Speak Up

On the opening day of the attack on the nation of Ukraine by Russia I made a post that addressed some of the dynamics surrounding this situation based on my 29 years of involvement with both countries. Since 1993 I have traveled extensively in both countries preaching in crusades, churches, national conferences, helping to plant churches, etc. The city of Kharkov that is being brutally attacked for days now is home to many of my friends, and I have preached there several times. The city of Vinnitsa, where we have a church and a seminary is now being bombed.
I appreciate all the positive responses to my observations, but there is always some well-meaning Christian that evidently feels that they need to correct me by stating the obvious. That one, I shouldn’t make it political. Well to that I say, I didn’t make it political, it is political, I am just referencing the obvious. Secondly, we are to pray for our leaders. Well, thank you for the unnecessary reminder. I’ve been a pastor for almost 40 years and I think I know that already. That’s what I want to address in this “lengthy” post.
What I perceive from this type of response is something that is affecting and infecting Christians in America at large. That is why I said “well-meaning”, because I believe that most real Christians want to obey God and do what He wants in our lives. But the lack of understanding of Biblical principles and the constant propaganda from the current cancel culture of our world can lead to a set of beliefs that are not only incorrect but also renders us ineffective in our culture today, which is exactly the goal of Satan. We read in Matthew 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing…
To that end I’m going to open a theological “can of worms” that I’ve been thinking about for quite some time. We are told that saying anything negative about our government leaders is not pleasing to God. Some would even call it sin. In that first post on the attack on Ukraine I made the comment that the main reason the leader of Russia has attacked Ukraine is because America and other key national leaders are weak. I assume that statement was interpreted that I was making a political statement. Actually, that observation has been echoed by numerous news agencies around the world.
The person who currently occupies the office of president of the United States is not weak because of their political affiliation, he is weak because he is weak. He is a politician. The leader of Russia is a Warrior. Politicians make decisions based on their re-election not on what is always right. That is not a political statement, but rather a simple observation of reality. I appreciate all that our nation is doing in “response” to the war, but I maintain that if we had strong leadership in the White House there wouldn’t be a war.
Let’s take a look at Matthew chapter 23 and one of Jesus’ sermons. Verse one begins with these words…Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples… Notice that when Jesus spoke what I’m about to reference He was not in a closed room meeting with just His staff. No, He was speaking to a multitude. Having established that, let’s look at what He said. The entirety of this message was about the dysfunction, deception, and divisiveness of the Pharisees. Using the New King James Version of the Bible as my reference it records 18 derogatory remarks made by Jesus toward the Pharisees.
• He called them hypocrites 7 times
• Blind guides 2 times
• Fools and blind 2 times
• Accused them of extortion 1 time
• Called them self-indulgence 1 time
• Said they were “white-washed tombs” 1 time
• Full of hypocrisy and lawlessness 1 time
• Serpents 1 time
• Brood of vipers 1 time
• Murderers 1 time
If Jesus had said that about our leaders today, he would be banned from Facebook, YouTube, and any other media outlet. And yet the leaders of today are guilty of much more egregious crimes against humanity than the Pharisees were. But as “Christians” we are not supposed to speak out…or are we?
Throughout the Bible we see where God sent prophets to confront the government leaders of the day. Samuel confronted King Saul about his sin of not completely obeying God and told him in 1Samuel 15:26…the Lord has rejected you from being king over Israel. Nathan confronted King
David about his sin and in 2 Samuel 12:7 he looked David in the eye and said, “You are the man!” John the Baptist confronted Herod about his sin of taking his brother’s wife. The Bible is full of examples like these. Does that mean that we all have a free pass to go around criticizing any and everyone we don’t agree with? No, but that also does not mean that we are to remain silent when the leaders of our world are making decisions that are obviously self-serving or contrary to God’s Word.
Too many Christians have bought into the current cultural lie that if we disagree with someone then we hate them. And if we say anything that is contrary to their life choices or actions, then it is hate speech. Nothing could be farther from the truth. If we are indeed to be the light of the world we have to turn the switch on. Speaking the truth in love is our responsibility whether people want to hear it or not. Telling someone the truth is not hate speech it is love speech.
As Christians we are citizens of two countries. One here on Earth and the other is Heaven. We have two governments to follow. The one of our country and God’s. When those two governments collided in Acts, Peter and the other apostles responded with this statement…Acts 5:29 “We ought to obey God rather than men.” Our world view must be balanced with that in mind.
As a pastor I am compelled to also follow the command in Joel 2:1…Blow the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in My holy mountain! This is a mandate to “speak the truth” and speak it loud.
When our freedoms are being systematically taken away, when laws are being made that violate the laws of God, when people in political leadership positions stand before us on television and speak outright lies, when the moral fabric of our nation is being ripped to shreds, when our educational system is being used to destroy our culture, when our children are under the most egregious demonic attack on their identity, you bet I’m going to BLOW THE TRUMPET in Zion! Someone once said…
Evil prevails when good men do nothing…
As Christians we should speak in love…but speak!
As Christians we should stand in honor…but stand!
As Christians we should pucker our lips, place them on the mouthpiece of the trumpet and Blow the Trumpet in Zion!
No, we always won’t get it right, and some may be out of line, but let us do something lest we do nothing…let us not be good men and women doing nothing so that evil prevails.
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1 Comment

Sara McClain - March 16th, 2022 at 4:58pm

I always pray over for the people in both Russia and Ukraine and even though sometimes I feel like I repeat parts of it, I mean every bit of it. There was one I seen about a group actually from Texas with a slight dog team and how they were one of many in a bomb shelter. Keep up on the updates and everything about this though cause you're more reliable for a better source than any type of news media (which I don't really watch the news except what comes across Facebook)