by Wes Moore

I had just walked into the church building. Out of one ear I heard a lady ask, “Any kids today?”

“No,” the other lady replied. “None yet.”

This was a conversation between two senior adults just before the morning worship service began. They were trying to figure out if they needed to staff the nursery or children’s ministries on that particular morning.

I was preaching for them that day. I didn’t think about this conversation until later. As I looked around at the congregation from the pulpit, the youngest person I saw was probably fifty.

I don’t think any kids ever showed up.

So, where are they?

There are literally thousands of churches just like this across the United States, maybe even tens of thousands. Even the churches with youth don’t have many in comparison to what they should have.

According to several studies, somewhere between 70 and 90% of children raised in evangelical Christian homes leave the church after their eighteenth birthday and never come back.

If you didn’t know any better, you might conclude some deadly disease that targeted only Christian children had plagued the country for the last thirty years.

Or, maybe, if you were like me, you’d look at what Christians are doing with their children every day in America and conclude something much worse—that their parents had actually offered them as sacrifices to pagan gods.

Child Sacrifice in Biblical History

Throughout Old Testament history, the pagan nations sacrificed their children to pagan deities. In Deuteronomy 12:31 (and other places), God specifically warned his people never to do this. In Jeremiah 32:35, God said regarding this practice, “I never commanded [it], nor did it enter my mind.”

As indicated in the Jeremiah passage, God’s people eventually adopted this same pagan practice. This enraged God. After the kingdom was divided, kings of both Judah and Israel engaged in this heinous practice themselves and led their people to do the same (2 Kings 16:3 and 17:17).

“And you took your sons and daughters who you bore to me,” says God in Ezekiel 16:20-21, “and sacrificed them as food to the idols… You slaughtered my children….” [emphasis mine]. Ironically, these children were not even theirs to offer in the first place. They were God’s!

How did such a thing ever take place? What would drive God’s own people to do this? Psalm 106:34-37 gives an excellent explanation of the process by which something like this comes to pass: “They did not destroy the peoples as the Lord had commanded them, but they mingled with the nations and adopted their customs. They worshiped their idols, which became a snare to them. They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to demons.” [emphasis mine]

Notice the descent into this terrible sin. First, “they mingled with the nations.” That mingling caused them to “adopt their customs.” It wasn’t long before they “worshiped their idols.” And, under the deception of those idols, they eventually obeyed them to the point where they “sacrificed their sons and their daughters to demons.”

How is this related to public education?

Where do our children have evolution and so-called “tolerance” shoved down their throats? Where do they learn about sexual perversity on a daily basis? Where do they get the idea that Jesus is just another god and that the Bible is “mythology” pounded into their heads all year round? Where do they interact with the children of this lost world for hours on end?

Is it not in the public school system?  Yes, they pick up some of these things in other places, most notably through television. Unfortunately, many Christian children learn these things in their own homes and sometimes even in their own churches. But from where does the bulk of their access to godlessness come? Where does most of it start, and by what means is the world’s morality and ethic ingrained into their minds on an ongoing basis? There’s no question about it: The state school system.

Public schools have changed. You’ve got to come to terms with this. While I’m not sure they were ever “godly,” they certainly were less godless than they are now. When I was in the third grade in 1980, we prayed for the hostages in Iran every day at school. My teacher, Mrs. Ryan, led us in that prayer. Teachers could actually discipline their children back then, and principals carried paddles, not pistols.

Even then, my first access to sexual perversion, dirty language, and evolution (among many other unbiblical, unholy teachings) came on the grounds of a public school.

Today’s public school environment is absolutely unrecognizable in terms of its anti-Christian, anti-God, anti-morality agenda. How many school shootings does it take to see the system for what it is? How many more of our children need to rebel and abandon their faith before our people wake up?

It Starts with Idolatry Again

There are many reasons more Christian parents don’t seek alternatives to public education for their children. In the first place, many of them simply haven’t thought about the impact of the godless system on their children. It’s what everybody does, so they don’t really think much about it.

