Tuesday, January 17, 2012

"Looking For Jesus? Try Talking to His Mom: Exposing the Cult of Mary Worship

As incredible as it may sound, the above phrase was seen on a bumper sticker several years ago. It represents a popular Catholic belief, centuries old, one that is ever growing throughout the world: that to get to Jesus, you must go through Mary. 

"As we have access to the Eternal Father
only through Jesus Christ, so we have access
to Jesus Christ only through Mary. By
thee we have access to the Son, O blessed
finder of grace, bearer of life, and mother
of salvation …" -- St. Bernard

This belief is spelled out by a modern Catholic website, defining "Mary as Coredemptrix and Mediatrix of All Graces."

"An additional doctrine of Mary believed by many
Catholics, but not yet formalized by the Pope, is that of
Mary as Coredemptrix. This title indicates that Mary
participated in some way in Christ's redemption of
mankind. At its simplest, this doctrine is based on
Mary's free acceptance of her opportunity to give birth
to the Savior, as indicated by her reply, "May it be unto
me as you have said" (Lk 1:38). This event is sometimes
referred to as the "guarantee of the Incarnation."

Over the years, however, the term Coredemptrix has
come to denote a more active role for Mary than
her assent. The Second Vatican Council declared,
"in suffering with Him as He died on the cross, she
cooperated in the work of the Savior, in an altogether
singular way, by obedience, faith, hope, and burning love,
to restore supernatural life to souls" (Lumen gentium 61-62).
However, Catholic theologians differ as to the precise
nature of Mary's participation in the redemption, and,
as aforementioned, the Pope has yet to speak ex
on the subject." (Source: www.religionfacts.com
Christian Beliefs About Mary

In other words, the Vatican has not yet made Mary's role as co-redeemer with Christ an "official" Catholic doctrine. Nevertheless, it is a doctrine that is unofficially accepted and openly believed by many Marian Catholics around the world. This same article goes on to describe Mary's role as "Mediatrix of All Graces, which affirms that all graces Christ obtains for humanity are dispensed by and through Mary." This chiefly, is where the go-through-Mary-to-get-to-Jesus doctrine comes from.
It is important to recognize that the word "graces" never appears in the Bible. The word grace (much like the word truth) is always singular. Furthermore, the Scriptures tell us that "grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" (John 1:17) not by Mary or any other. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man comes unto the Father but by me." (John 14:6) There is only one truth, and one grace that can save the souls of men, and it comes through Jesus alone. The Bible tells us clearly that "there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus …" (1 Timothy 2:5) and that "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." (Acts 4:12) None of the writers of the New Testament ever pointed men to Mary, but made it clear that salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ alone. This was the testimony of Jesus, and that of the apostles.
A Global Deception
Currently, there is a "Mother of All Peoples" website (www.motherofallpeoples.com) dedicated to Mary. This online magazine boasts "unofficial translations into Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, Dutch, French, Russian, Korean, Greek, Portuguese, and German …" Marian sightings are being recorded all over the world. A former Catholic (now a brother in Christ) reports that some 300 Marian "apparitions" have been recorded in 2006.
Dave Hunt recorded the following report from TIME magazine in his book, A Woman Rides the Beast:

"… both the adoration and the conflict attending
Mary have risen to extraordinary levels.
A grass-roots revival of faith in the Virgin
is taking place worldwide. Millions
of worshippers are flocking to her shrines,
many of them young people. Even more
remarkable are the number of claimed
sightings of the Virgin, from Yugoslavia to
Colorado, in the past few years." (TIME
Magazine, Dec. 1991, quoted by Dave
Hunt, A Woman Rides the Beast, p. 452)

A Canadian website features the "messages" given by Mary and Jesus to a woman named Delmis, a wife and mother of three children who lives in Canada. She has a series of messages posted through September, 2006, most of which are declarations from Mary about worshiping Jesus through Catholicism and the Eucharist. The website describes how her "ministry" has grown since her visions began:

"In February 1999, the Virgin Mary entrusted
her with the first public message.
"Besides the messages given in private, a public
message is given on the 13 of each month in the
presence of priests and many witnesses
gathered in prayer. When the apparitions started,
we were no more than five persons to gather
around Delmis. Today, some four to five hundred
people meet with us on the 13 of each month
to pray and adore our Lord Jesus and listen to
what His Holy Mother, the Virgin Mary, wishes
to let us know through Her messenger."

