SBC National Responses
Statement of the Social Concerns Committee (1933)
The present outlook in International Relations is not bright; there is much to arouse deep concern. Frequent conflicts among the South American Republics; the present strained relation between Great Britain and Russia; what appears to other nations of the world as the high-handed and unwarranted invasion of Manchuria and China by Japan; the recent counter-revolution in Germany, with its overthrow of the Republican form of government and the establishment of a Dictatorship, resulting in the unwarranted persecution of the Jews, and other distracting conditions – these are some of the disquieting conditions prevailing throughout the world.
Annual of the 1933 Southern Baptist Convention, Report of the Social Service Commission, pp. 107-108.
Statement of Principles (1945, 1946, 1947)
To this end it is necessary to resist all inequalities of basic rights and privileges in the church and in society, which arise out of racial prides and prejudices, economic greed, and class distinctions; everywhere proclaiming and practicing human brotherhood under the will and purpose of God.
Our Christian faith repudiates and opposes all forms of exploitation, manipulation or neglect and indifference on the part of any section of our human race by any other section on any and every pretext whatsoever. The Christian religion lies at the base of all. In it alone is there hope of the application of these principles in other relations of men.
Annual of the 1945 Southern Baptist Convention, Statement of Principles, p. 60; Annual of the 1946 Southern Baptist Convention, Statement of Principles, p. 39; Annual of the 1947 Southern Baptist Convention, Statement of Principles, p. 341.
Resolution — Displaced Persons (1947)
WHEREAS: there are in camps in Germany, Italy, and Austria, nearly a million displaced persons of various denominations, composed of men, women, and children, 80 per cent of whom are Christians, and 20 per cent Jews, including 150,000 children below the age of 17, and;
WHEREAS, these displaced persons are unable to return to their own homes because of persecution or fear of persecution by reason of their race, religion, or political beliefs, and desire above all else to start a new life in a nation where there is freedom of speech, freedom of worship, and freedom of movement, and have demonstrated their faith that this nation and others allied with it will do them justice, be it
RESOLVED that the Southern Baptist Convention go on record as favoring the admission by the United States of its fair share of those displaced people, such share amounting to 400,000 over a period of the next four years, and urge the Congress to provide emergency legislation to accomplish this result.
Annual of the 1947 Southern Baptist Convention, Committee on Resolutions, “Displaced Persons,” p. 51. See also Annual of the 1948 Southern Baptist Convention, Committee on Resolutions, “Displaced Persons,” p. 57; and Annual of the 1949 Southern Baptist Convention, Committee on Resolutions, “Displaced Persons,” p. 55.
Resolution Concerning Baptist Concept of Freedom and Spiritual Values (1948)
Resolved, That communism, fascism, political ecclesiasticism, and anti-Semitism are utterly contrary to the genius of our Baptist concept of freedom and spiritual values.
Annual of the 1948 Southern Baptist Convention, Minutes Item 129, “Resolution Concerning Baptist Concept of Freedom and Spiritual Values,” p. 57.
Resolution No. 10 — On Prejudice (1971)
WHEREAS, The peoples of the world include persons of various ethnic, linguistic, national, and religious backgrounds, and
WHEREAS, Differences in appearance, customs, life-styles, and group loyalties, are an occasion for prejudice, and
WHEREAS, Prejudice often issues in hostile attitudes, cruel expressions, unjustified discrimination, and overt persecution, and
WHEREAS, There is something of the image of God in every man which should elicit from Christians understanding and love,
Therefore, be it Resolved, by the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in annual sessions in St. Louis, Mo., on this third day of June 1971, that
First, we be reminded ". . . that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him" (Act 10:34-35), and
Second, we call on Southern Baptists to refute in every honorable way deeds, statements, inferences, implications, and innuendoes which tend to engender suspicion and hatred between men for whom Christ died, and
Third, we call on Southern Baptists to explore appropriate ways by which the recognition of honest differences between Christians and non-Christians may be admitted so the claims of Christ can be promulgated without violating the dignity,
Fourth, we point out particularly one area of concern known as anti-Semitism, which some think erroneously is inherent in Christianity, and which we disavow.
Annual of the 1971 Southern Baptist Convention, Report of the Resolutions Committee, “Resolution No. 10 – On Prejudice,” Minutes Item 202 p. 79.
