The Pagan Origin of Mary Worship
Is the Blessed Virgin Mary "Queen of Heaven" and "Mother of God"? ...
Dr. J. D. Fulton: The Lady of the Jesuits is not even an invention of Jesuitism, but an adoption of a pagan conception which cursed Babylon, the prototype of the modern Babylon, centuries before Christ appeared as the son of Mary. Pictures of the mother and child were then worshiped. In almost all the devotional books of the Roman Catholic Church, the mother of God is crowned, sceptred and enthroned as the Queen of heaven. ["She has been appointed by God to be the Queen of heaven and earth", Pius IX, 1854, but not made "official" till 1954 by Pius XII.] "I can never," said the Rev. M. Hobart Seymour, in his Evenings with the Romanists, page 254, "forget the shock I received when I first saw in their churches in Italy, the Virgin Mary crowned as Queen of heaven, seated on the same throne with Jesus crowned King of heaven. These were the God-man and God-woman enthroned alike. There was nothing to distinguish the one above the other."
The origin of this idolatry had its root in ancient mythology. Astarte of the Assyrians, Ashtoreth of the Sidonians and Bowaney of the Hindoos held the place that Mary occupies in the church of Rome. Greece had her Venus and Rome her Juno. The Diana of the Ephesians was a female, from whose body in every part there seemed to be issuing all the various animals of creation, symbolizing the conception and creation of all things.
The Egyptians on the one hand and the Etrurians on the other had their Isis, the same symbol, a female divinity whom they regarded as "the mother of the gods." Jeremiah describes the Jews who had rebelled against God as making cakes to "the queen of heaven" (Jer 7:18; 44:17), the title given to Juno in the Scandinavian theology. Rome has adopted this element of heathenism, this product of the carnal heart. In all its essential elements the Roman Etrurian and the Romish Mary brought from Babylon and adopted by papal Rome are in accord - Romanists are idolaters. In their churches are pictures of the Virgin that are worshiped because of the wonderful things professedly done by them. In St. Peter's is a picture of the Virgin bearing the inscription that it had miraculously shed blood when struck by a stone. A picture of the mother and child is at Lucca, of which it was affirmed that when some one flung a stone at the face of the child she transferred the child to the other arm and thus saved it from injury. The Jesuits defend this.
It is claimed by Romanists that the mother and child sustain the same relation in heaven which they have assigned them on earth, and that Jesus is more the mediator with Mary than Mary is the intercessor with Christ. From Babylon, this worship of the mother and child spread to the ends of the earth. In Egypt, in Assyria, in China and in Greece and elsewhere, this form of worship suited to the carnal heart gained sway. Circe, the daughter of the sun, taken from Pompeii, has the nimbus or circle surrounding the head in the very same way as the head of the Roman Madonna is at this time adorned in the pictures given of this mistress of Rubens, this lady of the Jesuits. Can any one believe this coincidence accidental?
Mariolatry encourages sinners.
Christ's worship is built on the teachings of the Scriptures. To obtain forgiveness of sins through Christ there must be a change of heart, a new birth, a new life. Old things must pass away, all things must become new. Romanists believe that they can be saved more easily through Mary. Christ requires repentance, Mary devotion. Faith in Christ demands submission to the will of God, reformation of life, and devotion of heart as required by the gospel; while devotion to Mary consists in prayers to her or some external practices in her honour. Liguori teaches that damnation is impossible where there is devotion to the Virgin. Hence the worship of Mary encourages sinners and multiplies sins. Pio Nono (Pius IX), after decreeing the Immaculate Conception, made the cornerstone of the Romish faith to believe and to teach that salvation is received solely and alone through Mary. It is ours to refute this blasphemous assumption by proclaiming Christ as the way, the truth, and the life.
