Worship of Molech was the most abhorrent form of ancient Semitic idolatry, according to Unger’s Bible Dictionary.
It was expressly forbidden by Hebrew law and was denounced in prophetic writings attributed to Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Amos, particularly because one practice associated with this Canaanite deity involved causing children to pass through or into fire.
So, it is heartbreaking to observe so many across the U.S. who are willing to let our nation’s unvaccinated children pass through the fire of the COVID-19 variants by refusing to vaccinate themselves and by not practicing social distancing and mask wearing.
Much of the vaccine resistance is taking place among Bible-toting and -quoting “Christian conservatives” who are rejecting a vaccine that would protect themselves from the sickening and lethal effects of the COVID-19 coronavirus despite pleas from respected scientists and physicians to get vaccinated.
More than 600,000 people in the United States have died because of COVID-19.
The Delta variant has shown that it can infect people who have been vaccinated, though breakthrough cases remain exceptional and are without the extensive sickness and risk of death that occurs when unvaccinated persons are infected.
Currently, none of the existing vaccines for COVID-19 have been approved for children 12 years old and younger.
With this population of children still at risk for contracting COVID-19, one would think that people who love and want to protect defenseless children from becoming infected and sickened would receive vaccinations.
Medical and scientific experts urge that unvaccinated people wear face masks to protect themselves from exposure to COVID-19. However, many are objecting to wearing face masks and to governmental mandates that face masks be worn.
They are doing so when the Delta variant spreads throughout the United States causing sickness, suffering, hospitalizations and deaths of unvaccinated adults and children.
In addition, millions of unvaccinated children will return to school later this month in states where schools cannot mandate masks due to their governor’s executive orders.
Unvaccinated and unmasked children will sit in crowded classrooms. Some of them will likely be infected with the Delta variant, and could then infect schoolmates, teachers and school staff workers.
Then, the infected students, teachers and school staff workers will take the Delta variant into their homes and infect other children and respected elders.
Our present situation reminds me of the ancient worship of Molech. We are literally causing children to pass through or walk into a fire called the COVID-19 Delta variant.
Children who do so will be unprotected from infection.
Some children will be sickened. Some will require hospitalization. Some will require intubation. Some will die.
None of this can be squared with the life and ministry of Jesus. Jesus did not sicken children. He welcomed and healed them.
Religious people who deliberately expose children to the risk of sickness and death by refusing to wear masks, by discouraging others from wearing masks and by refusing to be vaccinated disobey the example and ministry of Jesus.
They are not honoring life, protecting children or loving God and their neighbors.
They are sacrificing children, much like religious people did who practiced the ancient idolatry of worshiping Molech.
That is what idolatry and heresy look like today, and why that idolatry and heresy will continue to cause increased suffering and sorrow in the most Bible-quoting and Bible-toting society in the world.
Pastor at New Millennium Church in Little Rock, Arkansas, a state court trial judge, a trustee of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, author of one book and three blogs, and a consultant on cultural competency and inclusion.