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Should we Pray to Mary?

I am Jehovah; that is My name; and I will not give My glory to another, nor My praise to engraved images. (Isaiah 42:8)

that you not deal corruptly, and make for yourselves a graven image, a likeness of any figure, the form of a male or female, (Deuteronomy 4:16)

You shall not make a graven image for you, any likeness of anything in the heavens above, or in the earth beneath, and in the waters from under the earth. (Deuteronomy 5:8)

All who serve graven images are shamed, those who boast themselves in idols; all gods bow down before Him. (Psalms 97:7)

You shall not make idols to yourselves; and you shall not set up for yourselves graven images, or a memorial pillar. And you shall not place any stone image in your land, to bow yourselves to it; for I am Jehovah your God. (Leviticus 26:1)

Words by someone defending the use of Icons:

{But suppose you saw me kneeling before an array of icons, praying to Christ-perhaps even kissing those icons. What then? Am I engaged in the worship of idols? For here, you see, is where we come across the crucial reason for having icons in the first place. In the image we see the Prototype. An icon of Christ reveals to us the Original. And through Him, He taught us, we also glimpse the Father. Icons become for us windows to heaven, revealing the glory of God. The fact is, icons help to protect us from idolatry! Thus, we bow before the icon of Christ, seeing through it Him and His Father. These icons, these windows, may be seen as offering movement in two directions. In an Orthodox Church the icons are for us who worship a passage into the Kingdom of God, but as well bring a revelation, a manifestation of the unseen heavenly host of angels, saints, and martyrs-yes, even the eternal saving events-into our presence. The Church becomes a true outpost of heaven on earth. This veneration, by the way, is accompanied by rich scriptural precedent. Saint John of Damascus reminds us that: "Abraham bowed down to the sons of Hamor, men who had neither faith nor knowledge of God, when he bought the double cave intended to be a tomb. Jacob bowed to the ground before Esau, his brother, and also before the tip of his son Joseph's staff. He bowed down, but he did not adore. Joshua, the son of Nun, and Daniel bowed in veneration before an angel of God, but they did not adore him"}

"An icon of Christ reveals to us the original", but the icon was made by an artist that has NEVER seen the original, besides the surrogate in no way is near the goodness of the original, thus this is an offence to God.  Have we escaped from reason?  Why do you think God is so strongly against idolatry?

"The fact is, icons help to protect us from idolatry!"  This seems to me to be a circular argument: "We adore icons for they help us from adoring icons" tilt. 

If kneeling in front of icons and idols is not idolatry, why then Muslims accuse Catholics of being idolatrous? 

Calvin has this to say on this point:

Honouring images is dishonour to God.
When men kneel before anything, except God, for religious purposes, it becomes a violation of Godís honour and glory. Yet this violation is not there if men were to kneel before men as part of a civil honour (and without religious purpose).

The difference between the two kneeling is that the former is done for religion, whilst the latter is for civil purposes. The former is a reverential act coupled with religion and thus savors of something divine which is Godís alone. The latter is also a reverential act, yet it is not coupled with religion, and hence does not have the image of God as its central core, and therefore cannot take away the honour and glory of God.

Calvin's view on Idols chapter 11.

People may worship whom they like and in any way they fancy, but the above description is difficult to be disassociated from icon worship and it easily resemble pagan adoration. The idea that one kneels in front of an image or statue saying that he prays not to the graven image, but through it to God, we are cutting here reasonability too finely to be believed, for we are told by Scripture: For God is one, also there is one Mediator of God and of men, the Man Christ Jesus, (1 Timothy 2:5)

If there is only ONE mediator what need have we to put a dead idol in between us Christ? It seems a concoction of men, besides that idolís features are only the imagining of an artist, totally false, for no one has seen the original. Just consider: one buys some clay, then he forms a shape of a woman, paint a blue cape on that form, blue eyes and red lips. Afterwards he places this statue on a pedestal, lights a couple candles, kneels and pray to the thing he just formed. If that is not pagan worship, what is pagan then? Tell me, this famous man kneeling with a bowed head and praying to the statue of Mary (our Lady of Fatima) in front of him, what is he doing?

Should we kneel and worship anything else other than God?
"9 And the angel said to me, "Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb." And he said to me, "These are the true words of God." 10 Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, "You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God." For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." (Rev 19:9-10; 22:8-9)

In another picture we see him having a close conversation with a graven image of Mary (Fatima) in an almost life like situation. There is no doubt that this icon is more than a lump of clay to this man.

It is really difficult in looking at these pictures and reading the accompanying text to believe that these idols are only a mental channel to help praying to God.