When Mary gave birth to Jesus Christ her [unique] mission ended. The dream that haunted the imagination of the Jewish maiden was fulfilled; Mary had given birth to Jesus. The world worshiped the being born, not the one who gave birth to the Son of man and the Son of God. They did it then. True believers do it now as they will do it in heaven. Mary will walk with the redeemed in white. "The assumption of Mary" [bodily into heaven, Pius XII, 1950] is a Popish assumption, and it is nothing more. Mary has not risen and will not rise until the trump shall sound, when she will come forth and cast her crown at the feet of Christ, with the countless throng that no man can number. Mariolatry, the perpetual virginity of the virgin, is a popish lie and calculated to deceive millions, while it is an insult to our Lord and Saviour. It declares that Christ lacks compassion, is wanting in knowledge and depends for information upon Mary, and is without willingness to help and save the lost.
As a virgin, Mary became the medium through which the ever blessed Christ came into the world. Because of this she was blessed among women. She was not worshiped by those who knew her in the flesh, and she is without any claim to worship at this time, or any time.
Jesus Christ is the Stone which is being set at naught by Romanists, but as Peter said "He is the head of the corner; neither is there any salvation in any other, for there is none other name given among men whereby we must be saved." [Acts 4:11-12] Hence in our hearts and with our lips we glorify Christ, and reject Mariolatry as dishonoring to God and destructive of faith in Christ, and we glorify the one Mediator between God and man [1Ti 2:5], Christ Jesus our Lord, who was crucified, dead and buried, and who rose from the dead and ascended up on high [Eph 4:8] and was welcomed into heaven by the multitudes that no man can number and is worshiped by the redeemed as the being by whom and for whom all things were made. [Col 1:16]
by Justin Dewey Fulton D.D., "Is it Mary or the Lady of the Jesuits?", Brooklyn, New York, January, 1890.
Is Mary the "Mother of God"?
The history of the doctrine:
The cult of the Mother Goddess entered the Christian Church in typically Christian categories, such as the Ecclesia [church], represented as the spiritual mother of Christians, or as "the Second Eve," whose divine motherhood is responsible for mankind's rebirth. It was through such Christian concepts that the idea of the divine feminine took root in Christianity, and it was a long and often confusing process until Mary was declared to be the Mother of God. But it is the primordial mystery of generation and childbirth, the appearance of life, and the age-old belief that motherhood is part of a cosmic order upon which both the pagan and the Christian versions of the cult of the theotokos ["God bearer", i.e., "Mother of God", Council of Ephesus, 431 A.D.] rest. This reverence for motherhood and childbirth is the basic principle of Mariology, a principle which Christianity inherited from its pagan forerunners.
Stephen Benko (1993) The Virgin Goddess: Studies in the pagan and Christian roots of Mariology. Leiden: E.J. Brill. p. 5
The Lateran Council of 469 under Pope Martin I declared: "if anyone does not confess in harmony with the holy Fathers that the holy and ever virgin and immaculate Mary is really and truly the mother of God, inasmuch as she in the last times and without semen by the Holy Spirit conceived God the Word himself specially and truthfully, who was born from God the Father before all ages, and she bore him uncorrupted, and after his birth her virginity remaining indissoluble, let him be condemned." The perpetual virginity of Mary thus became an official teaching of the church: Mary was a virgin before, during, and after the birth of Jesus. In 1555, the Council of Trent confirmed this dogma in the Constitution of Pope Paul IV known as "Cum Quorundam." Here the pope warns against teaching that "the same blessed Virgin Mary is not truly the Mother of God, and did not remain always in the integrity of virginity, i. e., before birth, in birth, and perpetually after birth."
Stephen Benko (1993) The Virgin Goddess: Studies in the pagan and Christian roots of Mariology. Leiden: E.J. Brill. p. 203
18 times in the Encyclical "Munificentissimus Deus" (1950), Pope Pius XII entitles Mary, "Mother of God".
But was she the "Mother of God"?
Jesus was a divine being before His human birth: "In the beginning was the word, and the word was with [the supreme] God, and the word was [divine, a] God [-level individual]." (John 1:1).
Jesus was divine after the Resurrection: "My Lord and my God" (John 20:28).
Jesus was not divine during his human incarnation: "made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." (Phi 2:7-8).
"Jesus was made a little lower [or, for a little while lower] than the angels for the suffering of death." (Heb 2:9).
"Jesus Christ is come in the flesh." (1 John 4:2)
Since Jesus was not divine during his incarnation, Mary was the mother of a human being, not the mother of "God".