Two different friends on Facebook shared a news story yesterday about how Satanists are pushing to start after-school Satanism clubs on school campuses nationwide. I read the news articles with skepticism. It seemed a little far-fetched to me. One article had a link to the organization’s website. Now I am not fond of opening doors like this, but after a quick prayer for protection and discernment I clicked on the link to see what this was all about.
“After School Satan” was the heading, printed in attractive brightly colored block letters. The word “Satan” was adorned with cute little red horns coming out the ‘s’ and ‘n’. And there was an adorable crayon and paintbrush border.
“The Satanic Temple’s Extracurricular Program for Public Schools. Donate to help us counter evangelism in schools…Educatin’ with Satan will focus on the concepts of critical reasoning, independent thinking, fun and free thought”
As I said in my previous post, I am not surprised by evil in this world. Humans have been turning to other gods since the fall of man. Israel, God’s chosen people, turned their backs on him more times than I care to count. We will continue to turn away from God until the Final Judgement.
What pricked my heart though was a conversation in the comments section of my friend’s shared post. It was a back and forth argument that began with her communicating shock and disgust for such an idea. Her friend then commented:
“Why? Satan promotes love and equality.” Seriously?
He went on to explain that in the Satanic bible there is no killing or hate speech at all. He accused Christians of thinking Satanism is bad without knowing anything about it. He then posted a picture of “The Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth.”
- Do not give opinions or advice unless you are asked
- Do not tell your troubles to others unless you are sure they want to hear them
- When in another’s home, show them respect or else do not go there
- If a guest in your home annoys you, treat them cruelly and without mercy
- Do not make sexual advances unless you are given the mating signal
- Do not take that which does not belong to you, unless it is a burden to the other person and they cry out to be relieved
- Acknowledge the power of magic if you have employed it successfully to obtain your desires. If you deny the power of magic after having called upon it with success, you will lose all that you have obtained.
- Do not complain about anything to which you need not subject yourself
- Do not harm young children
- Do not kill non-human animals unless you are attacked or for your food
- When walking in open territory, bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask them to stop. If they do not stop, destroy them.
Most of those rules don’t sound like they promote love and equality to me. And the fourth and eleventh rule clearly state that it’s perfectly fine to harm and even kill someone simply for getting on your nerves.
The guy stated, “In Christianity you’re supposed to love and accept others and you just want to treat Satanists like s***. When was the last time you prayed for Satan?”
I almost couldn’t take this guy seriously, but watched the conversation unfold as my friend argued against his points.
I began to feel more and more sad that there are people out there who actually believe these things; That there are people so blinded that they choose to see Christianity as the religion of hatred instead of recognizing that our God is the most loving, forgiving and accepting god of them all. (Not to mention the only real one.)
How could an entire group of people come to the conclusion that it is better to serve Satan than God? The concept boggled my mind. But I took a deep breath and started to break it down.
1. The Instinct to Seek Gratification
I did a little more research in hopes of finding some answers and came upon a link to the “nine satanic sins” in which I found the following statements:
“Satan represents vengeance instead of turning the other cheek. Satan represents all the so-called sins, as they all lead to physical, mental or emotional gratification.”
These are statements that having read the Bible, I am well aware of. Satan represents everything that God says is wrong. I also know that most times doing those wrong things would be gratifying, but does that justify the celebration of sin?
If I stretch my mind a bit I can start to see why the idea appeals to Satanists.
A life lived doing and saying whatever felt good and right in that moment sounds amazing…Except that it definitely isn’t the peaceful and loving religion that the man who was arguing portrayed it as. If I only did what felt good and right to me, there would be a whole trail of hurt and broken relationships behind me.
2. The Christian Reputation
Another rather obvious thing I noticed about Satanism is its disdain for Christians. The “After School Satan” website specifically mentioned Child Evangelism Fellowship and how the organization is teaching “fear of Hell and God’s wrath… and everlasting other-worldly horrors” to children.
I have heard it said that the biggest obstacle to evangelism is Christians. Meaning that people look at us and see something less than desirable. In fact, we are turning people off and against God and toward other religions like Satanism.
