A Mini-History of the Evangelical Christian-Baptists of Russia, et al.

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Squire Robertsson, Apr 19, 2001.

  1. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson
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    This was first posted on the old Baptist Outside the USA forum.
    An Outline of the History of the Evangelical Baptists of the former Soviet Union

    1. <LI> Evangelical Christian-Baptists trace their main theological roots to the pietist German Baptists who settled in the Volga River Region.<LI>Their pastoral training schools were just beginning to send out pastors and other workers when the Revolution occurred. By the late twenties, the schools had been closed and the faculties suppressed.<LI> During the 20's and 30's, the Plymouth Brethren in the Leningrad and Moscow areas, the Baptists from the other parts and the other smaller evangelical groups amalgamated into the Evangelical Christians-Baptists. So, we see a service in the style of the P.B. and a Methodist flavor to their polity. (In 1910 or so, one leader went to the Methodist Bible Institute in Paris)<LI>The great battles against Modernism, Liberalism and Neo-Orthodoxy fought over the last 80 years were not fought in Russia or the Soviet Union, because:
    • <LI> Before the Revolution, Imperial Russia was a theological backwater. So, it was of little interest to the great intellectual heretics and apostates.<LI>If you did not believe the Fundamentals of the Faith, it was easier, more profitable, and more socially acceptable for you to just honestly join The (great, proletarian, revolutionary, socialist, scientifically atheistic) Communist Party.

    5. While we were and are fighting battles in para. 4, the uncompromising Evangelical Christian-Baptists (EC-B) were suppressed and undergoing severe persecution. In many cases, even the compromisers got picked up and disappeared. The suppression meant at best a faithful EC-Baptist could only go to a technical institute (13th grade). He or she could never hope to get any post-secondary education and thus hold any kind of professional position.

    6. In the Sixties, a consolidation of denominational power took place. Some of those who disagreed, formed what is now the Soviet (Council) of Evangelical Christian-Baptist Churches. In the West, we called them the Underground Church. Others formed churches independent of either the underground or registered soviets.

    7. In the last year or so, many of the more Baptistic of the Russian Baptists have started to form their own fellowship(s). They are leaving the more protestant Council of Evangelical Christian-Baptist Churches.

    Here are some of the differences that have developed because of the above paragraphs.

    1. Because of their roots are German not Anglo-American, the EC-B
    a. Are pacifists
    b. Lean toward what in America would seem like a Mennonite application of some of the cultural teachings of Scripture
    c. They date their founding to August 1867 when the first Russian was Scripturally baptized.

    2. At the time of the Revolution, the EC-B was just beginning to develop an indigenously trained leadership. They were however on the whole at the same stage of development as most of the missionary efforts are in India today. In other words, while the churches in St. Petersburg, Moscow, and Kiev may have been able to support themselves, though the training schools needed outside support. Churches in the provinces were not in the same position. They needed and received financial support. Since there were not enough trained men for the pastorate, missionaries would be sent out in circuit riding ministries (the Methodist influence, along with district superintendents/bishops).

    3. The Plymouth Brethren influence shows in their unapologetic Pre-Trib and Pre-Mil rapture positions. Also, the PB’s contributed their practice of having multiple preachers in the assembly. (This allowed the unregistered churches to have a built-in redundancy in case of arrests.)

    4. The battles they fought in this last century are not the same ones we fought, in their isolation they know Billy Graham (and are against him), but not Bob Jones, Sr.

    5. So, their leadership asked the newly arrived American missionaries "So, how much time have you spent in jail?" "Who in your family was killed by the KGB?" (Every family related to me has an affirmative answer to these and other related questions.) We American Fundamental Baptists have developed our own shibboleths; however the Russians share only a few of them (usually those that were settled on before 1917).

    [ November 01, 2001: Message edited by: The Squire ]
     
  2. Squire Robertsson

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    I moved this post up from the Missions forum. It is germane to our discussion as there are now 5,000+ EC-B folks out West.
     
  3. Squire Robertsson

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    I just updated the title of this thread to see if I can get any bites.
     
  4. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson
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    What still no takers? I find it hard to believe that I'm the only one posting replies to this post.
    So, here's a question for those of the Landmaker and Primative Baptist persuasion: <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Eugene (formerly Yvgeny) and Betty (formerly Yelizabeta) Ivannov want to join your church. In light of the above outline of history, will you accept their immersion (baptism)? For the sake of argumentation, they were immersed by their pastor in the Volga river. (Russians don't have indoor baptistries. If need be, they just wait for the ice to melt.) Further, it was a single dip (none of the triple Mennonite dipping).<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>What say ye ladies and gentlemen of the Board.

    [ November 09, 2001: Message edited by: The Squire ]
     
  5. Jeff Weaver

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    Okey doke, I'll bite. ;)

    I have read your thread, but am incompetent to discuss the history of the EC-B in the former Soviet Union. I think, however, it is an interesting topic. I am incompetent to discuss them, however, because I have not had opportunity to read their history or visit their churches. That said, I have been to the Soviet Union prior to 1991, and since have been to Lithuania, Russia, Ukraine, and Armenia, and have a great affection for the people I met there, and those who have come here and stayed with us. When I was there I went with my hosts to the Russian Orthodox church (post-1991) and when they visited with us we took them to Primitive Baptist services.

    As for the hypothetical question, it is impossible to answer it satisfactorily. As far as we Primitive Baptists are concerned. We only take baptisms by those of like faith and order, and it would take some greater understanding to know whether or not that was indeed the case.

