Establishing a League of Nations

Establishing a League of Nations

BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1920-07.1

A motion on the League of Nations was presented by Dr. Truett, seconded by Dr. Hunt, supported by Dr. Gambrell, President Mullins and Dr. Fowler, and carried unanimously, as follows:—

“The representatives of the Baptist World Alliance meeting in London, July 19th to 23rd, 1920, which Alliance has a constituency of eight million Church members, with an additional constituency of adherents several times that number, would submit this message to all the Peoples and Governments of the World.

“The welfare of the whole human race requires free and unconstrained opportunity of each nationality for development in fraternal relation with all other nations.

“The experience of the race, in our judgment, gives emphasis to the establishment of a League of Nations, to include all the nations desiring to enter it, for the preservation of peace and the promotion of good-will and understanding among all men.

“We call upon the framers of public policy in all lands, in the name of suffering humanity, of international justice and universal brotherhood, and above all, in the name of the Prince of Peace, to take steps to bring such a League into effective operation at the earliest possible date.”

Keywords

BWA; Brotherhood; Good-will; League of Nations; Justice; Peace.

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. 9-10.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1920-07.1 Establishing a League of Nations; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1920-07.1).

Establishing a League of Nations

Letter to the Government of Rumania

BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1937-06.2

To give effect to the foregoing resolution (I), the Committee unanimously approved (after similar scrutiny by the Sub-Committee) the following letter to the Minister-President of the Government of Rumania: —

With the utmost respect we approach you on behalf of the Baptist communion, which is the largest Protestant and Free Church communion in the world, and whose members everywhere cherish sincere goodwill to Rumania, its people, and its government.

The religious tenets of our people are well known. They abhor all that is subversive of Christian morals and public order, and their doctrines and practice tend to promote the strength and wellbeing of every nation. There is nothing in the belief and life of the Baptist people to which any State may rightly raise objection. In view of unfounded assertions, which we are informed have been made concerning Baptists in Rumania, we specifically assert that opposition in military service required by the State has never formed an element of Baptist dogma. Our people yield precedence to none in readiness to render to the State every form of service consistent with loyalty to God. To them the teachings of the New Testament as set forth (for example) in Matt. 22, 21 and Rom. 13, 1-8 are authoritative.

Our approach to Your Excellency is on purely religious grounds. It has no concern with special political or national interests in any form, and in making it we do not speak for any State or political party. Nevertheless, since the prevalence of freedom and justice makes for the strength of a people, we may fairly claim that your favourable response to our petition would serve the deepest and most enduring interests of Rumania itself; and we may also claim that the establishment of conditions in Rumania which command the approval of public opinion in free democratic countries would further the good understanding between peoples which is the chief factor in the maintenance of general wellbeing and peace.

In approaching Your Excellency, we would lay stress upon the fact that Baptists seek no exceptional favour to members of their communion. To them religious freedom is not a privilege to be granted to any group or groups, but is the common right of all loyal and peaceable citizens. They claim liberty for the full exercise of that right in all its implications.

In the name of the Executive Committee of the Baptist World Alliance, which is the ecumenical organisation representing the entire Baptist communion, we desire to express our profound regret that, after careful consideration of the “Decision” No. 4,781, dated 17th April 1937, and bearing the signature of the Minister of Cults and Arts in your Government, we are compelled to regard that “derision” as in its principle subversive of religions liberty as acknowledged in free and selfgoverning States and in the constitution of Rumania itself. Moreover, its detailed provisions involve a systematic repression which destroys for Baptists and. others freedom of worship, of preaching, and of organisation in accordance with the teachings of the New Testament.

The Executive Committee has considered the letter of protest and appeal dated 31st May 1937, forwarded to His Excellency the Minister of Cults and Arts, and of which a copy was transmitted to yourself. The members unanimously endorse the contents of the letter, and earnestly ask that it may receive the consideration of Your Excellency and Your Government, and that the decision No. 4781 may be withdrawn. They cannot conceive that it is the deliberate purpose of Your Government to forbid assemblies for purely religious objects, and to place upon liberty of preaching such restrictions as in spirit and in form are characteristic of the seventeenth rather than of the twentieth century.

To this Committee it would seem incredible that the suppression and even the extinction of a Christian Communion represented in every part of the earth is seriously proposed in Rumania. The attempt to enforce a decision involving such consequences would, indeed, shock the conscience and public opinion of the world.

We, therefore, on behalf of our communion of over 12,000,000 communicant members, representing a constituency of over forty millions, submit to Your Excellency our solemn and deliberate judgment that the decision which has aroused such deep concern should be withdrawn, and that our brethren in faith, loyal citizens of your country, should be granted the full liberty which elsewhere they enjoy, and which they have never abused to the hurt of their fellow citizens or of the State.

