Communication with Eastern European Countries

Communication with Eastern European Countries

BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1969-08.4

(Presented by van der Laan)

1. We the Executive Committee of the Baptist World Alliance meeting in Baden near Vienna, Austria, August 2-6, 1969 recognize with gratitude to God the presence of delegations from the following Eastern European countries: Czechoslovakia, German Democratic Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, U.S.S.R., Yugoslavia.

2. We urge our unions to use every available opportunity to have contact with the churches and leaders in these countries and to encourage any open and legitimate means of communication and cooperation.

3. Nevertheless we note with some apprehension the unauthorized use of the name of the Baptist World Alliance and its member-unions by certain in-dividuals who, having visited some of the above-mentioned countries, seek, through their writings and public utterances, to raise money for the causes they represent. We recommend that our constituent unions and their leaders use their discretion and exercise due caution in any response they may be asked to make. [END] [Historian’s Note: See below; action 3 eliminated by subsequent vote.]

Hargroves pointed out that this resolution is in three parts. The presence of representatives from the eastern countries is recognized cooperation is encouraged, and the third part grows out of a special situation. Nordenhaug explained that both his name and that of the Baptist World Alliance had recently been wrongly included in a list of organizations participating in a demonstration. In other ways the BWA name has been used without authorization.

In the discussion that followed, objection was raised to the vagueness of allegations of the third part of the resolution. At the the same time it was felt that it would be unwise to be more specific.

MOTION was made, and carried, that the third part of the resolution be eliminated.

Motion was made by Stassen that there be an added resolution that members be alerted that there have been incidents of the unauthorized use of the name of the BWA and its officers, and that members be on guard against such incidents.

McCall moved, and it was seconded, that this statement be commended for consideration by the Baptist brethren, as it is not suitable for a resolution.

Keywords

BWA; Czechoslovakia; Eastern Europe; German Democratic Republic; Hungary; Poland; Romania; U.S.S.R.; Yugoslavia.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Nordenhaug, Josef, editor. Baptist World Alliance: Minutes of the Meeting of the Executive Committee Held at Baden Bei Wien, Austria August 2-6, 1969. Washington, D.C.: Baptist World Alliance, 1969.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Josef Nordenhaug, ed., Baptist World Alliance: Minutes of the Meeting of the Executive Committee Held at Baden Bei Wien, Austria August 2-6, 1969 (Washington, D.C.: Baptist World Alliance, 1969), pp. 57-58.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1969-08.4 Communication with Eastern European Countries; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1969-08.4).

Communication with Eastern European Countries

Theological Training and “The Seminary Fund”

BWA General Council Resolution 1977.7

Carl W. Tiller had been asked to prepare a report for the Council on efforts made in past years by Baptists of the world to provide theological training and to establish a theological seminary in the heart of Europe. His written report contained a history of a seminary fund for training in the Slavic languages, begun in 1908 by Baptists. A special offering was received during the 1911 World Congress to augment the fund and “to train Slavic candidates for the gospel ministry.” While exact financial records are not extant from that period, it appears that the contributions received for the fund did not exceed $50,000, but earnings from investments had been added to the contributions.

More than $68,000 has been expended in two attempts to start a seminary in Russia. A total of $44,472.78 was spent in 1922-23 for establishment of a seminary at Leningrad. The school operated for several years and educated about 400 men. An additional $24,500 was remitted to Moscow for a theological school opened there, with a 40-year lease, in late 1928. The school was closed and the lease cancelled a short time later, but perhaps as many as 250 men received training there.

Action in 1950 by the Executive Committee established $50,000 as the “principal” of the Fund, and designated the remainder of money then in the fund as “earnings.”

Beginning in 1959, the Executive Committee entered into a venture of lending a portion of the Fund to the Alliance general fund, for its use in acquiring real estate adjacent to the Alliance’s property in Washington, D.C. By official action of the Alliance, this loan was subsequently mode non-interest- bearing; no provision has been made for repayment.

“There has been much misunderstanding and confusion over the ‘Seminary Fund,'” Tiller said. He continued, “It is desirable to use such moneys as remain in the fund for the purpose for which the fund was started—theological training among the Slavic-speaking peoples—and to fix responsibility therefor in an appropriate committee.”

MOTION by Gerhard Claas was seconded, and passed 30GC77 that the following resolution be adopted:

Having reviewed once again the history and situation of the Seminary Fund and the matter of theological training for eastern Europe, the General Council

1. Cancels any obligation of the Alliance towards the Fund with regard to the portion of the fund used by the Alliance in the purchase of real estate, reported as $87,053.41, with that amount recognized as and considered to be a contribution from Slavic-speaking people who are in currency-controlled countries;

2. Directs that the remainder of the Fund balance, reported as $110,251.70 at the start of the current year, be transferred into the Baptist World Alliance Relief Fund, designated therein for Inter-church Aid for theological education of ministerial students, speaking one or more of the Slavic languages;

3. Directs that $50.000 of the sum so transferred be reserved for an institution of theological training in the U.S.S.R., to be paid to the All-Union Council of Evangelical Christians-Baptists promptly upon request after the necessary permissions are obtained from the authorities for the opening of such an institution;

