A pastor of a large church in Texas says he’s “99% sure Russia is not invading Ukraine.”
Speaking to his congregation last Sunday at Pearl Street Church in San Antonio, Texas, lead pastor Brent Caddell stated, “The new religion of this day and age that we live in is politics. They get their power when we give them our attention . . . I’ll be prophetic with you right now: I am 99% sure Russia is not invading Ukraine.”
Caddell’s controversial comments were captured and tweeted by someone who has since deleted the tweet. The Roys Report, however, captured the tweeted video and posted it to YouTube.
Caddell’s comments also do not appear in video of the service that Pearl Street posted online.
The Roys Report reached out to Pearl Street to explain Caddell’s statements and their removal from video of the service, but the church did not reply.
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Caddell, however, is not the only Christian leader making surprising statements about Russian president Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) founder Pat Robertson is claiming the Russian invasion is a fulfillment of prophecy. And QAnon conspiracy theorists, which are popular among some Christians, say Putin is working with former President Donald Trump to destroy Ukrainian centers for human trafficking and drug operations.
These claims are being renounced by other Christian leaders, who spoke with The Roys Report. Yet the promotion of these theories by Christians with influence is causing concern.
Fulfillment of Prophecy?
Robertson, age 91, who announced his retirement last year, made his comments in a recent return to CBN’s flagship program The 700 Club.
His on-air comments speculated that Putin’s Ukraine invasion is fulfilling biblical prophecy. “I think you can say, well, Putin’s out of his mind,” said Robertson. “Yes, maybe so. But at the same time, he’s being compelled by God. He went into the Ukraine, but that wasn’t his goal. His goal was to move against Israel, ultimately.”
Views on eschatology, the study of end times, vary widely among evangelical and charismatic Christians. In the full CBN segment, Robertson references passages from Ezekiel and Revelation to make a case that Ukraine is a “staging ground” for the Battle of Armageddon, which he suggests is imminent.
Dr. Michael Brown, a charismatic Christian author who has appeared on The 700 Club, told The Roys Report that he rejects Robertson’s interpretation.
“At this point, I see no connection between these events and biblical prophecy,” Brown said. “Even if I did, our emphasis should be to pray for God’s plan and intervention and to do whatever can be done to have mercy on as many lives as possible.”
Brown, who has taught in several evangelical seminaries, added, “When I came to faith in 1971, the best-selling book was Hal Lindsey’s The Late Great Planet Earth. We were told, ‘All the prophecies have worked out and Jesus is coming at any minute.’ That was 50 years ago.”
Brown strongly warns Christians to “eschew any type of end times date-setting.”
Also gaining traction are some conspiracy theories forwarded by QAnon—a movement shown to be popular among some evangelicals.
A post from For God & Country Patriot Roundup claims Russia is “not attacking innocent civilians” but a “corrupt center of operations” in Ukraine.
Another story, which originated from Real Raw News, claimed that Putin is working with Donald Trump and his real motive in invading Ukraine is to liberate child trafficking victims. The story reportedly has been debunked by Trump spokesperson, Liz Harrington.
Itinerant minister and author Joel Richardson has seen the latter narrative recently shared by some Christians online, prompting him to speak out.
“To hear Christian leaders actually teaching that ‘Putin is working with President Trump to eradicate human trafficking and drug operations in Ukraine’ is one of the most irresponsible, wrongheaded, asinine things that I’ve heard in a long time,” tweeted Richardson.
To hear Christian leaders actually teaching that “Putin is working with President Trump to eradicate human trafficking and drug operations in Ukraine“ is one of the most irresponsible, wrongheaded, asinine things that I’ve heard in a long time.
— Joel Richardson (@Joel7Richardson) March 3, 2022
Similarly, longtime journalist and executive director of American Values Coalition Napp Nazworth stated, “Conspiracy theories flourish during times of crisis. Putin’s invasion of Ukraine certainly counts as one of those times.”
He added, “Existing disinformation networks here in the U.S., such as QAnon, are using the war in their efforts to lead many Americans down a dark path of radicalization.”
Contrary to Caddell’s claims, multiple media outlets report that more than two thousand Ukrainian civilians have died in Russia’s invasion and more than one million Ukrainians have fled to neighboring countries.
Slavic Gospel Association told The Roys Report that it has confirmed with firsthand reports that aerial bombardment has increased in Ukraine this week. Working with more than a hundred pastors in Ukraine, SGA has seen “massive devastation,” according to SGA VP of Ministry Operations Eric Mock.
“They are seeing a substantial number of rocket attacks,” Mock said. “It doesn’t seem to be military centers anymore, rather a heavy targeting of civilian areas—especially in eastern Ukraine.”
SGA remains focused on providing aid to those in need particularly in eastern Europe, Mock added. “Independent of conspiracy theories, there’s a reality on the ground,” he said.
