Category: “Who is the Queen of Heaven?”

The  Bible is absolutely clear that we are to worship God alone. The only instances  of anyone other than God receiving worship in the Bible are false gods, which  are Satan and his demons. All followers of the Lord God refuse worship. Peter  and the apostles refused to be worshipped (Acts  10:25-26; 14:13-14).  The holy angels refuse to be worshipped (Revelation  19:10; 22:9).  The response is always the same, “Worship God!”

Roman Catholics attempt  to “bypass” these clear Scriptural principles by claiming they do not “worship”  Mary or saints, but rather that they only “venerate” Mary and the saints. Using  a different word does not change the essence of what is being done. A definition  of “venerate” is “to regard with respect or reverence.” Nowhere in the Bible are  we told to revere anyone but God alone. There is nothing wrong with respecting  those faithful Christians who have gone before us (see Hebrews chapter 11).  There is nothing wrong with honoring Mary as the earthly mother of Jesus. The  Bible describes Mary as “highly favored” by God (Luke 1:28). At  the same time, there is no instruction in the Bible to revere those whom have  gone to Heaven. We are to follow their example, yes, but worship, revere, or  venerate, no!

When forced to admit that they do, in fact, worship Mary,  Catholics will claim that they worship God through her, by praising the  wonderful creation that God has made. Mary, in their minds, is the most  beautiful and wonderful creation of God, and by praising her, they are praising  her Creator. For Catholics, this is analogous to directing praise to an artist  by praising his sculpture or painting. The problem with this is that God  explicitly commands against worshipping Him through created things. We are not  to bow down and worship anything in the form of heaven above or earth below (Exodus 20:4-5). Romans 1:25 could not be more clear, “They exchanged the  truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the  Creator — who is forever praised. Amen.” Yes, God has created wonderful and  amazing things. Yes, Mary was a godly woman who is worthy of our respect. No, we  absolutely are not to worship God “vicariously” by praising things (or people)  He has created. Doing so is blatant idolatry.

The major way Catholics  “venerate” Mary and the saints is by praying to them. As the following article  demonstrates, prayer to anyone other than God alone is anti-Biblical –  praying  to saints and Mary. Whether Mary and/or the saints are prayed to, or whether  they are petitioned for their prayers – neither practice is Biblical. Prayer is  an act of worship. When we pray to God, we are admitting that we need His help.  Directing our prayers to anyone other than God is robbing God of the glory that  is His alone.

Another way Catholics “venerate” Mary and the saints is by  creating statues and images of them. Many Catholics use images of Mary and/or  the saints as “good luck charms.” Any cursory reading of the Bible will reveal  this practice as blatant idolatry (Exodus  20:4-6; 1  Corinthians 12:12; 1 John  5:21). Rubbing rosary beads is idolatry. Lighting candles before a statue or  portrayal of a saint is idolatry. Burying a Joseph statue in hopes of selling  your home (and countless other Catholic practices) is idolatry.

The  terminology is not the issue. Whether the practice is described as “worship” or  “veneration,” or any other term, the problem is the same. Any time we ascribe  something that belongs to God, to someone else, it is idolatry. The Bible  nowhere instructs us to revere, pray to, rely on, or “idolize” anyone other than  God. We are to worship God alone. Glory, praise, and honor belong to God alone.  Only God is worthy to “…receive glory and honor and power…” (Revelation 4:11). God  alone is worthy to receive our worship, adoration, and praise (Nehemiah 9:6; Revelation 15:4).

The phrase “the  queen of heaven” appears in the Bible twice, both times in the book of Jeremiah.  The first incident is in connection with the things the Israelites were doing  that provoked the Lord to anger. Entire families were involved in idolatry. The  children gathered wood, and the men used it to build altars to worship false  gods. The women were engaged in kneading dough and baking cakes of bread for the  “Queen of Heaven” (Jeremiah  7:18). This title referred to Ishtar, an Assyrian and Babylonian goddess  also called Ashtoreth and Astarte by various  other groups. She was thought to be the wife of the false god Baal,  also known as Molech. The motivation of women to  worship Ashtoreth stemmed from her reputation as a fertility goddess, and, as  the bearing of children was greatly desired among women of that era, worship of  this “queen of heaven” was rampant among pagan civilizations. Sadly, it became  popular among the Israelites as well.

The second reference to the queen  of heaven is found in Jeremiah  44:17-25, where Jeremiah is giving the people the word of the Lord which God  has spoken to him. He reminds the people that their disobedience and idolatry  has caused the Lord to be very angry with them and to punish them with calamity.  Jeremiah warns them that greater punishments await them if they do not repent.  They reply that they have no intentions of giving up their worship of idols,  promising to continue pouring out drink offerings to the queen of heaven,  Ashtoreth, and even going so far as to credit her with the peace and prosperity  they once enjoyed because of God’s grace and mercy.

It is unclear where  the idea that Ashtoreth was a “consort” of Jehovah originated, but it’s easy to  see how the blending of paganism that exalts a goddess with the worship of the  true King of heaven, Jehovah, can lead to the combining of God and Ashtoreth.  And since Ashtoreth worship involved sexuality (fertility, procreation, temple  prostitution), the resulting relationship, to the depraved mind, would naturally  be one of a sexual nature. Clearly, the idea of the “queen of heaven” as the  consort or paramour of the King of heaven is idolatrous and unbiblical.

There is no queen of heaven. There has never been a queen of heaven. There is  most certainly a King of Heaven, the Lord of hosts, Jehovah. He alone rules in  heaven. He does not share His rule or His throne or His authority with anyone.  The idea that Mary, the mother of Jesus, is the queen of heaven has no  scriptural basis whatsoever, stemming instead from proclamations of priests and  popes of the Roman Catholic Church. While Mary was certainly a godly young woman  greatly blessed in that she was chosen to bear the Savior of the world, she was  not in any way divine, nor was she sinless, nor is she to be worshipped,  revered, venerated, or prayed to. All  followers of the Lord God refuse worship. Peter and the apostles refused to be  worshipped (Acts  10:25-26; 14:13-14).  The holy angels refuse to be worshipped (Revelation  19:10; 22:9).  The response is always the same, “Worship God!” To offer worship, reverence, or  veneration to anyone but God is nothing short of idolatry. Mary’s own words in  her “Magnificat” (Luke  1:46-55) reveal that she never thought of herself as “immaculate” and  deserving of veneration, but was instead relying on the grace of God for  salvation: “And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” Only sinners need a  savior, and Mary recognized that need in herself.

Furthermore, Jesus  Himself issued a mild rebuke to a woman who cried out to Him, “Blessed is the  mother who gave you birth and nursed you” (Luke 11:27),  replying to her, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey  it.” By doing so, He curtailed any tendency to elevate Mary as an object of  worship. He could certainly have said, “Yes, blessed be the Queen of Heaven!”  But He did not. He was affirming the same truth that the Bible affirms—there is  no queen of heaven, and the only biblical references to the “queen of heaven”  refer to the goddess of an idolatrous, false religion.