BWA World Congress Resolution 1980.4
Recognizing that the world is far from achieving peace and justice and that vast sums are spent on armaments while much of the world goes hungry or suffers from lack of education and medical care,
We affirm that we stand for peace and reconciliation among all nations.
We welcome the decisions of the 10th special United Nations session on disarmament, call on all governments of the world to implement these decisions in the field of disarmament, and stop the production of and trading in the weapons of war—conventional and nuclear.
We express the conviction that an efficient relief service cannot be enacted unless peace is preserved on earth. Famine and starvation—among other causes—are a natural consequence of wars. We commend the USSR and the USA for the Salt II agreement and pray earnestly for its ratification as a needed step. We urge the governments concerned to continue negotiations with a view to the reduction of armaments and, in particular, the cessation of the development of nuclear arms.
We plead that the benefits of resources freed from expenditures on armaments help to defray the costs of meeting needs of developing countries.
We express sorrow and concern over the continuing conflicts and bloodshed around the world. We support all sincere and just action directed to the cessation of conflict, including all nations and parties involved, especially through the United Nations organization.
Original Source Bibliography: Bryant, Cyril E. and Burke, Ruby J., editors. Celebrating Christ’s Presence Through the Spirit: Official Report of the Fourteenth Congress, Toronto, Canada, July 8-13, 1980. Nashville: Broadman Press, 1981.
Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Cyril E. Bryant and Ruby J. Burke, eds., Celebrating Christ’s Presence Through the Spirit: Official Report of the Fourteenth Congress, Toronto, Canada, July 8-13, 1980 (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1981), pp. 242-243.
Online Document Full Citation: BWA World Congress Resolution 1980.4 World Peace and Disarmament; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.
In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA World Congress Resolution 1980.4).
BWA World Congress Resolution 1975.1
Whereas, in the providence of God, religion and life are joined together, and
Whereas, the Bible teaches that God is concerned and leads his people to be concerned about both
individuals and society, and
Whereas, during the past five years the BWA has assigned to the Commission on Religious Liberty and Human Rights special responsibilities for study in the areas of religious liberty, human rights, world peace, and public morality, and
Whereas, much time and energy have been devoted to securing and preparing reports, studies, and appraisals of these four subjects which have been dealt with annually be representatives from Baptist bodies from around the world,
Therefore, be it resolved that the following statements of Christian principle be adopted as Christian concerns of the Thirteenth Congress of the Baptist World Alliance:
With gratitude for our Baptist heritage of religious liberty and for growing support of it among religious and political leaders of the world, yet mindful of dangers posed by both hostile and friendly governments and by trends within religious communities, including our own, we reaffirm our belief in full religious liberty for all persons.
This freedom includes the following:
a. Freedom to profess openly and confess one’s faith, including baptism, even when this involves a change of religious identity.
b. Freedom to proclaim one’s religious beliefs and experiences.
c. Freedom to engage in private and corporate worship.
d. Freedom to teach one’s religious beliefs and freedom of parents to provide religious instruction and
nurture for their children.
e. Freedom to advocate greater social justice and social change in the civil order.
f. Freedom of religious groups to conduct their own affairs without outside control or interference and to have property to use for their needs.
We Baptists of many nations, assembled in Stockholm for the Thirteenth Baptist World Congress, solemnly recommit ourselves:
1. To pray, advocate, and work for effectual religious freedom for all human beings, knowing that many of our brothers and sisters have lost their freedoms and in some cases their lives while resisting government restrictions.
2. To call upon leaders of religious bodies and leaders of national governments to accept, implement, and defend full religious liberty for all persons.
3. To advocate freedom to publish and distribute materials pertaining to one’s religious beliefs.
4. To refrain from seeking or accepting from civil governments for religious purposes privileges that would infringe upon the full religious liberty of all citizens.
5. To seek to bring our churches more fully under the sole lordship of Jesus Christ, so that we may truly “obey God rather than men.”
We believe that God has made humankind in his own image and that he endows us with certain human rights which Christians are obligated to affirm, defend, and extend:
1. The right to the necessities of life includes the rights of all persons to have access to life, liberty, food, clothing, shelter, health, education, the right to work, and the pursuit of happiness including a quality of life that allows for adequate development of human potentialities. Especially in view of the current crisis related to world hunger, we call on Baptists around the world to share generously, follow a life-style of responsible Christian stewardship, and support the development of better food production and distribution systems.
2. The right of all segments of society, including women, youth, the aging, minorities, and the poor, to participate in church and community decision making includes the rights to self-determination and economic and social justice. We call on these segments of society, especially women, to recognize their right and responsibility to be involved in the use of power, and we call on Baptists to open opportunities to these segments for full participation in church decision making and to support their full participation in community decision making.
