Stan Kroenke Isn’t Satan, But… Here Are Two Things He Has Inadvertently Reminded Us About Him
Whatever his other faults may be, Stan Kroenke is not Satan; let me make that perfectly clear. But in watching this debacle with the Rams unfold, I have been reminded of some things that God’s Word has to say about Satan. Here are two of them.
- Satan masquerades as an angel of light.
It wasn’t so long ago that Stan Kroenke was seen in a very different light. He was hailed by some as a savior when he rode into town in 1995 helping to bring the Rams and NFL football back to Saint Louis. Fast forward twenty years, and now he has revealed his true colors. He was never a savior, he was and is a businessman. Make no mistake, his decision to move the Rams back to Los Angeles has everything to do with profit margins.
This difference between reality and perception is one that the Apostle Paul pointed to in regards to Satan. He said, when speaking about the existence of false apostles (people claiming to speak for Jesus who had ulterior motives) “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:13-14)
This is how Satan operates. He doesn’t show up as that caricature we’ve got in our heads of the red devil with horns and pitchfork. He comes to us in ways that we don’t expect; disguised so that he catches us with our guards down. And so Paul warns us to be ever vigilant. On guard against false teachers who look and sound good, but whose ultimate aim is to lead people astray.
- Satan is a liar and the father of lies.
In Kroenke’s application for relocation to the NFL, he decided to go for the scorched earth tactic. It was not enough to make an appeal to move the Rams, he felt it necessary to burn the bridges behind him as he left the city. To anyone native to St. Louis, the lies that Stan leveled against the city were laughable. He asserted that “Any NFL Club that signs on to this proposal in St. Louis will be well on the road to financial ruin, and the League will be harmed.” I don’t think an NFL team, or the league, could lose money if it tried. He tried to paint a picture of an apathetic fan base; a city that didn’t care about sports or its teams. I’ve only lived in Saint Louis for a short time, but one thing that I learned first about St. Louis was its dedication to sports and to the teams who call St. Louis home. But it was easier for Kroenke to place the blame on empty seats on the shoulders of the city than in the quality of the product he put on the field. He focused on the empty seats and ignored those fans that stayed loyal throughout one of the worst droughts in NFL history. Its hard to believe that anyone could believe such boldface lies.
Stan isn’t the first, however, to throw around unfounded accusations. Jesus had this to say of Satan. “He has nothing to do with the truth, because the truth is not in him. When he lies he speaks his out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44) Satan is the original liar and deceiver. It started with Adam and Eve in the garden with his lie, “You will not surely die.” in contrast to God’s command and warning; not to eat the fruit of the tree. And his lies continue today. To some he claims that God does not exist. He tells them that they are free to live just how they want without consequences. To others he claims that, although they have been named children of God through their baptisms, God ceases to love and care for them if they fail to live a perfect life. He claims that their salvation is dependent on their actions and ability.
But in the midst of these many lies Jesus speaks the truth. He says to you as he said to his disciples, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. Everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. But if the Son sets you free you will be free indeed.” (John 8:31-36) Salvation and truth are found in no one other than Jesus the Christ.
“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.”
– C.S. Lewis