Marina, this Russian journalist carrying the NO WAR sign in the video exhibited a great level of courage to oppose her government on Russian National TV this week! It took great courage to break into Russia run television with a protest sign such as this knowing that it could cost her jail time, her job, and worst of all her life! She shared in a interview played out in several journalistic venues that she just could not take the propagandist state news any longer. Oh yes! It was her job to report it. Why did she do it? What could have caused her to throw caution to the wind and take her life into her own hands opposing the official war. She shares that conflicting values had been working on her since the 2014 invasion into Crimea, until finally with this official invasion she could stand it no longer. She had to do something to "tell the truth!" And she did! Following her outburst onto the national media with this protest, Marina was punished through a 14 hour long interrogation by the Russian authorities and is subject to a fine equivalent to $288 US dollars. Unfortunately, many fear for her life while applauding her bravery. The mystery of those who disappear for speaking out against President Putin is NO secret! According to Fox News on March 16 2022, A Russian model, Greta Vedler, 23 years old, who called Vladimir Putin a "psychopath" has been found dead and stuffed inside a suitcase,
Americans take our freedom of speech for granted! We are absolutely shocked at Putin's treatment of those who speak out against him in any way. Some of his opponents are poisoned while others vanish. Recently, Brittney Griner, 6'9" tall and the WNBA player, touted as the best female basketball in the world, had flown to play basketball for a European league on February 17th. This is exactly one week before Russian invaded Ukraine and before all flights were cancelled due to the war. Ms. Griner has apparently been arrested when cannabis oil was discovered in her carry-on bag. However, the truth is she happens to be an American at the critical time of US sanctions on President Putin due to the war. President Biden gave his harshest critique today calling President Putin a war criminal which the Kremlin has described as "unforgivable." Perhaps this clash of values has never been more obvious than it has been in the last three weeks of such a cruel war against innocent civilians who merely want to live in a democratic country- just as we Americans live in and take for granted today.
My question for today is how bold are Christians in the US when it comes to speaking the truth and preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Are we willing to stand up to our adversaries and opponents with boldness in the same way Marina is taking a stance against the evils of war? Marina knew the risk she was taking, yet something prompted her even though she knew she was breaking the law. She was willing to break the law
in order to speak the truth. We also see thousands of Russians who have been arrested, spending the night in jail for their peaceful protests against the war. Are we willing to boldly proclaim the Gospel in a world that does not want to hear it? Can we learn something from the Russian dissidents and Ukrainian supporters who boldly stand up for their values? It appears to me that Christians in the United States have allowed the Word of God and the message of the Gospel to be watered down by the world in which we live. I pray that we will truly learn from these who take a stand for their values though it may cost them everything they hold dear.
As we search the Scriptures, we see this boldness and courage in the lives of Jesus, his disciples, Paul and Barnabus, as well as the early church leaders who gave their lives to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ the Savior of the world. As Paul states many times in the epistles, they stood strong in the face of fierce opposition. See I Thessalonians 2: 2, Philippians 1:14, Romans 1:16, and many other passages throughout. Romans 1:16 says, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes ..."
As I share this challenge with you, please know that I am deeply challenged to boldly proclaim the Good News myself. Thank goodness we have examples of those who are willing to lay down their own lives in order to boldly proclaim Jesus in a society that desperately needs Him!
Sarver Corporation Foundation
Underground Angel Ministries