A Simple Solution To A Complicated Problem

The blog post “Russian Culture And The Christian Church” has stirred up some debate and controversy within the circles of the Slavic community.

I wrote that post, hoping that it will speak to the people in the Sacramento area, as this region has been my home ever since my family immigrated to the US in 1993.

What I hoped and prayed for was a tiny spark of change to grow into a roaring fire of awakening. What I hope I do not see yet again is defeat…

The community I wrote about is the community I am very familiar with.

A simple Google search of “Slavic Churches in Sacramento, CA” gives about 49,500 results. Obviously the results are not individual churches. However, the fact remains: Sacramento is home to hundreds of Slavic churches.

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Yes, I have not been intimately involved with all of the Slavic churches in Sacramento. However, I have been a member of one church for over a decade and during that time, visited the numerous “sister churches” multiple times.  It was from that perspective that I shared what was on my heart.

Yes, I am not an “official spokesperson” of the Slavic community in Sacramento, as someone has stated on one of the Facebook discussions, and nor did I ever claim to be one.  Nor do I have any ounce of desire to be one…


I am simply God’s child. The King’s daughter.

I love my Jesus with a passion I have always hungered for, while attending one of the Slavic Conservative/Independent Baptist churches. My love and my passion for my Savior were the only things that kept me going and fighting for change despite the difficulties…

God put a burning love for all people and a passionate desire to save the lost into my heart.

I hurt for the young people who are being damaged by religion. And yes, I am going to stand by these words:

WE HAVE TURNED A SIMPLE GOSPEL INTO A COMPLICATED PROBLEM CALLED RELIGION…

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What I mean by that is not just the micro issues in the individual churches – makeup or no makeup, head coverings, jewelry, etc. – but also the macro issues like Baptists vs. Pentecostals, Law vs. Grace, etc…

While I wrote the article fully convinced that was being put on my heart by the Holy Spirit, I believed that He would take it to those who would need it. What I was not expecting is the article being shared so widely.

But here we are…

I imagine numerous discussions took place at Slavic homes around the US.

What were they?

One has to only look at the diversity of the comments of that post to get an idea…

A few days ago, several believers reached out with their own responses. They all have made valid points.

Pastor Russel Korets wrote Response to “Russian Culture and The Christian Church.”

Eugene Kovalenko referred to an article he wrote in 2014: 5 Things Slavic Churches Must Do to Survive and Thrive.

Andrey Bulanov wrote Moving Forward in Russian Church Culture.

These articles, along with the hundreds of responses to the post, portray the difficult problem that has been a burden on so many hearts.

What is the simple solution?

FOCUS ON JESUS, THE CROSS, AND THE SIMPLICITY OF THE GOSPEL.


You see, what we have here is a possibility for real change. Young believers on fire for Jesus are talking about the issue. They desire change. They are hungry for God!

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And yet there is another possibility. One propagated by the enemy: to focus on bickering with each other and defending ourselves…


I don’t know about you but I am done with that and not looking back.

I refuse to let the enemy gain any more ground over our pointless discussions of who is right and who is wrong!

I refuse to let the enemy plant more seeds of doubt into the growing generation!

I refuse to let the enemy destroy this spark!

Jesus has already won the war! We are not going to lose this battle!

We can discuss this issue until we turn blue in the face and nothing will happen. We can talk about hundreds of different solutions and analyze it from thousands of different points of view.

What is the simple solution?

FOCUS ON JESUS, THE CROSS, AND HIS RESURRECTION.

Yes, it is that simple. The simple unadulterated Gospel. The truth that sets us free…

However, WE have made it very complicated. Our traditions, our culture, our attitudes, our feelings, our self obsession, etc – we allowed all of that to take our focus off the one who died for all of humanity, who died for HIS BRIDE.

This bride was purchased with the precious blood of Jesus (Acts 20:28). This bride is precious in God’s eyes.

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“Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.'” Matthew 16:24

“Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.” Matthew 10:38

“And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:27

Focus on Jesus, focus on the cross, focus on the Gospel message and all of a sudden we are united in love towards one another AND to the lost, with AGAPE – God’s love.

The essence of this love is SELF SACRIFICE.

