December 5, 2020
Resolution of the Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Convention in the USA
Because the Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Convention in the USA was unable to hold its annual conference in 2020 and to approve a resolution in the presence of delegates due to restrictions related to the coronavirus (COVID-19),
IT IS RESOLVED to consider today’s issues concerning the life and ministry of evangelical believers in the United States and to adopt a resolution at an expanded board meeting on December 5, 2020.
Concerning the Church and evangelization
IT IS RESOLVED to recognize that the most important task of the Church on earth is to save lost people and bring them to the Kingdom of God.
IT IS RESOLVED to call on every believer in the churches of the Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Convention in the United States to take responsibility for the fulfillment of God’s commission – to be a witness of Jesus’ love to others through the power of prayer and the Gospel.
Regarding restrictions due to coronavirus (COVID-19)
IT IS RESOLVED to support those pastors and churches that need moral or material assistance due to the illness of ministers or members of congregations and/or government restrictions because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and are unable to attend regular services.
IT IS RESOLVED to appeal to each branch of government, politicians and officials to promote the protection of religious freedom that is guaranteed to everyone under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and to ensure that worship services are conducted in accordance with one’s own religious conscience.
Regarding gender policy
IT IS RESOLVED to support and strengthen pastors in proclaiming the truth of God’s Word and parents who teach their children in the Lord regarding God-given gender identities (distinctions between men and women). And,IT IS RESOLVED to call on every branch of government, politicians and officials to support a state policy that recognizes the God-given unchanging difference between a man and a woman.
Regarding racial discrimination
IT IS RESOLVED to disavow and condemn any form of racial and ethnic hatred that is contrary to the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
On behalf of the expanded board meeting
Recommendations of the Association’s Board to its Churches
Peace be to you pastors, ministers, brothers and sisters in Christ,
The year 2020 has brought unexpected changes, both globally and personally, related to COVID 19. As Christians, we are particularly concerned that there is intolerance in society, and in some cases even hostility, toward believers. In some states and cities, authorities have banned Christian meetings in church-owned properties. The new global and political challenges facing churches require a new understanding of the situation. Whatever the circumstances, the Church of Jesus Christ must continue to keep the Lord’s command to preach the gospel to the world until His coming. In this regard, the association’s board recommends the following to its churches.
1. In relation to the church as God’s representation on earth. According to the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, churches, as religious institutions, have the right to freely practice their form of religion/belief and gather. Therefore, the member churches of the Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Convention in the United States, which is registered and recognized by the law of the country, operate under the main law of the United States and hold Christian meetings on a legal basis.
The First Amendment provides that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting its free exercise. It protects freedom of speech, the press, assembly, and the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances. In accordance with our legal rights, we RECOMMEND meeting on Sundays and other days, as the church sees it, during a pandemic to edify church members, to encourage believers in the hope of the Lord, to give everyone the opportunity for spiritual and physical assistance. The church’s priorities always were and remain: a) glorification and worship of God; b) Bible study; c) prayer; d) evangelization or dissemination of the Gospel, and e) communion and fellowship of the saints.
2. In relation to the social life of local churches during coronavirus COVID-19, we recommend: To listen to and follow the recommendations established by health authorities and make every effort to respect the health of others and prevent one’s own illness. We believe that health, as well as life, is a gift of God, so we should value them and accept everything from “His hand” and trust Him in trials.
3. In relation to changes in U.S. political life. Although political turbulence has negative effects on church life, it should not dominate churches. We Christians recognize that the church is called to pray for the authorities and to work for unity in society. We believe that through the preaching of the gospel the church can best influence people on a personal level as well as in social and political spheres. Christians, as citizens of the country, must take advantage of the right to vote during elections and take part in the political life of the country in order to support and spread biblical values regarding the family, the protection of unborn children, the equality of all races, and the right to assemble freely to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ.
We recognize that the family is a union between a man and a woman established by God and is an unchanging institution and the basis of any society. The Bible condemns homosexual couples, and this way of life qualifies as a sin.
We recognize that life is the greatest value God has given to man. Therefore, we oppose the threat to the lives of unborn babies and we defend their right to life in the same way as for people already born. We recognize that all people are created in the image of God and should be treated equally without prejudice, and without promoting racial superiority or racial inferiority.
We condemn those forms of social order where: the supremacy of the state is recognized over human dignity; the right of private property is abolished; worship of the Lord is restricted or prohibited; people are forced to submit to a political system or to one person.
On behalf of the board of the association,
Igor Melnichuk, secretary of the association
December 5, 2020