The Instigator
Pro (for)
8 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

Are Apparitions Of The Virgin Mary A Deception?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/12/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,094 times Debate No: 42206
Debate Rounds (3)
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In this debate I would like to discuss the topic of Marian apparitions.

I will be taking the stance of Pro for the debate and will be suggesting that these encounters with the virgin Mary after her death are in fact a deception and not from Jesus or his mother.

Format for the debate is as follows:
-Round 1: Acceptance and insults
-Round 2: Opening arguments and apologies
-Round 3: Rebuttals and closing statement

I would like to thank everyone reading for their time and I hope we can make this an interesting debate for you.


Okay. i accept.
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you Con for accepting this debate.

For those unfamiliar with this topic, It is believed by many people all over the world that the biblical mother of Jesus Christ has been appearing and delivering messages for humanity on behalf of her son. The roman catholic church has recognized many of these encounters and venerate the virgin Mary through it.

There are two steps I will take to prove that these are in fact fiendish deceptions from a very intelligent foe.


1. Possibility of Impersonation
First I would like to establish the possibility of there being a fiend in disguise at the heart of these Marian apparitions. The bible even tells us that Satan is capable of appearing as an agent of good to deceive humanity and teach false doctrines. Really what better way to disguise yourself than as a friend of your enemy?

(2 Corinthians 11:14-15) "And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds."

The apostle Paul not only declares Satan capable of appearing as something he isn't but also implies that he already has. This bible verse undeniably shows the possibility of Satan acting under a guise. We are warned in the bible to be weary of the supernatural and to not follow apparitions blindly.

(1 John 4:1-3 ) "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already"

I have never seen any evidence of witnesses testing these apparitions of the virgin Mary as suggested we should in the book of John. They only listen in awe. I could imagine the results would be much different if these people took John's advice.


2. The Apparitions Are Not Biblical
Now that we have built a case for the possibility of impersonation, I would like to show how contrary to the bible these encounters with the Virgin Mary are. Primarily I will be taking into account a few of the most famous roman catholic approved apparitions including Guadalupe, Fatima, etc.

The most telling arguments against the apparitions of Mary are the very words she is said to speak.

(Fatima) "Jesus wants to use you to make Me known and loved. He wishes to establish the devotion to My Immaculate Heart throughout the world. I promise salvation to whoever embraces it; these souls will be dear to God, like flowers put by Me to adorn his throne." [1]

These words are said to have been spoken by Mary to three children in Fatima, Portugal. First of all she is claiming to be able to offer salvation. This is directly contradicted by the bible.

(Acts 4:11-12) He is " 'the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone. ' Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."

This verse spoken by Peter is very clear about no one being able to offer salvation other than Jesus Christ. Another Fatima quote from the virgin Mary says:

(Fatima) "Only I can help you. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God." [1]

Jesus Christ is our one and only advocate and there is no mediator between us and Jesus.

(1 timothy 2:5) "there is one god and one mediator between god and men, the man Christ Jesus"

Apparitions of the virgin Mary also appear to claim perfection and to have been sinless in life when we know the only person to ever live as such was Jesus.

(Guadalupe) "Know, know for sure, my dearest, littlest, and youngest son, that I am the perfect and ever Virgin Holy Mary" [3]
(Lourdes) "I am the Immaculate Conception" [2]

Immaculate conception by the way is the belief held that Mary was born free of the burden of original sin and lived a sinless life. [4] This idea has become official dogma of the roman catholic church but I completely disagree with this notion as I see no biblical basis for it. In fact Mary in the bible declares her need of a savior which means she was guilty of sin like all humans. Mary seems like such a wonderful, humble and courageous person from what I read of her in the bible and these statements seem so against her character.

(Luke 1:46-47) And Mary said: "My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior"
(Rom 3:23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
(1 Peter 2:22) He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth

The biblical contradictions stated by the apparition of the virgin Mary keep going. These are just a few examples but on this basis It is safe to say with certainty that these apparitions are stating things that are not coherent to the bible. If the apparitions contradict God's word than they cannot be speaking on behalf of God and therefore must be a deception.

