The Challenge of the Christian Theology and more …
/ Ewald Frank
- Does all happen by chance?
- The time is near
- The only valid measuring rod
- The old dispute
- The testimony of historians
- History confirms it
- God’s confession
- God manifests Himself
- In heaven and on earth
- The Lord visits His prophet
- The »I am«
- Was the Son born in heaven?
- Spirit and Truth
- Very peculiar
- Respect for the Great Mystery
- Everyone defends his or her own doctrine
- The rock
- The Great Commission
- Thou shalt have no other gods …
- Believe as the Scripture says
- An unbelievable tragedy
- The end-time
- A challenge to all
- No one can bypass Jesus Christ
- New creation
- The Son and the sons and daughters of God
- The two beginnings
- The course of church history
- No man’s influence
»They are declared the wise
Who journey through error to the truth.
Those who remain in error
They will be the fools.«
A scriptural clarification and challenge regarding Christian theology and church practice is desperately needed. You should have already gathered this from the contents of this exposition. That is even more obvious when the following became news. The international press has reported that 42 cardinals, 500 bishops and high ranking personalities of the Roman church, supported by more than four and a half million Catholics world-wide, have demanded of the pope that by the year 2000 a new dogma should be proclaimed, having Mary elevated to co-redeemer. This would mean that Mary is embodied into the Godhead as expressed by the following quote:
»The goal of the supporters are three new creeds of faith:
that Mary in redemption through her son has co-acted with Him;
that all mercies which flow from the suffering and death of the Saviour can only be effective through Mary’s intercession,
that believers’ petitions and prayers can only reach Jesus through Mary’s mediation.
… out of the Tri-unity comes forth a quadrinity with Mary as daughter of the Father, mother of the Son and bride of the Holy Ghost …«
Just imagine such a picture for a moment: Daughter of the Father, mother of the Son, bride of the Holy Ghost! What a constellation! Especially in Judaism and Islam, many shake their head when thinking about the Christian Trinity. And now this quadrinity! Who can even comprehend such a thing?
As far as dogmas are concerned, it needs to be mentioned that they have nothing in common with the Truth and the testimony of the Scripture. The dogma now being demanded exceeds all others, and is the summit of presumption. For the sake of people in different religions and denominations, who sincerely search for Truth, God’s Word must be expressed without compromise.
In the same press article of 31st August, 1997, it states , »The new dogma would not only change maryology, the theological reflection about the significance of the mother of Jesus for the Christian faith, but also the whole matter of faith. More than any other in two thousand years.« Surely, that is so! All the changes the church has made go beyond the Holy Scripture. Before proclaiming a dogma, the Word of God had to be ignored for the creed to take its place. The addings to the Word, the transgressions, the ungodliness of the man of sin, the lawless one, who lifts himself up above God and His Word are now made full (2 Thess. 2). The falling away from the true faith founded on the Holy Scriptures alone, as Paul foretold, is being fulfilled.
The Lord spoke to those who came to worship, »However, in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men … Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition … making the word of God of no effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered; and many such things do ye.« (Mk. 7: 7-13). It could not be said more clearly: Where commandments and teachings of man are introduced the Word of God is being looked upon with reproach and the worship is declared to be in vain.
Of all the church dogmas and creeds being proclaimed not a single one has a biblical foundation, but no other is so unbelievable as the one demanded now. It’s obvious that Protestants don’t protest anymore. Indeed leaders of different churches do not aim to be in agreement with the Word of God, but rather seek the acknowledgement of the mother church, trying to comply more and more with her. These four alone:
— Alone by grace
— Alone Jesus Christ
— Alone through faith
— Alone the Holy Scripture
which were the foundation at the time of reformation and are the pillars, the declarations of faith in the free proclamation of the Gospel, no longer have their place with us.
The confession of a small minority, of true believers, who believe the full Gospel, is that »The Holy Scripture is the only source, guide for faith, doctrine, and for life. Only by grace can mankind be saved in believing on Jesus Christ.«
Whether this new dogma will be instituted or not isn’t the issue. The great number of those who demand the same speaks for itself. Indeed Mary already holds that position in the world of the Roman Catholic Church, whether by declared dogma or not. In discussions before instituting a new creed there were some pro and others were con. The fight was on. In the First Vatican Council (1869-1870), when the dogma of the Pope’s infallibility was declared, the German bishops were against it. They were politely asked to leave. Then the vote took place and the proclamation was made.
Within the history of the church many creeds were proclaimed. The three last were: In 1854 Pope Pius IX proclaimed the »Immaculate Conception« of Mary which does not exist, as there is no witness in the Holy Scriptures. Also there is no mentioning of the »immaculate« heart of Mary. It is also not found in God’s Word.
