In my 2022 book, “This is the Way”, in Chapter 10 talking about hell and framing the theory of eternal conscious torment I mentioned an ancient god or type of sacrifice named Molech (technically, it is unclear according to the texts if Molech is the act of sacrificing babies or the god himself, but I think translating Molech as a “god” is the most accurate interpretation instead of the “act”). It seems that many of my readers are/were unfamiliar with this god or term in the Bible and recently with the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court Leak I have gotten several emails asking if I would expound on the correlations between “Molech” in the Bible and the ramifications it may play on modern day abortion.
History is filled with barbaric cultures. One of the worst, though, has to be the ancient Canaanites, but I am actually not convinced that modern America will be viewed much differently in history books hundreds or thousands of years from now, as a nation we have slaughtered Indians, funded terrorists, stole what we wanted, and killed millions of babies in the womb. That sounds pretty bad to me. In Canaan it was customary for parents to offer their newborn children as sacrifices to their god Molech, I wonder if hundreds of thousands of deaths by abortion each year will go down in history the same way, as an utterly evil barbaric culture.
Here is the excerpt from my book:
Many people when talking about the problem of evil ask “why does God allow all this evil to happen in the world?” and “Why does he not put a stop to it?” I hear people asking that question all the time as if they think that they are qualified to somehow question the morality and doings of God. But what is interesting about the story of Israel and the Canaanites is that we have a situation where God was patient for 400 years and then decides it’s judgment day. It is one of the times in history that God actually does choose to NOT allow the evil that pervades in the world and utterly decimate it.
The Canaanites were particularly Evil. Sometimes we get stories in the Bible of Extreme cases. Abraham as we have mentioned, is our extreme faith person; the most faithful archetype of all Humanity. In the same way the Canaanites are our archetype of the most extreme evil. Just to give you an example, one of the things the Canaanites would regularly do was offer their babies as sacrifices to Molech. It is unclear whether Molech is actually the name of the god or the description of the style of sacrificing babies to any foreign God; but either way we see it as the extreme archetype of evil.
It has been recorded by the Greek writer Plutarch that when they offered the babies as living sacrifices burned to death the drummers would have to pound their drum so loud that you couldn’t hear the screaming of the babies. The statues resembled an incinerator with arms out-stretched and the babies would be placed on the arms exhibiting a slow horrendous death. What I want you to note is that God obviously had a major problem with this. It is presented as the Archetype of EXTREME EVIL within the entire context of the Bible.
Why would God allow such evil? Well, in this case he doesn’t. He says it needs to be completely Annihilated. As you can see there is a conundrum. Many ask, “why does God allow such evil atrocities to continue on earth?” But then, if God destroys such evil, as He does in the case of Sodom and Gomorrah and Canaan, people say, “Why is God so violent?”
In the case of Molech in the Bible, God decided enough was enough and obliterated or annihilated Sodom and Gomorrah. Sort of, you see the region that was stomped out by God in Genesis 19 would be rebuilt, actually several times but throughout history will prove to always be a place of evil. Within a few hundred years it will emerge again as the land of Canaan. Eventually it would be destroyed again, and some Biblical scholars believe it would even be an act of God to eventually cover it with water under the dead sea to ensure it would not rise again, but that is merely a theory. In (Deuteronomy 9:4–5) God did not decide to command the Israelites to destroy all the inhabitants of Canaan simply because He promised Abraham that his descendants would inherit that land that had now been overrun; He commanded them to do it because the Canaanites were utterly wicked and evil people. Canaan is the arechetype of Evil in the Bible. (An archetype is a word used to describe the most extreme example of something.) If there were a more evil place on earth, that is what the story of Israel would be about, decimating the evil in the name of the Lord, reclaiming what was defiled and bringing it back to the holiness of God.
In other words, God was getting two birds with one stone here. He was using Israel to do His will by attempting to blot out the most evil thing in all of the world, the example of utter evil. But He was also doing what God does and what is the main story of the Bible. He was taking what is ugly, destroyed, or decimated by the world and attempting to purify (sometimes through fire) and renew it for good. This is ashes to beauty. That God wants to take something that is the major example of the most ugly, heinous, horrific thing on earth and turn it to beauty for his kingdom. There is a lot more that I could write here and I have gotten into more of the evil of Cannan in other videos, but I think you get the point.
