Exposing the Grail Message

The first Grail message adherent I met on a personal level was Fola. We were course mates in the university and were posted to the same state camp for NYSC in 2011.

I had assumed she was a Christian until she admitted being a “cross bearer.” At my request, she loaned me her Grail message book, In the Light of Truth by Ab-dru-shin. Reading through it, I realized its content wasn’t really different from most mystical or New Age books.

Now, when you have the truth of the Bible, the reality of Jesus Christ and the witness of the Holy Spirit in you, you won’t fall for the philosophies in such writings.

You can’t possess gold and start to crave for dross, unless you are blind or ignorant.

In this piece, I will be pointing out several snares in the Grail message and its movement. Their Nigerian website says:

The Grail Movement is not a legal organization, but a collective term for conceptual efforts to spread the knowledge of the Grail Message and to realise it in all walks of life.”

The British website states that the Grail foundation serves “to further the public welfare in the spiritual and ethical spheres through dissemination of the work, In the Light of Truth: The Grail Message, and the spiritual and ethereal knowledge therein transmitted.”

The Grail movement originated in Germany in the late 1940s, inspired by the works of the self-proclaimed messiah, Oskar Ernst Bernhardt (pen/craft name: Abd-dru-shin). Oskar was born near Dresden in 1875 but was interned in the Isle of Man during WW 1. There, his mysticism began.

In 1928, he completed his Grail writings, but was expelled from Austria and had his work banned by the Nazi government. They were finally published in 1945, four years after his death.

Other books used in the Grail movement are The Ten Commandments: The Lord’s Prayer, Book of Javada and Ephesus.

Today, Grail teachings have covered about 22 African countries garnering about 10,000 members. In Nigeria presently, there are over 3,500 adherents (persons who have been “sealed” or initiated into the circle) and many more readers and supporters.

In the Light of Truth: The Grail Message book, has been translated into 16 languages and has spread over 90 countries.

Grail adherents call themselves “cross bearers” and they often wear a cross enclosed in a circle (also seen at Grail temples). They usually gain recruits through public lectures and media broadcast.

New applicants or readers are directed to study the 3 volumes of the Grail Message and subsequently invited to face a panel of judges who drill them with questions to assess if they are “evolved” or mature enough to be “sealed” into the Grail circle or still need to undergo further orientation.

Grail temples have weekly hours of worship (which includes Sundays) and Grail festivals (thrice in a year) during which members to-be are “sealed.” Non-cross bearers are not allowed to be part of their worship.

Some non-Christians (and uninformed Christians) think the Grail Movement is just another Christian denomination, or at least, a sect, but a cursory reading of their materials quickly divests one of such an idea. Their antagonistic stance against Christianity is rather conspicuous:

“Do not allow yourselves to be confused by those men and also churches who have already long ago surrendered to Antichrist … No wonder then, that he could penetrate to the altars, and that representatives of earthly religions, also of the Christian churches were bound to become his victims … Observe his dubious methods in defence and attack; for he will once more make use of only of slander and insinuation since his followers are incapable of doing anything else” (Grail Message, 1, ch. 3).

“And this present, only apparently harmless form was born out of the same unspeakable spiritual arrogance of the representatives of all churches, as hitherto. And where this damnable arrogance is not present there is to be found an empty conceit based on the earthly power of the churches.”

“Every Catholic thinks himself far better before God than a Protestant without there being any cause for it, but every Protestant thinks himself more enlightened, more advanced, and thus nearer to his God than the Catholic! … Both parties are fools, who rely on something that does not count in the least before the Will of God!

An icy blast will sweep them away like worthless chaff; for they lack pure humility within themselves … By their nature they are the worst misusers of the Name of ‘God,’ the most flagrant transgressors of the Second Commandment! They all serve Lucifer, not God! And thus they scorn all the Commandments of God!” (The Ten Commandments of God, Sunday Punch, December 2015, 9).