Some parents don’t know the Bible well enough to see the stark contrast between what God requires of his people (parents and children alike) and what is being taught in the classrooms and hallways of our public schools. This is a plague upon the church right now overall. We don’t know the Bible, so we can’t possibly please the God of the Bible as we should.

And don’t tell me your children go to a “good” public school. While there may be devout Christian administrators and teachers who work in public education (and I am glad there are), the system itself is still what it is—ungodly at its core.

Other parents recognize the problem and mourn the unbiblical influence their children are receiving, but simply can’t do anything about it. Maybe they can’t afford any kind of a Christian school, or, as is the case with many single parents, they literally can’t home school and work at the same time. (This is where the church really needs to step in.)

But in more cases than not, it comes back to idolatry again. Let me give you a few examples of our idols:

• Greed. We have to have a big house, two new cars, a vacation at the beach every year, and the nicest clothes. We must keep up with our materialistic culture, so both parents simply “have” to work.
• Debt. Our greed and materialism traps us even when we awaken to the dangers our children face. Our big mortgage, car payments, credit card bills, and other debts enslave us to idols we didn’t even know we had.
• Career. Many Christian women have been lured into the world’s definition of a “successful” woman. God’s definition starts with how she supports her husband and takes care of her children (Proverbs 31, Titus 2:3-5). Many Christian women have abandoned real success for a cheap imitation, sacrificing their children in the process.

So what can we do?

Don’t lose hope. We don’t have to continue on this path. The God of the Bible is committed to protecting his children (and I know you are too!). Here are some steps to take if you recognize this problem in your family.

1. Repent. Whether you’ve realized the danger you’ve put your children in or not, it is still a sin. Renewal always starts with repentance in the kingdom of God.
2. Ask God for wisdom for your particular situation. Every context is different. You may need to sell your house and one of your cars to get into a financial position to make a change. Or you may need to quit work to home school the children. Whatever the case, it won’t be easy. Ask him to show you whatever it will take to get your children out of public schools.
3. Church leaders, ask yourself what your church can do to help parents get their children out of public schools. Can you start a Christian school, develop financial programs to help single parents, or offer budgeting and finance classes to teach parents how to live on less?
4. Whatever you do, if your kids are in public schools now, make sure you are discipling them yourselves at home each night. Teach them the Bible, the truth about other world religions, and biblical morality. Pray for them fiercely. Make sure they read their Bible every day for themselves, and do your best to minimize the ungodly influence they receive at school.


We have unwittingly allowed ourselves to sacrifice our own children on a worldly altar. But we don’t have to continue. Through repentance, the wisdom that God will give, and the sacrificial actions of both parents and churches, we can save our children from the fires of false gods that is now consuming them.

Repent and take action today.

Wes Moore is a conservative Christian author and speaker, and the founder of Evidence America, an apologetics and evangelism training ministry. Wes is the author of Forcefully Advancing: The Last Hope for America and American Christianity, a book designed to equip the average Christian to engage the lost; The Maker, a futuristic apologetics novel; and The Spiritual Top 50, a non-fiction apologetics book designed to help Christians answer the questions their lost friends are asking.  You can learn more about him at

The Maker, Futuristic Apologetics Novel
by Wes Moore

It’s 2332 AD and our greatest fears have been realized. America has been destroyed and all history of her erased. The Global Government, made up of America’s present friends and foes, oppresses the world and hunts down and annihilates any person or group that threatens it. No one can challenge the great Global Government until a suicidal archaeologist named Adrien Bach finds a black box buried in the remote desert that was Middle America. The other-worldly contents of this box lead him to the truth—about America, the Global Government, and the greatest crime in human history.

Their crime.

Join Adrien on a thrilling, twenty-fourth century ride to uncover the truth and reveal that truth to a world starved of hope, love, and light. And along the way, perhaps you’ll learn something that will change the way you view our twenty-first century world.

The Maker is designed as a tool for Christians to give to their lost friends, especially those who doubt the existence of God.

Give a copy to your lost friends and family today!