When Christians get all emotionally choked up and teary eyed by texts such as John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave, his son as an offering for us” they would do well to consider the history from the Old Testament of God’s lust for human and animal blood letting, as the real basis for Jesus sacrificial atonement. However odd this penchant might be today it is consistent with all primitive conceptions of “God” and it is embedded in the Christian gospel, which no carnal or spiritual Christian can honestly deny.
The notion of God is as old as humanity and when you have a God, as world history tells us, he needs to be appeased and pacified by constant ritual sacrifice. The greater the sacrifice the greater the good fortune you will have because God is happy with your efforts. (1) With out the idea that God demands sacrifice there would be no reason for Christianity to exist. Even the act of circumcision carried out on innocent babies, was created as a substitution to child sacrifice whereby the child’s life was redeemed and saved from becoming the actual blood offering. (Exodus 4:24)
Christians do appreciate the full text of John 3:16, which reads, ‘For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.’ It’s a semantic difference, but a difference nonetheless. Before this time, God dealt with the Nation of Israel alone, now His salvation was being extended to the world at large.
If, as Christians, we believe that Adam and Eve were in fact the first people, the blood sacrifice makes sense. An innocent animal had to be slaughtered in order to cover the nakedness and sin of Adam and Eve and God, being true to Himself and His unchanging nature, demanded blood sacrifices from that day on.
Much later as human behaviour evolved, the idea of the sacrifice of one person (Jesus Christ) as our substitute to redeem all humans from having to appease God brought an end to this barbarous act. Humans no longer need to do the hard work to please God, as he decided he is only happy with his Son, so mankind rests and God does the work. The story that God the Father sacrifices his only son (Jesus) is the central act of Christianity. God is appeased, his desire for blood sated and all falling under the umbrella of Christ are redeemed, saved and secure from the wrath of God.
The entire Old Testament points to Christ; this was no an add-on. Jesus Christ fulfilled over two hundred of three hundred plus prophecies concerning Him. The rest are to be fulfilled on His triumphal return. The lambs being slaughtered in the temple are a foreshadowing of the perfect Lamb that is to follow. God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to salvation in Jesus Christ. The barbarous act, by the way, is still being carried out today, in our cities, where the animals are slaughtered in abattoirs. The lamb was eaten, only the choicest offerings, the fat, the unhealthy part, was burned completely.
But an angry God thwarted by Christians, still seeks to fulfil his lust for blood by burning non Christians, who do not fall under this redemptive blood covenant protection, forever in the lake of fire. So he is only happy with those who are found to be “in Christ”. If Christ is not “in you” Apostle Paul explains “then you are reprobate” later on he says “Christ in you the hope of glory”. God sees his Son, but not you (the old man). It has died and you have become a new creature in Christ.
Christians are not embarrassed to be associated with a God that demands blood sacrifice, because Paul’s teachings have tamed the beast, as it were, and the only blood letting done today is at the ritualistic communion or breaking of bread service; where the sacrifice of the last human (man/god) offering is remembered emotionally with much humility, gratitude and admiration. This is the main Christian meeting and pious Christians ponder with meekness, joy and soul searching the following thoughts: Jesus died in my place. Oh the love of God. How great it is. He took my place. He paid a debt he did not owe. I am so unworthy.
Aside from the irony, this is accurate. The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is salvation in Christ Jesus. In order to pay for your sin, you have to die. If you die you go to hell. Hell was not created for man, but for the devil and his angels.
If you make the choice to defy God and refuse to accept His offering of mercy, why should you be spared? Man was created to live forever, one way or another. Some people believe that hell is just separation from God and use as their evidence Jesus’ words ‘…but the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ Whatever it is, it is going to be extremely unpleasant. John writes of a lake of fire in Revelation. Who knows? Certainly not I, but I have made my choice, and it is not driven or motivated by fear, but love of God and my fellow man, which was instilled in me by God.
