By Alexei Salapatov
Published October 1, 1996
What are our priorities?
Some people say that priority number one for the former USSR is still the spread of the Word of God. And I agree 100%. However, we should ask ourselves how we should keep bringing the Gospel to people’s hearts?
Asked this question seven years ago, I would have answered: Print as many Bibles as possible. Make this greatest book available for everybody. I remember my first Bible. I bought it on the black market for 100 rubles when I was 16-years-old. (At that time this was the average monthly salary.) Then God provided a great need for our country, and Bibles soon became available and affordable.
Five years ago, my answer would have been: Go everywhere and preach to young people. Praise God, this has happened too. Almost all the big university campuses, and some high schools were reached by missionaries. Thousands of students were saved and are church members now.
Three years ago, I would have said: the main task is to strengthen churches in large cities and establish new ones in outlying areas.
The logical continuance of this question would be …
What is most important step for the Evangelical Church now?
I believe the church now should became more active to affect the society. We must show the world that we care about people. We should fight atheism, which isn’t gone yet, but has been transformed into modern paganism.
Some people say that it’s not Church’s duty to intrude into the social and political life of the society – “The Church should just preach the Gospel and not mess with secular issues.” Well, such an opinion cannot be applied to the Church in the former Soviet empire. The traditional Evangelical Church here became strong because of continuous persecution.
But with persecution gone, what obstacles does the Church face?
First, atheism in schools, agencies, and government.
As I said earlier atheism or the total denying of God was and is an integral part of Soviet and post-Soviet culture. Of course, not many people now declare their sympathy to communism. However this doesn’t mean they became closer to God.
Even after 11 years of reforms, nobody has tried to change our educational system. Children spend most time at their schools being taught that a man is just a logical step of evolution right after the ape. No moral base is given to kids except to enjoy life for as long as you live. What is the result of such education? It’s not hard to see. There is resulting teen crime and prostitution. Five years ago, kids knew about drugs only from newspapers or TV, now you may buy drugs in most schools for a few dollars.
Ungodly medicine gives us five million officially recorded abortions per year. [The actual number may be even higher than that.] The real number of baby killings is not known because of number of private doctors who don’t report both their incomes and number of eliminated new-born lives. Also, think about thousands of abandoned children, a very small percentage of whom will be ever adopted. Human life has little value now like never before. A person is not treated as God’s creation, but as a colony of cells which try to survive. The result is easily seen.
No doubt that most important problem on the post-Soviet space is lack of wise government that based on any moral statements. After almost a dozen years of “reform,” none of our leaders was a believer or at least a person who admits biblical principles such as: “Thou shalt not kill” or “Thou shalt not steal.”
The Results? Ethnic conflicts and local wars which take thousands of lives. Having received control of the bank system, former democrats who used to suffer from the older communist system, printed more paper money than in all the previous 50 years. This is a direct violence on God’s commandment and a dishonest policy which affects all citizens. The result is an absence of faith in our leaders.
Second, Nationalism and national traditions
One more serious threat is a growing natinalism which also affects freedom of religion. From the very beginning of openness, the Russian Orthodox Church has attempted to prevent western evangelicals to act here. Legislation that would close the country for foreign missionaries is a dream of many ultra-nationalist priests of the Russian Orthodox Church.
The question is: How should the Evangelical Church react on this? To stay “meek” means to approve of actions directed against new and older churches. The popular perception is that freedom of religion costed too much and too many suffered from it. In my opinion, evengelicals, and especially foreign missionaries, should consider the cultural features of Russia. This will help to avoid conflict in the future.
A big fight is coming. Russian Evangelicals ought to be ready. A Russian proverb says: “Silence is a sign of agreement.” I can’t add anything to this. The silence of the church cannot be justified; to remain quiet means to approve these sins.
The church has passed times of persecutions, but times of trials are ahead. Weak and silent churches will turn to religious clubs and only true chlidren of God will pass through this test. Each of us must take the gift given by God and apply it to the society. Thus people will see the Light in us and will come to Christ. This way Church will become stronger and more mature.
P.S. For each minute that passed since you began to read this article, the following happened in the former USSR:
- at least 10 babies were killed by abortion.
- at least one person was murdered or seriously injured by violent crime.
The list can be continued … unfortunately.
Will the Church remain quiet? Who will push it forward to action?
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That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!
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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God’s Law and Society powerfully presents a comprehensive worldview based upon the ethical system found in the Law of God.
Speakers include: R.J. Rushdoony, George Grant, Howard Phillips, R.C. Sproul Jr., Ken Gentry, Gary DeMar, Jay Grimstead, Steven Schlissel, Andrew Sandlin, Eric Holmberg, and more!
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?
4. What are the biblical foundations of government?
5. Was America founded as a Christian nation?
6. What about the separation of Church and State?
7. Is neutrality a myth?
8. What about non-Christians and the Law of God?
9. Would there be “freedom” in a Christian republic?
10. What would a “Christian America” look like?
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Running Time: 240 minutes
Watch over 60 on-line video interviews from God’s Law and Society.
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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).
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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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Foundations in Biblical Eschatology
By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.
All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?
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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Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?
Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
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)
Running Time: 145 minutes
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