Christianity – A Bloody Religion? May 18, 2005Posted by roopster in Bible, Christianity, faith, God, Jesus, Religion, spirituality, Theology.
A few years ago, I lived in Miami while working with Youth With A Mission. During my time there, it was reported that a local Latin ‘cult’ sacrificed a cat during one of their rituals. Rightly so, the community was in an uproar, and there was even a level of fear of these ‘evil’ fanatics.
However, this incident pales in comparison with the slaughter of animals that were offered up in the Old Testament to appease our God. If the accounts of the Old Testament are accurate, the amount of blood that flowed on a constant basis from the temple would be staggering. The stench would be unbearable.
I’ve often wondered why God required his people to perform these rituals. Why was the aroma from these sacrifices pleasing to him? God even asked Abraham to sacrifice his son as a test of his commitment. Even though, thankfully, this action was then thwarted by another act of God, or we’d be no different that the pagan religions we consider to be barbaric.
The Bible claims that God needed a blood sacrifice. Was this really the case or were the Children of Israel simply adopting the practices of the ‘pagan’ religions around them? I’ve never understood why God needed death and blood in order to deal with the ‘sin’ of his creation.
The teachings of Christ seem to correct this view of God. Jesus talked more about the state of our hearts, our words and our actions. He encouraged us to live a life of compassion and kindness.
“Listen to what I say and try to understand. You are not defiled by what you eat; you are defiled by what you say and do.” – Jesus (Matthew 15:10,11)
“Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to be merciful; I don’t want your sacrifices.’ – Jesus (Matthew 9:13)
And he was killed for preaching this radical message. Of course, this act was then framed within the context of being the ultimate blood sacrifice. Where do you feel the emphasis on our message should be? The teachings of Jesus or the fact that he was a blood sacrifice for our sins?