The problem of abortion is about more than just abortions. The problem of child sacrifice is not just about the child sacrifice in and of itself, but of a vast network of wickedness that has roots in various apathies, envies, illicitly-covered sins, compromises, unconfessed sins, fears, and more. Here’s why it’s crucial we understand this.
Scripture mentions the pagan ritual of “passing your children through the fires of Molech”—a ritual of child sacrifice. Jeremiah described a furnace built in the Valley of Hinnom, where Israelites adopted the pagan practice of burning their children in sacrifice to Molech (Jer. 19:5; 32:35). Some of the more hard core ministries have noted the parallel between this practice and abortion today. Some have noted this for a long time.
It is almost impossible to imagine just how far the culture had to have degraded in Israel to fall to the point of public child sacrifice. This nation was supposed to have been a light unto the world, a marvel to the surrounding pagan nations because it had God’s law. Consider all the painstaking details of ceremonial law given to ensure a visible and stark separation between them and the surrounding nations, all of the righteous laws, all of the Psalms contrasting the greatness of Yaweh and the futility of the false gods around them, all of the promises of positive sanctions, peace, and wealth upon obedience. Even if we were to imagine a nominal, tepid, and somewhat backslidden Israelite culture—one that could even be denounced by a prophet as stiffnecked and rebellious—we could probably not imagine what in the world could have happened in that culture to make it go so far as to engage in child sacrifice to the worst and most disgusting and revolting, horrible and detestable of all idols. How could this have happened?
There is an answer to that question, but I am not sure we are ready to hear it.
The answer can only become understandable to us once we quit focusing on the revolting aspect of the child sacrifice itself, and focus on the vast network of wickednesses that allowed something so polar-opposite of God’s law to come to pass. When we do that, the parallels between then and now grow to even more uncomfortable proportions. It will no longer be a mere analogy between murdering children needlessly then and murdering children needlessly now. It will get much more personal than that for all of us.
The Israelites did not start sacrificing children over night. They were not faithful one day and then suddenly idol worshippers the next. They were not doting on their children one day then murdering them the next. This was a process that required social and legal consent over time (though probably a shorter time than we would want to realize) with a vast number of willing coconspirators.
How we got here
The decision to sacrifice the first child probably took place in secret and against the law, and probably by a small group of demonic, pagan-inspired radicals. The practice may have taken place in secret for some time. Society would have probably rejected it had they known. There were probably rumors spreading that such things were done in the dark groves under the cover of darkness, but no one could prove it, and those implicated denied it. Who would ever do such a thing in Israel, after all?
Then one day, one of the less orthodox rabbis—not unorthodox, but the guy who always asked the weird questions about the off-color and taboo subjects—asked the seemingly innocuous question of why we hated this Baal character so much when the name simply meant “Lord” and we call Yaweh “Lord” anyway. And why is “Molech” such a bad word since “Melech” simply means “King” and we call Yaweh King anyway? It seems there’s really an awful lot that we agree on with our surrounding neighbors. Why be such hostile enemies over theological fine points when we could set those aside and get an awful lot of business done together.
This argument seemed so sensible to so many people that soon it became a new orthodoxy that “Baal” and “Molech” are really no different than Yaweh, even if they just don’t have all the details of the law. We still believe the details, they would say, but in reality, the vast majority of public interaction and worldview was built only on a general belief in “the Lord” and “the King”—some general notion of a divine being. The façade of life before the face of God remained the same: people still said please and thank you, you didn’t have to lock your doors at night, children respected their parents, shopkeepers made honest change with equal weights, laborers gave an honest day’s work for an honest day’s wages, and you could generally trust a contractor to finish on time and within budget.
The best thing about this arrangement was that, with the new generalized orthodoxy, business could expand into new markets. Yes, they were technically pagan, but as long as the pleases and thank yous continued, what was the problem? Business boomed so greatly and our young men had such a continual supply of jobs that we did not worry about much. Times are good. It seems, even, that by laying off the intense puritanism of our forefathers, we’ve actually become more relevant to those around us and God is blessing us for it. God has made even our enemies to be at peace with us!
