Christ / Church / Culture / April 12, 2007

Bloodless Christianity

Dr. Russell Moore comments on the irony of Bloodless Christianity in the Washington Times:

American Christianity is far less bloody than it used to be. Songs like ‘Power in the Blood’ or ‘There Is a Fountain Filled with Blood’ or ‘Are You Washed in the Blood?’ are still sung in some places, but fewer and fewer, and there aren’t many newer songs or praise choruses so focused on blood. The cross, yes; redemption, yes; but blood, rarely. …

What could be more repulsive, even sickening, to a clean, antiseptic society than talk of spattered blood? (Some of the Christian responses to Mel Gibson’s ‘The Passion of the Christ’ were of just this sort.) Ironically, contemporary Christianity grows more and more bloodless while the communities around us become bloodier than ever.

The true irony that he points out is that American Christianity still proclaims the cross and redemption without the blood. But the blood is the crucial element for the cross to function as an atoning sacrifice.

This coincides with what I was writing about on Easter in response to the Nashville Tennessean’s article on the use of blood in church passion plays:

But I could not help but think about one thing as I read the article: The culture uses blood and violence for shock value–to secure and maintain our interest. But Jesus used blood and violence for another reason altogether–to secure and maintain the righteousness of all those who believe.

As Hebrews 9:22 reminds us, “Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.”

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