The Sinlessness of Mary


Q. Do Catholics have to believe in the sinlessness and assumption of Mary?

A. Yes. We are obliged to accept and believe everything the Church teaches. If you are having trouble with any doctrine of the Catholic Church then you may have to simply choose to submit to the wisdom and authority of the Church. In other words, accept it purely on faith. But of course it is far better if you are convinced that what the Church teaches is true and makes more sense than any competing ideas. But this may take time for you to research the reasons that the Church teaches the doctrine you are having trouble with. You can ask a knowledgeable priest or research on the internet. And pray for God to help you find the answers to your questions.

I can guarantee that if you are honestly searching for the truth and not just trying to find fault with the Church, you will find answers that will be both simple and sublime. I have done this research many times and every time the answers are more intelligent, more logical and better documented than I had expected. I am thoroughly convinced by the evidence and thoughtfulness of Catholic theologians and don’t have to take blind leaps of faith.

Reblog from 4/18/07

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10 Responses

  1. Dear bfhu and whoever may be concerned,

    The Scriptures explicitly say that ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3: 23). For this reason, God sent His Son in the flesh to die for sins. God has not allowed us the option of believing that Mary was sinless. This doctrine is a fabrication of men, not God’s Truth.

  2. Did Jesus sin? He was man and your verse makes NO EXCEPTIONS for a Man who was also God

    If you make one exception then why not one more? For Mary.

    And the fact is there are millions of children at every moment who have not reached the age of reason in order to be guilty of committing a culpable sin, yet…..

    The verse you quote is certainly true in a general way. But you come to it with an a priori belief about Jesus being an exception and automatically rejecting the possibility of any other exceptions for no reason other than your Protestant bias.

  3. Hello Bfhu,
    The Bible specifically tells us that Jesus had no sin – see 2Cor. 5v21; Heb. 4v15 etc.
    However, the doctrine about Mary having no sin cannot be supported by scripture. Every human being born into this world has need of a Saviour. Jesus was the exception because He WAS God.
    Mary showed that she was no different to any other human being in this respect when she said: “My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.” (Luke 1v46&47)

    • There is NO Scripture that says everything must be supported by scripture. That is a Protestant tradition begun by Martin Luther a mere 500 years ago. We have believed Mary was Immaculate for nearly 2000 years.

      Please see this post–>All Have Sinned

      • Dear bfhu,

        Please understand that it is not so much that all things must have a Biblical statement explicitly teaching that thing in order for me to believe it. However, if I do not have a good reason to believe that something is true, in other words, if some man simply claims that it is true, then I will not treat it as if it is definitely true. I will certainly not hold to it as if it is God’s Word. Moreover, since I know that the Bible is God’s Word, that it is True, and that God cannot contradict Himself, I also know that if something contradicts God’s Word, then it cannot be true.

        A man must be the husband of one wife to qualify for the office of a bishop, rather than a man must swear an oath of celibacy to qualify for said office, for example.

        Joseph did not have “carnal knowlege” of Mary until AFTER Jesus was born, but by implication he did AFTER that time. Notice what the scripture says,

        “18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: AFTER His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, BEFORE THEY CAME TOGETHER, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. 20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.”
        22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,”[d] which is translated, “God with us.”
        24 Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, 25 and DID NOT KNOW HER TILL AFTER SHE HAD BROUGHT FORTH HER FIRST BORN SON.[e] And he called His name JESUS (Matthew 1: 18-15; NKJV).

        So Joseph did come to KNOW her after Jesus was born, which explains where Jesus brothers and sisters came from.

        Infant baptism would be another example.

        The idea of a Pope still another.

        Much more could be said.

        Sincerely,

        Joe

  4. Dear Readywriter,

    I agree with you 100%. The idea that Mary never committed any sin is absurd. It contradicts the plain teaching of Scripture that ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

    As you said, Jesus is the one exception because He is God and He came to Earth because of the above mentioned fact about the rest of humanity. Hebrews 4:14-16 says, “14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but WAS IN ALL POINTS TEMPTED AS WE ARE, YET WITHOUT SIN. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

    Furthermore, I have heard some say that the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception claims that Jesus could not have been sinless unless Mary was sinless also, because we supposedly inherit a sin nature from our parents. The above passage of Scripture tells us that Jesus’ sinlessness had nothing to do with His heritage, but rather from His Spiritual strength to obey, to love righteousness, and to hate unrighteousness. He was in all points tempted like as we, yet without sin.