Indeed, the Grail movement is rabidly anti-Christian. Jesus said “whoever is not against us is for us” (Mk. 9:40). By opposing Christianity, the Grail message shows it’s from the spirit of lies.

Scripture says: “We (Christians) are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood” (1 Jn. 4:6).

Those quotes above also establish the Grail movement as a cult.

In his work, What is a Cult? renowned cult expert Ronald Enroth, laid out some identifying marks of cults. “Their beliefs, practices, and values are counter to those of the dominant culture. They often place themselves in an adversarial role vis-a-vis major social institutions” (What is a Cult? Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 1981 p. 18).

In other words, for a person to actually embrace the Grail movement and its teachings, he/she must have already had a level of underlying opposition or hostility against mainstream Christianity.

Notice that in the first quote, the reader is told to dismiss any criticism of the Grail message as “slander and insinuation” from the Antichrist. Persecution complex is a tool commonly deployed by many cults to control their followers:

“Perceived persecution is one of the hallmarks of virtually all new [cultic] religious movements. Their literature, public statements and in-house indoctrination all convey the theme that in one form or another their group is being singled out for persecution – by mainstream Christians, the president, parents or the government” (What is a Cult? p. 22).

The preface to In the Light of Truth issues this warning:

“Religious fanatics and irresponsible enthusiasts may hold aloof, for they are detrimental to the Truth. As for the malevolent and prejudiced, they shall find their sentence in the very words.”

This is a preemptive threat aimed at fostering blind subjection of the mind in the reader.

If the Grail message is the truth; if it’s a word for mankind to find the right path and lead them to the longed for height, then Oskar need not try to deter critics, fanatics or the prejudiced from sifting through it.

In the Bible, God allowed even Satan to quote from His Word. A divine revelation is never afraid of criticism. Pure gold does not fear test from the hottest fire but is in fact, refined by it.

The Bible has survived intense attacks from religious fanatics, irresponsible enthusiasts and the malevolent, yet it’s still very alive “reviving the soul” and “making wise the simple” (Ps. 19:7).

By appealing to only readers who are willing to put their brains beneath Abdrushin’s toes, the Grail message evinces another feature of destructive cults: esotericism.

Grail adherents believe they are seeking “ascent to the luminous height” while others outside are “spiritually inferior and indolent” people.

They typically assert that the Grail message is an extension of Christ’s teachings, although in a more developed form. “Developed,” because the Gospel writers supposedly never met Christ, hence the Bible is incomplete and riddled with contradictions, until Oskar brought the real thing in the 20th century.

How could Oskar, a 20th century mystic who wasn’t an eye witness to any Biblical event, offer a superior account than the inspired first century Gospel accounts penned by “eyewitnesses of His majesty” (2 Pet. 1:16)? Not possible.

The validity of the New Testament is based upon the facts of fulfillment of prophecies, symbolism and typology of the Old Testament. Therefore, if the Grail message is to be received as divine, it must meet the test of being in complete agreement with the Holy Scriptures as found in the Bible.

Logically, since the Bible was before the Grail message and the Grail message – to an extent – appeals to the Bible, then whenever there is a conflict between the two, the newer and lesser (Grail message) must give way to the older and greater (the Bible).

Therefore, a fair and rational person must reject the Grail message if it contradicts the Bible. Here are some examples of these contradictions:

a] Another Christ

“Jesus was procreated physically, otherwise an earthly birth would not have been possible … With this gross material act of baptism, the beginning of the Mission was firmly anchored in the World of Gross Matter. The bandage fell. From the moment Jesus himself was conscious that He was to carry the Word of the Father among mankind on earth” (1, p. 82)

Jesus is eternal; He wasn’t created. He has been from “eternity past” (Mic. 5:8). Jesus had been a Messiah from birth and He knew who He was even at age 12, long before being baptised (Lk. 2:49).

