Skip to comments.Scholar says Baptists neglect lessons from Virgin Mary
Posted on 08/01/2009 1:51:11 PM PDT by NYer
EDE, Netherlands (ABP) -- A Latina theologian says overreaction to Catholic veneration of the Virgin Mary has caused Baptists to miss important biblical teaching associated with the mother of Jesus.
Lozano, a participant in theological conversations between the Baptist World Alliance and the Vatican, made the remarks in a presentation to the BWA Commission on Doctrine and Interchurch Cooperation at a meeting of global Baptists in the Netherlands.
She noted the Mexican story of the Virgin of Guadalupe -- a purported apparition of Mary to an indigenous peasant in Mexico City in the 16th century -- and how closely it ties the identity of the nation's Catholicism with Mary, who serves as a sort of "demi-goddess."
There are analogous Virgin Mary cults of devotion in other Latin American countries.
Lozano said Mexican Baptists and other Protestants, meanwhile, actively ignore Mary, to the extent of giving the biblical character short shrift.
"It seems that there is a consensus among these Baptists to disregard, neglect or reject the Virgin Mary," Lozano said, speaking of an informal survey she had done of some of her global Baptist colleagues.
And, in countries where Catholics are a majority, she added, "Baptists tend to move back and forth between actively rejecting and simply ignoring Mary."
In those countries, Lozano noted, "This becomes one of the major barriers to relations between Catholics and Baptists."
Because Mary is so perfect in popular Catholic theology in Latin America -- perpetually a virgin, although a mother; blameless, even sinless -- Lozano said she becomes an impossible standard of womanhood. Nonetheless, many men look for this standard in the mother of their children.
On the other hand, Lozano noted, Mary's opposite -- the wanton harlot -- is what many men tend to look for in sex partners. Being forced to choose between the two stereotypes can be deadly for women.
"When these [images of Mary and her opposite] are misused, they become oppressive and a source of suffering for women," she said. "Neither one of these models is a good one for women, because they do not present women as complete human beings."
Lozano said that embracing the "life-giving" aspects of Marian veneration can be both healthy for all women and a bridge between Latin American Protestants and Catholics, she contended.
Lozano pointed to two passages dealing with Mary in the Christmas story as recorded in Luke's Gospel: The angel's announcement to Mary that she would bear Christ (Luke 1:26-38), and Mary's song of praise to God, often called the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55).
Mary is not a passive presence in those stories, Lozano pointed out, but an active and willing participant in God's work who was "well aware of social injustices," she said.
"She is subject with a strong will and a social consciousness," Lozano noted.
Lozano delivered her remarks on the second day of the BWA's Annual Gathering in Ede, Netherlands. Hundreds of Baptists from around the world came to conduct BWA General Council business as well as observe the 400th anniversary of the Baptist movement, which began in the summer of 1609 in nearby Amsterdam.
Just like those darned Papists....
"...If one contends that Calvin was in error in agreeing with the execution of heretics then why is there not equal indignation against all the other leaders who supported and carried out and supported these measures elsewhere. None less than the honored Thomas Aquinas explicitly supported the burning of heretics saying, "If the heretic still remains pertinacious the church, despairing of his conversion, provides for the salvation of others by separating him from the church by the sentence of excommunication and then leaves him to the secular judge to be exterminated from the world by death."
(Summa Theologiae, IIaIIae q. 11 a. 3)
Shortly after the publication of the "Restitution," the fact was made known to the Roman Catholic authorities at Lyons through Guillaume Trie, a native of Lyons and a convert from Romanism, residing at that time in Geneva. He corresponded with a cousin at Lyons, by the name of Arneys, a zealous Romanist, who tried to reconvert him to his religion, and reproached the Church of Geneva with the want of discipline. On the 26th of February, 1553, he wrote to Arneys that in Geneva vice and blasphemy were punished, while in France a dangerous heretic was tolerated, who deserved to be burned by Roman Catholics as well as Protestants, who blasphemed the holy Trinity, called Jesus Christ an idol, and the baptism of infants a diabolic invention. He gave his name as Michael Servetus, who called himself at present Villeneuve, a practising physician at Vienne. In confirmation he sent the first leaf of the "Restitution," and named the printer Balthasar Arnoullet at Vienne....
