I was directed to this article on the Perpetual Virginity by an EO priest and decided to run through it.
Why not believe in her ever-virginity?
B/c the preponderance of the biblical testimony is against it, but in a way he's right b/c it's not a big deal either way.
The main problem (not for an EO, but for RCC) is that RCC has dogmatically proclaimed that belief in the PV of the BVM is a dogma that MUST NOT BE DISBELIEVED on pain of loss of salvation. Rome has made it part of the Gospel, and that is disgusting.
To argue against Mary's perpetual virginity is to suggest something else that is greatly implausible, not to say unthinkable: that neither Mary nor her protector, Joseph, would have deemed it inappropriate to have sexual relations after the birth of God in the flesh.
This is a ridiculous thing to say.
Hebrews 13: 4 - Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.
Look at that - it is to be held IN HONOR among all. So, Mary and Joseph did not engage in some honorable activity that was available to them?
In fact, not only available, but necessary:
1 Cor 7:2But because of immoralities, each man is to have his own wife, and each woman is to have her own husband.
3The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband.
4The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.
5Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
To say that "Well, Mary wouldn't be subject to those immoralities, wouldn't be prone to that kind of temptation" is to engage in wishful speculation. The standing command is, if you're married and physically able, you engage in marital conjugal relations, and that is honorable, commanded, good, and undefiled.
An early first-century popular rabbinical tradition (first recorded by Philo, 20 BC-AD 50) notes that Moses "separated himself"
I suppose that might matter if 1st-century popular rabbinical traditions (kinda like the one that Jesus condemned in Mark 7:1-13) were to be our authority. There is no indication of this in the OT text.
they express the popular piety in Israel at the time of the birth of Christ.
Popular piety at the time of Christ also led to incredible hypocrisy of action, where great crowds followed Christ around so that He'd heal them and feed them, yet walked away from Him when He gave them hard teaching in John 6, shouted Hosanna and fêted him with palm branches when He entered Jerusalem, yet screamed "Crucify Him!! His blood be on us and on our children!" a few days later.
Would this not have been grounds to consider her life, including her body, as consecrated to God and God alone?
Yes, of course! Now, were you going to discuss the question of Mary's perpetual virginity sometime?
Or it more plausible that she would shrug it all off and get on with keeping house in the usual fashion?
With the Son of God in her household? No, of course not. She "treasured up all these things in her heart." Now, about her perpetual virginity...?
Consider that the poetically parallel incident of the Lord's entry through the east gate of the Temple (in Ezekiel 43-44) prompts the call: "This gate shall be shut; it shall not be opened, and no one shall enter by it, for the Lord God of Israel has entered by it; therefore it shall be shut" (44:2).
And on what basis does he make the connection between the Temple and Mary? Does anyone in the NT ever do that?
The Temple was also profaned and destroyed by foreign invaders, and later rebuilt. It was profaned by Judan kings who set up false idols inside. The high priest could enter once a year. How are these things paralleled in Mary's life? Or is it just the case that he is making specious parallels?
If touching the ark of the covenant had cost Uzzah his life
B/c God had specifically commanded how the Ark was to be carried, and they weren't doing it that way. Where is the command about not touching Mary?
Uzzah's touching it was defiling and dishonorable, but as we've seen, the marriage bed is UNdefiled and is honorable. So the analogy is way off.
Joseph, man of God that he was, would neither have dared nor desired to approach Mary, the chosen of Israel, the throne of God, to request his "conjugal rights"!
Notice the implicit swipe at Mary's virtue here. It's not Joseph's place to "request" it, it's Mary's responsibility to offer and participate wholeheartedly, just like it was Joseph's. I thought Mary was all-virtuous and the most obedient woman who ever lived.
The point is that the commonly used Greek word for a male relative, adelphos, can be translated "cousin" or "brother" if no specific family relation is indicated.
But there is at least one Greek term that can easily be used to mean "more distant male relative", but (edit for clarity in green) there is only the one whose semantic range includes "brother".
Nowhere is Mary explicitly stated to be the mother of Jesus' brothers.
Let me recommend Eric Svendsen's discussion of this in his book Who Is My Mother?.
Streaming audio of James White and Eric Svendsen debate pre-heresy Gerry Matatics on this issue
The Meaning of "Firstborn"
Here he is attempting to cast doubt on the transparent meaning of "firstborn". This is a vague answer to a weak argument against the PV of the BVM.
our Lord commits His Mother into the care of St. John as He dies on the Cross. Why would He do so if she had other children to look after her?
B/c "even His brothers (oops, I mean distant cousins) were not believing in Him". He devotes her to the motherhood of a believing disciple.
Mary's ever-virginity is not essential to the proclamation of the Gospel, and this is true on a certain level.
Here this unbelieving, disobedient priest bucks against the rightful authority that he should heed, the RCC. Just saying.
Mary was not a happenstance vessel of God; rather her role in our salvation was prepared from the beginning of the ages.
Well, either that or God knew all the possible options from the beginning of the world but didn't know for sure how it would play out, but worked it toward His purpose to make it happen. Thankfully, it did all work out.
She was not cast aside as an article that is no longer useful.
she is the great example
Notice the extremes, the false dilemma. Either she was the perpetually virgin, or she was an article that is no longer useful. One thing I appreciate about these kinds of views is how they lift up the every-day believer. What room is there for my wife, for example, to be encouraged by Mary's example, since she has apparently abased herself before my requests to conjugal relations (to use this priest's words) and therefore is an article that is less useful to God. How exactly is this supposed to be the grand inspiration to anyone?
Awed by the beauty of your virginity
and the exceeding radiance of your purity,
Gabriel stood amazed, and cried to you, O Mother of God:
"What praise may I offer you
that is worthy of your beauty?
By what name shall I call you?
I am lost and bewildered,
but I shall greet you as I was commanded:
Hail, O full of grace."
This, friends, is but one more illustration of why the Reformation was and continues to be so important.