June 20, 2005

The REASON For The Public School "Crisis"

WHEREAS, Southern Baptists historically have been strong supporters of public education, and

WHEREAS, Southern Baptists have been deeply committed to the right of all children to achieve their God-given potential, and

WHEREAS, The American public school system is now facing its most serious crisis in history, due to the complex issues of communicating moral values, financing, family breakdown, discipline, the "back to basics movement," racial desegregation, and church-state problems, and

WHEREAS, Many Baptists occupy administrative and teaching positions in the public school system,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, That Southern Baptists be urged to pray regularly for those teachers and administrators who work faithfully in the public school system, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That while recognizing the validity of the ministry of church-related private schools, Southern Baptists be urged to become more involved in shaping and supporting public schools, participating responsibly wherever possible in the local school and in the decision-making bodies which determine the course of public education, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That we hereby commit ourselves to help achieve quality education for every child in this nation.

That was a Southern Baptist resoultion in 1971. The emphasis I've added shows where the problem is.

We didn't do it. And now it's a mess, and we want to run away from it.

Parents, educate your kids in the manner you see fit. But Christians, involve yourselves in the schools in your area.

We resolved to do this over 30 years ago. We failed. Let's not fail again.

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 04:39 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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1 way to encourage people to engage the world around them. Some would call this "being missional", something that gets me excited.

Posted by: David at June 20, 2005 07:04 PM (XhdaF)

2 Great post! I totally agree. I've commented on this as well.

Posted by: Howie at June 20, 2005 09:15 PM (ZDULp)

3 When historically and exactly did the SBC begin to care about the education of every single child?

Posted by: stan at June 24, 2005 09:54 PM (lKejd)

4 I've gotten into the habit (a bad one, at that) of answering comments by email. I'm trying to break myself of that, AND I think that this is an important question, so here goes: The 1961 Resolution on Religious Liberty and Education is targeted at all students, not just Christians or Southern Baptists. Throughout the 40s the Convention addressed the use of public money to fund religious education (they were against it, believe it or not). The public school system has historically had the full support of Southern Baptists -- as early as 1863 there were resolutions at the Convention concerning education and the SBC's role in supporting the education of it's members, as well as all citizens. The 1979 Resolution on the Crisis in Education reaffrimed the committment to "the right of all children to achieve their God-given potential ... we hereby commit ourselves to help achieve quality education for every child in this nation." The SBC has a long tradition of being involved in education: this is one of the reasons that the current trend toward wanting to push people to leave the schools is upsetting to many traditional Southern Baptists. I'm not one of those, but the trend does bother me as well.

Posted by: Warren at June 24, 2005 10:07 PM (iJfPJ)

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