Resolution No. 5 — On Anti-Semitism (1972)
WHEREAS, Anti-Semitism has been a serious problem for the church through most of Christian history, and
WHEREAS, This unchristian attitude on the part of many peoples has led to brutal persecutions of the Jews in numerous countries and societies, and
WHEREAS, The most flagrant and cruel expression of this spiritual malignancy, the Nazi holocaust, transpired in our generation, and
WHEREAS, Latent anti-Semitism lies barely under the surface in many western, Christian cultures today, and
WHEREAS, Many Christian communions and denominations, including our own, have failed to take a sufficiently vigorous stand against anti-Semitism, and
WHEREAS, It is clearly a moral and ethical question of the greatest magnitude, and
WHEREAS, Baptists share with Jews a heritage of persecution and suffering for conscience sake,
Therefore, be it Resolved, that this Convention go on record as opposed to any and all forms of anti-Semitism; that it declare anti-Semitism unchristian; that we messengers to this Convention pledge ourselves to combat anti-Semitism in every honorable, Christian way.
Be it further Resolved, that Southern Baptists covenant to work positively to replace all anti-Semitic bias with the Christian attitude and practice of love for Jews, who along with all other men, are equally beloved of God.
This resolution (Item 21) was offered by B. Elmo Scoggin (N.C.) except that specific examples of possible anti-Semitism have been omitted.
Annual of the 1972 Southern Baptist Convention, Report of the Resolutions Committee, “Resolution No. 5 – On Anti-Semitism,” Minutes Item 128 p. 75.
Resolution No. 7 — On Anti-Semitism (1981)
WHEREAS, Christians are profoundly indebted to the ancient Hebrew nation because of its contribution to our faith; and
WHEREAS, Baptists and Jews share a common heritage of persecution and suffering for conscience sake; and
WHEREAS, Periodic waves of anti-Semitism emerge in our nation; and
WHEREAS, Christians believe that God loves all the people of the world;
Be it therefore Resolved, that the messengers at the 1981 Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Los Angeles, June 9-11, 1981, commend our Southern Baptist Convention leaders as they seek sincere friendship and meaningful dialogue with our Jewish neighbors.
Annual of the 1981 Southern Baptist Convention, Report of the Resolutions Committee, “Resolution No. 7 – On Anti-Semitism,” Minutes Item 166, p. 51.
Resolution No. 10 — On Jewish Evangelism (1996)
WHEREAS, Jesus commanded that "repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem" (Luke 24:47); and
WHEREAS, Our evangelistic efforts have largely neglected the Jewish people, both at home and abroad; and
WHEREAS, We are indebted to the Jewish people, through whom we have received the Scriptures and our Savior, the Messiah of Israel, and "they are beloved for the sake of the fathers" (Romans 11:28); and
WHEREAS, There has been an organized effort on the part of some either to deny that Jewish people need to come to their Messiah, Jesus, to be saved; or to claim, for whatever reason, that Christians have neither right nor obligation to proclaim the gospel to the Jewish people; and
WHEREAS, There is evidence of a growing responsiveness among the Jewish people in some areas of our nation and our world.
Be it therefore RESOLVED, that we, the messengers of the Southern Baptist Convention, meeting in N e w Orleans, Louisiana, June 11-13, 1996, reaffirm that w e are not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek (Romans 1:16); and
Be it further RESOLVED, that we recommit ourselves to prayer, especially for the salvation of the Jewish people as well as for the salvation of "every kindred and tongue and people and nation" (Revelations 5:9); and
Be it finally RESOLVED, That we direct our energies and resources toward the proclamation of the gospel to the Jewish people.
Annual of the 1996 Southern Baptist Convention, Report of the Resolutions Committee, “Resolution No. 10 – On Jewish Evangelism,” Minutes Item 126, p. 97.
Resolution No. 3 — In A Celebration of Israel’s 60th Anniversary (2008)
Finally, sixty years after Truman, in a surprise victory that rivaled the shock of his recognition of Israel’s independence, was elected President for a full term, Southern Baptists recognized the role one of their own played in the history of the Jewish people:
WHEREAS, The Jewish people were without a homeland from the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, dispersed throughout the world yet retaining their unique and biblical heritage; and
WHEREAS, During this time, Jews were severely and routinely persecuted and at times faced the threat of total extermination; and
WHEREAS, On May 14, 1948, the state of Israel was created, becoming the only majority Jewish state in the world; and
WHEREAS, The state of Israel was immediately recognized by the United States of America by President Harry S. Truman; and
WHEREAS, In spite of great opposition during these six decades, the state of Israel has recently observed its 60th anniversary as a sovereign nation; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, June 10-11, 2008, rejoice with the state of Israel in this milestone achievement; and be it further
RESOLVED, That we join in prayer for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6-7), calling upon world leaders to renounce the growing tide of anti-Semitism; and be it finally
RESOLVED, That Southern Baptists express our appreciation and pledge our prayers for Israel, the birthplace of our Lord and a bastion of democracy in the Middle East.
Annual of the 2008 Southern Baptist Convention, Report of the Resolutions Committee, “Resolution No. 3 – In A Celebration of Israel’s 60th Anniversary,” Minutes Item 175, p. 82.