Today, we continue with our series responding to “Meeting the Protestant Challenge: How to Answer 50 Biblical Objections to Catholic Beliefs” (2019), written by Karlo Broussard. With this next chapter, the Catholic apologist continues his section on Mary as he counters evangelical Protestants’ arguments that “Mary Needed a Savior.”
The Roman Catholic church teaches that Mary was not only initially preserved from original sin (aka a sin nature) at the moment of her alleged “immaculate conception,” but that she also “committed no sin of any kind during her whole earthly life” – CCC 411. Not so fast, object Protestants, who point to Luke 1:47 where Mary exclaimed,
“…my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”
Protestants rightly ask, How could Mary have exalted God as her Savior if she was sinless? This is a difficult verse for the Roman Catholic church and Broussard presents the church’s rationale. Fasten your seat belts.
The RCC agrees that God is Mary’s Savior, but in a “singularly unique way.” How so? Pope Pius IX posited the following:
“In view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, [Mary] was preserved free from all stain of original sin.”
Broussard elaborates, “Unlike we who are saved by the application of a past event, Mary was saved by the application of graces of a future event” (p. 174).
In plain English, Catholics argue that Mary was saved by God at the moment of her conception based upon the merits of Jesus’s future propitatory sacrifice and kept sinless by God’s grace, so that Mary could rejoice in her Savior, even though she was allegedly always without sin. Some Catholics also zealously advocate for the sinlessness of John the Baptist and Mary’s husband, Joseph, although the RCC has not officially ruled on those two cases.
Let’s now respond to Broussard.
- Last week, we thoroughly discussed how Romans 3:10-12 precludes any exceptions to the Scriptural truth that “None is righteous, no, not one.” See here.
- Nowhere in the New Testament is there a teaching of the preservation of anyone from sin as Roman Catholicism claims for Mary. The doctrine is a Roman fabrication.
- If Mary was sinless, why did she go to the Temple to offer a sacrifice for her uncleanness in Luke 2:22? Broussard predictably omits any mention of that verse. See the article far below for more on this topic.
- Why is it so important for Catholics that Mary be sinless? In Catholic theology, Mary was semi-deified and elevated to the offices of co-mediator and co-redemptrix, along with Jesus Christ. It followed that Mary had to have been sinless in order for her to hold those offices. The doctrine of Mary’s immaculate conception was eventually defined as binding Catholic dogma in 1854.
- According to Catholic tradition, Mary’s mother was named Anne. If Mary had to have been sinless in order to bear Jesus Christ in her womb, as Catholics argue, it follows that Anne would also have had to been sinless to bear Mary, and that Anne’s mother would also have had to been sinless to bear her, etc., etc., etc.
Mary exalted her Savior because she was a sinner saved by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone, just like every other genuine Christian. She would be grieved to know how Catholics semi-deify her and worship her.
I hope you enjoyed the brevity of this chapter. It was Broussard’s shortest chapter up to this point.
If Mary was sinless, why was she unclean and had to offer a sacrifice for sin?
Next up: “The Lord’s Brothers”