From Maia Mikhaluk FB post (Kyiv): 215th day of ruzzian invasion. I am not a theologian, and I am not religious (I don’t follow any rituals), but I am a Christian, and my faith (not religion) is the center of my worldview. I can explain what I believe in and why. I might not be able to argue about many theological issues, but I certainly know what is central to my faith.
Yesterday in his Sunday sermon, Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill (he is their main guy) made the following statement: “We know that many today are dying in the fields of internecine battle. The Church is praying that this battle will end as soon as possible, that as few brothers as possible will kill each other in this fratricidal war.
And at the same time, the Church realizes that if someone, driven by a sense of duty and the need to honor his oath, stays loyal to his vocation and dies while carrying out his military duty, then he is, without any doubt, doing a deed that is equal to sacrifice. He is sacrificing himself for others. And, therefore, we believe that this sacrifice cleanses away all of that person’s sins.”
It appears this church has turned away from the foundations of the Christian faith that is clearly summarized in Ephesians 2:8-9:
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.
By Grace alone, through Faith alone, by Christ alone! Belief in that is what differentiates the Christian church from sects.
I can think of one religion that promises Heaven for killing enemies. Can you? That’s definitely not what Christians believe. Our sins are cleansed only by one sacrifice – the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. Ruzzians coming to Ukraine to steal our land and kill our people are piling up sins rather than cleansing them.
The church is supposed to proclaim the truth and condemn sin. What we see in ruzzian church is justifying sin to the point of turning away from the truth. Unfortunately, it’s the case not only with the Orthodox church.
I will also include in the first comment a reference to research done by the Institute of Religious Freedom (Netherlands) about ruzzian attacks on religious freedom in Ukraine.