Message to Baptist Churches Throughout the World

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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://www.baptistworld.org/resolutions.

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

For more information about Baptist World Alliance resolutions, visit BaptistWorld.org/resolutions.

Since its formation in 1905, the Baptist World Alliance has networked the global Baptist family to impact the world for Christ with a commitment to strengthen worship, fellowship and unity; lead in mission and evangelism; respond to people in need through aid, relief, and community development; defend religious freedom, human rights, and justice; and advance theological reflection and leadership development.

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