....The cardinal of Lyons and the archbishop of Vienne, after consultation with Inquisitor Ory and other ecclesiastics, now gave orders on the 4th of April for the arrest of Villeneuve [Servetus] and Arnoullet. They were confined in separate rooms in the Palais Delphinal. Villeneuve was allowed to keep a servant, and to see his friends. Ory was sent forth, hastened to Vienne, and arrived there the next morning....
....Servetus now resolved to escape, perhaps with the aid of some friends, after he had secured through his servant a debt of three hundred crowns from the Grand Prior of the monastery of St. Pierre. On the 7th of April, at four oclock in the morning, he dressed himself, threw a night-gown over his clothes, and put a velvet cap upon his head, and, pretending a call of nature, he secured from the unsuspecting jailer the key to the garden. He leaped from the roof of the outhouse and made his escape through the court and over the bridge across the Rhone. He carried with him his golden chain around his neck, valued at twenty crowns, six gold rings on his fingers, and plenty of money in his pockets.
Two hours elapsed before his escape became known. An alarm was given, the gates were closed, and the neighboring houses searched; but all in vain.
Nevertheless the prosecution went on. Sufficient evidence was found that the "Restitution" had been printed in Vienne; extracts were made from it to prove the heresies contained therein. The civil court, without waiting for the judgment of the spiritual tribunal (which was not given until six months afterwards), sentenced Servetus on the 17th of June, for heretical doctrines, for violation of the royal ordinances, and for escape from the royal prison, to pay a fine of one thousand livres tournois to the Dauphin, to be carried in a cart, together with his books, on a market-day through the principal streets to the place of execution, and to be burnt alive by a slow fire.
On the same day he was burnt in effigy, together with the five bales of his book, which had been consigned to Merrin at Lyons and brought back to Vienne.
from Phillip Schaff's History of the Christian Church,
CHAPTER XVI: SERVETUS: HIS LIFE. OPINIONS, TRIAL, AND EXECUTION,
section 148: The Trial and Condemnation of Servetus at Vienne.
Speaking the truth is not an attack. Investigate the facts for yourself by reading the Bible and praying.
Irrelevant, since you were not speaking the truth.
Investigate the facts for yourself by reading the Bible and praying.
Are you trying to insinuate that I don't do those things?
That begs the question.
Amidst the gaggle of conflicting voices, all professing adherence to sola scriptura, and all claiming inspiration by the Holy Spirit, how is a poor sinner to know who truly understands Scripture?
Is it the guy with the big hair and the big voice on TBN? Is it the guy down the block who's just opened up his own storefront "church" in the old barber's shop? Is it the Methodists? Is it the Baptists? Is it the First Baptists? Is it the Second Baptists? Is it those guys in that huge warehouse with the neon sign next to I-20 that says "Church in the Now"?
Thank you John Calvin for making every man his own Pope. Thank you John Calvin for helping to make every man his own Church. Thank you John Calvin for fracturing and splintering Christianity into a gaggle of competing and conflicting voices.
God is one. Truth is one. The Church is one.
All else is error.
Of course God is one, and truth is one. But we are all different, and approach God from different angles - and on GOD’S time line.
Think of spokes in a wheel. The spokes all start at different spots, but draw closer together at the center. If we focus on God, we WILL all be drawn closer together BECAUSE we are drawing closer to God.
However, it is not the Church’s role to enforce unity artificially.
Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’” - Matt 13.24-30
The visible church will ALWAYS have a mixture of believers and non-believers, and the lives of some of the Popes would indicate the Catholic Church has had unbelievers as Popes. That isn’t a slam on the Catholic Church. Look at the so-called Protestant TV preachers, spewing heresy to pad their pockets.
Peter said the same: “there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them”. The visible church will ALWAYS have false teachers and ‘undercover agents’ sent in to harm it.