    Warm regards
    Jeff
     
  6. Rob't K. Fall

    Rob't K. Fall
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    One of the blank spaces I see in the Squire's outline is "Why did those German Baptists wind up in the Volga River Valley?"

    During the reign of Catherine the Great, the Russians pushed the Ottoman Turks south out of most of the Volga River valley. To settle the region, the Russians recuited German Baptist farmers. The Germans were promised exemption from being drafted into the Imperial Army. Remember, in the Germanies, it was the era of Fredrick the Great and all of the various wars between the princelings and lordlings. The Germans jumped at the chance and moved east. (If nothingelse it was cheaper than moving to Pennsylvania.)
     
  7. rlvaughn

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    Brother Squire, that is some quite interesting information. I was able to find some info on the Evangelical Christian-Baptists also in the Baptist Around the World by Albert Wardin (1995, Broadman & Holman). In addition to historical information, he also gives some information on statistics. I totaled these for the Commonwealth of States area that should basically correspond with the old USSR. In this area there was a total of 2993 churches with 234,797 members. The greatest concentration was in the Ukraine (106,581 members in 1301 churches). I have also thought that, instead of us going there to "help" them, maybe they should come here to help us!

    On the baptism question, I, like Jeff, would desire more understanding before making a judgment. But I will also venture a guess (from what info we have) that more Landmarkers would find the baptism unacceptable rather than acceptable.

    [ March 01, 2002, 04:56 PM: Message edited by: rlvaughn ]
     
  8. Rob't K. Fall

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by rlvaughn:
    Snip I have also thought that, instead of us going there to "help" them, maybe they should come here to help us!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>They have come amoungst us. The 5,000 EC-Bs quoted by the Squire are the folks from the Underground, Unregistered movement. In Metro Sacrameto alone there are =/-35,000 EC-Baptists of belongiing to various groupings.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>On the baptism question, I, like Jeff, would desire more understanding before making a judgment. But I will also venture a guess (from what info we have) that more Landmarkers would find the baptism unacceptable rather than acceptable.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Here is the geneology as I understand it. The German speaking Anabaptists of the 15th-17th centuries begat the German speaking Baptists of the 18th century. Some GspBs migrated to the Volga River valley in the late 18th century. In 1857, a Russian farmhand was baptised by a German Baptist pastor. The EC-B date their founding from this baptism.
     
  9. rlvaughn

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    Brother Fall, what I am assuming most Landmark Baptists would object to is the infusion of Plymouth Brethren into the mix, as mentioned by The Squire under his number "3" in the history.

    What I read of the EC-B's in Wardin's book was very impressive. On the help comment, mainly what I am thinking is that is prideful of us Baptists who have lived at ease to think we have so much to offer those who have survived years of physical and political persecution. Carrying some American Baptist ways to them could be detrimental rather than helpful to their churches. But we certainly should help in any way we could.
     
  10. Rob't K. Fall

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    I can well understand the concerns of my Landmarker and Primitive Baptist brethren. (A proper baptism requires:<UL TYPE=SQUARE><LI>The proper meaning.<LI>The proper mode.<LI>The proper administrator.<LI>The proper canidate)[/list]I believe under the circumstances these concerns were/are a luxury unavailable to our Slavic brethen. As noted, the EC-B have a date certain for their beginning August of 1867. The German Baptists have an unbroken link to the Anabaptist past.
    In His service,
    Rob't Fall

    [ November 12, 2001: Message edited by: Rob Fall ]
     
  11. Squire Robertsson

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  12. Squire Robertsson

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  13. Baptistas

    Baptistas
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    I Russian baptist. Squire! Whence at you such items of information on our church?
     
  14. Squire Robertsson

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    Where did I get my information? And how did I form my opinions?</font>
    • From Alexander DeChalandeu's A History of the Baptists of the Soviet Union published in the late 1970's. </font>
    • Five years ago, my wife Anna Georgievna (known as Herself on Baptist Board) translated the Council of Evangelical Christian-Baptist Churchs' (Chairman G.K. Kryuchkov) Statement of Faith </font>
    • I have discussed many of these matters with Anna Georgievna, her Father, and the Pastor and Brethren of Nezavisimaya Baptist Church for over eleven years.</font>
    I wrote the Mini-History as a guide for American's who have no idea of the roots of the Evangelical Christian-Baptists.
    S'Bogom
    Keith
     
  15. tyndale1946

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    Brother Glen Little Bethany Primitive Baptist Church in San Diego: I can't see where this is a problem? If they wanted to join our church they would be rebaptised. Like Jeff said of our same faith and order and if there is confusion on the matter, rebaptise.To me this is not a bone of contention and should not be. If any had a question on my baptism I would be rebaptised to keep the peace of the church. IMHO I don't see a problem here... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  16. Baptistas

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    Squire, thank for the answer.
    Basically I agree with your supervision about Russian church ECB. But the churches ECB too are different. Especially now. Is fundamental, and is and ecumenistics... Ours fundamentalism really another, not such as in USA. Except for pacifism Russian fundamentalists Arminians, anti-pentacostals, against planning birth rate and condoms, against TV.
    And you could not send me something about churches of Russian Advice of Churches ECB on English? And that we on a site have not enough of material...
     
  17. Squire Robertsson

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    I trust this is an accurate restatement of your post.
     
  18. Baptistas

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    *** I trust this is an accurate restatement of your post. ***

    Squer! And what for you have quoted my message and has not answered?
     

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