[Also See The Message of the Bible and The Warnng of The Bible
Far from being outdated, out of touch, and largely irrelevant to modern society, the Kingdom of God Jesus was sent to earth to proclaim (No, His main message wasn’t about ‘love’) is exactly the utopian world most men and women can only dream of. However, there is also a warning. The Bible very clearly tells us that we all have a choice to make in this life - the most important decision we will ever make. And, if the Bible is indeed the word of God, as it claims to be, and Jesus is the Son of God as He said He was, the consequences for the individual who chooses to ignore, or counter the evidence with clever arguments, will be fatal.
"There are two ways to be fooled: One is to believe what isn't so; the other is to refuse to believe what is so." - Soren Kierkegaard
Kierkegaard's observation was well understood by C.S. Lewis. In The ‘Screwtape Letters’ Lewis noted that people often either dismiss as mere nonsense the devil's existence and interaction with mankind, or they believe but have an excessive interest in him (either of which error delights the devil immensely). In an analogous manner, many people today tend toward either of two opposite extremes. Some consider it preposterous, medieval, tabloid-mentality, simple gullibility and/or paranoia to think that in this "enlightened age" people actually invoke and worship Satan. Others (mainly Christians) are too quick to label as "Satanists" those who participate in any variety of occultism. Seeing a Satanist "under every rock and tree," they exaggerate the number of people actually involved with Satanism.
We must avoid these extremes if we are to accurately analyze and appropriately respond to our topic -- Satanism. It is a fact that Satanism, in its various forms, exists and merits the attention of the church and law enforcement agencies. Ignoring it will not make it go away. But neither will overstating the case (i.e. the extent of Satanism) contribute to its demise.
In the news media across America, Satanists are being charged with such crimes as mutilating and sacrificing animals, desecrating churches, profaning and robbing graves, exhuming corpses, raping, kidnapping, child molestation, ritual murder and cannibalism. Do Satanists really do these things, and if so, do all Satanists or just certain ones? Why would they commit such crimes? Furthermore, how pervasive is Satanism today? These are just a few of the common questions that will be addressed in this article.
Due to the highly clandestine character of many Satanists it is nearly impossible to accurately approximate the number of both the people involved in Satanism, and the crimes directly related to it. But it can be safely stated that the criminal aspect of Satanism is serious enough to warrant many police departments around the nation training staff concerning how to identify and counteract this menace to society. Additionally, based upon information supplied by law enforcement agencies, researchers, former Satanists, and observers of socioreligious trends, it appears that in the foreseeable future the situation will get worse before it gets better.
The extent of Satanism is often exaggerated because the topic lends itself to sensationalism. Nonetheless, it is certain that the church can never be too concerned for Satanists' salvation.
The purpose of this article is to help the Christian to understand the world views and practices of contemporary Satanists in order that he or she might more effectively share the gospel with them (Matt. 28:18-20; 1 Cor. 9:19-22), and help prevent others from involving themselves in this nefarious religion.
SATANISM AND STEREOTYPES
What is Satanism? In order to clearly and accurately expound upon Satanism it is essential that we have a precise working definition: Satanism is the cognizant belief in and deliberate invocation and worship of Satan as a supernatural personal being, or an impersonal force or energy, or a religious symbol representing the material world and carnal nature of mankind. In short, Satanists directly identify with Satan according to one of these definitions of that name.
In conjunction with the above, Satanist metaphysics and ethics are for the most part predicated upon the complete reversal, inversion, or antithesis of Christianity. For example, Satanists esteem pride and greed to be virtues, whereas these are vices in Christianity (what Christians call good, Satanists call evil, and vice versa). However, their rituals may or may not be complete opposites or mockeries of Christian rites (especially Roman Catholic rites).
Satanism proper does not include such people as ritual or ceremonial magicians, witches, spiritists, psychics, or other occultists. Many of these people claim to not believe in Satan, let alone worship or invoke him. Their metaphysical and ethical beliefs are not necessarily formulated upon the reversal or antithesis of Christianity. For instance, they may believe that some of the things called sins in the Bible are indeed wrong.
The fact that the aforementioned occultists should not be classed as Satanists does not in any sense mitigate the wrongness of their practices, which are clearly condemned in Scripture (Deut. 18:9-12; Lev. 19:26; Gal. 5:20). From a scriptural point of view it is irrelevant whether occultists understand the actual source (Satan) of their abilities -- God still sits in judgment upon such actions. All true occultists have intercourse with the same forbidden spiritual realm. Nonetheless, if we wish to effectively evangelize occultists, we should not oversimplify to the point that we do not adequately understand and refute their views.
