This article was in direct response to Robert James Heibel’s…
This article was in direct response to Robert James Heibel’s commentary in the group “Rise Up Catholics Pour Light In This Darkened World Jesus I Trust In You.” He sees the Catholic Mary as a false idol (Isaiah 42:9-12) at odds with Jesus, but in fact Mary is not at odds with Jesus at all she says, “my soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden” (Lk. 1:46-47).
On a positive note, I like the fact that Robert points out that along with Mary, the other saints are called blessed as well (Luke 11:27-28). If you wish to see what else he has to say please go to the above Facebook group. His narration is underneath an article I posted “Some people denigrate Mary and others quote the Bible and defend her.” Fr. Martin Luther has a much higher opinion of Jesus’ mother Mary than Mr. Heibel has.
Many years ago, I was on the phone with an Evangelical friend and the subject of Mary came up. I told her that when we say the prayer the Hail Mary, we call Mary blessed, “blessed art thou among women.” I asked my friend how she calls Mary blessed? She said that she didn’t call Mary blessed, “that’s idolatry”!
I pointed out that in the Bible, Mary calls herself blessed. “For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name” (Lk 1:48-49).
And so, I asked her once more, if Mary speaking in the Bible says “all generations will call me blessed,” then how do you, in this generation, in your church call Mary blessed today? What she just referred to as idolatry; she now admits that her church does this at Christmas time. They put out a crib scene with Jesus Mary and Joseph in it. I complimented her on her good answer and said that the only difference between her practice and mine is that she calls Mary blessed once a year and I call Mary blessed every time I say the prayer the “Hail Mary.”
In the end her problem with Mary was not Biblical, but traditional. Her tradition had simply taught her that anything having to do with Mary and the Catholic Church is idolatry.
Protestants have a tendency to quote verses of the Bible having to with false gods, idolatry and Satan. They then take these same verses and then apply them to Mary. First of all, Mary does not have any association with idolatry or Satan and so they are using the Bible out of context. In fact, it is Mary who explicitly says, “my soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden” (Lk. 1:46-47). Mary magnifies the Lord and so to associate her in any way with idolatry is totally false. Many people have an ignorance of Bible verses having to do with Mary.
Those who ignore verses of the Bible that have to do with Mary are victims of their traditions. The Bible does not ignore her, but honors her. The concept that Mary actually and ultimately points to Jesus is a foreign concept to them.
At the same time there are some wonderful Protestants out there who do in fact honor Mary and they have my admiration. Rev. Charles Dickson a Lutheran minister, comments on this in an article entitled; “Why all this fuss about Mary?”
“Having been raised in a traditional Protestant atmosphere, I was led to believe that Catholics placed far too great an emphasis on the Virgin Mary in their faith and practice and that such an emphasis deflected from the centrality of Christ. But in some 30 years of ministry in a Protestant tradition I have learned that just the opposite is true.
By upholding the importance of the Blessed Virgin, Catholics do not minimize the importance of Christ, but actually emphasize and underline His mission… When the Church ceases to focus on Mary, it loses its focus on Christ. That’s the reason for all the fuss about Mary… As Protestant theologian J. Gresham Machen admitted, ‘The overwhelming majority of those who reject the Virgin Birth, reject also the supernatural content of the New Testament’”.
If you are interested in this Lutheran pastor’s take on Mary, you can get his book at the following address. https://www.amazon.com/Protestant-Pastor-Looks-Mary/dp/0879737271
Written by Leonard Alt