HomeArticlesMary had Other Children (Part 3): Rebuttal of False Traditions

Mary had Other Children (Part 3): Rebuttal of False Traditions

The Catholic Church further affirms this concept of Mary remaining a virgin to retain her purity as sinless. “The deepening of faith in the virginal motherhood led the Church to confess Mary’s real and perpetual virginity even in the act of giving birth to the Son of God made man. In fact, Christ’s birth ‘did not diminish his mother’s virginal integrity but sanctified it.’ And so the liturgy of the Church celebrates Mary as Aeiparthenos, the ‘Ever-virgin‘.” 1)CCC, para. 499 This concept of purity and sinlessness is also what invoked the doctrine of Celibacy of the Priesthood which was added without Scriptural warrant in 1075 A.D. with the Catechism saying, “All the ordained ministers of the Latin Church, with the exception of permanent deacons, are normally chosen from among men of faith who live a celibate life and who intend to remain celibate ‘for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.’” 2)CCC, para. 1579 However, sexual relations is not sin when it is appropriated within the confines of marriage.  The Bible says, “But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned.” (1 Corinthians 7:28) Catholic’s who also consider Peter the first Pope must neglect the fact that Peter was married (Mathew 8:14; Luke 8:51) in order to permit priest to deny what God has graciously sanctified and ordained because “the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone.” (Genesis 2:18) Nor do Catholics deny the historical fact that many of the Popes were married prior to this doctrine being invented. The Bible also refutes Mary’s perpetual virginity in the fact that she had children after Jesus and it plainly states that Joseph “knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.” (Matthew 1:25) The word “till” implies that a normal sexual relationship was followed after Jesus was born. Furthermore, the emphasis that Jesus was her “firstborn son” implies there were sons (and daughters) that she gave birth to after Jesus. It does not say Jesus was her “only begotten son” of Mary. A healthy marriage between Joseph and Mary does imply sex but does not affect the integrity of either individual as it is pure within the confine of marriage. According to Paul, Mary’s virginity after marriage would not have been her chose but Joseph’s, “The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.” (1 Corinthians 7:4) Marriage is given of yourself wholly over to the spouse and anything less would be sin. (1 Corinthians 7:3)

Concerning Mary’s Immaculate Conception, the bible is not only silent in the area of Mary being sinless, it also includes her as a sinners when it states all have sinned. Paul said, “for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin” (Romans 3:9), “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10), “there is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Romans 3:12), “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), “by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12), “But the scripture hath concluded all under sin” (Galatians 3:22). Jesus told us, “there is none good but one, that is, God.” (Matthew 19:17; Mark 10:18; Luke 18:19). The Old Testament bears witness to the fact that “For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.” (Ecclesiastes 7:20), “for there is no man that sinneth not” (1 Kings 8:46, also see 2 Chronicles 6:36), “What is man, that he should be clean? and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous?” (Job 15:14), “If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?” (Psalm 130:3), “Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?” (Proverbs 20:9), “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way” (Isaiah 53:6), and “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6), just to name a few. Even the apostle John, who was given responsibility over Mary after Jesus died, held Mary to the standard of confessing her own sins. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us…. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” (1 John 1:8, 10) Mary herself acknowledged that she needed a savior proclaiming, “And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour” (Luke 1:47), and she practiced the Levitical system of sacrifice for her own uncleanness (Luke 2:22-24 compare with Leviticus 12:2). The fact that she was born, according to Scriptures, confirms her sinfulness, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” (Psalm 51:5) Job asks, “Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.” (Job 14:4) To answer his question, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” (Luke 1:37) But for Mary to be sinless is to claim she was born of a virgin by the Holy Spirit, but Jesus alone is the “only begotten of the Father” (John 1:14).

For Biblical support, some look at the angels words in his greetings to Mary, “Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.” (Luke 1:28), and Mary’s cousin Elizabeth’s greeting, “Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb” (Luke 1:42).  But these same words were proclaimed to a woman named Jael, who murdered a man by hammering a nail of the tent through his head while he lay asleep. (Judges 4:21) Her actions received these remarks in a song, “Blessed above women shall Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite be, blessed shall she be above women in the tent.” (Judges 5:24) Obviously this term cannot mean she was sinless.

The Biblical support that has been cited for Mary’s Perpetual Virginity has been Mary’s response to the angel announcement of her miraculous conception of Christ when she asks, “How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?” (Luke 1:34) Some Catholics take this statement from Mary to mean that she “had taken the resolve of constant virginity on the ground of special Divine enlightenment.” 3)Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, p. 207 This is to say that Mary had taken a lifelong vow to preserve her virginity before the angels announcement which is why she questioned how she could possibly conceive a child without braking this vow. Such a vow is not even in the slightest bit hinted at in the Bible. Furthermore, we should ask the logical question of why she would accept the Betrothal (engagement) to Joseph if she had planned to remain a virgin her whole life? (see Matthew 1:18; Luke 1:27)