There is an entire narrative to this that helps to understand what is happening described as a Deuteronomy 32 worldview. Click to watch.
Are American Christians the New failing Israel?
The problem is Israel failed. They didn’t complete the task and today many people think that is the reason why the world is such a mess. Through Jesus and the New Covenant we as Christians are now called to a similar calling to be the agents or ambassadors to bring the earth and all in it back to purification in the Lord. We are God’s tools to reclaim what has been utterly lost and decimated. How are we doing? If you look at American Christianity I might argue we are failing as much if not more than Israel did at the same task. Will we be handed over to an exilic judgment in the same way Israel was?
If you’re connecting the dots… the ugliest most horrific thing in Genesis is the nation of Canaan. Why are they horrific? Because they sacrifice babies. Because of this, God sought to wipe them out. Israel was meant to purify and bring peace to the nations yet failed, we as Christians of the New Covenant are now called to the same commission. Have American Christians utterly failed?
A God of Genocide? Total annihilation?
Maybe. We actually don’t know the answer to this question. I would point you back to my book for a more thorough answer to this question. The Bible uses a lot of figurative language and so do we. For instance, I say my 11 year old Reid’s soccer team annihilated their opponent 10-0. Did they really? Did Reid bring a sword to the game and cut off the heads of all the defeated 11 year old’s and march through town parading the severed heads of the young corpses? Of course not, that sounds completely twisted and barbaric (I am having a hard time even writing that) as it is totally not within the character of my sweet young boy. Well, the same answer falls with God. We don’t know the whole story but we have to trust in the character of God and what we know of that character for sure. God is Grace love and mercy and even though we don’t have all the answers of an event that took place 4-5000 years ago we can trust the nature of God to be complete and holy and acting for the good of humanity, His treasured possessions. Often times things aren’t likely what they might seem to us in our humanity when we fail to see through the eyes of God. Much of the narrative of the story is that we enter into intimate relationship with God and learn to walk in this trust and obedience for our lives. This is beauty from ashes and holy transformation.
The Bible mentions Molech about ten times. Here are a couple of them.
“Any Israelite or any foreigner residing in Israel who sacrifices any of his children to Molech is to be put to death. The members of the community are to stone him.” — Leviticus 20:2
“They built high places for Baal in the Valley of Ben Hinnom to sacrifice their sons and daughters to Molech, though I never commanded — nor did it enter my mind — that they should do such a detestable thing and so make Judah sin.” — Jeremiah 32:35
This sounds absolutely hideous. We read the story and think what culture would do that? How could they? But maybe at the time it didn’t seem so bad. Throughout history many females were killed upon Birth. It was almost the norm for several thousand years and is still common in China according to Mungello-1. They also lived in a culture where they believed the gods controlled things about life and that the people would benefit or be cursed by the actions of the gods towards them. As wrong as it sounds, many people and cultures still operate this way today.
Do you think America isn’t as bad? The majority of states leave the abortion law up to the doctor’s discretion described as to restrict abortion by gestational age. In New York and 4 other states a woman can literally kill her baby at nearly any time based on the same doctor’s discretion. In the same states if she kills her baby possibly less than twenty-four hours later when it’s made it outside her womb, she’ll go to prison. Who gets to decide where the lawn is drawn?
Babies screaming to Molech sounds terrible right? More studies than I can count demonstrate that babies at a very early stage can feel pain, not to mention taste food, hiccup, smile, dream, kick, and bond with their mother.
In Exodus 21:22-25 If people are fighting and hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely, but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows. But if there is a serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.
The Bible interprets a baby as a baby
Luke 1:41-44 tells us that When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb. When I read the story in Greek (the language it was written in) something jumps out. The unborn child in Elizabeth’s womb is called a baby (Greek, brephos). It’s the same Greek word used to describe children outside the womb (Lk. 18:15). And we see that this same baby was already able to recognize Jesus’ presence. It is also worth noting that Elizabeth, recognizes that Mary is the “mother of my Lord.” That is, she recognized Mary’s status as a mother despite the fact that Jesus was still in the womb.
Is there another side to this?
