On Ukraine, Again
More vital thoughts on the war in Ukraine:
Two days ago I sought to lay out the case for how I view the situation in Ukraine. As I remarked, none of us have all the truth and insight on the situation. We must prayerfully and carefully seek to find the truth as best we can. Staying humble in the process sure helps. None of us are infallible here, and we should be open to course redirection if and when it is required.
But just as others have their take on this, I also have my own point of view on these matters, and I have been sharing it. Needless to say, plenty of others disagree with me – some quite strongly. Indeed, many are happily hating on me, calling me every name under the sun, and unfriending me on the social media as fast as they can. Well, it is no fun, and it hurts, but I will seek to do what I feel God is calling me to do.
Here I will look a bit further at some of the objections, criticisms and claims being made by others. A 25,000 word piece would be needed to deal with all of them. But let me focus on just a few of them. One thing often heard – usually in the form of memes and the like – is that emphasis on Ukraine is just a diversion or a distraction.
And often these memes making the rounds are being pushed by those who are more or less conservative in their views. One popular meme for example features a guy turning his head to check out a passing woman while he walks along with his own partner. The text usually speaks of the distracting woman as Ukraine, while his partner represents all the problems at home.
The message is: things are quite bad in the West, and it is somehow quite wrong to worry about or focus on Ukraine. But it is not all that helpful to imply that we either be concerned about the rape of Ukraine or the worrying statism and health fascism etc., that we have seen in the West.
I am deeply concerned about both as a Christian and I will speak out about both as much as I possibly can. It is not an either/or but a both/and. And it is not a distraction. I have challenged some friends when they have posted these things. Some have tried to say this is really only about how the media distract us and so on. Sure, the media may not be able to handle more than one big story at a time, but that is not the real issue here.
And some say the memes simply mean we should get our own house in order, and they will sometimes offer some biblical passages to reinforce this point. But the main text we can appeal to here (1 Peter 4:17) does not refer to nation states and how we should think about a just international social order.
We can seek to keep the nations we live in in check as we try to be salt and light there. But we can also seek justice in global affairs. There is no either/or here. If we wait until Australia or America first become perfect, the rest of the world will go up in flames. We should be working at both things simultaneously.
And one last point: if this is all just a distraction to keep us from dealing with the NWO, etc., just who did the invading? Um, it was not Ukraine, or America, but Putin and Russia, the ones supposedly raised up by God to save us from the NWO!
A second thing I quite often hear from some Christians is that Putin may be God’s instrument to take on a decadent West and so on. This too I see over and over again. They say Putin is somehow the virtuous savior needed to deal with a world full of vice. I will speak to this more in a moment, but let’s speak briefly about God using pagan rulers. Several things can be said.
In the Old Testament at least God gave us prophets to tell the people of God what was going on. We do not have the same thing today as such, so things are much less clear. And there is a big difference between God using a Nebuchadnezzar as an instrument of judgment and a Cyrus as a means of blessing. Recall that after God used the evil Assyrians and Babylonians to judge Israel, God then went on to judge them as well!
I also find it problematic how so many are defending Putin while claiming Ukraine is somehow the epitome of evil: it is the deep state, it is corrupt, it is part of the NWO, it is decadent, and so on. They basically claim: ‘Russia and Putin are lightyears ahead of the West. They are morally and spiritually so much better.’ I have heard this over and over again. Here is just one shocking but fully representative comment presented to me:
I will take Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin any day of the week over any leader in the west, whatever his faults. I am a million times more outraged regarding having to see sodomite filth polluting the streets of Sydney once again, the millions of babies aborted in the west, the large number of deaths from the covid death jab by and large which are never reported, the hatred of the non-vaxxed, the health dictatorship etc etc than Russia “attacking” the Ukraine. Most people who are so faux outraged over Putin’s actions couldn’t care less about this other stuff and by and large support all of it. It makes me puke.
