Are Satan Worshippers Real?

– Hail oh deathless one. Who calls me from out of the pits? – [Voiceover] You can turn back now or learn the stuff they don’t want you to know. Here are the facts. In the 1980’s and 90’s people across the united states were convinced that satan worshippers worked in secret across the country. Stealing children for dark rights. Sacrificing animals and innocents and practicing sorcery.

In what became known as, “The Satanic Panic.” Numerous people alleged that they had been ritually abused during their childhood. They claimed that hypnosis and regression therapy revealed these long suppressed memories. Yet, when authorities investigated they ultimately found no proof to back up the accusations. Today the deluge of reports is considered part of

A moral panic. Like McCarthyism or witch hunts. Many people wondered if actual theistic satan worshippers existed at all. So, are there any real devil worshippers? Here’s where it gets crazy. Yes, though perhaps not the way you’d assume. Before we find devil worshippers we have to define the devil itself.

That’s tougher than it sounds. Afterall, one religion’s god may often be another group’s satan. Consider the Yazidis ethnic group. Often called devil worshippers by the nearby Muslim majority. The Yazidis worship an angel called, “Melek Taus.” Who in their religion refused God’s command to bow to Adam.

This bears great resemblance to stories of Shatam and Muslim lore. But the Yazidis don’t consider Melek Taus an evil deity. A similar disconnect occurs between gnostics and mainstream Christians. There are generally two broad camps in the world of genuine satan worship. Symbolic and theistic. The symbolic satan worshippers

Believe in philosophical aspects of satan as a concept. Or satan as an ideology. The theistic satan worshippers believe in a supernatural entity that can interact with the mortal world. Of these theistic satanists, many follow a Lucifer erratically different from the common Christian depiction.

Not an evil force, so much as a disruptive innovative one. Are there really any theistic satanists who genuinely believe they worship an inferno evil deity? While the tales of massive satanic conspiracies don’t seem to bear any fruit. There have been isolated cases of violent criminal acts

Carried out by people claiming to worship satan. And not just any ancient past either. In 2005, Louisiana pastor Louis Lamonica turned himself into the Livingston detective, Stan Carpenter. Lamonica listed in detail, ritualized child abuse that he and other members of his congregation participated in for a number of years.

This included things like animal sacrifice, ritual masks, and dedication of a child to satan. In 2011, Moises Maraza Espinoza confessed to killing his mother as part of satanic right. And there are a number of other proving crimes involving the use of satanic symbols and purported rituals. However, these crimes are not all representative

Of the satanic community. The majority of which, is law abiding. Despite these cyclical allegations of widespread, large scale of networks of devil worshippers, there simply hasn’t been any solid universally acknowledged proof. Those who believe in the conspiracies say the powerful groups have too much control to be reported.

And they point to other supposedly buried reports of abuse. Such as the infamous Franklin Case. Instead it seems that the only individuals or groups actually doing all of those sterotypical satanic things from Hollywood horror films are isolated and quite possibly, insane. Unless of course, there’s something more to the story.

Something they don’t want you to know. – So here comes satanism. Most of us would like to write off as harmless antics by some lunatic fringe. A few years ago maybe, but not now. We have seen that satanism can be linked to child abuse and murder. It has lead seemingly normal teenagers into monstrous behavior. They preach mysticism.

Other people, however, practice evil. And that is why we brought you this report tonight.

#Satan #Worshippers #Real

Secularism: Christian Worldview with R.C. Sproul

SPROUL: There’s a real sense, I think, that every Christian is a missionary. If we go back to the New Testament, and we see in the book of Acts, that when persecution arose in Jerusalem we read that all of the Christians were scattered except the apostles.

And those who were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the Gospel. That is the way the Christian church was born—not simply with the ministry of the clergy or the apostles or even of the deacons but it was the rank and file Christians that took the Gospel wherever they went in the ancient world.

But in our church today we make a distinction, don’t we, between a professional missionary and a layman who is not a missionary? But in Biblical categories every Christian, in a sense, is a missionary, because every Christian is called to participate in the mission that Christ has given to the church.

Well when I look at what we do with missionaries before we send them into a foreign country what do we have them do? We don’t just select a missionary, put them on an airplane, have them arrive in Timbuktu or someplace like that and say “ok, do your thing.”

Before a missionary can go to the foreign field that the person has to undergo in-depth study of the culture to which they are going. They have to learn the language; they have to learn the customs; they have to be able

To understand the way people think and the way they behave in the land to which they are sent as missionaries. Now let’s assume that you are missionaries to the United States. What’s your preparation? It’s not enough simply to know the Gospel, to know the content of Scriptures, the subject

Matter that you want to communicate and bear witness to your culture. It is also very important that you understand the culture in which you are acting out your role as a missionary. So that’s the purpose of this series of lectures.

