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Do you as a Christian believe in the virgin birth?

(62 Posts)
Dynasty Mon 17-Feb-14 18:37:26

I am rather dubious, I must admit, although if Jesus was born of man it wouldn't negate his divinity in my eyes. I was just wondering what other people think, although what denomination you are..

heather1 Mon 17-Feb-14 18:46:45

Yes I do. My reasons are as follows. I believe in Adam and Eve, the Garden of Eden and the Devil. This was where the first or 'original' sin was committed. After this happened God promised to send a redeemer who would open the gates of heaven, which were shut by original sin.
The Virgin Mary was conceived without original sin, unlike the rest of the people conceived since Adam and Eve, and of course Jesus. This was because someone who would be the mother of the saviour had to be totally pure and without a single stain of sin on their soul. Only such a pure soul could carry God in her womb. Of course it was a free choice of Mary to become the mother of God.
Jesus has a divine and a human nature. As God he could not be conceived by two humans. There would be no God there in his nature if his conception was by a man and a woman so it follows that when Mary gave her agreement he was placed in her womb by God.

heather1 Mon 17-Feb-14 18:47:19

Forgot to add I'm Roman Catholic.

stressedHEmum Mon 17-Feb-14 18:51:47

Yes, I do. Jesus had to be sinless to be able to redeem us. I'm not RC so I don't believe in the Immaculate Conception. Ancient Jews believed that sin came to a child through it's father, so Jesus would have been sinless because he had no human father (the mother transferred her Jewishness to the unborn child, not her sin.)

I am CoS, so Presbyterian.

atthestrokeoftwelve Mon 17-Feb-14 19:58:00

How was Mary conceived without original sin?

atthestrokeoftwelve Mon 17-Feb-14 19:58:23

How was Mary conceived without original sin?

heather1 Mon 17-Feb-14 20:40:32

Catholic Church teaches God allowed her to be conceived by her parents St Anne ( and I forget her husbands name but I remember God struck him dumb for the time of her pregnancy might be St Joachim) without original sin bec he was going to ask Mary to be the mother of Jesus.
St Anne was very old and they had no children.

CoteDAzur Mon 17-Feb-14 20:46:14

"Mary conceived without original sin"

So is sex with one's husband a sin, then?

BackOnlyBriefly Mon 17-Feb-14 20:49:25

If original sin can be removed/avoided without harm to the person or their soul then why not remove it from everyone?

Nyx Mon 17-Feb-14 20:51:27

"Mary conceived without original sin" - sex with your husband may not be a sin but Mary wasn't married when she became pregnant with Jesus.

Polyethyl Mon 17-Feb-14 21:03:18

Yes. That's the easy bit of believing. If God is omnipotent then it's easy to get a virgin pregnant. There is so much else in religion that is difficult (does God love me? Does he listen to my prayers? Am I living well and following his guidance. ...etc)
So in comparison to those questions I really don't waste time or doubt on how an all powerful creator God got a maiden with child.

atthestrokeoftwelve Mon 17-Feb-14 21:03:38

I don't see what's so sinful about sex- within or outside marriage.

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Mon 17-Feb-14 21:06:42

I am not sure tbh.
It is one of the things that I struggle with.
Along with the coming to life of his human body.

I KNOW that this is stuff I should believe

atthestrokeoftwelve Mon 17-Feb-14 21:10:42

How can two consenting loving people sharing a sexual act ever be sinful?
Why would anyone want to follow an organisation that judges such behaviour as sinful?
I have been with my partner for 17 years, we have children together and we are not married. No part of our lovemaking is sinful and I refuse to be judged for that.

CoteDAzur Mon 17-Feb-14 21:11:48

I was talking about Mary's immaculate conception. Her parents were married, so what does her "immaculate" conception serve?

SchrodingersFerret Mon 17-Feb-14 21:36:20

The word 'virgin' as I understand it, in the original prophecy, simply means 'young woman'. To be honest, this was thrashed out in the early councils, and I'm most likely a heretic for saying it, but I don't see how it changes much if Jesus had a human father too. If God could be 'transferred' into a human being through a human mother, why not a human father too?

Abbierhodes Mon 17-Feb-14 21:46:09

When I was a child at a catholic primary school, I put my hand up and asked the question, "If we are all God's children, why is Jesus so special?".
I still haven't had an answer 30 years on.

I'm of the opinion that it doesn't really matter. I follow the teachings of Jesus, and I find they work for my life. They provide useful guidance for living a good life.

If judgement day comes and I find it's all a load of nonsense, I won't regret following the rules and sticking with Christianity.

I don't believe in the old testament as concrete fact tough...I was told by a nun (not a particularly forward thinking one) that it is largely metaphorical.

Sorry I've gone off on a tangent. In answer to the OP's question: I don't know.

CoteDAzur Mon 17-Feb-14 21:52:20

"If we are all God's children, why is Jesus so special?"

I'll answer that one:

Because we are God's children but Jesus is God himself. And God loves himself more than he loves his children, which would also mean that we are not created in God's image, after all.

You are welcome smile

BackOnlyBriefly Mon 17-Feb-14 21:54:06

Wasn't Mary promoted to 'immaculate' much later so people could pray to her as a sort of junior goddess? It's not essential to the story of Jesus.

Twelfth century I think.

LynetteScavo Mon 17-Feb-14 21:55:20

I don't believe the Old Testament as fact.

SchrodingersFerret Mon 17-Feb-14 22:00:00

The RC doctrine of the Immaculate Conception is a bit of a fudge, tbh. They didn't like the idea of a sinless man coming from a sinful woman, so they put together the idea that she was preserved from sin from the moment of her conception so that she would be a pure vessel for Jesus. But her parents were still sinful. So all that does is push the issue back a generation.

VeryStressedMum Mon 17-Feb-14 22:00:33

So when did Mary marry Joseph then?

LynetteScavo Mon 17-Feb-14 22:03:04

And I struggle with a few parts of the New Testament, such as the virgin birth the resurrection ( prays our parish priest isn't a MNetter )

niminypiminy Tue 18-Feb-14 10:17:56

Lynette you are not alone!

My view is summed up as 'it's all true and parts of it actually happened'. Sometimes I think it is less important and interesting to ask whether the story is factually true than to ask what does the story mean -- at the time it was written down, to us today, and in the intervening period? Stories last because they say something to us, and tell us something, often something that can't be said in any other way.

I think of the virgin birth as a mystery -- not just in the sense of something apparently inexplicable, but also in the sense of a potent symbol whose meaning isn't revealed through logic but through imagination and meditation. In the factual sense, I don't believe Mary was a virgin (the passage in Isaiah refers simply to a young girl). But as a metaphor, maybe Mary's virginity is a symbolic way of saying that God is her first, most important lover, the one who makes her human love with Joseph real. And it is Mary's 'yes' at the annunciation, her welcoming of God and her willingness to bear her child, to love and nurture the incarnate God, to see her beloved child die, that makes imaginative sense of her virginity. Before she gives herself to anyone, she gives herself to God.

SchrodingersFerret Tue 18-Feb-14 10:21:10

niminy, I like that. Much more eloquent than the way I put it. grin

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