COTANGENT – By Daphne Cardillo
Among the Christian believers today, there is a rising concern in the resurgence of cults and occult practices in their very midst. Satanic worship, which gained prominence in England and became more organized in the United States, caters to people from high and low places that insidiously encroach their ways into the Christian churches. Other cults of the primordial kind however, draw members from among the society’s disillusioned and lost.
The rapid rise of materialism subsequently pulled men away from the church, relegating spiritual matters to the economically unproductive – the young, the old, and invariably, women. Side by side with the rise of materialism, the very issue of relevance of the church to society hangs like a Sword of Damocles, that much as Christians profess not to be transformed by the world, they are the only set of believers who attempt to interpret the Scripture to adapt to the changing world. The Bible has long been translated and translated and even paraphrased to be applicable “in the context of….”
Then, as if to cast away sins of guilt and shame, some point to the cults and the occult as the anathema of a broken church, declaring that Satan is alive and is here to rule the earth.
Satanic worship is merely a rebellion against the establishment. It makes a desperate attempt at distorting everything that represents Christianity; from inverting the cross and singing hymns backward to mimicking basic church rituals. It cannot even be original, employing a bit of the ancient science of astrology and alchemy mixed with oriental mysticism to achieve its warped ends. Other cults for that matter are not much of a threat. They have self-defeating mechanisms (e.g. mass suicide by members of Heaven’s Gate) that with their depressing world outlook, they will simply self-destruct even without invoking Jesus name.
This brings me to the news of satanic practices that occasionally circulate in our midst. I came home once to be greeted by a crying child who was scared of “Satanism.” Her friend called over the phone to warn her not to roam outside the house. Now, now, I guess there should be a more concrete object of fear for our children to be afraid of than an abstraction like Satan if we intend to sow fear among the young.
But even if that “scare” about Satanism did not break out, why is it that those who profess to be in Christ are the rabid ones who blame Satan for the maladies besetting us? It’s like blaming the communists for every bomb that explodes in our midst. Satan has been made as a scapegoat for the consequences of man’s self-righteousness and self-will, not to mention the old sins of pride, envy, and hate. That strategy seems to absolve us of the responsibility of our own actions.
Look here. We have not only destroyed our own kind but we have destroyed nature. We have placed a hole at the ozone layer of the atmosphere causing our bodies to unduly deteriorate due to the uncontrolled heat and ultraviolet radiation coming from the sun. We have ravaged the forests and seas thereby altering the ecological balance and perilously exposing us to the extremes in weather and climate. We produce narcotics and we produce deadly weapons. We break our moral values and we break our families. The list is endless.
Maybe there is some kind of deception here. Satanism, the resurgence of cults and the occult, or doomsday scenario for that matter is not the issue. We are simply being tuned to be scared. So, beware.
To embark on fear is the first step towards being yoked.