Satanism Out in the Open


“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12

     Just a couple of weeks ago in a lesson about worship, I mentioned a noticeable rise in Satanic worship within our culture. While the Satanic temple has increased its membership in recent years, a person does not need to belong to such a group to actually worship the devil. Most who profess to be satanists, in fact, do not believe in the existence of Satan. Rather, they believe themselves to be their own gods. To them, the devil is just a symbol for self-indulgence. Unironically, self-indulgence is exactly what Satan wants from people. He does not need people to declare a belief in his existence. Satan is quite satisfied if people just end up serving and worshiping themselves.

     This past Sunday, February 5, 2023, Satanic worship was put on full display on national television during the Grammy award show on CBS. I have not watched the full performance, and I encourage you not to watch it as well. However, images have been all over news outlets this week. The performance featured a current pop star singing a song titled, “Unholy,” while dressed in a red satanic costume, horns and all, while the darkened stage displayed flames on screen behind him. Shortly before the performance, CBS tagged the singer in a social media post saying they were “ready to worship.” They later deleted the post.  

     The musical performance is just the latest public display of Satanism. Next week, the Satanic temple is set to open its first abortion clinic in New Mexico. They have plans to open similar facilities across the nation. A few weeks ago, a New York City courthouse unveiled a new statue of a horned female that bears a striking resemblance to the goat-like image used by the Satanic temple. As late as December of 2022, the Illinois state capitol building displayed a Satanic display next to a nativity scene and a menorah. Sadly, the list goes on.

     In 1667, author John Milton published a fictional poem titled Paradise Lost. The lengthy poem is about Satan’s deception of Adam and Eve and their sin in the garden. In the poem, Satan states, “Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heav’n.” It should be noted, Milton is not making such an argument in the poem. However, this sentiment has often been used as a defense of anti-Christianity in any form, (Satanism, Atheism, Humanism, etc.). People would rather “reign” as their own self-serving god than they would serve the one, true, and living God who gave them life, as Romans 12:1 calls us to do. “Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heav’n,” is a widely held belief today.

     Ephesians 5:11 tells us “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.” We need to understand what we are up against. In a very real sense, it is becoming much easier to see “works of darkness” in our culture around us. We must remain steadfast in our love for man, but Christians must call evil for what it is. If you just continue to employ the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-17), your light will continue to shine brighter in the growing darkness, (Matthew 5:16). 

     At the same time, we must be careful not to trivialize the lighter shades of darkness. We might be tempted to make light of other sins in the face of open displays of Satanic worship. Do not make the mistake of tolerating sins you are more familiar with just because certain sinful behavior is more shocking to you. Please remember one thing about darkness: after you spend a little while in the dark, your eyes tend to adjust, and the darkness no longer looks quite so dark. My beloved, do not adjust your eyes to the darkness of sin. Keep yourself spiritually minded, focused "on things above," (Colossians 3:2). Keep your eyes focused on Jesus and the magnificence of His light (John 8:12; Philippians 2:15).