As a means of systematically and objectively examining rock music for signs of the devil’s influence, I want us to consider some of the basic beliefs of those who are willfully engaging in satanic religion. As a starting point, we’ll look at this book, The Satanic Bible. The unholy scriptures of the legally incorporated Church of Satan, The Satanic Bible was written by the church’s founder, Anton Szandor LaVey.
LaVey is perhaps the most famous satanist of this century. Along with establishing his own religion, he has served as a consultant to Hollywood on movies that deal with the occult, even playing the role of the devil in films like “Rosemary’s Baby” and “Invocation of my Demon Brother”, an underground movie by noted occultist Kenneth Anger. What does LaVey’s Satanic Bible teach and are these teachings found today in rock music?
Beginning with the Person of Jesus Christ – “I dip my forefinger in the watery blood of your impotent, mad redeemer and write over his thorn-torn brow ‘the true prince of evil the king of slaves.’” (The Book of Satan, Chapter 1, verse 6)
The obvious hatred expressed here is understandable when we consider that Satan’s legal control over mankind was total and invulnerable to any human effort at breaking it until Jesus. On the cross, His thorn-torn brow and pierced body provided the perfect blood sacrifice for our sins. Now Satan’s once invincible power is broken over anyone who believes on that blood. It’s no wonder he hates it. Can we find this demonic doctrine in rock ‘n’ roll? Sadly, yes.
Jesus has become the focus of more ridicule in rock music than any other personality. Virtually every facet of His life and ministry is mocked and criticized.
This rock anthology is entitled “The Birth of the Y” and features the hideous “Litany of Satan” we heard earlier. Here history’s most significant event, the incarnation of God, is questioned and trivialized.
In like manner, Nina Hagen’s “Nun, Sex, Monk, Rock” lampoons the Madonna and Christ. Along with songs about reincarnation, witchcraft, and blaspheming the Holy Spirit, she sings: “And my little baby I tell you, God is your father.” (Nina Hagen, “Cosmic Shiva”)
Jefferson Airplane’s song “The Son of Jesus” is filled with sacrilege suggesting among other things that Jesus was involved in the occult, had bastard children by Mary Magdalene, and that God the Father was sexually attracted to Jesus’ daughter.
This same blatant disrespect for the Messiah characterized the life and art of John Lennon. One biographer records that Lennon, early on in his career with the Beatles, drew a cartoon of a crucified Jesus. At the foot of the cross was a pair of bedroom slippers. (The Beatles, Second Revised Edition, Hunter Davies, McGraw-Hill, 1985, p. 103) (The actual cartoon featured in the video is another drawing by John Lennon that appeared on page 189 of his “Skywriting by Word of Mouth”, (Harper & Row Publishers, 1986))
During the Beatles’ formative years in Germany, another biographer recounts how on Good Friday, the day that marks the Lord’s crucifixion, Lennon made some nuns the target of his abuse. As they left their convent to attend worship services “they were shocked to behold across the street, a grotesque life-size effigy of Jesus on the cross, which John had fashioned and hung from his balcony. As the sisters gazed in astonishment at this sacrilegious display, John started pelting them with Durex condoms filled with water.” To top it off, he urinated on them while crying “rain drops from heaven.” (The Lives of John Lennon, Albert Goldman, William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1988, p. 120)
In his song “God”, Lennon not only records his indifference to Christ but abases the Son of God by drawing a comparison between Jesus, JFK, Bob Dylan, Hindu mantras, and the Beatles. These examples taken together make it obvious that Lennon’s infamous quote about Christ meant a lot more than just a commentary on the unnatural adulation given to the Beatles. He longed for the obliteration of Jesus as Messiah and Christianity as a faith.
The group Ludichrist pictorially and musically echoes Lennon’s sentiments.
This type of overt blasphemy is not unique. Virtually dozens of groups openly sing about wickedness that, until recently, could not be found outside of occult book stores. For many it’s a matter of economics.
Rebellion sells in rock and for the hardest types, what could be more rebellious than to revile Christ and blaspheme God. Whether or not this makes them less satanic is a question we’ll address later. But for now, consider the music of Merciful Fate, a group that takes their satanism seriously. On the song “The Oath”, King Diamond sings “I deny Jesus Christ the Deceiver and abjure the Christian faith, holding in contempt all of its works.”