First – and of interest – some folks tell me they never hear or read comments like this. I tell them that they must move in different circles than I do – I get them all the time! But second, this is just idiocy: the idea that Putin and Russia are basically the kingdom of God on earth, while Ukraine and the West are nothing than the abode of Satan is just ludicrous. All nations are corrupt and sinful. None is perfect.
And it is another stupid false dilemma: I and many others have spoken out on things like homosexuality and other types of immorality in the West for years now. This focus on just a few things like homosexuality means they often rule out or ignore other sins. Many of these critics end up whitewashing other sins that God also cares about. But I can defend family values while also condemning imperialism and war crimes.
Killing innocent men, women and children actually angers God just as much as homosexuality does. But when we in effect just wink at all those other sins in our fixation on just one or two sins, we are not presenting the full counsel of God. We are picking and choosing what WE think is the greatest sin. Sure, homosexuality will send you to hell – no question. But so will murdering innocent people, and being a bloodthirsty tyrant.
When one runs with these anti-Ukraine and anti-West views so strongly, one ends up not only becoming one-eyed, but offering a blank cheque for the evil of Putin and others. Many of these critics who especially focus on things like homosexuality would – or should – also agree that abortion is another horrible sin that God abhors.
But wakey wakey: Russia continues to be a world leader in the slaughter of the unborn, with more than one abortion for every two live births. By the logic of many of these critics (if they would be consistent), NATO would be entirely justified to invade and wipe out the evil Russia to deal with this great sin. Indeed, it would be God’s chosen instrument to bring righteousness to the land! That is exactly how far too many Christians are speaking about Putin and Ukraine.
Sorry, but I find all these matters to be fundamentally evil, sinful and abhorrent in God’s eyes. So I will not be drawn into being forced to choose between one sort of sin or another. I will condemn both sets of sins with the entirety of my being. This is what God has called me to do. This is what my heavenly commission is all about. As such, I must seek to please God and not men.
One more thing about this. When these folks present their long lists of all the great evils in Ukraine and elsewhere, many will defend their argument by prefacing it with words like the following:
“Putin may have some issues, but…”
“He is not perfect, but…”
“I am not condoning Putin but…”
“For all his faults…”
Almost invariably these five- or six-word introductions are fully offset – if not negated – by everything else that follows from these critics. And what follows is a very lengthy and often emotive rant about how bad Ukraine and Zelinskyy are, how good Putin and Russia are, and how we must basically applaud this invasion as a way to ‘drain the swamp,’ ‘clear out the deep state,’ ‘undo the evil empire,’ and so on.
So what these folks give us with the one hand they take away with the other. All that they continue to say makes it rather clear that they do NOT really think Putin is in any way a bad dude. They DO end up fully condoning his actions. They ARE in fact justifying what he has done.
One last and related point. Christians in the area have sent back many incredible reports. One Christian missionary that I personally know of has just sent this report out:
The mayor of the city of Ternopil called our center to report that 6,000 refugees were coming in on the next trains: could they help? The funds are enabling our staff to distribute these people to churches and homes throughout the city. They are also being used to buy food for them, as well as taking food to the besieged city of Kyiv. They are also taking large containers to the few locations where fuel is still available, filling them, and taking them to fuel the vehicles that are transporting people.
As Ukraine continues to be attacked, the situation in Russia is worsening. Over the years, western missionaries have been pushed out of the country with economic and anti-terrorist laws that were gradually enacted to close down any western influence. Most western missionaries were eventually forced out. Yesterday, the last Americans were told to depart Russia and the few western team families we still had in the country had to leave. They are currently in Central Asia waiting to go back to the U.S. Churches and other groups in Russia have been sent questionnaires asking if they have any contact with western nations.
-Our team in Russia has no access to funds or help of any kind from outside. There is a lot of hurt and fear about the future and we need to pray for them.
