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Trends: Rubles to Dollars - What is your money worth in the former USSR?

By Jay Rogers
Published December 1, 1992

THE EXCHANGE RATE OF RUBLES FOR DOLLARS has skyrocketed from 30 rubles to the dollar at the time of the August 1991 coup to now over 500! An inflation rate of 2% a day has made it difficult for the average worker to buy enough bread, milk and meat to feed his family. The dollar, too, is losing value, but at a much lower rate. It is still possible for the Russian entrepreneur, if he has access to hard currency, to make profitable deals during the “lag time” just after the official exchange rates are raised and before the inflation rate has a chance to catch up to the raised value of the dollar.

Many people in the West are understandably concerned about making an investment in business or supporting a ministry in the former Soviet Union. Are the communist hardliners going to reassert themselves? Will the iron curtain be raised once again? When is Russia going to close up again? – These are some of the questions people ask.

The consensus of the young people in the former communist bloc say: “There is no way; the changes are irreversible. Communism is too unpopular, and the Democrats have too much support from the people to go back now.” Taken that these are the future leaders of this society, we can say that the long term changes are irreversible. In addition to this piece of evidence that communism is out for good, there have been several symbolic gestures on the parts former Soviet governments:

The endorsement on the ruble only one year ago proclaimed: “Legal Tender of the USSR.” Today the ruble reads: “Bank of Russia.” Even the ever-present bust portrait of Lenin has been removed from new 5000 ruble note.

Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine have declared complete independence from Moscow. Ukraine realigned their time zone to be one hour later than that of Moscow even though part of the country is on the same line of longitude. Ukraine, the Baltics and Belarus are now in the same time zone as the countries of eastern Europe. In essence, this gesture suggests that these nations consider themselves to be part of Europe and not of the Soviet bloc.

These nations display their own flag colors, have their own national anthems and have printed their own currency, (although inflation in the Ukraine has surpassed that of Russia).

Despite the symbolic gestures of freedom, life from a practical standpoint is getting worse for the common citizen. The average worker still makes between $20 – $30 a month. As government subsidies are lifted, the prices for commodities will inevitably come on line with prices in the West.

The time for Westerners take advantage of this situation is now. God himself has sovereignly created this setting so that Western Christians would be able to finance the evangelization of almost 300 million people.

The time of spiritual openness in the former Soviet Union is also short. While compared to the West there is a great hunger for Christian literature, in two or three years it will become more difficult to distribute a Christian publication among unconverted people. Two or three years ago, a Christian publication such as Predvestnik would have been a best-seller, but in a few years the novelty factor will will have all but disappeared.

The goal of a newly established Christian publishing house in Ukraine is to print and distribute at least 250,000 copies of Predvestnik in the next two years; and to translate and print 10 short paperback books (100-200 pages). In doing so, a network will be developed among Russian speaking people who will read Christian literature for many years to come. These people may be able to support the work of publishing in their own country if their economy improves. Then they will be able to support missionary efforts to surrounding nations such as the Muslim and Asian bloc.

The people in the former Soviet Union are still among the most spiritually open people in the world – especially the youth – but the time is short, we need to act in a more progressive manner to evangelize and disciple the people of the former Soviet Union through the printed word.

You may support the Russian language Forerunner and publishing books in the former Soviet Union by sending a tax-deductible donation to: The Forerunner, P.O. Box 1799, Gainesville, FL 32602


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The Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of ChristThe Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of Christ (DVD)

Who is the Real Jesus?

Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.

Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.

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Sixteen Christian leaders and scholars answer some of the most common questions and misconceptions related to this volatile issue:

1. Are we under Law or under Grace?
2. Does the Old Testament Law apply today?
3. Can we legislate morality?
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6. What about the separation of Church and State?
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8. What about non-Christians and the Law of God?
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Freedom: The Model of Christian Liberty (DVD)

“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.”

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Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?

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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.

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Revival, Resistance, Reformation, Revolution
An Introduction to the Doctrines of Interposition and Nullification

In 1776, a short time after the Declaration of Independence was adopted, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin were assigned to design an official seal for the United States of America. Their proposed motto was Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God. America owes its existence to centuries of Christian political philosophy. Our nation provided a model for liberty copied by nations the world over.

By the 21st century, we need a “Puritan Storm” to sweep away the Hegelian notion that the state is “God walking on earth.” We need revival and reformation in full force to vanquish the problems that plague us as a nation — from government controlled healthcare — to abortion on demand — to same sex “marriage.” This booklet gives a primer on our founders’ Christian idea of government and examines how the doctrine of nullification was woven into the Constitution as a safeguard against federal tyranny. It concludes with the history and theology of civil resistance. A Second American Revolution is coming with the Word of God growing mightily and prevailing! (Acts 19:20).

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