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Mary Magdalene and Grace

September 5, 2014

My dad is the best.  We’ve been exchanging emails about wedding details and whatnot, and in his email today he included a question about whether or not Mary Magdalene was a prostitute.  My dad teaches at a great private school outside Boston, but the theology often directly contradicts what he and I hear on Sundays at our respective churches.  As I was typing out the email I realized it was a blog post in the making, so here’s the excerpt of my response to his question:

Mary Magdalene.  This article was helpful when I looked into it; people like to focus on things like, “Was she a prostitute, or the wife of Jesus, or …?”  When really all that matters was that she was a follower of Jesus. It happens in this day and age too – people are more concerned about what someone does for a living, what they had for dinner, what they’re wearing, etc, when really we have so much grace and love in Christ that it doesn’t matter.  No one is righteous enough, and no one is perfect enough, so that’s why we need Jesus.  I’ve been listening to a great sermon series by Tullian Tchividjian (a Presbyterian pastor in FL) on the book of Romans and how it’s all about how no matter what we do or how we live, we still need Jesus.  Catholics have a distorted view of grace that undermines the power of the Cross and puts emphasis on what WE as individuals DO (or don’t do) – they claim ‘mortal’ sins will cause you to lose your grace and salvation which makes no sense.  Jesus didn’t say “Oh hey, I’m only sacrificing myself for those of you who don’t commit the REALLY BIG SINS … you know who you are”.  As Jesus died he declared, “It is finished,” implying THAT WAS IT, the price had been paid, for ALL SINS.  There’s so much legalism and moralism and emotionalism that gets tied into all that that doesn’t matter. … Ok. Rant over.  

Maybe I’m just Protestant to the core, but I really get bent out of shape when I look at Catholic theology and see them twist the Gospel into anything more than The Cross.  Trying to make grace about sinners and not about the Savior.  Or maybe I’ve just been listening to too many sermons from Tullian Tchividjian.  

God is good.  He did everything for you, so your success, achievements, failures, losses, and gains are covered.  

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