A major obstacle in the way of Christians recognizing and witnessing to Satanists is the prevailing and misleading stereotypes that are held concerning them. Maladjusted. Social misfits. Drug-crazed. Not-too-bright. Low socio-economic status. Just plain losers. These are some of the common terms people use to describe what types of individuals they think get involved with Satanism. However, these stereotypes are not only incorrect concerning many Satanists, they are dangerous, because they foster the idea that no "normal" person, like "our little Johnny" or "our nice neighbor," could possibly be a Satanist. Yes, some Satanists do fit the stereotypes, but many more do not. In fact, some Satanists are successful professionals, and many are relatively well-adjusted, attractive, and intelligent people. Satanists come from all walks of life.
Also, Satanism is not a monolithic, unified whole in its organizational structure, beliefs and practices, as some may believe. Most local groups are pretty much autonomous, not associating with one another. A few groups associate with other groups, but only within their own organization and not with Satanists outside their alliance. For instance, individual chapters (called grottoes) of Anton LaVey's Church of Satan (to be discussed later) interact with one another.
The Shaping of Contemporary Satanism
Satanism is very eclectic in the sources from which it has derived. There are several major influences which have contributed to the structure of contemporary Satanism in its diverse forms. The first and most obvious of these is Christianity. Satanism arose against the backdrop of Christianity. It is its antithesis, and for the most part only exists as a parasite and perversion of Christian beliefs and practices. In addition to Christianity, Satanism has borrowed much from grimories, ceremonial magic, witchcraft, and other occultic writings.
Aleister Crowley and A.E. Waite, two ceremonial magicians, have undoubtedly wielded a heavy influence upon Satanism. Among the books written by these two prolific occult writers that are popular among Satanists are ‘Magic in Theory and Practice’ (Crowley), and ‘The Book of Back Magic and Ceremonial Magic’ (Waite).
Anton LaVey (himself greatly influenced by Crowley and witchcraft), who wrote ‘The Satanic Bible’ and ‘The Satanic Rituals’, is a figure to be reckoned with in contemporary Satanism. His works are especially popular among the younger generation of practicing Satanists.
TYPES OF SATANISTS
The following system for classifying Satanists is somewhat arbitrary, but useful and necessary for clarification. In real life these categories at times overlap. The seven types of Satanists are, then, 1) traditional Satanists, 2) nontraditional Satanists, 3) public Satanists, 4) fringe group Satanists, 5) youth gang Satanists, 6) individual Satanists, and 7) individual psychotic Satanists. We need to keep in mind that within each of these individual categories are "true" or serious Satanists, as opposed to "dabblers" who are involved in Satanism more as a fad, or possess a nonchalant attitude about it. In other words, not everyone who is caught up in Satanism has seriously thought through the implications of what it entails. Indeed, many have not.
By traditional Satanists we are referring to those Satanists who approximate the basic stereotype that most people have concerning what a Satanist believes and does. However, in using this title we are not suggesting that this type of Satanist has necessarily been around for hundreds of years. Traditional types are extremely secretive concerning their existence, and do their best to elude detection. Their rituals and beliefs are based upon traditional Christianity (mainly Roman Catholicism), except everything is reversed.
Traditional Satanists have a complete disdain for things Christian and mock and desecrate rituals held sacred by the church. For instance, they might recite the Lord's prayer backwards or insert blasphemies in it. The communion cup is often filled with animal or human blood, urine or anything else desired. Likewise, the host or communion wafer is profaned or substituted with certain detestable items (these practices derive from the infamous Black Mass). In very rare and extreme cases animal or human sacrifices may be offered in rituals to further pervert the Christian counterpart or to add greater efficacy to the rite.
Just as Christianity's rites are perverted, so are its doctrines. In essence, almost everything believed or done is a reversal or inversion of the Christian counterpart. These attitudes and practices are to a greater or lesser extent subscribed to by all Satanists, but they are the hallmark of the traditional Satanists.
