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Pussy Riot and Preaching the Gospel

I’ve often heard it said that Ukraine is about 3 years behind its big brother Russian when it comes to political changes.  Unfortunately that statement has been proven on many occasions to be true.  That is why my antenna go up when I hear what is currently happening in Russian to the punk rock group Pussy Riot.

Yes, you heard that right, 2 years in a Russian prison for singing an anti Putin song.  I am in no way advocating the group Pussy Riot but I do believe this ruling indicates an alarming trend of a cracking down on free speech which could eventually spill over to churches.

What does this mean for Ukraine? Well, nothing yet… however, I wouldn’t be surprised to see similar rulings here in the next few years. I don’t think it is something we need to go and protest but as followers of Christ there are a few things that we all should be doing. Below is a short list of things that came to my mind.

1. We need to Pray

First of all, then, I exhort that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 1 Timothy 1:1-2

Paul clearly instructs us to pray for those who are in authority.  I have to admit this is something that I haven’t done a lot of in the past.  Not only are we to pray for them but we are to give THANKS for them!  Sometimes that is difficult to do especially when the authority is not part of our favorite political party.

2. We need to Love

But I say to you, Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who despitefully use you and persecute you. Matthew 5:44

Again God’s Word asks us to do something that seems the opposite of our natural instinct.  When we experience real persecution we can’t lash out with revenge or spew hateful remarks like we so often see in political rallies.  Instead God calls us to love and to bless, both extremely difficult but powerful actions in the time of persecution.

3. We need to Preach the Gospel

And they called them and commanded them not to speak at all, nor to teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said to them, Whether it is right before God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. Acts 4:18-19

Every follower of Jesus has a responsibility to boldly share the good news of forgiveness and eternal life found only in Christ.  Sometimes we are kept silent by cultural norms and societal pressures and sometimes we are kept silent by laws that curtail our freedom of speech.  Neither of these are valid reasons not to share Jesus with the world.  I love how Paul puts in his letter to the believers in Philippi.

Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has actually caused the gospel to advance.  As a result, it has become clear to the whole imperial guard and to everyone else that I am in prison for preaching about the Messiah. Philippians 1:12-13

Question: What’s holding you back from sharing Jesus with those around you?

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I am a pastor, missionary, and preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Ukraine since 2007. God blessed me with a wonderful wife and 5 amazing children! My greatest passion is to teach, encourage, and exhort others to turn to Jesus, who is Savior, Lord, and God!