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Thread: Mary Mother of God

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    tWebber Papa Zoom's Avatar
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    Mary Mother of God

    Can someone explain to me this idea of Mary the mother of God? Also the praying to Mary to talk to Jesus on our behalf? Where do these ideas come from and what do others think of the concept? I hope this is the right place to post this.
    Faith is not what we fall back to when reason isn't available. It's the conviction of what we have reason to believe. Greg Koukl

    The loss of objectivity in moral thought does not lead to liberation. It leads to oppression. Secular ideologies preach liberty, but they practice tyranny. Nancy Pearcey

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    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Zoom View Post
    Can someone explain to me this idea of Mary the mother of God? Also the praying to Mary to talk to Jesus on our behalf? Where do these ideas come from and what do others think of the concept? I hope this is the right place to post this.
    Until somebody comes along with a more serious reply...

    I'm reminded of the first miracle of Jesus as recorded by John, in which Mary, the "Mother of God", told Jesus that they had run out of wine. She then told the servants to listen to Jesus and do whatever He says. So, rather than trying to be the spokesman for Jesus, or intercede on His (or the servants') behalf, she simply told them "Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it".

    1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

  3. Amen Catholicity, Leonhard, Rushing Jaws amen'd this post.
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    tWebber thewriteranon's Avatar
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    I'm not Catholic or Orthodox so I don't have a dog in the fight about praying to her, but the title of "Mother of God" is an extension of the orthodox understanding of the two natures of Christ. There were some groups that preferred the term "Christotokos," i.e. "Christ-bearer" as opposed to "Theotokos" (God-bearer), but eventually theotokos was accepted as the formal title because "Christotokos," even though valid, allows for those who do not accept the orthodox understanding of Jesus as fully God and fully man into the discussion. According to the two natures of Christ, Jesus would have had to be fully man and fully God from the moment of conception.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Zoom View Post
    Can someone explain to me this idea of Mary the mother of God? Also the praying to Mary to talk to Jesus on our behalf? Where do these ideas come from and what do others think of the concept? I hope this is the right place to post this.
    Hi Papazoom.

    The "Mother of G-d" title is based on the idea the Jesus is a divine person: Jesus is G-d, mary was the mother of Jesus. In the natural order, a mother is older than the child. But note that most Christians do accept the Fatherhood of G-d but do not accept that the Father is older than the Son.

    Praying to mary is related to the doctrine of communion of saints, the idea that all are connected in a special way. It can even be described as an organism, a living thing (can grow and parts can die off). So the dead in Christ are also alive in a very special way (maybe more alive than we are). Other Christians can intercede (that is pray for us or help us in some way). Should that ability, or maybe its an obligation, be removed at the end of our natural life? Jesus may be our eldest brother in the supernatural order; if He had a mother wouldn't that make Mary our mother also?

    Where do they come from? That is a harder question to answer. The Catholics will say (and I am catholic) that it goes back to the bible, and the earliest apostolic times. But also when we look at history, the challenges and controversies of the first several centuries of the church show that those ideas were hammered out with great difficulty. Nestorians, Monophysites, monothelites, arianism (and all the other errors) also make sense biblically and philosophically: but they also have implications or entailments which led to their rejection.

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    tWebber Papa Zoom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simplicio View Post
    Hi Papazoom.

    The "Mother of G-d" title is based on the idea the Jesus is a divine person: Jesus is G-d, mary was the mother of Jesus. In the natural order, a mother is older than the child. But note that most Christians do accept the Fatherhood of G-d but do not accept that the Father is older than the Son.

    Praying to mary is related to the doctrine of communion of saints, the idea that all are connected in a special way. It can even be described as an organism, a living thing (can grow and parts can die off). So the dead in Christ are also alive in a very special way (maybe more alive than we are). Other Christians can intercede (that is pray for us or help us in some way). Should that ability, or maybe its an obligation, be removed at the end of our natural life? Jesus may be our eldest brother in the supernatural order; if He had a mother wouldn't that make Mary our mother also?