An icon for this confession of satanic faith could very well be this album cover by Celtic Frost with the devil or some demon using Jesus as a sling shot. Or these albums by Christian Death. This one is entitled “Sex and Drugs and Jesus Christ.” The bottom portion of this album, “Blasphemy in the UK”, is not shown because it features male genitalia. Though they belong to the man on whose chest the image of Jesus is projected, it’s clear when you look at the whole album that the intent is to uncover the nakedness of Christ.
Punk artist Lydia Lunch has performed with a number of bands in the last decade among them Teenage Jesus and the Jerks. Their songs include “Crown of Thorns” and the strident “I am the Lord Jesus”, most of which was recorded backwards.
In the world of rock, even the most significant, loving and sacrificial acts of the Lord’s life, like the Last Supper, are dragged through the mud. In this, His last meal before His death, Jesus gave His disciples the bread and the wine to initiate a new covenant, a promise of love and forgiveness. The bread symbolized His broken body and the wine His shed blood together the horrible price He was to soon pay in order to redeem man. There was nothing funny about it. Graceland renames the Last Supper “The First Snack” and pictorially suggests that the menu included a prostitute. Here MDC’s album “Millions of Damn Christians” mocks, among other things, the blood of Jesus by connecting it with the key phrase from a well-known beer commercial.
This blasphemy is echoed by the album artwork for “Blood on the Snow.” The name for a group of witches, Coven has a demon playing his fiddle over the spilled blood of Christ. Likewise, the Cure’s popular album “The Head on the Door” features along with songs like “The Baby Screams”, the song “The Blood.”
Hebrews 9:22 states that “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin.” The blood spoken of here is that of the Lamb of God. Apart from His blood our sins remain as an eternal wedge separating us from God. To mock the blood is to deny our only escape route from hell and that’s why the desecration of the Lord’s blood through ritual and liturgy is foundational to satanic religion.
Other aspects of Christ’s sacrifice are mocked as well. As we saw with Nina Hagen and will see in great detail in our next section on the cross, a favorite occult technique for desecrating the sacred is to mix it with the profane. Take for example the crown of thorns that Jesus was made to wear. We’ve already seen Ozzy’s. The Damned and Terence Trent D’Arby also mock the crown, with D’Arby throwing in the crucifixion for good measure. This decidedly non-Christian group even calls itself “Crown of Thorns”.
Moving on to Christ’s sufferings on the cross, Spooky Tooth’s album “Ceremony” depicts Jesus as some cosmic buffoon with his hand nailed into his head. The sacred heart of Jesus, a Catholic symbol for Christ’s love and sacrifice on the cross, is mocked by The Birthday Party. To call the Lord’s gift to us “bad seed” is as blasphemous as anything in the Satanic Bible. Along with the swastika in the background, the album features these cryptic lyrics from the song “Wild World” “Our bodies melt together, we are one. Post-crucifixion, baby, post-crucifixion all undone.”
Coven also renounces the work accomplished through the crucifixion. Anton LaVey himself would have been proud to pen the lyrics of “Burn the Cross” “Son of God repent your sins and pledge your soul to hell. Pray that Satan will forgive once your God has fell. Expect the death of those who pray to a God so long since passed. Your God is dead and now you die, Satan rules at last.”
Another way in which Jesus is attacked is to lump Him in with every other spiritual leader and religion known to man. This heresy, known as “universalism”, has become extremely popular of late, particularly with the growth of New Age religion.
This album by Earth Wind and Fire shows various religious symbols Christian, mixed in with symbols for Hinduism, Buddhism and the occult. The Album title spells it out, “All in All”. In other words, it’s all the same thing there are many paths to the same God or gods.
Musically this heresy is best illustrated by ex-Beatle George Harrison’s album “Somewhere in England” “They call you Christ, Vsnu, Buddha, Jehovah, our Lord. You are Govindam, Bismillah, Creator of All.” (Song “All in All”)
Harrison is joined by a host of other rock artists who have expressed, in one way or another, this philosophy. With Eastern, New Age, and occult religion the preferred spiritual diet of the rock industry, you can almost count on almost any mention of Jesus within secular rock and roll being a reference to the anemic and hydra-headed Christ of universalism.
The problem here is that no matter how nice it sounds to say that all religions lead to God, Jesus said they don’t. Practically every religion tries to claim Jesus and write Him into their line-up of spiritual super-stars, but we have irrefutable evidence that Jesus totally denied that there is any other way to God except through Himself. As He said in John 14:6 “I am the way ,the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father unless he comes through Me.”
