On our diabolical pop culture:
There are at least two issues I want to discuss here. One is the old problem of calling out evil in society and whether all that does is highlight and give more attention to the evil that is being done. The other is the elephant in the room for many: that increasingly we have straight out devil worship going on in public, and in pop culture.
The most recent example of all this of course was the recent Grammys where some pretty blatant satanic themes were being celebrated. Whether the artists in question were actually full-on Satanists or simply thought it was neat and cool to push devilish entertainment may be a moot point.
More and more we see entertainers, popular culture, and even statues outside of government buildings running with satanic themes, images, and promotion. It has been going on for some time now. The biblical Christian knows this can never be good, regardless of the motivations behind it.
Satan is never someone to take lightly, nor to celebrate and endorse, nor to turn into a fashion trend or an entertainment icon. Satan is pure evil, and should be shunned, rejected, and stayed away from. The Christian knows we are to resist the devil (James 4:7) and have nothing to do with the works of darkness (Ephesians 5:11).
Back to the Grammys. Two trans performers, Sam Smith and Kim Petras did a song entitled “Unholy” with all the devilish delight in it they could muster. I must say that I never heard of these big cheese pop stars, but their full-tilt satanic performance sure got folks talking – and it was not just Christians discussing it: secular commentators were abuzz as well
With so much ink already spilled on this, I just want to do three things here: share what two others have shared on this; feature a brief discussion I and another Christian had on what those two said; and then close with some quotes from a new article on the matter. A social media friend had shared this:
Ps. Scott Herrin: “COME ON FOLKS! Reality check! I was asked how I feel about the attack on my faith by the Grammys.
Do you think I feel threatened by some attention seeking guy wearing devil horns on his hat, a corset and high heels? Please!
We are giving him exactly what he wants- attention. You think my faith is somehow challenged by these ‘celebrities’ writhing around acting all evil, thinking to themselves, “ I’m so scary… wooOOOooo….you enter watch out!”
Give me a break! Not a chance.
I see that as a silly attempt to act like their father- which is to be expected I guess. They are a bunch of little babies. Besides, the devil wouldn’t show up like that anyway.
I suppose I see evil differently. I see evil in the eyes of the normal looking nice guy that steals children away for trafficking. I see satan in the attractive woman that is ugly on the inside, assassinating others with her gossip and betrayal- lord knows I’ve seen her around. I see evil in the people who use the Bible or a “church” to manipulate believers with heresy and prosperity teaching for financial gain or power.
I see the devil in the re-writing of Scripture to make it fit our immoral lifestyle.
BUT, you know what? I even see the darkness in my own life when I look in the mirror and realize my own pride, the envy, yes- the reality of my own private thoughts and the pain that I caused Jesus on the cross. THIS is what frightens me. How many times have I cast a bad light on our King by not living up to the standards He set before me in the day of my salvation?
This is why I must take up my cross and fight the good fight of faith against daily! I am not alone in the battle. I have God’s legions of angels behind my sword or truth.
I must stand up for those who can’t stand for themselves too! I must put others above myself, love them and help them navigate this world through the grace of our Lord. Some idiot in a devil costume is a freakin joke!
Turn off the stupid television or internet and boom- they’re gone, it’s the reality of this life and the battles we face daily that we can’t simply switch off. We must be armored up and not allow ourselves to be distracted by the ridiculous side shows. We must use the spiritual fruit of self control that was given to us by the Spirit. We have a much bigger picture to be focused on than some nut in a red suit!”
At the same time I noted another post which seemed to offer another take on all this so I said, “Yes there are various angles by which we can look at this issue, eg…” and I posted that other piece by someone called Kaylee Shawn. She had said this:
Man … I am super disappointed to hear of all the Christian artists who were present at the Grammys Sunday night. Not one single one of them took a stand, walked out, or have even spoken about the blatant satanic worship that took place on the stage. I would never be able to sit through a performance like that and not have my spirit convict me. I would have been so uncomfortable and at minimum I would of walked out.
For king and country
Rebecca St James
Maverick City Music
& Many more
My social media friend and I then had this discussion:
Me: So there is some truth in both perspectives – this clown was getting plenty of attention, but the reality of the satanic cesspool that is popular culture is real as well and needs to be called out, etc
Him: I think, for many, it’s a matter of the Church getting its own house in order, before trying to sort out the Grammys.
Me: The church ALWAYS needs to get its own house in order, but as I have said far too often, if we waited for that to fully happen we NEVER would have a prophetic ministry to the world – we can and should do both simultaneously!
Him: For sure, that necessitates picking battles carefully. The garbage shouldn’t be ignored, but it shouldn’t be obsessed over either. I still remember the film “Hells Bells” – it did nothing for the Church, other than fuel its haters.