Thank you all for reading and I look forward to hearing Con's arguments in support of these apparition's legitimacy.



The Immaculate conception can be proven. Look at Gabriel's greeting to Mary. It says:

Luke 1:28
And coming to her (Mary), he (the angel Gabriel) said, "Hail, favored one. " Now realize that Gabriel's salutation comes before Mary's acquiescence. This shows that Mary was already favored. Now following this line of reasoning, we can deduct that Since Mary was already favored, God wanted to make sure that the womb was pure enough to carry the Christ. Though Mary did not know before, she accepted Gabriel's announcement with humility. That is why Catholics honor her.

Co mediator: The bible also proves that Mary is the co mediator and advocate. The apostle Paul said this.
Colossians 1:24: 'Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ"s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.' He is saying here that Christ's sacrifice has to be completed by being preached, accepted, and embraced by our cooperation and that our suffering plays a mysterious part in this action. I am not saying anyone is equal to Christ. What I am saying is that our cooperation becomes a part of Christ"s all sufficient sacrifice. If Paul shared in a mysterious way in Christ"s sufferings, and if by doing so he shared in the redemptive work of the cross, then it is not too difficult to see how we are all called to do the same thing. In fact, in Romans 12, Paul exhorts us to do just that when he says, "Present your bodies as a living sacrifice"(Rom. 12:1). Jesus also tells us that we must "take up our cross and follow him if we would be his disciples" (Matt. 16:24). Now Mary was the person who was closest to Jesus. Doesn't it follow that these truths would also apply to her? It is worth discussing that the Fathers of the Church saw Mary as Mediator of All Grace. Cyril of Alexandria in the fourth century writes:

Hail, Mary Mother of God, venerable treasure of the whole world . . . it is you through whom the Holy Trinity is glorified and adored . . . through whom the tempter, the devil is cast down from heaven, through whom the fallen creature is raised up to heaven, through whom all creation, once imprisoned by idolatry, has reached knowledge of the truth, through whom nations are brought to repentance. (qtd. in Luigi Gambero, Mary and the Fathers of the Church: The Blessed Virgin Mary in Patristic Thought)

You might use Mary for the birth of Christ and then Just throw her away, But we Catholics think that God doesn't work like that. When Catholics recognize Mary as Mediated and Co-Redemptrix, we acknowledge that God"s work in a person"s life transforms them eternally. Mary was given a new name at the Annunciation: Full of Grace. The new name indicates an ontological change. She was changed into a new person with a new role forever.

The Catholic Church knows that Public Apparitions can not happen anymore. Therefore any Apparitions happening after Mary's death are called Private Apparitions. They can not be proven by Biblical evidence. But we can prove it by Faith.

Hebrews 11
[ Faith in Action ] Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God"s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

I will wait for my opponent's response!
Debate Round No. 2


Thank you very much for the response Con and now I shall respond to your argument's

Lets start with a response to your argument around Gabriel greeting Mary in Luke 1:28.

Mary being declared favored does not imply in any sense that she was sinless. Nowhere is this stated and it would be far less an assumption to say that Gabriel was referring to her being favored in being given a great honor to give birth to Jesus. Favor is not exclusive to Mary in the bible and Gabriel's choice of word "favored" means simply that she is under God's favor. She did not have to be born this way because the bible tells us how to gain God's favor.

(Proverbs 8:35) "For whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from the Lord"

Everyone in the body of Christ has found favor in God's eyes. This does not say Mary's role was not important but also does not elevate her to a place worthy of worship and prayer like the apparitions request. That would be contrary to the bible.

Also nowhere in the bible does it say that she had to be sinless to birth Christ. This is entirely an assumption and I will refer back to Luke 1:46-47 where she proclaims her need of a redeemer.


