One of the doctrines that has not ceased to generate controversy in the Christian world is that of the veneration of Mary, the mother of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Some professed Christians teach and believe that Mary should be paid a more eminent honour than men or angels because “she is the mother of the second person of the Trinity” and therefore “the mother of God”!
Moreover, The Catholic Encyclopedia with imprimatur of Most Reverend William E. Cousins states, “The central point of the theology of Mary is that she is the Mother of God. It is because of this fact that Mary had been foreordained by God from the beginning to her divine motherhood and that she was conceived “full of grace” and thus placed in the singular position of being the most perfect human being that an omnipotent God could create. She was immaculately conceived; as God's Mother she cooperated in our redemption; she was our Lord's most intimate associate while He was on earth; and upon her death she was assumed bodily into heaven where she is queen, reigning over heaven and earth.” It adds “From Mary, God the Son took His human nature, and He will forever remain the son of Mary and she will be forever the Mother of God. Finally we read of the place of Mary in heaven at the throne of God (Rv. 12) and we see her in glory as no other.” – pages 374-375
What can be adduced from the declarations made above is that Jesus Christ is God Almighty; that Mary was conceived without the stain of original sin; and that she was carried “body and soul into heaven”. We shall now x-ray these teachings in the light of the Scriptures.
Jesus Christ the Son of God
The belief that Jesus Christ is God Almighty lies at the heart of many erroneous teachings among Churches today. Whereas the Almighty Father has no beginning and is self-existent, Jesus Christ, the Son was created. (John 5:26; Revelation 3:14; etc.) It was through Jesus Christ that all other perfect things in heaven and earth, both visible and invisible, were created. (John 1:1-3, 10; Ephesians 3:9; Colossians 1:15-18) Jesus Christ has never equated himself with the Father but had at all times declared his submissiveness to the Almighty God. (Philippians 2:6, 7; John 6:38. See also John 5:30) It is because Jesus Christ is a separate person from God Almighty that the voice of the Father was heard during the baptism which said, “This is my beloved Son. In whom I am well pleased.” - Matthew 3: 16, 17. See also John 11:41, 42. See also Matthew 26:39, 42; Hebrews 5:7.
God Almighty is immortal, that is, He is not subject to death. (1 Timothy 6: 16) He could not therefore have come down to this earth to die for mankind. King Solomon declared, “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?” - 1 Kings 8:27.
The doctrine of the immaculate conception of Mary - the teaching that Mary “was conceived in the state of holiness and justice”, which “resulted in her being free of the consequences of original sin” - has no foundation in the Holy Bible. As honest and diligent Bible students know, following the fall of Adam in the Garden of Eden, the entire human race were born in sin. And this includes Mary, the mother of Christ. St. Paul states, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” (Romans 5:12) He also asserted, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23. See also Galatians 3:22) It is by exercising faith in Jesus Christ who paid the ransom for the sin of Adam that human beings would have life. Hence the Bible says, “…For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” - Romans 5:19.
While on earth, our Lord Jesus Christ did not give Mary the honours being bestowed on her today by some churches. In John 2:4 it is recorded that he only called her “woman” - Matthew 12:48-50. See also Luke 2:48,49.
On another occasion, it is recorded that a woman was so moved by the words spoken by Christ that she declared, “Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked.” But Christ answered, “Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.” - Luke 11:27, 28.
“Woman, symbol of God's Organisation”
We need to point out that the woman in Revelation 12:1-6 is not Mary, as some contend, but pictures God's Organisation, the capital part of which is called Mount Zion, in the heaven of heavens, which would be established despite the devil's efforts to destroy it. - Isaiah 66:7-9; 54:5, 6; Hosea 2:19,20; 2 Corinthians 11:2.
Another text used to support the veneration of Mary is Genesis 3:15 which says “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” While stating that the promised seed is Christ (Galatians 3:16), The Catholic Encyclopedia describes Mary, the Mother of Christ, in the light of the text under reference as the “Second Eve” and “the mother of all in the spiritual order (Romans 9:7,8), the woman who is designated to crush the dominion of the devil over men”. Nothing can be farther from the truth. The Bible shows that the “woman” mentioned in Genesis 3:15 stands for God's Organisation. The “seed” points to Jesus Christ whom God will use to bruise the head of the serpent, that is destroy the devil and his hosts. The Bible says, “And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.” - Romans 16:20. See also Revelation 20:1,7-9.
“Assumption to heaven”
In the book, Roman Catholicism by Sebastian Bullough, (Nihil Obstat of Fr. Thomas Gilby and Fr. Kenelm Foster) it is stated that “The doctrine of the Assumption means that our Lady's body did not have to await the general resurrection but was at once raised and taken with her soul into glory,..”– pages 154-155.
However, there is no text in the Bible that states that Mary was taken to heaven or where such an idea is implied. It is an incontrovertible fact of the Scriptures that the human body cannot go to heaven. Those of the heavenly class must therefore first be changed into spirits or be given celestial bodies before they can go to heaven- 1 Corinthians 15:40, 44, 49, 50, parenthesis ours..
What some do not know is that our Lord Jesus Christ was raised a spirit, by reason of which he was able to appear and disappear after his resurrection. (1 Peter 3: 18, 22; John 20:19-22, 26; etc.) St. Paul himself declared in regard to those of their class who are going to heaven, that the Lord Jesus Christ would change their human body “...that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself."- Philippians 3: 20, 21. See also 2 Corinthians 5: 1-5; l John 3: 2, 3.
The Holy Bible shows clearly that Mary is not in heaven and is not going to heaven. It is only the apostles, or saints whom Jesus Christ called the “Little Flock”, that belong to the heavenly class. (Luke 12:32; 22:28-30) The total number of the saints, who are chosen from all parts of the world, with the 12 apostles as foundation members, is 144,000. (Revelation 14:1-5) No woman is among the apostles class because God does not chose a women to do His work of preaching the gospel to win souls for Him. (1 Corinthians 14:34, 35, 37; 1Timothy 2:11-15; Ecclesiastes 7:27, 28) Apart from the saints or apostles who are going to heaven, all other faithful worshippers of God, right from the first righteous man Abel, will inherit the Kingdom of God here on earth. (Isaiah 45:12, 18; Matthew 11:11; Psalm 37:9-11, 22, 29) Since no woman is going to heaven, it is therefore not true to say that Mary had gone to heaven.
The teaching that Mary is “Advocate, Mediatrix, Co-redemptrix” is not in the Bible. It is in fact blasphemous. Rather the Scriptures positively assert that Jesus Christ is the only way to God.. “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus”, said St. Paul in 1 Timothy 2:5. We therefore pray to God through Jesus Christ, not through Mary. Apostle Peter declared, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) God Almighty has also directed that Jesus Christ should be worshipped, but not Mary. (Philippians 2:9-11) It is to Jesus Christ we should look, as our Mediator, through whom we shall get salvation by the grace of God. St. Paul stated: “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God…” - Hebrews 12:2, 3.