Author Topic: Question for Protestants who deny Mary's Virginity  (Read 224305 times)

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Offline Ryan2010

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Re: Question for Protestants who deny Mary's Virginity
« Reply #105 on: Mon Sep 20, 2010 - 10:37:31 »
I want to make clear that when I said that the text in and of itself does not point to Mary being Virgin or not is ONLY insofar as the text in and of itself goes, does not side with either.  

The reason I say this is because ALL text needs narrative.  What we believe the bible "means to say" IS the narrative that we follow.  I am not saying that to "not believe in the right narrative" is ok.  In fact the very scriptures themselves say that it's not ok not to heed the correction of scripture.  However, so long as the narrative is in line with the actual narrative.  The narrative is often invisible.  This is why "sound doctrine" and "right interpretation" is so vital and always boils down to authority.  

A protestant reply here hinted at this reality and this is what becomes so baffling to adherents to the more ancient faith.  The protestant replies were two.  One said, "the Holy Spirit will teach you the right narrative and allow you to know the TRUE narrative" ie. the Holy Spirit will reveal to you the TRUE meaning of scripture and until then you will remain blind.  

And that is true.  However what baffles is that protestant tradition and doctrine varies and contradicts itself according to the "whole" of protestantism.  Name TWO teachings based (sola scriptura) on the bible within protestantism that is united among ALL protestants.  It's nearly impossible.  

Now, you personally as a protestant might say that people who reject the resurrection was bodily aren't truly protestant but the problem is, is that just is not the case.  Why?  Because if a pastor or bishop or layman is allowed to hold contradictory positions and remain in good standing then it is the system or "religion" of protestantism established that allows this pluralism and regardless of personal or private inclination that the teaching is wrong, the system itself which protestants believe in, does in fact, not see pluralism as a bad thing.  In all reality, protestantism as a whole embraces it.  

This is why a Pentecostal and an Anglican and a Baptist and a Methodist can all disagree on who Christ is through their teachings on baptism, etc. and yet STILL all consider each other to be protestants in good standing according to the whole of Protestantism.  

Where it baffles those of us who adhere to the more ancient faith is that we don't see this structural reality in the scriptures whatsoever.  

But then one person in the protestant faith can believe they alone have the right interpretation because they are guided by the Holy Spirit personally and so what they believe the bible means to say is the same as what they think the bible really does say.  So if you disagree with them as a non-protestant, you are wrong and operating outside the bounds of the Holy Spirit and a "false teacher".  

This brings us to the second reply by a protestant here where the accusation is that Catholics don't use scripture at all but instead just tradition (the implication being tradition of men) and "dogma" according to the leaders (ie. Church).  

It's the belief that Catholics just ignore what seems so obvious to the protestant reader and supplants the obvious with their "tradition" or "teaching".  This is where the accusation of Pharisee and all this other stuff comes from.  

However, the reality is that as a protestant you yourself have traditions and go along with your upbrining in regards to what you think "church" is.  In other words, you too go along with your church's teaching.  It's a little more complicated to explain because all protestants believe contradictory things from one another but that's how the protestant system works.  Dogma, doctrine is only expressed in the eye of the beholder.  Because "authority" is only in the scriptures and with God, then they often see their interpretation as being in line with both scripture and God.  That's why you have the, "you obviously don't have the guidance of the Holy Spirit otherwise you would know the true narrative of that passage" comments.  However, to disagree within protestantism is ok but outside of it, not ok.  

So the accusation is tradition of men.  Yet, the Lutheran are a tradition and believe things as the body of like minds interpret.  The Methodists built on the rock of the Wesley brothers approach to the scriptures and then mutating from there (Wesleyans and all protestant groups look nothing like their originators at the end of the day).  

Even non-denominational churches have their own short but standing tradition as it depends on who makes up the church - the teachers, pastors, etc.  But no two non-denominations are the same.  They are still forced to come up with narratives and come up with how they think they should practice.  At the end of the day, they still are forced, like Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Wesley, Farmer Ted - to come up with their own narratives.  

The difference is that the more ancient faiths will say that Tradition is authoritative provided that it's Holy Tradition and yet a Protestant is often blind to their own tradition.  Why?  Because they take themselves out of the equation.  A person who reads the scriptures and comes up with an interpretation or is compelled for any number of reasons to say that the scriptures are saying something winds up being what the bible really means to say to their own mind and yet they don't admit that it's in their mind that they are formulating that narrative.  

The reader, dear reader, is a person, a man, who comes with traditions, experiences, limited experiences etc.  The reader juxtaposes or "puts" those limited experiences ONTO the text in order to make sense to them.  This is why some believe that modern scholars are "better" interpreters than older ones.  Why?  Because they have more resources to cognitively come up with reasonable answers to hard questions.  However, the problem with this approach is that the scriptures themselves don't say that this is how the revelation of Christ is given.  It's not by our cognitive abilities that we arrive at the truth.  It's not a "the man with the best reading comprehension skills" competition.  

When St. Paul was blinded by the divine light of Christ on the road to Damascus, he was given the revelation of Christ.  He could learn nothing new under the sun.  However, we know that he then went of to study the scriptures and look at all that he had known prior to having "seen the light".  But St. Paul was not learning anything new at all but instead discovering what had always been.  

When St. Paul would go to the temple or synagogue, as all the Apostles had, they looked at the altar and on it saw the manna in the jar.  But having seen the manna in the jar on the altar as they always had, they now had the light of Christ as their eyes and therefore they looked at the manna in the jar as it really was.  It was merely pointing to the bread of life, the word of God, the Holy Eucharist.  When they gazed on the aaron's staff, Moses staff given to Aaron, on the altar, instead of the staff, the "wood" they saw what?  The cross!  

It had been there all along and so it was that they learned nothing knew but instead only saw what things truly were as they experienced them along their way.  They saw the light of Christ and so peered into this world but dimly and searched for the "ikon" of Christ in all of creation.  

And so too when they looked at the Holy of Holies and so saw the Ark, they saw the Theotokos - the Mother of God.  

Of course Mary did not "create" Him who is uncreated.  But!  The uncontainable God WAS contained in the womb of the Virgin.  They saw Christ in Mary just as they saw Christ in the cosmos and in their varied experiences.  

Read Luke 10:21-23 and see that this revelation was given to mere infants and not the wised or learned.  If modern day man is "better" able to know the right narrative because of "progress" then this is man made at best.  A pride in the tradition of modernity and progress, not the divine light of Christ.  

What you say the bible means to say is always always based on Tradition.  However, the key is that this tradition, whatever it may be, must be, the Holy Tradition.  The Tradition of God.  The story of the experience of God interacting in history to inform us of the light of Christ that calls us forward.  

To say that protestants read the bible and believe what it says as if their interpretation is right even though few protestants agree with one another on much across the board (according to the whole) and that the Catholics reject scripture and rely only on man made tradition is short sighted.  

The text in and of itself are but ink on the page arranged in shapes that are icons for words, words which are ikons for ideas or objects or statements, ideas, objects, statements, being nothing more but ikons that point to the TRUE divine logos, the WORD of God.  Jesus, who is the Christ IS the divine Logos, the image or icon of the invisible Father.  

So do not say that the more ancient faith don't follow scripture and only adhere to their tradition because chances are you too have followed the traditions of men, since no two contradictory teachings can be right for the Holy Spirit teaches but One Faith.  

example:  If a baptist, pentecostal, Anglican, Methodist and so-called non-denominational "christian" all believes contradictory things when it comes even to the elementary teachings of Christ --  Hebrews 5-6 -- (teachings OF or ABOUT Christ), then we know that either nearly all but one is right or all are wrong.  If that is the case, then there are plenty of groups out there teaching the commandments or traditions of men.  If that is the case and you say that Catholics don't follow the bible and so therefore are without the guidance of the Word by His Holy Spirit then apply that disposition toward them toward yourself because as Jesus says:

Mark 4:24
"Consider carefully what you hear," he continued. "With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more..."


In the end, we create the standard by which we will be judged.  To say that the Catholics are wrong because they rely on tradition and then to turn around and ignore that you too are standing on a tradition, is to call yourself wrong.  

The question that should rise to the surface of this reality is, what is God's tradition and how is it that the early Church, prior even to the epistles and gospels themselves, direct their way of life.  How is it, they knew "the Way" prior even to the Holy epistles and gospels.....  

What was true for them, before the Holy Scriptures, remains true for us who have come after.  How can we be one with them who were one with Him who IS One?

John 5:39

Witness of the Scripture
 39"You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me..."


What the bibles says and what we think the bible means to say can not be married, as a man and a woman become one, unless the Holy Scriptures and the Interpretation rests firmly on the pillar and ground (or foundation) of "Truth".  That foundation or ground is not in our own reasoning and interpretation but in "the Church" according to the whole in accordance with the teaching of the Apostles and prophets and led by the Holy Spirit.  

Read John 17.  We must attain to the unity of the faith, become One as He is One. His body is One. And a Kingdom divided against itself can not stand.  


2 Timothy 1:13
What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus.


What was said in the book of Timothy was in place prior even to the arrival of the epistle (letter) to begin with.  For they had "heard" from him and "knew" the pattern by their own ears and only had to but rely on that specific experience of being face to face with those the Lord sent (Apostles) in order to affirm the text and live in accordance with it.  


Whether or not you admit it, you adhere to tradition.  If denying that you have tradition is part of your tradition be careful.  

1 Corinthians 11:2
Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you.

Colossians 2:8
See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.

2 Thessalonians 2:15
So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.

2 Thessalonians 3:6
Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from every brother who leads an unruly life and not according to the tradition which you received from us.



(pluralism?)



Christ is risen
















Offline Ryan2010

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Re: Question for Protestants who deny Mary's Virginity
« Reply #106 on: Mon Sep 20, 2010 - 10:48:09 »
The following is an abridged Apologetic and though I don't present it for debate but merely for consideration, feel free to comment on whatever follows.  May God bless you on your journey toward Him. 

Mother of God

Mary’s most important role is her role as Theotokos, roughly translated “Mother of God

Offline chestertonrules

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Re: Question for Protestants who deny Mary's Virginity
« Reply #107 on: Mon Sep 20, 2010 - 10:51:25 »
Great  Information!

Offline winsome

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Re: Question for Protestants who deny Mary's Virginity
« Reply #108 on: Mon Sep 20, 2010 - 10:52:16 »
 ::amen::  Good post Ryan

Angelos

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Re: Question for Protestants who deny Mary's Virginity
« Reply #109 on: Mon Sep 20, 2010 - 10:58:59 »
Dear Ryan,

As I'm sure you know, but are too nice to say, the mainline Protestant churches (Episcopalian, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Methodist) are nothing more than social/political clubs. There's not even the pretense of "absolute revealed truth". Which is why even within each sect there are factions with completely contradictory moral values.

Take theLutherans for example, ELCA (the biggest Lutheran Church) is pro gay marriage, pro openly gay bishop ordination, pro-abortion and pro-fornication), LCMS (the smaller Lutheran Church) professes the exact opposite on all of these issues. Political factions at both of these "churches" openly lobby for their "causes". No-one there even pretends that they have any authority by the Holy Spirit when they decide - votes cast, in their general councils who can change core dogma every 2-4 years, by lay people have as much weight as votes cast by their Bishops!! It's not about "truth", it's about whose cause gets simple majority (50%+1 vote).

Plus they have ministers who don't even take the doctrine of Trinity seriously and call Jesus a "nice Rabbi" (I met some of those).

These are not "Churches" in a sense the Apostles meant them to be. So when these guys (mainline Protestants) hear about "dogma" or "revealed Truth" or "Apostolic succession" they get all roughed up, because if they admit that anything like that exists, they also admit that their "churches" are actually not real churches

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Re: Question for Protestants who deny Mary's Virginity
« Reply #109 on: Mon Sep 20, 2010 - 10:58:59 »



Offline John 10:10

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Re: Question for Protestants who deny Mary's Virginity
« Reply #110 on: Mon Sep 20, 2010 - 12:26:55 »

Protestants believe what we believe on this issue based on the authority of Scripture alone

Luther and other reformers fought and won this war over 500 years ago, but some still resist. 

Scripture doesn't have authority.  In fact, reliance on scripture alone leads to confusion, distortions, and contradictory dogmas.

Can you show me any proof that we should rely on scripture alone in the bible?

Jesus declared this,

"He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him."  (John 14:21)

"If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you." (John 15:7)

Offline chestertonrules

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Re: Question for Protestants who deny Mary's Virginity
« Reply #111 on: Mon Sep 20, 2010 - 12:35:12 »

Protestants believe what we believe on this issue based on the authority of Scripture alone

Luther and other reformers fought and won this war over 500 years ago, but some still resist. 

Scripture doesn't have authority.  In fact, reliance on scripture alone leads to confusion, distortions, and contradictory dogmas.

Can you show me any proof that we should rely on scripture alone in the bible?

Jesus declared this,

"He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him."  (John 14:21)

"If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you." (John 15:7)


That says nothing about scripture alone being authority.  In fact, scripture isn't even mentioned.


FYI:

1 Timothy 3
15if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God's household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.

2 Thes 2
15So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.

Offline John 10:10

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Re: Question for Protestants who deny Mary's Virginity
« Reply #112 on: Mon Sep 20, 2010 - 12:42:38 »

Protestants believe what we believe on this issue based on the authority of Scripture alone

Luther and other reformers fought and won this war over 500 years ago, but some still resist.

Quote
The rest is up to the authority of Scripture and the Holy Spirit who takes the things of Jesus and diiscloses them to us (John 16:15).

I quoted, or referenced, 15 pieces of scripture. What did you make of them? 

We Protestants certainly have the right to be Scripturally right on this matter, and the right to be Scripturally wrong on this matter.  But I don't believe Catholics have the right to say the same.  But that's another subject.

Let's assume for a moment that Catholics are right on this matter of Mary's perpetual virginity.  Now that I have been "born of water and the Spirit" according to Jesus teaching in John 3:3-7, and have been "filled with the Holy Spirit" according to Acts 2:4, having walked in this relationship with my Lord for 39 years since being filled with the gift of His Spirit, what more will God do for me subsequent to believing in Mary's perpetual virginity that I don't already have now?

Offline John 10:10

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Re: Question for Protestants who deny Mary's Virginity
« Reply #113 on: Mon Sep 20, 2010 - 12:54:36 »

Protestants believe what we believe on this issue based on the authority of Scripture alone

Luther and other reformers fought and won this war over 500 years ago, but some still resist. 

Scripture doesn't have authority.  In fact, reliance on scripture alone leads to confusion, distortions, and contradictory dogmas.

Can you show me any proof that we should rely on scripture alone in the bible?

Jesus declared this,

"He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him."  (John 14:21)

"If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you." (John 15:7)

That says nothing about scripture alone being authority.  In fact, scripture isn't even mentioned.

FYI:

1 Timothy 3
15if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God's household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.

2 Thes 2
15So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter. 

Psa 138:2 I will bow down toward Your holy temple And give thanks to Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word according to all Your name.

2 Tim 3:16-7 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.


God gives His authority to those who honor His Word.


Angelos

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Re: Question for Protestants who deny Mary's Virginity
« Reply #114 on: Mon Sep 20, 2010 - 13:10:59 »

Protestants believe what we believe on this issue based on the authority of Scripture alone.  

Luther and other reformers fought and won this war over 500 years ago, but some still resist.  

Scripture doesn't have authority.  In fact, reliance on scripture alone leads to confusion, distortions, and contradictory dogmas.

Can you show me any proof that we should rely on scripture alone in the bible?

Jesus declared this,

"He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him."  (John 14:21)

"If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you." (John 15:7)

That says nothing about scripture alone being authority.  In fact, scripture isn't even mentioned.

FYI:

1 Timothy 3
15if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God's household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.

2 Thes 2
15So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.  

Psa 138:2 I will bow down toward Your holy temple And give thanks to Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word according to all Your name.

