Last week Russia jet fighters made international news after “barrel rolling ” an American destroyer an then menacing a United States reconnaissance plane flying near the Russia border.
Top military officials from the United States told reporters that they were highly concerned about the new aggressive behavior coming out of Russia and were wondering out loud if the dangerous encounters were a signal of something bigger on the horizon.
Vladimir Putin’s actions in Ukraine and Syria catapulted Russia onto the world stage forcing the United States to rethink its geo-political strategies which have been mainly focused on defeating terrorism and bringing stability to the Middle East.
It seems to many international observers that Putin is one step ahead of the American administration and are not sure what to make of Vladimir’s grand ambitions. However, if one listens closely to Mr. Putin certain clues reveal themselves and Putin’s ambitions may have more to do with culture wars than any kind of land grab or empire building.
Putin is a true believer and he sees Western culture as morally weak and Godless. This fact actually matters to Mr. Putin and it is the driving force of his ambitions and it is importantly his convictions are the anchor of his confidence. And he is not timid about lecturing the United States and the West on the subject of morality.
With America clearly in mind, Vladimir Putin recently declared: “In many countries today, moral and ethical norms are being reconsidered. They’re now requiring not only the proper acknowledgment of freedom of conscience, political views and private life, but also the mandatory acknowledgment of the equality of good and evil.” Putin believes in sin and that morality is not a relative moving target that is determined by the dominate culture of the time. In Putin’s world – his Christian world – there are consequences to moral behavior – there is a right and a wrong.
American Thinker writes: “For those of us who grew up in America being told that the godless communist atheists in Russia were our enemies, the idea that America might give up on God and Christianity while Russia embraces religion might once have been difficult to accept. But by 2015, the everyday signs in America show a growing contempt for Christianity, under the first president whose very claims of being a Christian are questionable. The exact opposite trend is happening in Russia and its leaders—a return to Christian roots.”
Putin’s words on faith have surprised the world. Media, including conservative religious magazines, find it hard to believe that Russian society is transforming into a Christian nation.
Perhaps the great untold story about the crisis in Syria is how American foreign policy actually puts the minority Christians in harms way. The Catholic Herald writes: “There’s something especially sinister about the way our governments have followed a Wahhabi-led scheme to overthrow a secular dictatorship, a revolution that would almost certainly endanger Christians in the land of St Paul.” The demonized Assad regime has actually been the protector of the Christian minority for decades. The Catholic Herald asks “Will Putin’s Holy War Save Syrian Christians.”
While Russian leaders were attending Church services, halfway around the world Obama regularly struggles to find a church for his family.
While religious freedoms are under attack in the USA, Russia is investing $100 million to rebuild churches throughout the country. Money to rebuild these houses of worship is coming from Russian taxpayers. Such a thing is unthinkable in the US. Imagine US media reaction if President Obama were to decide to invest $100 million US taxpayer dollars in such projects.
Russia’s turn to Christianity is virtually unknown in the US. Many Christian leaders are oblivious to what is happening in Russia. Pastors Pat Robertson and John Hagee still believe Russia is an atheist, Communist country and these prominent End-Times Christian pastors are raising money and rattling their sabers to go to war against the Godless state.
Further to the surprise of many Americans, particularly Evangelical Christians, Vladimir Putin carries a Christian cross with him at all times. Vladimir Putin has frequently praised the Russian Orthodox Church for “educating citizens in a spirit of patriotism and love of country, passing on love for spiritual values and history.” For his part, Russian Patriarch Kirill said that he hoped that the Lord would help Putin “in performing the high task God gave him.” Kirill also praised the prime minister for the way Putin managed the economic crisis, which has had a greater impact in Russia than elsewhere in the world.
Christian influence penetrates the Russian Military
Online News Magazine “Vocative” writes “For all the talk about how Soviet-style repression has returned to Russia under President Vladimir Putin, one thing that’s decidedly not a throwback is the role of the Russian Orthodox Church. To the dismay of critics, the church’s power has grown immensely over the past few years as Putin has reached out to Russia’s conservative heartland for support. In the Soviet era, publicly saying that you believe in God was a surefire way to ruin your career, or at worst, earn a one-way ticket to the Gulag. But today, priests regularly sprinkle Russian space rockets with holy water ahead of liftoff, while the Orthodox Church has even held a religious service in honor of the nation’s stockpile of nuclear weapons.”