From the mid-fifties to the early sixties, post World War II American society all unaware, was subjected to a new onslaught of the evil one. The enemy of our souls, with his demonic fallen angel’s wisdom, stepped in to take full advantage of, and further cloud the minds of the upcoming generation. His plan here was threefold. Number one to distract minds away from previous revivals. Number two, to keep warfare going, in the churches. Then number three is to collectively so clutter the minds and schedules of each current generation that they literally become too busy for spiritual things.
As a result of the trauma of World War I, the Great Depression, and then, within a reasonably short time in history World War II, there was suddenly born in the hearts and minds of the desire to build strong happy family units. Someone said: “America needed to laugh again” as it had sown so many tears in the past few decades. Until that time were simply hard working providers, with little time or money for fun. A large percentage of mothers were stay at home moms, and there was a strong moral carryover from the powerful revivals and life transforming messages of the late 1800’s. In his strategy to change this from a Christian nation which starting with our earliest settlers with a firm and Godly foundation, to a pagan nation the master of deception immediately jumped on this convenient bandwagon!
How do you get an entire nation to accept something that they never would have accepted before? “Grandma and Grandpa didn’t do it, Mom and Dad didn’t do it, and we are not going to do it either” was the norm in America. Whatever the “it” was, if it was any type of questionable moral practice, most families then prevented it from coming into their homes!
Hitler used promises of prosperity within a crushed economy, promising a car in every driveway and a chicken in every pot to get people to change their views and accepting his corrupt philosophies. During other times in history, tyrannical dictators used fear tactics to cause people to cave into a new way of thinking, that was different from that of their forefathers. However, during this time in our American culture Satan simply made the immoral funny, and it worked.
Witchcraft, for example, would have never been accepted in the forties and fifties but in 1964 the “Addams Family” and the same year “The Munsters” on ABC made formally “horror” type characters funny, and for a couple of years both shows were a big success. Satanism invaded our living rooms. Magic, spells, witches, warlocks, ghosts, etc. were the norm on every show, mixed with a lot of slapstick humor, what was once scary, and even considered evil by millions quickly became cute and funny.
Within the same time window and again ironically on ABC, another program started called “Bewitched” and aired for eight years. In this show a New York City ad executive falls in love and gets married to a woman whom he soon discovers is a practicing witch. Then in 1965 NBC created a program called “I Dream of Jeannie” which ran for five years. Its story line had a military officer find a bottle on an island, in which released the beautiful and scantily dressed genie named Jeannie. Jeannie always wanted to do anything to please her master. It quickly became a huge hit among middle aged American men. Keep in mind Satan’s behind the scenes goal was to lay a foundation to get a post revival nation to accept the practices of witchcraft. He had long range plans to deceive us with what the old time Christians used to call the “One eyed devil” in everyone’s living room.
It’s been said tongue and cheek “Sometimes God says “Satan you go first.” Although the enemy was laying out his best plans God was about to move.
Within that same time period in God sent to our nation something called the “Charismatic Movement.” Depending on which account or organizational affiliation that you want to quote, the earliest reports that I have read started somewhere in the 1950s. This move of God was completely recognized in the Roman Catholic Church in 1967 and later endorsed by two different Popes. This was a revival unlike anyone had ever heard of or seen. It focused around the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Reports in the tens of thousands, among people groups of all walks of life, reported that “the gifts of the Holy Spirit were being poured out everywhere.” Many felt Peter’s quote of the prophet Joel was being fulfilled. “In those days says God I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh.” Joel 2:28, Acts 2:15 (KJV)
The charismatic movement was more characterized by spiritual experiences than by the reports brokenness of repentance and conversions to Christ that marked other revivals. Of course Satan once again went right to work muddying the waters of the countless testimonies of healings, and deliverances from life controlling addictions and other miracles that were everywhere.
The enemy had so successfully clouded the minds of the masses in America by making black magic funny that on April 30th 1966 Anton LaVey opened the Church of Satan in San Francisco California. Although as usual the outcry of the “after the fact” church of this nation was noted, the enemy’s foothold was firmly established. Today reports are that witchcraft, one of the works of the flesh, listed in Galatians 5:20,21 that will keep unrepentant hearts out of heaven, is growing exponentially.
In a recent book author Raymond Buckland entitled “Witchcraft from the Inside” he states that witchcraft is the fastest growing religion in America and he claims that “find out why the “religion of the people” is destined to become the popular American alternative to Judaism, Christianity, and Buddhism.
Can we say with Paul, “For we are not ignorant of Satan’s devices?” 2nd Corinthians 2:11b? Not yet!