Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Second Sunday in Lent.

The Collect

ALMIGHTY God, who seest that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves; Keep us both outwardly in our bodies, and inwardly in our souls; that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Collect from the First Day of Lent is to be read every day in Lent after the Collect appointed for the Day.

Daily Bible Verse

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tragic or Funny? Mary Loses Her Head!


Sean Gerety said...

Definitely funny that anyone would react in such horror over a piece of plaster shattering. I suppose tragic is a better word. On the bright side, just carrying around the head will be a whole lot easier. :)

Billy said...

I'm not sure how that could be considered funny. Unless the people there were worshipping the statue, this is not idolatry. I don't know their hearts, so I won't be the judge of that.
Mary is blessed above all women for her role in redemptive history. To even imply that a statue in her honor breaking is funny is despicable.

My father's family lost all of their pictures etc. in a house fire nearly 20 years ago. Would you find that funny? If destroyed pictures of his mother aren't funny, why should an image of Jesus' mother be funny.

Again, anyone in that church who was in any way paying worship to Mary or the statue, or both, are in grievous error. The Trinity alone is worthy of worship. I say this in full awareness of the cult of Mary that exists particularly in the Roman church. But I can't see any way that laughing at this statue breaking is following the commandment that "henceforth all generations shall call me blessed."

CB in Ca said...

Reposted it on Facebook. It is only a statue! But idolatrous AC's would be equally horrified.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Billy, I consider the veneration of icons and statues as idolatry. Scripture seems to support that since the Jews understood it that way. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven images.

While I consider this a tragedy, it also struck me as funny. The tragedy, of course, is that they have a statue of Mary in the first place. We should be exalting the Word of God, not statues. And we should be worshipping Jesus, not venerating Mary. Mary was a sinner like every other woman on earth. If she were righteous, she was righteous by faith as all women of faith are righteous by faith. Also, God chose Mary based on His sovereign will and divine favor, not on her own righteousness or holiness.


kmfrye said...

Sic semper idoli.

That's a Roman Catholic chapel, so theirs is not a surprising reaction.

I do feel a twinge of sympathy at what must have been a stomach-twisting experience for the old ladies - then again, when you focus your faith on a creature of plaster, you're in for a shock, either in this world or the next.

Anonymous said...

A.C. Billy,

Keep reading Charlie's blog and he'll help massage your paradox cramp with some biblical logic.

Don't confuse Rome's idol with Mary.

As for idolatry, what else would a statue be for?

If this was a Romish (or Rome-sympathetic) church, then its worship of Mary is not only well-attested, but mandated by its pope & magisterium.

I am sorry your family lost its family photos, but the analogy breaks down. Photos of mom are of mom! Statues of Mary are of a demon, not the mother of our Lord.

We laugh when the fools lose their idols. See ironic humor in Pss. 115 & 135, and Isaiah 44:9ff.

Isaiah 42:8&17 say, "I am the LORD; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols." "They are turned back and utterly put to shame, who trust in carved idols, who say to metal images, 'You are our gods.'"


Hugh McCann

Billy said...

I don't see how having a statue is tragic. Nor do I understand your reference to how the Jews understood idolatry. These would be the same Jews who had Cherubim carved out in gold on top of the Ark of the Covenant. The same Jews who depicted Cherubim on the veil in the tabernacle. The same Jews who were commanded to lift up the serpent in the wilderness.

There is nothing inherently wrong with having images...whether they be secular or sacred. The attitude toward them is what matters. To worship Mary or any other saint, or even worse, to worship an image of them, is idolatry. I'm not at all sure what in the world is going on in this video...it looks a funeral procession. So it's hard to determine what's going on.

I would also just point out that if you read the papal bull making the immaculate conception dogma for all catholics, it says the exact same things about the calling of Mary you just said. Everything good and holy about her is ascribed to her Son...not inherently to her.

Anonymous said...

The use of images is something that is always walking along a narrow line. The commandment concerning graven images has to be read in the context of God's command to create images of cherubim, etc., in the making of the ark of the covenant.

When one begins to worship the image, the line is crossed. The Jews did not worship the images around the ark. But what is going on with the "doulia" and
"hyperdoulia" of the Roman and eastern churches?

There is certainly nothing wrong in maintaining festivals at which we remember the service to God and to His Church of the prophets, apostles, the early saints of the Church, the doctors, reformers, confessors, martyrs, etc., and thank God for the use He made of them.