-These next hours will be crucial in Ukraine as Kyiv is under siege. Pray for our team there. Many are in subways and basements. Some remain at our center to take in people who are losing their homes. Pray for the drivers, bravely risking their lives to transport people to safety.
-Pray for the thousands and thousands of Ukrainian refugees standing in lines at the borders. It is cold and they are mostly women and children. They are suffering greatly. Our team has built a great network of people throughout the country through the many churches they have been working with. As a result, they are in a good place to help them with food and shelter.
Thank you for your prayers and giving,
Al and the Slavic Ministries Team
All this of course stands in marked contrast to the silly claims that Putin is the Christian saviour that all evangelicals should fully support. No, he is NOT our friend, nor a friend of the gospel.
In sum, we still need some moral and mental clarity here.
19 Replies to “On Ukraine, Again”
Amen n Amen Bill. Praying right now thank you for posting.
Many thanks Kaylene.
Where there is fault there is usually two to blame, and one thing I know for sure is that God is in control. Whilst we all pray to God for this or for that, maybe it is time that we started praying God LET YOUR WILL BE DONE and NOT OURS because at the end of the day God’s ways are never ours. War is are horrible thing, and yes people die and homes and cities are destroyed, yet it is nothing new, you only have to read the old testament to know this. God is the same today as he was yesterday and if memory serves me correct when he sent his servants into war there were times when he had women and children killed also. We as Australians cannot change what is happening in other parts of the world, however we can change things here and I believe our own nation The Great South Land of the Holy Spirit put under our charge as followers of Jesus is where our focus should be. We talk about what is happening over in Ukraine but you only have to look at what is happening in our own backyard with the massive floods to see that our own people are also suffering. Lives, homes, processions, livelihoods and animals are being lost in the hundreds and it is still on going on. This is just as devastating as those who are experiencing same through war. Both Russia and Ukraine are doing what they need to do to protect their own and rightly so, and so should we be by watching after our own. God will decide who gets what after all it is his to give and takeaway even though his enemy will do his best to persuade us otherwise. In God we put our trust, not man.
Thanks Ingrid but you may not have read my piece – at least very carefully. That God is in control all Christians believe, so that goes without saying. But that is not the end of the matter. But let me repeat and restate what you seem to have missed:
All Christians should care about not just their ‘own back yard’ but what is happening throughout God’s world. We are global people who should be concerned about all cases of injustice, wickedness and evil. We should care whenever innocent people suffer and are killed. Guess what? We can deal with issues in our own countries while also caring deeply about and doing what we can (prayer, at the very least) for what is happening elsewhere. As I say, I reject this foolish and unbiblical notion that we must do one or the other. We can and should do both.
But this is why we needed a skilled and practices negotiator like Donald Trump. For all his obvious faults he was able to largely diffuse the hegemony of North Korea and this is exactly what we needed with Putin and Russia.
It was not as though we were not given huge warning about the Ukraine invasion but the absurdly socialist and woke Europe and the similar Biden are more than happy to have an enemy they can point to. One they know they can defeat, unlike China who they largely admire anyway. This is exactly what George Orwell spoke of in 1984. This sort of thing is needed to distract from the obvious problems caused by socialism so the socialist were more than happy to provoke Putin with NATO and it would have been very obvious what his reaction would be.
Free market political proponents will always be much more in favour of freedoms and human rights than socialists ever will and we should not forget that Putin gained his wealth and power under the Soviet socialist regime. Socialist believe the end justifies the means. They are not interested in justice here and now.
Thanks Bill. I hope I end up being wrong with this, but I believe that while the U.S is under the Democrats (whether it be Biden atm or any other Democrat in the future), that the U.S would not intervene directly (from a military point of view), no matter what Russia (or China) end up doing in the future (barring a direct attack on the U.S itself). With a lot of the D’s being increasingly far left (and hence anti-Western traditional values/beliefs), I wouldn’t be surprised if (in the background) many of them are quite happy what’s happening now!!!
