Pick almost any nation on the planet, tune into the local News, and you will be faced with Wall to Wall coverage of Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine. Unless you live within the highly censored Russian media bubble, you simply cannot miss the stark and stomach churning details of what is happening.
Despite that, some are in total denial.
Via the Roys Report, a Christian run website that strives for truth, we have an example. They have flagged up a pastor who recently made an utterly absurd claim.
About three days after the Feb 24 invasion commenced, Pastor Brent Caddell of Pearl Street Church in San Antonio, Texas, had this to say to his congregation during a Sunday sermon on Feb 27 …
The new religion of this day and age that we live in is politics. They get their power when we give them our attention . . . I’ll be prophetic with you right now: I am 99% sure Russia is not invading Ukraine.
Politics might indeed be a constantly churning maelstrom of disagreement, but the brutality and indiscriminate slaughter of war goes way beyond “politics”.
His “prophetic” claim is not simply wrong. Truth has been sacrificed upon an alter as a burnt offering to god-knows-who. The aroma might indeed be pleasing to the QAnon crowd, but for the rest of us, and I include both those that believe and those that do not in that thought, it is a deeply offensive stench that reeks of corruption.
Pravda – Правда
During the Soviet era the official publication of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union was called Pravda. That name translates as “Truth”. The content during the soviet era was widely known to be propaganda and mocked as such. When considered along with the Soviet paper “Izvestia” (The News), the common saying was “there’s no truth in Pravda and no news in Izvestia“.
The Pearl Street church appear to have taken a few tips from Pravda’s editorial practise. In true soviet style, Pearl Street have censored that Sunday sermon by cutting the pastor’s 99% comment out. When asked why they had done this, they opted to simply ignore the question.
So did he really say it?
Yes he did, it is up on YouTube.
This is not about “Belief” vs ‘Non-belief”
If indeed you wish to promote a message of hope and of compassion for those in need, then touting absurd conspiracy claims that have no factual basis as “truth” is really not the way to do it.
Doing stuff like this completely and totally blows your credibility. If you get something this simple and this basic wrong, then why should anybody ever listen to anything you ever have to say?
Modern Christianity is in rapid decline. This is not because people are rejecting the “truth”, nor is it because they are rejecting the traditional message. Instead, when faced with the intolerance and bigotry, the anti-gay stance, then it gives them considerable pause. Heap on top of that political right-wing autocratic rhetoric, evidence-free conspiracy theories, and anti-science declarations that have led to an almost countless number of preventable deaths, then people will walk.
It is not just one lone Pastor
If this was perhaps just one guy, making just one mistake, then it would be appropriate to cut him a bit of slack.
Unfortunately this is just not what is going on.
With as many as 80% of evangelicals vigorously and vocally supporting the pussy-grabber, as the anointed one, and latching on to the big lie, they have become a cult that is awash with conspiracy claims that have no factual basis at all.
Listening the their rhetoric you soon discover that all democrats are supposedly vile evil people, yet in reality most of them, the vast majority are practising Christians.
The Roys Report article
It starts out with the 99% claim, but them moves on to flag up Pat Robertson’s claim that the Russian invasion is a fulfillment of prophecy. Yes, “that”, Pat Robertson, the guy who has a very long and well-established track record for making predictions that fail.
Back in 1982 he was “predicting” this — “I guarantee you by the fall of 1982 there is going to be a judgment on the world.” yet here we are 40 years later, and he is simply recycling it all.
Least you wonder, yes he also guaranteed a Trump win in 2020. He literally never gets anything right, ever.
What I can safely predict is that it is indeed the end-of-days … for Pat. He is 91.
The same Roys article then moves on to flag up the QAnon claims that are flourishing within evangelical ranks. I really don’t need to cover it all in detail, but to give you a quick idea of just how batty it all is here is a quick extract …
A post from For God & Country Patriot Roundup claims Russia is “not attacking innocent civilians” but a “corrupt center of operations” in Ukraine.
Another story, which originated from Real Raw News, claimed that Putin is working with Donald Trump and his real motive in invading Ukraine is to liberate child trafficking victims.
The common attributes that all of this nonsense has is that none of it is true, none of it has any credible evidence, all of it is very pro-Russian … and yes, … a great deal of it originates via Russian outlets such as Russia Today.
In other words, the evangelicals are being played as useful idiots.
Itinerant minister and author Joel Richardson sums it up best. I honestly don’t agree with much of what he writes, but when it comes to this, he really is spot on …
My preferred Response to it all
When it comes to handling family members then I tend not argue, but instead just ask questions to help nudge them away from emotional/tribal thinking and more towards analytical thinking.
When faced with those that are not immediate family, then all bets are off. For them there is the joy of mocking the unadulterated and pure stupidity of it all. However, I do confess that I also lean towards the Ukrainian response to Russian “tourists” …