Author Topic: Semper Virgo and David Scaer  (Read 5979 times)

revklak

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Re: Semper Virgo and David Scaer
« Reply #45 on: July 16, 2010, 08:11:52 AM »
We certainly believe that God's commands concerning creation applied to this couple as well as all others able to conceive don't we?  And it would also have meant that the joys of that bond in terms of companionship would have enriched their lives and the boy Jesus' life too.

Yours in Christ,
Paula Murray


I'm not sure.  Celibacy within marriage is an option, when both parties agree (as St. Paul writes.)  Paul suggests it only for an agreed upon time because of people's lack of self-control.  But if two married people were able to control themselves, there would be nothing sinful in refraining from sex for an extended period of time. 

St. Joseph and Mary were also a special case.  Mary was the mother of God.  Her womb was the temple of the Lord.  You could see why Christians were reticent to believe that the temple of the Lord later received the seed of a man defiled by Adam's sin. 

And don't forget - when Moses cam down the mountain or out of the presence of God, he had to wear a veil over his face to hide the glow from being in God's presence - for weeks or months till it faded.  Now, Mary had the very presence of God, the Son of God, the Word made flesh, IN her wormb for 9 months - what kind of half life would have been on THAT exposure before a man (Jeosph) could enter that closed gate?

revklak

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Re: Semper Virgo and David Scaer
« Reply #46 on: July 16, 2010, 08:18:22 AM »
[St. Joseph and Mary were also a special case.  Mary was the mother of God.  Her womb was the temple of the Lord.  You could see why Christians were reticent to believe that the temple of the Lord later received the seed of a man defiled by Adam's sin. 

I find reflection along this line ever so subtly insulting to St. Joseph and to blessed sexual intimacy in marriage.  I understand that the church has long confessed this, but I find the verses like Matthew 1:25 which would speak against the semper virgo much clearer than the supposed typological Scriptures of Aaron's budding rod, and the dry fleece, and the east gate of the temple.
[/quote]

Well, just go back and trace the history of this "pious opiinion" through the Church FAthers.  As a matter of fact, this discussion about Mt 1:25 came up VERY EARLY in the Church, and settled before the Trinity.  One cannot simply assuume that 'unitl' automatically means that after that point they did.  I will not marry until I find the right wife.  But, just because I find the right wife, doesn't mean I'll marry.  It just means "up to the time" but not necessarily even after wards.  They didn't have sex up t the time of his birth, and maybe not even afterwards

Weedon

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Re: Semper Virgo and David Scaer
« Reply #47 on: July 16, 2010, 08:25:57 AM »
Just to note:  I became aware of this thread yesterday.  No time to check everything out at the moment - still a day and a half of convention.  My suggestion:  please study the Marys at the cross, tomb, and resurrection.  The answer is not found in the birth narratives, but at the cross and resurrection.  That should not surprise us!  :)

revklak

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Re: Semper Virgo and David Scaer
« Reply #48 on: July 16, 2010, 08:28:08 AM »
Already having mention 1:25, the "brothers and sisters."  1st, there is long precedence in Jewish thought to call "near" relatives brothers.  Laban and Jacob - we're brothers.  and so on.  Beyond that, lets say that families lived more 'communally' then, that is, everyone didn't have their own house/farm.  Thus, any 'cousins' growing up together would be seen as brothers and sisters.  OR, they could have been half-sibs since Joseph was older and COULD have been widowed.  All of this is speculation, I know, but not out of the realm of possibilty.  But in the verse itsef I believe is one piece of evidence that we often overlook/ignore.  The crowd asks "is this not the Carpenter's son?"  Now, they're not asking if he's Karen Carpenter or Richard Capenter's son, but Joseph's.  This shows their unawareness of jesus' origins; we know the little secret here - he's God's Son and not produced by the 'normal' human act.  Already, the crowd's perspective is shown to be wrong -- no he's NOT the Carpenter's son; he is Mary's.  Did Mary have other children?  the Patristics show that, nearly from the beginning, though not recorded in the gospels IN SO MANY WORDS, Mary had no other children.  This is why: 1) Jesus "gave" her to John from the cross - no other sibs/bros to take care of her; 2) when his "brothers' chastise him for not going down to Jerusalem, YOUNGER bros did not chastise, 0k - unless they are inspiried by the HS an some miraculous dreamy insight.  And Jesus was Mary's FIRST born, whihch, like until, does not autromatically imply subsequent offspring, but merely a descriptor/title.  First born and only born do not contradicti.  