3. The right to maintain cultural identity includes the rights of racial, ethnic, and national groups to maintain their self-determined identities. We affirm the principles set forth in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
4. The right to dissent includes the right to privacy and the right to obey one’s conscience even though it may involve differing with the established order. The responsible exercise of this right keeps social systems from hardening into totalitarian rigidity.
5. The right to personal dignity includes the rights of children, the aging, and the sick to care and dignity, and the rejection of torture and inhumane conditions in places of confinement such as prisons and institutions for the mentally disturbed.
As Baptists we acknowledge that peace is the gift of God who establishes peace in the lives of believers and then enables them to share it and extend it. God’s call to his people is not to strife but to peace. Peace begins in the hearts of people of good will whose lives are in union with the Prince of peace. Peace extends to nations and races and systems when people are willing to work for the things that make for peace.
We are encouraged by some contemporary improvements international relations including conferences on arms limitation, control of nuclear weapons, arbitration efforts, and the current detente; yet we deplore the violence and armed conflict persisting in many parts of the world. The forces of greed, economic and political imperialism, aggressive nationalism, cynical betrayals of trust, injustice, and oppression are still at work; and evil passions in men and nations still besiege the cause of world peace.
In the face of world hunger and massive human need on every hand, we call upon governments to abandon the evil acceleration of the fantastically costly armaments race, to turn away from national greed in the sale of armaments, and to cooperate in the removal of economic and political incentives to war.
In the cause of peace, we Baptists pledge ourselves to work with a new sense of urgency for the things that make for peace, remembering the words of Christ, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.”
The critical state of public morality has taken on a new sense of urgency in the modern world. It has become far more than just a perennial problem of the past that “will always be with us.” Modern one- world technology and its miracles of transportation and mass communication media increasingly have conspired to transform the immorality of individual persons, communities, and nations, into the immorality of the world. We have learned with dismay that no part of the world is safe from: (a) commercial exploitation of human sexuality; (b) the total secularization of the Lord’s Day as just another workday; (c) the growth of a kind of religious neutrality by government that becomes in fact moral nihilism; (d) the abandonment of the traditional Christian view of marriage and family relationships; (e) the growth of public opinion and even of official public policy that alcoholism and drug addiction are only medical problems, not moral problems; (f) the cancerous growth of gambling and the philosophy of getting something for nothing; (g) the flagrant violation of principles of honesty and integrity by government officials; and a declining respect for the law.
The most critical dimension of the contemporary public morality crisis is the possibility that Christian people will accept the popular belief that the downward spiral of public morality is inevitable and nothing can be done about it. We believe that in Christ all things are possible, and that Christian people as the salt of the earth can and must exert positive influence for a revitalization of Christian morality in the contemporary world.
We call upon Baptist people in all nations to:
1. Launch a worldwide thrust for public morality, beginning in the individual homes of Christian people with a renewed commitment to Christian standards of righteousness and morality;
2. Become more effective Christian citizens (including becoming officeholders of honesty and integrity) committed to working for enactment and effective enforcement of those laws and policies designed to make communities better places in which to live and to rear children;
3. Work for the kind of mass communication media that will bring information and entertainment into the home that is consistent with the legitimate rights and needs of Christian people;
4. Work for laws, public policies, and effective administration designed to eliminate arbitrary treatment of different groups of people on the basis of race, nationality, sex, or creed; and
5. Work individually and with others to make our churches more sensitive to the ways of working effectively for public morality, and for a renewed commitment to relating prayer, Bible study, world missions, and Christian service to the achievement of public morality in our world.
Original Source Bibliography: Bryant, Cyril E. and Stewart, Debbie, editors. New People for a New World—Through Christ: Official Report of the Thirteenth Congress, Stockholm, Sweden, July 8-13, 1975. Nashville: Broadman Press, 1976.
Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Cyril E. Bryant and Debbie Stewart, eds., New People for a New World—Through Christ: Official Report of the Thirteenth Congress, Stockholm, Sweden, July 8-13, 1975 (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1976), pp. 255-259.
Online Document Full Citation: BWA World Congress Resolution 1975.1 Resolution on Religious Liberty, Human Rights, World Peace and Public Morality; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.
In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA World Congress Resolution 1975.1).
BWA World Congress Resolution 1960.2
1. That God has created man in His own image and intended for him a life of peace, mutual respect, and interdependence;
2. That the Holy Spirit moves all Christians in these days of international tension and unrest to exercise every possible influence for the furtherance of the cause of peace and good will among men, remembering the spiritual command to “seek peace, and ensue it”;
3. That nuclear testing and the stockpiling of nuclear weapons tends to foment international mistrust, suspicion, and fear, and seriously to threaten the life of man, physically and spiritually.
We urge the nations to dispense with all testing of nuclear weapons and the production of the same; and co-operatively, to agree on satisfactory methods of inspection designed to ensure that all nations shall exercise good faith in this matter. And we urge the Baptists of the world earnestly to seek to become well informed in this field of critical concern and that they engage in unceasing prayer for that increase in the spirit of understanding and mutual trust through which peace shall become possible for all mankind.
