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Reporting the Truth.
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Prominent Christian Leaders And Groups Face Reckoning Over Praise For Putin

By Steve Rabey
Graham Putin Russia
Evangelist Franklin Graham meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in this undated photo. (via social media)

For most of the past century, America’s conservative Christians and conservative politicians were united in the firm belief that the communist USSR — and later, Russia — was anti-American, anti-God and a threat to the world. In the 1950s, a young Billy Graham preached the Cold War as a holy crusade. In the 1970s, Hal Lindsey’s “The Late Great Planet Earth” claimed the biblical book of Revelation said the Soviet bloc would play a major role in the apocalypse and the second coming of Christ.

But that script has been flipped during the last decade as traditional family values have brought together supporters of “Christian America” and “Holy Russia.” A handful of U.S.-based Christian nonprofits have consistently praised Russian President Vladimir Putin as a global beacon of hope — both for families and for the survival of Christianity.

In February and March 2014, Putin invaded Ukraine and annexed the Crimean Peninsula. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) featured Putin on the cover of the March 2014 issue of Decision magazine, ignoring the invasion but praising the dictator’s stand protecting children from “propaganda of homosexuality and pedophilia.” 

“To be clear, I’m not endorsing President Putin,” wrote Franklin Graham, BGEA’s president and CEO, in the 2014 cover story. “Isn’t it sad, though, that America’s own morality has fallen so far that on this issue — protecting children from any homosexual agenda or propaganda — Russia’s standard is higher than our own?”

“I think Russia is the hope for the world right now,” said Larry Jacobs, managing director of the Rockford, Illinois-based World Congress of Families, in 2014. Russia’s invasion of Crimea led WCF to cancel its 2014 gathering in Moscow that year, but the nonprofit continues to partner with Russia’s religious and political leaders.

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“The Russians are not our problem,” said the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer in a 2018 post about then-President Trump and the 2016 election.

BGEA: From cold warriors to promoting Putin

Over the last eight years, Franklin Graham has had private meetings with Putin and members of his inner circle — including Vyacheslav Volodin, the Russian official responsible for overseeing Crimea’s political integration into Russia after the 2014 invasion. Volodin has been sanctioned by the U.S., but Graham has said it was an “honor” to meet Volodin, a “very gracious man.”

Putin began massing troops on Ukraine’s border in April 2021. Three months later, Graham traveled to Moscow to meet with Volodin and other religious and government leaders. The September issue of Decision magazine covered the visit in its “Good News” section, reporting the two had met for two hours. “This is the time for the U.S. and Russia to stand together,” Graham said after the visit.

Not everyone agreed. “The meeting between America’s most prominent evangelical and one of the most prominent sanctioned politicians in Russia fits a broader, years-long pattern of Kremlin-connected officials cultivating relations with American Christian fundamentalists,” said The Bulwark.

During his July 2021 visit, Graham gave a half-hour interview to RT, a Russian propaganda outlet. The Bulwark reported that during that interview, Graham declined to say whether the 2020 election was conducted freely and fairly.

BGEA has worked in Russia since Billy Graham’s 1992 crusade there and says it has much to show for it — organizing some 100 associate festivals, hosting more than 20 schools of evangelism, broadcasting more than 900 Russian-language “Hour of Decision” radio programs, dubbing and producing 20 BGEA films and video programs, translating more than a dozen books by Billy and Franklin, and publishing a Russian-language version of Decision with original content.

Though Franklin Graham has said he repeatedly talked to Russian government officials about U.S.-Russia relations and other political matters, he pushes back against claims that he has strayed from his work as an evangelist.

“This was not a political meeting and I’m not a politician,” he said in Decision. “I am a minister of the Gospel, and I’m working to strengthen relationships between the Christians in our countries. This is what my father did in Russia and it is what I continue to do in many countries around the world.” But Decision never did cover stories on Russian strongmen when Billy Graham was alive.

