As you may already know, Catholics have a very sincere and genuine devotion to Mary. As such, it should come as no surprise that some people who come from a Catholic background have asked us what we believe about the “Blessed Virgin Mary” (BVM),… or the “Mother of God?” Our answer is very simple,… we believe what Sacred Scripture teaches us about Mary.
- We believe that she is rightfully, respectfully, and reverently called “Blessed“ Mary.
- We believe that she is the Mother of our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus.
- We believe that she conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit.
- We believe in her virgin birth of Jesus.
Make no mistake about it,… we have a very sincere appreciation for Mary, the Mother of our Lord,… and see her as a wonderful example of obedience and faith. We share this in common with our separated Catholic brothers and sisters.
Regarding the other Catholic distinctives on Mary, such as her Immaculate Conception, her Perpetual Virginity, and her Bodily Assumption into Heaven,… you are free to accept those teachings as a “personal“ belief,… we just do not make them mandatory beliefs under the penalty of sin like the Roman Catholic Church does,… “mortal sin” if you intentionally miss a Mass on a “Holy Day of Obligation” in connection with one of those Marian Doctrines/Dei Fide Dogmas,… or Anathema if you elect not to believe in one (or all) of them.
Since we are bound by Sacred Scripture, we do hold that Mary is indeed the Mother of our Lord, Christ Jesus. As such, and without hesitation, we give her a place of special honor and reverence above all other saints.
Regarding the other three (3) Marian teachings (Immaculate Conception, Perpetual Virginity, and Bodily Assumption) as developed and formalized by Rome, we find a lack of “explicit” support for them in Sacred Scripture,… although an “implicit” argument could be made for them using the ancient Biblical interpretive tool of typology,… and to some degree, reason. In light of this, we consider those distinctive teachings to be “non-binding” for the purpose of an individual’s salvation,… but still worthy of thought/meditation if it helps individual movement toward God.
Keep in mind that any belief (or lack thereof) in Rome’s claim of Mary’s Immaculate Conception, Perpetual Virginity, or Bodily Assumption has absolutely no bearing on our faith and total dependence on Christ Jesus as our Lord and Savior,… or on our reverence/respect for Mary, His Blessed Mother.
There can be no argument that Mary has helped lead many people to her Son, Jesus,… and we fully recognize that. We are just very careful that “honoring” the Mother of our Lord never crosses the line of “worshipping” her. Mary herself would not want that (as obedient as she was). “Worship” is reserved for the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, alone (emphasis: alone).
Throughout our life, we will experience many things that help us draw closer to God. For some people,… it may be Mary that is helpful to them. As the Mother of our Lord Jesus, she is indeed “Blessed” among women (Luke 1:48) and should hold a special place of honor in the hearts of all Christians. However, it must be understood,… very clearly understood,… that we “worship” and depend on Christ “alone” for our salvation. No one goes to the Father,… except through Christ.