It gets dicier if we, in our prayers, ask that specific saints in the Church Triumphant join in our prayers. It is true that we do ask our friends in the Church Militant to pray for us. The difference is that our friends whom we ask to join in our prayers can hear our request that they do so.

We have no promise on the other hand that they can hear our prayers, while we do have the promise that we have a high priest, advocate and mediator in Christ. My view is that such petitions, if the saint is not asked to give the relief sought, but solely to join in the petitioner's prayer, are a nullity, of no harm but also of no benefit. They're like leaving a message after a beep that we would like the recipient to pray for us--there's no guarantee that the person for whom the request is intended will get the message.

It becomes worse than a nullity in the case of the belief, common in Roman folk piety and not rebuked by Roman clergy (though not actually part of Roman doctrine), that Jesus is a stern Judge, so righteous that He has little understanding or compassion for sinners. According to that belief, we have to go to His mother, who will understand us, and He will listen to her intercession because she is His mother.

What is NOT a nullity, much less of any benefit, is prayer that asks specific relief of a saint: "St. Anne, deliver me from the storm; St. Barbara, give me victory in the battle, St. Martin, heal my toothache," etc.. That is having other gods before God, and if one does that in front of a statue purporting to represent the saint in question, it is most certainly idolatry.

The Roman church puts statues in its churches in the knowledge that the people will make such requests. The Pope and the bishops know that the priests will not tell their people, "Friend, don't ask St. Mark for that. Ask Jesus."

A sadness and even a momentary shock at the breaking of any work of art is natural enough and not wrong. But when it is almost as if one's god has died, there's something wrong.

In this particular case, the statue was being used in the abuse of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper. The Sacrament was not made to be paraded about, but to be given to Christ's people.

Charlie J. Ray said...

I have no problem with religious art. The real problem here is this isn't art. It's an idol. And, Billy, it really does not matter to me what Rome says but what does Scripture say? The Bible says clearly and without equivocation that Mary is a sinner (Romans 3:23). It also says that only Jesus is without sin. (1 Peter 2:22; 1 John 3:5; John 8:53-55).
So am I supposed to be afraid of the Roman Catholic Church? I do not fear those who can destroy the body. I fear the One who can destroy both the body and the soul in hell. (Matthew 10:28).

Billy said...

I don't understand your comment about Rome destroying your body. And I didn't say Mary is without sin..just that a catholic who knows what they are talking about will tell you that while Mary is sinless, it is not based on anything at all within her own merit, but only "in view of the merits of Christ." (Ineffabilis Deus)
And, no offense, but your "it doesn't really matter what Rome says but what does Scripture say" sounds like some kind of populist rhetoric. You are always quoting non-scriptural sources-they just happen to be the ones YOU think most closely interpret Scripture.

Charlie J. Ray said...

No offense, Billy, but could you please make up your mind? Is Mary sinless or is Mary a sinner? The Bible says Jesus is without sin. Show me even one verse of Scripture that says Mary is sinless? It's not there. But the Bible does say that ALL are sinners. This would mean everyone without exception, with the one exception of Jesus, the Son of God.

I'm not quoting non-Scriptural sources. That would be you. You implied that I should fear Rome. I fear no man but I do fear God.

Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer died for their faith that Scripture alone is the sole rule and guide for our doctrine and for our obedience. All else is shifting sand.

Furthermore, I do not reject all authority and tradition. I simply submit all to Scripture. The Reformed confessions of faith are authoritative and they are a part of the Reformed tradition. However, all churches, doctrines, and traditions are to be tested by Scripture, not by mere men with fake badges.

Anonymous said...

AC Bill,

You mention "Cherubim carved out in gold on top of the Ark of the Covenant. The same Jews who depicted Cherubim on the veil in the tabernacle. The same Jews who were commanded to lift up the serpent in the wilderness."

The key there is "commanded," as you rightly said. Of course, commanded by God, not a church council or papally ex cathedra.

The Jews were following divine orders; the Romanists make up their own dogma and bind consciences and enslave souls thereby.

You said, "There is nothing inherently wrong with having images... whether they be secular or sacred."

Right and wrong. The former are not worshipped. The latter are strictly forbidden in Deut. 4 and elsewhere, as Isaiah said, above.

