Sore Points #2: The Immaculate Conception

Jesus did not have an Immaculate Conception. Jesus had a Virgin Birth. Do not refer to the Immaculate Conception of Jesus.

The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception refers to the birth of Mary. It is the idea that while Mary was conceived in the normal fashion, through sexual intercourse, God shielded her from the inheritance of Original Sin. The effect was purely metaphysical. The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception is held only by the Roman Catholic Church; it is not accepted by any other Christian denomination.

The doctrine of the Virgin Birth refers to the birth of Jesus. It is the idea that Jesus was conceived without sexual intercourse, by the work of the Holy Spirit. The effect was physical. The doctrine of the Virgin Birth is held by all Christian denominations, although not necessarily by all individual Christians.

I have seen this error many times. I think it’s because “Virgin Birth” is a short, unimpressive phrase, and when folks want to sound highfalutin’, they gravitate toward the polysyllabic rolling cadence of “Immaculate Conception.” But it’s inaccurate. Even if one doesn’t believe in either idea, one has a responsibility at least to understand what they are.

 

 

1 comment
  1. I continue to be surprised by how many Catholics don’t know this.

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