Hugh Hewitt begins In, But Not Of—his wonderful handbook for cultivating one’s professional life as a force for Christ—with these words:
The effective and mass communication of the gospel depends upon the freedom to proclaim it. Though it is possible to proclaim the gospel in the face of persecution, the unfettered freedom to do so is much, much to be preferred.
I learned this painful lesson firsthand in my own travels in 1976 behind what was then called the “Iron Curtain.” I was encouraging Christians in five communist countries who were being crushed under the hammer of Soviet-style Marxism.
The official newspaper of the Communist Party in the Soviet Union at that time was called Pravda. The word means “truth.” Truth, though, was not a valued commodity under Soviet totalitarianism. “Truth” was just a wax-nosed propaganda tool used to serve a different end—power. Power, not truth, was the ultimate instrument of Soviet influence.
Russian history is testimony to a basic fact. Human lives will be ruled by one of two fundamental forces: either truth or power. Humanity will be governed, on the one hand, by the physical facts of God’s world and the moral facts of his character, or, on the other, by forces that oppose one or—at the present time—both moral and physical facts.