As many as five million people may be displaced by the conflict, and SGA has established a relief fund devoted to providing for refugees’ physical and spiritual needs.
“We just want to be faithful to get behind the churches that God has raised up in this region,” he said.
Nazworth, whose American Values Coalition seeks to combat misinformation and defend democracy, urges Christians “to stand on the side of truth” and reject conspiracies. Yet he cautions against “browbeating” friends or family who’ve been misled by disinformation campaigns.
“It requires empathy (to) lead people to truth,” he stated. “Often, there is more going on in their lives that would lead them down this path. Show you care, ask questions, and focus on your shared values.”
He added: “Clearly, I know, Russia has breached the border of Ukraine.” Russia first breached the border of Ukraine on February 24, three days prior to the pastor’s earlier remarks delivered on February 27.
In his most recent comments, Caddell also referenced Matthew 24, where Christ calls his followers to have peace when “rumors of wars” and geopolitical conflicts arise. “So with that, I want us unfettered from media so that we can live in peace, the peace that Jesus brings,” said Caddell. “(Then) we can be about the work that he’s called us to, which is what I was trying to articulate last week.”
The Texas pastor also announced his church would take up a special relief offering for Ukrainian refugees, partnering with Connect Church in Springfield, Missouri, which he said has an outreach team on-the-ground. “They are literally getting goods and setting up tents for refugees as we speak right now,” said Caddell. He closed the remarks with a prayer for people “in need and fleeing their homes” during the conflict.
Freelance journalist Josh Shepherd writes on faith, culture, and public policy for several media outlets. He and his wife live in the Washington, D.C. area with their two children.
42 thoughts on “UPDATED: TX Pastor Among Those Spreading Conspiracy Theories: ‘I’m 99% Sure Russia is Not Invading Ukraine’”
That Texas Pastor must have a congregation that lives off the grid in caves. Or at minimum, he does. Pat Robertson has a history of erroneous prophecies. Remember his presidential campaign? Lord, deliver us from this mess.
There seems to be two main themes running through many comments. First, because of this pastor, Pat Robertson and others, “Christians are insane or Christianity is insane”. As a result, people might stop attending church. Would you stop attending college or going to work because of a bad professor or horrible boss?
Second, once an acceptable narrative has been established then anyone departing from that narrative must be subjected to as much scorn and loud denunciation as possible. These are the people who should lose any communication privileges with the outside world. They should be rounded up and sent to a digital version of Devil’s Island. The actual island will work if digital is unavailable.
Why must they be shouted down? Is this pastor’s refusal to accept what others believe to be “objective” facts going to cause more death and destruction, or is his refusal so bothersome for other reasons? There are a multitude of objective facts that have been savaged in recent years that have received muddled support within christendom. We’ve allowed words to be hacked and rearranged the genetic code of meaning.
Quitting college and quitting work have immediate and significant downsides financially and career-wise that quitting church typically don’t have, so you’re likely to to put up with a lot more bad bloviation from a professor or boss.
Second, when a pastor declares, from the pulpit, that he is speaking a prophetic word, he is bringing all his significant authority (within that church) to his words. This is far more than expressing an opinion. People sitting in the congregation are there in large part because they want to hear what he has to say and learn from him.
There is a reason why Putin has invested so much time and effort on spreading Russian propaganda for most of his rule. It works. No, it doesn’t directly lead to death and destruction, but shaping public opinion is very important when it comes to achieving long term goals, and Putin has been very effective in shaping conservative America’s perception of him to the point where far to many find a lot to like about what is in reality, his despotic rule.
Finally, of course there is room for dissenting opinion, but there also should be room for calling out what are clearly bonkers and undeniably wrong opinions. Free speech works both ways.
@ Mike Walker
Quitting church has no immediate downsides? Maybe people have discovered they can live without church or God. Maybe the next time Pat Robertson decides to run for president, I’ll stop voting.
As far as shaping public opinion, I’m not an apologist for Putin or anyone else over there. I don’t follow in lockstep with my own pastor. I know pastors are humans who can and often do get it wrong. That’s why Paul commended the Bereans who verified what he told them. Paul said in Galatians 1:8,
“But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.”
In 2 Corinthians 11:4, Paul chastised the Corinthians for so readily accepting a different spirit or gospel. He wouldn’t have written those words if he knew there wouldn’t be those situations in churches. In the end, we are responsible for our own discernment, but that’s also why pastors/elders have a higher standard to meet before God because they will have to give an account for their words.
However, given religious liberty and the 1st amendment, if this pastor, Pat Robertson or others want to spout what you believe to be propaganda, assuming you yourself have all of the necessary facts concerning the geopolitical forces being brought to bear in that part of the world, as you said, free speech works both ways, or does it?