That is why decentralized control is important. That is also why it is important not to worry too much about differences, provided they do not involve critical beliefs.
“As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him.
Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God.
For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lords. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.
Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.”
So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.” — Romans 14.1-12
There are doctrines that must be fought for - see Galatians 2. On others - the perpetual virginity of Mary, for example - there is room for honest discussion, but no reason to judge another.
Note that last sentence: “...each of us will give an account of himself to God”. That is why it is important for the individual believer to listen for the teaching of the Holy Spirit.
“..how is a poor sinner to know who truly understands Scripture?”
The Holy Spirit, who will bring him along at GOD’S pace.
"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?
Matthew 7:3, Luke 6:42
Hence the definition of the word "Catholic". Perfectly conceived, but imperfectly administered by flawed humans, it remains the greatest instrument of good and God's word in the history of the world. Many can criticize those who have tried, but have fallen short of perfection, but no one can honestly argue that the world is not a better place because of the Catholic Church and her works.
Matthew 7:3, Luke 6:42
To: Mr Rogers"Calvin points out that no one can understand the Scriptures unless taught by the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus promised would teach us all things."
Evidently not heeding the Holy Spirit, John Calvin was more than willing to kill those who didn't agree with his interpretation of Scripture or who represented a threat to his political power base.....just like King Herod.
I have no doubt that MS believes in the Holy Trinity. even though, as she herself pointed out, it is implied in Scripture. I posed the question in response to her comment: I dont agree with ANY unbiblical stuff. Get it?. She then qualifies her statement with: I disagree with your praying to Mary, the Saints, the infallibility of the Pope, Mariology and a whole lot of other unbiblical stuff.. However, in response to my question on the Trinity, she responded by saying: The trinity isnt unbiblical. It is clearly inferred even if the word Trinity isnt used. Read your Bible for yourself and you will see it clearly enough.
In so stating, she and you both went on to defend the Holy Spirit, and in an awesome way. What's disheartening is that neither of you realize or recognize the power of the Holy Spirit as witness to the Truth, even when it is clearly stated in Scripture. This misunderstanding comes through in Mary's statement about the Blessed Mother, the Saints, the infallibility of the pope, etc. All of these are biblical. We honor Mary because Jesus Christ honored her. Even before our Lord was born, heaven acknowledged her special status. How do we know this? Scripture tells us so in Luke 1:28. Holy Scripture further proclaims of her that "henceforth all generations shall call me blessed" (Luke 1:48), because from her womb came forth God in the flesh. This means that all who believe in Christ and in the Bible must give special honor and veneration to the one that is "blessed among women."
It is no different with the saints. The most important form of veneration of the saints is "imitating" the saints, as Paul commands us to do in 1 Cor. 4:16. Veneration is not worship. But what about those who are dead? In 2 Macc. 15:12-16, we learn that the high priest Onias and the prophet Jeremiah were deceased for centuries, and yet interact with the living Judas Maccabeas and pray for the holy people on earth.
I have nothing but respect for Evangelical christians. If anything, the joy and enthusiasm emanating from these communities is reminiscent of the earliest christians. The Evangelical Church is still quite young. It has been intriguing to witness not only its congregational growth but also its spritual one, as well. Remarkably, it is following a pattern similar to those early christian churches. Some Evangelicals have now begun a monastic life, much like the great stylite saints of the east. And, like the early christian churches, the Evangelical Church has begun to experience the rupture that results from those who disagree with its direction. Did our Lord not forsee how human nature (i.e. jealousy) would eventually split apart His Church? He is God; He knows all things. That is why He did not leave us to our own devices. He left behind a Church.
