Women in the Text: Virgin Mary

Photo: http://tonyalbert.com/

Protestants differ with Catholics on Mary. Catholics have revered her as the mediator to Jesus. They have elevated her as perfect, without sin. Many Protestants claim the Catholic worship of Mary has roots in the worship of Artemis, who is the Roman Diana. Protestants have blamed Catholicism for syncretism in blending a female counterpart to the male “god.” Is this difference one reason Protestants have limited women in corporate leadership, where the Catholics have created space for them in the Sisterhood? In their elevation of Mary, do Catholics glimpse a truth we Protestants have missed because we wish to distance ourselves from this “paganism”?

Messiah Came by Virgin (woman minus man)

The past week, I’ve been reading through Katharine C. Bushnell’s God’s Word to Women, written in 1908. She was an ancient language scholar. She was a missionary doctor in China and loved God’s Word and God’s People. She examines Mary in light of John 1.

12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. 14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.

Bushnell points out that the children of God are not born of three things:

  • natural descent (genetics)
  • desire of the flesh (wanting to join God’s family)
  • Husband’s “will” ( I think we all know what THAT is. This word is aner, not anthropos.)

In this discussion on Godly re-birth, what is left out of  the options of this birth? The mother. The mother’s birth-role is not excluded. We become children of God because of the Son, and the Son of God was not “tainted” by His mother. And neither are we. It was Mary, who recognizing the promise to Eve, said, “May your promise be fulfilled to me.” And it was.

Woman is Satan’s Curse

So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this…

… I will put enmity
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers; ~ Genesis 3:15

Enmity occurs because one party is resisting another. They are at odds. They want differing things. The “woman” fights back. God says she is Satan’s enemy. She is Satan’s curse. (Not man’s, hehe.) The woman’s descendants would be at war with Satan’s children.

In these verses, I suddenly understand the mystic worship of Mary. (Not the same thing as agreeing with it.) It was through this woman, not a re-creation of man; through THE childbirth, that humans were delivered. The Anointed One was born without the aid of Male. God promised. Through Mary’s faith, submission and sacrifice; salvation arrived … the precious babe: Jesus= Yeshua= Joshua= Jehovah. Salvation comes.

A shift of emphasis

What conclusions do I come to? Nothing huge. Most of these facts I knew. I’d simply like to shift the emphasis back to woman as Satan’s foe.Why? Because SHE is the vehicle of promised salvation.

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