By Editorial Staff
Published December 1, 1988
TULSA, OK (FR) – For the first time in history, a professional theatre company from the U.S. composed entirely of Christian artists performed in the Soviet Union. Members of the traveling company, known as Impact Productions, performed 18 times before a combined audience of 75,000. Tom Newman, director of the company’s musical production, “The Toymaker’s Dream,” said the response was overwhelming.
Before the tour, Newman said he gave a presentation to leaders of the Young Communist Party, the Moscow Music Society, and the Peace Committee. “The guys went crazy and started signing up for dates. I stopped them … and said I wanted to make sure they knew what I was coming for,” said Newman. He explained to them in clear terms that the message of Jesus Christ was the theme of the musical. “‘The toymaker represents God,’ I told them, ‘and the toys represent the different people of the world. It’s important that Americans and Soviets get together, because the same God, Jesus Christ, loves us all.’”
The Peace Committee official reacted to Newman’s remarks at that point. He responded, “I understand what the story is about, and the people will understand. But don’t ever say that in this country again. I will not let you do this presentation in its full entirety if you mention that.” Newman explained that the official was simply reacting against hearing the name, “Jesus.”
But the group still had an open door to perform at the annual International Peace Day in the Young Communist Peace Palace in Moscow. “It was an extreme sacrifice for people to come since tickets were sold for a full-day’s wage – six rubles. Tickets for the Bolshoi Ballet are only two rubles,” Newman said. “We sold out our first night and the next day we came to rehearse at 3:30 and people were standing in lines.” Pravda, the official state-run newspaper, published a front page story on the performances.
The Soviet government covered all hotel and transportation costs for the Impact team. “We were treated like royalty,” said Newman. In Leningrad they performed in the same 10,000 seat arena where rock star Billy Joel had been in concert. At their last performance, Newman said he decided to “stick his neck out” and share the gospel: “I told them, ‘I would like to have more freedom to share. So many people misunderstand our mission. We come in the name of peace and love, but 2,000 years ago a man came to tell us how much He loved us. And He was crucified for our sins. We love you, but more importantly, God loves you.’”
“The people went crazy,” related Newman. “They stomped their feet and shouted, ‘Yes!’” Newman said that the audience showed unexpected eagerness to hear about the Christian message. In addition to this encouraging incident, 25 Afghan generals came backstage in tears and asked the Impact team to come to Afghanistan. The group was also invited back into the Soviet Union for a three-month tour, as well as Cuba, Bulgaria, and other Eastern-bloc countries. “We can’t wait to go back,” he said.
Besides performing, the group also met with other Christian believers. “The Christians would hide behind a building and run up to us with tears running down their cheeks, pointing to their hearts signifying that we had reached them.” Politburo officials had mixed reactions to the performances, however. Newman said that the policy of glasnost, or openness, is partly responsible for their open door to perform.
Impact Productions is an outreach ministry of Victory Christian Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
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“Give me liberty or give me death!”
Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.
The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).
Welcome to the Second American Revolution!
This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.
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Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.
Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.
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Ronald Reagan became convinced of this as a result of watching The Silent Scream – a movie he considered so powerful and convicting that he screened it at the White House. More recently, it was by catching just a glimpse of what this film reveals that Planned Parenthood director and abortion advocate Abby Johnson turned and became a strong advocate for the pre-born.
The modern technology of real-time ultrasound now reveals the actual responses of a 12-week old fetus to being aborted. As the unborn child attempts to escape the abortionist’s suction curette, her motions can be seen to become desperately agitated and her heart rate doubles. Her mouth opens – as if to scream – but no sound can come out. Her scream doesn’t have to remain silent, however … not if you will become her voice. This newly re-mastered version features eight language tracks and two bonus videos.
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Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)
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By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.
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These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.
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