The second category of group Satanists, the nontraditionalists, are much more eclectic than traditionalists, but generally just as secretive. Certainly they mock much in Christianity, but unlike the traditionalist, this is not the primary catalyst for the development of their dogma and rites. Both rites and dogma are not necessarily antithetical to Christianity. For instance, they may believe in innumerable reincarnations of earthly lives in which they will be able to fully indulge their carnal appetites, and not in the traditional Christian concepts of heaven and hell. Or they may hold to a dualistic concept of the power of God and Satan; that is, God and Satan are approximately equal in power and ability, rather than the biblical view that although Satan is a very powerful being, he is nonetheless dependent of his very existence upon the infinite Creator -- God Almighty.
Should a particular nontraditional group perform an animal or human sacrifice, and/or drink their blood or eat certain body parts, this would not necessarily be a parody of the sacrifices in the Old Testament, or of Christ's offering Himself as a sacrifice for the sins of mankind. These actions could instead stem from the belief that there is an invisible force (mana) that can be transmitted to a recipient through the consumption of blood or certain organs, such as the brain or heart. Thus one could supposedly obtain immortality by periodically eating the heart of another, or gain for oneself the attributes and power of a deceased animal or person by drinking its blood. These are rather ancient ideas that various societies throughout history have believed. These groups may also be heavily absorbed in sex and the taking of drugs. However, this may not be merely for the purpose of recreation or escapism, but in accordance with religious and magical rites. The role that sex and drugs play will depend upon the level of philosophical and magico-religious sophistication of a given group or its leader. The point to be grasped is that this type of Satanist theology is shaped by any given number of magico- religious beliefs and does not arise just in reaction to Christianity.
Public Satanists, our third category, are so labeled because unlike the former two, they are not "underground" or secretive concerning their existence. On the contrary, some are quite visible and have received much publicity. There are close to a dozen of these groups in America. For the most part they are serious or religious Satanists, having well developed belief systems. Most, but not all, are greatly influenced by Gnosticism or Anton LaVey's writings. For brevity's sake, we cannot closely examine the spectrum of public Satanist dogma, but we will discuss one.
The most infamous public Satanist organization is Anton LaVey's Satanic Church in America, founded in 1966. Some have alleged that LaVey only started and continues his "church" as a lark, as a means to gain recognition, and as a lucrative business adventure. On the other hand, others consider him, in spite of possible past ulterior motives, to be a serious practitioner of the black arts. Whatever the case, one thing is clear: LaVey is a major influence on contemporary Satanism.
Also See Rock And The Occult
The Satanic Church's creed is based upon a denial and reversal of orthodox Christianity. What LaVey terms the Christian church's seven deadly sins: greed, pride, envy, anger, gluttony, lust, and sloth, are to be fully indulged as they lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification. LaVey's beliefs are a combination of Machiavellian social ethics, hedonism, and simple narcissism as the highest good. he states:
Hate your enemies with a whole heart, and if a man smite you on the cheek, SMASH him on the other!...Life is the great indulgence -- death, the great abstinence. Therefore, make the most of life -- HERE AND NOW!
Who or what does LaVey's brand of Satanism believe in or worship? The answer is Satan, but as defined by LaVey -- the material world, man, and his carnal nature or appetites. Satanism for LaVey is the worship of man, just the way he is, with all of his fleshly desires and appetites. It is a religion of indulgence of man's carnal passions as symbolized by the term "Satan," codified and practiced by the inversion of Christian ethics. LaVey's "god" is himself, and the gods of his followers are themselves.
To be sure, LaVey's ethics tend to be a complete reversal of Christian values, but his rituals are for the most part not based on parodies of Christian rites, as with the traditional Satanists. LaVey's rites are a synthesis of a number of different magical traditions, in conjunction with his own innovations. Thus, except on rare occasions, LaVey does not practice the Black Mass.
Youth gang Satanists is, unfortunately, a slightly misleading title for our next category. Nevertheless, we have chosen to retain it because it is being used by many law enforcement agencies and researchers. Also, among the possibilities it best describes this category.
These groups are composed of young people (predominantly white males), ranging in ages from early teen to early twenties, but they do not fit the usual criteria for appropriating the phrase "youth gang." One obvious reason is because they are Satanists. The gangs cohere due to a commonality of Satanism, often identifying with a particular genre of rock music (heavy metal, black metal), and not primarily, like traditional gangs, because of ethnical or territorial considerations. Nor do the majority come from low socioeconomic backgrounds; on the contrary, many come from middle to upper-middle class families.