Elsewhere, He warned that in the last days men would try to deny His uniqueness “ For false Christs and false prophets will arise… and try to lead people astray…” (Mark 13:22)
Think about it for a second if Universalism is true, then not only is Jesus a liar for saying it was a false and demonic doctrine, He is also the stupidest man who ever lived because He voluntarily underwent the most excruciating and shameful death imaginable for no reason at all!
In other words, if there are other ways to God, then Jesus didn’t have to die in our place.
Ultimately, what the great philosopher and writer C.S. Lewis said has logically got to be true “Jesus was either a lunatic, a liar, or else He is Lord.” (Mere Christianity, (The Macmillan Company, 1952), C.S. Lewis, p. 41) And His life, death and resurrection should prove beyond any shadow of a doubt to anyone seeking the truth that the latter is the case Jesus is Lord, the true Messiah of God. And that’s why Satan tries so hard to convince man to the contrary.
These are just some of the many examples in rock where the person of Jesus is mocked and vilified. While few, if any, of the artists involved are card-carrying devil worshipers, is it just a coincidence that the satanic scriptures are being so clearly fulfilled?
Moving from the person to the primary symbol associated with Christ, The Satanic Bible says “Behold the crucifix; what does it symbolize? Pallid incompetence hanging on a tree.” (Book of Satan, Chapter 2, verse 1)
Again, this reviling hatred on Satan’s part is understandable the cross is at the heart of the Christian faith. Apart from the crucifixion and subsequent resurrection of Jesus, which, by the way, is one of the most logically proven events in ancient history, our faith, in the words of the apostle Paul, “is futile and we are still in our sins.” (1 Cor. 15:17)
As a symbol of its defeat and future obliteration, satanic religion loathes the cross and constantly seeks to discredit it. To this end, the “prince of the air” attempts to influence man in one of two directions. The more subtle of the two and hence the most prevalent is to give it superficial respect while at the same time associating the cross with the very sins that nailed Jesus to it. For example, virtually millions of young people today think nothing of wearing the cross around their neck or dangling from their ears while engaging in everything from sexual immorality to drug abuse sins for which the Lord was sacrificed on the cross. How Satan must enjoy the irony.
This type of desecration is virtually rampant in rock, with crosses the most popular jewelry choice of the stars. It seems as though the more perverted the artist, the larger, the more numerous, or the more obsessive is their focus on the cross.
Prince’s music is filled with allusions to Jesus and the cross, leading the spiritually naive into thinking that he is some new breed of Christian. Jesus said however, “If you love me, you’ll do what I say.” (John 15: 10, 14; Matt. 7: 21) Among the things Jesus said was to avoid temptation to not tempt others to direct all worship to God to clothe oneself modestly to obey God and not our physical desires and to keep oneself sexually pure.
Prince’s Jesus bears virtually no resemblance to the historical and biblical Christ. His is a demonic substitution that gives new relevance to the passage in I Timothy “In the last days some people will depart from the true faith by paying attention to lying spirits and doctrines of demons, through the pretensions of liars whose consciences are seared.” (1 Timothy 4: 1-2)
Another superstar whose use of the cross is as obsessive as it is blasphemous is Madonna. Ex-porn star, Time magazine cover-girl, and, according to polls, one of the most admired and influential women in the world in the eyes of young people, she mixes the sacred with the profane with an intensity that gives new meaning to the word “sacrilege”. In May of 1985, Madonna told Spin magazine that “Crucifixes are sexy because there’s a naked man on them.” (Spin, (May, 1985), p. 44) And still soft drink companies clamor for her endorsement. How far we have come from the public outrage that attended the comparatively benign statements of John Lennon two decades ago. Gradually we have been taken captive by seducing spirits until even the most shameless acts of blasphemy and desecration are socially acceptable.
Billy Idol crucifies his girl friend amidst a flurry of his incessant sexual posings. (From the video “Hot in the City”) Artists impersonate a crucified Christ with a frequency that is astonishing. Crosses show up so often you would think that rock music was a Christian industry until one looks at their intent, message, and life-style.
Scripture provides a profound insight into this obsession with mocking the cross, an insight that can be objectively used to diagnose one’s spiritual condition “The word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing.” (1 Cor. 1:18a) In other words, mocking the cross is evidence that a person is spiritually dead. And it’s the lord of death, Satan, who inspires this mockery through his incessant drive to pervert man’s image of God and truth. Against this the Bible teaches, “But for those who are called to be saved, the cross is the power of God.” (1 Cor. 1:18b)
Understanding this, we should each ask ourselves one of life’s ultimate questions which is it for us, the power of God or an object of indifference or ridicule? If you’re not sure, but are drawn to and enjoy these artists, that question has probably already been answered.
