An Act of “Defiance”?

On the 19th of March, the New York Times reported that replicas of the entrance to the Temple of Baal at Palmyra were going to be placed in Times Square, New York and Trafalgar Square, London. Ancient Baal worship consisted of sexual orgies and child sacrifice to gain economical prosperity. The news immediately began to circulate prolifically amongst Christians.

On the 8th of April, 11 days before the scheduled unveiling, the Telegraph reported that these plans had changed. There would be no arch in Times Square, but there would be one in Trafalgar Square. In addition, the arch would no longer be a replica of the entrance to the Temple of Baal but the Roman Monumental Arch of Palmyra.

What’s interesting about this is that work has already been in progress on the Monumental Arch replica for the last two months according to the Telegraph.

In the same report it’s mentioned that the Institute for Digital Archaeology revealed their plans to replicate the entrance to the Temple of Baal in December of last year. So here’s the question: If this had been planned since December, why did it only start hitting headlines in March after they had already backtracked on the original plan?

It’s almost as though these news stories were pushed out specifically to rile up Christians.

Also interesting is that this new arch is being constructed from “seven blocks of Egyptian marble” whereas the previous arches were being made of “stone powder and lightweight composite materials”

Whilst websites like Charisma News are calling this a victory for Christians and lauding the power of prayer, what seems to be slipping through the net is this interesting little factoid: The Monumental Arch was built to connect the Great Colonnade to the Temple of Baal (see this entry from Wikipedia)

Temple of Baal

So in other words, it’s not that they’re not building an entrance to the Temple of Baal at all; they’re simply building one that was a little further away from the temple.

The arch is still being erected as an “act of defiance” but defiance towards whom? ISIS? Consider these facts:
• The Temple of Baal at Palmyra was originally dedicated in…(wait for it)…32 AD.
• Baal worship was one of the biggest problems with the ancient people of Israel. Yahweh repeatedly destroyed those who went off into Baal worship. (Num 25:1-5, Deut 4:3, 1 Kings 18)
• Yahweh specifically appeared to Gideon and told him to destroy the Altar of Baal in his local town. (Judges 6:11-28)

So ask yourselves this: Though the murderous acts of ISIS are atrocious, would God disapprove of them destroying a temple that was dedicated to Baal around the time Christ was crucified?

If secular organisations are so intent on preserving the memory and significance of this temple, who are they actually trying to defy?

The ‘Monumental Arch’ pic is originally shot by Hayk Arabaget. The pic of the site was taken by James Gordon

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