Resolutions

Compiled by Rev. Dr. Lee B. Spitzer, BWA Historian

Welcome to the Baptist World Alliance Historical Archive!

We are pleased to share with you the entire set of Resolutions, Manifestos, Messages and Proclamations approved by delegates attending the Baptist World Alliance World Congresses from 1905 through 2015 (the 2020 Congress was postponed to 2021 due to the global pandemic).

Additionally, we are offering the Resolutions and Manifestos approved by the BWA General Council, which meets yearly. The online collection includes the years 1976-2019. The BWA Executive Committee Resolutions are currently being compiled, and a limited number are already accessible. The collection will be expanded over time.

Each Resolution document is in PDF format and seeks to reproduce the original text as closely as possible. This means that language and punctuation may be archaic and not in accordance with contemporary standards of discourse. Spellings of words sometimes are in British English and have been preserved as they were originally published. I am solely responsible for any typographical errors in reproduction, and I would deeply appreciate it if you would share with me any that you may discover.

It is the BWA’s hope that this collection will be useful to scholars, historians, denominational leaders, and clergy. Each document now contains a unique identification number, topical keywords, and four types of citations for academic purposes.

The range of issues covered by the collection is comprehensive, and many of the Resolutions speak to contemporary concerns (such as racism, antisemitism, poverty and war) with multi-cultural wisdom, spiritual integrity, and intellectual depth. Readers seeking to learn how Baptists on a global scale and across time have addressed the human condition in all of its variations (moral, social, economic, political, etc.) will be rewarded as well as challenged.

In Baptist polity, Resolutions and other collective statements are not binding on Baptist individuals or churches. They intend to share wisdom and raise consciousness rather than to demand or coerce conformity or hinder the soul freedom and responsibility of people to follow God according to the dictates of their own Christ-led conscience. In the foreword to the 1955 Golden Jubilee World Congress Official Report (p. 6), BWA General Secretary Arnold T. Ohrn stated this principle well:

Further, it should be understood that an Alliance Congress, when adopting pronouncements, can speak for itself alone. The resolutions naturally carry great moral authority, coming as they do from a Congress so representative of Baptists in the entire world. But no union or convention has ever authorized a Baptist World Congress to speak on its behalf. The people who voted for the resolutions, did so on their own behalf, not on behalf of their churches or conventions. But these statements would never have been proposed, much less adopted, if they were not considered indicative of the trends of opinion within the Baptist world.

If you should need any further assistance in utilizing this online historical archive, please feel free to contact me.

Sincerely,

Rev. Dr. Lee B. Spitzer,
BWA Historian (Click here to contact)

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Conflict Resolution in Nagaland

RECALLS that In November 1997 the Naga people celebrated the 125th anniversary of the introduction of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in their country by Baptist missionaries;
MOURNS more than fifty years of conflict and civil war In Nagaland, which in the last decade has resulted in the division of the Nagas into multiple factions, with insurgent armies that have engaged In violent conflict with the Indian army and, on occasion, with each other;

Stewardship of the Earth

BELIEVES that Baptists need to take seriously the implications of God’s creation of our world and the stewardship given to humankind within that creation;
ASSERTS that human sinfulness has developed an exploitative ethic which puts the sustaining of that creation in jeopardy evident in the ecological crises facing the world today;

1994 International Year of the Family

ACKNOWLEDGES the actions of Baptists in our own generation in championing religious freedom for all people, especially those who find themselves in a minority situation;
VIEWS WITH ALARM the denial of the right of religious liberty to minority groups such as evangelicals in Bulgaria, Albania, Iran, Ethiopia and the republics of Central Asia, Christians in China, Indonesia and East Timor; and to the Coptic Orthodox and other Christians in Egypt;

Reconciliation

APPLAUDS the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that Is playing an active role in helping to bring healing following the end of apartheid and the establishment of democratic rule in South Africa;
COMMENDS the efforts of South African Baptists led by Desmond Hoffmeister, General Secretary of the Baptist Convention of South Africa, and Terry Rae, General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Southern Africa, and encourages their continuing resolve to work under God’s inspiration and guidance toward a Just reconciliation between these two communities;

El Salvador

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance, meeting in Montego Bay, Jamaica, July 4-12, 19922;
HAVING received a report from the Baptist World Alliance Human Rights Delegation to El Salvador in January, 1992, and also from our Baptist sisters and brothers in that troubled country;

The Ministry of Reconciliation

REJOICES with the world community at recent political developments where negotiation has opened the way to peaceful resolution of long-term hostility or oppression, in particular:
• the September 1993 accords between the Israelis and Palestinians
• the birth of a non-racial and truly democratic society through the April 1994 elections in South Africa
• the peaceful transition to democracy in Malawi in 1994 where Baptists and other Christian leaders played a crucial and courageous role;

Nuclear Proliferation

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance meeting in Durban. July 5-11,1998
REGRETS the recent nuclear testing by India and Pakistan that has led to renewed global concern
about nuclear proliferation;
DEPLORES the failure of the world’s other nuclear powers to effectively discourage the spread of
nuclear weapons;

The Former Yugoslav Federal Republic

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance, meeting in Montego Bay, Jamaica, July 4-12, 1992;
MINDFUL of the devastation and loss of life wrought by the recent and continuing conflicts in the countries of the former Yugoslav Federal Republic, and in accordance with its belief that God in Christ wills reconciliation in place of enmity;

The Ministry of Reconciliation

BWA General Council Resolution 1994.5 The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance meeting in Uppsala, Sweden from 18-24 July 1994: REJOICES with the world community at recent political developments where negotiation has opened the way to peaceful resolution of...

