In the mid- to late-1990s I had the privilege of traveling to Belarus on two occasions as a part of a partnership between the Missouri Baptist Convention and the “Christian-Baptists” – as the Belarusians called themselves – in the country.
Belarus along with Russia and other countries in the region was going through a tremendous amount of change at the time following the fall of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1991.
As the world’s first Marxist-Communist state the Soviet Union had become one of the largest and most powerful empires in the world occupying nearly one-sixth of earth’s land surface.
The roots of the Soviet Union were born in October 1917 during the Vladimir Lenin-led Bolshevik Revolution which overthrew a provisional government in Russia during World War I. In 1922 the Soviet Union was formed.
Many Americans grew up in a post-World War II nuclear era where the threat of war with the Soviet Union was real – so much so that many children of the 1950s regularly participated in safety exercises at school.
The world rejoiced at the fall of the Soviet Union which was replaced by the Russian Federation. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union Russia has enjoyed an economic renaissance of sorts on the world stage with the “new” Russia’s implementation of “state capitalism.”
The country I found when traveling to Russia in the 1990s was nothing like I previously perceived. While the prevailing thought in the United States was of a powerful industrialized country what I witnessed was a depressed and mostly agricultural state.
What I found was that the people of Belarus were warm friendly and desperate to hear the gospel.
As our group visited Belarusian high schools we were allowed to openly share the gospel. The auditorium of every school we visited was packed with students many times standing in the aisles in order to get a glimpse of the Americans.
On one occasion after others and I shared our Christian testimonies dozens of young people came forward to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
On Sunday when we worshipped with fellow believers the congregation would hear from up to four preachers! Services that would start in the morning hours would continue on for hours into the afternoon.
The Christian-Baptists in the country were quick to embrace their newfound freedom from government interference that previously limited freedom of worship speech and assembly. They built churches as quickly as they could – always in fear that things would change again. Sadly since those days many of the Communist-inspired policies have been reinstituted limiting religious freedoms in Belarus.
With all of the talk about Russia in recent years I have been doing a bit of self-study on the country which eventually led me to read the book “The Naked Communist” written in 1958 by political theorist W. Cleon Skousen a former FBI agent.
Essentially the book argues that the Marxist–Leninist Soviet Union was attempting a geopolitical strategy to overcome and control all of the world’s governments that were not members of the then- Communist bloc. Prominent conservatives today point to the book as essentially laying out the entire progressive plan to fundamentally change America –
60 years ago.
Long before today’s conservatives took note of Skousen’s work the U.S. House of Representatives and members of Congress made Americans aware of “45 Declared Goals For The Communist Takeover Of America” laid out in the book. U.S. Rep. Patricia Nordman of De Land Fla. had the Communist goals read into the Congressional Record on Jan. 10 1963.
There isn’t space in this column to recount all of them but I wanted to highlight a few that I believe are of particular significance to 21st century American Christians:
– 17. Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers’ associations. Put the party line in textbooks.
– 20. Infiltrate the press. Get control of book-review assignments editorial writing policy-making positions.
– 21. Gain control of key positions in radio TV and motion pictures.
– 25. Break down cultural standards of morality by promoting pornography and obscenity in books magazines motion pictures radio and TV.
– 26. Present homosexuality degeneracy and promiscuity as “normal natural healthy.”
– 27. Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with “social” religion. Discredit the Bible and emphasize the need for intellectual maturity which does not need a “religious crutch.”
– 28. Eliminate prayer or any phase of religious expression in the schools on the ground that it violates the principle of “separation of church and state.”
– 29. Discredit the American Constitution by calling it inadequate old-fashioned out of step with modern needs a hindrance to cooperation between nations on a worldwide basis.
– 30. Discredit the American Founding Fathers. Present them as selfish aristocrats who had no concern for the “common man.”
– 31. Belittle all forms of American culture and discourage the teaching of American history on the ground that it was only a minor part of the “big picture.” Give more emphasis to Russian history since the Communists took over.
– 32. Support any socialist movement to give centralized control over any part of the culture--education social agencies welfare programs mental health clinics etc.
– 38. Transfer some of the powers of arrest from the police to social agencies. Treat all behavioral problems as psychiatric disorders which no one but psychiatrists can understand [or treat].
– 40. Discredit the family as an institution. Encourage promiscuity and easy divorce.
– 41. Emphasize the need to raise children away from the negative influence of parents. Attribute prejudices mental blocks and retarding of children to suppressive influence of parents.
– 42. Create the impression that violence and insurrection are legitimate aspects of the American tradition; that students and special-interest groups should rise up and use [“]united force[“] to solve economic political or social problems.
For a complete list of the goals listed in the Congressional Record visit beliefnet.com and search for “communist goals.”
Well for me this is pretty scary stuff because in my lifetime I believe that our country has seen many of these goals accomplished.
There is no doubt that our country is under assault by a hidden enemy that is invading the minds of those who wish to fundamentally change America and remove and abolish any vestige of its Judeo-Christian heritage.
Of course behind it all is the total depravity of man driven by the desires of the Evil One who seeks to bring bondage to the free and destruction of souls.
May God help us in these days and bless us with His Spirit in bringing a sweeping renewal and revival to our fractured land.
Tim Yarbrough is editor/executive director of the Arkansas Baptist News.