in ,

Toward a Christian perspective on the war in Ukraine [Video]

This comes as Ukrainian president Zelensky tries to seduce the American congress into launching WWIII

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.

This is a reprint from a conversation in social media. Someone asked a very good question that I have seen asked and used as a talking point to support the view that Russia is in the wrong for invading Ukraine and for all the loss of life.

I entered this with an effort to only acknowledge that the point of view expressed by President Vladimir Putin is accurate, logical and that it helps explain his decision to do what he did. I stopped short at endorsing it because of the sheer fact of the innocents who are dying with the guilty, whoever those guilty may be, Russian, Ukrainian, etc…

The question is who is right?” 

A corollary question is the one I got today, expressed this way:

May I ask a simple Christian opinion from you. Does that mean all that happened in Lughansk and Donetsk were not important. Did not these people suffer???

And this is the reasoning I am aware of thus far. I hope it is as truly rooted in the Gospel as I think it is, and of course, making it public on The Duran is a way to invite comments and feedback, and I certainly hope that there are comments and feedback. I don’t have the market cornered on God by any means, and so while I am certainly taking a side now, that being the side of the Russian Federation as stated in the premises of President Putin’s speeches, linked here and here, there is a distinct thread I believe exists in this that shows why I think Russia is in the right about what it is doing, even though many of us IN Russia do not accept it or agree with it.

I do. And I do, 100 percent, not because I am on President Putin’s payroll (such would be helpful!!) but because I am an Orthodox Christian who has traveled through a hard road to repentance myself and my falls and stumbles shaped me to understand how God works in the way he has worked in my life.

So, I ask your forgiveness – some of this will be very hard to take. I don’t mean it to be. Let me just say that I am praying for both sides equally, for the innocents and the guilty alike, for most of us know not what we do.

Here, then, the answer that has been forming. May the Lord guide us all to HIS truth, for my hold on it is still very flawed:

Yes, they did suffer, they have been suffering and they are definitely suffering now. This is a difficult situation and I probably do not understand it correctly. But I can offer a big-picture sort of view. It will seem noticeably unkind, but I think it holds.

Sorry, the answer is likely to be lengthy – it is not possible to attempt such huge questions with five-second pithy answers.

There are several operating principles that have been observed throughout history. I want to point them out, noting that these are not stated in any particular order, but you may intuit their priority of importance yourself, especially if you pray a lot and go to Church a lot.

1. A believing king sanctifies the nation: This is almost always the case. Read the four books of Kings in the Old Testament. God-fearing rulers = well being of the nation. This almost always holds true, with the one notable example in our times being Tsar Nikolai II and his family, very deeply believing Orthodox Christians, but martyred for their faith. However, this leads to point number 2.

2. A believing priesthood protects and sanctifies the nation: New Testament – the Jewish leaders, the Pharisees, Scribes, Saducees – these people were very, VERY learned in Judaism, the Law and the practice of the religious life of Judaism. Jesus Himself gave them credit for how careful they were to make sure to follow every tenet of the Mosaic Law, BUT, he noted over and over that their adherence to these practices and traditions had actually become their God, rather than God himself. In the example of Tsar Nikolai, the priesthood was largely corrupted through and through – people became priests for an easy meal ticket, so to speak, and they were actually functioning atheists, often alcoholics. With such poor connections to the life in Christ, these people displayed an externalism that is easily mistaken by many for “Christianity” but which is not. It is characterised by no love of God or of one’s neighbor and especially of one’s enemy.

3. Secularist faith versus the experience of God: It is easy to go to Church. It is easy to build a church temple. It is easy to give money to the Church if you have money. It is easy to follow the fasts, and follow the feasts. All these and more can be done with a secular frame of reference as God and not God himself. Look at the United States! Many people are “religious” and some are even Orthodox Christians, but they gladly skip church if the Broncos are playing that day, or they come to Pascha but not before or after, or they don’t come early of their own volition to pray and spend time with God, and they have no humility. Their external religion “looks good” and so they think it “IS good.” I warned my parish in Denver back in 2012-2013 that a trial was coming where our faith would be tested mightily. And I was right. Covid came in 2020 and while Colorado had the “ten person maximum” limit set on church services, when looking at live streamed services from that place or talking to people who WERE faithful, there were not ten people inside and more outside; there were one or two people only, other than clergy. No one cared before, and COVID scared them and they did not come during the pandemic either. That is secularist faith and it is not faith in God. The response to the pandemic should have been PACKED churches, not closed ones. That applies everywhere.

4. Putting Christ and the Faith first, and bringing the world into relevance with the Church, and not trying to make the Church relevant to the world: This is where we see the difference between what has been happening in Russia over the last 30 years and what has been taking place in much of Ukraine and its leadership over the same time. This is also the part that is very unpleasant because of what takes place.

