Peace and Peaceful Change

Peace and Peaceful Change

BWA General Council Resolution 1982.6

We express our grave disappointment over the breaches of international peace which have occurred in the past twelve months, especially but not limited to, the situation in the Falkland Islands-Islas Malvinas, and in Lebanon, Somalia, El Salvador and Afghanistan, among others.

We name our Christian commitment to Shalom and to a Kingdom of God perspective exposing social injustice and inviting change toward more justice as an alternative to violence and war. We pray that the world Baptist community will accept courageously its Christian calling as peacemakers (Matt. 5:9) and interpret the calling as a pro-active as well as a reactive stance. We recognize that the willful destruction of human life and human values must be opposed.

We are grateful that both the Baptists of the Argentine and of Great Britain and Ireland kept alive the oneness in Christ despite other differences they may hold and prayed for one another.

We voice a concern over acts of terrorism, assassinations, and the taking of hostages all of which have posed potential threats to peace and stability, as well as being unconscionable assaults upon the individuals concerned.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Claas, Gerhard, editor. Baptist World Alliance 1982 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. Washington, DC: Baptist World Alliance, 1982.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Gerhard Claas, ed., Baptist World Alliance 1982 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (Washington, DC: Baptist World Alliance, 1982), p. 75.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 1982.6 Peace and Peaceful Change; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 1982.6).

Peace and Peaceful Change

Nuclear Arms

BWA General Council Resolution 1984.1

Once again WE EXPRESS OUR PROFOUND CONCERN over international tensions, the armed conflicts in certain regions, the economic burden of large armaments and armed forces, the threat of nuclear annihilation of humanity;

WE URGE the major powers:
a) to forswear first use of nuclear weapons;

b) to negotiate an immediate verifiable freeze, thus preventing further development, testing, production and deployment of nuclear weapons;

c) to create an atmosphere for a reduction in arms and greater international harmony.

WE COMMEND the recent establishment by the United Nations of a University for Peace, the designation of a day each September as a Day of Peace and the declaration that 1986 will be celebrated as the International Year of Peace. We also express appreciation that the good offices of the U.N. Secretary- General have been extended towards facilitating a return to normalcy in many troubled areas of the world, such as Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and parts of Southeast Asia.

WE URGE the governments of all countries to refrain from using military power in order to settle human conflicts.

WE SUPPORT the proposal of non-governmental organizations represented at the United Nations in calling for a peace conference for the Middle East, to which all parties to the conflicts should be invited.

WE EXPRESS OUR SYMPATHY AND CONCERN for out fellow Baptists and other Christians in areas of Central America, the Middle East, Southern Africa and Southeast Asia where there is continual strife,

and we urge Baptist everywhere to pray regularly for them in their constant search for the justice and peace of God and for all other inhabitants of those regions.

WE ALSO URGE OUR CHURCHES:
a) to encourage their respective governments to “seek peace and pursue it”;

b) to promote and share in international religious and cultural exchanges and friendships, including the partnership of churches, as a positive step towards breaking down barriers of mutual fear and mistrust;

c) to consider what other actions are possible to influence public opinion by being “the salt of the earth” and the “light of the world.”

FINALLY WE ACKNOWLEDGE that according to the scriptures we may not see the end of “rumors of wars,” but we remind all our people that our Savior, Jesus Christ, is the Price of Peace and that commitment to Him is a commitment to be a peacemaker. Therefore we encourage the inclusion of peace education and action in the programs of our church. We will “study war no more.”

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Claas, Gerhard, editor. Baptist World Alliance 1984 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. Washington, DC: Baptist World Alliance, 1984.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Gerhard Claas, ed., Baptist World Alliance 1984 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (Washington, DC: Baptist World Alliance, 1984), p. 85.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 1984.1 Nuclear Arms; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 1984.1).

Peace and Peaceful Change

Afghanistan

BWA General Council Resolution 1986.8

The BWA General Council, meeting in Singapore, July 1986:

1. is aware of the present situation in the country of Afghanistan and notes with concern the plight of some three million refugees;

2. also notes that the refugee situation has created serious problems for neighboring countries, particularly Pakistan;

3. urges the countries involved with the help of the United Nations Organizations to seek to reach agreement for the creation of conditions for restoring peace and the withdrawal of all foreign forces, so that the refugees from Afghanistan may return to their homes with honor and dignity.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Claas, Gerhard, editor. Baptist World Alliance 1986 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. McLean, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 1986.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Gerhard Claas, ed., Baptist World Alliance 1986 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (McLean, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 1986), p. 53.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 1986.8 Afghanistan; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 1986.8).

Peace and Peaceful Change

Nuclear Arms

BWA General Council Resolution 1983.3

We affirm our convictions expressed in the Resolution 1982.5 passed last year in Nairobi, Kenya. This resolution endorsed the statement made by the Baptist Union of Sweden of the same year and drew attention to the Moscow Declaration.

We continue to urge that peaceful means be used by Baptist bodies to influence national governments toward peace and disarmament, that in countries where freedom of the press, access to the media and peaceful demonstration are restricted, international pressure be applied to give voice to the people’s desire for disarmament.

We affirm that the God who created the world and all who exist in it, has called us to accountable responsibility in our dealings with each other and with creation. We believe in, and are committed to, the Lordship of Jesus Christ over all aspects of human life, Our Christian faith impresses on us the value and sanctity of human life.

The presence of nuclear weapons is a direct affront to our Christian beliefs and commitment. We find no justification in Scripture for the use of such weapons which would unleash uncontrolled devastation on the human community. Our positive commitment is to Shalom. We are devoted to peace with justice.

We call on the nations of the world to stop the production of nuclear weapons, to dismantle those that now exist and to join in a program of mutually verifiable inspection. We also register our growing concern about safe disposal of radioactive wastes.

The most recent estimate by the World Health Organization anticipates that at the most conservative estimate, 2 1⁄4 billion people would be immediate victims of an all out nuclear war, countless millions more would starve. It is clear that civilized life as we now experience it would cease. Vast acres would be

contaminated by radiation so intense that no humans could live there. There is no evidence that even the most extensive civil defense effort would modify these estimates.

In the name of God and of humanity we call for a resolute effort within a specified time limit for the elimination of all nuclear weapons and urge all our constituent bodies to promote the objective within their respective political systems.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Claas, Gerhard, editor. Baptist World Alliance 1983 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. Washington, DC: Baptist World Alliance, 1983.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Gerhard Claas, ed., Baptist World Alliance 1983 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (Washington, DC: Baptist World Alliance, 1983), p. 62.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 1983.3 Nuclear Arms; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 1983.3).