The Price of Leading Under Marxism - The Pastor Wurmbrand Story
Father Alexander Men (Priest, Activist, Martyr)
“Often what passes for Orthodoxy or another Christian confession is simply natural religiosity which, in its own right, is a kind of opium of the people. It functions as a sort of spiritual anaesthetic, it helps a person adjust to his surrounding world, over which one can hang the slogan: ‘Blessed is the one who believes that it is cozy in the world.’ This is all wrong! …Your God is a consuming fire and not a warm hearth, and he is calling you to a place where all sorts of cold winds are blowing, so that what you imagine does not exist…” 1
So goes the opening volley in just one of Father Men’s unapologetic challenges to the Russian, and global Christian on the ever growing comfort culture assuaging version of Christianity.
Father Men could be (and no doubt was) labelled a zealot by many and of course, worse by his detractors and even more scathing were his many enemies. Not that Father Men would see anyone as such, but his Faith in The Creator God within Marxist Russia was more than a ‘sore point’.
In sad reality, Father Men was martyred with an axe on September 9th in 1990. The ‘axe’ is a weapon of vengeance – perhaps even a vendetta – in Russian culture.
For starters, Men was born to a Jewish Mother in the ‘Catacomb’ years of Stalin’s rabid ‘persecution of God’. Being a Christian Jew, would also draw the ire of that long-persecuted community. Even concerns were expressed by the Orthodox church at his heritage and Christianity. Statements like the following in a denomination that had often transacted in ‘icons’ would be at the very least, cringe worthy to the enculturated church attending Russian,
“I find more meaning in the wing of a bird and in the branch of a tree than in five hundred icons. God has given us two books: the Bible and Creation.”
However, his influence was arguably seismic in the oppressive communist state.
Several comparisons and titles (be it reputation based only) were given to this Spiritual activist Priest. He was referred to as the Russian C.S. Lewis due to his apologetic writings, which was an inevitability as his powerful intellect became evident even at 13 years of age when he would pore understandingly over Immanuel Kant’s difficult philosophy. The late academic Sergei Averintsev called him… "The man sent from God to be missionary to the wild tribe of the Soviet intelligentsia." (He is accredited as the key influence in Alexander Solzhenitsyn returning to the church) And perhaps most dangerously, Father Men was referred to as the… “one man antidote to decades of Marxist propaganda!”
The night before he died Father Men spoke to a large gathering of around 600 people. After pointing out that it was absurd to say the world has no meaning (a common refrain of communism) because to say that something had no meaning can only be done by recognizing and judge it by meaning.
To bring that point home he turned to one of his favourite subjects – being a Disciple of The Christ.
“Christ gave it (the world) a completely new sound with the words “as I have loved you;” because he remained with us in this filthy, bloody and sinful world out of self-giving love. For this reason he said that the one who would follow Him must deny himself (not his personality – for that is holy – but his ego of false self-affirmation), give himself up, take up his cross, which is to say his service in suffering and joy, then follow Him.” 2
- This Day in Christian History, Editors – Curtis & Graves (Christian History Institute)
The Qur'an Dilemma
A book of terror or a book of peace? An inspired text or a political agenda? How is one to know the truth about the Qur’an? Where does one even begin? How can an English speaker ever hope to wade through the history, the translations, the sects, and the commentaries to begin making sense of the issues?
During the last decade, interest in Islam and the teachings of the Qur’an has grown globally. In order to allow Westerners to investigate the truth about Islam, this research text was translated from Arabic to give English speaking readers the opportunity to see the Qur’an with clear lenses that are not fogged by propaganda or missionary zeal. This book provides the background of the Qur’an in an objective manner . It also presents the text of the Qur’an with parallel commentary, addressing important issues that Muslim scholars have wrestled with throughout the centuries, shedding light on their attempts to solve them and giving a rounded view of the various schools of thought. For more The Quran Dilemma https://www.thequran.com/Home/TQDilemma
Trinitarian Theology and Islam
They have certainly disbelieved who say, "Allah is the third of three." And there is no god except one God. And if they do not desist from what they are saying, there will surely afflict the disbelievers among them a painful punishment.— Quran 5:73
According to a hadith collected by al-Bukhari: The people of the Book used to read the Torah in Hebrew and then explain it in Arabic to the Muslims. Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said (to the Muslims). “Do not believe the people of the Book, nor disbelieve them, but say, 'We believe in Allah and whatever is revealed to us, and whatever is revealed to you.' ”— Sahih al-Bukhari Book 96, Hadith 89 (Source: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_in_Islam)