We would close this appeal by the renewed assurance that the prayers of our people are offered, not only for our fellow Baptists of Your Excellency’s country, but for the prosperity of the State and all its people; and we and the world-fellowship of Baptists which we represent would rejoice to add to our prayer a thanksgiving for the recognition by Your Government of the status as a Christian community of Baptist people in Rumania, and their unfettered liberty of assembly, of worship, and of preaching.

It was further resolved that the letter signed by the President and General Secretary be presented by a deputation, whose members should be selected by the General Secretary, to the Rumanian Minister in London, for transmission to his Government.

Keywords

BWA; Justice; Persecution; Religious Liberty; Rumania.

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.7-8.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1937-06.2 Letter to the Government of Rumania; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1937-06.2).

Establishing a League of Nations

Message to Baptist Churches Throughout the World

BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1967-08.5

Clement presented the proposed message, commenting on the difficulty the committee had in drawing up a statement on which all members could agree. MOTION was made, seconded, and carried, that the following Message be adopted:

A Message to Baptist Churches Throughout the World From The Executive Committee of the Baptist World Alliance

The Baptist World Alliance is a fellowship of twenty-six million Baptists of many nations and widely differing cultures and ways of life and thought. It is neither within its power nor its function to direct, admonish, or rule on the internal affairs or the political or economic procedures of its constituent bodies or of their countries.

However, it is the duty as well as the privilege of its total membership to speak out on religious liberty and other matters of common spiritual and moral concern. Our primary purpose is to bring men everywhere into a redemptive and transforming relationship with Christ, but we believe also that we are to seek to involve all Christians, individually and collectively, in bringing the Christian gospel in all its fullness to bear on every aspect of human society. We are not only to give the Gospel to all the world, but we are to relate it to all of life.

We reaffirm that war is an unchristian way of seeking to settle international problems and disputes. The war in Vietnam causes us deep concern, as do the continuing tension in the Middle East and the internal strife in other lands. We grieve for all who suffer as a result.

We hold that prejudice, intolerance, and discrimination on the ground of race or color are inconsistent with the Gospel and wrong in the sight of God.

We deplore and condemn violence, looting, rioting and the unlawful use of force, and voice our sympathy with all victims of these disorders.

We believe that it is not God’s will that people should live in poverty and wretched conditions and die of hunger or neglect.

We are perturbed that in countries where Christian communities have been strong and influential there are signs of moral decay which erodes the foundations of our civilization.

But it is not sufficient for Christians to deplore and condemn.

In our churches we must give sound instruction in Christian faith and practice, encouraging self-discipline and responsible conduct. We must foster also the patient study of the complex causes of disorder in society and conflict between communities and nations.

By spiritual, dynamic, and earnest effort, we must strive for peace and the binding up and healing of wounds. We, therefore, urge all Baptists to work toward the elimination of sinful inequalities and injustices in society, seeking in their common service for Christ to secure for every person the opportunity to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and to enjoy the spiritual and material blessings our Heavenly Father has made possible.

To this end we would commend the various agencies and means of relief of hunger and want, especially those of our constituent bodies and of the Alliance.

We appeal to our people in every nation to seek through their own governments and through the United Nations to give effective expression to their concern, and to take through proper channels all possible steps for achieving just and lasting peace. We call upon them, and indeed upon all men of goodwill, to work and pray individually and collectively for justice, freedom, stability and peace, realizing that over us all hangs the awesome threat of nuclear war.

In that it is our firm conviction that in our Lord Jesus Christ alone is there hope of justice, reconciliation, and peace, we welcome and commend all efforts to make the Gospel known to all men.

Christians cannot and should not try to constitute themselves a power bloc, using the world’s methods of pressure and coercion. The Christian way may be slow, hard, and costly, but it is the way of the Cross and of Christian love. We urge our Baptist people to be on guard against cynical despair and to give themselves to earnest prayer, honest thought, and effective work and witness in the conviction that God can overrule the folly of men and reconcile them to each other as He has reconciled us to Himself in Christ. No man can set limits to what God may do through the sincere prayer, dedicated witness, and earnest work of millions of Baptists throughout the world.

The Resolutions Committee

J. T. Ayorinde, Mrs. Edgar Bates, H. H. Hobbs, Chester Jump, Gerhard Claas, A. S. Clement, Theodore F. Adams, Chairman

MOTION was made, seconded, and carried that the report of the Committee on Resolutions be adopted as a whole, with appreciation for the work and farsightedness of the committee.

Keywords

BWA; Freedom; Hunger; Justice; Middle East; Nuclear War; Peace; Poverty; Prejudice; Racism; Religious Liberty; United Nations; Vietnam.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Nordenhaug, Josef, editor. Baptist World Alliance: Minutes of the Meeting of the Executive Committee Held at Nashville, Tennessee July 31-August 3, 1967. Washington, D.C.: Baptist World Alliance, 1967.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Josef Nordenhaug, ed., Baptist World Alliance: Minutes of the Meeting of the Executive Committee Held at Nashville, Tennessee July 31-August 3, 1967 (Washington, D.C.: Baptist World Alliance, 1967), pp. 57-58.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1967-08.5 Message to Baptist Churches Throughout the World; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1967-08.5).