After a 2015 visit to Moscow, Franklin Graham announced he and leaders of the Russian Orthodox Church would organize a 2016 World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians in Moscow, but Graham postponed the summit after Russia passed new anti-terrorism laws that restricted evangelism. BGEA spent $4 million to host the summit the next year in Washington, where Russian attendees protested U.S. sanctions against their country.

BGEA’s crusade team has been working on a Festival of Hope featuring Graham that is scheduled for St. Petersburg, Russia, this July 9-10. It is not clear if the event will proceed.

World Congress of Families partners with Russian officials

Graham isn’t the only American religious leader to meet with Russian officials who have been sanctioned by the U.S. government. One such official, Yelena Mizulina, was a featured speaker at the World Congress of Families 2018 gathering.

Founded in 1997 by Allan Carlson, a former history professor at Hillsdale College, WCF is a division of the International Organization for the Family. WCF’s mission is to convene “major international public events to unite and equip leaders, organizations, and families to affirm, celebrate, and defend the natural family as the only fundamental and sustainable unit of society.”

WCF says Russia is known for “its historic commitment to deep spirituality and morality.” As managing director Larry Jacobs said, “The Kremlin used to be a no-no for conservatives. We’re going to redeem that building.”

(DISCLOSURE:  In 2015, MinistryWatch President Warren Smith spoke to the World Congress of Families in Salt Lake City.)

The American Family Association defended Russia in a Bryan Fischer post that also defended President Donald Trump’s 2018 Helsinki press conference, where Trump took Putin’s word about alleged Russian election interference over the findings of his own intelligence agencies.

“So who do we have to worry about?” asked Fischer. “Well, it’s not Russians he’s worried about, it’s Americans. Americans in the United States government, Americans in the Department of Justice and the FBI, Americans who work for him.

Meanwhile, the Family Research Council acknowledges that Putin is a danger but used the situation to make the point that “weak” Democrat presidents like Obama and Biden haven’t been able to stand up to him. 

“There’s a lot of volatility outside our borders these days—and very little faith that our president has the strength to confront it,” said FRC, which has not criticized Trump’s many friendly overtures to Putin, his efforts to dismantle the NATO alliance or his praise Tuesday of Putin’s “genius” and “savvy” for Russia’s recent Ukraine strategy.

Russell Moore — director of Christianity Today’s Public Theology Project and former president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention — has pushed back on the idea of using religion as a tool for gaining political power. “If the church is simply a cultural vehicle for national stability and pride, then one can hardly expect dictators to do anything other than manipulate it,” he said. 

In his recent article at Christianity Today, he said, “The witness of the church itself is at stake — because a religion that dismisses bloodthirsty behavior doesn’t even believe its own teachings on objective morality, much less in a coming judgment seat of Christ. Why would anyone listen to such a religion on how to find peace with God and gain entrance into the life to come?

“Evangelical Christians should watch the way of Vladimir Putin — and we should recognize it whenever we are told that we need a Pharaoh or a Barabbas or a Caesar to protect us from our real or perceived enemies,” Moore continued. “Whenever that happens, we should remember how to say, in any language, ‘Nyet.’”

This piece originally appeared at MinistryWatch.

Steve RabeySteve Rabey is a veteran author and journalist who has published more than 50 books and 2,000 articles about religion, spirituality, and culture. He was an instructor at Fuller and Denver seminaries and the U.S. Air Force Academy.



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47 thoughts on “Prominent Christian Leaders And Groups Face Reckoning Over Praise For Putin”

  1. Thank you for an insightful article!

    Not sure if I’m the only one, but it took me awhile to figure out what BGEA stands for.

    1. It all adds up! If Graham is associating with wolves like Ravi Zacharias , Rick Warren, Robert Morris and all The Who’s who big names then it’s not a stretch to see him in bed with Putin !

      Graham is like the rest seeking his own name and fame!

      And Paul said in the last days they will be deceived themselves and deceive others


      Jesus said if the world loves you , you are no part of His

      1. Tim S,

        “Jesus said if the world loves you, you are no part of His”

        The world hates Putin, who is Orthodox Christian, so what does that mean?