Now back to the topic of a co-redeemer

Con quotes Colossians 1:24 and then states "He is saying here that Christ's sacrifice has to be completed by being preached, accepted, and embraced by our cooperation and that our suffering plays a mysterious part in this action. I am not saying anyone is equal to Christ. What I am saying is that our cooperation becomes a part of Christ"s all sufficient sacrifice"

The first thing I would like to point out is that if Christ's sacrifice was in fact all sufficient [1] then it is sufficient and not dependent on anything Paul, Mary or anyone can do. We need to remember that Paul had suffered much for the church and was even writing Colossians from prison. [2] It is never said that Paul was suffering to secure salvation. This was clearly already gained for us by Jesus's sacrifice on the cross. Paul was suffering to spread the word of the already secured salvation. The notion that Paul and Mary suffered with Christ in the redemptive work of Jesus are not supported by the bible. They suffered, but never to buy salvation. By this premise Con presents it could be assumed that Paul and the rest of the people who suffered with Christ should be able to offer salvation as well because they shared in the works. These truths that Con asserts certainly does not make Jesus's sacrifice appear sufficient and does not give grounds for Mary being able to save souls.

(Ephesians 2:8-10) "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. ,"

(James 2:18) But someone will say, "You have faith and I have works." Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.

Salvation is a gift given to us by God and the only act necessary to receive it is the simple act of accepting it. Works are important but are not the grounds in which we are saved.


In conclusion:

I feel my arguments still stand and we have built a very strong argument with proof that these apparitions are a deception, not from the virgin Mary of the bible. First we have established the possibility of an impersonation as presented by the bible. We are warned that Satan can appear as an agent of good and we are warned not to blindly trust the supernatural.

Second we have shown that statements made by the apparition are contradictory to the bible. The apparition claims the ability to redeem humanity and to be worshipped and prayed to alongside God. The counter arguments I have heard from Con seem to be all based on assumptions not supported in the bible and refuted by contradictions to God's word. The bible.

You might think that I am suggesting that we use Mary for the birth of Christ and just throw her away. The truth is that there was so much more to her than that. She has painted an incredible picture of love, courage, devotion, humility and faith that is impossible to deny and like the rest of the bible, it will never die. Mary stayed by Jesus's side when He was crucified while many of His followers fled. She was not afraid of what the Romans might do to her and watched her son suffer a terrible death for all of humanity.

She certainly suffered. She suffered as she watched her son die and held her son in her arms. But she did not suffer for salvation, to be worshipped, or to grant people redemption. She suffered because she loved. There is so much we can gain from her story. We do not need to deviate from the bible to get to it

(Romans 1:25) Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

(Hebrews 13:20-22) Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Thank you Con very much for this thought provoking debate and I would like to thank all readers as well!

Sources: [1] [2]


(Ephesians 2:8-10) "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. ,"
If we take a concordance and look up every occurrence of the word "faith," we come up with an undeniable fact the only time the phrase "faith alone" is used in the entire Bible is when it is condemned (James 2:24). The epistle of James only mentions it in the negative sense.

The Bible tells us we must have faith in order to be saved (Hebrews 11:6). Yet is faith nothing more than believing and trusting? Searching the Scriptures, we see faith also involves assent to God's truth (1 Thessalonians 2:13), obedience to Him (Romans 1:5, 16:26), and it must be working in love (Galatians 5:6). These points appeared to be missed by the reformers, yet they are just as crucial as believing and trusting. (1 Corinthians 13:1-3) should be heeded by all it's certainly an attention grabber.

Paul speaks of faith as a life-long process, never as a one-time experience (Philippians 2:12). He never assumes he has nothing to worry about. If he did, his words in (1 Corinthians 9:24-27) would be nonsensical. He reiterates the same point again in his second letter to Corinth (2 Corinthians 13:5). He takes nothing for granted, yet all would agree if anyone was "born again" it certainly was Paul. Our Lord and Savior spoke of the same thing by "remaining in Him" (John 15:1-11).

Paul tells us our faith is living and can go through many stages. It never stays permanently fixed after a single conversion experience no matter how genuine or sincere. Our faith can be shipwrecked (1 Timothy 1:19), departed from (1 Timothy 4:1), disowned (1 Timothy 5:8) wandered from (1 Timothy 6:10), and missed (1 Timothy 6:21). Christians do not have a "waiver" that exempts them from these verses.

