Let Us Talk About Mary, The Mother Of God: A Response To Gerald M.G.

The person who fixes my dreads (sorry, I meant the person who retouches my dreads. You see Naomi, I remembered.) is not working today, so I have some time to write something small. A friend of mine recently shared a verse with me i.e. First Timothy 2:5. The verse says, “For there is only one God, and there is only one mediator between God and humanity, himself a human being, Christ Jesus.”

He also shared other verses including Matthew 5:23-24, which says, “So then, if you are bringing your offering to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar, go and be reconciled with your brother first, and then come back and present your offering.”

Another verse he mentioned is James 5:14-15, which says, “Anyone of you who is ill should send for the elders of the church, and they must anoint the sick person with oil in the name of the Lord and pray over him.”

Now, I had quoted James 5:16. It says, “So confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another to be cured; the heartfelt prayer of someone upright works very powerfully.” I had used this verse to show that God asks us to pray for another and therefore, we should ask the Holy Mother to pray for us. I was trying to show people where the last verse of the Hail Mary Prayer comes from i.e. “Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death amen.” (The word ‘I’ in this paragraph refers to the pic I  shared that had the explanation on Mary. In other words, someone else came up with it, but I happened to agree with him. Please see the picture below.)

mary

Where is the Hail Mary Prayer in the Bible

 

His argument, basing it on Matthew 5:23-24, was that we should confess our sins to one another. No one is arguing against that. Ironically, the verse I quoted (James 5:16) supports this argument more than the one he quoted. I would add that Mary is one of us and as such, we should confess our sins to her as well (I will explain how she is still one of us later).

His next argument is that when you read James 5:16 together with James 5:14-15, you would realize that James is asking church elders to pray for the sick to strengthen their faith. He also adds that James implies the Church elders are alive i.e. not dead (He believes Mary is dead). The interesting part is that James 5:16 is a progression of James 5:14-15.

Notice the use of the word ‘and’ in James 5:16. It means that you should confess your sins to one another even if you are not sick. Notice the use of the semi-colon after the word cured. People use a semicolon between two independent clauses. Therefore, the heartfelt prayer of someone upright works powerfully, when he prays for a sick person or a healthy person. As you can clearly see, my friend misinterpreted the entire verse.

Did you notice the emphasis on confessing your sins to one another in James 5:16? Did you know that the Catholic Church emphasizes on confession? In fact, Confession is one of the Six Precepts of the Catholic Church. Does your Church stress the importance of confession?

Did you also notice the emphasis on anointing the sick in James 5:14-15? The Catholic Church has seven sacraments. Does your Church have sacraments? Does it need sacraments? We can discuss them another day.

Finally, notice the use of the words ‘heartfelt prayer of someone upright’ and ‘powerfully.’ They appear in James 5:16. Who extends Mary, the Mother of Jesus, in uprightness? Is she not the most blessed among women (Luke 1:42). The English Knights were fond of saying, “Hail, the King.” Here, Angel Gabriel said, “Hail, favored one (Luke 1:28).” One of God’s greatest angels can pay reverence to her. Who are we mortals to deny her special recognition? Angel Gabriel would not honor her in such ways if she were not upright. More importantly, she would not carry Christ if she were not holy. Therefore, her prayers for us would work powerfully, because she is upright (James 5:16).

Remember that verse my friend quoted i.e. First Timothy 2:5 that says Christ is the only mediator between God and us. Does it not contradict James 5:16? Think about it. James explicitly asks us to pray for one another. Is he not asking us to mediate for each us? If so, then does it not contradict Timothy 2:5? No, it does not. My friend quoted it without understanding it correctly.

Jesus is God. Therefore, we are praying for each other to God i.e. Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. In other words, your brother, mother, the saints, and the Holy Mother do not overlap Jesus when they pray for you to God because Jesus is God. Remember, Paul starts this chapter with “urge then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving should be offered for everyone (First Timothy 2:1.)”

It is important to note that he continues, “To do this is right, and acceptable to God our Savior) First Timothy 2:3.” Is Jesus not our Savior? Is he not our God? Therefore, my friend ought to read these verses in their proper context so that he can understand them and the come to the fullness of faith, which is in the Catholic Church.

Finally, this entire debate hinges on the question of whether the Holy Mother is dead. Do you not find it ironic that we know how all the 12 disciples died, but we do not know how Mary died? Did she die? We have no record of it. Could God take her into heaven without her suffering from death? Yes, he could. That is why he is God i.e. he can do anything.

Is there an example of where God did such a thing? Do you remember Enoch and Elijah? Read Hebrews 11:5 and 2 Kings 2:11. Now we know Mary not having died is possible. The question is why Catholics focus on Mary and not Joseph.

Well, Angel Gabriel did not say, “Hail Joseph.” More importantly, Joseph seems to have died before Jesus’ crucifixion. Remember, he was not at Golgotha during Jesus’ affliction. However, the most critical evidence is in Revelation 12. It speaks of a Queen in Heaven. “And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars,” – Revelation 12:1.

