Religious Liberty and Soul Freedom

Religious Liberty and Soul Freedom

BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1920-07.3

A resolution on Religious Liberty, drawn up by Dr. Clifford, President Mullins and Dr. Truett, was passed in the following form:—

“It is the sense of this body that in this period of reconstruction and readjustment in the civil and religious life of the nations of the world, following the world-war, it is of the highest importance that full religious liberty should be granted to all peoples who do not now enjoy it. We urge this in view of the long and tragic struggles of many people of the earth for the privilege of worshipping God according to the dictates of their own consciences; in view of the present opportunity in the enactment of new constitutions and new laws in various nations; and most of all in view of the inalienable and God-given right of every human being to the free exercise of his mind and conscience in all matters of religion.

“Baptists throughout the ages contended for soul freedom. This is to be sharply distinguished from religious toleration, which is merely a concession by one group of men to others. Religious liberty places all men on exactly the same basis before God and in relation to human governments. We therefore call upon the governments of the world to delay no longer in enacting into law this priceless human right.”

Keywords

BWA; Conscience; Religious Liberty; Soul Freedom.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Baptist World Alliance: Minutes of Executive Committee, and Other Representative Baptists, Held at the Baptist Church House, Southampton Row, London, W.C. 1., From 19th to 23rd July, 1920. London: Baptist World Alliance, 1920.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Baptist World Alliance: Minutes of Executive Committee, and Other Representative Baptists, Held at the Baptist Church House, Southampton Row, London, W.C. 1., From 19th to 23rd July, 1920 (London: Baptist World Alliance, 1920), pp. 10-11.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1920-07.3 Religious Liberty and Soul Freedom; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1920-07.3).

Religious Liberty and Soul Freedom

Openness in the Soviet Union

BWA General Council Resolution 1988.1

Today we commend Christians in the Soviet Union, and especially Baptists, for their positive contributions, faithfully made in season and out, to their country’s morality, culture and history.

For many years the Baptist World Alliance has appealed to the government of the USSR to permit a larger measure of religious freedom for its people.

At this General Council of the Baptist World Alliance, meeting in Nassau, the Bahamas, July 1988, we:

Acknowledge, with thanksgiving to God, a widening degree of openness afforded to all citizens by the government of the Soviet Union which has licensed the printing and importation of a substantial number of Bibles and religious books and permitted Baptists to take steps toward audiovisual production;

Commend this openness and express to fellow Baptists in the USSR heartfelt and prayerful support, especially as they move toward the realization of their long-sought vision for a seminary for those called of God to proclaim the Word both to believers and unbelievers in their homeland; and

Express the hope that this liberalizing spirit will continue to the realization of a new law about freedom of conscience for all citizens, thus facilitating the availability of Bibles, amnesty for all prisoners of conscience and the implementation of constitutional guarantees in the matters of ministry and religious training, especially for children and young people.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Lotz, Denton, editor. Baptist World Alliance 1988 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. McLean, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 1988.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Denton Lotz, ed., Baptist World Alliance 1988 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (McLean, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 1988), p. 68.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 1988.1 Openness in the Soviet Union; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 1988.1).

Religious Liberty and Soul Freedom

The Sanctity of Human Life

BWA General Council Resolution 1993.5

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance, meeting in Harare, Zimbabwe August 6-9, 1993,

AFFIRMS that because all life is the gift of God and that every person is created in the image of God, human life is sacred;

LAMENTS the numerous violations of that sacredness which occur throughout the world, including; • National and international conflict;
• Widespread resort to abortion;
• Female infanticide;

• Murder and all other illegal termination of life;
• Capital punishment;
• Euthanasia, suicide and assisted suicide; and
• Any irresponsible behavior which destroys human life.

RECOGNIZES that Baptists accept the Bible as authoritative in matters of faith and conduct;

ACKNOWLEDGES the complexity of these issues and the diversity of understanding and approaches which arise as Baptists seek to discover the mind of Christ with respect to these matters;

COMMENDS member bodies which have undertaken study and action on this subject and invites them to share the results of their work through the Baptist World Alliance; and

CALLS Baptists to honor the principle of the individual’s freedom of conscience to interpret Scripture under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and to respect one another’s integrity where differences exist as together we seek to affirm the sanctity of human life.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Lotz, Denton, editor. Baptist World Alliance 1993-1994 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. McLean, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 1993.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Denton Lotz, ed., Baptist World Alliance 1993-1994 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (McLean, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 1993), p. 111.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 1993.5 The Sanctity of Human Life; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 1993.5).

Religious Liberty and Soul Freedom

Terrorism

BWA World Congress Resolution 1985.6

WHEREAS terrorism as a technique of dealing with political or ideological conflict has dramatically increased during recent years, and

WHEREAS indiscriminate attacks against civilians through bombing of airplanes, highjacking, kidnapping, harassment and murder are direct attacks against the sanctity of human life and contrary to the will of God, and

WHEREAS religious fervor has often been described as the fuel that drives the group actions to terrorism, WE RESOLVE THAT:

  1. We deplore the destruction of human life and the deliberate infliction of human suffering upon innocent people.
  2. We recognize the practice of terrorism by any group as a violation of international law, as well as an assault on the conscience of humanity.
  3. We call upon Baptists in every nation to urge their respective governments to condemn terrorism and to prevent its spread by refusing asylum or support for terrorists.
  4. We also call upon Baptists to support constructive efforts by their governments to achieve international cooperation for the eradication of terrorism and its causes from the earth.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Kerstan, Reinhold J. And Burke, Ruby J., editors. Out of the Darkness Into the Light: Official Report of the Fifteenth Congress, Los Angeles, California, USA, July 2-7, 1985. McLean, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 1985.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Reinhold J. Kerstan and Ruby J. Burke, eds., Out of the Darkness Into the Light: Official Report of the Fifteenth Congress, Los Angeles, California, USA, July 2-7, 1985 (McLean, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 1985), p. 221.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA World Congress Resolution 1985.6 Terrorism; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA World Congress Resolution 1985.6).

Religious Liberty and Soul Freedom

Working with Other Religions and Organizations for World Peace

BWA World Congress Resolution 1970.5

The Baptist World Alliance, in its continued and determined efforts for world peace with justice, and in its further endeavors to overcome the poverty and suffering of peoples of every nation, is willing to work with other religious groups and organizations toward these ends, doing so in a manner consistent with our Baptist principles and Baptist beliefs.

Our officers are requested to carry out this policy, and to report on such working together to the Executive Committee and to the next Congress of the Baptist World Alliance.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Bryant, Cyril E., editor. Reconciliation Through Christ: Official Report of the Twelfth Congress, Tokyo, Japan, July 12-18, 1970. Valley Forge: Judson Press, 1971.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Cyril E. Bryant, ed., Reconciliation Through Christ: Official Report of the Twelfth Congress, Tokyo, Japan, July 12-18, 1970 (Valley Forge: Judson Press, 1971), p. 254.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA World Congress Resolution 1970.5 Working with Other Religions and Organizations for World Peace; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA World Congress 1970.5).