Does God approve Worship of Virgin Mary?
The Catholic Church seems to have borrowed from these pagan concepts that are not found in the Bible; The Council of Ephesus in AD 431 decreed that Mary is the Theotokos, God-bearer i.e. mother of Jesus. Adoration of the Virgin Mary has almost completely overshadowed that of God the father and also Jesus seems to fall behind. The general Catholic prayer in this way:
Hail Mary full of Grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed are thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus.
Holy Mary Mother of God,
pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death
In ancient Mesopotamia (Assyria), people worshiped a triune god, they were: Father (Marduk), Mother (Ištar, Queen of heaven), and son (Nabu). When this “triune” Godhead was transferred to the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church, one part of it was the Queen of Heaven. The religions of Mesopotamia have familiar concepts to us, such as the Tree of Life, the Resurrection, the creation of the Kingdom of God on earth and so forth.
Semiramis is known by numerous names: Ishtar, Astarte, Artemis, Aserah, Venus, Diana. She was: the Goddess of the Moon, the Queen of Heaven, the Goddess of fertility, Mother Earth, Mother nature, Eternal Virgin (see the Catholic doctrine of the Virgin Mary).
Where is the second commandment?
There are many versions of the ten commandments that may be abbreviated “catechism versions” or the contents of the commands are divided between different commandments.
In this article, I try to find out the true content of the second commandment. Particularly what God commands for making different images. In the Catholic world there is a longer formula (as in the Lutheran) and a shorter catechism version. In this shorter formula, there is not at all the second commandment, but they rather jump over it. You will soon realize why. The 9th and 10th Commands are then divided into two when these are combined in the long formula. It can be good for Catholics because they have plenty of images and statues and so on, about God, Jesus, and numerous saints. What is the purpose of excluding the second commandment? Both Protestants and Catholics share the same interest in this omission because both churches are full of images and statues banned in the Bible. Should not God’s command be taken seriously? Only the smallest denominations, such as Jehovah’s Witnesses, are taking this seriously.
Exodus 20: 2-17
You shall have no other gods before me.
You shall not make for yourself a graven image,
or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above,
or that is in the earth beneath,
or that is in the water under the earth;
you shall not bow down to them or serve them;
for I the LORD your God am a jealous God,
visiting the iniquity of the fathers
upon the children to the third and the fourth
generation of those who hate me,
but showing steadfast love to thousands of those
who love me and keep my commandments.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s house;
you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife,
or his manservant, or his maidservant,
or his ox, or his ass,
or anything that is your neighbor’s.
The Traditional Catechetical Formula (catholic version):
2. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.
Num 33:51 Speak to the children of Israel, and tell them, When you pass over the Jordan into the land of Canaan, 52 then you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their figured stones, and destroy all their molten images, and demolish all their high places:
KJV 33:52 Then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures … NKJV ”… destroy all their engraved stones, destroy all their moulded images”, – NKJV is no longer talking about pictures, but engraved stones. Many other translations are on the same line. Strong’s H4906: maskîyth, from the same as H7906; a figure (carved on stone, the wall, or any object); figuratively, imagination:—conceit, image(-ry), picture, × wish. – When newer translations no longer speak of “pictures”, but of engravings, the churches may have been sighing with relief when they have a justified reason to leave the altarpiece depicting Christ in place.
Would the pictures such as the altarpiece painted by an artist representing Christ, be allowed because they are not engraved stones? Let us go back to the time when the people of Israel were on their way from Egypt to the promised land. There were hardly any painting tools, no colours, no brushes. The question must be looked at from another perspective: can the image be used as a means of worship? For example, an altarpiece depicting Christ crucified hanging in the tree; it raises the devoted feelings of the audience and promotes worship. In paintings Christ is depicted as a man who usually has white Caucasian features. What if he was described as a local resident and with a modest look, as in the Bible? Scientists have found, over the old, almost apostolic time images of the resurrection of Lazarus; Jesus is described as being short and beardless. Presumably the apostles and other contemporaries were the same. Why did Judas have to show Jesus to his captives by giving him a kiss? Since all seemed similar (short-sighted with no beard), Judas had to point out Jesus to his captors. It took several hundreds of years before Jesus in the pictures began to resemble the kind of person he is currently presented with.
What kind of emotions would be inspired by Jesus’ images if they were to be performed according to the prophet Isaiah’s description:
Isa 53:2 For He grew up before him as a tender plant,
and as a root out of a dry ground
He has no stately form or majesty; and when we see him,
there is no beauty that we should desire him.
