Stance on Mary?

Discussion in 'Questions about Anglicanism' started by CuriousBeliever, Dec 12, 2017.

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  1. CuriousBeliever

    CuriousBeliever New Member Anglican

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    I’ve heard a lot of different opinions on praying/worshipping of Mary, and I was wondering if there was scripture that supports people’s stance on praying toMary or saints. And if not what are some passages that are against praying to dead people/saints.
     
  2. Cameron

    Cameron Active Member

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    My grandfather, a vicar, regarded Mary as the Queen of Heaven and Earth, Mother of God, and venerated Her Immaculate Heart. He prayed the Rosary daily, and, instilled in me a deep devotion to Our Lady of Walsingham. You will find a lot of scriptural evidence to implore the prayers of the righteous, and if those in the communion of saints aren't the righteous then who is?

    Also, a dead person is not the same as a saint - while it is our goal, each, to be saints, you will find across the Christian tradition many means towards grace.
     
  3. Tuxedo America

    Tuxedo America Member

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    Sure there's Scripture to support Marian devotion (not worship). In my Bible translation, you can find it seven words into Matthew's gospel- the seventh word being Jesus. Of course, you need to read further to find out who Jesus is, and you need to have a working knowledge of the Old Testament, but once you have these, you can figure out just how important Mary is. For example, Jesus is our eternal Davidic King. Because Jesus is our King, Mary is our Queen. Why? Because the queen in the Jewish kingdom of the Old Testament is the king's mother.
     
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  4. DouayJamesGeneva

    DouayJamesGeneva Active Member

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    So does God have a mother, then? Jesus pre-existed the world and the father, son, and the holy spirit always existed. There is absolutely no claim to there being a female figure in the Godhead, not even an adopted one. In the beginning, there was no queen of the Jewish kingdom in that sense, not even with Eve. If Jesus pre-existed, then he can in a sense be claimed to be the forebearer of Mary, and not the other way around. Mary could also be said to be contained as part of the community in Jerusalem, which is often referred to metaphorically as a woman, which is itself overshadowed by God, the eternal king. The first king did not have a queen, and the last king on earth I believe would be the same as the king of heaven, Lord God, has always been, which is without a spiritual queen of heaven except the bride of Christ itself, the church.
     
  5. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    DJG, read the Chalcedonian Creed, which has been accepted by the church catholic since it was first affirmed in 451AD.

    To deny Mary's position as Mother of God, denies the hypostatic union of God and man in Christ. Most Anglicans accept this definition as completely orthodox, as do Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox.

    I believe calling the BV Mary the Theotokos, or Mother of God, to be right because I believe Jesus is fully God, as the Nicene teaches.
     
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  6. DouayJamesGeneva

    DouayJamesGeneva Active Member

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    I apologize: I think there was a misconception in how it was worded. I don't deny that Mary is the mother of God in that sense, but rather in the sense that she is the Queen of Heaven because of the Jerusalem queen example.
     
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  7. Ide

    Ide Active Member

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    I've recently been reading Roman Catholic teachings about Mary (i.e. the Immaculate Conception) and have not been able to reconcile myself to those beliefs. I have great respect for the Blessed Virgin, but I feel the excessive devotion to her displayed by some is very off putting. Also, I've tried studying some of the dogmas about her and found them rather... odd... and feel they are extraneous to questions of salvation.

    I have no issues with asking people and the saints to pray for us. We ask the living for their prayers, so why not the saints? If we believe they are ever with us at the Mass, then just because they have left the physical body doesn't mean they don't join us in worshiping God. The saints or Mary functioning as intervention/ intermediary between us and God is entirely different scenario. I don't believe there is any other mediator between us and God except Jesus Christ.

    As for scriptural references, portions of the Hail Mary around found in Luke (From now on all generations will call me blessed,), so the prayer, veneration, and respect for the Blessed Virgin is found in the Bible.

    Does anyone have any resources on the Anglican perspective of Mary?
     
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  8. Ide

    Ide Active Member

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    Yes, I agree with you about the lives of the saints. Is they can't be seen as available for our guidance for prayer, what can be said of us when we pass? I think in the modern times there is a struggle to think beyond the physical world, so the idea that the saints and angels and even God Himself is with us is hard to remember.

