By Alexei Salapatov
Published November 1, 1995
Published in Predvestnik No.3, 1995
Have you ever realized there are still a number of places in the earth where access is still denied for Christian missionaries. This is not because of a lack of training, zeal or finances. It isn’t due to a lack of faith. You have probably heard a lot already about computer networks and have possibly even had a chance to work with this. In this article, I’d like to talk about the Internet and opportunity to use it for missionary purposes.
Even in our super-technological time, when it seems like nothing is impossible, there are many obstacles which prevent the Good News from spreading around the world. First of all, Muslim countries give no chance for Christian missionaries or domestic believers to work in the field of preaching the Gospel. Many cases are known of Christians who were executed or arrested for their confession of faith. (Predvestnik reported such facts in a special issue dedicated to Islam – No.2, 1994.) What solution can be found to remedy this situation? Should missionaries be sent to be killed in Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia?
Invention of moveable type freed people from retelling and hand copying the Bible, invention of the radio allowed us to address millions of listeners, television made possible to see things from thousands of miles away. However, let’s remind ourselves of the near past – the USSR. Didn’t our custom officers confiscate and burn thousands of Bibles and didn’t missionaries used to be deported out of the country? Didn’t we have a unique complex of “stunners” which jammed everything in the air from “The Voice of the Vatican” to “The Voice of America.” Satanic inventions found the means to prevent evangelization. Though, as we know, they couldn’t prevent it.
So what is the difference between the Muslim world and the former communist bloc? A big difference. Even in the most cruel years of persecution, our preachers were not executed and new Christians were not imprisoned with the same ferocity as in the Muslim world of today. Muslim customs officials confiscate Bibles with greater zeal, and find more effective ways to jam “undesirable” radio signals on the air. What action should be taken to destroy this wall?
At this point, I’d like to go back to the title of this article. First of all, a definition: The Internet – the world’s largest computer network that links millions of computers from different places around the world. According to the most recent statistics, 160 thousand new users join this net monthly. The main purpose of this network is free and operative distribution of information. We should mention that the Internet handles this task excellently. Anyone who’s got a computer with a modem and phone line can get access to the network – no matter where you are – in New York or even in a forgotten village somewhere in Siberia. Once connected, any type of information can be received: from weather forecasts to cooking recipes.
So what is the difference between this new thing and every other type of media? Well though it may sound a bit strange – uncontrollability. The world biggest net doesn’t belong to anybody and isn’t controlled by anybody. Access to it can’t be shut down, jammed or put under the control of a state no matter how powerful it is. This opens many great opportunities for evangelizing the nations. Imagine, translations of the Bible in any language can be transmitted to millions of users. If the Internet is used by everybody for any purpose (from clothing sales to air-ticket reservations) what keeps us Christians from using such a powerful net for ministry?
There are already many Christian Internet sites in the West. What prevents the same thing from happening here in the CIS? Right now there are not many obstacles. Many churches and missions have personal computers that can be successfully used for such purposes. Besides that, connecting to the Internet significantly boosts sending and receiving of messages (letters, etc.) and also saves money on sending faxes abroad (i.e., the need for it practically disappears).
By 1997, we will have electronic version of Predvestnik in Russian and English. We’ll let you know how to get it in further issues. Possibly you have ideas or suggestions, articles or testimonies that will be interesting for others. We encourage to share any material you may have for publication in our newspaper and we will place it on the Internet.
So if you or your organization have a computer, but no access to the Internet, consider becoming a user. Also, we ask you to send us information on churches and missions who have who have e-mail addresses. We plan on compiling a database of Christian organizations on the territory of the former USSR. Good luck in the world of information!
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“When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing.” – President Ronald Reagan to National Religious Broadcasters Convention, January 1981
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.
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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.
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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.
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With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?
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