The Old Testament gave many precise prophecies about the birth, lineage, ministry, and mission of Christ centuries before He came in the flesh. Lastly, Jesus didn’t “carry” the Word of God, He is really the Word made flesh (Jn. 1:14).

b] Denial of Christ’s atonement

“Neither was the death on the cross a necessary sacrifice, but a murder, a dastardly crime … Christ certainly did not come to the earth with the intention of letting Himself be crucified; neither does redemption lie in the crucifixion!” (1, ch. 55)

On the contrary, Jesus is presented as “the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world” (Jn. 1:29). God’s plan has been that Jesus would “give his life as a ransom for many” (Mt. 20:28).

He said: “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father” (Jn. 10:18).

c] Denial of Christ’s resurrection

“The physical body of the Redeemer followed the same course that every other physical body has to follow in accordance with the Natural Laws of the Creator. Consequently, Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, did not rise again in the flesh” (2 ch. p. 48).

Since Jesus is the God-Man, He is above natural laws. Only His physical body died – not His spirit nor soul – and only His body rose again. He told His disciples, “It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see me I have” (Lk. 24:49).

Every instance of resurrection in the Bible is a return to life of physical bodies. Jesus’ case wasn’t an exception.

d] Fictitious stories

Three kings found their way to the stable and presented earthly gifts; but then they went away, leaving without protecting the child whose earthly path should have smoothed with their wealth and power…” (1, p 82)

The number of the wise men (they weren’t kings) from the East wasn’t given. They could have been more than three. God – not men – protected Jesus as a child.

It continues:

“Disquietude drove Mary away from Nazareth, and Joseph seeing her silent suffering and longing, granted her wish solely to make her happy. He handed over the management of his carpenter’s shop to his oldest employee… in the course of their everyday life of works and cares; the meaning of the Radiant Star faded from their minds… it was only on his [Joseph’s] deathbed that … [he] saw in passing the Cross and the Dove above Jesus Who stood alone at his bedside” (ch. 1, 82)

Who was the eye-witness to these events? These are concocted stories without a shred of historical documentation.

e] Panentheism

This is the belief that God and the universe are one. Thus, most New Age religion often reference “the universe” in place of God since their god is an impersonal force that animates all in the universe. This is also seen in the Grail book:

The physical bodies merely act as spiritually animated instruments, which themselves only took shape through the power of the spirit. The same applies to trees, stones, and the whole earth. Everything is animated, permeated and driven by the Creator spirit” (1, p. 39).

God spoke other things into existence, but man received “the breath of life” which made him “a living soul” (Gen. 2:7). God is separate and distinct from the works of His hands. The universe was created by God, it’s not God.

Only pagans believe the delusion that “God” permeates trees, animals, rocks and the universe. The God of the Grail message is not the God of the Bible.

f] Karma

“You can then joyfully start working off all your karmic burden. What you do for your neighbour you do in reality only for yourselves! Solely for yourselves, since according to the Eternal Law everything returns to you without fail, good or evil, either already here or there” (1, pp. 29-31).

But the Bible teaches forgiveness as a gift God offers by grace to all who trust in the perfect sacrifice of Christ (Rom. 5:15; 6:23). Belief in Karma is illogical, unbiblical and amoral. It is an erroneous belief that emanated from Hinduism.

g] Salvation by works

Therefore free yourself! Do not delay a single hour in setting a limit to this enforced atonement! The honest volition for what is good, for something better, reinforced by a truly heartfelt prayer, will bring redemption!” (1, ch. 7)

This sounds a lot like a satanist’s creed:

“Here and now is our day of joy! Here and now is our opportunity! Choose ye this day, this hour, for no redeemer liveth. Say unto thine own heart, ‘I am mine own redeemer'” (Anton LaVey, The Satanic Bible, p. 33).

But God’s Word says: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” (Eph. 2:8).

h] Sexual liberty

“There will be far less unhappiness if people will only free themselves from the error of the merits of sexual continence. Compulsory continence is an interference which may have dire consequences … Suppression is unnatural” (2, ch. 14).

