The Challenge of Vladimir Putin

Western media have warned that Vladimir Putin is the modern Adolph Hitler (after years of telling us the former leader of Iran was Hitler, but… I digress). According to this intelligence analysis from Stratfor, however, Putin’s grasp on power in Russia is wobbling rather severely.

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What’s the truth?

A journalist friend in Moscow agrees that it is a perilous time on many fronts there, and the outcome is all but certain. Despite public proclamations of a truce or cease-fire in Ukraine, I privately received videos in the past week of ongoing battles (the universal presence of cameras and easy access to the Internet really are changing the equation for political leaders—it’s hard, if not impossible, to totally throw a cloak over events, and hide them from the world).

[See also, “What is Vladimir Putin Doing in Ukraine?]

Russia/Ukraine—along with the Middle East turmoil, economic and spiritual movement in China, and Ebola in Africa—is another world event that should be in our prayers.

The biggest threat to Russia—as in the United States—is that we largely have absolutely the wrong people in places of authority. The Bible says government leaders and bureaucrats are to be servants of the public, not those who love control over others—we retain Biblical language (public servant), but not the substance:

Jesus called [His disciples] to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:25-28).

We don’t need Republicans or Democrats in office, and working for the government. We need people who fear God, and love their neighbor. Russia does too. I have no doubt that even unbelievers appreciate those who hold office not for their own enrichment, and power trips, but for the good of those in the community.