We were pretty great, but then we looked and saw that the followers of Chemosh and Moloch and Baal still had something we didn’t. They had tremendous national greatness and unity. They had large powerful armies to defend their borders, and they had powerful leaders with a command presence to lead them. We looked at ourselves and saw scattered individualism, smallness, division, and relative disunity in comparison. Even if we had a unity of law under it all, we didn’t seem to have the same pride and outward unity that seems to define greatness. Weren’t we supposed to be the light of the world? Why, then, did these other nations look so much more glorious? We’d better catch up.
So, to our expansion into pagan markets, we added pagan forms of unity and symbols of greatness. We accepted the pagan structures of greatness. We built a comparable army. In fact, we built an even greater one—the greatest one on earth, ever. I mean it was huge. We did it to catch up; but some stated this is doing it because it was necessary, to protect ourselves from tyranny and terror.
We learned how to fund these great things, too. We learned to borrow money from future generations, and pay back the debt to society through future taxation. After all, this was for our children, so we were willing to levy several years of taxes that would affect them, too. This was for their benefit, so they would not mind a small, you know, sacrifice.
At first, we even called our taxes “offerings,” because we were happy to give for such great things. Later, when people pretty much resigned themselves to the obligatory nature of it, we called them “taxes.” This word simply means “touchings”—as in handling this for the purposes of assessment. The old guys said property and privacy were sacred, but we realized it was more important to have greatness and security, so we allowed the government to handle, assess, and take other people’s property. Giving up a little privacy in the process is a very small, well, sacrifice, in comparison. After all, what have you got to hide?
These little sacrifices on our part and on our children’s part we began to see as demands from our leaders, but we also saw them as necessary. At first, we merely tolerated them. But when we realized their virtue, we argued on their behalf and demanded them ourselves.
There remained some opposition to this. Some demanded what they called “principle.” They spoke of the literal law of God. We made clear to the people that God had obviously blessed our nation like this. Just look at it. Did they really want to give up all these modern conveniences and national security to return to virtual anarchy? We had shown how true liberty was achieved: through relaxing things a bit and getting along with the other gods out there. When we quit being so self-righteous and radical, we could actually learn from our neighbors, and we are much better for it. We are now like the other nations. Whoever opposed this was soon marginalized. It’s hard to imagine they were one time the vast majority. They are now fringe radicals.
Back in the old days, we had fringe radicals sacrificing in the dark woods. Today, there only a few people who oppose our sacrifices for the Lord and the security he provides through these forms. Today, they are the radicals.
But we don’t literally sacrifice, do we? Well, not that much. At first, it was just in battle. We sent our sons to fight in battle for our security, and greatness, too, I have to admit. But these are necessary sacrifices. With these sacrifices, Moloch was well pleased. They were sacrifices of a willing heart, and brave souls. From these very examples, our pride and assurance in the safety of our nation come. Freedom ain’t free. Sometimes, you have to sacrifice, and that means, sometimes other people have to die. Moloch gives, and Moloch takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord, the King.
The more we began to understand him, the more the blessings given by our Lord and King seemed so dependent upon our obedience to him. We obey him, he gives to us. So, we realized we needed to formalize our worship. After all, we used to have formal worship in old times, remember? We’d just gotten away from it. So, why should we not have formal worship reinstated in our new greatness? Yes, we might need to tweak a few things, but this was for our nation and our children.
We realized the original radicals had been right all along. They were now the majority. The King had been so great to us. To him we owed everything. To him we had even pledged our futures and our children. While it seemed uncomfortable to many people still, most were at least willing to trust our most elite leaders as they sacrificed—yes, a child. The remaining opposition to this (today’s radicals—the real, obvious radicals) seemed like wild-eyed, irrational bigots when they loudly and wildly protested this act as “murder.” Wow! They could not see that everything depended upon this. It was the true foundation of our wealth and protection. We could not continue without acknowledging this. Yes, it could seem extreme, but life without it was even worse.
