Disarmament

Disarmament

BWA General Council Resolution 1981.5

We are encouraged by preparations now being made for another Special Assembly of the U.N. General Assembly on the subject of disarmament and recognize the crucial importance of this subject for the future of mankind. We address ourselves with the strongest possible conviction to our own member bodies and also to the United Nations and to the governments of the world to act with determination and expedition to eradicate threats to peace created by the building up of armaments, both conventional and nuclear.

A. To our Member Bodies

1. Recognizing the urgency expressed by the Baptist World Alliance Congresses of 1970, 1975 and 1980 in respect of the need for world disarmament and the even greater urgency at this present time:

We call upon our member bodies to give most serious consideration to this matter, to promote understanding of the issues among their own constituencies and to take active responsibility within their own nations and states to preserve and propagate peace and to effect the reduction and ultimate cessation of armaments, both conventional and nuclear.

2. Recognizing that:

• There is sufficient nuclear weaponry at present in the world’s arsenals to destroy the earth several times over and the absurdity of “Mutually Assured Destruction” (MAD);

• A new and terrible stage has been reached in the escalation of both production and modernization of nuclear weaponry;

• Baptists share fully in the deep concern expressed by the peoples of the world for peace;

BWA General Council Resolution 1981.5

• At the United Nations Special Session on Disarmament (UNSSD) in 1978, 149 nations of the world agreed through their Government representatives who work for “General and complete disarmament, ” and

• The second UNSSD is to take place in June 1982.
We urge the member bodies of the Baptist World Alliance to study the deliberations of the United Nations

and the aims of movements for world disarmament and to take appropriate action.

B. To the United Nations and to Governments

1. Recognizing that the armaments race depleted the world’s natural resources, diverts skills and material supplies from alleviating hunger, poverty and disease, aggravates inflation and places the world in the grave danger of a holocaust in which all humankind would be the loser:

We urge the multilateral cessation, for at least a decade, of armaments production, conventional and nuclear, offensive and defensive; the cessation of research and development in nuclear arms and in new forms of weaponry and weapon delivery systems and the avoidance of any arming of aircraft.

2. Recognizing that the threat of war is the greatest peril facing the world today and noting the reluctance of nuclear weapon states to agree to a convention of limit nuclear weapons:

We condemn the folly of relying, as at present, on the concept of “Mutually Assured Destruction.”

We assert that the use of nuclear weapons is no ground for security and is as abhorrent as bacteriological or chemical warfare which have been condemned as uncivilized since the Geneva Protocol of 1925.

We recommend that each of the nuclear weapon states provide a token of their integrity in coming to a disarmament conference by disassembling one nuclear weapon each, even prior to discussion.

We further recommend that each of the heavily armed powers by asked to renounce any aim of dominating the world with its political, economic or social systems.

We urge that the two great nuclear world powers, the USA and the USSR, in the persons of their appointed leaders, earnestly seek as soon as possible a meeting to demonstrate to the rest of the world their readiness to reduce world tension by exhibiting together in a practical way their specific commitment to disarmament and world peace.

3. Recognizing that certain basic major problems need to be addressed more fully than heretofore if disarmament discussions are to succeed:

We ask that s serious attempt be made,

First, to convince the nuclear weapon states that their possession of such weapons does not contribute to their security but is a source of insecurity, for themselves and for others;

Second, to provide to the non-nuclear weapon states some reasonable form of assurance against the use or threat of nuclear weapons;

Third, in the western bloc to offset the public and political educational efforts of the military-industrial complex to persuade the public that the armaments business must continue;

Fourth, equally in the planned economy countries, to encourage planners to rearrange priorities in such a way that, by subordinating armaments, their priorities will contribute to economic growth.

4. Recognizing that the commitment to disarmament and peace should be matched by the commitment to seek the removal of the causes of conflict and that such causes often center around perceived injustices and/or lack of fundamental freedoms:

We encourage the United Nations and the States of the world to pursue with vigor such goals as a just economic and social order land the principle of self-determination in territorial disputes, along with the elimination of all forms of discrimination against racial, ethnic and religious minorities, in the belief that peace, justice and freedom are goals which can best to achieved together and progress toward justice and freedom will encourage progress toward peace.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Claas, Gerhard, editor. Baptist World Alliance 1981 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. Washington, DC: Baptist World Alliance, 1981.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Gerhard Claas, ed., Baptist World Alliance 1981 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (Washington, DC: Baptist World Alliance, 1981), pp. 40-41.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 1981.5 Disarmament; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

Disarmament

Disarmament

BWA General Council Resolution 1982.5

We reiterate the conviction expressed by every Baptist World Congress form 1970 to the present, that the levels of fighting forces and armaments of the nations must be reduced. The arms race between the super- powers and the increased military readiness of all nations constitute a danger to peace and are an economic and social waste. They are inconsistent with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The very presence of nuclear weapons and the willingness of powers possessing such weapons to use them is an affront to our Christian beliefs. We reaffirm the resolution on disarmament endorsed in San Juan last year.

