Crosstalk: February 2, 2018
Mike Gendron is the founder and director of Proclaiming the Gospel Ministry. Mike was a devout Roman Catholic for 34 years and was taught to rely upon the authority of the church above all else. He faithfully followed the priests, the sacraments and depended on his good woks for salvation. Mike began searching the Scriptures and was amazed to find that what he read in Scripture contradicted the teaching and tradition of the church he had been a part of for so long. He trusted Jesus as his Savior and now the Bible has become his sole authority in all matters of faith.
Recently Pope Francis made a visit to Chile where he placed a golden crown on the head of a statue of Mary. Why does Mike feel this is a concern? He said that it focuses attention away from Jesus. He referenced II Corinthians 11:3 where Paul reminds readers about the serpent that beguiled Eve, and how through such subtlety, people's minds can be led astray from the simplicity that is in Christ.
Jim then reminded Mike that the Pope also placed a crown on the head of the Christ-child. How is this taking attention away from Christ? Mike noted that this was the placing of crowns on statues, and there's a commandment that tells us we are not to create an image of anything in the heavens above, the earth beneath, the waters below, nor are we to venerate or worship them. So when the Pope placed crowns on these statues, he not only crowned another Mary, but he was being rebellious toward God and His Word.
Mike also pointed to the fact that Jesus is no longer a baby. He was crucified on the cross, rose from the dead, entered heaven where he now sits at the right hand of the Father, interceding for those who will trust Him. On the other hand, the Roman Catholic church teaches that Mary is their intercessor and is currently interceding for all of her children. What this does is take the focus and pure devotion away from Christ and places it upon Mary.
When you contrast Jesus with the Mary of Catholicism, here's what you see:
--Jesus was immaculately conceived without sin. Catholicism gave Mary that same attribute in 1854.
--Jesus lived a sinless life. Catholicism teaches that Mary lived a sinless life as well.
--Jesus is referred to as the Son of God. Catholics refer to Mary as the mother of God.
--Jesus is the king of heaven. Catholics believe Mary is the queen of heaven. --Jesus is the only mediator between God and men. Catholics look to Mary as the mediator of all grace.
--Christ was bodily ascended into glory. The Catholic church declared that Mary's body was assumed into glory.
--Jesus is the only source of grace. The Catholic church references Mary as the channel of grace.
In essence, Mike communicated to listeners that the Mary of Roman Catholicism is actually a Mary other than the one that gave birth to the Savior. Learn more regarding this issue by reviewing this edition of Crosstalk.
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