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CHILD SACRIFICE

The most extreme forms of idolatry in the Old Testament were those which involved child sacrifice. Jeremiah condemns the Israelites for this, as do others of the prophets of old; “They have built the high places of Topheth in the Valley of Hinnom to burn their sons and daughters in the fire.” (Jeremiah 7.31.). The Valley of Ben Hinnom to the West of Jerusalem became a synonym in the New Testament for Hell, Gehenna.

We seem to think in our own secular society that we have achieved emancipation from all forms of idolatry, the worship of gods, and not least from the restrictions that the worship of the God of the Bible places upon our behaviour. We make our own rules now, and do as we please. But in fact this is only another form of idolatry: the worship of ourselves and of our own pleasures and goals, to which we are prepared to sacrifice anything and everything, including our children!

Nowhere is this clearer than in our sexual behaviour. We have sex with whom we please, when we please, inside or outside marriage, with both people of the opposite sex and people of the same sex. We think that we can change our sex at our own will. The victims of this culture of sexual indulgence and liberation, in which we take so much pride, are our children.

Sex between a man and a woman naturally results in the conception and birth of children; that is its purpose in God’s creation. The ‘sexual revolution’ of the 1960s was the result of the invention of the contraceptive pill. This pill was designed to prevent conception. Nevertheless, many unwanted pregnancies continued and continue to occur, the result of which was the legalisation of abortion in 1967. Today, over 200,000 unborn babies are sacrificed on the altar of our promiscuity, every year.

As we gained these sexual freedoms we lost the vision of marriage as the life-long union of a man and a woman, not just as sexual partners but as a couple committed to loving and caring for one another, and for their offspring, as long as they lived. It was for this that God created us male and female, and as we have lost that vision and aspiration so we have lost, not only a valuable source of support and comfort for ourselves, but a vital source of support and security for our children. As a result of all this, in about a quarter of families, the children have to rely on a one single parent, usually a mother, to provide and care for them.

It is not surprising that in such single-parent families the children are the most likely to be living in poverty, to be under-achieving at school, to be suffering with mental health problems, and to end up in trouble with the law. Women who are careless of giving birth to children outside marriage, and men who are careless of impregnating women outside marriage, are guilty of another form of child sacrifice: sacrificing the lives of children to their carnal instincts. The job of providing for and rearing children is beyond what any one person can do: you cannot earn money to put food on the table, and give children the security of your love and care, at the same time. The presence of both the mother and the father in the home are important for both the physical and psychological well-being of our children.

One way and another the losers in the sexual revolution of this generation are the children. In the worship of our sexual freedoms and pleasures we have ignored the needs of many of the children to whom we have promiscuously given birth. If we wish to stop this sacrifice of the lives of our children, we will have to go back to the ways that God gave us at the beginning: for a man and a woman to restrain themselves from sexual intercourse until they are married, for the couple to then restrain themselves from sexual intercourse outside their marriage, and to devote themselves to the care and support, not only of each other, but also of the children to which they give birth and who depend so much on their love and provision.

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