How should we feel about the Satanic conference held in Boston this past weekend. Billed as “the largest Satanic gathering in history,” SatanCon 2023 was “a three-day event which include[d] everything from satanic rituals, entertainment and panels.” And it began “with the tearing apart of a Bible and the ‘Thin Blue Line’ flag, an item which has come to be viewed as a sign of supporting law enforcement and as opposition to the Black Lives Matter movement, MassLive reports.” What should we make of this conference?
The first thing that came to my own heart and mind was pity, not anger. To the extent these people are serious satanists, to that extent they are blind and darkened, fighting a guaranteed losing battle. Barring their own repentance and transformation, they are heading for disaster.
To the extent that Satan is simply a metaphor for their denial of God and their opposition to biblical values, to that extent they are ignorant of the incredible goodness and beauty of the Lord. Either way, I feel bad for them. (According to Dex Desjardins, a spokesman for the Satanic Temple, which sponsored the event, “We do not believe in or worship a literal Satan. We do not believe in or worship symbolic ‘evil.’” We believe that unnecessary suffering is bad, and that things which reduce unnecessary suffering are good.” He added that, for members, Satan is “a central metaphor representing the pursuit of knowledge, personal liberation, and rebellion against arbitrary authority.”)
I also feel bad for them because this highly-touted, sold-out event reportedly drew 800 people. That’s it! Yet this, we were told, was “the largest Satanic gathering in history”? There are thousands of churches across America where, every Sunday morning, far more than 800 people gather to worship the Lord.
No big deal. Just another Sunday. Yet here, an event that drew national attention drew less than 1,000 people.
That being said, I’m fully aware that, as Scripture states, while “We know that we are children of God,” we also know “that the whole world is under the control of the evil one” (1 John 5:19). Billions of people, in one way or another, are in Satan’s grasp. So, the conference, as tiny as it was in terms of overall numbers, did not even represent the tip of the tip of the tip of the iceberg of demonic deception worldwide.
In reality, there have been countless Satanic gatherings throughout history that dwarfed SatanCon 2023, even though they did not overtly bear Satan’s name. In purpose and attitude, though, they were in harmony with his anti-God, anti-Scripture ideals, hence satanic in spirit if not in name.
As for the actual Boston event, the fact that it began by tearing up the Bible along with a pro-police flag makes clear that this was not simply a harmless, kumbaya gathering providing an opportunity for Satanic Temple members to hang out together. (Of course, it was a social event as well, providing members an opportunity to connect.)
Both the Bible and the police force were viewed as “symbols of oppression,” forces which oppose justice and equality and liberation, forces to be rebelled against and rejected. And while the police are far from perfect in doing their jobs, overall they do stand for law and order, without which society would collapse. Is anarchy the desired satanic outcome?
As for the rejection of the Bible, which is perfect, this is just the latest instance of human beings saying, “We do not want the Lord and His Anointed One [meaning, Jesus] to rule over us!” (If you’ve never read Psalm 2, or if you need a refresher, take a moment to read it. You’ll find it more relevant than ever.)
In this light, it’s worth noting that the conference also featured chants of “Hail Satan” — not something to be done as a joke or, far worse, as an act with serious intent — and it offered seminars including: “Sins of the Flesh: Satanism and Self-Pleasure,” and, “Reclaiming the Trans Body: A/theistic strategies for Self-Determination and Empowerment.”
The home page for the conference also featured a link for an “Abortion Clinic Fundraiser.” The verbiage on the link stated, “TST [the Satanic Temple] Health's online clinic was launched to protect the bodily autonomy of our members. As part of our commitment to protecting our members' civil rights and ensuring that our religious rituals can be performed without government interference, the clinic represents one of the most important steps we have taken.
“While abortion clinics are shutting down everywhere, TST is striking back. Please support TST health to ensure the clinic's success and to help expand operations to other states!”
Isn’t this a classic example of calling evil good and good evil, of putting darkness for light and light for darkness? (See Isaiah 5:20) Isn’t this a classic example of turning the world upside down? No wonder they shouted “Hail Satan” and tore up a Bible.
The bad news is that a conference like this garnered national attention and that it was held in such an open and overt way.
The good news is that some of those attending the conference might well become fervent followers of the Lord, loving the Scriptures and sharing the good news with their former colleagues.
As Paul wrote to Christians living in the city of Corinth (in a different context, of course), “that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11)
And so, while I am grieved that this conference took place, I’m not in the least bit surprised.
Hopefully, it will remind us that the battle between darkness and light is real, calling us to redouble our efforts to shine as lights ourselves, demonstrating the goodness of the Lord to a lost, dying, and satanically deceived world. This is not the time for spiritual passivity or sideline faith.
May the Lord have mercy on those who attended SatanCon 2023, and may we hear stories of dramatic conversion to Jesus in the days ahead.