John-Henry Westen

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Dear non-Catholic Christians, we need your help in the Catholic Church like never before

I wanted to reach out to you and beg you to consider coming home to the Catholic Church
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John-Henry Westen By John-Henry Westen

January 2, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — It's great to be back from a joyful celebration of the birth of the Savior with family and friends. I pray you've all had a much needed break from work and found time for the peace and joy that the Christ-child brings.

To kick off 2020 I wanted to reach out in a special way to all of LifeSite's non-Catholic readers and supporters. Firstly, I want to thank you for all you've done in the battle for life and family. There are thousands of spirit-filled Christians across the world that have given me so much inspiration, especially those I've been privileged to work with in the battle for life and family.

It is precisely because of the great respect, love and admiration that I have for you non-Catholic soldiers for Christ that I wanted to reach out to you and beg you to consider coming home to the Catholic Church. For one thing your ardent faith and willingness to defend the truths of Christ are sorely needed in the battle for the soul of the Catholic Church that is raging today.

But more than that, you are such good and Christ-loving people. You deserve the riches of the Catholic faith much more than a sinner like me. 

So I've tried to put together this show to explain from a Biblical perspective one of the most troubling aspects of Catholicism for most non-Catholic Christians... namely Mary the Mother of Jesus.

I explain in this episode with Scriptural backing why Catholics call Mary their Mother, why Catholics have statues of Mary in their Churches and much more.

Please watch this very important episode of The John-Henry Westen Show for more on the Catholic teaching on Mary. You can also read the show's transcript below. Please know that you are in my prayers. And happy new year!

The John-Henry Westen Show is available by video on the show’s YouTube channel and right here on my LifeSite blog.

It is also available in audio format on platforms such as SpotifySoundcloud, and ACast. We are awaiting approval for iTunes and Google Play as well. To subscribe to the audio version on various channels, visit the ACast webpage here.

We’ve created a special email list for the show so that we can notify you every week when we post a new episode. Please sign up now by clicking here. You can also subscribe to the YouTube channel, and you’ll be notified by YouTube when there is new content.

You can send me feedback, or ideas for show topics by emailing [email protected].

***FULL TRANSCRIPT***

This episode is a call out to all sincere non-Catholic Christians who love Christ and want to serve Him above all else. To those Evangelical, non-denominational, Reform, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, Baptist and other Christians who love the truth of Christ in this day and age which rejects it and are willing to stand for Christ’s truth despite the rejection of the world. 

Let’s begin as we always do with the sign of the cross.

Wait! To all my non-Catholic Christian brothers and sisters in Christ, wait! Before you leave this page, I want to say that the Catholic Church needs you to join its ranks now like never before. There is a war going on for the soul of the Church and those in the Church who love the immutable truths of Christ on life and family are in desperate need of reinforcements from Bible-believing Christians who know the truth of Christ and are willing to stand up for it despite the costs and despite the pressures of the world to conform to it’s anti-Christian anti-life, anti-family doctrine.

In the whole 2000-year history of the Church there has never been more internal pressure to conform to the world as there is today. Christ prayed for his future disciples prior to his death. He said, “Father may they be one even as You and I are one.” That oneness goes far beyond having differences in being able to pray comfortably together without hesitation let alone more fundamental differences such as around the breaking of Bread in commemoration of the Lord or baptism.

But for me, the deepest reason why I want to reach out especially to you good good believers and lovers of Christ. I’m privileged to know some of you whose faith, commitment, and devotion I’ve admired and tried to emulate. You are committed to Jesus, you are such good people, such generous, kind, loving, caring, willing to give till it hurts, self-sacrificing and awesome soldiers for Christ. You deserve the fullness of truth so much more than the miserable sinner that I am.

So as is typical for LifeSite, instead of starting with the easier doctrines in the Church, I want to start with what is, at least for most non-Catholic Christians, the biggest stumbling block when it comes to Catholicism, namely, Mary, the Mother of Jesus.

Let’s begin with a title for Mary that causes some Christians much discomfort -- Mother of God.

This title understandably has many Christians confused. It may sound like Catholics believe that Mary is somehow superior to God being His Mother. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The greatest Catholic teacher on Mary, universally recognized as such, was Louis de Montfort, a French priest who died in 1716. In his greatest work on Mary he said this:

With the Church, I acknowledge that Mary, being a mere creature fashioned by the hands of God, is, in comparison with His Infinite Majesty, less than an atom; or rather is simply nothing, since He alone can say, ‘I am He who is.’ Consequently, this great Lord, who is ever independent and self-sufficient, never had and does not now have any absolute need of the Blessed Virgin for the accomplishment of his will and  To do all things, He has only to will them.

