Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
December 8, 1955
NUMBER 31, PAGE 5-6b

Mary A 'Mediatrix'?

Luther W. Martin, St. James, Missouri

The Liguprian, a Roman Catholic publication having "ecclesiastical approval," and published monthly from Liguori, Missouri, contains an article in its November 1955 issue, entitled "Why Mary Can Help Us." It is penned by the Editor, Donald F. Miller. In the third section of this treatise, Mr. Miller devotes himself to the answering of the following question: "Can proofs be given that Mary has helped other men and women on their way to heaven?" We copy below, the author's complete reply to the above question, with our own remarks immediately following each portion of his reply.

As an introduction, Miller states: "All true doctrine revealed by God, rightly understood, can be tested by experience. The doctrine that Mary can help us, which we learn by merely analyzing the office and the privileges that God freely bestowed on her, has been abundantly proven by facts throughout the history of Christianity."

(Comment: We DENY that ALL true doctrine revealed by God, rightly understood, can be tested by EXPERIENCE, as the author asserts! For example, we believe in the Divinity of Christ ... so do the Roman Catholics . . . but it is not a DOCTRINE that can be TESTED by EXPERIENCE . .. in this life. Therefore, by only one illustration, we have shown his premise to be false. L.W.M.)

The author continues: "1) The first proof was given during the very lifetimes of Our Lord and His mother. When her request brought forth a miracle of help from her Son during the wedding feast of Cana, even a miracle worked 'out of time', or 'before the time of public miracles had come', it was God's way of saying to the whole world to the end of time: 'I have given my mother the power to plead with me effectively in behalf of human beings in need.' It is difficult to understand how anyone can read the story of the miracle at Cana and then deny that God has granted any intercessory power to His mother."

(Comment: We do not deny that Mary possessed 'intercessory powers' with Christ during her lifetime. We DO ask for Scriptural proof that such powers were to continue after death. IF this PROVES that Mary possesses 'intercessory powers' then it also PROVES that DEMONS today have intercessory powers with Christ. Because the demons of Matt. 8:30-32; Mark 5:11-13; and Luke 8:32-33, were able to intercede with Christ. LWM.)

Author Miller continues: "2) Public proof of Mary's God-given power to help human beings is to be found in the history of her apparitions in the midst of men.

"It is true that apparitions of the mother of God to certain persons, at certain times, in certain places, do not become matters of faith for all Catholics in the sense that they are bound to believe in them under pain of sin. But sensible people form their judgments of such events on the basis of the evidence. The evidence in many instances is clear that Mary has appeared among men, has proved her identity by working great, miracles, and has repeated the very doctrine we are discussing here, that she has been given the power by God, who was her Son, to help human beings in their needs of soul and body."

(Comment: "Many other signs also Jesus worked in the sight of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But THESE ARE WRITTEN THAT YOU MAY BELIEVE that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and THAT BELIEVING YOU MAY HAVE LIFE in his name." John 20: 30-31. Therefore, THESE THINGS WRITTEN are sufficient to produce FAITH or BELIEF in CHRIST. An active, working, obedient faith produces 'LIFE IN HIS NAME'. Phantoms, specters, ghosts or apparitions ... are NO PART of the Christian religion of the 1st century, not of ACTUAL Christianity of the 20th century. Certainly, 'sensible people form their judgments of such events on the basis of EVIDENCE.' Any court of Law will attest to that fact .. . but phantasms do not constitute acceptable EVIDENCE in ANY court. If the inspired writers of the New Testament indicated a sufficiency of God's word being contained in the Sacred Writings, then we have no need whatsoever for the entire phantasmagoria of Roman Catholicism.

Paul wrote: "For from thy infancy thou hast known the Sacred Writings, which are able to instruct thee unto salvation by the faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproving, for correcting, for instructing in justice; that the man of God may be perfect, equipped for every good work." (II Tim. 3:15-17.) "Now, brethren, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos by way of illustration for your sakes, that in our case you may learn not to be puffed up one against the other over a third party, TRANSGRESSING WHAT IS WRITTEN." (1 Cor. 4:6, Emphasis mine. L.W.M.) Yet, the New Testament contains NOTHING about Mary as a 'mediatrix'.

It might also be well to point out that the author claims that Mary "helps human beings in their needs of soul and body." If that be the case, then God becomes a RESPECTER OF PERSONS ... which is an UN-TRUTH according to Peter in Acts 10:34. Also, even the miracles of Christ were not designed to 'actually help' the person upon whom they were wrought, but to PRODUCE FAITH IN THE MINDS OF THE WITNESSES. "Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world." (John 6:14.)

The Old Testament contains many, many, prophecies concerning Christ who was to come, and who was to be a doer of wonderful works. He came and fulfilled ALL and in the psalms concerning Him. See Luke 24:44. But things that were written in the law and in the prophets where in ALL of the Bible . . either the Old or New Testaments, do the Roman Catholics find ANY prophecies attesting to any work of Mary, other than being the human mother of Jesus of Nazareth? Certainly, for that reason alone, future generations would call her blessed, for having given birth to Jesus, who became the Saviour of mankind. But not one single other purpose or reason for her being remembered is given by INSPIRATION. Any further elaboration upon the later life and actions of Mary, is simply so much speculation. Even the Catholic Dictionary admits that the place of her death is unknown. L.W.M.)

The third and last reason given by the author as 'proof' that Mary helps other men and women on their way to heaven, is: "3) Even apart from the great apparitions and the public miracles that have become widely publicized, Mary has proved that God wants her to help her children to millions of ordinary men and women. Even the non-Catholic and Calvinistic writer John Ruskin attested to this fact, while, by that strange contradiction that is possible to the human mind, he himself refused to avail himself of Mary's help."

(Comment: How can Mary have 'proved' anything 'apart from the great apparitions and the public miracles that have become widely publicized?' Mr. Miller's third and last 'proof' is mere assertion with no foundation in FACT. Obviously we cannot accept such baseless claims. If we did we would also be forced to accept the equally unfounded assertions of snake-handlers, faith-healers and medical treatment rejectionists. Such an action would be the absence of evidence and logic, and would constitute a complete surrender to the forces of hoo-doos, fetishes, witch-doctors and ghost-stories. L.W.M.)