Just found an incredible verse: John 8:54. In it, Jesus tells the Jews, “If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing; it is My Father who glorifies Me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God’; and you have not come to know Him but I know Him–“ The Father Himself glorifies Jesus!
What difference would it make if Mary was not sinless and if she remained a virgin only until she gave birth to the Savior? What difference would it make if Jesus was the firstborn of at least seven children, with four brothers and a plural number of sisters? What difference would it make if Mary is neither Co-Mediatrix or Co-Redemptrix? What difference would it make if we focused instead on the Word of God??
Would it make any difference to the substance of our Christian faith?
If we study the Word of God and obey it, as God the Son tells us to,
if we listen to Jesus as God the Father tells us to,
if we direct our focus to Jesus Christ and glorify* Him (*doxazo: praise, extol, magnify, celebrate, honor, make glorious, adorn with luster, clothe with splendor, render Him excellent, make renowned, render illustrious, cause His dignity and worth to become manifest and acknowledged) as God the Holy Spirit does, AND AS THE FATHER DOES (see above John 8:54)!
if we let Jesus increase and Mary decrease in our attention, worshiping her son as she herself does–
would it diminish our faith?
At what point would Mary’s being a mere mortal, obedient and faithful to God, mother of His son, spoil or even affect the triumphant truths of the gospel–God’s good news of salvation? Would Jesus Christ not be revealed in even greater splendor in such a setting, if the spotlight were on HIM alone?
By contrast, what does putting the focus on Mary–her sinlessness, her perpetual virginity, her visions, her intercession and intervention, her power, her advice, her mediation, her miracles, her assumption into heaven–do to the Scriptural focus on the uniqueness of her son?
Her son: God the Son, who claims to be the primary subject of the Bible, around whom all of history, past, present, and future revolves. The One who said, when asked about the coming Messiah, “I who speak to you am He.” The One who claimed to be alive in Abraham’s day, who identified himself as Jehovah, the Great “I Am” of the Hebrew Scriptures. The One who, when demanded by those with the power to crucify Him whether He is the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One, said, “I am.”
Does it not diminish Him to exalt her?
Mary is one of us, a child of God whose humility and obedience found favor with God. She is certainly a role model for us. But I am sure she would be the first to assure us she has no divine power or attributes and to plead with us to devote our attention, worship, prayer, and gratitude to her Savior and ours.
Some of the Roman Catholic positions we have looked at, as we studied six Biblical words describing Mary, flatly deny Scripture. Like the words “until,” “firstborn,” “one,” and “rather.” The word “until” is actually mis-translated in at least some of the Catholic translations since the Douay-Rheims. Other words, like “Savior” and “brothers,” are re-interpreted to mean something other than what the plain language of the New Testament Greek actually says.
The explanations regarding the application of “Savior” and definition of “brothers” seem unnecessarily complicated; convoluted “solutions” to what are not problems. As with science, the simplest and most obvious (parsimonious) explanation is the one which, if it fits, should be the default interpretation.
And phrases like “full of grace” and “mother of God” are not found in Scripture at all, either in wording or in doctrine.
This is eisegesis, putting a desired interpretation into the text, rather than exegesis, which is drawing the meaning from the text. To “rightly handle the word of truth,” as the apostle Paul tells us to do in 2 Timothy 2:15 D-R, we must conform our theology to the word of God, not the other way around.
The picture we get from this mishandling of the Scriptures presents a superhuman, demiGod distortion of the Virgin Mary. Some of the very few passages I quoted which represent official Catholic position also represent blatant idolatry.
Many false religions worship a “Queen of Heaven.” Some of their worshipers, converted to Catholicism, merely change the name of their goddess to “Mary.” We have to be careful that we are not doing the reverse and making a goddess of her. We need to take seriously the warning in Deuteronomy 6:15: “The LORD your God, who lives among you, is a jealous God and will not share His glory with anyone!”