WHY I’M NOT A ROMAN CATHOLIC PART TWO: MARY WORSHIP
THE MIRACLE AT TEPEYACAC HILL1
Early in the morning of December 9, 1531, five miles north of the then borders of Mexico City, a 57-year-old Aztec Indian by the name of Juan Diego was running to attend mass in the nearest village with a church. As he reached the foot of a hill known as Tepeyac (or Tepeyacac), where there had been in the past a temple to the Aztec Mother Goddess (a point worth noting) there seemed to be a sudden silence, broken by a woman’s voice calling his name. The sun had barely risen but Juan saw, surrounded by golden beams of light, a young Mexican girl of about fourteen years. She was said to be beautiful but no reliable description comes down to this day.
She told Juan that she required a chapel to be built at the site of the vision and then instructed him to run to the Bishop at Mexico City and pass on the message. This Juan did and, after some delay, obtained an audience. The Bishop, it seems, was not unreasonable, and said that Juan could visit him again though he promised nothing. Juan went away, and on the homeward journey again saw the figure he took to be the Virgin Mary at the same spot. She comforted him and told him to try again at Mexico City the next day, Sunday.
The next morning, having been to mass, Juan returned to Bishop Zumarraga. Again, the Bishop was tolerant if uncertain, and finally he asked Juan if his vision could produce some sort of sign, by way of proof. On his way back home to visit Juan Bernardino, an uncle of his who was seriously ill, he saw the vision once more, and she promised that she would provide a sign the following morning. When Juan returned the next morning he was expecting his uncle to die and told the figure about his fears. She at once assured him that Juan Bernardino’s health was restored at that instant, and went on to tell him to pick some flowers from the top of the hill, though the season should have precluded their growth. Flowers there were, however, which may have included Castilian roses. Juan picked a few and took them to the Bishop folded-up in his long outer cape, known as a tilma.
Then, in a fashion that features in a number of other legends and miracles, such as the Veil of St. Veronica, a miracle was seen to have occurred. As Juan unfolded the tilma it emerged that the image of the girl he had seen and spoken to on the hill was imprinted on it, in full color. The Bishop and others fell to their knees, and it was commanded that the cloth should be taken and hung up on the wall of the Bishop’s private chapel. It is now, of course, public. Furthermore, when Juan went back to his uncle, he found the old man fully recovered, and telling of how he had been healed by a glowing young woman who had said to him: ‘Call me and my image Santa Maria de Guadalupe’
In comparison with the early visions, we are informationally flooded with the Apparitions of Mary to Juan Diego at Guadalupe, Mexico and the ancillary apparition to Diego’s uncle, Juan Bernardino, in 1531. Unfortunately, the first extant written report representing the story of the vision itself was not made until 1560, twenty-nine years later, and on this shaky foundation, we must proceed.
Still, the effects of Guadalupe are better cataloged by far than are its origins, but we shall endeavor to examine the data available to us. The story has no doubt been romanticized, still, we can glean the basic elements:
SEVEN VITAL REASONS
# 1 THE MASS
- JESUS OFFERED HIMSELF ONCE Hebrews 9:25-27
- ROMANISM IS OLD TESTAMENT LEGALISM
- COME THROUGH CHRIST ALONE, Hebrews 9:12 ONCE, Hebrews 10:10-12
- JESUS FINISHED THE WORK OF SALVATION
# 2 THE FALSE DOCTRINE OF MARY WORSHIP
Second, and I’ll just start this and then I’ll have to work on this next week. But the second reason why Romanism is false and anti-Christian is, and I had to tape this in here, and this is really a special prize I have and I always tape it in my notes and take it back out, it’s because of their doctrine of Mary.
And I have an official rosary card here, given by Patrick J. Hayes, Archbishop of New York City. And I just want to read this to you. Apologists or evangelicals do not put this out. This is what you would get if you’d go in a Catholic Church and get on your knee at the rail of the altar, you know, and they’d hand you one. I want to read it to you. I want to read it to you in light of the Bible. It’s really hard to even read.
“We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel versus the anti-Gospel.” – Karol Cardinal Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II), November 9, 1976
THE FIFTEEN PROMISES OF MARY TO CHRISTIANS WHO RECITE THE ROSARY.
I can’t read all of them, but I’ll just read… number two is, this is Mary:
“I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all those who shall recite the rosary.”
Now let me, I mean again I want to be as reverent as possible and polite because I really admire Mary. She’s probably one of the godliest women that ever walked on this planet. I think that Protestants are afraid of her and I’m looking forward to, you know, when I get an appropriate passage in the gospel to really preach to you about the most magnificent woman that walked on this plant; among the most magnificent, Mary.