2 Tim 3:16-7 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.


God gives His authority to those who honor His Word.



Dear John10:10.

I'm sure you know that if you pick 10 random Protestants, you'll get 10 totally conflicting opinions on anything related to Christianity. Yet all 10 Protestants will claim, like you do, that somehow the Holy Spirit shows them, through a personal, individual  appointment, the "truth". This can mean one thing, most Protestants, if not all, are delusional
« Last Edit: Mon Sep 20, 2010 - 13:18:14 by Angelos »

Offline chestertonrules

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Re: Question for Protestants who deny Mary's Virginity
« Reply #115 on: Mon Sep 20, 2010 - 13:17:43 »

Protestants believe what we believe on this issue based on the authority of Scripture alone

Luther and other reformers fought and won this war over 500 years ago, but some still resist. 

Scripture doesn't have authority.  In fact, reliance on scripture alone leads to confusion, distortions, and contradictory dogmas.

Can you show me any proof that we should rely on scripture alone in the bible?

Jesus declared this,

"He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him."  (John 14:21)

"If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you." (John 15:7)

That says nothing about scripture alone being authority.  In fact, scripture isn't even mentioned.

FYI:

1 Timothy 3
15if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God's household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.

2 Thes 2
15So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter. 

Psa 138:2 I will bow down toward Your holy temple And give thanks to Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word according to all Your name.

2 Tim 3:16-7 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.


God gives His authority to those who honor His Word.




True, but that says nothing about scripture being the ultimate authority.  Jesus gave authority to his Church.  He never even mentioned the New Testament.


Jesus started a Church, and his Church wroted down many of his teachings.


Offline Ryan2010

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Re: Question for Protestants who deny Mary's Virginity
« Reply #116 on: Mon Sep 20, 2010 - 14:40:36 »
Quote
Psa 138:2 I will bow down toward Your holy temple And give thanks to Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word according to all Your name.

I believe that we often just look to see where in the Holy Scripture we see the word, "word" and believe that the word must mean "scripture" but in reality even the words of the Holy Scripture testify* about Christ who IS "the" Word. 

Fundamental. 

Jesus also said that those who would follow his teaching will follow the teaching of the Apostles.  Now, the reason the Apostles epistles are considered authoritative to begin with is because the Apostles were considered authoritative.  They were not authoritative only insofar as they wrote letters otherwise we would read in the Holy Scriptures them praising those who "kept" what they had heard from them and learned from them face to face (even before the epistle arrived to the Church addressed)

So I will caution you to understand that when it comes to "authority" and the word "word" the scriptures themselves, though they are authoritative, this authority also rests in "sound teaching" or "doctrine".  And the way that the early Christians helped to discern between the two was not by scripture alone* but rather by keeping to the pattern of sound teaching which those early communities had received from the Apostles themselves. 

That's why the Holy Scriptures point toward the teaching of the Apostles that were given to those communities prior to the epistles (letters) even being written. 

This is why we read, "keep to the tradition which you have heard* from us". 

The IS Holy Tradition and the Holy Scriptures themselves point toward it. 

Quote

2 Tim 3:16-7 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

Consider the following please and see if the early Church didn't see things outside the epistles they received as also being authoritative. 

Luke 10:
 16"He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me."


Is the above speaking of the Holy Scriptures?

1 John 4:6
We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.


Do you see how the early Christians used their time with the Apostles face to face in order to discern not only false teachings from true teachings but also in regards to how to approach scripture.   Does the above say that how we recognize the Spirit of Truth is merely to read and come to your own understanding of the Holy Scriptures or that it is directly related to the faith as it was handed, in the manner it was handed, to those communities by the Apostles. 

2 Corinthians 10:8
For even if I boast somewhat freely about the authority the Lord gave us for building you up rather than pulling you down, I will not be ashamed of it.


Were the Apostles given Authority because they read the right meaning into Holy Scripture but because they themselves were given Authority by Christ?  It is not their own Authority but the Authority given to them by God.  What they taught, though they are men, are not commandments of men, but God, because they were "sent".  Did the early Christians consider the Apostles to be authoritative?  Sure they searched the Scriptures to test if what they said was true but again! when it says "scripture" in the New Testament, know! that it was speaking of the Old Testament. 

In other words, it was not unlike St. Paul was saying, test the authority of the New Testament by reading the Old Testament and also, see if what we say as to what those epistles "mean to say" matches with what the Old Testament means to say haven been given the revelation of Christ through (in most cases) the Apostles.  Test to see if what we orally transmitted to you is true in the Old Testament as well. 

1 Thessalonians 4:2
For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.


If you had met the Apostles face to face and they wrote you such a letter as Thessalonians, not only! would you see the letter itself as authoritative but the preaching and teaching they had done in your very presence.  And as the letter to the Thessalonians itself says, "by the authority of the Lord".  Both the oral deposit of faith into the communities given by the Apostles AND their letters and gospels were authoritative. 

Hebrews 13:17
Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.

If the scriptures alone!  (sola scriptura) have authority then the leaders can not have authority.  But here Hebrews says itself that the leaders appointed by the Apostles and those the Apostles appointed did in fact HAVE authority. 

Titus 2:15
These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.

See too that the letter are authoritative but recognize that authority resides not with the scriptures alone.  It can not and have the bible mean what it means to say. 

2 Thessalonians 3:14
If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of him. Do not associate with him, in order that he may feel ashamed.

Now again, the letters are authoritative and the ancient faiths agree on this too.  However, we have to admit that the reason this second letter to the Thessalonians was authoritative EVEN BEFORE they even read the letter is because it was given to them by the Apostles of whom God sent.  So if the Apostles taught you for instance the right teaching on baptism etc. then you would use that experience as a community having met the Apostles face to face to help inform your reading of the text. 


Also notice above that this is hardly a verse that encourages us to embrace pluralism.  If you have a system that embraces lots of contradictory teachings (think of Baptists, Anglicans, Pentecostals on the laying on of hands) and yet you "associate" with them as being in "communion" with them then how on earth are we to reconcile this reality with the commands given to us by the Holy Epistles? 

Romans 15:18
I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done—


Notice that is say "by what I have said and done".  Not only or even "what I wrote".  If those imitated and kept what they heard and saw St. Paul say verbally and do physically then they preserved something that can not merely be had by scripture but through imitation.  We see in the bible that we are to preserve such teachings not only in word and written word but also in doing.  Doing helps put much in context because if we can't do as it says or differ on how to "do" a thing said, then the early Christian communities only had to rely on their personal experience with the Apostles and remember what they had "done" in their very presence. 

Acts 16:4
As they traveled from town to town, they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem for the people to obey.

How is it that elders have authority to give decisions for the people to obey?  The Apostles AND the elders.  Did the elders lose this authority when the Apostles died?  Where in Holy Scripture does it say that the elders will lose authority after the Apostles die?  Did all early Christian communities die out only to be resurrected in the late 15th century? 

Not even the 15th century protestants believe as the modern day protestants.  Are we to believe that this "authority" or "church of whose foundation is truth" had not yet emerged until today?  Perhaps today is not even the day and there is no church right now.  perhaps we will have no church until tomorrow?  Where in Holy Scripture do we affirm such beliefs?

John 15:20
Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.

This was said to the Apostles.  Jesus, Our Lord, did not say that if they obeyed my teaching then they will obey yours insofar as the letters you write go but nothing outside of that....   

John 14:23
Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.

Read John 14 and 15 in conjunction and you see that there is a marriage of sorts that aligns itself to the "whole" of Holy Scripture. 

Hebrews 13:9
Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings.

If a mere two teachings are contradictory then at very least one is wrong.  Yet we embrace all these teachings which are untrue?  How strange.  How do we reconcile this practice in Holy Scripture? 

Hebrews 6:1
Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation

Read Hebrews 5-6 and see if you can find any two denominations that agree on all the elementary teachings listed within Protestantism.  The fact that so many contradict each other on just the elementary teachings alone is a sobering commentary on the state of the pluralistic nature of modern protestantism. 

Titus 1:11
They must be silenced, because they are ruining whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach

Two contradictory teachings can not be right yet both base their interpretations on the authority of scripture.  Yet, one is or both are wrong.  How do we reconcile this if it doesn't even match the requirements set forth by the Holy Scriptures?

2 Timothy 4:3
For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

How can we tell what is sound doctrine?  Well a protestant will say to just read the bible but then you get as many interpretations of what the scripture says as there are readers.  How did the early Christians do it? 

The answer follows:

2 Timothy 1:13
What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus.

What you heard from me.  Keep as the pattern of sound teaching.  Use that which you heard to help you discern. 

This is what the more ancient faiths talk about when it comes to Holy Tradition.

2 Timothy 2:17
Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus

We are called to preserve the teaching of the Apostles not merely the outward authority of the scriptures used to justify a multitude of ever growing ever mutating contradictory teachings. 

2 Timothy 3:10
[ Paul's Charge to Timothy ] You, however, know all about my teaching

How did he know all about his teaching?  Had he yet read 2 Timothy and yet already knew all about his teaching?  He heard it.  He saw it.  He experienced it.  He imitated it. 

2 Timothy 2:2
And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.


He passed what he has experienced on to others who would then be entrusted to preserve those teachings as well.  Not merely to preserve the letter (we know St. Paul wrote a letter that was lost and yet nothing less is known).   This is the tradition that the more ancient faiths speak of as being Authoritative. 

1 Timothy 4:11
Command and teach these things.

Notice that it doesn't say, "what does this verse mean to you, teach that" or "in my opinion I think that the bible is trying to say x,y,z."   

1 Timothy 1:3
As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer


When you have a huge group of contradictory teachings and everyone embraces each others right to do so how does this differ from the early Church.  It is said to 'comman" that certain men not teach false doctrine.  Yet, you embrace the contradiction within the whole of a certain system but not outside of it?  Reconcile this in scripture if you can or at least consider the role of Holy Tradition. 

2 Thessalonians 3:6
In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers, to keep away from every brother who is idle and does not live according to the tradition you received from us.

Did you receive this tradition from the Apostles?  Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, the guy down the block who just started his own flavor?  Do you fulfill the scriptures and see them as authoritative when we are told not be in communion with them or do you embrace this pluralism?  How is this in line even within sola scriptura?  Are these the teachings of men? 

1 Corinthians 4:17
For this reason I am sending to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.


did Timothy remind them of the Holy Scriptures alone or was it St. Paul's way of life in Christ which AGREES with what is taught everywhere and in accordance with ALL the Apostles. 

Holy.  Tradition. 

Research those early Christian communities that ran into the Apostles and see what they had in common. 

Acts 18:11
So Paul stayed for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God.

That's a lot of instruction.  That's a lot of fodder to help that community know how to behave in the house of God.   That's a lot of experience that can be used to help them know what the bible "means to say".  Takes a lot of guess work out of it. 

Acts 2:42
They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

The Apostles teaching.  Does it say merely "Holy Scripture" alone?  How is it that we have a different standard apart from our early brothers and sisters?  Shouldn't we have the same devotion? 

2 Corinthians 11:4
4For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.

Do we put up with it easily enough in a system where there are more opinions on what the scriptures mean to say than there are people?  Do we embrace this pluralism? 

And notice again that it is not saying or pointing merely to the Holy Scriptures but to the very very thing they heard with their very ears, saw with their very eyes, experienced face to face. 

2 Timothy 2:2
2And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.

How do you fulfill this scripture in the protestant expression if sola scriptura is your only authority? 

The verse is not saying to entrust to men only what you read in the bible and believe what it means to say even though no two will read it the same and so entrust THAT to reliable men...

No.  "the things you have heard me say" "entrust"

Philippians 4:9
9Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

How do you do this outside of scripture if scripture is your only authority?  Was what was learned, recieved, heard, seen and put into practice, lost????

Philemon 1:8
Paul's Plea for Onesimus

 8Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do

Philippians 2:2
2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.

How can you be like-minded or have the same love even if you can not be one in spirit or purpose? 

Two contradictory teachings can't be right....     

Romans 15:14
Paul the Minister to the Gentiles
 14I myself am convinced, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, complete in knowledge and competent to instruct one another.

Complete in knowledge prior even to the arrival of the letter to the Romans.  Hm.  How can they have been complete in knowledge even prior to the epistle of Romans???? 

3 John 1:9
 9I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will have nothing to do with us.

If only Diotrephes had believe the Apostle to be authoritative and not saw himself as being authoritative (by what other authority would he have the audacity to reject such an authority but by himself?), perhaps we would have another epistle.

But nothing is lost.  Because the fullness of the faith was deposited into the body even prior to the epistles having been written. 



1 Corinthians 1:10

 10I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.


There are many many many more verses that point to this reality of which I could not reconcile in protestantism.  I only urge the reader to seek first the Kingdom that all this might not remain such a burden to him.  Seek the Truth.  Love God with all your being and your neighbor as yourself and I am confident that the Lord will deliver you.  I too hope to attain to the unity of the faith. 

All things work out for good for those that love God. 

John 14:15
"If you love me, you will obey what I command..."

Quote
God gives His authority to those who honor His Word.




Glory to Jesus Christ


Offline John 10:10

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Re: Question for Protestants who deny Mary's Virginity
« Reply #117 on: Mon Sep 20, 2010 - 23:06:07 »
Dear John10:10.

I'm sure you know that if you pick 10 random Protestants, you'll get 10 totally conflicting opinions on anything related to Christianity. Yet all 10 Protestants will claim, like you do, that somehow the Holy Spirit shows them, through a personal, individual  appointment, the "truth". This can mean one thing, most Protestants, if not all, are delusional
[/b]

Yes, we are delusional enough to believe the words of Jesus when He said this in John 15,

13 "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.
14 "He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you.
15 "All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.


We are even more delusional to believe Paul when he wrote this in 1 Cor 2,

9 but just as it is written, "THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD, AND which HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM."
10 For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.
11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.
12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God,
13 which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.

Offline winsome

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Re: Question for Protestants who deny Mary's Virginity
« Reply #118 on: Tue Sep 21, 2010 - 02:44:07 »
Dear John10:10.

I'm sure you know that if you pick 10 random Protestants, you'll get 10 totally conflicting opinions on anything related to Christianity. Yet all 10 Protestants will claim, like you do, that somehow the Holy Spirit shows them, through a personal, individual  appointment, the "truth". This can mean one thing, most Protestants, if not all, are delusional
[/b]

Yes, we are delusional enough to believe the words of Jesus when He said this in John 15,

13 "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.
14 "He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you.
15 "All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.


Yes, you are delusional in believing it applies to all Christians individually.

Jesus said those words to the assembled apostles, the leaders of the his church. He made the promise to the Church not to every individual Christian.

The results of this delusion are obvious, 30,000 and more Protestant denominations, believing contrary doctrines and each convinced the Holy Spirit has guided them personally into their beliefs.




Angelos

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Re: Question for Protestants who deny Mary's Virginity
« Reply #119 on: Tue Sep 21, 2010 - 06:34:20 »
Dear John10:10.

I'm sure you know that if you pick 10 random Protestants, you'll get 10 totally conflicting opinions on anything related to Christianity. Yet all 10 Protestants will claim, like you do, that somehow the Holy Spirit shows them, through a personal, individual  appointment, the "truth". This can mean one thing, most Protestants, if not all, are delusional
[/b]

Yes, we are delusional enough to believe the words of Jesus when He said this in John 15,

13 "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.
14 "He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you.
15 "All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.


We are even more delusional to believe Paul when he wrote this in 1 Cor 2,

9 but just as it is written, "THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD, AND which HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM."
10 For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.
11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.
12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God,
13 which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.


John10:10,

As winsome said these quotes are directed to the Apostles, not to random people. Now explain this to me, how can it be possible for Jesus' quote to apply to individuals and yet have thousands of contradictory Protestant denominations???

