Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Putin Quotes John 15:13 To Justify Actions

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In a rally in Moscow on Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin sort of paraphrased John 15:13 to justify his ongoing invasion of Ukraine and the killing of hundreds of civilians and at least several dozen children.

Putin isn't the only one trying to use the Bible to justify his actions.

Here's what he said.

Be informed, not misled.

The end always justifies the means.

During his speech at the rally held in Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium to "celebrate" the eighth anniversary of Crimea's annexation, which is not recognized by most countries, Putin applauded the Russian military for "heroically" fighting in Ukraine.

Then he said this.

“You know, I remember the words from the Bible. There is no other love rather than if someone gives soul for their friends,”  according to the BBC broadcast of his speech. The remark was followed by huge applause from the crowd. 

Putin’s remark was a reference to John 15:13, which says: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" (KJV).

“We are seeing the heroic deeds of our guys in this operation,” Putin added, according to the CNN translation. “These words from the holy scripture of Christianity, it’s something that is very dear to those who profess this religion.”

“But everything is down to the facts that this universal value for all the peoples and all the confessions of Russia and for own people above all and the best confirmation of that is how our guys are fighting in the course of this military operation, shoulder to shoulder, helping and supporting each other,” he continued. “If the need comes, they will shield each other on the battlefield from the bullets as brothers. We have not had such unity for a long time.”

As with most incidences where people use the Bible to justify their actions, the big event---and it was "big," was rife with---shall we say "irregularities."

To hype the event to the world TV audience, the video cutaway to a military band playing on the same stage. But that wasn't real. They weren't actually there. The video according, according to the Moscow Times, was from some other event.

Putin's people explained the edit was made because there was a technical difficulty, but local press people knew better.

Some news organizations reported that there were over 95,000 in attendance, with 100,000 outside the stadium.

However, some news organizations were reporting people had been forced onto buses and brought to the stadium, and ordered to attend.

One woman said, "They stuck us in a bus and drove us here. 

Some reports said people were offered 500 rubles (approximately $5) to attend the event.

Nearly 6.5 million people have now been displaced inside Ukraine and over 3.2 million have fled the country as of this past weekend.

An agency that advocates on behalf of the global Orthodox Christian Church say most people in Russia do not support what Putin is doing.

The heart of the matter.

Despite Putin's quoting from the Bible, nearly 300 Russian Orthodox leaders issued an open letter earlier this month, which says in part: "We mourn the ordeal to which our brothers and sisters in Ukraine were undeservedly subjected. The Last Judgement awaits every person."

The letter says, "No earthly authority, no doctors, no guards will protect from this judgment. Concerned about the salvation of every person who considers himself a child of the Russian Orthodox Church, we do not want him to appear at this judgment, bearing the heavy burden of mother's curses."

Russian evangelical leaders have also spoken out strongly against what Putin is doing.

However, at the heart of the matter is a religious leader, Moscow Patriarch Krill, an ally of Putin's who is said to be lending religious justification for the invasion even though most religious leaders in Russia are calling him out over his support of Putin's invasion.

Kirill has called Russia's opposition in Ukraine "evil forces" who have "fought against the unity of  Russia and the Russian Church."

Church leaders claim "Kirill's statements ring hollow and have the stench of direct government interference. Is this because he owes his position and the lucrative benefits he receives to Vladimir Putin?"

Putin's war is killing, burning, and destroying people and things on the other side of the world.

However, at least to some degree, the "spirit" of the war is among us.

How many times can you remember former President Obama, "devout" President Biden, Speaker Pelosi, VP Harris, and others using Scripture to justify their war on biblical marriage, or using Scripture to elevate a woman's "right to kill her unwanted unborn child" over God's command to not commit murder?

Last fall---September 23, 2021, the Catholic News -ETWN asked Pelosi about what her Archibishop Cordileon had said about an abortion bill she was working on. He had called it "tantamount" to "child sacrifice."

Her response is long and winding, but the bottom line is that she credits God for giving us "free will," the right to choose, therefore it is a Christian value to exercise that free will to choose an abortion.

Back in 2015, the New York Times took it upon themselves to straighten out confused biblical Christians on moral issues like abortion. Their feature story was titled, "In Pelosi, Strong Catholic Faith and Abortion Coexist."

She explained she actually agrees with the Pope on more things than not, giving, in her mind, some kind of credibility to her obsession with abortion.

Both Barack Obama and Joe Biden have used Scripture to validate their support of so-called "same-sex marriage."


On May 11, 2012, NPR  did an audio report on President Obama titled, "Same Bible, Different Verdict on Gay Marriage."

NPR said, "When President Obama announced he now supports same-sex marriage, he cited his Christian faith."

NPR quoted ABC News with Obama saying, "The thing at root that we think about is, not only Christ sacrificing Himself on our behalf, but it's the Golden Rule, you know---treat others the way you want to be treated."

To their credit, NPR quoted a former Presbyterian Pastor extensively who had resigned from her pastorate in a Presbyterian Church (USA) over the conflict about same-sex marriage

In 2008, Senator Barack Obama said this regarding  civil unions:  

“I believe in civil unions that allow a same-sex couple to visit each other in a hospital or transfer property to each other. I don’t think it should be called marriage, but I think that it is a legal right that they should have that is recognized by the state. If people find that controversial, then I would just refer them to the Sermon on the Mount, which I think is, in my mind, for my faith, more central than an obscure passage in Romans. That’s my view. But we can have a respectful disagreement on that.”

People who use the Bible to affirm what they want to do and want to believe show little restraint. In this case, Obama justified pitting Jesus against Paul on the issue of homosexuality.

Consider this: 

Matthew 7:15-20

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns or figs or thistles? Even so, every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Vigilant. Be Engaged. Be Prayerful.