The Walt Disney Company, through its FXX Network, is releasing an animated sitcom series called Little Demon, which a film industry website describes this way: “After being impregnated by the Devil, a reluctant mother and her Antichrist daughter attempt to live an ordinary life in Delaware.” According to One Million Moms (OMM), the show carries graphic violence and nudity and “makes light of hell and the dangers of the demonic realm.”
OMM adds that the series “is introducing viewers, including children who might stumble across the series, to a world of demons, witches, and sorcery. Along with the demonic content of the series, the minds of younger viewers will also be inundated with secular worldviews that reflect the current culture.”
When Tom Cruise shoots down a jet
One of the reasons I pay attention to popular culture is that, for a cultural offering to be popular, it must by definition have an audience. It therefore reflects and represents the values and worldview of a significant segment of our society.
For example, we learn something important about the hopes and fears of society by learning that the most popular movies of 2022 so far are Top Gun: Maverick, where Americans defeat Iranians; Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, featuring superheroes, sorcerers, and sorceresses; and Jurassic World Dominion, where humans and dinosaurs defeat genetically engineered locusts.
Aristotle believed that art performs a cathartic function: what we see enacted on the stage (or screen) expresses and purges our fears, regrets, and pain. When Tom Cruise shoots down an Iranian fighter jet, we all win.
However, art does more than reflect our feelings and beliefs—it also forms them. Values legitimized by celebrities all too easily become our values. If actors and actresses we admire endorse LGBTQ ideology, who are we to judge or disagree? If they come out personally as gay or “transition” their gender, their admirers applaud.
Don’t think for a minute that the creators of Little Demon are simply making art they hope makes money. Like those behind much of the LGBTQ advocacy of our days, they are advancing ideology they want us to embrace.
Satan is “equally pleased by both errors”
There’s yet another agenda at work here as well: behind every temptation stands the tempter. Behind every lie stands the one Jesus called the “father of lies” (John 8:44).
Humans don’t have to know they are being used by Satan to be used by Satan. Typically they do not: “The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Corinthians 4:4).
In The Screwtape Letters, C. S. Lewis observed: “There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight.”
We are committing both errors at the same time today. Some, like the creators of Little Demon, are advancing and advocating for demonic realities on a truly dangerous level. Others are secular materialists who would see the television series as a harmless way to make money through entertainment.
Satan is “equally pleased by both errors.”
Why the first step into the occult is so dangerous
The occult is horrifically popular today: the TikTok hashtag #WitchTok has 20.5 billion views, while psychic services is an industry worth $2.2 billion in the US. By contrast, the Bible emphatically rejects astrology and horoscopes (Jeremiah 10:2), mediums and fortune-tellers (Leviticus 19:31; Micah 5:12), seances (Deuteronomy 18:10–12), and worship of Satan in any form (Matthew 4:10).
The reason is simple: the first step into the occult opens the door to all that lies behind it.
Three urgent consequences follow.
One: Parents and grandparents must not allow children (or anyone else) to watch Little Demon or anything like it. If you would not allow cancer in their bodies, you must not allow spiritual cancer in their souls.
Two: Since “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19), anyone who does not belong to Christ ultimately belongs to “the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4). This is why we must share the gospel with the lost and pray for them, since the Holy Spirit is the only power who can break the chains of Satan and liberate souls bound for hell.
Three: We must also guard ourselves since “your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). He cannot possess Christians, but he can oppress us with sins that become chronic and even addictive. Our response is clear: “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). Note the order.
If, however, you are struggling with recurring sins, confess them immediately to your Father (1 John 1:9) and seek the help of trusted Christians as God leads you. And know this: “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
The Puritan Thomas Brooks was right: “Satan promises the best, but pays with the worst; he promises honor, and pays with disgrace; he promises pleasure, and pays with pain; he promises profit, and pays with loss; he promises life, and pays with death. But God pays as he promises; all his payments are made in pure gold.”
Whose promises will you believe today?