Human Sacrifice in Our Western Culture?

by Ken Ham on April 19, 2016

One of the great evils soundly denounced in Scripture is human sacrifice. Because every human life is created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27), every life has value and worth; murder, ritual or not, destroys someone made in God’s image. Since human sacrifice breaks one of the Ten Commandments—“You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13)—the Israelites were specifically commanded never to worship God in this way (Deuteronomy 12:31).

Abortion: Child Sacrifice

Speaking through the prophet Jeremiah, God says of the people of Judah,

And they built the high places of Baal which are in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech, which I did not command them, nor did it come into My mind that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin. (Jeremiah 32:35)

Clearly, God strongly opposes human sacrifice.

Sadly, this practice has been and still is common in many cultures. Recent research by a team of evolutionists and social scientists claims that ritualized human sacrifice “helped humans transition from the small egalitarian groups of our ancestors, to the large stratified societies we live in today.” Of course, this is an evolutionary view of life that assumes humans had to slowly evolve “stratified societies.” This view does not match with the testimony of Scripture, which makes it clear that humans were intelligent from the beginning; that our ancestors were building cities one generation after Adam (Genesis 4:17); and that, not much later, people were already divided into groups by skill-set (verses 20–22).

But these scientists do make an interesting observation in their research: they mention that sacrificial victims were most often those of a low social status, such as a slave, and those sacrificing them were of a high social status, such as a priest or chief. Such an observation shouldn’t surprise us, as sinful people always have a tendency to wield power (which manifests the sin of human pride) to accomplish their own ends.

Now we are shocked and appalled at cultures that practiced, or continue to practice, human sacrifice and view them as barbarian or primitive. But we are no better here in the West! We’ve just replaced the demanding, vindictive gods that these tribes worship with the god of self.

Since the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision of 1973, over 57 million babies in the United States alone have been brutally murdered in their mother’s wombs at the hand of abortion doctors. And most of these babies—human beings—were murdered for convenience sake because they were unexpected, embarrassing, too expensive, disabled, or simply weren’t wanted. They were sacrificed to the god of self.

Interestingly, the one true God acts completely opposite to this kind of thinking. In ritual human sacrifice, and in the case of abortion, the weak and lowly—peasants, slaves, the unborn—are killed by and for the sake of the stronger and more powerful: priests, leaders, mothers, or fathers. But instead of demanding that we—sinful human beings in rebellion against Him—die for Him, God sent His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, to die for us (John 3:16). The Creator of the world became man and chose to willingly die in our place, brutally murdered at the hands of sinful man (Acts 2:23), so that we could be forgiven and have eternal life. What a difference!

Have you received the free gift of salvation that Jesus freely offers to all who will believe and trust in Him (Romans 10:9)? Learn more about the good news of what Jesus has done for you on our website.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,

This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.

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