Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit

I was reading a blog post earlier this week about how unscriptural Catholics are.  I don’t have the link to it, sorry!  One of the reasons the author states Catholics are unscriptural was because we ‘pray to’ Mary.

First I would like to say the way we say “pray to” differs from others understanding.  We ask her to intercede for us.  Just like I ask you to pray for me.  We still pray to God.  Prayer to Mary or anyone else does not replace prayer to God.

Merriam-Webster defines to “pray” this way:

: to speak to God especially in order to give thanks or to ask for something

: to hope or wish very much for something to happen

: to seriously ask (someone) to do something

The word “pray” is not only associated to conversation with God.  In light of the third definition above, I pray to you that you lift me up as I continue on in this journey.

What really got me thinking though was this.

“When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. And she cried out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!”

‭‭Luke‬ ‭1:41-42‬ ‭NASB‬‬

http://bible.com/100/luk.1.41-42.nasb


Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.  Clearly, she was walking with the Lord.  Her words become our prayer.  We are not worshipping Mary, we are recognizing her and most importantly God, by sharing in the same words Elizabeth used.  Maybe we should consider on this topic, that we are following the declaration made in scripture:

“”For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave; For behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed.

‭‭Luke‬ ‭1:48‬ ‭NASB‬‬

http://bible.com/100/luk.1.48.nasb

Interestingly enough, I have never even heard of Mary spoken of in my time away from the church.

In light of the above, I call on Mary’s intercession that hearts will be softened and people will understand that she really points us to Jesus, and shows us by her humility the power of God and His love for us.

“And Mary said: “My soul exalts the Lord, And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. “For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave; For behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed. “For the Mighty One has done great things for me; And holy is His name. “A ND H IS MERCY IS UPON GENERATION AFTER GENERATION T OWARD THOSE WHO FEAR H IM. “He has done mighty deeds with His arm; He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart. “He has brought down rulers from their thrones, And has exalted those who were humble. “H E HAS FILLED THE HUNGRY WITH GOOD THINGS; And sent away the rich empty-handed. “He has given help to Israel His servant, In remembrance of His mercy, As He spoke to our fathers, To Abraham and his descendants forever.””

‭‭Luke‬ ‭1:46-55‬ ‭NASB‬‬

http://bible.com/100/luk.1.46-55.nasb

Hail Mary, full of grace, blessed are you amoung women, blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.  Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death, Amen.

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13 thoughts on “Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit

  1. Hi Jill — Mary is a wonderful woman and wonderful example of a believer in Christ and a follower of God, but the Scriptures don’t support her being anything other than just that – a person who was just as much in need of a Savior as you or I.

    Blessed are you among women — from among the class that Mary belongs to, women, she is blessed. What is her blessing — Jesus. All generations count her as blessed because of Jesus — not because of Mary. If you go back to the Book of Judges, the woman who pounds a tent stake into the head of the Syrian general, Jael, is similarly called Most Blessed among women. Judges 5.

    When you ask anyone in heaven other than Jesus to pray for you, you are testifying either that Jesus is inadequate or that He is hardhearted and needs to be convinced by his loving mother. I don’t trust that Jesus is listening to me or I don’t trust that He truly hears me and cares for me like He says that He does.

    Jesus says that He everlives to make intercession for us — His job as savior is to make intercession for us day and night. Jesus is defined as omnipresent and all powerful — so what about Him as God and Savior and intercessor is wrong that we need anyone in heaven speaking on our behalf other then Jesus? I can speak with Jesus directly or some guy from the 15th Century who looks good in stained glass — which one should we choose.

    Jesus died for us, willingly taking our place. His knowledge and love are perfect — why would we need anyone to change his mind heaven? When Stephen is stoned in the Book of Acts he sees heaven open up and sees Jesus Himself standing there concerned about him — Jesus not anyone in between. He is the sole mediator between God and man. 1 Timothy 2:5

    Why is here on earth different — asking others to pray for you – because the Bible says specifically to pray for one another here on earth. You can’t extrapolate that into a completely different setting and say that it applies just because it also involves prayer.

