Satan’s Civil Rights

For the first time, a Satanist group has official permission to meet in a public school at the end of the school day.

At one level, this seems like cultural fair play, but at another level, it shows how dramatically Western culture has changed. After centuries of underground existence, Satanic teaching is now so self-confident of its acceptance that it openly demands —and gets—a public voice. The Pew Research Center showed that out of about 245 million US adults in 2014, 173 million were Christians. However, many of these now adopt a Hindu slant on life.

 

For the first time, a Satanist group has official permission to meet in a public school at the end of the school day. An After School Satan Club (ASSC) meeting was held at Sacramento Elementary School in Portland, Oregon on November 16th, 2016. The previous day, at Parkrose Middle School (also in Portland), the Satanic Temple made a presentation that was supposed to be open to the community and press but was not. The second ASSC is set to meet at Point Defiance Elementary School in Tacoma on Wednesday, December 14th. Approved in September, the ASSC, seeks to provide an alternative to other after-school religious groups. ASSC chapters are meeting in Atlanta and Tucson, and the movement may gain momentum. At one level, this seems like cultural fair play, but at another level, it shows how dramatically Western culture has changed. After centuries of underground existence, Satanic teaching is now so self-confident of its acceptance that it openly demands —and gets—a public voice. The Pew Research Center showed that out of about 245 million US adults in 2014, 173 million were Christians. However, many of these now adopt a Hindu slant on life.

In his masterful study, The Easternization of the West, Colin Campbell describes how attractive Eastern thinking is for the average Westerner. Belief in a “life force” and reincarnation influence attitudes to animal rights, vegetarianism, holistic health, deep ecology, astrology, and divination. This mindset posits that “the universe is a single, interconnected, spiritual whole and there is no authority external to the individual qualified to judge the nature of truth.…[T]he self is considered the final authority as to what practice to believe or follow.” Says a Wiccan high priest: “[E]verything is part of the One…Everything in the universe is linked to everything else in the universe.”

Such thinking has enormous practical consequences. If there is no external authority, no Creator God, separate from us, who makes the rules, then the culture can no longer distinguish between various “spiritual” claims. In one classroom a Bible study; in another, worship of Satan. How will our kids deal with such religious confusion?

Truth and falsehood, goodness and radical evil openly clamor for supremacy. In many ways, America has gone pagan. The ASSC claims to be merely rationalist. However, in so doing, they underestimate the true power of demonic forces. Our present cultural dislike of conflict cannot really function, because good and evil will not go away.  We all desire rules that determine cultural life. If we refuse God’s rules, we will define our own, which will correspond exactly with those of Satan.

Forces are at work to deny Christians their place in society. They may not sell flowers, cakes or photographic services unless they affirm same-sex “marriage.” Professors seeking posts at state universities will not be considered unless they sign a pledge to oppose “discrimination.”

The international LGBT movement, funded by George Soros, seeks a global law to make opposition to homosexuality not just a “hate crime” but a “crime against humanity” —the very charge in a US court against Pastor Scott Lively for teaching biblical sexuality in Uganda. If the case is successful, Christians everywhere will be suspect and eventually be pursued as heartless criminals. Even if the case fails, as it likely will, it shows just how far the “progressive” LGBT movement is willing to go to silence biblical truth.

Here is how it works. On the one hand, Satanists claim their civil right to express demonic notions to children, and we cannot lawfully stop them. On the other hand, having acquired social recognition, the forces of paganism are ever ready to silence “the good.” Where evil is concerned, there is no fair play.

Behind these cultural conflicts are two—the only two—irreconcilable worldviews: Oneism or Twoism, which are destined to clash. As renowned British theologian Colin Gunton (1941–2003) stated:

“There are…ultimately only two possible answers to the question of origins: [either] that the universe is the result of creation by a free personal agency, or that in some way or other it creates itself.” (The Triune Creator: A Historical and Systematic Study).

With graciousness, Christians must speak the Gospel truth of Twoism in a once-“Christian” culture that now believes, according to pagan Oneism, that the world creates itself.

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.” Matthew 5:11–13

Dr. Peter Jones is scholar in residence at Westminster Seminary California and associate pastor at New Life Presbyterian Church in Escondido, Calif. He is director of truthXchange, a communications center aimed at equipping the Christian community to recognize and effectively respond to the rise of paganism. This article is used with permission.