Do our works mean anything? According to Jesus they do (Matthew 25:31-46). The people rewarded and punished are done so by their actions. And our thoughts (Matthew 15:18-20) and words (James 3:6-12) are accountable as well. These verses are just as much part of the Bible as Romans 10:8-13 and John 3:3-5.

Some will object by appealing to Romans 4:3 and stating Abraham was "declared righteous" before circumcision. Thus he was only saved by "believing" faith (Genesis 15:6), not by faith "working in love" (Galatians 5:6). Isn't this what Paul means when he says none will be justified by "works of law" (Romans 3:28)? No, this is not what he means. He's condemning the Old Covenant sacrifices and rituals which couldn't justify and pointing to better things now in Christ Jesus in the New Covenant (Hebrews 7-10). A close examination of Abraham's life revealed a man of God who did something. In Genesis 12-14 he makes two geographical moves, builds an altar and calls on the Lord, divides land with Lot to end quarrels, pays tithes, and refuses goods from the King of Sodom to rely instead on God's providence. He did all these works as an old man. It was certainly a struggle. After all these actions of faith, then he's "declared righteous" (Genesis 15:6). Did these works play a role in his justification? According to the Bible, yes.

The Blessed Virgin Mary does not save souls. Catholics do not worship Mary. God ordered His people in the Ten Commandments to worship Him alone. Catholics only worship the one, true God in His three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Jesus is the second part of the Holy Trinity. He is the Word of God made flesh (John 1:14). He is God.The Catholic Church teaches that God specifically chose Mary out of all the women in the world to be the mother of Jesus. In the Gospel of Luke the angel Gabriel visits Mary to announce His coming and says,"Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you." Catholics believe that just as Mary"s virgin body was kept pure in preparation for Jesus, that her soul also was kept free from the stain of sin.

When it comes to the Catholic Church"s teaching on Mary, many of our non-Catholic brothers and sisters find the position Catholics hold regarding Mary difficult to accept. Namely, the Immaculate Conception, Mary as "Mother of God", and the Assumption of Mary into Heaven and her Coronation as Queen. However, this difficulty mainly stems from a lack of understanding.

The Catholic Church firmly believes that Mary was immaculately conceived. Since God rejects all sin, and the purpose of Christ"s incarnation was to release man from the grasp of Satan, it was not suitable that our redeemer be personally associated with sin. This means that unlike the original sin that we as humans inherit at the moment of conception, Mary was exempt from this sin, and in like manner, was not subject to sin throughout her life. In Luke 1:28, The Angel Gabriel addresses Mary "Hail, full of grace!" The fullness of grace would not have been hers, had she any stain of sin. In the Apostolic Constitution by Pope Pius IX on the Immaculate Conception, he iterates this teaching:

"Above all creatures did God so loved her that truly in her was the Father well pleased with singular delight. Therefore, far above all the angels and all the saints so wondrously did God endow her with the abundance of all heavenly gifts poured from the treasury of his divinity that this mother, ever absolutely free of all stain of sin, all fair and perfect, would possess that fullness of holy innocence and sanctity than which, under God, one cannot even imagine anything greater, and which, outside of God, no mind can succeed in comprehending fully." Mary has been given an extraordinary role in the history of salvation. In response to her special status, Catholics give Mary unequaled admiration and respect, greater than any other saint. This is a tradition often misunderstood by non-Catholics. The honor we give to Mary is not to be compared to the worship and praise we give only to Almighty God. However, Mary must not be disregarded, as she offers many graces, and mercy to all who call upon her intercession.
Debate Round No. 3
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2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Romanii 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Sources to Pro because Con did not cite any. Arguments to Pro because He definitely showed that, as far as the Bible is concerned, Virgin Mary Apparitions aren't possible.
Vote Placed by janetsanders733 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Good job to both debaters. However, I think Pro did best because he said showed how Colossians 1:5 and Luke's gospel have nothing to do with Mary being our mediator,nor the apparition of mary. Christ is our Mediator, and our salvation.