Establishing a League of Nations

Peace

BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1968-08.1

Whereas, Peace is a Christlike characteristic and should be the personal goal of every Christian, expressing itself in one’s peace with God and with his fellowmen, and

Whereas, As Christians we should quest lastingly for peace at every level as we foster peace among individuals, among citizens of various countries, and ad- vocate peace among the world’s governmental bodies, and

Whereas, We are a 20th century people who have fallen far short of such a worthy Christian ideal, which failure has witnessed devastating wars and has brought violent deaths to many, hunger to more, and unbearable hardship to untold multitudes, and

Whereas, There are now areas of conflict raging in many parts of the world such as in Vietnam, the Middle East, Nigeria and others, and

Whereas, Tensions are currently mounting in yet other areas involving nearly all of the continents and threatening to erupt into open armed conflict at any moment, thereby jeopardizing the safety of persons, the security of nations and the peace of the world, and

Whereas, As Christians we are admonished by Christ to be peacemakers among men, and in our hearts we yearn desperately so to be and do:

Be it therefore resolved that we as members of the Baptist World Alliance Executive Committee assembled in annual session in Monrovia, Liberia, this first day of August 1968 do hereby affirm and declare that:

1. We express publicly our burden and distress that as civilized people, among whom dwell many confessed Christians, we have been able to achieve so little peace and have witnessed so much violence and bloodshed in our days.

2. We proclaim to the world our deep feeling that war as a means of permanent solution is untenable, and we believe that any peace that is not based on justice and righteousness is equally untenable and dangerous.

3. We commit ourselves anew to much prayer on this matter, urging fellow Christians to do the same, imploring God’s guidance as we deal with matters of such import, praying for national leaders, for our enemies and for ourselves, beseeching that God lead us, even to the point of his inter-vention in the affairs of men and nations, that his will might be done.

4. We quest diligently to be informed Christian citizens in the changing international situations, in the causes of war and concerning factors which make for peace.

5. We seek to give every possible guidance to our families, friends, and constituent conventions with the view of developing plans and programs for personal reading, for family discussion and for church educational use in the hope of building spirit and understanding on a sustained basis as we strive for peace in the whole world in our time.

6. Further, in regard to present conflicts in Vietnam, Nigeria, the Middle East and other places as well, we appeal to our members to uphold urgently in prayer all those working for speedy and just solutions.

Keywords

BWA; Conflicts; Justice; Middle East; Nigeria; Peace; Vietnam.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Nordenhaug, Josef, editor. Baptist World Alliance: Minutes of the Meeting of the Executive Committee Held at Monrovia, Liberia July 30-August 1, 1968. Washington, D.C.: Baptist World Alliance, 1968.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Josef Nordenhaug, ed., Baptist World Alliance: Minutes of the Meeting of the Executive Committee Held at Monrovia, Liberia July 30-August 1, 1968 (Washington, D.C.: Baptist World Alliance, 1968), pp. 42-43.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1968-08.1 Peace; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1968-08.1).

Establishing a League of Nations

Peace with Justice

BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1973-07.2

MOTION by G. H. Blackburn was seconded and carried: 23EC73 that the following statement be accepted—

WHEREAS peace with justice has been an enduring dream and a continuing vision of the people of God in general, and of Baptists in particular; and

WHEREAS peace among nations, races, generations, classes, and the sexes continues to escape us,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that we reaffirm the commitment made at the Twelfth Congress of the Baptist World Alliance in Tokyo, three years ago, to work with others “toward greater understanding and peace.”

BE IT ALSO RESOLVED that we earnestly thank God for whatever lessening of hostilities has taken place within the past year, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we express special gratitude to God for evident improvement in relationships between east and West, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that, as we thank God for His peace that passes all understanding being unfolded by His grace in our personal lives, we pledge ourselves to work faithfully as instruments of His peace for the things that make for peace—justice, truth, and righteousness—to the furtherance of the great goal of peace on earth and good will among men.

Keywords

BWA; Justice; Peace; Peacemaking.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Denny, Robert S., editor. Baptist World Alliance: Minutes of the Executive Committee Held at Einsiedeln, Switzerland, July 13-17, 1973. Washington, D.C.: Baptist World Alliance, 1973.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Robert S. Denny, ed., Baptist World Alliance: Minutes of the Executive Committee Held at Einsiedeln, Switzerland, July 13-17, 1973 (Washington, D.C.: Baptist World Alliance, 1973), p. 32.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1973-07.2 Peace with Justice; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1973-07.2).