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  • Adam Butler

Sam Smith and Demonic Reality

Sam Smith and Kim Petras performed their hit song “Unholy” at the 2023 Grammy Awards this week. The performance received backlash, understandably so, for the overtly Satanic imagery displayed throughout. Namely, Smith and Petras wore demonic costumes, performed on a stage featuring cages and whips, not to mention the very lyrics of the song being sexually explicit.

While this performance raised many eyebrows, it is interesting just how exposed the demonic themes are within culture today. However, the glamorization of demonic elements is nothing new to pop culture. Lil Nas X made headlines for a similar statement regarding Nike shoes. The rapper/pop singer released a line of sneakers which were riddled with satanic themes, and even claimed each shoe to contain a specimen of human blood!

In the political arena, the Temple of Satan has, as of late, become significantly more outspoken regarding the abortion issue. In fact, they have gone so far as to push back against recent abortion bans, pushing pro-choice advocates to celebrate abortion as a religious right. Needless to say, the enemy is on the prowl within the culture of our day, and is not being subtle anymore in the slightest.

What Sam Smith did get right in his Grammy performance is the prevalence of demonic forces. Whether he intended to or not, he painted a picture of the reality of spiritual activity and warfare within the world. While Smith’s performance was glamorized for Hollywood, what is true is that spiritual warfare is very real, and very pertinent.

Christian artist Keith Green had a song in 1977 called “No One Believes in Me Anymore,” in which the lyrics are supposed to be Satan boasting about the world’s acceptance of his tactics. The point of the song is that no one believes in a literal spiritual enemy such as the Devil anymore, and thus he no longer has to “sneak around.” Rather, we simply “open the door” to his methods of attack.

The Grammy performance, among many other instances within popular culture, is just one more example of this reality. Paul warns in Ephesians, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” There is a real spiritual battle happening all around us; will we as the Church have the courage to speak out against it? Or, will we simply brush it off as just another performance?

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes."

Ephesians 6:10-11

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