Satan Laughs As You Eternally Rot


There are two kinds of Christians in this world. Those who post tributes to Jeff Hanneman, Slayer’s recently deceased guitarist, on Facebook. And those who post comments like this on said tribute posts.

A sad wasted life. Hell awaits.

I took umbrage at this, and messaged the author. He explained

It was a sad life. I wish he would have turned to Christ, but it didn’t appear that he did.

Fair comment. I, too, am sad that Jeff did not repent before he took his final breath. But a sad, wasted life? And hell awaits? On a tribute thread?

Yes, folks, this is the post on which you get to speculate (in the comments) on Jeff Hanneman’s afterlife destination!

Here’s what I believe.

Hell, or “Hades” in the original Hebrew, is the grave. And that is where Jeff Hanneman will soon be. (After his funeral, but I’ll get to that.) In God’s eyes, we are all sinners, and the wages of sin is death, so (other things being equal) we’re all going to die. It’s a simple enough argument, and even atheists agree with its conclusion. But here is Christ’s promise to mortal man.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Christians live in the hope that one day Jesus will return to fulfill His promise. Then shall be the Resurrection of the Dead and the Final Judgement. After which there is rest for the wicked, who succumb to the Second Death (Satan Laughs As You Eternally Rot) while the redeemed enjoy eternal life.

It’s a simple, stark choice. Do you go to the grave, or do you submit your life to Christ? Doing God’s will is all that’s asked of you. It sure beats pursuing your own pitiful plans!

But the reality is that that’s what Jeff Hanneman did. And he succeeded, by earthly standards. He drank lots of Heineken. Lots. And he screwed lots of hot metal chicks. Lots. As rock stars do. And then he settled down and married his lovely wife, Kathy. (So, this is all speculation, but I bet I’m not wrong.) And, in the meantime, he wrote the best songs for, and played lead guitar for, the greatest heavy metal band of all time. I am in awe. This is not a good Christian life by any reckoning, but a sad, wasted life? I don’t think so.

I am grateful to Jeff Hanneman for his life. He has brought me, and countless other metallers, hour upon hour of listening pleasure. And he’s saved people’s lives. Slayer’s music has given many disaffected, disturbed, depressed young people, on the verge of topping themselves, the strength to carry on. (Again, this is all mostly speculation, but I bet I’m not wrong.)

Thank God for Jeff Hanneman.

That’s my comment on my friend’s Facebook thread, and it leaves the comment at the top of this post for dead. Which brings me to my final point. The commenter’s Christian brothers and sisters will, I hope, at least understand where the commenter was coming from. But non-Christians (as I was, until recently) will not. I took exception to the comment because it was a steady diet of such dismissive, derogatory, judgemental comments from Christians that helped sustain my more than three decades of atheism in adult life.

We are Christ’s representatives on earth, and we should act like we know it. It’s one reason I founded this blog. To reach out to other Slayer fans!

Jeff Hanneman’s afterlife destination is ultimately up to his Maker. May God have mercy on his soul.

6 thoughts on “Satan Laughs As You Eternally Rot”

    1. Good question.

      Read the books of the Bible—”for the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart”—and use your discernment—”the person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit”—is my answer—for what it’s worth.

      Slayer is like a whitewashed tomb turned inside-out. But that’s just my opinion.

    1. “Perhaps it is sufficiently demonstrated that such heathen learning is not unprofitable for the soul; I shall then discuss next the extent to which one may pursue it. To begin with the poets, since their writings are of all degrees of excellence, you should not study all of their poems without omitting a single word. When they recount the words and deeds of good men, you should both love and imitate them, earnestly emulating such conduct. But when they portray base conduct, you must flee from them and stop up your ears, as Odysseus is said to have fled past the song of the sirens, for familiarity with evil writings paves the way for evil deeds. Therefore the soul must be guarded with great care, lest through our love for letters it receive some contamination unawares, as men drink in poison with honey. We shall not praise the poets when they scoff and rail, when they represent fornicators and winebibbers, when they define blissfulness by groaning tables and wanton songs. Least of all shall we listen to them when they tell us of their gods, and especially when they represent them as being many, and not at one among themselves… But on the other hand we shall receive gladly those passages in which they praise virtue or condemn vice. For just as bees know how to extract honey from flowers, which to men are agreeable only for their fragrance and color, even so here also those who look for something more than pleasure and enjoyment in such writers may derive profit for their souls. Now, then, altogether after the manner of bees must we use these writings, for the bees do not visit all the flowers without discrimination, nor indeed do they seek to carry away entire those upon which they light, but rather, having taken so much as is adapted to their needs, they let the rest go. So we, if wise, shall take from heathen books whatever befits us and is allied to the truth, and shall pass over the rest. And just as in culling roses we avoid the thorns, from such writings as these we will gather everything useful, and guard against the noxious. So, from the very beginning, we must examine each of their teachings, to harmonize it with our ultimate purpose, according to the Doric proverb, ‘testing each stone by the measuring-line.'”

      – Saint Basil the Great Address to Young Men on the Right Use of Greek Literature

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