So once the few remaining radicals had lost mainstream credibility, the vast majority of our comfortable middle class accepted the practice as part of our society and part of our freedom. Even if they opposed the practice themselves, they accepted that it was the parents’ choice whether to literally offer their child or not.
And the truth is, even several of the most prominent radical opponents got sucked into the system. I should tell you how they became so compromised in the system that their objections were hypocritical.
Back when the nation was borrowing its first sacrifices to fund it greatness, a decision was made to supplement the learning of the least privileged. We opened special academies for the poor. But several neglected this charitable service still. So, we passed another law that required them to attend. It didn’t make sense to allow children to grow up ignorant of what made us so great and powerful. The original free people—today’s wild-eyed radicals—educated their children in Bible and the old ways. But when this system opened, demanded attendance from all, and looked free, virtually everyone began to used it. Yes, it was a demand. Yes, it was technically a “loss” of freedom. But for greatness and security, the sacrifice was worth it. In certain circumstances, as we had learned from our Lord, making other people to sacrifice together, for the greater good, was itself a good thing.
At first there was little objection. The public schools still taught about God, heaven and hell, the Bible, morality, and all the traditional ways. It just also incorporated the ideas of what really had made us a nation on a hill. Over the years, our Lord and King took on the new, proper meanings, and we gradually corrected the social consciousness to match our national greatness. Today, the rightness of this glory is so obvious, and so convenient, that virtually everyone sends their children to be educated by Molech. It’s such a small and willing sacrifice, it’s hardly even a sacrifice at all. In fact, it’s a blessing!
And so it came about that, to this day, the vast majority of people give their children to Molech. Anyone who objected to the more devout sacrifices made by more devoted people had virtually no argument to stand on. They dared not oppose Molech. They liked Molech’s education. They liked Molech’s army. They demanded Molech’s taxes. They justified the debts to Molech. They benefited from—depended upon—the greatness of the society Molech created. How could they then retain any credibility in denying the legitimacy of worshipping Molech?
The obvious hypocrisy of it was resolved in one of three ways. They either sold out and defended the system as at least virtuous to some acceptable degree, or they lost credibility altogether in public, or they just learned to be quiet and not challenge the system.
They especially learned to be quiet when their children got involved. Or even sooner. It was clear their children made love with the rest of society, and with each other. These children had little problem bringing their own children to sacrifice to Molech. The radical parents may have objected, and this may have caused them to act in secret, but the kids did it anyway. The parents learned to show some sensitivity to this particular sin: they kept quiet about it after the fact. Likewise, some older women had engaged in it as well, and now sat in the assemblies of these radicals. How could these preachers rail against something as murder when they would offend all these women and daughters?
So, the radical preachers made their own sacrifice to Molech, too. Their sacrifice was their silence. One priest to Molech once even said that the silences of the Bible preachers on all this stuff was the loudest praise Molech ever received.
And so sacrifices went on.
And that’s how it happened.
To put it succinctly, we compromised a little, and a little compromise led to another, and a few compromises grow into corruption. We corrupted our worship. We corrupted our education. We corrupted our debt. We corrupted our defense. We corrupted our law. We corrupted our justice. We corrupted ourselves. And we killed our children as the ultimate justification of it.
And everyone who had a finger in it, from the very first and smallest compromise, bears some of the guilt.
Confronting the Molech Industry
Today we bear the guilt, and we suffer the inconsistencies, and they are legion. With all of this, however, we can see that abortion is merely the tip of a vast conspiracy of our own lusts, fears, and hypocrisies. The vast majority of Christians would decry the anti-child mentality of the liberal agents of the child sacrificers; but they will then turn right around and hand their own children over to those same agents of Molech for their education. Abortion is Molech worship; but Molech worship is more than just abortion. It is a comprehensive worldview that even most Christians are consumed with. You can’t stay consumed while criticizing abortion. It’s hypocritical.
