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Baptist 'exit strategy' means get kids out of public schools
Posted By Bob Unruh On 10/20/2006 @ 1:00 am In Front Page | Comments Disabled
If you like sexually transmitted diseases, shootings and high teen pregnancy rates, by all means, send your children to public schools. That’s the word from a leader in the fast-growing movement within the 16 million-member Southern Baptist Convention for parents to pull their children from those schools in favor of homeschooling.
Pastor Wiley Drake
The program is called Exit Strategy and Pastor Wiley Drake, whose home state of California has done some things especially offensive to Christians this year, is a leading promoter.
In an interview with WND, he said that those problems and others are prevalent in public schools, and some Christian leaders even have said it could be considered child abuse just to register children in such a facility.
That’s why resolutions encouraging members of the nation’s largest Protestant church organization to exit public schools have been submitted in every SBC state and regional convention in the U.S., he said.
“Basically, (the education system) has been saying, ‘You have to let us teach your kids anything we want,’” said Wiley, citing some of the pro-homosexual material being required in public education.
“Well, we don’t like it and we’re not going to put up with it,” he said.
The “Exit Strategy Resolution” is based on Albert Mohler’s recommendation in 2005 that, in light of the “spiritual, moral, and academic decay in the government schools, Southern Baptists develop an exit strategy from the public schools.” It also coordinates with work done by ExodusMandate.org, which works to have parents move children to Christian teaching.
Mohler is president of the SBC’s flagship seminary, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville and one of the SBC’s leading theologians.
“Dr. Mohler is right, Southern Baptists, and Christians generally, need to plan a Christian educational future for our children,” Wiley said. “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, make the public schools an unsafe place for our children,” he said.
“Although changing the hearts and minds of people is often a slow process, attitudes about how we educate our children are changing within Southern Baptist life,” said Roger Moran, a member of the SBC’s executive committee. “Increasingly we are recognizing that if we are going to profess the name of Christ, then our lives should be a testimony to authentic Biblical Christianity. Yet, how can we expect our children to have that testimony when they are ‘trained up’ in secular public schools to have a secular mindset that excludes the acknowledgement of God and the Word of God at every point?”
“The experiment with government schooling has failed,” said Bruce Shortt, a co-sponsor of the “Exit Strategy” resolution. “What Baptists need to do now is create a new public education system, a system that is public in the sense that it is open to everyone and that takes into account the needs of orphans, single parents, and the disadvantaged. With our existing buildings, our talented people, and the educational technology available today, it is now possible to create rapidly an affordable, effective Christian education alternative to the government schools.”
There are numerous estimates that homeschooling in the United States, already one of the fast-growing segments of education, involves 2.5 million students. The nation’s largest home educator’s organization, the Home School Legal Defense Fund, has more than 80,000 member families alone. It’s estimated that the curriculum, materials and supplies for those students already surpass $1 billion a year.
But if, in fact, a large-scale movement within the SBC would develop, its 16 million members could double or triple or more the size of the homeschool community literally at will.
Those families belong to 42,000 churches in 1,200 local associations and 41 state conventions and fellowships.
Drake said the call for abandonment of government-run secular institutions didn’t develop overnight.
“We’ve been hoping against hope that somewhere along the line we could wake them up and get their attention,” he said. “We did our best, we hung in there with them as long as we could. We just can’t put up with them any longer.”
“All of this is based on the fact that schools have been teaching a New World Order rather than an Old World order, a Biblically-based world order, as it applies to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
“We finally had to do something,” he said.
College-level education also needs to be addressed, because 50 years ago when chewing gum and spitwads were the problems in school, Princeton, Yale and Harvard essentially were seminaries where students would learn the Bible, and then move into politics, medicine and the law.
The decision follows by a year a resolution in the SBC Annual Meeting urging churches and parents “to investigate their public schools to determine, among other things, whether they are endangering children in their care by collaboration with homosexual advocates.”
Rick Scarborough, founder of Vision America and author of “Liberalism Kills Kids,” said schools have long since stopped providing positive reinforcement 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.”
The resolution notes that federal judges have allowed 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 …” and specifically permitted government schools to teach Darwinism and the acceptability of homosexuality.
Since the convention already owns buildings that could be used, has on staff many teachers who could contribute, and can take advantage of satellite and Internet technologies, there should be no major obstacles, officials said.
Drake, pastor of First Southern Baptist Church in Buena Park, Calif., is in a state where the problem probably is more easily defined, because of issues addressed by the most recent state Legislature.
That group approved several different plans that would have required local public schools to teach sensitivity to the “discrimination” against alternative sexual lifestyles and integrate “tolerance training” into history and social science curriculums. A required program would have forced students not only to learn a “new definition” of tolerance, but would have required them to accept and advocate for homosexuality, bisexuality and transgenderism.
Another plan would have prevented any school teaching materials or activities from “reflecting adversely” upon homosexuals, bisexuals or transgenders.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger
Former Assemblyman Larry Bowler, R-Elk Grove, said in his six years as a member of the Assembly Education Committee, “Never, never, in all the thousands of bills that I voted on in that committee, did I ever see anything even close to the destructive decadence of these three bills.”
These three were vetoed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, but family advocates believe there will be similar proposals in the future. The governor did sign into a law a plan to force Christian colleges – if a single student is attending on a state grant – to promote transexuality, bisexuality and homosexuality.
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