FACING UP TO THE CATHOLIC MARY
Copyright (C) 1997/2003
By Phil Scovell
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
TRUTHS OF THE BIBLE
THE CATHOLIC GOAL
THE NEW TESTAMENT RECORD
THE OLD TESTAMENT AND MARY
QUEEN OF HEAVEN
SINLESSNESS OF MARY
THE BOTTOM LINE
FACING UP TO GOD
THE QUESTION OF BELIEF
REFERENCES - ROMAN CATHOLIC
REFERENCES - ORTHODOX CHURCH #1
REFERENCES - ORTHODOX CHURCH #2
FACING UP TO THE CATHOLIC MARY
This booklet is in response to an article entitled "Facing
Up To Mary" by Father Peter E. Gillquist. Because his doctrinal
claims were so clearly erroneous, and because Catholic theology
is being so easily accepted by some evangelicals today, I felt
the necessity of writing a rebuttal.
Though the article was void of any copyright symbol or date,
the following information does appear at the beginning of the
electronic version of the article: "This material is copyrighted
by Conciliar Press, Ben Lomond, CA and is made available on
electronic Christian BBS systems by special permission of
Conciliar Press. It may not be modified in any way, but can be
transmitted on electronic BBS systems for the edification of
those wishing to know more about the Orthodox Church."
This single line was also included: "Reprinted with permission
from Conciliar Press."
I obtained the article electronically via a computer
network. Though the electronic reproduction of his article
claims to be his own work, I cannot guarantee all of the quotes
taken from the article are in fact Father Gilquist's. What you
read in my rebuttal is exactly what I obtained electronically. I
have not modified or altered the text in any way.
On my Christian computer bulletin board Father Gilquist's
article and my rebuttal appear together to allow for equal
representation. I trust other system operators of computer
bulletin boards will permit the same. If, on the other hand, you
are reading this rebuttal in print and wish a full printed
reproduction of Father Gilquist's article, please request his
article by writing to: Conciliar Press, 10090 A Highway 9, Ben
Lomond, CA 95005-9217
or call 1-800-967-7377. An electronic version of both his
article and this rebuttal are available on my BBS; the modem
telephone number appearing at the end of this booklet.
This rebuttal is going to get me into a lot of trouble with
Christians who find very little, if anything, wrong with
Catholicism. Many evangelicals today consider Catholics not only
to be Christian brethren but doctrinally harmonious and fellow
believers with whom we should spiritually corroborate. Many
Bible preaching churches, denominations, national radio
ministries and seminaries have excepted the idea that Catholics
are in fact evangelicals and that they preach and teach the same
Gospel as do other fundamentalists. As Father Gilquist's article
demonstrates, nothing could be further from the truth and he
isn't even a Roman Catholic. Catholic theology, however, is
false doctrine no matter the denominational title. This rebuttal
demonstrates that Catholicism does not preach the same Gospel,
and further, the goal of either the Orthodox Church or the Roman
Catholic Church is to inculcate Catholic theology into mainline
evangelicalism for the sole purpose of expansion and dominance.
Christian liberalistic trends of today's neoevangelism,
unfortunately, is making their job much easier.
As already mentioned, the article upon which my rebuttal is
based is not written by a Roman Catholic but by a priest in the
Greek Orthodox Church. sometimes they refer to it as the Eastern
Orthodox Church but mostly as just the Orthodox Church. In the
United States it is called the American Greek Orthodox Church.
These two powerful church groups, that is the RCC and the EOC,
share common doctrinal fallacies and thus this article was chosen
because of their shared doctrines.
Because this article is based upon the worship of Mary, and
not all the false doctrines of both Roman and Greek orthodoxy, I
am emphasizing the influence of Catholic theology in general upon
the evangelical church today. The Greek Orthodox Church isn't
any different, as you will see, than the Roman Catholic in many
respects of false doctrine. They ardently deny, however, any
doctrinal agreement with the RCC and insist they are evangelical
Christians; howbeit "Orthodox." They even insist their doctrinal
views of Mary aren't anything like the Roman Catholic Marian
doctrine. Father Gilquist's article proves otherwise. Be sure
and read the reference materials at the end of this rebuttal,
however, for verification and comparison.
Before addressing the specifics of Father Gilquist's
article, I need to comment on aspects of his article which could
be easily overlooked. As is so often the case, it's what isn't
said that speaks the loudest.
First, Father Gilquist, though he never claims to be a Greek
Orthodox priest, is, apparently, since the article claims to be
authored by "Fr Peter E. Gilquist." He never makes mention, for
some reason, of his position as an ordained Greek Orthodox priest
anywhere in his article. I wonder why. Perhaps the "FR" is in
reference to some other designation?
Secondly, Father Gilquist never once uses the word
"Catholic" in his entire article. That's right, not once. I
somehow find this strange. He actually never even uses the term
"Greek Orthodox Church;" choosing instead to use the title the
"Orthodox Church" when referring to the Greek Orthodox Church.
Though it is clear to anyone reading his booklet he is not only a
Catholic himself but believes dogmatically in the Catholic
teachings of the EOC, he goes out of his way to avoid using the
word. He does, however, have a good reason for avoiding the term
"Catholic" which will become apparent as we examine the doctrinal
errors of interpretation by the Roman and Greek Orthodox
Catholics. The problem is many evangelicals today have swallowed
hook, line and sinker the myth that Greek Orthodoxy, or perhaps
more specifically the American Greek Orthodox Church, are
protestant Bible believers. The truth is they are just as much
Catholic in doctrine and practice as the Roman Catholics and thus
are called "Catholic" in this rebuttal. It makes little
difference to me if the Greek Orthodox Catholics refuse to
consider the Vatican authoritative and the Pope infallible.
They're still Catholics nonetheless and maybe it's about time
somebody say so.
Third, Father Gilquist, instead of calling his church the
Greek Orthodox Church, refers to it often as "the Orthodox
Church." This is their way of making sure everyone understands
there is no other. Plus it sidesteps any problems one might have
with their Catholic theology by avoiding mentioning the word
"Catholic" in the first place. It's, of course, quite convenient
because if you are the "Orthodox Church," how can anyone question
your doctrine. I have often heard Roman Catholics likewise refer
to the RCC as the "Orthodox Church." If you think this is
confusing, just keep in mind the old axiom "If it walks like a
duck and swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it's
unlikely to be a bicycle pump." In other words, a Catholic by
any other name is still a Catholic.
Finally, Father Gilquist nor the Greek Orthodox Church nor
the Roman Catholic church, are ecumenicalist, though he so
cleverly attempts to make the reader think otherwise. The Greek
Orthodox Church and the entire Roman Catholic Church have both
for years, tried to get evangelicals of all Christian
denominations, to see them as both "Christian" and "evangelical."