Read the following passage as if you are reading it for the first time… Contemplate on every word… Let it sink in…

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13)

God’s son sacrificed himself to pay the most precious price ever paid for a bride and we are bickering…

That was not what He designed us to be!

A great awakening is coming.

I know it.

Where will you stand?

Will you stand and take on your full identity in Christ or will you continue to grow your religious kingdom?


Who has believed what he has heard from us?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people?
And they made his grave with the wicked
and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in his mouth.

Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and makes intercession for the transgressors.
Isaiah 53

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9 thoughts on “A Simple Solution To A Complicated Problem

  1. Hi Tanya,
    I recently stumbled upon your blog post when I read the response from this site: http://russellkorets.com/2015/03/27/response-to-slavic-culture-and-the-christian-church/. I believe this is something that many churches struggle with. Life is a constant struggle for everyone, we are all sinners and sometimes look at others as an example to follow. I do not think that all “Slavic churches” are the same. My family and I immigrated to Ohio when I was just a year old and I have been living here for almost 22 years. I grew up in a Americanized culture. I still am Ukrainian at heart but I feel more American than Ukrainian. I speak and even teach Ukrainian school at my church and love the culture but if I moved back to the Ukraine I would have a very hard time adjusting to the culture. Our church has a small percentage of people that struggle with drugs and what not, but a lot of times we see them repent and serve the Lord. We must stay strong in our church and set an example for others to strive towards. Your post was very controversial and judgmental, although some of it was the truth for a minority of people. We must keep up with the ever changing culture and learn ways to teach others how to stay strong in Christ.

    1. Katy, thank you for your response. Much appreciated!

      This post’s intent was not to judge the entire Slavic community but to bring to light things that are not talked about. We simply brush them under the rug and continue bathing in our “holier-than-thou” attitude.

      While I understand that your experiences and your church may not be the churches I talk about in this article, these churches are not the “minority” and are not limited to a Slavic community. This is a call to reexamine our theology, whether you are in a Slavic church or any other church!

      I love my Slavic heritage as you do. However, I will absorb only the positive things from it and throw out the negative. And there ARE negatives. Should I mention the rivalry between the “Russians” and “Ukrainians?” There are many BELIEVERS IN JESUS who have stopped talking to each other simply because of taking sides for Russia or Ukraine! Professing Christians speaking hate against each other, refusing to fellowship with each other, calling each other names, etc. – forgetting that “we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior.” (Philippians 3:20).

      Focus on Jesus and the cross is what we have lost…

      Love, Tanya

  2. With the latest developments and a new nastier Colder War coming, everyone is very concerned with the future of Russian churches here in states.

    Revival is coming, God is going to give His loyal people anointing and power, and all the spiritual gifts you see in the Bible. Once revival begins, expect a lot of opposition, religious twice dead backlider demons aggressively doing their best to discredit and extinguish it.
    “And God saw that the light was good (functional). And God separated the light from the darkness.” – Genesis 1:4, God is going to finally separate functional light from the dysfunctional religious darkness in each congregation. Both light and darkness finally realizing they got nothing in common and their ways must be parted.
    Everyone is aware tough times are coming, only foolishly naive and deceived believe this country is going to remain immune from all the retributive comeuppance. USA is a major exporter of revolutions nowadays. Ironic fact is, revolutions always return back to revolution exporter, and return sevenfold. What goes around comes around. Louis XVI of France supported American revolution, and it backfired on him and his people sevenfold, French were plunged into decades of internal riots, disorders and murdering one another and then suffer long genetic pool draining bloody Napoleonic wars. Kaiser Wilhelm II actively supported Russian revolutionaries during WW1, practically V. I. Lenin was German paid agent, came back on Wilhelm II and German people sevenfold, and they’re still stuttering to this very day. USSR exported their brand of revolution for decades- came back on Russians and people of USSR with devastating sevenfold effect.
    Western countries being ruled by nowadays infallible holy cows- homosexuals, pedophiles and all sorts of Sodomites and sex offenders. Do not forget that modern gay movement is a direct import from Nazi Germany. Basically Christian values hating Nazis and neopagans are back on steroids, just under different disguise, and gradually but surely taking over, discriminating and starting to persecute Christians. I dont know what kind of future you people expecting for yourselves in this country, especially once sevenfold return reaches this land.