(See section on Rock Music)
We can make some generalizations about the typical youth gang Satanist. Many have low self-esteem, while at the same time they are fairly intelligent and curious. Most join a Satanic group as a fad or lark. It is, all rolled into one, an attention-getting device, a means to vent youthful hostilities and shock parents and other adults, and an excuse to party and rebel against societal norms. Indeed, some have called it "ultimate rebellion."
Over 90% who get involved are "dabblers"; they are not true or serious Satanists. They are also termed "self-styled" Satanists since most have read a little here, a little there (probably some of LaVey's material), seen a few Hollywood horror productions with alleged Satanic rites, and then improvised their own rituals. The bottom line is that most are "playing" at being Satanists. Nevertheless, even granting that their nonchalant involvement with Satanism is merely a phase of "normal" adolescent rebellion, the potential consequences to the individual's physical, emotional, and spiritual health, and to society at large are by no means innocuous. Furthermore, for a small percentage of these young people, involvement goes past being a phase, and they become religious Satanists, adopting Satanism's belief and value system as their own adult world view.
The primary interests and activities of fringe group Satanists, our last group category, are centered around one or more deviant, and in many cases, illegal, activity. Satanism is only a secondary interest which forms a kind of backdrop for the primary pursuit. Deviant interests may include pedophilia (this type of Satanist is the most likely to practice child abuse), group sex, sado-masochism, homosexuality, and taking drugs. (It is not the case that these activities do not occur in the other Satanic groups, but as inverted Christian rituals are to the traditional Satanists, so these practices are the hallmark of fringe group Satanists). Also, they are known for lacking a well formulated belief system concerning Satanism. Many, if not all, are socially deviant, as their actions well attest.
In contradistinction to the preceding categories, which are all group Satanists, we have the individual Satanists. They do not participate in a group context for a multiplicity of reasons (which will be discussed below). Their initial interest in Satanism was likely stimulated by any one, or combination, of the following sources: 1) reading horror stories, occult literature, or specifically Satanic material; 2) seeing horror movies, especially ones that romanticize the devil; 3) listening to certain types of music with either subtle or blatant Satanic lyrics and art work; 4) through an acquaintance who is more or less familiar with some form of Satanism.
Individual Satanists are so because they are not aware of any groups in their area, or they do not feel the need to get involved with one. Nonetheless, to some degree (from dabblers to serious Satanists) they believe in and practice Satanism. Ages range from the early teens to adults. Very little information can be given about these Satanists, except that their views and practices cover the spectrum of Satanism.
We can be a bit more descriptive regarding the second type of individual Satanist -- the psychotic individual Satanist. All the things said about the former type equally apply here, coupled with being seriously mentally deranged. An example of one is the "Night Stalker," who plagued Southern California during 1985, committing horrific crimes. It may be that some Satanic serial killers have a minimal knowledge of Satanism, and use it to express rage rather than religion.
In addition to the previously mentioned factors as to why individual Satanists do not belong to groups we can add the possibility that the psychotic types were excluded from one (any one of the group categories) because their behavior is too volatile. The group may have feared being publicly discovered or linked to criminal activities.
From the Christian standpoint it is highly probable that many of these deranged individuals are demon possessed. Demon possession and mental illnesses stemming from natural causes, whether biological or psychogenic, can exhibit many corresponding symptoms. Anyone who involves himself with the occult, particularly Satanism, is opening the door to possession.
THE PHILOSOPHICAL SUPPOSITIONS OF SATANISTS
As the type of people who are Satanists varies, so their views concerning God, Satan and the afterlife, and their philosophy of magic differ. We should remember that not every Satanist has fully thought through or reflected upon his beliefs. Any combination of the ideas which follow can be found within most categories of Satanists (e.g., not all of the different nontraditional group Satanists hold to the same philosophy as to how or why magic works).
God and Satan: Their Existence and Relationship
There are three primary perspectives concerning the existence of God and Satan, and their relationship to one another: 1) There is LaVey's view that God is only the balancing force in nature, while Satan is merely a religious symbol indicative of the material world, man, and his carnal nature. Thus, neither God nor Satan exist as a spiritual entity. No supernatural beings exist at all, either as personal or impersonal powers. Since LaVey does not grant the ontological reality of either, obviously neither can ultimately triumph over the other. 2) Both God and the devil exist independently of each other, whether as personal beings or impersonal forces, and are approximately equal in power (this view is derived from Manichean dualism ). Within this framework, some Satanists believe the balance of power will remain the same with neither side dominating or conquering the other; others hold that Satan will eventually conquer God. 3) Both God and Satan exist as personal beings, but Satan is a finite being who is dependent for his existence and power upon God (the biblical view). Given this view, Satan's defeat and that of all evil is inevitable.
