By Graham Glover –
Later this week the Liturgical calendar for Christians around the world calls for a special observance of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God. Roman Catholics will celebrate her Assumption, the Orthodox her Dormition, while Lutherans and Anglicans will recognize, respectively, St. Mary Mother of Our Lord and St. Mary the Virgin.
This day is certainly meet, right, and salutary. After the feasts and festivals of our Lord, it is one of the most important Christian holy days of the year. We, followers of Jesus, are wise to set aside this day (and others) as our Lord’s Mother is indeed blessed, and as Luther once noted, she is “the highest woman and the noblest gem in Christianity after Christ.” We simply cannot honor her enough.
Sadly, millions of Christians will let the 15th of August pass without even a nod toward the Virgin. This day will take on nothing of significance for a great many of those who worship Jesus. And this is not only sad, it is shameful. It is a pathetic testimony to those who claim they love Jesus while offering little, if any, love toward the vessel that brought Him into this world. It is an indifference that ignores the clear testimony of Holy Scripture, and a heresy that was rejected at the Council of Ephesus in 421 AD. Anyone familiar with the practice of the Early Church should not be surprised with Christians adoring Mary, as the church catholic established the universal tradition of venerating her centuries before.
“So what?” some Christians ask. So what if Mary is ignored. She is not our Savior. She is not the Lord. If we honor Christ we have fulfilled all that God asks of us. If we turn to her Son and Him alone, we have all we need to warrant forgiveness of sins and to inherit eternal life. There is an element of truth to such claims, but they are woefully shortsighted. One cannot know the life of Christ without even a tacit recognition of the incredibly important role His Mother played in it. Although not our Redeemer, she is instrumental to the story of salvation. Her “Yes” to the archangel is the “Yes” that gave us sinners our Emmanuel – God with us.
And it is my belief that those Christians who ignore and even reject the importance of the Blessed Mother do so to their theological detriment. Their ignorance is the cause of more theological problems than they realize. Their rejection is met with a radicalism they have no means to combat.
Most orthodox/conservative Christians would agree that we have seen, especially in the past 40 years, a radical feminism infiltrate and infect the Christian church. It is a feminism that rears its ugly head at every opportunity it can. To be clear, this feminism is not the same feminism of the public square that calls for civil equality. The latter is a topic for another conversation and not necessarily related to the topic at hand. Rather, it is a radical feminism that is the result, I believe, of Christians who are longing for an understanding of the feminine that was lost in many Christian communions centuries before. It is a feminism that gives answers to questions of the faith that many Christians are ignorant in how to respond.
Is it any wonder then that this radical feminism believes calling God, “Mother”, is acceptable? When the true Mother of us all, given to the one whom Jesus loved and consequently to us all, is ignored, then it shouldn’t come as any surprise that some Christians think such a feminine understanding of God is acceptable.
Are you really amazed that this radical feminism calls for women to be ordained to the Office of the Holy Ministry? When the God-given roles of men and women/Adam and Eve/Jesus and Mary are rejected, such a move toward the feminization of our Lord’s Holy Office shouldn’t be a shock.
As each day passes it seems that our culture embraces a sexuality that is devoid of anything that is pleasing to God. All of us are desensitized to sexual righteousness. All of us. But why shouldn’t we be? With radical feminism telling Christians that sexuality is a subjective expression of one’s true self, the deviancy our society embraces is bound to become more hedonistic.
And without Mary being honored and revered on a regular basis by Christians, how can we possibly expect to know the fullness of God’s truth? If we reject even the smallest element of God’s revelation (and the Blessed Virgin is no small element!), we are setting ourselves and our churches up for complete and utter theological failure. We are begging for radical feminism, as well as other distortions of the faith, to become the norm.
Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee.
A truth for all Christians. A truth we followers of Jesus cannot ignore. A truth that leads us to the Lord and away from error.
This is most certainly true.