To note also the titles given to Mary as "Mediatrix", this puts her on the par with Christ, but Scripture say there is only one mediator between God and man "there is one Mediator of God and of men, the Man Christ Jesus". Moreover, Mary herself acknowledges to be in need of a Saviour for her soul: "46 And Mary said, My soul magnifies the Lord, 47 and my spirit exulted in God My Savior." (Luk 1:46-47 LIT)

Note also the dedication of the man "totus tuus" which means "all yours" referring not to Christ Jesus but to Mary. If he is "all yours" to Mary then there is nothing for Christ.

As far as worship they will tell you that they make a distinction between the cult of Latria, given only to the Godhead; the cult of hyper-dulia, given only to Mary; and the cult of dulia, given to the Saints, images and relics, but this distinction is only theoretical.

What is intended by the word IDOL ( www.HyperDictionary.com ):

  1. An image or representation of anything.

  2. An image of a divinity; a representation or symbol of a deity or any other being or thing, made or used as an object of worship. A similitude of a false god.

  3. That on which the affections are strongly (often excessively) set. An object of passionate devotion. A person or thing greatly loved or adored.

  4. A false notion or conception; a fallacy.

Do the above descriptions describe well the graven and pictured images found in some church, or not? Methinks, it does very well indeed.

The idea of praying through Mary is derived from the famous passages recounting the marriage of Cana in Galilee were Jesus performed His first recorded miracle in changing the water into wine. The concept is that because Jesus is stern and difficult to get to, the servants asked Mary to approach Him to ask Him, (in other words to intercede for them) to do something about it.

Let us look more closely at this notion.

It is true that the Gospels portray the man Jesus as a serious man going about His fatherís business in a determinate, no non-sense manner. It is recorded that Jesus cried, but never that he laughed. Jesus was truly a righteous man and not prone to trivialities, but He was approachable and friendly as we see the Apostle He loved most (John) was found of warmly leaning on the Jesusí chest during the last supper, and surely also in other times.

Besides Jesus says:
Come to Me, all those laboring and being burdened, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28).
Do these words seem to come out of the mouth of someone that is difficult to get along? He displays a character of being free, affable, and courteous, although it is true that no one can go to Him unless it is given of the Father: All that the Father gives to Me shall come to Me, and the one coming to Me I will in no way cast out. (John 6:37) but He also says: Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, because I am meek and lowly in heart, "and you will find rest to your souls." Jer 6:16 (Matthew 11:29)

The picture we get here is that Jesus welcomes with open arms all those that would go to Him.

So, why the servants did not go directly to Him?

Says Gill: and the mother of Jesus was there; who seems to have been a principal person at this wedding, and was very officious; when wine was wanted, she signified it to her son, and ordered the servants to do whatever he bid them: and since she, and Jesus, and his brethren, were all here, it looks as if it was a relation of hers that was now married: and since these brethren were the kinsmen of Christ, Simon, Judas, and Joses, the sons of Cleophas or Alphaeus, whose wife was sister to the mother of our Lord; and since one of them, to distinguish him from Simon Peter, is called Simon the Canaanite, or an inhabitant of Cana, as some have thought; hence it is conjectured by Dr. Lightfoot, that Alphaeus had an house in Cana, and that his family dwelt there, and that it was for one of his family that this marriage feast was made; see #Joh 2:2,3,5,12 19:25 Mat 13:55 10:4. Joseph, the husband of Mary, perhaps, was now dead, since no mention is made of him here, nor any where else, as alive, after Christ had entered on his public ministry.

And when they wanted wine, not through the intemperance of the guests, rather through the poverty of the family, who were not able to provide very largely; and it may be by reason of a larger number of guests than were expected; however, so it was ordered by Divine Providence, that there might be an opportunity for Christ to manifest forth his glory. The mother of Jesus saith unto him, they have no wine; being concerned for the family, lest they should be put to shame and disgrace, and the entertainment should not proceed with becoming credit and honour; and knowing the power of Christ to help in this time of necessity, she modestly moves it to him, perhaps by a whisper, sitting next him; or, it may be, might call him out, and just drop the hint; being well persuaded of his power, from the wonderful things told her by the angel that brought the news of her conception, and by the shepherds, and by Simeon and Anna, which she had laid up in her heart; and from his being the Messiah, who, according to the general belief of the nation, was to work miracles.

