Is Mary, the mother of Jesus, to be Worshiped, Prayed to, and Adored?

mary

Hello all – Below is a conversation that I had with a person that believes that Mary is the focus of God’s intention, and that she should be worshiped, prayed to, and adored. I would encourage you to read the thread. Let me say that this post is not for judging, but for learning and praying for the person that I have witnessed to.

Before reading I would like to make four quick points:

1) As Christians, we want to pursue people passionately as Christ commanded (Mark 16:15).

2) Be ready! – Scripture says, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Peter 3:15). We give answer by knowing and using scripture.

 3) God expects us to be bold – 1 Corinthians 16:13 says, “Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.”

4)… and we are to be gentle – II Timothy 2:23,24 says, “The servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle…”

Thanks for your concern and prayer over this thread!

Boldly in Christ, 

Stephen

Thread –

Stephen John Spivey:  Friend, My response to your post is out of love and to glorify God, so, please, take it as that.

Mary the mother of Jesus was described by God as “highly favored” (Luke 1:28). The phrase “highly favored” comes from a single Greek word, which essentially means “much grace.” Mary received God’s grace. Just as with many people throughout the bible God favored a person for the particular time and role that God had in place for them.

Grace is “unmerited favor,” divine assistance, meaning something we receive despite the fact that we do not deserve it. Mary needed grace from God just as the rest of us do. Mary herself understood this fact, as she declared in Luke 1:47, “. . . and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. . .”

Mary recognized that she needed the Savior. The Bible never says that Mary was anyone but an ordinary human whom God chose to use in an extraordinary way. Yes, Mary was a righteous woman and favored (graced) by God (Luke 1:27-28). At the same time, Mary was a sinful human being who needed Jesus Christ as her Savior, just like everyone else (Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 3:23; 6:23; 1 John 1:8).

The Word of God doesn’t suggest Mary’s birth was anything but a normal human birth. I know you did not speak of this in your post, but I want to be clear – Mary was a virgin when she gave birth to Jesus (Luke 1:34-38), but the idea of the perpetual virginity of Mary is unbiblical. Matthew 1:25, speaking of Joseph, declares, “But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave Him the name Jesus.” Implying that they did have normal marital relations after Jesus was born.

The word “until” clearly indicates that Joseph and Mary did have sexual union after Jesus was born. Joseph and Mary had several children together after Jesus was born. Jesus had four half-brothers: (Matthew 13:55), and He had half-sisters (Matthew 13:55-56).

Once when Jesus was speaking, a woman in the crowd shouted, “Blessed is the womb that bore You and the breasts at which You nursed” (Luke 11:27). There was never a better opportunity for Jesus to declare that Mary was indeed worthy of praise and adoration. If it was God’s plan, for Mary to be worshiped, Jesus could have made it very clear. What was Jesus’ response? “On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the Word of God and observe it” (Luke 11:28). John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” And then it goes on to say in verse 14, “… the Word became flesh (Jesus) and dwelt among men.” This makes it very clear what Mary’s role was.

Nowhere in Scripture does Jesus, or anyone else, direct any praise, glory, or adoration towards Mary. Elizabeth, Mary’s relative, praised Mary in Luke 1:42-44, but her praise is based on the blessing of giving birth to the Messiah. It was not based on any inherent glory in Mary.

Mary was present at the cross when Jesus died (John 19:25). Mary was also with the apostles on the day of Pentecost (Acts 1:14). However, Mary is never mentioned again after Acts chapter 1. The apostles did not give Mary a prominent role. Mary’s death is not recorded in the Bible. Nothing is said about Mary ascending to heaven or having an exalted role there. As the earthly mother of Jesus, Mary should be respected, but she is not worthy of our worship or adoration.

 Nowhere in the bible, in the Word of God, does it come close to indicating that Mary can hear our prayers or that she can mediate for us with God. Jesus is our only advocate and mediator in heaven (I Timothy 2:5). If offered worship, adoration, or prayers, Mary would say the same as the angels: “WORSHIP GOD!” (Revelation 19:10; 22:9.) Mary herself sets the example for us, directing her worship, adoration, and praise to God alone: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has been mindful of the humble state of His servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me — HOLY IS HIS NAME” (Luke 1:46-49).

