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

Poverty and the Nations

BWA General Council Resolution 1993.4

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance, meeting in Harare, Zimbabwe August 6-9, 1993,

EXPRESSES concern the effects of drought and patterns of international trade and aid have exacerbated conditions of famine, poverty and disease amongst the many poor and disadvantaged peoples of the nations of the South, not least in the continent of Africa.

CALLS upon the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to examine the Structural Adjustment Programmes prescribed for 19 African countries and other poor nations, and to seek ways to eliminate the serious disadvantages such programmes cause.

URGES the nations of the developed North and their financial institutions to forgive debts and interest repayments from impoverished nations;

IMPLORES all nations whose arms sales contribute to the problems to cease this lethal trade.

REQUESTS the Baptist World Alliance its member bodies to avoid practices which transfer wealth inappropriately; and

INSTRUCTS the Baptist World Aid Committee to suggest actions for churches and member bodies to take in addressing concerns identified in the Forum on Poverty held at this General Council.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Lotz, Denton, editor. Baptist World Alliance 1993-1994 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. McLean, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 1993.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Denton Lotz, ed., Baptist World Alliance 1993-1994 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (McLean, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 1993), p. 110.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 1993.4 Poverty and the Nations; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 1993.4).

Message to Baptist Churches Throughout the World

1994 International Year of the Family

BWA General Council Resolution 1994.3

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance meeting in Uppsala, Sweden from 18-24 July 1994:

RECOGNIZES with thanksgiving in the United Nations International Year of the Family progress documented by UNICEF’s State of the World’s Children (1994) report in such areas as literacy, health and nutrition;

PROCLAIMS the biblical definition of the family, a permanent, monogamous, heterosexual union, as the original divine plan for family life which must continue to serve as foundation and ideal for an ordered and effective society.

ACKNOWLEDGES that since family life is under threat in all cultures, Christians must ensure effective marriage preparation, teach family members to communicate with each other, provide relevant models of parenting and benefit from the wisdom of the older generation of Christians;

VIEWS WITH ALARM the consequences for the nurture of family life, of the deteriorating situation of women, many of whom suffer from such difficulties as poor health care, lack of clean and safe water, illiteracy, domestic violence and sexual slavery, as documented in the Baptist World Alliance Women’s Department report Women 1994;

LAMENTS the agony of millions of the world’s children caused by disease, malnutrition, poverty, child prostitution, sex tourism, slavery, abuse and war;

URGES the world Baptist family to mark this Year by taking action on behalf of the women of the world following the examples of ministries cited in Women 1994;

IMPLORES above all that we give children first call on our compassion and resources, committing ourselves to prayer, research, actions which seek universal ratification of the United Nations Convention

on the Rights of the Child with implementation of its provisions and saying “Yes” to God who gives first place to children.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Lotz, Denton, editor. Baptist World Alliance 1994 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. McLean, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 1994.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Denton Lotz, ed., Baptist World Alliance 1994 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (McLean, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 1994), pp. 116-117.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 1994.3 1994 International Year of the Family; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 1994.3).

Message to Baptist Churches Throughout the World

Landmines

BWA General Council Resolution 1997.3

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance meeting in Vancouver, Canada, July 3-9, 1997,

NOTES with horror that currently in excess of 100 million anti-personnel land mines are deployed in more than 70 countries, with a further 100 million stockpiled by governments;

EXPRESSES profound dismay that for every land mine removed, 25 are newly placed;

REGRETS the consequences of their deployment, including a reported 800 deaths and 1,200 maimings each month;

DEPLORES the fact that in a world of poverty and need, while it costs only $3 to deploy a land mine, $1000 is required to eliminate one so that removing those already positioned will probably require hundreds of years and billions of dollars;

BELIEVES that the deployment of land mines represents a particularly vicious aspect of warfare, first because the principal victims are innocent civilians of all ages, and secondly because their legacy causes destruction and misery long after conflicts have come to an end;

AFFIRMS actions by more than 60 national governments which have agreed to ban land mines;

URGES those which have not done so to implement a total ban on the manufacture, sale stockpiling and use of land mines;

ENCOURAGES the member unions and conventions of the Baptist World Alliance and their local churches to investigate whether their respective governments have agreed to ban the production and use of land mines and if necessary to secure their commitment to join the community of nations pursuing the elimination of this scourge.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Lotz, Denton, editor. Baptist World Alliance 1997 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. McLean, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 1997.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Denton Lotz, ed., Baptist World Alliance 1997 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (McLean, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 1997), p. 128.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 1997.3 Landmines; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 1997.3).

Message to Baptist Churches Throughout the World

Jubilee 2000

BWA General Council Resolution 1998.4

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance meeting In Durban, July 5-11,1998

ANTICIPATES a special celebration of the anniversary of the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ in the year 2000;

AFFIRMS that “there is no other name whereby we must be saved except that of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 4.12);

RECOGNIZES that many Christians are inspired by the approach of the new millennium to recall biblical references to the year of Jubilee (e.g. Leviticus 25, Isaiah 61, Luke 4) which describe a program of social renewal including the release of debts;

LAMENTS that a billion people living in the forty poorest countries of the world are burdened with staggering national debt;

ACKNOWLEDGES the worldwide campaign Jubilee 2000, which seeks to encourage the forgiveness of debts by banks and government agencies to ensure a debt-free start to the next millennium for these nations to enable better health, nutrition and education programs;

INVITES Baptist World Aid to draw the attention of the global Baptist community to this endeavour and calls upon all Baptist Unions and Conventions to support the Jubilee 2000 campaign provided nothing herein should work to promote governments which deny freedom to their people.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Lotz, Denton, editor. Baptist World Alliance 1998 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. McLean, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 1998.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Denton Lotz, ed., Baptist World Alliance 1998 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (McLean, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 1998), pp. 111-112.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 1998.4 Jubilee 2000; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 1998.4).