I recently posted a status on Facebook referring to the fast of the Dormition of the Mother of God. A few minutes later I got a reply from a non-denominational protestant friend: “I did not know that God had a mother”. This is a very typical response from this audience since they do not have any particular place for the Virgin Mary in their theology or worship‚ other than giving physical birth to the baby Jesus Christ. This is where‚ in their view‚ her role ends.
In the Orthodox perspective however her role does not end at Nativity. Her care that initially surrounded the Holy Baby in His growing years spreads today over all mankind. She continuously intercedes to God for our salvation‚ covering the whole world with her holy protection‚ as St. Andrew the fool for Christ saw in his vision in Blachernae.
The post-Christian world is trying to make her in an ordinary women: she carried Christ‚ delivered him‚ and then just married and had other kids‚ going on with her life after Jesus died on the Cross.
How could she do that? She witnessed the greatest miracles ever happened: immaculate conception without a father‚ water turned into wine‚ people healed and raising from the tombs‚ the death on the Cross‚ His resurrection from the tomb‚ His Ascension into heavens and all she could think off‚ after all this‚ was to marry‚ settle down and have more children. I just don’t buy this.
The actual substance of this rejection of the Virgin Mary is in fact the even more serious rejection‚ that of the divinity of Christ.
This is not something new‚ something that David Brown has invented. The Gnostics have denied it long before‚ Arius has denied it during the Ecumenical Councils.
The Church has brought fourth Her arguments already and has settled the issue once and for all. If we believe that Jesus Christ is God and Man in the same time and‚ yet‚ He is one person‚ then we cannot call the Virgin Mary anything else than the Birthgiver of God‚ Theotokos. We cannot split Christ’s personality and have only his flesh born out of Virgin Mary as we cannot split the soul of a baby from his flesh when he is born. The Virgin Mary gave birth to Jesus Christ who is both God and Man therefore she is rightfully called the Theotokos.
The fact that she is called the Birthgiver of God does not make her a Goddess‚ it is but a way of recognizing that the One born of her is God and Man together‚ united without confusion. Jesus is God therefore she is Theotokos.