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.