Wednesday, December 10th, 2014
Images (Part 11) ***PARENTAL DISCRETION ADVISED***
You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way; for every abomination to the Lord which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods.
Deuteronomy 12:31 (NKJV)
They sacrificed their sons and daughters in the fire.
2 Kings 17:17 (NIV)
You took your sons and daughters whom you bore to Me and sacrificed them as food to the idols.
Ezekiel 16:20 (NIV)
I did not want to write this devotion. To discuss child sacrifice in the 21st century seems immoral, indecent and abominable. Besides, we live in America, a Christian nation, the capital of freedom. We're not an evil, pagan and barbaric people. Are we?
In Bible days, many nations were evil, pagan and barbaric. They practiced rituals of worship where children had to pass through fires. Some scholars say they were symbolic, but others say they were real. Either way, we shudder to consider this fate for our beloved sons and daughters.
Then I thought about the film, Eight Days.** Written and directed by co-workers, Eight Days features many AMTC grads, including the star. I was wowed by its Atlanta premiere. Eight Days is about human trafficking in America; a pretty teen is abducted from an affluent Christian family. Her ordeal brings to mind the nagging question: 'Why do bad things happen to good people?' ***
In Eight Days, the girl's parents seemed wise and prayerful. (Her terrible story has a happy ending.) But other children in the film, victims of human trafficking in the United States, were sold or abandoned by their families. Still more left homes voluntarily, hoping for a better life... but got tricked.
Today, at the base of it all, is a monster called media. This one-eyed babysitter is a box with a screen. It holds a vast numbers of idols and encourages their worship. I am guilty. I was a parent who hired this cheap help. I allowed my daughters unlimited access to the cyclops called television. I never censored commercials and barely censored content.
My girls spent thousands of hours being educated, directed and brainwashed by the advertising and entertainment industries. The goal of this co-op? Wealth via idol worship. If we do what they say, we can look like their stars. We can be beautiful, popular, happy and successful. Of course, every promise was empty, but the truth of their con can take lifetimes to discover. Miraculously, Jesus saved me and my children. I am forever grateful.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Jesus wants to save all children, and He's using you to do it. Your witness in media is desperately needed. If Satan is 'The prince of the power of the air' (Ephesians 2:2), then consider him leashed by God for the present. Because God has ordained an uprising.
You are His stars riding His saddle on the back of the beast. So look good, hold on and enjoy the ride.
To Be Continued...
* After this devotion's first publication, I received a response from a wise reader named Steve. Very politely, he reminded me that I neglected to mention the largest and most abominable child sacrifice of all: abortion. His words:
* "The millions of children lost to abortion in America is also a form of child sacrifice, disposing of a human life for convenience, to preserve a career, protect one's "image" or reputation, or financial status. Every human being is created in God's image every time a pregnancy occurs--even an untimely one not "planned" by us. We need to remember that preserving our own "image" is not as vitally important as protecting a child created in His image. God will provide for all our needs when we do!"
* Resource for the sanctity of human life: www.grtl.org
* Resources for those in crisis pregnancies: 800-712-HELP http://www.optionline.org/
** Eight Days, http://www.8daysfilm.org, began its premiere across America in 2014. It is wonderful, compelling and extremely frightening in its truth. I urge everyone to see it. Find out where it will be, and/or buy it. All proceeds go to fight against human trafficking.
*** Although I am not a trained apologist, I look to the story of Job, to John 9:2-3, and to Jeremiah 24:5 to find answers and encouragement regarding why bad things happen to good people:
*** Eugene Peterson's (author of The Message) brilliant introduction to the Book of Job: http://holy1fire.blogspot.com/2011/05/introduction-to-job.html
*** John 9:2-3: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+9%3A2-3&version=NIV
*** Jeremiah 24:5: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Jeremiah%2024:5&version=NKJV
*** I also believe in God's perfect justice regarding innocent victims and evil criminals. Both will receive good or bad rewards beyond what we can see or measure. Ultimately, great faith is required in hard questions, because man was not designed to understand everything. If we did, we would be gods.
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Images series.