We commend the recently concluded Special Session on Disarmament of the United Nations General Assembly. We urge all nations to proceed without delay to continue their efforts to obtain workable treaties of arms limitations and reduction, subject to mutual verification, and to adhere to such treaties.

We urge our member bodies to give thoughtful consideration to the roles which they can undertake in helping to carry out the UN’s World Disarmament Campaign.

We further urge that peaceful means be used by national Baptist bodies to influence national governments toward peace and disarmament. That in countries where freedom of the press, access to the media and peaceful demonstration are restricted, international pressure be applied to give voice to the people’s desires for disarmament.

We urge the United Nations to accelerate its efforts to assure the nations that a reduction in their respective military establishments is not a reduction in their security, and that the UN offers a viable means for the peaceful settlement of international disputes.

We would encourage study of the attached statements from the recent World Conference of Religious Workers in Moscow (see Appendix A).

We commend our President and General Secretary for their attendance at the Conference and support their participation in the Stockholm Peace Conference.

Further, we would endorse the attached statement made by the Baptist Union of Sweden this year (see Appendix B).

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Claas, Gerhard, editor. Baptist World Alliance 1982 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. Washington, DC: Baptist World Alliance, 1982.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Gerhard Claas, ed., Baptist World Alliance 1982 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (Washington, DC: Baptist World Alliance, 1982), p. 72.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 1982.5 Disarmament; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 1982.5).

Disarmament

Nuclear Arms

BWA General Council Resolution 1983.3

We affirm our convictions expressed in the Resolution 1982.5 passed last year in Nairobi, Kenya. This resolution endorsed the statement made by the Baptist Union of Sweden of the same year and drew attention to the Moscow Declaration.

We continue to urge that peaceful means be used by Baptist bodies to influence national governments toward peace and disarmament, that in countries where freedom of the press, access to the media and peaceful demonstration are restricted, international pressure be applied to give voice to the people’s desire for disarmament.

We affirm that the God who created the world and all who exist in it, has called us to accountable responsibility in our dealings with each other and with creation. We believe in, and are committed to, the Lordship of Jesus Christ over all aspects of human life, Our Christian faith impresses on us the value and sanctity of human life.

The presence of nuclear weapons is a direct affront to our Christian beliefs and commitment. We find no justification in Scripture for the use of such weapons which would unleash uncontrolled devastation on the human community. Our positive commitment is to Shalom. We are devoted to peace with justice.

We call on the nations of the world to stop the production of nuclear weapons, to dismantle those that now exist and to join in a program of mutually verifiable inspection. We also register our growing concern about safe disposal of radioactive wastes.

The most recent estimate by the World Health Organization anticipates that at the most conservative estimate, 2 1⁄4 billion people would be immediate victims of an all out nuclear war, countless millions more would starve. It is clear that civilized life as we now experience it would cease. Vast acres would be

contaminated by radiation so intense that no humans could live there. There is no evidence that even the most extensive civil defense effort would modify these estimates.

In the name of God and of humanity we call for a resolute effort within a specified time limit for the elimination of all nuclear weapons and urge all our constituent bodies to promote the objective within their respective political systems.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Claas, Gerhard, editor. Baptist World Alliance 1983 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. Washington, DC: Baptist World Alliance, 1983.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Gerhard Claas, ed., Baptist World Alliance 1983 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (Washington, DC: Baptist World Alliance, 1983), p. 62.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 1983.3 Nuclear Arms; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 1983.3).

Disarmament

Nuclear Arms

BWA General Council Resolution 1984.1

Once again WE EXPRESS OUR PROFOUND CONCERN over international tensions, the armed conflicts in certain regions, the economic burden of large armaments and armed forces, the threat of nuclear annihilation of humanity;

WE URGE the major powers:
a) to forswear first use of nuclear weapons;

b) to negotiate an immediate verifiable freeze, thus preventing further development, testing, production and deployment of nuclear weapons;

c) to create an atmosphere for a reduction in arms and greater international harmony.