MARY IS NOT OMNISCIENT
But Mary is not omniscient. I’ll tell you what, she doesn’t know I’m talking about her right now. And I can pray through all the beads in the world I want and she cannot protect me. She is not omnipotent. She is not omnipresent. She is not here listening to my prayers. Only God is omniscient. Only God is omnipotent. Only God is omnipresent. That is part of His eternal nature. Don’t ascribe the attributes of God to a sinful woman. You say, wait a minute. I thought she didn’t sin. That’s part of the myth. She was as much a sinner as you and I are. She had to be saved by the same grace of God that we have to be.
OUR MEDIATOR: MARY OR JESUS?
- The Jesus of the Bible is the only mediator between God and man (I Timothy 2:5-6), yet the Roman Catholic Church offers Mary as the mediator.
- Pope Pius IX proclaimed that “God has committed to Mary the treasury of all good things, in order that everyone may know that through her are obtained every hope, every grace, and all salvation. For this is His will: that we obtain everything through Mary.”
I continue. Number Three:
“The rosary shall be a powerful armor against hell. It will destroy vice, decrease sin and defeat heresies.”
No, it won’t. You all know enough of the Bible to know, what is the armor against hell? It’s the helmet of salvation. What is the shield that will keep the fiery darts of the wicked one from tempting you? It’s faith. And where’s faith? For by grace are you saved through faith. And even that is not of yourself, it’s the gift of God. It’s not the gift of Mary or any other saint.
Number four: “Oh that souls will sanctify themselves by this means.”
Saying the rosary can sanctify a soul? What did Jesus Christ, God in human flesh, say in John 17:17 ? “Sanctify them through thy truth, thy word is truth.” First Thessalonians 5:23, “And the very God of peace will sanctify you holy. And I pray God your whole spirit, soul and body be preserved blameless.” Mary cannot sanctify me. She’s been sanctified. You’ve been sanctified by faith. Mary will not sanctify you.
Number five: “The soul which recommends itself to me by the recitation of the rosary shall not perish.”
You know what John 3:16 says? It says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish.”
Who crushed the Serpent’s head?
- It is believed that Our Lady used the Aztec Nahuatl word of coatlaxopeuh which is pronounced “quatlasupe” and sounds remarkably like the Spanish word Guadalupe.
- Coa meaning serpent, tla being the noun ending which can be interpreted as “the”, while xopeuh means to crush or stamp out. So Our Lady must have called herself the one “who crushes the serpent .”
If you’ve traveled much, I love to travel because it helps me understand more about the Bible, but I remember being on a camping trip once and we came down out of the Alps and came through Northern Italy. There’s a church, not just one, there’s many, but there’s one famous church in Italy, that has the normal Roman Catholic crucifix larger than life, Jesus Christ, hanging there dead. Then the other side of that cross, nailed on the backside is Mary. How could that be? That is Roman Catholic dogma. And that dogma is that Mary is the co-redemptrix of the human race because with Christ, and I am quoting to you directly from their doctrine,
“…because with Christ she ransomed mankind from the power of Satan. Jesus redeemed us with the blood of his body, Mary with the agonies of her heart.”
You know it is really sad that people that love God and are seeking Him with their whole heart are deluded to think that that’s true.
I could go on, I’ll just read these:
“Those who are faithful and recite the rosary shall have during their life and at their death the light of God and the plenitude of his graces. And at the moment of death, they shall participate in the merits of the saints in paradise.”
You know what that is? The supererogation of the saints we had to learn to get our doctoral exams done. You know what that means? It means that some people are good enough on earth that they do enough good works to not only get them to heaven but some of it spills over into this great chalice in heaven which is the repository of the supererogated merits of the saints. What’s that? That’s a superstition that says the people that are called saints, like St. Patrick and St., I don’t even know them all. I’m sorry I never learned them. But you know, whomever they are, that those people had enough to get to heaven plus some extra for other lowly people like us. And if you pray the rosary that God or Mary or someone will take a dipper of their good works and dump it on you to help you get out of purgatory faster. That’s what it says. That you will participate in the merits of the saints in paradise.
Here’s number nine:
“I shall deliver from purgatory those who have been devoted to the rosary.”
Not deliver from going, but so you don’t have to stay there forever, Mary’s going to deliver you from eternal punishment.
“And the faithful children of the rosary shall merit the high degree of glory in heaven. You shall obtain all that you ask of me by the recitation of the rosary. All who recite the rosary are my sons and brothers of my only son, Jesus Christ.”
