La Feria News

Christian Response to War in Ukraine

by Andy Rozell

Anyone who follows the news is dismayed and disheartened by the war in eastern Europe. Americans who became comfortable and confident after the bloodless victory in the Cold War find ourselves shocked to be menaced once again by a brutal, bloodthirsty, and nuclear-armed Russian dictator who threatens to drag our country, and all the world, into an unimaginable catastrophe.

In the face of this monstrous evil, what should Christians do? We’re conscious of our Lord’s demands that we love our enemies and forswear revenge. But does that mean we can’t do anything about the suffering of the Ukrainian people? The answer to that is “no.” There are positive and practical actions we can take in the face of this ongoing crime.

As Christians, we are called to speak the truth in love. Ephesians 4:15. The first thing that Christians can do is speak the truth about the events in Europe, and insist that others do so as well. The Russian war is unprovoked and unjustifiable, and it’s an affront to God.

“The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.”
Psalm 11:5. We must not let mistaken notions of even-handedness and objectivity blind us to this truth, and we can’t let those who would make excuses for Russia’s actions go unchallenged.

Second, we can reject apathy and indifference. Christ made plain that we can’t ignore the suffering of other people. “Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. “ Matthew 24:45 We can reject the idea that what happens in Ukraine is not our concern, and we can seek out ways to help those who are suffering.

Third, and most importantly, we can pray. We must never discount the power of prayer to influence the course of events. But what do we pray for? Vengeance belongs to God, not to us, and Christians should hesitate to pray for death and destruction to fall even on the most wicked of people. But we can pray for other things. We can pray that God will give the Ukrainian people the strength to endure the evil that has visited their country. We can pray for the countless kind and generous people struggling to help the refugees. We can pray that the plans of bloodthirsty men will fail. We can pray that ordinary Russian soldiers will remember that they have more to fear from God than they do from Vladimir Putin. We can pray that the shame and disgrace of their nation will lead the Russian people to repentance and to a repudiation of the crimes committed in their name. We can pray that our neighbors and friends will turn to our Savior as their one sure hope in difficult times. In all of this we can have confidence that, no matter how inarticulate our prayers may be, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and makes our prayers known to the Father, and we can be confident that, no matter how dark events may seem, “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogehter.” Psalm 19:9.

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