Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Mary

Earlier in the week, a report was launched by the Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC), which seems to be working towards an agenda of very close ecumenism, and eventual unity with Rome. The subject of this report was 'Mary: Grace and Hope in Christ', looking at how the two bodies view Mary.

For some background reading, check out the BBC News report and the Anglican Communion website. I haven't been able to download the report anywhere, and am thus depending on what the two sites mentioned have said about it.

It seems to me that the report was meant to look at the Biblical evidence on Mary, and to see how the Roman dogmas of her immcaulate conception and assumption fit with this evidence. Traditionally, Anglicans, along with other Protestants, have rejected the dogmas. But it appears from this report that the Anglicans on the committee have listened to the propoganda of the Romanists, who, it appears, have admitted they can't be proven from the Bible, and then said... 'well, it seems like this would be a good idea, or it seems like what should have happened' and have agreed to it.

Below are the two main affirmations agreed by the two sides:

“In view of her vocation to be the mother of the Holy One (Luke 1:35), we can affirm together that Christ's redeeming work reached 'back in Mary to the depths of her being, and to her earliest beginnings. This is not contrary to the teaching of Scripture, and can only be understood in the light of Scripture. Roman Catholics can recognize in this what is affirmed by the dogma - namely 'preserved from all stain of original sin' and 'from the first moment of her conception.'”

“we can affirm together the teaching that God has taken the Blessed Virgin Mary in the fullness of her person into his glory as consonant with Scripture and that it can, indeed, only be understood in the light of Scripture. Roman Catholics can recognize that this teaching about Mary is contained in the dogma” (paragraph 58).

How can Mary be without sin? There is only one who was holy, and that was Jesus! Romans 3 tells us very clearly, in a catalogue of verses from the Old Testament that 'all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God'. Indeed, in the Magnificat, the song of Mary, she said: 'My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour'. How could God be her Saviour if she didn't need to be saved?

It is sheer presumption, and an elevation of a servant of God into the 'mother of God', to presume that she was assumed into heaven. Scripture records only that Enoch and Elijah were taken into heaven, and that Jesus ascended bodily. It doesn't tell us of any others.

It seems that the Anglicans on the committee have bent over backwards to accommodate the unbiblical dogmas of the Roman church. How long must we continue with this situation of failed ecumenism? Will we end up with the Anglican church returning 'to the fold' and acknowedging the pope as the head of the church? Perish the thought!

3 comments :

  1. The Big Girl19 May, 2005 09:00

    Perish the thought indeed

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  2. The full text of the ARCIC Seattle Statement "Mary: Grace and Hope in Christ" is found online at http://www.ecumenism.net/archive/arcic/mary_en.htm.

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  3. Nicholas, Thanks for your comment, and for the helpful link. I'd be interested in knowing your thoughts on the report, which could lead to constructive dialogue.

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