Child sacrifice is the ritualistic killing of children in order to please or appease a god or supernatural beings in order to achieve a desired result. (emphasis mine)
In Old Testament times, it was a common, albeit heinous, practice for some pagans to offer the lives of their children to their idols in hopes of making their own lives easier. Pre-Columbian cultures, such as the Incas and Aztecs, are known to have sacrificed infants and children to their pagan idols, as well.
The definition of idolatry, according to Webster, is “the worship of idols or excessive devotion to, or reverence for some person or thing.”
To Jews and Christians, an idol is anything that replaces the one, true God in a person’s life.
In modern times, there is a tendency to look upon all previous cultures as primitive, unsophisticated, and infinitely inferior to ourselves. These oddly dressed people with their incomprehensible practices are thought of as almost a separate species. We cannot ever imagine living their lives, or falling victim to their ignorance and superstition. The very thought of such an abomination as sacrificing a child’s life in order to improve our own is unthinkable. Right?
If we are such superior creatures, why are millions of precious unborn children currently being sacrificed to such false idols as image, life-style, career, convenience, expedience, and politics? When we value any aspect of our own comfort and pleasure above the life of an innocent child, we are making of our wants an idol. Regardless of our amazing scientific or technological advances, we are no better than the idol worshipers of the long-ago past.
31 When you offer your gifts—the sacrifice of your children in the fire—you continue to defile yourselves with all your idols to this day. – Ezekiel 20:31 (NIV)