3 He was despised, and rejected by men; a man of suffering, and acquainted with disease: and as one from whom men hide their face he was despised; and we didn’t respect him.
In this verse, the prophet [Isaiah] describes the humble appearance of the Messiah, and the fact that there was nothing in his personal aspect that corresponded to the expectations that bad been formed of him; nothing that should lead them to desire him as their expected deliverer, but everything that could induce them to reject him. He would be of so humble an origin, and with so little that was magnificent in his external appearance, that the nation would despise him (Barnes’ Notes).
”Doesn’t even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him?” This is how Paul taught in his first letter to Corinthians 11:14. Could it be that Jesus had long hair, but Paul would not have thought about it, but taught the other way around? Some have explained that Jesus would have given the Nazarite vow, which also included abstinence from drinking wine. Jesus, however, enjoyed the wine, so this cannot be an explanation for Jesus’ long hair. This is evident in Mat 11:19 ”The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Behold, a glutton and a drunk, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is justified by her children.” – Here is transposed the Nazirite vow and the home town Nazareth of Jesus.
Num 6:2 “Speak to the children of Israel, and tell them: When either man or woman shall make a special vow, the vow of a Nazirite, to separate himself to Yahweh,
3 he shall separate himself from wine and strong drink. He shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of fermented drink, neither shall he drink any juice of grapes, nor eat fresh grapes or dried.
4 All the days of his separation he shall eat nothing that is made of the grapevine, from the seeds even to the skins.
5 “All the days of his vow of separation there shall no razor come on his head, until the days are fulfilled, in which he separates himself to Yahweh. He shall be holy. He shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow long.
6 “All the days that he separates himself to Yahweh he shall not go near a dead body.
7 He shall not make himself unclean for his father, or for his mother, for his brother, or for his sister, when they die; because his separation to God is on his head
8 All the days of his separation he is holy to Yahweh.
9 “If any man dies very suddenly beside him, and he defiles the head of his separation; then he shall shave his head in the day of his cleansing. On the seventh day he shall shave it.
If Jesus had been a long-haired man because of the vow of a Nazirite, Judas Iscariot could have said: “He is the one who is long-haired and strangely dressed. You do not need me to point him out”. – But Jesus had not done the Nazirite vow, and he was not long-haired.
The Catholic Church first objected to making pictures and placing them in churches. The leaders of the Catholic Church such as Irenaeus, Clement, Origen and Lactantius strongly opposed the violation of the second commandment. It was not until 842 that the Constantinople Council gave up. Protestant churches opposed the images and statues, and during the reformation tried to get the Catholic Church to change their minds, but it was no longer possible.
Today, many Catholics believe these images of saints protect them from accidents; motorists have attached the image of the patron saint on the rear-view mirror of the car. This is typical especially to the Catholics. Various professions have their own patron saints.
Is Mary in heaven?
Naturally, the Catholic Church, worshiping Mary the Queen of Heaven, firmly believes Mary to have risen to heaven. Why does not the Bible say a word of this? The Apostle John, who wrote the Revelation, about six decades after the death of Christ and his ascending in heaven, had had plenty of time to tell about Mary’s ascension. It would have been such an important event that it could not be left without telling. Especially when the Bible proves that Jesus is the only one who has gone to heaven. John says strongly: 3:13 No one has ascended into heaven, but he who descended out of heaven, the Son of Man, who is in heaven.
Mary is dead and buried and is waiting for the resurrection. She could not have come from heaven to earth to appear to humans because she is not yet in heaven. Acts 2:34 tells King David, “For David did not go up to heaven, but he said,…” David was a man of God, of whom God testified in Act 13:22: ‘I have found that David, the son of Jesse, is a man after my own heart…’ It would be plausible that such a person would have gone to heaven, but no one, no man after God’s own heart, no mother of Jesus did.
Pope Pius IX ceclared in 1854:”That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Saviour of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin“. (Catechism, 491). The Pope declared that Mary was immaculate and free from sin from the first moment of conception. In ancient pagan stories, the supernatural conception of goddess was believed. For the Catholic Church it was not enough for Mary to be conceived by the Holy Spirit, the Church also wanted her to be eternally immaculate and divine Goddess and the Queen of Heaven.
Virgin Mary is told to have appeared to people on earth and having talked to them. In Fatima on October 13, 1917 people claimed to have seen the sun falling from the sky. People reported that they saw how the sun fell towards the crowd and then rose to its usual height in the sky. Many believed that this meant the arrival of the end of the world. When the miracle had ended and the sun returned to its place, people cried out of surprise when they got up from the ground. Their clothes, which had become wet and dirty from lying on the ground, were now neat and dry. Many sick and crippled had recovered.
