Where is Your Trust:–in Jesus or Mary

 

Where is Your Trust:
In Jesus or in Mary?

Richard Hollerman

The message of Scripture, from first to last, is that we must place our ultimate faith in God and in Christ Jesus, His beloved Son.  The Hebrew writer says, “Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him” (11:6).  Our faith must be focused on God who is the Rewarder. Jesus declared, “Have faith in God” (Mark 11:22).

Our faith must also be focused on Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Christ said in one of the most beloved verses of the Bible, “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).  The Gospels are filled with references to faith in the Lord Jesus (cf. John 3:36; 5:24; 11:25-26; 20:30-31). This emphasis continues in Acts. Paul told the Philippian jailer, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (16:31a). Paul wrote that we are “justified by faith” (Romans 5:1), and He further said that we are to believe in Christ “for eternal life” (1 Timothy 1:16). Faith in God and in Christ is the very foundation of our life in Christ and the reception of our eternal blessings in Him.

Most of our readers probably accept this truth as factual and beyond question. However, one popular theology in our world does say that faith for eternal life goes beyond a faith in God and a trust in Christ Jesus.  It must also embrace a further and additional faith—a faith in Mary, the mother of Jesus!  They would say that we are required to have a trust in Mary in order to be saved from sin and experience eternal life!

This is brought out in a news article about the Catholic “Pope” and his encouragement to young people to trust in Mary:

At a meeting with young people in the northern Italian city of Savona, Pope Benedict XVI recited the Angelus prayer with the young people and invited them to trust in Mary.[i]

Where is this found in God’s word or the practice of the early followers of Christ? It can’t be found there, thus it is a post-apostolic innovation that directly contradicts our Lord’s requirement that we have faith in God and in Christ, and in no one else.

Another Catholic article encourages people to offer their faith in Mary:

Hail Mary, Blessed Are You among Women
Over the centuries Christians have bestowed hundreds of names and devotions that help us develop a deeper and more prayerful relationship with Mary, the Mother of God. Undoubtedly, Mary is the most popular saint we honor and praise. As the Mother of God she surpasses all other humans and yet is closely united with us. When we pray the Memorare, we acknowledge our complete and loving trust in the Virgin Mary. With deep devotion and purpose, we say that “never was it known that anyone who turned to the Virgin Mary was left unaided.”[ii]

Again we see that members are urged to have a “complete and loving trust” in Mary.  (Incidentally, this shows that they continue to think that Mary has remained a virgin and they object to the fact that she had some four other sons and at least two daughters: Matthew 12:46; 13:55-56; Mark 3:32; 6:3; John 7:3-5; Acts 1:14; Galatians 1:19) 

In describing the life and actions of a Catholic by the name of Thomas Morales,[iii] we find that one writer states:

In launching initiatives, he was fearless and was inspired to work based on the virtues of faith, love for Christ and the Church, and immense trust in the Virgin Mary. A man of intense spiritual life and of rich contrasts, his works are the reflection of a harmonious synthesis of two seemingly opposite extremes: the contemplative and the active.[iv]

Was Morales’ “immense trust in the Virgin Mary” really glorifying to God—or was it a horrendous offense and sin against God who alone is the object of our faith?

Notice another example of faith in Mary, the mother of our Lord.  This one was entitled “Prayer to Blessed Alojzije Stepinac.”  This is the prayer:

Intercede for us the gift of prayer,
courage that comes from truth in every situation,
a selfless love towards everyone,
and trust in the Virgin Mary.

Blessed Alojzije Stepinac,
pray for us![v]

Once again we see the importance of “trusting” in the “Virgin Mary” for our spiritual needs.

The following example is rather long, but it again shows us how prominent is this implicit faith in Mary. We refer to her intercession, her forgiveness, and even her salvation.  The article is entitled “Mary’s Legion” and subtitled, “A Bird’s Eye View of the Legion of Mary,” by John M. Samaha. Here is the astounding, even shocking, piece:

Totally with, for, and by Mary

But it is, above all else, a very special confidence in Mary that confers on the Legion’s activity effectiveness that often borders on the miraculous. This was already mentioned with reference to the Legion’s devotion to the Immaculate Conception. But we must say more about it, for it is the most important facet. The Handbook comes back to it repeatedly.

Under the inspiration of this love and this faith in Mary, her Legion undertakes no matter what kind of work, without ever saying that it is impossible, for it believes that everything is possible and acceptable to it. (Handbook, p. 13)

The Legion bears, with inexpressible pride, the name of Mary. A Marian organization, it is based on the unlimited confidence of a child toward this good Mother, a confidence which it believes she will fortify by implanting it deeply into the heart of each one. In this way, it has members who work together with the greatest possible harmony of loyalty and discipline. That is why it does not think it presumptuous to consider its system as a kind of powerful machine which, in order to embrace the whole world, needs only to be responsive to the directives of authority. Mary, then, will be willing to use her institution to accomplish in souls her work of Mother and to continue her unending task: to crush victoriously the head of the infernal serpent. Would we be wrong to trust in her? (Handbook, p. 24)[vi] (The underlining is ours.)

If one were not acquainted with Catholic Mariology, he would probably be shocked to read this kind of prideful display of ultimate allegiance and total trust in Mary. This deserves to be called Mariolatry for it is exalting Mary to a place of prominence totally unknown in the New Testament body of Christ that was directed by the apostles of Christ in the first century.  Yet it is part of Catholic devotion!