Interestingly enough, the number "13" holds particular significance in the occult. It is almost as if Satan is playing a cruel joke on those poor souls who are deceived by his devices. While these Marian visions, wherever they appear, may seem to point toward the worship of Christ, they often place Jesus in a subordinate position to Mary. The image of an adult Virgin Mary with a "baby Jesus" on her lap is the classic example, but to this Canadian woman, Mary actually appeared pregnant "carrying our Lord Jesus in Her womb …"
Pope John Paul II
There has been no greater proponent of Marian adoration than the former Pope John Paul II. The Mother of All Nations website lists a "prayer" from John Paul titled, "Totally Yours." This refers to a phrase the pope had sewn into the lining of his robes, Totus Tuus Sum Maria. It comes from a Latin chant called Totus Tuus, and is translated "I am wholly thine, O Mary!" The prayer of Pope John Paul reads as follows:

"Immaculate Conception, Mary, my Mother.
Live in me. Act in me. Speak in and through
me. Think your thoughts in my mind. Love,
through my heart. Give me your dispositions
and feelings. Teach, lead and guide me to
Jesus. Correct, enlighten and expand my
thoughts and behavior.
Possess my soul. Take over my entire
personality and life. Replace it with yourself.
Incline me to constant adoration and
thanksgiving. Pray in me and through
me. Let me live in you and keep me in
this union always." -- Pope John Paul II

Once a person understands the spirit behind the Catholic Mary, the words "possess my soul" in the above prayer become more than a bit disturbing. No one reading those lines objectively could walk away thinking the pope lived his life for Jesus Christ, and simply "honored" Mary as the Lord's mother. Obviously, Jesus is an afterthought. The main focus of this Marian adoration is that she "take over" a person's "entire personality and life." This is idolatry and is unquestionably condemned by God throughout the Bible. Jesus made it clear that idolaters will all have their part in the lake of fire (Revelation 21:8).
Mary, Queen of Heaven
"With my heart full of praise for the Queen
of Heaven, the sign of hope and source of
comfort on our pilgrimage of faith to the
heavenly Jerusalem … In Mary the final
victory of life over death is already a reality …"
-- Pope John Paul II, quoted
by Dave Hunt, A Woman Rides
the Beast, p. 443

Without question, the most dominant title for Catholicism's Virgin Mary is "the queen of heaven." It should be of a concern to any Catholic that this same title belonged to the Pagan "virgin-mother-goddesses" of the ancient world. They include Isis of Egypt, Diana of Ephesus, and Semiramis of ancient Babylon – to name a few. When one examines the whole pantheon of mother goddesses, it becomes clear that they all represent the same spiritual identity.
"The queen of heaven" is the name given to a demonic spirit in the book of Jeremiah, whom the children of Israel worshiped.

"The children gather wood, and the fathers
kindle the fire, and the women knead their
dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven,
and to pour out drink offerings unto other
gods, that they may provoke me to anger."
(Jeremiah 7:18)
"And … we burned incense to the queen of
heaven … Then Jeremiah said unto all the
people, to the men, and to the women … The
incense that ye burned … did not the Lord
remember them … So that the Lord could no
longer bear, because of the evil of your
doings, and because of the abominations
which ye have committed … Because ye have
burned incense … therefore, this evil is
happened unto you …" (Jeremiah 44:19-23)

From the scriptures it is very clear that God's wrath is kindled against those who worship "the queen of heaven." This worship is called an "abomination" to God, about which God at one point says, "Oh, do not this abominable thing that I hate." (Jeremiah 44:4) The Scofield Study Bible provides the following insight:

"The 'queen of heaven' is a term used for a
vile heathen deity … The prophets declare God's
wrath on all who worship her. She is probably the
same as Ashtoreth, a heathen deity referred to
in Jud.2:13; 10:6; 1 Sam.31:10; 1 Ki.11:5,33, and
in 2 Ki.23:13 where she is called 'the abomination
of the Sidonians.'" (Scofield Study Bible,
1967 edition, pg. 778)

