9 Blessed are the peacemakers,

  for they will be called children of God.

Matthew 5:9

On the 29th of July, 1899, an International Peace Conference was held at the Hague (the seat of government of the Netherlands) to discuss and agree upon the institution of international treaties, procedures for the friendly settlement and reconciliation of international disputes, and the rules of warfare between nations if it were to take place in the future.

The First Hague Peace Conference of 1899 [the Second was in 1907] was convened on the initiative of the Czar of Russia, Nicholas II, “with the object of seeking the most effective means of ensuring to all peoples the benefits of a real and lasting peace, and, above all, of limiting the progressive development of existing armaments” (Russian note of 30 December 1898/11 January 1899)

International Commitee of the Red Cross: Treaties, States Parties and Commentaries

This sounds pretty good; however, these statutes had no binding force. The First World War (or “the Great War”) from 1914 to 1918 demonstrated the inabilities of humanity to establish such lasting peace by its own vocation. An estimated 16 million soldiers alone died during this conflict. The third attempt at a doctrine for international peace was made at the League of Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1919.

Good intentions aside, the world found itself in significantly more devasting global conflict the following decade, one that would see three times as many civilian deaths as military.

The failure of these peace conferences and leagues resulted in the convening of 50 countries for the United Nations (U.N.) Conference in San Fransisco during the closing chapter of the war in 1945 to draft another international charter intended to debilitate a Third World War.

United Nations Peacekeeping logo. The olive branch alongside the helmet, also seen on the flag of the United Nations, is the sign of life and peace received by Noah following God’s flooding of the world in Genesis 8:11

The USA, the UK, France, China, and Russia are the five permanent U.N. Council members that can veto new resolutions. However, both China and Russia are guilty of genocide (the Communist government of China has put over a million Ugyurs into concentration camps).

I agree somewhat with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that similar to the treatment for gangrene (my comparison, not his), the only way to make the United Nations Security Council effective again is to cut away the diseased elements: Russia and China. In addition, mass murderers shouldn’t be appointed to the judiciary.

In a word, no Putin, no war of destruction, what the Nazis called a Vernichtungskrieg.

Putin Isn’t Just an Autocrat. He’s Something Worse.

I honestly find the motivation for Putin’s invasion to “de-nazify” Ukraine ironic as much as it is illogical. The horrific and fascist actions that have been perpetrated by the Russian military against the people of Ukraine, and Putin’s glorification of such violence, bear similarity to those committed by Adolf Hitler and the agents of the Third Reich. However, as we read from John Blake at the CNN,

Unlike today’s flailing Russian army, “the Nazi war machine was formidable, agile, and well-trained.” Indeed, “Putin has struggled to feed, fuel and equip his army.”

Similarly to Putin’s anticipated blitzkrieg (lightning war), “…poor logistical planning also played a critical role in Nazi Germany’s defeat on the Eastern front, where Hitler expected a quick victory.”

Rather than adhering to the established “rules of war” or “International humanitarian Law“, Putin is “…indiscriminately killing civilians to break the will of the Ukrainian people.” Have a read through these 10 laws, and you’ll quickly see that the Russian military operating under Putin’s directions has broken each of them.

“If there is one overriding emotion gripping Ukraine right now, it is hate,” Varenikova said. “It is a deep, seething bitterness for President Vladimir V. Putin, his military, and his government.”

If enough of the Ukrainian population feel this way (which I suspect they do), no matter how this war concludes, “Brutality can backfire in war.”

Putin is making the same mistakes that doomed Hitler when he invaded the Soviet Union
Can the United Nations do anything against Russia – and how can it help Ukraine? | An explainer

5 The earth is defiled by its people;

    they have disobeyed the laws,

violated the statutes

    and broken the everlasting covenant.

Isaiah 24:5

However, irrespective of their limitations and reservations, on the 7th of April, 2022,

The United Nations General Assembly on Thursday suspended Russia from the U.N. Human Rights Council over reports of “gross and systematic violations and abuses of human rights” in Ukraine, prompting Moscow to announce it was quitting the body.

U.N. suspends Russia from human rights body, Moscow then quits

…the question has been raised in American minds whether world security can actually be achieved through the United Nations, and the various defense arrangements authorized by its Charter, or whether the cause of peace would be better served by some new form of international organization.

Proposals for Changes in World Organization

The Good News of Jesus Christ, which has been around since the first century A.D., is both the cause and the only source of everlasting peace we’ll ever need:

27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

John 14:27

In 988 Vladimir king of the Rus was the first Christian convert. In Kyiv he summoned the whole city to the banks of the Dnieper River for a mass baptism. Holy Mother Russia was born. In 2019 the Ukrainian church broke with the Russian church and declared its independence. But Putin and the Russian church will not accept this because it is the site of the imagined mother church for all the Rus.

Vladimir Putin: a miracle defender of Christianity or the most evil man?

Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Vladamir Putin has transformed his dark political career, wealth, and influence into a personality cult. He has spent the last 20 years promoting a Russian supremacist ideology, convincing the Russian people, including the Russian Orthodox Church, that he is the new tsar of Russia and that the Western World is evil.

Just as the Kremlin has strengthened its relationship with the Russian Orthodox Church and used it to bolster its standing at home, the Russian Orthodox Church also serves as its proxy abroad, and the two institutions have several overlapping foreign policy objectives.

According to the former editor of the official journal of the Moscow Patriarchate, “the church has become an instrument of the Russian state. It is used to extend and legitimize the interests of the Kremlin.”

Scholar Robert Blitt notes that “the Russian government, in an effort to restore its lost role as a global superpower, has recruited the Church as a primary instrument for rallying together a dubious assortment of states and religious representatives to support a new international ord er. This new order is premised on therejection of universal human rights and the revival of relativism, two principles that serve the Church well.”

United States Senate, One Hundred Fifteenth Congress, Second Session, January 10, 2018,: The use of the Russian Orthodox Church (Ch. 4, pg. 53)

Putin’s use of the church as an instrument of authority and control can be seen in the laws he passed on the 20th of July 2016 regarding sharing the Christian faith. For Russians, it is illegal to share their faith in their homes, online, or anywhere but in recognized church buildings.

Jesus’ brother James has contrasted the two types of wisdom: earthly wisdom and wisdom from above. Worldly wisdom produces confusion and every evil work. Whereas the wisdom from above teaches heavenly virtue and fosters unity.

16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.

18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

James 3:16-18

I’m pleased to read that more than 150 orthodox clerics have openly challenged Putin and his government for their war in Ukraine.

“We call on all opposing sides for a dialogue because there is no other alternative to violence,” the letter says. “Only an ability to hear the other side can give us hope to get out of the abyss our countries were thrown into several days ago. Let yourself and us all enter the Easter Lent in the spirit of faith and love. Stop the war.”

Russian Orthodox Clerics call for a stop to war

In the end, current events are, like everything else, part of God’s plan. In James 1:13-15, God is not the source of evil, but he uses OUR sin to achieve HIS glory. God is using the evil actions of Vladamir Putin to wake us up from our spiritual malaise.

A miracle defender of Christianity or the most evil man? Well, it is Ukrainian Christians among others whom he is now slaughtering indiscriminately and he has little understanding of Jesus, who said “blessed are the peacemakers”.

No, this is a power vision threaded through with nationalistic Christian theology. And evil is the right word when a leader uses religion to justify in God’s name invasion, violence and annihilation.

Vladimir Putin: a miracle defender of Christianity or the most evil man?

We can be sure,

4The Lord works out everything to its proper end –

    even the wicked for a day of disaster.

Proverbs 16:4

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