John Kuhn Bleimaier
The father of all lies has been with us from the beginning. John 8:44. He has been the bane of the human condition and perennially seeks to work us woe. Satan constantly appeals to humankind in different forms. At one point he is the bringer of light (lucifer) at another he is the lord of darkness; and satan can present himself in any form between these extremes. It is critically important that we recognize the existence of satan for two reasons. First, in the absence of satan it is a temptation to blame evil in the world upon God, the Creator. Second, unless we know to look out for the wily serpent we are sure to be deceived by his clever lies.
Satanism is the exaltation and worship of the devil. But it is also more. Satanism is the doing of the work of the devil, consciously or unconsciously. Those who do evil are the servants of evil. John 8:34. In different historic epochs the children of the devil have perpetrated different evil works. They have served their master who has manifested himself in different guises.
Satanism in 21st Century American society has taken on a new form. Often the devil has denominated his servants in creative and deceptive ways. They have been disguised as nationalists or as internationalists; as atheists or as churchmen; as warriors or as peaceniks. Thank God, believers have been able to discern the children of the devil. By looking to the substance of their works we recognize them. Matthew 7:20. In contemporary, media-addled society some of the minions of satan are able to hide in plain sight. Today there is a cult among the nonbelievers who, nevertheless, consider themselves to be “spiritual,” who quite candidly call themselves satanists.
Today, satan takes advantage of the widespread theological illiteracy of the 21st Century to convey himself as a soft cuddly devil who is the antithesis of the stern, old-fashioned concepts which contemporary mass media have taught moderns to eschew. A recently published exponent of satanism explains the movement as follows: “For the most part, satanists are non-theists and view satanism as a personal liberation from traditional theistic beliefs.” Followers of satan claim to “value nonconformity and revolt against the ideas of superstition and arbitrary authority. Modern satanists are nonviolent and interested in the pursuit of reason, justice, and truth.” What a fantastic conceit. The father of all lies, irrationality and oppression claims to seek reason, justice and truth!
We should hardly be surprised that satanists are outspoken supporters of abortion and LGBTQ+ causes. In the name of justice the innocents are slaughtered. Reason is enlisted in the service of self mutilation and misuse of bodily functions. This is satan’s take on the truth.
There is a modern organization which calls itself “The Satanic Temple.” On their website they state as follows: “The mission of The Satanic Temple is to encourage benevolence and empathy, reject tyrannical authority, advocate practical common sense, oppose injustice, and undertake noble pursuits.” Knowing that the devil is the father of lies we can conclude that the mission statement of this organization is itself a falsehood. We know that the devil encourages evil and creates confusion; imposes tyranny; subverts Divine reason; stands in the way of justice; and opposes high moral principles. Thus satan’s mission is precisely the opposite of the stated objectives of The Satanic Temple organization. Believing Christians are unlikely to fall prey to the fine sounding platitudes of The Satanic Temple. We know satan by his works. Matthew 7:16-20. What he calls foolishness is the power and wisdom of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18. Satanic “noble pursuits” are vaporous and inert, the opposite of true nobility which is premised on fine personal qualities and high moral principles.
Nevertheless, for those who have never opened the Bible and whose education is centered on the mass media entertainments, the shibboleths of contemporary satanism may hold a certain demonic attraction. Benevolence is defined as good intentions. Of course we know that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Opposition to authority may sound appealing to those who have never contemplated the nightmare of anarchy. The advocacy of common sense may strike a chord. However, in the absence of Divine reason, common sense represents reliance upon a sort of unjustified and unjustifiable animal instinct.
21st Century satanists see the devil as a symbolic rather than literal being. They envision him as a theoretical opponent of all that they find oppressive and as the patron of transgression and subversion. However, the followers of satan do not have a specific canon defining these terms. Thus, the devil’s minions are at liberty to oppose, transgress and subvert a subjectively selected set of heretofore accepted rules which have been unilaterally declared oppressive by them. If childbearing is authoritarian then infanticide is liberating. If copulation is paternalistic then deviant intercourse is reasonable. That is the way that satan subverts language in order to fight against righteousness.
While contemporary satanists may not believe in the physical existence of their patron, I most certainly do. History is demonstrably the struggle of good against evil. The embodiment of evil has been relentless and consistent in his opposition to God. He presents himself in ever changing guises but his evil objective is unaltered. He may pretend not to exist, but by his works we recognize him.
The devil was a very tangible antagonist from the perspective of Martin Luther. Indeed, the presence of an embodiment of evil gave additional substance to the Christian faith which forms the last, best defense against pervasive iniquity in this world. In the absence of the continuing struggle against satan, out faith would be just an abstraction.
It is the duty of all Christian believers to send the devil and his disciples packing, in whatever form they present themselves. We shall only worship and serve the Lord our God. Matthew 4:10. Our Master is the way, the truth and the life. John 14:6. There is no alternative.