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Blood Sacrifice


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There is an amazing section of lyrics in a Tori Amos song called, 'Iieee' which struck me today as I make my way through my first Easter as an ex-C:

 

"I know that we're drowning, and there's not sign of a parachute. We scream in cathedrals; why can't it be beautiful? Why does there gotta be a sacrifice?"

 

When I was deeply in love with Jesus (or at least the idea I had of him) I found the Easter message to be a very emotional one as I saw it as a great love story. Jesus gave it all for me, for everyone and now I'm free. PTL! Now I am wondering how it never occurred to me just how BLOODY 'Good" Friday is. So, I am with Tori. Yeh, we are pretty messed up as a species and it often looks like we are on the edge of a massive precipice, but why, oh why, does there have to be a sacrifice to 'makes things right' (for lack of a better term). Why can't it be beautiful? These are questions I now ask of Christianity. 

 

Asking for any sort of sacrifice to fix his/her creation makes god out to be capricious; to ask for blood now that is sick. I understand, to a point, the symbolic and metaphorical nature of the Easter story(s) but literally, it is awful! I know this has been mentioned many times before but I guess, for me this is the first time I have really thought deeply about the fact that god was always after blood.

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Wanderinstar- good post.  When I was a Christian, Jesus' sacrifice really perplexed me.  I could never really get my head around it.  Do you remember being told 'Jesus died in your place.  He died instead of you'.  I used to be really confused at that.  Hang on.  Why are we all still dying then?  I did a  lot study and I realised that the Bible doesn't actually say this.  It claims Jesus died for us, not instead of us.  This makes a big difference.   So, now I can understand a bit better, but I'm still wondering why Jesus had to die for us.  Why can't God just forgive?  This is a big subject and to keep this short, I came to view Jesus' sacrifice in the same way people sacrifice their lives for good causes e.g soldiers.  Jesus was killed by evil men.  He was willing to go amongst his enemies, knowing that they would kill him.  So God turns the bad to a good result.  It's not that God needs appeasing and only human blood has the magical properties.  I see it as 'love' (Jesus being willing to be killed for helping us) making this appeal to God e.g 'Look Abba, I love these humans so much that I am willling to die for them, even though they hate me.  Take my act of love which is their act of hate and heal the world.'' Or something like that.  Nothing seems to have changed since this act of love.  What did it achieve?  Why have another  two thousand years of pain, suffering and death followed it?  I concluded it must be just a story- an amazing story of love, but just a story.  

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Blood sacrifice goes back to the very beginnings of human societies. Judaism and Christianity didn't invent it. We are evolving socially and intellectually, but religion is always way behind the curve. Ignorance is a hard bitch to get off the mark.

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Blood sacrifice goes back to the very beginnings of human societies. Judaism and Christianity didn't invent it. We are evolving socially and intellectually, but religion is always way behind the curve. Ignorance is a hard bitch to get off the mark.

 

So true. Blood sacrifice and Blood Covenants go all the way back back to ancient tribal cultures so perhaps on an instinctive level it can still seem 'natural' to us to need blood. I do recall when I first went to church before becoming a christian, being deeply confused and a little disturbed about all the talk of Jesus' blood. Sadly, once I was emotionally hooked by the 'love story' I suddenly had no problem with gods need for blood. 

 

Now though, the image I am hit with at Easter is a bloodied and torn up Jesus, shredded by the Roman metal whips, hanging naked on a cross. Was there really nothing else that could appease gods wrath and obtain eternal redemption for humanity? The book of Hebrews goes into the need for blood sacrifice in depth; this is the core of christianity and it makes no sense at all. If there were a god, a truly loving god, wouldn't he/she find a beautiful, non violent way to return the universe to balance and bring her lost children home? Not that this god would let it fall apart like that in the first place.

 

The many gods need for blood is just more evidence to me that these gods do no exist. You are right Flordah, religion is always way behind when it comes to evolving.

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Christianity certainly butchered "God's" instructions as given in the Old Testament.

Animal sin sacrifice is involved in atonement for unintentional sins, humans cannot be used, and it must be presided over by a Levitical priest.

The sacrifice of Jesus is about as useful to Yahweh as tossing a virgin in a volcano.

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I've been wondering, if we humans can forgive sins without killing something, can't God. He's supposed to be omnipotent. Some people explain the reason behind the crucifixtion as to purify humans because Jesus' blood had magic powers. Part of me wonders, if that is the case, what would have happened if Herod gave Jesus a more humane death? Why did Jesus avoid the less horrific deaths, but actively sought the worst death? Also, does his blood really purify? Have humans really improved since the shedding of his blood?  