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...

Carribean

SURROUNDED by the beauty of this part of God’s creation and conscious of the lively heritage of its diverse peoples;
ECHOING the grave concern of the Caribbean Baptist Fellowship for the present economic and sociopolitical realities of the region;

Witness in a Secular Europe

CELEBRATES the widespread presence of Baptists through the nations of Eurasia;
RECOGNIZES that member bodies, such as the Baptist Union of Sweden, in their commitment to partnership with other Christians, without compromising their distinctive Baptist identity, provide a model of the sharing of work and witness called for by the Seoul Covenant;

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...

Southern Africa

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance, meeting in Montego Bay, Jamaica, July 4-12, 1992;
MINDFUL of the meetings of the General Council and the 12th Baptist Youth World Conference set for Zimbabwe in August, 1993;

Appreciation

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance meeting In Durban July 5-11,1998
OFFERS sincere thanks to the Baptist Convention of South Africa, the Baptist Union of Southern Africa, and the local congregations in Durban and vicinity for their warm welcome and generous hospitality;

Appreciation

BWA General Council Resolution 1992.8 The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance, meeting in Montego Bay, Jamaica, July 4-12, 1992; EXPRESSES to the Jamaica Baptist Union sincere appreciation and genuine gratitude for the splendid preparation and warm...

Appreciation

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance, meeting in Uppsala, Sweden from 18-24 July 1994:
OFFERS sincere thanks to the Baptist Union of Sweden for the warmth of their welcome and the generosity of their hospitality;

Balkans Reconciliation

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance meeting in Dresden July 11-17, 1999

ACKNOWLEDGES with gratitude the speedy and continuing response by Baptist World Aid, other Baptist agencies, and various non-governmental organizations in providing relief to the victims of this conflict in the spirit of biblical teaching including Romans 12:14-21;

The Evangelization of the Peoples of Africa

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance, meeting in Harare, Zimbabwe August 6-9, 1993,
ACKNOWLEDGES with gratitude to Almighty God the movement of the Holy Spirit seen in the dramatic expansion of the churches in the continent of Africa, and in particular the growth of BWA member churches of approximately 50% over the past five years;

Evangelism

REAFFIRMS the priority given by the Alliance to evangelism; and
APPRECIATES the leadership already demonstrated by President Nilson Fanini and eagerly anticipates his continuing efforts in this area; and

Jubilee 2000 Developments

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance meeting in Dresden July 11-17, 1999 RECALLS the 1998 General Council resolution endorsing the Jubilee 2000 initiative;
REJOICES in the developing success of this campaign, which seeks to encourage the forgiveness of debts by banks and government agencies to ensure a debt-free start to the next millennium for the poorest nations in the world;

Appreciation

This Council expresses its deep appreciation to the Union of the Evangelical Free Churches s in Germany (Bund Evangelisch-Freikirchlicher Gemeinden in Deutschland), to the Baptist Churches of Berlin West and to the city authorities, for their welcome and generous hospitality and for their careful preparations for these Council meetings. We also thank the officers and staff of the Alliance for their commitment and organization which have insured the success of the meetings.

Disarmament

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.

Human Rights-A Call to Action Against Torture

We reaffirm the fundamental Christian convictions expressed in Resolution 1983.4 of the Baptist World Alliance, adopted in July 1983 in the Republic of Argentina, namely that “human rights are God-given and that violations of human rights are violations of the laws of God.”

Appreciation

Recognizing the historic nature of our presence in Africa, the Baptist World Alliance General Council and Study Commissions express our deep appreciation:
• To the government of Kenya for hosting our meetings, extending to us their welcome and visas to all participants.
• To the Baptist Convention of Kenya for their warm greetings and gracious hospitality.
• To the missionaries in Kenya of the Southern Baptist Convention and other local volunteers.

World Peace and Reconciliation

BWA World Congress Resolution 1970.1 We, the representatives of the Baptist World Alliance, assembled in Tokyo, Japan, in July, 1970: Reaffirm the deep devotion of Baptists to peace and reconciliation for all humanity on this earth under God; Restate our realization...

Reconciliation and Racial Discrimination

At Berlin in 1934, at Atlanta in 1939, at Copenhagen in 1947, at Cleveland in 1950, at London in 1955, at Rio de Janeiro in 1960, and at Miami Beach in 1965 the Baptist World Alliance registered its opposition to racial discrimination and its parent, racism, which is the evil of looking at men in terms of their differences of color or culture rather than their oneness as children of God.

1970 BWA World Congress Message to the Churches

We who have the privilege and joy of attending the Twelfth Congress of the Baptist World Alliance at Tokyo greet you, the members of churches in fellowship with the Alliance. In this written message we cannot convey the wonder of the inspiration felt in worship, prayer, and fellowship with so large a gathering of representatives from so many countries, meeting for the first time in Asia.

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