In 1870 the »papal infallibility« was declared and became a creed of the church of Rome. Long before the papacy has placed itself as »Vicar of Christ« above God’s Word.
Only recently, in 1950, Pope Pius XII proclaimed the dogma of the »bodily assumption of Mary«. It was said, that she »… when the course of her earthly life was completed, was taken up body and soul into the Glory of heaven …«. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, § 974). That is in direct contradiction to the infallible everlasting Word of Christ: »And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man who is in heaven.« (Jn. 3: 13).
It is so obvious, no apostle and none of the church fathers in the first centuries knew anything about it. In that period there were no popes, infallibility, Immaculate Conception, bodily assumption of Mary — no one knew anything about it. Only after hundreds of years and up till now, two thousand years later, people have such incredible thoughts, because it is fitting and helpful to the Pope’s church. As already mentioned, every time a new creed was invented, the Word of God was purposely set aside. And those who remained with the Scriptures were put under the anathema. They were cursed, persecuted, deprived of their property and put to death.
In the same way as God’s Word is binding for the Church of Christ, so the popes bound all that belong to the Roman Church in the entire world to their creeds and dogmas. People are demanded upon to make an important decision, whether they will believe God or the Pope. Both are not possible. One excludes the other and is opposite as Christ and the Antichrist, light and darkness. Only that which is written in the Bible is valid before God and is part of the true faith. All should have the courage to ask whether church teachings can stand the test of God’s Word.
In this decisive time for the Church of Jesus Christ, for Israel and the nations God has ordained that somebody must speak up. Attention needs to be given to these important matters so people can recognise whom they are believing, and whom they are following: The head of the Roman Catholic Church, Patriarch of the Orthodox church, bishop or any other church authority, founder of a religion, general overseer, charismatic person, or the Head of the redeemed Church, »the Lord Jesus Christ« according to the teachings of the apostles . »The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.« (Isa. 40: 3). It must be that voice from above to be heard in this spiritual desert on earth to prepare the way of the Lord. That is the sole purpose of this exposition.
Mary, since the 5th century has been honoured more and more in a non biblical way and given the various titles of honour which actually belong to Christ alone, is now according to the will of millions of Catholics and also high ranking influential personalities being elevated to an object of faith. It is very strange, Matthew and Luke wrote the genealogy record and don’t even mention her father and her mother. Nobody knows the name of her parents, so unimportant was it to God. Matthew starts his genealogy with Abraham, mentions three times fourteen generations and ends with the statement, »And Jacob begot Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.« (Mt. 1: 16). Luke goes backward in his genealogy record even to Adam who is the father of humanity. But Mary’s parents are not mentioned. Mary was a human like all of us, and only by divine choosing was she the very special vessel God ordained for the birth of His Son. From the view of the plan of salvation her ordainment was fulfilled. She gave birth to Jesus and this of course was the only once for all purpose. To her there are no further promises or requests given. If somebody thinks so, it certainly cannot be confirmed in the Bible.
The Redeemer had to be born into this fallen creation, otherwise He could not have taken humanity out of the fall through redemption. For the love of Maryology even Luke 1: 28 was translated wrong. In the original text the angel salutes Mary with the words, »Hail, thou who art endued with grace …« The catholic catechism carries the text as follows, »… thou who art full of grace«. The difference is monumental! God alone is the merciful One full of grace, »And of his fullness have all received, and grace for grace.« (Jn. 1: 16). Mary found favour, that is to say, grace with God, so His promise could be fulfilled. The Bible does not illustrate Mary with the power to work miracles. In fact, both Old and New Testament prohibit creating a cult around a person or an object.
Ephesus was the city where the heathen goddess Diana was being worshipped as the goddess of fertility. The trade of the silversmiths was blossoming, bringing prosperity because of this cult. They feared that Paul through preaching would bring an end to their handicraft: not only was their craft in danger of being despised, but the temple of the great goddess, Diana, was in danger, and her magnificence would be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshipped (Acts 19: 27). The same applies for the cult of Mary who is being worshipped by catholics and orthodox alike. It was believed that the image of Diana fell directly from heaven: »Ye men of Ephesus, what man is there that knoweth not that the city of the Ephesians is a worshipper of the great goddess, Diana, and of the image which fell down from Jupiter?« (v. 35).
