Expanding the RCC roster...
A major point of contention over Catholic doctrine is the worship of Mary. Part of that is the Catholic Church's insistence that Mary was born without sin. It seems some (in Catholic circles) are wondering if the same might not be true of John.
In Catholicism, “tradition” is considered as valid a reason to believe something as scripture. In a nutshell, since many Catholics believed Mary to be sinless, the church decided to make it an endorsed part of their faith – almost 2000 years after her death. The growing attitude that Mary was sinless can be traced in the writings and histories of the Catholic Church. It was not a belief held by the Apostles, nor the early church leaders, is not taught in the Bible, and was not supported until reverence for Mary had mutated into outright worship. It wasn’t even until the mid-1800s that the Catholic Church made this into an official doctrine. This declaration was made, more or less, to justify the practice of worshipping Mary.
Mary herself clearly stated that she was a sinner. In Luke 1:46-47, she refers to God as “my Savior”. Sinless people do not need a Savior. The Bible nowhere says that Mary was born without sin, or lived without sin. In fact, the Bible says that “all have sinned” (Romans 3:23). Only Jesus is referred to as living a sinless life, and every other human being who ever lived is considered a sinner in need of a savior (1 Peter 2:22, 1 John 3:5; 2 Corinthians 5:21). Even Catholic apologists (those who argue for particular Bible interpretations) have trouble explaining why a person ought to believe this to be true. Unless a person puts more faith in Catholic proclamations that the Bible, it’s just not possible.
Also, if Mary was, in fact, born without sin, what possible reason would there be for the Bible to omit that fact? Much is said in the Bible about Jesus' sinless-ness, but never one mention of Mary's. Writers such as Luke took great pains to record all of the important facts about Jesus’ early life, and her sinless-ness is never mentioned.
The same is true with John – there is no Biblical evidence whatsoever that he was sinless. It’s believed by some, which could someday be all that’s needed to make it a valid belief in Catholic eyes. As of now, it’s not an official doctrine. There are no sensible arguments for the sinlessness of either John or Mary, however. Most attempts to argue otherwise start from Catholic assumptions, and interpret the Bible (backwards) from there. For example: “yes, Mary calls Jesus her Savior, but since she was sinless, she must have meant…” Good interpretations need to come from scripture, not be forced into it.
January 30, 2011
Expanding the RCC roster...