Two things you need to learn: A) No-one is  capable of fully understanding the Bible without the help of the Holy Spirit; B) The Holy Spirit protects from error the Apostles and their successors, but not random guys like you (as evidenced by the completely wrong reading of John 15 you just gave us and the thousands of contradicting Protestant denominations)
« Last Edit: Tue Sep 21, 2010 - 06:44:09 by Angelos »

Offline Josiah

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Re: Question for Protestants who deny Mary's Virginity
« Reply #120 on: Tue Sep 21, 2010 - 09:12:32 »
I want to make clear that when I said that the text in and of itself does not point to Mary being Virgin or not is ONLY insofar as the text in and of itself goes, does not side with either.  


Right.  The dogma is entirely abiblical.   

One could equally post, "Mary was 15 feet tall, had pink hair, 100 children and lived almost entirely on fish tacos" and therein creating 4 dogmas.  I totally agree with you, Scripture would not say ANYTHING at all - one way or the other - about that.  In no sense whatsoever affirming or denying such.   Where I disagree with you is that ergo, it must be matters of greatest importance, relevance and certainty to Truth that 1)  Mary was 15 feet tall, Mary had pink hair, Mary had 100 children and Mary loved fish tacos (all of which would seem to have equal importance to the dogma here under review and a LOT, LOT less potential to be offensive to Her or an invasion of Her marital privacy). 

I also agree with you that this dogma has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with hermeneutics (the interpretation of Scripture) since there is no Scripture to interpret on  this subject of how often Mary had sex (if at all) after Jesus was born.

So, if you are going to spread this "story" about Our Blessed Lady as a matter of greatest importance, relevance and certainty of Truth, we're back to what is your firm confirmation?   You are dividing Christianity over the issue of how often She had sex after Jesus was born, you are insisting on telling the world's 6.7 billion people this tidbit of info about Her marriage bed, so where's the substanatiation as to it's truth to the level claimed?   My Catholic teachers taught me that to spread something about someone that is not confirmed as true is called "gossip" and is a sin, ESPECIALLY if it is potentially harmful and embarrassing and of a personal nature.  So, lest we gossip and sin, lest we hurt and offend Our Lady (and thus Her Son), AND because you insist on telling the world world this normally private marital matter as DOGMA dividing Christiandom with it, where's the confirmation?   



Thank you!


Pax


- Josiah




.














[/quote]

Offline Josiah

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Re: Question for Protestants who deny Mary's Virginity
« Reply #121 on: Tue Sep 21, 2010 - 09:15:24 »


There is plenty of evidence in the Bible that Mary remained a virgin.


There is NOTHING in the Bible about Mary's sex life after Jesus was born.  IF you had ANYTHING, you'd quote it.  You don't.  The RCC doesn't.   In your post (stressing the Bible teaches it) you never once quoted it.   





.


Offline Josiah

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Re: Question for Protestants who deny Mary's Virginity
« Reply #122 on: Tue Sep 21, 2010 - 09:19:48 »
.


YOU are the one insisting that it's a dogmatic fact of greatest importance, relevance and certainty of truth that Mary Had No Sex Ever.   It's YOUR position. And the issue is this: Is it true?





Let's review the discussion of this topic so far....


1.  "It's a dogmatic fact of greatest certainty, importance and relevance that Mary Had No Sex Ever because Mary said to the angel, 'How can this be since I will forever more be a virgin until my death and/or undeath."   Wrong.  As has been shown, the verb is PRESENT tense, not future perfect.  Besides, such an interpretation (while grammatically IMPOSSIBLE) actually violates Catholic Tradition that you supposedly uphold.


2.   "It's a dogmatic fact of greatest certainty, importance and relevance that Mary Had No Sex Ever because every bishop - East and West - since 31 AD taught that Mary Had No Sex Ever."   Wrong.   NOT A SINGLE Bishop was (or can be) quoted teaching this - even a pure pious opinion - in the First Century.  Or even second.   It was not even declared a teaching until the 8th Century.


3.   "It's a dogmatic fact of greatest certainty, importance and relevance that Mary Had No Sex Ever because the rejected, false, book of the Protoevangelium of James (c. 200 AD) teaches it."   Wrong.   It never mentions it.   At all.   And it would be moot if it did, it's a false book rejected as teaching wrongly.


4.   "It's a dogmatic fact of greatest certainty, importance and relevance that Mary Had No Sex Ever because it cannot be proven that Mary had any other children."  Moot.   Having no children does not mandate having no sex.   The dogma is NOT that Jesus had no sibs it's that Mary had no sex.


It's claimed that this DOGMA is true.  It needs to be verified to the level claimed:  as a matter of greatest importance, relevance and certainty of truth.  So far, nothing has been offered of any substantiation (I'm not counting all the personal attacks, flames, evasions, diversions, "you anti! accusations by persons who actually are anti whereas I'm not, etc. - only actual attempts to substantiate the dogma as true).


What's ya got to support this dogmatic insistence as true?  As so highly important?




Again, if you are going to spread this "story" about Our Blessed Lady as a matter of greatest importance, relevance and certainty of Truth, we're back to what is your firm confirmation?   You are dividing Christianity over the issue of how often She had sex after Jesus was born, you are insisting on telling the world's 6.7 billion people this tidbit of info about Her marriage bed, so where's the substanatiation as to it's truth to the level claimed?   My Catholic teachers taught me that to spread something about someone that is not confirmed as true is called "gossip" and is a sin, ESPECIALLY if it is potentially harmful and embarrassing and of a personal nature.  So, lest we gossip and sin, lest we hurt and offend Our Lady (and thus Her Son), AND because you insist on telling the world world this normally private marital matter as DOGMA dividing Christiandom with it, where's the confirmation to the level claimed?  






.
« Last Edit: Tue Sep 21, 2010 - 09:31:18 by Josiah »

Offline John 10:10

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Re: Question for Protestants who deny Mary's Virginity
« Reply #123 on: Tue Sep 21, 2010 - 09:21:56 »
Dear John10:10.

I'm sure you know that if you pick 10 random Protestants, you'll get 10 totally conflicting opinions on anything related to Christianity. Yet all 10 Protestants will claim, like you do, that somehow the Holy Spirit shows them, through a personal, individual  appointment, the "truth". This can mean one thing, most Protestants, if not all, are delusional
[/b]

Yes, we are delusional enough to believe the words of Jesus when He said this in John 15,

13 "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.
14 "He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you.
15 "All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.


Yes, you are delusional in believing it applies to all Christians individually.

Jesus said those words to the assembled apostles, the leaders of the his church. He made the promise to the Church not to every individual Christian.

The results of this delusion are obvious, 30,000 and more Protestant denominations, believing contrary doctrines and each convinced the Holy Spirit has guided them personally into their beliefs.
 

I noticed you didn't include Paul when he wrote this in 1 Cor 2,

9 but just as it is written, "THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD, AND which HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM."
10 For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.
11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.
12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God,
13 which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.


After 1400 years in the hands of mostly the clergy, for the last 500 years this Bible that we Protestants love and cherish so much today was paid for by the blood of many martyrs who were called by God to preach and place it in the hands of the common man so we could hear and read it for ourselves.  Do all the Protestant churches get it 100% right?  No we don't, but neither has the Catholic Church gotten it right for the last 1500 years.  Try honestly reading Catholic Church history sometime before casting stones at Protestant Church history. 

God is in the business of saving sinners who repent and come to the foot of the cross, and find that the blood of our Lord will cover their sins.  Where they park their Christian car after that as they walk with and serve the Lord is between them and the Lord.

I'm still waiting for someone to tell me what more will God do for me if I start believing in Mary's perpetual virginity that I don't already have now?

Offline Ryan2010

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Re: Question for Protestants who deny Mary's Virginity
« Reply #124 on: Tue Sep 21, 2010 - 11:08:48 »
Quote
Right.  The dogma is entirely abiblical.   

We could say the same thing of the Holy Trinity yet....  ok.  Your standards don't seem to be applicable across the board. 

I think perhaps you are putting too much stress on what I said about the text in and of itself.  I said that the narrative and proper interpretation of such texts however is what distinguishes meaning so obviously quite important.  As what the bible means to say and what we think it says and what the text reads need to all be "one". 

Quote
One could equally post, "Mary was 15 feet tall, had pink hair, 100 children and lived almost entirely on fish tacos" and therein creating 4 dogmas. 

You act as if the dogma itself were arbitrary, which is an over characterization of the actual position.  Are you also against calling Mary, Theotokos since nowhere in the scripture independant of interpretation does it support the position?  Sure, it says the "Mother of our/my Lord" but we have to interpret and make clear the narrative there and to do that we would need authority.  Since we don't have authority and the bible alone has this authority I guess it does not matter.

Nestorius would be relieved. 


Quote
I totally agree with you, Scripture would not say ANYTHING at all - one way or the other - about that. 

You're being hyper-literal in order to create a logical construct that just doesn't exist.  Does the bible say anywhere within itself that the Father and the Son are of the same "essence" and the Son is uncreated?  No.  However, when the narrative is included, the answer is undoubtedly yes. 

So there is a narrative that does in fact point to Mary's Ever-Virginity and this goes beyond the shallow understanding of marital "business". 

There are OT references that point to Mary and her "state", if you will, and those verses and Mary's life because of the parallels to the Church, Israel etc., create a theological narrative that when you boil it down is Christological.  It reveals something about who God is, who we are in God, who God is in humanity and the entire cosmos... 

It's not as sophomoric as a dirty joke or as a melodrama depicts "chastity".  It's Christological.

Again, the more ancient faiths see a narrative in the Holy Scriptures that speak of Mary's perpetual State that point toward a higher theological truth that ultimately helps to safeguard the revelation of God from "wrong choice" or "another opinion" or as it is commonly called, "heresy"

But yes.  The text without narrative or interpretation says very little about much really, not just Mary but also the Trinity, the Bible itself, Hell, Heaven, etc... 

Still waiting for the archeologists to recover the Holy Index telling us which books in fact are "THE BIBLE"

The narrative is important.  To say that there is not direct affirmation of the text itself and therefore unnecessary is to create a rule for yourself (by what authority do you make such a rule?) that would force you to abandon other traditions that are, if abandoned, un-Christian (if that's a word).  But then again, I don't know if protestants would call that un-christian as it seems that collectly there's no stance either for or against otherwise, they'd actually believe the same thing. 

Quote
In no sense whatsoever affirming or denying such.
   

True but not when it comes to the narrative being married to the text. Divorce them and the bible is silent on much that even protestants believe to be present in the Holy Scriptures.  Hard to get a protestant to admit they follow and stand on tradition but hey.  We're all near sighted in our own ways.

Quote
Where I disagree with you is that ergo, it must be matters of greatest importance, relevance and certainty to Truth that 1)  Mary was 15 feet tall, Mary had pink hair, Mary had 100 children and Mary loved fish tacos (all of which would seem to have equal importance to the dogma here under review and a LOT, LOT less potential to be offensive to Her or an invasion of Her marital privacy). 

Really not sure why you keep reducing virginity to mere bed-room talk.  Does the bible say anything for or against Our Lord having remained Virgin?  Show me a textual support free of narrative bias that leads to you staunch position.  I could characterize your present position by then accusing you of gossip against the Lord and of humiliating him etc. but I honestly think that to speak of the Lord's marriage to the Church (those who deny Jesus Virginity like to overspiritualize the marriage of the Church and just call it 'metaphor') is important. 

Quote
I also agree with you that this dogma has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with hermeneutics (the interpretation of Scripture) since there is no Scripture to interpret on  this subject of how often Mary had sex (if at all) after Jesus was born.

No, I am saying that it has everything to do with interpretation.  I'm only saying that the text itself, independent of interpretation (narrative) is mute.  Again, refer to proving Jesus own "state" and provide one solid proof without supplying an interpretation to affirm this "truth".  We are arguing from silence in a lot of cases or atleast agreeing on sound "interpretation" (i hope). 

You might see the case of Our Lord as different but what many I believe fail to realize is not only the typology present in the Holy Scriptures but the Chiastic forms that are prevalent in the Holy Scriptures and Mary is vital to proper balance of what it means to be Christian - annointed

Her chastity is foretold and the reality of the New Jerusalem, the Kingdom, Humanity, the Cosmos/all of creation, Israel, The Church etc is bound up in it. 

But ok.  You are your own authority on the matter.  Don't know what else to say really...

Quote
So, if you are going to spread this "story" about Our Blessed Lady as a matter of greatest importance, relevance and certainty of Truth, we're back to what is your firm confirmation? 

The interpretation of the Holy Scriptures by the Church and the Holy Tradition of The Church.

Quote
You are dividing Christianity over the issue of how often She had sex after Jesus was born, you are insisting on telling the world's 6.7 billion people this tidbit of info about Her marriage bed, so where's the substanatiation as to it's truth to the level claimed? 
 

A protestant can not complain about division if they embrace division unless they wish to be judged in the way in which they judge. 

The "dogma" as you are saying is not about how often she did or didn't fillintheblank (why you characterize in such a crass manner seems a strange tactic) but rather it has to do with the prophecy of Christ and the redemption of mankind.  I have not read the RCCs full teachings on the Theotokos but I imagine they can't be much different.   Read RCC and Orthodox books on the Theotokos and see if you don't approach the OT prophecies differently.  See if you don't see Israel, Jerusalem, the Garden, the Church, the Bride, Eve, the story of God's deliverance of His people in a new or brighter more divine light. 

I will only say that at it's root it is Christological. 

Quote
My Catholic teachers taught me that to spread something about someone that is not confirmed as true is called "gossip" and is a sin, ESPECIALLY if it is potentially harmful and embarrassing and of a personal nature. 

Well, you used to belong to a Church that viewed the Church as the pillar and foundation of truth but you've given that title to your own ability to interpret and discern.  I would say that if the Church taught it, then it would be true but since when you see the word "church" you see only a group of individuals in contradiction to one another I really don't know what to say. 

Of course it seems like gossip when you are the only mediator between you, the bible and sound interpretation.  You are independent of your fellow protestant,  the sole authority of what the bible means to say or doesn't say and so the only one for yourself who can decide what is right doctrine, dogma.

That's a lot of responsibility. 

Just because you can not find "proof" doesn't mean a thing is untrue or unsubstantiated.  It only means that you don't know.  To hold the standards you have set up for yourself up against the Catholics seems ironic since you seem to disagree with their right to create dogma and doctrine based on the standards they believe have been given to them to uphold. 

If those pesky ancient faiths are right, then it's not gossip but yet another proclamation of who Christ is against the millions of contradictory voices saying who they personally believe Jesus might could be but can't really say with full confidence out of fear of alienating the like minds gathered around them, singing a different tune and hoping to trade their ideas in the (free) market-place - to what end I don't know.   


Quote
So, lest we gossip and sin, lest we hurt and offend Our Lady (and thus Her Son), AND because you insist on telling the world world this normally private marital matter as DOGMA dividing Christiandom with it, where's the confirmation? 
 

You are saying that catholics gossip because your standards for what is true is in the text and in your personal interpretation of it and therefore catholics must be held to the same standard which you hold up for yourself and this means they can't have "the Church" for a "base" and therefore are "baseless"....   ???

If it's true it's not lacking confirmation and if the Church is the ground of Truth then I will say that the Church is grounds enough to believe it.  Blasphemous?  No.  All boils down to tradition. 

I know I know, submitting to the Church other than to self's ability to glean what they think the bible personally says to them alone is uncool and heretical and "unbiblical".  I've read the protestant anathemas. 

You've chosen your tradition and like anyone that dubs themselves their own personal pope, have decided to hold your standards up for others to follow.  You are no different at the end of the day and yet criticize them (RCC) for the very things you do yourself (the difference being that they might actually be legit). 

The cult of self, who is able to set up his own proclamations of truth against others, naturally sees a corporate body of people in one accord, who see themselves as larger than the sum of her parts and adhering to the pillar and ground of Truth, as a threat.  I get it. 