I am with you Andrew. As long as Biden and the Dems are running things in the US, I would not trust the country to handle most important issues properly, certainly not the Ukrainian situation.
Thank you Bill for summing up the situation. It is so important to keep a level head, as you have done, and seek Gods wisdom in all this and not take on the world’s views…I am grateful for what you have discussed and shown the extremes. I also am sorry to hear of those who have turned on you (not being true to the Lord or His word in brotherly love, if they turn to hate mail)
In the end as I have taken this situation to the Lord, I have felt led by my heart to pray for all escaping from Ukraine, praying they make it over the border; praying women can carry their young and the young and elderly be helped by the angels and others at the times they are exhausted and trauma has caught up. May God lift the burden and help. May God be with those fighting for their country – the ones who will fight to the end and lay down their lives if needed. The President Zelenksy has pledged to be ready to stay and suffer also (many would have fled).
My heart is moved to pray for the citizens of Russia who also suffer and many disagree with the war. They are victims too and have relatives in Ukraine and are being asked to fight a war they may not believe in.
My prayer is too that God restrains Putin, with His Holy Spirit and angelic hosts. In the OT and NT history God has done mighty things to h stop evil- he allowed Elijah to see the angelic forces surrounding Mt Carmel, and the destruction of the Baal gods. he allowed Herod to set himself up as ‘god’ and receive all the praise but then to die in a moment of God’s judgement.
We are told many false christs will come and that the spirit of the antichrist is already here (1John), so must ‘discern the times’ like the sons of Isaachar and be like the Bereans and match events with God’s word and prophecy of how it will be in the last days when suffering, lawlessness and deception increase, and ‘watch and pray’.
I find Peter Hitchens’ take on the Ukraine mess quite interesting. Like him, I wonder what the West would have done if it had been China moving against Taiwan… See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvmddazUW3I .
From past reading on the Ukraine of the dying centuries of the Czars and their Russian Empire, it was in Ukraine that Anabaptist refugees from Western Europe, and other Christian Non-Conformists were given some protection by the Empire, provided that the Czar and the Russian Orthodox leadership of the day were not too unkindly disposed to these “unorthodox elements”.
There would also have been a greater number of Jewish communities in Ukraine, than farther east in Imperial Russia, I strongly suspect, too.
Putin’s dreams of a revived Russian Empire – “making Russia great again” – are bound to collide head-on with the less conservative outlook that would be a significant part of Ukraine’s post-mediaeval cultural heritage.
As with Britain’s ineffectual promises to Poland on the eve of World War II, the grim realities of geography mean NATO would never have been able to adequately support Ukraine, even if Ukraine had become a NATO member.
The scary question is: Is Ukraine the only Eastern or Central European country in Putin’s grand designs?
Yes quite right John.
I sent your last blog on this issue to several friends because it was like a breath of fresh air bringing balance and sanity to the whole issue.
Problem is Putin has no respect for Biden, Macron, and Johnson. None whatsoever because of the way they conduct their affairs at home.
So there is a severe vacuum in leadership in the West. If Trump had still been President by now, he would have been to see Putin in Moscow personally, and defused the situation.
Instead Kamala Harris is alleged to have previously said that NATO would probably ‘welcome’ Ukraine, and Johnson has put British Forces in Estonia.
It would help to defuse this if the US and the British changed leaders. Obviously they would be from the same party i.e. Democrats (US) and Conservatives (UK).
Quite so Alan. It is exactly because most of our Western leaders are so weak, woke, decadent and useless, that Putin can make a move like this. And we likely will soon see China making its move on Taiwan – for the very same reason.
