Saturday, February 28, 2015

Mariolatry (Pt. 7) Mary the Mediatrix of all Graces?

Is Mary really the Mediatrix of all Graces?
NO!
Biblical Evidence against Mary as Mediatrix of all Graces
First, let’s start with the Biblical evidence against Mary being the Mediatrix of all Graces.
Because the average life-expectancy of the 1st century society in relation to the New Testament was probably around 20-25 years, it’s fairly reasonable to conclude that Mary died before most of the later New Testament books were written. With this in mind, it’s fascinating to observe that when these New Testament books talk about the subject of the application of heavenly Grace, they invariably declare that it comes from God, never Mary. For instance, Scholars date the Book of Revelation after 66 A.D. In fact, most of these later New Testament books are around 90 to 95 A.D. Now, if Rome is correct that Mary should have been applying grace to all men around this time, the fact remains that Revelation 1:4 states that grace is given by God, not Mary.
Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come” (Rev. 1:4)
Furthermore, the Second letter of John was at some point written after 80 A.D. And this Epistle also attests to the fact that Grace comes from God the Father and Jesus Christ, not Mary.
Grace, mercy and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.” (2 John 1:3)
Moreover, Scripture says that there is only One Mediator.
“For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 2:5)
Catholics will object to this, saying that just because the verse says “One Mediator”, doesn’t mean that no one else can participate in the mediation. So there are lesser mediators such as Mary and the saints participating in mediation.
Well let’s allow this logic and apply it not just to the “One Mediator”, but to the “One God”. By the Catholics logic, we can say that just because there’s “One God”, doesn’t mean that no one else can participate in Deity.  Therefore, there are lesser gods participating in God’s deity.
You see how the Catholic’s logic fails. Scripture plainly and emphatically tells us that there is only one true God (Deut. 4:39; 6:4) And Scripture plainly and emphatically tells us there is only one true Mediator, and there is no other.
Similarly, Acts 4:12 declares, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” There is only one name and there is only one Mediator, and that is Jesus Christ. Yet, the Catholic Church blasphemously proposes another mediator.
One must understand that the reason why Jesus is our only Mediator is because He has a basis upon which to mediate, and that basis for mediation is that He shed His blood on our behalf. Thus, when Jesus mediates for us He has a basis upon which He intercedes for us, and that is what He did on the Cross. Jesus Christ is our only Mediator because He alone died and made restitution for our sins. He died as our perfect substitute. He bore our sins in His body upon the tree. Mary and the saints have absolutely no basis upon which to mediate. Mary did not bear my sins in her body. And even the Catholics admit that everything that Mary and the saints have they have from Christ. Therefore, since they cannot be mediators in the sense that Christ is, they cannot participate in Christ’s one mediation, and thus, they cannot mediate for us.
Hence, Mary is NOT the Mediatrix of all Graces.
As a further matter, in order for Mary to be capable of applying grace to billions of believers across the world at the same time, without interruption until the end of the world, as Vatican II claimed, she would need to be capable of being in various places simultaneously. Only an omnipresent being can be present everywhere at the same time. Yet, only God has the divine attribute of Omnipresence (1 King 8:27). Mary would also have to know who to give grace to, which means that she would have to be omniscient. Yet, only God has the divine attribute of Omniscience as well (1 John 3:20). Mary would also need to be powerful enough to apply grace to all believers across the earth simultaneously. And yet, only God has the divine attribute of Omnipotence (Job 42:2).
By declaring Mary as the Mediatrix of all Graces, Catholics end up ascribing to Mary divine attributes that God alone possesses and that serves to glorify God alone.
It should also be noted that in Catholic theology there is this principle idea that Mary is close to Jesus because she’s the ark, the vessel that gave birth to Him. It’s because of this concept that Catholics are taught to pray to Mary because she can speak to Christ for us, since she is His mother, and thus, is closer to Him than we are. This Catholic notion is completely false because Jesus Himself said in Matt. 12:48-50 that those who do the will of the Father are His brother, sister, and mother to Him. Therefore, Mary is no closer to Jesus than we are by the Blood shed for us on the Cross.
Our Lord Jesus Christ said in Matt. 11:28, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
And the Apostle Paul teaches us in Heb. 7:25 that Jesus “is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them
And in Rom. 10:13 we are taught that “whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”
Hence, Scripture teaches us that we can go directly to Jesus Christ since He is our ONE and ONLY Mediator. This is the very reason why Jesus came into this world, to save all of us from our sins and give us Eternal Life through Him alone. There is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING in Scripture that talk of a Co-Mediatrix of all Graces with Jesus. There are no two mediators. Just ONE! And there is no need for another mediator. Scripture clearly does NOT teach nor has it EVER taught that we somehow need to come to the Father through Jesus via Mary.