Original Source Bibliography: Ohrn, Arnold T, editor. Tenth Baptist World Congress, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 26-July 3, 1960. Nashville: Broadman Press, 1961.
Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Arnold T. Ohrn, ed., Tenth Baptist World Congress, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 26-July 3, 1960 (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1966), pp. 300-301.
Online Document Full Citation: BWA World Congress Resolution 1960.2 Resolution on Nuclear Testing; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.
In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA World Congress Resolution 1960.2).
BWA World Congress Resolution 1955.1
We, members of the Baptist World Congress, met from 16th to 22nd July, 1955, in the Royal Albert Hall, London, record our deep desire for peace between all men everywhere, and our resolve to seek it. We view with horror the actual and possible effects of the use of nuclear weapons and welcome the salutary warnings recently given by eminent men of science of their destructive powers, and also their support of the call for the abolition, not merely of such instruments of death, but of war itself which leads to their employment.
We declare our conviction that war is not the will of God, the Father of all men, who in Christ Jesus has broken down barriers between individuals, groups, nations and races and established instead fellowship and brotherly love.
We believe that fear and hate can only be dispelled by trust and love; misunderstanding and suspicions by truth; reliance on armaments and physical force by the experience of the power of God Who at last will bring all things into line with His purpose. Statesmanship and agreements are not enough, however necessary and good they may be. The evil things in the hearts of men must be met and matched by the full strength of the spiritual resources entrusted by God to His people.
We call on all members of Baptist churches throughout the world and other fellow-Christians continually to pray and work that the spirit of strife may be overcome by the Spirit of Christ in all fields of human life and endeavour, industrial and religious as well as international, to guard their lips and their thoughts against bitterness and to promote goodwill by their daily conduct and example.
We would urge our people everywhere to give prayerful and informed support to the aims and programmes of the United Nations in the confidence that God can use political instruments to further His purposes for mankind.
And finally we affirm our unshaken faith that, however difficult and long the way may be, the final triumph of the Prince of Peace is sure and the Kingdoms of the world shall become the Kingdom of our God and of His Christ.
Original Source Bibliography: Ohrn, Arnold T, editor. Golden Jubilee Congress (Ninth World Congress), London, England, July 16-22, 1955. London: The Carey Kingsgate Press Limited, 1956.
Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Arnold T. Ohrn, ed., Golden Jubilee Congress (Ninth World Congress), London, England, July 16-22, 1955 (London: The Carey Kingsgate Press Limited, 1956), p. 370.
Online Document Full Citation: BWA World Congress Resolution 1955.1 Resolution on Peace; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.
In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA World Congress Resolution 1955.1).
BWA World Congress Resolution 1965.1
In these days of tension and concern for the destiny of all mankind, we Baptists appeal to all Christians to join together to preserve peace on earth.
We must answer the call “to seek peace and pursue it.” The things that belong to “Thy peace” must be found. No nation wins a nuclear war—all are defeated. As much as one hundred and twenty billions of dollars are being spent yearly on armaments and armed forces by the nations of the world.
We are firmly convinced that with a united effort and the blessing of Almighty God, the great aim of peace and good will upon earth can be reached, to the glory of God and the joy and happiness of mankind.
We, therefore, the Baptist World Alliance meeting in Assembly in Miami Beach, Florida, U.S.A., call upon the nations of the world to desist from acts of direct or indirect aggression whether they be in Viet Nam, Santo Domingo, Tibet, Berlin, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe, the Americas, or in any other parts of the world.
We call upon the nations of the world to use the conference table to settle all international disputes and to use the agencies of the United Nations to this end.
We call on all governments to renounce the use of nuclear arms, to desist from the testing of nuclear weapons for war, and to destroy all stockpiles of nuclear arms after appropriate safeguards are given and received.
We call upon men of faith and good will in all churches, in all religions, and in all nations to use every valid channel—social, political, economic and religious—to end all forms of war and to establish a just peace for all mankind.
We call especially upon Christians to be instant in protestations against warfare in this modern age that would inevitably bring human annihilation and to be urgent in praying and working for world peace.
We proclaim Jesus Christ as the true Prince of peace and the hope of the world.
Original Source Bibliography: Nordenhaug, Josef, editor. The Truth That Makes Men Free: Official Report of the Eleventh Congress, Miami Beach, Florida, U.S.A., June 25-30, 1965. Nashville: Broadman Press, 1966.
Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Josef Nordenhaug, ed., The Truth That Makes Men Free: Official Report of the Eleventh Congress, Miami Beach, Florida, U.S.A., June 25-30, 1965 (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1966), p. 516.
Online Document Full Citation: BWA World Congress Resolution 1965.1 Resolution on Peace; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.
In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA World Congress 1965.1).