Mary had other sons. James was her son. Jude was her son that wrote the book of Jude. It’s in the Bible.
“Devotion to my rosary is a great sign of predestination.”
But devotion to the rosary of Mary is a sign of predestination not to heaven. This is blasphemous. And I only carry it around not to make fun of it, but to show you the depths to which human ingenuity has fabricated a way to get around the simplicity of the gospel.
MARK 3:31 – MARY IS ON THE SAME LEVEL AS OTHER SAINTS
I want you to look for just a minute in Mark chapter three, because some of you might not know how much the Bible does say about Mary. Mark’s gospel, chapter three, because Jesus Christ plainly taught that Mary was on the same plane with all other Christians who would do the will of God. Now don’t listen to some father of the church. Don’t listen to tradition. Don’t listen to something that’s been passed on for centuries and has changed all along the way. Listen to what the Lord, Jesus Christ said in Mark chapter three, in verse 31. Because He put Mary on the same level ground as you and me and every other saint throughout history, that wants to do the will of God.
During her whole earthly life, Mary was just a normal human being that needed to be saved. She evidenced unbelief at times in her life. She evidenced a sinful desire to promote her son. There’s no doubt that Mary was as human as you and I are, and a sinner. And Jesus Christ had to confront her on various occasions, and here’s one of them. In verse 31 of Mark three,
“And his mother and brothers arrived.”
Now isn’t that interesting? Jesus Christ had brothers. We know that he had four, their names. He also had sisters. So he had at least two. So that means Joseph and Mary had seven children. Joseph had never been married before and Mary had never been married before. Jesus was Mary’s firstborn child, but not Joseph’s. He had nothing to do with that child coming into the world. But Mary had at least six other children.
And it says that she’s standing outside with her kids, and they arrived. And they were standing outside, and they sent word to him and called him, as if he should, you know, come whenever she calls. And you know what, for people that are counting on Mary to influence God the father, they should really read this.
Because when Mary told Jesus, “Could you come on out here? I want to talk to you,” look what He responds.
“And the multitude was sitting around Him and they said to Him, ‘Behold, your mother, your brothers, they’re outside looking for you.’ And He answered them and said, ‘Who are my mother and my brothers?’”
That’s a very important question to be answered. Verse 34,
“And looking about those who were sitting around Him He said, “Behold, my mother and my brothers.”
Can you just see Him going like this (opening His arms wide as if embracing the entire crowd), “Behold, my mother and my brothers.” And He says,
“For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”
That means there are many mothers of Christ. They are mothers of the faith. They are Godly women. There are many brothers and sisters in Christ. There’s no one mother of God. There’s no mother who is co-redemptrix with Jesus Christ.
THERE IS NO MARY WORSHIP IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
So secondly, because of Mary worship it’s improper to believe the doctrine of the Roman Catholic church. There’s no hint in the Bible that the New Testament Christians ever regarded Mary as more than another good woman. Now I have to say that usually Protestants go the other way. And they almost ignore Mary. They don’t even want to talk about her. They kind of, if she was in a crowd, they’d look the other way ‘cause they don’t know how to handle her.
But basically Mary, (as well as Hannah, as well as Hulda the prophetess, as well as a whole host of women that are listed in the scriptures) was a Godly, virtuous, exemplary, holy woman of faith. Mary had learned that God was her savior, that Jesus Christ paid the debt of her sins and that she was going to serve Him with her whole life all her days. 9 She had no authority among the apostles. 9 No one was taught to pray to her, to do homage, to adore her, to partake of unscriptural worship, which Catholics do, but call it by other names.
This unscriptural worship has brought a plague upon the church of Romanism.
THE VATICAN IS FILLED WITH IDOLS OF MARY
It’s really sad to go to the Vatican, we were just there last fall, but every time I go to the Vatican, I always (and seven times I’ve) look over the railing into the papal gardens where the pope walks and meditates. And right in the center of the papal gardens, (and you can get a picture of this today) there is a gigantic M with a cross drawn beside it. A cross of Christ with a gigantic M for Mary, mediatrix, superimposed over that cross. All done in beautiful hedges and flowers. It’s the largest thing in the papal gardens and it’s just an obvious symbol when you go to the Vatican of the elevation of Mary to an unscriptural place.
1. Catholicism’s Christology is heretical. It denies Christ’s exclusive role as a mediator between God and man, making Mary co-mediatrix.
