Marian Hymns, Allegory, And Biblical Symbolism

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Guest

Puritan Board Freshman
I listen to quite a variety of classical, medieval, and sacred choral music. Some of it contains lyrics that are sung in honor of Mary.

As a protestant, I transfer what they are saying concerning her in my mind to the Church. The Bride of Christ. The Mother of the elect.

For instance, take this hymn:


[quote:b2c2fc5ac8]
O Virgin pure, immaculate/ O Lady Theotokos
O Virgin Mother, Queen of all/ and fleece which is all dewy
More radiant than the rays of sun/ and higher than the heavens
Delight of virgin choruses/ superior to Angels.
Much brighten than the firmament/ and pure than the sun's light
More holy than the multitude/ of all the heav'nly armies.

[/quote:b2c2fc5ac8]

The bible speaks of Israel/The Church as a virgin, and the bride of Christ. Do those of you here that are convicted about the RC overtones in the "Passion" movie find my approach to this music heretical ? ?

This is a serious question. I have been thinking about it much more since the recent controversies have arisen regarding these themes.

Here are some questions:


[list:b2c2fc5ac8]
[*:b2c2fc5ac8]What makes the concepts behind most Marian hymns different than what the bible teaches about the Mother/Bride/Virgin images of the Church ? ?

[*:b2c2fc5ac8]Is it wrong to re-interpret modern art and literature through the spectacles of a Christian world-view ? ?

[*:b2c2fc5ac8]Why did Christian poets, writers, and artists of the past decide to draw so heavily upon pagan mythology and re-interpret it this way then ? ?
[/list:u:b2c2fc5ac8]



Scriptures to consider:
(These are just a few, there are many more)


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Revelation 12


The Woman and the Dragon

And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth. And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven diadems. His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it. She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne, and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days.

Satan Thrown Down to Earth

Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world--he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, "Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!"
And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time. The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with a flood. But the earth came to the help of the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the river that the dragon had poured from his mouth. Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea.

[/quote:b2c2fc5ac8]



[quote:b2c2fc5ac8]
Jeremiah 31


The LORD Will Turn Mourning to Joy

1 "At that time, declares the LORD, I will be the God of all the clans of Israel, and they shall be my people."
2 Thus says the LORD:
"The people who survived the sword
found grace in the wilderness;
when Israel sought for rest,
3 the LORD appeared to him from far away.
I have loved you with an everlasting love;
therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.
4 Again I will build you, and you shall be built,
O [b:b2c2fc5ac8]virgin Israel![/b:b2c2fc5ac8]
Again you shall adorn yourself with tambourines
and shall go forth in the dance of the merrymakers.
5 Again you shall plant vineyards
on the mountains of Samaria;
the planters shall plant
and shall enjoy the fruit.
6 For there shall be a day when watchmen will call
in the hill country of Ephraim:
'Arise, and let us go up to Zion,
to the LORD our God.'"
7 For thus says the LORD:
"Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob,
and raise shouts for the chief of the nations;
proclaim, give praise, and say,
'O LORD, save your people,
the remnant of Israel.'

[/quote:b2c2fc5ac8]


[quote:b2c2fc5ac8]
Jeremiah 2


Israel Forsakes the LORD

1 The word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2 "Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem, Thus says the LORD, "I remember the devotion of your youth,
your love as a [b:b2c2fc5ac8]bride[/b:b2c2fc5ac8],
how you followed me in the wilderness,
in a land not sown.
[/quote:b2c2fc5ac8]

[Edited on 3-3-2004 by Visigoth]
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Mark,

The problem is that the Bible, unlike Romanism, does not view virginity as superior to motherhood - in fact the reverse is true. And the Scripture does not ever imply perpetual virginity. In fact the Church is portrayed as much as a mother as a virgin. That is the problem with Romanism, as with most heresy, it takes a truth and blows it all out of proportion.

A serious question: with so many beautiful hymns, psalms, classical pieces etc., why test yourself having to "convert" Romanism into being useful ?
 

Guest

Puritan Board Freshman
[quote:08af199148]
A serious question: with so many beautiful hymns, psalms, classical pieces etc., why test yourself having to "convert" Romanism into being useful ?
[/quote:08af199148]

I enjoy all the protestant music very much. But sometimes the RC/Marian works have very beautiful melodies. As a musician I guess I am drawn to it in spite of the words, so my temptation is to find a way to redeem them.

I agree with you on the Mother/Virgin imbalance.

I have actually thought of taking those melodies and putting psalms to them instead (from the latin of course) .:wink:
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
[quote:9640700c44][i:9640700c44]Originally posted by Visigoth[/i:9640700c44]
[list:9640700c44]
[*:9640700c44]What makes the concepts behind most Marian hymns different than what the bible teaches about the Mother/Bride/Virgin images of the Church ? ?
[/quote:9640700c44]
First, the descriptions given about the Church are biblical. The descriptions Catholics give to Mary are not. Second, what Fred said :)
[quote:9640700c44]
[*:9640700c44]Is it wrong to re-interpret modern art and literature through the spectacles of a Christian world-view ? ?
[/quote:9640700c44]
Yes it is wrong. Art should be interpreted the way the artist wished it to be interpreted. Otherwise you are not really understanding the art or it's purpose for being created. How would you feel if some pagan took your art and interpreted in such a way as to promote Satanism?
[quote:9640700c44]
[*:9640700c44]Why did Christian poets, writers, and artists of the past decide to draw so heavily upon pagan mythology and re-interpret it this way then ? ?
[/list:u:9640700c44]
[/quote:9640700c44]
Can you give some examples of this? I'm not familiar with this practice.
 
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