The Southern Baptist Exit Strategy: Let Our Children Go!<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
All Eyes on Greensborough
In the year 2006, never has there been such a clear antithesis between those who love our God, our country and our children, and those who wish to destroy our God, our country and our children. Nowhere is this battle being fought more aggressively and fiercely than in the halls of our government (public schools).
Federal circuit court judges held in November 2005 in Fields v. Palmdale that "parents have no constitutional right ... to prevent a public school from providing its students with whatever information it wishes to provide, sexual, or otherwise, when and as the school determines that it is appropriate to do so."
In December 2005, a federal judge ruled in favor of government schools indoctrinating children with Darwinian dogmatism. It is self-evident that secular humanism, and it's concomitant moral relativism has become the official state sponsored religion in government schools.
Amidst this overt indoctrination there is rightly reason to be concerned but also reason to have hope.
Enter the Southern Baptists.
Last year at the 2005 <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />SBC Annual Meeting the messengers adopted a resolution urging churches and parents to investigate their public schools to determine, among other things, whether they are endangering children in their care by collaborating with homosexual activists.
Dr. Albert Mohler, President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, weighed in on the controversy stating that "We have no reason to believe that next year will not bring even more urgent concerns related to public education" and declaring that it is time for responsible Southern Baptists to develop an exit strategy from the public schools.
Roger Moran, a member of the Southern Baptist Convention's Executive Committee and a leader in the Missouri Baptist Convention, and Dr. Bruce N. Shortt, co-sponsor of the 2004 and 2005 Christian Education Resolutions and author of The Harsh Truth About Public Schools, have submitted a resolution for consideration at the 2006 SBC Annual Meeting urging churches to heed Dr. Mohler's call to develop an exit strategy from the public schools that will give particular attention to the needs of orphans, single parents, and the disadvantaged.
This year's SBC Annual Meeting will be held June 13-14 in Greensboro, North Carolina, and indeed all eyes will be on Greensborough.
A Divided Denomination
Much like the divide over conservative and liberal theology, another battle line is being drawn.
I witnessed this divide when I submitted a resolution to the state Convention of Southern Baptists in Ohio in December of 2005 urging pastors to encourage parents to remove their children from public schools. There was a debate between those who could see the spiritual danger being wrought upon our children, and those who for whatever reason felt that "their schools were different."
A precious lady talked about how our children seem to have no hope, and that we have to give them hope. The Ohio resolution passed but stopped short of calling on parents to withdraw their children and instead urged parents, "to embrace their responsibility to educate their children by choosing a means of education that would " ensure their physical, moral, emotional, and spiritual well-being, with a goal of raising godly men and women who are thoroughly equipped to live as fully devoted followers of Christ"
Are our children becoming "devoted followers of Christ" in our government schools?
The Salt and Light Myth, and Whose Converting Whom
Dr. Shortt argues that this is an issue that must be faced squarely: "Many Christian pastors and leaders still try to evade the cold, hard facts by talking about 'school reform' and 'salt and light.' Well, we've tried that strategy for forty years and more, and, after trillions of dollars of reform, anyone who takes a serious look at the consequences of our government school habit can see that the Church has been hemorrhaging children for more than a generation and that the public schools are stuck on stupid morally and academically.
E. Ray Moore, Jr., founder of Exodus Mandate describes how the tables have turned in the government schools, "In the early days of homeschooling," Moore said, " People always used to ask us two questions. 'The government lets you do that?' and What about socialization?'
Now the environment in the public schools has grown so toxic that it's our turn to ask Christian parents who've left their children in these schools, 'God lets you do that?' and 'What about socialization?' ."(Lee Duigon, Homeschooling Goes on the Offensive, Chalcedon: November 1, 2005.)
Shortt goes on to say, "Older people just don't understand the current state of the schools," he said. "After a generation of defining deviancy downward and accepting lower and lower standards, the schools today are as different from the schools of 40 or 50 years ago as a 747 is from a biplane."(Lee Duigon, Chalcedon: November 1, 2005)
We have been deluded to think that because a teacher has a scripture verse on the desk, we gather around a flag pole, or a have a moment of silence in the morning that our kids are getting a Christian education.