The virgin birth is the culmination of a long line prophecy to clearly point to the Messiah, Christ the King, who has come. All of the prophecy is to show that Jesus could only be the Son of God who has come to save us. The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy in Second Timothy 3:16-17: ”All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” So, anything added to the Word of God is not from God – Scripture plus the book of Mormon, Scriptures plus the Pope, or the Scriptures plus the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, or the Scriptures plus ”what I want to believe,” or the Scriptures plus “the experts,” and, yes, scripture plus the “adoration and worship of Mary” – is wrong.

This is God’s warning to anything that is added to Holy Scripture – Revelation 22:18-19 “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.“

Deuteronomy 4:2 “You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you.” In Christ, Stephen

Person: Sir, if you would like to talk about Ever Virgin Mary first read “The Life of Virgin Mary” from “The Great Synaxaristes of the Orthodox Church”. Now I’ll tell you what I ‘v read: Joseph’s been of age of about 80 years old. Holy Mary never been in any intercourse with any man. She never gave birth to other children except Jesus Christ. So-called brothers of Lord were his brothers in church as you call your members of church now. Nowhere in the Bible it is said that Mary gave birth to another children. Nowhere! That’s your personal conclusion. Glad to help you. Best regards!

Stephen John Spivey:  Friend – I believe the bible makes a distinction in “brothers in Christ” and brother (sibling). I can sit down with you and go over this with you if you like. It would take too long to explain it on FB. But …that takes away from my main point. Mary is not to be worshiped or adored… or prayed to. This is putting someone before Christ, and that is a sin. Below I will repeat what my original point was…

… Nowhere in Scripture does Jesus, or anyone else, direct any praise, glory, or adoration towards Mary. Elizabeth, Mary’s relative, praised Mary in Luke 1:42-44, but her praise is based on the blessing of giving birth to the Messiah. It was not based on any inherent glory in Mary.

Mary was present at the cross when Jesus died (John 19:25). Mary was also with the apostles on the day of Pentecost (Acts 1:14). However, Mary is never mentioned again after Acts chapter 1. The apostles did not give Mary a prominent role. Mary’s death is not recorded in the Bible. Nothing is said about Mary ascending to heaven or having an exalted role there. As the earthly mother of Jesus, Mary should be respected, but she is not worthy of our worship or adoration.

Nowhere in the bible, in the Word of God, does it come close to indicating that Mary can hear our prayers or that she can mediate for us with God. Jesus is our only advocate and mediator in heaven (I Timothy 2:5). If offered worship, adoration, or prayers, Mary would say the same as the angels: “WORSHIP GOD!” (Revelation 19:10; 22:9.) Mary herself sets the example for us, directing her worship, adoration, and praise to God alone: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has been mindful of the humble state of His servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me — HOLY IS HIS NAME” (Luke 1:46-49).”

Stephen John Spivey:  Scripture, also, makes it clear that Mary did have sexual relations with her husband, Joseph. If Joseph and Mary (Husband and Wife) did not have relations why did the scripture, Matthew 1:25, say, “But he had no union with her UNTIL she gave birth to a son…”? Why wouldn’t the scripture say, “But he had no union with her and she gave birth to a son…”?

Stephen John Spivey:  I would suggest, humbly, that anything stated by man or a book should be researched well and verified by God. The only book to be trusted is the library of 66 books we call the Christian bible. This is the infallible Word of God.

Person:  Stephen, In a prayer book for all Orthodox Christians there are a lot of prayers before Theotocos to God Mother. “It is truly meet to bless thee oh Theotocos, ever blessed and most blameless and Mother of our God, More honorable than the cherubim and beyond compare more glorious than the serafim, Who without corruption gaveth birth to God the Word, the very Theotocos thee do we magnify”. But Can you give me a reference in the Bible to these words?: “But he had no union with her UNTIL she gave birth to a son…”

Stephen John Spivey: You lead me directly back to my point. Your information is not biblical. It is not the inspired Word of God.  As nice as those words sound, Vitaliy, they are not from the Bible. Here is something beautiful – “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.” This is scripture.

Stephen John Spivey:  Can I ask you a question? How do you think you go to Heaven? If you, God forbid, died tonight, and you were standing before or Holy God, and He asked you, “Why should I let you into Heaven?” What would you tell him?

Person: Stephen, This question is taken from a hired person. There should be the One whom God knows and Who knows you. And this friend of you and of God will bring you to God’s abode.

