What's Wrong with "Mother of God?"

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by TheGriff, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. TheGriff

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    I know that Baptists object strenuously to calling Mary the "Mother of God".

    Christ is God and Mary is his mother. So Mother of God is what she is. It doesn't mean that Christ inherited his divinity from his mother, but because he is God and she is his mother then he is the Mother of God. Just like Barbara Bush is the the mother of the President even though her son didn't inherit the presidency from her.

    I don't hold with much that Catholics say about Mary, but she is worthy of honor. I now know that she wasn't an eternal virgin or that she was free from sin.

    I also see that it is a stretch to call Mary OUR mother just because Christ said to John "Behold your mother" on the cross.

    But I can't think of one good objection to calling Mary the Mother of God other than it is "too Catholic."
     
  2. matt wade

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    Mary was the mother of Jesus "the man". She had nothing to do with His divine nature. She is His earthly mother, but that is all. To call her the "Mother of God" gives her some credit for His divine nature.
     
  3. Tom Bryant

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    What he said well.
     
  4. preacher4truth

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    This is giving her an "official" title that is not mentioned nor given within the Scriptures.
     
  5. Amy.G

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    Any yes, it is "too Catholic" because Catholics are wrong.
     
  6. TheGriff

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    But isn't the use of "Trinity" an official title not mentioned or given in Scripture?
     
  7. TheGriff

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    Hi Matt. If we call Barbara Bush the mother of the president, that does not give her some credit for Bush's presidency (well except one vote among millions).
     
  8. Tom Bryant

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    I hope you're joking or using that to provoke discussion. Mrs. Bush actually did give birth to George Bush who became president. Mary gave birth to Jesus as a human, she did not give birth to God.
     
  9. JesusFan

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    neither is the Bible or the Pope!

    mary was mother of Jesus, who was/is Son of God...

    she was NOT Mother of God, as God has no beginning, Eternal, so she ONLY was mother to his Humanity, not His divinity!
     
  10. Benjamin

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    “Mother of God” it seems to me implies only One nature (Divine). It also seems to suggest something toward Marry (a form of divinity) while taking away from the humanitarian nature. I feel it is important to express two natures in One Person and that to deny the 100% humanity of Christ is just as messed up denying the 100% divinity of Christ. Saying “Mother of Christ” (Christotokos) seems to be clearer in holding to the necessity of dual natures in One person. Anyway, it has been some time since I have studied or discussed this and I am limited in my time but I’ll post notes gathered from research and/or previous discussions that you might find interesting that pertain to the subject:

    My point is that I look at it as Jesus Christ had two natures. I would reject any teaching that denied either one of His natures as 100%; typically it is said that He was 100% human and 100% divine in One Person, the Son. If He only had one incorruptible nature then which part(s) died on the cross? Can God die? Or suffer? Can the atonement be sufficient to cleanse of our sins if all that died was “a robe of flesh” … this flesh being separated out and belittled to the point of a staged act??? I don’t know how He did it, other than He is God, but He did come in the “likeness” of sinful flesh, yet undoubtedly He had the Spirit of God in the flesh and did not sin because of His Divine nature.


    Some of what I know is that evidently Catholics do not like the implications and call it heresy due to Nestorious’ argument that the Virgin Mary should not be called “Mother of God” (Theotokos) and he would only call her “Mother of Christ” (Christotokos.) He held that Mary was only the mother of Christ in the humanity. (BTW, in case you didn’t already know Anthropotokos means: giver of birth to a man.) His opponents accused him of dividing Christ into two persons, but Nestorious replied that he did indeed believe Christ was one person. He was later condemned at the Council of Ephesus 431 which resulted in a Nestorian schism. However, Ephesus could not settle the issue and soon another split came over the issue of Christ having two natures- called the Chalcedonium schism.

    The Chalcedon Council concluded that Christ is One Person in two natures; the difference of the Natures being in no way abolished because of the union, but rather the perfection of each being preserved, and both concurring into one Person and one Hypostasis.

    First, Nestorius argued against calling Mary the “mother of God” (Theotokos) going against the Catholic view of Mariology. He would only call Mary the “mother of Christ” (Christotokos) and was accused of making Christ into two persons because of holding to a difference in the two natures.

    Second, the Monophysites, while insisting on only one divine nature, and rejecting the two nature view along with the throwing the human nature out with the bath water were being antagonized about the refusal to call Mary Theotokos. They were the Mariologist. But if you want to attempt to take it a step further while denying the human nature altogether you might want to start explaining how it is that God (Father, Son, HS) in one hypostasis union “suffered and died” on the cross without doing damage to the Trinitarian hypostasis union in your denial of Christ’ Humanity.

