Last night at the Capitol in Austin, apparently some pro-choice protesters were chanting “Hail Satan.” As Christians, our immediate reaction is anger, disgust, and annoyance. But, I think there should be more to our response than that, for several reasons.
First of all, the protesters were not actually trying to hail or honor Satan. Whether they actually did honor him is another matter, but that was not their intent. In fact, most of the people who were chanting the phrase probably don’t even believe in Satan. They don’t believe the Bible, and they probably don’t have any kind of concrete belief in the God of the Bible.
They were making fun of us. Pure and simple.
In particular, in the video I saw, they were making fun of a pro-life group that was singing a rousing version of “Amazing Grace” in the middle of the room. The pro-lifers were standing together in the center of the room, hands raised, eyes closed in a posture of worship, and they were singing. Now, I’m sure there are lots of different opinions about the decision to sing hymns. I’m not there, so I can only speculate that the atmosphere there is scary and disturbing, and perhaps they’re singing in order to stay focused and calm their own nerves. I’m not sure if the hymn singing is the best protesting strategy, but, hey, some of them have been there all day and are probably about protested out.
So, while the pro-lifers are singing, the pro-choicers are chanting. One group singing to the Giver of Life and the other jokingly calling out to the Father of Lies.
Insert every ironic aspect of this scenario here.
While we want to be angry at the chanters (for a variety of reasons), we would be wise to take several steps back and look at the truth of the situation. Our hearts should actually be swelling with compassion for a group of people who is so convinced that Satan doesn’t exist that they would laughingly call out to him with no fear or sense of reverence for the God whom Satan hates. I would argue that it is not our job to be angry with them about this. After all, if it weren’t for God’s grace, I could easily be one of them, deceived by the one they called out to last night, unknowingly helping him steal, kill, and destroy.
The world hates God. It is so broken and out of whack and loves all the things that God hates. Isaiah said, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” This is the essence of what the mostly wonderful, kind, and caring people who are pro-choice are doing. They believe they are fighting for good. They have been deceived by the original Liar. They are lost, and they need a Savior, even though they don’t know it. This should break our hearts more than make us angry.
So, let’s not be offended by the chanters, but have compassion for them. Their chanting does nothing to hurt us, even though they are making fun. Jesus told us this would happen, so it’s really no shock that they believe we are foolish. Our job is love the lost and love God. Rather than wishing God’s vengeance on people like the chanters, we should be praying for His mercy in their lives and ours. We are all sinners. We should spend more time praising Him for rescuing us than getting our feathers ruffled over the opinions of people who don’t know Him.
We should pray. We should love. But, we shouldn’t be mad. They have a real enemy, and he can do so much damage in their lives because they don’t even believe he is there. Why would we be bitter toward them? Our hearts should be broken instead.