    “..our Constitution was designed for moral and religious people… It is wholy unedequate to govern any other…” John Adams 1789. Sadly majority of folks in our dear Western Civilization (both Western and Eastern Europe, Americas, ANZAC) have transformed into the “other”, while small remainder of “moral and religious” do nothing about it, but compromise and often even side with the “other”. Our Western Civilization denizenry cant exist in freedom and democracy, since freedom and democracy was designed for another now mostly extinct people.
    Whenever nation backlsides from God, that nation literally ends up seven times worse, and is capable of the worst atrocities; and Russia and Germany clearly demonstrated it for us in XX century. USA as a nation was much closer to God and His ways than Germany and Russia combined. Hence the higher you clime- further and harder you fall. To preserve nations from further corruption and being wiped out from the face of the Earth, God encases those nations into corrective chains of oppressive totalitarian police state.
    America is on very verge of becoming totalitarian police state, with all bells and whistles included like concentration camps and Gestapo like brutal police. And especially with the sevenfold effect American police state is going to be much more brutal and merciless than Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia combined together.
    Once economy collapses, and your money turned into worthless scraps of linen paper. And common Americans not even having enough to eat, they’re going to come out to riot and loot stores, warehouses, and do real nasty home invasions of ones who do better than them. Our people having all the nice half million to one million or more worth homes and fancy cars already being marked by jealous have nots , who lived in here for generations, and never even came close to having such nice things. With the collapsed financial system, and Cold War with Russia in full swing, our dear Russo emigres gonna be looked on as nonnative aliens, extra mouths that take food, jobs and other now scarce resources away from the mouths and tables of American people. News and media going to make scapegoats out of Russians living in states, show all sorts of investigating entertaining journalist shows, disclosing all the many shady sides of Russians in America, filling public with contempt and hatred toward us. And it wont matter if you be claiming yourself to be Ukrainian or Moldovan or even claim yourself as non Russian Moonman from former USSR. Wont matter. To your average American, you’re nothing but bunch of Soviet spies, and media is only going to reinforce that sentiment to the very maximum.
    With Cold War only getting colder within each day, expect to be interned into concentration camps like Japanese were during the WW2, except back then America was much different and God fearing than today. This time it’ll be a much uglier internment, with America being very efficient and organized state, you folks wont even have time to warn one another.
    Basically with increased hardships, some be clinging to God, others just going to compromise even more and totally fall away from God, and even join ranks of persecutors, thus becoming worst of persecutors and murderers of their former brethren.
    “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us” – 1 John 2:19
    Ones who survive and remain loyal, God will scatter into different lands of this world along with their American brethren to deliver the salvation message. And unlike the majority who wasted their time these last 25 years loyally serving demanding false gods of prosperity, worshiping, and sacrificing to them their time, health, and children, some even their own souls. God’s loyal remainder on other hand will serve God in power and anointing. ““Though the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will be saved, “- Romans 9:27
    And do not be deceived into thinking Day of the Lord is far away, and not coming any time soon, Day of the Lord being “That day will be darkness, not light. It will be as though a man fled from a lion
    only to meet a bear, as though he entered his house and rested his hand on the wall only to have a snake bite him.” – Amos 5:18B-19. It will come when you least expect it!
    “Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:2-4
    Only ones who fully trust in God are prepared to meet it-“But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:5
    God is finally exposing all the corruption and messed up stuff in our churches, whitewashing is futile, and not going to work anymore. “Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!” – Revelation 16:15

  3. Hundreds of Russian churches? Around 80 is more like it. Hundreds of comments on your article? It was 156 last time I checked

    1. Lora,

      I guess we can do a count of all the churches in the Sacramento region just to be sure. 🙂 I wrote “diversity of the comments of that post” and “hundreds of responses to the post” – including Facebook comments. 🙂

      Sigh… sad to see that you focus on scrutinizing the wording of the article and have nothing to say about the message…

      Love,
      Tanya

  4. Love this… Jesus has already won the battle! He is our Lamb, our Savior, our love, our life, our resurrection, our God! He is our King! All praise unto the Lamb who was and is and is to come!

    1. Thank you, brother! Thank you for your prayers! I thank God for your heart and pray for you and your precious wife as well! Blessings be upon you both! Praise Jesus for all that He did for us! I praise his name for changing us and making us like Him!

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