Sacrificing Your Children

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One Hand Clapping has posted his sermon from this morning, and it's well worth reading. He starts from the issues raised by Michael Moore (on O'Reilly a couple weeks ago) about whether those supporting the war in Iraq would send their kids to Iraq. O'Reilly was right to dismiss Moore on this, because no one is sending any children to Iraq. Only adults who volunteered for the military are going there.

Still, this sort of question got Donald Sensing thinking. The most poignant part of Donald's meditation moves into comparing this kind of question with similar ones in the Bible. What does this sort of question mean about Abraham's decision to sacrifice his son at God's command? What does it mean about God's decision to sacrifice his Son for the sin of the world. I've known a number of people who have confronted these issues and declared God as presented in the Bible as simply immoral. For the Bible to be internally consistent, there must be some difference between either of those cases and the child sacrifice to Molech that's so frowned upon by the biblical prophets. I haven't thought about it enough to get a serious handle on what that difference is, though. Obviously something forbidden by God is different from something commanded or done by God, but there's got to be some explanation for why God forbids and commands.

Donald wonders if our resistance to the morality of these two acts (Abraham's and God's) is simply a residual effect of sin. "But I have a heretical question: is this inability or unwillingness to sacrifice our children with certainty mean that we are morally deficient? Is there anything we treasure so absolutely that we would with certainty part with even our most beloved ones to preserve it?"

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