Scripture reveals this Church to be the one Jesus Christ built upon the rock of Saint Peter (Matt. 16:18). By giving Peter the keys of authority (Matt. 16:19), Jesus appointed Peter as the chief steward over His earthly kingdom (cf. Isaiah. 22:19-22). Jesus also charged Peter to be the source of strength for the rest of the apostles (Luke 22:32) and the earthly shepherd of Jesus' flock (John 21:15-17). Jesus further gave Peter, and the apostles and elders in union with him, the power to bind and loose in heaven what they bound and loosed on earth. (Matt. 16:19; 18:18). This teaching authority did not die with Peter and the apostles, but was transferred to future bishops through the laying on of hands (e.g., Acts 1:20; 6:6; 13:3; 8:18; 9:17; 1 Tim. 4:14; 5:22; 2 Tim. 1:6).
By virtue of this divinely-appointed authority, the Catholic Church determined the canon of Scripture (what books belong in the Bible) at the end of the fourth century. We therefore believe in the Scriptures on the authority of the Catholic Church. After all, nothing in Scripture tells us what Scriptures are inspired, what books belong in the Bible, or that Scripture is the final authority on questions concerning the Christian faith. Instead, the Bible says that the Church, not the Scriptures, is the pinnacle and foundation of the truth (1 Tim. 3:15) and the final arbiter on questions of the Christian faith (Matt. 18:17). It is through the teaching authority and Apostolic Tradition (2 Thess. 2:15; 3:6; 1 Cor. 11:2) of this Church, who is guided by the Holy Spirit (John 14:16,26; 16:13), that we know of the divine inspiration of the Scriptures, and the manifold wisdom of God. (cf. Ephesians 3:10).
When Jesus was brought before Pilate, he asked Him: "What is Truth"? An Examination of Sola Scriptura
May our Lord continue to bless and guide you both! Pax et Bonum
“This misunderstanding comes through in Mary’s statement about the Blessed Mother, the Saints, the infallibility of the pope, etc. All of these are biblical. We honor Mary because Jesus Christ honored her. Even before our Lord was born, heaven acknowledged her special status. How do we know this? Scripture tells us so in Luke 1:28. Holy Scripture further proclaims of her that “henceforth all generations shall call me blessed” (Luke 1:48), because from her womb came forth God in the flesh. This means that all who believe in Christ and in the Bible must give special honor and veneration to the one that is “blessed among women.”
I was told a while back that if you have to base a doctrine on one verse, you’d better take another look at your doctrine!
Luke 1:28 reads, “ 28And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.”
That doesn’t come close to showing Mary as Co-anything, or our intercessor to her son, whom we have direct access to. She may have been the mother of Jesus, but according to scripture, I’m his brother.
Luke 1:48 says, “For behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed.” And indeed, this is true. She was blessed by God.
This does not mean “...that all who believe in Christ and in the Bible must give special honor and veneration to the one that is “blessed among women.”
On the contrary, when a woman raised this with Jesus, He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” Jesus specifically REJECTED special veneration for Mary.
Imitating the saints? Excellent. I think Protestants (including my fellow Baptists) do a great disservice to ourselves and others by not talking about the saints and martyrs who have gone before us. Veneration? Guess that brings a different connotation to me than imitation does.
Church foundation? Well, Paul wrote, “11For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
Jesus said, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven”
Since Peter isn’t the foundation, it means something other than, “You are the foundation my church will be built on”. Like most Protestants, I interpret it as meaning A) Peter’s exclamation is what the church is built on, since it places Jesus as the foundation, and B) the keys refer to Peter’s opening the church to the Jews at Pentecost and the Gentiles a short time later.
However, Jesus specifically REJECTED the idea that Peter was the greatest of the Apostles, or First among them, or Vicar. It was just 4 chapters later that we read:
“20 Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something. 21 And he said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Say that these two sons of mine are to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.” 22 Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.” 23 He said to them, “You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” 24 And when the ten heard it, they were indignant at the two brothers. 25 But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 26 It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, 28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Notice the other disciples did NOT believe Jesus taught them earlier that Peter was supreme over anyone, and Jesus took this opportunity to hammer it home.
I make no insult to Peter. He argued for scripture to be the anchor against false teaching, not him or his successors.
2 Peter 1/2: “I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder, since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me. And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things.
For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain.
And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someones own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.”