I also mentioned several objective lies that have turned the whole concept of truth on its head. Disagreement with these lies will result in cancelation, doxing, and possible prosecution. So much for free speech.
@ Mike Moore
My comment below yours was written hours ago as a stand-alone. I have no idea how it ended up posted looking like a response to yours. It wasn’t meant to be. My apologies.
How tragic let alone irresponsible for someone with a mic to say he’s “99 percent sure Russia isn’t invading Ukraine.” Likewise we didn’t go to the moon, Sandy Hook was a fabrication, and the Holocaust never happened. Sometimes—often, actually—these reports of speakers with an audience are simply depressing. Since Russia isn’t invading, the million-plus people who fled to other countries might as well go back home.
“You can find Pastor Brent in the VIP area on Sundays after each service.” https://www.pearlstreet.church/
No wonder this world thinks Christians are insane. And to tell you the truth after reading the stuff that Julie Roy’s has a commitment to put out to her readers regarding the truth of what is happening in the evangelical church these days, I don’t blame the world for thinking we are insane!
No one will be able to use the “Christians are insane” excuse on judgment day. People are insane because they will not repent of their sins. Right is now wrong, and wrong is now right. We live in an age where science is God unless science disagrees with someone’s feelings. We already know who wins that argument now.
I’m struggling to see how this is a helpful response to a pastor spouting objective lies from the pulpit.
“…a pastor spouting objective lies…”
Based on what? The TV? Or do you personally know civilian/military personnel from both sides, directly involved in the affected areas?
Well thankfully the pastor has now acknowledged that what he said was false, and clarified his intent, so it’s moot.
“Based on what? The TV? Or do you personally know civilian/military personnel from both sides, directly involved in the affected areas?”
well, you’ve got me thinking, Andrew Thomas….
we don’t actually know that the moon isn’t made of cheese.
I can assure you it’s not made of cheese, it is a light in the firmament, per Genesis 1:15-19:
And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. 16And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. 17And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, 18And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. 19And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
Your snarky gaslighting does nothing for the conversation. If you want to believe what people who lie for a living are telling you on TV, instead of praying for discernment from God, then enjoy watching the media fear porn and the cortisol boost you receive from it.
If you want to have a conversation about our differing points of view, I welcome getting to know you better.
The question we need to ask is if he is doing this because of the backlash, or if he really feels this way. Then we need to ask, if he is being honest, why was he so careless with his words as a church leader to begin with?
“. . . I’ll be prophetic with you right now: I am 99% sure Russia is not invading Ukraine.”
“What I meant to say is that my hope and prayer is that Russia is not invading Ukraine, or taking over Ukraine and making it a state of Russia,” Caddell said.”
The backtracking does not address his prophesying claim and is not even close to what he was preaching. He was speaking as if God has given him a divine message to share and said what he meant. Now he is saying that he was lying and meant to say something about prayer. The apology has to address the bearing of false witness or it is meaningless. I do not see him asking for forgiveness or repenting of his breaking of a commandment.
But his changing of his story does change my original question as to how you know what he said was objectively false. Just because he recanted does not mean what he is now saying is true.
I choose not to my wheels engaging with conspiracy theories today.
@ Mark G
You mean the conspiracy theories like MK-Ultra, Operation “Sunshine” and the Tuskegee experiments?
Apparently I can’t type straight before coffee. I meant to say I choose not to spin my wheels engaging with conspiracy theories.
@ Mark G.
I responded to this comment multiple times, but none of my attempts met commenting guidelines for whatever reason. As saccharine as I can say it, “Agree to disagree”. Thanks for your engagement.
Isn’t it convenient that those who believe they understand this current war and can utter ‘prophecies’, are doing so from thousands of miles from the war and suffering, safely ensconced in their cozy pulpits? Oh how this must make Jesus weep. Where is our servant hood and humility?
Stuff like this makes me want to actually no longer attend church services. Just enough already!
I find your comment interesting from the perspective of consistency. Would you no longer seek medical attention because of the existence of quack doctors? Would you quit your job because of the existence of horrible bosses?
Are this pastor’s views or those of Pat Robertson and others so offensive and shocking that God’s work of redemption has suddenly ceased, churches should shut their doors, and we should find something better to do with Sundays?
When someone gets really sick from Chinese (or other) food, they often avoid eating that kind of restaurant for a while. This pastor is yet one more example of a similar bad experience many are seeking to avoid.
But you would still continue to eat, and you would likely find a Chinese food restaurant that doesn’t make you sick. That would be a fair assumption wouldn’t it?
He should be preaching to empty seats in the weeks to come. But of course that will not happen because people will continue to come to his church.
Sorry I’m confused after reading. Is he saying he doesn’t believe Russia will invade the Ukraine or is he saying the invasion isn’t happening?