It’s to try to get a handle on the culture as it now presents itself to us as Christians. I think it would be a dreadful mistake to assume that the American culture is predominantly a Christian culture. Certainly we live in a nation that has had an enormous influence from the church and

From Judeo-Christian value systems. It’s not that our country is pagan. Our country has been strongly influenced by Christianity. Some have said that we have been influenced in the degree that people are influenced when they receive a shot of inoculation to prevent a disease that you put a minor dose of the

Disease in the inoculation so that they have just enough of it to be immune to the real thing. And some have maintained that that’s what has happened here in the American culture, that we’ve had just enough Christianity impacting our society as to make us immune from the real thing.

There’s a sense, as I said, in which our nation is not pagan. Paganism is a pre-Christian situation. It’s a situation that exists where the Gospel and the light of the Gospel has never been manifest in a particular environment, but that’s not true about America.

Ours is what I call a “secular” environment, a “secular” society. And the secularization of the American culture is a post-Christian phenomenon, not a pre-Christian—”pre-Christian” is pagan; “post-Christian” is secularized. Now, I think it’s also important for us to understand that our culture is, and has been, a melting pot.

We don’t live in a culture that is monolithic. What is monolithic? A monolithic culture is a culture where only one definable worldview or value system is operating, and there’s kind of a uniformity as you find in some nations.

You go, for example, into Red China and you see a uniform system of thought that everybody is supposed to embrace—it’s taught in the schools, it’s advertised in posters, and even the uniformity comes down to literal uniforms. People dress in the same way as there is this enforced conformity, but that’s not been the

American ideal. The American ideal has been—we are a melting pot, so that there are all kinds of different beliefs and philosophies competing for acceptance within our society and within our culture. And if a Christian is going to be able to communicate to this culture, he has to be

Aware at least of the dominant systems that are operating within our culture. As I said, we’re not monolithic but the term that we use is pluralistic, and we’ll have a separate study, a separate lecture, just on pluralism. But the various schools of thought that are most dominant, I believe, in our culture today

Include the ones that I’m about to put up here on the blackboard, and we’re going to look at each one of those individually in the lectures to come. First of all, there is the influence of what we call humanism.

As I say, we will a separate lecture defining the content and the perspective of humanism. Secondly, there is the influence of existentialism. How many of you think that you could give a good definition of existentialism? How many of you have never heard the word existentialism? All right, just a couple.

Most of you have at least heard the term existentialism, but it’s one of those terms that we hear bandied about in the culture but very few people are able to give concrete definition—we will have a separate lecture on existentialism.

A third “ism” that has had a tremendous impact on our culture that most laymen have never heard of is the “ism” called positivism. How many of you have never heard of positivism? See, there’s some more here, more than have never heard of existentialism.

And also, there’s the influence of a very ancient perspective or philosophy that we call hedonism. How many of you have never heard of hedonism? How many of you have heard of hedonism? You have … You have heard of that. Ok, all right.

And then there is, as I said, pluralism and relativism … And there’s one other “ism” that I’m going to incorporate up above with positivism which we call pragmatism, which is a distinctly American life and worldview. All right, let’s see how many I have there—five—humanism, existentialism, positivism, pragmatism, hedonism,

And pluralism and its corollary relativism. All right, those are going to be the systems of thought or philosophical perspectives that we will be examining in this brief course. But what I’m looking for today is this: is there an overarching, generic, holistic philosophy

Or value system that would in some sense incorporate all of these? It’s been said that no society can survive, no civilization can function without some unifying philosophical perspective. Even if you have all different kinds of views competing, there must be some kind of overarching

Atmosphere or environment that makes it possible even for these to coexist in a given society. And when the historians and the philosophers seek the common term, the common basic generic lowest common denominator that incorporates features of all of these, usually the term

That we hear is the term secularism, and that’s what I want to look at in the time that we have left today. Let me do my handiwork here with the eraser and we’ll start again with this word: secularism.

Obviously, when we see that word, we see that we have a root and a suffix. And my favorite method of teaching is to do word studies and break these concepts down into its constituent parts so that we can get a hold of them. There’s the word “secular,” and then there’s the suffix.

Now let’s start at the back and work our way forward. Anytime we see this three-letter suffix, “ism,” what do we see? What do we find? What’s it saying? What’s it do to the word? You’re allowed to answer my question, you know. What does it do? What does “ism” do to a word?

