Rudy Ross asked me to comment in today’s YouTube video about the latest Russian propaganda piece about the ‘de-satanization’ of Ukraine.
If you are not familiar with that news, I have copied a few paragraphs from the Daily Beast.
As Russia increasingly seeks to reframe its invasion of Ukraine as a holy war, Vladimir Putin has been declared the chosen one to defeat the “antichrist” and Russian priests have been deployed to the frontline to bolster morale among the troops they now refer to as “soldiers of Christ.”
The article relates the baptism of a Russian soldier in a body bag.
The bizarre baptism came as Patriarch Kirill, the head of Russia’s Orthodox Church, ramped up his support for the war Tuesday by claiming Putin is the chosen one to fight against the “antichrist.”
In a speech before the 24th Congress of the World Russian People’s Council, Putin’s holy man argued there were “a lot” of signs to indicate the “end of the world” was near—and the Russian leader is the only one who can stop it, a fact which makes other world leaders jealous.
According to the Daily Beast, de-Satanization came from one party official.
Neo-pagan cults “Are Gaining Strength in Ukraine,” ended with the declaration: “I believe that with the continuation of the special military operation, it is becoming more and more urgent to carry out the de-Satanization of Ukraine.”
In today’s video, I remarked that the Russian Orthodox Church is opposed to Protestants.
Cults and Protestants that need to be “de-satanized” include “Hasids, and other religious and philosophical branch of Judaism, Pentecostals and other Protestant denominations,” according to a statement from a Russian official.
What does the Bible say?
Paul had a specific issue in mind when he wrote the following words to Timothy.
“Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will renounce the faith by paying attention to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons,
“Through the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared with a hot iron” (1 Timothy 4.1-2).
Tomorrow’s video will address these verses to the situation in Ephesus. Today’s video and article will apply them to Russian propaganda.
(1) The proof of faith is not what you say, but what you do.
Fiona Hill, an expert on Putin and Russia, recently said she believes 90,000 Russian soldiers have been killed in Russia.
We can expect that Ukraine has suffered as many or more losses (military and civilian) from the war.
Seven to ten million people have become internally or externally displaced because of the conflict.
The question is, “Who needs to be de-satanized” in this conflict – Russian leadership or Ukraine?
Only God is the judge, but statements like the ones I quoted from the Daily Beast don’t reflect anything close to the faith of Jesus our Savior.
(2) Satan is a murderer and liar. When humans pay attention to deceitful spirits and the teaching of demons, they join the evil one in his activity.
Jesus’ words can be applied today. “You are from your father the devil, and you choose to do your father’s desires.
“He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8.44).
Like Russian propagandists, the first people who heard Jesus’ message professed allegiance to God. They were tragically wrong.
(3) The lie is hypocritical.
When someone knows the truth and promotes a lie, they are the perfect example of a hypocrite.
A hypocrite is an actor, who plays a part. People who promote a lie when they know the true facts are not innocent.
Seventy-two percent of Russians believe the war in Ukraine is justified. Between 200 and 500 young Russians are dying every day based on the lies they have been told.
There is no basis in fact, but these lies are powerful to the harm of millions.
(4) There is no reasoning with the kind of propagandists I am describing. Their consciences are seared and they are fixed in their behavior.
I can’t think of a more dangerous place to be before God than to willfully accept the deception of demons and communicate that lie to the masses.
What can we do?
Russia and Ukraine may seem unrelated to the daily activities of Americans. Let’s be sure to include them in our prayers.
Let’s beware that politics and religion in America can be corrupted by hypocritical lies too.
One thing we can do is to pray for leaders at home and around the world.
The Lord’s Prayer reflects Jesus’ priorities and we can pray this prayer for what is happening in Russia, Ukraine, and the United States.
Rudy Ross and I talk about this passage today on YouTube. You can see the video on the Bob Spradling channel.
Please email your prayer request to email@example.com. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.