The Immaculate (Mis)conception

I was recently corrected by a fellow blogger because I used the term “Immaculate Conception” in an erroneous way.  I always thought the term referred to Jesus’ conception, but it turns out that it refers to the false teaching that Mary was conceived without original sin.  My bad.

(As noted on the Sorry, but Mary can’t save you post, there is no biblical justification for Mary being sinless and plenty demonstrating that despite her unique role and great example she was a sinner in need of a Savior just like us.  If Mary “had” to be sinless, as many commenters claimed, then by that reasoning her parents had to have been sinless as well, and their parents, and so on.  And if she could have been sinless through some other means, then of course that could have applied to Jesus as well.  If you need more please read that thread.  I don’t want to replay that discussion here.)

But back to my mistake . . . there are a few takeaways from this experience.

Important life lesson: If you become sure that you are wrong about something then the best thing to do is quickly concede that point.  It is an effective strategy at work and at home.  Don’t let pride get in the way.  It just makes you look bad.

The person who corrected me was factual, polite and discreet, taking the time to gently correct me via email.  A comment on the blog would have been fine, but I appreciated his extra effort and friendly tone.  I let him know that I sincerely appreciated the correction.  I would have hated to continue using the term in error, so what he did was the loving, Christian thing.

Also, it is fun to point out to my critics that I’m not the rigid, dogmatic fundy they like to pretend I am.  You see, if you show me legitimate evidence that my views are wrong I will gladly change them.

It is just that I’ve exhaustively studied issues like abortion, oxymoronic “same sex marriage,” what the Bible teaches about human sexuality, the divinity of Jesus, the fact of Jesus’ resurrection, the exclusivity of Jesus, etc.  and am extremely confident that the facts support my views.  Is it possible, in a hyper-technical sense, that I could be wrong on any of those topics?  I suppose so, but the evidence just isn’t there to demonstrate that. 

But under no circumstance can they claim I’m not correctable.  I seriously doubt that they’ll be correctable on their false view that I’m not.  Abandoning life in Stereotype Land is just too hard for some people

Speaking of immaculate things, I do have faith in the Immaculate Reception and the Immaculate Interception.  Go Steelers!

0 thoughts on “The Immaculate (Mis)conception”

    1. Oops . . . uh . . . heh . . . sorry about that! I’ve been tempted to subtitle this blog Something To Offend Everyone.

      I like Warner, too. Just not as much as I like the Steelers. The first game I ever saw on TV was the Immaculate Reception game in 1972.

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    2. As a former Oilers fan, I think I have the right to be more offended than you do… blah, blah, typical liberal response here, blah, blah… 🙂

      But alas, I loved both clips… How many days until football season starts???

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  1. No Neil please say it ain’t so! I can take a lot of things but you being a Steelers fan is not one of them! 🙂

    Seriously, I always assumed the immaculate conception was in reference to Christ’s conception. In fact I believe a large percentage of non-Catholics believe it refers to that.

    I love how they dismiss the verses that talk about Christ’s blood relation brothers and sisters. She obviously conceived more children the natural way after Jesus.

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    1. “I believe a large percentage of non-Catholics believe it refers to that.”

      Not so much a comment to the commenter, but I see this idea as a problem. I cannot begin to count how many times I’ve seen people (both on my side and against it) argue for or against an idea they don’t actually understand. In this case, too many don’t know what “Immaculate Conception” actually means, so on what grounds can it be argued (pro or con)?

      We who believe we are commanded to stand for the truth ought to be careful we understand what is being argued before we take up our stance (for or against) because it is WAY too easy to misunderstand and, consequently, misinform. (In other words, perhaps we should be “quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger”. Oh, I guess that’s not an original idea, eh?

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      1. Good point. Though in this case I still believe Mary’s virginity at the time of Jesus birth. And I believe Mary’s parents conceived her the old fashioned way. Of course, I never use the term Immaculate Conception myself. I say “Jesus was born of a virgin.”

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  2. Hey Neil, don’t feel bad. For years and years I thought the Romanist “Immaculate Conception” thing was the conception of Christ. That was before I learned they thought Mary was sinless, at which point I was flabbergasted that anyone could teach such a silly idea!

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    1. I LOL’d.

      As soon as I started reading this blog post my thought was, “Oh man, if he is just figuring out that we believe Mary was sinless, this is going to be an absolute gem”

      I’ve had the privilege of being in the near presence of about 3 individuals when they learn that the Immaculate Conception refers to Mary, and that we believe she is sinless.

