Resolution Supports SBC President's Call for More Churches to Start Christian Schools
Call to Expand Christian Education Gaining Momentum within Southern Baptist Convention
Resolution Also Supports President Page's Call That Churches Make Christian Education Available to Children Whose Families Cannot Afford it
SBC Second Vice President Endorses Resolution
Contact: Dr. Voddie Baucham, 281-404-9368; Dr. Bruce Shortt, 832-483-8882; Pastor Wiley Drake, 714-865-8132; Chaplain E. Ray Moore, 803-714-1744
COLUMBIA, SC, May 2 /Christian Newswire/ -- The call for an "exodus" from the public schools continues to build momentum within the Southern Baptist Convention.
As the controversy over public schooling among Southern Baptists and other Christians continues to gather force, for the first time a president of the Southern Baptist Convention has publicly called upon churches to start more Christian schools and to make sure that provision is made for the children of families that would not otherwise be able to afford to attend.
In an August 2006 interview with Jim Brown of Agape Press, the newly elected President of the SBC, Dr. Frank Page, stated that he prays that more churches will begin offering Christian schools, both for families who can and for those who cannot afford such education.
In response to Dr Page, Dr. Voddie Baucham and Dr. Bruce Shortt have jointly submitted a resolution urging the messengers of the 2007 SBC Annual Meeting to give their full support to Dr. Page's call to expand Christian education within the SBC. Dr. Baucham and Dr. Shortt were also the co-sponsors of the 2005 SBC education resolution that resulted in the passage of Resolution No. 1, On Educating Children, at the 2005 SBC Annual Meeting,
Dr. Page's call for more Christian schools reflects an expanding debate among Christians about educating Christian Children in government schools that began with a resolution submitted to SBC's 2004 Annual Meeting and that was subsequently fueled by resolutions urging churches and parents to investigate collaboration by school districts with homosexual activists (2005) and in support of Dr. Albert Mohler's call for the SBC to develop an "exit strategy" from the government schools (2006).
In addition to Dr. Page and Dr. Mohler, past and present officers and members of the SBC's Executive Committee have begun to speak out on the need to provide Christian children with an alternative to government schools. Moreover, in the last three years increasing numbers of clergy and laymen have been raising this issue in Southern Baptist state and regional conventions.
Dr. Voddie Baucham notes, "Dr. Page's call for more Christian schools is the beginning of the 'exit strategy' that Dr. Mohler has urged be developed. If the SBC and American Christianity are to survive in any culturally relevant way, we are going to have to repent of our unfaithfulness in the education of our children. And we need to do this sooner rather than later."
According to Bruce Shortt, co-sponsor of the current resolution and of education resolutions submitted for the 2004, 2005, and 2006 SBC Annual Meetings:
"Dr. Page's bold recommendation demonstrates how far the debate over how we educate our children has moved since 2004. This is because Christians and others find it increasingly difficult to avert their eyes from the metastasizing spiritual, moral, and intellectual pathologies of the government school system. Southern Baptist churches and the SBC's institutions must get about the business of creating a new public school system – one that is "public" in the sense that it is open to anyone, but controlled by parents and churches, not bureaucrats and politicians."
Pastor Wiley Drake, Second Vice President of the SBC's Executive Committee and sponsor of the 2006 "Exit Strategy" resolution in the California Southern Baptist Convention, endorses Dr. Page's recommendation and the resolution:
"Dr. Page is right: Southern Baptists, and Christians generally, need to plan a Christian educational future for our children. First, Christian parents are obligated to provide their children with a Christ-centered education. Anyone who thinks that a few hours of youth group and church will have more influence on a child's faith and worldview than 40 to 50 hours a week of public school classes, activities, and homework is simply not being honest with himself. Second, the open collaboration between homosexual activists and many school districts, together with the overall level of crime and violence in the public schools, makes the public schools an unsafe place for our children."
Chaplain E. Ray Moore, founder of Exodus Mandate, points out, "The Southern Baptists are setting the pace in debating this critical issue. Other denominations such as the Presbyterian Church in America are also having this debate. It is our prayer and hope that this debate will take place in all Bible based denominations over the next few years and that both Christian parents and the institutional church will come to understand clearly the urgency of rescuing our children from the government schools."
Dr. Baucham is a pastor with a national teaching ministry and is the author of The Ever Loving Truth (Broadman & Holman) and the forthcoming The Family Driven Faith (Crossway).
In addition to co-sponsoring this year's education resolution, Dr. Shortt co-sponsored education resolutions at the 2004, 2005, and 2006 SBC Annual Meetings. Dr. Shortt is also a member of the board of directors of Exodus Mandate and is the author of The Harsh Truth About Public Schools (Chalcedon).
Additional information, including the text of the 2007 Resolution, can be found at www.exodusmandate.org.