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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Attention Evangelicals: No Fair Running; There'll Be a Test at the End

December 8, for the Roman Catholics among us, is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.  Some Protestants, including some Anglo-Catholics and members of the Anglo-Lutheran Catholic Church, share belief in the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception.  The Eastern Orthodox believe that Mary was without sin all her life, but do not accept the Immaculate Conception, per se.

For those who are not Roman Catholic, I think it is important, at least, to understand what our Roman Catholic Christian brothers and sisters are celebrating.  There are many misconceptions about the  doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. 

For instance, it does not involve the conception of Jesus Christ in the womb of his mother Mary.  We celebrated that about nine months ago, on the Feast of the Annunciation.  Rather, it involves the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother St. Anne. 

Roman Catholics, and some others, believe that Mary was conceived free from original sin.  This occurred, according to this doctrine, not as a pre-condition of Jesus' conception…but as a result of the grace that flows from it, out of the love of God for Mary, who pledged herself unreservedly to His service.

I expect that I will be posting about Mary in the future, certainly for the Annunciation in March, if nothing else.  I don’t want this blog to become an arena for debate; I’d much rather that it become a place where Christians of various flavors can come to understand one another and find common ground,...but I do want to say this…

Regardless of our doctrinal underpinnings, we ought all respect the reverence that some among us give to Mary.  She gave herself fully to God, without restriction.  He told her to do something…something unfathomable…something that had the potential to ruin her…something difficult for a young girl to even apprehend….and, she DID it.  Just like that.

She is the Theotokos…the Mother of God.

Or, to put it in terms more friendly to the ears of our Evangelical friends, I will quote Frederica Mathewes Greene and say…

“She’s his MOM.

Even if you’re not Catholic, consider pondering the goodness of Mary today.

“Then Mary said, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord.  Let it be unto me according to your word’.”
~Luke 1:38

May your day be filled with grace.  Hug a Roman Catholic today.

Pax Christi

By the way, friends, would you all be so kind as to correct me, if you find me in error, about your particular corner of the Christian neighborhood?  I would be very grateful.

Oh, yeah...and, there's not really a test.  Phew.

Image: {{PD-1923}}-published before 1923 and therefore public domain in the US


  1. Agreed, I think sometimes christians don't look at other biblical figures enough. Even Mary seems to be ignored alot.

  2. Once again I learned something! I really enjoy your blog. In our family we love to learn about other religions because I think it allows you to grow in yours. It makes for more tolerance among the religions.

  3. Michelle!! Love your first line disclaimer! Your post is perfect! Mary is our shining example of obedience during a time, where she could have been ruined or stoned to death. She still said yes, because she understood that the Angel Gabriel was sending her a message from God. Without her yes, where would we be??

  4. Thank you Michelle for this post. I am a Roman Catholic and it is so refreshing to hear someone speak of our doctrines respectfully!! Happy, Holy, Advent to you!!!

  5. Thank you for sharing this as I have many Catholic friends and I'm continually trying to understand their doctrine. God bless you!

    Thank you for linking this post at NOBH.


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