This is the purpose of the Billy Graham quote in his opening
remarks. More on Billy Graham later. For now, let Father
Gilquist speak for himself.
"I urge you to visit and get to know the historic
Orthodox Church which has maintained the biblical
fidelity concerning Mary and Christian faith in
general. Within the boundaries of Orthodoxy, the faith
and practice of the Church safeguard true commitment to
the Lord Jesus Christ together with God the Father and
God the Holy Spirit. It is there that the truths of
the Bible are taught in their entirety, where the
worship of God is experienced in Spirit and in truth,
and where Mary and the great cloud of witnesses for
Christ throughout the ages are honored and revered."
Boy, where did his ecumenical, harmonious, oneness, get
along with everybody, we're just like you, philosophy go? If you
are Catholic, his statements won't concern you at all. If you
are other than Catholic, however, his comments are, at the least,
worrisome, and at the most, alarming.
Let's focus on some key words used in his closing remarks
"I urge you to visit and get to know the historic
Orthodox Church which has maintained the biblical
fidelity concerning Mary and Christian faith in
Apparently the rest of Christendom has done a poor job of
representing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, not to mention
maintaining "Biblical fidelity," at least according to Father
Gilquist. The Catholic Church, on the other hand, has never
wavered in their doctrinal positions? I find it difficult to
even find the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Catholic theology myself
but I'll allow you to make your own judgement based on additional
quotes from Father Gilquist's article.
"Within the boundaries of Orthodoxy, the faith and
practice of the Church safeguard true commitment to the
Lord Jesus Christ together with God the Father and God
the Holy Spirit."
Here he falls back on the old trusty standby which Catholic
dogma as maintained for its entire existence, that is, it, the
Catholic church, has helped protect (safeguard) the true
spiritual relationship one can have with Christ. Without them,
apparently, you cannot have, or experience, spiritual intimacy
with Christ. In practice, they are actually much more dogmatic
about it than that. They even believe they are indeed the only
true guardians of the Holy Scriptures. For centuries the
Catholic hierarchy refused to allow their parishioners the
privilege of reading the Bible privately. Up until recent times,
the Catholic church claimed their own people weren't able to
interpret, let alone apply, the Scriptures without their help.
Too bad the Catholic church as not only blatantly misinterpreted,
not to mention misapplied, the holy Scriptures but they have even
altered and added to it over the years. All in the name of, I
might add, "safeguarding" it. If you doubt what I've just said,
keep reading and make sure you read the reference documentation
included at the end of this rebuttal. He actually gets around to
confirming what I've just said in his very next statement.
TRUTHS OF THE BIBLE
"It is there that the truths of the Bible are taught in
their entirety, where the worship of God is experienced
in Spirit and in truth, and where Mary and the great
cloud of witnesses for Christ throughout the ages are
honored and revered."
It is there that the truths of the Bible are taught in their
entirety? Shoot! I guess, unless you are a Catholic and attend
a Catholic mass, you're not getting the whole truth and nothing
but the truth? Then, too, apparently, true worship of God is
only in the traditions of Catholicism in the Orthodox sense of
the word, according to Father Gilquist, not to mention the true
respect due Mary.
THE CATHOLIC GOAL
Though not readily acknowledged, nor accepted, by many
evangelicals today, the true Catholic goal for the past several
years has been to get evangelical Christians to believe that
they, too, that is Catholics, are evangelicals and that they,
Catholics, share the same doctrines with evangelicals. Father
Gilquist begins by quoting Billy Grham to prove that even he,
Billy Graham, shares their doctrines. Here's what Father
Gilquist says about Billy Graham.
"If I have heard him say it once, I have heard Billy Graham
say it at least a half a dozen times over the years: We
evangelical Christians do not give Mary her proper due."
Actually his quote of Billy Graham was mentioned for two
reasons. First, he wants everyone to know that Billy Graham
believes like the Catholics and second, Catholics believe like
Billy Graham. I admit that Billy Graham hasn't helped anything
by sharing his platform with those who doctrinally disagree in
major Biblical positions but Billy Graham, nor any other
evangelical fundamentalist doctrinally agree with the false
doctrines of the Roman and Greek Orthodox Catholics. Of course I
could be wrong about Billy Grham but unless he has in recent
years changed, he doesn't believe in praying to Mary, her
intercessory authority, her perpetual virginity, her sinlessness
or her bodily resurrection. There is, of course, the possibility
that Father Gilquist may know something we don't about Billy
THE NEW TESTAMENT RECORD
From here, let's now systematically examine each of the
statements Father Gilquist mentions in his article and see if the
Scriptures do indeed agree with his Catholic theology.
Father Gilquist begins by making for statements about Mary
and attempts to substantiate Catholic theology with Scripture.
He begins with:
"1. Mary is the greatest woman who ever lived."
Using the confessions of Gabriel and Elizabeth in Luke 1:28
and 42, "Blessed are you among women," Father Gilquist attempts
to prove Mary is something other than what the Scriptures record.
Quick on the heals of this apparent Scriptural confirmation,
"She is the most blessed of women and for several
Before getting to those reasons, please notice that he says
"She is the most blessed of women" immediately following the
Scriptural quote of "Blessed are you among women." Father
Gilquist, the Catholic church and the Orthodox Church, all
misquote the Bible on exactly what was said. Both Gabriel and
Elizabeth said Mary was blessed "among" women; not blessed above,
or superior to, other women. The Greek word translated "among"
in these two verses of Luke's Gospel means (a primary preposition
denoting [fixed] position [in place, time or state], and [by
implication] instrumentality [medially or constructively]). It
is more than obvious that the confession made of Mary was one of
recognition only and not position; position of superiority.
Catholicism, however, would like us to believe that Mary was
exalted above all other women and yet the Scripture simply states
was blessed "among" or (in) women. Luke's actual record of the
angel's confession is, "And the angel came in unto her, and said,
Hail, [thou that art] highly favored, the Lord [is] with thee:
blessed [art] thou among women. (Luke 1:28). The Greek rendering
of "highly favored" is, (be highly favored, make accepted, to
make graceful, charming, lovely, agreeable, to peruse with grace,
compass with favor, to honor with blessings). Mary was most
certainly chosen by the Heavenly Father to give birth to His Son
miraculously but He never made her superior or a symbol of
personal worship by the rest of the Body of Christ. Father
Gilquist, the Greek Orthodox Church and the RCC, changed the
meaning of Scripture when he said, "she is the most blessed of
women." That isn't what the Bible said nor is it what the Bible
meant. The Greek meaning simply means she was picked, out of all
other women, to give birth to Christ. If the reader will take
the time to carefully study the passages of Scripture referring
to Mary and her life, it will be discovered she was a Godly woman
and in fact believed the angel when God's intentions were made
known to her. It was because of her faith in God and her
confession of faith in Him as Lord that allowed the blessings of
God to come upon her.