    Where do they come from? That is a harder question to answer. The Catholics will say (and I am catholic) that it goes back to the bible, and the earliest apostolic times. But also when we look at history, the challenges and controversies of the first several centuries of the church show that those ideas were hammered out with great difficulty. Nestorians, Monophysites, monothelites, arianism (and all the other errors) also make sense biblically and philosophically: but they also have implications or entailments which led to their rejection.
    Thanks. But how does praying to Mary square with 1 Timothy 2:5 that there is but one mediator between us and God? And there doesn't seem to be any direct support for praying to departed believers.
    Faith is not what we fall back to when reason isn't available. It's the conviction of what we have reason to believe. Greg Koukl

    The loss of objectivity in moral thought does not lead to liberation. It leads to oppression. Secular ideologies preach liberty, but they practice tyranny. Nancy Pearcey

  9. Amen mossrose, Cerebrum123, 37818, theophilus amen'd this post.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Zoom View Post
    Thanks. But how does praying to Mary square with 1 Timothy 2:5 that there is but one mediator between us and God? And there doesn't seem to be any direct support for praying to departed believers.
    I would hope that if I were in need that you would pray for me (and even when not in need, I still need prayers). But that does not diminish our need for the Christ. The departed are indeed dead, but what does it mean to be dead, for the Christian? How do we square that with the idea of life after death?

    The role of mediation of Mary is not parallel to, but is subordinate to, the mediation of Christ. Immediately before the passage (2Tim 2:5-6), St Paul urges that supplication, thanksgiving, and intercession be made for all. The ministerial role of mediation doesn't replace Christ's role, but it ought to help his role and emphasize it. ....the unique mediation of the Redeemer does not exclude but rather gives rise to a manifold co-operation which is but a sharing in this one source" (Lumen gentium, 62).

    Maybe it comes down to how we view being human and being Christian. We were made for society, it is not good to be alone. The society which we call the Body of Christ includes those which have passed through the grave.

  11. Amen robrecht, Spartacus, Leonhard, Rushing Jaws amen'd this post.
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    tWebber Papa Zoom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simplicio View Post
    I would hope that if I were in need that you would pray for me (and even when not in need, I still need prayers). But that does not diminish our need for the Christ. The departed are indeed dead, but what does it mean to be dead, for the Christian? How do we square that with the idea of life after death?

    The role of mediation of Mary is not parallel to, but is subordinate to, the mediation of Christ. Immediately before the passage (2Tim 2:5-6), St Paul urges that supplication, thanksgiving, and intercession be made for all. The ministerial role of mediation doesn't replace Christ's role, but it ought to help his role and emphasize it. ....the unique mediation of the Redeemer does not exclude but rather gives rise to a manifold co-operation which is but a sharing in this one source" (Lumen gentium, 62).

    Maybe it comes down to how we view being human and being Christian. We were made for society, it is not good to be alone. The society which we call the Body of Christ includes those which have passed through the grave.
    Praying for you is far different than praying TO you. I can't see how praying for the dead does any good (like what exactly would one pray for?). Once we are away from the body we are home with the Lord. The Bible is clear on this. And if I want to talk to God I can do so directly and neither Mary nor "saints" are necessary. Even more than that, it seems clear to me that praying to someone other than through Christ amounts to nothing.
    Faith is not what we fall back to when reason isn't available. It's the conviction of what we have reason to believe. Greg Koukl

    The loss of objectivity in moral thought does not lead to liberation. It leads to oppression. Secular ideologies preach liberty, but they practice tyranny. Nancy Pearcey

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    Must...have...caffeine One Bad Pig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Zoom View Post
    Praying for you is far different than praying TO you.
    Of course.
    I can't see how praying for the dead does any good (like what exactly would one pray for?).
    One prays that their sins would be forgiven, and that they would be accounted worthy to spend eternity in paradise.
    Once we are away from the body we are home with the Lord. The Bible is clear on this.
    Well, it's a reasonable inference, at any rate. It is in a way why we pray to the saints - because they are present with the Lord, and thus able to intercede on our behalf.
    And if I want to talk to God I can do so directly and neither Mary nor "saints" are necessary.
    Strictly speaking, I agree; it's not necessary. On the other hand, it has proven to be effectual over the centuries. Personally, the practice draws me closer to them as fellow members of the ecclesia.
    Even more than that, it seems clear to me that praying to someone other than through Christ amounts to nothing.
    Prayer to the saints is prayer through Christ; otherwise, it would indeed amount to nothing.
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  14. Amen Leonhard, Rushing Jaws amen'd this post.
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    tWebber Spartacus's Avatar
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    Papa Zoom, I'm curious: having heard the explanation, what's your current opinion of the idea of calling Mary the "mother of God"? Would you feel comfortable referring to her as such, knowing that the title was originally intended as an affirmation of Christ's full divinity (and the Catholics and Orthodox have never understood it to mean anything else)? If someone on the street asked you whether you think Mary was mother of God, what would you say?

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