All The Satanic Single Ladies: Calling Malarky on the Satanic Beyonce Illuminati Conspiracy

the-IlluminatiThere are no “standards of right”. Ethics is balderdash. Each star must go on its own orbit. – Aleister Crowley.

Have you ever seen Rosemary’s Baby? It’s the 1968 horror movie about a young lady who believes that her husband made a Satanic pact to give away their baby. SPOILER ALERT: Turns out she’s wrong … Her husband is not the baby’s real father … Satan is her baby daddy! And little baby Adrian, son of Satan, is destined to conquer the entire world. DUM-DUM-DUM!

(INSERT DIABOLICAL LAUGH HERE)

If Internet rumors are to be believed (and by-and-large they’re not), then the rapper Jay-Z and the singer Beyonce’s baby, Blue Ivy, would be the living embodiment of the movie Rosemary’s Baby.

jay-z_the_rocImmediately following Beyonce’s performance on the 2013 Super Bowl halftime show, internet videos started floating around Christian circles accusing Jay-Z and Beyonce of being a members of the Illuminati as well as Satanists. If you think the Illuminati is a giant Yankee Candle, then you’ve probably not watched cable television in a few years. According to conspiracy theorists, the Illuminati is a secret society of powerful and influential people that lurk in the shadows while manipulating the course of human events to their advantage. The central evidence of Beyonce’s membership in an evil secret society seems to be the triangular hand sign that she flashes during the course of the Super Bowl performance. The Internet trolls argue that hand sign represents the “Eye of Providence,” which represents the all-seeing eye of God as seen on the U.S. Dollar Bill and in Freemasonry (yet another conspiracy favorite). To the contrary, Beyonce has stated that the hand sign is a diamond – not a triangle – and represents the diamond symbol of her husband’s Roc-A-Fella music label (“throwing up a Roc”).

jay-z

For years prior to the 2013 Super Bowl, nutty theories about Jay-Z have been clogging up the Internet. The use of the phrase “Peace God” in his “Run This Town” song is supposedly a reference to the Five Percenters (or The Nation of Gods and Earths), who teach that only 5% of the world’s population knows about its true origins. Jay-Z has been seen wearing a “Do What Thou Wilst” sweatshirt, which is a reference to British occultist Aleister Crowley. His Roc-A-Wear line of clothes unapologetically lifts symbolism from Freemasonry. Despite repeated denials by Jay-Z and the anger of freemasons finding their symbols co-opted for profit, the rumor mill continues. The conspiracy theorists prattle on: “Is there any other reason why Jay-Z would be using these symbols if he weren’t a Satanic Illuminati occultist Freemason?” Why yes! … He could be doing what musicians and vaudeville acts have been doing for years: Being provocative for the sake of turning a profit.

tumblr_lpzk52HDI41qcgioa

There’s also the strange theories about Jay-Z’s boo: Beyonce. There’s the rumor that “Sasha Fierce” is more than Beyonce’s alter ego … It’s the name of the demon that possesses and takes control of her body during her live performances. Her song “1 + 1” has been interpreted as Beyonce’s expression of love for the demon that possesses her. And “Halo” is supposedly about Halios, the sun god and the Beast from Revelation 9:11. And then there’s the rumors that Beyonce’s choreography in her music videos is just cleverly disguised Satanic rituals. The All The Single Ladies video is replete with dance moves honoring The Winged Serpent. When you spell their baby’s name backwards (Eulb Yvi), it is rumored to be Lucifer’s name in Latin … Only if you ignore the convenient fact that Lucifer is already a Latin name.

Time to break out the tin foil hats!

sgt_peppersRumors about pop music stars dabbling in the occult really isn’t anything new. For those with grey hairs, they remember Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page’s odd obsession with the occult. The “zoso” symbol that adorned Led Zeppelin’s fourth album and Page’s clothing was a nod to an old alchemy textbook. For a short period of time, Page owned Aleister Crowley’s estate and an occult bookstore. And plenty of other pop artists have dabbled in occult and religious symbolism in their music. Ozzy scared mothers for years by singing about the aforementioned Mr. Crowley while barking at the moon. Alice Cooper’s famous live show included multiple horror props, including a guillotine, electric chairs and boa constrictors. Crowley’s image appears on the album cover to the Beatles’ Sergeant Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band. The Doors appeared with a bust of Crowley on the back cover of their Doors 13 album. Marilyn Manson’s entire career is one shock-value stunt of religious symbolism after another, including connections to (again) Aleister Crowley, the anti-Christ and Satanist Anton LaVey. Iron Maiden’s song “Number of the Beast” includes a spoken word reading of Revelation and is about a Satanic ritual. And the list goes on and on ad nausem.

