SHOULD WE DEFEND UKRAINE? TO WHAT EXTENT?
Rev. Bill Banuchi
Should we defend Ukraine? To what extent? This question has been rolling around in my mind since Russia first amassed troops at the Ukrainian border, and now, with the actual invasion, and the devastation and suffering we see on TV every day, it cries out for an answer. What does the Bible say? How should we apply it to the current crisis?
Let’s first establish some basic facts.
First, there is still evil in the world. Evolution apparently didn’t lead Vladimir Putin to a higher plane of morality and decency. Human nature has not, and does not change. That’s why Jesus told us that in the last days there would still be wars and rumors of wars. Putin is, in fact, the personification of evil. Jesus taught us that it is, in fact, Satan who comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). That is exactly what Putin is doing. If evolution was a fact you would think that after thousands of years of human evolution man would have learned to live in peace and harmony with his neighbors. Unfortunately, such is not the case.
Secondly, the evil desire for world conquest still lurks in the hearts of demonized leaders who are the natural manifestation of Lucifer’s continuing rebellion against God. Could it be that an alliance of leaders like Putin, Xi Jinping of China, and perhaps the mullahs of Iran and Kim Jong-un of North Korea might be convinced to unite against the forces of liberty that represent a threat to their tyrannical control of people?
Liberty must be defended wherever it is threatened, or human nature will take its natural course to consolidate power. Freedom is not natural; it is supernatural, and can only thrive where people are willing to govern themselves. The natural state of humanity is authoritarian control. Survey world systems and you will see ample evidence of this truth.
The United States is not immune to conquest. Don’t think it can’t happen here. Ukrainians didn’t think it would happen to them. The Israelites didn’t think it would happen to them, but it did. The historical record reports that Babylonians conquered Israel about six hundred years before Christ, and the nation ceased to exist until 1948 when it experienced a rebirth. The Bible tells us that these things happened to be an example to us, to warn us to never become so complacent that we take our liberty for granted. Thomas Jefferson warned us that, “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty”.
So the question is, “Should we be helping Ukraine guard their liberty, and if so, to what extent?”
Perhaps we should resurrect the Truman Doctrine issued in 1947
On March 12, 1947, President Harry Truman went before Congress to request $400 million to help Greece and Turkey resist Communist-led rebels bent on overthrowing their governments. The president laid out a policy that became known as the Truman Doctrine – a pledge that the United States would help nations struggling to resist anti-democratic forces. Truman’s words still resonate, and are still important:
“At the present moment in world history nearly every nation must choose between alternative ways of life. The choice is too often not a free one….
One way of life is based upon the will of the majority, and is distinguished by free institutions, representative government, free elections, guarantees of individual liberty, freedom of speech and religion, and freedom from political oppression.
The second way of life is based upon the will of a minority forcibly imposed upon the majority. It relies upon terror and oppression, a controlled press and radio, fixed elections, and the suppression of personal freedoms.
I believe that it must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures. . . .
The free peoples of the world look to us for support in maintaining their freedoms.
If we falter in our leadership, we may endanger the peace of the world – and we shall surely endanger the welfare of our own nation.”
Yes, Truman was a Republican, but remember also what this Democrat President intended to say in this speech. Unfortunately, he was assassinated before he got a chance to deliver these words, but nevertheless, they still speak to us today. JFK said,
“We in this country, in this generation, are-by destiny rather than choice-the watchmen on the walls of world freedom. We ask, therefore, that we may be worthy of our power and responsibility, that we may exercise our strength with wisdom and restraint…, Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”
So then, should we support free peoples who are resisting subjugation by authoritarian dictators? What does it mean to pay any price to assure the survival and the success of liberty?
Can it be that a threat to liberty anywhere is a threat to liberty everywhere? I believe so. In the same way our American Revolution spawned a series of revolutions throughout the western world, I believe it’s possible for such a trend to also work in the reverse. When tyranny finds success in the conquest of liberty it becomes emboldened, and the contagion emboldens other authoritarian tyrants to consider expanding their rule like a deadly cancer. Consider China and Taiwan.
What does the Bible say about that? Actually, it’s pretty clear:
“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”—Matthew 7:12
”You shall Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”—Luke 10:27
It is my firm belief that we must give ourselves to defending the cause of liberty, trusting the outcome to God who reigns above all and determines the destinies of nations. Obedience is ours; results are God’s.