Thursday, February 22, 2024

Doing the right thing

Russian president Vladimir Putin murdered another Christian this week. It was just another day in Putin’s supposed project of protecting “the Christian West” from godlessness. After all, they tell me, one can’t create a Christian nationalist empire without killing some people.

Before the world forgets the corpse of Alexei Navalny in the subzero environs of an Arctic penal colony, we ought to look at him—especially those of us who follow Jesus Christ—to see what moral courage actually is.

Navalny was perhaps the most-recognized anti-Putin dissident in the world, and he is now one of many Putin enemies to end up “suddenly dead.” He survived poisoning in 2020, recuperated in Europe, and ultimately went back to his homeland despite knowing what he would face. Speaking of his dissent and his willingness to bear its consequences, Navalny repeatedly referenced his profession of Christian faith. ....

“The fact is that I am a Christian, which usually sets me up as an example for constant ridicule in the Anti-Corruption Foundation, because mostly our people are atheists, and I was once quite a militant atheist myself,” Navalny said (as rendered by Google Translate). “But now I am a believer, and that helps me a lot in my activities because everything becomes much, much easier.”

“There are fewer dilemmas in my life, because there is a book in which, in general, it is more or less clearly written what action to take in every situation,” he explained. “It’s not always easy to follow this book, of course, but I am actually trying.”

Specifically, Navalny said, he was motivated by the words of Jesus: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied” (Matt. 5:6, NASB).

“I’ve always thought that this particular commandment is more or less an instruction to activity,” Navalny said. “And so, while certainly not really enjoying the place where I am, I have no regrets about coming back or about what I’m doing. It’s fine, because I did the right thing.” .... (more)

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