It is written:
John 8:44-You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.
Satanism is becoming more and more popular in Hazard. Sadly, there seems to be a growing part of our population in Eastern Kentucky that have devoted themselves to this religious system. I still remember a group of young ladies that I had the privilege of preaching the Gospel to in jail ministry. Nearly very single one of them was a practicing Satanist, and they explained to me that they had converted to this religion while in one of our local high schools.
Let’s start by taking a look at the modern day church of Satan before we go into greater detail.
Anton LaVey is the founder of the modern day church of Satan. He was well-known and outspoken in his lifetime, being a firm opponent and critic of Christianity. The modern age has brought a bright spotlight on the church of Satan.
One Satanist has provided the following timeline of Satanism in modern times:
“Timeline 1966 Anton Szandor LaVey founded the Church of Satan 1967 First public Satanic rituals performed 1969 LaVey’s first book, The Satanic Bible, was published 1971 Rituals ceased at the original Black House in San Francisco; LaVey encouraged a network of internationally located “grottos” as outlets for group rituals and other activities 1974 Grottos grew cumbersome and contentious, were abolished 1984 Diane Hegarty left Anton LaVey, I met Dr. LaVey and moved to San Francisco, mass hysteria of the “Satanic Panic” began 1992 Satanic Panic fizzled 1995 Bowing to requests from members, LaVey revived the grotto system 1997 Dr. LaVey died, I carried on as leader 1998 Memorial concert held for Dr. LaVey in New York City 2001 I appointed Peter Gilmore to the position of High Priest, formal grotto system became obsolete with growth of the Internet, Black House torn down 2002 I became Magistra Templi Rex, Magistra Peggy Nadramia became High Priestess 2006 Church of Satan 666 event held in Los Angeles 2007 High Priest Gilmore’s book, The Satanic Scriptures, published 2008 Walpurgisnacht Hellfire Caves event held in England 2009 New Black House established in Poughkeepsie, New York 2015 Year 50 events held in Washington, D.C.; first Devil’s Reign art exhibit in Fort Myers, Florida 2016 50th anniversary of founding of the Church of Satan, celebrations in Hudson Valley, New York; Devil’s Reign II: Psychedelic Blasphemy 2017 Devil’s Reign III: Daikaiju! 2018 Devil’s Reign IV: All of Them Witches 2019 Celebration of 50th year of publication of The Satanic Bible held in Fort Myers, Florida” (Blanche Barton, WE ARE SATANISTS: The History and Future of the Church of Satan, 6-7 (Kindle Edition); La Quinta, CA; Aperient Press)
It will help to remember from the beginning of our studies that there are different “kinds” of Satanism.
One former Satanist describes it this way:
“When I was a Satanist, I was also an ordained priest in the Old Roman Catholic church and a minister in a supposedly “Christian” Spiritist church. I was conscientiously acquiring a Masters’ degree in theology from a respected midwest Catholic seminary. I went about my ecclesiastical duties, and none of my parishioners knew that I was also involved in devil-worship. I say this not to brag, but only to point out that it is a mistake to assume that “respectable” people are not likely to be servants of the devil. In fact, it is much closer to the devil’s sense of subtlety to have such people as his servants….1.) Lower-level Satanists are often told that there is not really any God or devil. This is the lie promoted in the literature put out by the Church of Satan (COS), mentioned earlier. The COS is this country’s first tax-exempt satanic church. Satan, these people are told, is just a convenient archetype. He doesn’t really exist. He is just a symbol like the Statue of Liberty, with which you can invest meaning and emotional content. For these people, Satan is like a badge they wear which allows them to think differently than the “herd,” and is their license to be perverted or misanthropic. He symbolizes their inner being, their true potential which they must try to achieve. He is everything they could be, if only they could throw off the shackles of society and really be themselves. 2.) Mid-level Satanists, who get past the “comic-opera Satanism,” of the COS are taught that Satan is real, but he is not evil, just misunderstood. This Satan is a variation on the Horned God of Wicca with a lousier disposition. He is a dark, romantic rebel, a loner and a Byronic anti-hero. He represents the darker side of humanity, its alienation and loneliness. This “Satan” isn’t an enemy of God, but a necessary opposite —the “loyal opposition.” God could not look good without Satan to make Him seem good, so Satan is there as a tragic foil. This Satan wouldn’t hurt anyone, and he certainly isn’t an evil being. He is just the lord of dark forces and helps humanity with its “darker side.” 3.) Upper-level Satanists get the next level of “truth.” Satan is evil, but that evil is better than what God has to offer. In this view, Satan is the wrongly accused fall-guy for all of God’s mistakes. God cast him out of heaven in a fit of jealousy and Satan is trying to win back his glory. God is presented as the God of the “herd,” mindless sheep who have a slave mentality. The demented philosopher Frederich Nietschze had this in mind when he talked about Christianity being a “slave” religion. Satanism is said to be a religion of masters. Satan’s kingdom is for the creative and the bold, for those who want to live on the edge. Heaven is presented as a dull place full of dolts twanging away on harps. Hell, on the other hand, is presented as an eternal orgy. Christianity is okay for mere humans (we used to call them “me-hums”), but for Masters, Satanism is the only way to go. It is believed that when one joins up in Satan’s army (by selling their soul to the devil), that you enlist in a war to try and take back heaven from God. God is the usurper and Satan is the rightful ruler of heaven. Thus, Satan is seen as a supernatural George Washington, fighting against the “King George” of heaven. 