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I've been wondering, if we humans can forgive sins without killing something, can't God. He's supposed to be omnipotent. Some people explain the reason behind the crucifixtion as to purify humans because Jesus' blood had magic powers. Part of me wonders, if that is the case, what would have happened if Herod gave Jesus a more humane death? Why did Jesus avoid the less horrific deaths, but actively sought the worst death? Also, does his blood really purify? Have humans really improved since the shedding of his blood?

Animal sacrifice is almost exclusively for unintentional sins.

Other offerings are also acceptable, such as fine flour.

God forgave sin without bloodshed in Jonah 3:10, where he forgave the city of Nineveh.

God also forgives sins as a result of repenting and prayer.

Christianity spread the false impression that blood is always required, specifically in Hebrews 9:22.

Hebrews 9:22 is not true and contradicts the Old Testament.

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Then what was the point of Jesus letting those soldiers kill him? Why did God demand Jesus let them do that?

The Hebrew God didn't command it, the Christian version of God is responsible.

These are two different belief systems with different rules, but Christianity co-opted the Old Testament God and then trys to pass it off as being their God.

In effect, they invented a new and improved God, one who scrapped his "old" system and created a new one revolving around a human sacrifice.

That's the disconnect. Christians try to promote their version of God as representing the God of the Old Testament.

Further complications arise within Christianity itself when many believers insist God is a three headed hydra called the "Trinity".

They can't agree with each other about Jesus being God, although Trinitarians seem to be the majority by a fairly wide margin.

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Blood sacrifice is clearly a primitive way of thinking which had not been eliminated when the books

in the bible were written. It was a way in which the new Xtians could utilize the ancient Hebrew

scriptures and claim ownership, so to speak, of the Jews ancient religion. Plus they could create a new

testament and claim that all the necessary prophesies of the OT had been fulfilled. For the most part, it worked, except not with the Jews. Poof! A major amendment of the ancient Hebrew religion to include

every body What an opportunity! An old religion had a great deal more clout than a new one. bill

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It still amazes me how the writers of the NT took an old, repeated myth (Son of God dying, dead for three days then raised from the dead..etc, etc) stitched it to another religion and successfully sold it as the one true religion. Then again, people still believe the Mormons and that is clearly a provable fraud due to the fact it is fairly recent. In the first century it would have been even easier to start a religion. I would love to know exactly how christianity got going. Was it a purposefully crafted deception, or a mass delusion? Perhaps a mix of both. I hope a day arrives when the majority of humanity will reject the very concept that any blood needs to be shed for any spiritual purpose, never alone saying that god needs blood to make up for humanity being 'fallen'. Why, oh why did I believe this crap?? WendyDoh.gif  

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Then what was the point of Jesus letting those soldiers kill him? Why did God demand Jesus let them do that?

The Hebrew God didn't command it, the Christian version of God is responsible.

These are two different belief systems with different rules, but Christianity co-opted the Old Testament God and then trys to pass it off as being their God.

In effect, they invented a new and improved God, one who scrapped his "old" system and created a new one revolving around a human sacrifice.

That's the disconnect. Christians try to promote their version of God as representing the God of the Old Testament.

Further complications arise within Christianity itself when many believers insist God is a three headed hydra called the "Trinity".

They can't agree with each other about Jesus being God, although Trinitarians seem to be the majority by a fairly wide margin.

 

This is the real stroke of genius - getting people to believe that Christianity was a fulfillment of Jewish prophecies and had roots a thousand years into the past.  To me, it is obvious that the writers of the New Testament believed this, crafted their writings that way, and so convincingly taught it that people believed it.  The Apostle Paul was very gifted. I am inclined to think the early Christians sincerely believed it.  All of this was much easier to believe in that age than now. After all, in the Roman Empire many gods were acknowledged to exist.

 

Then it became something like the "tulip mania" in Holland - the early church spread like wildfire.  But in its early stages, it was never one monolithic Christianity and there were all kinds of different theologies present, like the gnostic Christians and I am sure many others we will never know about. 

 

Christianity mainly appeals to the ego. "I" am special, "I" am saved, "I" know the truth and others do not.  Its a huge ego booster to people who are not very successful in life, the poor, slaves, etc..  If the Emperor Constantine had not converted, we would have quite a different story today. And we know he thought Christianity brought him success in battle.

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 This is the real stroke of genius - getting people to believe that Christianity was a fulfillment of Jewish prophecies and had roots a thousand years into the past.  To me, it is obvious that the writers of the New Testament believed this, crafted their writings that way, and so convincingly taught it that people believed it.  The Apostle Paul was very gifted. I am inclined to think the early Christians sincerely believed it.  All of this was much easier to believe in that age than now. After all, in the Roman Empire many gods were acknowledged to exist. comments from Deva

 

And that is EXACTLY what they did! The modern day 21st century person would look at that comment and if a theist would exclaim something about there being no way they would stoop to such a thing in order to support a lie. The non-theist, on the other hand, would exclaim something about this being proof everything they made up was pure bs.