Unless we throw away our Holy Tradition and the Church's interpretation of Holy Scriptures and adopt your standards to measure ourselves against yours, we aren't sinning or gossiping.  We are just bad at being you insofar as you judge yourself. 

The Church is an image of the Holy Trinity and through her we are conformed to the image of her Son. 



Offline Ryan2010

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Re: Question for Protestants who deny Mary's Virginity
« Reply #125 on: Tue Sep 21, 2010 - 11:46:12 »
WHAT SOME PROTESTANTS THINK ON THIS…

 

I will first turn to the "Fathers of the Reformation" to speak for Orthodoxy in defending the teaching that Mary was "Ever Virgin". First I will let Ulrich Zwingli (leader of the Swiss Reformation, divided from Lutheran Reformers because he denied Christ's real presence in any form in the Eucharist) speak to this:

 

"She (Mary) had to be a virgin and perpetually a virgin..." (Reformed Dogmatics, p. 422, by H. Heppe).

 

And in a prayer he calls her:

 

"the pure and ever virgin..." (Prayers of the Eucharist, p. 184, by Jasper & Cuming).

 

Regarding the verse that "Joseph kept Mary a virgin until" [Matthew 1:25], John Calvin maintains in his commentary:

 

"Those words of Scripture do not mean that after His birth they cohabitated as man and wife..." (John Calvin NT Commentaries Vol. 3, p. 71).

 

And on the subject of Jesus' brethren he said:

 

"In the Hebrew manner relatives of any sort are called 'brethren'...It is therefore very ignorant to imagine that Mary had many sons because there are several mentions of Christ's brethren" (John Calvin NT Commentaries Vol. 3, p. 71).

 

This has always been the undisputed theology regarding Mary. From the Apostles on down nobody disputed the perpetual virginity of Mary for nearly 1600 years. This teaching is even considered to be prefigured in the Old Testament as reflected in the hymnology of the Orthodox Church:

 

"The shadow of the law passed when grace came, as the bush burnt, yet was not consumed, so the virgin gave birth yet remained a virgin, the Sun of Righteousness has risen instead of a pillar of flame, instead of Moses, there is Christ, the Saviour of our Souls" (Theotokion, tone 1).

 

THE ORTHODOX VIEWPOINT: BIBLICAL ANALYSIS

The word "brother" has a broader meaning in the Bible. It is not only used to mean the actual brother, but also the cousin or even the nephew.

 

For instance, Lot is called "Abraham's brother" whereas in reality he is his nephew (Gen. 14:14). Jacob is called a brother of Lavan whereas in reality Lavan is his uncle i.e. Jacob is his nephew (Gen 27:43. 29:15).

 

Kis's sons are called brothers, whereas in reality they are cousins of Eleazar's daughters (1 Paralip. /1 Chron. 23:21-22). 2 /4 Kings 10:13-14 talks about 42 brothers of Ochozius. Clearly, it must talk about people related to him but in a more general sense of the word.

 

The reason for this "brother" word problem is that neither the Jewish nor the Aramaic tongues have a special word in order to express the notion of a "cousin". When they wanted to mention the actual cousin as such they would do so periphrastically i.e. "son of the [father's] uncle" or "son of the brother of the mother". For this reason the actual cousin is expressed by the word "brother" when mentioned at one word. Thus, from the other verses will we only be able to (hopefully) understand if it really means “brother

Offline Ryan2010

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Re: Question for Protestants who deny Mary's Virginity
« Reply #126 on: Tue Sep 21, 2010 - 11:46:51 »
Something that fails to come straight from translations here is the usage of "έως ου" (= eos ooh). The words "έως ου" mean "never". It doesn't mean, in other words, that after Christ's birth Joseph met her as his wife, but it means that he never did. The "έως ου" in the Holy Bible, is found many a time to mean "never".

 

For example:

 

1) The Bible says regarding Noe's raven that it didn't return to the Ark "έως ου εξηράνθη τα ύδατα" (= eos ooh the waters had been dried up). But since it didn't return to the Ark before the waters had dried up, when it had nowhere to stand upon, what happened then; it returned when the waters had dried up?!

 

2.) The Bible says: "Said the Lord to my Lord; sit on my right έως αν θω τους εχθρούς σου υποπόδιον των ποδών σου" i.e. “eos an

Offline Ryan2010

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Re: Question for Protestants who deny Mary's Virginity
« Reply #127 on: Tue Sep 21, 2010 - 11:47:27 »
BETROTHAL vs. MARRIAGE

 

We cannot stress enough the point that the Holy Bible does not claim that Virgin Mary was ever given to Joseph in marriage. The Holy Bible speaks only of betrothal. The usage of the words γυνή and ανήρ in Greek are not used to exclusively mean "wife" and "husband", but also "woman" and "man", respectively, words that can be used equally to indicate (apart from the obvious gender attribution) the "fiance" or his "fiancee" respectively (i.e. the ones that were betrothed or "engaged" to each other).

 

So why do we stress this point? What difference does it make? It makes the world of difference because if the word γυνή -- which gives rise to the word γυναίκα that is mentioned by the Angel to Joseph -- does not necessarily mean "wife" but can also mean "betrothed", we need to examine the difference between the two rites: betrothal and marriage.

 

Betrothed, married ... same thing, right?

 

No! At those times, the betrothal was performed before a couple got married. Even if they never got to be married in the end, the betrothal required that no matrimonial relations took place during that period (although the couple had all the responsibilities of marriage in every other respect). This is what ensured Virgin Mary's purity. The betrothal with Joseph was the trick.

 

Many Protestants will not disagree with this. However, they might think that eventually Virgin Mary actually married Joseph (after their betrothal), even if they never had children together (what the Protestants sometimes call consummation of wedding). Other Protestants will need to support the very idea of marriage taking place in order to ensure that their theory of children can be true.

 

Let us put the issue of children aside, for a moment, and concentrate on this question: Did Virgin Mary actually marry Joseph after their betrothal? The Bible does not mention anything on this. The other Tradition of the Church however, tells us that they never did. This also makes sense hagiographically. Let us now examine this point.

 

Had she got married to Joseph -- even if they actually agreed to have no matrimonial relations -- she would still have had two husbands, God and Joseph! That would cause a lot of theological problems (including questions relating to Joseph being a real step-father of Jesus, and what if he had had children with another woman, a true possibility, and so forth) but we will keep things simple here and concentrate on what we can see immediately.

 

It certainly contradicts four points (some of which are mentioned later on in these notes in more detail):

 

a) What Jesus uses, He wants it only for His own use.

 

b.) She would need to tend to the things of a human husband and not keep her thoughts only of God. The Divine Economy wanted to secure not only her future celibacy (because that could also be secured by being married after their betrothal and agreeing not to come into matrimonial relations) but also to secure her future life of celibacy (something that the betrothal could guarantee but which marriage couldn't, with its many daily distractions).

 

c.) What about some common sense?

 

If we accept the fact that she was planning to have no children with Joseph (recall "man I know not?" and the ample proof provided elsewhere in this text), what would be the point of them continuing with marriage? Wasn't the betrothal good enough? As far as the society was concerned, the fact that she was under the wing of a pious old man was good enough to make sure she is not stoned, especially at a time when she was about to give birth to a Child. The betrothal kept her safe from the society and would suffice to assure her safety afterwards as well. The only real reason they would need to continue to matrimony would be because they were in love with each other and in order to have children. But Joseph had been commanded in his dream to take her as his γυνή (= betrothed or wife, unclear) and clearly not with matrimonial aims in the mind of the Angel but so that she does not get stoned to death were she left on her own or sent away thus endangering herself and her Baby. Before the Angel came to him in his dream, Joseph was indeed planning to send her away, and Mary clearly shows no intentions of wanting to get married to Joseph ("man I know not?"). What then? The Holy Spirit forced them then to marry?!

 

For she did not want to marry Joseph. And Joseph, who was an old man, had no such intentions present anywhere in the Bible (he did not even feel jealous or reprimand her when she came back from Elisabeth fully pregnant). And we are to believe that the Pure All-Holy Virgin, entitled as "The Virgin" in the Old Testament prophecy, uniquely praised among men and women, succumbed to the pleasures of married life and the frivolity of wives, and decided after giving birth to God (not to His divine nature but to Christ fully God and fully human) that she would, after all, follow the "perks" of the Angel's supposed suggestions (as they would have been) and have a few more children with Joseph, realising indeed that having children will make her life complete - and who cares about having given birth to God and to the purity that heaven and earth had praised her for till that moment?!

 

Oh, the impiety!

 

And if she had no intention to marry Joseph why not stop at the betrothal and decide to marry and thus risk the temptation of matrimonial relations which would end her virginity, the virginal life being a life higher than the married life, as the Bible informs us, and which is the road followed by many people today, e.g. monks and nuns?

 

Does this issue perhaps have something to do instead with the fact that Protestants abolished monasticism and virginal life and could not stand to even hear the word Ever-Virginity i.e. Celibacy?

 

d.) This matter is very important for our salvation (as soteriology coincides with Christology, and the issues on the Virgin are directly related to Christology). Nevertheless, we point out that, once the ignorance of Protestants' koine Greek and ecclesiastical history is corrected, sola scriptura in itself is unable to provide a full answer to this matter because the Bible never actually mentions anything as regards Virgin Mary and the Righteous Joseph having proceeded with the marriage or not, even if the rest of this text clearly shows the absurdity and blasphemy of such an argument.

 

Joseph in fact had probably been married to another woman, who had probably died; and now stayed only with Mariam, which itself is not strange of course for even in those times the Jewish community placed the woman higher than other areas did, and even though polygamy was allowed, people tended to stay with one woman. Men however were allowed to have more than one woman at the time. The fact that Joseph might have had another woman stems also from the fact that he was much older than her; she was only 16 when the annunciation happened, as sources from ecclesiastical history and Tradition certify.

 

And one final point as regards married life in betrothal or marriage that is of interest to us.

 

Some Protestants may claim that the fact that Virgin Mary stayed betrothed only and never got married was sin. However that is not how the law worked in those times. In those days it was very common to bring a young girl home to an elderly man and it was permitted for a man to have more than one woman (of either the "betrothed" or the "married" stage or both). The people would stone adulteresses to death but they did not interfere with a couple's personal life. (And if the reader finds this society harsh, they should realise that pagan societies were a lot harsher than the Jewish society in those days! This is why God first brought the Law into the society, which was harsh, and slowly prepared the Jews and the rest of mankind for the arrival of His Son). Since marital bond held legal value in those times, the "trick" of the Divine Economy is in fact totally legal. This way the Law was not violated (although of course afterwards it was complemented with the arrival of our Christ and Saviour Jesus Christ).

 

All these things make sense both hagiographically and based on the situation of the times; even the situation with Elisabeth. Let us turn our attention to that now, for it will help us understand the situation with the angel and Joseph better when we return to examine the aforementioned event with the angel.

Offline Ryan2010

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Re: Question for Protestants who deny Mary's Virginity
« Reply #128 on: Tue Sep 21, 2010 - 11:49:06 »
ANNUNCIATION AND OLD TESTAMENT PROPHECIES

 

After the Virgin found out the incredible event enclosed in the Evangelism (Annunciation) that the Angel told her about, she stayed alone and thoughtful. She wanted to tell to somebody her big secret; but to who? In Nazareth it was impossible to announce something like this. Who would believe her? In a world, much like today's, loose in faith and ethical values, it was impossible to find even one person to make them understand. But even if she could find someone, it is doubtful she would confess such a great secret to him or her. She does not even say it to her "spouse", Joseph, the man who had protected her so far. He wouldn't believe her either and would probably try to send her away. With the help of the Spirit however, the solution is found. She leaves Nazareth and goes running to the highland to meet her relative, Elisabeth. After all, the Angel had told her that something similar had happened to Elisabeth.

 

The journey is long; it takes her approximately three days to reach there. Old Elisabeth is her relative. She is the wife of the priest Zechariah, the one who later on will betroth her to Joseph. She too became pregnant miraculously. She is about to bear John the Forerunner.

 

Elisabeth welcomes her with piety. She bows before her and with a loud voice calls her "blessed among women". And she even calls "the fruit of her belly" as "blessed"! The All-Holy Virgin is taken aback! She understands that Elisabeth knows something about the Great Secret, before she had any time to say anything to her, because Elisabeth asks her: "και πόθεν μοι τούτο, ίνα έλθη η Μήτηρ του Κυρίου μου προς με;" She hears her calling her "Mother of her Lord". How did she find out? Did the Holy Spirit tell her?

 

For three months they stay together and discuss things. When Panagia returns to Joseph, and he notices her belly that is getting bigger by the day, he loses faith and is disappointed. He thinks it is sin and does not want to keep her in his house; he fears God's wrath! He is a good man, though, and the law in such circumstances wants the woman to die by stoning her to death. He thinks she doesn't deserve this, a young girl and all, practically a child, and is preparing to send her away, which befits his role as her protector. While he is thinking of his plan, an Angel of the Lord appears in his sleep and tells him: "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mariam, your woman". He calls her his "woman" (meaning of course fiancee because the word the angel used was γυναίκα which is accusative for γυνή - in other words woman and not wife; and it can also mean, as it does here, fiancee), even though she was not (or ever wanted to be; remember the "man I know not"?), in order to show to him that there was no one else in between! "Do not be afraid", the Angel continues, because "the One born from within her is from Spirit the Holy". The pious Joseph obeys of course and does as the Angel commanded, without any more doubts. He takes the Virgin under his protection and since then becomes her "guardian angel".

 

Is it illogical or strange based on the above to deduce that the "cover-up trick" of the Economy used to make certain people think that Joseph was truly meant to be her fiance (for he actually was her fiance but not with the intention of marriage), was continued afterwards as well? And to think instead that the woman that had been chosen for her piety and virginity (which virginity biblically is a great virtue as we said and virginal life is higher than married life) gave in to her "spouse" Joseph, something that would mean she had to tend to the things of her husband in the law, a human, despite the place that had been chosen for her from God? In a way then, it is like she had two husbands, God and Joseph!

 

Inside her womb where Christ was rising, how could others follow as well, mere humans, since what Christ uses wants it only for His own use (c.f. Mark 11:2. John 19:4)?

 

But her Annunciation had been prepared from ages old through God's infinite wisdom. Indeed, there are many prophecies from the OT that are of interest to us. Let us turn to these now.

 

Thousands of years had passed from the time when God had kicked out the protoplasts from Heaven, due to their deadly sin. Then His Voice had been heard foretelling that the offspring of the woman would crush the head of the accursed snake, i.e. of Satan, which Eve had stepped upon (Gen. 3:15):

 

"And I will put enmity between thee [i.e. the snake] and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel". So important she is that God foretells here that the Saviour of the World would be born of a woman and He means the Virgin Mary, Who bore from Holy Spirit and not in a natural way. Thus the Virgin "έτεκεν ασπόρως" (gave birth without a seed) and stayed always Pure, without a husband, ever Virgin.

Prophet Isaiah calls her "the virgin" (Isaiah 7:14. Matt. 1:23) and Ezekiel calls her "gate", that was and stayed shut : "it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the Lord, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut" (Ezek. 44:1-3).

 

Some more obscure prophecy is "For I also was my father's son, tender and as an only-begotten son in the sight of my mother" (Proverbs 4:3). No, I didn't get it wrong: it does say "only-begotten" in the Masoretic text. But of course we all know that Solomon here does not refer to himself, for he himself was not only begotten (2 Sam. /2 Kings 11:27. 12:24)! And yes the word “only-begotten

Offline Ryan2010

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Re: Question for Protestants who deny Mary's Virginity
« Reply #129 on: Tue Sep 21, 2010 - 11:50:10 »
1.  APOSTOLIC FATHERS
 
During Ieronymus' times (380 AD) someone called Helvidius doubted the perpetual virginity of the Theotokos by interpreting Jesus' brethren as children of hers. When this became known to Ieronymus he did not want to give a reply to him for he thought that Helvidius' fallacy was self-evident, a belief he later on Ieronymus himself characterised as "weird, ill-natured, audacious and contumelious towards the common faith of the christian world".
 
