Church and State and Religious Freedom

Church and State and Religious Freedom

BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1937-06.3

(Page 8 – Background to the Resolution)

  1. Germany.
    Statements were made as to the position of Baptists in Germany, whose world (it was reported) had not been seriously disturbed; and discussion took place as to whether it was desirable to take action on the subject of repressive action towards other Christian bodies. The Committee considered it unwise to attempt to deal with matters concerning which it is not specifically informed; but resolved that a resolution of a general kind should be inserted in the minutes of this meeting reaffirming the historic position of Baptists as to Church and State and as to freedom of religious belief and practice. (See No. 20 following.)
  2. Church and State and Religious Freedom.
    This Committee feels it desirable to call special attention to the resolution adopted by the Fifth Congress of the Baptist World Alliance held at Berlin in August, 1934:—

“The members of this Congress believe that the Church is the company of the people of Christ with the Lord Himself according to His promise in the midst of them, and that He by His Spirit guides them into all Truth and makes plain to them the Will of God for them.

“They hold that any interference with the freedom of the Church is an intrusion between God and His people, and that to limit the liberty of the Church is to hinder the working out of God’s purpose of redemption for mankind through His people.

“They therefore deny the right of the State to interfere in matters of religion, and equally the right of any church to enter into such relations with the State as may compromise its witness or limit its freedom to follow the Will of Christ as revealed to its members, and they believe that any system of State establishment of religion tends rather to the secularizing of the Church than to the spiritualizing of the State.

“The Church is God’s appointed instrument for the redemption of the World and any infringement of its freedom limits its power to accomplish this task.

“The members of this Congress claim for all religious bodies full liberty in matters of faith and worship and the unrestricted right to preach and to teach the Truth as it is revealed to them.

“They further declare their conviction that the above principles tend to promote the true welfare alike of the Church and of the State.”

The Committee declares the entire Baptist communion throughout the world to be resolutely opposed to religious repression of every kind, whether directed against Baptists or others, and it expresses the unwavering sympathy of all our people for the victims of persecution or repression, whether belonging to our own or any other communion.

Keywords

BWA; Church and State; German Baptists; Germany; Religious Freedom.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Baptist World Alliance: Minutes of Executive Committee Held at The Offices of the Alliance, London, on Tuesday, June 29th, 1937. London: Baptist World Alliance, 1937.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Baptist World Alliance: Minutes of Executive Committee Held at The Offices of the Alliance, London, on Tuesday, June 29th, 1937 (London: Baptist World Alliance, 1937), pp. 8, 10.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1937-06.3 Church and State and Religious Freedom; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1937-06.3).

Church and State and Religious Freedom

German Baptist Mission in the Cameroons

BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1931-05.1

11. Cameroons.:—
The General Secretary explained in detail the position which had arisen, and on the motion of Dr. W. O.

Carver the following resolution was adopted unanimously:—

That in the matter of the Cameroons this Executive Committee thoroughly approve the procedure of its General Secretary in the efforts to procure permission for German Baptists to return to their mission fields, and that we instruct him to proceed, with careful and considerate methods, and taking account of all interests involved, to use every effort to bring about the consent of the French Government for the resumption of German Baptist missionary work in that mandated territory.

Keywords

BWA; Cameroons; German Baptists; Missions.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Baptist World Alliance: Minutes of Executive Committee, Held at Louisville, KY, U.S.A. on Wednesday, May 20th and Thursday, May 21st, 1931. London: Baptist World Alliance, 1931.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Baptist World Alliance: Minutes of Executive Committee, Held at Louisville, KY, U.S.A. on Wednesday, May 20th and Thursday, May 21st, 1931 (London: Baptist World Alliance, 1931), p. 6.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1931-05.1 German Baptist Mission in the Cameroons; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1931-05.1).

