Category “Family”

Abortion – The Modern Moloch

In the Old Testament, the Israelites were constantly straying into idolatry, and one false god that snared them is specifically connected to the hideous practice of infant sacrifice. The Ammonite idol Moloch was worshipped first by the Canaanites, who then transmitted their practices to the Israelites. The worship of Moloch, which included ritualized carnal acts as well as infant sacrifice, was associated with intercession for the idol’s favor – a plea for prosperity.

Jewish tradition describes the practice of infant sacrifice:

Tophet is Moloch, which was made of brass, having the face of an ox; and they heated him from his lower parts; and his hands being stretched out, and made hot, they put the child between his hands, and it was burnt; when it vehemently cried out; but the priests beat a drum, that the father might not hear the voice of his son, and his heart might not be moved.1

This practice is depicted as possibly the worst offense committed by the Israelites, as it is often listed first, and frequently singled out – though it could be included in the general condemnation of idolatry. God, speaking through Ezekiel, said,

Moreover you took your sons and your daughters, whom you bore to Me, and these you sacrificed to them to be devoured. Were your acts of harlotry a small matter, that you have slain My children and offered them up to them by causing them to pass through the fire?2

This offense is so great that, even after its chief perpetrator, Manasseh, repented in his old age and his grandson, Josiah, led a great revival, God still pronounced destruction on the Israelites of Judah:

Now before [Josiah] there was no king like him, who turned to the Lord with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses; nor after him did any arise like him. Nevertheless the Lord did not turn from the fierceness of His great wrath, with which His anger was aroused against Judah, because of all the provocations with which Manasseh had provoked Him.3

modern molech cartoonThroughout history, Moloch has been portrayed as a proxy for the sacrifice of innocents in order to gain material well-being. In 1923, backlash against a frightening increase in the number  of pedestrian children being killed by motor vehicles led to a St. Louis Star political cartoon entitled, The Modern Moloch, in which a man offers a platter of children’s corpses to the leering grill of a monstrous car. In Fritz Lang’s 1927 blockbuster silent film Metropolis, workers are thrown to their deaths to oil the cogs of Mol0ch, a giant machine that powers the wealthy upper city.  In his volume, The Gathering Storm (1948), Winston Churchill described the near worship of Adolf Hitler and his prewar economic reforms in Molechian terms.

The similarities between this idolatrous infant sacrifice and today’s mass murder of the unborn are revealing. Most abortions are at the alter of modern prosperity – a sacrifice in order to increase the chance of gaining or keeping prosperity. Attempts to keep mothers from seeing imagery of the unborn children conjure up the drowning out of infant cries with beating of drums in an attempt to keep the mother’s “heart from being moved.” The methods of killing are far more cruel than even Rabbi Itzhaki’s chilling description.

Despite American evangelicalism’s fixation on sexual impurity, it does seem “a small matter” compared with the fifty-six MILLION unborn legally killed in America since Roe v. Wade in 1973. By 2020, the number of children killed in the U.S. will be higher than TWICE the current population of Canada. I fear that, even if we experience a revival equal to that of Josiah, the “great wrath” of God will not be stayed, because of “all the provocations with which Manasseh had provoked Him.”

God help us.

 


  1. Commentary on Jeremiah 7:31, by Rabbi Shlomo Itzhaki, 1040-1105AD []
  2. Ezekiel 16:20-21 []
  3. 2 Kings 23:25-26 []

New Arrival – Now in Technicolor

Sometime around January 22 my wife and I are going to welcome another human being into the world. Yesterday we took its picture. Then I colored it on my tablet.

colored baby sonogram

As an afterthought, under the new (supposedly strict) Texas anti-abortion law this baby could still be killed two weeks from now, a mere month before it would be considered viable outside the womb.

Suitable Suitors

Camp BabiesMy wife and I joke about betrothing our daughter Elanor (orange shoes) to our friend’s children. But when I saw this picture I was impacted with a feeling of hope that rather surprised me. I think this is why: When I think about Elanor’s future husband, I think about Job – Kathleen and Rafa’s son, being raised in Mexico as his parents serve the Lord in the squalor and risk of a third world country. I think about Machiah, the red-head in the picture above. His parents are moving to Niger this year in order to spread the gospel to the sprawling masses of Niamey. I think about Marshall, sitting next to Elanor, a boy who is being brought up by a parents who have endured much to conform to the will of their Father. I think about Griffith, born in the decay of Detroit where his parents moved in order to support a faltering assembly. There are many boys like these, and they give me hope for Elanor’s future. We joke about who she will marry but we really have no idea who that man will be. Still, these children remind me that there are God-followers out there, men and women who will do anything to see that their boys grow to love God as their parents do. I hope one day my daughter marries one of them.

Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-fil-A

Cow Appreciation Day

My wife hand lettered the signs and purchased the costume from the flea market for one dollar. This cute costume scored us a free meal, but the collective oohs and ahs from the employees was the best reward!

God is Good?

C. S. Lewis once wrote about the meaning of the word Gentleman.

The word gentleman originally meant something recognizable; one who had a coat of arms and some landed property. When you called someone “a gentleman” you were not paying him a compliment, but merely stating a fact. If you said he was not “a gentleman” you were not insulting him, but giving information. There was no contradiction in saying that John was a liar and a gentleman… But then there came people who said – so rightly, charitably, spiritually, sensitively, so anything but usefully – “Ah but surely the important thing about a gentleman is not the coat of arms and the land, but the behavior? They meant well. To be honorable and courteous and brave is of course a far better thing than to have a coat of arms. But it is not the same thing. Worse still, it is not a thing everyone will agree about. To call a man “a gentleman” in this new, refined sense, becomes, in fact, not a way of giving information about him, but a way of praising him: to deny that he is “a gentleman” becomes simply a way of insulting him. When a word ceases to be a term of description and becomes merely a term of praise, it no longer tells you facts about the object: it only tells you about the speaker’s attitude to that object. A gentleman, once it has been spiritualized and refined out of its old coarse, objective sense, means hardly more than a man whom the speaker likes. –Mere Christianity

I think the same thing has happened with the word good. Let’s see how it was used in the Bible, in relation to God the Son:

Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. (Matthew 19:16-17)

The seeker in this passage used the “modern” version of the word good, the idea of something that is acceptable or pleasing. Jesus Christ responded that there is only one Good person – Good with a capital G, if you will. In essence, Jesus Christ was linking Goodness and Deity. It’s as if he said, “Either you’re using that word incorrectly, or you’re calling me God. Which is it?”

The noted late Atheist Christopher Hitchens wrote about the goodness of God:

If Christians modify the dictionary so that no action of God’s could ever be bad, assigning the word “good” to God’s actions says nothing. They hope to make an important statement with “God is good,” but debasing the dictionary makes the word meaningless.

In fact, like the word gentleman, it is the modern definition of good that has been debased.

Let me borrow C. S. Lewis’s words, slightly modified:

To call God “good” in this new, refined sense, becomes, in fact, not a way of giving information about him, but a way of praising him: to deny that he is “good” becomes simply a way of insulting him. When a word ceases to be a term of description and becomes merely a term of praise, it no longer tells you facts about the object: it only tells you about the speaker’s attitude to that object.

When we call God Good, we aren’t paying him a complement, we’re stating a fact; not “God is good,” but “God is Good,” with a capital G. As a gentleman’s title was a characteristic of his position, so the title of Good is characteristic of God’s position. He is the absolute moral standard, and without his standard of Goodness, good hardly means more than what the speaker likes.

Buy 1 Get 1 Free: The Baby Was Extra

  • Elanor and 8 O'Clock
  • Elanor and 8 O'Clock
  • Elanor and 8 O'Clock

Every once in a while Publix has a buy 1 – get 1 free sale on our favorite coffee and we stock up. This time, Elanor got in on the act.

Who can find a virtuous woman?

Today I give you Proverbs 31:31. We don’t have city gates, per se,  but the implication is a social center. For we denizens of the early 21st century, that might be Facebook, Twitter, or a personal blog like this one.

My wife bought this pair of white canvas shoes at the local flea market. They were stained and she paid one dollar for them. She bleached them and painted them, and now our daughter has a very cute pair of shoes to wear… when she gets a little older.

Elanor's painted baby shoes

 

“Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.”

Good Sign: Elanor likes books

Good Sign: Elanor likes books

Elanor’s first time in the library. She acted like she was in heaven.