        1. @Andrew Thomas Any real evidence that Putin is Orthodox? It’s my understanding that he’s universally known to Pander to Russian Orthodoxy… but that he’s not devout in any way.

          1. Andrew Z,

            “It’s my understanding that he’s universally known to Pander to Russian Orthodoxy…”

            So he practices the same behaviors as most of our “christian” political leaders during elections?

            ” but that he’s not devout in any way”

            What is your definition of “devout” and who in American politics meets this standard?

            Putin’s stance on abortion/homosexuality line up with Biblical conservative pastors.

            “The same year, Putin signed a law forbidding homosexual and transgender propaganda to minors. He led the effort to ban same-sex unions and adoptions as part of a constitutional referendum. Seventy-eight percent of Russians voted for it.

            Back in 1920, Soviet Russia was the world’s first country to legalize abortion. Today, Putin has backed initiatives that discourage killing preborn children. In March 2021, Russia’s deputy prime minister said abortion in Russia declined 39% since 2016.”

            How many of our politicians have done the same?

            Do not misunderstand my questions, I am not a supporter of Putin, but either we hold all world leaders to the same standard or we have no moral ground to criticize another countries leaders actions.

        2. Tim, Putin is a Christian??????? Well if he belongs to a church that doesn’t mean he’s a Christian. He present and past behavior says who his father is.

          1. Are we really debating whether Putin is a Christian leader?

            He murders his political enemies. He imprisons them. He is targeting civilians in his Ukraine war as we type.

            So what that he cracked down on gays… and abortion?

            Are we so blinded by those two issues that we don’t even care that he is literally an enemy of our Christian faith? In Putin’s Russia he would have Jesus, John the Baptist and the disciples arrested.

            Despite prayers and protests from religious leaders and human rights advocates, the Kremlin announced Putin’s approval yesterday. The amendments, including laws against sharing faith in homes, online, or anywhere but recognized church buildings, go into effect July 20….Christians in Russia won’t be allowed to email their friends an invitation to church or to evangelize in their own homes.

            And American Christians respond, “But he’s at least anti-gay!”

            For some evangelicals, it appears there is no bottom when it comes to how bad a leader can be as long as he is antiabortion or anti gay.


          2. @ Julie Piper

            The same could be said of any number of people in the U.S. filling pews on any given Sunday. People get baptized/sprinkled, pray prayers, go to church and lead lives indistinguishable from unbelievers.

          3. Greg C,

            You are missing the point.

            The Pastors/Christians that used Romans 13 (every time Christians attempted to stand up for what Jesus taught us about fear and worship over the past 2 years), well now they get to apply that same standard to Putin and what he is doing under God’s appointment.

            Romans 13 is not a USA only application, but the Christian community is very selective with Biblical application when it goes against their personnel politics.

            What actions has Putin taken in other countries, or against his own people, that our own leaders have not done to us or other countries?

            He claims to be Russian Orthodox, our leaders have claimed to be Christian, yet neither side lives what they claim to serve.

            There is a spiritual hypocrisy that Christians use to claim our country is a moral beacon of Biblical living, that allows the US to do what it wants anywhere in the world and any sovereign country/people that oppose that view point are the enemies. We claim it is for their own good and the protection of our way of life. Sound familiar?

            I would suggest that everyone who has not done so, go overseas to as many different countries as you can (GB, European, Asian, Africa, MId East) and ask the people there what they really think of the US people/foreign policies since 1950’s. Their answers may not match up with what the TV/politicians/school system has been telling you most of your lives. One sides heroes are another sides villains.

          4. @ Greg Culross

            “In Putin’s Russia he would have Jesus, John the Baptist and the disciples arrested.”

            Jesus, John the Baptist and the disciples were all arrested in Israel where many of them were martyred. Today, they would all be arrested in the UK, Canada, China. parts of the U.S., multiple European countries, Israel again, India, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and so on.

            Almost no country welcomes such people with open arms because people don’t like the message. They get too personal talking about sin and repentance. It was true then and true now. In fact, worldwide persecution of Christians is on the rise, not vice versa.