The title ‘Mother of God’ is actually logical and scriptural. Jesus was God from the moment of His conception, not only after His birth. Have a look at Luke 1:43, it’s the account of Mary visiting her cousin Elizabeth after she learned from the Angel Gabriel that her cousin, despite her old age, was with child. When Elizabeth greets Mary she proclaims (under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit – see verse 41): “And how has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”

The Bible talks about not making graven images and worshipping them, yet nearly every Catholic Church has at least one statue of Mary in it. 

In 2 Chronicles 33:6-7, we read: “He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking Him to anger Then he put the carved image of the idol which he had made in the house of God.” 

So what can we make of that?

Well, we also read in the Bible that God actually commanded the making of graven images for use in the temple – right on the ark of the covenant in fact. We read in Exodus 25: 18 “And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat.”

You might say though that those were just meant as decoration and Catholics look at statues in Churches as much more than that, even as part of a religious ceremony. But that’s scriptural too. 

Remember when the Israelites were being killed by serpents because of their infidelity? God commanded Moses to fashion a bronze serpent and raise it on a pole. In Numbers 21:8-9 you’ll read: “And the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.”

Obviously God didn’t intend the Israelites to think a bronze serpent had some sort of power, but to think of Him and give Him glory for having saved them. And that’s exactly what Catholics do with statues or pictures of the saints. They see them and think of the saints and the God who made them and saved them, and expect from the saints in heaven that they would pray to God for us. Just the same way we are told in the Scriptures to ask other brothers and sisters in Christ to pray for us.

If we actually believed Mary were somehow superior to God we definitely wouldn’t be asking her to pray to God for us, but that’s exactly what Catholics do.

Catholics also consider Mary not only the Mother of Jesus but also the Mother of all believers. And believe it or not that’s totally scriptural too.

I came across this in an awesome book I’d recommend called ‘Rome Sweet Home’ by Scott and Kimberley Hahn who were at one time staunch anti-Catholic Christians but then were led from study of God’s word into the Catholic Church.

If you read Revelation 12:17 it talks about Mary in a mystical kind of way, but it is clear that it is Mary since she gives birth to Christ. Let’s go to verse 17. “Then the dragon was angry with the woman, and went off to make war on the rest of her children, those who keep the commandments of God and hold the testimony of Jesus.”

Wait a minute, the serpent was angry with the woman? And went to make war with the rest of her children — not the child that she already gave birth to who went up to God — the rest of her children who keep the commandments of God and hold the testimony of Jesus. And that's us!

So we, the Christians who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus, are the Children of Mary, having Mary for our Mother just as our head – Jesus Christ – did. 

He is the head of the mystical body, the Church, and we are the members of his mystical body thus we too have God as our Father and Mary as our mother, as we read in Revelations 12:17

In fact, many non-Catholic Christians sing a song of ‘Father Abraham’...why do they do this? Because of his faith, of course. 

Paul in Romans 4:11 calls Abraham the “father of all them that believe.” And what faith did he have to make him the father of the faith? It was the faith that had him believing that his way-too-old-wife would bear a son and also his consent to the sacrificial death of that same son Isaac. Mary is much more deserving of the title of Mother of the Faith since she was asked to believe that she would bear a child not in her old age, but as a virgin! And she too was faced with the sacrificial death of her child, but unlike with Abraham whose son was spared at the last minute, Mary was asked to endure that sacrificial death of Her Son as she watched under the cross. She fulfilled the prophecy of Simeon in the temple that a sword would pierce her own heart too.

Catholics fulfill the Biblical prophecy made by Mary under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit when she said “from henceforth, all generations shall call me blessed.” (Luke 1:48)

To get a Biblical understanding of the type of reverence Christians should have for Mary, let’s take at look at the reverence given to the Ark of the Covenant in the Old Testament. The Ark of the Covenant was sacred because God ordained it’s construction. According to Hebrews 9:4 it was the housing for a golden pot containing some of the manna from heaven, and the tablets of the Ten Commandments and the rod of Aaron. Moreover, it was called the footstool of God and meant God’s presence when it was in the temple.

Recall that it was so sacred that it was never allowed to be touched except by certain Levites. This was reinforced when Uzzah touched the Ark to stabilize it after the oxen carrying it stumbled and was struck dead since no one was permitted to touch the Ark except those whom God had ordained. You can read that account in both 2 Samuel 6:1-7 and 1 Chronicles 13:9-12. The Ark was revered in the temple. It was carried in ceremony. It was considered holy.

