‘a bloody mess’

Not sure how much the readers keep up with stuff going on in the church, but some years back, there was a concerted effort, and to some degree by mainstream protestant denominations to remove any and all references to the blood in the church hymnals. The thought is that killing, blood, etc…. is “barbaric, grotesque and sadistic!

It seems we are living in a day in which the blood of Christ offends. It leaves a rancid taste in the palate of many today; even some whom camp comfortably under the shadow of Christendom.


· Bishop John S. Spong- Bishop in Newark, NJ gives us an in depth revelation of this diabolical thought process.

The Bishops Voice-The Twelve Theses: A Call for a New Reformation
by Bishop John S. Spong, Newark, NJ

“The view of the cross as the sacrifice for the sins of the world is a barbaric idea based on a primitive concept of God that must be dismissed.”

“Sometimes this sacred phrase is expanded to include what surely can only be described as a fetish about the blood that Jesus shed on the cross. To that “sacred” blood incredible power has been attributed. Christians have gone so far as to talk about the cleansing effect of being washed in this blood. One hymn that I endured twice during Holy Week proclaims that “God on Thee Has Bled.” The death of Jesus is said to have been something God required: a ransom, a sacrifice offered to God, a payment demanded by God for the sins of the world, the price required to achieve atonement, which is the experience of being at one with God.

In my studies I have come to the conclusion that this language, “Jesus died for my sins,” is a violent distortion of the meaning of Jesus. It offers me a God who is sadistic and bloodthirsty. A God whose will is served by a human sacrifice is not a God I would ever be drawn to worship. It is rather a grotesque idea. Yet this concept has become so normative in the way that our faith story is told that many people seem to feel that if this understanding of the saving work of Jesus is not accepted, then there is nothing of substance left to Christianity.”

Excerpts from the Bishop’s Voice, the 12 Theses “A Call for a New Reformation”

I have done extensive reading of Spong’s writings. Personally, I don’t think it is the blood that it is the issue. It is sin.

But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption [for us]. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? Hebrews 9:11-14