In a recent turn of events we have moved from the obscene to the absurd. Last week, at the Texas Capitol, a group of pro-abortion protesters tried to drown out their pro-life counterparts’ singing of Amazing Grace by chanting “Hail Satan”. It is somehow fitting that these activists would summon the Evil One to damper grace and snuff out life. Both fitting and grotesque. Once this display became news the expected response was quick in coming—people were outraged. Included among the offended were Satanists. Responding on Twitter, The United Kingdom’s Church of Satan said it was “Unfortunate to see Satan’s name used in such a diabolical manner.”
I’m lost…isn’t diabolical business technically the Devil’s work?
It’s doubtful that either the abortion supporters or the Satanist objecting to them actually believe in the reality of the Evil One. Many would be surprised to learn that most practitioners of Satanism don’t actually believe in a personal, supernatural being of evil. According to Anton Lavey, the founder of the Satanic Church, Satan is a personification of our own subjective appetites. In other words, he is a figment of our depraved imagination. Most Satanists are little more than deviant hedonists who have shaped the Devil into a champion of their lifestyle. The dark arts are simply risqué mythology.
If only the Devil were so easily conjured. Unfortunately, Satan is no prop. He is a real, sinister being that is active in our world to accomplish evil. The Bible teaches us that Satan is supremely evil, hostile to God and is working to overthrow the purposes of God. This work is primarily aimed at misguiding and hurting humanity. As bearers of God’s image we are an affront to him and he seeks to corrupt and destroy us. As Peter put it, he is like a “roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Pet 5:8). The conflict we find ourselves in is quite ferocious.
In the end, Satan’s defeat is sure. He will be crushed underfoot, cast down, and eternally imprisoned in Hell (Rev. 20:10). Already the victory was won at Calvary and Satan’s defeat will become obvious and complete with Christ’s return. But until then, we must live aware of our spiritual surroundings. When abortion activists hail Satan, they may be speaking tongue-in-cheek, but we must know that the Evil one is close by. The shedding of blood is in his interests and those who praise his name in jest are unwittingly doing his bidding.
Should we tremble in fear? No. If we resist him through the power of the cross he will flee. Should we pursue him? No. At no point in Scripture do we see the people of God hunting down the forces of evil. The battle is the Lord’s and he will vanquish his foe. We are called to carry the light, not chase the darkness. If the demonic interrupt our labors we can confront them in Jesus’ name, but the focus is on gaining ground—not scalps.
Those who are misguided in their understanding of Satan have an even greater ignorance—they do not know Jesus. They are in the dark and think it better than the light. To those who would drown out an old hymn with foolish chanting, I would love to offer grace. For it is through Amazing Grace that they will discover a new master who loves his own.