Child Sacrifice…Confronting the Epidemic
There’s a new type of child sacrifice that’s overwhelming the west. Of course it’s not the real, physical killing of infants and children that occurred in ancient times, however it’s not even the victimization of children through the rampant divorce rates of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Read through to part III to discover the new and influential danger.
I. Sacrifice to Moloch—Killing Babes in Ancient Times
Can you fathom that humanity once participated in rituals of sacrificing humans, particularly of infants and children, to gods such as one called Moloch? Beyond barbaric!
One theme that resonated in the literature is the motive of appeasing gods for preserving or gaining wealth—do we already see a foreshadowing of modern society and its consumerism?
It’s important to note that God’s people were strictly forbidden to participate in this ritual.
Deuteronomy 12: 31 You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way, for every abominable thing that the Lord hates they have done for their gods, for they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods.
Some would say the spirit and practice of worshiping Moloch through killing infants is alive and well today in the astronomical abortion rates, especially since the decision of Roe vs. Wade. I would concur.
II. Sacrificing Children in the 20th and 21st Centuries – Caught In the Middle of Divorce
Despite being a child of divorced parents, and a teacher of elementary students for twenty-four years where many have experienced the same, I don’t claim to have any special training, counselling abilities, or conclusions related to divorce. I just have a lot of observations and anecdotes.
Children from uprooted homes proceed quite well on average, at least outwardly at school. I don’t think our system has ever categorized the instances of aggressive behavior at recesses, or grades in the classroom, for children from broken homes versus intact families.
We preach student perseverance, engagement, and safety as necessary for student success. I am amazed at the level children of divorce cope…and we’re not even talking about children with fetal alcohol syndrome, or fetal drug exposure.
The Three A’s vs. Selfishness and Immaturity
In setting the context of what’s right and wrong for adults, particularly those who choose to become parents, a former pastor of mine and many others teach that abuse, adultery and abandonment (physical or emotional) are sufficient grounds for divorce. It is then apparent that both Christians and non Christians can often be absolved of primary responsibility if a marriage ends.
Other reasons are nearly unforgivable, such as claiming the inconvenience of interdependency, or the feeling of ‘falling out of love’ and being unwilling to work at it.
However, it is vital to note that this site teaches that God can redeem any situation, whether it be divorce due to the 3 A’s or mere selfishness or immaturity. Divorced adults can be forgiven, and learn and become better, more virtuous spouses and parents in the future.
There can be no doubt that, whatever the reason for permanent separation, children from divorced homes experience additional stress, confusion, and emotional and physical upheaval than those from stable homes. It is a real sacrifice they’ve had to deal with at different levels and different durations of time. Some learn from it and become more determined in their marriages and parenthood; others have major baggage and continue the nasty cycle.
III. The Newer Sacrifice of Children
I would present the prevalence of the newer sacrifice of children. It occurs both at the altar of consumerism and the altar of technology. It’s troubling as divorce obviously continues to exist, however, we have compounded issues with parents who are present—present yet absent; parents providing for physical needs, yet negligent.
These are not brand new observations. John Peter Walsh comments on the image we’ve all seen. “Two young children (perhaps 5 and 7 years old) eat their lunches while their parental unit stares at a phone screen for the entire meal without interacting with the kids once.” (Colorado Voices: Sacrificing kids on altar of technology, (August 7, 2012).
Walsh’s comment: “What I see in these young faces is someone desperate for a parent’s affection and attention. Their eyes plead, “Put down the phone and notice me! Ask about school or my dreams for the future. Tell a funny story, mumble ‘How ’bout those Broncos?’ Just please say something.” (http://www.denverpost.com/2012/08/07/colorado-voices-sacrificing-kids-on-altar-of-technology/)
In Saving Ourselves to Save our Children, Nov. 13, 2014 author Russell Banks laments the dangers of consumerism (https://hds.harvard.edu/news/2014/11/13/saving-ourselves-save-children#),.
According to Banks, an average American child watches an estimated 25,000 to 40,000 television commercials per year. In 2010, around 15 billion dollars was spent by companies advertising strictly to children…
“When a society transforms its children into consumers, making them want, want, want, in order to sell their parents not what the children need but what they have been made to want, it commodifies and monetizes the children. It objectifies them. It dehumanizes them,” Banks explained…
“We have unknowingly sacrificed our children in order to feed Moloch,” said Banks, describing Moloch—a Levantine god to whom children were sacrificed—as “god of capitalism.”
If we want to save our children from Moloch, he said, “we must first save ourselves.”
Banks claims the consumerist targeting of young children in America will have a significant impact if we are to have an “afterlife, or immortality.”
Answer for the Epidemic: Rescuing Children and Society
An acquaintance of mine put it into evolutionary terms, saying this is all leading to a significant change in the nature and wiring of children, therefore in humanity, and therefore its impact on society and civilization…all for the worse. (I observe students who are definitely less attentive and far weaker with all categories of memory…however they are still lovable).
As for Banks, it’s interesting to note that he is an atheist yet he talks of immortality. Unfortunately, his idea of immortality is only tied to the continued existence of one’s children, and their children, and so on…so immortality granted only through one’s progeny. However, his work on lost children is very helpful to this discussion.
Obviously, I’m going to differ with both these views. It’s sin that’s changing us and changing our children. One could even emphasize that it’s sin that’s killing us, and killing our children sacrificially. And we are so deluded and deceived by technology and consumerism to recognize it. It has also led to a permissive society with permissive parents (as presented in a previous article here, A Permissive Society Resembled in Permissive Parenting).
Now for the only hope and remedy…and application…
First, from Genesis 22:1-24, some misunderstand God’s command to Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac (as it almost sounds like the abominable practices of other nations), yet its implications are startling. Yes, this command was given to test Abraham and his faith and obedience, but also so God had the opportunity to stop Abraham before the knife would fall on Isaac, to demonstrate the utter disparity between Himself and the other despicable gods of the nations.
The event was to primarily foreshadow the ultimate and perfect sacrifice of God’s Son Jesus for all humanity…a time where the knife would ultimately and metaphorically fall, and the Son, the God-Man, would not be spared.
John 8: 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my (Jesus’) day. He saw it and was glad.” 58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”
Jesus couldn’t be spared if God’s plan of salvation for humankind was to proceed. For God knew that humanity would continue to fall into sin, and to worship other gods such as technology and consumerism. He knew we would allow our children to fall into sin and sacrifice them at these pagan altars.
John 3: 16 “For God so loved the world,[i] that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
Simple application here: put away the cell phone and other devices. Don’t max out the credit card for stuff for you and your children. Glorify the Lord God in thought, word, and deed. He is the one who saves you from your sins.
Idolatry is ruining a civilization. How much progress have we made from those ancient civilizations? Child sacrifice continues…different methods. We’re setting our children up for a catastrophic downfall…unless there is revival and people choose the Son, and direct their children toward Him.