I grew up catholic and lived the “good and moral catholic life.” However, I never had peace in my heart. I did not feel “close” to God at all – no matter how many rosaries I said or masses I attended. I can remember attending mass every day during Lent thinking that this would help absolve me. But I never received any peace in the end.
When my dearest friend told me about salvation according to the Scriptures, the veil was removed from my eyes and they were opened! I understood the Scriptures and immediately realized that I was a sinner deserving of Hell! I knew about Jesus Christ’s death and suffering because that is taught in the catholic church. However, I was also taught that salvation came from the church. The catholic catechism stated this:
“The Second Vatican Council’s Decree on Ecumenism explains: ‘For it is through Christ’s Catholic Church alone, which is the universal help toward salvation, that the fullness of the means of salvation can be obtained.'” Pg. 215, #816
Even the 1994 catechism leaves no doubt that the Catholic church is necessary for salvation:
“…all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body: Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation…” Pg. 224, #846
Once I was born again, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was saved from eternal damnation and was on my way to Heaven. This is not something that a catholic can know. The catholic can only have a “hope so assurance” that he will get to Heaven. So if the catholic church was wrong about salvation, what else was I taught that was not according to Scripture? Over the next several posts, I will be dealing with some “doctrines” or “dogmas” where I will compare with what the Scriptures say.
If you found out that your church was preaching a doctrine that was not supported by the Scriptures, would you continue to stay? I think the biggest “doctrine” that separates catholicism from any other “Christian label” is the topic of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Why is that? I want my readers to know that I am not catholic bashing here. I just want to get people to think on their own instead of having someone else think for them. So again I ask, why is that? Why is such an important “doctrine” as Mary (according to catholicism) not even considered – not even a smidgen – in other Christian circles? Yes, she is mentioned, but the Bible does not make her an object of worship or holy recognition. Luke 1:41 states that she is blessed among women. However, Proverbs 31:10-31 says that any virtuous woman can be called blessed. Someone in Luke 11:27 tried to say that Mary was blessed and Jesus responded in verse 28 “blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.” I find that ironic, don’t you? Rather than epitomize Mary, Christ said God’s Word was what should be epitomized.
Furthermore, the Book of Acts speaks of the Bereans (Acts 17:11) who tested everything they heard by comparing it to the Scriptures. The Apostle Paul told Timothy that all Scripture was to be studied for doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16). When I was first saved, I spent countless hours reading God’s Word and was very studious – a virtual sponge thirsting after knowledge! This is necessary for growth and understanding what God has to say to His creation. He does not want us ignorant, my friend!
All I am trying to say here today is that if God wanted Mary to play such an important role in the church today, why is she not mentioned one bit in the Book of Acts when the church was being formed? Why is her role as intercessor not mentioned along with Jesus in 1 Timothy? Why is her assumption not mentioned when that of Enoch and Elijah were? They do not play any part in church doctrine yet their ascension was documented in Scriptures. If Mary is to have a part in church doctrine, her ascension would have been mentioned like Christ’s, wouldn’t you think? That’s just me speculating here.
But let’s take a look at this list of the years that certain dogma came into the catholic church. These are all very important to a doctrine, don’t you think? Why are none of these found in Scripture? The death, burial and resurrection of Christ is doctrine and is totally found in Scripture. His ascension, His Holy Spirit given, the offices of leadership, the instructions on how to run the church can all be found in the Scriptures. Yet not one of those mentioned here can be verified in the Bible:
Circa 120 AD – Mary remained a virgin (perpetual virginity)
431 – Mary Worship began
600 – prayers directed to Mary (Ave Maria added in 1508)
995 – canonization of saints
1854 – immaculate conception of Mary (her sinlessness)
1950 – assumption of Mary (she never died)
1954 – Mary proclaimed Queen of Heaven
1965 – Mary proclaimed Mother of the Church
1980 – Mary proclaimed Spouse of the Holy Spirit
Today’s post will deal with the perpetual virginity of Mary taught by the catholic church. It’s not an exhaustive study – nor is it one that will have historical documents from anyone. I will simply be using God’s Word and let His Word do the convicting as it did for me.
The catholic church teaches that Joseph was a widower with children from his former marriage. God’s Word has nothing to say about Joseph being a widower. Just a thought on my part, if Joseph did have children from a former marriage, why did he not take them with him when he took the pregnant Mary for the census in Bethlehem? The whole family had to be counted. If the children stayed behind due to the exhausting trip, how the much more would Mary have needed to stay behind when she was about ready to deliver a baby! The Bible does speak of the siblings of Jesus. Matthew 13:55 states Christ’s brothers as: James, Joses, Simon, and Judas. Mark 6:3 also mentions Jesus’ sisters. Luke, the doctor, makes a distinction in 16:6 between Judas, the brother of Jesus, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus.
Furthermore, Matthew 27:56 clearly says that Mary is also the mother of James and Joses. This is the same Mary as Jesus’ mother! Mark 15:40 and Mark 16:1 also confirm this fact. Mary could not have remained a virgin if she had other children. The catholic church is adamant in stating that these children were “the brethren” in general and not actual blood brothers and sisters. However, read the Scriptures and study it out as the Bereans did. Ask God about these matters. He is faithful and wants to help you understand.
~James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
If you have even one iota of doubt and you question whether you’ve just accepted what you’ve been told through the years, then please ask God for wisdom. Start reading the Gospel of John and read it through three times. Then come post a comment here and let me know what you’ve discovered.