Before moving into his second point, Father Gilquist makes
the following astonishing statement concerning Mary.
"She was sovereignly chosen by the Father to bear His
only begotten Son. In that role, Mary is the first
person in all history to receive and accept Christ as
Who says? Father Gilquist? The Greek Orthodox Church? The
American Greek Orthodox Church? The Roman Catholic Church?
There is absolutely no Scripture anywhere in the Bible which
makes this erroneous claim but Father Gilquist makes it anyway.
He does so, however, as if it is gospel. A practice, I might
add, the Greek Orthodox Church and Roman Catholic Church has
exercised dozens of times throughout their history.
May I quote from the oldest book in the Bible? "Oh that my
words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book!
That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for
ever! For I know [that] my redeemer liveth, and [that] he shall
stand at the latter [day] upon the earth: And [though] after my
skin [worms] destroy this [body], yet in my flesh shall I see
God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold,
and not another; [though] my reins be consumed within me" (Job
Job knew Christ personally thousands of years before Mary.
Where does it say, because Mary was favored by God to give birth
to Christ as a virgin, she was the first person to accept Christ
as her Savior? He later states:
"Early in Christian history she is called [the first of the
He additionally states the following:
"Do you want to be favored of God? Then give Him everything you
have, give Him your very life. This is precisely what Mary did,
and why she is to be considered the greatest woman who ever
Father Gilquist, in his article, attempts to substantiate
his claim that Mary was the greatest woman who ever lived by
comparing what Jesus said about John the baptizer when Jesus said
no one was greater than he. Father Gilquist, however, as is so
often true in Catholic dogma, fails to quote the complete
statement of our Lord. "Verily I say unto you, Among them that
are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the
Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of
heaven is greater than he. (Matthew 11:11). If he is going to
make a parallel comparison between John the baptizer and Mary,
Father Gilquist must, by Scriptural necessity, conclude with
Jesus the least in the kingdom of God are greater than Mary.
That is, however, something never mentioned in Catholic theology.
Thus, it is Scripturally obvious that this, too, is simply
another Catholic theological position unrelated and
unsubstantiated by Scripture.
Another astonishing omission by Father Gilquist and those
sympathetic with Catholic theology is what Jesus said himself
about His own mother. Following the casting out of a demon, and
subsequent teaching on the power of God, a woman spoke out
concerning the mother of our Lord. Listen closely to what she
said and then how Jesus Himself responded. "And it came to pass,
as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted
up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed [is] the womb that bare
thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. But he said, Yea
rather, blessed [are] they that hear the word of God, and keep
it. (Luke 11:27-28). Here was a woman attempting to focus upon
Mary and her role in giving birth to the Son of God. Jesus, on
the other hand, redirects the focus and places it upon those who
believe He is the Son of God; not on the blessedness of Mary.
For some unknown reason, the RCC and the EOC has tried for
centuries to keep that focus upon Mary when Jesus Himself clearly
states, if Mary is blessed, we are even more so because we
"2. Mary is our model for Christian Service."
This is one point of Father Gilquist's statements with which
I fully agree. He simply states that Mary is our example of
Christian service, dedication to Christ and faithfulness and he
is certainly correct. It is his next statement which could choke
"3. Mary is the Mother of God."
In all fairness, Father Gilquist makes it absolutely clear
that Jesus Christ is God and that Mary is not, in fact, the
mother of the Holy Trinity. He furthermore clearly states that
Mary did not give birth to God Himself, that is, the Father God.
I'm glad to hear that Father Gilquist believes Jesus is God and
that Mary isn't the birth giver of the Trinity. Why Catholic
theology insists, however, that we address Mary as the mother of
God when the Bible clearly calls her the mother of our Lord, that
is, Lord Messiah, can only be explained as more Catholic doctrine
Note what he says concerning this Catholic doctrine:
"To see Jesus Christ as something less than God in the flesh
is sub-Christian. For unless the one in Mary's womb was and
is God, we are dead in our sins. To safeguard the full
deity of Christ, the Church has always insisted that Mary be
rightly called -as Elizabeth called her - the Mother of
The longer I spend time reading Father Gilquist's article,
the more I wonder if we are reading the same Bible. He actually
states before this amazing leap in doctrinal interpretation:
"After Christ had been conceived in her womb, Mary paid a
visit to the home of relatives Zacharias and Elizabeth, soon to
be parents of John the Baptist. When Mary greeted her cousin,
Elizabeth called her blessed and said, "Why is this granted to
me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" (Luke 1:43).
Elizabeth knew that her Lord, the Messiah of Israel, was in the
womb of Mary."
One moment he admits Elizabeth is saying Mary is the mother of
the Lord Messiah and the next minute he is saying that she calls
Mary the mother of God. He even quotes the Bible and proves
exactly what Elizabeth said but still insists she calls Mary the
mother of God when Elizabeth said no such thing. Why does
Catholic theology insist upon calling Mary the mother of God?
Though the answer to this question will be obvious as we examine
more Catholic theology, follow the progression of drift from the
plain interpretation of Scripture as Father Gilquist continues.
"Just as we insist on the Virgin birth of Christ, we also
insist that for the nine months she carried Him in His
humanity He was at every moment fully God as well. Thus we
say boldly and with great insistence that Mary is the Mother
of God, Theotokos, God-bearer. To say anything less is to
side with those who deny His deity."
There it is! If you claim to be a Christian and refuse to
agree with Catholic theology which states Mary is actually the
mother of God, you aren't a believer in Christ's deity and
labeled "sub-christian" by the "Orthodox Church."
Is this Catholic doctrine really worth an argument? I mean,
as Bible Believers today, don't we, too, believe Jesus Christ is
God? If so, is it wrong, or at the very least theologically
incorrect, to refer to Mary as the mother of God? Before this
question is answered, let's look at Father Gilquist's next Marian
"4. We are to honor Mary and call her blessed."
on the surface, this appears to be an agreeable position but
Catholic theology carries it far beyond Scriptural bounds. Note
Father Gilquist's comments concerning what he really means by
saying we should bless Mary.
"Now comes the toughest test of all. Not only is Mary the
most blessed of women, our model for obedience, and the
Mother of God, we are called to honor her and to bless her.
