This past Monday morning, I was teaching hundreds of ministry school students at Christ for the Nations in Dallas on the topic of demons and deliverance. During the class, I stated that in the days ahead, I believed that satanic manifestations would become much more open and overt in our society. Rather than hiding himself in the culture, the devil will reveal himself more clearly.
After teaching, I got back to my room and began to read headlines and receive emails that confirmed the very thing I was saying. (More on that in a moment.)
Of course, we’ve been seeing this trend for years now.
One prominent example would be the rise of Drag Queens in our culture, some of them in overtly satanic attire, reading to toddlers in libraries, and performing at churches.
Another prominent example would be the “Shout Your Abortion” movement and the celebration of radical, pro-abortion legislation. This is in stark contrast to the old Bill Clinton adage that abortion should be “safe, legal, and rare.”
Back in the late 1960s and early 1970s, there was a radical feminist group with the acronym WITCH, standing for the Women’s International Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell. (I kid you not.) They certainly got their message across!
But most groups are not that overt (even if tongue in cheek), and gay activists learned decades ago that the in-your-face, “We’re here, we’re queer, get used to it” approach was not working. Instead, gay strategists adopted a policy of presenting themselves to be exactly the same as the couple next door, just like you in every way, except gay. (This was laid out in the watershed 1989 book After the Ball: How America Will Conquer It’s Fear and Hatred of Gays in the 90’s.)
So, from a strategic viewpoint, most groups wanting to bring about radical change to society do so in more covert, incremental ways rather than announcing, “We’re a terrorist conspiracy from Hell!”
In the same way, Satan doesn’t march around as a huge, horned dragon carrying a pitchfork.
As a senior demon counseled a younger demon in C. S. Lewis’s classic book The Screwtape Letters, “The fact that ‘devils’ are predominately comic figures in the modern imagination will help you. If any faint suspicion of your existence begins to arise in his mind, suggest to him a picture of something in red tights, and persuade him that since he cannot believe in that (it is an old textbook method of confusing them) he therefore cannot believe in you.”
These days, however, it’s as if Satan is coming out in full force, red tights and all — if not literally, then metaphorically. What else can be said of the performance of “Unholy” at the Grammy Awards this past Sunday night? As the Breitbart headline announced, “Non-Binary Pop Star Sam Smith Performs BDSM, Devil-Themed ‘Unholy’ at the Grammys.” How lovely!
But even that only told part of the story.
As explained in more detail by the American Family Association, “During the annual Grammy Awards ceremony on Feb. 5, originally designed to recognize outstanding artists in the music industry, Pfizer pharmaceutical company felt it fitting to sponsor performers Sam Smith, who claims to be non-binary, and Kim Petras, who claims to be transgender. These two gave the nation a Satan-themed performance of their song ‘Unholy,’ in which Petras performed inside a cage with drag queens dressed in devil costumes, while Smith gyrated in a costume with devil horns sticking out from a top hat.
“The entire ‘performance’ depicted a hellish scene with lots of darkness, blood red colors and flames.”
So, you have: 1. the name of the song, “Unholy”; 2. both lead performers denying their biological realities, one of them wearing devil’s horns; 3. drag queens in devil costumes; 4. BDSM-related themes; 5. and the fires of Hell. I would say that is pretty clear!
No wonder podcaster Liz Wheeler tweeted, “Don’t fight the culture wars, they say. Meanwhile demons are teaching your kids to worship Satan. I could throw up.”
Compared to some other past hits (whose lyrics are virtually unrepeatable in moral circles), the lyrics to “Unholy” are relatively tame. It is the overall message of the Grammy performance that shouts out its depravity loudly and clearly.
Similar to this is the announcement from The Satanic Temple that it is raising funds to provide “free religious [meaning Satanic] telehealth medication abortion care in New Mexico.”
But this could be good news for us as followers of Jesus. The greater the darkness, the clearer our light is seen. May it shine brightly in front of the whole world! And may we shine as lights without shame, without compromise, and without hypocrisy.
And don’t be surprised if, in the days ahead, in front of your very eyes, you witness scenes as if taken straight out of the Bible where, in broad daylight, visibly demonized people get set free in Jesus’ name — dramatically, gloriously, and in full public view.
Things are heating up.
(For a great “holy” version of “Unholy” by a contemporary Gospel artist, go here. It’s titled, “If Sam Smith and Kim Petras’ ‘Unholy’ were a Christian song by Beckah Shae.”)