Kristian Petersen MWF 12pm
Contrary to what most perceive, there is a significant difference between Satanism and Luciferianism. As I approached this topic, a bit hesitant, I rapidly assumed this religion was going to be rather dark or evil. I was already imagining insane rituals involving gore and blood of behalf of this church. I went to their personal web page HERE and found most of my questions answered. The strife began when the Greater Church Of Lucifer (GCOL) opened its doors on October 31, 2015. After reading articles, I started to see a consistency of discourteous accusations towards the new church. Most of the animosity derives from the name of the church. The Greater Church of Lucifer openly admits they named it purposely and recognized it was going to be a controversial matter however, they were expecting a little less chaos. Some Christians were angered, afraid, and disgusted solely by knowing the name of the church. Some even took the liberty to protest outside the church on day of its opening. Mainly using their website as a guide HERE I would like to begin by briefly explaining Luciferianisim and their beliefs. Then I will add the Christian’s perspective about the church using comments the media published in some articles. Lastly, I will scrutinize the articles looking for any possible bias from the media that is for or against the GCOL.
Luciferianisim is a belief unlike what most would perceive instantaneously. It has the deceiving perception in the name but this is not a satanic religion. In fact they do not consider themselves a religion they claim they are both theistic and atheistic and among themselves, they have distinct personal beliefs. They have no specific rules or guidelines as an alternative they steer away from a set of principles. They call themselves Luificerfian not precisely because of the Christian fallen angel but they see this Lucifer as a symbol of enlightenment. In an essence, the practice is more philosophical because they see human progression in independence. To become a member one must read “Wisdom of Eosphoros – The Luciferian Philosophy” by Michael W. Ford, Jeremy Crow, Jacob No and Hope Marie. After reading the book they are expected to live by the 11 Luciferian Points of Power. They recognize the good and evil and recognize very well that they both have consequences. Luciferians find it offensive to bow before any deity since they believe there is no God. Their central goal is to become enlightened through knowledge and exploration.
Christian Comments In the Media
As I previously mentioned most, consider the members the church as worshipers of Lucifer or Satan and accept their perceiving as true. In the articles, Christian protesters tried to diminish their beliefs and usually had some phrase to counter attack even after knowing they do not worship Satan. CBNews had Pastor Mark Estep as their Christian Examiner that made this comment, “They want to turn on an inner light but I believe they are worshiping Satan”. After much debate and comments, the article ended with a comment from Reverend Andy Sytsma saying, “We know they are sincere in their beliefs, but as Christians, think that they are sincerely wrong in what they believe”. Thought out most of the articles there was consistency of wrongdoing on from the remarks of Christians toward Luciferians. Harvey Rice writer of the Chron also added comments such as one from Huff who was outside the GCOL on a Saturday morning saying he had gone to their website and defined as being filled with “satanic symbols and lies”. Tracy Clemons, from Abc 13 News, also added a comment from Christine Weick claiming she was present to show love she said “I love you enough to say you either bow now or you will be forced to bow later it’s too late”. However not all Christians agreed to such unpleasant comments, Hilary Hanson from Huffington Post, added Janet Lychard’s comment “If I were not Christian and I saw the way some of the people are behaving here, I would not want to be a Christian because I believe God wants us to love these people because He loves them”.
Throughout the articles there were repetitive words such as “misunderstood”, “wrong message”, “not Satan worshipers” ,“open-mindedness”, “mental freedom”, “ not anti-Christian”, “self-excellence”, “inner light” and “ we do not sacrifice animals or worship the devil”. They constantly found themselves having to explain by making statements in efforts to clear their negative image as best as they could in an educated manner. In hopes of alleviating, some anger GCOL reminded the protesters that they were not trying to convert anyone and that this church was completely a self-made decision by each individual. The members of the church want to coexist without harassment and more importantly, they implore others to respect their decisions.
To my surprise, there was more of a negative connotation towards Christian protesters rather than the Luciferians. Hilary Hanson, from the Huffington Post began the article by saying “Some Christians are having a little trouble turning the other cheek over the Halloween opening of the GCOL”. This comment refers the bible verse from Matthew 5:39 asking Christians to give the other cheek after some offense because it shows strength rather than temptation to retaliate. This statement that allows the reader assume that the Christian Protesters are not living up to what the bible expects them to be. In most articles, there was an inclusion of a brief description of the GCOL beliefs. If the articles were completely in conflict of GCOL, they would not have bothered to clarify their principles.
(Allan Turner, Greater Church of Lucifer plans Halloween opening, Houston Chronicle, October 18, 2015) http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Greater-Church-of-Lucifer-plans-Halloween-opening-6576805.php
(Leah Marieann Klett,” First Ever ‘Greater Church of Lucifer’ In Houston, Texas Draws Criticism from Christian Community”, Gospel Herald, Oct 19, 2015) http://www.gospelherald.com/articles/58847/20151019/first-ever-greater-church-of-lucifer-in-houston-texas-draws-criticism-from-christian-community.htm
(Jessilyn Justice, “First ‘Greater Church of Lucifer’ to Open Doors in Texas”, Charisma News, 10/14/2015)http://www.charismanews.com/us/52631-first-greater-church-of-lucifer-to-open-doors-in-texas
(“Houston’s ‘Great Church of Lucifer’ Opening on Halloween” CBN News, 10-31-2015) http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2015/October/Houstons-Great-Church-of-Lucifer-Opening-on-Halloween/
(Hilary Hanson, “Christians Protest Church Of Lucifer, End Up Fighting Among Themselves”, Huffington Post, 11/03/2015) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/church-of-lucifer-protests-texas_563932aae4b0411d306eb8f2
(Mark Woods, “Christians protest at opening of Greater Church of Lucifer”, Christian Today, 31 October 2015) http://www.christiantoday.com/article/christians.protest.at.opening.of.greater.church.of.lucifer/69242.htm
(Harvey Rice,“Protests mar first service at Greater Church of Lucifer”, Chron, November 1, 2015) http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Protests-mar-first-service-at-Greater-Church-of-6602994.php
(Tracy Clemons, “Protest and prayer fill air outside Greater Church of Lucifer”, Abc13 News, October 30, 2015) http://abc13.com/news/protesters-prayer-clash-outside-greater-church-of-lucifer/1060363/
(Leif Reigstad “In Lucifer’s Name: Michael Ford’s Invented Religion Comes to Old Town Spring”, Houston Press, November 10, 2015) http://www.houstonpress.com/news/in-lucifer-s-name-michael-ford-s-invented-religion-comes-to-old-town-spring-7915215
(Jonathan Martinez, Greater Church of Lucifer opens doors despite protests in Old Town Spring, Click2Houston October 30, 2015) http://www.click2houston.com/news/local/harris-county/greater-church-of-lucifer-opens-doors-despite-protests-in-old-town-spring