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By David Cox [email protected]
This tract explains why we do not exalt Mary in our worship of God. Mary is not God, but the Catholics have exalted her (and continue to create new beliefs to further exalt her) so that she would become as God, an object or worship, veneration, and adoration. This tract also explains why making images of Mary (or any other thing) is unbiblical and breaks the O.T.’s divine prohibition against using images in religious worship of any kind.
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“A graven image… is not profitable… is profitable for nothing? – Isaiah 44:9,10
Many times Catholics ask, “Why don’t Protestants worship Mary?” They tell us, “You have no respect for the mother of God.” Our answer is very simple, “we respect all women, especially godly Christian women, but we do not worship anybody that is not God himself”. We reserve this reverence and honor only for God.
This tract will investigate the matter of the relation and attitude of a true Christian towards Mary, the mother of Jesus’ humanity.
Worship is only for God
Exo 34:14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:
God is very jealous, and because of this character of God, he demands that our worship be exclusively reserved for Him. If you worship anything or anyone else, it will inflame the fury of God (Deu 6:12-15). In Exo 22:20, God condemns with the death penalty all those who offer sacrifice to other gods outside of Jehovah.
Mat 4:9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
In the temptation of Christ, we see Satan just wanted Jesus to worship him a little. We also see in Rev 22:8-9 that the (good) angels of God refused to receive worship from men, “their co-servants.” In Acts 14:13-15, we equally see the apostles refused to allow other human beings to do sacrifice to them or to worship them.
We Should not Worship Images
Exo 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; (to “serve” them = hate God)
The 10 commandments clearly establish that we are not to “bow down” (honor) other gods, because anything that we honor or worship that is not God is an idol. This is explained even more in that we can not fashion ourselves images, neither anything that is in the earth or heavens in order to help our worship. The simple fact of making an image or representation of God, Jesus, Mary, or a saint, an angel, or any other similar thing in which we give honor and glory religiously as if to God but instead to these created things, this will greatly inflame the fury of God (Deu 6:15) against us. Because of this reason, images do NOT help us, but to the contrary, they cause God to get ragingly mad against us!
Rom 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
Images are of Absolutely NO Use
Isa 44:9 They that make a graven image are all of them vanity (empty of real value); and their delectable things shall not profit; and they are their own witnesses; they see not, nor know; that they may be ashamed. 10 Who hath formed a god, or molten a graven image that is profitable for nothing?
“Vanity” means something that completely lacks of any spiritual value. God says that they are “of no profit”, and these people who resort to using images in their worship are blind and ignorant. It is as if Isaiah was saying directly to the Catholics today, “How foolish you are! You make a baby Jesus doll, but it cannot dress itself nor can it fix itself when it gets broken, or clean itself when it gets dirty, yet you worship this doll as God? How foolish you are! Don’t you see that this is useless in the true worship of God? It drags God down to the level of a dumb baby doll. This is profitable for nothing. It is useless, don’t you understand?”
People who worship using images say that the images “help” them in their adoration of God. But the use of images is a testimony to their confusion, because images are not useful in any way in religion nor in the true worship of the one and only true God.
Isa 42:17 They shall be turned back, they shall be greatly ashamed, that trust in graven images, that say to the molten images, Ye are our gods.
This is like when they make and worship (carrying it around and honoring it) using a doll they call “baby Jesus” as if it were really God. God himself pronounced a curse against all those using idols or images, and he says they are extremely confused by these things. In Lev 26:1 it is expanded to the prohibition of any type of activity that includes idols, sculptures, statutes, or “painted rocks” (pictures). In Isaiah 42:8 God says that he will not share his glory and praise with sculptures nor with anything!
Deu 4:15 Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire: 16 Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female,
The representations of God or other biblical people or creatures (images) is still prohibited in the Bible, and to use them is to corrupt yourself in God’s eyes.
Worship or Reverence?
While the Roman Catholic Church says there is a great difference between worship given to God, and the reverence that they give to the saints and to Mary, the effect is the same. They bow the knee before representations of these “non-God” images, placing flowers and candles (which are a type of sacrifice for cheap people) and render service to honor and respect the images which are clearly prohibited by God.
The prohibitions of God use the words “give honor” and “serve” (Roman 1.25). To give honor means to worship or reverence which means the same thing. It is to serve giving religious respect and glory to someone or something such as services in honor of that person, or giving sacrifices. Service speaks of honor. Also the Bible uses the phrase “to bow down before” (Exo 34:14) or to kneel (Mat 4:9) before something or somebody. Therefore no figure neither created by human hands nor found naturally in the world is to be or represent God. We worship God spiritually because God is a spirit.
John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
Communication with the Dead
Deu 18:9 When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. 10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, 11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer (consulter of the dead). 12 For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.
The Bible is very clear on this point, that anyone who tries to communicate with the dead is actually practicing witchcraft. Then praying to Mary or the saints (which are dead humans) is witchcraft, and this is prohibited by God.
Isa 8:19 And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead? 20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
God clearly says that his people should seek God in their prayers, not seek out the dead. If anyone teaches anything else, then “there is no light in them,” or they do not understand what God is trying to tell them. Praying or communicating in any way to the dead is directly opposite of what God commands us to do. This is what the Roman Catholic Church teaches as basic Catholic doctrine. One should flee from people who promote doctrines and practices opposite of what God commands.
Heb 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Only through the mediator Jesus do we have free access to God, to his mercy and grace, and access to salvation. There is every reason to come to Jesus directly, and no reason to seek first or alternatively Mary or the saints. We should note that prayers to Mary are like trying to bribe Jesus because supposedly he cannot refuse his mother. See Deu 10:17; 2Chro 19:7; and John 14:6.
Is Mary the Mother of God?
Simply put, no. For somebody to be the mother of somebody else, there are two ways of establishing this relationship: (1) the woman physically brings the person into being, or (2) the parents adopt the child (already existing independently before the child exists). If Mary gave birth to God, then we also need to affirm that Mary existed before God, which is not true. Jesus existed in his divinity before Mary and made appearances in the Old Testament, and Mary only gave birth to the humanity of Jesus. She had nothing to do with his divinity. It is incorrect to say that Mary is the “mother of God” because that implies her pre-existence before God, really making her greater than God and in authority over God, which is impossible.
The Catholic Church teaches that Mary is actually in the Trinity, that she is “the complement of the Trinity, Daughter of God the Father, Mother of God the Son, and wife of the Holy Spirit” – Hebdomas Mariana. Mary is “the center of the universe” – Salazar. DeMontfort says “Jesus Christ… has given her grace touching his Majesty, all rights and privileges that (Jesus) naturally possesses by nature.” This makes her another Jesus. “If there is any hope in us, any grace, any salvation, it comes to us by her, because thus is the will of God, who has desired that we have everything through Mary.” Pope Pius IX Ep Evangel 1849 B.C. Mary is “co-redeemer of the human race together with her Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.” Catholic book, “Mary, the Co-Redeemer.”
The Catholics make Mary to have a position identical to God, and the prerogative of providing salvation aside from Jesus, making Mary an idol, a false god in competition with the true God, exactly what God prohibits.
Is Mary the Queen of Heaven?
The expression “Queen of Heaven” occurs in the Bible only in Jeremiah 7:18; 44:17-25. It is a false goddess that Israel worshipped (served) in their idolatry, for which God punished them. To identify Mary with this “Queen of Heaven” is to identify her with a false religion prohibited by God.