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Immaculate Conception

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Author Topic: Immaculate Conception  (Read 609 times)
Grail Lord
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Posts: 1143

« on: December 05, 2007, 10:36:15 pm »

The doctrine is generally not shared by either Eastern Orthodoxy or by Christians of Reformed or Protestant traditions.

Protestants reject the doctrine because they do not consider the development of dogmatic theology to be authoritative apart from biblical exegesis, and that Mariology in general, including the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, is not taught explicitly in their interpretation of the Bible. It is accepted by some Anglo-Catholics, but is rejected by most in the Anglican Communion (and also by the Old Catholic Churches). In the Book of Common Prayer, December 8 the "Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary" is a "lesser commemoration", whose observance is optional. However, members of the Society of Mary are required to attend Mass that day.

Protestants argue that God would also need to have intervened in the conception of Mary's mother, and her mother, and so on down the ages. Catholicism's response to this would be that only Mary had to be kept free from sin, since she directly was going to bear Christ; her ancestors were not.

A further argument put forward by Protestants is from Mark 10:18 and the parallel Luke 18:9. When Jesus is addressed as "Good teacher" (NIV Mk 10:17), He is quoted as replying "No one is good - except God alone". It is posited that in doing so Christ clearly teaches that no one is without sin, whilst leaving room for the conclusion that he is in fact God incarnate. However, it is meant in the general sense.

Some Protestants also teach that our sinful nature is inherited from the father. Since Jesus of Nazareth did not have an earthly father, he did not inherit a sinful nature; hence, Mary did not need to be immaculately conceived. These Protestants base this view on Romans 5:12 which states that sin entered the world through a man, Adam (even though Eve sinned before Adam) and 1 Corinthians 11:3 which says that the head of every woman is the man. In response, however, the sin of Adam and Eve stains a person's soul, and both parents only contribute to the body, meaning God allows this to happen, and can certainly preserve someone.

Some Protestant groups of more recent origin, such as the Restoration Movement, do not believe in original sin. Consequently, they believe in the immaculate conception of everyone, not only of Mary.

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