A second way that hell goes after the cross is through outright desecration associated with satanic religion and liturgy. The inversion of the cross for example, has been an essential element to satanic ritual for centuries. This T-shirt featuring an up-side-down cross and Christ and the word “Destroy” was designed by Johnny Rotten himself. Here Mick Jagger models it on stage during the Stones’ 1981 world tour.
Desecration through destruction and the addition of demonic imagery and symbols is also well established within satanic religion. This symbol, found in The Satanic Bible, finds its way onto a Duran Duran album cover. Here we have what is known by witches and occultists as the Satanic Cross. The upside-down question mark purports to call into doubt the work accomplished by Jesus on the cross. Outside the dark underworld of satanic religion, it also serves as the group symbol for Blue Oyster Cult. The spiritual intent of this emblem is obvious from the Cult’s use of it on stone totems, imagery from the book of Revelation, and this obvious parody of the Bible. To show you this is not a unique example of occultism within this group, listen to a song off their “Mirrors” album.
Not too satanic on the surface, but now listen to the high-pitched squeaky sound that occurred during the guitar lead. This time at a fraction of its regular speed. Again. One more time.
This desecration of the authority and character of God the Father brings us to our third satanic scripture. “I gaze into the glassy eye of your fearsome Jehovah…; I uplift a broad axe and split open his worm-eaten skull.” (The Book of Satan, 1:10)
Transsexual rock artist Wayne County could very well have had this exact scripture in mind when he wrote “Storm the Gates of Heaven.”
Both LaVey and County may want to reconsider this ambition. To gaze into the eyes of the glorified Christ would be bad enough. The apostle John likened them to flames of fire. (Revelation 1:14) The Father’s, however, would be instantly fatal. (Exodus 33:20)
This blasphemy is intensified by Venom. On their “Welcome to Hell” album they proclaim “We are possessed by all that is evil, the death of you God we demand. We spit at the virgin worship and sit at lord Satan’s left hand.”
Taking a more seductive approach at blaspheming God is Depeche Mode. In a song that implies that faith in Christ is, at least in this life, pointless, the chorus attacks the love and the character of God.
This theme reaches its perverted climax in the song “Dear God” by XTC. Guess what the tree the lead singer strikes is supposed to represent?
The tree is obviously representative of the cross and it’s the people in the tree who are the focus of the next satanic scripture “The angel of self-deceit is camped in the souls of the righteous. The eternal flame of power through joy dwelleth within the flesh of the satanist.” (The Book of Satan, 5:13)
As the representative of Christ on earth, the church and things she stands for are abhorrent to satanic religion. Along this line, the group Scraping Foetus Off the Wheel sings: “And the only good Christian is a dead Christian.”
Speaking of Christian death, the group by that name adds the church to their list of things to desecrate in the song “Stairs.” You need to know that the city of God, Jerusalem, is the church in a spiritual sense.
The last two lines were written out and sung backwards. When you reverse the letters you get “There is no city of God. Damn the name of God.”
This album is by Exodus. The name, of course, is taken from the Old Testament account of the people of God, the church in modern language, as they journeyed to the Promise Land. Here we see the church “bonded by blood” to a demonic entity that is the mirror image of itself. And guess which one of the two is in charge? Songs like “Deliver us to Evil” leave little doubt.
The group “Church” shows a church that is fallen, broken, and headless. The unappealing nature of the church in Christianity is also the subtle message of The Cure’s song “The Holy Hour”
This disdain of penance, or sorrow for one’s sin, is shouted from the housetops by the Eurythmics’ Annie Lennox, along with a warning to avoid all contact with the one who might save your soul.
On the surface, well-publicized events within televised Christianity over the last two years might seem to warrant these criticisms. But think for a moment is it right to judge a group by the behavior of a small minority of its members? For every televangelist who has bit the dust, there are thousands of sincere, devout believers whose lives of self-sacrifice will never be noted except by the watchful eye of their Father in heaven. What about them? And anyway, the only hypocrisy that will be judged by God when you stand before Him will be your own. Don’t cop out and try to hide behind someone else’s sin. It doesn’t work.