By Editorial Staff
Published October 1, 1990
Counting 500 Days to Freedom
The Supreme Soviet legislature adopted a radical plan in September to move beyond merely reforming their socialist economy, toward creating a Western-style free-market economy within 500 days.
Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev initially embraced free-market economics to give the sagging Soviet Union a boost, but now radical reformers, such as Russian Supreme Soviet Chairman Boris Yeltsin and economics professor Stanislav Shatalin, have passed legislation that will eventually bring death to socialism.
The proposal for reformation, drawn up by Shatalin and passed by the Russian parliament led by Yeltsin, calls for dismantling the power of the central government and selling businesses to private owners and breaking up collective farms. This spells the end of Gorbachev’s dream of perestroika: the restructuring of the Soviet economy by implementing free-market economics – yet retaining a socialist framework.
Other sweeping changes include allowing Gorbachev to wield powers affording him the authority of a dictator during the time of transition. These powers were deemed necessary by the Supreme Soviet legislature in order to help the nation toward making the drastic turnover. Gorbachev has promised to use the powers responsibly.
With the decentralizing of the Soviet government, according to Shatalin’s plan, the 15 separate Soviet republics will have economic and political autonomy, with the government of the Soviet Union controlling only the military and certain communications, transportation and energy companies. Although many of the details must still be worked through during the transition, in 500 days the Soviet government will become less socialistic than many western nations.
With little or no time to lose in resurrecting the fast failing Soviet economy, Gorbachev and rival party leader Yeltsin have struck a deal. Yeltsin, if the transition goes smoothly, will emerge as the country’s leader and Gorbachev’s power will become greatly decreased in the transition. Gorbachev will eventually become a type of foreign minister relating to nations of the world and representing the people of the Soviet Union.
The 15 separate Soviet republics will be given greater freedom to act independently, almost like a union of confederate states rather than a single republic. People groups as diverse as the central Asian states, the Baltic states, and “fringe” nations such as the Ukraine and Moldavia, will be given the freedom to run their own economies and elect their own government officials.
Soviet Union Experiencing Unprecedented Revival
Soviet citizens are flocking to church in record numbers since the state control of religion officially ended in late September. By a 341-1 vote, the Soviet legislature adopted historic legislation which ended the communist policy of atheist education and state control of all religious institutions and permits organized religious instruction.
In another historic move, the first church service was held in the Kremlin’s Uspensky Cathedral since 1918. Since the days of Lenin and Stalin, communist officials have persecuted the church in the Soviet Union, executed and persecuted Christians and infiltrated churches with KGB agents.
Christian leaders currently hold political offices in the national legislature, such as dissident priest Gleb Yakunin, who was jailed and exiled during the Brezhnev era. A number of Christian Democratic political parties have also emerged, all of which are now legal.
Armenian legislator, Genrikh Igitian recently stated that traditional atheistic instruction helped to “destroy” the country and said, “I believe every educated person should be instructed in religion.”
The new law on “Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations” declares that all religions are legal and bars the state from interfering in religious affairs. The law also allows religious groups to set up schools, send students overseas, and receive exchange students. It also permits “societies, brotherhoods, associations” and other organizations.
So what are you waiting for?
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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?
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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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Foundations in Biblical Orthodoxy
Driving down a country road sometime, you might see a church with a sign proudly proclaiming: “No book but the Bible — No creed but Christ.” The problem with this statement is that the word creed (from the Latin: credo) simply means “belief.” All Christians have beliefs, regardless of whether they are written.
Yet a single book containing the actual texts of the most important creeds of the early Church will not often be found. Out of the multitude of works on the evangelical Christian book market today, those dealing with the creeds of the Church are scarce.
Why Creeds and Confessions? provides a foundation of biblical orthodoxy as a defense against the false and truly heretical doctrines advanced by the spirit of this age.
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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.
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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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