Friday, May 5, 2017

The Benedict Option Disaster and The Marian Option Danger

A friend sent me links to two National Catholic Register articles by author and philosopher Carrie Gress (links to her blog) in which she promotes "The Marian Option" against "The Benedict Option." Those are labels given to two ways for Catholics to live in a morally conflicted society.
Before Taking the Benedict Option Try the Marian Option

On Mary's Birthday: 15 Ways to Live the Marian Option
The Benedict Option, a book by Rod Dreher*, suggests withdrawing from much of society to develop and protect Christian communities and heritage. My family, at times, has dipped its toes into this philosophy of life. The trend of Christians pulling their kids from public schools and putting them in Christian schools or homeschooling their children is a reflection of the concept. There have been times when I've compared the escalation of such practices to the Amish. And while some may find that comparison derogatory, I find it quaint. For as separated as the Amish are from society, they ironically garner a great deal of respect by it.

[*Dreher, senior editor at The American Conservative, was raised Methodist, converted to Catholicism, and is now part of Eastern Orthodoxy, (Wikipedia). Of course by the time you read this, he could be Amish. Not without its critics, the book does have its endorsements:
“A terrific book: provocative in its content, shrewd in its insights, vivid and engaging in its style.  The strength of The Benedict Option is not just its analysis of our culture’s developing problems but its outline of practical ways Christians can survive and thrive in a dramatically different America.  This is an invaluable tool for understanding our times and acting as faithful believers.”—Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop of Philadelphia]
The Marian Option, as described by Gress in several blog posts and articles, describes a life that is focused even further inward than the Benedict Option. In one blog Gress describes 15 ways to live the Marian Option; everyone of them is spiritually inward, further isolating the person from even her family. Now, the post you're reading challenges Gress to be clearer. For what she suggests is not what she is doing by being a wife, mother, and prolific author and columnist. But taking her blog posts at face value, The Marian Option (and also The Benedict Option) seem contrary to Scripture and how the Church explains our role in society. [Gress has communicated with me, see note at end.]

Israel In Babylon
When my friend first wrote me, she wisely was searching for the Scripture wherein God told the Israelites in exile to live naturally among the pagans of Babylon and not go off and hide, nor stay inside and just pray. The passage is this:
This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” Yes, this is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “Do not let the prophets and diviners among you deceive you. Do not listen to the dreams you encourage them to have. They are prophesying lies to you in my name. I have not sent them,” declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 29: 4-9)
Salt and Light
The Jeremiah passage reminds me a great deal of Christ's command in the Sermon on the Mount:
You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5: 13-16)
I have always embraced such a philosophy of life for the Christian living in a morally conflicted society. As a filmmaker and a Christian, I have always seen Hollywood as a field I wanted to work in, not a field to run from.

For nearly 50 years now I've occasionally handed out a two-sided green business card to Christians who engage me in discussions about the film industry.

On Side One it reads:
Consider a career as a Cultural Influencer. As a Christian you can light some candles in the darkness of our society. Prepare for a career in secular media or entertainment. Then, as you excel and gain recognition, use your influence to impart Biblical Christian values to the world. (over)
On Side Two it reads:
Pray for the Christians attempting to influence our society with Biblical values and ideas through their vocations in Television, Film, Art, Entertainment, Literature, Journalism, Education, Academe, Professional Sports and Politics. God has called these individuals and gifted them like Bezalel (Exodus 31, 25, 36) to be Salt and Light in our culture. (over)
I grew up in a fairly isolated Evangelical Christian home. I didn't convert to Catholicism until I was 51. I wrote a memoir about the journey, Growing Up Christian: In the Introduction to Part 1 I write:
The “orphanage” of which I became a part left me restless. For most of my youth it was as if I had been bundled-up in a thick wool sweater, a rain slicker and galoshes, then  urged to hunker down in a church basement and pray for the cultural storm to pass. If we grew tired of praying, we could watch badly made Christian movies projected onto  cinderblock walls. It was myopic, claustrophobic and irrational. Where was the faith that promised to teach us how to don swim trunks and navigate the shark infested surf? Where was life in all its fullness and adventure? (Growing Up Christian: Searching for a Reasonable Faith in the Heartland of America, p 6.)
15 Ways to Live The Marian Option
I'm not going to quote from Gress's article. You can link to it above, but the 15 Ways include spiritual reading, and a number of different ways to pray and thus make Mary (not Jesus) the center of your life.  (Yes, that's a little Protestant dig...which I think is appropriately Catholic. I love Mary, I pray the Rosary a lot, but my faith is really in Jesus not Mary.)