    If they claim that Jesus had to have a sinless virgin as a mother in order to be sinless, then His mother would likewise require a sinless virgin for a mother, and likewise her mother would have to be a sinless virgin in order to be sinless, all the way back to the beginning. However, this would require that Eve also be sinless, which we know of a certainty is not the case. Therefore, this “Hypothesis” proves to be a puff of smoke.

    Thanks for your comment and consideration. May God bless your continued study.

    Sincerely,

    Joe

    • Where ever you heard that Jesus could not have been sinless without Mary being immaculate is not Catholic teaching. It is probably a Catholic trying their best to explain to a Protestant our beliefs. Otherwise Mary’s parents would have to have been sinless. That denies the power of God, as does the denial that Mary could have been created without a sin nature.

      • Dear bfhu,

        I certainly agree with you that God could have created Mary without a sin nature. In fact, I vehemently contend that God DID create Mary without a sin nature, just as He created you without a sin nature, and me without a sin nature and Adam and Eve without sin natures, and all others as well.

        I emphatically deny the false teaching that Jesus created anyone with a sin nature! God is good and has done all things well. Why would He create anyone with a sin nature?! This would make God the author of evil!

        We have all been created just as Adam and Eve were created, without sin and with free will. God gave us the perfect capacity to choose. We can choose good or evil; it is up to us. With that free will, each of us has CHOSEN to do things that are contrary to God’s perfect will. Moreover, the Scriptures plainly teach that ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3: 23). This is a categorical statement. In that He says, “ALL have sinned…,” there are none in the category not included in this ALL statement. Mary is in the category of humans with the rest of us. Therefore, she is in the same category that we all are in, the category of those who have sinned and fall short of God’s glory, and of those who need a Savior, as Mary herself testifies, “My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in GOD MY SAVIOR! (Luke 1: 46-47)”

        However, it is evident that there is another category not included in that ALL statement, and Jesus is in that category. He is Divine. All the fullness of the Godhead dwells in Him. He must be sinless. If He were not, His sacrifice would have been in vain, and our faith would be vain! He would not be the Son of God Who died for our sins! JESUS IS UNIQUE! MARY IS NOT LIKE HIM!

        Much more could be said,

        Thank you for your time and thoughtful, and hopefully prayerful consideration.

        Joe

        P.S. I am not a Protestant. I am a Christian, just like those in the First Century.

  5. Dear bfhu,

    When the Scripture said, “27 For “He has put all things under His feet.”[a] But when He says “all things are put under Him,” it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted (1 Corinthians 15: 27, NKJV),” the Apostle is reasoning with his audience. He says that it is evident that God the Father is excluded from this statement. Makes sense.

    Notice what he says in another passage, “8 You have put all things in subjection under his feet.”[a]

    For in that He put all in subjection under him, HE LEFT NOTHING THAT IS NOT PUT UNDER HIM. But now we do not yet see all things put under him (Hebrews 2: 8, NKJV).” He says plainly that when God says He put all things in subjection under Him that He meant ALL things, only God the Father is excluded, not Mary or any other person one might want to mention. This is because the above statement that there is one who is excluded from the ALL statement in no way authorizes us to add anyone we wish to the list of those who are excluded from that statement. It would hardly qualify for an all statement otherwise.

    In the same way, God’s statement about ALL sinning and falling short of God’s glory logically excludes Jesus because He is God and became man to suffer for the sins of man while deserving only reward. It simply will not do to take the fact that Jesus is excluded from the ALL statement as authorization for you to feel at liberty to add whomever you will to the list of those whom are excluded from God’s ALL statement.

    You do indeed play fast and loose with the Scriptures, just as you do with the Scripture that teaches that a man cannot even be considered for the office of a bishop without first being, and continuing to be, the husband of one wife.

    Much more could be said,

    Sincerely,

    Joe

  6. Dear bfhu, readywriter and whoever may be concerned:

    The Sciptures plainly say that we are created in the image of God, rather than with a sin nature. Each of us are indeed made without sin. However, all have chosen to sin and thus fall short of the glory of God, including Mary. She is in the category of the ALL who have sinned. For this cause Jesus came into the world, this is why he is excluded from the ALL statement. He is not a part of the category mentioned in said statement.

    Thank you for your time,

    Joe

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