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From http://www.agapepress.org :




Top Stories of 2005: 'Exit Strategy' Idea May Be Catching On Among Southern Baptists
Year in Review: Church In America

By Jody Brown
December 29, 2005
(Originally published on November 8, 2005)

(AgapePress) - A Christian education resolution considered by the Southern Baptist Convention earlier this year -- and eventually passed in modified form -- seems to have ignited a fire under Christian leaders in several states. Associations of Southern Baptists in as many as 28 states have now introduced measures warning of pro-homosexual policies and material in public schools, and calling on parents to get involved in protecting their children from that influence.

Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., is president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. In June 2005 he suggested in a column that "responsible" Southern Baptists across the country begin developing an "exit strategy" from the nation's public schools. That strategy, he wrote, would affirm both the "basic and ultimate responsibility of Christian parents to take charge of the education of their own children" and the "responsibility of churches to equip parents, support families, and offer alternatives."

Mohler was commenting on a proposed resolution soon to come before the denomination's Resolutions Committee. That resolution, authored by Baptist evangelist Voddie Baucham and attorney Bruce N. Shortt, alleged that the influence of homosexual activists in the public school arena has resulted in curricula and rules that promote the acceptance of homosexuality as a morally legitimate lifestyle.

The Baucham/Shortt resolution proposed that, should investigations by local churches unearth pro-homosexual material or involvement in their schools, Southern Baptist parents in the community should be informed of that and encouraged to "remove their children from the school district's schools immediately."

The SBC's 2005 Annual Meeting eventually approved a modified version of that resolution, encouraging Baptists to consider alternative forms of education for their children -- such as home-schooling or private or Christian schools -- if evidence of homosexual influence is discovered.

Evidently the Baucham/Shortt resolution struck a chord with Southern Baptists across the country, as it has apparently inspired Baptist leaders in 28 states to introduce similar resolutions. One of those is Roger Moran, a Southern Baptist leader from Missouri who also is a member of the denomination's executive committee.

"One of the great tragedies of American Christianity has been the near universal failure of its leaders to boldly proclaim the inherent dangers lurking within America's government-owned and controlled schools," Moran says in a press release. "But now, in the context of Southern Baptist life, that is beginning to change."

According to Moran, those in his denomination -- and no doubt across the spectrum of American Christendom -- Christians are beginning to understand that it "matters supremely" the worldview that is being foisted upon children in the public schools. He says that "secular" worldview has laid the foundation for a "new morality" that, with the help of liberal judges, has cleared the way for homosexual activists to recruit youngsters into the homosexual lifestyle.

And in light of Dr. Mohler's comments, resolution co-sponsor Bruce Shortt sees a "sea change" coming in how Christians in general view the nation's public schools.

"There can be no better evidence of this change than Dr. Mohler's statement that responsible Baptists should begin developing an exit strategy from the public schools," Shortt says. "Another clear sign of mounting awareness and concern ... is reflected by the fact that the number of states covered by Christian education resolutions has nearly doubled over last year."

And Dr. Baucham feels that Christians are carrying out the Great Commission by "rescuing" children from government-run schools -- particularly those from low-income or single-parent families, who he says are often most vulnerable to the messages being delivered by homosexual activists.

"Our churches need to intervene to provide those children with a Christian education," he says. "The mission field is not just overseas; it is right here. And this mission effort requires a more serious commitment than just handling out tracts or sharing a testimony."

According to Baucham, it is also an issue of accountability: "No passage in the Bible suggests that God is concerned about our churches having large sanctuaries or elaborately produced music. He will, however, hold us accountable for our stewardship of our children."

The group Exodus Mandate says most of the Christian education resolutions coming out of state SBC associations -- like the Baucham/Shortt resolution -- point out the dangers of the homosexual lifestyle, highlight the methods used by schools as they collaborate with homosexual activists, call for parents to investigate their local schools, and then suggest how parents can choose alternative forms of education for their children.

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