What a free license for sexual immorality! The book says there is a “continual conflict with the natural instincts” which “consumes a great part of the person’s spiritual powers, keeping them in constraint so that they cannot be active in other directions. Hence the free unfolding of these spiritual powers is hindered.”

Lastly, it says sex is a “necessary process of an intimate fusion and a mutual exchange of vibrations, thus producing greater power.”

This idea is well-entrenched in the beliefs and practices of both ancient and modern pagan fertility cults, and it’s straight from the Evil one (1 Cor. 6:18).

i] Occult powers

“Through the continuing good volition in every thought and deed, a constant reinforcement also flows retroactively from the homogeneous source of power, so that the good becomes more and more firmly established in man himself, emerges from him and first of all forms accordingly the ethereal surrounding that envelops him like a protective covering” (1, p. 41).

This is a classic occult concept which involves creating a psychic shield. Some call it psychic vibrations or protective energies. In the Grail message, they are taught that every living thing has its own spiritual vibration and when your vibration homogenizes with another, your spiritual covering is sustained.

Such metaphysical nonsense are the lies of the devil. The only safe and secure protection is in Jesus Christ and His finished work at the cross. Any other supposed protection is a grand deception.

Drawing on the Arthurian legend of the “holy Grail” the book overtly introduces its readers to the spirit world and the spirits therein:

“Far above the eternal cycle of Creation, there floats like a crown in the centre, an ‘Azure land,’ the abode of the blessed, of the purified spirits; who may already dwell in the Regions of Light! This island is separate from the world. [There stands] the Grail Castle … Light of Greatest Glory and harbours the Sacred Vessel of the Pure Love of the Almighty, the Grail!” (1 p. 77)

In witchcraft, the chalice or cauldron represents the great goddess Astarte/Venus/Ashtaroth (called by many names).

Grail adherents observe three annual festivals: Festival of the Holy Dove, Festival of the Pure Lily and Festival of Love/Radiant Star.

The lily festival is said to be especially for women. The star, dove as well as the cross have esoteric meanings within the Grail movement and other occult groups.

A Grail adherent noted that lily and rose symbolize “two female figures of Light Awe; through whom God out pours His gracious powers of Love and Purity.”

Apparently, these emblems represent the two demonic queens in Satan’s kingdom: Asherah (queen of the coast) and Astarte (queen of heaven) respectively. Oskar himself wrote:

“Certainly, there is a Queen of Heaven, Who according to earthly conceptions could also be called the Primordial Mother, and Who yet possesses the purest virginity … since the human spirit can only see the spiritual, from which it has emerged, it is unable to behold the Primordial Queen, Who is of a much higher species. But should anyone ever be so blessed, it would be possible to see Her spiritually radiated picture … This, however appears lifelike, and can be so strong even in its radiation, that it works miracles wherever it finds the soil prepared for it…” (1, p. 50)

If you are seeking an interaction with a false god, false Christ and demonic entities, then you need the Grail message.

But if you want truth, peace, eternal life and a relationship with the true God, study and meditate on the Bible.

The Perpetual Virginity: Facts To Consider

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The dogma of Mary’s perpetual virginity says that she remained a virgin till the end of her life. The Catholic Catechism explains:

The deepening of faith in the virginal motherhood led the Church to confess Mary’s real and perpetual virginity even in the act of giving birth to the Son of God made man. In fact, Christ’s birth ‘did not diminish his mother’s virginal integrity but sanctified it.’ And so the liturgy of the Church celebrates Mary as Aeiparthenos, the “Ever virgin” (1: 499).

Many Catholics ask why we do not hold to this dogma. The reason is simple: it lacks a justifiable evidence, so it would be irrational and irresponsible to believe it.

It’s just like someone asking me if I believe in the tooth fairies and I answer “No,” and I’m being told to “prove it.” Prove what? The burden of proof is not on me to disprove the existence of tooth fairies.

I don’t believe in them for the simple reason that there is no credible evidence to support their existence. I don’t have to produce an evidence against their existence.

