When I was in high school, a friend of mine invited me to play Dungeons and Dragons. This was exciting to me for a couple of reasons: first, I am and was a huge nerd, so D&D had always been something I wanted to check out. And second, I didn’t have a lot of friends in high school, so this invite was exciting to me!
There was only one problem: I was a child of the 80s, which means I grew up during the so-called “Satanic panic” when America was convinced there were covens of Satanists behind every rock and tree. D&D was alleged to be one of their primary recruiting tools. So my mom was not thrilled that I would be summoning demons with my friends so that we could sell our souls to the Dark Lord.
I’ll spoil the ending: she eventually relented, and my friends and I played D&D for several months straight and no one ever even saw Satan.
We certainly weren’t interested in selling our souls.
But even today, in many churches, bring up D&D and people who wouldn’t know a d20 from a d10 are convinced that D&D is a tool of Satan, along with rock n roll music, high school dances, and a host of other activities.
Which begs the question: really? And, in light of our last series about asking better questions, “Are those the right places to be looking for the devil?”
Today, we’re going to see the answer to that last question is, “No. Actually, if you want to find Satan, you might want to start by looking at religion. Because according to Jesus, one of Satan’s favorite tools is not D&D, but the kind of religion that shields us from looking closely at ourselves.
There’s a way to be religious that keeps us from being honest about our sin, so it actually keeps us from God.
The good news, though, is that Jesus offers to shine the light of truth on our satanic deception, freeing us to follow him into God’s life!