Church + state = disaster

If you are still unsure about the wisdom of entwining church and state, you should look at Russia.

It is good that the Russian Orthodox Church has rebounded after years of oppression under Communist leadership. It is bad that the church has now climbed into bed with a different authoritarian government.

Patriarch Krill (Cyrill) is a longtime ally of “Vlad the Impaler” Putin. A short time ago Krill gave the church’s blessing to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Brutal military tactics featuring atrocities against civilians, a vicious program of destruction that leaves nothing worthwhile standing – not to mention a totally baseless and fictional rationale for the attack itself: Krill blesses it all.

He shares with Putin a love of “traditional values,” Russian style, and a hatred of all things from the morally degraded West, especially anything related to that gravest of all possible sins, homosexuality.

Maybe that’s why so many “evangelicals” in America proclaim their love for Putin. He hates some of the same things they do, and “evangelicals” typically go ga-ga over authoritarian types like Putin, who loves to strip off his shirt to show off his hairless, manly chest.

There are 260 Orthodox Christians in the world, perhaps 100 million of them Russian Orthodox. Ukraine has about 30 million Orthodox believers of various stripes, including an independent Ukrainian Orthodox Church that Krill considers apostate.

But Ukraine is central to Russian nationalist mythology and now Russian Orthodox religious mythology, too, so it appears Putin and Krill are intent on destroying Ukraine in order to save it.

Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury, has called for the Russian Orthodox Church to be expelled from the World Council of Churches. That seems no more likely than Russia being expelled from the United Nations Security Council, which exists mostly to keep the world’s biggest nations from blowing us all up.

It is sickening to see a major Christian figure drop all pretense of “just war” theology and not only defend but encourage a clearly unjust war. Such is our world today, as it always has been and will be until Christ returns again. This is what happens – always – when church and state become intertwined. State wins. Church turns idolatrous. Witness for Christ is forever stained.

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