We teach that the essence of the Fall is usurping the authority of the heart by placing reason on the throne of the soul. God does not commune with our intellects, but with our hearts. He writes His revelation there in the form of convictions.
So no one should be surprised if we suggest that the major flaw with Western Christian religion in all its forms is the insistence on subjecting faith to human reason. The mere existence of orthodoxy is a serious flaw, because it allows intellect to rule over the ineffable faith of the heart. Isn’t that pretty much what it means to remain under the curse of the Fall?
By the same token, any alleged “Satanism” that reacts to Western religion is just as phony as the Western religion. A lot of stuff that calls itself “Satanism” is mostly anti-churchism. It’s not at all consistent with Satan, since organized Christian religion already tends to follow his doctrine of refusing to let the heart rule over the reason. Most Western churches are still eating from the Tree of Knowledge Good and Evil — AKA, the Tree of Judging Morality by Reason. Mocking those churches is not particularly Satanic, all the more so when you see “Satanic” ritual that merely profanes and reverses Western religious rituals.
Just shouting “Hail Satan” won’t get it. An honestly Satanic religion will faithfully promote the same thing Satan promoted in the Garden of Eden: “Let us eat of the Forbidden Fruit and not trust in anything we cannot verify by reason.” There are some Satanists who preach that, but not many; they are the real deal. No other distinguishing features matter.
Of course, that brings us back to recognizing that Western Civilization as a whole is particularly Satanic, his crowning glory. Nothing has done more to hinder heart-led faith. It’s not that the real moral truth of things has changed, but the nature of Western cultural mythology has truly choked down what the original churches could do in terms of reclaiming our divine heritage from Satan.
Keep in mind: This whole business is all about God’s glory. We see in our English translations of the New Testament references to “salvation.” While it includes the promise of seeing God in Paradise, as Jesus told the Thief on the Cross, the Hebrew concept is mostly a matter of deliverance from Satan’s slavery. When we crawl out of that pit by tearing away the veil of deception, embracing the revelation of God written on our hearts, we begin to reap the promises hinted at in the Law Covenants. We sum up those promises in the Hebrew word shalom. By walking in His truth and harvesting His blessings in communion with Creation, we bring Him glory. That’s the crux of why we still live in this world.
God’s glory does not fail. In any given context, our genuine desire for His glory calls forth the heart-led life that seizes our divine inheritance. Nature bubbles up with grateful worship alongside us in ways we all can share together. On top of that, Our Father finds unique ways to amplify those natural blessings to each of us individually. Anybody can live heart-led and get the goodies from Creation, but those of us who call on the Lord get even more. We gain blessings for which we have no natural expectation, but arise from a genuine conviction of faith in the heart. We call those things “miracles” but they fit right in with what’s perfectly normal for us as followers of Christ.
One thing that plagues us today as we are still trapped in the final stages of Western Civilization is an atmosphere that makes it really difficult to exercise the authority to cast out demons the way it seems to appear in the New Testament. We don’t do it that way because it doesn’t have the same meaning. What we see there belongs there, while the means by which we get the same work done here today tends to be different. A primary reason is that those folks lived in a culture the presumed heart-led living as the noble way, whereas we just about have to make it a conscious effort to cultivate it as faculty wholly alien to our world.
This is why it’s critical that we not try too hard to distinguish between psychosis and demons. We know that God heals. Don’t struggle to differentiate too sharply between natural process and miracles; it’s a continuum. So it is with the things we seek to heal as part of seizing back our lives from Satan. We are not and cannot be ANE people. Our cultural background has changed the trappings and mental imagery in some ways. We cannot make ourselves think like they did, but we can take what we have and submit it to the same Creator God who can restore His truth in any context where people seek His face.
Perhaps if we are facing something so intractable as the Gadarene Demoniac (Luke 8:26-39), we might want to assert our authority forcefully in some way. Most of the time, it’s more gentle and less rushed. Our social culture makes it easier, and almost necessary, that we take more time and guide the victim to assert their own authority. Most victims have no mental categories (none that are accurate, at least) for that ancient kind of ritual protocol. Today we see far more of people casting out their own demons, regardless whether they think of it that way. It’s not so much a focus on the presence of demons as a focus on exploring moral truth. It still amounts to dispossessing a usurper, but we lack the cultural basis for approaching the demonic presence with a proper attitude. The ritual matters not; asserting the fundamental grant of divine authority is the issue.