Mary, Mother of God

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The following debate on alt.religion.christian.roman-catholic shows how people often misunderstand the concept of Mary being the Mother of God. You can find the start of debate on usenet here.

I understand that. She gave birth to the human, Jesus Christ which was God manifest in the flesh.
But once again, since God has always existed, he had no mother.

Come on mike, give it up.  God became man, fully man, and Mary is his earthly mother.

Earthly yes. She played no role in His divine nature.
Mary being his earthly mother does not make her the mother of God.

The logic is that if she was indeed his mother, and he was indeed God, then she was the mother of God, because the person she was mother to was God.

“Earthly mother of God” is perhaps a more explanatory title.  Theotokos is the most explanatory – she who carried God in her womb.

You guys want to blend his humanity with his divine nature for no other reason than to elevate Mary to the status you do.

Actually, the original reason was to reinforce the divine nature of Christ.  The idea arose that the person Mary gave birth to was not God, and only later became God.  If Mary was the mother of the human person of the Christ – Christotokos – but the divine person only came later, she could not be Theotokos, but only Christotokos.  Orthodox Christianity reinforced the teaching that there was always only one person – not a human person that later acquired a God person within him.  The title Theotokos or Mother of God was simply to show that the person Mary was mother to was God, not a non-divine person who later attained / acquired Godhood.

For Mary to be “mother of God” she would have to be a god herself.

In Catholic/Orthodox theology, it means she was mother to a person, and that person was God when he was in her womb.

Don’t make the mistake of rejecting a teaching considered to be biblical and shared by virtually all Christians – Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant – just because the title means something to you that is unacceptable outside of its original context.  If you agree with the rest of Christianity on the divinity of Christ at the point when he was still in Mary’s womb, you can’t logically deny that she was the earthly human mother of a person who was fully God in her womb.  That is the meaning of the title, so you can’t logically deny the title.  You can refuse to use it because of other reasons, but not because it is contrary to your beliefs (if you do share the beliefs of most Protestants on that issue).  If you refuse to use it because, in some circles it seems to say that Mary is the originator of Christ’s deity, then you are still in agreement with Catholicism, Orthodoxy, and Protestantism, because they reject that idea as well.  Your real disagreement is not in a title, but in the way Mary is treated.

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