Ieronymus' friends insisted that he write a reply to Helvidius' words, and for this reason Ieronymus wrote his book on the perpetual virginity of the Theotokos, called "De perpetua virginitate Mariae" (Migne 23. 183-206). In this book,  Ieronymus reminds the reader of the affirmations on the subject of the perpetual virginity of the Theotokos from all Apostolic Fathers who had talked at some point on this issue all the way up to his times, i.e. up to 380 AD. As he himself writes, of the apostolic Fathers "Ignatius, Polycarp, Irenaeus, Justin, and all the teachers of the era of the apostles". Helvidius never replied!
 
A remnant of that old Apostolic epoch was saved in one of Justin's writings (100 - 165 AD) in a Syriac translation which goes like this: "Some writer [note: one of many, as it says "εις των συγγραφέων" i.e. one among the many writers] that lived during the time of Augustus and Tiberius, wrote that Mariah the Galilaean, the one who gave birth to the Messiah, Who was the one crucified in Jerusalem, never met a husband and even though Joseph did not abandon her, he stayed nevertheless in purity without a woman and Mariah stayed without a man" (Zahn Geschichte des neutestamentl dichen Kanons, tome II, p. 177).
 
Helvidius' silence, Ieronymus' categorical attestation, namely that the apostolic fathers taught the perpetual virginity of the Theotokos (either by word or in written) and this remnant of the works of father Justin, who lived in the period 100 - 165 AD, confess the apostolic succession of the christian belief on this issue, even if today we may have not (yet, hopefully) found all of the written testimonies that Ieronymus mentions in his writing. However Ieronymus clearly had these and that suffices.
 
2. HEGISIPPUS (110 - 180 AD)
 
According to Eusebius (Ecclesiastical History 2, 23 and 4, 8. 22), Hegissipus lived "during the first post-apostolic era" and wrote his books around 180 AD. In these books he talks about the Lord's brethren. We know according to Mark's gospel (Mark 6:3) that these brothers of Jesus were called Jacob, Judas, Simon and Joses. For the first three of these, Hegissipus certifies that they are called "brothers" of Jesus, but they were not however real (flesh) brothers of His, but cousins. Simon is called "Jesus' cousin" (I.E. IV, XXII, 4). Hegisippus writes here that Jacob and Simon, so-called Jesus' brothers, were Clopas' sons, whereas Clopas was "Joseph's brother, as Hegissipus tells us" (I.E. III, 11, 1). Therefore we see that these two brothers, Jacob and Simon, were cousins of Jesus (from the side of His father). Note that the word "anepsios" (which in modern Greek can be used to mean nephew) that Hegisippus uses in this verse has the meaning of cousin. To see this, note that Clopas here is called as "Jesus' uncle" and also as "Joseph's brother". The same is mentioned by Hegisippus regarding Judas (I.E. XXX, 11, 5).
 
So here is yet another ancient testimony (180 AD) certifying that the Lord's brothers were His cousins. Therefore the "brothers of Christ" mentioned in the gospels were not Theotokos' children.
 
3. CLEMES OF ALEXANDRIA (150 - 211 AD)
 
Clemes of Alexandria (150 - 211 AD) writes in his "hypotyposeis", which were saved in latin, regarding the first verse of Judas' epistle where it is mentioned "Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of Jacob, ...", as follows: "judas ... frater filiorum joseph exstans ... cum sciret propinquitatem domini non tamen dicit se ipsum fratrem domini esse sed quid dixit. judas servus jesu Christi utpote domii frater autem jacobi, hoc enim verum est frater erat ex joseph"; namely: "Judas ... being brother of the sons of Joseph, even though he knew his relation to the Lord, does not name himself brother of the Lord, but what did he say? 'Judas, servant of Jesus Christ'; namely of the Lord, 'and brother of Jacob's' [Jacob = James]. For this is true that he was a brother [of Jesus] from Joseph's side".
 
Here is yet another ancient testimony that Judas and Jacob, the so-called brothers of Jesus, were brothers of his from the father's side and not from the mother's. Therefore the Theotokos was not their mother.
 
In fact, may I mention here that in Orthodoxy they commonly call James [Jacob] as "James, the Brother of our Lord". This is the name by which he is known but it is always understood that the word "Brother" is in the more general sense.
4. ORIGEN (185 - 250 AD)
 
Let us now turn our attention to Origen. Regarding the interpretation of John 2:11, he says: "It is talked over by many, how it happened that Jesus had these brothers, since Mariah stayed a virgin till her death [note of myself: there was no dispute over the ever-virginity issue; simply people were wondering how this was the case]. He did not have flesh brothers, nor were any born by the Virgin, nor Himself was He born from Joseph. They were called brothers of His in the law, being sons of Joseph before his wife died". Regarding the interpretation of Matth. 12:55, he also writes: "They [the verses] talk of the brothers of Jesus ... they are sons of Joseph with a previous woman whom he had been "συνωκηκυιας" to [cohabitated with i.e. married to], before Mariah". Here is yet another ancient testimony regarding the ever-virginity of the Theotokos and that His brothers were not from the Theotokos, but from Joseph with another woman.
 
5. ATHANASIUS THE GREAT (295 - 366 AD)
 
Athanasius the Great (295 - 366 AD) says in his speech on the Incarnation (Migne Eccl. Trad. 25: 109): "from Mariah the ever-virgin", and regarding the interpretation of Luke 11:27 he writes: "... and she, the one that gave birth to the Lord and ever-virgin ..." (Migne E.T. 27, 1393).
 
6. EPIPHANIUS (313 - 402 AD)
 
St. Epiphanius writes in his writing against the heretics (Adv. Haer 78, 6 p. 642, 705): "She did not have relations [meaning sexual] neither after the birth [of Christ] nor before the birth", but she stayed "holy and immaculate" (Haer. 78, 14. 24. 15. 16). He also wrote that "the one that mentioned that name of the Holy Mariah would always add the word 'virgin'. The name Virgin was given to her because she had always stayed pure".
 
7. GREGORY OF NYSSA (335 - 394 AD)
 
Gregory of Nyssa said: "We consider the Virgin like a new tome. In the same way the new paper is clean, unwritten, this way too the Virgin is holy, clean of man".
 
8. IERONYMUS (345 - 420 AD)
 
Ieronymus as we said above, wrote a whole work and proved, using as testimonies the words of the apostolic fathers, the ever-virginity of the Theotokos. He characterises the opposite view of Helvidius as "weird, ill-natured , audacious, contumelious to the common faith of the christians". Interpreting Ezekiel, he writes expressly regarding the Theotokos: "Quae et ante partum et post partum virgo permansit"; that is: "She stayed a virgin both before and after the birth [of Christ]" (in Ezech. XLIV; c.f. also in Cal. IV, 4).
 
9. AUGUSTINE (354 - 430 AD)
 
Augustine , who is accepted as a saint by a lot of Protestants (e.g. some Anglicans), says expressly: "virgo concepit, virgo peperit et post partum virgo permansit" (De symbol 3,5).
"Virgin was she when she conceived, virgin she stayed when she gave birth, and virgin she stayed after the birth" (Migne 40, 181 - 196).
10. BASIL THE GREAT (330 - 379 AD)
Basil the Great says on his speech on Christ's Birth (Migne 31, 146, 8): "The hearing of the philochrists [i.e. those who love Christ truly i.e. the christian brothers; a common expression of the time and today too in Hellas], does not even want to hear that the Virgin stopped being Virgin at some point ".
Christians do not even want to hear the ridiculous notion that the Theotokos ever stopped being a Virgin!
11. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM (345 - 404 AD)
As we said above, the Bible calls Mariah wife of Joseph's before Christ's birth and not afterwards. "Take the child and his mother" says the angel to Joseph.
Father Chrysostom says, discussing the interpretation of the word "έως" as discussed above, mentioned in "ουκ έγνω αυτήν έως ου έτεκεν" (Matth. 4:25): "This was said, not in order for you to suspect that afterwards he [Joseph] came to know her [i.e. consummated the marriage] ... The word "έως" many times and continually, in the holy Bible, do we find it written [with this meaning]" (Migne E. T. 78, 102).
12. JOHN THE DAMASCAN (645 - 750 AD)
John the Damascan in Migne 94, 1161, says (in a slightly more '"free" translation here so it makes sense in English) : "the ever-virgin stayed a virgin even after the birth [of Christ], without having had any relation with any man until her death".
As regards more information on Mary, Ecclesiastical History provides us with many sources. An interesting one is based upon the works of Papias (c. 70 - 165 AD). The principal information as regards Papias is given in the extracts made among the fragments from the works of Irenaeus and Eusebius. He was bishop of the Church in Hierapolis (a city of Phrygia) in the first half of the second century. Later writers affirm that he suffered martyrdom about 163 AD; some saying that Rome, others that Pergamus, was the scene of his death. He was a hearer of the Apostle John, and was on terms of intimate intercourse with many who had known the Lord and His apostles. From these he gatherered oral traditions in regard to the sayings of our Lord, and wove them into a production divided into five books. This work does not seem to have been confined to an exposition of the sayings of Christ, but to have contained much historical information.
 
The following four Mary's are found in the gospels: (1.) Mary the mother of the Lord; (2.) Mary the wife of Cleopas or Alphaeus, who was the mother of James the bishop and apostle, and of Simon and Thaddeus, and of one Joseph; (3.) Mary Salome, wife of Zebedee, mother of John the evangelist and James; and (4.) Mary Magdalene.
 
According to Papias (see e.g. here), James and Judas and Joseph were sons of an aunt (2) of the Lord's. Also, James and John were sons of another aunt (3) of the Lord's. Mary (2), mother of James the Less and Joseph, wife of Alphaeus, was the sister of Mary the mother of the Lord, whom John names of Cleopas, either from her father or from the family of the clan, or for some other reason. Mary Salome (3) is called Salome either from her husband or her village. Some affirm that she is the same as Mary of Cleopas, because she had two husbands.
 
And what about the "brothers" of Jesus? What was their actual relation to Christ?
 
There are two main opinions in the Church: a.) They were children of Joseph from another woman, as we saw Epiphanius, Origen, Clemes et. al. mention this; or b.) They were cousins of Jesus, as Hegissipus said.
 
The Tradition therefore decides triumphantly in favour of the Ever-Virginity of the Mother of God, but leaves open the issue of the relation of Jesus' "brothers". It is more likely that the first opinion is the right one, but it does not really matter for us because it is not related to Mariology and/or Christology in any way.
 
SUMMARY AND SYNOPSIS
 
Christ is the new "root"; He does not come from the old "root" of Adam. Virgin Mary stayed a virgin during the birth of Christ. But she was a virgin before the birth (Is. 7:14. Mt. 1:23). She also stayed a virgin after the birth: Christ is mentioned as "only-begotten in front of His mother" in Proverbs 4:3 according to the Masoretic text. This is because this verse here is not referring to Solomon, who, as is well-known, was not "only-begotten of his mother" (cf. 2 Kings 11:27 and 12:24).
 
Also, whatever Christ uses, He wants it only for His own use (Mark 15:2. Jn. 19:41). This holds for the case of virgin Mary. This was foretold by the prophet Jeremiah (Jer. 44:1-3). Virgin Mary is the gate through which the Word passed. Apart from Him, no one else passed. It stayed forever shut. We also read this in ancient hymns of our Church; e.g. in the Akathist Hymn: "Χαίρε πύλη μόνη, ην ο Λόγος διώδευσε μόνος, η μοχλούς και πύλας Άδου Δέσποινα, τω τόκω σου συντρίψασα, Χαίρε η θεία είσοδος των σωζομένων, Πανύμνητε".
 
Joseph, of course, is mentioned as the "husband" of the virgin but he is also called "father" of Jesus (Mt. 1:19. Lk. 2:41 and 48-49), and Mary herself is called "wife" of Joseph (Mt. 1:20). Indeed, the above make sense as expressions of relations according to the law. This is because, truly, according to the law, Joseph was Mary's "husband" and "father" of Jesus; but only according to the law, in order to protect the mother and the child. He was "her man" - the original reads ανήρ - in the sense that she was engaged to him, a sort of "fiancee" to him (cf. Mt. 1:18-20. Lk 1:27. 2:5), and was considered legally engaged to Joseph; and if she would bear a child from someone else, she was to be stoned to death (Exodus 22:16-17. Deuter. 22:28-29. Jeremiah 16:40).
 
Joseph, after Jesus' birth, is not any more called as Mary's "ανήρ" and there is mention now of the "παιδίον μετά της μητρός αυτού" (Mt. 2:11-14. 19-21). However, the Jews were considering Joseph as Christ's "father"; according to the law, he was indeed his father, not however father of his in the flesh (Jn. 6:42).
 
The writers of the New Testament that mentioned this topic were aiming to clarify the birth of Christ "without seed". For this reason they underlined that Joseph "did not know her, έως ου she gave birth to her son the firstborn" (Mt. 1:25). The "έως ου" does not refer to what would take place in future, but to that thing that took place in the past, until that moment that Christ was born, independently of the future events (cf. Gen. 28:15. 2 Kings 6:23. Ps. 71:7. 19:1, in relation to Hebr. 10:12. Mt. 28:20. 1 Tim. 4:13).
 
The word "πρωτότοκος" refers to the event that the virgin's womb was opened with the birth of Christ, and not to supposed events that relate to other children, that were supposedly born after Him (cf. Exodus 13:2. 1 Kings 6:7-14).
 
In the Holy Bible there is mention about the "brothers" of Jesus, but never ever were these "brothers" called as Mary's children. They were children only according to the law, not in flesh (Mt. 2:46. 13:55-56. Mark 6:3. Lk 8:19-20. Jn 2:12. 7:3,5,10. Acts 1:14. 1 Corinth. 9:5. Gal. 1:19). The same so-called "brothers" of Jesus, call themselves "servant" of Jesus Christ, after His ascension, and not "brother" (James 1:1. Jud. 1). After all, the word "brother" has a more general meaning in the OT (Gen. 12:5. 13:8. 29:12. 1 Paralipomena 23:21-22).
 
Mary therefore was a virgin before Christ's birth, stayed a virgin during the birth, and afterwards, and for this reason is represented in icons in the company of three stars which represent her triple virginity.
 
CONCLUSION
Therefore the succession, the "I am with you all the days" of the Lord's words in Matth. 28:20 is in favour of the ever-virginity of the Theotokos. When the angel told the Theotokos during her Evangelism that she will bear a son, she replied: "How come this for I know no man?". We said before that this implies that she had the intention of staying a virgin forever. And indeed. All the fathers of the Church believe that Joseph, "did not take [the Virgin] for [his] use, but rather it was oeconomised for him to watch over her", as St. Epiphanius writes against the heretics (Against heresies 78, 7; Migne E.T. 42, 721 A). In simple words, the Divine Economy brought Joseph in her life not in order for her to meet a husband truly, since the Bible underlines that the best for a woman is to stay a virgin all her life, but to protect her from the malice of the people.
 
Of course one could write many more testifications of the fathers on this issue. For more details, if one wishes to read a more thorough theological analysis on this issue, they can examine the work of Mark Siotis' "The Problem of the brothers of the Lord" esp. p. 57 , subsection 6 (in Greek).
 
I shall agree that the Bible does not speak explicitly on the issue of the ever-virginity of the Theotokos. However, even biblically the argument is in favour of the Orthodox and not the Protestants, whose views go against all (or some) of the above.
 
From a historical perspective (Fathers of at least the first 4 centuries AD) the argument is 100% in favour of the Orthodox, even taking into account the above exception. Therefore whatever is vague from a hagiographical point of view becomes clear when seen through the prism of the Tradition (in which the Bible belongs to as well).
 
I will leave the reader with two questions to ponder upon.
 