The article states his comments were on Feb. 27; the invasion started the 24th.
Ahhhh so he’s into the “it’s fake news” thinking. And all the end timers are using this to sell more books about this is proof. Russia invades and covid so these are all the signs and wonders. Do I believe it will happen? Sure why not. But I’ve listened to fifty years of experts absolutely positive God has informed them that these signs and wonders are the proof. Fifty years and they all know God is only talking to them. Nothing for the rest of us. Thank you
I’m 100% sure that the pastors and conspiracy groups mentioned in this piece are crazy.
I don’t blame the pastor for being skeptical, especially when media is not required by law to report accurately any longer since the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 was repealed under Obama’s watch.
Remember when ABC not too long ago used footage from a Kentucky gun show and said it was an invasion by Turkey?
Not to mention they are using Ukraine/Russia/War footage/photos from several years ago and passing it off as current “proof” of war.
I do not know what is being taught in schools these days, but in the early 1980’s US we spent several semesters on propaganda/critical thinking in grade school, how to spot it and what questions to ask when it is being used. I do not know anyone (after the Berlin wall fell) that was required to read Edward Bernays Propaganda books, 1984, Animal Farm, or study propaganda techniques used during WW1/WW2/Cold War.
Andrew, thumbs up!
Ever take a close look at evidence surrounding the so called atom bomb? A lot more journalist writing on the subject in recent years. The USA will probably win the award for most effective propaganda use of all time.
“There is a price to pay for speaking the truth. There is a bigger price for living a lie.”
— Cornel West
If you’re talking about the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012, it has absolutely nothing to do with what the US media can or can’t do. All it does is make US government media content on services intended for overseas (like Voice of America and Office of Cuba Broadcasting) more readily available in the USA.
How this can be construed as abolishing some non-existent law that requires US media companies to report accurately (since when did Fox News report anything accurately?) beats me.
Here’s the text of the bill if you don’t believe me: https://www.congress.gov/bill/112th-congress/house-bill/5736#:~:text=Smith%2DMundt%20Modernization%20Act%20of%202012%20%2D%20Amends%20the%20United%20States,abroad%20about%20the%20United%20States%2C
Mike, I’d suggest digging a little deeper by reading this:
And then understanding what this bill did – it allowed the FEDS to pay out a billion dollars of tax payer money to propagandize the public via radio/TV/advertising into thinking the covid injections were “safe and effective”, while they were knowingly keeping the almost 1300 adverse side effects hidden from public domain.
And furthermore, the Covid injections ARE extremely safe and effective and the 1300 reports of purported potential side effects were either minor or not proven to be correlated to the vaccine.
Have you read the recent FDA release of adverse side effects? It is 38 pages of actual clinical data covering December 2020 through February 28, 2021.
@ Steve Erickson
I assume you’re suggesting the multiple instances of myocarditis (et al) that have been correlated to the jab aren’t really correlated to the jab. Studies haven’t actually made that conclusion yet given that the therapy used in the jab is still experimental, and reported side-effects would require individual clinical studies to verify any causal link.
Since this entire experiment has spanned all of 24 months or so, any research on additional side-effects that might arise in the future will obviously have to wait.
For a different perspective you might want to see what Luc Montagnier had to say. Also, the doctor in the link is very pro-jab but honest when complications arise.
From a doctor, does it read as if he/she is lying, biased either way, subjective, or objective?
How ironic that your complaint about fake news is itself a source of fake news. Obama did not sign or repeal any law resulting in the enabling of fake news reporting.
Steve, one does not have to dig very long or very deep to see clearly that the AP has been guilty of propaganda used psychologically against the people of the USA for many decades. Of course they want you thinking all is well!
See here for starters:
@ Kenly Wayne
It all goes back to who checks the fact checkers. Snopes.com was supposed to be a clearing house for the veracity of multiple claims until it was shown that they were not quite as neutral as claimed.
It reminds me of the Jesus Seminar where a group of people who didn’t believe in the inspiration, authority or inerrancy of the Bible got together and decided what words Jesus actually said. Wouldn’t you know it. It turns out Jesus said very little after all and was about as verbose as Mr. Bean. Of course, the predisposition of the seminar members to already disbelieve the Bible couldn’t have had anything to do with their conclusions. I’m sure in the end, they were as neutral as Switzerland.
Peter – you gave me a good laugh mentioning Mr. Bean. I appreciate whenever you comments…typically full of grace and truth.
Andrew – independent labs have found much higher levels of EMF radiation emitting through smart phones when channels that speak truth are being watched vs. channels full of propaganda.
The unseen world of frequencies has been dominated by Satan (prince of the power of the AIR) and his minions it seems, but the sad reality is that too many people love being lied to.
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