Many traditions were added throughout history that added unscriptural preeminence to Mary’s status amongst Catholicism. In 432 A.D. she was declared “mother of God” which is not a phrase from the Bible, nor is it a logical statement. How can a finite, temporally existing, mortal woman be the mother of an infinite, eternally existing, immortal God? In 650 A.D. a feast was commemorated to her which has no Biblical support. The Rosary was established in 1090 A.D. which evangelist Mike Gendron, who spent over 30 years as a Catholic, explains of saying, “Medieval piety in the West developed the prayer of the rosary 4)CCC, para. 2678. The rosary consists of 53 repetitious prayers to Mary, [only] six to God the Father and six prayers to the Trinity.” 5)Mike Gendron, Preparing Catholics for Eternity, p. 81-82 Gendron reveals that in the prayers of the rosary, there is more devotion to Mary then to God himself. This is in violation of the first commandment, “Thou shall have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:3) This also shows a contradiction to what Jesus said, “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26) Of course Christ is not saying to literally hate your parents as that would be a sin against the fifth commandment (Exodus 20:12), rather Christ is saying placing a contrast, that your love for Him should be so high that your love for any others ought to be that much lower comparatively as is explained in His words “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” (Matthew 10:37)

The idea of the rosary was actually stolen from Buddhism which correspondingly chant mantras over Japa Mala beads. Mike Gendron also points out that “Throughout biblical history, prayer is directed only to God. Yet Catholics are encouraged to pray to Mary and the saints. Many more Catholic Churches are named after Mary than after Jesus. Statues of Mary are very visible and prominent in Catholic Churches. Many Catholics bow down to them as they pray. Is this an offense to God?” 6)Mike Gendron, Preparing Catholics for Eternity, p. 78 When a woman showed high veneration of Mary in front of Jesus, He quickly rebuked her and pointed her veneration the proper direction. “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) Catholicism has not kept the word of God, but annulled it with their traditions. Secular historian William Durant has said, “The veneration of relics, the use of holy water, candles, the rosary, clerical vestments, a liturgical dead language, monks and nuns, monastic tonsure and celibacy, confession, fast days, the canonization of saints, purgatory and masses for the dead flourished in Buddhism as in medieval [Catholic] Christianity and seems to have appeared in Buddhism first.”7)William Durant, The Story of Civilization: Part 1, Our Oriental Heritage, Simonand Schuster (New York, 1954) Vol. 1, p. 504

In 1229 A.D. the Bible was forbidden to laypeople which made it easier to establish unscriptural traditions on equal authority with the Bible when nobody knew what it said. In 1316 A.D. the Ave Maria was composed. In 1854 A.D. the doctrine of Mary’s “Immaculate Conception” was officially defined. 1950 A.D. was the “Assumption of Mary,” 1954 A.D. she was named “The Queen of Heaven” which in the Bible is a term used in reference to a pagan goddess which Israel fell away from the true God and began worshipping this idol. The prophet Jeremiah was sent to proclaim judgment on the nation for this idolatry (Jeremiah 7:18, 44:17-19, 25). This again indicates the pagan thought synchronized as it was the influence of the heretic Origen’s contribution to the developing doctrine of Mary. In 1965 A.D. she was given the title as the “Mother of the Church” which is based on Catholic doctrine of Mary partaking in our salvation. The Catholic Catechism states, “Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation. . . . Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix.” 8)CCC, para. 969 By calling her a “mediatrix” not only contradicts the Bible, but also the Catechism itself as it say, “Jesus Christ is true God and true man, in the unity of his divine person; for this reason he is the one and only mediator between God and men.” 9)CCC, para. 480 The Bible says, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5). In one apocryphal text, The Passing of Mary, Peter speaks of salvation is based on accepting Mary’s perpetual virginity, saying, “if thou believest with thy whole heart on the Lord Jesus Christ, whom she carried in her womb, and remained a virgin after the birth, the compassion of the Lord, which with profuse benignity saves the unworthy, will give thee salvation.” 10)The Passing of Mary, para. 12; The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 8, p. 597

Neither does Mary have a “saving office” nor can she “bring to us the gift of eternal salvation.” Mary needed to be saved by Jesus just as everyone else. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) Jesus said Himself, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) The official creed of salvation from the church in the Bible says, “But we believe that through the grace of the LORD Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.” Again it is restated, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31), “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15). Salvation is not a gift from Mary but from God alone, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9), “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

This free gift can only be received by faith in the finished works of Christ on the cross which was a once and for all sacrifice that cannot be added to by Mary or anybody else. “But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” (Hebrew 10:11-12) “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God” (Hebrew 10:10-12) “For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” (Hebrew 10:14) “Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.” (Hebrew 10:18)

That salvation is “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us.” (Titus 3:5) “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” (Galatians 2:16) God “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began” (2 Timothy 2:9) Grace is something we don‘t deserve and cannot earn by our efforts. “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.” (Romans 11:6) “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” (Romans 3:21-28)

It is the many man made traditions that have corrupted this grace of God as men have attempted to save themselves through works and rituals that cannot save. “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:18-19) “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13) Salvation is received only by calling to the Lord for forgiveness with a repentant heart and true faith in His death, burial, and resurrection. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10)



Heath Henning
Heath Henning
Heath heads the Set Free addictions ministry on Friday nights at Mukwonago Baptist Church and is involved in evangelism on the University of Wisconsin Whitewater campus, offering his expertise in apologetics at the weekly Set Free Bible Study every Tuesday evening. He currently lives in East Troy, Wisconsin with his wife and nine children. Read Heath Henning's Testimony

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