Hail, Mary?

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Hail, Mary?

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I was raised a Catholic. Sunday Mass at our neighborhood Catholic Church was a regular part of the weekly observance of our religion. As a young boy I was taught the Catholic observance of Confession and Communion. For several years I served as an altar boy at daily and Sunday mass. In my late teens I even investigated the possibility of joining the Catholic priesthood.

Then as I was attending Catholic university, I began to read and study the Bible more than I had ever in all my years of Catholic upbringing. I saw things in the Bible that contradicted my Catholic religion. This led to my search for religious faith founded on the Bible, not on Catholic tradition.

In my search, one of the first things that I came to see is that there is no intermediary between God and man other than Jesus Christ. I had been taught that Mary, the mother of Jesus, is the mediator and advocate to intercede to God on our behalf. I had said the “Hail Mary” countless times at family rosary and in my nightly prayers. But in studying the Bible, I found that Jesus Christ is the true intercessor between God and man. Here are some key scriptures that confirm this.

“It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us,” (Romans 8:34).

“Therefore He (Jesus) is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them,” (Hebrews 7:25).

“For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us," (Hebrews 9:24).
The function of a mediator and an advocate is to intercede on behalf of others. The Catholic tradition I learned assigns this position to Mary. On the other hand, Scripture is plain about the identity of man’s true intercessor before God the Father. Mary is never mentioned in the Bible as an intercessor between God and man. The Bible teaches that anyone who comes to the Father must go through Jesus Christ. It is clear that the Lord Jesus Christ is the only intercessor between God and man.

My understanding of scripture has led me to reject the teachings of the Catholic Church in which I was raised. I concluded that its doctrines are not based on the Bible. Rather, they are based on the teachings of men apart from the Bible. I must therefore agree with Jesus’ statement directed at the Pharisees and apply it to the Catholic Church or any church that teaches man’s doctrine and not God’s.

“In vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men,” Matthew 15:9.
It is not me or any man that condemns the teaching of the Catholic Church. Rather, it is the Bible itself, the Word of God, with which Catholic doctrine does not agree.

There are many other doctrines in the Catholic theology that I learned as a child for which I could find no Biblical proof. In fact, many churches share beliefs in common with the Catholic Church that do not square with scripture. Among them are the observance of Sunday as the Lord’s Day instead of keeping holy the seventh day Sabbath; the teaching that the reward of the saved is heaven instead of living with Christ in a Kingdom that comes to earth; the belief in the Trinity, which does not define the true nature of God.  

Investigate further for yourself and you will find much in scripture contradicting the doctrines of the Catholic Church and many of the churches of our day.