Following the lead of Baptist activists, a Tennessee pastor from the Presbyterian Church in America today is scheduled to introduce a resolution to the denomination’s General Assembly to urge members across the nation to pull their children out of public school.
As WorldNetDaily reported, a group of Baptists last year presented a resolution to the Southern Baptist Convention that eventually was killed.
Noting that “the millions of children in government schools spend seven hours a day, 180 days a year being taught that God is irrelevant to every area of life,” the resolution said, “Many Christian children in government schools are converted to an anti-Christian worldview rather than evangelizing their schoolmates.”
Similar in tone, the Presbyterian resolution is considerably shorter than the Baptists’. It states:
Whereas, The Bible commands fathers to bring up their children in the training and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4), and all parents who have had a child baptized in the Presbyterian Church in America have taken a vow to strive by all the means of God’s appointment to bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (BCO 56-5), and
A truly Christian education begins with the fear of the Lord (Proverbs 9:10), and teaches children to think biblically about all of life (2 Corinthians 10:5; Romans 12:2; Deuteronomy 6:6-9), and
Whereas, The public school system does not offer a Christian education, but officially claims to be “neutral” with regard to Christ, a position that Christ Himself said was impossible (Luke 11:23), and
Whereas, The public schools are by law humanistic and secular in their instruction, and as a result the attending children receive an education without positive reference to the Triune God, and
Whereas, Some courageous teachers in our congregations disregard this law. Obeying God rather than men, they try to give their students a truly Christian education (Acts 4:18-20). This resolution should not be construed to discourage these adult believers who faithfully labor as missionaries to unbelieving colleagues and students. However, these rare exceptions should not lead anyone to believe the public schools are regularly giving children a truly Christian education.
Whereas, Sending thousands of PCA children as “missionaries” to their unbelieving teachers and classmates has failed to contribute to increasing holiness in the public schools. On the contrary, the Nehemiah Institute documents growing evidence that the public schools are successfully converting covenant children to secular humanism, and
Whereas, We are squandering a great opportunity to instruct these children in the truth of God’s word and its application to all of life;
Therefore, be it resolved that the 33rd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America encourages all her officers and members to remove their children from the public schools and see to it that they receive a thoroughly Christian education, for the glory of God and the good of Christ’s church.
The leader of the resolution effort is the Rev. Steve Warhurst, pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Kingsport, Tenn.
He explained that the Presbyterian Church in America, or PCA, General Assembly has three options when a resolution is introduced. It can vote on it immediately – an unlikely choice; it can refer it to a committee that will debate the issue and refer it to the Assembly floor with a recommendation; or the committee can appoint a “study committee,” which would research the issue and bring it forward the following year.
Warhurst says he expects something to be decided by the end of the Assembly Friday.
The General Assembly normally consists of about 1,000 voting members. This year’s gathering is being held at the Chattanooga Convention Center in Chattanooga, Tenn. The denomination consists of 1,248 churches and about 350,000 total members.
PCA left the larger Presbyterian Church USA in the early ’70s due to disagreements on doctrine. Warhurst’s denomination is more conservative.
The pastor says those who started PCA “weren’t pleased with the liberalism in the bigger denomination.”
Warhurst says he knows the men behind the Baptist resolution and was inspired to make a similar move at his denomination’s annual conference.
Though many are pessimistic about the resolution’s chances, Warhurst is hopeful.
“Almost everybody I talk to says it doesn’t have a chance,” he told WND, “but I’m more optimistic.
“There are a lot of folks who support Christian education in the PCA.”
Warhurst says the denomination stresses that there is a difference between the education offered at its college, Covenant College, and secular institutions, and the same argument should hold for K-12 schooling.
“They want people to come to their college, so they say it has something preferable to a state university,” he explained, “particularly a Christian world view.”
Continued Warhurst: “It’s really pretty basic that Christian people would want to give their children a Christian education. … I don’t know what has happened to us over the past century or so, but for some reason people don’t think they have to give their children a Christian education anymore, but I think it’s biblically required.”
Warhurst homeschools his own six children.
One of the PCA pastors that has signed on to the resolution is the Rev. D. James Kennedy, pastor of the nearly 10,000-member Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and host of the “Coral Ridge Hour” national television program.
Also supporting the resolution is Joel Belz, founder of World magazine and a PCA elder.
Meanwhile, a new Baptist resolution that urges churches to investigate the level of homosexual advocacy in their local school districts is in the denomination’s Resolutions Committee and could be considered by the Southern Baptist Convention as a whole at its gathering next week.
Yesterday, proponents of the resolution issued a letter addressed to Dr. Gene Mims, chairman of the Resolutions Committee, signed by almost 50 statewide pro-family groups from around the nation urging him to move the proposal out of committee.