Monday, November 7, 2011

Modern Molechianism

by Paul Wolff

Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.
The Holy Scriptures are clear and consistent in their condemnation of abortion and similar infanticide. One of the strongest condemnations of abortion is found in Jeremiah 32:35, “They built high places for Baal in the Valley of Ben Hinnom to sacrifice their sons and daughters to Molech, though I never commanded, nor did it enter my mind, that they should do such a detestable thing and so make Judah sin.” 

God is not capricious, nor uncaring when it comes to dealing with sinful humans. For example, divorce occurs as a result of sin, but God allows divorce in recognition of the sinful hearts of people and in order to minimize further sin. However, when it comes to child killing God says that it never even entered His mind. This shows how far people had gone away from God that they would do something so completely foreign to God that it is never even the lesser of two evils as divorce may sometimes be.

Some people may object to using the condemnations of Molechianism as an argument against abortion by saying that absolutely none of the one million (!!) abortions done in the United States every year are done to seek the favor of Molech. This is true, as far as it goes, but is does not negate the Biblical condemnation of Molechianism for at least two reasons that I can think of off the top of my head. First, God knows that Molech is nothing, but He is just as angry that the people are murdering their children as He is angry that they are doing it in honor of a god who can’t save them or help them in any way. At other times (2 Kings 16:3 & 21;6; Psalm 106:37-39; Isaiah 57:5; Ezekiel 16:20-21; and others), God condemns infanticide without mentioning Molech. 

Another reason we should not dismiss the Biblical condemnations of Molechianism is that although the method and technology of infanticide has changed, the result (the death of children) is exactly the same, and the wicked motivations are exactly the same today as in ancient times. People want to have their pleasure and avoid the consequences, even if it takes murder to do it.

We like to believe that ancient people were primitive and superstitious, and that we are sophisticated and advanced. This feeds our pride and makes us feel superior. However, this is another one of the many lies of Darwinism. A close reading of history shows that although technology and culture differs through time and place, people have been the same since the very beginning. 

Darwinists have a fascination with primitive cultures, but they don’t recognize that modern primitive people have long since removed themselves from the greater society. Primitivism is a dead end. Civilization doesn’t spring from primitivism, instead primitivism comes from a breakdown of civilization. Whatever civilization the ancestors of modern primitive people brought with them was lost through war, or false theology, or other disaster. Yet, even the most primitive people on earth are still human and still retain some cultural practices that no animals have. 

So when we read the Biblical condemnations of Molechianism we shouldn’t dismiss that as the actions of primitive superstitious people who didn’t know any better. Ancient people loved their children as much (and as little) as modern people do. They also knew that Molech wasn’t a real god. 

Joseph and Mary flee to Egypt with the baby Jesus
I suspect that ancient Molechianism started in a time of famine when parents felt they had to choose between their survival and their children’s, and someone invented Molech to ease the murderous parents’ guilty consciences. However they may have justified it, it was still an evil practice, but once the practice was established in extreme cases sinful people surely found new uses for Molech. Prostitutes and other adulterers could call on Molech to dispose of the fruits of their wickedness and so the evil expanded. Once this happened it was easy to call on Molech to discard children for any reason. Children have always been the most vulnerable members of society because they must rely on their parents or guardians to protect them and provide for their needs. When parents are unwilling to care for their children then those children are in great danger. 

I see ancient Molechianism as the same pathological narcissism that causes modern women to abort their babies for reasons of personal convenience. 

The most compelling (though still false) argument for abortion is in a case where the life of the mother is in danger. Yet those who propose abortion as a solution still seek to murder the baby rather than try to deliver the child and save both mother and child. These situations are exceedingly rare. There are probably only a couple hundred such cases (or less) each year in the U.S. which is a microscopic fraction of over one million babies killed each year by abortion. 

One case in the news recently was a mother who was diagnosed with cancer and chose to forgo chemotherapy until her baby could be delivered safely. That mother chose to risk (and ultimately sacrifice) her life in favor of her child’s life. That mother demonstrated the true love and self-sacrifice that we only find in Christ. Now, I know that although we hope that all people would come to faith in Christ and obey His Word gladly it is unrealistic to expect that to happen. Nevertheless, we still ought to encourage people not to murder their children even through making and enforcing laws against such things.

Remember the story in Genesis 22 where God asked Abraham to sacrifice his beloved son, Isaac. Abraham went and was going to do as God had asked, even though it seemed out of character for God to ask such a thing, but God stopped Abraham before he harmed Isaac. Instead, “God did not spare His own son, but gave Him up for us all.” (Romans 8:32) It would have been much more convenient and comfortable for Jesus to let us suffer the consequences of our sin, but He chose the path of self-sacrifice and suffered and died on the cross in order to redeem us from our wickedness and save us from sin and death. 

Because of Jesus there is certainly forgiveness even for those who murder their children. However there is still great pain and guilt and consequences for this great wickedness. We should work hard to end the terrible slaughter of modern Molechianism out of love for our neighbor, but we should also be there to offer Christ’s forgiveness to those who have succumbed to the spirit of the age but who repent of their sins and seek healing.

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