Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Should Christians Honor Mary?

8 comments:

Athanasios Boeker said...

I have to give a resounding yes, when we consider the part that Mary played, and plays, in our salvation. If it wasn't for her,"let it be done to me according to your word", we would not be saved collectivly. Nor would we be saved individually without her prayers.

DEP said...

Is Mary a co-redemptrix? Did she die for my sins? Is so, I was not aware of that. Yes, Mary should be honored but not deified. To say that Christ's work on the cross is insufficient without Mary is to imply his work was sufficient at all. It presents almost a duality of whom to worship, Mary or Jesus?

Ezekiel said...

To venerate and honor the Blessed Theotokos is NOT to deify her, nor is it to make her a "co-redemptrix".

Fr. Gregory Hogg did a marvelous presentation at the Colloquium for Lutherans held by Orthodox in Detroit. The presentation can be heard/downloaded at Ancient Faith Radio. Go to "Faith of our Fathers" and find the Lutheran Colloquium.

Honor and veneration of Mary has been part of Holy Mother Church's teaching from the beginning.

Athanasios Boeker said...

Orthodox would not embrace the concept CO-Redemptrix, nor would we we say that Mary died for our sins. Christ's sacrifice was sufficient for all. We would not say that Mary is to be worshiped, only Venerated to the highest degree.

What the Orthodox would say is that salvation did not take place outside of time, or in a vacume, it took place in time with certain important people playing a neccesary role in God's plan (economy) of salvation. Mary's let it be done to me according to your word, along with her raising the child Jesus, is all part of that eternal plan. We do not speculate and say what if Mary would have said no, we do not say, "Well God would have brought it about through some other woman."
We simple say, "Thank you Holy Theotokos for what you have done to insure that the Incarnation of the Son of God would take place."

No Incarnation, No Salvation.

Athanasios

Ignatius said...

From Clark Carlton's Book, The Faith

"The fact of the matter is that the Virgin had the freedom, in modern parlance, to just say "No!" She could have rejected God's plan for salvation of mankind. Yet she-alone among the sons and daughters of Eve-said "Yes", to God with such purity of heart that she became a vessel fit to hold the uncontainable God. Behold the Handmaid of the Lord, be it unto me according to thy word (Luke 1:38). Mary's "Yes"-her fiat-is the foundation of our salvation."

"The most blessed Virgin Mary is the culmation of all that God has done through Israel to prepare the world for the coming of His Son. She is the perfect flower of God's plan for salvation, for from her, immaculate womb "flowered forth the Fruit of Life"-Christ our true God!"

"The Virgin Mary, therefore, is the perfect icon of how humanity-if it to be truly human-out to respond to God."

"It is not accidental that the Book of Genesis records that Eve, and not Adam, was the first to eat of the forbidden fruit. If man as the priest of creation has failed to offer the world to God in love, it is because his failure to receive all that God has given him in love. This is the failure of the "feminine principle" of humanity, the failure of Eve. In the person of the Theotokos, however, humanity is renewed, for she is the New Eve-the perfect human repsonse to God."

"Our task as Orthodox Christians is to strive to respond to God in every way as did the Virgin Theotokos."

"If we are to find our true freedom as persons created in the image of God, we must follow the example of our most blessed Lady and say "Yes" to God in every facet of our lives."

Adam Roe said...

Dep,

I would also add that there is a sense in which we are saving each other. Prior to becoming Orthodox, I had never much considered the implications of the following verses:

1 Cor 9:22 - To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.

1 Ti 4:16 - Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

James 5:20 - remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.

These verses obviously don't equate what we do to the redemptive work that Jesus did, but they do show that we all participate in the salvation of one another. This is why Orthodox Christians can at every Great Vespers sing, "O Most holy Theotokos, save us" without worrying about whether our prayers are idolatrous. She saves us in the same way we save each other; through prayer and by her example. God redeems, but we all participate in the salvation of one another.

Blessings in Christ,
Adam

Ignatius said...

Adam,

Your Right!

This is the Orthodox view that everyone participates in each others salvation.

The famous saying "When we go to Hell we go alone but when we go to heaven we go together".

In a way of looking at that is I am not to look at you in a judgmental way but if I saw you doing something to gently lead you into the right path and I as a Christian brother would expect the same.

For instance if you saw me lusting after a woman you might kindly in brotherly love mention to me that this is not in accordance to what Jesus would approve.

This is why the Orthodox confess their sins to a priest. First, it mentiones in James to confess our sins to one another. Second, the Priest can absolve sins according to Matthew and John. Third, it keeps ius in check by making us responsible and accountable to speak out loud our sins to someone instead of a muffled prayer in our pillow at two in the morning. Fourth, the Prist works as a coach and helps us with our sins by giving advice to overcome the temptation next time.

Health-Man said...

Im sorry but there seems to be a misrepresentation and mishandling of Gods Word (BIBLE). Orthodox seem to have laced the old testament with the new testament Laws of God. Once Jesus had died on the cross there was no need for a mediator from us to God (PRIEST) because Jesus himself took that position. Now from what I see and hear the teachings of the orthodox church rely a lot on old testament Law and mixes a little bit of new testament Law and structure of the church. There should no longer be that distances between God and us but Jesus closed the gap so that we now have a personal relationship with God and not a traditional, ceremonial relationship. As far as the virgin Mary is concerned it is my understanding that the Word of God has been twisted and molded into something its not. Yes Mary was very blessed to be chosen as the carrier of Christ but as everyone else she was human and in sin as we all are. She had to earn her salvation just as everyone else... it wasnt automatically given to her just because she was Jesus mother. She was just a tool that God had used as we as christians all are. Some of us are blessed with being a bigger tool then others as Mary was but that fact remains... she was flesh and blood just as everyone else. There is only one mediator between us and the Father and that is Jesus Christ. The only way to the Father is through Jesus alone. To speak to God is done from you to God and not through anyone else. I could bring up many scriptures concerning this if I had the page space for it and I just might if anyone needs. The fact is that Mary is held in judgment from God as any of us. She is no greater nor is she any less, she is or was under the same judgment as us. She was just a tool that God used... blessed? yes, glorified/most? holy no.