2. It denies the exclusivity of his redemptive work making Mary co-redemptrix. Vatican II credits Mary with perpetual salvific role. She continues to obtain by her constant intercession the graces we need for eternal salvation. Because Jesus didn’t pay it all.
3. Romanism denies the sufficiency of his redemptive work. It declares that the redeemed must, in addition to Christ’s suffering for them on the cross, suffer for their own sins here and in purgatory.
- THE FIRST REASON why Romanism is false and wrong is the mass.
- THE SECOND REASON why is they’ve taken a very Godly and beloved woman, that all of us are going to enjoy fellowshipping with forever around the thrown of the Lamb of God, whose name was Mary, and they have denied the biblical teaching that all have sinner; that Mary said my God and my Savior. And then she said you’ve picked me up, she quoted Hannah and said, you’ve picked me up out of the refuse pile of sin. And they have elevated her to being next to God, above Christ, to accomplish their salvation. Well, that’s the second one. Those were the big ones.
- Next week, Lord willing, we’re going to look at tradition over scripture, veneration of images. By the way, the reason we had to take the picture down is, there’s an inherent desire in the human body to relate to an image of God. That’s just the way we were born. And we couldn’t have any relic in this church that caused people to materialize the immaterial, infinite God. Now he did choose in His redemptive plan for Christ to take upon himself a body. But he chose in the Bible to never describe that body in such a way that we could re-form it in a picture. And we’ll talk about that.
- Finally we’ll talk about the sacraments. And we’ll talk about purgatory. And then we’ll talk about the history of Paganism and really find out how all the robes, and the tiaras, and the three-pointed things, and where all the candles came from. Also we’ll discover where all the orders of priests came from, and where all this stuff came from because the Roman Catholic Church didn’t invent all that stuff. They inherited it.
ROMAN CATHOLIC CHRISTIAN IS THIS AN OXYMORON?2
Webster’s dictionary defines an oxy-moron as “a combination of contradictory words,” such as jumbo shrimp, tight slacks and pretty ugly. Would you put Roman Catholic Christian into this category? Some would say “no”, because they believe Roman Roman Catholicism is a Christian denomination. Others, who know the official teachings of the Roman Catholic Church contradict the essentials of the Gospel would say “yes.” We propose that a Roman Catholic Christian is indeed an oxymoron for two reasons: 1) whom we are is what we believe, and 2) it is impossible for anyone to believe two opposing views simultaneously. We recognize that there may be some Christians attending the Roman Catholic Church but if they have believed the Gospel they are no longer Roman Catholics. Let us consider the contradictory beliefs of Roman Catholics and Christians. By definition we will propose a Christian is one who believes the Gospel while a Roman Catholic is one who believes the official teachings and traditions of his church (presented by paragraph number from the Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church).
A Christian believes Scripture has authority over church. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness (2 Tim. 3:16). By setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience (2 Cor. 4:2).
A Roman Catholic believes the Church has authority over Scriptures. The manner of interpreting Scripture is ultimately subject to the judgment of the Church which exercises the divinely conferred commission and ministry of watching over and interpreting the Word of God (119).
A Christian is justified once by faith because justification is a permanent declaration by God (Romans 8:30). However,
A Roman Catholic is justified repeatedly by sacraments and works because he loses the grace of justification each time a mortal sin to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness (Romans 4:5).
is committed. The sacrament of Penance offers a new possibility to convert and to recover the grace of justification (1446).
A Christian believes he is regenerated at baptism of the Spirit. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body (1 Cor. 12:13), from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth (2 Thes. 2:13).
A Roman Catholic believes baptism of water imparts divine life, the water of Baptism truly signifies our birth into the divine life (694).
A Christian is saved by God’s unmerited grace. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast (Eph. 2:8-9).
A Roman Catholic is saved by meriting the graces needed for salvation. We can merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for the attainment of eternal life (2010).
A Christian is saved for good works. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Eph. 2:10).
A Roman Catholic is saved by good works. The sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for salvation (1129).
A Christian is saved for all eternity. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance. (Eph. 1:13-14).
A Roman Catholic is saved until a mortal sin is committed. Those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell (1035).
A Christian believes salvation is offered to those outside the church. “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors as though God were making His appeal through us” (2 Cor. 5:20).
A Roman Catholic believes salvation is offered through the Church. Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation. Anyone refusing to enter it or remain in it cannot be saved (846).
A Christian is purified by the blood of Jesus. The blood of Jesus…purifies us from all sin (1 John 1:7).
A Roman Catholic is purified by the fires of Purgatory. They undergo purification in Purgatory, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven (103031).