How do we know? The Bible tells us so. During her
three-month stay at Elizabeth's house, Mary offered one of
the most beautiful prayers of praise to the Lord in all the
Scriptures. It begins, "My soul magnifies the Lord," and
thus it has become known as "The Magnificat." In that
prayer, inspired by the Holy Spirit, Mary prophesied,
"hence-forth, all generations will call me blessed" (Luke
1:48). Essentially, all generations in Church history have
done so; only the last two centuries have faltered. Our
generation of American Christians is filled with those who
refuse to bless her, and we must change our ways. For some
Christian bodies have come to stand dogmatically against
Christ and the New Testament by refusing to bless her."
Father Gilquist, along with the EOC and the RCC, claims the
Bible commands us to "bless" Mary in some way. Mary, on the
other hand, simply said she would be called (considered) blessed
by all others; not that we should "actually literally bless" her.
This is just another Catholic addition to Bible doctrine that
Scripture never once confirms. Why does Catholic theology insist
we "bless" Mary in some special way? I'm coming to that but
first read carefully Father Gilquist's next statement concerning
why we should bless Mary above all others.
"And because Christ is our elder brother, the first born of
many brethren, we honor the Virgin Mary as our Mother, our
lady, as well. Just as Eve was mother of the old Adamic
race, so Mary is the true Mother of the new race, the Body
of Christ, the Church."
Also he states:
"we are called by God in no uncertain terms to bless the
Mother of our God. We cannot get around that point in
Mary has moved from a woman who is blessed among other women
to the "blessed of all women." From there she has moved from the
virgin who gave birth to our Lord to the "mother of God." Then
she moves from one who is honored and "called blessed" to one who
is one who becomes an object of our adoration and prayers as we
"bless" her. Then she moves into more defined Heavenly
prominence as she becomes "our mother" and "the true Mother of
the new race, the Body of Christ, the Church." It is impossible
for the student of the Bible to ignore this doctrinal progression
of Scriptural inconsistency resident in Catholic Mariology.
Actually, it is that very fact, that is, Catholic theology has
made Mary a doctrine, which causes the conflict. No where in
Scripture are we given license to consider Mary a doctrine upon
which personal relationship with God is based. Catholic theology
Though shortly I will consider the Catholic doctrines of
Mary's sinlessness, her perpetual virginity, her intercessory
authority and her supernatural ability to save souls, for now it
is important to recognize that the entire Catholic doctrinal
position on Mary was flawed from the beginning and all subsequent
doctrinal positions thereafter are based upon that flaw. It
makes little difference if such is proclaimed by the Eastern
Orthodox Church or the Roman Catholic Church; they are both
Scripturally and doctrinally in error.
THE OLD TESTAMENT AND MARY
Father Gilquist, along with both the RCC and the EOc,
insists the Old Testament confirms Mary was a perpetual virgin,
that is, she was a virgin before during and after the birth of
Christ. Before leaving the Old Testament section of his article,
he says things such as:
"From the very early years of the Church, Mary was called
not only Virgin, but Ever-Virgin. She was seen as never
having had a sexual union with Joseph, before or after the
birth of Christ."
He also attempts to use a single Old Testament passage to
prophetically identify Mary's perpetual virginity.
"Ezekiel 44:1-2 is a passage often referred to by the early
Fathers in this regard. It states: "Then He brought me
back to the outer gate of the sanctuary which faces toward
the east, but it was shut. And the Lord said to me, 'This
gate shall be shut; it shall not be opened, and no man shall
enter by it, because the Lord God of Israel has entered by
it; therefore it shall be shut.'" In traditional
interpretation of this passage, Mary is the temple and
Christ is the Prince of Peace. The gate mentioned is seen
as a picture of Christ's passage through the door of Mary's
Boy, you certainly have to use your spiritual imagination on
this one. I am always amazed the length people will go in order
to make the Bible Scripturally applicable to personal theology.
Of course if you are the guardian of true commitment to Christ,
along with the protectorate of the Holy Scriptures, you can
interpret anyway you wish and if you are the "Orthodox," no one
can question that interpretation. This passage, of course,
clearly has nothing to do with Mary nor her virginity. When he
says, "In traditional interpretation of this passage," he
actually means in Catholic tradition because they, the Catholics
and those who doctrinally concur with Catholic Mariology, are the
only ones who stretch the spiritual imagination beyond
hermeneutical bounds with this rendering. If the student of the
Bible will take the time to read carefully the record of Ezekiel,
it will be easily seen that God was referring to judgement come
upon Israel because they forsook Him and His, the Lord's, house
including the sacrifices for sin. How Catholic theology, or
anyone for that matter, renders this passage a prophetical
utterance of Mary's virginity is truly amazing. When your
foundation is false, however, it is easy to build on that false
idea until what you wind up with is something totally unbiblical.
Father Gilquist then takes one more step beyond Scriptural
"At this point, however, a very valid question can be
raised. If she remained a virgin, why does the Gospel of
Matthew tell us that Joseph knew not his wife until after
Christ was born (Matthew 1:25)?"
He then does some Scriptural hocus pocus and attempts to
explain that this really doesn't need to mean she sexually knew
her husband after the birth of Christ. Frankly, he dismisses
everything by saying the following concerning Mary and her
"But doesn't the Bible also mention other brothers and
sisters of Christ? Who are they and where did they come
from? For one thing, they are never directly called the
sons and daughters of Mary and Joseph. In several passages
the Bible speaks of the children or relatives as "brothers."
Abraham and Lot are called brothers, although Lot was
actually Abraham's nephew. And Jacob and Laban are called
brothers, even though Jacob was the son of Rebecca, Laban's
sister. Scripture is therefore silent concerning the nature
of this relationship between Christ and these brothers and
sisters. Early Fathers differed slightly in their
understanding of what the terms meant. Some, such as Saint
Ambrose, believed that they were children of a former
marriage between Joseph and a wife who died prior to Matthew
chapter 1. Others taught that they were cousins. But on
one point, almost everyone is in agreement: Mary and Joseph
had no sexual union whatsoever, before or after the birth of
Almost everyone is in agreement? Father Gilquist, you know
very well that statement is a million light years from the truth.
Innumerable scholars and theologians over the centuries, not to
mention denominations and church leaders, adamantly disagree with
this Catholic interpretation and have been for centuries. A lot
of fancy Scriptural foot work is evident in the Catholic view of
Mary's perpetual virginity and the only group holding fast to
this unscriptural view happens to be the Catholic church and
those sympathetic with Catholic Mariology. Anyone who can simply
explain away the brothers and sisters of Christ, the children
born to Mary and Joseph, will attempt to make us believe
anything. Speaking of which, here it comes.