          5. @ Andrew Thomas

            Very good points regarding Roman’s 13. Given that Paul wrote Roman’s during the reign of Nero, whose life of debauchery and cruelty is the stuff of legend, it’s even more compelling.

  2. The Christian right and the Republican Party really has a lot of explaining to do. This past weekend at the Conservative Political Action Committee conference participants were waiving the Russian flag with Trump’s name on it. Elected Republicans were speaking at white supremacist meetings where the leader said, “They say Putin is another Hitler, as if there is something wrong with that.”

    Lauren Witzke, the Delaware GOP’s candidate for Senate in 2020, has nothing but praise for Putin and “his Christian nationalist nation”: “I identify more with Putin’s Christian values than I do with Joe Biden.”

    If the Christian right has to align itself with white supremacists and a murderous dictator like Putin in order to bring about God’s will, are they really doing God’s will?

    Someone asked a few week ago how bad Trump had to be to lose the vote of most pro lifers. The silence of these “Christian” leaders towards Putin might answer that question.

    1. “I identify more with Putin’s Christian values than I do with Joe Biden.” Played like a fiddle, by Putin… Wow, his propaganda machine has scored some high ‘marks’. As bad as that is, this shows the degradation of “christian values” in this country… if you think being anti-transgenders makes you a person of ‘christian values’ you need some serious spiritual help… and maybe some serious history reading/classes as well. History is full of charlaton leaders like Putin who wave one ‘christian value’ card around in the hopes that a whole mass will follow them, believing that because of the one card their waving, they’ll be considered wholly ‘christian’.
      Unfortunately it often works and many Biblically ignorant, corrupted american ‘christians’ have fallen for this bait a lot recently… (last 6yrs is chock full of the same) They zealously think it’s going to work, but God won’t be mocked in this way forever… if they don’t repent soon, they’ll reap something God allows and they’ve invited upon themselves…

      1. @ Andrew Zook

        Consider how German Christians were duped by the charisma and national appeal of Hitler. It doesn’t just happen here. It happens anytime Christians or anyone “trusts in man and makes flesh his strength” (Jer. 17:5).

      2. Politics before faith. That’s the reality.

        This works just as well for liberal Christians as conservative Christians. People will deny it, but I have long since come to the conclusion that when faced with a decision where you must give up your politics or give up your faith, a large majority of people would rather give up their faith.

        The evidence is clear. The political divide is far more deep seated than the religious divide. Sixty years ago, if you told someone that Baptists, Catholics and Mormons would be marching shoulder-to-shoulder in a common cause, few people would have believed you. Christian conservatives have far more in common with conservative atheists than they do liberal Christians, and liberal Christians feel the same way about liberal atheists over Christian conservatives.

        And while liberals have been the main reason for the decline in Christianity in the US over the last 25 years, that’s changing as more and more young people from conservative Christian families are leaving the faith, even as most of them remain true to their conservative political beliefs.

        1. @ Mike Walker

          “a large majority of people would rather give up their faith.:

          If that’s true then we both know they were never serious about their faith anyway. There are millions of people who fill pews on Sundays, but only a fraction of that aren’t bowing the knee to Baal on any given day of the week.

          Then you have the people walking away from their faith, but not because of politics. They put God in the dock and demand he give an account of his dealings with man. Hubris on steroids.

    2. @ Greg Culross

      If a congressman on the left describes Jews living in Israel as termites, does that indicate a problem with antisemitism or are such sentiments acceptable within the lexicon of the left? Would it be fair to make a blanket statement that such a view must be the view of all on the left? I assume you would see the fallacy of such a statement.

  3. Exactly what kind of reckoning does the author want? It is left unsaid. Also, this type of tactic, used by the author, can come back & bite his favorites like Russell Moore.

  4. What happens when the church sticks its nose into the workings of a political machine either good or bad? Ultimately and inevitably it gets burned. Why? Because the church’s mission is not endorsing or reforming governments. It is saving souls by preaching the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    1. I don’t remember Jesus calling out and condemning Tiberius Ceaser for the brutality and oppression practiced by the Roman Empire under his reign. He would have a lot to answer for given His silence on Roman cruelty. He did make a point to call out religious hypocrisy.