Person: All prayers and books of Orthodox Church are God inspired. You can try and pray. And you’ll see it. There is no need to invent anything new.

Person: Here is the answer to your example from the Matthew 1:25. “In the Bible, it [until] means only that some action did not happen up to a certain point; it does not imply that the action did happen later, which is the modern sense of the term. In fact, if the modern sense is forced on the Bible, some ridiculous meanings result. Consider this line: “Michal the daughter of Saul had no children till the day of her death” (2 Sam. 6:23). Are we to assume she had children after her death? There is also the burial of Moses. The book of Deuteronomy says that no one knew the location of his grave “until this present day” (Deut. 34:6, Knox). But we know that no one has known since that day either. The examples could be multiplied, but you get the idea—nothing can be proved from the use of the word “till” in Matthew 1:25. Recent translations give a better sense of the verse: “He had no relations with her at any time before she bore a son” (New American Bible); “He had not known her when she bore a son”

Stephen John Spivey:  Sir, I want to make sure we understand each other and that I answer your questions and statement correctly. Please read each post below.

FIRST: Please listen with your heart because this is the most important thing I am telling you. God in Heaven is perfect, Holy, righteous, loving and just. Think about this for a moment. Have you ever lied? (The average person lies four times per day. God says that all liars will have their place in the lake of fire.) Or have you stolen even something small, or looked at a person with lust? Used God’s name in an empty way, or been very angry with someone? In God’s eyes, this is the same as murder. If you have answered yes to any of these questions, then you have failed the test for entry into Heaven. The test is based on His Holy Standard – the Ten Commandments, and the test above was only five of the ten. James 2:10 says, “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”

Are You Truly Guilty? –

Because God is perfect this, also, makes Him the perfect Judge. Think of the reason the judge, in your city, sits on the bench. He sits there because he is a good person that can weigh out the circumstances and evidence of a case and deliver a just verdict. Let’s say you stand before this judge guilty of a serious crime. He is about to pass sentence when you say, “WAIT! Judge, I know I have been wrong and I see that clearly now! I will change and be a better person. I know you are a good person and will let me go.” The judge’s simple and correct answer would be, “It is because I am a good person that I have to sentence you. That is why I am on the bench.”

We have sinned and should be sentenced, and the sentence for our sin is clearly stated in Romans 6:23. Imagine you are back in a court room and the Judge is about to pass judgment, and from the back of the room you hear someone say, “Wait, I will take his penalty!” And just like that your sentence has been passed to another! The only reason someone would make this sacrifice is out of true love.

Proof of God’s Love –

This what Jesus did for us 2000 years ago – A sinless savior came down from Heaven, in human form, to be our sacrifice. He died on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins (I Peter 2:24) and rose up on the third day to show that He is God. This is the highest form of love (John 3:16). This is our second chance. Your only requirement is to turn away from your old life (sin) and turn towards God (Acts 3:19). This is repentance and it is mandatory.

Thoughtfully Consider Your Options –

Friend, the other side of the coin is refusing Him as He pursues you. This brings us back to Romans 6:23 – The verse states that sin leads to death – an eternal separation, from Him, in Hell. Hell is an unpleasant word, but a very real place. Jesus talks more about Hell than He does Heaven. This should be a very real indicator that our predicament is serious and we should be careful in how we move forward.

It is because God is merciful that we have this amazing opportunity, through His unfailing love. We have clearly sinned and not lived according to His righteous standard. Even so, God has provided unmerited divine assistance – this is grace. Think of where you stand before our Holy God. As everyone knows, deep within themselves, they can not be perfect, we know that we have a God, and we have not met His Holy Standard. He has pursued you with an everlasting love and is ready and waiting for you to repent and turn towards Him. Know that God loves you (John 3:16). Humble yourself. Repent of your sins (Acts 3:19) and put your faith in Jesus Christ alone to save you.

SECOND: There is only one text that is acceptable, in my opinion. It is the Majority text. The Codex Vaticanus is not reliable. And in the majority Text there is a distinction and it implies that Mary and Joseph were a normal married couple and consummated their relationship. Again, you can reference the scripture, in Greek, I used in the above post. Even non-Christian scholars agree with this premise.