It’s no wonder why our compromised institutions flee, and even attack, the overt naming of the Molech industry for what it is. They refuse to call it “child sacrifice,” “Molech worship,” or certainly not anything like “Molech industry.” Again, it’s no wonder. The moment you call out an industry, that same moment you draw awareness to the fact that this thing stretches into far more venues than just the local abortion clinic. You have now said the problem is institutional and culture-wide. And once you say something like that, people will naturally expect you to lay out and explain all the tentacles of such a beast. It becomes incumbent upon you to be honest about its furthest reaches.
This creates a real problem, because the church and some of her professing members will be exposed for their connections to it in various ways, not the least of which is the fact that many women and daughters sitting in evangelical churches today have had abortions, and the church leadership does not want to offend anyone, or cause them to feel shame or reproach. They may leave the church along with their supportive husbands. Or, they may stay and collectively demand the pastor or elder to leave. They may demand a change in theology or terminology to accommodate a gentler coddling of their past as not murder or even sin, but as, well, let’s just not talk about that and think about nice things to come. Christians want to be known as loyal and devoted, but not that kind of radical.
Such a pastor also has a family to feed, and getting fired from a church—especially for “sowing discord,” “contumacy,” or “divisive preaching”—would not only end his employment but make him virtually unemployable at any equivalent church from then on. So, he stays quiet, and says in a more benign, general way that he is “pro-life,” and “opposes abortion absolutely,” but there’s no need to explore all those divisive tentacles again. Let’s focus on the real enemy—the liberals—and not “wound our own” or “attack the sheep.”
And we will certainly not explore those alleged agents of Molech known in the public schools, government, law, etc. We have a lot of those on the church rolls, too.
In this new silence, with virtuous, moral, loyal, patriotic, and pro-life clothes on it, the minister now has submitted himself and his own children to the Molech industry’s power. He has placed his own children under the shadow of Molech’s wings for refuge and providence. Sure, he has not sacrificed his children literally to the idol; there is no blood atonement there on his part; but there is a “perfect submission, all is at rest” here. He is not standing directly under the idol and praising it, but he is standing in its long shadow and keeping his witness darkened because of it. Sacrifice to the Molech industry comes in a number of ways. Obedience has been rendered to Molech, and another pulpit so becomes an arm of the Molech industry.
Such preachers and Christians may not even feel conscious guilt and shame at their “silence” about all the tentacles of Molech and their submission to him. They may honestly believe they are doing the right thing. They may feel justified in their participation in Molech’s taxes, debts, army, education, and silence on certain issues, and they may feel righteous indignation at anyone who would accuse them.
They may even engage in apologetics against “syncretism” and even against “Molech” himself. But they are complicit in the vast majority of Molech’s kingdom while they do. In Molech, they live and move and have their being. They sacrifice to him, they praise his righteousness, and they fear his judgments. In most areas of life, they seek first the kingdom of Molech, and expect all these things to be added unto them.
They then become the foremost critics of us wild-eyed radicals who demand a return to God’s law without Molech, Baal, Ashteroth, or Chemosh in all areas of life. They lead crusades against us and kick us out of their churches. They strain at a demand for law and liberty, and find all kinds of “legitimate” ways to call us radicals, rebels, anarchists, despisers of authority, etc. In the end, they must stamp us out; but in stamping us out, they are exalting the religion of Molech, and worshiping him. They sacrifice their time, money, energy, conscience, and whole lives to him in these ways.
This is why the whole industry must be abolished. Abortion is not just an act, as murderous as it is. Abortion is the bloody, gruesome tip of the iceberg of a whole bloody, murderous, thieving, lying, stealing, destroying, adulterous, and idolatrous worldview. All of it is connected. All must be replaced with godliness.