QUEEN OF HEAVEN
Catholic Marian theology takes another giant step away from
Biblical evidence as is clearly seen so graphically in Father
Gilquist's next statement. This is under his heading of
"If we as the Church are called to be "without spot or
blemish or any such thing, but holy and blameless"
(Ephesians 5:27), does it not follow that she who is the
progenitor of the Lord of that Church should be of that same
holy character? Not only has Mary by the mercy and power of
God conquered both sin and death, the Psalmist sees a
glimpse of her in heaven through prophetic eyes. For in
Psalm 45:9, Christ is King and Mary is atHis side as Queen -
and rightly so. If God can make us "kings and priests"
(Revelation 1:6) for all eternity, certainly He has the
prerogative to crown her with higher honor in heaven's royal
procession. Little did John and James realize the day they
argued about which of them might occupy the seat of honor at
Christ's right hand in the Kingdom, that God the Father had
already reserved that space for the marvelous woman He chose
to bear His Son for our salvation. The honor is appropriate
for the most blessed of all women, the one who is our very
icon of holiness. Who else could be more rightly rewarded?
Thus the Psalmist is well within the mark when he writes of
Christ, "At Your right hand stand the queen!"
Conquered sin and death? Queen? My! I bet you weren't
aware Catholic theology considers Mary the "Queen" of Heaven.
Now you know. Father Gilquist slipped that one in on us without
even quoting the passage and his paraphrase of the passage leaves
a lot to be desired. If one will take time to read all of Psalm
45, it will be understood that the Psalm is in reference to God
and his throne and His eternal righteousness. It is a poetic
rendition of God's eternal glory and the rightful place Jesus
Christ takes as King. No where is any reference made of Mary
prophetically, or symbolically, in the passage unless, of course,
you're Catholic. If the queen in Psalm 45 is symbolic of
anything, it would be the Church (the body of Christ) to whom
Christ is married; not His mother. The last time I checked, it
was wrong to wed your mother. Jesus never was figuratively,
symbolically or literally married to His mother and Scripture
never once suggests Mary is Queen of Heaven. The Orthodox
Church, not to mention the Roman Catholic Church, have both made
it a doctrinal position."
SINLESSNESS OF MARY
In Father Gilquist's article, he makes some confusing
statements about the Catholic doctrinal positions on Mary's
sinlessness and bodily resurrection.
"Not only has Mary by the mercy and power of God conquered
both sin and death, the Psalmist sees a glimpse of her in
heaven through prophetic eyes."
He then says:
"There are two other beliefs concerning Mary that must be
briefly mentioned and addressed. The first is her bodily
assumption into heaven, the other her immaculate conception.
It was widely reported in the early Church that shortly
after her death, Mary's body was assumed into heaven. In
later centuries, the Roman Church ratified this belief as
dogma, while the Eastern Church withheld such an official
imprimatur. Most Christians agree that such a miracle is
within the realm of firm biblical precedent, Enoch and
Elijah being two examples. Further, there is no known
record of any gravesite or relics of the Holy Virgin. The
assumption of the Virgin is safely seen as an historic
Christian tradition, though not recorded in the Scriptures.
The Immaculate Conception of Mary is a doctrine unknown in
the ancient Church and unique to the modern Roman Church.
In an effort to distance Mary (and protect Christ) from the
stain of sin, the Immaculate Conception holds Mary was
conceived and born without sin. This teaching has no basis
either in Scripture or in the Creeds of the Church.
Whatever other excesses may have cropped up in history, the
Roman Church has never believed or officially taught that
Mary was in any way coequal with the Trinity or was to be
worshipped with the Trinity. Such allegations are sometimes
set forth by critics of the Roman Church, but without basis
One minute Father Gilquist is saying Catholic theology
doesn't believe nor teach in the sinlessness and bodily
resurrection of Mary and then in the very next breath he says the
opposite. The reason for this confusing dichotomy is related to
the difference of authoritarian recognition in the Eastern
Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches. Amazingly he admits the
Bible never says Mary was either born sinless or became sinless.
He, and his church, along with the RCC do in fact believe Mary
was sinless however. One may say she was born sinless while the
other claims she became sinless but frankly it makes little
difference; it's still unscriptural. Why Catholic theology
chooses to superimpose their doctrines over Holy Scripture is a
mystery. He may say the Orthodox and Catholic church doesn't
teach it but their official doctrinal positions clearly state
otherwise. I'm sure Father Gilquist is aware no priest would
ever be allowed by either the Greek Orthodox Church nor the Roman
Catholic to pastor if he denied Mary's sinlessness and her bodily
resurrection or, as it is stated, "her assumption."
Father Gilquist spends a little time attempting to explain
why the Catholic church believes Mary is one of our intercessors
to God. His argument is so weak and fragmented, I won't take the
time to quote his explanation. He concludes his doctrinal
arguments on the topic of Mary mediator by saying:
"Mary has a unique role in our salvation because she
provided the body of Christ and thereby became the "mother"
of all those who would be saved. That is why Jesus, while
on the Cross, said to His mother, "Woman, behold your son!"
and then said to Saint John, "Behold, your mother!"
Catholic theology has to justify the claim that we need to
pray to the virgin Mary and this is it. Catholic theology
clearly teaches Mary can assist others in getting into Heaven.
Thus it is reasonable that she not only should be blessed but
prayerfully entreated to obtain salvation both for oneself and
for others. Hence, Mary is a mediator between God and man.
There is, of course, not a single reference to substantiate this
claim for the Bible clearly states, "
For [there is] one God, and one mediator between God and men,
the man Christ Jesus," (1 Timothy 2:5).
Well, we've come a long way with our Catholic Marian
theology. We began with the concept of simply giving Mary her
due into making her "the greatest woman who ever lived." Though
Mary simply said all peoples would henceforth called her a
blessed woman, Catholic theology thinks we are to bless her and
to literally offer her our prayers. We then moved into an area
which we are told makes Mary the first Christian. We then
progressed from simply honoring her and calling her blessed to
accepting the fact that she is the mother of all Christians; the
Church. Of course this is logical because we must also believe
that Mary was, and is, the mother of God. For some reason we
then must believe that Mary was a virgin before during and after
her marriage to Joseph. Of course we know the Bible says she was
a virgin when Christ was born so why not go beyond Scripture and
believe she was "forever virgin." We must dismiss, therefore,
the Scriptural references to Mary and Joseph's children following
the virgin birth of Christ. They were probably from a previous
marriage of Joseph anyway. Maybe they were cousins...who knows
or cares. She must have been a perpetual virgin no matter what
the Bible says.