Roger Oakland reports on the research of Florida professor, Dr. Carol Damian. Her book, Virgin of the Andes represents her years of research uncovering the identity of an Andes goddess named "Panchamama." In a magazine article, Dr. Damian tells about how her research began:

"The paintings were particularly fascinating, especially
as the young woman of the Convent museum described
them. Gazing up at a larger-than-life image of the
Virgin Mary (or what I thought was the Virgin Mary),
the guide reverently described the painting as that of
Panchamama, the Earth Mother and patroness of the
"Please explain why you called the Virgin Mary
Panchamama? Who is Panchamama? She looks like
the Virgin Mary of my Catholic experience, even if
she is painted differently than the images I am more
familiar with. How could someone in a Roman
Catholic convent say such things?" (R. Oakland,
quoting Dr. Carol Damian, Who is Panchamama?,
LanChile, an airline magazine, Nov. 1996)

Roger Oakland continues the story in his book, New Wine and the Babylonian Vine. He tells us that "Dr. Damian returned to the convent every year for fifteen years. As well she visited many rural churches in Peru. She examined more paintings of the Virgin Mary and listened to the stories of the parishioners translated from the Kechwa language by her guides. She stated:

"The story was always the same. The Virgin Mary
took on different titles, wore different costumes and
headdresses and was surrounded by different
objects and attributes but she was an Andean virgin.
She was Panchamama the Earth Mother and she
was also the Moon Goddess and the royal vision
of the Inca Queen who they called Coya, and they
loved her." (Ibid, as cited by Oakland in his book, p. 85)
Deceptive Origins
"The doctrine of Mary to attract the most
controversy within Christianity is her title of
Theotokos (Greek for "God-bearer" or "Mother
of God"). This term first arose in Alexandria,
Egypt, around the fourth century and quickly
gained popularity."
(Source: www.religionfacts.com
Christian Beliefs About Mary

Alexandria, Egypt is an important clue to understanding how Marian doctrines developed. The chief enemies of the Gospel in the first century were the ancient Gnostics, whose teachings are still influential today through the movements of Freemasonry and Rosicrucianism; and can be found in popular books such as Dan Brown's bestseller, The Da Vinci Code. It is commonly believed that the Gnostics came out of Alexandria, Egypt. Gnosticism, in a nutshell, is the combining of the Ancient Mystery school religion with Christianity. This is very likely the reason why many of the titles and characteristics of the pagan goddesses were transferred to Mary. 

The Cult of Mary
In a chapter on The Church, Vatican Council II: Constitutions, Decrees & Declarations (Austin Flannery, O.P., General Editor) openly refers to a division of the [Catholic] church as "The Cult of the Blessed Virgin in the Church" (p. 88). The opening paragraph in this section reads:

"Mary has by grace been exalted above all
angels and humanity to a place after her
Son, as the most holy mother of God
who was involved in the mysteries of Christ:
she is rightly honored with a special
cult by the church."

This same chapter in Vatican II goes on to say: "This cult … has always existed in the church …" (p. 88) It can certainly be acknowledged that at least some were carried away with the idea of Jesus' mother in His lifetime. But this preoccupation, far from an approved cult, was directly confronted by Jesus Himself:

"And it came to pass … a certain woman
of the company lifted up her voice, and
said unto him, Blessed is the womb that
bare thee, and the breasts which nursed
thee. But he said, Yea rather, blessed are
they that hear the word of God, and keep it."
(Luke 11:27-28)

Jesus Himself redirected the thinking of the people toward God, and in no way encouraged men to put their focus on His earthly mother. Despite this, Vatican II encourages "all Christians" to acknowledge devotion to Mary:
"The sacred synod … urges all the sons and
daughters of the church to foster generously
the cult … of the Blessed Virgin, and to hold
in high regard the practices and exercises
of devotion towards her …" (p. 89)
"Let all Christians pour forth urgent supplications
to the Mother of God and of humanity that
she, who aided the beginnings of the church
by her prayers, may now, exalted as she is
above all the angels and saints, intercede before
her Son in the communion of all the saints …"
(pgs. 89, 90)

According to Jesus, Mary is not "exalted … above all the angels and saints." The Lord clearly placed her among the saints, not above them:
"And it was told him by certain which said,
Thy mother and thy brethren stand without,
desiring to see thee. And he answered and
said unto them, My mother and my brethren
are these which hear the word of God,
and do it." (Luke 8:20-21)