When we partake of Communion, it is in remembrance of Jesus’ selfless sacrifice. Is it emotional? Mostly no, it’s just something we do: humans are good at normalising things until they lose their value. And Jesus did take my place and I am unworthy. What could I possibly do to earn a gift? Nothing, that’s what. Jesus asks us to come to Him as we are, with all our faults, and He will cleanse us of all unrighteousness. Do I still sin? You can bet your bottom dollar I do! But my sins have been covered.
As we unpack this further we realise that God prepared a human body (Christ) for a final and complete blood offering. And just like child and animal offerings in the OT, it had to be without spot and blemish. So this human sacrifice could not be human because scripture tell us “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”. He who knew no sin became our substitute. There is no one as perfect or pure as God. So it makes sense then that God would be the ultimate sacrifice. And so God had to sacrifice himself to himself. Paul tells us that God was in Christ reconciling humanity to God.
In Hebrews 9:22 we read “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins” and because Gods blood was shed on Calvary, Jesus Christ being the ultimate and perfect sacrifice has made all primitive religions obsolete and saved the world from all kinds of blood sacrifice. What a wonderful ending to a gruesome practise for Christians who have partaken of the blood covenant with God. But non Christians will still be sent to hell to suffer the wrath of God. So he is still angry, and this anger drives him mad and he wants his pound of flesh. Those in Christ are safe but those outside are not. You can hide but God will find you.
Again, aside from the irony, you get it! God is not angry, however, and His anger does not have to be appeased; it has been appeased. It was appeased by Christ, so it’s not God’s anger we need to fear, but His justice. Non-Christians will not be sent to hell; they’ve chosen hell because they will not conform to the will of God.
At the cross, God died for us and that should have been the end of him, but he did not really die and he rose again three days later and continues to haunt people all over the world. He demands that all enter into a blood covenant with him; otherwise they are not redeemed and still need to be saved. Christianity has replaced the innocence and purity of a child used in human sacrifice with that of an innocent and pure god/man Jesus Christ who has become our substitute to appease an angry and fearful God. Do you get it now? The Christian God is still a primitive depiction of a god, but he comes in a more sanitised updated version. He does all the work; we just have faith “in him” and believe we are going to heaven. Simple! No wonder there are more Christians on the planet then any other religion. Who doesn’t want a free ride to spend eternity in paradise?
At the cross Christ died. He died and the Romans made sure He was dead, by piercing his side with a spear. He was then entombed in the Jewish manner which, if he hadn’t been dead at the time, would most certainly have killed Him. His legs were not broken by the Romans, which proves He was dead, as that was the way in which they expedited death. If your legs were broken, you suffocated so, yes, Jesus was as dead as a man could be.
When Christ rose from the dead, it was in fulfilment of prophecy and to empower His disciples, all of them, into the current day. Christ haunts no-one, the Holy Spirit draws you to Christ and Christ offers you salvation. But there is no free ride. There is nothing free except the salvation itself, which must be ‘…worked out with fear and trembling…’.
We are not saved to go to heaven or avoid Hell; we are saved to serve our fellow man. Jesus says that if we ignore the plight of the hungry, the homeless, the widows, the orphans, we are ignoring Him, and we will have no place in Him. So where does the free ride come in? The majority of Christians seem to believe that that is the way it’s going to be and, on Judgment Day, they will be shocked to find out that they were wrong all along.
In Part 1. We quoted the words of Jesus when he described God as a Spirit. In the OT we find that this spirit which is not a material object at all, and hence has no parts to be seen, is described like a God made in human image; it is a he and he has strong human emotions of love, anger, hatred etc he has hands, feet, arms, eyes, ears, voice box, etc. He is depicted as a tribal, blood thirsty, military monster God. The great I AM and who are you - the greatest bully in the universe. I AM the potter you are the clay. I AM your provider and never forget it, I AM has brought you into this world and I AM will take you out as well, so you better watch it, I AM this, I AM that, etc
This Judeo-Christian God often required child sacrifice. (1) Child sacrifice was only considered evil when it was done in the name of foreign gods. It wasn't a morality issue. The Jewish priests saw it as a violation of the First Commandment: You shall have no other gods before me. He unashamedly demanded that only the best animals were good enough for him in regular ceremonial burnt offering ritual sacrifices so that he could inhale the gruesome (but pleasing to him) aroma. The Temple altar was an unpleasant place; blood splatter and gore everywhere, a grotesque stench of blood and rotting flesh, worse then scenes from a demented person’s nightmare.
