Believers in the Bible understand that Satan is an evil force working to oppose God. He also attempts to deceive people into thinking he created the universe.
The Church of Satan is an American cult founded in 1966 by chat show celebrity Anton LaVey. It promotes anti-Christian moral values such as ethical egoism and animal sacrifice, all with a goal to destroy Christianity.
1. It is not a religion
Contrary to what the media often portrays, satanism is not a religion but an advocacy movement for human rights and rejecting arbitrary authority.
Satanists come in many varieties, but most adhere to Anton LaVey’s teachings on Satanism. These individuals are known as *LeVeyan Satanists* and they believe in natural forces rather than the God of the Bible.
They tend to prioritize self-gratification, pleasure and revenge over all else. Their primary mission is to live life to the fullest, while harboring a fierce hatred towards Christians.
They believe the Bible is filled with myths and lies designed to prevent people from having fun. They believe if you live life to its fullest, there’s no need to fear death or heaven.
Anton LaVey, a former circus performer who founded the Church of Satan in 1966, established its primary philosophy that man should have freedom to indulge in whatever he desires since “divine spiritual and intellectual development has made us the most vicious animal.” As LaVey put it: “Divine spiritual development has made us the most vicious animal.”
Modern day satanism has become a contentious concept due to its potential danger and promotion of ritual abuse and murder.
However, most Satanists are non-theists who view satanism as a personal liberation from traditional theistic beliefs. Additionally, they value nonconformity and rebellion against arbitrary authority.
Modern-day Satanists do not believe in the existence of a devil, rather they use his image as a metaphor for rebellion against arbitrary authority and an endeavor for truth and justice.
2. It is not a cult
When you think of satanism, images of black-clad youths wearing hardcore death metal and ritualistic invocations of demons may come to mind. But if you know what to look for, you might discover that there’s much more behind this facade.
Satanists believe in the evil power of Satan and practice rituals to tap into it for personal benefit. This could be done for pleasure or to protect themselves from negative energies from their bodies, among other reasons.
Satanism differs from traditional Christianity in that it does not revere Satan as God but instead emphasizes his vengeful nature, role as spirit guide to darkness and powers of temptation. In this respect, it shares some similarities to modern witchcraft and Neo-Paganism.
Anton LaVey, a former circus performer and founder of atheistic Satanism, launched the Church of Satan in 1966. Initially based in Los Angeles, it later relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area and now has chapters across America.
Many members of this group are also actively engaged in politics, advocating for religious equality and reproductive rights. Additionally, they run addiction recovery support groups, campaigns against corporal punishment in schools, and refugee assistance outreach initiatives.
Another essential point to note is that most satanists do not believe in the devil. They use his name as a metaphor for rebellion and subversion, as well as their own personal liberation from traditional religious teachings.
Many individuals identify as Satanists, yet the vast majority are harmless and do not pose a danger to society. If you ever come into contact with one, it is best to be patient with them and treat them with respect.
3. It is not a secret society
For decades, satanism has been misunderstood and portrayed as an evil force in popular culture. It is associated with violent acts such as human sacrifice, blood drinking, witchcraft, and even child possession.
But satanism is not as evil as one might think. In fact, many modern Satanists are non-violent activists who champion human rights and freedom of expression.
Some satanic movements are atheistic, agnostic or deistic in nature and reject Christianity as a religion of oppression. Others draw from secular philosophy, occult concepts and black magic – often with influences such as Friedrich Nietzsche, H.L Mencken or Ayn Rand at their core.
Satanists tend not to believe in a god and instead view Satan as a symbolic representation. They oppose any sort of arbitrary authority and reject traditional theistic beliefs.
One reason satanism appeals to so many is its celebration of being an outsider. Canadian author Kate Freuler, who wrote a book about satanism, said she chose the movement because it allowed her to express her “outsider status.”
In contrast to other religious groups, the Satanic Temple is an organization dedicated to politics and civil rights. Additionally, it advocates separation of church and state – something common among cults.
La Carmina summarizes the mission statement of The Temple as follows: “To foster benevolence and empathy among all people, to resist tyrannical authority, to promote practical common sense and justice, and to be guided by our human conscience in undertaking noble pursuits guided by individual will. We do not accept Satan as a demon or being of evil, but his name stands as an inspiring symbol of human freedom and agency.”
4. It is not a movement
The term satanism comes from the Latin phrase Satanism, meaning “the study of evil.” In modern satanism, Satan serves more as a symbol than an actual deity or god; it stands for freedom, knowledge, fearlessness, power and pleasure.
There are various forms of satanism, some of which have grown increasingly popular over time. One such organization is The Church of Satan, founded in 1966 by Anton LaVey and now spread around the globe.
In addition to satanic worship, the Church of Satan offers religious activism. They organize campaigns related to public policy and politics such as protesting monuments on government property.
They oppose corporal punishment in schools and have even called for the removal of a Ten Commandments statue from Oklahoma’s state capitol building.
Though some of these political actions appear out-of-place for a church, they do not necessarily constitute wrongdoing. After all, these decisions stem from deeply held beliefs among group members – just like when Quakers get involved in political campaigns.
Other examples include the QAnon conspiracy movement, which claims that a secret Satanic cabal is responsible for kidnapping children by the thousands and engaging in ritualized sexual abuse. This has inspired numerous violent acts throughout America.
The Satanic Temple takes a more communal-minded approach to politics. They believe people should have the freedom to practice their religion without being subject to oppressive government policies or laws. Additionally, the temple has an enthusiastic commitment to the arts, encouraging members to incorporate art into their daily lives.
5. It is not a cult of death
Cults are religious groups characterized by devotion to an unusual cause or movement (Richardson 1994). Unfortunately, cults often carry with them a negative connotation and many people view them as dangerous.
Cults can pose a threat to society and should be monitored by authorities; however, there are also numerous Satanic groups that have never been affiliated with anything but their own beliefs. Some neo-Satanic movements have even gained religious recognition – such as the U.S.-based Church of Satan founded in 1966.
In 1966, Anton LeVay founded the Church of Satan in California to honor Satan as a symbol for anti-Christian moral values. Their use of occult powers and ritual rituals, particularly using satanic demons, gained them national notoriety.
LaVey’s 1969 publication of his Satanic Bible was instrumental in building the Church of Satan into an expansive organization. Drawing upon his personal blend of black magic, occult concepts, and secular philosophy to offer an alternative to Christianity, LaVey’s book offered readers a viable alternative.
Modern satanic movements may be agnostic or atheistic, rejecting traditional Abrahamic religions as hypocritical and repressive. Some groups also advocate extreme forms of individualism and ethical egoism.
These groups often combine inverted forms of Christianity with romantic gnostic elements. They are commonly found among adolescent gangs and are often influenced by heavy metal rock music, Christian scare propaganda, role-playing games and horror imagery.
Some satanic organizations are more mainstream than others, though their membership tends to be small. One prominent example is the Church of Satan, which has gained notoriety recently due to its attempts to have Baphomet statues legally placed on two state capitol grounds.