    The Bible says that in heaven there will be no more tears, no more sorrow, no more pain — if we are watching or hearing what happens here on earth is that at all possible?

    I have seen the argument that Mary is his mother and therefore she has a special in with him and she has a special heart for us — if I recall correctly this is where the Blessed Heart comes in.

    Jesus specifically refutes the idea that Mary is special on a number of occasions — Luke 18 where he clearly identifies who His family is:

    He was told, “Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, wanting to see You.” 21But He replied, “My mother and brothers are those who hear the word of God” and carry it out.

    and perhaps most clearly: Luke 11 when someone tries to point attention to Mary:

    27 And it happened, as He spoke these things, that a certain woman from the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, “Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts which nursed You!”

    28 But He said, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”

    There is no evidence in the Bible of the need for people in heaven praying for us, God is on His throne perfectly and knows everything or he doesn’t and no evidence that it is something that should be done. There is tons of evidence that it is something that should not be done.

    That fact that Mary was a wonderful woman and people can relate to her doesn’t change the fact that she will be on her face worshiping Jesus with us in heaven. Jesus is the sources of Mary;s Blessing just like He is to every other woman who ever loved Jesus.

    • Hi Pastor,

      I am sorry that I am just now acknowledging your comments. My computer isn’t working and I do most of my posting from my phone. But my comments to you are well thought out, and I needed a computer to get them across.

      We both agree that Mary is indeed a wonderful woman and has provided us a great example of trusting in the Lord and being open to His will. I do think you misunderstand Catholic teaching based on this comment: “All generations count her as blessed because of Jesus — not because of Mary.” If anyone were to say Mary is the source of her blessedness, they would be wrong. Of course Mary is blessed, but to God be all the glory! Mary herself agrees that God is the source, and in humility, points to Him as the source (Luke 1:46-55). What He has done for her, when you look at it and really ponder it, can do nothing other than place your heart in worship as you ponder His goodness and mercy.

      “When you ask anyone in heaven other than Jesus to pray for you, you are testifying either that Jesus is inadequate or that He is hardhearted and needs to be convinced by his loving mother.” Do you believe in demons and evil spirits? Do you believe they are here prowling seeking to destroy? I do. I believe I may have encountered one when I was at my darkest. I was driving home from work, just turned a corner from a red light. In my peripheral vision I saw a darkness coming at my car and I can swear it hit my door, or pushed against it (it happened super fast). I was convinced there was someone there, I was looking around in all directions, yet I couldn’t see the source of the contact. I am convinced this was some sort of evil spirit. I also believe angels are real beings. I do not think God would give these evils beings access to the earth and thereby, us, without also giving us a family of likeminded people to traverse this life with. The Lord knows we are creatures who need people. I do not believe that death cuts off this need/relation. Is it denying Jesus and saying he is inadequate to go to the grave of my beloved aunt and talk to her? I don’t believe when I do such things that I am talking to myself nor do I believe I am dishonoring my God. The communion of Saints, when you look at it in a familial way (being that we are all God’s family) is really a beautiful gift from God.

      “Jesus is defined as omnipresent and all powerful — so what about Him as God and Savior and intercessor is wrong that we need anyone in heaven speaking on our behalf other then Jesus? “ Angels in heaven are praying for us (Psalm 103:20-21; Matt 18:10).

      “I can speak with Jesus directly or some guy from the 15th Century who looks good in stained glass — which one should we choose.” I do certainly speak with Jesus directly. But as I pointed out in a previous post, I have found myself relating to the struggles Mother Teresa had, and I have indeed asked for her prayers and help in this regard. Do you not think I have prayed about this for years to the Lord many many times? More than I can count, I have. Have you ever had a problem that you tried to explain to someone and couldn’t find the right words and as you were explaining, they just didn’t get it. They might have sympathized, but they didn’t get it. Example, I suffered a miscarriage years ago. You may sympathize, you may intercede for me in prayer. But unless you have suffered that loss, you truly don’t know what I am going through. Likewise, I don’t know what it feels like yet, to lose a parent. My husband tells me, and I am sorry for the pain he experiences, but having not lost a parent yet, I cannot really feel what that is like…and I don’t want to, but know, one day I will.

