For Such A Time As This: Unexpected Ethics
What a time to be teaching Cold War history! I find myself with unique ethical dilemmas — reputable people have shared trustworthy links to fund the Ukrainian army, a rescue mission for young people and families, Christian elders; I agree with the protesting in peaceful, civic ways and to use our democratic processes for all they’re worth. As a Christian I can also pray — for both sides. I don’t want to hate on Russians, and as Amir Tsarfati has said, Putin is both strategic and evilly intentioned — don’t be surprised if he takes advantage. I’m aware too that a centre of resources, there are world wide implications if Russia takes control of the Ukraine. Personally, I have friends there (who are safe), and even if I didn’t, people matter. Additionally, ATMs and banks are also having problems allowing access to cash in some places in the Ukraine, so UK based charities are better overall.
Personally, I believe that the Ukrainian defence is a just war — I believe that God respects ethnicities, nations and borders, (although we humans may argue about who or what constitutes those nations, national limits and conventions). Someone is even fund raising for their brother who is a civilian defending their local area. As a History teacher, this shocking situation seems like the Cold War all over again. With 1989, like the Berlin Wall, I really did think was all over now…
But my dilemma is this — though I’m not a millionaire, who should I fund? Christians? Civilians? The army? Young people? Elders? Refugees exiting Ukraine? Churches to help those fleeing?
I’m not a pacifist, nor am I a lover of guns and war — I want to do more than hand ring and say that this is terrible and I don’t know what to do, or pray and post without practical action to also demonstrate the love of Jesus. I’m aware that Russia is strong, but Ukraine is determined and their President noble and heroic. There are conscripts and volunteers thrown into the mix. A lot of people probably don’t want this situation. The current UK government is incredibly hard hearted towards anyone seeking refuge or asylum. Having read Don Carson’s A Call to Spiritual Reformation, I was really struck by the idea of praying for decision making help — in choosing what is best when you have two or more really good choices. This is where I’m at here — my ethical dilemma is an unexpected one — come pay day on Monday I want to give, but to whom and where? I really want to do the right thing. For me it may be time to get back into the big book of John Frame — The Doctrine of the Christian Life; though it may be too that I just need to be patient, wait and pray before doing.
So time to pray deeply and to listen — although I am impatient to act…..I’m grateful for Krish Kandiah and others calling us to pray and directing us to practical loving actions.