Editor's Note: This is the edited version of a recorded Bible study under this title at Truthtellers.org.
Twenty-two years ago Russia and its satellite nations were in the grip of humanity's cruelest, bloodiest totalitarian oppression. Soviet Communism is today replaced by the pro-Christian government of Vladimir Putin. It’s a government that encourages Christian culture and spirituality from the Russian Orthodox perspective.
In his article at MinistryValues.com, Stephen K. Ryan says,
Just last month the Duma, Russia’s parliament, overwhelmingly voted to criminalize attempts to persuade youth in favor of homosexuality. Attempts by homosexuals to publicly demonstrate in favor of the gay lifestyle in Russia have been met by spontaneous protest, especially from outraged young people. Their chant of “Russia is not Sodom!” reveals strong support for a return to biblical morality. However, their physical attacks on pro-homosexual demonstrators are full of potential to discredit the Putin government.
The same is true of a record of bias against and even persecution of evangelical Christians by forces in government and police under Orthodox influence. Evangelicals are considered heretics by Russian Orthodoxy. If the Russian Orthodox Church and Russian government desire to completely unify church and state they will eventually create such a level of human rights violations that the way will again be paved for government overthrow. It’s up to Putin to make sure theocratic authoritarianism does not destroy the essentially Christian miracle that has displaced godless communism. (See “Church Demolished: Russia's Fading Religious Freedom,” CBN News; “Protestant Churches in Russia Call for Freedom of Belief amid Persecution,” Christianity Today)
The Duma’s naivety was revealed by its recent passage of a “speech crime” law banning language “offending religious feelings” of others, i.e. the Russian Orthodox religious majority. Ostensibly directed against the rock band Pussy Riot’s mockery of Putin, it takes little imagination, as with all hate crimes laws, to envision it being applied against evangelicals who criticize Russian Orthodoxy (See “Russia passes anti-'gay propaganda' bill,” Raw Story).
Evangelical Christians in Russia primarily fall into the camps of Calvinist, “once saved, always saved” Baptists, tongues-speaking Pentecostals, or legalistic Seventh Day Adventists. Russia has never seen a national movement of truly authentic Christianity, with its simple requirement of death to self-will and spiritual rest through trusting and obeying Jesus daily. (See "What is Spiritual Rest from War Within?") Emerging out of many centuries of violence and darkness, Russia remains a spiritually deprived nation – but not as much as America has become, transgressing against much greater light.
Several years ago, a BARNA poll determined that even one spiritually mature Christian is increasingly difficult to find in most evangelical churches. Does the “easy" Christianity of televangelist positive-thinking “prosperity” preachers build moral depth and strength? I doubt it.
We must disciple Christians who are solidly grounded in theological and even political truth. Such Christians will be ready to fill the vacuum of possible chaos with a powerful and steady message of hope and transcendence through Christ.
In Russia, despite 74 years of Communist attempts to eradicate all memory of God, the Orthodox faith emerged with enough priests, teachers and leaders to recapture the nation. They did not allow Russia to slide into moral chaos, even with invasion of corrupting influences from the so-called “Christian” West.
Here are seven great changes I believe must occur in the hearts and minds of Christians before revival can occur or be sustained:
Hate crimes laws may make you a lawbreaker! Such laws, while claiming to promote tolerance, actually lead to the end of free speech! Powerful articles and NPN's video exposé of hate crimes laws in Canada and the United States provide you with the vital tools necessary to combat this imminent threat to freedom. This video is especially important as acts of terrorism extend the power of "Big Brother" to monitor what you do, say, and think.
17 December, 2019 - EMERGENCY ALERT - Take Action Against Trump’s “End Of Free Speech” Decree!
President Trump’s recent Executive Order IS THE TEXT of the Jewish ADL’s “Anti-Semitism Awareness Act, S852, recently rejected by the US Senate for Committee consideration.
24 Sep 2019 - EMERGENCY ALERT
“Anti-Semitism Awareness” Bill Worse than “Equality” Bill! Good news! The Christian-threatening, LGBT- promoting “Equality Act” could not face confrontation with hostile Senate Judiciary Republicans this spring. It went nowhere. Yet Democrats could still try to get it through the Senate Judiciary. NPN will sound the alarm at Truthtellers.org if it starts to move forward.
18 May 2019 - EMERGENCY ALERT - Senate New Forum for “Equality” Bill Debate
Call the Congress Hotline at 1-202-224-3121 and ask for a Senator’s office. I suggest you say: “Please don’t vote for the “Equality Act” S788. It will help end free speech for Christians making them criminals if they criticize Homosexuality”.
01 May 2019 - EMERGENCY ALERT - “Equality” Bill Hastens Babylon the Great - Part Two
If Jews acquire full protection as a “protected class” in America it will mean that if a Jew complains to the government that he has suffered “acute emotional trauma” as a result of “anti semitic” discrimination or criticism of his race or religion he may prompt a federal investigation. If the government agrees, the defendant will have to retain the best lawyer he can find.
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