 

The truth, however, is somewhere between the 2 camps. The actuality according to ancient historians such as Ehrman and others is that this was considered NORMAL behavior of the writers in antiquity regardless of the subject matter. Embellishment was simply one of their many tactics in order to sway groups to their way of thinking. So, creating a tale based on some ancient prophecy wasn't considered as egregious as we think of it as being. But even then there's a flaw - regarding the prophecies. If those prophecies specifically pointed to one specific person in time then why are most, if not all of them, interpreted in so many different ways? Example, the famous Isaiah 66(I think) one where the xtians claim that points to a christ whereas Orthodox Jews are sure it's simply referencing the nation of Israel?

 

So Deva, you're right - they 'sincerely' believed those things. And, in my humble opinion, they were sincerely wrong.

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Then what was the point of Jesus letting those soldiers kill him? Why did God demand Jesus let them do that?

The Hebrew God didn't command it, the Christian version of God is responsible.

These are two different belief systems with different rules, but Christianity co-opted the Old Testament God and then trys to pass it off as being their God.

In effect, they invented a new and improved God, one who scrapped his "old" system and created a new one revolving around a human sacrifice.

That's the disconnect. Christians try to promote their version of God as representing the God of the Old Testament.

Further complications arise within Christianity itself when many believers insist God is a three headed hydra called the "Trinity".

They can't agree with each other about Jesus being God, although Trinitarians seem to be the majority by a fairly wide margin.

 

This is the real stroke of genius - getting people to believe that Christianity was a fulfillment of Jewish prophecies and had roots a thousand years into the past.  To me, it is obvious that the writers of the New Testament believed this, crafted their writings that way, and so convincingly taught it that people believed it.  The Apostle Paul was very gifted. I am inclined to think the early Christians sincerely believed it.  All of this was much easier to believe in that age than now. After all, in the Roman Empire many gods were acknowledged to exist.

 

Then it became something like the "tulip mania" in Holland - the early church spread like wildfire.  But in its early stages, it was never one monolithic Christianity and there were all kinds of different theologies present, like the gnostic Christians and I am sure many others we will never know about. 

 

Christianity mainly appeals to the ego. "I" am special, "I" am saved, "I" know the truth and others do not.  Its a huge ego booster to people who are not very successful in life, the poor, slaves, etc..  If the Emperor Constantine had not converted, we would have quite a different story today. And we know he thought Christianity brought him success in battle.

Considering the turmoil in the Jewish community in the late 60's, with the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem, Christianity was well positioned to offer a new religion to people, one that did away with the annoying parts of the law such as circumcision and dietary restrictions. Jesus becomes a one size fits all savior that makes salvation easier and more connected to the ways that "pagans" were already accustomed to .

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Good points as always, Centauri.  It must have been very appealing to some Jewish people at the time that now they are told they don't have to keep the law.  This is where Paul really had this genius insight.  Then l think later, the gospels were written to back that position up with a sort of fake history. It was really very clever, for the time.

 

Now, in the modern scientific era, there isn't an excuse in the world to believe it.

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Good points as always, Centauri.  It must have been very appealing to some Jewish people at the time that now they are told they don't have to keep the law.  This is where Paul really had this genius insight.  Then l think later, the gospels were written to back that position up with a sort of fake history. It was really very clever, for the time.

 

Now, in the modern scientific era, there isn't an excuse in the world to believe it.

 

This coincides with what I was taught. Jesus came at a time of great religious and political turmoil. During his time, only the religious caste could commune with God, and forgive your sins and "uncleanliness" for a price (gold, lambs, doves, bulls, that sort of thing). And there were a great number of laws and infractions that would make you "unclean," so people were having to pay for their spiritual cleaning pretty often. Which means the rabbis and other people of high standing with the church were getting very rich off of the temples (sounds familiar, doesn't it?)

 

People who were poor and could not afford offerings and sacrificial doves were SOL. People who suffered from disabilities and diseases were barred from entering temples at all, so they were effectively going to Hell without any chance for redemption. 

 

So Jesus comes along and tells them "This isn't true! This is crap and they're taking you for a ride. ANYBODY can commune with God, and I will show you the way." 

 

This was pretty radical for the time.

 

Of course, politics being what it is, Jesus messed with the money, so he had to die.

 

So he dies on the cross and gives his blood for our sins. You don't have to offer up gold or doves or go through middlemen anymore for God to forgive your sins. You get the warehouse price saviorship deal now.  

 

It's still creepy as shit, but yeah, you're right, very clever marketing there. 

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