AUDIENCE: It makes it a state of being. SPROUL: It makes it a state of being. Little bit more than that. AUDIENCE: A philosophy. SPROUL: A philosophy, a system of thought. What we call a “veltunchung,” a way of looking at the world, a view of the world, a value system.

It’s one thing—how many of you believe in humans? And think that being human is a good thing? It’s one thing to be human; it’s another thing to be a humanist—that is one who embraces humanism. We all exist, but we’re not all existentialists, are we?

You put that “ism”, existentialism, on the end of the root for existence and you’re talking now about a philosophical system, a whole way of looking at things. You want to be practical, but does that make you a pragmatist? Of course not.

All right, so we see that the suffix “ism” takes the root and elevates it to the level of a philosophical system. Now the word “secular” is a perfectly good and positive word in the Christian’s vocabulary. Historically the church has always had a good view of that which was regarded as being secular.

I’m thinking in terms of the whole of the history of the church. In the Middle Ages, for example, men were ordained to a specific role in the priesthood that was called the secular priesthood, because those were men who had offices that took them

Out of the arena, or the institution, of the church to minister out in the world where they were specific needs that needed the healing touch of the church, or the priestly mission of the church. There’s a sense in which I was ordained as a secular clergyman, because I was ordained

To the teaching ministry, not to an ecclesiastical office within a local congregation. So I was commissioned to go to the university and to be a teacher out in the world, if you will, in the secular world that can be distinguished to some degree by that sphere that we’ve set

Apart and called the church, or the sacred realm. But so often in Christians’ minds the distinction between sacred and secular is the distinction between the good and the bad, but that’s not the way it was meant to be in the development of church history. It was simply a different sphere of operation. Ok?

Now the word secular has its origins and its roots in the Latin, in the Latin language. It comes from the Latin word “saeculum,” which means—Do we have any Latin scholars in here? What does the Latin word “saeculum” mean? What’s its translation?—It means the word “saeculum” means in the original Latin “world.” Ok?

I said a secular priest is one who ministers in the world. What does the Latin word “mundus” mean? Anybody know? “World.” Remember Athanasius? St. Athanasius, what was on his tombstone? “Athanasius Contra Mundum”—Athanasius against what? The world. All right, so that “mundus” also means world.

Well both words mean the same thing in the original Latin, what was the difference? Well, the people in the ancient world understood that as human beings they lived in time and in space. We still talk that way, don’t we?

That our life is spatial; it’s geographical; there is a certain “whereness” to my life. I live here. I am here; I’m not somewhere else. And there is also a time frame in which I live. Jesus talked about this place or this generation—this age. Ok? The present age.

So in the Latin the word for this world, thinking in terms of time is “saeculum,” and the word for this world in terms of space is “mundus.” Now what in the world, what in the “mundus” or the “saeculum” does this have to do with our culture?

Well “saeculum” or the secular had to do literally with this time, this world in the present time. The secular realm is this world in this world, in the present time. Now what happens to the word secular when you add the “ism”?

The basic overarching theme of secularism is this: That all of reality, all of life, every human value, every human activity must be understood in light of and judged by the value or the norm of this present time. Where’s the point of conflict between secularism and Christianity? Can you see it coming?

The New Testament Scriptures, the Biblical worldview is always concerned about long-range considerations. The Bible teaches us that we were created for eternity that the heart of the New Testament message is that Christ has come to give us life, a life that wells up into what?—eternal life.

And that at the very beginning of our understanding of the world we read in Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning,” what? “God created the heavens and the earth.” So that if we look at the earth and we see that it has a beginning in space and time,

But before there is even a world, if I can use the term “before,” there is One who transcends the world; One who stands above the world; One is outside of the restrictions of this space and time order that we call the world—namely, God.

“In the beginning God …” And we as part of the most core dimension of the Christian faith, we believe in a transcendent God—a God out there, a God who is beyond the confines of this planet. A God who is transcendent and a God who is what?—eternal, and that all judgments that

God makes, all things that He does are done from the perspective of what?—of the eternal. Now in philosophy we call that that God considers everything “subspecies aeternitatis.” Now that’s just a fancy Latin phrase for a very simple idea that means that God considers

Everything under, “sub” means under, under the species or the “auspices,” the auspices, or from the perspective of the eternal. In fact, the admonition and the rebuke that Christ brings to this world is that men are only thinking short term; they’re thinking in terms of the now and only the now instead

Of the future consequences of their behavior—long term. And Jesus says that He comes from above; He descends from the eternal realm. And He calls the Christian to live his life in light of eternity, and that his values are to be measured by transcendent norms of eternal significance.

