A Conversation about honoring the Most Holy Mother of God

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In the “conversation” that follows, the red print represents the Russellite’s arguments (which are exactly the same arguments that any Protestant would support) and in black print are the arguments of our O.O.D.E. colleague.   Certain intense expressions by both persons are justified, given the immediacy of the conversation in the forum.  We are certain that neither of the two intended to “offend” the other; this was merely “rhetorical tactics”.

We are publicizing this conversation, in response to those who falsely accuse the Church of deifying the Most Holy Mother.

Russellite:

When the “priests” and the “cantors” blare out the words of the orthodox “psalm” :  “MOST HOLY THEOTOKOS, SAVE US”, you and your “dogmatic research team” come along and try to convince us that “we never deified the Holy Mother” and that “there was never any notion of a divine-human embryo”.  Hey Nick, please, we aren’t brainless, we’re intelligent beings and we can’t help reacting to foolery.

Questions:

1.  If, as you say, «We never deified the Holy Mother», then why do you ask her in your “psalm” to save you?  When the Bible clearly and simply says about Jesus Christ that: “salvation is not possible through anyone else, for there is no other name under the heavens that is given to mankind, through which we must be saved”?

Orthodox:

If you are annoyed by the words of Orthodox psalms that the Holy Mother “saves”, you must also be annoyed at the words of the Apostle Paul, who also “saves”.   Check for example verse 14 in Romans Ch.11 :  “…if somehow I can inspire those of my flesh, so that I might save some of them”.  Check also Ch.9 of Corinthians I “To the weak, I became weak in order to gain the weak; I became everything to everyone, so that I might save some in every way”.

If, therefore, we Orthodox presume that the Holy Mother is a God because she can “save”, then Paul in the same way must have considered himself a God, because he also said that he wanted to “save some”.  Didn’t your irreverent tutors point out these verses to you?

If however you tell me that Paul speaks of a “relative salvation”, then we too speak of a relative salvation in the Church.  You should therefore apply the same measures here and not judge with different measures whatever you consider is to your benefit, and different measures when they are not to your benefit.

Russellite:

When God and Jesus Christ are nowhere in the Bible addressed as “Most Holy”, only “Holy” – in Peter I:16 we read “for it is written, become holy, as I am holy”;  also in passages Mark 1:24, Peter A 1:15, Revel. 3:7, 4:8.   Why have you elevated the Blessed sister Mary with thisblasphemous title of “Most Holy”, even above the “cause of everything”, the “Creator of the Universe”, the “Only True God”?

Orthodox:

We, my friend, have done nothing more than that which the Bible itself does!  For example, in verses : Exodus Ch.29 verse 37, Ch.30 verses 28-29 and 34-36, Leviticus Ch.2 verse 3, Ezekiel Ch.48 verse 12, etc., the vessels of the Temple and even the earth itself are referred to as “All Holy”  (superlative degree!!!!).  How blasphemous Moses must have been, to have declared those vessels even holier than God !!

And while God according to the Bible is “benevolent” and in fact according to the words of our Lord Jesus “no-one is benevolent, except one: God”  (Matth.Ch19 verse 17 and Mark Ch.10 verse 18), Luke the evangelist blasphemously (in your opinion) addresses Theophilus as “most excellent” (Luke Ch.1 verse 3), which is a superlative degree of the word “benevolent”!!!  (an equivalent is : good-better-best in colloquial terms).  And while according to Christ’s words we should never name anyone “benevolent”, Luke dares to describe Theophilus as “most excellent”, in other words, even more benevolent than God!!!    Not to mention that Paul indulges in the same “blasphemy”, for a ruler named Festus !! (Acts, Ch.26 verse 25).

Didn’t your blasphemous tutors show you these tracts?  Because, by naming “blasphemous” those Christians who refer to the Mother of our Lord “Most Holy Mother”, they are saying that the Bible is also blasphemous, when the Bible does exactly the same thing.

