Maryolatry: The Editor's Column

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The veneration of the virgin Mary by fallen humanity has reached a new peak. Since the formal adoption of the dogma of Mary's bodily assumption to heaven by the Roman Catholic Church at the beginning of what they called the Marian year (1954), there has been a steady stream of Marian propaganda poured out wherever Roman Catholicism is known. Perhaps the climax was reached when an ancient painting of Mary and the Child Jesus (which superstition claims was painted by the Evangelist Luke) was carried in solemn procession through the streets of Rome to St. Peter's Cathedral where the ailing Pope Pius XII placed jewel-studded crowns above the heads of the Infant and of Mary. Mary was then declared to be the "Queen of Heaven and of all creation," and May 31 was set as "the feast of the blessed Mary." This is now official Church doctrine.
And as if this were not enough in the worship of the creature rather than the Creator (Rom. 1:2525Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. (Romans 1:25)), the Pope added that "Mary as mother of King and associated to Him in work of divine redemption participates in His royal dignity." Now even our Lord's individual work of redemption is to be sullied by claiming Mary has some association with Him in it.
From a paper published by the Church of Rome comes the shocking statement that a chapel has been erected in Southern Japan "in honor of the true Mercy Seat, Mary of Perpetual Help." (Italics are ours.) Side by side with this is a claim that this "miraculous picture" (of Mary of Perpetual Help) is "a favorite of the Mother of God."
Words can scarcely express our revulsion at these doings and statements, for they indicate a rapid rise in a form of idolatry often referred to as "Maryolatry." It is the worship of the creature Mary, rather than the Creator. Man has ever been prone to this evil, and even the beloved Apostle John was twice reproved for attempting to worship an angel.
Now Mary has officially been declared to be the "Queen of Heaven." Search the New Testament where you will and you will not find even a hint of a "Queen of Heaven." The only woman mentioned as in heaven is "the bride, the Lamb's wife," and that is future, and is the whole Church collectively seen in glory. Blessed as Mary was, she will only be one part of the heavenly bride. Nor is the bride ever called a queen, but she will be united to Christ when all things in heaven and earth are headed up in Him.
Rome seeks to back up the adoration of Mary by reference to certain markings left in the Catacombs of Rome by early Christians indicating that there was some veneration of her then, and by some so-called Church fathers who made laudatory statements regarding Mary. But neither the one nor the other has any weight or value, especially against the Word of God. The markings about Mary in the Catacombs only serve to show how easily pagan idolatry got a foothold among early professing Christians, for pagans always had a goddess as well as a god, and it was easy and natural to carry over such thoughts into Christianity. Mary furnished a logical subject for such idolatrous veneration, and was easily substituted for former goddess worship. As for the early "fathers," it can easily be shown how far many of them erred from the truth on many points. Scarcely had the apostles left the scene before error came in like a flood, and some of the "fathers" made heterodox statements, some affecting the Person of Christ, and some bordering on infidelity. Certainly there was no infallibility among them. Let us cease "from man, whose breath is in his nostrils" and cleave to the infallible and unerring Word of God.
Romish Maryolatry savors greatly of Israel's false worship of the "Queen of Heaven" so soundly condemned in Jeremiah 44. The children of Israel burned incense and poured out drink offerings to her, and to her they credited their blessings. Is there not a similarity between this and the professed miraculous cures attributed to Mary and to her pictures and images? They also made "cakes to portray her" (see Jer. 44:1919And when we burned incense to the queen of heaven, and poured out drink offerings unto her, did we make her cakes to worship her, and pour out drink offerings unto her, without our men? (Jeremiah 44:19); J.N.D. Trans.). Was this similar to pictures and images of Mary? And then to think of the audacity which now states that "the Mother of God" (shocking term!—and untrue, for it is not possible that God had a mother) would approve such idolatry by having a favorite picture of herself. Truly all this savors much of a woman on earth claiming to be a queen who is called by God the "MOTHER OF... ABOMINATIONS," which means "mother of idolatry" (Rev. 17:55And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. (Revelation 17:5)).
The daring effrontery to our blessed Lord is increased when "Mary of Perpetual Help" is declared to be "the true Mercy Seat." None but Christ, and Christ alone in His work of atonement (in which He was alone) forms the basis for guilty man to approach a holy God. Of old in the tabernacle the mercy seat was upon the ark of the covenant- which ark was a type of Christ, as was the mercy seat -see Rom. 3:2525Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; (Romans 3:25); J.N.D. Translation. On this mercy seat, over which were the golden cherubim, was placed the blood of the sin offering on the great day of atonement. God dwelt in Israel above the mercy seat and He saw the blood which was placed there by the high priest. When the high priest entered the holy of holies (which he alone could do on only one day in the year) he had to come in with his censer in which was fire from the altar, and on which he placed the incense to send up the cloud to cover the mercy seat. Everything there spoke of Christ, and Christ alone. The ark, the mercy seat, the sweet incense, the blood, and the high priest-all typified the Lord Jesus. There was absolutely no room for another. He was alone in the great work of expiation for sin. Even in the type in the tabernacle, God expressly said: "There shall be no man in the tabernacle of the congregation when he goeth in to make an atonement." Lev. 16:1717And there shall be no man in the tabernacle of the congregation when he goeth in to make an atonement in the holy place, until he come out, and have made an atonement for himself, and for his household, and for all the congregation of Israel. (Leviticus 16:17). And, "When He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high." Heb. 1:33Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; (Hebrews 1:3). (Let it be noted that there was no place for Mary either in the work of redemption or in His present place at the right hand of God.) As the poet has so well expressed it:
"Alone He bare the cross,
Alone its grief sustained."
And another has said:
"His precious blood has spoken there,
Before and on the throne."
Let us beware of any attempt from any quarter to touch either the Person or the work of our Lord Jesus Christ. And it is scarcely less fatal to sully His spotless, holy humanity in life or in death than to detract from His true deity.
And to attempt to associate any human being with Him is equally reprehensible and offensive. May the Lord preserve us from the seductions which increase by the hour- another mark of the last days.