If I haven’t told you before, I hesitate to admit that I’m a Christian sometimes. But let me make this clear: I am in no way, shape or form ashamed of Christ. I am ashamed at the reputation Christianity has because of some other Christians. There are people who call themselves Christian who spread hate and lies and constantly stir up trouble. They are quick to judge, quick to pick a fight and do it all “in Jesus’ name”.
Even some Christians who aren’t as outspoken or rude turn people away from Jesus by the way they present the gospel. By focusing on getting someone to make a decision between the glory of heaven and the punishment and torment of hell, they make Christianity sound more like a kooky cult and less like the beautiful, organic, relationship-driven religion that it is.
It breaks my heart to hear people’s opinions of Christians, and I think that too often the things they are saying are accurate. Jesus did not intend for his followers to be known for their judgement and hate. We are called to be light. We are called to live a life of love, forgiveness, charity and selflessness.
Obviously there are things that Christians should stand against, but in taking that stance we should always be cautious about the image we are projecting. Are we being a reflection of who God really is, or are we carrying out our own agendas while smearing His name in the mud.
3. The War We Cannot See
I do want to say that I am fully aware that not all mean things said about Christians are our fault. When we stand against things that the world says are acceptable, we are putting targets on our backs. Even doing the right things in the right ways can get us in big trouble. It got Jesus killed. And he promised us that we will have the same troubles. We will be persecuted and mocked for what we believe. We will experience spiritual warfare and face horrors of all kinds
Spiritual warfare has been a popular subject lately amongst the girls who attend my Sunday school class. The last two weeks we have talked about how it isn’t enough to just know about Jesus. It isn’t even enough to acknowledge that the Bible is true and that Jesus really did die on the cross and conquer death to pay for our sin debt and restore us to Christ. There’s something more required: A submission to the lordship of Jesus Christ. A faith that is proven through action.
During this discussion, I used the widely known and quoted James 2:19 to prove that belief itself is not enough to save you from your sin.
“You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that – and shudder.”
At the mention of the word “demon”, my class was sent spiraling into chaos. One girl’s eyes widened until I thought they are going to pop out of her head. One girl covered her ears and doubled over to put her face in her lap. The others started chattering about scary and supernatural things they’ve experienced. I was amazed that I could evoke such a reaction by the mere mention of demons.
But demons and Satan have been glamorized and idolized. Scary movies prey on the mind and give more power to these evil spirits than is biblically accurate. Yes, demons are real, but you have no reason to fear if you are a child of God. We are protected and have even been given power over them!
Satan doesn’t scare me. Demons don’t either. God is so much bigger.
In essence, we are a lot like Satan and his demons in that we chose to rebel against God, thinking our way was better. We wanted to be our own god and have control over our own lives. When I proposed this comparison in my classroom it sent the girls over the edge.
“I ain’t no demon!” exclaimed one girl.
“I never said that you were. Only that we followed in Satan’s footsteps.”
And we continue to follow.
Obviously, after school Satan clubs are troubling. What’s more troubling though is the completely benign way this group presents itself. And perhaps most troubling is that the website lists nine schools around the country that have already started their clubs. I fear there is little we can do to oppose this movement, as the same religious freedoms we enjoy apply to them as well. And every club attendee must have a permission form from his/her parent or guardian to attend, so it is the parents’ choice whether or not to send their child.
I will not start an anti- After School Satan club website or put up a huge fuss about it. What I will do instead is try to change the world one person at a time. Through every interaction I will seek to show other people who God really is in hopes that even one person would stop searching for love and acceptance in the wrong places.
For more information, I am providing a link to the program’s website along with a final quote from their “Corrections” section:
“We are not interested in converting children to Satanism. Unlike the Child Evangelism Fellowship, which openly seeks to convert children to their religious view through fear of eternal suffering, The Satanic Temple does not believe in imposing a one-size-fits-all approach to religious opinion. As Satanists, we believe that science is the best arbiter of truth. We see the quest for knowledge as a noble pursuit, and we believe in personal autonomy. However, nobody needs to be a Satanist to benefit from any of these things, and children should be given access to a variety of comparative opinions with which they can ultimately decide what is best for them.
Here is the link if you would like to view the group’s website.