Corresponding to these perspectives regarding the existence and nature of God and Satan, there are four fundamental notions concerning an afterlife: 1) There is no afterlife; the here and now is all there is.  2) Some Satanists, influenced by Eastern sources, subscribe to reincarnation with a new twist: an eternity of physical rebirths to unrestrainedly gorge their carnal appetites -- for them the best of all possible worlds. 3) After Satan defeats God, Satanists will be rewarded with great power and position, spending eternity in Satan's new kingdom -- "hell" -- a place of intensified sensual pleasures and unbridled debauchery (one big party). 4) After God has judged Satan and all those who have followed him, they will suffer eternal torment, but nonetheless revel in their rebellion against God.
Incredible as this last view (4) may sound to the Christian, many Satanists actually know that they will suffer excruciating anguish throughout eternity, but still persist in their choice to follow the devil. Satanists may hold this seemingly incomprehensible position because of their seething hatred and utter contempt for God and Christians. God is viewed as a contemptible, weak-willed, spineless, maudlin chump, a cosmic bore and "nerd" of infinite proportions. Christianity is viewed as a nuisance and hindrance to living; as a dreary, tedious, and lifeless religion. Thus, some Satanists reason, who could possibly want to spend eternity with this kind of God? Satan and his ways are seen as absorbing, exciting, provocative -- really living. They feel it would be better to fully indulge themselves in this life, and if nothing else be alive and burning with hatred for all eternity than to merely exist in heaven. In short, they feel it is more satisfying to live ungodly and follow the most ungodly of all -- Satan -- than to live with and for God.
IPS Note: See
The Message of the Bible
Here is what is really paradoxical ... the Bible's description of this kingdom of God, also called heaven is no pie in the sky ethereal place 'somewhere out there', but matches, in every respect, the world most men and women would choose to live in. a place of peace and safety, where there is no crime, hunger and disease, war and above all... no death. Far from being outdated, out of touch, and largely irrelevant to modern society, Christianity promises exactly the utopian world most men and women can only dream of.
What and Where is Hell?
The belief that Hell is a place of unending torment has been so strongly held throughout the history of Christianity that few have dared to challenge it. Besides which, since most modern challenges have come from the cults, a person who dares to question the traditional viewpoint runs the risk of being labeled a cultist. However, the deeper one delves into the subject the less persuasive the argument in favor of the traditional view become. For example, there is not a single verse in the entire Bible that says anything remotely similar to "everyone has eternal life; it's only a matter of where each will spend it." Yet, this is what most of the church believes, assuming that the idea has it's origins in the Bible. It does not. Of the many references to the spirit in the Bible, never once is it said to be immortal, imperishable, or eternal. On the contrary, the Bible tells us that God alone possesses immortality. Additionally, over and over again, Christians routinely go through some astounding verbal and theological gymnastics to take the word "death", and make it mean eternal life in hell, and take the word "perish" and make it mean "never perish". However, it is totally pointless to embark on a investigation unless one is prepared to set aside one's denominational presuppositions, and other biases, and rely strictly on what the Word says. This seems to be easier said than done for many, if not most, Christians.
Magical World Views and Ritual Sacrifices
In common with witchcraft, Satanists share a magical world view. There are varying views among occultists as to exactly what magic is, and how and why it works. Nonetheless, we may safely state that Satanists, as do most occultists, understand magic as the ability to cause changes to result in the everyday world in conformity with one's own will or desires by invoking or employing mysterious forces. The key idea is that reality may be controlled or manipulated for one's own ends. The term "mysterious forces," the actual causal agent, may be interpreted according to three views: 1) "latent psychic abilities" that reside within the person (LaVey); 2) supernormal forces (impersonal) or laws of nature, to date undiscovered by modern science, which exist external to the Satanist; or 3) supernatural personal beings (demons) who exist independently of the Satanist. Whichever of the above opinions is held, Satanists believe that they could, for instance, place a death curse upon someone and that directly because of this curse the person would die.