    I have been thinking of a pilgrimage to Walsingham, myself. Have you been? I was thinking of going next year during Lent. I've bee prayer to God for guidance on how to deepen my connection to the Anglican tradition and this keeps coming up again and again in my heart. I've yet to find anyone in any parish I've visited who knew about Walsingham, let alone has been there.
     
  9. CuriousBeliever

    CuriousBeliever New Member Anglican

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    Thank you @DouayJamesGeneva , @Lowly Layman, and @Ide. I wasn’t aware of the Chalcedonian Creed until now and I will look into it.

    @Ide I was wondering if you could clarify about the prayer to saints. What types of prayers do you pray to saints vs the prayers the you pray to God for?
     
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  10. Tuxedo America

    Tuxedo America Member

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    I think you misunderstand. I'm not putting Mary into the Godhead. All I'm saying is, based on Old Testament example and what we know of Jesus, we can come to the conclusion that Mary is the Queen Mother of the heavenly kingdom. She's Queen because her son is King, and I'm not claiming her to be the source of Jesus' divinity.
     
  11. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I understand DJG's reluctance to indulge in what Article 22 calls "the Romish Doctrine concerning...Invocation of Saints" but I believe that not all invocations are inherently wrong. The BVM is described by the Archangel Gabriel as "highly favored" in the Gospel of Luke. Scripture also tells us that the prayers of the righteous avail much. While there is only one name under heaven by which man can be saved, and that name is NOT Mary, men have other needs beside salvation, none of which are as important as salvation, but needs nonetheless. Thinking along this line, asking the BVM (or other saints for that matter) to pray for us as we would any fellow Christian or to help or intercede for us for non-salvation needs does not violate Article 22 imho. One might not be out of line for thinking that her prayers for us are especially effective because she is both righteous and highly favored. But at the point she is deified or pushed up to the level of co-mediatrix, I balk.

    As for the designation of Queen of Heaven as a title to honor the BVM, I am undecided. Of course such a belief makes since, since her Son is King of Kings of both Heaven and Earth. But it is not clearly supported by scripture and therefore, it is not required to be believed in Anglicanism. But neither is it explicitly taboo'd by scripture, so I would not condemn anyone for believing it or not believing it either way unless it distracts them from the main point of the Gospel.

    Perhaps others have better insights on this as I am only a lowly layman and haven't given this much thought.
     
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  12. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Invocation in the articles seems to clearly have a technical meaning, and I don't believe it's trying to refer to just a mere mention, a "mention of the saints," but a particular invocation, likely in the context of praying to them as opposed to praying directly to God



    Well her prayers for us might be this or that, but to ask HER for prayers for us, when we can ask God Himself, is to treat her as closer and more intimate to us than it would God Himself... Which is blasphemous, wouldn't you say?... And when you cross that chasm, a lot more becomes possible, indeed her deification, and her elevation as the Mediatrix and the Co-Redemptrix, because why not right? Once it becomes acceptable to pray to anyone other than God, then those entities whom we pray to slowly become a version of God in our eyes...


    There are so many Roman images of Mary on the Throne of Heaven, surrounded by angels, with no actual God in sight, and that's where you see that at the heart of the Roman marian devotion is a deep and problematic heresy, no matter how solid they may be on pro-life issues or things like that... I mean the Mormons are good on pro-life issues as well
     
  13. Ide

    Ide Active Member

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    I would say that I pray for inspiration to be like the saints; to follow in their path using the life and teachings as a guide for my own life. Perhaps in a similar way I pray for my deceased relatives and ancestors, but recognizing that the saints have achieved a level of theosis to which I myself aspire. I do know that the lives of the saints impact us in profound, often unconscious ways based on their spiritual gifts.

    My prayers to them is to better understand their life and teachings in my own journey, and to hopefully join them "in the communion of saints" worshiping God. This is the same way I view asking someone to pray for me now, we are connected through our prayers via the holy spirit and allowing God's will to transform us through learning to submit to His will. I feel that I pray with the saints, not to the saints.

    I do not pray to saints to "intercede" for me to God. I don't feel that there is anyone who is needed to do that besides Jesus Christ. While I think that metaphors are helpful, the image of seeing God in Heaven as an endless court with saints serving as embassies for us is just that- a metaphor. I think remembering the saints with feast days, keeping connected to them in our prayers, and making pilgrimages are very important. It gives us a sense that we are not alone, that there are those who have gone before us and living a holy life is possible. Perhaps I pick a via media method: one in which the saints are real, important and present in our lives, but not functioning as beings needed to achieve salvation. I don't think that a Christian who never prayed to or with the saints would be outside of God's grace, for example, if they had a transformative love of Christ.

    Is any of this Anglican or theologically correct? I have no idea.
     
  14. Tuxedo America

    Tuxedo America Member

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    Obviously, I must disagree with all of this. Praying to someone who has been perfected (is in Heaven), thereby asking them to bring our petitions to God, is far from blasphemy. That's essentially what prayer is: a petition. If it's wrong to petition members of the Heavenly Church to pray for us, what makes it okay for us to petition the other members of Christ's Church on Earth to do the same? What is it about death and being welcomed into Heaven that all of a sudden makes it wrong to do this?

    When I pray the Rosary, I make my needs known to Mary, hoping that she will bring my petitions to Jesus. As I do this, I'm well aware that He is already mindful of all my needs- He knows my needs before I do. Would you suggest I stop praying altogether, because God already knows my needs?
     
  15. Tuxedo America

    Tuxedo America Member

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    As for artwork, it's just that: artwork. Catholic theology isn't grounded in the Sistine Chapel's ceiling (as an example).
     
  16. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    This is interesting...
    Would you say that God already knows anything you'd pray for, so you don't need to pray to him necessarily; yet Mary doesn't know what you'd pray for, so you do need to pray/make your needs known to her?


    Artwork is an expression of ideas, and therefore it can be heresy as much as any other expression of ideas ... It is possible to draw artworks which defile the Trinity or make some heretical or blasphemous statement about it, which I imagine you will join me in opposing.... Placing Mary in the place of God performs the same function as a blasphemy against the Trinity, and this being done by pious Christians reinforces the Anglican critique against Invocations of Mary, that if you let in a camel by the nose, soon you will have nowhere to stand
     
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  17. DouayJamesGeneva

    DouayJamesGeneva Active Member

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    Let me quote a post about this that I made in one older thread:

    That is my case on this matter. Let me know your thoughts.
     
  18. Tuxedo America

    Tuxedo America Member

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    I'm not suggesting we stop praying at all. I'm saying that we pray to Him despite the fact that He already knows what we'll ask for, so why wouldn't we ask our Heavenly brothers and sisters to continue to intercede for us as they did when they were among us? God knows what we'll ask for, and asking others to pray for us doesn't change that, yet the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write, "I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men [...] This is good, and it is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior."

    I don't see how having "only Mary" equates to heresy. Exactly how does this put her in the place of God? If someone painted only Mary Magdalene and the two angels at Jesus' tomb, would that be heresy?
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2017
  19. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Certainly not, but if you've developed the visual language depicting God, namely (using human conventions) things like rays of light, an image of a throne, a majestic bodily posture, a sign of adoration from the whole universe (clouds of cherubim and seraphim prostrate all around), and most importantly a central location in the midst of all this, without any actual God anywhere in the picture, wouldn't that be placing Mary in the place of God? I don't mean to ask what the artist intended because we can't know someone's intention.. I only want to discuss the objective fact of what it seems to represent to us, using traditional language and conventions of human depiction

    I guess I am still wrestling with the point you make here.. God knows what we will pray for, so... what? Does it change the nature of our prayer to him than if he didn't know? Mary doesn't know what we'll pray for so... what? Does it change anything? How does praying to her make it 'better' than if we prayed to God directly?

    Also... how does she 'find out' when someone prays to her.. is she present at all times, throughout the whole world, with 7 billion ears that listen to every human voice? If she is a mortal woman, with size, dimensions, a local space and presence, then how can she hear everyone at once?
     
  20. Aidan

    Aidan Well-Known Member

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    What is the function and purpose of a Lady Chapel which can be found in many Anglican cathedrals?
     

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