God’s ‘mother’

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John 1

The Word became flesh
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.

9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognise him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

15 (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, ‘This is the one I spoke about when I said, “He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.”’) 16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in the closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.

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I finished my working week on Friday morning chatting to an old lady in whose house I shall be working on Wednesday. I had been working in another house a half-hour earlier and was ready to work in her house but she was going out with her daughter later in the morning. It turned out that she had been born in Liverpool as I had and we chatted about that. She knew all the places that I mentioned whilst telling her where I had lived. We had a good laugh together during the time I was there making an assessment of the work she wanted me to do which was to supply and fit lighting beneath the wall units in her kitchen. After I had left her house I went to the electrical supplier and purchased what was necessary. I don’t remember how the subject arose but she mentioned something about God. I asked her if she believed in God and in Jesus and she said that ever since she was a young girl she had believed. I told her that I was a Christian believer. Then she said something that took me by surprise. She said that when she prayed she prayed first of all to God’s mother. In reply I said God doesn’t have a mother. She was referring to Mary of course and immediately I knew she was a Catholic. I quoted the first two lines of John’s Gospel as above. The opening verses are self-explanatory but for those who miss the point they are saying that from the beginning of all time Jesus (the Word) was with God (The Father) and that he was (is) God. Now look at these verses…

Genesis

The beginning

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

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The Scutum Fidei, a diagram frequently used by...

The Scutum Fidei, a diagram frequently used by Christian apologists to explain the Trinity. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They are saying that the Holy Spirit was also there at the beginning. So we have God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son and God the Holy Spirit, all God. No-one else existed for the material world only came into existence through Jesus Christ (verse 9 above). This means that Mary wasn’t there either! If we say that Mary is the mother of God as the Catholics maintain, then Mary must be God BUT SHE ISN’T. God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I asked the lady that if it was her birthday and I was to present her with a gift would it be hers for I had also asked if she claimed to be a Christian? She told me that she had been a church-goer all her life but that was the point, had she taken the gift that is offered by God so freely, forgiveness and salvation through Jesus? I got no answer which told me she hadn’t. I explained that the (theoretical) gift I was presenting would not be hers until she took hold of it. I said that we have to invite Jesus to be our Saviour, for that is what Scripture tells us we must do. God’s gift isn’t ours unless we take hold of it. Salvation isn’t an automatic right. I had to leave at that point and although I will be returning I will make no further mention about what we had discussed unless she brings up the subject of course but I pray she will consider what I was saying.

To worship anyone else but God is wrong, it is idolatry. To put anyone else above God is wrong.

1 Timothy 2:5

For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus,

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This is why we pray though Jesus and no-one else.

No, God doesn’t have a mother as many have been led to believe.

Shirley Anne

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2 responses

  1. “Mother of God” implies nothing about Mary except that the child she bore is not just fully human but also fully God. If Mary is mother of God is just implies that Jesus is God. It could be argued that a better translation of Theotokos would be “God bearer” but “Mother of God” is fine, albeit imprecise and confusing unless explained. The term had been used at least since the start of the 3rd century but was solemnly defined at the Council of Ephesus in 431, in opposition to the teaching of Nestorius.

    If you believe Jesus is God then Mary is mother of God. If you truly believe in incarnation and the hypostatic union of the two natures of Christ, human and divine, then Mary is mother of God, God bearer.

    Of course, loads of Catholics don’t know what the term means either. And many have a Marian devotion that doesn’t actually fit Catholic teaching. Catholic teaching doesn’t raise her up to Godhead or to (latreia) worship. As Louis Marie de Montfort said, compared to God Mary is less than a grain of sand is when compared to the universe. Yes, too often that’s been forgotten.

    Yes – I used to be pretty devout in my Catholicism back in the day. Not Catholic now – but still argue both ways until the cows come home.

  2. Nice of you to drop by Clare and thanks for the comment. I am not about to argue with you because I know exactly what you mean and the reason you say it. I do feel though that the Catholic Church is filled with idolatry and Marian devotion is a part of that. Many would disagree with you regarding Catholic teaching though. I have read and heard many a persuasive argument against the teachings of the Catholic hierarchy which blinds the eyes of ordinary people in the Church. Thanks again for your comment.

    Shirley Anne x