The final example of Catholic devotion and faith in Mary is taken from an article entitled, “Brazil’s ‘pop-star priest’ gets mammoth new stage.”[vii]  It describes the devotion of “Latin Grammy-nominated singer and priest Marcelo Rossi.”  The article reads:

Rossi holds his inaugural mass at his new mega-church with 50,000 people in his efforts to curb the Brazilian exodus from the Roman Catholic Church.

People attend a Mass led by Catholic priest Marcelo Rossi at the Mother of God sanctuary in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

SAO PAULO — Brazil’s “pop-star priest” inaugurated a cavernous new sanctuary that he built for his campaign to stem the exodus of faithful from the Roman Catholic Church in Latin America’s biggest nation.

Brazil still has more Catholics than any other country in the world, with about 65 percent of its 192 million people identifying themselves that way in the 2010 census. That’s down from 74 percent in 2000 and is the lowest since records began tracking religion 140 years ago.

That’s where Father Marcelo Rossi’s Mother of God sanctuary comes in. The not-yet-finished structure will seat 6,000 people and have standing room for 14,000 more, church leaders say. In addition, the grounds outside can hold 80,000 people who could watch Mass on outdoor video screens.

The article continues:

It’s a fitting stage for Rossi, a Latin Grammy-nominated singer who is known for tossing buckets of holy water on worshippers and performing rollicking Christian songs backed by a blasting live band during Mass.

The church sits on 323,000 square feet (30,000 square meters) of land. Church officials declined to confirm how big the actual building is, though local reports put it at 91,500 square feet (8,500 square meters). That would make it one of the world’s 10 biggest churches. A cross soaring 138 feet (42 meters) into the air is the focal point.

Not only is this a mammoth cathedral and the originator of it is a well-known and wealthy singer, but what is outstanding is his unusual zeal for Mary, the mother of Jesus. He named the cathedral after her the “Mother of God” sanctuary. This fits into Rossi’s agenda for a renewed interest in Mary and Catholicism in Brazil:

For now, Rossi hopes his big church will bring together tens of thousands of faithful for every Mass, giving new energy to the Catholic faith.

“People want big spaces. They want grand places for prayer,” he told the Globo TV network. “One candle illuminates, 10 candles illuminate — and 100,000 candles light up so much more.”

A final quotation makes our point:

“We have problems, everyone has problems,” worshipper Zuleima de Oliveira Sales said as she stood in the tightly packed sea of people under the soaring blue roof of the structure, her voice choking. “They don’t come to an end, but I have faith, I have faith in Our Lady.”

That’s the sort of belief the Catholic Church is counting on in Brazil and other developing nations. Leaders from the Vatican on down are looking to them as bulwarks against losses in Europe and the U.S., where sex abuse scandals have inspired many people to leave the church. About half of the world’s Catholics live in Latin America.

Notice particularly the expression of faith in Mary.  With this kind of faith in “Our Lady” (Mary), both Rossi and Benedict XVI hope that the new cathedral will stimulate Catholicism and Marian devotion even further.

We’ve seen enough to understand that not everyone agrees with the Biblical mandate that our faith must be in Christ Jesus and Christ Jesus alone for our salvation.  Eternal life, forgiveness, and salvation are found in Christ alone and no other faith avails.  In fact, if our faith is in any other being—especially another human being like Mary—our faith in Jesus Christ is in vain!  Our belief in Christ or trust in His saving work on the cross is nullified when we take away our faith in Christ by directing our trust in anyone or anything else. 

Christ alone is “the way, and the truth, and the life,” and He alone is the only way to God the Father in heaven (John 14:6). Salvation is found in Christ alone (Acts 4:12), thus our faith is in Him alone.  If one places his faith in Mary as co-Mediator, as intercessor, as co-Savior, as co-Redeemer, he thereby invalidates any saving faith in God through the Lord Jesus.

We haven’t discussed the many false doctrines that surround Mary. She is looked on as a virgin woman today, whereas she had at least six other children besides Jesus. She is looked on as the “Queen of Heaven” whereas Scripture says that a pagan “goddess” was the only Queen of Heaven (Jeremiah 7:18; 44:17, 18, 19, 25). She is thought to hear and answer prayer for over one billion people on earth, whereas she can’t hear even a single prayer for she is merely human.  She is thought to be the epitome of Christian virtues, whereas Scripture indicates that there was no special devotion or honor given to her through the New Testament period. She is thought to have had an immaculate conception, whereas she was a sinner who needed a Savior like all of us (Luke 1:47; Romans 3:23). She is thought to have been exalted to heaven bodily, whereas Scripture says that the bodily resurrection awaits all of us (1 Thessalonians 4:14-18).

But the main point we emphasize here is that a billion people are vainly placing their faith—and their hope of heaven—in a fellow human being who is incapable of saving even one person, much less a billion people!

Where is your faith?  Where have you placed your trust for salvation?  Be willing to come to Christ alone and place your faith in Him and His saving work for your eternal salvation. Then you will be able to say, with Paul:

“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exalt in hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:1-2).



[i] catholicnewsagency.com/ news/pope_tells_young_ people_to_trust_in_mary/

[ii] faithfirst.com/html/ misc_articles/2007_08/oct_ dec_may_mary.html

[iii] cruzadasdesantamaria.org/English/biografia.htm

[iv] cruzadasdesantamaria.org/ English/biografia.htm

[v] comunitacenacolo.it/viewpagina. asp?keypagina=2678

[vi] campus.udayton.edu/mary/ LegionofMary.htm

[vii] news.msn.com/world/ brazils-pop-star-priest- gets-mammoth-new-stage

 

 

 

   

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