Growing up, I was given the impression that a Satanist was a person who listened to AC/DC, bit the heads off baby chickens, and openly worshiped Diablo.
I never met one, that I’m aware of, but I pictured them to be people of the gothic persuasion—white make-up, dark eyes, and chains hanging from clothing and/or body parts. The thought of Satan, and his followers kept me up at night. My youth group watched a video called Hells Bells on the evil of Rock music that literally gave me nightmares.
So, it became easy to separate light from darkness. Michael W. Smith: Good. Ozzy Osbourne: Evil. Just avoid MTV and all is well.
However, experience has taught me that real life is never that black and white. A few years ago, while researching for a sermon, I found myself on the official Church of Satan website. Word of advice: Never find yourself on the church of Satan website, but if you must, bring a friend. Or two. And keep the lights on.
It was legitimately creepy, black screens and bizarre photos, but the weirdest thing was what I found in the churches guidelines.
One of the rules completely blew me away, and shattered a stereotype.
Two weeks ago, I wrote a post called Don’t do this to Jesus, about how many of us, Christians and non-Christians alike, tend to distort the image of Christ by trying to make him more relevant or appealing. You can read that post here.
I’d like to go back to one of my thoughts and expand it a bit.
Many agnostics and atheists, as well as followers of other religions, accept Jesus as a great teacher with a helpful message.
This seems like a cozy blanket of we’re-all-in-this-togetherness, and I respect the inclusive approach, but there is a massive oversight just below the surface. Bear with me for a moment.
Let’s say when Hitler wasn’t spreading hate-laced propaganda and seeking the destruction of those outside the Arian race, he played tennis with his friends. But not just a pick up game here and there. Let’s say he was phenomenal, Pete Sampras with a tiny mustache. He made time for autographs and always tipped the ball boys.
Do you think you would ever see an ESPN Classic special on the incredible serving skills of the infamous Adolf? How about a training DVD called Mein Swing: The Hitler Technique?
Not a chance. Read More…
I work with a guy in his seventies. By most standards, he’s old. He walks with a bit of a limp and has had several surgeries. He has suffered a few major tragedies, and he is still working for a living, but somehow he remains a really nice guy. Like, ridiculously nice.
The kind of nice that makes you think to yourself, “Come on now. Is it possible for anybody to be this nice?” Think about the nicest person you have ever met. Can you see their face? Yea, Joe would make that person seem like a terrorist by comparison. Trust me.