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It seems as if there might be a sizable number of Christians who are unaware of the text of Jeremiah, particularly Jeremiah 44, which discusses a goddess called … the Queen of Heaven.

John MacArthur uses Jeremiah 44 as his text to introduce two sermons on Mary in Catholic Church dogma.  These date from 2006.

The links to the full text are at the bottom of the post.  I’ll provide excerpts, indented below, which will give many of us food for thought.  Emphases mine throughout.

On Jeremiah 44

God condemns apostate Judah for worshipping this goddess of paganism called the Queen of Heaven that has had a number of different names throughout history.  The latest name for this goddess, sad to say, is a name borrowed from the earthly mother of our Lord, none other than Mary who has now been morphed by apostate Christianity into the latest edition of the Queen of Heaven.  Is it important to address this issue?  It is … [In] Timothy 1:3, Paul says, “I urge you that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines, nor pay attention to myths and endless genealogies which give rise to mere speculation, rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith.”

Christian obligation to point out error

It’s important to say at the outset that this is not because we are mad or hateful or resentful, but it is love from a pure heart.  If you do not address error, if you do not address strange doctrine, damning heresy, this is not love, this is indifference.  Love from a pure heart and a clear conscience and a sincere faith demands such a confrontation.  And so we come to address this same age-old goddess heresy of paganism in its newest form with the modern goddess having stolen the name of Mary, a terrible dishonor to her.  But there is nothing sacred to Satan anyway.  And to address it is not a lack of love, but is the sincerest, purest kind of love rising out of a good conscience and a sincere faith.

It does make one wonder why the Catholic Church would refer to Mary in this way.  Yet, Jeremiah 44 refers specifically to the Queen of Heaven in an idolatrous context.  Here are verses 18 and 19:

18But since we left off making offerings to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have lacked everything and have been consumed by the sword and by famine.” 19And the women said, “When we made offerings to the queen of heaven and poured out drink offerings to her, was it without our husbands’ approval that we made cakes for her bearing her image and poured out drink offerings to her?”

Much of the text concerns St Alphonsus Liguori‘s The Glories of Mary, a 750-page work first published in 1745 in response to the 17th century Catholic heresy of Jansenism, which originated in the Netherlands, became popular in Paris and, in many ways, bears a close resemblance to Calvinism.  Francophones may recall that the philosopher Blaise Pascal and the playwright Jean Racine (for a time) were Jansenists.

I have linked to an 1888 online version of the book above so that you can peruse the text yourselves.  An eye-opener, to say the least.  MacArthur has read it cover to cover.  We didn’t study this book at school, I hasten to add.  I never even knew it existed until this week.  But then, I do recall one of the nuns telling my mother that there is much about the Catholic Church which would not be included in religion classes.  My mother, mentioning Vatican II, said, ‘That’s a relief.’  Sister replied, ‘Oh, no, it’s not so much Vatican II as it is other texts.’  Could she have meant this one?

Unbiblical

MacArthur says that Mariology is unbiblical, much as the Book of Mormon and Christian Science’s Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. What his sermons show us is the importance of being biblically literate — every book of the Bible.  You will wonder how it is that Mary, not only bearing the appellation of a pagan goddess but having so many thousands, probably millions, of words written about her through the centuries is mentioned so seldom in the New Testament.  That last one surprised me greatly when I was a teenager, and I suspect many Catholics would be similarly surprised should they read the gospels and epistles.

How could so many details be obtained about her life, from childhood to death?  MacArthur reads excerpts from the Glories of Mary and papal documents from latter days to his congregation.  You can find them in the sermon text.  They are amazing.

Mythical

MacArthur tells us how Mariology began.  Many will find this startling, although it ties in with what Dr Gregory Jackson, a Lutheran professor, said on Ichabod and reproduced here:

Now this idea about Mary, though it really wasn’t formally dogmatized until the twentieth century goes way, way back and you start to read about this in the fifth century as paganism and pagan goddess worship at the very earliest gets mingled.  Remember the Holy Roman Empire, as it was called, the Holy Roman Empire was really not holy, it was Roman, for sure, but the emperor in the 325 decided that the best thing to do to unify the great empire was to make everybody automatically a Christian.  And since the emperor was rife with paganism, they just married a kind of Christianity with paganism and all of this came very early.  So it’s in the rule of somebody who calls himself Galacius(?) I, a self-appointed leader of the church in the fifth century, this comes up at that time.  There’s a discussion about Mary being assumed into heaven.  So already this goddess cult has imposed itself on poor Mary.  And it was at first considered heretical.  There was no evidence for it historically, there’s no evidence for it biblically, obviously.  So the earliest appearance of this idea is in a very apocryphal work, an unreliable work like the gospel of Judas and hundreds of others.  It was called Transitus Getti Marii (???)  and it was in the fifth century it was denounced as a heresy.  So when it first showed up in the fifth century, the 400’s, it is denounced as a heresy.  But things began to develop over the years in regard to Mary.  Praying to Mary arrives in 600

A transitus is a service recalling a saint’s death and begins the eve of his feast day.  Presumably in Mary’s case, the work mentioned involved the Assumption.