Gress's 15 Ways, by themselves, suggest to me why the Catholic children of very devout mothers and fathers, have left the church. In short, it's because the kids see little help from a life devoted to prayer that does not inform them in the practical ways of how to live among the pagans in Babylon. The Benedict Options says, "get out," and The Marian Option says "go inward."

Read carefully the 15 ways she lists. NOT ONE OF THEM is in service to others, NOT ONE OF THEM engages the culture or challenges it, NOT ONE OF THEM is involved in Christ’s command to be Salt and Light to society. EVERY ONE OF THEM suggests: "Go hide in your basement and pray until the storm passes over."

BUT, the storm will only gain strength unless Christians are IN the CULTURE being SALT AND LIGHT as Christ was. Just as The Benedict Options tells Catholics to retreat from public schools, so The Marian Option suggests, "Just pray about it in your closet."

This kind of thinking is why we have so many immoral films coming out of Hollywood and why politicians have embraced abortion. When Christians abdicate their responsibility to be actively, personally, and professionally engaged in culture the vacuum is filled with people that are not Christians. ("...trampled underfoot."). We can therefore expect abortion and immorality in entertainment. Christians have no justification to complain. They walked away, and in so doing they invited the devil to step in. On a personal level I have approached dozens of Christians to invest in motion picture development and production. Yes, it's very risky from an investment perspective. But every one of the Christians I've approached would rather keep their money away from risk and let culture deteriorate. Instead, they do the safe thing (safe for their money). They assuage their guilt by signing up on Facebook for yet another "40 Days for Life" prayer vigil.

Jesus Christ did not hide in the basement and pray. In the public square he socialized with and challenged the publicans, sinners, prostitutes, tax collectors and the hypocrites that ran the "church." And, by Christ's works, in their presence, he contradicted them.

St. John Paul The Great
Gress tries to weasel her way out of this problem by citing John Paul II and claims that John Paul II lived out the Marian Option.

Oh, really? Well, that's not all he did.

Sure, John Paul II had a fervent devotion to Mary, and we might conclude that his ability to effect and affect culture was because of this Marian devotion, and he may have practiced everyone of the 15 ways to live out the Marian Option, Gress cites. BUT HE DIDN’T STOP THERE.

Read again, Gress’ description of what John Paul II did in her essay "Before Taking...."
Wojtyla’s life offers us something of a field guide for living under religious persecution. He faced it first under the Nazi’s deadly form of social engineering, which involved erasing certainly the Jews but also Poles from the Third Reich. Through a combination of determination, humor, prudence, and faith, he not only survived the war but also aided others, including many Jews. Then, under Soviet Communism, Wojtyla rose through the episcopal ranks, eventually becoming the second most powerful prelate in Poland. Cunning, patience, adapting to adversity, and again (as always) faith, helped him as the Bishop of Krakow and, later, as Pope John Paul II, the Bishop of Rome, to chip away at Communism and remind those behind the Iron Curtain the truth about themselves: that they were made to love and serve God, not the Soviet machine.
Nothing she lists there could have happened if the only thing he did was do "live out" her 15 Ways. John Paul II, spiritually, may have been Marian, but his apostolate ministry was all outward, sly, intelligent, confrontational...the opposite of The Benedict Option.

The Battle ofLepanto
And by the way, the battle of Lepanto would NOT have been won had the Pope ONLY asked Christians to pray the Rosary. BEFORE he asked people to pray the Rosary he asked for Christian Kings to mount a armada to confront the Ottoman Empire. And if you read carefully the military accounts, the Christian force was only marginally smaller (not vastly smaller), and the Christian armada totally outgunned the Ottoman’s, and while the Christian galley ships were manned by volunteers, the Ottoman’s were manned by enslaved Christians, who turned on the Ottomans when opportunity came. There were numerous differences that made the Christian force very capable of defeating the Ottoman’s. It was not as lopsided as you might expect by hearing this story from Rosary champions. Oh, I believe the Rosary was instrumental. But clearly, the Marian Option ALONE as Gress describes it in the 15 Ways, would never have beaten the Ottomans, nor help to destroy the Communist reign Easter Europe which John Paul II was able to contribute.

The Courage Option 
Gress over simplifies the process.  It's not just prayer and spiritual reading and being devoted to Mary. That's all inward stuff. It's good stuff, but it's not enough.

The option too many Catholics shy away from is The Courage Option... to engage and get in the face of what is wrong and confront it, like John Paul II did repeatedly, covertly, and with great slight of hand. And, and times, The Courage Option may require great military might and sacrifice in blood, arms, and lives as evidence at Lepanto.

==== Cassie Gress replies via email:

Dear Stan,

Thanks so much for your email and your concern.

Yes, I would agree that there must be some confusion about what I mean if you have the impression that I am in any way suggesting a moving away from one's active life-- I assure you it is quite the contrary. (Much of the confusion could be because my work at Register is directed at a Catholic audience?) Marian devotion is in no way a separation from one's vocation (particularly to family life), nor a separation from our relationship with Christ (and the whole Trinity), but an enhancement of all of these.

I suspect some of your concerns will be clarified by the book, which has three chapters that go through significant geopolitical events that involved either Marian apparitions or people with strong Marian devotion. Moreover, I have a chapter on the life of Pope John Paul II as "field guide" explaining how he lived under Christian persecution. These are all very active witnesses to people living in very difficult situations that find solace and strength through their devotion to Mary and her Son.

I apologize for the confusion and again, I believe much of it will be clarified in the book.

Best to you, your wife, and your important work.

In Christ,
Carrie

=====

And I responded:

Dear Carrie,

I do not believe you are trying to tell people to move away from the “active” life as you call it. The confusion is not because you are writing for a Catholic audience. That is perhaps the crux of the problem from my perspective. Catholics (as Evangelical Christians) have a weakness. Too many believe that if they spend their time in prayer and reading spiritual books, and going to Bible studies they are somehow involved in actively engaging culture and being Salt and Light to it. That is a fallacy. JPII proves it. And you do too by being a mother and a writer. You are not spending your time just doing the 15 things you list in the one essay…but that is what the essay suggests.

Your article in the 15 Ways to Live The Marian Option is all inward. It tells us explicitly that we can live The Marian Option entirely in our prayer closet. 

That’s my objection.

Many people will read your blogs and NCR articles. Fewer will read your book.

I do not doubt that a devotion to Mary can bring solace and strength in any situation. 

So, by definition, is living The Marian Option part of that apostolate activity, or is it a focus on prayer and spiritual reading as delineated in the 15 Way essay? Perhaps that’s my problem. Perhaps you mean that The Marian Option is  only part of being an effective Christian in society. 

That’s my challenge….====

Carrie further replied and agreed that The Marian Option is intended as an inward spirituality that informs and motivates a person's outward apostolic work. She has promised to make the clear in future writings. 

Saturday, February 18, 2017

EXTRAORDINARY Project Finished. Extraordinary Projects Relaunch

"EXTRAORDINARY" Project Completed

"EXTRAORDINARY: Stories about Fr. Solanus Casey for Children,"  is a completed project Pam and I have been working on for over a year. It involved 22 extraordinary children as cast. We're now waiting on the release window and premiere TENTATIVELY set for July 16, 2017 at the AMC Star 20 Theaters in Southfield, MI.

The project website is here: http://swcfilms.com/EXTRAORDINARY/. Look for the tabs at the top of the page for more information about the production and the Solanus Casey Center, our client.

Kelly Nieto, creator of the (also) extraordinary stage musical, The Cross and The Light, that tours the U.S. every Lent, co-wrote the scripts, directed the kids, and acted as art director. Sean Lam of Singapore created the art, and James Stonehouse, the "John Williams of Detroit," wrote the original musical score that now stands on its own as a 14 movement tribute to the simplex priest — The Solanus Casey Suite. You can hear all the music on the above project website.

Here is the project's 4 minute trailer revealing all of our wonderful cast of children.



Extraordinary Projects Relaunch

We're now moving on to relaunch two of our favorite narrative feature motion picture projects, TIGER'S HOPE (aka DREAM IT FOR ANOTHER), and THE WIZARD CLIP DEMON. Both have strong Catholic themes and values.  We're looking for funding.


TIGER'S HOPE is a low-budget, pro-life, Drama with music story that focuses on adoption. Based on actual events, the story is about an entertainer who cannot conceive, goes through IVF, gets pregnant, but then gives birth to a baby that is not hers.  She and her husband then battle the Church, the courts and the medical community to keep the child. You can read the Story Fundamentals, synopsis, watch a trailer, and order a script here: http://www.swcfilms.com/tiger-s-hope.html

THE WIZARD CLIP DEMON is a supernatural, haunted house drama—a true story documented by many written accounts from Early America Virginia. It's about a persistent and devious demon that is only dispersed when Holy Mass is said (with great difficulty) in the house. You can read the Story Fundamentals, synopsis, and order a script here: http://www.swcfilms.com/tiger-s-hope.html

Both scripts are fresh re-writes based on the notes offered us by professions and friends. THE WIZARD CLIP received particularly good feedback from The Black List, which is posted on the site above. TIGER'S HOPE is just now being reviewed by The Black List.

If you know someone who is an "accredited" investor, who would want to help get these good films launched, I've posted a Business Plan Brief (or Top Sheet) on the SWC Films website. Even if you're not into risking money on movies, you may find the detail here interesting. I've been writing business plans for Hollywood movies off and on, and find the financial and legal structure involved a fascinating topic. The Top Sheet can be found here: http://www.swcfilms.com/swcf-business-plan.html

Blessings to you and yours.
Please pray for us...and our country.

Stan 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Fads of Christian Evangelism

 by Stan Williams

Crusade Evangelism with Billy Graham
The title is unfortunately provocative. Juxtaposing "fads" with "evangelism" implies that evangelism is as insignificant as a fad of fashion.  But while Christian evangelism is perhaps the antithesis of a cultural fad, it nonetheless suffers some of the same attributes.


Track Evangelism
I was born into Evangelical Christianity—Free Methodism, it was called. We were evangelicals because we understood Christ's Great Commission to be the one command that superseded all the others.
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age (Matt 28:19-20) 

Pulpit Evangelism with Billy Sunday
Consequently, over the decades of my life I have seen evangelism fads come and go. Each being described as the silver bullet that would save the world and usher in the Second Coming of Christ, or Christian utopia. Here's a list of some of them:

  • Crusade/Stadium Evangelism
  • Pulpit Evangelism
  • Personal Evangelism
  • Tract Evangelism
  • Teaching Evangelism 
  • Family Evangelism
  • Prayer Evangelism
  • Life-Style Evangelism
  • Bible Evangelism
  • Protest Evangelism
  • Mall Evangelism
  • Curbside Evangelism
  • Lead Evangelism
  • Small Group Evangelism
  • Blimp Evangelism
  • Sticker Evangelism
  • Street Preaching
  • Pre-Evangelism
  • Booth Evangelism
  • Tent Meeting Evangelism
  • Street Evangelism
  • Apologetic Evangelism
  • Bill Board Evangelism
  • Radio Evangelism
  • Book Evangelism
  • Food Evangelism
  • TV Evangelism
  • Movie Evangelism 
  • On-Line Evangelism
And in each of these there are sub categories where the technique takes on a hard "confrontational" or softer "salting" approach.

Of course none of these techniques ushered in Christian utopia, so leaders got frustrated and started their own efforts—new churches with a thousand different names. Some opted for the mountain top. Frank and Edith Schaefffer chose the Swiss mountains and started L'Abri Fellowship. William Booth took the Gospel to the poor, the homeless, the hungry and the destitute.

Food Evangelization

These two extremes are found in the Gospels in the accounts of Christ's Transfiguration. Jesus took his disciples to both places. The mountain top was for enlightenment, and the valley was where real ministry took place.

Others rejected evangelism altogether because evangelism took on a militant-utilitarian identity that the Christian's only reason for existence was to save other people, so they in turn could save others, etc. Franky Schaeffer, Frank and Edith's son, wrote a popular book about the subject, Addicted to Mediocrity. And as much as my copy is heavily highlighted, I didn't agree with his final resolution—he gave up on Christianity altogether.

Evangelism falls under the second of the great commandments: 1. Love God, and 2. Love your neighbor. In my case I was so inundated with the above evangelization tyranny that one day I realized we had forgotten to Love God. Catholicism for me offered an opportunity to attend Mass where I could worship God and not bemoan yet another 10 minute altar call to save the lost sinner somewhere in the Sunday morning congregation. Such "altar calls" were rituals growing up in Free Methodism which lost their meaning before I turned 13.