      “He is the sole mediator between God and man. 1 Timothy 2:5” There is a difference between mediator and intercessor. Asking someone, whether it be a friend or a “Saint” to pray for me is completely different (intercessory, not mediating).

      “Jesus specifically refutes the idea that Mary is special on a number of occasions — Luke 18 where he clearly identifies who His family is” –Who is our family? Does our family begin and end with Jesus? Are we family, you and I? Is John my brother? What about Peter and Paul, Mary Magdalene? Are they my family? I hope you do not really believe that Jesus refutes the idea that Mary is special…she is His mother! Is your mother special to you? Maybe I am misunderstanding the simplicity of your comment here. Jesus ensured His mother would be cared for when He died by giving her to John and giving John his mother.

      • Hi Jill — no worries, we all have lots on our plates and I appreciate the response.

        I don’t think you are misunderstanding me about Jesus’ comments about Mary — just perhaps not the conclusion:

        “Jesus specifically refutes the idea that Mary is special on a number of occasions — Luke 18 where he clearly identifies who His family is” –Who is our family? Does our family begin and end with Jesus? Are we family, you and I? Is John my brother? What about Peter and Paul, Mary Magdalene? Are they my family? I hope you do not really believe that Jesus refutes the idea that Mary is special…she is His mother! Is your mother special to you? Maybe I am misunderstanding the simplicity of your comment here. Jesus ensured His mother would be cared for when He died by giving her to John and giving John his mother.

        Mary certainly remains his earthly mother but what is important to Jesus according to His won words is His sheep — His heavenly family.

        His earthly family is not important just because they are His earthly family. if you remember, his brothers including James who later writes the Book of James initially think that Jesus is nuts and actively try to stop him from preaching. We don’t know for certain, but when this happens it is possible that Mary is with them, it says his family without limitation — Jesus also says that he finds no honor in his hometown.

        The lady who yells out “blessed is the womb that bore you and blessed are the breasts that nursed you” is trying to separate Mary out from the church — the family of God based only upon the fact that she is Jesus’ mother. She is saying Mary is great because she is your mother Jesus — why else would she point out womb and breast.

        Jesus specifically says no, don’t do that – she is not better than you because she bore me in fact “More blessed” is my heavenly family — the church. He openly refuses to assign weight to her as mom above other believers.

        Jesus also specifically says:

        “My MOTHER and brothers are those who hear the word of God” and carry it out.” (No mention of Mary)

        So you are saying that Mary is important because she is Jesus’ earthy mother. Jesus specifically explains that the earthly description is not only not important but inaccurate. She is not important because she is His mother — the ones who are important, that are His mother and brothers are those who hear the word of God and carry it out.

        Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, Beginning and the End — He has existed for all Eternity and has never for one second needed a mother like people do. In his willing incarnation He chose to come through women, but He was already perfect God in existence. My feelings toward my mother are very different — I am not God and not the Savior of the Universe.

        Being God, He is also on a totally different level than us — creation vs. creator — and though He was willing to come down to our level — no one, not Mary, not Joseph, not the prophets has even gone up to His level — Triune God. There can never be a queen of heaven because that would require a female god to exist.

        When Jesus returned to the Throne of Heaven, He returned to His proper place as God and Mary did not follow Him up there — she stays with the rest of us peeps, saved by the blood of Jesus.

        He is the sole mediator between God and man. 1 Timothy 2:5” There is a difference between mediator and intercessor. Asking someone, whether it be a friend or a “Saint” to pray for me is completely different (intercessory, not mediating).

        Is there?

        Hebrews 7:25:

        Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.

        I do certainly speak with Jesus directly. But as I pointed out in a previous post, I have found myself relating to the struggles Mother Teresa had, and I have indeed asked for her prayers and help in this regard. Do you not think I have prayed about this for years to the Lord many many times? More than I can count, I have. Have you ever had a problem that you tried to explain to someone and couldn’t find the right words and as you were explaining, they just didn’t get it. They might have sympathized, but they didn’t get it.

