Who is Mary, the mother of Jesus? According to the Roman Catholic Church, she was the only person other than Jesus who was born without original sin, she remained a virgin throughout her life, she was assumed into heaven, she is to receive prayer and devotion, she is a mediatory between God and man, and she dispenses grace to those in need. In their reaction to Roman Catholic excesses, many Protestants have ignored Mary altogether.
I found this on a website the other day and it caught my eye. I have family and friends who are catholic, but I have never really paid attention to what all the differences are between Christianity and Roman Catholics. I knew there were several differences that I don’t agree with, but I had no clue this is what they thought about Mary. I will say that the website this was on was not pro Roman Catholic.
For the longest time, I used to consider Catholics as another sect of Christianity. I never thought otherwise about it. They believe in God and Jesus, so they must be Christian. I saw a survey that showed the percentage of the population that belonged to each religion and Roman Catholic was separate than Christianity. That was my first notion that we were not the same. I knew Jehovah Witnesses weren’t part of Christianity nor Mormons, but their beliefs were so different than Christians I could see it.
I wonder if we naturally assume that everyone is like us. Do we just see that we all have similar beliefs so we think we are basically the same? When does it get to the point that we have to separate ourselves out from others?
God uses everyone to do His will, so isolating ourselves from other religious groups doesn’t seem like the best plan of action. Mormons were one of the few groups that accomplished a lot after Katrina. Just because we don’t share the same beliefs, shouldn’t we still be working with them if they are doing the will of God?
That is the challenge for us. The danger to the believer doesn’t come in associating with non-believers. The danger comes from the believer not being grounded in their own beliefs and being swayed by the beliefs from other religious groups. Working with Mormons to help suffering people will not get me thrown out of the kingdom. If I start believing that I will be god over my own planet, then I need to be afraid.