“But I wasn’t like those other criminals, I was ‘good people’…” said Oscar the former drug and illegal weapons dealer from South Central LA as he recounted his testimony for our TV show. He was a little surprised when I laughed and said, “What? You were ‘good people’? Oscar, you were a gang-banger! You sold drugs and guns, you were arrested in the middle of a shoot-out… What are you talking about?” He stopped his explanation for a minute and realized that in the minds of others he was a dangerous criminal, but in his mind, he saw himself as a simple guy trying to make a living who had never killed anyone… yet.
It’s funny and sad how the devil can get us to minimize how evil he is, how strong God is, and how innocent we are. He’d like us to be thoroughly impressed with his power to destroy us, or thoroughly convinced that the evil inside us isn’t all that bad, because other people are worse than us. Satan would like people to not even believe he exists, but if they do, he’d like them to be confused about just how present he is in their lives, whether or not they should fight him, how they should fight him, or if they should just stop thinking about him. He’ll use whatever method it takes to best manipulate our reasoning. Here’s another example:
“You need to throw away all these items of witchcraft that you’ve been dabbling in. None of this is protecting you, in fact you’ve been opening doors for demons to enter your life. You know, witchcraft is a form of Satan worship,” was how I finally wrapped up a long, detailed counseling session with a woman who’d been heavily involved in tarot cards, psychics and spiritism. “Now you’re going too far pastor! I’ve never been involved in Satanism! This is white magic, don’t you know the difference?”
That’s a question I’d like to ask the world in general today – don’t you know the difference? Satan worship is all around us, in so many forms. Evil disguises itself as rationalism, intellectualism, tolerance, world peace, and even Christian doctrine. The Bible says that “Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14), and the more we tolerate evil, the easier it is for it to infiltrate our personal lives, our communities and families and take over more and more control in this world. Aren’t you amazed at the level of perversion society tolerates today compared to just ten, twenty years ago? How did that happen?
Satanism at its core, is simply the denial of Jesus Christ as God, as King and Lord over all things. That’s all he needs to be honored. So if we rely on reasoning that doesn’t actively treat Jesus as King and Lord, we’re submitting to the subtle sway of demons. We welcome Satan when we entertain fears that God won’t come through for us, that sickness, mental illness or threats of ruin are too strong for our faith to handle. When we live by a logic that’s based on fear, selfishness, or simply a desire to live the way we want because we like it, we are virtually bowing to Satan – even as we go to church and listen to Christian music.
Satan’s way of life has always been mainstream, and now, he’s upping his game to make it fun to casually talk about Satanism. News reports today reveal the opening of Satanic afterschool centers for ordinary kids all over the United States this year. Nothing obviously evil like ritual sacrifices – just simple teaching to disprove the need for God, based on “science” and rationalism. Casual Satanism in our own backyards.
For centuries, Christians have not wanted to fight, have laughed at the idea of demons, and have been content to discuss the fine points of theology while being patient, loving and kind. And now the devil wants our children to welcome him with open arms. I might sound like a broken record, but it’s time for all out spiritual warfare. We have no other choice but to attack. The prayers of a righteous man are powerful and effective.
(Stay tuned for more on how we need to react in tomorrow’s post.)
But I fear that somehow your pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted, just as Eve was deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent. You happily put up with whatever anyone tells you, even if they preach a different Jesus than the one we preach, or a different kind of Spirit than the one you received, or a different kind of gospel than the one you believed. 2 Corinthians 11:3-4, NLT