    I see no way to deny either nature as 100% or put one above the other and not run into major complications. I believe in the history of church the same conclusion was settled on; One person-two natures, for good reason.
     
  11. Fred's Wife

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    Amen!

    God has no "Mother"!
     
  12. preacher4truth

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    I didn't coin the term trinity. It's probably more descriptive than a title. The Barbara Bush comparison for argument? I don't think that compares to what we're talking about here.

    No official title given. I reject the one from the RCC.
     
  13. Jkdbuck76

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    Theotokos does not mean "mother of God". It means "god-bearer". Close, but it does not literally say "mother of God."

    2nd: you will not find a Roman Catholic who will say that Mary is the mother of the Trinity. Their theologians aren't stupid.

    3rd: referring to her as "Mother of God" is a nod to Christ's divinity. Look at the first 6 or 7 centuries of Christianity: what was the major issue? It was on the nature and essence of Jesus Christ and of the Trinity. To call Mary the "christotokos" didn't go far enough.

    Is Mary my mother? No. Is she blessed among women? YES. Is she an example to us? Yes. Should we pray to her? NO.

    Do I commonly refer to Mary as the mother of God? No. But I know what is meant.
     
  14. beameup

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    What did John call her? Many say that 2 John 1:1 addresses her.
    Remember, John was given charge of caring for Mary. :wavey:
     
  15. freeatlast

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    Matt said it well and I would add this. satan seeks to elevate Mary by using sinful and foolish men by giving her that title so as to get some of the attention off of Jesus. Giving Mary that title elevates her to a position she has no right to and lowers God to a position He should not be tagged with. Mary is the mother of Jesus and that alone is all that should be stated about her. That is how scripture speaks of her and that is how we should speak of her.
    Can I ask you a couple questions? First what purpose do you see in giving Mary that title? Second do you teach or hold any office in the church you attend that might influence others?
     
    #15 freeatlast, Aug 5, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 5, 2011
  16. TheGriff

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    FONT]
    Can I ask you a couple questions? First what purpose do you see in giving Mary that title? Second do you teach or hold any office in the church you attend that might influence others?[/QUOTE]

    For your first question:

    I think it emphasises the divinity of Christ. And to this I think Catholics do a lot better job than Baptists sometimes do about this. In my Dad's Catholic Chrurch there is a small stained glass window that has a stained glass window with the three Persons of the Trinity in a triangle. It forms a sort of flow chart that reads

    THE FATHER IS GOD/ IS NOT THE SON/ IS NOT THE HOLY GHOST
    THE SON IS GOD / IS NOT THE FATHER/ IS NOT THE HOLY GHOST
    THE HOLY GHOST IS GOD / IS NOT THE FATHER / IS NOT THE SON

    And I'm also thinking of the Song my church (= Baptist Church) sings at the God Friday service. It's an old hymn called "And Can it be?". The first stanza ends:

    Amazing love! How can it be
    That Thou My God shouldst die for me?

    A contemporary Christian singer by the name of recorded a song called "Amazing Love"

    The chorus in the song:

    Amazing love how could it be
    That you my King has died for me?

    Clearly this chorus is lifted right out of "And Could it Be?" But they changed an explicit proclamation of the divinity of Christ for something less. Why walk away from the doctrine?

    Now for your second question. I've only been born again for just over three years, so I have a lot of learning to do and it is a daily joy to open my Bible and see great truths unfolded for me.

    I am on the Lord's Supper Committee and I am also on the Benevolence Committee. For the Lord's Supper Committee all I do is show up an hour before church on those months that have a fifth Sunday and fill up the communion cups.

    The Benevolence Committee is a lot of work too. We have a closet where clothes are given to those who have lost theirs due to fire or some other disaster. The clothes have to be organized and sized where they can be readily seen. There's also a food pantry that has to be organized and expiration dates checked and the food rotated so the oldest food goes out first. At Thanksgiving and Christmas we collect food stuffs to provide a holiday meal for the economically disadvantaged in our community. We also organize an Angel Tree at Christmas.

    These both have a great deal of influence (or at least I think they do.)

    Now I would never, ever call Mary the Mother of God to anyone in my church for any reason at all. I can remember reading the Gospels and surprised at hw little Mary is mentioned. I can also remember being shocked when Jesus stretched out his hands and said "These are my mother and brothers!" I certainly reject all titles for Mary that are unbiblical: Spouse of God, Queen of Heaven, Cause of Our Joy, Eternal Virigin, etc., etc., etc.