4.) For the “Magister” (or Master) level of Satanist, Satan is presented as the rightful god of the universe, who draws power from suffering, perversion and death. This level of Satanist is solidly hard-core, but may not actually have participated in human sacrifice yet. However, they have acquired an incredibly twisted ethic in which pain is pleasure and pleasure is pain. These people will slash themselves (or compliant others) to draw and/ or drink blood. Animal sacrifices will be needed, because this is where the real power supposedly comes from. The highest sacrament for these people is the destruction of the innocent. At this level, rites of pain and perversion are believed necessary to help open the “door” to bring into manifestation Satan’s kingdom on the earth. Souls are to be “won” at a frantic rate, because every one who signs up on Satan’s list will be part of an army which will supposedly storm heaven and cast out the false God, Jehovah. 5.) The final level for the Satanist is where the members are usually demon-possessed to their toe-nails….These people know hell is real, but are told that even if they lose in the battle with God, they will “reign” in hell and will never suffer. These people suffer from the common misinformation that Satan rules hell (like the toughest con in a maximum security prison) and can grant favors to whomsoever he will. There is no Biblical support for this, even though movies and even cartoons promote the idea. These Satanists believe that it is their destiny to overthrow and murder God and be co-rulers of the universe with their lord, Satan. They think that they are gods and goddesses themselves and have the right to determine who lives or dies. In their twisted logic, if you are God, you can kill, destroy, steal and rape all you want because you make the rules.”. (William Schnoebelen, Lucifer Dethroned: An Amazing Story Of Christ’s Power To Deliver And Heal, 32-36 (Kindle Edition); Ontario, California; Chick Publications)
Selfishness is the core of Satanism.
“Satanists live among us. That is a fact. I should know; I’ve been a practicing Satanist for 45 years, most of those in various leadership positions within the Church of Satan.…Chances are, you have at least one Satanist in your daily life—your child’s teacher, a clerk at the grocery store, your best friend’s husband, your coworker, your favorite veterinarian or Board of Supervisors member …. Echoing the evangelical literature from the 1980s, we really are everywhere now.…I certainly don’t want to give the impression that Satanists are “nice” people—we are still evil, at our very core. By evil I mean it is our mandate to challenge the righteous, question all enthroned lies, probe the darkest corners of human and scientific heresies and generally make most people uncomfortable. That’s what we do. That is what Satan is supposed to do. We bedevil the self-satisfied, the hypocritical, the intellectually lazy, and we demand the whys of all accepted prejudices and sacred cows. As individuals we can be stubborn, selfish, opinionated, idealistic, condescending, elitist, egotistical, argumentative, sexually perverse, impatient and eccentric. We also tend to have too much fun. It is appropriate for this book to emerge at this time….My diabolical brethren and I interact in a world that is at best disdainful or dismissive, at worst openly hostile to the set of principles that guide our very existence. We’ve applied Satanism throughout our lives in ever-shifting contexts, to our great benefit, not just as a tool of rebellion, but a philosophy for living a rich, life-affirming existence. As one of our members wrote, it’s the only philosophy he’s come across that advocates “be your own boss” tempered with “responsibility to the responsible.” We’re test subjects for a new religion; lab rats for Satan.” (Blanche Barton, WE ARE SATANISTS: The History and Future of the Church of Satan, 16-21 (Kindle Edition); La Quinta, CA; Aperient Press)
The rituals and practices of Satanism are especially focused on attacking and degrading Christianity.
“The rituals for the first year were largely intended as cathartic blasphemies against Christianity. Many of the elements were consistent with the reports of Satanic worship from the famous writings of diabolists, such as the description in Joris-Karl Huysmans’s Là-Bas (translated into English as Down There). A nude female altar was always used, the accompanying music was a series of corruptions of church hymns, the cross was turned upside down, the Lord’s Prayer was recited backwards, mock holy wafers were consecrated by insertion in a naked woman’s vagina, whiskey was used instead of wine for Christ’s blood, holy water was substituted with seminal fluid in milk, and the names of the infernal deities were invoked instead of the Christian God. It was too much for some lapsed Christians to stand. Some attended out of curiosity, only to find eustress quickly turn to distress, rushing home to dig out their crosses to protect them from the devils they’d confronted.” (Blanche Barton, WE ARE SATANISTS: The History and Future of the Church of Satan, 99 (Kindle Edition); La Quinta, CA; Aperient Press)
In our next lesson, we will learn more about Satanism by focusing on the origin and nature of Satan.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen.