Resolution from the EBF Youth & Children Workers Conference
We, the European Baptist Federation (EBF) Youth and Children Workers Conference have received the disappointing news about a recommendation to the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) to withdraw from the Baptist World Alliance (BWA). Therefore we want to share our concerns with our Baptist sisters and brothers all over the world:
On the one hand …
We believe that the withdrawal of the SBC from the Baptist family worldwide will not help the youth and children of their churches and our churches to view the family of Baptists worldwide as their home.
We believe that the withdrawal of the SBC from the Baptist family worldwide is not a helpful decision to reach more youth and children worldwide with the gospel.
We believe the mission we have as young Baptists (preaching the good news to all of humanity) should not be overshadowed by such internal problems concerning issues of church life and faith.
We believe that labeling or judging churches and theologians cannot bring a blessing to the SBC. Our concern is that this would lead to internal discord and failure on many levels.
On the other hand …
We believe that a rejection of this recommendation will preserve and enhance much greater possibilities within the Baptist family worldwide.
We believe that the BWA youth department shall continue to be an influence for youth of all Baptist churches worldwide to develop their commitment and their abilities of leadership in God’s kingdom.
We believe and have experienced that young Southern Baptists have friends worldwide and are appreciated as committed servants together with all the other young Baptists worldwide.
We believe that the obvious crisis and lack of a worldwide vision in the SBC can be overcome with prayers and new endeavors to bring Baptists together, so they fully appreciate the richness of Baptist life in all continents.
Therefore we pray for and ask the SBC Executive Committee not to adopt the recommendation to withdraw from the BWA. This is a courageous, but necessary decision. A withdrawal would send a
negative message to children and youth of the SBC and the BWA. The EBF Youth and Children Workers Conference stands in full support of the ministries of the Baptist World Alliance.
Novi Sad in Serbia, January 20, 2004
Dietrich Fischer-Dörl, Austria;
Michail Stepnov, Belarus;
Jean Francois Lekeu; Belgium;
Andrew Nikolaev Nedelchev, Bulgaria;
Vassil Ivanov Vassilev, Bulgaria;
Senka Florjani, Croatia;
Svjetlana Mraz, Croatia;
Jeff Carter, Czech Republic;
Heine Bogsted, Denmark;
Lise Nielsen, Denmark;
Magnus Mikander, Finland;
Christophe Hahling, France;
Ala Kavtaradze, Republic of Georgia;
Mirjam Ekelmann, Germany;
Kerstin Geiger, Germany;
Christoph Haus, Germany;
Eduard Groen, Netherlands;
Arjan Treuren, Netherlands;
Lise Kyllingstad, Norway;
Bente Sandtorp, Norway;
Dragan Mitrovcan, Serbia&Montenegro;
Victoria Wennberg, Sweden;
Malin Ivarsson, Sweden;
Ayse Duman, Turkey;
Selattin Duman, Turkey;
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