Well, if you know me at all, you know I try to be a completely unbiased seeker of truth. So, let’s ask the question is there another side to consider? The answer is yes. Let’s consider it. Within traditional Judaism most have affirmed that there are 40 days of gestation, Yevamot 69b even asserts that prior to 40 days the fetus is “mere water.” Most ancient rabbis since the time of Christ regarded a fetus as part of its mother throughout the pregnancy, dependent fully on her for its life. But that seems to be a “worldy” notion of first century religious hypocrisy as earlier Rabbinical source would point to Genesis 9:6 prohibiting the shedding the “blood of man within man.” This is a bit grey though. In Hebrew man is better interpreted “humankind” by the Hebrew “adam” being used not “ish” which would mean man or husband, meaning that in Gen 9:6 it is naturally masculine but could mean man or woman; it is commonly regarded as gender neutral similar to how we would use the term “he” generically in English. Furthermore, it is used continually for centuries as a phrase understood by nearly every Rabbinical source to refer to a fetus.
But it still isn’t that simple, both Judaism and Christianity teach that the body is ultimately the property of God and is merely on loan to human beings. There are multiple Old Testament Laws with prohibitions on suicide, wounding oneself, and many other things that collectively serve to reject the idea that individuals enjoy an unfettered right to make choices regarding their own bodies. Your body isn’t your own, it is the Lord’s and a temple unto Him. In that scriptural sense, the baby inside of you isn’t truly yours either. God and God alone retains the right to give and take human life. In an effort to be unbiased I don’t see a valid Biblical argument that we ever have the right to decide to take the life of a fetus, that is left to the authority of the Lord only. When humankind attempts to take on this role they are actually attempting to operate in the place of the authority that is granted to only the Lord in scripture.
What about Contraception?
This is really another post (that I am not planning on writing) so let me briefly touch on it. Contraception of some sort has been around since the early pages of the Bible. Are we attempting to play God here as well if we interfere with Life? Are we trying to be the arbiters of giving life and if we are ok with that than why not control the taking of life as well? What about elderly genocide? That doesn’t sound so terrible, at very old ages most would choose that option as a humane one. Does the Bible or God pass on or give us any right to such choice of contraception? Thats a harder topic that may influence your thoughts on the above perspectives. There is an idea that God doesn’t take joy in the act of a person deciding on whether to tamper with the creation of natural life as established order by God, but it also doesn’t seem to sin. Some theologians would consider it more of bringing order to (natural) chaos which is what God calls us to do in partnership with Him as a royal priesthood. The Bible doesn’t address this subject straightforward and as some has used Genesis 38:9 to try to say that God didn’t approve, that statement hermeneutically would be out of context. The text wasn’t teaching on contraception. The Judaic approach suggests that any interference with pregnancy constitutes a violation of the commandment in Genesis to be fruitful and multiply. However, the text doesn’t go there; so that is a lot to read into it. Throughout ancient Jewish history there are various circumstances signifying the need to limit family size once a man has fathered at least one child of both genders. The Bible seems to leave this one open to natural occurrence. This becomes a conversation in human control and trusting God as well as what is natural and unnatural before the Lord.
Where do we go from here? Well first, everyone I know is a sinner, but some worse than others! (That’s another post on the problems of thew Calvinistic doctrine of total depravity though). We have all sinned and fallen short of God’s grace. We need the continued transformation to be more like Jesus each and every day. Luckily, the Lord’s arms are always open and outstretched to return to Him for healing. So, if you have made poor decisions, then you should seek to reconcile them before the Lord. Your already forgiven for them but sometimes there is some continued work to be done that comes with real healing.
Unfortunately, many Christians forget what the Love of Jesus looks like. They represent hate, hostility, and animosity more than they represent the love of Jesus. Jesus makes it clear that judgment and life in the kingdom are antithetical to one another. Every judgment we have toward others undermines the thing that we as the people of God are to offer them. Jesus came to free us from judgment and to restore our capacity to love the way God loves.
You can change the culture. You can be the advocate that brings the Lord. You can be the ambassador that brings life. You can be agent of healing. You can lead Jesus to the world and the world to Jesus. And you’re not alone. Together as a royal nation, a kingdom set apart we are called in Jesus in one accord to first bring life to ourselves and our families and then to the world. The Refining fire of the unity of believers modeling the love grace and mercy of Jesus.
- Mungello, D. E. (2012). The Great Encounter of China and the West, 1500–1800. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 9781442219755.