WE COMMEND the recent establishment by the United Nations of a University for Peace, the designation of a day each September as a Day of Peace and the declaration that 1986 will be celebrated as the International Year of Peace. We also express appreciation that the good offices of the U.N. Secretary- General have been extended towards facilitating a return to normalcy in many troubled areas of the world, such as Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and parts of Southeast Asia.

WE URGE the governments of all countries to refrain from using military power in order to settle human conflicts.

WE SUPPORT the proposal of non-governmental organizations represented at the United Nations in calling for a peace conference for the Middle East, to which all parties to the conflicts should be invited.

WE EXPRESS OUR SYMPATHY AND CONCERN for out fellow Baptists and other Christians in areas of Central America, the Middle East, Southern Africa and Southeast Asia where there is continual strife,

and we urge Baptist everywhere to pray regularly for them in their constant search for the justice and peace of God and for all other inhabitants of those regions.

WE ALSO URGE OUR CHURCHES:
a) to encourage their respective governments to “seek peace and pursue it”;

b) to promote and share in international religious and cultural exchanges and friendships, including the partnership of churches, as a positive step towards breaking down barriers of mutual fear and mistrust;

c) to consider what other actions are possible to influence public opinion by being “the salt of the earth” and the “light of the world.”

FINALLY WE ACKNOWLEDGE that according to the scriptures we may not see the end of “rumors of wars,” but we remind all our people that our Savior, Jesus Christ, is the Price of Peace and that commitment to Him is a commitment to be a peacemaker. Therefore we encourage the inclusion of peace education and action in the programs of our church. We will “study war no more.”

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Claas, Gerhard, editor. Baptist World Alliance 1984 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. Washington, DC: Baptist World Alliance, 1984.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Gerhard Claas, ed., Baptist World Alliance 1984 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (Washington, DC: Baptist World Alliance, 1984), p. 85.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 1984.1 Nuclear Arms; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 1984.1).

Disarmament

The 10th Baptist World Youth Conference

BWA General Council Resolution 1984.2

We rejoice in the success of the 10th Baptist World Youth Conference recently held in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

We strongly reaffirm the following message from the Conference addressed to Baptists of the world and commend its implementation in whatever way seems most appropriate:

“We have come from 68 nations to Buenos Aires, Argentina, to witness to our faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. We, 4000 delegates representing millions of Baptist young people around the world, send this message of hope to Baptist youth everywhere.

We believe that Jesus Christ is the truth and thus the basis of all our actions. Because of Christ our lives have meaning. We pledge ourselves to share this Good News with all youth in every country of the world. We pledge ourselves to work to evangelize the world in our generation.

Our faith in Jesus Christ is a call to commitment. No longer can we be passive participants in a lost world, but we commit ourselves to active responsibility as servants of Christ to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and visit the imprisoned.

We believe that Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace. Thus we are called to be peacemakers. We appeal to all the leaders of the world to stop the nuclear arms race which threatens to destroy God’s creation. As peacemakers we call upon Baptist young people to work for justice as a counterpart to peace.

The world economic order which pits rich against poor and nation against nation is a sign of sin for which Christ alone is the answer.

We dedicate ourselves to the task of being witnesses to the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our personal and social lives.

Our message is Jesus Christ! We call all brothers and sisters to rededicate their lives to Christ and to be his witnesses to the end that the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdom of our Lord and he shall reign forever and ever!

With gratitude in our hearts and thanks to God we send a word of love to the people and Baptists of Argentina. You have welcomed us warmly and have made possible a significant Conference for Baptist young people around the world. May God bless your country and leadership as it brings a new era of peace and justice to its people. We thank your president, Raul Alfonsin, for honoring us with his presence and message of hope and reconciliation.

As our contribution to the UN International Year of Youth 1985 we pledge ourselves to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to work for peace and justice in our own countries and around the world. We will continue our efforts to work for friendship between young people East and West, North and South.

To God be the glory — great things He hath done! We go with a renewed vision of dedication to work for the kingdom of God and the proclamation of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior to everyone in the world. Jesus Christ is the Truth — our faith, our commitment, our peace!”

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Claas, Gerhard, editor. Baptist World Alliance 1984 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. Washington, DC: Baptist World Alliance, 1984.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Gerhard Claas, ed., Baptist World Alliance 1984 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (Washington, DC: Baptist World Alliance, 1984), p. 86.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 1984.2 The 10th Baptist World Youth Conference; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 1984.2).