One is based upon the image of the Church as the Panagia that we meet in the Book of Revelation.
 
As we saw in our basic analysis, Revel. 12:1-6.13-17 presents the image of a woman dressed the sun and glorified with the almighty glory. This represents the Church (the word Ecclesia is feminine), but at the same time it symbolises Virgin Mary.
 
Do you therefore see dear reader that doubting the ever-virginity of the Mother of God is tantamount to doubting the "ever-virginity" of the Body of Christ, the inabolishability of His Church? Despite His promise that the "gates of Hades" shall not prevail against her?
 
The second question stems from our holy father and hierarch John Golden-Mouthed (Chrysostom) who would ask of the unbelievers:
 
"How could the one who gave birth to God accept to go with another man afterwards?"


Offline Ryan2010

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Re: Question for Protestants who deny Mary's Virginity
« Reply #130 on: Tue Sep 21, 2010 - 12:01:24 »


There is plenty of evidence in the Bible that Mary remained a virgin.


There is NOTHING in the Bible about Mary's sex life after Jesus was born.  IF you had ANYTHING, you'd quote it.  You don't.  The RCC doesn't.   In your post (stressing the Bible teaches it) you never once quoted it.  





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I posted a few apologetics that cover different aspects of the life of the Theotokos and there are verses that are provided that do point to her being Ever-Virgin if you want to look them over.   Will you agree with the interpretation is another matter.  

But this doesn't even seem to be the issue with you it seems.  You seem magnetized by the way in which the more ancient faiths express "dogma" vs the tradition you adhere to now.  

That's a whole other beans of wax (phrase of the day)


God bless

Offline Josiah

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Re: Question for Protestants who deny Mary's Virginity
« Reply #131 on: Tue Sep 21, 2010 - 12:05:38 »
Quote from: Josiah

I totally agree with you, Scripture would not say ANYTHING at all - one way or the other - about that



You're being hyper-literal in order to create a logical construct that just doesn't exist.  Does the bible say anywhere within itself that the Father and the Son are of the same "essence" and the Son is uncreated?  No.  However, when the narrative is included, the answer is undoubtedly yes. 


A doctrine CAN be a construct.  For example, IF Scripture said "Mary and Joseph in fact never married," I would have no problem with a dogma of Mary Had No Sex Ever - even though I agree such would not be specifically stated - it would be a reasonable deduction from what we are told.   And I realize that IS an EO believe (just one of many where the RC and EO disagree).  However, there's no verse on that, either.


There simply is NOTHING about Mary's sex life after Jesus was born.  And yet - THIS is embraced as a point on which to eternally divide Christianity, THE place to draw the line as it were, THE key issue.  A dogma - a matter of highest importance, relevance and certainty - unquestionable.   As I said, my Catholic teachers rather strongly taught us that to share something about a person that is not confirmed as true is "gossip" and is a sin - ESPECIALLY if it's personal or potentially embarrassing or offensive or harmful.   We were told to ask 3 critical questions before repeating what we are told:  Is it true?  It is helpful?  Is it necessary?    We adore, revere, venerate Mary above all women - there is none we'd rather NOT sin against or offend or hurt or gossip about.  Don't you agree?  So, 3 questions are absolutely essential:  Is it True?  Is it helpful?  Is it necessary?    Friend, if you were to insist that all the world's population (including little children) KNOW - as a matter of dogmatic fact of greatest importance, relevance and certainty, a "dividing line in all the Christian faith - that my sister has had sex exactly 521 times, simply as her brother (who frankly doesn't know and doesn't care how often she has had sex within the bonds of Marriage), my love for her would care about 3 things:  How do you KNOW this is true (and why do you care)?  Is this something helpful for all to know about my sister as a dogmatic fact?  And is it necessary that all people KNOW this?   Does this seem entirely unreasonable or unloving or uncaring to you?




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So there is a narrative that does in fact point to Mary's Ever-Virginity

Where?


 

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The "dogma" as you are saying is not about how often she did or didn't fillintheblank (why you characterize in such a crass manner seems a strange tactic) but rather it has to do with the prophecy of Christ and the redemption of mankind. 

Lost me, my brother.

The Dogma of the Perpetual Virginity of Mary is simple, direct and sharply focused.  
1.  It's about Mary.
2.  It's about virginity (here meaning without sex)
3.  It's about perpetuality (forever).

It is that Mary had no sex ever.

It has one application (given in the Catechism itself):  Mary had no other children.  


While I agree that God via Isaiah gave a prophecy that the Messiah's would be a virgin birth, a "virgin will bear...." it says nothing aobut Her being an PERPETUAL virgin.  

Yes, you're correct, Catholics will - at times - point to Christ in the apologetics on this.  But my Catholic teachers all rejected their apologetic as quite false and uncatholic.  



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My Catholic teachers taught me that to spread something about someone that is not confirmed as true is called "gossip" and is a sin, ESPECIALLY if it is potentially harmful and embarrassing and of a personal nature. 

Well, you used to belong to a Church that viewed the Church as the pillar and foundation of truth but you've given that title to your own ability to interpret and discern. [/quote]

No, I haven't.  But let's stick with the issue....


Uh, the RCC ALSO says that it is ALSO dogma (of equal footing) that Mary was Assumed into Heaven upon Her death (or undeath - the RCC is as yet withholding the situation there, yet to declare which).  It EQUALLY teaches the Dogma of the Infallibility of the Roman Papacy, the Dogma of Purgatory, the Dogma of Original Sin, the Dogma of Transubstantiation (very specifically defined).  Are you saying the Perpetual Virginity of Mary is confirmed as true because the RCC says it - and that's all the confirmation suggested?





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Just because you can not find "proof" doesn't mean a thing is untrue or unsubstantiated.  It only means that you don't know.

... which is exactly my current position.  

You also don't know how often my mother or my sisters has had sex.  







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So, lest we gossip and sin, lest we hurt and offend Our Lady (and thus Her Son), AND because you insist on telling the world world this normally private marital matter as DOGMA dividing Christiandom with it, where's the confirmation? 
 

You are saying that catholics gossip because your standards for what is true is in the text and in your personal interpretation of it

Obviously not, but nor is it MY responsibility to prove the RCC wrong in itself declaring that itself is right (there's no way to even engage such a circle).  

What I AM saying is that here we have a Dogma created.   Permanently dividing Christians.  And issue declared to be a matter of highest importance, relevance and certainty of truth.  A matter that MUST be affirmed with quiet, docilic SUBMISSION to the denomination.  Okay.  I'm trying to understand 2 issues, the SAME ONES the RCC raises when examinating the doctrines of all others:  Is it true?  Is it dogma?    I can understand how you might theorize that I - as a 22 year old VERY heterosexual single male - might have had sex 67 times.  It would not be an unresonable conclusion.  Not that such would offend me all that much (heck, I'm guessing nearly everyone assumes similarly anyway), but to ME anyway, if you are going to divide Christianity on THAT point, if you are going to insist on such as a matter of highest importance, relevance and certainty, I just think it quite reasonable (and probably sound) for you to have SOMETHING that confirms such to the level claimed and SOMETHING that suggests it should be an issue on which to eternally divide Christianity.  




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All boils down to tradition. 

Perhaps.....

So does the Infallible Roman Pope, Purgatory, Original Sin, Transubstantiation, Assumption of Mary.  Catholics would reveal to you these are actually older tradition than the perpetual virginity of Mary.   Does saying, "well, it all boils down to tradition" mean to you that ERGO it's correct?  

Now (knowing precious little about the EO perspective - which is why I don't mention such), I suspect you'll point to a Council that affirmed the PVM and note that no ECUMENCIAL Council ever declared those other things.   And I'd agree.  And I DO think that's a relevant point - one that (BTW) keeps me from joining so many of my Protestant friends on this issue.  I AGREE - that point (which some Lutherans bring up, and it SEEMS so do the EO) has relevance to me but OBVIOUSLY not to the RCC which insists that it's true because the RCC says so, not because of any true Ecumenical Council (the Authority being IT, not US).  But, ah - good discussions for another day and thread.  

IMHO, I'm just trying to get at 2 much more immediate issues:   Why does THIS matter so very, very, very, very much.  And how do we even know it's true?    Why do I care?  Because I love Mary and thus care about what is said about Her (not wishing to hurt her), and because Christianity is divided over this.  Not as such as some other dogmas (probably the Infallibiility of the Roman Pontiff would be on the top of my list there of Catholic dogmas - this one pales in comparison).  




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You've chosen your tradition and like anyone that dubs themselves their own personal pope, have decided to hold your standards up for others to follow. 


Neither the EO or I have a pope.   Take that argument elsewhere....

It's not MY standard that what is taught among us should be true.    The EO and RC were insisting on that LONG before I was born!




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The cult of self, who is able to set up his own proclamations of truth against others, naturally sees a corporate body of people in one accord, who see themselves as larger than the sum of her parts and adhering to the pillar and ground of Truth, as a threat.  I get it. 

.... I don't.   The only one I know of that has set up self as the sole authority, sole interpreter, sole arbiter and declared self alone as incapable of error and thus exempt from accountability is the RCC.   I certainly haven't.  And I've never asked (or insisted) that anyone or everyone lay aside the issue of truth in the singular case of me alone and rather "rest" in "quiet submission" to myself exclusively.   But I think we're wondering off topic....




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Unless we throw away our Holy Tradition and the Church's interpretation of Holy Scriptures

I've never suggested anyone throw away anything!   The only one insisting on that that I'm aware of is the RCC, which insists that it be exempt for the truthfulness/correctness of what it itself teaches.  And I'm MORE THAN WILLING to engage in a discussion of any Scriptures about Mary's sex life after Jesus was born but I don't know of any Scriptures to discuss.  There ARE verses we could discuss for Purgatory, Infallibility of the Roman Pontiff (traditions you don't accept as dogmas) but not for the PVM.  Again, I'm NOT the one suggesting we must throw anything away.  I'm simply saying that if this particular tidbit of bedroom data is SO important, SO certain, SO relevant to salvation (to the highest possible level) and is (it seems) potentially gossip and  thus sin, and is (potentially) so hurtful to one we adore and revere, shouldn't it matter if it's true?  Shouldn't there be some confirmation?  Something more than, "well, there was one person in 362 who used the title "ever virgin" when referring to Her!"   (which is the best I've seen to date).   The RCC has rejected FAR better supported ideas.  And the EO rejects the RC for other dogmas better affirmed (it seems to me).  





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Offline Ryan2010

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Re: Question for Protestants who deny Mary's Virginity
« Reply #132 on: Tue Sep 21, 2010 - 14:35:48 »
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A doctrine CAN be a construct.  For example, IF Scripture said "Mary and Joseph in fact never married," I would have no problem with a dogma of Mary Had No Sex Ever - even though I agree such would not be specifically stated - it would be a reasonable deduction from what we are told.  

Ok.  This is why I keep talking about tradition.  You see that you say "IF Scripture said" AND "it would be a reasonable deduction".   This exposes a base that you accept that is not necessarily present in the same form as you have it within protestantism. 

1.  IF Scripture said... 

The problem here is the interpretation.  As a Roman Catholic, yes, the Pope will affirm or reject interpretations and the Roman Catholics submit.  Yet, it's not necessarily black and white as we often characterize it because there are Popes that have taught things that the Roman Catholics don't accept. 

This is the reality. 

Now, in Protestant land we have a whole other set of "standards" if you will and those standards change the approach one takes when approaching scripture. 

For a protestant, it must be in the Scripture.  But the problem we run into is that the Protestants don't have any teachings or dogmas or doctrines that are binding on the whole of Protestantism but are only expressed on the personal level.  You can follow the teachings of a given teacher such as Luther but there too it gets confusing.  Luther himself taught things that Lutherans today don't believe.  Well how can they be Lutheran?  Well, because the Protestant "system" or "standard" is above the power of the individual and so even though a person individually might believe a thing to be true, the Protestant collective can not absorb or adhere to it.  Why?  Because then Protestants would all believe the same thing and they would no longer be a "body" of conflicting individuals. 

2.  ...  a reasonable deduction from what we are told

Reason.  This is again a protestant trademark.  Now, Luther said some things about "reason" that are quite opposite but the system of Protestantism as a "whole" can not absorb Luther's stance on "reason". 

If we can understand the Scriptures based on what *seems reasonable then we should all arrive at the same conclusion.  But the reality within protestantism as a whole is that everyone reasons differently and in contradiction to the other. 

This reality is not valued in the more ancient faiths.  It's not about "reason" so to speak but the revelation of God. 


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And I realize that IS an EO believe (just one of many where the RC and EO disagree).  However, there's no verse on that, either.

Well, there are certain realities and verses that do in fact point toward our stance but they boil down to the interpretive body and how it "works" in those ancient faiths. 

In protestantism as a whole, the interpretive body is the reader as an individual.  That's why Zwingli and Luther could not be in one accord.   That's why the Lutherans and the Baptists don't believe the same thing.  Or the Pentecostals and the Methodists or the Methodists and the Anglicans etc. 

Why?

Because each body gathers around it like minds that agree with either one body's "reasoning" of the scriptures.  Yet because Protestantism as a whole embraces pluralism but does not extend it outside of itself, they can only say that the Catholics, Orthodox and Coptics are wrong.  They must necessarily say this because otherwise their whole self-sustaining pluralism machine would cease to be. 

For a catholic (the more ancient faiths) we don't necessarily "base" our views ON scriptureor even ON Tradition but instead ON the Church who with the co-operation with the Holy Spirit gave us Scripture and Tradition.  This is why they are Holy. 


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There simply is NOTHING about Mary's sex life after Jesus was born.  And yet - THIS is embraced as a point on which to eternally divide Christianity, THE place to draw the line as it were, THE key issue.  

I don't know why you keep calling it a sex life.  You can just as easily call it her Chastity or Purity etc. 

And prior to modern Protestantism this was never a dividing issue.  Read the apologetic I posted on the other thread about the various aspects of the Theotokos life.  Much like the Holy Trinity, it wasn't an issue until it was contested.  Unlike the Trinity however, it was barely contested until very recent.  Not even the Protestants of old contested this.  It was shared by nearly all.  To blame those who have believed as they do for such a long time as being the "divisive" ones seems biased. 

It also is hard to take seriously a Protestant who calls the more ancient faiths "divisive".  Have you surveyed the condition of the modern Protestant whole? 

Also, it is not THE key issue.  But theology, a healthy one, is organic.  What you say here and there does in fact effect the "whole".  It's all connected.  You can't compartmentalize doctrines for picking and choosing (atleast not in the more ancient expressions of the faith).  That alone goes against the nature of Truth.  How can the foot go left, the hands go right, the head upside down without falling over?   

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A dogma - a matter of highest importance, relevance and certainty - unquestionable.  


By what authority do you express what is and isn't dogma.  This is the root of the issue, Josiah.  You adhere to the Lutheran position.  Lutherans don't agree with Baptists but yet it's the RCC that is divisive?  This is not a sincere approach to the Truth. 

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As I said, my Catholic teachers rather strongly taught us that to share something about a person that is not confirmed as true is "gossip" and is a sin - ESPECIALLY if it's personal or potentially embarrassing or offensive or harmful.  

Again this boils down to how you or a group CONFIRMS something as TRUE.   Does it not?  You don't accept the witness of the more ancient faiths but instead pour your eyes over the scriptures and because you do not agree with the interpretation of the ancient faiths on the Theotokos Ever-Virginity, you view their stance as baseless. 

What follows from there becomes baffling.  You state that you do not know either way because you can't discern an either for or against in the bible when it comes to Mary.  However, you then take that standard by which you personally confirm something to be true or not true and put that standard on the catholics who don't even use your standard.  You say that you don't know but then you turn around and call it gossip. 

If you don't know then you do know that either some do know or don't, but you don't which is true.  You don't know!  You must feel that either because you don't know that no one knows and so because no one knows they are all just gossiping and so then justify yourself in calling them gossips.