6968580-240x300So why are so many popular artists obsessed with religious imagery of one type of another? The issue is shock value and salesmanship – not Satanism. Elvis swung his hips and the ladies swooned. Madonna sung about her fictional virginity, produced a book simply titled “Sex,” and labelled herself a “boy toy.” Every member of Marilyn Manson’s band, including good ol’ Brian Warner (a/k/a Marilyn Manson), is named after a bombshell movie star and a serial killer. Everything about Lady Gaga’s “Judas” video, including hunky versions of Jesus and Judas, screams controversy for controversy’s sake. And who could forget the burning crosses and taboo romance of Madonna’s infamous “Like A Prayer” video. The art of shocking people to attract interest and make a profit is as old as P.T. Barnum. Considering many people are obsessed with Discovery channel conspiracy theories about Freemasonry, it’s no wonder that Jay-Z slapped their symbols on a t-shirt with a high price markup. Controversy sells.

In terms of dealing with music and the occult, Christians are certainly called to be discerning of what is Godly and what is deception in a hostile world. Colossians 2:8 states: “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” The precious treasure of the Gospel that has been entrusted to all believers must be protected and preserved (1 Timothy 1:3-7; Jude 3). The believer must also be wary of the corrupting temptations of the world and the devouring interests of the devil (1 John 2:16; 1 Peter 5:8). Christ repeatedly calls for the believer’s shrewdness (Matthew 10:16; Luke 16:1-13).

However, “discerning” does not mean falling for every wacky conspiracy to go viral across the Internet. Many believers will gullibly believe any hot gossip that supposedly comes from a “Christian” source. To the contrary, believers are supposed to test EVERY source of information against the Scriptures – particularly supposed “Christian” sources. I’ve said it before: Not every source claiming to be “Christian” or “Biblical” is Christian or Biblical. 1 Timothy 6:3 states: “If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing.” In discerning whether a “Christian” message is authentic, many believers will make a judgment based on how passionate and earnest the message is, how slick and professional the production is or how many starving children the organization has fed … None of this matters in terms of genuine discernment. The mark of discernment is whether the message matches up with the words of Christ. If the “Christian” message contradicts Christ, then have nothing to do with it.

In terms of how discernment is made, the fact that believers are spending large amounts of time parsing the supposed demonic dance sequences of Beyonce videos is equally as troubling. Popular culture has increasingly become the art of provocateurs, and we gain no insight from scripted and market tested fame-mongering. In John 7:24, Jesus states: “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” And making accusations about the demonic imagery of Beyonce’s choreography and Jay-Z’s Satanic hoodie is the epitome of judging by appearances. Let’s turn the tables: Do we judge whether someone is a Christian by their music, clothing and hand gestures? Most certainly not … Believing in Jesus is a heart issue (Romans 10:9-13). A person could be pirouetting in a pink tutu wearing a witch doctor’s mask while poking needles into a voodoo dolls … It still wouldn’t solidly tell us about their spiritual condition. More importantly, God Himself judges the heart (1 Samuel 16:7; Jeremiah 17:10).

Make no mistake: There is no reason to laud the music of anyone mentioned here. Christians SHOULD be discerning about the actual messaging within popular music. Unfortunately, believers are busy making a Satanic scavenger hunt out of pop music lyrics instead of discerning the plain statements glamorizing a life of consumerism, promiscuity, violence, alcoholism and godlessness. My point is not to go on some epic rant about the horrors of “secular” music … My point is that believers have stopped caring about “secular” music at all. Many adult believers have become fed up long ago with “secular” music and tuned into KLove Christian radio and gave up on the outside world. Then believers pompously hurl eccentric gossip about the Satanic new world order and Freemason handshakes instead of giving a reason for the hope that we have in Christ (1 Peter 3:17). We have developed a distinctly alternative Christian culture instead of engaging the world at our doorstep.

It’s far too easy to stick our heads in the sand instead of getting our hands dirty by demonstrating Christ’s love for our neighbor. Christ does not call us to do the easy thing. We remain as Christ’s shining city on a hill … And we must allow Christ to use us to engage and penetrate the darkness of the world. Christ never gave up hope in us … We must not give up hope that His Word can bring the lost home. We must discern … We must engage … We must point towards rescue. If Christ is our hope, then we must not write off anyone as being beyond hope.

