THE DISCOURSE OF WAR IN THE EVANGELICAL DOCTRINE IN THE CONTEXT OF CURRENT RUSSIAN AGGRESSION AGAINST UKRAINE (PROTESTANT VIEWPOINT)
Keywords:Christianity, Church, Gospels, Protestantism, war, pacifism
The range of issues related to the origins of Christianity, the formation of its doctrine, and its existence in the early, pre-Conciliar period has always been of concern not only to Christian scholars, not only to those scholars who were in one or another way involved in these researches, but also to society as a whole. However, in Ukraine, and especially in academic circles, these issues are still not sufficiently studied. The article examines the reasons that led the official Church to change the key provisions of Christian doctrine, including ideological positions about "this world," narratives about war, and the commandments "thou shalt not kill" and "love your enemies." The author argues that the final rejection of the original evangelical pacifism occurred after the conquest of Christianity by Emperor Constantine the Great, when the Church was transformed into an institution of secular power, changing its original status as the "Kingdom of God" to belonging to the "Kingdom of Caesar." Since the reign of Constantine, Christianity has essentially existed divided into two camps. – the first, to which belong all those who profess the church doctrine in its new, "conciliar" and different from the original form and who, in particular, has rejected Jesus' original idea of renunciation of earthly things and, accordingly, the pacifism and anti-militarism he proclaimed; the second camp are those who remained faithful to the apostolic tradition and who continued to practice Christianity according to the original New Testament standard. The latter camp today includes mostly Protestants, including in Ukraine. However, with the onset of Russia's full-scale aggression against Ukraine, their pacifist stance is changing. The solution of urgent socio-political issues and issues directly related to defense are increasingly leading Protestants in Ukraine to rethink their traditional pacifism, which may lead to a complete rejection of it in the future. The results obtained in the course of the study provide grounds to significantly adjust the current perceptions of Protestantism in Ukraine, in particular, its positive attitude to socio-political processes and active involvement in them.
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