        Jill — I get it and myself and my wife were both there at one point, but I think you are seriously selling Jesus short even in this explanation and in the process inadvertently insulting your Savior.

        The very point of Jesus coming as a man and experiencing pain, hunger, struggle, doubt, and yes even temptation was so that He — perfectly loving God could understand our struggle perfectly and care for us through it. Phillipians 2 describes what He willingly gave up in order to do this — heaven and what he willingly took on — slavery. Eternal God experienced thirst on our behalf, the pain of death, the scorn of the Pharisses, the bone weary tiredness of life, the despair at losing a friend — all so we can got to Him and be refreshed.

        In doing so and through His suffering, the book of Hebrews says that He was perfected for the role that He was to play for us — the perfect High Priest eternally going to the throne for us. Like the High Priest, Jesus had to be man and understand all of man’s struggles and pain but to be the perfect eternal High Priest, He also has to be God. Thus — only He can ever fill this role and only He can understand you the way that you want to be understood. There was only one High Priest going to the Holy of Holies.

        Jesus loves you and understand you more than Mother Teresa and every person who ever lived could, He died for you, and by the testimony of the Bible He is waiting always to intercede for you. The picture that Jesus paints of Himself is of the perfect Shepherd — the perfect Shepherd loves each of His sheep individually and cares for each one according to their needs. It is a tender and loving picture — there is never a need for anyone to tell the perfect Shepherd to care for His sheep — they are His and He loves them dearly. Believing that anyone ever understand our pain and suffering better than Jesus is just a lie.

        And it is only Jesus’ power that allows anyone, Mother Teresa, Amy Carmichael, Billy Graham or otherwise to have faith and do anything good in this world anyway.

        Do you believe in demons and evil spirits? Do you believe they are here prowling seeking to destroy?

        Sorry, this is getting long, but yes I do and boy have I some doozies of experiences as well — but the psalm and Matthew verses you quoted seem to provide the very clear answer to the counter weight to the demons etc — God’s ministering spirits are the angels who do His will. It is frankly all over the Bible that they are the spiritual messengers etc — they fight on our behalf too, Michael battling the Prince of Persia for example. There is no evidence that people do the same thing. The only times we have people show up is the Transfiguration which ends with God speaking directly from Heaven and saying listen to Jesus and having Elijah and Moses disappear (very clear message there) and the witch of Endor with Saul in the OT and that is a terrible experience.

      • Mary certainly remains his earthly mother but what is important to Jesus according to His won words is His sheep – His heavenly family. His earthly family is not important just because they are His earthly family. if you remember, his brothers including James who later writes the Book of James initially think that Jesus is nuts and actively try to stop him from preaching. We don’t know for certain, but when this happens it is possible that Mary is with them, it says his family without limitation – Jesus also says that he finds no honor in his hometown.

        — Jesus humanity and divinity are not separate, so rightfully, she is the mother of our Lord and savior, our God. This is not her doing, this is God’s doing. When Elizabeth greeted her, she was “filled with the Holy Spirit”. According to John MacArthur, being filled with the Holy Spirit means “One can be filled with the Spirit only when controlled by the Word. It is knowing truth and obeying it.” When Mary Magdalene became a follower of Jesus, there is no record of any such salutation from anyone as what we see between Elizabeth and Mary, the mother of Jesus. Scripture cannot have contradiction, nor do I think we can ignore this exchange. It makes sense that Jesus would continue to point people to become His followers as that was His purpose in coming here to die for us in the first place. Perhaps there were those who were trying to equate Mary with deity and he was setting the example that she is not deity. There are those of course who take their devotion to her to a place they shouldn’t, and that is not supported by any teaching, nor is it ok. Worship belongs to God alone. Recognizing however that Mary is special, is not wrong. Yes, Mary is human, just like I am human. She is the mother of my Lord, He chose that, not I, not she. Recognizing this special privilege she has been granted is not wrong. Jesus humbled Himself to come to us and be born of a woman. He did that, fully divine, but completely dependent upon His mother at birth. Luke 1:48 provides scriptural justification for honoring her.