Advertisements

God Made Daniel Fat

Is-anything-better-than-bacon...no_Do you suffer from bloating, lack of concentration, depression, low fertility, hot flashes, “bad hair,” insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome, premature aging and acne? Don’t worry! There might be a one-stop solution for all of these problems. It’s the Daniel Diet: The hottest dietary craze since manna and quail! It’s the 2,500 year old God-designed diet that will detoxify your body of all of those nasty harmful toxins floating in the air all around you. Don’t get chubby like a Chaldean … Get ripped like an Old Testament prophet!

Sound too good to be true? If many of the outrageous claims of those hawking the Daniel Diet are to be believed, most of your worldly health problems will be fixed in one fell swoop. It’s hard to miss the growing popularity of the Daniel Diet. While searching for a home church in the Fort Worth area, my family visited a Southern Baptist church that was promoting the Daniel Diet as a church-wide dieting program. The pastor preached an entire sermon on the diet and was urging the congregation to participate in the program as a method of fasting and losing weight at the same time. Win-win!

So what is the origin of the “Daniel Diet”? After the siege of Jerusalem in 586 BC, the Babylonians hauled many Judeans, including the teenager Daniel, under duress into exile in Babylon. Daniel was a part of a 3 year re-programming effort by the Babylonians, attempting to assimilate young Israelites into their culture. As a part of this program, the participants were required to eat a regimen of food from the king’s table. In order to keep the Old Testament food laws, Daniel asked for permission to not partake of the royal meat and wine. The head of the re-programming program was concerned about Daniel’s health (and his own neck), so he granted Daniel permission to subsist on vegetables for a 10 day trial period. Daniel was miraculously healthy after those 10 days, so Daniel was granted permission to continue on this daily regimen. Over 2,500 years later, someone decided to make a quick buck off of a Bible story by turning it into a fad diet. And there you have it.

There’s a couple clear problems with the “Daniel Diet.” First of all, Daniel was not trying to diet. In the text of Daniel 1, there is no discussion of dieting. There is no talk of cleansing, detoxifying or purifying. There is no hint of Daniel needing to work on his love handles, develop six-pack abs and get ready for the “gun show.” Daniel isn’t Dancing With The Oldies while working out on a Bow-Flex. The meal arrangement suggested by Daniel and his associates was conducted in order to life an uncompromising life for God in the midst of a hostile and idolatrous culture. Daniel 1:8 states: “Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself.” Yep … It says it twice: Daniel’s main concern was to avoid defiling himself by breaking the Old Testament food laws. Daniel did not want to compromise his faith by living as the Babylonians did. In the process, he is putting his life at risk while following God in faith.

Interestingly, many commentators argue that Daniel’s issue with the king’s defiling food might not have been a strict “meat vs. vegetables” issue. Many varieties of meat (as well as wine) were permitted by the Old Testament food laws, so it’s a bit non-sensical for Daniel to eschew meat for meat’s sake. Another more plausible suggestion for Daniel abstention was that the king’s food and wine were likely used in association with idolatrous practices. In a similar vein, the word used for “vegetables” in Daniel’s dietary request is typically used to refer to animal feed in other portions of the Old Testament. Some suggest that Daniel may have been provided with anything from grains to raw foods to military rations. The point is that what Daniel did or did not eat is actually pretty unclear.

But there’s another important detail to consider: If Daniel and his associates really were dieting, then their diet was a colossal failure. Daniel 1:15 states: “At the end of ten days it was seen that they were better in appearance and fatter in flesh than all the youths who ate the king’s food.” The Hebrew word in Daniel 1:15 that the ESV renders as “fatter” is translated as “better nourished” in other translations. But it’s a Hebrew word used in the Old Testament to refer to plump livestock. Check out some other instances of that same Hebrew word in the Old Testament:

  • Seven cows, plump and attractive, came up out of the Nile and fed in the reed grass.” – Genesis 41:18
  • And he presented the tribute to Eglon king of Moab. Now Eglon was a very fat man.” – Judges 3:17
  • For they have no pangs until death; their bodies are fat and sleek.” – Psalm 73:4

Based on this use of the word, the connotation is clear: Daniel either maintained or gained weight on his vegetable-only regimen. While Daniel may not have gotten too chunky during his 10 day diet, but the reverse of popular expectations certainly occurred. When Daniel hatched his dietary plan, the chief official clearly thought Daniel was putting his life at risk (see Daniel 1:10). But Daniel stayed faithful to his convictions about God … And God supernaturally provided for Daniel. More important to our discussion here: Daniel did not lose weight.