From this point we discover that Christ is King and Mary is
Queen; Queen of Heaven. She became queen, of course, after her
bodily resurrection which just so happens to have occurred
following Christ's bodily resurrection. Then it becomes quite
easy to believe that Mary was sinless and now can, and does,
intercede in our behalf as a mediator. Father Gilquist avoids
mentioning that Catholics are instructed to pray to Mary and he
flatly denies they worship her. I don't know what you call it
when you pray to someone or something if it isn't worship, but
that's what he says anyway.
THE BOTTOM LINE
I began this booklet by quoting Father Gilquist's final
remarks because it so clearly reveals his true intentions. His
final section was entitled "TAKING ACTION." What he suggests, of
course, is that if you really want to be a Bible believer, become
theologically correct, that is, Orthodox in your beliefs. Start
by joining the Greek Orthodox (the Eastern Orthodox or the
American Orthodox Church), and embrace their unscriptural stand
on Mary for starters. By doing so, of course, you'll be
embracing Catholic theology; something the Orthodox Church fails
to mention up front. His overall intention, however, was to
attempt to make other Christians believe Catholic theology is
compatible with evangelicalism. He concludes, on the other hand,
by making it clear that the Orthodox Church is the only outfit in
town and if you really want to be a true Christian, well then,
join them and adopt Catholic theology but without association of
the roman Catholic title.
The true doctrine of the Catholic Church is salvation by
works. Praying to Mary, participating in "Holy Communion,"
baptism by sprinkling and a zillion other such works are all
requirements in Catholic theology for true and secured salvation.
Actually, it's a whole lot easier than that. "If you shall
confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your
heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved.
(Romans 10:9). Notice, nothing was said about praying to or
believing in Mary's sinlessness or bodily resurrection. Try
telling a Catholic that.
FACING UP TO GOD
A number of years ago we lived next door to one of the
finest men I've ever known. He was our landlord. All of his
children were grown and he lived alone. My children were all
very small at the time and he became like a grandfather; spending
hours with them every week. Eventually we learned he was
diagnosed with terminal cancer and had but a few months to live.
We often had him in our home, and once, shortly before he
died, we sat across the dinning room table from each other and I
began sharing with him the Gospel. "Where will you spend
eternity, Frank," I asked. Of course, he said, "I hope I'll go
to Heaven." Here was a man who had lived his entire life as a
Roman Catholic, prayed to Mary that he might be saved and ushered
into Heaven when he died, took Holy communion weekly, had been
sprinkled by the priest with holy baptismal water, and faithfully
practiced every thing he had been taught by the Catholic Church.
Yet he was uncertain about where he would wind up when it was all
over. Though I tried my best to show him how he could no for
certain he would be in Heaven when he died, his Catholic theology
continually blocked the plain simple truth of God's Word on the
subject of salvation. When I asked him if he had ever confessed
he was a sinner and invited Christ into his heart as Lord, he
said the same thing I've heard every Catholic say with whom I
shared the Gospel. "Oh sure. We do that every time we take Holy
communion." By the way, the term "holy communion" is never once
used in the New Testament. Was he depending upon his confession
of sin and admission of Christ as Lord of his life for his
salvation? Was there a great deal of dependency placed upon his
works and what he believed concerning communion? I personally
would not want to take the gamble but, thanks to the false
doctrines of the Catholic Church, not to mention the Greek
Orthodox Church, millions today do. When coming to the end of
one's life, facing up to God becomes a lot more important than
facing up to Mary. The Heavenly Father is going to judge us
based upon what we did with Christ; not His mother.
THE QUESTION OF BELIEF
From here the question is always raised, "Is a Catholic born
again? Besides, they believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
Don't they?" Simply believing isn't enough. The bible clearly
states confession must be made that Jesus Christ is Lord; not
communion, not baptism, not prayers to Mary, not her bodily
resurrection, not the infallibility of a pope no matter his
denomination. We must direct our confession of sin to Christ;
not to Mary or a priest. We must make Christ Lord of our life
and depend fully upon His Word for salvation; not works or church
customs, practices or creeds of any kind. If a Catholic, or
anyone else, believes anything they've done will secure their
salvation and home in Heaven, they are placing their faith on
something other than Jesus Christ. Salvation is unavailable to
those who focus on anything other than Christ as Lord and
Saviour; the only Mediator between God and man.
The real danger today is an infiltration of erroneous
doctrinal interpretation of what is so clearly established in
Scripture. Today many pastors, seminary professors,
denominational leaders and media ministers are succumbing to
Catholic theology via personal fellowship, ministry association
and mutual admiration. I could easily mention a dozen public
Christian figures that nearly everyone reading this booklet would
recognize whom either refuse to speak against the false doctrines
of Catholic theology or, worse yet, embrace it as Christian and
apart of the biblical Gospel of Jesus Christ. Why? One reason
is the power behind the Catholic Church. Frankly, it's pretty
impressive. They don't call it "The Universal Church" for
Secondly, the skill in which the subtlety is presented.
Father Gilquist does an excellent job in attempting to compare
mainline Christian doctrine with that of Catholic theology.
Thirdly, Catholics are moral, honest, faithful, church-going
folks. Their against sin, corruption, dishonesty, abortion and a
whole lot of other things Christians should be. Of course, so
are Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses.
Fourthly, Since other well-known Christians are accepting
their beliefs. Why not us. They, those well-known popular
church leaders, couldn't be wrong.
Fifthly, and this is probably the biggest reason, there's a
lot of money in the Catholic Church. Radio and television
ministries need lots of money to continue operating and
expanding. Catholic dollars can help build those ministries and
those ministries are not going to take a public stand against
Catholic false doctrine because those dollars will be lost.
Finally, there's another reason why Catholic theology is so
easily accepted by well-meaning evangelicals and some
fundamentalists today. What they say, on the surface, looks a
lot like what we believe. They believe Jesus is the Son of God
and most say they believe Jesus is God. They say they believe
the blood of Jesus Christ was shed for our sins. They believe He
needs to be your personal Lord and Savior. They believe in our
Lord's bodily resurrection. So what if they believe Mary was
bodily resurrected, too. That can't hurt anything; can it?
Shoot, they believe almost like we do so where's the beef.
