By Editorial Staff
Published March 1, 1990
The Gulag Archipelago is so profound in its insight into the Soviet system of repression that it has caught the attention of politicians in the West. Much of the reform and revolution presently occurring in the Soviet Union has been foreseen by Solzhenitsyn. Considering the accuracy of Solzhenitsyn’s predictions, Americans should take notice of his warning to the free democratic nations of the West.
Mine was, probably, the easiest imaginable kind of arrest. It did not tear me from the embrace of kith or kin, nor wrench me from a deeply cherished home life. One pallid European February it took me from our narrow salient on the Baltic Sea, where, depending on one’s point of view, either we had surrounded the Germans or they had surrounded us, and it deprived me only of my familiar artillery battery and the scenes of the last three months of the war.
The brigade commander called me to his headquarters and asked me for my pistol. Two counterintelligence agents stepped forward and shouted theatrically: “You are under arrest!”
Burning and pricking from head to toe, all I could exclaim was: “Me? What for?”
And even though there is usually no answer to this question, surprisingly I received one! “You have … a friend on the First Ukrainian Front?”
I knew instantly I had been arrested because of my correspondence with a school friend.
“Resistance! Why didn’t you resist?” Today those who have continued to live on comfort scold those who have suffered. Yes, resistance should have begun right there, at the moment of the arrest itself. But it did not begin.
During a daylight arrest there is always that moment when they are leading you through a crowd of hundreds of just such doomed innocents as yourself. You aren’t gagged. You really can and you really ought to cry out – to cry out that you are being arrested. That villains in disguise are trapping people! That millions are being arrested on the strength of false denunciations!
Instead, not one sound comes from your parched lips, and the passing crowd naively believes that you and your executioners are friends out for a leisurely stroll. I myself often had a chance to cry out.
So why did I keep silent?
Every man has handy a dozen glib little reasons why he is right not to sacrifice himself. Some still have hopes of a favorable outcome to their case and are afraid to ruin their chances by an outcry.
As for me, I kept silent for one further reason: because those Muscovites thronging the steps of the escalators were too few for me, too few! Here my cry would be heard by 200 or twice 200, but what about the 200 million? Vaguely, unclearly, I had a vision that someday I would cry out to the 200 million.
The following is an excerpt from “Russia’s Prophet in Exile”, Time, July 24, 1989, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s first interview in 10 years.
From the age of nine, I knew I was going to be a writer, although I didn’t know what I was going to write about. I was raised by my elders in Christianity, and almost through my school years, up to 17 or 18, I was in opposition to Soviet education. I had to conceal this from others. But this force field of Marxism, as developed in the Soviet Union, has such an impact that it gets into the brain of the young man and little by little takes over.
From age 17 or 18, I did change internally, and from that time, I became a Marxist, a Leninist, and believed in all these things. I lived that way up through the university and the war and up until prison, but in prison, I encountered a very broad variety of people. I saw that my convictions did not have a solid basis, could not stand up in dispute, and I had to renounce them.
Then the question arose of going back to what I had learned as a child. It took more than a year or so. Other believers influenced me, but basically it was a return to what I had thought before. The fact that I was dying also shook me profoundly. At age 34, I was told I could not be saved, and then I returned to life. These kinds of upheavals always have an impact on a person’s convictions.
It is quite extraordinary the extent to which I have been lied about. It is remarkable, and it makes me ashamed of journalists. No one ever gives any quotes. The same is true for the charge that I am a nationalist. I am a patriot. I love my motherland. I want my country, which is sick, which for 70 years has been destroyed, and is on the very edge of death, I want it to come back to life. But this doesn’t make me a nationalist. I don’t want to limit anyone else. Every country has its own patriots who are concerned with its fate.
In Western civilizations – which used to be called Western-Christian but now might better be called Western-Pagan – along with the development of intellectual life and science, there has been a loss of the serious moral basis of society. During these 300 years of Western civilization, there has been a sweeping away of duties and expansion of rights. But we have two lungs. You can’t breathe with just one lung and not the other. We must avail ourselves of rights and duties in equal measure. And if this is not established by the law, if the law does not oblige us to do that, then we have to control ourselves.
When Western society was established, it was based on the idea that each individual limited his own behavior. Everyone understood what he could do and could not do. The law itself did not restrain people. Since then, the only thing we have been developing is rights, rights, rights, at the expense of duty.
Forerunner - Home » The Forerunner Newspaper » Russia, Ukraine and former USSR
Your comments are welcome!
Special Two-Disc Set!
After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.
Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.
$49.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!
These shocking eyewitness accounts expose the dangers of abortion not only to unborn children, but to the health and lives women as well. An antidote to the smokescreens of the liberal media, these short clips show what really happens in and around abortion clinics.
Although the content is emotionally gut-wrenching, these videos have been used in church seminars and small groups to educate Christians on the abortion issue and to lead people toward a pro-life position. Contains 2 hours and 40 minutes of materials that can be shown separately.
Watch these pro-life videos on-line.
“These videos helped change my mind from pro-choice to pro-life. Your videos are what did it for me. I will be walking in next year’s March For Life in San Francisco.” — A. Jackson, California
“I was going to have an abortion until I saw your video. Praise Jesus!”
— M. Drew, YouTube Commenter
$4.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
What is true Revival and Spiritual Awakening?
Discover the answer in this eyewitness account by Dennis Kinlaw, President of Asbury College, Wilmore, Kentucky, who recounts the story of a visitation of the Holy Spirit in 1970. This is the presentation that has continued to spark the flames of Revival in the hearts of people around the world. Contains eyewitness footage from the Revival at Asbury College in 1970 in Wilmore, Kentucky.
Certain to challenge you to greater holiness and a deeper commitment to full-scale revival. Original news and private footage has been included. If you are a student who longs to see a spiritual awakening at your school, you must see this video!
“This simple video does a wonderful job of conveying something of God’s heart and power, Everyone we have ever shown this to has received an immediate impartation of faith for revival and the power of prayer.”
— Bob and Rose Weiner, Weiner Ministries Int’l
Running Time: 40 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Download the Free Study Guide!
Just what is Calvinism?
Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?
This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.
Running Time: 257 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
High Quality Paperback — 200 pages
A Reasonable Response to Christian Postmodernism
Includes a response to the book Christian Jihad by Colonel V. Doner
The title of this book is a misnomer. In reality, I am not trying to get anyone to shut up, but rather to provoke a discussion. This book is a warning about the philosophy of “Christian postmodernism” and the threat that it poses not only to Christian orthodoxy, but to the peace and prosperity our culture as well. The purpose is to equip the reader with some basic principles that can be used to refute their arguments.
Part 1 is a response to some of the recent writings by Frank Schaeffer, the son of the late Francis Schaeffer. This was originally written as a defense against Frank’s attacks on pro-life street activism – a movement that his father helped bring into being through his books, A Christian Manifesto, How Should We Then Live? and Whatever Happened to the Human Race? These works have impacted literally hundreds of thousands of Christian activists.
Part 2 is a response to Colonel Doner and his book, Christian Jihad: Neo-Fundamentalists and the Polarization of America. Doner was one of the key architects of the Christian Right that emerged in the 1980s, who now represents the disillusionment and defection many Christian activists experienced in the 1990s and 2000s. There is still great hope for America to be reformed according to biblical principles. As a new generation is emerging, it is important to recognize the mistakes that Christian activists have made in the past even while holding to a vision for the future.
$14.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)