She is referred to in Revelation (The Woman clothed with the sun)! Does not Jesus call her "woman" when he addresses her?

One more thing, Tom, the Catholic Church does not force us to love Our Lady. We love her because Jesus loves her, and found her worthy to be His Mother. I pray you never have to have Jesus look at you sadly on your judgment day, and ask you, "Why did you so despise my dear Mother? Why did you ignore her? Why did you teach others to ignore her?" I will ask Our Lady that this never happen to you. She will help you, you'll see!

MaryAnn, MI

Bible Answer: Let me say this, I do not ignore Mary. I live in El Paso where 70 percent of the people are Catholics. So it's impossible to ignore Mary here. In fact, I have spoken about Mary's relationship as the "woman" with Christ as the "last Adam." You would have enjoyed that message, except for the part that I show how Mary on two occasions with her presence tempted Christ to go away from the Father's will. First, Mary was upset with Christ being at the Temple and, second, with His preaching (see Luke 2: 49-51 and Mark 3:21, 31-35). She did come back to Christ at the cross, praise God!

Maryann, I call Mary blessed. She was the most important woman ever to live on the earth. I honor her role as the chosen Virgin. With that said, I also see how the Catholic Church has gone beyond the Scriptures. They "worship" Mary with a little "w". It's still worship. They even pray to her, something that is reserved for God alone. I know the official Catholic position is not to pray TO her but ask her to pray for us, but the Catholic Church never enforces this position. I live with many Catholics, and I can tell you from first-hand experience that most of the Catholics I know honor Mary far more than they do Christ. That's the truth, Maryann.

I love and honor Mary, but I don’t believe many of the doctrines of the Catholic Church. First, I don't believe that Mary remained a virgin; second, that Mary was taken body and soul into heaven; third, that Mary petitions Christ for us; and fourth that Mary is co-redemptrix and co-meditrix. Just because Protestants refuse these beliefs doesn’t mean that they dishonor Mary.

I do agree with you, Maryann, about Mary being referred to as the "woman." Jesus refered to her in that way. She is indeed the "woman" who is a type of Eve. Mary is like Eve who tempted Adam. Remember, the original sin came because the man "listened" to the woman (Gen 3:17). Christ did not make the same mistake by listening to his mother.

When Christ performed his first miracle, his mother said, "Do whatever he tells you" (John 2:5). In other words, "Do not listen to me, but listen to Him." Read the story of the first miracle very carefully. You’ll see that Mary never asked Jesus to do the miracle, because as the "woman" she faithfully refused to "tell" Jesus what to do. In fact when she almost asked Him to help out, Jesus got upset: "Dear Woman, why do you involve me?" (2:4). If Mary had told Christ to do the miracle, Christ would have to refuse because He could not repeat the same mistake as the first Adam. Can you see that?

Later when Mary tried to stop Christ from preaching, Jesus refused to obey her and said, "Who is my mother?" (Mark 3:33). You know the story. This was the last time in the gospels that you hear from Mary until the Cross. The point of this story is to illustrate the two Adams. One listened to the woman and fell; the other refused to listen to the woman and saved the world.

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