Summary: Years ago, a major Protestant denomination removed many hymns that spoke of the blood of Jesus, citing they did not want to offend people. However, without the blood of Jesus Christ "there can be no remission of sin"...and we need to be reminded of that!
Heb 9:22 And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission. NKJV
As we approach Passion Week in the next month, we are going to focus on some of the key teachings that surround the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.
Back in fall 1996, I was in a lay speaking class of a major denomination. I had been in church all of my life, but had only been saved since July of that year. I knew that God wanted to use me somehow, and that it might be as a pastor so I took the course.
We were most of the way through the course, and on a particular Sunday the pastor leading the class mentioned two things that angered not only me but a few other people. It was, I guess, a class focused on political correctness.
First, he said that in his church he would never refer to God the Father as God the Father. I imagine that I did one of those cartoon type doubletakes, ala Bugs Bunny! He said that when he prayed he never addressed God the Father as God the Father because someone that had a hateful relationship with their earthly father might be offended and never come back to the church. Well, that drew some attention to say the least.
Second--and this is the one that I piped up on--is that he made comment as to the new "sensitive" modified hymns in the newly released denominational hymnal. The one big change was that virtually all hymns that contained the word 'blood' or any congnate of the word 'blood' was either removed from the hymnal or the song was changed to remove the word. The reason? Someone might be offended. Many people viewed blood as grotesque, gruesome and repulsive. The look on people's faces varied from shock to passivity to smiles of acceptance.
Well, folks, I for one could not sit still at this. I put my hand in the air and told the pastor "Look, you can change the hymnal but if you folks change the Bible I am out of here!" I heard some voices of agreement and a few hearty "Amen!" comments as well.
This week, we will be discussing why the topic of blood is so important to our faith, why we should always stand firm on our views of the blood of Christ and how an attack on the precious blood of Christ is an attack on the very faith itself.
6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.
7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.
It never ceases to amaze me--and I mean this in a negative way--how some people dress when they go to church. I am of the opinion that you can wear whatever you have, as long as it is clean and does not draw attention to yourself. However, some women and even some men wear things to the church house that are quite revealing and not appropriate. And this is an area in which, if you stand firm on, you do take a beating from some people. In short, your clothing should not be a distraction; a pastor once wrote that a persons clothing and appearance should draw attention to the person's face, not the body.
Now with that all said, let's look at today's key scripture. Eve was tempted by Satan, she willingly rebelled with the thought that she too could be like God. Adam was right there with his teeth in his mouth; he should have stopped the whole thing from happening. This is why it is the curse of Adam, not the curse of Eve.
The first thing that happened was that Adam and Eve all of a sudden had a conscience. The word means "with knowledge". Prior to that moment, they were innocent; they did not know evil. But when they did, they realized they were naked and were ashamed.
Now this brings up a point: why is it a shame to be naked? An examination of the words from the Greek and the Hebrew reveal (pardon the pun) that this is not only a literal nudity but a figurative one. It can also mean to wear clothing that does not quite cover the body, such as someone dressed in rags. In short, when you stand "naked" it can also mean that you are stripped of all righteousness or being exposed for who you really are.