I have a column that you know of in “Tabletalk,” our magazine, and what’s the byline, what’s the title of the column? “Right Now Counts…” what? “Forever.” Why do I choose that byline? Just to be cute? I did it because I said if there’s only one message that I can give to my generation,

And I can say the same message over and over and over again until people begin to think about it, it’s that. That’s the one voice that I want to scream from the streets—right now counts forever. What you do now has eternal significance.

And I did that consciously aware of the fact that we are being pressed upon by every side from the philosophy of the secularist who says, bottom line, right now counts for what?—right now. There is no eternity; there is no eternal perspective.

You’ve heard it said a jillion times “there are no absolutes;” there are no abiding principles by which human life is to be judged, is to be embraced, is to be evaluated. All reality is restricted or limited to the now. We see it in different phraseology in theology.

We’ve seen an attempt in twentieth century theology to produce a secularized gospel. Remember the Death of God movement? One of the most important books that came out of the Death of God movement by Dr. Van Buren was called the “Secular Meaning of the Gospel,” in which he talked in terms of synthesizing

Classical Christianity with the philosophy of secularism. But how can you do that without declaring the death of God? And you see the death of God, in the terms of the loss of transcendence, the loss of the eternal, means for you the death of man—because it means that history has no transcendent

Goal, no eternal purpose, that the meaning of your life is summed up in the words on the tombstone—born 1925; died 1985—that’s it. You have a terminal point, a beginning and an ending with no ultimate significance. This is called the theology or the philosophy of the “hic et nunc”—”the here and the now.”

Do you have to go to the library and get a dusty tome of philosophy, a heavy weighty treatise on moral philosophy to be exposed to these ideas? Where else do you see it? AUDIENCE: The media’s full of it. SPROUL: The media is full of it.

You know my favorite illustration of it is the beer advertisement: “You only go around life once, so do it with gusto.” And you see the guy out in the sailboat and this wind is blowing his hair and the salt spray is splashing at his face, and he’s having a fantastic time right now.

Ok? Pepsi calls it what? “The now generation.” Do it now. Do it now, because the message that comes through—you better get it now, because there is no tomorrow ultimately. Now we’re going to consider hedonism later, but one of the themes of the Epicureans who

Were hedonists in antiquity, one of … the bottom line of their philosophy was, “Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow you die.” Contrast that with Jesus. “Lay up treasures in heaven.” Think in terms of eternity, long-range implications.

Do you see this touches us most heavily, not simply in how we handle our bank accounts or how we speculate philosophically, but it touches us at the level of how we invest our lives, because life is an investment?

And the question that modern man has to answer is he going to invest his life for short-term benefits or for long-term gain? And every time you are faced with a moral decision, the temptation to do something now that may have harmful after effects, you are caught up in the tension and the conflict

Between two worldviews right now. Do you live for the present? Or do we live for eternity? Because, again, at the core of our Biblical understanding of life and of our moral behavior is that there are actions and that every action not only has a cause but it also has what?—a

Result or a consequence. And the consequence takes us to tomorrow, and tomorrow and tomorrow. What did Shakespeare say? “Creeps at its petty pace from day to day to the last syllable of recorded time.” But for the Christian there is no last syllable of recorded time.

Our lives are forever, but beyond the secular or the “saeculum” there is the eternal. And that’s what the Christian faith is all about. Why should a person be worried about salvation in terms of personal redemption if there is no eternal dimension? What is the mission of the church if secularism is correct?

Why should we be concerned about redemption of individuals? All we can really do—and churches get into this—all we can really do, is minimize pain and suffering for a season. We can never really offer ultimate answers to the human predicament, because for the

Secularist there is no ultimate answer because there is no ultimate realm. This side of eternity is the exclusive sphere of human activity. It’s not by accident, as we will see, that for the most part those who buy into secularism, who are thinking people, ultimately embrace a philosophy of despair.

And that despair, it’ll manifest itself in a host of ways—escapism, through drugs, alcohol, and other forms of behavior to dull the senses from the message that is being proclaimed and being screamed from every corner of our culture—There is no tomorrow ultimately.

It is a philosophy of despair, and it is right now competing for men’s minds in the United States of America. What we’re going to look at in the weeks to come are the constituent elements that make up secularism—humanism, you’ve heard of secular humanism, there’s also secularistic

Existentialism, positivism, and those different philosophies may be in the collision course with each other but they all embrace one common point; namely, the denial of the transcendent and of the eternal. Look for it in your culture. Be aware of it when you see it.

For we need to understand the world in which we live.

#Secularism #Christian #Worldview #R.C #Sproul