You do claim to know!  You claim to know that no one knows.  That IS your position otherwise you can't in good conscience call it gossip/sin. 

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We were told to ask 3 critical questions before repeating what we are told:  Is it true?  It is helpful?  Is it necessary?


Who defines what is true, helpful, necessary.  Yes.  God.  We all agree. However, is it by the interpretation of scripture?  Whose interpretation?  Luther? Zwingli?  Pastor Suzie?  That is where we all have to make a choice. 

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We adore, revere, venerate Mary above all women - there is none we'd rather NOT sin against or offend or hurt or gossip about.  Don't you agree?
 

We adore God.  We honor the Theotokos.  We don't gossip about the Ever-Virgin. 

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So, 3 questions are absolutely essential:  Is it True?  Is it helpful?  Is it necessary?    Friend, if you were to insist that all the world's population (including little children) KNOW - as a matter of dogmatic fact of greatest importance, relevance and certainty, a "dividing line in all the Christian faith - that my sister has had sex exactly 521 times

1.  The teaching points to  a reality beyond mere sex. 

2.  There is no need to become grotesque when you can merely say "Mary's Chastity".  You can't be crude and then try to call the issue on being a crude one.  It's self defeating. 

3.  Who and how is "true, helpful, necessary" confirmed?  The Lutherans go one way, the other folks the other way...
 
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Does this seem entirely unreasonable or unloving or uncaring to you?

You are juxtaposing your view onto those who don't share your approach and then using that to create a character trait that does exist.  We're chasing vapor trails here. 




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So there is a narrative that does in fact point to Mary's Ever-Virginity

Where?


It's not comprehensive but I did post some of the "apologetics" on the thread about the Theotokos and beloved bible stories. 

Most likely though, it won't matter however because though it is just the tip of the iceberg sotospeak at the end of the day, you have your tradition and the standard by which you create and use to confirm. 

Perhaps I will be wrong.  I pray so.

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The Dogma of the Perpetual Virginity of Mary is simple, direct and sharply focused.  
1.  It's about Mary.
2.  It's about virginity (here meaning without sex)
3.  It's about perpetuality (forever).

It is that Mary had no sex ever.

It has one application (given in the Catechism itself):  Mary had no other children.  

I disagree.  You are in your tradition allowed to believe as you want as to what others believe.  It goes beyond your one dimensional portrayal of it. 


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While I agree that God via Isaiah gave a prophecy that the Messiah's would be a virgin birth, a "virgin will bear...." it says nothing aobut Her being an PERPETUAL virgin.  

Read the apologetic.

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Yes, you're correct, Catholics will - at times - point to Christ in the apologetics on this.  But my Catholic teachers all rejected their apologetic as quite false and uncatholic.  

well most of these are things that often "point" and aren't in and of themselves strictly "about" x,y,z.  Dunno.  Scholasticism can be a hindrance I think if not used in moderation. 

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Uh, the RCC ALSO says that it is ALSO dogma (of equal footing) that Mary was Assumed into Heaven upon Her death (or undeath - the RCC is as yet withholding the situation there, yet to declare which).  It EQUALLY teaches the Dogma of the Infallibility of the Roman Papacy, the Dogma of Purgatory, the Dogma of Original Sin, the Dogma of Transubstantiation (very specifically defined).  Are you saying the Perpetual Virginity of Mary is confirmed as true because the RCC says it - and that's all the confirmation suggested?

No.  I'm merely saying that we are all true to our tradition regardless of whether or not our tradition is actually true.  If denying tradition is part of your tradition then you just wind up all over the map.  You create the standards by which you judge a thing to be true.  You might call it the Holy Spirit etc. and I very well hope that in some cases this is True but when it comes to the whole Protestantism of which you reside in one of its cogs, you do as your dictated to do according to self and self alone. 

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Just because you can not find "proof" doesn't mean a thing is untrue or unsubstantiated.  It only means that you don't know.

... which is exactly my current position.  

No.  Your position is that you don't know and therefore no one else does.  Which should be two different issues.  If you truly don't know, then you won't know if the more ancient faiths are right to express it as a dogma and won't risk slandering them by calling them gossips. 

Big difference there. 

If you don't know.  You don't assume the other guys don't either unless you think no one knows.  Let alone.  Hold your standard for "confirmation" of "truth" up to others when they don't even have the same standard. 

I might ask, by what authority or how is "confirmation" of a thing that is true or untrue expressed in your denomination?  How is it that, as a whole, Protestantism is divided amongst itself but in communion with itself and yet not in communion with those outside of it despite being divided from within? 

How is this a reflection of the "Truth" as you know it according to your own standards? 



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Obviously not, but nor is it MY responsibility to prove the RCC wrong in itself declaring that itself is right (there's no way to even engage such a circle).
 

No one asked you to.  It was only asked if you believed that she was Ever-Virgin.  You started playing on the dogma playing field and a few of us decided to wander over and say hello. 

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What I AM saying is that here we have a Dogma created.   Permanently dividing Christians.  And issue declared to be a matter of highest importance, relevance and certainty of truth.  A matter that MUST be affirmed with quiet, docilic SUBMISSION to the denomination.  Okay.  I'm trying to understand 2 issues, the SAME ONES the RCC raises when examinating the doctrines of all others:  Is it true?  Is it dogma?    I can understand how you might theorize that I - as a 22 year old VERY heterosexual single male - might have had sex 67 times.  It would not be an unresonable conclusion.  Not that such would offend me all that much (heck, I'm guessing nearly everyone assumes similarly anyway), but to ME anyway, if you are going to divide Christianity on THAT point, if you are going to insist on such as a matter of highest importance, relevance and certainty, I just think it quite reasonable (and probably sound) for you to have SOMETHING that confirms such to the level claimed and SOMETHING that suggests it should be an issue on which to eternally divide Christianity.  

Well by this reasoning we can also make sure that we don't not teach against the rapture because soon enough this too will become an issue that will make people think we are being divisive about. 

Modalists probably feel that we are dividing Christianity too as they hope to be able to put their product on the table as well. 

Doesn't add up. 

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So does the Infallible Roman Pope, Purgatory, Original Sin, Transubstantiation, Assumption of Mary.  Catholics would reveal to you these are actually older tradition than the perpetual virginity of Mary.   Does saying, "well, it all boils down to tradition" mean to you that ERGO it's correct?  

No, but if you adhere to that tradition then you will believe it or cease being a part of that tradition.  That's why no one seems to believe in anything other than personal interpretation anymore.  You seek first the Kingdom, not the most convincing argument or coolest speech. 

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IMHO, I'm just trying to get at 2 much more immediate issues:   Why does THIS matter so very, very, very, very much.  And how do we even know it's true?    Why do I care?  Because I love Mary and thus care about what is said about Her (not wishing to hurt her), and because Christianity is divided over this.  Not as such as some other dogmas (probably the Infallibiility of the Roman Pontiff would be on the top of my list there of Catholic dogmas - this one pales in comparison).  

Well, you can embrace a system that would welcome a pluralistic stance.  You have free will.  If you believe in the Protestant expression, you are free to go and align yourself to it.  Likewise with any expression of faith or not. 

You can attempt to create a church in your image or according to what seems right to you.  I mean, you think it's a petty issue and brings scandal on Mary and should just be a do-with-it-as-you-want free for all.  You're in the tradition that fits that approach. 

To blame Rome for the division there is kind of strange though.  I mean, they believed as they have about her.  Wasn't until recently that people began to challenge the Ever-Virgin. 

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Neither the EO or I have a pope.   Take that argument elsewhere....

Well, in Protestant land who has the authority to decide what is dogma or sound doctrine?  It's not scripture.  It's not a unified Church.  It's the individual.  The individual acts as a bishop when it comes to Protestantism as a whole.  No?
 
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It's not MY standard that what is taught among us should be true.    The EO and RC were insisting on that LONG before I was born!

But here you are challenging them.  Which Apostle sent you?  Why should we follow your system and embrace either your cog of Protestantism or the whole of Protestantism?

What exactly are the standards in Protestantism as a whole? 


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.... I don't.   The only one I know of that has set up self as the sole authority, sole interpreter, sole arbiter and declared self alone as incapable of error and thus exempt from accountability is the RCC.  

But a few protestants already have declared that they believe the word of God (ie their interpretation) over the more ancient faiths when it comes to Jesus brothers and sisters.  To disagree with them is to disagree with the Word of God of which they are in agreement with.  The protestants on this very thread believe the word of God and their interpretation is synonymous.  They have spoken!  It is so. 

They might not say they have set themselves up, but they do.  Otherwise they would not exist independant of the other faiths. 

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I certainly haven't.  And I've never asked (or insisted) that anyone or everyone lay aside the issue of truth in the singular case of me alone and rather "rest" in "quiet submission" to myself exclusively.   But I think we're wondering off topic....

I do believe that this is at the root of the issue.  Because all our want for proof or Truth, all of it, must be expressed somehow and for each of the sects those ways of "confirming" vary. 


God bless. 



Offline John 10:10

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Re: Question for Protestants who deny Mary's Virginity
« Reply #133 on: Wed Sep 22, 2010 - 09:24:56 »
Well, in Protestant land who has the authority to decide what is dogma or sound doctrine?  It's not scripture.  It's not a unified Church.  It's the individual.  The individual acts as a bishop when it comes to Protestantism as a whole.  No? 

You miss and misunderstand the whole point of what the Protestant reformation was all about!  Yes, it's about the individual being able to hear, read and obey the Bible for himself.  But then the individual who allows Jesus to be Lord of his life joins himself with other like Believers and forms a local church governed by elders elected by the local church.  This is what our Pilgrim and Puritan forefathers did when they came to America 400 years ago because the old religious system, both Catholic & Anglican, in Europe and England would not allow this.

I'm still waiting for someone to tell me Scripturally what more will God do for me that I don't already have now if I start believing in Mary's perpetual virginity?

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Re: Question for Protestants who deny Mary's Virginity
« Reply #134 on: Wed Sep 22, 2010 - 10:04:40 »
Well, in Protestant land who has the authority to decide what is dogma or sound doctrine?  It's not scripture.  It's not a unified Church.  It's the individual.  The individual acts as a bishop when it comes to Protestantism as a whole.  No? 

You miss and misunderstand the whole point of what the Protestant reformation was all about!  Yes, it's about the individual being able to hear, read and obey the Bible for himself.  But then the individual who allows Jesus to be Lord of his life joins himself with other like Believers and forms a local church governed by elders elected by the local church.  This is what our Pilgrim and Puritan forefathers did when they came to America 400 years ago because the old religious system, both Catholic & Anglican, in Europe and England would not allow this.

I'm still waiting for someone to tell me Scripturally what more will God do for me that I don't already have now if I start believing in Mary's perpetual virginity?

The issue is that by rejecting Mary's perpetual virginity (a dogma at both the Orthodox and Catholic Churches), you in effect call Jesus a liar when he said to the Apostles that "I will send you the spirit of Truth". The Church is Jesus' Truth, by rejecting the Church, you are rejecting the successors of the Apostles and as Jesus said "whoever rejects you, rejects me"

Offline Catholica

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Re: Question for Protestants who deny Mary's Virginity
« Reply #135 on: Wed Sep 22, 2010 - 10:45:27 »
I'm still waiting for someone to tell me Scripturally what more will God do for me that I don't already have now if I start believing in Mary's perpetual virginity?

Is this the attitude of the Protestant Christian?  What more will God do for me?  For a Catholic, its about how we can glorify God.  Proclaiming the whole truth, especially how Mary's virginity was preserved before, during, and after the birth of Jesus, gives more glory to God.  Proclaiming the blessedness of virginity itself glorifies God.

What can believing in the perpetual virginity in Mary do for us?  Well, for one thing, when we see that Mary is a type of the Church, we can see how to look at our own spiritual lives.  The fact that Mary was a consecrated virgin shows that she was wholly devoted to God. 

1 Corinthians 7:34
An unmarried woman or a virgin is anxious about the things of the Lord, so that she may be holy in both body and spirit.

We, in the spiritual sense, are to be wholly devoted to the Lord, placing the Lord first in everything, just like Mary.  We are to carry Jesus to the world as evangelists, just like Mary.  We are to follow Jesus our whole lives, just like Mary, and we are to look to Jesus even when sorrows pierce our heart, just like Mary.

2 Corinthians 11:2-3
For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin.  But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.

Secondly, when we see in more detail how Mary is the New Ark of the Covenant, we can make a whole lot more sense of certain portions of the Bible and why they are relevant.  For example, why God smote someone for even touching the Ark of the Covenant when it started tipping over.  And also, why the Bible has so much detail about the Ark and its beauty.  Just as no one could touch the Ark once it was consecrated to God, so too could no one touch Mary once she was consecrated to God.

Revelation 11:19-12:1
Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant could be seen in the temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, and peals of thunder, an earthquake, and a violent hailstorm.  A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.

2 Samuel 6:9; Luke 1:43
David was afraid of the LORD that day and said, "How can the ark of the LORD ever come to me?"
And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?

Thirdly, Mary's perfection and virginity demonstrates for us the sanctity of the female body, its holiness.  Joseph could not take her womb, he knew that he was wholly unworthy to enter into that place that had housed God himself.  Likewise we should respect womens' bodies as consecrated to their husband, even if it might be a future husband.  Mary at the annunciation agreed to become the spouse of the Holy Spirit, and so Mary had a higher calling.

2 Samuel 6:6-7
When they came to the threshing floor of Nodan, Uzzah reached out his hand to the ark of God and steadied it, for the oxen were making it tip. But the LORD was angry with Uzzah; God struck him on that spot, and he died there before God.

So understanding the perpetual virginity of Mary (and really, all the dogmas of Mary) helps keep us from thinking of Mary, and through her all women, as some "thing" that can be used and abused.  In truth, all Marian dogmas point us to Christ, and first and foremost, in the spiritual sense, the perpetual virginity of Mary is an example for us for wholehearted, whole bodied devotion to our Most High God.


Offline Josiah

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Re: Question for Protestants who deny Mary's Virginity
« Reply #136 on: Wed Sep 22, 2010 - 13:14:29 »


The problem here is the interpretation.


I respectfully disagree.

There is NO Scripture we are even discussing, much less differing on our hermeneutics of the words/grammar of that text.   This has nothing whatsoever to do with Scripture and thus with hermeneutics.   A person used the title of "ever virgin" in 362, THAT'S the issue:  is it thus TRUE to the level claimed?  And it is necessary as an unquestionable dividing point among Christians.
 




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In protestantism as a whole, the interpretive body is the reader as an individual.

I disagree; self appointing self as the sole infallible/unaccountable and authoritative interpreter is practiced only by the RCC and LDS to my knowledge.  I don't deny there are a tiny number of others who are so bold and egocentric and evasive, and I don't deny that in SOME way, at SOME level, this may be true in part for all.  But we are entirely sidetracked.  The issue has nothing whatsoever to do with hermeneutics since we're not discussing any verse.

 


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For a catholic (the more ancient faiths) we don't necessarily "base" our views ON scriptureor even ON Tradition but instead ON the Church who with the co-operation with the Holy Spirit gave us Scripture and Tradition.

Oh, I know this VERY, VERY well.   It's one of my most frequent posts.  It's RARE that any Catholic actually admits this (I'm typically flamed, labeled "Anti-Catholic," told I'm only spreading LIES and not infrequently reported to staff when I post that) but yes - that IS the RCC point.  I know it ALL TOO WELL.  

Here's how I see that.   Self simply waves the issue of truth/correctness in the singular case of the teachings of self alone, changing the issue from truth to power, itself alone insisting that whatever itself alone teaches is to be embraced "with quiet docilic SUBMISSION" (of course, a power word).   I think the Handbook of The Catholic Faith puts it very clearly:  "The Catholic is thus freed from the typical Protestant investigation of truth and instead rests in quiet submission to the Authority Christ established."   Ah, very clear.  Truth is not the issue (in the singular case of the RCC alone) but rather quiet, docilic submission to it itself alone.  This, you are correct - my question of "is it true?" is off their radar, so to speak, a question the RCC has declared moot and replaced with the issue of quiet, unquestioning, docilic SUBMISSION.  

