Baptists revive anti-public-school resolution

Washington, USA - The Southern Baptist Convention Resolutions Committee will consider for the second consecutive year a resolution calling for church members to pull their children out of public schools.

Similar to one that failed last year, this resolution also asks churches "to lovingly warn all of their members concerning the toxic spiritual nature of the government school system."

Grady Arnold, a pastor in Texas who also directs, is submitting the measure along with David Scarbrough, minister of education at a Souther Baptist church in Tennessee.

"Southern Baptists have been playing the 'ostrich with its head in the sand' routine long enough," Arnold said. "The time is way overdue that we acknowledge the devastating effects public school is having on the faith of our children."

Arnold takes issue with Baptist leaders who argue that having their children in public schools is being "salt and light," a Christian influence and witness.

But Arnold points to the denomination's own data -- the SBC Council on Family Life Report of 2002 -- which says 88 percent of those Southern Baptist children after graduating from government high school are leaving the church.

The Arnold-Scarbrough Resolution: "(a) applauds Christians working in the government schools as missionaries, (b) calls on churches to warn their members of the devastating effects of sending their children to a totally secular institution for their education, (c) calls on churches to become aggressive and pro-active in starting Christian schools and in supporting homeschooling."

Scarbrough says the issue is "of utmost importance."

"Like in the days after Joshua (Judges 2) we are on the verge of losing an entire generation," he said. "We are trying to help as many Southern Baptists as we can see their responsibility to educate their children according to the scripture. And help them see what's wrong with the government school system."

As WorldNetDaily reported, a proposed resolution last year, written by Baptist activists T.C. Pinckney and Bruce N. Shortt, author of "The Harsh Truth About Public Schools," called on members to take their kids out of public schools and either homeschool them or send them to Christian schools.

The resolution, which made national headlines and received the support of the Home School Legal Defense Association, stated: "Government schools are by their own confession humanistic and secular in their instruction, [and] the education offered by the government schools is officially Godless."

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 proposed resolution said, "Many Christian children in government schools are converted to an anti-Christian worldview rather than evangelizing their schoolmates."