4. Authorizes the Division of Relief and Development to allocate the remainder of the sum so transferred for theological training of ministerial students of Eastern European churches, including (but not limited to) supplementation of the payment for use in the U.S.S.R. if needed;

5. Authorizes the Division of Relief and Development to seek additional donations for the account for theological training of ministerial students of Eastern Europe, if the aforementioned moneys are, in the Division’s opinion, insufficient, and

6. Closes out the Seminary Fund as a separate entity.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Denny, Robert S., editor. Baptist World Alliance 1977 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. Washington, DC: Baptist World Alliance, 1977.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Robert S. Denny, ed., Baptist World Alliance 1977 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (Washington, DC: Baptist World Alliance, 1977), pp. 48- 49.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 1977.7 Theological Training and “The Seminary Fund”; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 1977.7).
For more information about Baptist World Alliance resolutions, visit BaptistWorld.org/resolutions.

Communication with Eastern European Countries

Prayer and Concern for the Eastern Part of Europe and the Soviet Union

BWA General Council Resolution 1991.2

THANKFUL to God for the positive changes that have taken place in Eastern Europe and the whole of the Soviet Union, including the increasing freedom experienced in many aspects of the life of these nations,

THANKFUL particularly for those places where greater freedom of religion has been evidenced and new opportunities for evangelization and theological education have been made possible,

MINDFUL however, of the impact that turmoil in this region has upon the whole global community and joining with our brothers and sisters in their concern over the crises and upheavals which have been emerging in the Soviet republics, Yugoslavia and other national and ethnic groups which are striving for independence,

SEEKING to identify with our brothers and sisters in this area in their deep concern over the growing religious intolerance of the dominant historical churches that are failing to recognize that all Christian denominations and religions be guaranteed religious freedom by constitution and be treated with fairness, equality and justice by the majority groups,

THEREFORE, the General Council of the Baptist World Alliance, meeting in Montreal, Canada, July 10- 13, 1991, resolves to call upon the world community of Baptists to join in prayer for a peaceful and authentic solution to these political and economic upheavals and to join in prayer for those experiencing religious repression, asking for God’s intervening grace and guidance for the leaders of these peoples at this decisive moment in history.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we call upon the officers of the Baptist World Alliance and its member bodies to communicate to the political and religious leaders these concerns over religious

repression in this region and urge them to honor the standing right of all peoples two equal freedom or religious expression.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Lotz, Denton, editor. Baptist World Alliance 1991 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. McLean, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 1991.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Denton Lotz, ed., Baptist World Alliance 1991 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (McLean, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 1991), p. 37.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 1991.2 Prayer and Concern for the Eastern Part of Europe and the Soviet Union; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 1991.2).

Communication with Eastern European Countries

Tribute to Dr. Billy Graham

BWA World Congress Resolution 1995.6

The General Council and 17th World Congress of the Baptist World Alliance meeting in Buenos Aires,
Argentina, July 31-August 6, 1995, with the theme Come Celebrate Christ: The Hope of the World,

GREETS Dr. Billy Graham in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and on behalf of his Baptist brothers and
sisters around the world;

RECOGNIZES the unique contribution made by him to the evangelism of the world and the extension of
the Kingdom of Christ;

HONORS, with deep gratitude to God, the faithfulness, integrity and servant ministry of this outstanding
Christian leader and the model he provides for future generations;

ACKNOWLEDGES the powerful impact the Berlin, Lausanne and Amsterdam Congresses on World
Evangelization have had, not only on Baptists, but on the church worldwide, affirming that all who belong
to Christ must obey the Great Commission;

THANKS God that Dr. Graham’s crusades have called for a commitment to do justly, to love mercy and to
walk humbly with God and have encouraged Christians worldwide to understand that true evangelism
issues in social action;

EXPRESSES GRATITUDE to Dr. Graham for helping Baptists gain greater freedom in many countries,
and especially for his labors during the last days of the communist regimes of Eastern Europe when he
intervened with governments to secure the release of Baptist and other prisoners and worked tirelessly for
justice and religious freedom;

PRAYS that Dr. Graham may continue to proclaim, with power and great spiritual authority, Jesus Christ
as the way, the truth and the life;

REGRETS that Dr. Graham could not be present in Buenos Aires, but acknowledges his support and
encouragement of the Baptist World Alliance, having addressed almost every World Congress since 1950;

THEREFORE with wholehearted love and joy, the Baptist World Alliance offers this tribute to the
ministry of Dr. Billy Graham and sends this resolution and expression of thanks to him.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Ryan, Wendy E., editor. Celebrate Christ: The Hope of the World; Official
Report of the Seventeenth Baptist World Congress, Buenos Aires, Argentina, August 1-16, 1995
. McLean,
VA: Baptist World Alliance, 1995.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Wendy E. Ryan, ed., Celebrate Christ: The Hope of the World;
Official Report of the Seventeenth Baptist World Congress, Buenos Aires, Argentina, August 1-16, 1995

(McLean, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 1995), p. 208.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA World Congress Resolution 1995.6 Tribute to Dr. Billy Graham;
https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions
.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA World Congress Resolution 1995.6).