But, you will probably say, “the vessels of the temple were most holy, when compared to the remaining vessels” and that “Festus and Theophilus were far more benevolent, compared to other people”.   Well, again judge with the same measure, and realize that we too address the Holy Mother as “Most Holy”, as compared to other saints, and not as compared to God!  And if you persist in calling the Holy Mother a goddess, then you should also call Theophilus and Festus “God” .

Come to your senses!!  Look at the slippery path that the denial of the truth is leading you to!

Russellite:

(…but the innumerable researches have proved that the one you worship is not the humble sister Mary, but the “great Mother of the Gods”, Cybele, who penetrated into pseudo-christianity during the Roman era !

Orthodox:

What you say here proves nothing.  This statement of yours does not comprise evidence.  If you want to be reliable, you must prove this, and not try to create impressions from nonexistent things!

Russellite:

And now, please take the trouble to go to your orthodox library and take out the “Minor Benedictions” book….. I believe you have it and you must know about the blasphemous titles it contains.

Orthodox:

But don’t you understand that everything that is mentioned there is expressed in a manner that compares to other people, and not to God?   Do you insist on warping the meanings?

Russellite:

Turn to page 11.  Referring to sister Mary, it says :  “Rejoice, atonement-bearer of the World, o virgin.. (p.512)

Orthodox:

Wasn’t the Holy Mother the one who gave birth to Christ, who was the “atonement” of our sins?   “and he is the atonement for our sins; not only for ours, but for the entire world’s” .

So, if Christ is the “atonement” , then isn’t the “womb” that carried Him, the “atonement-bearer”?  (John A Ch.2 verse 2).   Plain logic, and plain grammar!  Unless you are denying that Christ is the “atonement”.

Russellite:

… she who transports everyone who praises her, from the death into the life ….(p.36)…

Orthodox:

Isn’t this the same case as the words of Paul that we mentioned above, that he wanted to “save” others”?  Why then – in your opinion – the Holy Mother cannot save, whereas Paul can?  Because the transportation from death into life is “salvation”.  And who was it that most served the salvation of mankind?  Was it Paul, or the Holy Mother who gave birth to the Christ?   Or do you perhaps hate life and do not praise it, thus defaming the hymns that honor it?

Russellite:

The ailments of the soul do you heal, and the afflictions of the body, o virgin… (p.28)..

Orthodox:

Man, you don’t understand a thing!    You are now saying that we should accuse the Scriptures, because they also mention how the apostles healed the sick!! (or didn’t you know that either?)  In your opinion therefore, the apostles were capable of healing, but for the Holy Mother to heal is blasphemy!!!!   My friend, either you are absurd, or blasphemous!

Didn’t you happen to read in the scriptures that even the apostle Paul’s head cloth could heal?  (Acts, Ch.19 verses 11-12).  Or have you perhaps resorted to such extreme blasphemy, that you consider the Holy Mother even more inferior than one of Paul’s garments?

Russellite:

God-bearing Virgin….everything is possible to you (omnipotent).. (p.38)…

Orthodox:

Similarly:  “everything is possible to me, by Christ who empowers me”. (Philip. Ch.4 verse 13).  WHAT A BLASPHEMER YOU ARE, PAUL!  How dare you say such bad things?  Don’t you know Paul, that such expressions are blasphemous and that only the blasphemous Orthodox use them?   Why Paul are you tarnishing the Holy Bible with words that don’t agree with the Russellites?

And why did you “remove” the remaining words that follow the above quote : “….for you have gestated Christ the almighty” ?  Is it possible you didn’t mention it, in order to warp the meaning?  Wasn’t Christ the cause of this “power” of hers, and not the supposed “deification” that you accuse us of?  Honestly, aren’t you ashamed of warping the meaning?

Or are you perhaps offended by the word “God-bearer”?   Isn’t it clear in John Ch.1 when, in reference to Christ it mentions: “and God was the Logos”?  And you don’t accept that Mary gave birth to Christ?

Let’s see what we have:

Christ = God.

Mary = Mother of Christ.

Therefore Mary = God-bearer !!!

Simple logic, my friend!  If you don’t like it, then write your own Scriptures, according to your own standards!!