      It’s a bit of a guilty pleasure 😀

      The only greater guilty pleasure is being around an ignorant atheist when s/he learns “Yes, we really believe that Jesus REALLY arose from the dead, it’s not just a metaphor for overcoming adversity.”

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      1. To be clear, I knew you believed all sorts of anti-biblical things about Mary, including that you think she was sinless. I just didn’t realize the “immaculate conception” phrase applied to her.

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  3. Yep. I remember in Catholic grade school the nuns really hammering that point home, because even Catholics mix the two up. Conception of Jesus = Incarnation (I don’t recall the feast day). Conception of Mary = Immaculate Conception and it’s celebrated, if I recall correctly, on December 8th.

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  4. “I always thought the term referred to Jesus’ conception, but it turns out that it refers to the false teaching that Mary was conceived without original sin. My bad.”

    Don’t feel bad, I thought the same thing up until I was 25.

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  5. Mary in the Catholic church is not Mary but the Queen of Hevan and Isis and Venus.

    In egyptian mysteries Mary plays a very important part and in fact Isis is the saviour because she goes and gathers the 14 part of Osiris severed body. and reconstructs them ready for resurrection of Osiris or Horus.

    As the mysteries of being rediscovered we are going to see the return of Mary in the Protestant churches, I just listened to Phylis Tickle talking about a male and female god and the emerging church and churches like St John the Divine are well on their way to rediscovering the place for Mary.

    The Catholic church has a multilayered understanding of what Mary is al about.

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  6. I have no doubt that there are manypeecious Catholics who are truly saved believers; however this would require them to cut through all if not most of the man made, unScruptural lies taught by the Roman system. I come from a hyper-Catholic background but was gloriously saved by Christ in 2002 when I was thirteen. It has been a heavy burden upon my heart to see the lost of every and no religious belief–primarliy those I love–come to know Christ as I know Him. That has been my driving passion for the past seven years and will be until I leave this life for another.
    When I get baptized–not yet; since that implies assurance of salvation which, irony of ironies, I lack–I plan on inviting a bunch of people from my school and giving a Gospel message. If you could all pray that God will cause the date of the service to be one they can attend and that my message, in all its hard demands of self denial and daily slavery to Christ will pierce their hearts I would most appreciate it. Ioften pray for these, and perhaps God’s sovereign plan will be to draw, convict, and save them that night.
    I would also hope that I speak the truth but do so in compassion. Acting like Ann Coulter or any number of televangelists will only do more harm.
    I just want to see them all in Heaven some day.

    ~David

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  7. Neil writes,

    “Important life lesson: If you become sure that you are wrong about something then the best thing to do is quickly concede that point. It is an effective strategy at work and at home. Don’t let pride get in the way. It just makes you look bad.”

    As an addendum, I’ve found that the more I get into that habit of readily admitting I’m wrong, the easier it has become to admit that I’m wrong.

    It also makes finding new truths much more interesting and rewarding. Less fear of my preconceptions being wrong, etc.

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  8. About the whole Immaculate conception thing; most people ARE convinced it’s referring to our Loes’s conception-so much so I’ve actually had people argue with me about how I’m misunderstanding it!

    The idea is that in order for a sin nature to not be passed to Chris through His mother, Mary had to be conceived without the stain of original sin. One wonders why an infinitely powerful God simply could prevent Mary’s sin from being passed to Christ!

    I was listening to John MacArthur today (the GTY podcast on election) and he was saying sometimes, certain truths are inscrutable to our feeble minds and so, because we feel better if we can wrap our minds around them, deny that truth since we can’t comprehend it. For example, some might not understand how Christ is at once Almighty God and man. Since that is too confusing they might think, “oh, well, He must have been either all man or all God but not both at once.” (What I notice about this is that they always seem to deny His divinity instead of His humanity. It’s not often that we find someone saying He was fully God but not man!)

    Similarly, because it can be potentially confusing for the Savior to have a frail, human mother–a sinner like us–and since she thus had a sin nature and He had no physical father, it follows that they teach the Immaculate conception because a sinless God-Man being born of a devout but sinning woman was too confusing.

    I don’t say any of this to offend our Catholic friends, although I realize that this may be taken that way. When I was a Catholic, I was extremely offended when anyone dared question mother church’s teaching. I know that it can be hard for people to challenge your faith, any faith, you hold. Could I just ask that maybe you see how this lines up with God’s Word in the Bible? Investigate your own beliefs and see if they hold water. If they do, there is no reason to be afraid to find out the Truth.

    A slave of Jesus Christ,

    David

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