The Daniel Diet is a gross manipulation of Scripture because it takes a miraculous supernatural provision of God and twists it into a routine “ho-hum” act. It’s simply gross that believers and non-believers alike are hawking the Daniel Diet like a carnival barker: “Step right up! Yes … You too can lose weight and experience a cleansed colon just like the prophet Daniel.” But this approach completely misses the whole point of Daniel 1: Only God could have supernaturally provided for Daniel. Only God could have sustained Daniel in his stand against a comprised faith. These young boys had faith that God would provide under dangerous circumstances and God not only sustained their lives … He made them healthier – and dare I say chubbier – than anyone else!

Admittedly, I’m no dietary or nutritional expert. If a real, live nutritional expert states that a diet high in fruits and veggies is healthier, that’s perfectly fine and acceptable with me. If you’ve lost weight using a vegetarian program, that’s cool. If you want to detox, cleanse your colon and lock yourself in your bathroom for an entire weekend, it’s within your freedom in Christ to do so. But it’s not OK to use Daniel 1 as your evidence that God supports your fad weight loss plan or to turn the prophet Daniel into a pre-incarnate Richard Simmons. The Bible is not a nutritional guide.

The popularity of the Daniel Diet also betrays the degree to which modern Christians have not the foggiest clue about the Old Testament food laws. Most Christians are happy that Jesus abrogated the food laws in Mark 7:18-19, since bacon should really be the top of the food pyramid. But we have a difficult time explain why God put those food laws in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14 into effect in the first place. If pressed for an answer, most Christians would attempt to explain the Old Testament food laws as the first FDA meat inspection process, where God is trying to keep his people from food-born diseases, such as e-coli and salmonella. Contrary to popular opinion, God as a glorified meat inspector is a concept found nowhere in the Old Testament. Instead, Leviticus 11:45 states God’s purpose for the food laws: “You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.” The purpose of the food laws is exactly what is stated in Leviticus and Deuteronomy: To keep God’s people holy and set apart for His purpose and not like the other idolatrous nations. The dinner table was (and still is) the time where people shared and developed relationships with one another. Through the food laws, God was literally keeping the Israelites set apart from other idolatrous nations by the keeping them from sharing a dinner table. This meal-sharing aspect is the missing piece of Daniel 1. By avoiding the king’s meals, Daniel and the boys were asserting that they would not defile themselves by sharing the dinner table with an idolatrous culture.

Here’s what’s really going on with the Daniel Diet: Unscrupulous businesspeople are profiteering off of the Bible and gullible Christians are falling for the trick. Why hasn’t the John the Baptist diet of locusts and honey caught on? Or the Elijah diet of only eating what ravens bring to your house? Or the “wandering in the wilderness” diet of quail? Or the Jeremiah diet of eating scrolls? The popularity of the Daniel Diet simply comes from its similarity to modern fad dieting and bodily cleansing programs. Fad cleanse diet programs (such as the Dr. Oz 48 Hour Weekend Cleanse) just so happen to be vaguely similar in nature to Daniel’s limited diet in Daniel 1. Many undiscerning believers will purchase anything from Christian milk to Christian candy to Christian plumbing as long as the word “Christian” is on the label. Unfortunately, not everything slapped with the label “Christian” or “Biblical” is Christian or Biblical. Meanwhile, the wolves that prey on God’s flock are laughing all the way to the bank.

The ultimate irony is that book of the Bible about having an uncompromised faith is being used to compromise our faith. While Daniel did not want to compromise his faith by dining like his captors, we are now caught up in a “trending on twitter” culture where we rush to experience every hot new thing from fad diets to the Harlem Shake. Have we reached the point where we are chasing harder after the latest trends than imitating Jesus Christ? While I’m not suggesting that we all quit our jobs and go join a Christian commune, I am suggesting that we live out 1 Peter 2:11: “Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.” In the daily war against our souls, we must remember that we are living in exile and truly belong to the kingdom of God.

God sustains our lives … God quenches flames … God shuts the mouths of lions … God does not abandon His people even in the midst of our exile in a hostile kingdom.