We are raising up warriors for homosexual activism rather than warriors for Jesus Christ. More often than not our children are losing their savor, and their light is being extinguished.
Reaping the Whirlwind
Dr. Rick Scarborough, Founder of Vision America, the leading Southern Baptist grassroots activist, and author of the recently released Liberalism Kills Kids, strongly endorses the resolution and sees an urgent need for the SBC to plan an exit strategy:
"Public Schools have long ceased to be a positive reinforcer of traditional values. In fact, they are not even neutral on many crucial issues which are important to people of faith. 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. These are non- compromising issues for Christians."
Linda Harvey of Mission America has developed a survey instrument known as the "Risk Audit" to assist Christian organizations, churches and parents in determining whether their local school districts are placing children at risk by having clubs, programs, policies, or curricula that could influence children to regard homosexual behavior as an acceptable lifestyle. Click here for a "Risk Audit" for your local school.
Harvey says, "Based on my ten years of tracking and researching the growth of homosexual activism in public schools, I know that very few parents are aware that the majority of public school districts are selling our children the dangerous and false notion that homosexuality is a normal and acceptable lifestyle."
The numbers speak for themselves.
A 2001 Zogby Poll of high school seniors found that roughly 2/3rds of those seniors believed that homosexual marriage and adoption should be legal. Even higher percentages supported "hate crimes" legislation to give special status to homosexuals and effectively silence the church.
The impact of homosexual activism alone has been staggering in my sphere of influence. There are young women in their early twenties, having lesbian affairs on the job, and acting it out on the clock. Women are abandoning their husbands and children for other women, men are abandoning their wives and children for other men, there are countless men who want to be women, and countless women who want to be men.
The church is not immune to these issues as well. During the marriage petition drive in 2004 in Ohio which passed by an overwhelming 62 percent, the issue of homosexual marriage was at the forefront. It became frustrating to have to explain to young "Christian," youths why two people loving each other do not automatically qualify for marriage. The Church and consequently the nation is reaping a whirlwind.
Defending the Fatherless
One powerful aspect, and God honoring quality of the 2006 resolution is that it, "Asks That Particular Attention be Given to the Needs of Orphans, Single Parents, and the Disadvantaged."
Dr. Voddie Baucham, a prominent SBC leader, and author of the book, Ever Loving Truth endorses the resolution because he knows from personal experience how the government school monopoly fails millions of children every day: "I know what its like to be a poor kid trapped in underperforming schools. Being raised by a single mother in the inner city, I had no choice but to accept the inferior education my schools offered. Not to mention the drugs, sex, and violence that were all part of the package."
"Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world." James 1:27
The time has come to make sure men and women like Baucham are not left behind.
For Such a Time as This
God has uniquely positioned the SBC to encourage fathers, and come alongside single mothers and equip them to provide a thoroughly Christian education either through Christian schooling or home education. Imagine if every SBC church had an adjacent Christian school, and encouraged and assisted parents in educating their children. The impact would be staggering.
Much however, depends on the outcome in Greensborough and whether pastors will defend our children, or continue to stay silent. The cost of silence may be too high.
At the SBC's own 2002 annual meeting, the Southern Baptist Council on Family Life reported, that 88 percent of the children raised in evangelical homes leave the church at or about age 18.
Soon the SBC will work its way into irrelevancy, and we will lose our denomination.
"For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise from the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this, (Esther 4:14)
"As goes the SBC so goes the larger Church in the USA and, as goes the Church, so goes the nation."
(E. Ray Moore, Jr, USAR Ret CH(Lt.Col.)
Now is the time to act. Please SBC, let our children go!
Nicholas A. Jackson
Nick is Executive Director of Reform America, and Ohio Coordinator for Exodus Mandate. In addition, he spends time as a free-lance writer articulating the Christian viewpoint into our culture. "And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of paths to dwell in." Isaiah 58:12
Website: www.reformamerica.com Email: email@example.com
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