East-West Church & Ministry Report
Vol. 5, No. 4, Fall 1997, Covering the Former Soviet Union and East Central Europe


Letters to the Editor

Thank you, Mark, for that sane, reasoned and historic perspective on the "New Law."  The prayer panic over the imagined debilitation of God's work seemed to leave his sovereignty in question.  Formerly a missionary and now a businessman, I have slowly grown weary of many of my former colleagues who see themselves the center of God's rescue operation for one culture or another. It is too easy to let pass unrecognized some of the "nonmissionaries" who changed the world most before becoming a missionary became a cultural subcult.  I think of Abraham the landowner, Daniel the statesman, Peter the fisherman, Paul the tentmaker.  I smiled inwardly at the prediction that now Russians would be forced into creative ways of going to the "near-overseas" for training, and that the growth of the evangelical church would rest on their shoulders, not ours (us "missionaries"). Maybe instead of the artificial role marked by collar and pith helmet, we might find businessmen, professionals, entrepreneurs, relief/social workers rushing into the "marketplace of the Gospel" in natural ways readily accepted by and sometimes underwritten by governments that feel edgy over so much uncontrolled religion amplifying the chaos of Russian society.
        Gary W. Taylor

 

We Protestant missionaries need to listen to, learn from, and breathe the air of Orthodoxy if we are to recover something of our own tradition. At the same time, the story of Russia's evangelical churches, for example, is a repeatedly sad one of initial growth snuffed out by Orthodox reprisal. May we all learn from the Russian Orthodox Christian and martyr Alexander Men, murdered in  1990: "Our walls do not reach as high as heaven."
        a missionary in Russia


Letters to the Editor, East-West Church & Ministry Report, 5 (Fall 1997), 13.

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1997 Institute for East-West Christian Studies
ISSN 1069-5664


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