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When I was 14 years old, I read “The Satanic Bible” by Anton LaVey. It’s not so much a “bible”, but a collection of essays, rituals and observations put forth by the author, who was the founder of “LaVeyan Satanism”. The book conveyed his understanding of human nature and gave “insights” into philosophers who advocated materialism and individualism. That’s a mouthful, but easy to swallow.
Basically, if you wanted to sum the book up in a sentence or two, it would be “if it feels good, do it.” Or, as long as something works for “you”, it doesn’t matter how it affects anyone else. As a matter of fact, according to LaVey, the most important “holiday” in the satanic “belief”, is ones own individual day of birth.
My apologies to all the anti-Halloween purists reading this. But hey, at least you still have Christmas.
In Matthew 6:24, Jesus is quoted as saying, “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” He used money as an example, but the point is clear: We cannot serve God AND anything or anyone else. Now, I doubt seriously that anyone who is reading this would consider themselves a “Satanist.” As a matter of fact, an atheist is not technically a Satanist. That is, if being a true Satanist means you have to read and believe LaVey’s book, or attend a meeting.
“Inspired” or not, LaVey hit the nail on the head when he broke the worship of satan down to two key elements: “materialism” and “individualism.” The worship of material objects, whether it is a golden calf, or a church building, cannot be reconciled with true worship of God. Likewise, the worship of an individual cannot coincide with the worship of God. You will “hate one and love the other.” I have personally met very few people who have literally bowed down in worship to a Harley-Davidson. And I can’t remember any time that I have witnessed a person lying face down in worship to Taylor Swift or the “Edward” dude in the Twilight movie. Jesus didn’t even use the term “worship” in the above Scripture. He used “love and hate” and “devoted and despise.” It’s clear that if we put our possessions or ourselves above God, then we hate Him. As a matter of fact, if we put our love of our spouses and children over our devotion for Him, we despise Him.
Those are some pretty rough things to consider. None of us would come out and say that we love our cars or our family more than we love God. And we surely would never claim to love ourselves more than we love Him. And the “church” certainly would never be caught making such claims.
But let’s consider some evidence:
In the United States alone there are roughly 314,000 Protestant and/or other Christian churches. This is according to research and surveys by the Hartford Institute. Obviously these numbers cannot be 100 percent correct, since there are many congregations who are off the radar. Most likely, the numbers are higher.
Based on these numbers, it is estimated that approximately 56 million people attend weekly church services. That’s quite an impressive number. Just think what we could accomplish.
Let’s take a quick look at what we haven’t even put a dent in:
In 2010 it was estimated that there were 46.9 million people living in poverty in the United States. Those numbers are considered to be higher now.
Every year in this country, over 3 million child abuse cases are reported. Many more occur and go unreported.
There are over 207,000 cases of rape and sexual assaults reported in this country each year. It is believed that over half of the assaults that actually occur are never reported.
There are an estimated 636,000 homeless people in this country.
There are approximately 2 million abortions reported in the U.S. each year.
There are blah…blah…blah…blah…BLAH.
When you get right down to it, the numbers are meaningless. Specifically the 56 million mentioned above. There is only one number that appears to really matter: ONE. Because when you get right down to it looking out for “number one” is how most of us live our lives. We are focused on our family vacations, our new “toys”, posting our “I eat better than you” photos of meals on Facebook, our titles, labels and position. We ponder more over the batting average of Bryce Harper than the fact that there are over 67,000 homeless veterans in this country. By the way, as of this writing, Bryce’s batting average is .282, whatever that means.
Our next door neighbor might be beating his wife and kids, but that’s “none of my business.” But let someone sit in our seat at church, and all hell breaks loose. We can tell you how many times brother and sister so-and-so have missed church this month, but we’ll be darned if we can remember the names of their kids. We refuse to give the guy holding a sign outside of Sam’s Club a dollar because he might use it to buy alcohol, but we’ll make certain we have the latest 5G gadget that comes along….”
Oh my goodness….I think we might all be Satanists. Well actually, they probably wouldn’t accept some of us. They tend to have a problem with Truth and absolutes. However, if we apply what Jesus said concerning two masters, along with what He also says in Matthew 25 concerning “feeding, clothing, providing shelter, tending to the sick and encouraging prisoners”, then upon further examination we may just qualify after all. Because we can’t claim to serve God while neglecting our fellow humans. It’s impossible.
So if the “qualities” of being a Satanist is putting material possessions and ourselves above other people, then our churches are full of people who meet the basic qualifications of Satanism. That’s some scary stuff there.
I’m pretty certain I have pissed off a lot of you who have managed to read this far.
Am I calling you a “satan” worshiper? Absolutely not. I can be no more certain of that, than I can be as to whether or not you are a Christian. Only God knows that for real. But I do know that the Scriptures state that faith without action is dead. If you have faith, and do nothing with it, then your faith is dead. 56 million of us pop in and out of the church doors weekly. Yet all around us is the evidence of a lifeless and increasingly irrelevant church.
I am certainly not in favor of The Church of Satan. But they do practice what they preach. Pretty sad that we could actually learn something from them.