A quote from Anton LaVey, author of The Satanic Bible and founder of the Church of Satan, regarding Halloween has been popping up on social media these last few days. Allegedly LaVey said: “I’m glad Christians let their kids worship the Devil at least one night out of the year.”

If Anton LaVey actually said this he was probably being sarcastic. LaVey himself was an atheist. His brand of Satanism was nothing like what most people envision when they think of devil worship. LaVey’s Satanic philosophy was egotistical, hedonistic, pragmatic, and naturalistic. It wasn’t as overtly demonic as some would suggest.

Here’s a simple summary of LaVey’s brand of Satanism:

– You the individual are the final arbitrator of right & wrong.
– If it feels good to you it must be good for you.
– Deny yourself nothing and you will suffer less.
– If it works, if it is efficient, if it produces results, it is good.
– Self expression and self actualization are the greatest goods.

Of course these ideas are, in a Christian sense, very Satanic in that they are inescapably man centered. These ideas are also, in my opinion, much more destructive and spiritually dangerous than say… dressing up like a robot, a ghost, or a fireman and asking your neighbors for candy.

Halloween, for most, is a spiritually meaningless mass marketed tradition. The expressions of Satanism and “devil worship” that are actually being practiced by the American masses today (including Professing Christians) are more subtle, more culturally entrenched, and are not typically seen as demonic at all. They are usually seen as natural, progressive, pragmatic, and intellectual. I can’t speak for all Christians but for me the mass appeal of these ideas is far more terrifying than tricks & treats.

For some Christians, participating in Halloween is a violation of their conscience. For others, it is not. These are disputable matters that should be informed by Scripture, prayer, your church, and, if you’re a student, your parents. However, what we all can and should agree on is that the Devil accomplishes his goals through the not so obvious as much if not more than the obvious. Be alert. Not every demonic attack comes to us dressed in red tights.