When Paul was preaching Jesus Christ to them, the newly converted turned away from the worship of the queen of heaven and the goddess of fertility. Later in the same city of Ephesus during a church council, Mary, not by accident was lifted up as the fertile one and received the title as queen of heaven. The cult and the superstition remain the same. Later, history records Jupiter being taken down and Peter being lifted up. This and much more is a continuation of heathen practice in a Christian dress.
Mary is not the mother of God, she can’t be, she was the mother of our Lord. So reads the true testimony, »… and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit . And she spoke out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? … And blessed is she that believed; for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.« (Lk. 1: 41-45). The same testimony is confessed by all that are truly filled with the Holy Spirit. They not only remain with the theme, but stay in the Truth.
There was no »Immaculate Conception« of Mary, only the Immaculate Conception of the Son of God and Mary who was »unspotted« and »a virgin«. God placed the seed of Himself within Mary through the divine act of begetting by the Holy Spirit. She was not infallible, but rather the same as all human beings. This we gather from the following record: When Jesus was twelve years of age He remained behind in the Temple of Jerusalem, where they found Him three days later. God permitted Mary, being upset, to uttered words of complaint. Of course, she was a mother who took care of the child, and therefore reacted this way, »Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? Behold, thy father and I have sought thee, sorrowing.« With this she was not aware that she had spoken the most terrible untruth, calling Joseph the father of Jesus. Jesus, Who was twelve years, was not in the carpenter’s shop of Joseph at that time, but in the Temple. At the very spot He corrected what Mary had said and put it right, »How is it that ye sought me? Knew ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?« Even Mary did not understand what Jesus said: »And they (Mary and Joseph) understood not the saying, which he spoke unto them.« (Lk. 2: 48-50).
That applies even today to all that worship Mary. They do not understand what Jesus said. Not a single time did Jesus call her »mother«, but rather »woman« (Jn. 2: 4). For He was the Seed promised to come by the »woman« (Gen. 3: 15), as foretold in the first prediction. At the wedding in Cana in Galilee He even used harsh words in speaking with her, »Woman, what have I to do with thee?« The words she addressed to the servants are still valid to all true believers, »Whatever he saith unto you, do It.« They did what He said and the miracle happened. At His Word water turned into wine.
Mary needed to be filled with the Holy Ghost as the rest of the believers. She is only mentioned in the Gospels and in Acts 1: 14 in connection with the 120 gathered to experience the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, »These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary, the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.«
Mary who found grace and was blessed in a special way was no exception, hers was not a privileged position, she was part of the fallen creation and therefore in need of redemption. The same is true of all that believe and experience the promises of God. They are the blessed ones, as our Lord repeatedly said in the Sermon on the Mount. The Son, Who was begotten by the Holy Spirit and born of her, is the resurrected Lord Who was taken up into heaven, Who in the Spirit indwells the redeemed. In Mt. 13 our Lord declares the eyes and the ears of the disciples blessed, because they saw and heard. Right to the Revelation, the last book and chapter in the Bible, the blessings are pronounced upon those who will overcome all things and enter the holy city of God.
From the day, the New Testament Church was inaugurated, Mary isn’t mentioned a single time, by Peter, Paul, John, James or by anyone else. Mary had to be a virgin, so the promise spoken by the Prophet Isaiah 7: 14 could be fulfilled, »Behold, the virgin shall conceive, and bear a son …« (Isa. 7: 14). As recorded in the Bible, Mary was engaged to Joseph who almost separated himself from her, when he found that she was expecting. This shocked him. An angel of the Lord spoke to him saying, »Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary, thy wife; for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit … Then Joseph … took unto him his wife, and knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son; and he called his name Jesus.« (Mt. 1: 20-25).
The Bible clearly shows that after Mary had Jesus she also had sons and daughters with Joseph (Mt. 13: 55-56). From that point Mary ceases to be ”the virgin”. The names of the daughters are not mentioned, but the names of the sons are James, Joseph, Simon and Jude, who also had part in the ministry. In John 2: 12 we read, »After this he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples …« In chapter 7: 5 it is mentioned that His brethren at first did not believe in Him. The Apostle Paul refers to them, »Have we no right to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?« (1 Cor. 9: 5). He further writes, »But other of the apostles saw I non, except James, the Lord’s brother.« (Gal. 1: 19). Jude, the Apostle, introduces himself as servant of Jesus Christ and as brother of James, who was a brother of the Lord (v. 1).
God from the very beginning has entrusted men with tasks and gifts according to His Plan of Salvation. The adoration and worship He reserved for Himself. Thus saith the Lord: »I am YAHWEH: that is my name; and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to carved images.« (Isa. 42: 8). The whole practise of Maryology is outside of the Word and the Kingdom of God. It is orthodox-catholic but not biblical-christian!