The same applies to the perpetual virginity dogma. It’s the Catholics making the claim who need to prove it. Evangelicals are not under any obligation to disprove a dogma for which there’s no evidence in the first place.

However, we can point to several facts that invalidate this belief showing that it can only be believed by those deeply committed to Rome’s fiction.

1. God had predicted that Mary would have other children and the Messiah would have brothers:

I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother’s children” (Psa. 69:8-9).

The perpetual virginity dogma can only be sustained by ignoring this Bible prophecy.

2. If the birth of Jesus didn’t “diminish his mother’s virginal integrity” as the above quote says, then what does this denote?

Does it mean that Jesus passed through the birth canal without rupturing the hymen? Did He temporarily dematerialize or was it the hymen that momentarily dematerialized for this to be possible?

Let’s suppose that Jesus was born without passing through the birth canal, how then was He born?  Was it through a miraculous C-section or teleportation?

To suggest that Jesus circumvented the normal birthing process is Biblically objectionable.

3. Jesus is called Mary’s “firstborn son” (Matt. 1:25) and the natural conclusion is that she had other children.

The Greek word for firstborn (prototokos) is used in that text. If Jesus had been the only son Mary had, the Greek word used would have been monogenes which means “only.” It occurs as “only son” (Lk. 7:12) “only daughter” (Lk. 8:42) or “only child” (Lk. 9:38) in the NT.

4. The Gospels plainly state that Jesus had four brothers (mentioned by name) and at least 3 sisters (Mt. 13:55,56; Mk. 6:3).

Catholic apologists usually quote Jerome, who claimed that these were actually Christ’s cousins.

It is argued that Matthew and Mark had to use the Greek word for brother/sister (adelphos/adelphai) because neither Hebrew nor Aramaic had a word for “cousin” and the Jews had the custom of referring to all relatives as brothers/sisters.

They cite examples from the Septuagint, but none from the New Testament, because there are none.

There are two Greek words used for cousins in the NT: anepsios and sungenis. Neither of them were used in Matthew 13:22-56.

The New Catholic Encyclopedia admits that the Greek words adelphos and adelphai “have the full meaning of full brother and sister in the Greek-speaking world of the Evangelist’s time and would naturally be taken by his Greek reader in this sense. Towards the end of the 4th century (c. 380), Helvidius in a work now lost, pressed this fact in order to attribute to Mary other children besides Jesus so as to make her a model for mothers of large families. St Jerome, motivated by the Church’s traditional faith in Mary’s perpetual virginity wrote a tract against Helvidius (A.D. 383)…” (Vol. IX, 337)

5. If the Bible writers used the words for relatives and brothers interchangeably, the Greek word syggenon would have been used in Luke 21:16, not adelphoi.

In Colossians 4:10, anepsios was rightly used for Barnabas’ cousin, so the Catholic argument doesn’t stand. The facts show that “cousins” and “brothers” were not used interchangeably.

If the word “mother” is taken literally in Matthew 13:55-56, why not the word “brethren?” Catholics can only resort to such semantic acrobatics because of their commitment to perpetual virginity in spite of contrary evidence.

6. Mary and her other children are introduced as “His mother and His brethren” (Mt. 12:46-50, Mk. 3:31, Jn. 2:12), indicating that they were her children in her care, or if grown, travelling with her as part of the immediate family.

There is no way that the children of some other woman would be following Mary as “His brethren.”

7. If Mary and Joseph never consummated their marriage, then it wasn’t really a marriage after all, but an extended betrothal.

Some Catholic scholars claim that Mary’s perpetual virginity is the hallmark of celibacy. How did this happen? If she took a vow of virginity and then married Joseph, this would have amounted to treachery and contempt on the marriage covenant.

Even Catholicism does not allow a wife to take a vow of continence at her own pleasure. This would also have contradicted the Bible that state that marital conjugal duties are God-ordained (1 Cor. 7:21-24, Heb. 13:4).

When Mary said to the angel “How can this be since I know not a man,” she was only referring to her condition at that time (Lk. 1:34).

