A Resolution of Support for the Baptist World Alliance

 

Whereas, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) Executive Committee has voted, 62 to 10, to approve a proposal that the SBC defund and withdraw from the Baptist World Alliance (BWA), a world Baptist fellowship it was instrumental in founding in 1905;

 

Whereas, the BWA, begun when the world counted only seven million Baptist believers, has grown into a fellowship of 211 Baptist unions and conventions with nearly 47 million baptized believers representing a community of about 110 million;

 

Whereas, the SBC has nurtured the BWA for nearly 100 years through prayer, finances, leadership, service and cooperation;

 

Whereas, Southern Baptists have been an historic and vital partner as the BWA has worked around the world to bring unity to Baptists, facilitate evangelism and affirm salvation in Jesus Christ alone, promote reconciliation and peace, affirm Biblical faith, respond to human need, and defend human rights and religious liberty against tyranny and persecution;

 

Whereas, the BWA has honored traditional Baptist principles and recognized the autonomy and interdependence of Baptist churches and member bodies;

 

Whereas, the BWA, as a respected international Baptist fellowship, has been a voice that has successfully negotiated and intervened with world governments on behalf of Baptist minorities throughout the world;

 

Whereas, many world Baptist leaders declare that withdrawal from the BWA will create schism among world Baptists, represent a demoralizing blow to global witness and missions, and shatter an historic, cooperative relationship.

 

Be it therefore resolved that the Mainstream Baptist Network, meeting Feb. 27-28, 2004, in Nashville, Tennessee, at its third national convocation:

 

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Deplores the SBC Executive Committee’s proposal to defund the BWA;

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 Implores Southern Baptists to defeat it when the SBC annual meeting convenes, June 15-16, 2004, in Indianapolis, Indiana;

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Recognizes the contributions of the BWA and exhorts Baptist individuals, churches, associations, state conventions and organizations to rally to the support of this valuable and essential organization by (1) prayer, (2) addition of the BWA to their annual budgets, (3) learning more about the BWA’s worldwide ministry  (see contact information below), and (4) participation in its work.

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Urges Baptists to make plans to attend the 100th anniversary of the BWA to be celebrated at its Centennial Baptist World Congress, July 27-31, 2005, in Birmingham, England.

 

Contact information: Baptist World Alliance, 405 N. Washington Street, Falls Church Virginia 22046, USA.

 

Email: bwa@bwanet.org;

BWA Website: www.bwanet.org;

Centennial Baptist World Congress Website: www.bwacongress2005.org.uk;

Phone: 1-703-790-8980;

Fax: 1-703-893-5160.

 

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