After teaching about Scripture, he points out that false teachers have arisen before and will again. But Peter has just pointed out that Scripture comes from God, so he has shown us how to know who is teaching falsely. Not Bishops. Peter doesn’t say “Follow me, and my Successor”, but Scripture comes from God.
Your church did not determine what was scripture, but ratified what the churches were already using. The hierarchy was confirming the practice, but no one had waited to call it scripture until the councils in the late 300s. 2 Peter calls Pauls writings scripture. The early church did NOT go nearly 400 years without scripture!
It is also worth remembering that on the road to Emmaus, Jesus Himself, just risen from the dead, used scripture for authority in teaching. “he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.”
May God bless you.
I believe that is the Vulgate reading, not the reading of earlier manuscripts. Doesn’t matter, since the idea is repeated later regardless...
TEXT: “the Lord [is] with you!”
EVIDENCE: S B L W Psi f1 565 700 1241 syr(pal) most cop
TRANSLATIONS: ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
NOTES: “the Lord [is] with you! Blessed are you among women!”
EVIDENCE: A C D K X Delta Theta Pi f13 28 33 892 1010 Byz Lect lat vg syr(p,h) some cop(north)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASVn RSVn NASVn
COMMENTS: The words “Blessed are you among women!” seem to have been added here from verse 42. There is no good reason why they should have been omitted if they were original.”
The Greek does NOT mean she was perpetually full of grace, or had the greatest grace ever, etc. In verse 30, the angel tells Mary “you have found favor with God”. And I’ve said from the beginning that she was greatly blessed BY God.
Blessed and sinless are not synonyms.
I’m insinuating that most Catholics just go ahead and believe anything the Magesterium tells you without investigating it to see if what they say is really the truth. Investigate it for yourself. Read it without bias. As the HS to reveal what He wants to show you. Nobody should just take any church’s word for it. You can read and you can reason.
You are entitled to your opinion. It's no use to me.
I can go with what you claim the Holy Spirit told you it means or I can go with the Church founded by Christ.
***”Relationship? Fellowship? This is the Supreme and Almighty Glorious God. He is who we worship. Hes not some buddy that you have a beer with at the White House.”
“Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you...14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God...***
You have said nothing here that supports any statement about fellowship or relationship with God. Do you have any that do support it?
While you’re looking, perhaps think about this: we cannot have a relationship or fellowship with a rotifer or paramecium. God is infinitely more above us than we are above them. God is to Worship; God is not a beer drinking buddy.
Jesus during His Ministry was not a buddy. I cannot recall Him being described as shooting a game of pool or dealing Texas Hold ‘em with the boys to take a break from preaching.
***We’ll pray for you, that you too may understand these verses.***
The ‘Return of the Gnostics’ (next month available on Blu Ray). :)
***Thank you John Calvin for making every man his own Pope. Thank you John Calvin for helping to make every man his own Church. Thank you John Calvin for fracturing and splintering Christianity into a gaggle of competing and conflicting voices. ***
Good post; I would only pop in to say that it was Luther that contributed the most. Calvin merely contributed a more evil twist than Luther put to it, setting the stage for all future theologists such as the Campbells pere et fils, Sidney Rigdon who wrote theology for both the Campbellites and for Joseph Smith, Mary Baker Eddy; and, well, we all know the list.
***God is one. Truth is one. The Church is one.
All else is error.***
Even the Church of the Now? :)
***What many Catholics do not understand is that God yearns for a personal relationship with us. Hes our abba, our daddy, who wants intimacy with His children.***
Jesus told us to love God with all our hearts, minds and strength, and our neighbour as ourselves. That love of God is in the form of worship and in following His commands. Where is the command to personal relationship?
This personal relationship with God idea is relatively new and I believe it grew out of the Restorationist Movement in the 1800s.
I don’t care where it grew out of, or where you THINK it grew out of. He’s our Father and a Father wants a relationship with His children. What’s your problem that you don’t care about that? He loves you, Mark.
The church founded by Christ is the Body of Christ and it is led by people filled with the Holy Spirit. Come down into the river, you’ll enjoy it.
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