Me: Yes picking battles matters, but given the MASSIVE influence of pop culture in general and things like the Grammys in particular, believers were quite right to be outraged at this overt and deliberate satan-ification of our culture
Him: I don’t think Scott’s arguing they shouldn’t. He’s simply saying they have the power to turn off the crap. How many of them shared the pictures, or video? They gave the promoters exactly what they wanted – VIRAL saturation of the event. Better to footnote the nonsense, call it out, but do so with full awareness of what their outrage is buying.
Me: It is one thing to try not to give these folks too much attention – but the idea that we just turn it off or do not watch it really helps no one – even if we keep ourselves “pure,” our kids and everyone else are being exposed to this poison. So I have never liked the old argument that if you do not like what is on TV, just don’t watch it – that is not how we be salt and light, and we just lose far too many of our kids with that approach – but I hear what you are saying.
Him: I acknowledge your points. I’m passionate about engaging, but on God’s terms, not the devils. I’ve raised my kids to discern truth from falsehood. I’ve been conscious of avoiding the “sacred bubble”, choosing instead to nurture them into the world – to live what it means to be in it, but not of it – rather than abandon them to the world. Eat the fish, spit out the bones. Christ is still Lord even over a washed-up awards show like the Grannys.
At this point I let the discussion end, since we were more or less on the same page, just pushing different emphases. But I saw a new article today which made some good points so I thought I would tie it all together by quoting from it. The title and subtitle of the piece by Thaddeus Williams are: “Satanism on display at the Grammy Awards: Musical artists don’t have to believe in Satan to do his bidding.” As I had said above, he notes how all this is not new:
Satanic themes have long been a fixture of American music, going back, at least, to legends of Robert Johnson trading his soul to the devil. ACDC released “Highway to Hell” in 1979. Van Halen released “Runnin’ with the Devil” in 1978. The Rolling Stones released “Sympathy for the Devil” in 1968. This is Spinal Tap was hilariously mocking all of this as far back as 1984.
The “Unholy” performance was unique in being the first time that an erotic ritual of devil-worship was targeted at children on a major network during prime time. Petras stated, “I just hope that it inspires kids at home.” What precisely was supposed to inspire kids at home? Smith, donning devil horns, received choreographed worship, while Petras, legs spread, gyrated inside a cage in the face of multiple strippers. How inspiring for the kids.
A standard response is that “Religious Nuts LOSE IT Over Unholy Grammy Performance,” a la the The Young Turks: “These performers probably don’t actually believe the devil exists. Satanic imagery is not actual devil worship. It’s art, you morons!”
Regardless of the performers’ personal beliefs, we should never sacrifice the innocence of children on the altar of artistic expression. Jesus has strong words, something about millstones and the sea, for those who would dare make children stumble (Matthew 18:6).
Their predictable mainstream message is that our desires define reality and we should live our own truths.
Consider a simple distinction between Devil Worship A and Devil Worship B. A describes those doing the bidding of an actual Satan. B refers to those who reject the existence of Satan, but use him artistically to make a point. Smith and Petras would likely put themselves in category B. Does this mean all those “religious nuts” who think that Smith and Petras endorsed actual devil worship can be written off as quacks? Not so fast.
What is the message driven by Smith and Petras, two biological males with XY chromosomes, the first of whom identifies as gender fluid and the second of whom has undergone gender mutilation (at the age of 16) to identify as a female? Their predictable mainstream message is that our desires define reality and we should live our own truths. This was precisely the message of Anton LaVey, the founder of the actual Church of Satanism. LaVey used Satan as a metaphor for bold obedience to one’s own desires over and against all traditions and social expectations. In that sense, the “Unholy” performance was indeed satanic.
But there is a deeper sense, the biblical sense. The message of self-exaltation is hardly, in Madonna’s words, “forging a new path.” It merely repeats the ancient temptation of Satan. The offer to become “like God knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5) is an offer to reject God’s authority and become the sovereign makers of our own reality. Smith and Petras overhype what is literally the oldest lie in human history. Their edginess is archaic, their innovation hopelessly outdated.
It follows that Devil Worship A and B are not mutually exclusive. Those who use satanic imagery to advertise self-definition through uninhibited sexual assertion may not believe in an actual Satan. They, nevertheless, do his bidding. If we seriously reckon with the hard evidence of destruction, especially to young girls’ bodies and psyches, promoted by entertainers who claim to inspire children, then it is hardly a leap to believe in the existence of some malevolent entity who specializes in deception and destruction. https://wng.org/opinions/satanism-on-display-at-the-grammy-awards-1676031920
As mentioned, we must watch out for drawing undue attention to evil and evil performances. But pretending it is not there or just a joke does not help either. The simple truth is, satanic entertainment and worship will only get worse in the days ahead. That kind of stuff never ends well.
Final note: I never did watch the Grammys when they were on, and I have not watched a repeat of the performance in question. However, I suspect that if and when I do, nothing will change in what I said above.