8. Perhaps the most outstanding proof against Mary’s perpetual virginity is the “until” clause in Matthew 1:25. Joseph “knew her not until” Christ was born.

The Greek word here is eos ou and it’s used also in Matt. 17:3, Luke 24:4a. It refers to a point in time when the action of the main verb comes to an end.

For instance, the appearance of Moses and Elijah and the angels at the tomb was only for a limited situation. The event later reversed itself.

In the same vein, Joseph didn’t know Mary until after she had given birth to Jesus, then they had sexual relations. To suggest he kept her a virgin all through her life is illogical.

9. Some Catholic apologists quote the apocryphal Apocalypse of James to support this dogma. Of course James wasn’t the author of that legend, it’s just a desperate tool Rome is forced to utilize.

James is called “the Lord’s brother” (Gal. 1:19) and the Bible says “His brethren” didn’t believe in Him until after His resurrection (Jn. 7:3-10, Acts 1:14). Certainly, these “brethren” were the other children Mary had.

Even Josephus the historian, affirms that Jesus had at least one brother:

“He (Ananus) converted the council of judges and brought it before the brother of Jesus – the one called ‘Christ’ – whose name was James, and certain others. Accusing them of transgressing the Law, he delivered them up for stoning” (Antiquities 20.9-1, 200-201).

Quoting the opinions of some church fathers as support proves nothing. They didn’t conduct a pelvic examination for Mary. Some of them, like Origen, Tertullian and Victorinus even rejected the perpetual virginity belief.

Yes, some of the Reformers held to this heresy, but Protestants don’t base their beliefs “on the consent of the Reformers” neither do we hold them as infallible.

The perpetual virginity doctrine wasn’t taught until about 5 centuries after Christ and it was not until the Lateran Council (649 A.D.) that it became an official belief.

10. The legend that Joseph had other children from a previous marriage is self-refuting. If Jesus wasn’t the firstborn of Joseph, he would never had been the legal stepfather of Jesus, and Jesus’ human ancestry would not have been traced through Joseph (Mt. 1:16).

If Joseph had children before Jesus was born, then He couldn’t be the legal heir to David’s throne, which went by law to the firstborn.

The reason Rome persists in this doctrine is because it’s too deeply rooted to be weeded out.

It was a doctrine aimed at modelling the Catholic Mary after old pagan virgin goddesses like the Egyptian Isis, the Greek Artemis, the German Hertha, the Etruscan Nutria and the Druid Virgo Partitura (also called the “Mother of God“).

One common thread running through these goddess figures was their designation as the virgin queen of heaven who bore fruit although they never conceived. This pagan corruption was assimilated into the church of Rome gradually.

According to a writer, “the ancient portrait of Isis and child Horus was ultimately accepted not only in popular opinion, but by formal episcopal sanction, as the portrait of the Virgin and her child” (Homer Smith, Man and His Gods, Brown & Co, 1952, 216).

Neopagans and Wiccans today often signify the virgin phase of their goddess as the crescent moon.

The crescent moon symbol was also associated with Astarte, an ancient Phoenician fertility goddess.

The Egyptian Isis was also represented as standing on a crescent moon with stars surrounding her head. This very representation is seen today in Catholic art, showing “Mary” standing on a crescent moon.

Of course, that is not the Mary of the Bible, but the old pagan goddess in a new garb.

The Immaculately Conceived Lie

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The Immaculate Conception doctrine states that from the instance of Mary’s conception in her mother’s womb, she was preserved free from the stain of original sin by the foreseen merits of Christ.

This dogma was first defined by Pope Pius IX in 1854. Since then, there have been visions of “Mary” asking for reparation of the world to her “immaculate heart.”

This belief underlies the bulk of Catholic prayers and devotions. Since Rome says those who reject this doctrine are damned, we need to examine it.

The first problem with it is what the Bible says about all of humanity:

“There is none righteous, no, not one.” (Romans 3:10)

“For all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

No exception is made here or elsewhere for Mary. She was born with original sin like every other human. Only Jesus Christ is sinless.

