A member of the Protestant Church of Christ that I’m in dialogue with asks:
“How does Mary make us *more* Christian? What is the purpose of Marian Devotion?”
Thank you! This is how I understand it: A greater love for Mary is the natural result of becoming more Christ-like. The inverse, I believe is true as well: demoting her to “just a good woman” is a result of not following Christ.
Of course, Mary makes it possible for us to be Christians; without her perfect faith the Church could not have been born.
But are men not better husbands when they come to love what their bride loves? Do people not love others more when they view them through the eyes of those who already love them? Is Jesus not our Brother, and would Mary not be our mother? Are we not better brothers when we love our mother together? Does obedience not cause understanding, and are we not meant to honor our mother? Do God’s people of every generation not call her blessed? In other words, Marian piety *is* a part of being Christian–she is not a barrier, a burden, or an aspect to weigh against our journey.
Mary allows us to see Jesus as God chose Him to be seen. God chose Mary to give Jesus flesh, and Mary’s perfect faith and cooperation is what made her become the deliverer of the Deliverer! She was the first Christian, she loved Him before anyone, she saw the face of our Lord more perfectly than any of us, she gazed into His eyes while she nursed Him, loved Him perfectly, and we Catholics want to love Him perfectly as well. And with Jesus as our Brother, we have the same mother who nurses us as we too gaze back into her eyes. We do that as St. John had, by taking her into our home. And it is St. John, the disciple whom Jesus gave His mother to (another proof that Jesus had no blood-brothers), who spent the most time with her, who probably loved her most, and was ultimately able to see her enthroned as Queen of Heaven (cf. Rev 12). We see her crowned in heaven, and a crown is the prize; she is the sign written in Revelation and in the stars that keeps us fixed on our journey.
• "Your website is a troll." "You son of Satan."
-Scott J. Shifferd, Dean Road Church of Christ
• "Pax [(he thinks "pax" means "Pat" and not "peace")] cannot do us no harm and that why he wont fly to Martinsville not unless we foot he bill [to debate me on my television show]. . . . Really now I just want you to man up and bring your false doctrine to the airwaves but You and me know that wont happen because all you can do is play book writer and site master. You take that book momey Buy a plane tickey then we post it all on youtube how about that?"
-Johnny Robertson, founder of Church of Christ WDTBS Television Show
• "You are not a model of ethicality."
-Neal Pollard, Bear Valley Church of Christ; instructor at Bear Valley Bible Institute
• "Patrick Vandapool you will pay for your crimes against God." "You and your Church are condemned, better accept the Gospel and leave your Church before you die in your sins. you are an alien sinner!" "Your brainwashed." "Your site is a propaganda site." Your not a true Christian." "Your a fool... . I never called you a fool."
-John Riddle; "well tranned priest of the Lord's Church"
• "Are you an unmarried man under 25? Your writing style and wisdom match such a profile."
-Steve Rudd, Hamilton Church of Christ; founder of CofC propaganda website bible.ca
• "You have to be the most immature person that I've ever "met" in WordPress, and that includes the atheists, by which in overwhelming numbers show more common courtesy and respect that you. Are you 10 years old? ...if that's what your readers enjoy then it says as much about them as it does you."
-Eugene Adkins, Keltonburg Church of Christ