Mary: A humble sinner saved by grace or an exalted semi-deity?

A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Mary: Mother of God?
By Leonardo De Chirico
Christian Focus Publications, 2017, 106 pages

There’s little doubt that the most important difference between Biblical Christianity and Roman Catholicism is how a person is saved. Christianity proclaims the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone while Catholicism teaches salvation by sacramental grace and merit. But the difference between how each group views Mary is also quite significant. Evangelicals take the Biblical view of Mary as a humble believer who submitted to God’s will, but was still a sinner who needed to trust in Christ by faith alone for her salvation. In contrast, Catholics exalt Mary as Advocate, Mediatrix, and Co-Redemptrix, offices that belong to Jesus Christ alone.

“Taken up to heaven, she did not lay aside this salvific duty, but by her constant intercession continued to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation.” – quoted from Lumen Gentium, paragraph 62

When Catholics read the New Testament for the first time, they’re amazed by the relatively small amount of emphasis Mary is given in Scripture in comparison to her exalted position in Catholicism, which rivals and sometimes even exceeds that of Jesus Christ (Mary is not mentioned directly in the last 170 chapters of the NT).

How did Mariolatry start? What sustains it? Leonardo De Chirico answers these questions and more in “A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Mary: Mother of God?” Don’t let the size of this book fool you. It’s an excellent, well-written, well-researched primer on the origin and development of Mariolatry within Roman Catholicism.

Pastor De Chirico is an expert on the Roman Catholic church. He’s previously written a pocket guide on the papacy (see here), he writes an informative monthly blog about Catholicism (see here), and he leads a ministry, The Reformanda Initiative, which seeks to educate evangelicals regarding Roman Catholicism so that they will continue to reach out to Catholics with the Gospel of grace (see here). Praise God for Dr. De Chirico and I pray the Lord continues to use him to reach out to Roman Catholics.

Order “A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Mary: Mother of God?” from Amazon, here.

RefIn

 

32 thoughts on “Mary: A humble sinner saved by grace or an exalted semi-deity?

    1. Thanks, Maria! Yes, I was very pleased with his papacy book and I’m equally pleased with this one. De Cherico has clearly done his research and he has an enjoyable, winsome approach.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I don’t see anything in the bible that says that Mary intercedes for us. This duty only relates to the Lord Jesus Christ and to the Holy Spirit as they intercede for us on our behalf. This reminds me of what Jesus said in John 14:6 as being the only way to the Father, and it also makes me aware of the many ways that Catholics are open to worshipping many gods, including the gods of other religions.

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    1. Thanks, David. All very true. Mother goddess worship was an integral part of pagan religions and when Christianity was legalized and then adopted as the official religion of the Roman Empire, the beliefs and practices of the previous pagan religion seeped in. Mary was elevated as the replacement for the pagan mother goddess.

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  2. Wow, I was just asking these questions brother! I was just wondering where all the mix up began with Mary’s role. Thank you so much for posting about this, here I go to Amazon to learn more about this. Grace and peace to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “…Catholicism teaches salvation by sacramental grace and merit”. But, if one has no faith and instruction/ understanding, then they will not realize the power of Jesus Christ which comes to us as helpful grace. When the Lord says that if you don’t eat his body and drink his blood (John chapter 6), He is signaling a gift by which our faith may be realized in Him – that if we have the faith to believe what He actually says, then we will, with true faith and humility, comply with our whole hearts, minds and strength. But if we have a demon distorting our thoughts, then it is possible that we will spend our idle time being critical of something the demon hates because we don’t realize that it is the demon, and not God who we listen to.

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  4. Those who knowingly and unrepentantly lead others to sin will be judged very, very harshly with the demons whom they follow. So, recommend telling the demon to go to Hell and stay there. Step on its head, according to Sacred Scripture.

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    1. Philip, what would entice me to return to Catholicism and put on chains and get back on the works righteousness treadmill? I would rather die. I don’t understand why you waste another second on your works righteousness religious institution. Your church says all non-Christian works religionists can also possibly merit Heaven if they “follow the light they’ve been given” with a “sincere heart,” whatever that means. Francis says even atheists can merit Heaven if they follow their conscience. None of that is Christianity.

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      1. Do you follow your conscience? Or do you often thwart it, push it behind you – behind other things like anger, hurts, bad memories, and so on? By truthful to yourself.

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      2. You’re making my point. God’s Word says men’s consciences are seared by sin, so teaching that non-religionists and atheists can merit Heaven by following their conscience is anti-Scriptural. Both you and I know we do NOT follow our conscience. Your church is at odds with Scripture and what we both know from experience. Keep traveling down this road and come to Christ.

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      3. Uh. Except that I know a priest who, when he was an atheist, followed his conscience and became a priest. Operative word is “can.”

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      4. The works religionists priest is no farther ahead than the atheist. Both deny God’s way of salvation by His grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone.

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      5. Tom – you cannot control what you hate. It will be true just as true as God is True. Pray for healing and spiritual sight. Humble yourself as a person who knows nothing, and God will fill you with true knowledge.

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      6. Why bother with all your works religion sophistry when Francis says even “good” atheists can merit Heaven? Claiming that you can merit salvation makes you the proud religionist. I came to Christ without one single plea. Humble YOURSELF and come to Christ without your proud reliance on your institutional religion.

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      7. Neither the prophets, John the Baptist, Lord Jesus, or apostle Paul were meek with propagators of false religiosity. But why spend even another second on your exacting legalistic works religion when your pope says “good” atheists can also merit Heaven? You’re wasting your time because you and atheists will all die in your sins.

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      8. God can admit anyone to heaven who has not been evangelized. He would treat them the same way he expects us to treat strangers in our community who, with good hearts, are afraid and do not understand our customs – with charity and compassion. You seem to not understand this fundamental reality.

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      9. “Good hearts”? The Bible says no one is good but God and that the hearts of men are desperately wicked. Who concocted your wide-is-the-way philosophy? I don’t find it in the letters of Paul or Peter.

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      10. Well, Tom, it seems that there are large portions of the Scriptures which you either have not read or do not yet understand. God made us in His image…well, God made us, so a person who delights in the idea that wha5 God has made is bad, is a person who has an issue with God, not with what God (who is perfect) made.

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      11. Funny, but I read in Scriptures that narrow is the way to salvation and that faith alone in Jesus as Savior is the only way. Your RCC refutes that. Please, no sophistry i.e. worshiping Brahma is somehow rubber stamped.

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      12. …also, your RCC didn’t always teach this. When I was a young boy the priests and nuns taught us only Catholics had a chance of inheriting Heaven. I guess Catholicism’s god is capricious when it comes to salvation.

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