When we think of idol worship we often conjure images of Old Testament-style idolatry. We may think of the Israelites and their golden calf or the despicable practice of the Ammonites in sacrificing their children to Moloch. Few of us ever consider the many forms idols may take, nor the various ways we sacrifice to them – even today.
This book review at the Chalcedon Foundation’s website demonstrates how people frequently sacrifice their children to idols right here in 21st century America. Parents are sacrificing their children to the idol of worldly success, pushing them ever harder for higher grades, more involvement, more achievement so that they might end up at the right college which will, of course, enable them to get the right job and on and on. The book is not specifically about the children of Christian parents but a simple glance around will confirm that Christian parents have fallen prey to this very idol and willingly offer their children to it.
The results speak for themselves. Statistics show that 88 percent of students who were involved in church while in high school leave the church when they leave school. For them church was just another activity tacked onto an already lengthy list of other activities. Our churches have become horribly inept at teaching our children the deep and meaningful things of God. We do not emphasize that Christ is not merely another aspect of our life but that he is life itself and our whole existence is to glorify God. Even if we say these things our actions speak louder.
Investing the vast majority of our time in other areas betrays our true priorities. We sacrifice our time, our energy, and our children to idols and then wonder why God would allow them to wander away.
It should come as no surprise. Jesus was clear on the consequences of pursuing worldly treasure. “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6:19-21