The Immaculate Conception,
A Stumbling Block For Protestants...

But Not For Catholics...

The Immaculate Conception:

The Blessed Virgin Mary is the "New Ark of the Covenant".
GOD was very meticulous as to how the Hebrews were to construct the wooden 'Ark of the Covenant' in Exodus 25. The Ark was destined to be the most sacred object on earth by GOD because it contained GOD'S "Word", written on the stone tablets handed down by Him to Moses. It was so sacred that Uzzah, who had good intentions, died instantly just by just touching it as it was about to tip over in 2Sam 6:2-8. Since the wooden Ark of the Old Testament was but a "type" of the "New Ark" of the New Testament, and therefore inferior to it, then how much more for merely a man not to touch the "New Ark of the Covenant"? What is reserved for GOD only, is GOD's only.

GOD and sin are mutually exclusive (Rev 21:27). Does not it stand to reason that when GOD created the "New Ark of the Covenant", the vessel that contained "His Word" (Jesus Christ, John 1:1) that He would be equally or more meticulous in creating it? Can GOD co-exist with original sin in the same vessel, the womb of Mary? That 'vessel', Mary, had to be worthy of the 'Treasure' she carried, Jesus The Christ, the Word Incarnate.
What is the purpose of Baptism? It is to remove the stain of original sin. When we are baptized, sin goes out and GOD comes in. Baptism to remove sin and allow GOD to come in was not instituted until after Jesus had started His ministry (John 3:22-23, 4:2).
So The Blessed Virgin had to have a stainless sin-free body and soul in order for GOD incarnate to dwell within her. GOD imputes the stain of original sin into the soul of each person He creates. However, He did not do so for His only Son. What makes you think He could not do so for His Son's mother as well?
Who was the first person to call Mary "Blessed"?
It was GOD Himself through the Angel Gabriel in Luke 1:28. If GOD said "Hail, full of Grace, the Lord is with thee", in the same verse, could Mary have been 'full of grace' or 'blessed' or have the 'Lord with her', had she been stained by original sin? If you say 'yes' to that one, then please explain your answer to me?
By being "full of Grace", and being told "the Lord is with thee", is she not higher than Eve who was never told these things? If so, was Eve created with original sin? No? Then why do you think Mary, who is higher than Eve, was born with original sin? Wouldn't having original sin make Mary lower than Eve? Eve is a "type" of Mary, who is the "antitype". "Types" are always inferior to "antitypes" and always point to a much greater reality, and never to a symbol.
GOD will not join Himself with anything defiled, Wis 1:4-5, Isa 59:1-4,
Rom 1:18-32, Rev 21:27.

For these reasons, Mary had to be immaculately conceived: Gen 3:15,
Ex 25:8-40, Psa *4:4,18:23,51:10, Psa 132:8, *Song 4:7, *Wis 1:4, Isa 59:2,
*Ez 44:1-3, Lk 1:28,42, *John 1:1 and 1:14 together, Eph 5:27, Tit 3:7.

Some non-Catholics have a problem with the Immaculate Conception of Mary. It is a major 'stumbling block' for them. They miss several very important points.
They try to bring GOD down to our human level in order to explain His ways. If they cannot explain it in a human way, then they say, "It simply could not have happened." This is as bad as to try to raise our human ways up to GOD's divine level. It simply cannot be done. They fail to realize that GOD's ways are not our ways, nor are GOD's thoughts our thoughts'. Isa 55:8-11

The first Protestant had this to say of the Blessed Virgin Mary:

"It is a sweet and pious belief that the infusion of Mary's soul was effected without original sin; so that in the very infusion of her soul she was also purified from original sin and adorned with God's gifts, receiving a pure soul infused by God; thus from the first moment she began to live she was free from all sin."
Martin Luther, (Sermon: "On the Day of the Conception of the Mother of God," 1527).

Isn't it strange that most of Protestantism does not believe in the Immaculate Conception today?
Who was the first Protestant to discard this doctrine in which the founder of Protestantism believed?
Jesus Christ was born without original sin since He is GOD.
John the Baptist was born without original sin also. Luke 1:15
Why then could anyone say that the Mother of GOD could not have been immaculately conceived?

The human way is inadequate to explain the ways of GOD:

The finite human mind is woefully inadequate to comprehend the infinite mind of GOD.

Do you believe the doctrine of the Holy Trinity? Why?
Is the doctrine defined in the Bible?
No, it is not.
Can anyone explain the doctrine of the Holy Trinity in a human way?
How can there be three persons in one GOD?
Since you believe in the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, which is not defined in the Bible, and cannot be defined in a human way,
why do you not believe in the Immaculate Conception under the same conditions?

