By now most people have heard that Toys R Us (one of the nation’s largest and oldest toy retailers) is closing all 800 of its stores. What some people don’t realize is that sagging birth rates are a contributing factor to this toy paradise’s demise. What many more don’t recognize is that not only have we played a part in this by ignoring the fact that children are a blessing from God, but unless we get back to the precepts and statutes of His Word, it’ll be “game over” for our culture.
Apparently Toys R Us has a problem with math or logic or both.At the very least, Geoffrey’s (the Toys R Us giraffe mascot) left hand didn’t understand the implications of what his right hand was doing. This toy retailer recognizes that the decrease in numbers of children is responsible for the closing of their doors. Part of their statement reads, “Most of our end-customers are newborns and children and, as a result, our revenues are dependent on the birthrates in countries where we operate. In recent years, many countries’ birthrates have dropped or stagnated as their population ages, and education and income levels increase. A continued and significant decline in the number of newborns and children in these countries could have a material adverse effect on our operating results.” Yet, this very same toy chain donated a lot of money—both directly and indirectly—to Planned Parenthood (America’s leading murder mill of children—more than 320,000 abortions per year). Selling toys while funding systematic infanticide? Not too bright, didn’t they realize that would be akin to putting a knife to their company’s neck, helping to commit fiscal suicide?
Every life impacts this world, leaving its “footprint” upon it. We can’t help but consider what might have been, recognizing the ghost-like lack of a footprint left by those who were ripped from their mother’s womb, so to speak. One might wonder if a cure would have been found for some disease or a solution to some other great trouble. The main issue is the destruction of life; but we can’t neglect the fact that we reap the consequences of our own actions. These consequences are as broad as the aspects of our lives—economic, spiritual, and social, etc.
In the case of Toys R Us, when considering how the loss of life, through abortion, affects the economic bottom line, one cannot neglect to consider the potential affect, also, of the progeny of those lives lost to infanticide. Quoting from Lifesitenews.com, “Pro-life political consultant Mark Olson estimated in 2012 that when one factors in the children and grandchildren those aborted babies would have grown up to have, America’s true population loss due to abortion is at least 117 million, or roughly a third of the U.S. population – and a considerable number of lost Toys R Us customers.”
To be fair though, no one can lay ALL the blame of Geoffrey’s woes at the feet of abortionists, murder mills, abortions, and the companies (or governments) that fund them. There’s another problem, a problem which is sure to affect all of us eventually. Another part of the declining birth rate deals with younger generations following the famous jingle of the Toys R Us commerical: “I don’t want to grow up…” (“…cuz maybe if I did, I wouldn’t be a Toys R Us kid!”) America is suffering from extended adolescence and turning the noun “adult” into a verb describing what one can do on occasion if they must.
Putting responsible adult life on hold so that they can play instead of work; live in their parents’ house instead of going out on their own; just hanging out instead of pushing forward; and wanting to raise puppies and plants instead of children, is affecting our society and our culture in adverse ways. I know I’m painting with a very wide brush and that there are exceptions; but eventually the piper must be paid. God will not be mocked; whatever a man sows, that will he reap.
Andrew Van Dam, of the Washington Post, ties the sagging birthrate to a future economic concern for all of us. “And that’s why the company’s demise should worry the rest of us. Toys R Us focuses on kids, so it’s feeling the crunch from declining birthrates long before the rest of the economy. But it’s just a matter of time before the trends that toppled the troubled toy maker put the squeeze on businesses that cater to consumers of all ages.
“The smaller generation of children whose lackluster toy consumption brought down Geoffrey the Giraffe will be adults soon. They’ll become the prime-age consumer spenders that drive U.S. economic growth.
“And the generation after them will be smaller still, after accounting for a slight bump from the generational fallout of the baby boom.” (emphasis mine)
We have been sowing into a culture of death instead of sowing life; we shouldn’t be surprised to find ourselves reaping death in its many forms. We have been economically, relationally, and spiritually self-centered and these also bring harvests of death in their own wake.
The church must, in part, take responsibility for the situation we find ourselves in. The church, its leaders, and its members have largely been silent on both of these issues—culture of death and extended adolescence. (Again, broad brush and exceptions.) Instead of proclaiming that God is sovereign, children are a blessing, and that in all we do we are to point to God and His glory, we’ve sadly endorsed worldliness and the ways of our culture of death by our silence.
Let us take to heart some spiritual warnings from our past:
“What one generation tolerates, the next generation will embrace.” –John Wesley
“Man's mind is like a store of idolatry and superstition; so much so that if a man believes his own mind it is certain that he will forsake God and forge some idol in his own brain.” –John Calvin.
Looking to an even wider scope than Toys R Us and the U.S. economy, the words from these two Johns help us to see the importance of holding fast to holiness, Jesus, and Biblical precepts. As another John once warned. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John 2:15) This world is not our home; Christians need to stop living as though it is.
Toys R Us has sown to the wind and is reaping the whirlwind. We may very well reap that same whirlwind if we don’t embrace Biblical truth, embrace life, and point to the glory of God in all that we do.
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