• Foundations of Truth

A Mandate for Heroism



Deuteronomy 31:6 paints a portrait of courage to inspire Christians in the face of evil: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”


Although modern Christians are not living through the same trials and tribulations as the Jewish people in the book of Deuteronomy, these words serve as a goal to which all of us can strive.

In neoclassic and rococo painting styles, portraits are not painted to be realistic. Instead, the goal was to create an image that depicted an ideal, whether it be the frivolity of the rococo style or the nobility of Enlightenment-era neoclassicism. [2]


Although they are “inaccurate,”these paintings are undeniably beautiful because of the idealism they depict.


In a similar way, the “portrait”that has grown of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been inspiring because of the ideals this portrait depicts.


The Russia-Ukrainian conflict has been described as the “'first war fought on TikTok” as President Zelensky, along with the Ukrainian people, has spread real-time information about the conflict to people all across the globe. [3]


Even if stories like the one about the so-called “Ghost of Kyiv”—an ace fighter pilot alleged to have shot down 21 Russian aircraft—prove to be myths, their role in improving Ukrainian morale is certainly far from mythical. [4]


Zelensky’s image of courage has almost single-handedly shifted western expectations of the Ukrainian-Russian conflict. As one article reported:


“The Ukrainian leader's defiance has inspired and shamed the United States and the European Union into going far further -- and far faster -- in turning Russia into a pariah state than it appeared they were ready to go. ”[1]


This is not the time for hesitation. Now is not the time for cowardice. Now is the time for decisive action against a tyrannical leader who wants to expand his despotic regime.

The example of courage set by the leadership of Zelensky ought to inspire westerners and spur them to action. It does not matter if some of the stories of courage and bravery coming out of Ukraine are exaggerated (like the Ghost of Kyiv). What matters are the morals they teach.

George Washington can be genuinely described as a modern-day Cincinnatus (the Roman statesman who willingly resigned from his power over Rome and returned to his farm). Nonetheless, the real-life George Washington did not sheepishly admit to his father that he had chopped down a cherry tree, but this apocryphal tale nonetheless serves as an example of honesty for American schoolchildren.


The epic tale of Ukrainian heroism ought to be an inspiration for all of us to stand up to Vladimir Putin. As Joshua 1:9 says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Christianity is not a religion of pacifism. The Church Fathers were proponents of Just War Theory because they understood that to stand silent in the face of evil is to become complicit in its action.


Foundations of Truth hereby waives all claim of copyright (economic and moral) in this work and immediately places it in the public domain; it may be used, published, edited, and distributed in any manner whatsoever without any attribution or notice to Foundations of Truth.

 

[1] Stephen Collinson, “How Zelensky changed the West's response to Russia,” CNN (February 28, 2022), https://www.cnn.com/2022/02/28/politics/zelensky-us-response-to-russia/index.html

[2] Erica Trapasso, “A Brief History of Rococo Art,” News Art Net (July 15, 2013), https://news.artnet.com/market/a-brief-history-of-rococo-art-32790

[3] “First war fought on TikTok: How Ukrainians and defiant President Zelensky have captured the world's attention using social media to show brutality of conflict from front lines,” DailyMail (March 3, 2022), https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10573569/How-Ukrainians-president-Zelensky-captured-worlds-attention-using-social-media.html

[4] Thomas Novelly, “Ukraine's Fighter Ace 'Ghost of Kyiv' May Be a Myth, But It's Lethal as War Morale,”Military.com (March 2, 2022),https://www.military.com/daily-news/2022/03/02/ukraines-fighter-ace-ghost-of-kyiv-may-be-myth-its-lethal-war-morale.html


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