Given the first two explanations of how magic works, why does someone like LaVey invoke Satan (by this and various other names) during magical rites? Remember, LaVey claims to not believe in any supernatural powers. He states:
I don't believe that magic is supernatural, only that it is supernormal. That is, it works for reasons science can not yet understand....As a magician, my concern is with effectively doing the thing, not with the scientist's job of explaining it.
When LaVey invokes Satan in his magical rituals this is only done (so he says) as a device to help aid the group in focusing their individual "psychic powers" to bring about a common purpose or desired result.
In light of the discussion concerning what causes magic to work, we should look at the interrelating roles that animal and human sacrifices may play in Satanic rituals. It needs to be clearly understood that few Satanists sacrifice animals; and far less would sacrifice a human. Some would perform such acts because they are mentally disturbed and/or derive pleasure from committing such atrocities, while others would be seeking to capture the mana of the victims (discussed earlier). Besides these there are two other possible reasons for sacrifices.
The first is connected with the notions of the supernormal latent psychic abilities and forces or laws of nature. The sacrifice is slaughtered at the height of the ritual to augment the Satanist's own psychic energy (a psychological charge), thus increasing the Satanist's chances for success in obtaining the purpose of the ritual. The idea is that the energy or life-force of the sacrifice when killed is released into the surrounding atmosphere and can be harnessed by the Satanist.
Second, pertaining to the supernatural (demonic) view, the slaughtering of the victim is literally a sacrifice to the demons, who in return will grant or cause to be brought about whatever is desired. The greater the request, the "greater" the sacrifice must be (e.g., asking for power, wealth, and prestige, rather than just asking for a new Corvette, will demand a more "costly" sacrifice). The younger and healthier the animal, and more so with humans, the worthier the sacrifice. Also, since this type of Satanist operates on the principle of completely perverting and reversing Christianity, he believes that he will increase his power by performing more and more heinous acts. The most precious and innocent thing for a Christian is a little child; conversely, the sacrificing of a child would be the most efficacious (supreme sacrifice) for a Satanist. It is plainly one of the greatest perversions of Christian principles possible, and for this reason it is considered the more magically potent.
When Satanists who do commit animal sacrifices and mutilations, or kill humans in sacrificial rituals, are found out, they generally get "front press" in the news and hence these acts may appear more pervasive than they are. A relatively small number of Satanists may commit these acts, but perform them multiple times, giving the appearance to the public that all Satanists are doing it. Excepting the self-styled dabblers and public Satanists, most Satanists are extremely secretive about their existence, and even more so about any possible criminal activities. The serious Satanist does not "advertise." It would appear that if and when they commit crimes they do their best to destroy any evidence; thus, most of the crimes that come to light are committed by the dabblers.
Theoretically (it logically follows from their beliefs), crimes can be committed by almost any Satanic group. Concerning this issue each group has to be examined on an individual basis to determine their proclivity for criminal conduct. Anton LaVey denounces the sacrificing of animals and babies; he holds that not only should Satanists obey the law, but that these acts are deplorable in and of themselves as well. But, LaVey states one may perform human sacrifices "symbolically," "to dispose of totally obnoxious and deserving individuals." In other words, one may perform a death curse ritual against a "worthy sacrifice" and hope that it works. (There are many allegations that actual sacrifices and criminal activities do occur within and under the auspices of the Satanic Church in America; however, we have no evidence to substantiate these claims.)
THE CHRISTIAN RESPONSE
As we have seen, Satanism is a multifarious movement containing a variety of personality types, beliefs, and practices. Despite this diversity there are some common reasons why people become involved in it which the church can and should counteract by helping to meet their legitimate physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. Among these needs are a sense of self-worth and usefulness as a human being, acceptance and love from others, meaning and purpose in life, and the power to live an abundant life.
In order for us to help keep people out of Satanism and to evangelize those already involved, the following practical suggestions should be kept in mind. In witnessing to the Satanist, although we may rightly deplore his (or her) actions and beliefs, we should nevertheless genuinely love him with the love of Christ and remember that God earnestly cares about his salvation (Ezek. 33:8-11; John 3:16; 1 Tim. 2:4; 1 Peter 3:9). Many Satanists, if they believe that God exists at all, feel that He is remote and not readily accessible and does not care about them. We as God's personal representatives have the opportunity to show them through our lives that this is not so (Acts 17:27-28).