Is this why Angel Gabriel addressed her with such respect? Is she the Queen of Heaven? You see, Catholics believe that Mary is alive. In fact, she is in Heaven. Are there other humans in heaven? Remember, Enoch and Elijah. Therefore, as you can clearly see, Catholic teaching on Mary is Biblically sound. Conversely, Protestant arguments against Mary have no Biblical basis, at least not in the verses mentioned by my friend.

I prepared this by myself in about 2 hours. I saw the comment, and I started responding to it. You cannot see it, but I am clapping for myself right now. I am not a theologian or spokesperson for the Catholic Church so my arguments do not represent the Church, but most of them stem from Catholic teaching.

Feedback especially criticism is highly welcome. Lastly, nimechoka and I have to go to somewhere, grammar nitacorrect siku ingine.

Hypocrisy Is Not My Color…

The kidnap of three tourists in Kenya prompted the most massive military operation in Kenyan history. We invaded an entire country to protect our citizens and prevent cross border incursions. Do we know the casualties, civilian or otherwise? Do we care? We just want security and we support our troops no matter what.

Three Israeli teenagers die at the hands of Hamas. No one tweets, posts an update or shares a link. Israel responds in a manner similar to ours and all of a sudden, people gain a voice on social media. People do not utter a word when we see images of Palestinians celebrating the death of teenagers but alas, the same people have new-found conscience when they see images of casualties on the Palestinian side.

Honestly, hypocrisy is so last season. I would gladly wear this color but I am as ugly as it gets. I would not want to make my appearance seem anymore grotesque. I cannot accept media propaganda, biased talk and selective revelations. I must knock on the door of truth, justice and hope at all times even if I knock alone.

This conflict will not end unless we embrace that all life, Jewish or Muslim, is precious.

We must also recognize the fact that Israel and its people have a right to exist and a right to defend their existence. We must also recognize that Palestinians have a right to self-determination including forming their own state. Keeping numb when something happens to Israel and then speaking out when something happens to Palestine or vice versa is despicable leave alone hypocritical. All life is precious. One life, two lives, three lives… each one of them is precious.

A Simplified Analysis of the Israeli – Arab Conflict

The ‘Jewish question’ is a question that has plagued humanity from the beginning of time. The Jews have been persecuted, murdered and exiled for years because of this question but they persist. It almost seems as though they are an unconquerable people, perhaps they are the children of God for nothing seems to defeat them no matter how bad it gets. Then there is modern-day Israel, the land upon which the Jews choose to form a state but it is now a hotbed of violence and in time, it may become a catalyst of a global or at least regional war. We must ask ourselves, what the problem in Israel and in Palestine is. We must study this problem keenly for the solution lies in understanding the problem.

Claiming that the Jews as the chosen ones of God is blasphemous in both Christianity and Islam though many Christians may disagree with me. Other religions and those who practice the religion of ‘non-religion’ would undoubtedly agree with me. We are all children of God and none is above the other. However, ideology and interest skews our idea of each other. For example, many evangelical Christians believe that Muslims will go to hell and just as well, Muslims believe that Islam is the only way to God. These ideologies and interests shape our view of world events and therefore, our opinions may just be a reflection of these ideologies and interests as opposed to being a reflection of truth. The same applies to the ongoing violence in the Middle East i.e. our opinions may just be a reflection of ideologies and interests as opposed to being reflection of facts.

Now let us look at these arguments keenly. Many people say that Israel forced the Palestinians out of their territories with the help of the British and as such, the state of Israel came into being. Many people also say that these Israelis immigrated to other lands only to return and claim land that others had already settled on during their absence. Well, it might interest you to note that there is no evidence of a single group of Palestinians forced out of their homes by Jews during or prior to the formation of the Israeli state. Ask for some statistics and dates next time anyone makes this assertion and you will find what I say is true. On the contrary, you will always find evidence of Jews evicted from their homes and their property confiscated by surrounding Arabs prior to the formation of the Israeli state.

Those who say that the Jews received help from the British to immigrate to Israel do not know history. The Jews have immigrated to Israel since the middle Ages when Christians and Muslims forced most of them out of Israel. Pogroms, massacres and genocides in East and Western Europe prompted this immigration. What you should be keen on is the process of immigration and settlement in Israel. For example, did the Jews buy land or did they fight for land. The answer is obvious but we blind ourselves to the truth. The Jews are astute businesspersons who adopted a strategy of buying land in Israel because they could not fight off the rulers. For example, thousands of Israelis immigrated to Israel during the Ottoman rule yet there was no battle with the Ottomans so how did they manage to do this. Jews formed many land buying agencies and through collective effort, they bought land in Israel.