Anyone who teaches that Mary was sinless, a perpetual virgin, the
queen of Heaven, the mother of God, the mother of the Church and
can assist in getting our prayers answered, not to mention her
intercessory authority to help people get into Heaven, does not
accept the finality and authority of the Bible. Jesus warned us
of wolves in sheep's clothing. We either believe what the Bible
says or we believe what Catholic theology tells us the Bible
says. Does this mean we should reject Catholics? How Silly! It
does mean, however, sharing services, ministries and platforms is
not only an act of biblical and doctrinal compromise but
endangers the plain simple message of the Gospel. Why? We
either believe what Jesus said, I'm repeating myself, or we
don't. Anything done which will shift the focus of the Gospel
or, which frustrates doctrinal clarity, should be avoided at all
costs. The real danger is when people begin comparing what they
believe with another's beliefs. We can always find similarities;
it's the differences which separate us doctrinally. The real
issue is "Will it take them to Heaven." Some misinformed and
mislead, but well-meaning, Christians believe God somehow, and
for some reason, overlooks their small biblical inconsistencies.
Besides, doesn't God love them, too? Won't He just go ahead and
forgive them and save them anyway? After all, they're so
sincere. If it blocks, or in any way hinders the simple message
of the Gospel, it should be resisted, refuted and renounced at
Lest I be chastised for over stating Catholic theology, I
conclude my rebuttal with some documentation which, I might add,
Father Gilquist should carefully consider if he wishes to remain
a priest in the "Orthodox Church."
REFERENCES - ROMAN CATHOLIC
1. In 1854, Pope Pius IX declared that "by a singular grace
of God, Mary was preserved sinless from the moment of
2. In 1950 Pope Pius XII decreed her Assumption.
3. In 1890, Pope Leo XIII said, "As no man can come to the
Most High Father except through the Son, so, generally,
no man can come to Christ except through Mary."
4. On March 22, 1918, Pope Benedict XV said, "She suffered so
much for us, almost to the point of dying with her suffering
and dying Son. Therefore we may rightfully say that she has,
with Christ, redeemed the human race."
5. In 1954, Pope Pius XII said, "Mary is indeed worthy to
receive honor and might and glory. She is exalted to
hypostatic union with the Blessed Trinity."
6. Louis de Montford, TRUE DEVOTION TO MARY, commenting upon
Genesis 3:15, "God has never made and formed but one enmity;
but it is an irreconcilable one. It is between Mary, His
worthy Mother and the devil. He has inspired her with so
much hatred against that cursed enemy of God, with so much
power to crush that proud and impious rebel that he fears her,
in a sense, more than God Himself."
7. From DEVOTIONS FOR THE HOLY SOULS, Catholic Truth Society
of Ireland, Imp. Colmanus a Doineraile, page 32. "Be to
me, O Virgin, nigh. Lest in flames I burn and die in His awful
8. "Just as a woman had a share in bringing about death, so
also a woman should contribute to life" (LUMEN GENTIUM,
11/21/64, Ch. VIII, Sec. II).
9. At the Rosary for Peace Rally, Dayton, Ohio, 10/28/84, it
was stated that Mary is venerated by 1600 different names in
10. On St. Stanislaus' Roman Catholic Church, 524 W Mitchell
St., Milwaukee, Wisconsin: "Ascend mortals to this mountain
top for here through Mary all shall receive salvation."
11. From WOMAN CROWNED WITH STARS by Michael Malone (Imp:
Bishop Sullivan, Baton Rouge, 1981), page 3. "Our Blessed
Mother's Rosary concludes with the Mystery of the
Coronation of the Immaculate Virgin Mary as Queen of all
creation; however, the crowning of Our Lady is not the
culmination, but the actual commencement, of all that has
even happened from the very beginning of time. ... "Psalm 84
presents graphically for us this incarnational union between
God and man - heaven and earth, grace and nature - in the
precious palace of the Virgin Mary's womb: Mercy and
truth have met each other (heaven and earth); Justice and
peace have kissed (grace and nature); Truth is sprung out
of the earth (that's Mary!); And justice hath looked down
from heaven (that's Jesus!); For the Lord (God the
Father) will give goodness (God the Son) and the earth (the
Blessed Virgin Mary) shall yield her fruit."
12. Pope Leo XIII, "God chose the august Virgin Mary from all
eternity to be the Mother of the Incarnate Word, and for that
reason has so eminently distinguished her among all of His
most beautiful works in the triple order of nature, grace and
glory, that the Church justly applies to her these words:
I came out of the mouth of the Most High, the first- born before
13. Ibid, page 7. "We can hope to attain the divinity of God
only in the same way He attained the humanity of man:
through Mary. We must travel the identical route, and the
name of that Royal Road is Mary. `For by Mary', St.
Fulgentius tells us, `God descended from Heaven into the world,
so that by her men might ascend from earth to Heaven.' We
don't need Mary to be the sons of men, but we do need Mary to
become the sons of God."
14. Ibid., page 14. "God Himself explained to (St. Gertrude)
that Jesus was indeed Mary's first-born according to the
flesh, but that all mankind was to be her second-born
according to the spirit. St. Bonaventure said, "All the sons
of the womb of the Church are the inheritance and fruit of the
womb of Mary."
REFERENCES - ORTHODOX CHURCH #1
Though the Orthodox Church generally denies their doctrines
are even remotely similar to the Roman Catholic, the following
documentation claims to be their theological positions. I have
included several quotes which not only confirm their stand on
Mariology but others which confirm they are Catholic in doctrine,
practice, principle and application. I am not suggesting,
however, they are identical with Roman Catholic theology in every
respect. They do, on the other hand, have similar doctrinal
positions and their own statements confirm such to be the case
even if they refuse to see it. The reader should note that, in
some cases, the quotes are not complete doctrinal statements but
explanations of their doctrinal positions. Hence, some
information is vague. Such is a common practice of those
espousing false doctrine based on something other than Scripture.
The following quotes come from a publication called "20 Most
Often Asked Questions About Orthodoxy, by Fr Paul O'Callaghan."
The True Church
"EVANGELICAL CHRISTIAN: The Orthodox believer can
understand your enthusiasm for Christ and what you believe to be
the Gospel. But certain attitudes common to evangelicals reveal
serious confusion in their thinking. There is need on the part
of many evangelicals for a more balanced, historical approach to
the Eastern Orthodox Church. Also, many evangelical-
fundamentalist teachings need to be seriously re-examined in the
light of Scripture and authentic Christian tradition. It is the
conviction of the Orthodox that their Church is in fact the true
Church of Christ. It is to her fullness that you are called,
and her fullness is the fullness of life in Christ."
"First of all, Orthodox Christians do not worship Mary.