      Religious freedom was so important that His own people tried to kill Him on multiple occasions before getting the Romans to do their dirty work.

      In our own country, Jesus would be doxed, canceled and sent constant death threats.

    2. Greg C,

      So Christians condemn the Christian leaders for supporting/attacking US political candidates (left or right, it does not matter), but you want them to comment on political leaders in other countries?

      What if their thoughts on Russia/Putin do not line up with you want them to say? Would you still support their speaking out?

  5. This may be the only remark I’ve seen where I can agree with Russell Moore: “If the church is simply a cultural vehicle for national stability and pride, then one can hardly expect dictators to do anything other than manipulate it,” he said.

    What about domestic party politicians which do the same thing? I am befuddled that so many educated believers fail to see that Big Eva has been played by both sides for a very long time. Moore, an advocate for leftist “woke” theology should apply this to statement to his own articles which persistently attack conservatives and believers who reject the “vaccine” narrative on many grounds.

    Putin is not the problem; global banking is. Biden is the “Build Back Better” candidate of the World Economic Forum, whose genuine dictator, Klaus Schwab, has pledged to bankrupt the world by 2030, declaring: “You will own nothing, and be happy.” Both of these men, including Trump, work for those who own the banks. Both Biden and Putin are nothing but pawns following a script.

    How do you think the “evil men and seducers” must get from A to Z, in order to install digital currencies as the precursor to the mark of the beast? They have to have a global ID network; and they must eliminate all competition. 

They have to break the businesses and drain the bank accounts of the hardworking middle class worldwide, which has been going on for the last 2 years.

    COVID is the excuse; this hot war is just an excuse for the next phase.

    So sad when church leaders are blind to Bible prophecy playing out in real time.

        1. I am so old I remember in grade school being required to read Edward Bernays books on propaganda, 1984, Animal Farm, and study those techniques used during WW1/WW2/Cold War.

    1. > Klaus Schwab, has pledged to bankrupt the world by 2030, declaring: “You will own nothing, and be happy.”

      No, he didn’t.

      Every major world event, war, and advance in technology can be twisted to be evidence of “Bible prophesy.” I’ve listened to pastors that give “prophecy updates” and find that they are loose with facts, just like your false claim about Klaus Schwab.
      You could say that that’s inconsequential to your overall point, but if someone can’t get the simplest of facts right, why should I trust their analysis of more complex subjects?

      1. @ David Jensen

        “You will own nothing, and be happy.”

        I don’t know about bankrupting the world, but a simple search will show that the above statement is from him and his minions. His own people talk about how humans are hackable animals because enough biological data has been collected now to do just that.

        “No he didn’t.”

        Is the above your evidence proving otherwise?

  6. It has been very embarrassing to see a number of evangelicals over the past several years sing the praises of Putin, Orban etc. because they are anti-LBGTQ or against pedophilia.

    Of course Trump has been singing the praises of Putin for years, even saying he was a “genius” in the last couple of days while Russian troops are invading Ukraine. Trump as president damaged our relationships with our European allies and threatened to leave NATO, so I can see Trump and Putin as soul mates seeking the same defeat of Europe.

    Then someone like Franklin Graham lifts up Putin over the years, all the while providing a strong defense of Trump, even calling leaders in Congress as “Judases” for not supporting Trump.

    Trump and Putin are thugs. Franklin Graham should resign, but of course with so many evangelical organizations the board is weak and are rubber-stamps.

    Oh yea, and then evangelicals expect people to “believe” in Jesus … really ???? …what a joke….

    1. So if I understand your first sentence it is wrong to give someone praise for being against pedophilia. Interesting position. Then you are upset that Trump indicated that Putin is a smart guy. Just because someone is intelligent does not mean they are good. By all accounts mass killer Ted Bundy was highly intelligent but I assume your position would be that to say this means you agree with what he did. As for Trump being tied to Putin Democrats were given an unlimited budget and subpoena power to prove this and came up empty. Putin is a thug but trying to turn his aggression against Ukraine into a tirade against Trump is just silly.

