Visitors next month to Times Square in New York or Leicester Square in London are in for a culture shock – a life-size reproduction of the Temple of Baal.
Needless to say, the exhibition of a symbol of paganism, child sacrifice and ritual prostitution – well-known to readers of the Bible – has raised concerns.
The display, however, is part of World Heritage Week and is meant by organizers from the Institute of Digital Archaeology as a statement of “defiance” against ISIS, the Islamic terror group, that destroyed the Temple of Baal in Palmyra, Syria, in August 2015.
The original structure, dedicated to the god Bel, or Baal, in A.D. 32 – approximately the time of the crucifixion of Jesus – stood nearly 2,000 years before ISIS leveled the site along with many others. Prior to the current war in Syria, the ancient site had over 150,000 visitors a year.
Using a database of thousands of images, the Institute for Digital Archaeology is creating a full-sized, 50-foot tall, 3D-printed replica of the entrance arch to the temple. The work is being done in China. Only the replica of the arch is being displayed.
The Bible’s Old Testament frequently condemns the worship of false idols, with Baal – which means “Lord” – most often singled out. Baal worship, common in the biblical Levant, spread across the Mediterranean, becoming dominant in North Africa’s Carthage, where archaeologists have excavated an extensive cemetery with remains of sacrificed children. The name of the famous Carthaginian leader, Hannibal, is made up in part of the name “Baal.”
Michael Snyder, writing on the blog “End of the American Dream,” alerted his readers to the shocking idea of a pagan temple being erected in Times Square, saying “Most non-religious Americans don’t understand who Baal was, nor do they really care. But the truth is that many of the elements of ancient Baal worship are being mirrored in our society in 2016.
“So considering the child sacrifice and sexual immorality that we are engaged in today, perhaps it is only natural for us to have a Temple of Baal in Times Square.
In a 2008 article, WND columnist Matt Barber explained some of the elements of Baal worship.
“The principal pillars of Baalism were child sacrifice, sexual immorality (both heterosexual and homosexual) and pantheism (reverence of creation over the Creator).
“Ritualistic Baal worship, in sum, looked a little like this: Adults would gather around the altar of Baal. Infants would then be burned alive as a sacrificial offering to the deity. Amid horrific screams and the stench of charred human flesh, congregants – men and women alike – would engage in bisexual orgies. The ritual of convenience was intended to produce economic prosperity by prompting Baal to bring rain for the fertility of “mother earth.”
“The natural consequences of such behavior – pregnancy and childbirth – and the associated financial burdens of “unplanned parenthood” were easily offset. One could either choose to engage in homosexual conduct or – with child sacrifice available on demand – could simply take part in another fertility ceremony to ‘terminate’ the unwanted child.”
Geoffrey Grider, writing in “Now the End Begins,” said bringing the Temple of Baal to New York City was quite fitting.
“In 2016, we have become a nation that does not want God, does not want His Book, and most importantly has locked His Son Jesus Christ outside the doors of the professing Christian church. We have become greedy, selfie-centered, powerless wanderers, not realizing that the judgement of God has already fallen down upon us.
“For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” 1 Thessalonians 5:3 (KJV)
“Many are saying that recreating the Temple of Baal in New York and London will ‘open a portal’ to sinister forces, and that the planets will be aligned in such a way during that time as to portend dark things. Now I don’t know about that, I guess we will just have to wait and see what happens but I do know this. For the last 8 years as a nation we have begged God to leave us alone and to remove Himself from our affairs.
Eight years ago, Barber echoed the same sentiments.
“Modern liberalism deviates little from its ancient predecessor. While its macabre rituals have been sanitized with flowery and euphemistic terms of art, its core tenets and practices remain eerily similar. The worship of “fertility” has been replaced with worship of “reproductive freedom” or “choice.” Child sacrifice via burnt offering has been updated, ever so slightly, to become child sacrifice by way of abortion. The ritualistic promotion, practice and celebration of both heterosexual and homosexual immorality and promiscuity have been carefully whitewashed – yet wholeheartedly embraced – by the cults of radical feminism, militant “gay rights” and “comprehensive sex education.” And, the pantheistic worship of “mother earth” has been substituted – in name only – for radical environmentalism.”
NOTE: Read Matt Barber’s full analysis on this: Today’s Baal worshipers