Such a miracle of the sun is common in many Mary’s apparitions. This was also the case with a hundred thousand people in Puerto Rico attending the event on April 23, 1991. Similar events are reported in Denver, Colorado, Texas, Georgia and elsewhere. The appearances of God’s mother are also associated with miracles, the remarkable movements of the sun in the sky, the transformation of jewels from silver to gold, etc.
In one apparition Mary told the audience: “The Muslims and the Orthodox, for the same reason as Catholics, are equal before my Son and I. You are all my children !?”
People feel that Mary has appeared to them in some of the most special places: cookies, trees, windows, mirrors, etc. The stories are spreading and people worship them waiting for miracles to take place. However, people claim that “they do not worship the Virgin Mary”. These are not from God! Read 1 John 4:1 again!
In 1917, in the so-called Fatima apparitions Mary is quoted as saying in this manner: “Only I can help you.” My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God.” Here in Fatima, Portugal more than a million pilgrims gather every year to the memorial service of October 13, 1917.
– Only Mary can help a person? Can God not help at all? Is there no salvation in the name of Jesus?
Luke 11:27 It came to pass, as he [Jesus] said these things, a certain woman out of the multitude lifted up her voice, and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts which nursed you!” 28 But he [Jesus] said, “On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God, and keep it.” – How many Catholics would be willing to sign verse 27 with full heart? What about Jesus’ answer? That is the Bible jargon, or how?
1997 Newsweek: “In many ways, the 20th century has belonged to Mary. From almost every continent, Visionaries have reported more than 400 ‘Apparitions’ of the Virgin – more than in the previous three centuries combined …. Taken together, these visions point to what the Marian Movement believes is a Millennial ‘Age of Mary. ” – There have been appearances of Mary through the ages, but only in our day they have become so common and regular. The French magazine Le Monde has estimated that there were 21000 appearances of Mary between 1976 and 1986. Mary’s revelations are not only for Catholics, but for thousands and thousands of people from different countries, from different cultures across religious borders.
I wrote that Mary seems to be more popular than her son, Jesus, who has ascended to heaven and exalted above all created beings. Nevertheless, two billion believers pronounce the prayer of Mary “Hail Mary full of Grace ” every day.
How is this possible?
John 14:6 says, however: Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me.” – Who is lying, Jesus or Mary, who is said to have come from heaven? 1 Joh 4:1 gives guidance … Beloved, don’t believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
Satan is capable of great miracles that deceive many: Rev 13:13 ”He performs great signs, even making fire come down out of the sky to the earth in the sight of people.” If Satan causes the fire to fall from heaven, certainly also the sun!
1 Tim 4:1 But the Spirit says expressly that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons,
Mat 24:24 For there will arise false christs, and false prophets, and they will show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the chosen ones. – I believe “Mary” belongs to this same set. She cannot be the real mother of Jesus because she is dead and has not risen to heaven, even though the Pope has declared so. The reality of Mary’s ascension to heaven is based on the papal declaration ex cathedra, and you know, then it is absolutely certain; this is how the Catholics believe.
Virgin Mary promises in some revelations to save people from the trouble of purgatory. But the Bible does not know anything about purgatory. I have written about God’s cleansing fire in the chapter of the Last judgment. This cleansing fire does not have anything in common, at least not with such a purgatory from which you can escape by paying the required amount of money to the church. This was common practise in the Catholic Church in the past years.
Mary is also very popular in the Islamic world, more popular than Prophet Jesus. Jesus is called the Son of Mary and not the Son of God.
Is Mary a mediator between God and men?
1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,
In addition to Mary, the believing Catholics turn to the saints with the intent that Mary or the saint would help that believer or mediate a request to God. There is a large number of saints in the Catholic Church; there are 7,000 names in the Church List (Martyrologium Romanum). Each profession has its own patron saint. For example, motorists keep a small saint image in the driver’s field of vision, for example, in the rearview mirror. Everyone, not only the Catholics, know Saint Nikolaus. He is the old man with a long white beard, Father Christmas.
– “The saints have, by their very nature, had the task of a heavenly intercessor. Since they are already in the presence of God in heaven, they are entrusted to speak there on behalf of those who try to live on our earth. For example, Holy Laurentius who died in the flames is the patron of firefighters and flammable places such as libraries and archives.” (Jaakko Heinimäki, Pyhät ystäväni)