Wednesday, August 14, 2013

RE:Bodily Assumption of Mary


    This refutation is going to operate a little differently than the previous ones and there are a few reasons for that:
-Unlike the other articles I talk about, CARM did get a few facts right. Don’t misunderstand: their overall conclusion is still wrong but this is a case of getting things wrong because of little errors instead of big errors.
-Unlike the other articles, CARM asks questions in the middle of the article in question, which I will gladly answer.

Anyway, here is the article in question: 

The Bodily Assumption of Mary is the Roman Catholic teaching that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was bodily assumed into heaven.
(True, but this is also believed by Eastern Orthodox and even some branches of Anglicans and Lutherans.)
Some Roman Catholics maintain that Mary physically died and was then assumed bodily into heaven, while others teach that she did not experience death at all.
(I don’t know who these other Catholics are, but when the teaching was declared a dogma, the statement flat out said she did die a physical death.) 
The consensus seems to be that Mary died, but that her body did not see corruption and was instead assumed into heaven. 
(I don’t see what CARM intends with this one. Are we supposed to be surprised God did this for somebody in the NT? It’s not like it hasn’t happened before: Gen. 5:24, Heb. 11:5, 2 Kings 2:11-12; 1 Mac 2:58)
For such a supremely important dogma of the Church that must be believed to be a faithful Christian, one would think that it would be found in God's Inspired Word, the Bible.  But, it is not.  There isn't a single mention in God's word…So, if it isn't in the Bible, where did the Roman Catholic church get this teaching?

(Let’s get a few things straight: the Bible doesn’t have to flat out say something in order for it to be true. For example, we don’t see the Bible use the terms Holy Trinity or Incarnation but that doesn’t stop Christians from believing them, does it?”)
The Roman Catholic scholar Michael O'Carroll explains that Epiphanius (4th Century), a Church Father, gives the earliest mention of anything concerning the end of Mary's Life when he says regarding Epiphanius' mention of Mary in A.D. 377,
"In a later passage, he [Epiphanius] says that she [Mary] may have died and been buried, or been killed - as a martyr. 'Or she remained alive, since nothing is impossible with God and he can do whatever he desires; for her end no one knows.'" 
In light of this evidence, it is obvious that the Roman Catholic dogma of the Assumption of Mary has no early attestation. 
(Where does CARM get off saying that? That’s not what Epiphanius said at all. Here’s what he really said:
“If the Holy Virgin had died and was buried, her falling asleep would have been surrounded with honour, death would have found her pure, and her crown would have been a virginal one...Had she been martyred according to what is written: 'Thine own soul a sword shall pierce', then she would shine gloriously among the martyrs, and her holy body would have been declared blessed; for by her, did light come to the world."
So…how about it CARM? Why is there no shrine dedicated to where she’s buried?”)
 In fact, the first reasonable mention, according to the Roman Catholic Church, is found in St. John Damascene who lived in the 700's. 
(Nope. Wrong. First mention is in Gregory of Tours, Eight Books of Miracles, believed to be written between 575 and 593)
This is a blatantly obvious historical (not to mention biblical) vacuum concerning Mary's Assumption.  Obviously, such a dogma, such an all important essential of the Christian church, would have been mentioned by at least some of the Church Fathers within the first few centuries.  But, it wasn't.  Why?  Because it wasn't taught and it is not a true doctrine of Christianity.
(So the basis for whether it is a true teaching is if it’s mentioned by any Church Father? By that logic, we shouldn’t believe in what books should be in the Bible so no Church Father mentions a list.)
  If The Bodily Assumption of Mary is a dogma, why is it not found in any of the early church Father's writings until St. John of Damascene in the 8th Century?
(But it was found in at least seven Church Father works even earlier than John. One could even argue it was mentioned in Revelation 12:1)
  If The Bodily Assumption of Mary is a dogma, why does the early church father Epiphanius say that regarding the end of her earthly life, that no one knows what happened to Mary?
(That’s not what he said at all.)
Romans 6:23 says the wages of sin is death, and 1 Cor. 15:56 says that "The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law."  If Mary was sinless, why did she die?
(to conform in all things to her Son, an example for us all to follow. Why does CARM find this so hard to understand?)

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