Catholics would argue that, “It’s illogical that a perfect Christ would come from an imperfect Mary, therefore, Mary had to be free from original sin.”

The fact is, Jesus’ sinless nature came from God the Father, not from Mary.

Jesus has always existed eternally before Mary was ever born.

If the Catholic is going to be consistent with this argument, the Immaculate Conception doctrine, as it turns out, is viciously regressive.

If Mary was sinless, then Mary’s parents would also have to be sinless, since an imperfect parent can’t give birth to a perfect child. And as a result, Mary’s grandparents and great grandparents would also have to be perfect and free from sin as well.

This same perfection would also have to be present in her other relatives as well. So what we have here is an entire generation traced back to Eve, totally free from sin. If that’s the case, then Original Sin should be discarded. Obviously, this makes no sense either logically or biblically.

Over the years, Roman Catholic apologists have come up with other arguments to make this false doctrine appear Biblical, which I reply to below:

“That the word ‘Immaculate Conception’ isn’t found in the Bible doesn’t need mean the doctrine isn’t Biblical. The Bible doesn’t have the word ‘Trinity’, but it is still orthodox”

This is a fallacy of wrong parallel. There is an overwhelming data of Biblical evidence in context supporting the Trinity which cannot be presented for Mary’s Immaculate Conception.

“The universe was created in an immaculate state, free from any blemish or sin or imperfection. Out of it, God created Adam from the womb of the earth. So also, Jesus received his substance from his immaculate mother.”

This mode of Bible interpretation is absurd. You won’t find just one place in the Bible where the word “immaculate” is used in connection with the earth.

The perfection of the earth was a temporary situation anyway, so how does that parallel Mary? This sounds more like an argument that a goddess-worshipping New Ager would trot out.

“Genesis 3:15 says the “seed of the woman” would crush the serpent. If Mary wasn’t sinless, then this prophecy is false for she had to be sinless to crush Satan.”

The Catholic is influenced more by his faulty Douay-Rheims bible translation at this juncture.

While every other translation renders Genesis 3:15 as “It [the woman’s seed] shall bruise thy [the serpent’s], head, and thou [Satan] shall bruise his [Messiah’s] heel.” Their bible changes it to “she [the woman] shall bruise thy head.”

The import of Genesis 3:15 is about Jesus’ victory over Satan, not Mary at all. It takes a curious interpolation to see the immaculate conception there.

“Mary represents the Ark of the Covenant in the OT (Ex. 40: 34-8, 2 Sam. 6:14-16). Just as God wanted the ark to be perfect and blemish to be worthy receive His written word, He must have also wanted Mary to be perfect and unblemished to carry the Word of God in flesh.”

This attempt to parallel Mary with the Ark is totally absurd and flawed. If the ark of God typified Mary:

(a) That means she must also have been stolen by God’s enemies for a time, so she could be brought back to God’s people with great rejoicing (1Samuel 4).

(b) A man who touched Mary must have been killed as Uzzah was (2 Sam. 6:3-8).

(c) A bull and calf must have been sacrificed at each 6 steps Mary took as during the carriage of the Ark (2 Sam. 6:13).

This an abuse of Biblical interpretation. Catholics just pick and choose what aspects of Mary’s life they wish to parallel with the Ark and which parts they want to ignore.

Under this rule of “interpretation,” virtually anything can be proved and any conclusion can be drawn. Using such dumb typology, you can as well parallel Balaam’s ass with the pope or the land of Canaan with the Vatican city.

Elizabeth greeted Mary as “blessed among women.” This phrase has a superlative meaning implying Mary was the holiest of all women (Luke 1:42).

It is true that the term “blessed of all women” is a superlative and there are no superlatives in Hebrew or Aramaic. But the giant leap of the Catholic from “blessed” to “holy” here is fraudulent.

