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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“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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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
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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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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
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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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