Baptists and the American Civil War: October 9, 1865

gabaptistassoci_oct1865Today the Georgia Baptist Association, meeting at the Bairds Baptist Church in Oglethorpe County, concludes. As is often customary in Baptist associations, delegates issue a “report” on the state of the churches of the association that will be circulated among member congregations in the weeks and months to come.

The report declares, in part:

[Some church members] engage in practices … plainly condemned in the Word of God–namely, the making, selling and drinking ardent spirits as a beverage; fiddling and dancing, entertaining in our hearts against christian brethren, envy, malice or unkind feelings, and other sinful practices consequent upon yielding to the temptations by which we are surrounded in the present state of our country.

In view of all these things, we recommend the Churches of this Association to observe Friday, the 2d day of February next, as a day of Public Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer to Almighty God, that he may remove these evils, and give us grace to serve him acceptably, with reverence and Godly fear.

Where in the Bible that delegates find prohibitions against drinking alcohol, fiddling and dancing is unknown.

And, as in most if not all white Baptist associations of the South meeting this fall, no apology is offered for the enslavement of African Americans, nor for yet treating them as inferior humans.

Source: “Minutes of the eighty-first anniversary of the Georgia Baptist Association held with Bairds Church, Oglethorpe County, October 6th, 7th and 9th, 1865” (link)