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Wednesday
Nov102010

Virginia Baptists Take A Bold Stand for Historical Truth

This week the Baptist General Convention of Virginia passed the following resolution:

Inaccurate history threatens religious liberty

Whereas, the Baptist principles of religious liberty and its safeguard, separation of church and state (or government neutrality toward all religions and nonreligion), are well grounded in this nation’s history, and

Whereas, the labors of Virginians, notably Thomas Jefferson, George Mason, James Madison, and the Baptist minister John Leland, were crucial in the historic events that made these two principles part of our nation’s Bill of Rights, and

Whereas, no people, Baptist or otherwise, can remain true to its principles if its knowledge or collective memory of these principles is tampered with, altered, or replaced by a false version of history, and

Whereas, the Religious Liberty Committee of the Baptist General Association of Virginia has concluded that systematic efforts have been under way in recent decades to write and teach versions of American history that minimize and sometimes deny the historic basis of one or both of the principles named above, and

Whereas, resources are available for correcting any such mistaken history, including a 1999 article by Stephen Stookey of Fort Worth, Texas,

Now therefore be it resolved, that the Baptist General Association of Virginia calls upon Virginia Baptists, and all who cherish religious liberty, (1) to redouble their efforts to know and teach the historical foundation and meaning of the two principles named above, (2) to regard it as a threat to the flourishing of religious liberty when any version of our nation’s history minimizes or denies the historical basis of either of these principles, and (3) to be diligent in resisting and correcting any such mistaken version of our history.

At a time when many Baptists have abandonded their own faith heritage, Virginia Baptists are to be highly commended for taking a stand for historical truth, and for remaining faithful to the founding principles of their Baptist forebears.

Read the story from Associated Baptist Press.

Reader Comments (1)

Hoorah for Baptists in Virginia, the home of religious freedom. After marrying a Baptist and having a child, I joined a Baptist church. I first learned of the role of Baptists in securing religious freedom by working in Bible School. Sadly, it seems that this basic tenet is no longer taught or valued by many Baptists in my state.

Nov 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMary Graves

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