A video posted to social media informing Christians that mall retailer Spencer Gifts sells t-shirts bearing messages such as “Let’s Summon Demons” and “Let’s Sacrifice Toby” is causing a stir, being viewed hundreds of thousands of times.
Marcus Rogers, an active Christian and aspiring pastor in the Chicago area, recently recorded live inside of a shopping mall in Illinois after deciding to investigate a post he saw online. He provided footage as proof that the store offers shirts that glorify Satanism and the occult.
One shirt available in the store depicts young children listening to vinyl records, with the words “Devil’s Music Sing-Along” above their heads, and horns and a tail on the word “music.” Another shirt features a graphic of a boy lying on the ground next to blocks that read “666” and a black cat, as a young girl holds a knife above her head. The t-shirt reads “Activities for Children” and “Let’s Sacrifice Toby.”
A third shirt, bearing the same “Activities for Children” wording, also reads “Let’s Summon Demons” and depicts a boy lying on a drawing of a pentagram with candles surrounding him. Other children encircle him, including a young girl holding a teddy bear.
Rogers said that he also noted that there were sex toys in the store, and expressed concern that children can walk into the establishment and be exposed to such ungodliness.
“We’re so close to being Sodom and Gomorrah. We’re living in a place where just anything goes. Do whatever you want, whatever you feel,” he lamented. “All I’m going to say is, repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand.”
“That’s not offensive, right, but Christians are offensive. We’re the ones with the problem,” he said facetiously, expressing bewilderment. “I saw it online and I didn’t want to believe it. … [T]hey can sell it in the stores and they’ve got sex toys … and an underage kid walking around in there just buying clothes [using] cuss words. It’s disgusting.”
Christian News Network confirmed that the shirts are being sold on the Spencer Gifts website, and lists all three as “best sellers.” The company also features the devilish designs on hats, lanyards and drink glasses. Other products referencing Satan or the occult include a t-shirt that simply reads “devil worshipper” and another with a pentagram that says “The Devil’s Lettuce,” referring to marijuana.
According to reports, the “summon demons” and “sacrifice Toby” shirts are meant to be humorous, and are one of a number of designs from Australian graphic designer Steven Rhodes.
“Loosely based on the popular series of exploitive riffs on Little Golden Activity Books that have made the rounds on the Internet, Rhodes has taken things one step beyond with his shirt designs by making up alternate scenarios involving young tykes experiencing their first knife fight or ritualistic cult sacrifice,” writes the site Dangerous Minds, which refers to the shirts as “hilariously deviant retro.”
Other shirts by Rhodes include “My First Knife Fight” and “Timmy Has a Visitor,” which features the grim reaper standing at the door.
Spencer Gifts is stated to additionally operate the Spirit Halloween chain, and launched its “Spirit of Children” program in 2006, which hosts Halloween parties in children’s hospitals.
Some note that Spencer Gifts’ sales of edgy products is characteristic of the store, and has been for some time.
In 2015, police in Rapid City, South Dakota seized sex toys from the Spencer store in Rushmore Mall as concerns were raised that the retailer was operating as an adult-oriented businesses without licensure. The company argued that it does not believe that it needs to register as adult-oriented, despite having displays containing sexual merchandise. Rapid City’s ordinance requires registration only if sexual merchandise constitutes a “substantial or significant portion of its stock.”
Rogers stated in his video, which has generated over 459,000 views as of press time, that if the lost can be that bold in glorifying evil, the Church needs to be bold as well in speaking up for Christ.
“The Bible says the righteous are as bold as a lion,” he said. “I’m telling you, it’s coming. You better wake up and pay attention.”
The late Anglican preacher J.C. Ryle once outlined that Christians should be moved with genuine godly sorrow over sin in the land.
“This was the mind of David—‘I beheld the transgressors, and was grieved’ (Psalm 119:158). This was the mind of the godly in the days of Ezekiel—‘They sighed and cried for the abominations done in the land.’ (Ezek. 9:4). This was the mind of Lot—‘He vexed his righteous soul with the unlawful deeds’ of those around him (2 Peter 2:8). This was the mind of Paul—‘I have great heaviness and continual sorrow for my brethren’ (Rom. 9:2). In all these cases we see something of the mind of Christ. As the great Head feels, so feel the members. They all grieve when they see sin.”