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January 31, 2001

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Q/A Topics:
Praying to Mary?

COMMENTS:
look, I'm sure that I am just the person you are wanting to hear from... So you can, "save me." Go ahead - please pray for me. I do need prayers! The just man falls 7 times a day. I am an intense lover of my Catholic Faith and have been for 38 years. I was in the convent for 3 years beautiful years where I spent 5 hours a day in prayer. Mother Teresa told our order that we were on our knees more than her sisters - so while we were on our knees we prayed for Mother Teresa and her apostolate. She visited us on one great day!

And still pray 5 hours a day. I have 5 children now and homeschool and live in a messy house. I need more help now that ever! You can pray for me - sure. But I go to the top! Scripture says, "Blessed art you among women..." Now logically speaking, I pray to His Mother since SHE is blessed among all women. So yes, I am guilty of praying the Hail Mary on a regular basis. You might want to take note that the "Hail Mary" is taken verbatum from Scripture and the rest is common sense. If you would like to adhere to the language that I pray TO Mary, you may, for this is correct...It may help you a little to know that she doesn't have a cell phone and through prayer is the only way I can reach her. And when I call out her name, I ask her to help me - just like Jesus did when he was a boy. I am reminded of the Scripture passage - "Be ye perfect like your heavenly Father..." and I think to myself...if He called out to His mother certainly I MUST also... I want to be like Jesus! ! ! !

ANSWERS:
[Item: "Now logically speaking, I pray to His Mother since SHE is blessed among all women."]

"Logic" is not the same as "spiritual" or "obedience" to Christ. Yes, Mary was "blessed" (i.e. "most priveledged" or "favored") to have been used of God to bring forth His Son, Jesus Christ to be "made flesh". (Jn1:14) But then, Jael was also called "most blessed" ... "Most blessed among women is Jael, The wife of Heber the Kenite; Blessed is she among women in tents." (Judg5:24) Jael, of course, killed Sisera with a tent peg pounded through his head, after putting him to sleep with warm milk. Since Jael is called "blessed", why don't you pray to her? "Blessed" means the same thing in both places. If you pray to Mary, then, you better also start praying to Jael. (Please take that in the tongue-in-cheek context it is said. You are NOT supposed to pray to Jael, just as you are NOT supposed to, to Mary)

The "Hail Mary" is prayed over-and-over-and-over, repeatedly... violating Jesus' command about NOT doing "vain repetitions as the heathen do". (Mt6:7) And then notice what Jesus says about prayer. He does NOT instruct to pray to Mary, but He says to pray to "Our Father in heaven..." That is, as you say, "the top". And Believers can do so because of our High Priest, Jesus the Son of God. (Heb4:14-16)

Yes, the words "hail Mary" are found in the Scriptures...but you must take them in their proper context. The angel was greeting her. (Lk1:28) And when Elizabeth greets her with "blessed are you among women" (Lk1:42) she is rejoicing -with- her at the revelation that Jesus would be born through her. But Elizabeth was not 'praying' to Mary (just as the angel did not pray to Mary). They were relatives. Given a similar scenario today, when Mary came to the door, they would have run into each other's arms, jumping around, squeeling with delight over each other's "good fortune". After all, Elizabeth was also pregnant in her old age with John the Baptist. They were a couple of pregnant ladies, rejoicing that God had blessed them with babies. Remember, unlike today, it was a great honor to women to bear children, and if they couldn't, like Elizabeth hadn't for most of her life, it was considered a 'curse'. Elizabeth could rejoice because she was now, at long last, able to bear a child even in her old age, and Mary had an added dimension to rejoice over, because she was bearing the Messiah. But that did not elevate her to status as Queen of Heaven. No place in Scripture is such a thing proclaimed.

[Item: "You might want to take note that the "Hail Mary" is taken verbatum from Scripture and the rest is common sense."]

Just because something is found 'verbatim' in Scripture, does not mean it is a prayer we are to pray. And... what "rest" is "common sense"? The part that is -ADDED-, that is NOT in Scripture? The part that says that Mary is with a person at their "hour of death"? NO PLACE is that taught IN SCRIPTURE!!!

[Item: "I ask her to help me - just like Jesus did when he was a boy. and I think to myself...if He called out to His mother certainly I MUST also... I want to be like Jesus! ! ! !"]