Although he is in great spiritual darkness (2 Cor. 4:4), we should not assume that the Satanist has committed the unpardonable sin. We have personally talked with several former Satanists (and know of others) who have accepted Christ.
It is important to note the Satanist's particular viewpoint and then apply appropriate scriptural and/or logical refutations. An example of not doing this would be warning a Satanist that he is going to hell, when he is already looking forward to going there. However, if they believe in a personal devil, let them know that they cannot trust him (John 8:44), and that hell will not be anything like they imagine (2 Thess. 1:8-9). Also, this type of Satanist should be told that he has been completely deceived about the nature and goodness of God, and the kingdom that He has prepared for those who love Him (Rev. 21:1-7).
Finally, in place of Satan's bankrupt offer of "real life," offer and exhibit to him the dynamic, exciting, and empowered life (in the here and now and for eternity) available through a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and the filling of the Holy Spirit (John 10:10; Acts 26:18)!
1 CRI's files are replete with information and references that document the existence and practice of Satanism in America, which can be made available upon request.
2 These remarks should not be construed as meaning that this trend is irreversible, or that we are necessarily in the literal "last days."
3 As the reader will see, this complex definition is necessary to incorporate the divergent views within Satanism regarding the ontological nature of Satan.
4 For further information upon this distinction the reader may consult the following works: Margot Adler, Drawing Down the Moon (Boston: Beacon Press, 1981), 97-105; Arthur Lyons, The Second Coming: Satanism in America (New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1970), 2, 14-15; J. Gordon Melton, The Encyclopedia of American Religions, Vol. 2 (Wilmington, North Carolina: McGrath Publishing Company, 1978), 300-301.
5 This point might seem trivial to some, but I assure the reader that it is not. For example, how does the Christian feel when the Muslim tells him that he rejects Christianity because Christians believe in three gods (a terrible misunderstanding of the doctrine of the Trinity), and he just cannot accept polytheism. The Christian rightly holds that if the Muslim is going to reject Christianity and argue theology, he should at least get the Christian view right! It is natural to assume that someone is not really interested in finding truth who does not take the minimal time and effort necessary to correctly understand beliefs he opposes. This is just how many occultists feel when they hear Christians misrepresent their beliefs.
6 For example, CRI has in its files a "prayer" to Satan from a youth Satanist whose book, The Satanic Bible, was confiscated by his school principal. The prayer invoked Satan to help him get his book back.
7 This classification system is similar to Marcello Truzzi's in his article "Towards a Sociology of the Occult: Notes on Modern Witchcraft." Religious Movements in Contemporary America, ed. by Irving Zaretsky and Mark P. Leone (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1974), 639.
8 Our traditional group Satanists category corresponds to Truzzi's heretical, anti-Catholic Satanists.
9 On account of ethical considerations and Satanists' penchant for secrecy and often violent disposition towards anyone attempting to reveal their existence, it is difficult if not impossible for the Christian to conduct firsthand investigations. Thus, in many cases the Christian must rely upon law enforcement agencies, secular researchers, and former Satanists for information.
10 Anton Szandor LaVey, The Satanic Bible (New York, Avon Books, 1969), 30-35, 46.
11 Ibid., 44-45, 52-54. See also Lyons, 172-73, 191.
12 Ibid., 99-104; Lyons, 176-77.
13 Numerous types of crimes committed against society are directly related to these and other Satanic groups. For example, see Lawrence C. Trostle, "Stoners Emerge as Demonic Delinquents," California Peace Officer, October 1985, 20-21.
14 Melton, 310; Truzzi, 643.
15 These facts were derived from interviews with former Satanists.
16 Dr. David Abrahamson, "Satanism and the Night Stalker Suspect," The Orange County Register, 2 Sept. 1985, sec. A.
17 LaVey, 40-45, 55-62; cf. Lyons, 172-73.
18 Richard Cavendish, The Black Arts (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1967), 318.
19 LaVey, 92-94; Lyons, 188-89.
20 Lyons, 130.
21 Cavendish, 316-18.
22 Interview with a former Satanist.
23 Melton, 249, 300.
24 Truzzi, 631.
25 Lyons, 181-83.
26 LaVey, 88-90, 99-100.
27 Ibid., 90.
Copyright 1994 by the Christian Research Institute. from Forward magazine (now Christian Research Journal), Fall 1986, page 17. The Editor-in-Chief of the Christian Research Journal is Elliot Miller.
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