|Letter of Robert Link|
|Автор: Robert Link|
30 December 2002
THE ADMINISTARTION OF THE EAST RUSSIAN UNION MISSION (ERUM), THE EAST-ASIA DIVISION (ESD), AND THE GENERAL CONFERENCE (GC)
I have to address you this letter, because I would like to clarify some issues regarding the crisis that exists in our region.
Immediately after the West Siberian Conference (WSC) Congress that took place in May 2002, the ex-treasurer of WSC Y. P. Tikhonov assisted a new WSC treasurer, A. P. Ivanov, in financial matters because the new mission as an official body was not registered in Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation, and there was no evidence of being it on the books of the department of tax inspection. Therefore the former administration of WSC still had to sign all financial papers and the newly appointed administration did not have any juridical rights.
Everything went well with mutual agreement, but after the return of Ivanov from Irkutsk where there was a special seminar for treasurers that took place in September, he decided to debar Tikhonov from helping him in the accounting department. In connection with that I asked the president of WSC, R. G. Ershov, to precipitate the procedure of mission registration because Tikhonov and I could not sign any financial documents having no information about transactions of funds. The situation reached a deadlock.
On September 28, 2002 at the ministers' meeting in Novosibirsk the ERUM president, V. A. Kazakov mentioned the possible difficulties with the registration of a new organization as a mission, and in connection with that we would have to use the old legal organizational form or register it as a new conference of churches. In private conversation I expounded my personal view of this problem, that two standards of policy are not welcome here. If the mission registration were not possible until the end of the year, it would be better to return it to the former conference status and at the yearly meeting to vote for the administration currently in force.
In October in the presence of several brethren at 47 Leningradskaya Str I reminded WSM president, Ershov, that if the missions were not registered, it would be necessary to return it to the status of the former conference, and this issue should be discussed at the year end meeting.
On November 20 I was in the office of Central Siberian Mission (CSM) together with V. Aphanasyev to discuss the issue regarding the opening ceremony of the church at 40 Khazanov Str., and I invited Ershov for this celebration which took place on December 7. We also discussed the issue of financing the construction of another house church and the purchase of the chairs for the hall. Brother Ershov showed me the budget for 2003 and regretted that he could not help because there was only 83,557 rubles in the Mission budget for all building projects. And for evangelistic work the amount of funds was US $3,500. In the presence of Ivanov, Ershov, and E. T. Scheglov, I told them that it seems to me that they were following the way of destruction. In the evening I called A. A. Shtele, but he was out and I had a telephone conversation with his wife and told her that her husband should call me back as soon as possible.
On the 4 December 2002 I managed to call the union officer, N. N. Kissly because I was not able to be at the yearly meeting of CSM. I asked permission to meet him personally and this meeting took place on the December 5. I expressed my concern regarding the mission registration and its getting registered for tax inspection. I also mentioned that it would be wise to find a solution to this problem at the year end meeting, and probably we would have to return to the former conference status, because many promises about financial help to the mission we heard at the congress turned out to be false ones. Kissly expressed his opinion about the events, after that we kneeled down together in prayer and took turns praying for God's providence in this confused situation.
When I came back from Germany and got to know everything that happened at the year end meeting on December 15. I was surprised to hear Ershov's statement about revolt and plot of several leaders and pastors who had created a new organization. Such irresponsible statements testify of preconception and unwillingness to consider carefully the situation and provoked reciprocal statements of brethren who tried to find compromising solutions before making these statements. However the situation became irrevocable. Since being a minister it is very hard for me to see stubbornness and unwillingness of a mission administration to sort out existing problems, and trying by the power of authority to suppress any different trend of thought and by doing this make a statement.
Having appraised the situation, I asked for the seal and WSC regulations to be returned to me, which they were using illegally, but I was told that "we are legally elected leaders of the church". I answered, "if you are new leaders, you should have thought about the new mission regulations at the congress, and you should have registered your new organization and you should have had a new seal. But during seven months your organization has not been registered by the department of tax inspection and now when you realize how difficult the problem is, you try to misappropriate the seal and regulations of WSC and you say about your legality. This is very trifling, irresponsible, and even a crime."
The true depth of the existing problem can hardly be comprehended by the lay member and you do not have to. But for the person who knows the law the complexity of this situation is quite familiar. The fact is, WSC has been divided into two missions, but in this case what the is second mission like?
Today I realize the whole unscrupulousness of the current leadership and the fearful future which we are going to be following this way. Instead of recognizing their mistakes and together searching for a way out of them, the leaders of the CSM forwarded letters addressed to the churches warning them of Korah's rebellion.
On the December 23 I had a long telephone conversation with ESD president, Shtele, in connection with the seriousness of the existing problem and asked him personally to be here and have a talk with the brethren and get firsthand information of the events. I was promised to be called back within a day, but instead of a call or a personal visit by Shtele, ESD officers, whom we greatly respect, were sent to our place, but unfortunately they were not the members of that previous congress.
In the view of that, the decision about summoning a congress not later than 12 February was approved.
It is very sad that several days before the New Year, having realized the seriousness of the situation in our area, the brethren from ERUM and ESD have not come to the right conclusions and have begun to fabricate the legal papers in order to have the regulations of the new mission and, as it turned out, even the protocol of the 4 Congress of WSC does not exist. All human wisdom was involved in that, and a non-Christian approach is being used, but something that is not like wisdom, coming from above, the Word of God says : "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits without partiality and without hypocrisy" James 3:17
Today we all have to understand that we are all brethren and we all have one Head, Jesus Christ. He urges us to do His will and for this purpose use His principles. We are proclaiming the last message to this world! We have got just one leadership; the Holy Scriptures, and by It we should evaluate all our actions.
I urge you not to discredit the good name of God's church in Siberia and in Russia any more. Everything is very simple. God's Word counsels us to confess our mistakes! "Confess your trespasses to one another and pray for one another that you may be healed." James 5:16. But the events that are happening at present prove how hard it is to do that! It is easier to fast or pray, and these things are done by many brethren. But in the Bible we read that "faith without works is dead". Seven months without any works! And the answer to this prayer is the words from Prov. 6:6. I advise all of you to recall the Old Russian fable about the dragonfly and the ant.
In our world we witness the fulfillment of the signs which testify about the soon coming of the glorious event, the Second Coming of Our Lord. The intensity among the people is getting stronger, confusion among nations is increasing, peace is leaving our world. Will we be able to proclaim the last message to this world, having no peace among ourselves? This is a serious question!
Sincerely yours minister Link R.R.