    I remember a commercial for a garden center that promised that for six month if any plant dies for any reason, you can replace it.

    They had a man who had a tree and he says,

    I watered it, and watered it, and watered it, and watered it, and watered it. But it still died. Then they explained the concept of over-watering. So I got another one and I've learned my lesson. No water for you!

    So I think the Catholics over-water Mary and Baptists, rightfully leery of such excess under-water Mary.
     
  17. matt wade

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    Then you should also reject "Mother of God".

    Jesus, as God, existed before Mary was ever born on this earth. Jesus, as God, existed before this old earth ever existed. Jesus, as God, created this old earth.

    Mary is in no way, shape, or form, the Mother of God. To hold that title she would have to have existed since before all time and ultimately be "god" herself, which is just plain ludicrous.
     
    #17 matt wade, Aug 6, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 6, 2011
  18. ashleysdad

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    For your first question:

    I think it emphasises the divinity of Christ. And to this I think Catholics do a lot better job than Baptists sometimes do about this. In my Dad's Catholic Chrurch there is a small stained glass window that has a stained glass window with the three Persons of the Trinity in a triangle. It forms a sort of flow chart that reads

    THE FATHER IS GOD/ IS NOT THE SON/ IS NOT THE HOLY GHOST
    THE SON IS GOD / IS NOT THE FATHER/ IS NOT THE HOLY GHOST
    THE HOLY GHOST IS GOD / IS NOT THE FATHER / IS NOT THE SON

    And I'm also thinking of the Song my church (= Baptist Church) sings at the God Friday service. It's an old hymn called "And Can it be?". The first stanza ends:

    Amazing love! How can it be
    That Thou My God shouldst die for me?

    A contemporary Christian singer by the name of recorded a song called "Amazing Love"

    The chorus in the song:

    Amazing love how could it be
    That you my King has died for me?

    Clearly this chorus is lifted right out of "And Could it Be?" But they changed an explicit proclamation of the divinity of Christ for something less. Why walk away from the doctrine?

    Now for your second question. I've only been born again for just over three years, so I have a lot of learning to do and it is a daily joy to open my Bible and see great truths unfolded for me.

    I am on the Lord's Supper Committee and I am also on the Benevolence Committee. For the Lord's Supper Committee all I do is show up an hour before church on those months that have a fifth Sunday and fill up the communion cups.

    The Benevolence Committee is a lot of work too. We have a closet where clothes are given to those who have lost theirs due to fire or some other disaster. The clothes have to be organized and sized where they can be readily seen. There's also a food pantry that has to be organized and expiration dates checked and the food rotated so the oldest food goes out first. At Thanksgiving and Christmas we collect food stuffs to provide a holiday meal for the economically disadvantaged in our community. We also organize an Angel Tree at Christmas.

    These both have a great deal of influence (or at least I think they do.)

    Now I would never, ever call Mary the Mother of God to anyone in my church for any reason at all. I can remember reading the Gospels and surprised at hw little Mary is mentioned. I can also remember being shocked when Jesus stretched out his hands and said "These are my mother and brothers!" I certainly reject all titles for Mary that are unbiblical: Spouse of God, Queen of Heaven, Cause of Our Joy, Eternal Virigin, etc., etc., etc.

    I remember a commercial for a garden center that promised that for six month if any plant dies for any reason, you can replace it.

    They had a man who had a tree and he says,

    I watered it, and watered it, and watered it, and watered it, and watered it. But it still died. Then they explained the concept of over-watering. So I got another one and I've learned my lesson. No water for you!

    So I think the Catholics over-water Mary and Baptists, rightfully leery of such excess under-water Mary.[/QUOTE]


    First, I am glad to hear of your fairly recent salvation. It always excites me to hear of another person coming into the family. Second, I do agree with you that it does seem that alot of times the divinity of Christ or the Holy Spirit is (intentionally/unintentionally) minimized. I personally love the old hymn And Can it Be and alot of it has to with the line "that you my God should die for me". In regard to how Baptists regard Mary. I personally IMHO believe that while yes she was a specially chosen woman who was honored to be the mother of Jesus (humanity), I believe that it is correct to as you put it "underwater" her. The message of the Gospels is Jesus and when we start focusing on other items or issues that message gets obscured. John the Baptist put it best when he said "He must increase (speaking of Jesus), but I must decrease (speaking of himself)". This was a man that Jesus said that there was no greater among the prophets. I believe that Mary would echo that sentiment as well. The error of The Catholic church in this regard is not simply that they honor Mary it is that in their devotion to her they elevate her to a position that is reserved for God and God alone. Mary was the mother of Jesus (in His humanity) but not the mother of the eternal God. Keep reading the scripture! You are right it is exciting to see great truths unfold everytime you read!!
     
