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Ask the Pastor 133

How should we think biblically about the war in the Ukraine?

The first thing that we want to understand is that war is the natural bent of totally depraved men as we read, “Their feet are swift to shed blood; destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Romans 3:15-18). As a communist, Putin is an atheist and therefore, he will do what comes naturally to him without regard to the Word of God or to the value of human lives. Biblical morality is of no concern to him or to the communist party that he serves. We know that war is a part of human history and that history is included in the Bible, particularly in the Old Testament. The Lord our God actually commanded war, which included a total genocide of the people groups living in the land of Canaan (see Deuteronomy 20:17; Joshua 3:10). The law also commanded capital punishment where an offender can be executed. The question becomes, what about the law which states, “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13) and our Lord’s teaching, “But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.” (Matthew 5:39)? It is clear that there is a difference between the individual taking vengeance out of their own pride and ego and the actions of the Lord God and the civil authority that is ordained by Him. It is also clear in the book of Daniel that the Lord is the one who sets up one kingdom and brings down another and this was done by war, Nebuchadnezzar is called the Lord’s servant (Jeremiah 27:6). Therefore, we know that the Lord our God uses war to bring down nations and to stop the spread of tyranny. The questions that remain are, is there a difference between a just war and an unjust war where Christians would be involved in the one and not the other? In the case of Russia invading the Ukraine, we might ask if it can be biblically and morally justified for Christians to stand back passively, and watch while one nation attacks another without cause or provocation resulting in the deaths of many innocent men, women and children?

Have questions about the Bible? Send them to Dr. Greg Koehn at and read the answer here in this article.

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