I recently heard an atheist say that God commands child sacrifice in the old testament.
You’d think the example would be Abraham and Isaac (which God didn’t even let Abraham go through with), but it wasn’t. It was the story of Jephthah and his vow to God in Judges 11.
Hold on now! It’s very common for non-Christians to confuse description in the Bible with prescription. The passage in Judges 11 is simply describing something that happened during Israel’s moral decline. There is no command from God that Jephthah do this. There are, however, actual commands from God that child sacrifice ought not be done.
You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way, for every abominable thing that the Lord hates they have done for their gods, for they even burn their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods. (Deut. 12:31)
There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering,” (Deut. 18:10)
You shall not give any of your children to offer them to Molech, and so profane the name of your God: I am the Lord.” (Lev. 18:21)
They build the high places of Baal in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to offer up their sons and daughters to Molech, though I did not command them, nor did it enter my mind, that they should do this abomination,” (Jer. 32:35)