  19. Alive in Christ

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    There is much more to this issue than just the Mother of God title. This issue is just the tip of the iceberg.

    In the Catholic and Orthodox world she is the the object of pure unadulterated Goddess worship. Of course they will deny it...yet the truth still remains.

    Goddess worship.

    God have mercy.
     
    #19 Alive in Christ, Aug 6, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 6, 2011
  20. freeatlast

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    For your first question:

    I think it emphasises the divinity of Christ. And to this I think Catholics do a lot better job than Baptists sometimes do about this. In my Dad's Catholic Chrurch there is a small stained glass window that has a stained glass window with the three Persons of the Trinity in a triangle. It forms a sort of flow chart that reads

    THE FATHER IS GOD/ IS NOT THE SON/ IS NOT THE HOLY GHOST
    THE SON IS GOD / IS NOT THE FATHER/ IS NOT THE HOLY GHOST
    THE HOLY GHOST IS GOD / IS NOT THE FATHER / IS NOT THE SON

    And I'm also thinking of the Song my church (= Baptist Church) sings at the God Friday service. It's an old hymn called "And Can it be?". The first stanza ends:

    Amazing love! How can it be
    That Thou My God shouldst die for me?

    A contemporary Christian singer by the name of recorded a song called "Amazing Love"

    The chorus in the song:

    Amazing love how could it be
    That you my King has died for me?

    Clearly this chorus is lifted right out of "And Could it Be?" But they changed an explicit proclamation of the divinity of Christ for something less. Why walk away from the doctrine?

    Now for your second question. I've only been born again for just over three years, so I have a lot of learning to do and it is a daily joy to open my Bible and see great truths unfolded for me.

    I am on the Lord's Supper Committee and I am also on the Benevolence Committee. For the Lord's Supper Committee all I do is show up an hour before church on those months that have a fifth Sunday and fill up the communion cups.

    The Benevolence Committee is a lot of work too. We have a closet where clothes are given to those who have lost theirs due to fire or some other disaster. The clothes have to be organized and sized where they can be readily seen. There's also a food pantry that has to be organized and expiration dates checked and the food rotated so the oldest food goes out first. At Thanksgiving and Christmas we collect food stuffs to provide a holiday meal for the economically disadvantaged in our community. We also organize an Angel Tree at Christmas.

    These both have a great deal of influence (or at least I think they do.)

    Now I would never, ever call Mary the Mother of God to anyone in my church for any reason at all. I can remember reading the Gospels and surprised at hw little Mary is mentioned. I can also remember being shocked when Jesus stretched out his hands and said "These are my mother and brothers!" I certainly reject all titles for Mary that are unbiblical: Spouse of God, Queen of Heaven, Cause of Our Joy, Eternal Virigin, etc., etc., etc.

    I remember a commercial for a garden center that promised that for six month if any plant dies for any reason, you can replace it.

    They had a man who had a tree and he says,

    I watered it, and watered it, and watered it, and watered it, and watered it. But it still died. Then they explained the concept of over-watering. So I got another one and I've learned my lesson. No water for you!

    So I think the Catholics over-water Mary and Baptists, rightfully leery of such excess under-water Mary.[/QUOTE]

    Thank you for your answers. I would point out some things. First as matt said The second person of the Trinity (we call Him Jesus) has always been and Mary came after. He always was with the Father so she is not the mother of God. She was the mother of the son of man and to give her any title that God has not given her is blasphemy.
    Second there is no need to give her the title to promote who Jesus is. He is God without that and using Mary as an avenue to promote such only clouds the issue. In the scriptures Mary is spoken of only to give an account of the birth of the Messiah. She in no way is to be lifted up, honored, or have homage paid to her. The message is all about Jesus.
    Also about the stained glass windows. One of the commands is to make no graven images of that which is in heaven or on earth. The catholic church continually breaks that command by their images, statues and such. So it should be a warning that any organization that disregards the word of God we should not grab hold of their false teachings about Mary as she was not the mother of God and to call her that no matter how sincere the intent is still sin and blasphemy.
     

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