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Fast-Paced Changes in USSR

By Editorial Staff
Published June 1, 1989

MOSCOW, Soviet Union (NIRR) – “Changes in the religious situation in the Soviet Union are occurring so fast it is difficult to keep abreast,” say reporters for the National and International Religion Report (April 24, 1989). The Council of Religious Affairs (CRA) repealed a series of repressive decrees introduced during an anti-religion campaign of the early 1960s, as reported in a recent edition of Moscow News. The measures, many unpublished to this day, prohibited such things as bell ringing, charitable social work by believers, and all other activity other than that specifically “aimed at satisfying the religious needs of believers.”

Under Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev, reformists have been appointed to head the CRA, and churches have been granted much greater freedom in anticipation of a broad new law of conscience that will “legalize” the new freedoms. No longer restricted to their own premises, Soviet leaders report that churches are conducting rallies in stadiums and public halls. A growing number of believers are carrying out ministry in hospitals and among the elderly. Many churches are establishing the equivalent of Sunday Schools for children.

The Illinois-based Slavic Gospel Association is sending tons of paper for the printing of lesson materials. And in a recent communication seminar for Baptist leaders in Kiev, SGA representatives from the U.S. helped them launch a newspaper. SGA leader Peter Deynaka, Jr., says he found revival-like conditions in some parts of the Soviet Union, with spiritually hungry non-believers crowding into churches. Other visiting church leaders from the West have issued similar reports.

Moscow News also reported that 1610 new congregations were registered last year, compared with 104 in 1987. These include 1244 Russian Orthodox, 72 Georgian Orthodox, 71 Roman Catholic, and 36 Baptist churches, along with 48 Islamic mosques.

An astonishingly candid commentary published by the paper said that in the past the guarantee of religious freedom in the Soviet constitution had been designed mostly for “foreign consumption,” and the CRA decrees had sharply limited the practice of religion. “We are openly recognizing our mistakes, but we have to go further,” the commentary said. The editorial went on to push for the adoption of the proposed new law of conscience.


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Go Stand Speak (DVD)

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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Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?

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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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The Four Keys to the Millennium (Book)

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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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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