Southern Baptists and government schools

Far too few among the Christian community are willing to remain steadfast in their beliefs, in the face of the enormous pressures of liberal social change. Fortunately, Bruce N. Shortt exemplifies the meaning of such worthy resolve.

Last year Shortt, along with T.C. Pinckney, made waves at the 2004 Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) by stating the obvious: America's educational system has, over the past several decades,  turned away from promoting academics. Instead, it is primarily focused on a program of indoctrinating students toward countercultural social transformation.

Relentlessly working to eradicate any references to God or traditional morality, the nation's government schools now continually supplant such things with the twisted precepts of political correctness. This ideology seeks to obliterate the concept of moral absolutes. But only some absolutes. Even the slightest disagreement with certain views of the liberal elite violates their absolute standards, and thus constitutes 'hatred,' 'intolerance,' 'bigotry,' or 'insensitivity.'

So Shortt and Pinckney proposed a resolution encouraging Christian parents to remove their children from the public school system.   Unfortunately, though it should have been overwhelmingly accepted, the Southern Baptist Convention's response was quite the opposite.

An insipid objection was offered by Resolution Committee Chairman Calvin Wittman of Wheat Ridge, Colorado, who claimed that the Church would be wrong to 'usurp the authority that God had placed firmly in the home' for deciding where children ought to be educated. The resolution failed on a show of hands. 

Disturbing news stories regularly erupt from throughout the country detailing public school policies that affront innocent children along with the entire foundation of traditional morality. At best, the Church can only offer a weekly Sunday School lesson as antidote. With each ensuing outrage, it must be remembered that the Southern Baptists essentially collaborated by implicitly granting their institutional endorsement to the status quo.

This year however, things may be different. Mr. Shortt, with the help of Dr. Voddie Bauchan, has submitted another resolution for consideration by the SBC, admonishing Baptist Churches and parents merely to investigate the particular curriculums and philosophies being impressed upon the children in their own communities.

Of course Shortt and Bauchan know full well that Biblically reprehensible teachings are widespread among America's schools. Thus an acceptance of their resolution could be every bit as provocative as their previous effort.

Last year's resolution proposal was intended to focus on the institution of public schooling itself. In contrast, this year's effort seeks to admonish Church leaders and parents to be watchful for evidence of morally reprehensible ideologies that might be present in local classrooms. Once informed, Baptists can then either stand fast against such things, or passively acquiesce to them.

Admittedly, even if the resolution passes, no one is obligated to abide by it. And some will likely assuage their feelings of obligation by seeking reassurances from the very school officials who promote such material, in effect asking the fox to assess the chicken coop.

Still, some who do follow—up objectively will be unable to contain their shock and outrage at the abysmal situation they will find. It is difficult to ignore the evidence of moral decay in the public schools.

Had Christians refused to play along and instead removed their children en masse, back when the Supreme Court first prohibited prayer in government schools, the financial fallout alone would have been sufficient to cause the high court to quickly reconsider and ultimately reverse its decision.

But like Esau in the book of Genesis, they looked instead to their immediate comfort and convenience, and chose to play along, and have given up ground ever since. Instead of correcting the problem as they clearly had the power to do, they actually enabled it to continue and proliferate.

Shortt and Bauchan have wisely sought to include in their resolution a statement supporting Christian teachers who have not been given over to the post—modern mindset. Such people, assuming they remain steadfast, are to be commended for their courage no less than missionaries in a hostile foreign land.

In the end, the fate of the Shortt/Bauchan resolution will denote the condition of the SBC as either a spiritual guidepost to the nation and the world, or as just another follower of the latest social trends.

Far too few among the Christian community are willing to remain steadfast in their beliefs, in the face of the enormous pressures of liberal social change. Fortunately, Bruce N. Shortt exemplifies the meaning of such worthy resolve.

Last year Shortt, along with T.C. Pinckney, made waves at the 2004 Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) by stating the obvious: America's educational system has, over the past several decades,  turned away from promoting academics. Instead, it is primarily focused on a program of indoctrinating students toward countercultural social transformation.

Relentlessly working to eradicate any references to God or traditional morality, the nation's government schools now continually supplant such things with the twisted precepts of political correctness. This ideology seeks to obliterate the concept of moral absolutes. But only some absolutes. Even the slightest disagreement with certain views of the liberal elite violates their absolute standards, and thus constitutes 'hatred,' 'intolerance,' 'bigotry,' or 'insensitivity.'

So Shortt and Pinckney proposed a resolution encouraging Christian parents to remove their children from the public school system.   Unfortunately, though it should have been overwhelmingly accepted, the Southern Baptist Convention's response was quite the opposite.

An insipid objection was offered by Resolution Committee Chairman Calvin Wittman of Wheat Ridge, Colorado, who claimed that the Church would be wrong to 'usurp the authority that God had placed firmly in the home' for deciding where children ought to be educated. The resolution failed on a show of hands. 

Disturbing news stories regularly erupt from throughout the country detailing public school policies that affront innocent children along with the entire foundation of traditional morality. At best, the Church can only offer a weekly Sunday School lesson as antidote. With each ensuing outrage, it must be remembered that the Southern Baptists essentially collaborated by implicitly granting their institutional endorsement to the status quo.

This year however, things may be different. Mr. Shortt, with the help of Dr. Voddie Bauchan, has submitted another resolution for consideration by the SBC, admonishing Baptist Churches and parents merely to investigate the particular curriculums and philosophies being impressed upon the children in their own communities.

Of course Shortt and Bauchan know full well that Biblically reprehensible teachings are widespread among America's schools. Thus an acceptance of their resolution could be every bit as provocative as their previous effort.

Last year's resolution proposal was intended to focus on the institution of public schooling itself. In contrast, this year's effort seeks to admonish Church leaders and parents to be watchful for evidence of morally reprehensible ideologies that might be present in local classrooms. Once informed, Baptists can then either stand fast against such things, or passively acquiesce to them.

Admittedly, even if the resolution passes, no one is obligated to abide by it. And some will likely assuage their feelings of obligation by seeking reassurances from the very school officials who promote such material, in effect asking the fox to assess the chicken coop.

Still, some who do follow—up objectively will be unable to contain their shock and outrage at the abysmal situation they will find. It is difficult to ignore the evidence of moral decay in the public schools.

Had Christians refused to play along and instead removed their children en masse, back when the Supreme Court first prohibited prayer in government schools, the financial fallout alone would have been sufficient to cause the high court to quickly reconsider and ultimately reverse its decision.

But like Esau in the book of Genesis, they looked instead to their immediate comfort and convenience, and chose to play along, and have given up ground ever since. Instead of correcting the problem as they clearly had the power to do, they actually enabled it to continue and proliferate.

Shortt and Bauchan have wisely sought to include in their resolution a statement supporting Christian teachers who have not been given over to the post—modern mindset. Such people, assuming they remain steadfast, are to be commended for their courage no less than missionaries in a hostile foreign land.

In the end, the fate of the Shortt/Bauchan resolution will denote the condition of the SBC as either a spiritual guidepost to the nation and the world, or as just another follower of the latest social trends.