Resolution to Call for Baptist “Exodus” from Public Schools (And You Can Help)
Has the time come for an “exodus” of Christian children from government schools that promote atheism and homosexuality? And if it has, who should lead the way?
Bruce Shortt and Roger Moran have submitted a resolution for consideration at the 2006 annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention “urging churches to heed [the] call to develop an exit strategy from the public schools.” With some 16 million members, the SBC is America’s biggest Protestant denomination. Its annual meeting will be on June 13–14 at Greensboro, North Carolina. If the SBC leads an exodus into Christian schools and homeschooling, other Protestants might follow.
“We are currently facing about a six-week window in which we have the opportunity to engage Christians and the general public on the issue of how we educate our children,” said Shortt, an attorney and the author of The Harsh Truth About Public Schools. “We also have the same period of time to influence the SBC resolutions committee.”
For the first time since public schools came to dominate American education, Christians now have the resources to replace them.
“Southern Baptist congregations can draw upon many existing buildings … to provide an alternative to educating children in government schools,” reads the resolution (for the full text, see www.exodusmandate.org). The congregations also have “many adults, including pastors, who can assist in the education of children as a ministry,” and “satellite, DVD, internet-enabled multi-media computer technology, and other more traditional forms of self-paced learning are effective ways of providing Christian education and are now very affordable.”
Christians have the buildings, the personnel, and the technology to set up their own comprehensive and efficient system for a Christian education, independent of the government schools. They also have a powerful motive.
“Public schools have long ceased to be a positive reinforcer of traditional values,” said Dr. Rick Scarborough, a leading SBC activist who supports the resolution. “Unfortunately, public education has been hijacked by people who reject Biblical teachings on man’s origin, the proper role of sex, and the acceptability of homosexuality.”
Roger Moran, co-sponsor of the resolution and a member of the SBC’s executive committee, agreed.
“Not only are the public schools the golden calf of the Religious Left,” he said, “they have also become their Trojan Horse, playing a major role in infiltrating and destroying the faith of those we have been commanded to train up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
Destroying the faith? According to demographic research cited in the resolution, “a large majority of children from Christian families do not have a Christian worldview”; “nearly one half of all [Southern Baptist] church members may not be Christians”; and “88 percent of the children raised in evangelical homes leave church at the age of 18, never to return.”
The resolution cites recent federal court rulings that demonstrate, say the authors, that the public schools purposely undermine parental authority (Ninth Circuit Court, Fields v. Palmdale, 2005: “parents have no constitutional right … to prevent a public school from providing its students with whatever information it wishes to provide, sexual or otherwise”), indoctrinate children with “dogmatic Darwinism,” and “implement curricula and policies teaching that the homosexual lifestyle is acceptable.”
Finally, the resolution urges the SBC to make Christian education available to “orphans, single parents, and the disadvantaged,” and “applauds the many adult members of our congregations who teach in government schools … who are truly called to labor as missionaries to unbelieving colleagues.”
You Can Help
At the 2005 annual meeting, the SBC approved a resolution urging parents to “investigate” whether their local public schools were promoting homosexuality, and, if so, to remove their children from those schools. This year’s resolution would build on that.
“Last year, letters to the resolution committee members proved decisive,” Shortt said. “A version of our resolution made it out of committee last year only because people wrote letters to the committee. People sent emails, too, but old-fashioned letters proved very effective with the committee.
“God has given us a great opportunity this year to call upon the church to show obedience in the education of our children. A few hundred thoughtful letters would make it far harder for the SBC leadership to bottle this resolution up in committee.
“The authors don’t need to be members of SBC churches. Last year many outside the SBC wrote to tell the committee how important this issue is to all Christians. I know from conversations with last year’s committee members that the letters, articles, and other materials were read.”
Here are the names and contact information for the ten members of the committee, plus SBC President Dr. Bobby Welch.
- Rev. T.C. French (pastor, committee chairman)
Jefferson Baptist Church
9135 Jefferson Hwy., Baton Rouge, LA 70809
pastor (at) jeffersonbaptist (dot) org
- Dr. Robin Hadaway
Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
5001 N. Oak Trafficway, Kansas City, MO 64118
rhadaway (at) mbts (dot) edu
- Gerald Harris
The Christian Index
2930 Flowers Rd. South, Atlanta, GA 30341
877-424-6339 or 770-936-5590
gharris (at) christianindex (dot) org
- Martha Lawley
818 Sagebrush Dr., Worland, WY 82401
- Pastor Dwayne Mercer
First Baptist Church
45 W. Broadway St., Oviedo, FL 32765
dmercer (at) fboviedo (dot) org
- Pastor Darrell Orman
First Baptist Church
201 SW Ocean Blvd., Stuart, FL 34994
tstrike (at) fbcstuart (dot) org
- Pastor Frank Page
Taylors First Baptist Church
200 W. Main St., Taylors, SC 29687
- Pastor Forrest Pollock
Bell Shoals Baptist Church
2102 Bell Shoals Rd., Brandon, FL 33511
pastor (at) bellshoals (dot) com
- Ida South
Member, SBC executive committee
Rte. 2, Box 618, Mathiston, MS 39752
- Pastor Mike Stone
5283 Rose Austin La., Blackshear, GA 31516
- Dr. Bobby Welch
President, Southern Baptist Convention
First Baptist Church
118 N. Palmetto Ave., Daytona Beach, FL 32114
bwelch (at) firstbaptist (dot) org
Topics: Church, The, Education