What Roman Catholics Really Believe: The Assumption

Today, Roman Catholics celebrate a holiday known as “The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary,” or simply, The Assumption. A Practical Catholic Dictionary describes the Assumption as:

“The taking into Heaven of the body of the Blessed Virgin Mary soon after her death. The word assumption comes from the Latin word assumere (to take up) and the body of the blessed Virgin Mary, who was free from original sin and so was not subject to death in the same way that creatures are, was taken into heaven and united to her soul. The Feast of the Assumption is August 15 and is a holyday of obligation in the United States. 

“Belief in Our Lady’s Assumption goes back to early Christian days. On November 1, 1950, Pope Pius XII defined the Assumption as a dogma of the Church. See dogma. A new Proper for the Mass for the day shows Mary in her bodily glory. The Introit begins, ‘A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon was under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.’ Apocalpse XII 1.'” (A Practical Catholic Dictionary, p. 29).

You may note that the Roman Catholic Church teaches the Virgin Mary was “free from original sin” and therefore not subject to death the way normal human beings are. This is the strongest evidence that the Virgin Mary and Mary, the mother of Jesus, are not the same person, as the Bible teaches that after Mary gave birth to the Lord Jesus, she went to Jerusalem to make a sin offering:

“And when the days of her [Mary’s] purification were accomplished, they brought Him [Jesus] to Jerusalem, to present Him to the Lord…And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.” (Luke 2:22,24).

“Law of the Lord” is referring to Deuteronomy Chapter 12, where God commands that after a woman gives birth, after the days of her purifying, she should go to the priest with a lamb to be offered upon the altar as an atonement:

“And when the days of her purifying are fulfilled, for a son or for a daughter, she shall bring a lamb of the first year for a burnt offering, and a young pigeon, or a turtledove, for a sin offering, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, unto the priest:

And if she be not able to bring a lamb, then she shall bring two turtles, or two young pigeons; the one for the burnt offering, and the other for a sin offering: and the priest shall make an atonement for her…” (Deuteronomy 12:6,8).

If Mary, the mother of Jesus, were sinless, then there would have been no need for her to make a sin offering for an atonement, as she would not have needed to atone for any sins. Clearly, then, Mary, the mother of our Lord, was born into sin like the rest of us: it was the Lord Jesus who was without sin. The Roman Catholic Virgin Mary, therefore, being without sin, could not be the mother of Jesus Christ, but another Mary.

It is interesting that the Roman Catholic church claims that belief in the Assumption “goes back to early Christian days,” because the Bible, the oldest surviving record of the beliefs and practices of the early Christian Church, does not mention the death of Mary, the mother of Jesus, let alone the Assumption.

That is not the only puzzlement with the doctrine of the Assumption. The Lord Jesus Christ Himself declared that “No man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of Man, which is in heaven” (John 3:13).

When the Lord Jesus said, “No man,” He was using the inclusive masculine: that is, “No man or woman. This is the same “no man” the Lord Jesus uses in John 14:6 when He said, “No man [or woman] cometh unto the Father but by me.” Jesus had not yet been crucified, resurrected, or ascended, when He said this, so it is clear that He was speaking about eternity past and eternity future. In other words, Jesus was saying that no one had or ever would descend from heaven or ascended into heaven, but Himself.

If the doctrine of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary is true, therefore, then the Lord Jesus Christ is a liar. The Word of God says, “Let God be true, but every man a liar” (Romans 3:4).

Be encouraged and look up, for your redemption draweth nigh.

TSM

 

 

 

 

 

 

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