There is so much rhetoric out there and with all the news coverage and the bends and twists that they put on it, that one has to, if you are a believer, rely on the Holy Spirit for discernment, As believers we should be looking at the ‘END GAME” that this is going to put into action. First off, I am appalled at the western world for allowing Putin to hold us hostage. All he has to say is that he is putting his nuclear armament on high alert and the western leaders knees start knocking, all go scurrying to their advisors and hiding behind fear. Just say it mind you! America has not stood up for what’s right in a long time, with a continual decay of our moral values. If i see a man beating the life out of woman on the street, do I stop and debate what to do? Do i count the costs of engaging to stop this brutality? Do i size up the attacker and let fear make my decision? I was raised to stand for what’s right, to man up and be a protector, to stand in the gap against evil. I will stop the attacker, no matter the ramaficatons. So….basic nuts and bolts of what is going on. Here is the ” end game”. Putin is a bully, a thug. They do not go away until done away with. Period. Putin will take Ukraine. He will push hard to gain more control over the world oil reserves, and in the near future, he will move on Nato, Poland or the whole block. When he does, China will be coordinating a move on Taiwan. And all the time, here at home, we will be strangled down by the current administration and their Green new Deal and their pushing of policies that drive us further from God. It will usher in the end days and the return of the Lion of Judah. IF…..if Putin is not stopped now, the world will pay a far greater price down the road. And, as a believer….we have to have faith that God raises up leaders, and binds them, and there is a prophesied storyline that has to be played out. The church cannot become distracted by the world events. We have one mandate, actually two: Spread the Gospel and stand against evil. On the last one, we all individually, and the church, have to look at where America is now and repent for allowing evil to run unchecked. This is the end result.
Thanks Bill for your balanced approach on the Ukraine situation. I’m praying in 2 ways-that God will intervene supernaturally and stop the war and that decent Russians who love democracy will rise and overthrow Putin.
Thank you for the article. As always I agree with a lot of what you say. However, when you refer to the prophets of the Old Testament and say that ‘we do not have the same thing today as such’ Roman Catholics like myself believe that God HAS sent someone even more important than the prophets of the Old Testament. Saying that is not undermine the important role of the Old Testament prophets but to remind the world of God’s great love and mercy for His Creation. His love and mercy is so great that He condescended to send His own Blessed Mother from Heaven
a simple Jewish maiden whom He had prepared from eternity for the role of being Mother to His only Son Our Lord Jesus Christ. He did this to warn us of the grave consequences [even nuclear war] if humankind does not repent and amend its ways. Our Lady was sent by God in 1917 to the three children of Fatima in Portugal which, as everyone knows, was during the first world war. The Russian Revolution was also in progress. The Blessed Mother said ‘wars were the result of the sins of men’ and she said if the world did not change an even worse war would break out. As we know that prophecy was fulfilled at the outbreak of World War 2. She also said that ‘the errors [communism] would reach right to the top of the Church.’ There are many Catholics that think this prophecy has also been fulfilled. She also asked that Russia be consecrated to her Immaculate heart but it was never done properly and obviously the Ukrainian Catholic Bishops think the same because they have made a point of asking Pope Francis to do it since the war in Ukraine broke out. Whether he will or not remains to be seen. Fatima is not the only time in the last two hundred years that God has sent His Mother to warn the world of the errors of its ways but sadly there are many that refuse to believe that He has even done this never mind heed the message. It makes sense to me that God should send his Mother because as Jesus was fully human as well as Divine who more important to Him as a human being than His Mother who gave Him life?
this would be one of the major Christian v Roman Catholic divides. According to Scripture Mary had many sons and daughters with Joseph before his death. At the time of His crucifixion Jesus – unable to fulfil the duties of firstborn, transferred responsibility and care of His matronly mother to John the Disciple (John 19). While she was Jesus’ mother on Earth, she is no more His ‘Blessed Mother in Heaven’ than she is John the Disciple’s – he who was made her son, and she his mother.
It follows from this that all claims about Mary being sent from Heaven as some sort of messenger would be highly problematic. While there are 2 prophesied to return to Earth, many think this refers to Enoch and Elijah given they were taken before death.