Message to Baptist Churches Throughout the World

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).

Message to Baptist Churches Throughout the World

Message to Baptist Churches Throughout the World

BWA General Council Resolution 1977.6

The Baptist World Alliance is a fellowship of almost 29 of the 33 million Baptists in the world. They represent many nations and widely differing cultures and ways of life and thought. It is neither within its power nor its function to direct, or rule on the internal affairs of 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 members to speak out on religious liberty and other matters of common spiritual and moral concern. Our primary purpose is to bring persons 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. We rejoice in the good reports from the World Conference of Religious Workers for Lasting Peace, Disarmament, and Just Relations Among All Nations, held in Moscow in June 1977. We support the ideals and stated purposes of such conferences wherever held and encourage our Christian brothers and sisters to participate and provide leadership to the end that tensions may be relaxed and peace established.

We believe in dignity and justice for every individual. We express good wishes to the Helsinki Final Act n Conference being held in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, and urge the delegates to that conference to promote further the fulfillment of all the articles of the Helsinki Final Act.

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

We deplore and condemn violence, torture, looting, rioting and the taking of hostages, and voice our sympathy with all victims of these disorders.

We affirm our commitment to religious liberty. We deplore the persecution of Christians and others by government agencies or religious bodies wherever it occurs. The Baptist World Alliance General Council voices grave concern and charges its officers to give all possible aid and support to persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ.

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 admonish our fellow Christians to strengthen the church which is the body of Christ to serve those who are in need.

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 lake through proper channels all possible steps for achieving just and lasting peace. We call upon them, and indeed upon all people 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.

It is our firm conviction that our Lord Jesus Christ alone is our hope of justice, reconciliation, and peace; therefore, we welcome and commend all efforts to make the Gospel known to all.

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. 46- 48.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 1977.6 Message to Baptist Churches Throughout the World; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 1977.6).

Message to Baptist Churches Throughout the World

Peace with Justice

BWA General Council Resolution 1986.5

Whereas humankind has now entered the fifth decade of life under the awesome threat of nuclear annihilation, and

Whereas the nations of the world will spend approximately the equivalent of one trillion US dollars this year on military forces and weapons, and

Whereas the peoples of the Third World are suffering the burden of rapidly increasing militarization in the midst of their poverty and

Whereas the need for peace has never been more urgent, nor have the prospects for peace with justice ever been more subject to political manipulation and rhetoric, and

Whereas Jesus Christ our Lord was called the Prince of Peace in an era dominated by a heavily militarized empire and God has called us to be peacemakers;

Be it therefore resolved that we, the participants in the meetings of the Baptist World Alliance in Singapore, July 1-5, 1986 call upon Baptists worldwide:

  1. to unite in earnest prayer for the peace of the world;
  2. to communicate to their political leaders our deep conviction that the future of the human race will be tragically imperiled without a prompt de-escalation of the arms race and a reasonable agreement on arms control among the nuclear powers;
  3. to work diligently within their respective political, economic and organizational systems to champion the priority of peace with justice as a worthy goal for the world’s nations, as a humane approach to the current crisis of militarism, as a powerful ideal in our Christian faith and as a precondition of human survival.

Be it also resolved that we reaffirm the conviction expressed in the BWA congress resolution, Los Angeles, 1985, that the meetings of the leaders of the USSR and the USA are an important contribution to the peace of the world.

4. to endorse wholeheartedly and encourage a worldwide Christian Council of Peace in which the Christian churches could address in unison and with spiritual authority the issues of peace and justice.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Claas, Gerhard, editor. Baptist World Alliance 1986 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. McLean, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 1986.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Gerhard Claas, ed., Baptist World Alliance 1986 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (McLean, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 1986), p. 51.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 1986.5 Peace with Justice; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 1986.5).