It should be mentioned that John MacArthur has nothing against Mary, just the hype and apparent falsehood built up around her life and death.

‘Mother of God’

MacArthur traces the origins of this title to Alexander, the 4th century Bishop of Alexandria:

Goddess worship, the very outset, the Holy Roman Empire comes into existence in the fourth century, early in the century.  This mother of God comes in rapidly by the year 431 and the Council of Ephesus and 451, The Council of Chalcedon, this is established.  She is to be called the mother of God, this contributes to centuries and centuries and centuries of accumulated deification of Mary.  She becomes equal to God.  And though the Church tries its best to wiggle out of this, it tries its best to deny this, the truth of the matter is, she really is superior to God and superior to Christ as becomes very evident in what they say and in how they portray her in cathedrals all over the world.  She rules in heaven as queen, sovereign, saving, sanctifying, sympathizing, all this power is given to her that belongs only to God.

Apparitions and their nature

Like many of us, MacArthur wonders how the number of Marian apparitions can be increasing in frequency.  I should like to mention here for the benefit of my Protestant readers that it used to be that the Church viewed these with scepticism and was very careful to investigate them thoroughly.  Most investigations went no higher than local or diocesan level. Very few were authenticated.

Mary keeps appearing.  Have you noticed?  She keeps appearing.  She descends from heaven to earth to make herself known to people.  She comes quite frequently.  She always comes with secret messages.  She comes with secret messages for very isolated people

The latest Pope, Pope Benedict XVI … said this, noted this, “In 1984 Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, the head of the Roman Catholic Church’s congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith,” that was where he came from, he came from being the doctrinal gate keeper of Roman Catholicism, “declared … : ‘One of the signs of our times is that the announcements of Mary in apparitions are multiplying all over the world,’” …  He made this observation as a comment on the many reports of the appearances of the Blessed Virgin Mary to individuals located in a wide variety of countries, cultures and political systems.  In fact, the last century and a half has seen numerous appearance of the Blessed Virgin, they say, and they have received official approval by the Roman Catholic Church …

A book in 1993 had about a thousand appearances of Mary that were documented thirty times in the eighteenth century, 200 times in the nineteenth century and 450 times in the twentieth century.  So they are escalating at a rapid rate.  Cardinal Meisner claims that Mary brought Christ to Europe from Fatima and one would ask where was he before that if she brought him?  She visited a farm in Georgia, an office building in Clearwater, Florida, and a subway wall recently in Mexico City.  She comes so often and she comes to the down and out and she comes to the little children, she comes to the peasant people and this validates the fact that she is this loving, sympathetic, merciful, tender-hearted compassionate person

The only person if there is someone really appearing to them is right out of hellThis is demonic, for sure….for sure.  But what assurances and what cleverness the demons offer for the deceived and the damned with their hellish counterfeits.

‘Mediatrix’

MacArthur quotes from the aforementioned documents, including Liguori’s book, as well as from the latest Catholic catechism from the 1990s — published during John Paul II’s papacy.  No wonder so many of these notions — ‘New Eve’, ‘New Ark of the Covenant’ and ‘Co-Mediatrix’ — are so alien to me.  When you read the quotes he uses, take note of the word ‘sovereign’ used in connection with Mary.  He then offers the commentary below, based on what he reads to the congregation:

The point is, you go to Mary because Jesus can’t resist Mary.  And Mary, because she’s so merciful, can’t resist you.  Mary, claims the Church, can persuade God to grant what He otherwise wouldn’t grant …

You’re really banging on steel if you go to God yourself.  Go to Mary and He listens to Mary

You see, Roman Catholicism is pagan goddess worship, completely distracted.  God is reinvented as judgmental, harsh.  Christ is reinvented as indifferent.  Everybody worships Mary …

She commands Jesus.

John Paul II

MacArthur tells us of the importance that Mary played in the late pope’s life from his childhood through to his papacy. He reads the congregation excerpts from some of John Paul II’s Marian thoughts and says:

Now that…that’s a pretty bold statement.  She is not only the mediatrix of all grace, the channel through which all grace comes, the one to whom we go for everything, but she is even involved in our redemption

Now I could go on and on with all of this, but I think you get the picture.  The Church says nothing comes to us except through Mary’s mediation for such is God’s will.  The Church says Mary is the most powerful mediatrix and advocate of the whole world with her divine Son.

He continued the week after Easter that year to give a concluding sermon (link given below — ‘Catholic Dogma – Part 2’).  Tune in tomorrow …

Further reading:

‘Exposing the Idolatry of Mary Worship: Catholic Dogma – Part 1’

‘Exposing the Idolatry of Mary Worship: Catholic Dogma – Part 2’

‘Exposing the Idolatry of Mary Worship: An Overview’ [2 April 2006]

‘Exposing the Idolatry of Mary Worship: What the Bible Says’ [23 April 2006]

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