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Mary in the Middle
Transcript of Mary in the Middle
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Many times the Roman Catholic church blended indigenous beliefs and practices with their own Catholic traditions, sacrifices are made to Jesus and the saints for healing and magical powers, even curses.
Millions of Latin American Indigenous people were offered the "choice" of belief in Christ and his saints or horrible death by burning or other tortures, often after their families had been raped and everything they owned taken from them.
Even though the indigenous people didn't understand Spanish, many were expected to demonstrate that they were good catholics during the Spanish masses, and adopt European customs as part of their new "faith".
Liberation theology dominated Latin America in the 1960's to 1990's, putting forth a Jesus who fought for the poor and for social change and politics, enabling the people to be their own saviours.
The "prosperity gospel" is a new movement in Latin America focused on receiving "blessings" from God by doing things for Jesus. You give some money to God, and God gives money to you. Come to church, get rich.
Rejecting the resurrection, many people in Latin America today believe in a historical Jesus, but not that He rose from the dead or has any relevance to their life today.
Perpetually a child, many in Latin America prefer to worship the perfect and beautiful baby Jesus to the adult version. This Jesus is soft and generous and not demanding anything of you. He brings you presents at Christmas.
During the plagues and slaughter of the people of Latin America and while many were chained in slavery by the "Christian" Conquistadors the priests taught the indigenous people to pray to their mother Mary, the mother of Jesus to shelter them from Jesus' wrath.
While Jesus and the Godhead were seen as invaders, Mary became a merciful and indigenous goddess, who spoke their language and would mercifully protect them. She has become the primary object of worship for the people of Latin America and is seen as the saviour of the broken and oppressed common people.
By any other name...
Often worshippers changed almost nothing about the animistic gods and goddesses of their religion except their names, telling the priests that they were doing their rituals to obscure saints and not the gods from before the Spanish arrived.
Jesus doesn't suffer and die for you, He helps you down from your cross so you won't have to suffer or die either. The goal is to establish a heavenly kingdom of justice on earth.
Compare that to the
A Changing Idol-
A Socio-Political Revolutionary-
A Divine Stock Broker-
An Ancient Corpse-
The Unchanging God
A New Covenant
A Divine Gift
The Resurrected Lord
Let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."
He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor."
Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world."
Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, since God is one—who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith.
Matthew 16: 24-27
Then Jesus told his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.
"You shall not make idols for yourselves or erect an image or pillar, and you shall not set up a figured stone in your land to bow down to it, for I am the LORD your God.
This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant.
so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
1 Corinthians 6:14
And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power.
Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.
Galatians 3: 23-29
At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ,
Let's go out and share the Good News of the Authentic Jesus in Latin America!
What can we do?
2 Corinthians 8:2-3
for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord.