GIVING & SHARING NEWSLETTER October, 1990 No. 12
Modern Macedonian Cry
From 1917 until recently, it has been illegal to import Bibles into the Soviet Union. The sixty million Soviet believers have only five million Bibles, secretly smuggled in. But now, with Gorbachev, The Bible League (an organization distributing Bibles since 1938) has been given official permission to distribute 12 million Bibles and New Testaments to the Soviet people, and to monitor the results to verify they actually get to people who want them. Each Russian New Testament costs 60 cents to print and distribute. This “window of opportunity” may not last long. To help, you may wish to contact: The Bible League, 16801 Van Dam Road, South Holland, Ilinois 60473.
Another nonprofit Bible distributing organization, the International Bible Society, is sending Bibles to the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Founded in 1809, the IBS seeks to provide God’s Word in many foreign languages. They have an excellent catalog of materials for personal evangelism. Write: International Bible Society, PO Box 62970, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80962-2970.
It is ironic that even Soviet officials are now recognizing the need to teach the Ten Commandments as moral absolutes for a safe and sane society. Western governments, on the other hand, continue to reject Biblical values, even banning display of the Ten Commandments in public schools. The West is willing to head the way of Soviet socialism and state atheism, which after nearly 75 years has proven to be a failure in Communist nations.
There is a spiritual parallel here as well. It is ironic that larger Sabbath-keeping groups (SDA’s, Worldwide Church of God, etc.) continue to water down their doctrines, making themselves more palatable to the secular world. A classic example is the newsy and psychology-based “Casper Milquetoast” programming of the World Tomorrow telecast. On the other hand, groups who may not even promote the Sabbath, such as the International Bible Society, vigorously seize an opportunity to spread Biblical truth. Truly, “Gentiles,” whether physical or spiritual, often do better than Israel. We as spiritual Israel should take heed.
There are many sincere, dedicated believers who, like us, believe in Tithing. Some, however, are banking their tithes instead of using God’s tithes to further the spread of the gospel. While we never ask for or expect contributions, Giving & Sharing often has to turn down requests for Bibles from Sabbath-keepers in Third World countries due to lack of funds. Will we ignore these “Macedonian cries,” Acts 16:9-13, and make the same mistake of the “wicked and slothful servant,” Matthew 25:14-30?
A Great Feast
We formerly were in an organization where thousands of people gathered together for the fall Feast of Tabernacles. Our recollections include inspiring sermons, traffic jams of people, and lots of money spent on motels, restaurants and socials.
This year we were very happy to observe the Eternal’s Feast among 25 spirited people, who gathered at beautiful Roaring River State Park in southwestern Missouri's Ozark Mountains. We had group Bible Studies from five speakers on topics which included: Prayer, Brotherly Love, Identifying False Prophets and True Prophets, Handling Problems in the Church, Overcoming Satan, Jesus Christ’s Messages to the Seven Churches, and proofs that the Messiah was the God of the Old Testament. We all learned a great deal from one another. One man remarked that we had enough study material to take home and digest for some time.
Family activities included barbecues, singing and guitar playing, fishing, campfires, a night attending a concert by Japanese violinist Shoji Tabuchi, and the Blessing of the Children (a festival tradition based on Matthew 19:13-15 and Mark 10:13-16).
It is not quantity that makes for a great Feast; it is quality. Those who attended “gave a Feast” to one another. Truly it was a memorable occasion that we hope many will continue to enjoy. Barely was it over before we started making plans for the next Festival: the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread. Ω