Often subjects discussed in the realm of archaeology can be investigated with little direct connection with the experiences of our present day. Whether that perception is true or not, it is a reality, and the study of the ancient past can often be very esoteric and compartmentalized to the modern mind. Not so concerning the subject of child sacrifice. The parallels to the modern day practice of abortion and the murder of innocent, defenseless babies is plain and unavoidable.
The motives for the destruction of babies in the past may not all seem the same when compared to present day practice, and the processes from an open, public murder at a religious altar verses the sanitized and hidden slaughter in an abortion clinic may seem worlds apart, but they are not. Ancient ritual sacrifice of babies to a demonic idol at pagan temples has been replaced by intentional 'medical' murder of children at the altar of self at secular, state-sanctioned 'clinics' and 'medical' facilities. Legalized abortion-on-demand is the result of rampant secularism and atheism whose propaganda has beguiled modern culture into a deadening personal autonomy that makes monsters out of every day citizens.
The Winter 2012 issue of Bible and Spade presents a number of powerful articles that address the issue of child-sacrifice in the ancient day, focusing primarily on the tophet at Carthage. Henry Smith and our friends at Artifax magazine untangle attempts by certain scholars to reinterpret the tophet at Carthage as simply a burial ground for cremated babies and children, and not as a place of ritual sacrifice. Mr. Smith adeptly reasons that the arguments against a tophet at Carthage will then be used to deny the biblical accounts relating such pagan sacrificial practices in the land of Canaan and Israel as outlined in OT Scripture. John Currid and Andrew White, in separate articles help us see clearly the connection between the sacrifice of children at Carthage and Israel and our own practices today. John Roskoski provides a fascinating analysis of the account of Jephthah's vow as related in Judges 11, challenging us to not embrace the distorted beliefs of the culture we live in, as Jephthah had apparently done, with staggering personal consequences. The Didache and the Oxyrynchus Papyri texts bring light to our readers on the response by the early church to address the culture of death in their day. Lastly, Paul Humber provides a helpful reminder of how evolution and its philosophical underpinnings are the ground from which the culture of death and the practice of abortion grow.
In light of this dreadful but important topic, I urge our readers to purchase the powerful DVD, entitled '180' and produced by The Way of the Master, from the online ABR bookstore on our website. This insightful and incisive presentation confronts abortion and brings conviction and clarity to those engulfed in the deception of our modern-day culture of death.
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. - Ephesians 6:13-17.
A wreathed Tanit, seen here on the obverse side of an EL Stater from Zeugitana, Carthage circa 310-290 BC. Tanit was worshiped in Carthage as the one who ruled over the sun, moon and stars, and was invoked for fertility. Her name means 'Serpent Lady,' and she is associated with Ba'al Hammon, the chief god of the Carthaginians.