Do you believe Jesus Christ has both a divine and a human nature? Why?
How can there be two natures of Jesus Christ co-existing together, with the divine knowing all things as in John 21:17,
and the human having to learn and gain wisdom as in Luke 2:52? Try to explain it in a human way?

Do you believe in creation? Why?
Explain the act of creation with all visible things being made out of nothing.
Science, the human way, tells you that you have to at least have atoms with which to start.

Do you believe Jesus Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit with the co-operation of a little Jewish girl named Mary? Why?
Explain the conception of Jesus Christ in a human way. Where did the 'seed' of man come from?

Theotokos Doctrine:

Theotokos is Greek and it's meaning is 'GOD Bearer'. And who is the 'GOD Bearer'? Mary, the Mother of GOD. Who else bore GOD? This is shown in John 1:1, "...and the Word was GOD", and in John 1:14, "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us." So the Word, who was GOD, was made flesh. Where did the substance of the flesh come from? It came from the substance of Mary. Could the substance of the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ come from a person stained by original sin?
Mothers give birth to persons, not natures. The person of Jesus Christ is divine, not human. Mary gave birth to a divine person. That makes her the 'Theotokos', the 'GOD Bearer', the 'Mother of GOD'.

In Luke 1:41-43, '...Elizabeth, being filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb! And how have I deserved that the MOTHER OF MY LORD should come to me?'"
Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, called Mary the 'Mother of my Lord'. Since being 'filled with the Holy Spirit' means the same throughout the Bible, then it was the Holy Spirit who gave her the words to say, isn't that true?
"And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in foreign tongues, even as the Holy Spirit prompted them to speak," Acts 2:4.
Who is 'my Lord', is it not GOD? Did she then not call Mary, the 'MOTHER OF GOD'? If that is what she said, then the Holy Spirit called Mary the 'Mother of GOD' did He not? If you say 'no' to these questions in this paragraph, then please explain your reason(s) why to me.
If the third person of the Holy Trinity called Mary the 'Mother of GOD', would any one of us dare to deny it?
Can the 'Mother of GOD' have original sin on her soul?

The doctrine of Mary, the 'Mother of GOD' was first proclaimed by the Church at the Council of Ephesus in 431.
I will ask you, 'Will GOD join Himself to anything defiled'?

There are two ways to handle a disease:

It can be cured by treatment, and it can be dealt with by prevention.
Original sin can be seen as a disease of the soul and can be handled two ways. It can be cleansed away by Baptism, the cure, or it can be prevented by the grace of GOD. This preventative way is what we Catholics believe was bestowed upon Mary.
When conception occurs, GOD creates the soul for the one conceived. It was a simple matter for the Creator of the Universe to prevent original sin from staining the human soul of Jesus Christ, and He no doubt, did the same thing for Mary when she was conceived.

Isaiah 64:8, "And now, O Lord, Thou art Our Father, and we are clay; and Thou art our maker, and we all are the works of Thy hands."
Jeremiah 18:4-6, "And the vessel was broke which he was making of clay with his hands; and turning he made another vessel, as it seemed good in his eyes to make it. Then the Word of the Lord came to me saying: 'Cannot I do with you as this potter, O house of Israel, said the Lord? Behold as clay is in the hand of the potter, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel."

So GOD is the Potter, and we are the clay to mold as He sees fit.

Romans 9:21,

The Potter and the Clay, and Romans 9:21 give Biblical justification to the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception.

"For nothing is impossible with GOD." Luke 1:37.
Remember He knew she would become the mother of the Word Incarnate.

Venerable Pope Pius IX declared the dogma of the Immaculate Conception on December 8, 1854:

The decree of the bull reads:
"Accordingly, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, for the honor of the Holy and undivided Trinity, for the glory and adornment of the Virgin Mother of GOD, for the exaltation of the Catholic faith and for the furtherance of the Catholic religion, by the authority of Jesus Christ Our Lord, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul and our own, we declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instant of her Conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty GOD, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by GOD and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful."

The 'Blessed Virgin Mary' appeared to St. Bernadette in Lourdes France only four years later in 1858. When St. Bernadette asked her name, Blessed Mary replied, "I AM THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION." This confirmed the dogma.

This doctrine of the Immaculate Conception is no "stumbling block" for Catholics.
Why is it one for some non-Catholics?

Written by Bob Stanley, December 3, 1997
Updated March 13, 2004

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