Human Sacrifice Today
Last post I said that “progressivism” I all its forms was today's idolatry. In olden times idols were easy to identify – they were real, visible carved or cast images, usually of human or animal forms. Today we are more sophisticated – we have dispensed with the material images on the whole. This makes it much easier for us to fool ourselves that idolatry was just a thing of the primitive past. But we are just fooling ourselves if we think that.
I want to look at features of the old idolatry and to show that the new an-iconic forms have otherwise all the same features. Starting with human sacrifice.
Back in the days of ancient Israel, Yahwism conspicuously did not have human sacrifice, abut all the surrounding pagan nations did. The prophets time and again denounced the Israelites for importing this awful practice along with their idolatry, and even trying to combine it with worship of Yahweh.
“They built high places for Baal in the Valley of Ben Hinnom to sacrifice their sons and daughters to Molek, though I never commanded—nor did it enter my mind—that they should do such a detestable thing” . Jeremiah 32:35
“They sacrificed their sons and daughters in the fire. They practised divination and sought omens and sold themselves to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, arousing his anger.” 2Kings 17:17
(King Manasseh) “did evil in the eyes of the Lord … He sacrificed his sons in the fire in the Valley of Ben Hinnom,”
The apparent reason for sacrificing their children in these foul idols was to gain (as they supposed) some material gain from the idol.`
Readers may be saying “how revolting, but we don't do such things today!” Don't we? Think again.
In the United States last year there were 900,000 human lives sacrificed to “prosperity” in abortion. If you jibe at describing abortion this way just look at the facts. In states – both in the U.S. and Australia where abortion is legal but a reason is required to be recorded, there is a consistent picture about the reasons given. Significantly, sort of reasons used in the progressive feminist campaigns of the '60s for legalisation of abortion hardly figure.
If lumped together, rape, incest, large number of existing children, and medical complications threatening the life of the mother or indicating severe deformation or non survivability of the baby generally come to less that 5%. Put the other way round: in reality at least 95% of abortions are because it is inconvenient for the mother to carry her baby to birth! Given the demand by childless couples for babies to adopt one cannot even make much excuse that rearing the baby would be inconvenient.
This may be a very inconvenient truth for feminists but it is the truth. So we are sacrificing these human lives to gain a supposed prosperity. For the married couples, a third child would marginally reduce their living standard. So we murder for money. To the younger single woman it would mean interrupting education and or diminish career prospects. For the twenties single woman – well she's just not ready to settle down and raise children – though she wants to someday. So we murder for our lifestyle.
For readers who are growing purple with rage that I dare say such things and think a new word needs to be coined for people like me, you are wrong: I am not in the least an anti-woman monster; quite the opposite. For a start did you note my use of “we”: it is a societal problem for which we all bear guilt, not a “female” thing. Let me explain.
There is a fascinating passage in the prophet Hosea, where in denouncing the rampant immorality God says he will not blame the women because the men bear the guilt for the social malaise.
“Therefore your daughters turn to prostitution and your daughters-in-law to adultery.14 “I will not punish your daughters when they turn to prostitution, nor your daughters-in-law when they commit adultery, because the men themselves consort with harlots and sacrifice with shrine prostitutes— a people without understanding will come to ruin!” Hosea 4:14
Jesus said a similarly interesting thing: “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” These are strong words! And how have we caused all these little ones to stumble? We (corporately) have created and made a feature of our modern Western “world view” the fallacy that abortion is not a sin – and especially that abortion is not the sin of murder!
Our churches likewise have been part of this idolatry and human sacrifice. Some have fought against the tide, but most (non Catholic) denominations have been guilty of supporting it – hideous as this is when you say it plainly.
In 1988 at my then diocese's annual synod, I felt God was prompting me to put a motion condemning “abortion on demand”. The reaction of the hundred or so delegates at this synod was bomb-like in its ferocity. There was complete uproar. There was unrestrained anger and outrage that anyone would dare to question the 'sacred cow' of abortion rights!
Another interesting incident I experienced is this: In the early 1990's I preached – for the one and only time – against abortion in the supposedly “alive” evangelical cum charismatic church I was pastoring. Three things happened: A woman sought me out for prayer afterwards (we had prayer ministry available after services); She said that she had had an abortion many years previously for economic reasons. After confession (to God) and absolution she went away feeling released from a burden she had carried for years. Second a woman who considered herself one of the social and spiritual elite accosted me in a meeting during the week. Saying how she had in her youth had an abortion for medical reasons (which I had painstakingly exempted from blame in my sermon) and she raged against me daring to preach such things. Thirdly there were a spate of letters complaining about me to the archbishop!
So, our nations are practising a terrible evil in God's eyes, yet the very institutions which should be warning us not to sin have become collaborators in this idol worship. Also the very intensity of passion against any who dare question the practice is I feel further demonstration that like pagan idol worship everywhere it has a demonic source and stronghold.