In the disastrous wake of President Obama’s decision to put the full faith and finances of the Federal Government behind the destruction of human life, I have come to a shocking and bone-jarring conclusion: As a society, we are engaged in child sacrifice and we are unashamed.
In large measure, this post is not directed at the irreligious, the anti-religious, the atheist. Rather, this post is meant to be a punch in the gut to the people that call themselves “Christians.” The irreligious, anti-religious, and atheist are, by nature, sinners. We should expect them to sin and to call sin “OK.” All too often, however, those who claim the name of Christ look no different than the irreligious, anti-religious, and atheistic people of the world.
The Problematic Situation
For years, society has been heading in the myopic “I-Me” direction. This devolution has resulted in an insanely selfish society. But, again, what else do we expect sinners to do? The church, though, has followed along with society.
1. Worship Wars abound in churches over the style of the music. Nowhere in the New Testament is a specific style of music commanded. Since, in the Old Testament, God decrees the minutiae of worship–down to the very thread in the priestly robes–we might expect the New Testament to decree a style of worship. It doesn’t. That’s strange and very telling.
Rather than being a gracious and giving lot, our church folk have turned on each other to devour each other. Why? because they want the style of music they are most comfortable with. Arguments are “invented” to keep the status-quo in place. This is not New Testament piety; this is worldly selfishness. This is seeking your satisfaction at the expense of your brothers and sisters in Christ.
Now, I’m not commenting on a particular style of music. If I had my preference, the church I pastor would do Bach and Handel (after all, I am a classically-trained trumpet player). What I am commenting against is the selfishness displayed in our churches. Why not have a variety of musical styles? Why not rejoice with someone who prefers “contemporary” styles when, on one Sunday, a contemporary ensemble leads the worship service? Sure it’s not your preference. But, church is not about you! Church is about God and God commands us to be gracious to our brothers and sisters in Christ, to rejoice with and for them, and to be a people known for self-sacrifice. Instead of a Godly “give/give” idea, we are left to see a worldly “take/take” idea. How sad and how un-Christian.
2. Churches have become outwardly focused to the exclusion of the fellowship of believers. Do we need to do mission work? Absolutely!! However, mission work is not to be done at the expense of building up the members in our churches. All too often churches are acting like they exist only to do outreach. Remember, outreach is only one aspect of church life. The edification (or building up) of the current members (brothers and sisters in Christ) is also required of the church.
Where this becomes a problem is that the builders and the outreachers are usually fighting over which is more important. How stupid! That’s like doctors fighting over which organ a patient can live without–a heart or a brain. Both organs are necessary and both aspects of church–edification and outreach–are necessary as well.
Yet again, we, in our myopic selfishness, do not work with the other “party.” No, instead we call them names and brand them as “less spiritual.” Maybe we do this to justify our own selfish desire to be right? Maybe we do this because we are so spiritually deficient that we need to feel sufficient and rather than looking to Christ–who is Himself the only all-sufficient One–we demonize our brothers and sisters in Christ to exalt ourselves?
If it is true that our actions speak louder than our words, and it is, Christian have much to be ashamed of. We look too much like the world. Selfishness is rampant in the church–almost at the same level as the world. Essentially, we look no different from the world.
Selfishness is Idolatry
All selfishness is, in one way or another, idolatry. We seek to place our own thoughts and desires over God’s thoughts and desires. When we seek to justify ourselves at the expense of our brothers and sisters in Christ we commit the sin of idolatry–self-idolatry.
Idolatry is a struggle. I don’t mean to speak ill of those who are constantly engaged in the struggle. I do, however, mean to correct those who refuse to even engage in the struggle!
The Worldly Parallel
One of my biggest frustrations is shopping carts left in parking spaces in the supermarket. This really is the height of self-absorption. This is the idea of “I’m too important to be bothered with taking my cart to the cart return. Someone else, who is obviously beneath me, can do that for me.”
If I had a dime….never mind.
How in the world does this relate to Molech?
Leviticus 20:1-9 says:
The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Say to the people of Israel, Any one of the people of Israel or of the strangers who sojourn in Israel who gives any of his children to Molech shall surely be put to death. The people of the land shall stone him with stones. 3 I myself will set my face against that man and will cut him off from among his people, because he has given one of his children to Molech, to make my sanctuary unclean and to profane my holy name. 4 And if the people of the land do at all close their eyes to that man when he gives one of his children to Molech, and do not put him to death, 5 then I will set my face against that man and against his clan and will cut them off from among their people, him and all who follow him in whoring after Molech.
6 “If a person turns to mediums and necromancers, whoring after them, I will set my face against that person and will cut him off from among his people. 7 Consecrate yourselves, therefore, and be holy, for I am the Lord your God. 8 Keep my statutes and do them; I am the Lord who sanctifies you. 9 For anyone who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death; he has cursed his father or his mother; his blood is upon him.
Molech was one god of the Canaanites. Worshiping Molech was on the same level as worshiping Baal. Baal, being the storm god who brought the rain and made the crops grow, was worshiped so that the people of the land could eat.
Parents would sacrifice their children to satisfy their own appetites.
The Canaanites practiced child sacrifice. Child sacrifice is the height of wicked selfishness. What parent would sacrifice their own children so that the parents could benefit? How many examples of parents sacrificing themselves, selflessly, so that their children could live have we seen in the history of the world? What about Moses’ parents? They might have been charged with treason and subsequently put to death had the Pharaoh discovered they disobeyed his order to kill the male children. What about parents who shield their children from tornadoes–using their own bodies to absorb the debris?
It is natural for parents to sacrifice themselves and their desires for the betterment, survival, and support of their children.
So, how can it be the case that women are having abortions because it is summer and they don’t want to look bad in a bikini? How can parents give their embryonic children to the scientific butchers to grow new parts and pieces for some type of Owellian chop-shop and garage for human fraility? Why are parents not yelling to the scientists “Take me and leave my children alone!”
One reason: Selfishness. A selfishness that seeks your own good and your own comfort over the very life of your child.
Molech in the Church
How does this all come together? Our churches have raised a generation of people (and I purposely didn’t use the word “believers”) who care only about themselves.
If we truly cared for our brothers and sisters in Christ, we would lovingly (notice: lovingly) correct them when they act outside of God’s will. If we really cared we’d seek the good of our brothers and sisters before we sought our own comforts. You do not need to look far to see the demise of proper church discipline. Usually proper church discipline mutates into one of two un-biblical extremes–people seek to crucify, not restore, the brother or sister in the wrong or people refrain from any discipline whatsoever. Both extremes are wrong. Both extremes are born out of and serve perverse selfishness.
Is it any wonder the church is shrinking? We care more about numbers of baptisms than we do about true Christian discipleship and growth. We don’t discipline each other because the confrontation will take us out of our comfort zone and trying to discipline someone may make them leave and our numbers will fall. We concentrate on baptisms and the number of people on our church rolls because it serves our own egos, not the ultimate well-being of our brothers and sisters. See? Selfishness, again.
The shrinking church is evidence that God has turned His face away from us (I’m not talking “America;” I mean that God has turned His face away from the church).
May God forgive us for our rampant selfishness. May we repent and experience His face shining on us once again as we seek to be properly Godly and properly Biblical in all we say and do, both in public and in private.
24 The Lord bless you and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.