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Yes, Satan Clubs are a real thing. They are the brainchild of The Satanic Temple and are meant as a push back against the Christian Good News Clubs that exist in about 5000 schools nationwide. Before going deeper with our discussion, though, we need to take a moment to understand what The Satanic Temple is, and also what Satan Clubs are. The names are a actually a bit deceptive.
First of all, The Satanic Temple is not an organization that has anything to do with worshiping Satan. The group uses Satanic imagery to get attention as they seek to “encourage benevolence and empathy, reject tyrannical authority, advocate practical common sense, oppose injustice, and undertake noble pursuits.” The “Satan” imagery is actually just an attention getting mechanism.
In fact, The Satanic Temple is actually an Atheist organization that deems itself as a non-theistic religious and human rights group. Their stated purpose is to preserve and advance secularism and individual liberties. Its followers don’t even believe in spiritual evil or a literal devil. For them, the devil is simply a symbol of “defiance, independence, wisdom, and self-empowerment.”
Thus, the Satan Clubs that they are seeking to put into schools do not have as their purpose to promote the person of Satan. Rather, they want to provide Atheist families with an Atheist organization for their children to participate in after school. They want to offer an alternative to the “religious indoctrination” of religious after-school programs. The activities in these clubs involve such things as science and craft projects, puzzles and games, and lessons about benevolence, empathy, critical thinking, problem solving, and creative expression.
Recently a Satan Club was opened in an elementary school in Moline, Illinois. When it started, two students attended – both from the same family. In spite of the huge publicity the group has generated, there is really not much interest in the club from the public.
But the fact of the club’s existence begs us to ask the question, “How should Christians respond?” When the club was first announced, there was a large public outcry against even allowing it to open. But the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that groups can’t be blocked from doing something like that based on religious reasons (which is a good ruling because it is the ruling that also allows the Good News Clubs to meet in schools). Then, when the club started meeting, there were people who protested against it. But protests like that are not going to change the equation either, and may only stiffen the resolve of those opening them.
There is a better way to respond. The message of The Satanic Temple is the message of Atheism. Rather than trying to use various means to block these non and anti-Christian groups, we need to be meeting the people who are organizing the clubs and sharing Christ with them. We also need to be vocal about sharing with the public the truth about why atheistic beliefs are false. The ONLY actual counter to false beliefs is true beliefs. The Atheists promoting these clubs will not change their minds until their hearts have been changed.
This brings up one more important matter: Way too many Christians simply don’t know how to interact with Atheists (or adherents of other false belief system) in a way that promotes the truth. That is the reason they so often resort to various kinds of protests. They can protest without needing any knowledge about how to either defend the Christian faith or show the flaws in Atheism. But changing hearts and minds requires something more.
Of course, ultimately, the only one who can change hearts and minds is God. But God has determined to use believing human beings as His instruments to bring the truth to the world. And for us to pull that off requires that we get up to speed about how to express the gospel message to those who don’t know Christ – and to do it in a way that they will hear and understand. As Christians, that is our calling.
Freddy Davis is the president of MarketFaith Ministries. He is the author of numerous books and has a background as an international missionary, pastor, radio host, worldview trainer, and entrepreneur. Freddy is a graduate of Florida State University with a BS in Communication, and holds MDiv and DMin degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a popular speaker, particularly on the topic of worldview and its practical implications for the Christian life. He lives in Tallahassee, FL, with his wife Deborah.
You may also contact Freddy at Leadership Speakers Bureau to schedule him for speaking or leadership engagements.
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