        He is the sole mediator between God and man. 1 Timothy 2:5″ There is a difference between mediator and intercessor. Asking someone, whether it be a friend or a “Saint” to pray for me is completely different (intercessory, not mediating).

        “Is there?

        Hebrews 7:25:
        Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.”
        — Yes.

        Mediator: one who intervenes between two persons who are at variance, with a view to reconcile them. (source: Easton’s Bible Dictionary)
        Intercession: Intercession or intercessory prayer is the act of praying to a deity on behalf of others. In Western Christianity, intercession forms a distinct form of prayer, alongside Adoration, Confession and Thanksgiving. (Source: Wikipedia – sorry, the bible dictionaries had studies and I was seeking a succinct definition)

        Jesus can fill every role we need, mediator and intercessor, father and friend, confidant, etc. We however can only intercede for others, so yes, there is a difference between being a mediator and an intercessor.

        “Jill – I get it and myself and my wife were both there at one point, but I think you are seriously selling Jesus short even in this explanation and in the process inadvertently insulting your Savior.

        The very point of Jesus coming as a man and experiencing pain, hunger, struggle, doubt, and yes even temptation was so that He – perfectly loving God could understand our struggle perfectly and care for us through it. Phillipians 2 describes what He willingly gave up in order to do this – heaven and what he willingly took on – slavery. Eternal God experienced thirst on our behalf, the pain of death, the scorn of the Pharisses, the bone weary tiredness of life, the despair at losing a friend – all so we can got to Him and be refreshed.”

        There is no doubt that Jesus has experienced everything that we ever will experience. There is no doubt that He knows our struggles. No doubt. That does not mean that Jesus is the only one I can talk to about it, or that He only wants me to talk to Him about it. I am sorry if my explanation diminishes Jesus in any way, as that certainly is not my point and I believe the Lord knows what I am saying and trying to say. To say that the very point of Him coming here and experiencing pain is so that He could care for us through our pain, does not mean that I cannot talk to my friend ‘Sue’ who also suffered miscarriage to relate to the pain she felt, while I am also talking to Him about it. True story, the Lord walked with me through my miscarriage and His words in Proverbs 3:5-6 provided me comfort beyond imagination. It was my mantra when the pain was so heavy I could barely carry it, I could barely breathe. This does not mean I didn’t also talk to ‘Sue’ and take comfort in the fact that she experienced the same pain I had and the feelings of isolation I had were completely normal. This is why we have Christian brothers and sisters, to fellowship with and walk this life with, is it not? Recognizing our roles is not diminishing His, it is embracing the family He has provided us. So as I said, while Jesus knows the struggle and the darkness I have faced, just as David has experienced in the Psalms, Mother Teresa has experienced it and relating to that helps. Admitting that does not diminish Jesus in any way, it celebrates that through Jesus, she and others have overcome.

  2. This does not mean I didn’t also talk to ‘Sue’ and take comfort in the fact that she experienced the same pain I had and the feelings of isolation I had were completely normal. This is why we have Christian brothers and sisters, to fellowship with and walk this life with, is it not? Recognizing our roles is not diminishing His, it is embracing the family He has provided us. So as I said, while Jesus knows the struggle and the darkness I have faced, just as David has experienced in the Psalms, Mother Teresa has experienced it and relating to that helps. Admitting that does not diminish Jesus in any way, it celebrates that through Jesus, she and others have overcome.

    Sorry, I don’t know how to italicize or bold in comments:)

    Yes, I agree with you completely — we lost a baby between our two boys and talking with, praying with and being loved by other believers and other believers who went through the same thing was a life saver, particularly for my wife. Somehow she thought it was her fault – it breaks my heart even now 10 years later.

    And I love and take so much comfort from reading about the lives of the saints throughout history – they are so relatable to our issues.

    It is just when you take the earthly example and apply it to the heavenly that is becomes problematic. More simply – If i can pray to Jesus, who ever lives to pray for us and has the power to make planets and I can pray to Aunt Sally who used to make great cupcakes — I am not wasting my time with Aunt Sally. No man or woman is ever worth praying to when we are told to pray to God.

