Acknowledging our Adversaries and Not Admiring Them
Everything in our world, in our being has a spiritual component whether we realize it or not. Putin is smart man but so was Hitler. We can make many observations about the genius of Nazi Germany and the many men and women in it without admiration.
We have done many things as a nation to harm the people in Russia just as they have done many things to harm us and both nations continue in this mode of conflict. It is evil and hypocritical. But having said that we must protect our nation and the interests of those we agree to help and protect.
The article below gives us a good assessment of perhaps why Putin is doing what he is doing.
Our call is clear as Christians to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ in the Ukraine and pray for an end to this conflict! - Andy
The Culture, Civilization and Human Values that Unite the Peoples of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.
"Threatened by an uprising of his treacherous generals, the Christian Emperor Basil II, based in the glorious city of Byzantium, reached out to his enemies, the pagans over in the land of the Rus. Basil II was a clever deal maker. If Vladimir of the Rus would help him put down the revolt, he would give him the hand of his sister in marriage. This was a status changer for Vladimir: the marriage of a pagan to an imperial princess was unprecedented. But first Vladimir would have to convert to Christianity...Soviet Communism tried to crush all this — but failed. And in the post-Soviet period, thousands of churches have been built and re-built. Though the West thinks of Christianity as something enfeebled and declining, in the East it is thriving. Back in 2019, Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, boasted that they were building three churches a day. Last year, they opened a Cathedral to the Armed Forces an hour outside Moscow. Religious imagery merges with military glorification. War medals are set in stained glass, reminding visitors of Russian martyrdom. In a large mosaic, more recent victories — including 2014’s “the return of Crimea” — are celebrated. “Blessed are the peacemakers” this is not...Putin regards his spiritual destiny as the rebuilding of Christendom, based in Moscow. When the punk band Pussy Riot wanted to demonstrate against the President, they chose to do so in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow, a vast white and gold edifice, demolished by the Soviets and rebuilt in the Nineties. It is a synthesis of Russia’s national and spiritual aspirations. It’s not just Russia, it is “Holy Russia”, part religious project, part extension of Russian foreign policy. Speaking of Vladimir’s mass baptism, Putin explained: “His spiritual feat of adopting Orthodoxy predetermined the overall basis of the culture, civilization and human values that unite the peoples of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.” He wants to do the same again. And to do this he needs Kyev back. “The spiritual choice made by St Vladimir still largely determines our affinity today” Putin wrote only last year. “In the words of Oleg the Prophet about Kyev, “let it be the mother of all Russian cities”...The Western secular imagination doesn’t get this. It looks at Putin’s speech the other evening, and it describes him as mad — which is another way of saying we do not understand what is going on. And we show how little we understand by thinking that a bunch of sanctions is going to make a blind bit of difference. They won’t. “Ukraine is an inalienable part of our own history, culture and spiritual space” Putin said. That’s what this is all about, “spiritual space” — a terrifying phrase steeped in over a thousand years of Russian religious history." from the article: Putin’s spiritual destiny by Giles Fraiser
Giles Fraser is a journalist, broadcaster and Rector at the south London church of St Mary’s, Newington