Pastors of the Word of Life congregations in Ukraine: Light is light, darkness is darkness Union of Christian Word of Life Churches of Ukraine has made a public address to the leaders and ministers of the Word of Life movement in Russia regarding the Russian Federation’s military aggression against Ukraine and the church’s position.
The address states that the pastors of the Ukrainian Word of Life movement have decided to temporarily suspend fraternal relations with the pastors of the Word of Life movement in Russia until the leadership of the Russian ministry clearly and publicly expresses a practical position on military aggression in Ukraine.
Full text of the address:
Address by Rada and the Ukrainian Union of Christian Word of Life Churches to the leaders and ministers of the Russian Word of Life congregations.
The reason for this address is the need to bring clarity and certainty to the relations between our brethren during the war between Russia and Ukraine.
On February 24, 2022, Russia carried out a treacherous invasion into the territory of sovereign Ukraine in order to conquer the territory, overthrow the existing powers in Ukraine and establish full control over our country and people. In fact, the war in Eastern Ukraine has been going on since 2014, but it has now taken on an open form. The fact of unleashing aggression, incessant false propaganda against Ukraine, the destruction of peaceful cities, atrocities against civilians show that the Russian government and army are carrying out occupation, looting, inhumane violence and genocide against the Ukrainian people.
April 2, 2022 The position of Rada and the Ukrainian Word of Life church leaders on military aggression, as well as the relations between the churches of Ukraine and Russia, was published. By Russian churches we mean primarily the churches of the Word of Life movement in Russia which is a member of the Russian Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith. In our public address and also in our repeated personal contacts, we called on the leadership of the Russian churches to express a clear position on Russia’s war against Ukraine, not to remain silent about it and to take concrete steps based on that position.
The war has been going on for more than 90 days, but unfortunately we do not see any significant change. While there are many church ministers in Russia who are not afraid to call things by their names and spread the truth, the leadership of the Word of Life churches has taken a very cautious stance, fearing negative consequences.
It should also be noted that the Union of Evangelical Christian Churches is a member of the Russian Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith (Pentecostals). The statements and activities of this association are perceived by the Ukrainian churches as statements and actions of the Word of Life movement in Russia. An example of this is the S.V. Ryakhovsky’s speech on March 29, 2022 at the round table of the Russian State Duma, where he unequivocally spoke in support of the war, motivating it with Christian love. There were several more incorrect statements in his speech. The next appeal, when S.V. Ryakhovsky tried to explain his message, was not repentant and useless and the Russian Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith (ROSHVE) Spiritual Council’s explanation of this did not make any assessment of the leading bishop’s statement and was very evasive. All this shows the invariance of the moral and ideological standards of the ROSHVE board and the position of acceptance and fear adopted by that board.
In wartime, when the existence of the Ukrainian people is at stake, we cannot participate in the games of political correctness and religious diplomacy. Light is light, darkness is darkness, truth is truth and falsehood is falsehood. The senior pastors of the Ukrainian Word of Life congregations have repeatedly taken steps to maintain relations between the two unions. However, we see this as possible only if the Word of Life churches in Russia clearly express their position: openly repent for the sins of war, people and government, S.V. Ryakhovsky’s public repentance or removal from the board of ROSHVE and the Association of Religious Churches.
We are convinced that true faith is supported by action, otherwise it is dead. We also recognize that deep repentance and the acts that come with it are the result of the inner workings of the Holy Ghost and the truth of God’s Word and cannot be artificially imposed. But this is the necessary condition of true brotherhood (1 John 1: 7-9).
In connection with the above, we, the pastors of the Churches of the Word of Life movement in Ukraine, have decided to temporarily terminate fraternal relations with the pastors of the Word of Life movement in Russia until we see a clear public and practical position of the movement’s leadership on the above issues.
It should also be noted that this appeal has nothing to do with the global Word of Life church movement of which we consider ourselves to be a member of.
We pray that the Lord will give grace to the pastors and churches of Russia at this fateful time to be faithful to God, the truth of the Word and the call of the Lord, no matter what it costs. That is what we are praying for ourselves as well.
Rada and the Union of Christian “Word of Life” Churches of Ukraine.
Source: Пасторы церквей «Слово жизни» Украины: Свет есть свет, тьма есть тьма… (ieshua.org)