Originally appeared on Vine of life News
I do not write this article as an attempt to denigrate those who are Catholic. It is not my intention to insult anyone in any way. I personally know people who are Catholic, and though I do not agree with many things this religion teaches, these folks (the ones I know and others as well) are good people, people who truly know the Lord.
This has in truth been on my heart for a long time now, but I have been ignoring it. Trying to ignore it…but this just will not go away.
I see in so many places statues, statues of Mary the mother of Christ. So what you say. The real problem is what I do not see…Jesus. Let me elaborate a little on this.
First, there should not be any statues at all, we are not to have any graven image, nor any idols. Leviticus 26:1 “Do not make idols or set up an image or a sacred stone for yourselves, and do not place a carved stone in your land to bow down before it. I am the LORD your God”.
Statues are also a prime target of demons, statues, idols etc CAN have power behind them, the power of demons.
Second, these statues are set up to honor Mary, God is to be honored, not Mary…at least not in this way. It is fine to honor Mary as a wonderful woman of God, it is not fine to pay homage to her, worship her, or pray to her. That is God’s province only. Doing these things is actually a doorway for demons to come through and a way to harm your spiritual walk with Christ.
I have serious problems with this, what really matters however is that God has a problem with this. While honoring Mary is fine, she is not ever to be prayed to, never for any reason. We are told in many verses Who to pray to. Luke 6:12 is Jesus Himself praying to the Father. Philippians 4:6 present your requests to God. 1 John 1:9 “He” is faithful and just to forgive us. Matthew 6:6 Jesus telling us to pray to our Father. Matthew 6:9 Jesus speaking once more, “In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven”…
Nowhere in the Bible will you find a single word concerning praying to Mary, the ONLY One we are to pray to is God the Father through Jesus Christ.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
This is just plain wrong, this is a prayer addressed to Mary, which many don’t seem to realize is the equivalent of elevating Mary to equal status with God. Mary was the mother of Jesus, she is not God, and is not His equal, nor does she have any power to grant anything to anyone. This is completely unbiblical.
Mary was a woman, a woman highly favored by God, and chosen to bear Jesus in her womb. There is no question that Mary was a great woman, but how does she become elevated to semi-godhood status because of this? Remember, God chose Mary and He could have just as easily chosen someone else. Praying to or worshiping Mary does one thing and one thing only; it dishonors both Mary and God.
God will have no other before Him, nor does He share His glory with any other. Praying to Mary is a huge affront to God. No one that believes in God would pray to the sun in the sky, why would you pray to Mary? Are you trying to incite the wrath of God? I’m not at all trying here to make anyone angry or personally attack anyone…but please show me where in the Word of God it says even one word concerning praying to Mary.
Then there is calling the priest “father”, the Bible and Jesus specifically state not to do that. Matthew 23:9 Jesus speaking; Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. How is this then ok? It is not.
The priest also hears confession, while confession is good for the soul it is not good that the priest hears what is said and then tells the confessor that they are indeed forgiven, or even at times tells the penitent they are not forgiven. The idea is that the priest hears confession of sin, and he judges if the person confessing is sincere or not. Then he assigns what he feels is the proper penance to them, often including some Hail Mary’s. Then the priest grants absolution by the power of the church, which in turn was granted this power by Christ Himself. Except that none of this is true.
No one but God has the power to forgive sin. There are various verses pointed to that make some think others have the power to forgive through God, simply unbiblical. If this is true, then why does the Bible not specifically say this?
Think about this, why would God share the power of forgiveness, His own personal bailiwick? Who was on the cross to pay for those sins? It was Jesus, and Jesus only alone.
After confession as I said the priest assigns a penance. Under whose authority? It certainly isn’t under Christ’s because Christ never commanded such a thing. Read your Bible, it’s not there. We are told in James to confess our sins to one another…that in no way means that anyone you confess to has the power to forgive you, they do not! God put that in His Word for a simple reason…He knew that once we confess what we have done wrong, “get it off your chest”, we will feel better…and we DO feel better. But feeling better has little to do with forgiveness, which comes from God only.
If this is Biblical, then why are these things not required by God Himself? How do you receive forgiveness of sin from God? You ask with a sincere heart, genuinely being sorry for what you have done, and God forgives you. It’s that simple. Is there any form of penance? Yes there is. Lets say you have lied about your friend this is a sin obviously. So you confess this to God and are sorry you did it…God forgives because you asked. Then you go to this friend and confess that you did this, ask forgiveness from him (you are forgiven by God regardless of the persons answer) and do your best to make things right…that is the penance, or what is termed as being repentant of your sin. In other words making a U turn, not continuing in this sin. But no man on earth has the power to assign anything for you to do that is strictly between you and God alone.
In part two we will look at penance among other things.
God’s richest blessings be upon you all