I am almost 70 now. Pam and I left Protestantism 18 years ago and became Catholic. My current parish, Our Lady of Good Counsel (OLGC)  in Plymouth, MI, is beginning a 14 week program called REROUTING. It's really not clear what it's all about or where we're being rerouted to...though it seems to be an attempt to reroute us around misunderstandings of Christianity, the way a GPS mapping app reroutes our car around an accident.


Protest Evangelism (e.g. anti-evangelism)
We've been through the first week where the emphasis was about how we're all called to be personal evangelists to those we meet at work, on the street, in restaurants, or at a sporting event.  It seems old to me, but it's clearly a new idea to many at OLGC. I've heard the illustrations and the Scriptures a thousand times, if I've heard them once. I've been an outspoken Christian all my life and although I gave up on Evangelicalism (see my faith memoir, Growing Up Christian), I will never give up being evangelically minded. But my methods now are more nuanced and relationship based. I've stopped asking waitresses if I can pray for them, because about the 10th time the waitress hears that from a customer it sounds like Bumper Sticker Evangelism, and cheapens Christianity.

Everyday I attempt to wear my Christianity on my sleeve, especially in my business dealings. Yesterday, I attended the funeral of a friend who died suddenly at age 76. He was a great pulpit preacher and teacher, and during his life I was involved with him in a number of evangelical media efforts that had a business aspect to them.  One of his sons greeted me before the funeral service. He drew me aside and said, "Stan, when we first met years ago, I didn't trust you. I thought you were taking advantage of my Dad. But over the years I have seen that you are an honest man, You are a man of integrity, and I would trust you with my life."  I should quickly add that his father, too, was an honest man of integrity. And today, that son, now a grown man with a family, is considering entering seminary for the diaconate, along with his two brothers.  


Street Evangelism
Evangelism is an important part of the Christian life. But its importance should not be overshadowed by everything else that God calls us to, namely obedience.  Evangelism is not mentioned in the Ten Commandments, The Beatitudes, or the list of vices and virtues in Galatians 5. The Great Commission was given to Christ's 11 Apostles following his resurrection. It was not given to his hundreds of disciples, nor to his thousands of followers. To the masses the instruction was to Love God, Love Our Neighbor, stay away from sin, and to obey God. When it comes to evangelism, I believe the cornerstone for everyday Christians is 1 Peter 3:15-16. Why? Because it puts personal integrity up front. It's not about being assertive with "words" about Christ, the Bible or your church (which is what most of the evangelism fads listed above are all about). Rather, it's about outwardly obeying God, living a life of integrity, and then...
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. (1 Peter 3:15-16.)


   

Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Logical Case for Catholicism

A new on-line presentation suitable for RCIA, Catholic Studies and Homeschooling (ages 14 and up) is now available. Go to: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/logicalcasecatholicism. Play the trailer below. A content outline follows.



Designed for delivery in parishes, this is a 7-Part screencast course on how Catholicism (and Christianity) is validated by Logic and Natural Law. Contains 75 graphic slides and 6 videos. Total Length about 2 hr. 47 min. [Program: Copyright © 2016, Stanley D. Williams. All Rights Reserved.]

CONTENT OUTLINE

Introduction Starts: 00:00 (Length: 11 min)
1. LOGIC TERMS (Define Terms) Starts: 10:45 (Length 27 min)
• Logos
• Argument
• Opinion
• Validity
• Fallacy
2. NATURAL LAW (Logic’s Best Friend) Starts: 37:16 (Length 11 min)
• Physical
• Psychological
3. NATURAL LAW (Logical Short Cuts) Starts: 48:38 (Length 25 min)
• Biblical Precepts
• Catholic Precepts
• Social Research
4.LAW AND ORDER (Logic’s Best Evidence) Starts: 1:13:40 (Length 32 min)
• Logical Order
• Human Genome
• Free Will
5. LOGICAL CONTRADICTIONS (Logic’s Demise Pt 1) Starts: 1:45:33 (Length 21 min)
• Contradiction vs. Paradox
• The Dominant Contradiction
6. TWO LOGICAL FALLACIES (Logic’s Demise Pt 2) Starts: 2:06:34 (Length 14 min)
• Equivocation
• Difvocation
7. FOUR ESSENTIALS OF A GOOD ARGUMENT (Logic’s Solution) Starts: 2:20:24 (Length 27 min)
• Relevancy
• Acceptability
• Sufficient
• Rebuttal Proof

Friday, November 18, 2016

Alpha - The New Videos

by Stan Williams


Out of respect for Fr. John Riccardo, our pastor, and curiosity I've been attending the ALPHA (Introduction to Christianity) Course (http://alphausa.org/) at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Plymouth, MI. 

