To which Mary do I refer? There are two very well-known persons bearing that name. One is the Biblical mother of the Lord Jesus Christ. The other, we will call "Mary Plus." She is the Mary of the traditional church, the Mary of myth. Those who wish to be clear about this matter must read the original -Bible- accounts of her life, and her encounter with Heaven, then compare their findings with all the rest of the story that has been added through the centuries. May I offer assistance on one leg of your journey?
The Bible's Mary descended from David (Luke 3:23, Matthew 1:16), and being Jewish, and therefore human, she was conceived with original sin. She was an acknowledged sinner who confessed her need for a Saviour (Luke 1:47).
But the other Mary experienced a miracle at her conception: her parents, though themselves affected with the human condition, brought forth a seed which was perfected by God immediately and grew to become the blessed mother of Jesus.
This doctrine of the immaculate conception has often been confused with the conceiving of Jesus later. But the catechisms will bear me out on this. The subject here is the parents of Mary, not the parents of the Lord. Immaculate conceiving is borrowed from Babylonian tradition, a faulty logic, and what is known as "the piety of the people." That is, so many good people through the years came to believe this to be the truth, that, it was reasoned, it must be true. Which is just more faulty logic...
What the immaculate conception doctrine is not, is revealed truth. God never hinted anywhere that there would be a miracle of perfection performed on any human being, causing their genetic structure to be unable to pass on the sinful nature. Never.
Rather, there is a promise to Mary, not her parents: "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore also that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God (Luke 1:35)." The miracle is inside of Mary, due totally to the power of God.
God Himself entered Mary, perfected her seed, not her, and that seed became the Son of God. She had no merit of her own. She did nothing to deserve what happened to her. It was all God, and He, Who shares His glory with no one, will be praised eternally for this wonderful moment.
Now that is revealed truth and cannot be refuted without pure unbelief.
Mary, the real Mary, here becomes the model for all the saving works of God that will follow. Through no efforts or merit of our own, His Spirit enters us, overshadows us, produces His life in us, and makes us sons of the living God. We are born again. We deserved it not, we did nothing to make it happen. It's all God!
And this other Mary becomes the model of all who will trust in the merits of man to save. For, because Mary is holy,Jesus is holy, this line of reasoning goes. And because I cooperate with God in my own holiness, God adds his work to my meriting soul and together we produce salvation.
Don't think you see the clear difference? It can take years, decades for some. The close resemblance of the two Mary's and the two competing philosophies of salvation are the essence of the struggle for God in our world. This is no minor topic.
I dedicate this article, as all articles, to the North Korean church. It is my prayer that the believers there will be able to hear a clean, clear, pure description of what God has done for them, and by that message be saved. We desperately want their liberty but not their introduction to the chaos of the western religions. May Christ be preached in His power and purity!
http://chosunhouse.com is a website I put together a few months back to get the word out to believers that they need to pray for North Korea. I have created over 200 blogs and the site features a live news feed, lists of resources, picture essays, and ways to respond to the overwhelming need in North Korea. Let's love Chosen together! Contact me any time at firstname.lastname@example.org
And who am I? A man found of God over 50 years ago, called to the ministry, serving the Lord as needed in my world. Married, member of a local church in the Chicago area, with full time work in public education. I love to write Scriptural works. Who are you? Would love to fellowship with believers who respond.