God, the devil, and Deion Sanders

As a man who is almost as passionate about college football as he is the gospel, I took great interest in a recent interview with Deion Sanders. For those who are looking to find how to fight the devil in our modern culture, Sanders showed what the devil is up to.

Throughout history, the church fathers gave us a blueprint in combating the forces of evil. They speak of fighting the devil, the flesh, and the world. Unfortunately, the way we fight the devil in most churches looks nothing like what we read in the pages of Scripture. Long prayer meetings with shouting, stomping and yelling our declarations of authority take the place of any real manifestation of authority.

When it comes to spiritual warfare, we focus more on the war than the heart. We settle for language of fighting instead of the actions of resistance. In essence, instead of living in the land of freedom, we visit the field of battle.

The Devil

What’s lost on most of my tribe is that Jesus came as a Rabbi.

He didn’t come like Elijah calling down fire, or Moses turning water to blood, or Samson knocking over buildings. He was widely regarded as a teacher. And in that teaching we are told that he came to destroy the works of the devil.

I have been to a whole bunch of spiritual warfare meetings where there was a lot of screaming but very little victory. As 21st century Christians we need to forge a new Spirit-Filled pattern of spiritual warfare that stays true to our historic faith and actually works.

Satan’s primary weapon is the simple lie and the concept of truth is under attack in the West. This is way bigger than the current culture wars or political discourse. This goes to the foundation of societies and the Church.

Lies are always destructive even when we are deceived into thinking that lying will be an advantage to us. This was highlighted in a court ruling last month. Wherever you stand in the political spectrum is irrelevant for what the judge said in the recent civil trial that’s ongoing in New York against Trump Enterprises.

In his summary judgment, the judge wrote,

“In defendants’ world: rent regulated apartments are worth the same as unregulated apartments; restricted land is worth the same as unrestricted land; restrictions can evaporate into thin air; a disclaimer by one party casting responsibility on another party exonerates the other party’s lies…” Engoron wrote, citing multiple arguments made by defense to justify the allegedly inflated valuations of Trump’s assets. “That is a fantasy world, not the real world.” (emphasis mine)

As one commentator put it, “Trump resorted to a Postmodernist denial of objective truth.”

No one knows if any of us will be alive long enough to see the end of this proceeding making its way through the courts, but the truth itself is on trial. Is there absolute truth? Can we know the truth? Does it matter?

The truth not only matters, it is everything

The idea that there is no absolute truth is an unchristian statement. It’s the opposite of who Jesus is and what He said about his life.

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.” There is a wide way of the world and the narrow way of Jesus. The question is, will we choose the narrow way of truth?

Deion Sanders at the center of the war

This leads me to Deion Sanders and his recent interview on 60 Minutes. Sanders is known for being a flashy athlete playing football and baseball at the most elite levels. But make no mistake, Sanders has been known to play the fool for the press. In reality his football IQ coupled with his elite athleticism made him a Hall of Fame cornerback. A position eclipsed only by quarterback in complexity.

The interview was challenging Sanders on his coaching style. How he got rid of players once he came to Colorado and what he would do if a coach came into town telling his sons they weren’t any good and needed to leave the team.

You can find the full video here

For those not trusting me enough to watch the video, Sander said,

“Truth is good for kids. We are so busy lying, we don’t recognize truth in society. We want everyone to feel good. That’s not reality.“

The judge said, “That is a fantasy world, not the real world.”

God is talking here.

Our world is embracing a postmodern ethic where those who are willing to tell the truth are treated as if they were at fault and the lie that feels better is celebrated.

The Bible is pretty explicit in warning us against this.

But Jesus still stands as the pillar of truth. To those who lie he says,

You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he tells a lie, he speaks from his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44

Coach Sanders has been accused of coaching just so his son has a leg up in football as if that is something to shrink back from.

The reality is, Jesus celebrates when we tell the truth and Coach Sanders is letting it fly. And in this postmodern age, its leaders like that we need to celebrate.

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