Worship is reserved for God alone. However, Mary is greatly
esteemed and honored as the one chosen by God to bring forth His
Only-Begotten Son into the world. Because of this, she is the
most exalted of all creatures. She herself prophesied "All
generations shall call me blessed" (Luke 1:48).Jesus Christ is
an eternal, divine Person who took on a complete human nature
through the Virgin Mary (cf. John 1:1, 14). He is expressly
called "God" in the Scriptures (cf. John 20:28). As Mary gave
birth to and nurtured a divine Person, she is rightly called the
"Mother of God." This, of course, does not imply that she is
the mother of God the Father. Many of those who question the
title "Mother of God" are those who also doubt the full divinity
of Jesus Christ. There is nothing paganistic in the Church's
veneration of the Mother of Our Savior."
It is clear that the Orthodox believers practice worship of
Mary for it is she to whom they OFFER prayERS. they may call it
something else but it is worship nonetheless. They even believe
she can help them, and others who have already died, get into
Prayer To Mary And The Saints
[The Orthodox pray to Mary and the other saints. Isn't this
"Orthodox Christians ask Mary and other saints to intercede
for us before God in prayer. The Orthodox believe that the
reality of the Church encompasses both the living and those who
have died and are now "with Christ" (Phil. 1:23). Those who
have died in Christ do not care for us any less, nor do they
cease to pray for us because they have passed into eternal life.
We approach the saints with veneration as we ask their prayers.
In no way can this be compared to the worship we offer the
[Why do the Orthodox pray for the dead? It is too late for
prayers once a person has died.]
"The Orthodox Church teaches that all persons are dependent
upon God's mercy, whether living or dead. Christians as well as
unbelievers will stand before the "dread judgment seat of
Christ." According to St. Paul, our works will be "tried by
fire" (cf. I Cor 3:13). We will be held responsible for "every
idle word" that we have uttered (cf. Matt. 12:36). In the face
of such a rigorous judgment, our prayer goes up to God for those
who have departed this life."
[But receiving the sacraments of Baptism and Communion does not
"Christ's saving power is mediated through the sacraments if
they are received according to the intention of the Church.
Mere mechanical or formalistic reception of the sacraments does
not save. In fact, if we partake unworthily, we receive
damnation, not salvation (cf. I Cor. 11:29). However, God's
grace is available in the sacraments to those who approach with
a living faith in Christ."
[The bread and wine of the Lord's Supper cannot possibly be the
real body and blood of Jesus Christ. They are symbols
"Protestant Evangelical teaching upon this point
unfortunately does not reflect the Word of God, but rather the
teachings and opinions of men. Such teaching about the
Eucharist is totally unscriptural. The Scriptures say that when
the Lord took bread and blessed it at the Last Supper, he stated
"This is my Body" (cf. Matt. 26:26). Taking the cup, he spoke
these words: "This is my blood..." (Matt. 26:27). Many who
consider themselves "Bible Fundamentalists," however, cannot
accept the plain truth as Jesus stated it. Yet the teaching of
Jesus is clear: "He that eats my flesh and drinks my blood,
dwells in me, and I in him" (Jn 6:56). And, "Except you eat the
flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, you have no life
in you" (John 6:54). Just as in the present, there were many
then who heard this teaching of the Lord but could not accept
it. The Scripture tells us that these disciples ceased to
follow the Lord rather than accept His teaching (John 6:60-66).
They were in truth the first Protestants!
This teaching of the Lord has never been a subject of debate
in the Orthodox Church. The Church's doctrine has been
consistent from the Apostolic times through the Patristic period
up to the present. The great Fathers of the Church all witness
to her literal understanding of the words of Jesus."
[The true Christian faith is based on the Bible alone.]
"The Bible never has been and never can be "alone". It was
the Orthodox Catholic Church that finally decided what books
belonged in the Bible and what did not. In the era following
the death of the Apostles, there were many books that claimed to
be Apostolic Scripture. The Church decided what books were
authentic and what were not, based on whether or not those books
conformed to the oral tradition she had received from the
Apostles. Without the Church there would be no Bible. Heresies
and distortions result when the Bible is torn away from the
Church or interpreted privately outside the catholic tradition
of the Church (cf. 2 Pet. 3:16). The same Holy Spirit that
inspired the Scriptures is promised to guide the Church unto all
truth and preserve her from error (cf. John 16:13). The Bible
is not "alone" - it belongs to the Church."
[But Orthodoxy de-emphasizes the Bible and stresses the
importance of tradition.]
"Orthodoxy does not de-emphasize the Bible. The Orthodox
Church accepts the Bible as the divinely-inspired, infallible
Word of God. The Bible has unparalleled authority in the Church
of God when it comes to faith and practice. But the Orthodox
Church insists that the Scriptures must be interpreted according
to the catholic tradition of the Church. This "catholic
tradition" is based on the oral teaching of the Apostles as it
has been handed down in the Church (cf. 2 Thess. 2:15). It is
the result of the fact that the Holy Spirit lives in the Church
(cf. John 14:26). It is enshrined in the teachings of the
Ecumenical Councils of the Church and the teachings of the
saints and Church Fathers. Those who live in the fullness of the
Holy Spirit are our best guides to the Scriptures; it is they
who testify to the deep union between Holy Scripture and Holy
Tradition in the Church."
ORTHODOX CHURCH #2
The following quotes are taken from a publication called
"What Orthodox Christians Believe - A Conciliar Press
"MARY is called Theotokos, meaning "God-bearer" or the
"Mother of God," because she bore the Son of God in her womb and
from her He took His humanity. Elizabeth, the mother of John the
Baptist, recognized this reality when she called Mary, "the
Mother of my Lord" (Luke 1:43). Mary said of herself, "All
generations shall call me blessed" (Luke 1:48). So we, in our
generation, call her blessed. Mary lived a chaste and holy life,
and we honor her highly as the model of holiness, the first of
the redeemed, the Mother of the new humanity in her Son. It is
bewildering to Orthodox that many professing Christians who
claim to believe the Bible never call Mary blessed her honor nor
who bore and raised God the Son in His human flesh."
"PRAYER TO THE SAINTS is encouraged by the Orthodox Church.
Why? Because physical death is not a defeat for a Christian. It
is a glorious passage into heaven. The Christian does not cease
to be a part of the Church at death. God forbid! Nor is he set
aside, idle until the day of judgment."
"The True Church is composed of all who are in Christ--in
heaven and on earth. It is not limited in membership to those
presently alive. Those in heaven with Christ are alive, in
communion with God, worshipping God, doing their part in the
body of Christ. They actively pray to God for all those in the
Church--and perhaps, indeed, for the whole world (Ephesians 6:18;
Revelation 8:3). So we pray to the saints who have departed this
life, seeking their prayers, even as we ask Christian friends on
earth to pray for us."
End Of Document
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