"They served their idols, which became a snare to them. They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons; they poured out innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan, and the land was polluted with blood."
History is replete with civilizations which have held morally repugnant attitudes concerning infants and children. Exposing an unwanted child to the elements was a common practice throughout the Roman Empire. The Nazis carried Jewish children off to the killing fields or the gas chambers. The Aztecs and Mayans sacrificed their children to their pagan gods. Perhaps the most infamous example from the ancient world are the Carthaginians of North Africa, who inherited their barbaric practices of child sacrifice from their ancestors in Canaan/Phoenicia.
Old Testament passages referring to child sacrifice are numerous and somber. The Israelites, delivered from the bondage of Egypt by the holy and mighty hand of the LORD of heaven and earth, were not just guilty of idolatry and unfaithfulness. They were guilty of adopting the horrific Canaanite practice of child sacrifice. In some cases, they attempted to attach this practice to worship of the Lord (Ezekiel 23:39). In other cases, they rejected Yahweh worship altogether, and fully turned themselves over to the gods of Canaan (2 Kings 17:17). Some Israelites stood by and did nothing (Leviticus 20:1-5). As a result, God brought dreadful judgment upon their entire nation (Jeremiah 19:3b-6).
This issue of Bible and Spade is dedicated to this subject and has been created with sober consideration and reflection. It is, perhaps, the most important issue we have ever produced. January is National Right to Life Month, and in the providence of God, the ABR staff is releasing this important issue of Bible and Spade at this time. January 22, 2012 will be the 39th anniversary of the infamous Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision to legalize abortion throughout the United States. Since then, 53 million unborn childrens' lives have been snuffed out... at the hands of their own parent(s) and so-called physicians. Two parties who are endowed with the moral responsibility to protect children, not destroy them. With the explicit support of politicians, judges, bureaucrats and millions from the American electorate, modern day child sacrifice is afforded legal protection and government sanction, just as it was in Canaan and Carthage.
Inside this issue, you will find powerful articles. Scott Lanser's editorial, Tanit in the Mirror, admonishes Christians to examine ourselves and introduces the reader to this difficult subject. Andrew White's article, Abortion and the Ancient Practice of Child Sacrifice, strongly connects abortion at the altar of self with the ancient practice of infanticide at the altar of pagan idols. We hope you will be convinced there is little difference between the two. The Testimony of the Didache reveals early Christian attitudes about abortion and infanticide. Mr. Paul Humber makes the obvious philosophical connection between evolution and abortion. Dr. John Currid excavated at the infamous tophet in Carthage, and shares some of his insights from that powerful experience. My own article, Redeeming the Carthaginians?, turned from a brief commentary into a full-fledged research project. My heart and mind were absorbed, and saddened, by the archaeological and historical evidences that reveal the truth concerning child sacrifice in antiquity. Finally, Dr. John Roskoski provides the reader with an excellent analysis of Jephthah's infamous vow in the book of Judges, which led to the sacrifice of his own daughter. Mr. Roskoski deftly deals with this oft misunderstood and difficult passage of Scripture.
We invite you to seriously consider purchasing a powerful DVD, entitled "180", from the ABR bookstore. It is a stirring video featuring Ray Comfort of Living Waters Ministries. In this DVD, Mr. Comfort interviews eight people who favor abortion. Using impeccable logic and touching upon the "law written on the heart" (Romans 2:14-15), these eight individuals change their minds about abortion. ABR is offering this important DVD at the lowest possible price, and bulk discounts are available so you can give this DVD to friends and family.
There is no compartmentalizing God's authority and holiness, nor is there escape from His righteous and sovereign hand of justice. Government officials, judges, and politicians who condone, defend, protect and promote abortion serve as the Chief Priests of modern day child sacrifice, affording this practice legal protection, just as the Carthaginians did. They are not immune to God's righteous judgment. And neither are the citizens of this land, even Christians and other citizens who oppose such an "impious edict". Neutrality on this matter is not possible. The blood of the children cries out from the ground (Genesis 4:10).
Although the situation is rather grim, hope still remains. The death and resurrection of the Son of God is able to cover and forgive the vilest of sins: even child sacrifice in the modern day. I strongly suspect these 53 million are present in heaven, the pain and anguish of their deaths having been placed upon the Son of God at the Cross of Calvary. For those men and women who have participated in an abortion, forgiveness remains accessible. Yes, even the abortion doctors and the political Chief Priests still can turn to their only place of refuge.
May we pray for the women (and men) who have been duped into killing their own children. May we pray for them to repent and turn to Christ for forgiveness. May our nation, and our churches, repent from this practice in every way possible. May we repent from our apathy and indifference. May we pray for the Holy Spirit to bring a Gospel revival, from sea to shining sea. Please join the ABR board and staff in praying that this important issue of Bible and Spade helps to change hearts...one at a time.
P.S. Current Bible and Spade subscribers will be receiving this issue in their mailboxes mid-late January 2012. If you are not currently a subscriber to Bible and Spade, you can subscribe today. You can also purchase the "180" DVD and this issue of Bible and Spade in the Pro-Life Combo Pack at a reduced price.