Church and State and Religious Freedom

Resolution of Thanks

BWA World Congress Resolution 1934.9

187. The Honorary Associate Secretary, Dr. Clifton D. Gray, in speak-ing to the subject, “What this Congress has accomplished,” moved the following Resolution of Thanks on behalf of the Resolutions Committee, with particular appreciation of the services of the General Secretary, Dr. J. H. Rushbrooke, and of the Rev. Walter Hoffmann, the leader of the Congress Press Bureau:

“First of all we wish to record our sincere appreciation of all that our German Baptist brethren have done, at no little sacrifice to themselves, to make the Fifth Baptist World Congress a complete success. They have provided one of the largest and best equipped halls which the city of Berlin affords, and nothing contributing to our comfort and happiness has been neglected. They have given hospitality to many delegates. We cannot say too much of the courtesy and friendliness which have been extended to us by the municipality and the citizens of this great city. It is difficult in a formal resolution to express what is really in our hearts as we think of the untiring efforts of scores of persons who have worked unceasingly behind the scenes, and who have given themselves to the com-plex and difficult task of caring for a convention attended by thousands of delegates and visitors. The music of the choirs of our Berlin Baptist Churches has been uplifting in an unusual degree. Most effective has been the work of the Press bureau as shown in the publicity given by the daily papers of Berlin and throughout the Reich. Those who have served as inter-preters have done their work with great fidelity. To Doctor Simoleit, as representing the whole body of those who have so splendidly served us, we accord our grateful thanks.

“We are gratified to learn of the solemn assurance of the Reichsbischof, made to a group of some 25 or so leaders whom he had invited to confer with him, that it is not the intention to bring about a union of the free churches with the Reichkirche or to exercise any compulsion upon them.”

188. The Resolution was carried unanimously.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Rushbrooke, J. H., editor. Fifth Baptist World Congress: Berlin, August 4- 10, 1934. London: Baptist World Alliance, 1934.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: J. H. Rushbrooke, ed., Fifth Baptist World Congress: Berlin, August 4-10, 1934 (London: Baptist World Alliance, 1934), p. 19.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA World Congress Resolution 1934.9 Resolution of Thanks; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA World Congress Resolution 1934.9).

Church and State and Religious Freedom

The Centenary of the German Baptists

BWA World Congress Resolution 1934.2

107. An Address was given by Prof. C. Schneider, Germany, on the subject: “The Centenary of the German Baptists.”

108. The following Resolution was moved by Dr. J. W. Bradbury, U.S.A.:

“The Fifth Baptist World Congress recognizes a Divine Providence in the fact that it is meeting in Berlin in the centenary year of the German Baptist Movement. The members recall with deep gratitude that one hundred years ago in Hamburg seven persons received New Testament baptism. These covenanted with one another to form a Biblical Church, solemnly choosing and initiating J. G. Oncken as their pastor, a man evidently called and chosen by the grace of God to become the Apostle of the Baptist Communion in the European Continent, and whose life and service were blest in such rich measure that, when he died, 30,000 Baptists mourned him as a spiritual father. The members of this Congress unite in praising God for all that Christ the Lord has accomplished through the Baptist fathers J. G. Oncken, J. Köbner and G. W. Lehmann, to the honour of God and to the healing of souls. The German Baptist movement, in the first hundred years of its history has held aloft the primitive Christian principle, “One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism,” and has gathered multitudes of adherents about this standard.

“The members of the Fifth World Congress rejoice with the Ger-man Baptists that the Baptist movement has persisted m the land of the Reformation, that a flame of truth once extin-guished in blood again burns clearly, and that the work of the Baptists enjoys today public recognition and honour. They pray the Lord who lives and works in His Church to grant their German brethren blessing and victory in the Gospel, so that the second century of their history may see such inward and outward advance in the work of the Lord as shall accord with His promise to His flock, “It is your Father s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom.”

109. The Rev. Boris Busilov, Rumania, seconded the Resolution. 110. The Resolution was supported by Mr. John Nuveen, U.S.A. 111. Hymn 1 was sung.

112. The foregoing Resolution was put to the meeting and was carried unanimously.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Rushbrooke, J. H., editor. Fifth Baptist World Congress: Berlin, August 4- 10, 1934. London: Baptist World Alliance, 1934.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: J. H. Rushbrooke, ed., Fifth Baptist World Congress: Berlin, August 4-10, 1934 (London: Baptist World Alliance, 1934), pp. 12-13.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA World Congress Resolution 1934.2 The Centenary of the German Baptists; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA World Congress Resolution 1934.2).