Two things (since you raised this point):  

1.   In my Catholic days, I became very interested in American "Christian" cults and the LDS.  I spent a couple of years studying several (as well as "rescuers" - people and ministries that attempt to bring cultists into mainsteam traditional Christianity).  Of coruse, as espected, these cults are each quite unique and generalities often don't apply.  But probably the most stunning and obvious common denominator is the declaration of each alone for each alone that each alone is God's appointed mouthpiece - and thus the issue of whether what is claimed (including that) and taught is exempt from the question of whether it is true ("freed from the typical Protestant investigation of truth") and the whole issue replaced with the insistence of self alone for self alone that all are to be quietly, docilicly SUBMISSIVE to self alone.   Truth is replaced with politics, power.  I think it'
s a dangerous rubric and it seems to be quite unrelated to truth.  In fact, as a group that works with the LDS kept saying, "The true teacher welcomes the light and comes into the light.  It is the false teacher who must hide in the dark, sheild self from accountability, change the topic from truth to power; it is the false teacher who must build tall walls around self of the claims of self for self."  I think there's probably some truth in that.   Same group:  "In the cults, we see people who have confused submission with assurance, docility with certainty."  I think so....

2.  In the case of the RCC and LDS (but rarely with the cults), there is a STUNNING double standard.  The RCC practically invented the concept of holding teachers accountable.  It STRESSED doctrine and the need for such to be "correct" in a congnative sense.  LONG, LONG before Luther or Calvin was born, it was INSISTING - boldly, passionately - that all teachers of doctrine are fully and immediately accountabile for what is taught.  It never hesitated to question, to test/norm, to arbitrate - and if such was found to be wrong, to condemn, rebuke, excommunicate, defroke, and even occasionally dispatch the teacher to the appointed afterlife a bit ahead of schedule smelling like smoke.   WHY?  Because we MUST hold ALL teachers fully accountable for what is taught, investigating if such is CORRECT.   But then, when it comes to itself, it makes a STUNNING, absolute, total, complete, 180 degree reversal.  

Yes, I KNOW - I very, very much do - that the question I'm raising is not one Catholics are permitted to raise and for the conservative, "faithful" Catholic, is just "off the radar" and he/she can't even engage.   I tend to think they just stay out of these discussions (After all, whether it's TRUE is moot).  It's typically the Catholic apologetic who enters.  This one, however, is tough (although the Assumption is even tougher).  How do I know?  In my Catholics days, I was a Catholic apologists at interdenominational websites.  






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There simply is NOTHING about Mary's sex life after Jesus was born.  And yet - THIS is embraced as a point on which to eternally divide Christianity, THE place to draw the line as it were, THE key issue.  


And prior to modern Protestantism this was never a dividing issue.


I agree.   It's ONE of the reasons I'm not standing with most Protestants in rejecting this view.  

However, I'd also point out that many of these Marian DOGMAS are amazingly late and do NOT flow from major theological disputes (unlike most dogmas).   Even Catholics tend to have no clue WHY these dogmas even exist.  

And I'd point out they are DOGMAS.  Including some the EO does not embrace.

And while I agree that SOME of them once had a quite solid consensus, we seem to have develped a divide:  the RCC elevating them to the highest level as "dividing points" making them dogmas, whereas Protestants have slowly difted from them.   LUtheran historians often make the point that 500 years ago, Lutherans and Catholics were essentially the same in our Marian views, but from what I've read, the Lutheran perspective is that this is not at all to be confused with the 21st Century RCC view.  I have to bow out of that since I'm simply not aware of how these views have evolved in either community.





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As I said, my Catholic teachers rather strongly taught us that to share something about a person that is not confirmed as true is "gossip" and is a sin - ESPECIALLY if it's personal or potentially embarrassing or offensive or harmful

.  

Again this boils down to how you or a group CONFIRMS something as TRUE.   Does it not?


It does, but as you just so keenly noted, that issue is moot for Catholicism.  It has been replaced by the insistence of the RCC aloen that all just be submissive to the RCC alone.

As I said, it seems to ME it SHOULD matter to the Catholic whether what he/she is insisting upon as a point of greatest importance, relevance and truth about Our Blessed Lady IS true or not.  It SHOULD matter, because we LOVE Her and SHOULD not want to hurt Her, and it SHOULD matter because to spread unconfirmed things about another person is regarded in Catholicism as gossip and condemned as a sin.   So YES, I agree with you - it SHOULD matter!   The reality that it doesn't is a result of the point you keenly noted.    





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you do not agree with the interpretation of the ancient faiths on the Theotokos Ever-Virginity, you view their stance as baseless.

There is no ancient interpretation of any Scripture on this to disagree about.





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We were told to ask 3 critical questions before repeating what we are told:  Is it true?  It is helpful?  Is it necessary?

.


Who defines what is true, helpful, necessary.  Yes.  God.  We all agree. However, is it by the interpretation of scripture?  Whose interpretation?  Luther? Zwingli?  Pastor Suzie?  That is where we all have to make a choice.  


Lost me.   There IS no Scripture to disagree concerning the interpretation.  
Luther accepted it in large part because of his deep Marian spirituality and because he placed a LOT of "credit" the true Ecumenical Councils which had a strong, ecumenical and historic consensus among Giod's people (whom he regarded as the church).    This is ALSO why I'm very open on this - not yet decided.  BUT, a point that MUST be kept clearly in mind when speaking of Luther on this:  It was not dogma for him or any of the Lutheran Church "fathers."  Dogma requires Scripture, and in Luther's teachings on this, he noted teh strong tradition and the lack of Scripture.  There were (rare) LUtheran pastors who did NOT teach the PVM - they were disagreed with but not excommunicated or defrocked - thus illustrating that while the "pious opinion" was very strongly and nearly universally held among 16th Century Lutherans, it was not regarded as dogma.  Today, some Lutheran pastors embrace this view, some do not, the great majority (according to my pastor anyway) simply have no view.  In MY Lutheran congregation (where about half are former Catholics),  some hold to these Marian views quite passionately (especially Hispanics), many of us still bring Her up in discussions and refer to Her as "Our Lady" (or similar), and I noted (!!!!!) in the pastor's Sunday Bible Class a couple of years ago one person refer to Her as "the Ever Virgin" (sic) and, with my eyes wide and my ears open, I waited to see what the response would be.  There was NONE.



 

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Three questions are absolutely essential:  Is it True?  Is it helpful?  Is it necessary?    Friend, if you were to insist that all the world's population (including little children) KNOW - as a matter of dogmatic fact of greatest importance, relevance and certainty, a "dividing line in all the Christian faith - that my sister has had sex exactly 521 times

Does this seem entirely unreasonable or unloving or uncaring to you?


.

The teaching points to  a reality beyond mere sex.  


PERHAPS.... but it includes that.  

I think you "get" my point, but curiously are evading it?


 


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The Dogma of the Perpetual Virginity of Mary is simple, direct and sharply focused.  
1.  It's about Mary.
2.  It's about virginity (here meaning without sex)
3.  It's about perpetuality (forever).

It is that Mary had no sex ever.

It has one application (given in the Catechism itself):  Mary had no other children.  



Yes, you're correct, Catholics will - at times - point to Christ in the apologetics on this.  But my Catholic teachers all rejected their apologetic as quite false and uncatholic.  

well most of these are things that often "point" and aren't in and of themselves strictly "about" x,y,z.  Dunno.  Scholasticism can be a hindrance I think if not used in moderation.  


okay....





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.Uh, the RCC ALSO says that it is ALSO dogma (of equal footing) that Mary was Assumed into Heaven upon Her death (or undeath - the RCC is as yet withholding the situation there, yet to declare which).  It EQUALLY teaches the Dogma of the Infallibility of the Roman Papacy, the Dogma of Purgatory, the Dogma of Original Sin, the Dogma of Transubstantiation (very specifically defined).  Are you saying the Perpetual Virginity of Mary is confirmed as true because the RCC says it - and that's all the confirmation suggested?

.

No.  I'm merely saying that we are all true to our tradition regardless of whether or not our tradition is actually true.[/b][/u][/color]


I have posted that as the Catholic position and been BANED by the website for doing so - at the insistence of several Catholic staffers.  I appealed it and got it overturned with the promise that I would NEVER - in any fashion whatsoever, even from direct quotes from Catholics - post that ever again.  I agreed.  The ban was lifted.  But no matter what I posted, 2 Catholic staffers would reply with "You are an anti-Catholic LIAR."  The anger for noting what you just did faded with time, I'm pleased to say.  This website seems more open.

But you are absolutely correct.  I just do NOT have the guts to post it as directly as you did.  




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Just because you can not find "proof" doesn't mean a thing is untrue or unsubstantiated.  It only means that you don't know.

... which is exactly my current position.  

No.  Your position is that you don't know and therefore no one else does.


No.   My position is I don't know if it's true.

Your position is that it doesn't matter.  





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What I AM saying is that here we have a Dogma created.   Permanently dividing Christians.  And issue declared to be a matter of highest importance, relevance and certainty of truth.  A matter that MUST be affirmed with quiet, docilic SUBMISSION to the denomination.  Okay.  I'm trying to understand 2 issues, the SAME ONES the RCC raises when examinating the doctrines of all others:  Is it true?  Is it dogma?    I can understand how you might theorize that I - as a 22 year old VERY heterosexual single male - might have had sex 67 times.  It would not be an unresonable conclusion.  Not that such would offend me all that much (heck, I'm guessing nearly everyone assumes similarly anyway), but to ME anyway, if you are going to divide Christianity on THAT point, if you are going to insist on such as a matter of highest importance, relevance and certainty, I just think it quite reasonable (and probably sound) for you to have SOMETHING that confirms such to the level claimed and SOMETHING that suggests it should be an issue on which to eternally divide Christianity.



So does the Infallible Roman Pope, Purgatory, Original Sin, Transubstantiation, Assumption of Mary.  Catholics would reveal to you these are actually older tradition than the perpetual virginity of Mary.   Does saying, "well, it all boils down to tradition" mean to you that ERGO it's correct?  


IMHO, I'm just trying to get at 2 much more immediate issues:   Why does THIS matter so very, very, very, very much.  And how do we even know it's true?    Why do I care?  Because I love Mary and thus care about what is said about Her (not wishing to hurt her), and because Christianity is divided over this.  Not as such as some other dogmas (probably the Infallibiility of the Roman Pontiff would be on the top of my list there of Catholic dogmas - this one pales in comparison).  

Well, you can embrace a system that would welcome a pluralistic stance.  


No more than an Orthodox saying that the Immaculate Conception (born free of ORIGINAL SIN) isn't necessary WRONG but it's not affirmed as CORRECT either.  

Actually, I found the RCC "open" on a LOT - a LOT - of topics.  With no DOGMA on it, either way.  Sure, it's a lot less than once was the case (that 800 page Catholic Catechism of mine didn't spring up just like that in 31 AD!!!   And give the RCC a couple more centuries and it might top 1000 pages, lol.   As a Greek Orthodox friend of mine once said, 'The Roman Catholic Church has simply never learned how to shut up."  Well, it STILL does at SOME points.   No, this is not "pluralism" it's humility.  "I don't KNOW" is not the same as "All views are correct."





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.... I don't.   The only one I know of that has set up self as the sole authority, sole interpreter, sole arbiter and declared self alone as incapable of error and thus exempt from accountability is the RCC


.  

But a few protestants already have declared that they believe the word of God (ie their interpretation) over the more ancient faiths when it comes to Jesus brothers and sisters.  

1.  Read what I posted.

2.  If you disagree with self declaring self to be the sole authoritative unaccountable interpreter, take that up with the RCC (and each of the cults).  Read what the RCC itself insists on this in the Catechism of itself # 85.  

3.  There is no doctrine on this point anywhere in Protestantism known to me (at least, I've never been able to find any reference to such in any Protestant Catechism or official statements of faith).  That's NOT to say that SOME Protestants have a view on this (some Protestants have a view on the war in Iraq, the "Tea Party" Movement, and the price of Starbucks' Coffee, too).  But you're talking to me.  MY position is that we simply don't know if Jesus had any siblings via Mary or not - and it's probably moot anyway.  But it's not an issue I spend much time on, partly because it's entirely moot and partly because no one had any dogma of "Jesus Had Sibs" or "Jesus Had No Sibs."  No reason to spend a lot of time debating an issue where none has any official stand.   But of course, THIS thread IS about such a divisive official dogma - Mary Had No Sex Ever.  






God bless.  



- Josiah





.

Offline stevehut

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Re: Question for Protestants who deny Mary's Virginity
« Reply #137 on: Wed Sep 22, 2010 - 13:39:33 »
I don't understand the premise of this thread.

I know (or have met) thousands of Prot's, and as far as I know, none of them disputes the Bible's claims of Mary's virginity.

But why are we talking about Mary?  My religion is about Jesus.

Offline John 10:10

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Re: Question for Protestants who deny Mary's Virginity
« Reply #138 on: Wed Sep 22, 2010 - 15:39:08 »
Well, in Protestant land who has the authority to decide what is dogma or sound doctrine?  It's not scripture.  It's not a unified Church.  It's the individual.  The individual acts as a bishop when it comes to Protestantism as a whole.  No? 

You miss and misunderstand the whole point of what the Protestant reformation was all about!  Yes, it's about the individual being able to hear, read and obey the Bible for himself.  But then the individual who allows Jesus to be Lord of his life joins himself with other like Believers and forms a local church governed by elders elected by the local church.  This is what our Pilgrim and Puritan forefathers did when they came to America 400 years ago because the old religious system, both Catholic & Anglican, in Europe and England would not allow this.

I'm still waiting for someone to tell me Scripturally what more will God do for me that I don't already have now if I start believing in Mary's perpetual virginity?

The issue is that by rejecting Mary's perpetual virginity (a dogma at both the Orthodox and Catholic Churches), you in effect call Jesus a liar when he said to the Apostles that "I will send you the spirit of Truth". The Church is Jesus' Truth, by rejecting the Church, you are rejecting the successors of the Apostles and as Jesus said "whoever rejects you, rejects me"

Then who is this Jesus that filled me with the gift of His Spirit 39 years ago, just like the Acts 2 Christians, and with Whom I have been walking with ever since?

Jesus said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me" (John 14:6), not "the Church is the way, the truth, and the life; no one come to the Father but through the Church." 

Jesus said, "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS" (Matt 11:28-29).

The Jesus that I know and love has told me that He will never leave me nor forsake me (Heb 13:5), and I am continually finding rest in His salvation.

Blessings

Offline John 10:10

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Re: Question for Protestants who deny Mary's Virginity
« Reply #139 on: Wed Sep 22, 2010 - 16:17:47 »
I'm still waiting for someone to tell me Scripturally what more will God do for me that I don't already have now if I start believing in Mary's perpetual virginity?

Is this the attitude of the Protestant Christian?  What more will God do for me?     

Protestants have given Catholics Scriptural reasons/verses why we believe Mary had other children after she gave birth to Jesus.  I have seen no Scriptural proof from Catholics that Mary remained a virgin after giving birth to Jesus. 

The reason I asked the question was not to be self righteous, but to explain that I've received/entered into God's salvation that's in Christ Jesus the Scriptural way as fully as I know how, and am walking in the works He has prepared for me that glorify His name. 

Is there more to learn and more glory I can give him?  You bet!  None of us are "filled with all the fulness of God" (Eph 3:19) yet.

Can we learn from Mary's example?  You bet!  But Protestants honestly do not understand how Mary's virginity after giving birth to Jesus is either Scriptural or adds to the salvation the Lord Jesus gives directly to His children.

 

     
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