Russia has been steadily moving towards a framework based on Orthodox Christian teaching and practice. The recent laws passed banning gay marriage, the strong stature of even our imperfect Patriarch Kirill and Metropolitan Hilarion and Tikhon alongside President Putin, who is also very imperfect (just like me), shows nevertheless an attempt to bring back something called “Symphonia” where the Church acts as the conscience and the guiding principle of the State, and the State acts as the secular bishoprics of the Church. It is far from 100 percent, but the MOVEMENT is in this direction, towards alignment with the Gospel of Christ, in Russia.

In Ukraine the movement of the leadership has been in the opposite direction, and this is really sad, because Metropolitan Onuphry is a great hierarch, a wonderful Christian believing man and a Ukrainian, who is probably not only saddened and horrified by the war, but perhaps also outraged by it. Nevertheless, the government of Ukraine has been a proxy to Western values. The last president, Petro Poroshenko, forced the creation of a “Ukrainian Church” with the frame of mind “We don’t need the Russian God; we have our own God” and then “Glory to Ukraine!” which is a Nazi-era sort of slogan that should never be used. Glory is for God alone.

Then we have President Zelensky, who is an atheist. Sometimes atheists are good to have around because they don’t involve themselves in relgious disputes since their own belief is that it is all nonsense anyway – but nevertheless, how the person lives who is leader, and how he or she is oriented – either towards God or away from him… well that takes us back to #1 and #2 above. The country is influenced by secularism. The new “Ukrainian Church” is set to be a pipeline for very super-nationalist (secular) views, for possibly a “redefinition” of morality by being softer and more promotional of LGBT activism and so on. It won’t happen quickly because most Ukrainians are probably about as horrified by homosexuality as Russians are. But again the direction is to do what was done in the West – to make it acceptable, and even laudable. That is not towards God, it is flouting Him and throwing his love back in his face with the worst sort of hatred. The same thing is true for many other issues.

Again, Russia has a lot of the same things going on. But the direction of the country and its leadership is away from secular norms and towards Christian norms and in Ukraine this appears to be the opposite. I have not heard one member of the new Ukrainian “Orthodox” Church talk about salvation. Not one. They talk about politics, Russia, Putin, but not about their own salvation.

With this direction in Ukraine, unfortunately, even those who are faithful Christians get caught up in the mess. Now some of the news being reported is false and propaganda. Note that Russia itself reports very little about the war, its progress or anything, but Ukraine is all over the socials saying stuff. Therefore the picture being painted of the war is as the Ukrainians and the West want it to be seen, and it is loaded with untruth, and, tragically, it is mixed with enough truth to magnify the lies, and worst of all, it makes people think that there must be some equivocation that must be done.

This isn’t true. While we don’t have a country of saints of God fighting a country of demons, we do have a country trying to move itself towards God fighting a country that wants the ‘good life’ of the West. The distinction is VERY clear to see.

Does that justify killing civilians? No. But the civilians were being killed anyway – the fighting in Donetsk began in 2014 and has been killing civilians the whole time, while most of the world ignored it. Now we are paying attention, but without knowing what today’s actions are in light on.

Hopefully this is a help to see what is going on. Ultimately (and this is the hardest truth for me personally, but please know I don’t say this without knowing that I am responsible for it and may be caught up in it myself), our life on earth is a preparation for eternity. If we are faithful to God, when our death comes as the result of this war, God will be with us and we with him. This is hardly a loss. But it is the hardest path to take, and the one that many of us – even believers – are going to be very slow to accept, especially with all the passions that arise during a war.

This is probably an inadequate answer, but maybe it points the way a little bit.

We need to pray. We need to pray for both sides, for all the people involved, and for our own souls because our sinfulness helped bring this war about. No one is innocent. We all go down together, or we all lift one another up together. We have to decide what side to take.

This woman did. She is blessing the Russian tanks and carriers.


The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.

What do you think?

Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
March 17, 2022

From the spiritual, moral, social, political and military point of view, I have no doubt that this is a just war on Russia’s part. Spiritual~Biblical: A war of essential defence of one’s people and country is right before God. This is an axiom that should need no expanding upon. God does not condone wars of aggression – always for dominion and greed – as He detests the wealthy and powerful abusing the weak and poor (plenty of examples in His Word). The Donbass was being long attacked by ethnic slander and abuse and military aggression. No possibility of peaceful resolution… Read more »

Diana Whelpley
March 18, 2022
Rate this article :

Thank you, thank you, thank you! This is a much needed reminder. We need to not get all caught up in the politics and to remember whom we worship and what “business” we are to be about. (Jesus to his mother, “Did you not know I had to be about My Father’s business?”) I will share this widely with fellow Christians.

We need Douglas Macgregor for U.S. President.

“This is a f***ing trap, they won’t let you survive”: British mercenary urged foreigners to give up their desire to fight for Ukraine