There is clear evidence to show that the British tried to impede Jewish settlement in Israel though public sentiment in Britain was still in support of such a move. Britain was trying to secure Arab oil and it could not do so while it was aiding the ‘people of the Book’ to settle in Israel. The British raised restrictions on Jews entering Israel. It captured Jews caught trying to enter Israel illegally and sent them to Mauritius. The British even put an arms embargo on Israel during a war with its Arab neighbors while the Arabs had highly effective British military hardware. The Jews won thanks to Check Slovakia that defied the arms embargo. You should also note that prior to these occurrences Hitler had raised up anti-Jewish sentiments in the Middle East and he made various promises on the confiscation of Jewish property including land and its appropriation among Arabs surrounding the Jews.

The question is why lies persist. Why do people keep saying that the Jews forced Arabs out of their land to form a state? Where is the evidence? Think of it this way, there are one billion Muslims in the world and counting. What happens when one billion people and more share certain images of conflict and Israeli occupation? What happens when anti-Christian crusaders join them? What happens when the liberals join in? What happens when the conspiracy theorists and anti-Semites join in? I tell you what happens, information is lost and all you have left is propaganda, innuendo, slogans and images. This is why you must always ask for dates and figures, always.

The Polygamy Law in Kenya: Why Not?

Kenya has just introduced a law on marriages. This law seeks to amalgamate all existing laws on marriages in Kenya into one single law. The law allows for polygamy under certain circumstances. This is what has caught the attention of many Kenyans both locally and internationally. Uhuru Kenyatta assented to the law, the Marriage Act 2014, on 29 April 2014. This is despite an outcry over the bill from a section of the Kenyan people. Educated women were the most disapproving of the new Act. Women parliamentarians also fought hard against the bill though I believe they did not fight hard/smart enough. The debate on the new law has just begun. Here is my perspective on it.

The poverty and unemployment rates in Kenya both stand at over forty percent. Starvation, illiteracy (in the proper sense of the word) and disease are an everyday fact yet here we are, discussing polygamy. Such trivial discussions are an economic crime at a time such as this. We need to keep our eyes on the prize. The economy comes first. There is no political and social setup including polygamy that can survive under the cloud of an impaired economy but this is Kenya. I expect such trivial discussions and misplaced priorities.

Polygamy destabilizes the structure of the family in contemporary society. This instability further destabilizes the resources open to the contemporary family. A monogamous family is economically efficient. It can adapt to changing economic environments quickly and effectively. A polygamous family reduces itself to base instincts i.e. feeding, copulation and survival. It bears many children but these children lack the education, guidance and resources as would have been availed to them under a monogamous marriage.

Freedoms under the law should also be open to all who live under the sun and beyond. This includes men, women and children. You cannot assign or tilt freedoms/liberties towards a certain group and leave the other disenfranchised. Men and women should have equal rights not only in paper but in practice as well. This law tilts the scale towards men.

There is no recognition of polyandry under customary, Islāmic, Christian or Hindu law. Dictation of terms in marriage now squarely lies with the man. Dialogue is no longer effective when the man can just as easily take another wife. Intellectual, economic and political pursuits for our women are now in jeopardy. Where are we going when the strongest of us cannot come with us? Women hold this country together. We will never be free until they are also free.

Marriage is a matter of personal choice and preference. What is a proper marriage to you may not be a proper marriage to me. The state cannot and should not interfere with marriages. This is the work of the Church and other religious institutions i.e. to encourage constructive thought on marriages and discourage undesired practices. In so saying, the government should limit its role in marriages or stay away from it completely. It should not define marriage under various codes or practices.

The state is a secular entity. It should always stay secular. This means that the definition of marriage should be standard. More specifically, you cannot have a law in support of either polygamy or polyandry. You either introduce both or do away with both. The rest you leave to personal choice. You should also do away with compartmentalized definitions of marriage such as customary, Islāmic, Christian or Hindu marriages. These compartmentalized definitions are archaic, idiotic and unbecoming of a civilized state free of colonial masters.

You may also want to read the following article on marriages. Please click on the following link to find out more.
http://nahashonkimemia.org/the-family/the-irony-of-parenting-how-marriage-rolls-will-affect-your-children/

At Calvary, a Debt Was Paid

There is a man, a Nazarene. Have you heard of him? This man talks of a new way. He speaks of a distant place where men live in peace and rejoice in harmony. He tells of a day when our sins will be no more. He calls to the sinners, gives heart to the oppressed and reprimands the wicked. Have you not heard of him?

He builds his words on truth. He asks that we love each other as our Father loves us. They call him Jesus, the Messiah born in Bethlehem, the City of David. His heart is more precious than the wealth of all Kings that were and of all the Kings that will be. You must have heard of him. He is love, he is joy and he is triumph.

Have you not heard? The saints interceded on our behalf, the Son of Man listened to our prayers, the Father above gave the orders and now the evil one no longer has power over us. At Calvary, a debt was paid and now we are free.