Tag Archive: Central America



“I myself will set my face against him and will cut him off from his people; for by sacrificing his children to Molech, he has defiled my sanctuary and profaned my holy name.” -Leviticus 20:3

Molech was a pagan semitic god who was worshipped by the detestable act of child sacrifice. The alters were in the semblance of a bull or calf, a sacrificial animal itself, with a pit before it, or in the belly of the man made edifice. Within these pits, large fires would be built and children were tossed in as an offering to the god.

In this verse, we not only see God’s disgust in the worship of other gods, but also the abhorrent nature of human sacrifice. The Book of Judges, Chapter 11, contains the infamous account of Jephthah, who after making a vow to the Lord concerning the defeat of the Ammonites sacrificed his daughter to God. Atheists and non-believers,  like to distract Christians by citing this account, but nowhere does it say that God approved of Jephthah’s sacrifice of his only offspring. In fact, God’s displeasure could implicitly be contained in the account, for the Ammonites, whom Jephthah was fighting, were devout worshippers of Molech. Thus, it represents a veiled connection between the Judges account and God’s statement against such practices in Leviticus.

"Jephthah," by John Everett Millais. oil on canvas, c. 1867

Human sacrifice wasn’t a rare practice and every continent and almost every indigenous people seems to have engaged in it at one time or another, from the civilizations of Central America, to even the Native Americans. Yet, again, verses like this one, and those like it, show that God does not desire such offerings. Why did God include it in His word then? The account was provided to show the importance of oaths to the Lord (See my note on Matthew 5:37, “On Promises and Vows”).

Abraham, in Genesis Chapter 22, was commanded by God to sacrifice his son Isaac, which Abraham being a man of faith and obedience, was prepared to carry out. Yet, at the last minute an angel called from heaven and instructed him not to lay a hand on the boy. In verse 13 we find that a ram was caught by its horns in a thicket, provided by God, to take the place of Abraham’s son.

"The Sacrifice of Isaac," by Domenichino. oil on canvas, c. 1627-1628

The correlation between this account of Abraham and what was later to occur with Jesus Christ is apparent. As the ram was caught by its horns in a thicket, likewise Christ had a thicket of thorns placed upon His head, piercing deep into His flesh, as His eventual crucifixion approached. Though Christ was human, He was not a mere human, and He was provided by God, from the beginning, to take our place, to endure the punishment, and to pay the just wages for our sin, just as the ram had replaced Isaac. In short, we deserve to be nailed upon that cross, but Christ paid for sin in full on our account that salvation might be credited to us by faith and through grace.

May Christ be forever praised. Amen.

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“. . . and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.” -Romans 1:23

 


I have looked at a few different translations of this and it has only served to add to the wisdom behind the verse. This is one of the reasons I encourage people to read different versions, for by doing so, the mere wording alone may bring another important lesson to the forefront of your mind that the Lord wants you to focus on.

When I first read this verse, I can’t help but see the theory of evolution being addressed somewhere in here. In addition to evolution, I further see many of the polytheistic religions represented as well. When we look though history upon places like Egypt, or even the religions of Central America we find illustrations of their gods. These are included in their sculpture, paintings and carvings. These echoes from the past show their earthly kings as well as their deities.

 


When we look upon these examples, the gods are shown to be humanoid in their basic shape, with attributes of animals interlaced within the human form. The wording in Romans 1:23 to me is so precise in almost addressing is very thing that I find it rather awe inspiring. Indeed, many peoples of the past and even today worship gods whose being is an aggregate of both human form and a whole bestiary of assorted creatures. The, what must be, perfection of god represented by the corruptible nature of man and beast.

Concerning the evolution theory, we see that this is man’s new god and the transfiguration from some organism from the primordial soup into modern man, the supposed steps of evolution of form, are shown to progress through many different supposed species, though the fossil record has not one of these. Even recent accounts of a missing link being discovered have been extremely premature and led to the embarrassment of several individuals in the scientific community.

 


When we examine this verse we find a clear juxtaposition between the incorruptible God and corruptible man. The image of a mortal, with mortal understanding and imperfections, as a god, along with other gods at that, can only lead to such a contradiction that if it were true than chances are we would cease to exist altogether.

 


God needs to be perfect, and immortal, for if He were otherwise, existing outside of time, time, that edifice He created under Him, as well as all His creation, would fall apart in an instant and we would not be.

I once had the opportunity to talk to a coworker some years back who was a neo-pagan. Though they call themselves neo-pagans, neo meaning “new,” there is actually nothing new about it. Indeed it’s been around for thousands of years.

 


Anyway, this gentleman was devout, even had a shrine, and despite knowing I was a follower of Christ, wrote runes all over my truck, but intended no malice from it and hence I let it go and did not raise issue. For some reason, and despite his initial ridicule of Christianity (though it should be mentioned it wasn’t nearly as vicious as I have encountered), God opened his heart to respect me for some reason. It was in mutual respect that we began to discuss how the scriptures came to be, including in the canon, and the validity of the Word itself.

 


I respected him because he was truthful and honest concerning his own beliefs and we had conversations, which supposedly don’t happen, that is respectful discourse between two opposing schools of thought concerning religion. I have no idea what became of him, but I pray the Lord used our discussions to some higher purpose that he may be saved.

At any rate I reasoned with him concerning his numerous imperfect gods, four of them total, which included the likes of Esther and Odin. He had informed me that each controlled a season, and I made the argument that such polytheism could only reach an absurdity like the one brought up earlier. I half jesting asked him if it was like the other three gods took a vacation while one was in power, and to my surprise, he said there was nothing untrue about my statement, that indeed all other three took some sort of divine recreational break. It was due to this degree of truthfulness and honesty that I came to respect him, though not his gods.

 


Truth is the immortal and incorruptible God is a necessary condition for our existence. The polytheism we hear about, read about, or are confronted with, is so logically improbable and contradictory it makes reading the Greek mythology and the like almost laughable. Yet, people being led astray by such beliefs is not a laughing matter. Rather it is tragic and it is of the utmost importance that we not succumb to these ideas and work on, in a respectful manner, to denounce any such belief. This too is the reason the Trinity must be, for if there were three gods, each of their own will, we will eventually reach some sort of battle between them, in which the destruction of creation would be immediate.

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