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In 1989 the unthinkable happened. After seventy years of communism and forty years of the Cold War, the Iron Curtain fell and the brutal, sadistic power of the U.S.S.R. began to disintegrate. Russia for seven decades had been repressed, murdered, and brutalized by the godless tyranny of Communism. Finally, the ancient cry of freedom from the human heart was beginning to be heard from Siberia to St. Petersburg.

But the Russians had one major disadvantage. After seventy years of enforced state sanctioned atheism, the moral compass of the nation was seriously damaged. They did not have God and His Word as a moral reference point to make wise choices. When that’s the case, people often choose poorly.

This is what Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the Russian author and Nobel Prize winner, told the graduating class of 1978 at Harvard. He was blunt and to the point when he described to the students and the ultra liberal professors America’s filthy lifestyle and the danger we faced as a nation with our fascination with pleasure. He said that our civic leaders had lost their courage. Solzenhenitsyn, over 30 years ago, said the time would come when we would be more concerned with the civil rights of terrorists than with our own national security. When you read his speech it’s as if you are hearing a prophet speak to America. Some of those students booed him as he left the stage.

He said he could not recommend Western civilization to his beloved Russia. He called America to remember Russia’s history, and to commit to memory what happens to a nation when it forgets God. The solution he offered to the West was for it to return to God and once more reclaim its spiritual vitality. He offered a good example of a bad example when a nation or church or family forgets God.

The church at Corinth is a good example of a bad example for our church. The world has influenced this church instead of the church influencing the world.

(From a sermon by Ed Sasnett, A Good Example of a Bad Example, 6/2/2010)

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