    BTW – though I disagree with the Catholic Churches doctrine on a lot of things, I don’t believe that Catholics are necessarily not christians or christians just based on a church name — you mentioned that in a prior post and I wanted to make sure there is no confusion.

    Just like Baptists, Methodists etc it all depends upon the relationship between the person and the Lord and no “church” defines anyone — at least according to Jesus. So though I disagree doctrinally, I am not implying anything else.

      • Hi JoAnna — I would ask Aunt Sally, but the reason that I would is that 1) she can hear me 2) the Bible tells me to do so. If you think about it, there is no reason that prayer by itself should work. God Is perfect and sovereign and His plan for us is perfect — so why would He listen to us? He does because He loves us and He says specifically to pray to Him and He will answer — He says it multiple times in multiple ways.

        He never ever says to pray to anyone else.

      • (1) How do you know that the saints in heaven can’t hear our prayers?

        (2) The Bible says to ask others for their prayers. But the Bible also doesn’t say we may only ask people *here on earth* for their prayers. Otherwise, why would Revelations talk about the prayers of the saints being in golden bowls? Only those in heaven are considered saints. What do those prayers entail? Why are saints in heaven praying at all? Why does Revelations specifically mention the prayers of the saints if saints don’t pray?

    • Don’t worry about the italics, I am able to reply with them from my dashboard, but not from the actual site. I agree that our relationship with the Lord is what truly matters, and no one can really evaluate that other than the Lord himself. I do have a question for you though. Revelation 5:8 says “And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people.” Who from your perspective is the 24 Elders? I believe they demonstrate people in Heaven interceding for us.

      • Hi Jill — the 24 elders is a fascinating subject and I will say that the book of Revelation does not specifically identify them. Some say they are angels, but they are referred to as Elders, something the Bible uses when referring to man and wear crowns which no angel wear in the Bible. They are likely men or representative of men, the church seeing as they are rule and reign with Jesus as they are on thrones.

        As for intercession — look what the Bible quotes the Elders saying over and over and over again:

        The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying:

        Rev 4
        “Holy, holy, holy,[f]
        Lord God Almighty,
        Who was and is and is to come!”

        9 Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying:

        11
        “You are worthy, O Lord,[g]
        To receive glory and honor and power;
        For You created all things,
        And by Your will they exist[h] and were created.”

        Rev 5:

        ow when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they sang a new song, saying:

        “You are worthy to take the scroll,
        And to open its seals;
        For You were slain,
        And have redeemed us to God by Your blood
        Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
        10
        And have made us[d] kings[e] and priests to our God;
        And we[f] shall reign on the earth.”

        11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice:

        “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
        To receive power and riches and wisdom,
        And strength and honor and glory and blessing!”

        Rev 11:
        16And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17saying:

        “We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty,

        the One who is and who was,

        because you have taken your great power

        and have begun to reign.

        18The nations were angry,

        and your wrath has come.

        The time has come for judging the dead,

        and for rewarding your servants the prophets

        and your people who revere your name,

        both great and small—

        and for destroying those who destroy the earth.”

        Rev 19

        4 And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.

        They never once are recorded telling God His business, they are too busy praising Him, it says that they do not rest day and night proclaiming Worthy is the Lamb. They focus on Jesus — holy, holy, holy, and casting their crowns at Jesus feet to be worried about the world and what is going on there.

  3. God chose Mary specifically to bear Christ in her womb….why would we not venerate her as someone God considers set apart from other earthly women? She is the only woman to have been conceived without original sin, the only woman who was directly assumed into heaven…that does not make her just another earthly woman. She was a pivotal part of God’s plan for mankind and should be regarded as such. When Jesus mentions her in Scripture it is actually countercultural since at that time women were given very little public regard, but Jesus speaks to women often, including Mary, and takes her opinion seriously. During the wedding at Cana, Mary is the one who informs Jesus there is no more wine, prompting Him to perform his first miracle.