Historical Evidence against Mary as Mediatrix of all Graces
Now, we look at the historical evidence that Mary is NOT the Mediatrix of all Graces.
In analyzing the disciples of the Apostles, the Apostolic Fathers, we find no indication that they thought Mary applies all graces to humanity from heaven. It’s the same situation when we look at the 2nd century apologists as well as later generations of Church Fathers. According the HarperCollins Encyclopedia of Catholocism, this doctrine is first found in the “late medieval era”. Catholic Scholar Ludwig Ott acknowledges that “Express testimonies, though few in number, to Mary’s position as mediatrix of grace are found since the eighth century” (Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, p. 214).
As stated by Ott, it’s not until about 700 years after Christ’s death that people begin to assert that Mary is mediatrix of all graces. Even the Patristic Scholar, J.N.D. Kelly, agrees that “centuries had to elapse before the doctrines of...her position as intercessor and mediator...could become elements in the day-to-day faith of Catholic Christians” (Early Christian Doctrines, p. 499).
Not only did none of the Patristic Fathers bear witness to this doctrine, proving that the Apostles never passed on this teaching to the Church for all to believe in, but many Patristic Fathers have testified to holding beliefs contrary to this teaching. These Fathers clearly taught that it’s God that gives grace to men, not Mary.
For instance, Clement of Alexandria stated, “For it were truly monstrous that that which is not complete should be called a gift (or act) of God’s grace. Being perfect, He consequently bestows perfect gifts.As at his command all things were made, so on His bare wishing to bestow grace, ensures the perfecting of His grace (The Paedagogus, Book I, 6).
Likewise, John Chrysostum said, “For the whole is of God who wills to bestow upon many, so that the grace may appear the greater” (Homily 9 on 2 Corinthians)
Moreover, Jerome declared, “It Has been established that the Lord, by the same grace wherewith He bestowed upon us free choice, assists and supports us in our individual actions (Against the Pelagians, Book III, 6)
In John’s Gospel Chapter 17 our Lord Jesus Christ proclaims, “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” (John 17:3). This statement sums up everything we need to know for our eternal salvation and eternal life. To know our Lord Jesus Christ is to know the only true God. Hence, there is no need of Mary for eternal life since our Lord Jesus himself never mentions her anywhere in Scripture concerning eternal life.
Discussing on the medieval Roman misuse of Luke 1:28 in order to support this false doctrine, Church Historian, Alister Mcgrath, said it was disproven by the Catholic Scholar Erasmus saying, “According to the Vulgate, the angel Gabriel greeted Mary as ‘the one who is full of grace’ (gratia plena) (Luke 1:28), thus suggesting the image of a reservoir full of grace, which could be drawn upon at a time of need. But as Erasmus pointed out, the Greek simply meant ‘favored one,’ or ‘one who has found favor’. Mary was one who had found God’s favor, not necessarily one who could bestow it on others. Once more, an important feature of medieval theology seemed to be contradicted by humanist New Testament scholarship” (Historical Theology: An Introduction to the History of Christian Thought, p. 97)

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