Woman, This was ordinary with the Jews, speaking to women, to call them by the name of their sex, but by calling her Woman, and not Mother, is agreed by most to signify to her, that in this thing she did not have authority to command Him.

what have I do to with thee? Signifies some displeasure for her unseasonable interrupting him, and also that she had no right or authority upon him in His ministry. It is an intimation that He cannot allow her or any other person to direct in regard to the exercise of his divine power. This language, a rebuke to Mary, His mother, shows very plainly the fiction of Mary having ascendancy over Christ.

mine hour is not yet come to show her, that she was not to prescribe the time to him when he should work miraculously; yet by this expression he also gives her some hopes that he would supply this want, hinting that He would do something, but at His own time; and so she understood from his reply that he would relieve the difficulty. She took the reproof in good part and told the servant to do exactly as He would direct.

From these passages does it transcribe that the Lord is like an unapproachable brutish man that only His mother can soothe Him to do something? He simply, respectfully, but firmly rebuked his mother from doing that, for the Lord will not share His glory with anybody: I am the Lord; that is my name: I will not give my glory to another, or my praise to pictured images. (Isaiah 42:8)

So now we see why the servants went to Mary, it was not that they were afraid to ask Jesus themselves, but because Mary had some responsibility for the running of the feast. She went to Jesus, not because of the petitions of the servants but on her own accord knowing the power of her Son. Besides the servants are only mentioned afterwards, but it is reasonable to assume so for it was them that dispensed the wine.

This particular church portrays and represents Mary as being more sympathetic than Jesus Christ and has created an elaborate system of Mary devotions and works built on sources entirely outside of Scripture. But the Bible is most clear in its showing that when Jesus Christ was on earth, it was NEVER necessary for anyone to persuade Him to be compassionate. Rather He was always moved by compassion. He did not need Mary, angels or saints to move Him to action and certainly they are not required as intermediaries today as this Church would have us believe.  For God is one, also there is one Mediator of God and of men, the Man Christ Jesus, (1 Timothy 2:5)

One who worships false gods; an idolater; a heathen; one who is neither a Christian, a Mohammedan, nor a Jew.

Usage: {Pagan}, {Gentile}, {Heathen}.

  • Pagan was the name given to idolaters in the early Christian church, because the villagers, being most remote from the centres of instruction, remained for a long time unconverted.
  • Gentile was applied to the other nations of the earth as distinguished from the Jews. Of or pertaining to pagans; relating to the worship or the worshipers of false goods;

  • Heathen has the same origin. Pagan is now more properly applied to rude and uncivilized idolaters, while heathen embraces all who practice idolatry. Heathen; idolatrous, as pagan tribes or superstitions.

Those who pray to Mary and Saints are not strictly pagan, for they also worship Christ, but are idolaters with a strong syncretism with some form of paganism. They have a need to have physical shapes to concentrate their affection and prayers to make them real for them. But the Lord forbids this practice very strongly in His word beginning from the second commandment that some church has removed it from its catechism, not from their Bible tough. What the Lord requires is: 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth: for such doth the Father seek to be his worshippers. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship in spirit and truth. (John 4:23-24). Not in the natural.

The NT attests to avoid the pollution of idols: But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood. (Acts 15:20) Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen. (1 John 5:21)

Conclusion: Is praying to Mary Biblical? NO, based on at least these 3 points

  1. Noteworthy is the fact that the Apostles accorded her no special honour and there is no record of them praying to her nor asked anyone to seek her intercessions. It is interesting to note that not once is she mentioned in the writings or epistles written to the churches by Peter, John, Paul, or James. Even though John was committed to look after her for the remainder of her life he does not mention her.

  2. At Cana Jesus openly rebukes her and didnít even call her "mother". Instead he addressed her as "woman" as though she were a stranger! After this Mary is never again recorded in The Scriptures to come and ask Jesus something on behalf of someone else. Actually, she did not really ask him to intervene here either. She merely informed Him there was no more wine.

  3. Another time Jesus was teaching and Mary and her other sons were outside requesting to see Jesus. Here is what Jesus responded when His disciples told Him they were outside: 46 ∂ But while He was yet speaking to the crowds, behold, His mother and brothers were standing outside, seeking to speak to Him. 47 Then one said to Him, Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, seeking to speak to You. 48 But answering, He said to the one speaking to Him, Who is My mother? And who are My brothers? 49 And stretching out His hand to His disciples, He said, Behold, My mother and My brothers. 50 For whoever shall do the will of My Father in Heaven, that one is My brother and sister and mother. (Matthew 12:46-50 )

But the major reasons that we must NOT pray to Mary is that she is not divine, she did not die on the cross for our sins and that she was an ordinary woman that, like everybody else, needed a Saviour as herself testify: and my spirit exulted in God My Savior. (Luke 1:47).

Besides how can she listen to every prayer to her, at the same time, for she is only human.

Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen. (1 John 5:21)