revklak

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Re: Semper Virgo and David Scaer
« Reply #49 on: July 16, 2010, 08:38:03 AM »
Now as for the worship or adoration of Mary.  Someone mentioned they don't worship in the way we worship God.  TRUE.  There are two kinds of worship/devotion -- latria and dulia.  Latria is reserved for the divine alone - God the Father, Son, Holy Spirit, Trinity, the blessed sacrament in whihch the "REAL PRESENCE" of Christ is known.  The other, duliia, is offered toward personages.  Kinda like the honor we give, or did, Lincoln, Washington, MLK,JR, and so on.  It's honor, respect, WORSHIP in an older sense- that of ascribing something WORTHY of honor.  It is when we say someone is "duly" elected or "duly" appointed - they command respect and honor - though they may not always act like it.  The person posting of how Catholoics are taught that Mary needed the very same salvation from Christ we do is aboslutely correct.  How do we get our heads around this -- here's but one example I've heard.

If you're waling along and fall into a mud puddle that cannot be avoided and you can't get out, someone who comes along and pulls you out and cleans you off would be your savior.  But another way that saving can work, and even more fully (better in a sense, but in the meaiang of more beautiful, EASIER, or complete) is to catch you BEFORE YOU FALL IN.  Then there is no need of "cleaning" off, but you still needed that person to "save" you from this mud puddle of sin.  Thus far - the Immaculate Conception.  Now, another way the patristics argued, and why I think Lutheranism really does keep it as a valid, pious opinion, is not becuase Jesus HAD to do this, but it was 'fitting' to do so.  If you had the ability to keep your Mother from the pain and sorrow and ravages of sin, would you?  And Jesus, being the Son of God, 2nd person of the Trinity, and involved in all aspects of the creation, certainly COULD HAVE DONE THIS. 

Denial of this 'pious opionion' which I believe is much more than that = simply refusing to Grant God the possibility and ignoring much of the earliest,  extra-biblical witness -- or should I say - pre-NT CAnon witnes.

revklak

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Re: Semper Virgo and David Scaer
« Reply #50 on: July 16, 2010, 08:42:44 AM »
While I recognize the value of Tradition, in the purest sense of the word, "traditio" to pass along... It is true that falsehood can be passed along as well.  Concerning a matter that is purely a historical notion (not really dogmatic.. the dogma derived from the semper vergo is derived from the assumed historical fact), one simply cannot build a doctrinal position off of a notion that isn't even mentionted until 250 years or so after the last recorded mention of Mary's life.   Tradition, as valuable as it is, cannot appear so many years after a fact, and revise a historical reality.   As a historical notion, we can never be certain about it.   

Leter, when I can get to it, I'll cite a few sources pre-Jerome and much sooner than 250 years after the last recorded metnion of her life. 

Jeff-MN

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Re: Semper Virgo and David Scaer
« Reply #51 on: July 16, 2010, 09:59:12 AM »
At least in the LCMS we argue over the Semper Virgo.  If we were in the ELCA we would be arguing over whether Mary was a virgin prior to the birth of Christ.

Who/what is the closed gate in Ezekiel 44?

carlvehse

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Re: Semper Virgo and David Scaer
« Reply #52 on: July 16, 2010, 10:12:36 AM »
A recent discussion, "Semper Virgo", is on Dr. Jack Kilcrease's Theologia Crucis blog.

