By Mike Willis
This first issue of 1993 is also the first being mailed to the combined subscribers of Searching the Scriptures and Guardian of Truth. We welcome each new subscriber to our mailing list. A few words pertaining to Guardian of Truth may be in order.
Like Searching the Scriptures, Guardian of Truth is committed to teaching and defending the truth. Because we recognize our own fallibility, we provide those who disagree with us an opportunity to reply. This should not be interpreted to mean that we are irresponsibly going to publish every article we receive in disagreement with another article (for some are not worthy of publication), but we do open our doors to reasonable and responsible disagreement.
We have invited several of the regular contributors to Searching the Scriptures to be added as staff writers to Guardian of Truth. In addition to adding brother Connie W. Adams as associate editor, we have already received letters of acceptance from H.E. Phillips, Donnie Rader, J. Wiley Adams and Paul Casebolt to be added to our list of staff writers. We expect some others will soon follow. Too, we have encouraged other contributors to Searching the Scriptures also to send in articles regularly. Because of this, we think that Guardian of Truth will not appear so different from Searching the Scriptures to many of you.
Although many of our articles come from our staff, we by no means limit articles to our staff. We invite and encourage our readers to submit articles for publication.
We also have added the church ads from Searching the Scriptures to Guardian of Truth. To prevent taking too large a space in each issue for the church ads, the ads are being divided into two sections. Half of them will appear in the first issue of each month and half in the second issue. We think that this is equitable because of the in-creased circulation to which all ads will be exposed. This will allow more room for teaching and provide for a better balanced journal.
As a service to our readers, we continue to provide free space for churches in need of a preacher to advertise that need, preachers desiring to relocate to mention their intention, field reports from brethren around the country, notices of deaths of Christians, announcements of special series of lessons, and such like. Be sure to give us a minimum of 30 days to get these items in print. Most of the time we can accommodate brethren under these terms.
Guardian of Truth is just another way to serve the Lord. We entertain no egotistical and sinful ideas that we are controlling the brotherhood, creating a party, or otherwise dictating to the conscience of others what they must believe and practice. We make no apologies for teaching the truth and calling on brethren to align themselves with the truth. When we align ourselves with the truth, we necessarily will be standing together. When and where we are not standing for the truth, we pray that God-fearing brethren will stand against us and call upon us to repent. We promise to listen to what our brethren have to say in such circumstances and to search the Scriptures to see if the things taught are so.
We are available to serve. We invite our readers to use us in God’s service to the fullest extent possible.
It was often necessary to call on weekends or between 12:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. Moscow time. It is fairly easy to communicate through a fax machine. Faxed messages can be received at the central telegraph office in central Moscow. This can consume a good bit of time, but the telegraph office is near McDonalds so the trip is worth the time and effort.
Food is easy to find and fairly cheap for Americans, but not so for the average Russian. There are no American type grocery stores in Moscow. Food can be purchased from venders and at “markets” throughout the city. The variety is not as great as Americans are accustomed to, but it is food on which one can live. In the absence of large refrigerators and pantries, it is necessary to shop quite often. Some items such as bread are often purchased every day. There are “hard currency” stores throughout the city which supply a limited amount of American type food at American prices. (I was able to find Sugar Smacks at one!)
Life in Moscow moves at a slower pace than in the United States. It takes longer to do everything in Moscow than it does here. Patience is a necessary virtue. The people are not as time conscious as we are. No one is considered late unless he arrives for an appointment 15 minutes past the designated time. Life for Americans in Moscow is different, a little more difficult, but not oppressive.
The door for the gospel is open. The Russian people are genuinely interested in things spiritual in nature and eternal in consequence. But, how long will the door remain open? The Russian Orthodox Church is hard at work trying to establish itself as the official state religion. If this happens, religious persecution and intolerance may once again return to Russia. The political situation is volatile. Historically the Russian people have turned to strong individual leaders at times of crisis. If this happens the character of such a leader will determine the degree of religious freedom tolerated. The door is now open. We must take advantage of it while we can.
Guardian of Truth XXXV: 1, p.