The first Texas “Church of Lucifer” opened on Friday in a small town outside of Houston and was met with a variety of protesters from both the local community and those who traveled across the country.
As previously reported, the Church of Lucifer was scheduled to hold its first meeting in Spring on October 31, opening its doors the day before.
Co-founder Jacob No, who goes by a fictitious name to protect his identity since he says that the group’s beliefs are misunderstood, told reporters that the Church of Lucifer is not Satanic.
However, some Luciferians consider themselves to be theistic and view Satan as a benevolent being and teacher. In No’s case, he said that as the word Lucifer means “morning star,” the group is a “gathering of people of like mind who seek the bearer of light or the light.”
The Church of Lucifer website acknowledges, however, that it is considered “within the scope of the occult,” and that one of its missions is “discovering who you are as your own goddess/god.”
“We worship the Complete Self. We exalt in forbidden knowledge and the paths to power,” it reads. “Without the proverbial serpent in the tree, humanity would not be the incredible creature you see in the mirror.”
No says that the services are not your typical church services and do not involve any preaching.
“We do not have a preacher,” he told KPRC.com. “We do not have somebody saying, ‘This is the way it has to be, you have to live this way.’”
No also states that the group does not sacrifice any animals.
On Friday and Saturday, protesters took to the streets of Spring to speak against the gathering of the Luciferian group.
“We are one nation under God and Satanism is not a family value,” one large banner read.
“Life is short, death is sure, sin the cause, Christ the cure,” read another sign held outside of the small meeting place, where approximately 20 members arrived dressed in black.
“I’m here to stand against a Satanic church,” Christopher Huff of Conroe Bible Church told the Houston Chronicle.
Tim Berends of Las Vegas invited No to have lunch with him in Nevada, and some called out to the co-founder that if he were to receive Christ, “We will be the first to defend you.”
Roman Catholics also protested the opening of the church of Lucifer, with several holding a large statue of Mary or sprinkling “holy water” on the premises. One sign read, “Mary, queen of angels, crush Satan’s head.”
No told reporters that he just wants to co-exist with everyone in the community, but supports the rights of the protesters.
“We honor their right to believe what they believe and their right to protest,” he stated. “There’ll be no resistance from our end because we cherish that right ourselves.”