The Greek word translated as “blessed” there is eulogeo. It is defined as “to speak well of, to praise, to invoke blessings” (Strong #2127). No Greek lexical work defines it as “holy.”

No one who reads that text would get that idea, unless he is importing Rome’s myth into it.

If the word “blessed” makes Mary perfectly sinless, then all Believers too are immaculately conceived, because Jesus says we are “blessed” of the Father (Matt. 25:34).

When the angel appeared to Mary, he said ‘Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you.’ (Lk. 1:28) This is a recognition of her sinless state.”

This is Rome’s favourite argument. A Catholic apologist wrote that the Greek word kecharitomene translated as “highly favoured” means “full of grace” or a perfection of grace:

A perfection must be perfect not only intensively, but extensively. The grace Mary enjoyed must have been as ‘full’ or strong or complete as possible at any given time, but it must have extended over the whole of her life, from conception. That is, she must have been in a state of sanctifying grace from the first moment of her existence to have been called ‘full of grace’ or to have been filled with divine favor…” (Karl Keating, Catholicism and Fundamentalism, Ignatius Press, 1988, p. 269).

(a) There is a sleight-of-hand trick here. The Greek word “kecaritwmenh” is the perfect passive participle of the word “caritow.” This caritow is defined as “favoured one in the sight of God.” No lexical word defines it as sinlessness.

(b) The term “full of grace” is used only of Christ in John 1:14. It was never used of Mary (except in the spurious Catholic Douay Rheims version).

The Greek word “caritow” used in Luke 1:28 refers to God’s favour or grace. It’s also used in Ephesians 1:6 “…to the praise of the glory of his grace [caritow] upon us in the beloved…”

Unless Catholics want to tell us that all Believers have a “perfection of grace” or were immaculately conceived, this argument doesn’t fly.

(c) In that passage Luke refers to Mary as the object of divine favour, and not the source of divine grace.

There is simply no justification for jumping from the perfect tense of a Greek participle (kecaritomene) to the idea that the Greek “indicates a perfection of grace.”

That Rome has to resort to such complicated semantic acrobatics implies that they are not deriving this doctrine from the Bible, rather they are forcing it into it.

“The Early Church believed in the Immaculate Conception.”

The term “early church” has to be properly defined. If by “early” they are referring to prior to the 400 AD, then the above claim is false.

The immaculate conception dogma is missing from the earliest patristic sources. Mary didn’t even enter into the picture of theological disputes of the church fathers until the upsurge of Christological heresies and the impulse of asceticism and monasticism in church history.

Catholic scholar, Ludwig Ott, admits: “Neither Greek nor Latin Fathers explicitly teach the Immaculate Conception of Mary” (Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Tan Publishers, 1960, p. 201)

The New Catholic Encyclopedia (1967, 7:378-81) states that:

“…the Immaculate Conception is not taught explicitly in Scripture … the earliest church Fathers regarded Mary as holy but not as absolutely sinless … It is impossible to give a precise date when this belief was held as a matter of Faith, but by the 8th or 9th century, it seems to have been generally admitted…”

Even after then, controversies over this dogma raged on for a whole 1000 years with the Dominicans fighting the Franciscans over the issue. The so-called “infallible authority” of Rome was neutral on the issue.

Even a 19th century Catholic bishop admitted:

“The Church does not decide the controversy concerning the Conception of the Blessed Virgin, and several other disputed points, because she sees nothing clear and certain concerning them either in the written or unwritten Word, and therefore leaves her children to form their own opinions concerning them” (Cited in George Salmon, The Infallibility of the Church, 182)

This proves that this dogma was a very late development and had just been around only about 150 years. It can’t be supported either with the Bible or traditions.

The Mary of the Bible was born a sinner and offered temple sacrifices for her own purification (Luke 2:22-24; Lev. 12:1-8).

She also called God her “Saviour” (Luke 1:47), which would not have been so had she been without sin. But the Catholic Mary, modelled after the old pagan goddesses has replaced the true Biblical Mary in the minds of millions of Catholics.