BWA General Council Resolution 2006.6
The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance, meeting in Mexico City, July 3-8, 2006:
Reaffirms at the beginning of a new century of Baptist World Alliance life and witness our commitment to proclaim and demonstrate, through word and deed, our faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
Recognizes that our Christian faith needs to be expressed and lived out in societies throughout the world that are increasingly multi-cultural and multi-lingual.
Acknowledges the need to communicate the good news of Jesus Christ to those who do not speak a “dominant” language and can be easily overlooked.
Celebrates the rich diversity and worth of the many cultures and languages represented within the Baptist World Alliance and beyond.
Rejoices that the good news of Jesus Christ transcends and enhances all cultures.
Original Source Bibliography: Lotz, Denton, editor. Baptist World Alliance 2006 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2006.
Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Denton Lotz, ed., Baptist World Alliance 2006 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2006), p. 78.
Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 2006.6 Evangelism and Missions; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.
In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 2006.6).
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).
1970 BWA World Congress Message to the Churches
A statement drafted by a special committee, A. S. Clement, of England, Chairman, and adopted by the 12th Baptist World Congress, Tokyo
We who have the privilege and joy of attending the Twelfth Congress of the Baptist World Alliance at Tokyo greet you, the members of churches in fellowship with the Alliance. In this written message we cannot convey the wonder of the inspiration felt in worship, prayer, and fellowship with so large a gathering of representatives from so many countries, meeting for the first time in Asia. Here we would clearly affirm our conviction that Baptists have a significant contri-bution to make to the whole church of the Lord Jesus Christ, and to the world.
Our finest contribution, we know, will be as true followers of our Lord, holding fast to faith in him, submitting ourselves freely to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and living in the world as our Lord would have us live. But those convictions which distinguish us from our fellow Christians we believe to be important in the present situa-tion of rapid change in which institutions, traditions, and beliefs are under critical scrutiny.
We would that all would recognize the Lord Jesus Christ, as revealed in the Holy Scriptures, as the sole and absolute authority in all matters of faith and practice, realizing that in so believing we ourselves are under a solemn obligation to be continually seeking to know more perfectly his will. We hold that each church has liberty under the guidance of the Holy Spirit to interpret and implement Christ’s teaching, understanding the responsibility resting on us of ensuring that each church is a true fellowship of believing persons. Our understanding of Christian baptism as the baptism of believers only stresses the necessity of conversion and personal faith and carries with it the recognition that we are called in Christ to a new life of goodness in fellowship with Christ and with one another. Our understanding of the nature of the church involves our recognizing as members with us in that one church all who truly believe in Christ. We are therefore under an obligation to foster right relations with other Christians, serving with them and sharing worship and fellow- ship with them as far as conscience permits.
At a time when so many attempts are made to condition the thinking of human beings, and when many are deprived of their full liberties, it is necessary for us to continue to strive for freedom and liberty of conscience. We must of course beware ourselves of being led astray by the half-truths of propagandists, and above all of falling into the error of denying to others the liberties which we claim for ourselves.
1970 BWA World Congress Message
While we rejoice in the remarkable achievements of this space age, we are aware that our world is becoming so dominated by secularism that its moral and spiritual foundations are in danger. Our generation has been called to serve Christ in a world of revolution where war, racial prejudice and tension, poverty, hunger, and disease cause tragic and widespread misery and suffering. Political action as well as personal and corporate service is necessary to remedy these evils, but there must be a frank recognition among us of differences of political judgments and of the fact that different Baptist communities are in quite different situations as to the extent to which they can influence public opinion and initiate or encourage political action. What is required is that according to our circumstances and opportunities we must always seek to help and serve in the name of our Lord. An essential precondition is the patient study of the causes of these evils so that we may know what action is appropriate, at the same time working for reconciliation between man and man and being ready to share with others the good things which are ours, by the mercy of God.
We know that so much of the injustice and suffering in the world is the result of sin. The love of power, possessiveness, selfishness, pride, anger, and other sins have their effect in society. The supreme need of the world is of the Savior through whom a man can receive forgiveness and new life. So our main task must still be the declaration in word and in deed of the gospel which not only declares the mighty acts of the Living God, but also calls men to repentance and faith and the way of the cross.
The main theme of the Congress is “Reconciliation Through Christ.” This we know to be the answer to the needs of our time, personal, in the community, and in the nation. And mankind in the seventies is aspiring to maturity expressed in the coming together of peoples. We who know that true unity is only in the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ have a grave responsibility and a glorious opportunity. As the apostle Paul declares: “God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself . . . and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:19, RSV).
BWA; Arms Race; Asia; Culture; Discrimination; Equality; Freedom; Human Rights; Hunger; Immorality; Justice; Marriage; Media; Morality; Nuclear; Peace; Prejudice; Racism; Religious Freedom; Reconciliation; Religious Liberty; War.
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), pp. 245-247.
Online Document Full Citation: 1970 BWA World Congress Message to the Churches; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.
In-text Online Document Citation: (1970 BWA World Congress Message).
BWA General Council Resolution 2013.6
The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance meeting in Ocha Rios, Jamaica, July 1-6, 2013:
RECOGNIZES the church’s role in the mission of God, who intends the restoration of all things in Christ Jesus;
ACKNOWLEDGES the church’s vocation to bear witness to the Gospel in word and deed;
ENCOURAGES all Baptist conventions, unions, churches and individuals to recognize their high calling as participants in God’s mission and to renew their passion for the fulfillment of the mandate of the church to share the good news to all people; and
CALLS UPON all Baptists to ensure that, as they embrace a holistic approach to mission, their proclamation is relevant to the realities of the local context and culture.
BWA General Council Resolution 2013.6 Proclamation of the Gospel
Original Source Bibliography: Callam, Neville, editor. Baptist World Alliance 2013 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2013.
Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Neville Callam, ed., Baptist World Alliance 2013 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2013), p. 142.
Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 2013.6 Proclamation of the Gospel; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.
In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 2013.6).