As for the BVM: "Mary has by grace been exalted above all angels and men to a place second only to her Son, as the most holy Mother of God who was involved in the mysteries of Christ: she is rightly honoured by a special cult in the Church" (Lumen gentium, n. 66).
@ ewtn.net/library/papaldoc/jp2bvm66.htm

And, 'The Second Council of Nicaea does not only affirm the legitimacy of images, but seeks to describe their usefulness for Christian piety: "Indeed, the more often these images are contemplated, the more those who look at them are brought to remember and desire the original models and, in kissing them, to show them respect and veneration" (DS 601).

'These directives apply in a particular way to the veneration of the Blessed Virgin. Images, icons and statues of Our Lady, present in houses, public places and countless churches and chapels, help the faithful to invoke her constant presence and her merciful patronage in the various circumstances of life. By making the Blessed Virgin's motherly tenderness concrete and almost visible, they invite us to turn to her, to pray to her trustfully and to imitate her in generously accepting the divine will.

'None of the known images is an authentic reproduction of Mary's face, as St Augustine had already acknowledged (De Trinitate, 8, 7); however they help us establish a more living relationship with her. Therefore the practice of exposing images of Mary in places of worship and in other buildings should be encouraged, in order to be aware of her help in moments of difficulty and as a reminder to lead a life that is ever more holy and faithful to God.'
@ ewtn.net/library/PAPALDOC/JP2BVM68.HTM

Etc., etc., ad nauseum.


Charlie J. Ray said...

Isaiah 2:8

Charlie J. Ray said...

"Mary is blessed above all women for her role in redemptive history." The Bible does not say that Mary is "above" all women. It says she is "highly favored AMONG women." In other words, she's just another woman but one who has received grace and mercy and favor from God, as all sinful women do.

And Elizabeth swas filled with the Holy Spirit, 42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is vthe fruit of your womb!
Luke 1:41-42

Charlie J. Ray said...

In fairness to the Catholics, someone pointed out to me that the statue might be one of St. George, not Mary. The age and value of the statue is rumored to be old and high. But even so, the remarks here about Mary remain valid and the video is funny, which is why it was used on America's Funniest Videos in the first place.

Even if it is a statue of George, the idea that we would venerate a saint is just ridiculous. There is no place in the church for idolizing saints who were also sinners. We are all saints if we have been born from above!


Anonymous said...


The crown of stars (Rev 12) points to Mary, & she appears to be in a dress.

Maybe Boy George, but not England's patron saint!


Anonymous said...


More from our papal pals (not paypal!):

From the Catechism (@ vatican.va/archive/catechism/p123a9p6.htm):

...966 "Finally the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death."506

..."In giving birth you kept your virginity; in your Dormition you did not leave the world, O Mother of God, but were joined to the source of Life. You conceived the living God and, by your prayers, will deliver our souls from death."507

. . . she is our Mother in the order of grace

...969 "This motherhood of Mary in the order of grace continues uninterruptedly from the consent which she loyally gave at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, until the eternal fulfillment of all the elect. Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation .... Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix."510


971 "All generations will call me blessed": "The Church's devotion to the Blessed Virgin is intrinsic to Christian worship."513 The Church rightly honors "the Blessed Virgin with special devotion. From the most ancient times the Blessed Virgin has been honored with the title of 'Mother of God,' to whose protection the faithful fly in all their dangers and needs. . . . This very special devotion . . . differs essentially from the adoration which is given to the incarnate Word and equally to the Father and the Holy Spirit, and greatly fosters this adoration."514 The liturgical feasts dedicated to the Mother of God and Marian prayer, such as the rosary, an "epitome of the whole Gospel," express this devotion to the Virgin Mary.515


Sounds pretty close to idolatry, Billy!

Yours for truth,


catechetical footnotes:
506 LG 59; cf. Pius XII, Munificentissimus Deus (1950): DS 3903; cf. Rev 19:16.
507 Byzantine Liturgy, Troparion, Feast of the Dormition, August 15th.
508 LG 53; 63.
509 LG 61.
510 LG 62.
511 LG 60.
512 LG 62.
513 Lk 1:48; Paul VI, MC 56.
514 LG 66.
515 Cf. Paul VI, MC 42; SC 103.
516 LG 69.
517 LG 68; Cf. 2 Pet 3 10


Charlie J. Ray said...

Yes, I saw the crown on the head. Probably is a statue of Mary.

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