More discussion of early church writings dealing (or not) with semper virgo is on a Society of St. Polycarp Sept. 2006 blog, "Inquiring Minds Want to Know."  Trying valiantly to inform the not-so-inquiring minds of the semper virgo group later in the comments is "Prince Valiant," who also refers to the prophesy of Psalms 69:8-9, as fulfilled by Christ (John 2:17; Romans 15:3).

pbnorth3

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Re: Semper Virgo and David Scaer
« Reply #53 on: July 16, 2010, 11:44:59 AM »
Paula, you certainly have a good point.

The issue though, for me at least, is what Scripture says on the subject. It would seem to weigh in favor of Mary not being Ever Virgin, although I am prepared to be proved wrong on this. The issue though has to do with the facts. The facts are that Scripture calls the children of Mary the brothers and sisters of Jesus and the sons and daughters of Jospeh and Mary. So what does it mean that they are called brothers and sisters of Jesus and the children of Mary and Joseph? I know that some have interpreted the "brothers" and "sisters" to be actually cousins or adopted brothers and sisters through Joseph's first marriage (the idea being that he is a widower). Perhaps that is true. Scripture doesn't say.

However, if Mary being Ever Virgin was such an important thing, one would expect a little more explanation of the family that is mentioned, but then again that might just be me thinking this way.

Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rob Buechler
The three common objections to acceptance of Mary's perpetual Virginity are discussed here:  http://www.ewtn.com/faith/teachings/maryc2.htm , and the 'brethren issue" is the most common one (see Objection 1).  It also lists the Church Fathers, Reformers, and early Councils that affirm the Church's understanding of this from early times.  Note that this was debated as early about 383 in Jerome's "Against Helvidius":

Here is the introduction to Jerome's "Against Helvidius", (my emphasis)  http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3007.htm

This tract appeared about a.d. 383. The question which gave occasion to it was whether the Mother of our Lord remained a Virgin after His birth. Helvidius maintained that the mention in the Gospels of the "sisters" and "brethren" of our Lord was proof that the Blessed Virgin had subsequent issue, and he supported his opinion by the writings of Tertullian and Victorinus. The outcome of his views was that virginity was ranked below matrimony. Jerome vigorously takes the other side, and tries to prove that the "sisters" and "brethren" spoken of, were either children of Joseph by a former marriage, or first cousins, children of the sister of the Virgin."


Thanks for the quote. I found the issue about virginity being ranked below matrimony to be an important point. It is important, because if that is the objection to allowing that Mary had other children, then that too goes against what our Lord clearly states in Matthew 19,that both marriage and virginity are equally blessed estates.

Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rob Buechler

FatherWilliam57

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Re: Semper Virgo and David Scaer
« Reply #54 on: July 16, 2010, 12:01:03 PM »
At least in the LCMS we argue over the Semper Virgo.  If we were in the ELCA we would be arguing over whether Mary was a virgin prior to the birth of Christ.

I am (at least for now) in the ELCA, and can assure you there are discussions concerning the semper virgo.  I have never argued your second point, nor have I heard it argued.  Let's stick to the subject of the thread.  I find it quite interesting on its own merits.  Thank you.
The Rev. William B. Henry, Jr.
Interim Pastor, St. Peter's Lutheran Church, Evans City, PA
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Karl Hess

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Re: Semper Virgo and David Scaer
« Reply #55 on: July 16, 2010, 01:09:42 PM »
The metaphor is this--you wouldn't want to use something that had held the body of Christ for something common, even though it's not sinful to do something common.  I would imagine you (or Mike) would squirm at the thought.

Even so, Joseph and Mary would have squirmed at the thought of bringing something unclean into the place of God's dwelling.  And since Mary had carried God in her womb, I can imagine they would have been squeamish about bringing unclean seed into that same womb, for the same reason you wouldn't want to drink iced tea out of a chalice.  Or margaritas, or juleps, or whatever you drink in Atlanta. 

But then again, this is all just reasoning without any proof in Scripture.  I was just arguing against the idea that it would have been sinful or inconceivable for Mary and Joseph to refrain from having children in accordance with Genesis 1:27, a thought which I used to entertain.  But like Walther and others cited, I see this as an open question (even if Luther didn't.) 



Pr. Hess,

I should be drummed out of the Church.

