Satanic Statue Unveiled in Detroit Veils the Real Satan
The recent unveiling of a satanic statue in Detroit has made “Satan” a trending topic. But do satanic images reflect the real Satan revealed in the Bible?
Social media was abuzz this past weekend with news stories about the unveiling of a statue claiming to depict Satan the devil. The event occurred in Detroit, Michigan, on Saturday night, July 25, and was hosted by the Detroit chapter of the Satanic Temple.
The organization had previously attempted to have the statue placed on the grounds of the Oklahoma State Capitol to sit alongside a 10 Commandments monument. The Satanic Temple’s motivation was to express its opposition to biblical-themed images on government land. That attempt failed, so the statue was instead unveiled in Detroit (which has one of the largest chapters of the Satanic Temple).
The statue portrays an image of Satan known as Baphomet. It depicts him with wings, a human body, the head of a goat and hooves. The installation eerily includes two children gazing upward at the image. It is reported that when the statue was unveiled, many in the crowd cheered and chanted “Hail Satan.”
As intended, this was met with outrage by the Christian community. But events like this shouldn’t surprise us—Satanism, witchcraft and sorcery have existed for a long time. There has always been a small element of society that openly claims to worship Satan; and there are others who don’t go that far, but still dabble in various forms of the occult.
Interestingly, the Satanic Temple itself doesn’t dogmatically believe that Satan is a real, personal being. The organization’s website defines Satanism as embracing “rational inquiry removed from supernaturalism and archaic tradition-based superstitions” and “blasphemy as a legitimate expression of personal independence from counter-productive traditional norms.”
Does this really represent the main work and goals of the real devil? Is Satan’s influence limited to the relatively small number of people involved in Satanism and the occult?
The real Satan doesn’t care what religion you are. His goal is to deceive you to reject the true God in any way he can.Satan’s work is much bigger than Satanism
Consider this: The real Satan probably isn’t very concerned about the statue unveiled in Detroit or the activities of those in the Satanic Temple or the occult. Don’t get me wrong; he is pleased when people worship him in any form. But the Baphomet image does not look like the real Satan, and his primary goal isn’t the promotion of outright Satanism.
The truth is that the real work of the devil is much more subtle and sinister. Frankly, his work is much bigger than the Satanic Temple or the occult movement.
Satanism could be considered the micro level of Satan’s work. He influences a small percentage of people to embrace him directly. But he is much more interested in his macro-level work. The Bible refers to him as “the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world” (Revelation 12:9, emphasis added).
Yes, the majority of mankind remains deceived by Satan.
Jesus Christ referred to Satan as the “ruler of this world” (John 12:31). The apostle Paul referred to him as “the god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4).
These verses alone should tell us that the real Satan’s influence is much bigger than Satanism. So how does Satan control the world?
Two basic facts about Satan
Satan is real. He is trying to influence and deceive you. But if you have a narrow view of his work, thinking that it is only blatant displays of evil, you are powerless against him. In order to fight your enemy, you must understand his true nature and tactics.
Here are two basic facts you need to know about him:
1. Satan’s goal is to influence human beings to worship anything and in any way that is opposed to God’s commands.
Satan isn’t really concerned whether you directly worship him or not. He actually doesn’t care what you do, believe or worship. The only thing he really cares about is that you not worship and obey the true God. Satan influences people in countless ways to fill the hole where God should be in their lives.
Notice some of the ways he influenced people in the Bible:
- In essence, Satan influenced Adam and Eve to worship themselves by deciding for themselves that ignoring God’s command not to eat the forbidden fruit was a good idea. He used the powerful argument of observation and human reasoning to separate them from God (Genesis 3:1-5). He didn’t try to convince them to openly worship him.
- Satan tried to influence Job by attacking his wealth, family and health. His goal was to influence Job to “curse” God (Job 1:11).
- Satan influenced David to “number Israel” (1 Chronicles 21:1). He wanted David to do something God told him not to do (2 Samuel 24:10).
- Satan influenced Peter to openly disagree with Jesus Christ (Matthew 16:22-23).
The bottom line is that Satan doesn’t care what we do—as long as we don’t worship God. The apostle Paul identified lawlessness as the “working of Satan” (2 Thessalonians 2:9). He wants us to disobey God’s law.
2. Satan appears harmless—not sinister.
Satan is often artistically portrayed like the Baphomet statue. Though he is both gruesome and frightening, such images only serve to confuse people about how he operates.
Satan was created as an archangel—a glorious angelic being described as “perfect in beauty” from the day he was created (Ezekiel 28:11-12). It was his lust for God’s authority that led to his rebellion (Isaiah 14:13-14). We don’t know what he looks like now, just that the Bible likens his character and behavior to a dragon, snake and a lion (Revelation 12:9; 20:2; 1 Peter 5:8).
Note this important statement in 2 Corinthians 11:14: “For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.”
Satan’s greatest tactic is to pose as a representative of God. He primarily works through people who look religious on the surface: “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. … Therefore it is no great thing if his [Satan’s] ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness” (verses 13, 15).
This may be hard to accept, but it is the biblical truth. The greatest servants of Satan are not people who label themselves as Satanists. His greatest servants are those who appear as Christians—who profess to believe in God and represent Jesus. On the surface they appear to be righteous—just as Satan appears to be a righteous angel of light. But under the surface, they teach and practice Satan’s central characteristic: lawlessness (Matthew 7:23; 13:41; 1 John 3:4). In other words, they reject either all or parts of God’s law (Matthew 5:19).
The uncomfortable and sad truth is that this term—lawlessness—describes much of modern Christianity. For example, nearly all churches reject the Fourth Commandment, which teaches we should observe the Sabbath day on the seventh day of the week (Exodus 20:8-11).
Guard yourself against Satan
The real Satan doesn’t care what religion you are. His goal is to deceive you to reject the true God in any way he can. It doesn’t matter to him if you’re an avowed Satanist, an atheist, an agnostic, a Hindu or a professing Christian. If he can get you to reject all (or part) of God’s law—then he has succeeded.
The Baphomet statue unveiled in Detroit only veils the real Satan. Yes, it is evil and sinful. But don’t let it deceive you about Satan’s real work in our world today. He is much more deceptive and cunning than that.
Once you understand Satan’s true nature, then you must learn how to fight against him. Here are four biblical keys to resisting Satan and his influence:
- Draw close to the true God (James 4:7-8).
- Be sober, vigilant and steadfast in the true faith (1 Peter 5:8-9).
- Pray daily for God’s protection from Satan’s deceptive influence (Matthew 6:13).
- Keep all the 10 Commandments of God (Matthew 19:17).
To learn more about how the real Satan works, read our article “God vs. Satan.”
Photo: Chris Switzer