      1. Mark Gunderson

        Bill, Donald Trump spent his entire presidency undercutting NATO. He continually questioned its necessity and purpose threatened several times to pull the US out of it.

        Add to this that he just tried to take credit for, I don’t know, not following through on this threats?

        Nobody is saying he worked directly with Russia at this point, just that his policies and statements were disastrously at fault here.

        1. You are right, Mark.

          And even before Trump was elected he was doing Putin’s work regarding Ukraine.

          After securing the nomination, Trump surprised the 2016 GOP convention and forced the party to back down from its support of Ukraine, something Russia had always wanted.

          Trump Campaign Guts GOP’s Anti Russia Stance on Ukraine

          The move surprised Republicans, who up to that point had been strong supporters of Ukraine.
          Majority Leader McCarthy in 2016: ‘I think Putin pays Trump’

          In 2019, Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine to get political dirt on Joe Biden, a two-for-one for both Trump and Putin.
          Trump Resisted Sale of Javelins to Ukraine

          Trump, like Putin, is anti-NATO
          Trump Discussed Pulling US From NATO, Aides Say

          His history shows us a pretty consistent pattern here. The weakening of the West is why Putin went to such lengths to get Trump elected. This is the report from Trump’s own Justice Department documenting the hack. If you haven’t read the whole thing, it is really worth it.

        2. Mark Gunderson, Greg Culross,

          Tell me, what has NATO effectively done *right now* to stop Putin… besides nothing? He treats them as a joke, because they are.

          Germany has bankrolled Putin’s empire because they are so busy trying to show how green and woke they are by rejecting nuclear, that they are buying up all his fossil fuels.

          These fat, lazy European countries were *not* paying their way, and Trump called them on it.

          It was really easy for NATO to attack small, helpless Serbia, but when Mother Russia comes around, they meekly roll over fast.

          Disagree with Trump’s rhetoric if you want (and I’m not sure that he really was supporting Putin, or Jinping, at all), but please don’t make up nonsense.

        3. @ Mark G.

          “Nobody is saying he worked directly with Russia at this point,”

          I thought the only acceptable narrative was that he spent his entire presidency colluding with the Russians. Years and millions of dollars were spent to prove that very thing. Are you saying that didn’t happen? Was it all just some wild left-wing conspiracy theory?

      2. Ronald K Denlinger

        Someone once told me that “Hitler was against homosexuality, so he at least had that going for him.” The individual who said this isn’t a Nazi, doesn’t hate Jews or think that Hitler’s intent of ruling the world was a good thing. They simply became so focused on their view that homosexuality was wrong that they ended up offering a bit of praise for a really bad guy. And frankly I think that is problematic.

        Maybe Trump, in balance, has talked about Putin in a more balanced way. Maybe he has condemned past aggression. But the thing is, I have never heard him do so. To me, that is problematic. And therefore I think that Gordon’s first sentence is valid and no, I don’t think you’ve understood it, nor have you given it adequate consideration. Is this not perhaps an example of our not hearing one another? Is it possible you became instantly defensive the moment you saw (or previously knew) Gordon doesn’t typically speak in pro-Trump fashion?

        I really appreciate your saying that Putin is a thug. I think he is. To repeat myself, I just kind of wish that I could recall DJT saying something like that. Maybe he has and he just needs to say it more often. And maybe DJT should have said, “sometimes thugs are pretty smart.”

      3. @Bill Hoskins

        I only stated two points regarding evangelicals praise of Putin to save space. But since you played the Ted Bundy card… is a fuller list..

        – A good Russian Orthodox Christian
        – Support of the Orthodox Church in Russia
        – Pro Family Ideology
        – Support of Christian Values
        – Opposed LBGTQ rights
        – Russia is a Christian Nation
        – Against Islam
        – Opposed Pedophilia
        – Shut down Liberal Press
        – Squashed any liberal opposition

        Evangelicals supporting Putin and Trump over the years have been embarrassment. Russian troops are now slaughtering women and children in Ukraine.

