I cannot imagine writing on two more dissimilar stories in today's news.
The Satanic Temple (TST) is a movement that began in 2013. The group now has 17 chapters in the U.S. and Europe and claims an estimated 100,000 members. Its members have created satanic coloring books for distribution in Florida and Colorado schools, offered prayers to Satan at a Seattle high school football game and demanded that a satanic statue be erected next to a monument to the Ten Commandments at the Oklahoma State Capitol.
TST has been in the news lately due to its efforts to inspire a "satanic revolution." The group has been holding rallies—the most recent was in Austin, Texas—to further its cause.
Meanwhile, Queen Elizabeth turned 90 last week. She is the longest reigning monarch in England's long history. She had a conference with President Obama the day after her birthday and has met 12 American presidents. The queen has watched her country change in dramatic ways. Yet she remains an amazing force for good in the U.K. and beyond.
Why am I writing on both TST and Queen Elizabeth today?
Baptist pastor Dr. Jeff Owens once warned his church, "Satan does not want you to do what he wants you to do. Satan wants you to do what you want to do." That's exactly right. If the devil can get you to focus your thoughts on self rather than the Spirit, he wins.
By contrast, Queen Elizabeth credits her longevity and positive spirit to her resolute faith, a fact she addresses regularly. For instance, each Christmas, she delivers a message to the British people. In her Christmas 2000 message she stated, "For me the teachings of Christ and my own personal accountability before God provide a framework in which I try to lead my life." Two years later she testified, "I know just how much I rely on my own faith to guide me through the good times and the bad."
In last year's Christmas message the Queen stated: "It is true that the world has had to confront moments of darkness this year, but the Gospel of John contains a verse of great hope, often read at Christmas carol services: 'The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.'"
The contrast between TST and Queen Elizabeth is captured in this biblical text: "To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace" (Rom. 8:6). So how do we set our minds on the Spirit?
Scripture exhorts us: "Whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue, and if there is any praise, think on these things" (Phil. 4:8).
Does such mental discipline make us holy? No—it positions us to experience the sanctification only God's Spirit can produce: "You shall keep My statutes, and do them; I am the Lord who sanctifies you" (Lev. 20:8).
So ask God to help you take "every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ" (2 Cor. 10:5). Your thoughts become your words and actions, which define your life and legacy. "As he thinks in his heart, so is he" (Prov. 23:7, NKJV).
Let's make that fact good news today.
Jim Denison, Ph.D., is founder of the Denison Forum on Truth and Culture, a non-sectarian "think tank" designed to engage contemporary issues with biblical truth. Join over 100,000 who read Dr. Denison's daily Cultural Commentary: denisonforum.org/subscribe . For more information on the Denison Forum, visit denisonforum.org. To connect with Dr. Denison in social media, visit twitter.com/jimdenison or facebook.com/denisonforum.
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