In the popular Christmas carol Away in a Manger, we sing ‘the cattle are lowing, the baby awakes, but little Lord Jesus no crying he makes’ – a thought intended to convey the peace and rest of the Son of God in the safety of his mother’s bosom. Tragically, there is a distinct lack of crying babies in our own culture, but for different reasons. Dallas abortionist Mary Smith writes, “In the small still hours of the night I am at peace with myself and with God, who gave me this mission in life.” The ‘god’ she is referring to, who gave her a mission of murder, is obviously not the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who wrote the Sixth Commandment with His own finger, gathers the little ones up in His arms as a gentle shepherd and declares through the Son, “Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise” (Matt. 21:16). Her peace is a false peace for as we shall see, she is a worshipper of Moloch and not the living God.
The incarnation communicates the biblical truth that God who is distinct from His creation, nonetheless entered into it as a human being in the person of Jesus Christ to redeem us from sin and death. Our present culture denies the reality of the triune God who transcends the creation and therefore rejects not only the marvel of his incarnation as a human baby, but his offer of life in all its fullness as the full-grown Son of Man.
To understand today’s defective view of life adequately, one that has given rise to the silent pogrom of state-sponsored abortion, we must first revive some cultural memory. A cosmology of killing dominated the West before Christianity de-divinized the world by placing the triune God alone on the throne of Godhood, separate from the universe, where creator and creature are utterly distinct. Indeed the essence of the ancient city-state and empire was that it represented the continuous unity of the gods and men, of the divine and the human and the unity of all being. Every part of society was part of the all-absorbing one (unity of all things), whereas biblical faith asserted an absolute distinction between the human and divine.
Critically, even in Christ’s incarnation, the human and divine natures were in unconfused union, without separation, as the counsel of Chalcedon powerfully set forth. To de-divinize the world in this way was seen by the pagan world as a dangerous threat to order. Celsus saw this as “the language of sedition,” because the authority of the state order rested in the continuity of man’s being with divinity (or divine principle). The thing to understand here is that both the Greeks and Romans, as is always the case with idolatry, were indirectly worshiping themselves and their own desires in the worship of their gods. Because they divinized their rulers, the state and the human order, they created a ‘god’ from earth, an immediate and total power over life and death, dictating who would live and die, without reference to the living God. This led, in Greco-Roman life and thought, to the total-state governing life and as this order began to crumble, an atomistic individualism in which each one was a law to themselves, beyond good and evil, increasingly broke out. This led to more reactionary counter-claims for the divine state dictating life and death as an immanent god.
What we face today then is not new. The early church had to confront the widespread reality of abortion and infanticide in the Greco-Roman world as they preached the virgin birth and incarnation of God the Son. The Greek philosophers were often advocates of both abortion and infanticide whenever they were in the perceived interests of the pagan state. Plato’s Republic makes this plain. He argues that the state is the ultimate order and functional god, and can order abortion, infanticide and incest as it sees fit. Justice in this matter is what the state says it is. Aristotle’s position was similar in that he required abortions when state-permitted births were exceeded. Furthermore, in Roman law, abortion and infanticide were not essentially distinguished. Infants did not actually have legal status until the head of the family, the pater familias, accepted the child into the family. Until that acceptance, an infant could be destroyed. This was social engineering and social control by man playing at being God. The cosmology of killing is thus the worship and service of the creature.
The roots of this go much further back than Greece and Rome of course. We see it even amongst the Hebrews as they copied the pagans around them. As Jeremiah 32:33-35 makes plain, the Hebrews were drawn into the cult of creature worship and offered their children to Moloch. Melek is the common Hebrew word for king and is related to Moloch and Milcom, the god of the Ammonites as explained in 1 Kings 11:7. A culture that exchanges the truth about God for the lie (Rom. 1: 21-27) that man can be as god, worships and serves creation, not the creator, and in the personification of nature with various gods (of which man is part) he worships himself and his own will and idea, usually in the form of the state, a king or emperor. Moloch worship was in reality state worship – it was man worship. The brass statue of the god was in a human form with outstretched hands, and had a bull’s head. A fire was stoked to incredible heat in the statue’s belly and parents were required to offer up their babies to this terrifying embrace without protest and watch the horror unfold.
That this practice was an aspect of religious paganism and occultism is made clear where God’s word warns in Deuteronomy 18:10-11:
There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.
It should surprise none of us that each of these occult practices are widely and actively pursued by many today in our culture, concurrent with abortion on demand.
The cosmology of killing is thus pagan and occultic to its core and originates in the first temptation, that man could be as God and determine good and evil for himself – to be beyond good and evil. The contemporary justification of the killing of the unborn, then, on the sole basis that it sanctions ‘choice’ (the woman’s right to choose), is the essence of Moloch worship. We may not place our children in the fire, but the meaning is the same. We propitiate (satisfy) self-will and the will of the state (man enlarged) by offering up our children on the altar of our godhood and worship and serve the creature.
Our society, in abandoning the life-giving reality of the incarnation of the living Word, has adopted a cosmology of killing in which we reveal our ‘inalienable’ choice to be our own god. We deny the reality of any value higher than our choice, and recognise no end greater than our will – all of which relates us to nothing but the existential self and therefore reduces us to nothing. As with the worship of Moloch, it is the ‘free and voluntary’ aspect of our killing that is the all-important basis of action in our pagan culture. And as we play god, the sterile and clinical abortuaries, with the states’ strict limit on public protest around the killing centres, provide the deafening silence that shields mothers and cowardly men from comprehending the consequences of their actions.
We can be thankful this Christmas that King Herod’s gruesome plan for mass infanticide missed the manger, his state-sanctioned killers coming too late, Joseph having been warned by an angel in a dream to flee Bethlehem. Would that we, as God’s messengers, would warn our culture of death to flee this murderous madness.
 Mary Smith, in Sarah Terzo, “Abortionist: ‘God gave me this mission in life,’” ClinicQuote, last modified March 13, 2014, http://clinicquotes.com/abortionist-god-gave-me-this-mission-in-life/.
 Michael J. Gorman, Abortion & the Early Church: Christian, Jewish & Pagan Attitudes in the Greco-Roman World, (Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity, 1982), 20-25.