        Oh yea… Putin/Trump are truly thugs.

    2. @ Gordon Jansma

      I guess I would fall in the evangelical camp, but I have few expectations that people will believe anything I say in that regard. However, I do hope they come to belief in Jesus before it’s too late. If they don’t, there will be no joking or laughing about how poorly evangelicals conveyed their message. There will just be stark terror after hearing the words “Depart from me…I never knew you.” That’s something I wish on no one.

  7. Seems that Putin has been playing Muhammad Ali’s old rope a dope trick on BGEA & others…..pretend they are having an effect on Him …….and then when he has them in close……….he unloads furiously on them.
    Putin softened the evangelical movement such that they failed to sound the warning that the wolf in sheeps clothing was already in the hen house ………Why should anyone trust a communist ???…….love them, absolutely… them, not a chance

  8. Well, maybe a ‘reckoning’ is better late than never, but I don’t see some of these radical fundamentalist organizations acknowledging their waywardness anytime soon… this is but one little black spot in a constellation of pagan figures and ideologies that these supposed ‘christian’ outfits have been dressing up in sheep’s clothing for quite awhile…
    One of the core principles – religious doctrines of american neo-fundamentalism is, the end justifies the means… and their desired end is an american “Christendom” with a more established, hard-coded, iron-fisted approach unlike the soft-christendom that they’ve grown up with and feel the US has had… Now Putin has a different end in mind, but they, like Putin, sense it’s slipping away and this kind of fear usually radicalizes the idolater… in fact the means feel right, natural, even common sense… So, it’s bewildering, but I’m not surprised these people have fallen in love with Putin… many, especially the ground level extremists would welcome such a figure here, because they too long to smash heads in an effort to get to their desired end… a one party system that can force people to look ‘christian’ and be forced to participate in a veneer of christian civil religion in the hope that God looks down and smiles again on their idol, america… (and then it can be Great Again!)

    1. I’d like to clarify one thing… when I speak of pagan ideologies that the religious right has adopted, I’m not suggesting that ‘hating pedophilia, calling homosexuality and abortion sin, etc” are pagan ideologies… I share those convictions btw.
      But to be more specific and clarifying… many of the ways, the means, the tactics, stances that the religious right has taken up to address those things – are pagan. So they may have the right belief… but have adopted, excused, syncretized bad character / pagan means… this has been manifestly revealed for years now, especially with trumpism…which is very explicitly about ignoring bad character for supposed right beliefs…
      Someday the religious right (like these figures who pal around with Putin, Trump etc) will realize that character really does matter and that no amount of ‘truth’ can compensate for the poison of bad character… if they continue and refuse to repent, they will someday be standing in the wreckage of bad character, of which they themselves have fomented and participated in, and no one will see the few ‘truths’ they supposedly hold to; those observing the wreckage will only see that and those associated with it. And Satan will praise them for it, for they, blindly, will have done his work of destruction upon the name of Christ and His Church. But those who know the real Shepherd will know that the true King will win in the end! Hallelujah! He and His saints will stand upon the mts of righteousness; those who embrace wicked ways and people can stand in the valleys of their wreckage.

      1. @ Andrew Zook

        “those who embrace wicked ways and people can stand in the valleys of their wreckage.”

        It sounds like you are describing unbelievers, and we already know how their story ends.

        This discussion does make me wonder how King David’s subjects viewed him after the adultery and murder were brought to light. A very sordid tale and messy business all around.

    1. @ Stanley Goodwin

      Is the implication that evangelicalism as a movement is somehow subjected to a greater level of deception than any other movement? Isn’t it possible that humanity in general practices deception on a grand scale with the intention of deceiving other humans? Deception is part of our fallen spiritual DNA. Having been deceptive myself (ie a flagrant lier) on more than one occasion, I discovered early how easily I could fool just about anyone, including myself.

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