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« on: December 08, 2004, 10:58:20 AM »

Southern Baptists Increasingly Shunning Public Education

by Jim Brown
December 7, 2004

(AgapePress) - Frustration with public education seems to be growing among the nation's Southern Baptists, with supporters of Christian schools and home schooling arguing that if God is absent from the classroom, then their children should leave too.

Ed Gamble is executive editor of the Southern Baptist Association of Christian Schools, an Orlando, Florida-based group that supports more than 600 Southern Baptist schools created in the past eight years. He says as the public schools have become increasingly intolerant of things Christian, many people of faith have decided to go elsewhere.

According to Gamble, it is not so much that Christians are leaving the public schools as that the public schools have left Christians.

"A school education that's secular would teach us that God is an option and that we're all the product of random chance and millions of years of mutation and evolution," he says. "Those things are out of step with what God's Word teaches, and they're inappropriate for the education of children who would grow up to think and act biblically."

The Christian education advocate says the choice of more and more parents in America to select alternatives to government-funded schooling, such as private Christian academies and charter schools or home education, for their children is a growing trend. Earlier this year, a resolution proposed at the national meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention urged parents to remove their children from the "officially godless" public schools in the U.S.

Gamble feels Christians should not separate education from faith. "God's Word doesn't teach anything about a dualistic view of life -- about parts of life that are spiritual and parts of life that are not. There's no biblical recognition of a divide between sacred and secular," he says.

And, according to the SBACS spokesman, a growing number of Southern Baptists agree that the choice of how to educate their children should not be divorced from their Christian faith. Gamble is convinced that Southern Baptists, either as a denomination or at the level of individual churches, will continue to pull away from the public schools.


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