And it also doesn’t say that the embryo was not human!  You said that.  Christ’s hypostasis was Divine and human, not his human nature.  The embryo Christ was human, BUT it was joined to Divinity from the very moment of its conception.

Russellite:

“Be merciful to me, the humble one, who is full of every kind of sin, for apart from you, I know no other refuge; you, the only hope of Christians… the only beholder… (p.518 Great Horologion)…

Orthodox:

Let me remind you of a few simple things that your prejudice doesn’t allow you to remember:

When the Lord went to the wedding in Canaan and the wine supply was finished, the Holy Mother said to Him: “The wine has finished! Do something!”  He said to her “what is there between you and me, woman?  My time is not yet come.”  So far, so good, right?  Up to this point, this serves your views.  But what happened further down?

Although Christ stated that “His time was not yet come” and that He had no intention of “doing something”, and even though He implied that, as God, it was not His will to satisfy His human mother’s request for some kind of miracle, what did He do?

HE FINALLY OBEYED HER!  HE PERFORMED A MIRACLE!  HE TURNED THE WATER INTO WINE, EVEN THOUGH HIS TIME WAS NOT YET COME!  EVEN THOUGH HE HAD MADE THIS VERY CLEAR TO HER! 

Are you familiar with many people my friend that have persuaded God to do something that He didn’t want?

This is why we say about the Holy Mother : “Be merciful to me, who is full of every kind of sin, for apart from you, I know no other refuge; you, the only hope of Christians… the only beholder”.

Is there any other holy person that can we turn to, other than her, who can persuade God to forget our sins?  Only she has this kind of boldness and influence over the King of the universe.  Only the Queen Mother, ….. sister Mary !

Russellites:

The dead through you are brought to life … (p.10)

Orthodox:

Why didn’t you write the entire text?  What are you afraid of? The hymn-writer explains what he means, directly afterwards.  He writes the following:  “… for you have gestated the hypostasis of life itself..”.  Therefore, the reason he writes this, is because the Holy Mother was gestating the Christ, who is “the resurrection and the life”.

In your opinion, didn’t the holy Mother mediate in the birth of the Lord, who brought life to the dead?

What is the meaning of the words “through you”?   Doesn’t it mean that the Holy Mother was an “instrument” in the hands of God, for the purpose of incarnating the Christ?  Would Christ have been born, without incarnation?  Would the dead therefore have been brought to life, without the Holy Mother?

Russellite:

Deliver me from the eternal fire and the torments that await me, o God-Bearer… for you are the salvation of the Christian world… (p.29)

Orthodox:

This is the same as what was explained previously.  Just as Paul “saved” and thus delivered mankind from the eternal fire, likewise does the Holy Mother. She is furthermore “the salvation of the Christian world”, as she is the one who gave flesh to the Christ, who is their Saviour.   As you can see, her function is indirect, and always in relation to the Christ.  She never saves on her own, independently. Because “everything is possible to her, by Christ who empowers her”, just as with Paul, who had formulated this statement.

Russellite:

… o source of mercy, refuge for the world, we extensively cry out to you, Lady Theotokos, to anticipate and to deliver us of any dangers, as the only speedy protector .

Orthodox:

I wonder, is there any other saint, who has such authority and who is so loved by Christ, as much as His mother?  Isn’t His love so great, that He first attends to her prayers for us?  If you have any such doubts, then perhaps you do not love your own mother.

Excerpt from the “Orthodox Synodic” document, from the 7th Ecumenical Synod :

“In the manner that the prophets had seen, the apostles had taught, the Church had received, the teachers had dogmatized, the world had conceded, Divine Grace shone upon, the truth proven, the falsity driven away, the wisdom outspoken, and as awarded by Christ, thus we believe, thus we speak, thus we preach:  that Christ is our true God, and that we honor His saints in words, in writings, in meanings, in sacrifices, in temples, in images;  whilst we offer worship and respect to Christ as God and Master, the others – who are genuine servants to the common Master – we honor accordingly, by offering the veneration that is appropriate to their affiliation.

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