Don't be so hard on yourself, Mike.  Jesus still loves you.

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A chalice isn't exactly the best vessel to use for serving margaritas.  And it indeed is set aside to be used time and again to serve the Blood of the Lord.  There are other vessels which can be used to serve margaritas.



You're absolutely right!  Because the chalice carries the precious blood of Christ!  How much less fitting for the womb of Mary, which carried the precious body and blood of Jesus, to carry the defiled seed of a son of Adam.  But again, this is (as far as I'm concerned) pious reasoning with no proof from Scripture.

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ll me, do Jews set aside the cups they use for Passover and use them only for that?  Perhaps they do.  But perhaps they reuse them at other times for less holy purposes.

I don't know or care what Jews do at Passover.

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So, I guess the question is why God even gave Mary to Joseph as his wife.  Was it just to provide Jesus with an earthly father?  It was not to completely keep the shame of being an unwed mother from Mary since at least Joseph knew he had not known Mary, but perhaps it was in part to not have Jesus be the son of an unwed mother.


I don't know, but I note that you're speculating just as much as advocates of semper virgo.
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Scripture gives no answers.  It is all idle and sinful speculation into the hidden counsel of God.  Can we agree that it is best to just not go there and leave this an open question?

I don't agree with you that it's sinful, and before I commit myself to any agreement I'd like to hear someone who argues that Scripture does teach semper virgo.






ptmccain

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Re: Semper Virgo and David Scaer
« Reply #56 on: July 16, 2010, 01:47:31 PM »
Here's the bottom line, if you do not want people to insist on the SV as a doctrine, you can certainly not, in any way, imply, insist or otherwise demand that there is anything wrong with believing in it.

Karl Hess

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Re: Semper Virgo and David Scaer
« Reply #57 on: July 16, 2010, 01:49:48 PM »
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So, I guess the question is why God even gave Mary to Joseph as his wife.  Was it just to provide Jesus with an earthly father?  It was not to completely keep the shame of being an unwed mother from Mary since at least Joseph knew he had not known Mary, but perhaps it was in part to not have Jesus be the son of an unwed mother.


I don't know, but I note that you're speculating just as much as advocates of semper virgo.

I recognize that.  It was part of my point.  Once we start such speculation of how and why God must have acted, it does not stop.

I recognize it as sinful.  I sin boldly in using it as a rhetorical point -- I believe Luther speculated at times in posing other inane questions Scripture does not answer to make a point -- and trust in God's grace to forgive me of that sin in my repentance.
 
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Scripture gives no answers.  It is all idle and sinful speculation into the hidden counsel of God.  Can we agree that it is best to just not go there and leave this an open question?

I don't agree with you that it's sinful, and before I commit myself to any agreement I'd like to hear someone who argues that Scripture does teach semper virgo.

We'll wait for Pr. Weedon to return from convention and rest up a bit, and then I'm certain he'll argue forcefully for it.

Mike

I don't agree with the idea that all speculation is sinful.  It's wrong to try to bind someone to your speculation, but if you were correct we'd have to throw out half of Luther's sermons.

Weedon

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Re: Semper Virgo and David Scaer
« Reply #58 on: July 16, 2010, 01:54:44 PM »

George Erdner

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Re: Semper Virgo and David Scaer
« Reply #59 on: July 16, 2010, 02:05:54 PM »
Here's the bottom line, if you do not want people to insist on the SV as a doctrine, you can certainly not, in any way, imply, insist or otherwise demand that there is anything wrong with believing in it.

Actually, there's another bottom line. If one is willing to strongly advocate a position like Mary's perpetual virginity based on reason, common sense, and a very loose interpretation of what Scriptural terms might have meant in the first century that different from our understandings 20 centuries later, then one surrenders the moral authority to denounce others who use the same process to come to conclusions on other issues.

After all, based on what you said above, it seems that this corollary is also true: "If you do not insist on the SV as a doctrine, you can certainly should not, in any way, imply, insist or otherwise strongly advocate it as if there were anything wrong with not believing in it".