The course is excellent and I encourage all Christians and non Christians who are interested in understanding  the basics of Christianity to search out a course in your area (they're presented in multiple denominations) and attend. (11 weeks, I think.)

As a video producer of hundreds of projects over the decades, I have been impressed with the production quality of the film series that is featured in each session. And as a Christian apologist all my life, and now a part-time Catholic apologist, the content in these videos is the best I have ever experienced. The brain behind these is Nicky Gumbel, an Anglican Vicar, who used to be a British barrister (attorney).

Here are links to the NEW ALPHA FILM SERIES. In my mind, these are benchmarks for all Christian didactic form teaching films. Wonderfully, they also contain strong narrative elements with incredible stories.



Video links:
Week 1 - Is There More to Life Than This?: https://youtu.be/CmeSw6KVweU



Week 4 - How Can I have Faith? https://youtu.be/4KCmLE4fTkc

Week 5 - How Can I pray? https://youtu.be/qSqLif_vKP8

Week 6 - The Bible: https://youtu.be/YSRFba_Zh2w

Retreat Videos
Video 1 Who is the Holy Spirit?: https://youtu.be/8-OZfBbuF7E

Video 2 What does the Holy Spirit Do?: https://youtu.be/SQgW36QFdSA


Video 3 How Can I be Filled with the Holy Spirit?: https://youtu.be/FnQ_8vcWreg

Week 7 Does God Heal Today?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_ECe-5EZzE&feature=youtu.be


stan

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Would Adam Have Been Happier Single? (or, The Git of Singleness)

Stanley D. Williams, PhD


Adam, when he was single, was walking around the Garden of Eden feeling very lonely, so God asked him, “What’s wrong?”
Adam said he didn’t have anyone to talk to.
So God said he was going to give him a companion and it would be a woman. God said, “This woman will cook for you and wash your clothes. She will always agree with every decision you make. She will bear you children and never ask you to get up in the middle of the night to take care of them. She will not nag you, and you will always be the first to admit she was wrong when you’ve had a disagreement. She will never have a headache, and will freely give you love and compassion, whenever needed.
Adam thought about this for a moment, then asked God, “What would a woman like this cost?”
God answered, “An arm and a leg.”
Adam thought about that for a while. Then he asked God, “What can I get for just a rib?”
The rest is history. And toward the end of this, I’ll tell you the rest of the story.
So, the theological question might be, "Would Adam have been happier single?" Some of you who remember the trails that Adam went through might be quick to answer, “Yes!” I wonder how that would that have made the rest of us feel?

10 Objections to Mary

With Scripture and Reason's Response
with a tad of common sense

Stan Williams, Ph.D.

Objection 1
Mary was just a regular girl with nothing special about her.
Don't make more of her than God did.

Mary is not the only person in Christ's lineage.
She shouldn't be considered more important THAN say the incestuous Judah,
the prostitute Rahab, or the adulterer David.

In Scripture, Mary is proclaimed as part of God's salvation plan before the world was created.
Rev. 12:1-6; 13-19

In Scripture, Mary is found as the only human being consistently mentioned and associated with the incarnation and the eternal plan of salvation from Genesis to Revelation.

n     Rev: 12 (what we just read) - the woman is part of God's plan.  21 references to the woman.
n     Gen 3;15 - the woman is not a spur of the moment concept. God sees time as we see space, all at once.
n     Note: These two references are perhaps not coincidence to Jesus' use of the term to his mother in John 2
n     Is 7:14
n     Micah 5:2-3
n     Matt (Mark?) Luke, John
n     John 19:26-27 - Mary the mother of the church
n     Galatians 4:4 - fullness of time - born of a woman


Objection 2
Mary was born in sin and she sinned throughout her life
just like everyone else.

This objection uses Romans 3:23 that says "all have sinned." and 1 John 1:8 says "If we say, 'We are without sin,' we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us."  "ALL" means just what it says "ALL, everyone, without exception…except Jesus of course."

The problem we face here is that there are other Scriptures that imply the opposite and