THIRD: ONLY the BIBLE is the inspired Word of God… period. Titus 1:2 says that God cannot lie. If God is true and He is (Rom. 3:4), and if God breathed out the Scripture, then the Scripture, being the product of God, must also be true. This is why the Psalmist affirms, “All your words are true” (Ps. 119:160a). This is the ONLY thing we can count on Vitaliy. Remember II Timothy 3:16 that I mentioned earlier? “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” Study each word. It is saying the only thing to count on is the bible. Not hymns that someone wrote.

Please put your faith completely in Jesus and His word. Not Mary, the Pope, the saints or a hymn talking about Mary’s status. All those are distractions from the Lord and His plan for you. I am praying for you, my friend.

Person: I agree with almost all what you say, except that Holy Mary had union with man. She is called Ever Virgin in old scriptures. And revelations of Holy Fathers are inspired by God, Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ. Read again my post and you will see how Mother of God is venerable in Russia. Piece to you.

Person: I believe that Holy Bible is just a BEGINNING study. There are thousands of God inspired scriptures.

The Mother of God is one. She appears before believers and does her job. And we name Her according to place where She does her wonder job or actions: “Mother of God of Kazan”, “Mother of God of Tikhvin”, “Mother of Gog of Vlodimir”, “Mother of God of Jerusalem”, “Mother of God of Bethlehem”, ..of Kursk.., ..of Guadalupe and many other. Peace to all.

Stephen John Spivey:  Let me ask you a question. Do you think people should study the bible? We should read and study the Bible because it is God’s Word to us. As I have said the Bible is LITERALLY “God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16). In other words, Vitaliy, it is God’s very words to us. So why should we lean on speculation… on things that are hearsay? In fact, God instructs us not to be fooled in false teachings. Matt 7:15 says, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” I and II Timothy among several other books of the New Testament talk about false teachings.

You had mentioned that the bible is just the beginning. This is a false teaching, my friend. The bible is the beginning and the end when it comes to God and His word. It is GOD’s WORD, and we should not only study it, but cling to it!

We should read and study the Bible because it is totally reliable and without error. The Bible is unique among so-called “holy” books in that it does not merely give moral teaching and say, “Trust me.” Rather, we have the ability to test it by checking the hundreds of detailed prophecies that it makes, by checking the historical accounts it records, and by checking the scientific facts it relates. It is PERFECT.

Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” If this is true then why would God need to add to the New Testament for teaching – Like the Book of Mormon, Virgin Mary sightings, the Gnostic Gospel, teachings of Jehovah witnesses, etc.?

And since the Bible is perfect then we are to only trust what it has to say. Jesus says, “I am the way the Truth and the Life, NO ONE COMES TO THE FATHER, BUT BY ME.”

People that have added other teachings to the bible have their ears closed to the truth and are sinning and putting themselves in jeopardy of JUDGEMENT from our Holy God.

There are many reported occurrences of Mary, angels, and/or saints appearing and delivering a message from God. It is likely that, at least in some of these cases, the people were genuinely seeing something supernatural. While some of what is seen in various places is perhaps the work of charlatans, other apparitions were apparently authentic. However, an apparition being authentic does not mean it is a message from God or a genuine appearance of Mary, an angel, or a saint. Scripture declares that Satan and his demons masquerade as angels of light (2 Corinthians 11:14-15). Satanic deception is just as possible an explanation for the apparitions.

God’s holy word gives us the measuring stick by which we can distinguish truth from error. It tells us what God is like and who He is. God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” “I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” -John 8:58. To have a wrong impression of God is to worship an idol or false god – We are worshiping something that He is not. The Bible tells us how one truly gets to heaven, and it is not by being good, praying to Mary, or by being baptized or by anything else we do (John 14:6; Ephesians 2:1-10; Isaiah 53:6; Romans 3:10-18, 5:8, 6:23, 10:9-13). Along this line, God’s Word shows us just how much God loves us (Romans 5:6-8; John 3:16). And it is in learning this that we are drawn to love Him in return (1 John 4:19). But, if we pursue false idols then we are fooling ourselves.

The Bible is God’s Word. As such, it is as binding as the laws of nature. We can ignore it, but we do so to our own detriment, just as we would if we ignored the law of gravity. We cannot change the law of Gravity (if you jumped off of a 20 story building, what would happen to you?), just as we cannot change God and His ways. I cannot emphasize strongly enough just how important the Bible is to our lives and how we should worship Jesus Christ alone. I am praying for you, friend.

End of thread.

Stephen John Spivey

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Newsletter

css.php