Notice how on both occasions (in Luke's gospel) when the Lord's "mother" is referred to, Jesus redirects the focus of people toward hearing and obeying the word of God. He in no way encourages a preoccupation with the creatures, but rather the Creator.
Mary was not without sin, as the Cult of Mary suggests, and so could not be counted equal to the Lord Jesus, and as such is disqualified from being a co-redeemer of any kind. God will not accept a sin offering that has any "blemish" whatsoever (Leviticus 22:19-20, Deuteronomy 15:21). Jesus was able to say, "Which of you convicts me of sin?" (John 8:46) and receive no answer. Pontius Pilate said of Jesus, "I find in him no fault at all." (John 18:38) Yet Mary clearly refers to "God my Savior" in Luke 1:47. Were she "immaculate" and without sin, she would have no need of a Savior, or of being saved.
The scripture tells us that "all have sinned" (Rom. 3:23) and that there is "none righteous, no not one" (Rom. 3:10). Jesus Himself said, "there is none good but one, that is God …" (Matt. 19:17) He did not include Mary as an exception to this truth. He certainly could have if He desired us to have that understanding. Yet,
He did not.

Mary, Salvation of the World?
"There is no one, O most holy Mary … who
can be saved or redeemed but through thee …"
(St. Germanus, as quoted by Dave Hunt,
A Woman Rides the Beast, p. 434)

While Catholics argue that they do not make Mary equal to God, but only "revere" and "honor" her, the declarations of Marian faithful reveal the truth. Not only is Mary made equal to God by being made "immaculate," but she is directly linked to the salvation of souls. God says:
"I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me
there is no savior." (Isaiah 43:11)
"… I am the Lord thy God … and thou
shalt know no god but me: for there is
no savior beside me."
(Hosea 13:4)

The reason the prophets compelled us to look to God only, the reason Jesus redirected the focus of men from His temporal mother to His eternal Father, is because God and God alone has the power of salvation. Mary could not have saved herself; she is certainly in no position to save others. Nevertheless, the declarations about Mary are countless and disturbing. Dave Hunt describes a particular collection of "Marian" writings:

"The most authoritative book written on
Catholicism's 'Virgin Mary' is by Cardinal
and Saint Alphonsus de Liguori. Titled
The Glories of Mary, it is a virtual
compendium of what the great 'saints' of
the Roman Catholic Church have had to
say about Mary …" (Dave Hunt,
A Woman Rides the Beast, p. 437)

What follows are a series of quotes from "The Glories of Mary." Measure these quotes against the scriptures and consider whether the Catholic Mary is simply "revered" or if she is barring the way to Christ as savior:
"Mary is the ark which saves from eternal
destruction anyone who takes shelter in it."
(The Glories of Mary, p. 53)
"… God wills that all who are saved should
be saved by the instrumentality of Mary
… O Lady … after God, we have no hope
but in you." (p. 70)
"Take away the sun, and where is the day?
Take away Mary, and what is left but the
darkest night? If Mary ignores and condemns
someone, that person is inevitably lost.
Therefore, woe to those who turn their back
on this Sun! Woe to those who despise
its light – who make little of devotion
to Mary!" (p. 55)
"Mary is our life" …! (p. 54)
"For on that day when Mary had the
sad priveledge of witnessing the death
of her Son Jesus, Who was the head
of the elect, she was granted the further
privelege of assisting at the death of
all the elect themselves. So in the Hail
Mary the Church teaches us to beg our
Lady to help us now, and particularly at the
hour of our death.
"Consider the anguish of the dying.
They suffer remorse over past sins. They
are filled with fear of the coming judgment
and have no absolute assurance of their
eternal salvation. Then hell arms itself
and battles for the soul as it approaches
the doors of eternity. The devils know that
they have but a short time to gain that
soul, and if they lose it, then they lose
it forever. But how quickly the devils flee
from the face of this Queen! If at the
hour of death we have our Lady to
protect us, we need fear nothing from all
the rebel angels of hell." (pgs. 61-62)

Distributed by www.worldviewweekend.com 
By Chris Pinto

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