How much more reverence should then be given to Mary the Mother of God? She wasn’t only fashioned by Men according to God's design. She was fashioned by God, as we all are, in the womb of her mother. But also, she is the new Ark of the Covenant and she carried in herself not just the tablets of the law but the lawgiver Himself. Not just the manna from heaven but the actual bread of heaven which was prefigured by the manna, Jesus Christ himself. And He is the ruler of the world which the rod was to signify. 

So, God the Father chose Mary to give Jesus to the world. He also chose to do the first miracles of Jesus through Mary. The first miraculous recognition of Jesus in the womb of Mary by her cousin Elizabeth. The first public miracle of Christ at the wedding at Cana. We read that after Mary suggests that Jesus provide more wine for the wedding feast He tells her that his time has not yet come. Nevertheless he does perform the miracle at her behest.

We are called in the scriptures to ask others to pray for us. How Much more sense does it make to ask Jesus’ own mother to pray for us? Naturally we can ask the saints in heaven to pray for us too. Remember when Moses and Elijah appeared with the Lord at his transfiguration? They spoke with Him. And our Lord told the Sadducees that God is the God of the living, not of the dead. So, surely if we can communicate across the planet with our devices, God can arrange for communication of his children in heaven with his children on earth.

And finally, I can tell you from my own personal experience that My heavenly Mother Mary has been the greatest help in bringing me to love Jesus, to serve Him, to make Him Lord of my life and recognize Him as my savior. I’m a sinner and I know it. God has given me and you a heavenly Mother to bring us to His Son. Going to Jesus through Mary is the same way God the Father gave us Jesus – through Mary.

Think of the hymn ‘The Church's one foundation’ which many of you sing. It speaks of “mystic sweet communion with those whose rest is won.” That’s exactly what we’re talking about here!

To my dear brothers and sisters in Christ who love the Lord and have made Jesus Lord of your hearts, ask Him, ask Jesus your dearest love to give you the same love for Mary which He Himself had. She was the humblest of all creatures, as we learn from her under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit why she was chosen. She would never want to detract from the glory due to Her Son, but she doesn’t at all. No painter is offended when someone admires his painting, and Mary is a beautiful creation of God who gives glory to God like no one else does. Her soul ‘magnifies the Lord’ as we again read in the Scriptures.

She’s your mother too. She loves you and wants nothing more for you than for you to love Her Son with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. Catholics only quote Scripture when they say what many of you deem quite offensive. Read with me the words of God’s messenger Angel in Luke chapter one. “Hail full of Grace the Lord is with thee.” Let’s repeat with Elizabeth, “Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.” These are quotes from Scripture. When Roman Catholics say ‘Holy Mary Mother of God pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death,’ we are obviously asking her to pray to God for us.

My dear non-Catholic Christian friends whose love for Christ and readiness to sacrifice for Him has so inspired me I want you to have the riches awaiting you in the Catholic Church, your great love for Jesus is overwhelming and compels me to offer you what I can give – a rather poor intro to that last gift Jesus gave us on the cross – His Mother for our own. 

There are many ways to learn about the Virgin Mary and the Catholic Faith. I’d recommend something called Catholic Answers, which you can search for online.

In addition, we need you soldiers for Christ in this fight for the soul of the Church right now. We need a division of marines in this war. Your heavenly mother is calling you to love Her Son and His Church. It’s where you belong. Please, please come home.

If nothing else I hope I’ve helped you to understand from a biblical perspective why Catholics have Mary as a Mother, just like the Jews had Abraham as a Father.

If this was of help to you at all please let me know in the comments section and I’ll do more on this subject.


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John-Henry Westen

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John-Henry is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of LifeSiteNews.com. He and his wife Dianne and their eight children live in the Ottawa Valley in Ontario, Canada.

He has spoken at conferences and retreats, and appeared on radio and television throughout North America, Europe and Asia. John-Henry founded the Rome Life Forum an annual strategy meeting for pro-life leaders worldwide. He co-founded Voice of the Family and serves on the executive of the Canadian National March for Life Committee, and the annual National Pro-Life Youth Conference.  

He is a consultant to Canada’s largest pro-life organization Campaign Life Coalition, and serves on the executive of the Ontario branch of the organization.  He has run three times for political office in the province of Ontario representing the Family Coalition Party.  

John-Henry earned an MA from the University of Toronto in School and Child Clinical Psychology and an Honours BA from York University in Psychology.