Child sacrifice was demanded by God once and once only, and then aborted by God when Abraham proved his faithfulness to God. This was also a foreshadowing of the crucifixion of Christ. I don’t know where you get the idea of the altar being a gruesome place of rotting flesh, but it sounds to me like a purely emotional response, not one of reason. God did demand the finest animals as a sacrifice, and it was not the smoke that was pleasing to Him, but the obedience behind it.
I have read the Bible many times and, although there are things I’ve struggled with, I don’t see God depicted as a bloodthirsty bully anywhere. If you want to read that into it, you will. However, from Genesis right through to revelation, it speaks of God’s plan of salvation.
When it comes to child sacrifice it was actually commanded by God. Believe it or not! In Exodus 22:29-30 we read: “You shall not delay to offer from the fullness of your harvest and from the outflow of your presses. The first-born of your sons you shall give to me. You shall do likewise with your oxen and with your sheep: seven days it shall be with its dam; on the eighth day you shall give it to me.” Later on God admitted he did this in Ezekiel 20:25-26 where he said: “Moreover I gave them statutes that were not good and ordinances by which they could not have life; and I defiled them through their very gifts in making them offer by fire all their first-born, that I might horrify them; I did it that they might know that I am the LORD.”
This so-called child sacrifice is one that is still done in the church today, when we offer our children to God, we dedicate them to Him, knowing that they are, in a sense, on loan to us. The lamb was taken from its mother on the seventh day because it had not yet had time to develop impurities. Again, this was a foreshadowing of Christ’s offering.
In Ezekiel, God is speaking of the impossibility of meeting His standards of holiness. It is impossible to meet up to those standards, and He does speak of a better way to come, which is Christ.
The wicked, self-righteous and judgemental All Mighty I AM God murdered all life on earth except for Noah and his family; gave commands to army generals to commit rape, plunder, infanticide, genocide, slavery and hideous other war crimes against Israel’s neighbours. Any person or animal setting foot on Mt Sinai, when Moses was collecting the Ten Commandments, was obliterated from the face of the earth. Much the same happened to anyone touching the Ark of the Covenant. High Priests had ropes tied to there ankles so that if God killed them when they entered the holiest of holies to offer a sacrifice, they could be pulled out. The priests in Egypt, hundreds of years before also used ropes to protect against Ra, Horis, Isis, etc. and those depictions are regarded as myths. How could it even be possible or probable that God exists, and if he did why would anyone want to know him when he cannot stand anyone who is not perfect, just and holy as he is?
God did not murder all life on earth, he obliterated it by an act of His divine will, as there was no-one on the face of the earth who was righteous. Noah did not only build an ark, he preached repentance for a hundred years.
You say God ordered rape: which verse? I’ve never seen it anywhere. He did command slaughter as in the case of the Canaanites and the Amalekites. In many cases, God commanded his people not to plunder and they went against His express wishes, such as in the case of the Amalekites.
God gave a command, and He expected His command to be obeyed. If you are told, in the modern military, not to do something and you do it anyway, you are punished. The severity of the punishment depends on the extent of the disobedience.
No-one could enter the holy of holies unless he knew he was as sinless as possible. If someone had committed a sin leading to death, and entered the holy of holies to fulfil his priestly duties, God would strike him down. If you knew you were in that place where you were not fit to carry out those duties, there were other priests, but pride would force someone to carry out his duties and hope God would not carry out His promise.
There is the empirical evidence of intense undeserved suffering in the world which cannot be explained by a perfectly good omnipotent creator; there is archaeological evidence against the Biblical stories of the world-wide flood, Abraham was a legend, the Exodus, and the conquest stories in the Bible never happened; there is geological evidence showing the earth has existed for billion of years; there is biological evidence showing one species evolved into the next one which dis-confirms there was ever a time when there was no death in the Garden of Eden; there is psychological evidence that no wrathful God could exist given the fact that we believe and behave as we do based upon early childhood experiences; there is neurological evidence in that strokes and seizures dis-confirm the notion of a soul; there is historical evidence against the believability of the virgin birth story, Satan, hell and the bodily resurrection of Jesus from the dead too. The evidence is against the God we find in both the OT and NT, period. There is no God. He is obsolete.
There is indeed empirical evidence of intense, undeserved suffering in the world, which we, as Christians have been commanded to address. Most Christians, however, are too busy playing church to be out doing what they’ve been commanded to do.
Archaeological evidence and contemporary history supports the Biblical stories. There are vast amounts of evidence for a world-wide flood and evolution is anything but proven. The earth is about four and half billion years old, but nowhere does that contradict the Bible.
There is no rationale at all for people behaving in the manner they do when they become Christians and go against their very survival instincts to render aid to others, who very often turn on them and kill them.
The historical evidence against the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection are poor indeed, and until the late eighteenth century, when the New School of Higher Criticism arose in Germany, Jesus’ existence was accepted as fact. The Gospels are counted as compellingly truthful evidence by some of the greatest legal minds ever.
The evidence against God is wishful thinking and is reminiscent of the child who covers his eyes and believes you can’t see him. If you refuse to believe in God He can’t harm you.
‘The greatest trick the devil ever pulled, was getting people to believe he doesn’t exist.’ Keyser Soze – The Usual Suspects.
If there is no “God the Father” there is no “God the Son” either. So why do people believe in God and how do they communicate with him? Do they have to become superficial and childish by leaving reason behind? Do they answer atheists by explaining that God is beyond logic and the natural mind cannot comprehend spiritual things? Do they use the "His ways are not your ways" argument to try to clear up apparent discrepancies in the actions of God? Are they forced to tell ex born again Christians that they were never real Christians, even though they were spiritual and not carnal, had a relationship with Jesus and spoke in angelic tongues? Are they embarrassed by the OT that they can only interpret it with NT goggles? They read the story of the aborted child sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham which proves that this was a Canaanite practise, but they condone it by saying that it was a type, a shadow of Christ the Son of God, dying on the cross. That in their minds makes Christianity and its God okay.
Well that’s is okay, but don’t expect others who know more then you, to believe what you do when it is obvious to a blind man that God is not really real. A blind man knows there is no God; otherwise he would not be blind, now would he? As this Old Iranian proverb explains: “If you see a blind man, kick him, why be kinder than God!”
(1) Child sacrifice was only considered evil when it was done in the name of a foreign god, and doing so was punishable by death precisely because it was offered to another deity. Child sacrifice was something that several Biblical people either did, or assisted others in doing so. Abraham was not morally repulsed by the command itself and there is no command against this practice there by God (Genesis 22). Then there is Jepthah who sacrificed his daughter because of a stupid vow (Judges 11); David (II Sam. 21:7-9); Solomon and his wives (I Kings 3:16); Ahab (I Kings 16:33-34); Ahaz (II Kings 16:2-3); Hoshea (II Kings 17:7); and Manasseh (II Kings 21:6; II Chronicles 33:6). It was a problem for King Josiah (II King 23:10), for Jeremiah (Jeremiah 7:30-31; 19:3-5; 32:35), and Ezekiel (Ezekiel 16:20-21; 20:25-26, 30-31). The prophet Micah wonders if he should sacrifice his oldest son “as a sin offering” (6:6-8). It was a practice so prevalent when offered to foreign gods, that it is named as one of the reasons God sent the Babylonians to conquer Israel and forcibly take many of them as captives (II Kings 17:16-18). We even read where the King of Moab sacrificed his son which caused the Israelites to retreat in defeat. Moab’s sacrifice created a great “wrath,” (ketzef), which was an external force to the warriors in the story, indicating that his sacrifice caused some divinity to act on behalf of Moab. (II Kings. 3:26-27). In the New Testament God the Father sacrifices his only son (Jesus) as the central redemptive act of Christianity, and God still seeks to fulfil his lust for human sacrifice by burning humans forever in the lake of fire. (Leviticus 20:2; 18:21 Deuteronomy 12:31; 18:10; II Kings 17:17 23:10; II Chronicles 28:3; 33:4-10; Ps 106:38; Isaiah 57:5,6; Jeremiah 7:31 32:35 Ezekiel 16:20,21; 20:26,31; 23:37,39; Acts 7:43).
