OceanSide church of Christ
|Previous||Return to Articles||Next|
The Assumption and Intercession of Mary
Victor M. Eskew
In three previous articles, we have examined some of the teachings of the Catholic Church regarding Mary the mother of Jesus. We want to continue that study in this article and in one more to follow. In this installment on Catholicism, we will be looking at The Assumption of Mary and The Intercession of Mary. The latter is contingent upon the former.
On page 966 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, we find this statement: “Finally the Immaculate Virgin preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things so that she might be more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and the conqueror of sin and death.” The Assumption of Mary does not deny that Mary died. It only declares that Mary was resurrected from the grave and transported into the heavenly realm. On Dr. Taylor Marshall’s website, he writes: “One day Mary’s body lay in a tomb. The next day it did not” (“What Is the Historical Date for the Assumption of Mary?”). The purpose of her translation was to promote her to an exalted position as “Queen over all things.”
First, it should be pointed out that there is not one tittle of revelation in God’s Holy Word about Mary’s death much less about her Assumption. The last we read about Mary in the New Testament of Jesus Christ is in Acts 1:14. After Jesus ascended to the right hand of the Father, the apostles returned to Jerusalem and assembled together in an upper room (Acts 1:12-13). “These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.” Nothing, absolutely nothing, is found in Scripture about Mary’s death or Assumption.
Second, this teaching had to originate in the mind of a man. On his website at www.taylormarshall.com, Dr. Marshall tells us that the doctrine was first proclaimed in the fifth century by St. Juvenal, Patriarch of Jerusalem. It is said that St. Juvenal sent to the empress the grave wrappings of the Theotokos from her tomb. They were then placed in the Blachernae church in Constantinople by St. Pulcheria. We are told that St. Juvenal was an honorable and reliable witness. There are three responses that need to be made by anyone truly seeking the truth. The first response is that one witness is not sufficient to establish truth. In Deuteronomy 17:6, God’s divine law concerning witnesses is set forth. “At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.” One witness is not valid proof in a court of law. It takes at least two to establish the truth. The second response has to do with the credibility of St. Juvenal. This individual’s character and background need to be fully investigated. Even those who are said to be “good” have been found to be not credible in the past. The third response has to do with the date of the Assumption. Mary died in the first century. However, St. Juvenal lived in the fifth century. Too, the actual doctrine of the Assumption of Mary did not become Catholic dogma until 1950 when it was put into the Apostolic Constitution of Pope Pius XII. If this doctrine were true and so vital to the Church, why did it take so long to be confirmed and legislated? The Catholic Church proclaims it has existed for over 2,000 years. However, the Assumption of Mary has only been official doctrine for a little over 70 years.
The second doctrine we want to discuss is The Intercession of Mary. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, this concept is defined on page 275. The Catechism states: “Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us gifts of eternal salvation…Therefore the Blessed Virgin is involved in the church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix.” On the next page of the manual, they proclaim: “We believe that the Holy Mother of God, the new Eve, Mother of the Church, continues in heaven to exercise her maternal role on behalf of the members of Christ.”
This doctrine is corrupt from several standpoints. First, Mary does not have the ability to work effectively as a mediator between God and man. She certainly understands what it means to be a human, but she does not comprehend what is involved in being God. Only Jesus understands both positions. This is why the Bible tells us there “is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (I Tim. 2:15). Notice, Paul reveals there is one mediator. There are not two or three or a thousand. Second, we have already shown that there is no divine authority that reveals that Mary was
raised from the dead and placed into an intercessory role in heaven. This is a man-made doctrine that cannot be substantiated (See Matt. 15:7-9). Third, the Bible teaches us that when individuals die, they enter into the hadean realm, the unseen realm of the dead (Luke 16:19-31). They continue in that abode until the Lord’s return when He will call all of the dead to come forth from the grave (John 5:28-29). This includes Mary the mother of Jesus.