Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the LORD understand all things. Pr. 28:5

… "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he should be born blind?" John 9:2


How can people be so deceived as to support war, invasion, murdering of hundreds and thousands of people? I hope this question puzzles you too. Availability of global communication through internet makes you wonder even more: Aren’t they able to look up firsthand info from Ukraine? Can’t they directly contact and ask Ukrainian people, including their numerous relatives? There are some exceptions among Russian people who are risking their freedom by protesting against the war but I am talking about the general tendency.

The biblical answer as always goes to the heart of the matter, pun intended. People believe what they WANT to believe. Does it mean Russians are not simply passive victims of their government’s propaganda but they CHOOSE to believe it? Exactly. Because God's word says that people “will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears WANT to hear” (2 Tim. 4:3). “An evildoer listens to wicked lips, a liar pays attention to a destructive tongue” (Proverbs 17:4). People always listen and believe selectively, according to their hearts’ desires.

So, what motivates Russians to like war and approve aggression, murder, violence? There’s an excellent article about pagan elements of Russian mentality by a colleague of mine, Roman Bilyashevych. You can read HERE. I would like to add a couple nuances.

Pride has always been acknowledged as the root of sin. When pride is given a religious basis, it is most wicked and most powerful. Russia has abused this motive at least since the 16th century, when their “theologians” promoted the idea of Moscow as the Third Rome. By the way, Third Rome, Third Reich… Recognize the Nazi rhetoric? Same lies, same actions and results. Especially after the fall of Constantinople to Muslims, the Muscovite state claimed to be the successor of Rome and Byzantine, the Third Rome. As the only, unique Orthodox kingdom, Moscow will carry the light to peoples which implies expanding the empire. Remind you of anything today? 

The wicked union of church and state was not new to Moscow. It began at least as early as the 4th century in Constantinople. The emperor used the church for his political purposes and the church was corrupted and turned into a business, especially for many of its leaders. When a body is turned into business, what do you call it? Prostitution. When the Body of Christ is turned into business, it is the mother of harlots, the abomination called Babylon. The Bible warns the church against the wicked union with state exactly for these reasons: because of its abomination to God and its destructive results. 

In 1943 Stalin used the old trick. Pressured by American and British allies to give freedom to the church in the Soviet Union, he created the KGB puppet Moscow Patriarchy. That is why Moscow “patriarchs” and other “excellencies” (with few noble exceptions) have been KGB officers in robes promoting not the kingdom of Christ but the “Russkiy mir” (Russian world). And most of the Russian people LIKE it! They like this propaganda because they take pride in being the best, the great, bla bla bla…

One more important factor of this willful deception is the tendency of fallen people to judge. When we see suffering, our sinful heart is prone to judge the sufferers thinking that probably they deserve it. A famous example is Job’s friends explaining his suffering. When people saw Jesus on the cross, they concluded that He could not have been the Messiah because the righteous do not suffer, only sinners do. And even the apostles had this mindset when they asked Jesus about the cause of the man’s blindness: “Who sinned…?” 

This hateful desire to judge is very strong in the Russian society. Coupled with national pride, it incites to judge Ukraine, judge the West and basically judge anything ‘non-Russian’. When Ukraine is suffering (even from their own Russian hands!) Russians interpret it as proof that Ukraine deserves it.
But more than that. We all tend to judge. That is why when we watch news about ‘conflicts’ in some distant overseas lands we all may be tempted to think like: “It is their internal conflict”, “It’s not that obvious”, “There is a complicated history and I should not conclude that only one side is guilty”, “If that nation is experiencing war, probably they have done something and they deserve it.” May God spare us from this mentality and from Russian propaganda which uses it.

Andriy Murzin, Assistant Director of MA in Biblical Counseling