CHILD SACRIFICE IN ANCIENT ISRAEL http://www.usbible.com/Sacrifice/sacrifice_israel.htm
Theistic religions in one way or another were founded upon ritualized murder. What made children susceptible to sacrifice, was their virginity and their innocence. This concept is embedded in Judaism and Christianity to this day. Paradoxically, child sacrifice ended when Judah was captured by the hated Babylonians in 586 BCE. Jews don't practice their canonical obligation to sacrifice anymore, but there is still one remaining legacy where they celebrate child sacrifice every year. And that is the Passover when Yahweh killed firstborn Egyptians and their firstborn livestock. To ease their conscience they label it as their release from Egyptian bondage.
This is probably the most common fallacy there is about Christians and Christianity: that we leave reason at the door when we decide to follow Christ, when the Bible is quite clear and God says, ‘Come, let us reason together.’ Some of the greatest minds in history have not only steadfastly believed in God and His Son Jesus Christ, but found it perfectly reasonable to do so. Why do you think these people would leave their reasoning powers behind when concerning God?
Telling Christians who have backslidden that they were never Christians in the first place is a cop-out, as the Bible quite clearly states that these people have been deceived. There is much scriptural evidence to suggest that most Christians will turn their backs on Christ: that does not mean they were never Christians to begin with. It means they deny Him.
As to the embarrassment of the Old Testament, why should there be any, except for the Jews, as it shows them up in a particularly harsh light. Except for one incident in Judges, where Jephthah offered up his daughter, not at God’s instigation, but his own, and it is still not certain that he did consign her to the fires, as she went off to the mountains for two months to mourn, and the account says ‘she knew no man.’ Whatever the case, a foolish man held a vow God did not require of him.
God used Babylon as His instrument of judgment, as Israel had followed the abominations of the Canaanites, offering their first-born as burnt offerings. This was against God’s edict, not as a result of it.
God sacrificing His son was most certainly not a burnt offering, but a blood sacrifice, once for all. Your constant references to God’s lust for human suffering weaken your argument substantially, as an alternative has been made. Hell is a choice, not a necessary destination for the disobedient, who would turn heaven into hell.
Child sacrifice was ended, you correctly say, when Israel was taken captive by Babylon, and that is the reason they were taken captive and lived in captivity for four hundred years: their disobedience to God. In I and II Kings in particular, it is seen that every time a Godly king arises in Israel or Judah, the high places are destroyed and the priests of Baal killed. This was because Israel continually disobeyed God when they had a wicked king.
The Jews don’t celebrate child sacrifice every year with the Passover, as you so disingenuously claim, they celebrate their release from bondage, which is a slightly different matter. God gave Pharaoh many opportunities to repent and he refused, therefore he was responsible for the death of the first-born, not God or the Jews.
Your hatred of God makes it clear that you are not an atheist, but an anti-theist, and your arguments would be far more compelling if they did not carry the tinge of hatred that runs through them. Make a concerted effort to read the Bible without your anti-God goggles, and you’ll see what we see when we read it: a harmonious whole which speaks of the plan of redemption from a God of love.