Is Mary an Advocate?

Throughout history, Protestants and Roman Catholics have been divided over their attitude towards Mary, the mother of our Lord. While the Protestants did not venerate (worship) Mary, they accepted the privilege and honour which had been bestowed on her. The Roman-Catholic Church established its point of view upon the angel's announcement: "The Lord is with thee; fear not Mary; for thou hast found favour with God." (LUKE 1:28-30). Different dogmas developed over the years. The 'Dogma of the Immaculate Conception', which was made a papal decree on the 8th of December, 1854, says that from the moment of her conception, Mary was never again defiled by sin.

However, the Bible explains that, with the exception of Jesus, "all have sinned" (ROMANS 3:23). Mary herself acknowledged that she was in need of the Redeemer (LUKE 1:47). In contradiction to the Scriptures, the 'Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception' has been constructed. The Bible teaches that Jesus had brothers and sisters (MATTHEW 12:46; MATTHEW 13:55; JOHN 7:5).

The 'Dogma of the Veneration of the Saints', and the prayers that are offered to them, grant Mary an over-emphasised veneration and state that her intercessions are the most effective ones. On the 1st of November, 1950, the 'Dogma of Mary's Ascension' was announced, which stipulates that she ascended into heaven supernaturally without her body decaying.

Apart from the basic facts which have been handed down to us about the birth, there are only five direct testimonies about Mary or events at which she was present: MATTHEW 12:46-50; LUKE 2:43-49; JOHN 2:1-11; JOHN 19:25-27; ACTS 1:13-14. She is described as a woman of great humility, obedience, deep piety, steadfast faith and spiritual understanding. Mary was chosen by God to give birth to the Son of Man. Her task is significant, but the angel declared that she is blessed among women, not over women. She was pronounced as highly favoured, but she was never exalted to a position of worship. Mary was far more blessed through her faith in Christ, than through His birth. There is no reference in the Word that sinners can receive pardon through Mary, or that the sick will get to Christ through her. Furthermore, there are no references to people who ask her for worldly or spiritual favours. Paul, John and Jude wrote at least twenty of the letters of the New Testament - Mary is not mentioned in any of them. The silence of the Bible teaches us as much as its recorded instructions (REVELATION 22:18-19). In the only recorded case in which Mary took a role as mediator, Jesus made it clear that He was there to forsake His own way of conduct (JOHN 2:4). As Jesus said in a friendly, affectionate way: "Woman, what have I to do with thee?" He wanted to make clear to her that He could no longer be in subjection to her. He would deal with the need she mentioned in His way. In 1 TIMOTHY 2:5, Paul makes a very important statement about mediatorship: "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus."

It is Jesus alone, who sits at the right hand of the Father and who represents us. All believers are exhorted in the Scriptures to be intercessors (1 TIMOTHY 2:1). However, nowhere in scripture is a believer asked to look for access to God through anyone else other than the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible recognises all believers, however weak they are, as saints, and all have the same access to the Father through Jesus Christ. But not even saints can add anything to the glorious redemptive work of Jesus Christ, neither now, nor in the future. Mary cannot save us. She cannot talk for us. She was at the foot of the cross as Jesus died; she needed Him as her redeemer. She was waiting in the upper chamber to receive the Holy Ghost (ACTS 1:14). She will be in heaven, but neither as 'Queen of Heaven', nor as the 'Mother of God'. Mary will be there as a sinner, who has been saved through grace. Saved through the Blood, which has been shed, not through the birth which took place through her. To teach the intercession of Mary means to impair the unique intercession of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Translated from the German: "Ist Maria eine Fürsprecherin?"

Source: 'Pentecostal Evangel'