Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
The Glorious Logic of Sola Ecclesia
08/14/2007 - James WhiteFew topics illustrate the circularity of Roman logic than the Marian dogmas. The more honest Roman Catholic writers admit that when you boil it all down, the Marian dogmas are to be believed because you accept Rome's authority, nothing more. "We are the true church, we have apostolic authority, we don't need actual history or tradition, we can define this kind of stuff and, if you follow us, you need to believe it." sola ecclesia with a vengeance.
But Rome's apologists loathe admitting the circularity of their authority claims, so they do their best to try to make it sound as if they really do have something other than "Because we say so" behind their additions to the gospel. But the resultant arguments are often difficult to read without staring in disbelief or even replying, "You are kidding, right?" For example, listening to Gerry Matatics trying to draw parallels between Caleb and Mary so that he actually knows how old Mary was when she was bodily assumed into heaven leaves most folks aghast at the leaps these folks are willing to take without a net of simple reality beneath them.
Steve Ray, Catholic Convert Extraordinaire and king of on-location videography, world-traveler and sufferer of permanent safari hat-hair, has provided an example of how this "logic" works. On his blog yesterday he was attempting to provide arguments for the bodily assumption of Mary, and one of these was based on Mary as the "Queen Mother." Those who have studied Rome's teachings are quite familiar with this attempted apologetic for the wholly unbiblical exaltation of Mary. I had raised the issue in my opening statement on the "Queenship of Mary" in the 1996 debate against Gerry Matatics on Long Island. I had pointed out that the kind of typology used by Rome to come up with some kind of "biblical" basis for its Marian teachings is subject to gross abuse simply because it has no real connection to the text or its context. So when Solomon has a throne brought in for his mother in 1 Kings 2, the Roman Catholic expands this into an entire "Queen Mother" position into which they can fit Mary. But, when you point to other mothers of Jewish kings who were terrible examples of sinfulness, well, there just isn't any connection to Mary, we are told. No, we are not told why. Even in the 1 Kings 2 text, when we ask, "Why did the throne have to be brought if this was a normal position?" we are told that such questions just don't matter. And when we point out that Solomon's mother did not, in fact, obtain what she asked of the king, we are quickly told that we just can't press analogies that far! The arbitrary nature of such argumentation is clear to all. Note how this comes out in my cross-examination of Matatics from 1996:
So with this in mind, let's look at the "logic" Steve Ray presents:
Follow the logic: 1) The kings of Israel raised their mothers to Queenship which became established as an official office; 2) the mothers were referred to as the Queen Mothers or the Great Lady; 3) they sat on a throne near their sons (1 Ki 2:19); 4) Jesus is the quintessential Jewish King with an eternal kingdom; 5) Jesus is the fulfillment if the Israelite offices of Prophet, Priest & King; 6) As the Davidic king, Jesus would honor his mother more than earthy kings honored their mothers; 7) It is biblical, historical, and reasonable to expect the perfect Jewish king to follow in the stead of the kingdom and his fathers by assuming his mother to a throne at his right hand. 8) It is proper and biblical to consider Mary in a position of intercessor.Logically, a response: 1) We have very little evidence to support any kind of normative position of governmental authority for the mothers of kings in Israel or Judah. 1 Kings 2 is actually an argument against this, as the throne was not normally there, and, there is no evidence that there was any further elevation of the king's mother in this fashion after this point. 2) And Bill Clinton my be called the Great Guy if Hillary wins the White House. So? 3) One did, and it was unusual, and she did not obtain from her son what she wished. 4) He sure is, which makes me wonder why folks have such a hard time with His kingly freedom to save His elect powerfully and perfectly apart from Rome's sacraments. 5) Yes, which makes me wonder why you have sacramental priests when the priesthood role has been fulfilled in Christ! 6) This is part and parcel of the circularity of the Roman position. That is, the goal is already defined by the Roman dogmas, so now all you do is posit that Jesus "would do X" which just happens to fit the dogma you already believe and are trying to substantiate. Never mind that what it means for Jesus to honor Mary in light of her being one of His redeemed servants is completely different than anything one might extrapolate from a single instance in the OT of a king honoring his mother! 7) If this is "biblical" then any kind of wide-eyed allegorical or typological interpretation is likewise "biblical." All of the factors regarding the unique glory of Christ vs. that of an entire line of kings, for example, the different relationship that exists between Mary as redeemed and Jesus as redeemer--all these things just get brushed under the rug in the service of Rome and her dogmas. But to call this kind of eisegesis "biblical" is to strip the word of all rational and logical meaning. 8) Even if all that came before actually made sense, this last assertion is such a massive leap from what came before it leaves one breathless, and I say that as one who is fully aware of Miravalle's writings in defense of Mary as mediatrix, for example. There is nothing at all in what came before that even begins to give a basis for this final conclusion regarding intercession, absolutely nothing. But in the wonderful world of Roman Mariology, even the word "logic" gets a make-over, just as such words as "brother" and "sister" do as well!
I would dearly love to see Rome's popular, traveling apologists stand up before a live audience and actually defend Rome's dogmas on this topic. They love to crank out the books and CD's on the topic, because, quite obviously, they sell. But you won't find them rushing to defend these things against knowledgable opposition, and for good reason. They know that this kind of argumentation collapses under serious examination, and the only folks who find it convincing in the long run are those who want to believe.
---in the defense and confirmation of the gospel