But when He became a man He says, "Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me?" (Jn2:4) After He is anointed for service by the Holy Spirit and pronounced "My beloved Son" (Mt3:17) by the Father, as He begins His ministry, she is "woman", not "mother". When Mary, along with His siblings, try to come and get Him to talk some sense into Him because they thought He was "out of His mind", He replies with, "Who is My mother, or My brothers?" (Mk3:21,33) And when somebody shouted out a "blessing" regarding Mary... "Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts which nursed You!" He said, "No, rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!" (Lk11:27-28)

[Editor's note: And this is a passage that has been mis-translated by the Rome-leaning KJV/NKJV. KJV says, "Yea rather.." and NKJV says, "More than that.." But when a person looks up the Strongs, the lexicons reveal that it means, "Nay rather.." Let's see... last I knew, "yea" was the opposite of "nay". Why did the KJV translators change "NO" into "YES"? Because doing so would allow the false doctrine of Mariolatry to continue, and the deceived would think it came from the Bible. The KJV translators were of the Church of England... of Rome.]

You see...Jesus, Himself, soundly rejected (with "NO") the notion that Mary was to be elevated. The truth of the matter is, that, the "Mary" you pray to is not Mary, but the ancient Queen of Heaven. (Isis, Ishtar, Aphrodite, Libertas, etc) Your prayers are idolatry. God said, "You shall have no other gods before Me" (Ex20:3) and Mary has become an "other god" to you. God said, furthermore, "You shall not make for yourself any carved image, or any likeness of anything..." (Ex20:4) And you PROLIFERATE the world with statues of this Queen of heaven whom you worship. When you pray to "Mary", you break God's Commandments #1 and #2. And those who insist on continuing in it are due God's jealous judgment. (Ex20:5-6)

Amen!

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Divorced -> Saved -> Service?

QUESTION:
Please answer this question for me, my pastor is somewhat doubtful of the correct answer...

At this time I am teaching a Sunday School class...and very active in the other ministries of the church. Here's the rub... I was married before, divorced (we both commited adultery). Would I ever be able to serve as a deacon in my church? [Personal stuff]...but when I am saved the Lord has forgiven and forgotten all that has happened in my life before salvation how is it that man has not.

ANSWER:
In the O.T. the priests were to marry only virgins... not widows, divorced, prostitutes, etc. (Lev21:13-14) However, there may be many 'reasons' to consider why that would have been, of greatest significance being that the O.T. priesthood was symbolic of the coming of Christ and His spotlessness as He would then give Himself as our sacrifice for sin, and become our High Priest before God. (1Pt1:19, Heb8:1, etc)

When 1Tim3:2 says "husband of one wife", it says nothing of what the person's life might have consisted of before they were saved. There are some more legalistically-minded people who, when it is considered that in God's eyes, sex -is- marriage, then, -each- 'partner' a person might have been with becomes a 'spouse'...thus, they have 'more than one' wife...if you understand what I'm saying. Others add to that place by saying "one wife AT A TIME". But that, too, 'adds' to what is actually written.

So, where does God's "grace" fit in? David was not dethroned when he sinned with Bathsheba. They paid for their sin by the death of the baby, etc. But when God forgives sin, we are told, "For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us." (Ps103:11-12) "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.." (Rom8:1) We are "saints". We are "holy". (Eph1:1,4) Paul considered himself to be the "chief" of sinners, because he had persecuted the Church before his conversion. (1Cor15:9) And yet he praises God, "But by the grace of God I am what I am..." (vs10) Which was, an 'apostle'. One who appointed elders and deacons. Is not one who appoints greater (held to a higher standard) than the one appointed?

This is those who have been divorced PRIOR to becoming Christians. For divorces after salvation, that's a different matter, because it gives "occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme". (2Sam12:14) Jesus called remarriage "adultery". (Mt5:32) Those who divorce and remarry while unregenerate are doing "according to the course of this world" as "children of wrath". (Eph2:2-3) It is their 'nature' to do so, because they are of satan. And so, if an unequal yoke leaves a Believer, the Believer is "not under bondage in such cases" (1Cor7:15) But if two Believers divorce, Paul says to "remain unmarried or be reconciled.." (vs11) But the command is to "not to depart.." (vs10) Do not get divorced; because God "hates divorce". (Mal2:16) Those who do, would then fit into the 'ban' against leadership positions. They are living disobediently. How can they expect to lead others into obedience to Christ, when they are being disobedient in the very nature of the existence of their lives?

But back to -your- situation; it is my understanding from Scripture that sins a person committed prior to the New Birth are under Christ's blood, to be "remembered no more". (Jer31:34, Heb8:12, 10:17) Like you say...so, why does 'man' keep remembering them? I don't know. As a child I grew up surrounded by that mentality of "remembering", and I still don't understand it.

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