    She is a powerful intercessor among the saints, she is actually regarded as the Queen of all saints, and yes, Catholics draw support and inspiration from saints because we know that they are in communion with God. For example, if you needed help with a problem in your car’s engine, you’d take it to a local mechanic. It may seem impractical or extreme to take the car back to the dealership or even to the factory where the car was made. You’re not trying to insult the dealership or the factory, the mechanic is just more accessible and perhaps more appropriate for helping you with your engine. That’s like how we approach the saints and Mary to take our supplications to Christ. And Mary is considered one of the most skilled mechanics there is (I hope this metaphor didn’t offend, that obviously wasn’t my aim.)

    • Hi Lorna – I agree that Mary was a wonderful woman but the doctrines that surround her are simply not from the Bible and in some cases contradict the Bible.

      Romans says that all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God — the doctrine says that Mary did not sin. Which one is correct? If Mary was truly born without original sin, then what about her mom — original sin was inherited after all, was her mom sinless in order to protect her or does it make more sense that God in the flesh was the one without original sin?

      The Bible says that Mary and Joseph did not have sexual relations until after Jesus was born and Jesus had half-brothers and sisters — the doctrine says that she remained a perpetual virgin.

      The Bible makes no mention of the fate of Mary, but also does not tell us what happened to Peter, James, John or the Sailboat – the fourth century conclusion that she was assumed into heaven like Elijah is simply speculation. She could have been, but the again so could Peter or Thomas or any of the guys whose deaths are not recorded.

      “It may seem impractical or extreme to take the car back to the dealership or even to the factory where the car was made.”

      That is the thing — God lives in us, the Holy Spirit, in each and every one of us and is omnipresent — everywhere – and perfectly loving. It is never impractical or extreme to take the car to Him. He already knows the problem, He is GOD after all, and is just waiting for you to ask him for help.

      BTW — the Bible says over and over again that we – you and I are already in communion with God.

  4. Hi JoAnna again – sorry, could not respond above due to the software.

    The idea that the only saints are in heaven is simply not Biblical and therefore untrue.

    I wrote an article about it here http://wp.me/p5FpqF-98 , but here is a part:

    1 Corinthians 2-3:

    To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:

    3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Please note that the words to be in italics indicate that the words were added by the translators of the text which originally reads more accurately, called saints. So the church at Corinth are called saints by the Apostle Paul in the inspired Word of God. But wait, there is more:

    Paul similarly addresses the Church at Phillipi in Phillipians 1:1;

    Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons…”

    or just in case you think Paul was being strange or linguistically messy consider Acts 9:32 written by Luke:

    32 Now it came to pass, as Peter went through all parts of the country, that he also came down to the saints who dwelt in Lydda.

    and Luke recording the words of Paul in Acts 26:10:

    10 This I also did in Jerusalem, and many of the saints I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them. 11

    If you are familiar with the Book of First Corinthians, Paul is writing a letter to a church that is very much blessed by God, they are rich materially and spiritually, but who have been fighting among themselves, squandering the blessings and generally sinning like regular old imperfect Christians do as we walk with Jesus. Paul is writing to correct and rebuke the believers, sometimes quite frankly, and lead them away from the sin that has ensnared them. Yet, under the inspiration of God, Paul addresses them as saints. He goes further and clarifies who should be called saints:

    called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours. 1 Corinthians 1:2-3.

    Some of the italics and bolding are missing here but it is very clear that the Bible refers to anyone who puts their faith in Jesus Christ as saints — even the messed up church at Corinth.

    And how do I know that those in heaven don’t hear the prayers of the saints – well it is never said that they do hear, they are finite beings who cannot possibly hear from millions of people and any time speaking with dead is mentioned in the Bible it is in a negative way — often called sorcery which was outlawed in the OT. The Bible also decribes heaven as having no more tears, pain or sorrow – look at the world around us and think about the pain of hearing all those desperate prayers.

    In Hebrews we are told to go boldly directly to the throne of Grace, God’s throne — a wonderful glorious privilege that Jesus died to give us. If you recall when Jesus died the curtain between the temple, where regular folks were and the Holy of Holies where God dwelled and only the High Priest was allowed to go was torn from top down to bottom. Jesus died to destroy the separation between Him and us — why would we put it back up by going to the throne of Grace through any person. Any person including mary, Joseph, Peter is just a flawed finite person — God is God and is telling us come.

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