Church and State

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BWA World Congress Resolution 1934.8

171. The Rev. Gilbert Laws, England, moved the following Resolution on “Church and State”:

“The members of this Congress believe that the Church is the company of the people of Christ with the Lord Himself according to His promise in the midst of them, and that He by His Spirit guides them into all Truth and makes plain to them the Will of God for them.

“They hold that any interference with the freedom of the Church is an intrusion between God and His people, and that to limit the liberty of the Church is to hinder the working out of God’s purpose of redemption for mankind through His people.

“They therefore deny the right of the State to interfere in matters of religion, and equally the right of any church to enter into such relations with the State as may compromise its witness or limit its freedom to follow the Will of Christ as revealed to its members, and they believe that any system of State establishment of religion tends rather to the secularizing of the Church than to the spiritualizing of the State.

“The Church is God’s appointed instrument for the redemption of the World and any infringement of its freedom limits its power to accomplish this task.

“The members of this Congress claim for all religious bodies full liberty in matters of faith and worship and the unrestricted right to preach and to teach the Truth as it is revealed to them.

“They further declare their conviction that the above principles tend to promote the true welfare alike of the Church and of the State.”

172. The Resolution was seconded from the Chair and carried unani-mously.


Original Source Bibliography: Rushbrooke, J. H., editor. Fifth Baptist World Congress: Berlin, August 4- 10, 1934. London: Baptist World Alliance, 1934.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: J. H. Rushbrooke, ed., Fifth Baptist World Congress: Berlin, August 4-10, 1934 (London: Baptist World Alliance, 1934), p. 18.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA World Congress Resolution 1934.8 Church and State;

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA World Congress Resolution 1934.8).

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Since its formation in 1905, the Baptist World Alliance has networked the global Baptist family to impact the world for Christ with a commitment to strengthen worship, fellowship and unity; lead in mission and evangelism; respond to people in need through aid, relief, and community development; defend religious freedom, human rights, and justice; and advance theological reflection and leadership development.