SAINTS AND PRIESTS
A Christian becomes a saint when the Spirit baptizes him into the body of Christ. And He gave some…for the equipping of the saints…the body of Christ (Eph. 4:11-12).
A Roman Catholic becomes a saint only if the Pope canonizes them. This occurs when he solemnly proclaims that they practiced a heroic virtue and lived in fidelity to God’s grace (828).
A Christian is a priest. But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God (1 Peter 2:9).
A Roman Catholic needs a priest. Roman Catholic priests are said to be apostolic successors and guarantee that Christ is acting in the sacraments to dispense divine life (11201131).
THE LORD’S SUPPER
A Christian believes the Lord’s Supper is a memorial. “Do this in remembrance of me” (1 Cor. 11:24-25).
A Roman Catholic believes the Lord’s Supper is sacrifice. The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice…the same Christ who offered Himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and offered in an unbloody manner (1367).
A Christian receives Jesus once, spiritually, in the heart. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God (John 1:12). God… put his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee (2 Cor. 1:22).
A Roman Catholic believes he receives Jesus physically, frequently, in the stomach. The body, blood…soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ…is truly, really and substantially contained in the Eucharist (1374-78).
A Christian is condemned by the Roman Roman Catholic Church. Over 100 anathemas have been pronounced against Christians by the Roman Roman Catholic Councils of Trent and Vatican II. These condemnations are still in effect today and can only be lifted if a Christian returns in submission to the authority of the pope.
A Roman Catholic is condemned by the Word of God. There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day (John 12:48). If we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! (Gal. 1:6-9).
THE ROMANS ROAD TO HEAVEN
But just for the last five minutes or so I want to show you the scriptures starting in Romans chapter three in verse 10. It said:
“there is none or no one righteous, no not one.”
And the scriptures tell us again in verse 23 that all of us
“have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”
All of us. Adam sinned. Eve sinned. Cane and Abel sinned. All of their descendants sinned. And so did Joseph and Mary and all of Christ’s brothers and sisters. There’s only one person that didn’t ever sin nor was born with original sin. Only one person who was non peccare impeccable. He couldn’t sin. Jesus Christ. Why? Because He didn’t have a human father.
Did you think about it? Adam and Eve were sinless until they sinned. Why? Because they were directly created by God. Eve even came out of the side of Adam. She still was sinless. Why? Because sin had not been transmuted and passed to her through the generations. Jesus Christ was made of human flesh yet without the agency of a human father.
There’s not a single person, even with test-tube babies. Even with all the new technology that doesn’t have a father involved. And that’s why Adam was a sinner and through Adam passed sin to all. You say, “what’s your theory of the Tradution Theory, or how do you believe sin is passed?” The Bible doesn’t really say except for one thing. That everyone that’s born of a father is going to be born sinful, and guess who didn’t have an earthly father? Jesus Christ. And so he’s the only one that’s exempted from verse 23. And you and me and all of us are sinners. And that’s the first thing you have to understand to be saved, but it’s not the only thing.
Look at chapter five, verse eight. It says,
“God demonstrated His own love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
That’s the good news. The bad news is you’re a sinner. The good news is that Christ died for you. Verse 12, continuing on,
“Therefore just as through one man sin entered into the world and so death through sin, and death spread to all men because all sinned.”
Oh. We’re sinners. The good news is that Jesus died, but death is passed to us. Well, look at chapter six verse 23, because it says there
“the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God,”
it’s a gift, is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Well, I ask you this, how much do you have to pay for a gift? Well, if you’re going to a sales presentation they say you get a gift but you have to watch our sales show for 90 minutes. If you’re going in to deposit your money, they say we’ll give you a free gift if you’ll put your money in, but they lock your money up at some ridiculous rate, you know, and they make money on you. That’s not a gift.
HOW TO SPOT A GENUINE GIFT
You know what a gift is? It’s something with no strings attached. It’s given to you and you can’t pay for it. It’s too priceless to be paid for, and that’s what the scriptures tell us salvation is, that God commendeth His love toward us while we were sinners, that Jesus Christ died in our place, the wages of our sin is death, we’re all facing terminal illness, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ.
How do you get in Christ? That’s the big question. Well, same books answers that. Look at chapter 10. And very briefly, starting in verse eight. But what does it say? What does what say? Well, what does the Bible say?
“The word is near you. It’s in your mouth and in your heart. That is the word of faith which we’re preaching.”
The apostle Paul says I’m preaching to you this word of faith, this word that becomes operative as you believe it. Verse nine, “that if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and if you believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you shall be saved.”