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Resolution On Church-state Relations

WHEREAS, The doctrine of soul liberty is basic to Baptist beliefs, its corollary being the doctrine of a free church in a free state, and

WHEREAS, The Southern Baptist Convention has often expressed itself for separation of church and state, and

WHEREAS, In the passing years there has been an increasing complication in church-state relations in such matters as tax money in the form of grants and loans available for private and sectarian institutions, tax privileges for religious groups, religious ministries to armed service personnel, public assistance to dependent persons, international emergency needs, and basic health services, and

WHEREAS, Organized society has increasingly undergirded the provision of care for people in need because of age, lack of job skills or opportunities, illness, death of the breadwinner, or other emergencies, and

WHEREAS, Many, if not most of the new church-state issues are arising through federal and state-administered programs or through urban planning and growth, and

WHEREAS, We are called upon continually to make a more precise definition of the separation of church and state as applied to these changing relations and programs,

Therefore, be it RESOLVED, By the messengers of the Southern Baptist Convention meeting at Houston, Texas, June 7, 1968, that we reaffirm our basic doctrine of soul liberty and the corollaries of religious liberty for all men and a separation of church and state, and

Be it further RESOLVED, That we reaffirm our faith in the principle that tax funds came from all citizens and should not be used to further the advantages of any religious or sectarian causes, and

Be it further RESOLVED, That we commend those who have made studied analyses of these changing situations in an effort to safeguard our basic insights on freedom and on human dignity and need, and

Be it further RESOLVED, That we urge Baptist agencies and institutions to assign leadership responsibilities concerning church-state relationships designed to safeguard both the people’s rights under government and their freedom under God.