The Satanic Bible

The Satanic Bible was published in 1969 by Anton Szandor LaVey to explain the philosophy and ritual practices of his Church of Satan, which he founded in 1966. He was an atheist who didn’t actually believe in Satan, but he claimed to believe in what Satan stood for. According to him, Satan is a liberator who tells us to indulge in our carnal desires. There is no Heaven or Hell, so the here and now is all that matters. LaVey decided to call this Satanism instead of humanism since his philosophy is more than just a way of life. It is a religion with ceremony and dogmas.

Satanism challenges the divine laws of God with the opinions of man who had no understanding of the Bible. The Holy Bible says to love your enemies and pray for those who’ve done you wrong. The Satanic Bible says to hate your enemies and seek revenge. It also portrays God as evil for allowing death. Instead of thanking God for life, Satanists curse Him for allowing their underserving lives to expire. This is a doctrine of ungrateful selfishness. God owes us nothing.

On the first page of the Satanic Bible, LaVey accuses Christians of being hypocrites. He mentions that at the age of 16 he was an organ player in a carnival and he would see men lusting after half-naked girls dancing at the carnival on a Saturday night. Then, the next morning, he would see the same men sitting in church pews at the other end of the carnival lot. And the next Saturday they’d be back at the carnival lusting after the girls again. He “knew then that the Christian Church thrives on hypocrisy.” All this proves is that hypocrites, as well as the faithful, go to church. Even the Bible acknowledges the existence of hypocrites (Matt. 23:28; Luke 6:42; Rom. 2:3).

Anton LaVey had trouble distinguishing biblical doctrine from man-made doctrine. In times past, doctrine has been created by some of the members of the Catholic Church. This same doctrine is attacked as though it were in the Bible. The most ignorant of these attacks is directed at the seven deadly sins: greed, envy, gluttony, pride, sloth, lust, and anger. These were first selected by St. John Cassian (360-435) and then clarified by Pope St. Gregory the Great (540-604). While they really are (or may lead to) sins, they are not listed together in the Bible. They are also not sinful in the ways they’re defined in the Satanic Bible.

LaVey would have you believe the seven deadly sins are unavoidable. He says being greedy only means you want more than you already have, but its true meaning is an excessive desire for wealth. Envy, he says, is only having a desire to obtain similar possessions as other people. Envy is more than this. It’s having resentment for someone because of what he or she has. He defines gluttony as eating more than you need to keep yourself alive. In actuality, it’s only sinful if you eat to the point that you’re doing harm to your body (this is more than just allowing yourself to become over weight). The Bible tells us that as members of God’s body we should nourish and cherish our flesh (Eph. 5: 29, 30). It’s for this reason that smoking is also a sin.

LaVey goes on to say that pride is just self-respect, but the Bible is referring to arrogance when condemning pride. Being reluctant to get out of bed in the morning supposedly makes you guilty of the sin of sloth. Nothing in the Bible confirms this. The Bible merely warns against being so lazy that is causes poverty (Prov. 6: 6-11; 26: 13-16). Another assumption made is that any and all sexual desire makes a person guilty of lust. The Christian Church is accused of making fornication a sin to ensure that everyone’s existence is the result of their parents sinning. Anyone who would make this claim obviously doesn’t even know what fornication is. Its very definition is sex outside of wedlock. There’s no such thing as fornication between a married couple.

Finally, it’s presumed that defending yourself makes you guilty of the “sin” of anger. The Bible specifically says anger alone is not a sin (Eph. 4: 26), and it doesn’t forbid us to defend ourselves. When Jesus said to turn the other cheek after being struck (Matt. 5:39), it wasn’t to be taken literally. He said this not long after telling His audience to pluck out an eye if it causes them to sin, and cut off a hand if it causes them to sin (Matt 5:29, 30). Being told to turn the other cheek was a warning against repaying evil with evil (Rom. 12: 17; I Thes. 5: 15; I Pet. 3: 9). God will repay those who do us wrong, so we don’t need to avenge ourselves (Rom. 12:19). Seeking revenge and defending yourself are two entirely different issues. When approached by a Roman army commander, Jesus not only didn’t condemn his profession, He commended the commander for having great faith (Matt 8:5-10). Old Testament warriors were also commended in the New Testament for their faithful service (Heb. 11: 30-34). If you’re still not convinced, consider the fact that prior to His crucifixion Jesus told His disciples to sell their garments to buy swords for self-defense (Luke 22: 36). The only time Jesus opposed self-defense was when it came to protecting His own life, thereby allowing the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy (Matt 26: 50-54).

Just when you think the rants couldn’t get any more absurd, it’s argued that many churches have carnivals to raise money, and a carnival “used to mean the celebration of the flesh.” What does a word’s original meaning prove? The word “agony” used to mean an athletic contest, and the word “bribe” used to mean alms given to a beggar. What something used to mean is irrelevant. I do, however, agree with another argument that was made. Many churchgoers have changed their view on what’s acceptable in order to “keep up with the times”. I Timothy 3: 1-5 say times will come when lovers of pleasure, boasters, without self-control, etc. will have a form of godliness but deny its power. The Satanic Bible actually agrees with the Holy Bible on this issue.

Anton LaVey adhered to his distorted views of Christianity until he died on October 29, 1997. He leaves behind a legacy of followers who accept his criticisms of the Bible without looking into it for themselves. Many of them are so devout that they perform the rituals he made up with his own wild imagination. His form of Satanism allegedly fulfills man’s need for ceremony and fantasy, so his followers make altars and perform rituals for an entity they claim doesn’t even exist. The Satanic Bible doesn’t teach its followers to make sacrifices, so I’ll at least give them credit for not being that loony. But their rituals do involve lighting candles and drinking from chalices. LaVeyan Satanists should think twice before they call Christians silly, blind followers.

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