The Orthodox Pages



























Question 64.

Why do modern protestant churches refuse to give any honour to Mary, the Mother of Jesus? Can their stance of calling her just an ordinary Jewish girl be justified by the Bible which they claim is the only Christian authority?


Answer to Question 64.


The detrimental effect on the Protestant understanding of prayer to the Saints was an unorthodox teaching by the Roman Catholic Church. It came up with the doctrine of “Supererogation” or more simple the superabundance of the good works of the saints. The doctrine teaches that a certain amount of “good works” are required to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The good works or merits of the Holy Virgin and the saints are more than they need to save themselves and therefore, the rest of them can be used for the forgiveness of the sins of other men. Thus for a price, poor sinners who cannot attain to all these good works, can pay to be granted "indulgences", which would increase their chance of entering the Kingdom of Heaven. This sounds so unbelievable and naïve that we would be forgiven if we laughed out loud, but this is essentially the doctrine of Rome till this day. Of course, the Pope himself, who invented many ways to gather money through the administration of this supposed right to forgive sins, has assumed the dispensation of these merits.

Opposition and the abuse of this teaching was the main point of Martin Luther when he began opposing the Roman Catholic Church, and it influenced the thinking of the Protestant Reformation as a whole. The Anglican Church also denied the doctrine of supererogation in the fourteenth of the Thirty-Nine Articles, which state that works of supererogation “cannot be taught without arrogancy and impiety.” Many later Protestant movements followed suit, as did Methodism in its Articles of Religion. The doctrine of supererogation was therefore responsible for poisoning the understanding of Protestants regarding the Saints. This lead to their unanimous teaching that a Christian “needs no mediator” save Jesus Christ, believing that the scripture they refer to “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim 2:5)) forbids prayer to the Saints.


The New Testament in fact commands as to honour the Blessed Mother of God.  This is a stumbling block for most Protestants and don’t believe the Bible in fact honours the Mother of God until they are shown the passages they have been blind to notice before. The Gospel according to St. Luke clearly says that the Virgin Mary is “the handmaid of the Lord” (Luke 1:38) and that “from henceforth all generations shall call her BLESSED,” Her cousin Elizabeth “filled with the Holy Spirit” proclaims: “BLESSED art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb” (Luke 1:42) In spite of these testimonies most modern Christians maintain that the Blessed Virgin was just an ordinary Jewish girl and nothing more and treat and ignore her as such. 

Where in the modern Christian service has the pastor ever called the Virgin Mary “Blessed” as the Holy Bible and the Holy Spirit instructs? When has the pastor ever referred to her as the “Mother of God” as the Holy Bible tells us? Oh, come on now, does the Bible actually call Mary the Mother of God? Indeed it does. Elizabeth says “And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Luke 1:43) which is synonymous with “Mother of God”, unless one argues that Our Lord is not God. Why then do the modern Christian communities feel exempt from obeying the Holy Bible of giving proper respect and honour to the Mother of Our Saviour? Why do they refuse the honour due to her as dictated in the Holy Bible? Either they believe every word in the Bible or they don’t. They claim to love Jesus and call themselves his friends yet they refuse to honour his mother whom the Holy Spirit through Elizabeth called Blessed and the Mother of our Lord.