Southern Baptists Criticized for Failure to Speak Out on California Schools


Advocates of Christian schooling criticized the Southern Baptist Convention Resolutions Committee for declining to bring a resolution condemning a California law that critics say requires public schools to indoctrinate children into accepting homosexuality.

Darrell Orman, chairman of the Resolutions Committee, said the committee decided not to move forward with a proposed resolution protesting Senate Bill 777, signed into law last year by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, because the remedy it called for was to ask the 2,000 California Southern Baptist churches to remove their children from the state's public schools.

"For four years in a row our resolutions committees have addressed--three years before this--the idea of a national exit strategy and have chosen over and over again that we should engage the culture and not exit," said Orman, pastor of First Baptist Church in Stuart, Fla.

That explanation prompted Ron Wilson, pastor of First Baptist Church in Thousand Oaks, Calif., to propose an amendment to a resolution that criticized a California Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage to also "encourage all Christians in California to remove their children from the public schools, which are the main training grounds for the teaching of same-sex marriage."

"In light of what has just been said, engagement of the culture seems to be that we're going to use our children as cannon fodder in that engagement," Wilson said.

"If we're going to engage the culture, we can't just point out one little small part of this," Wilson said. "The key to this is attacking at its core, which is the public education system in our state."

Roger Moran, a messenger from First Baptist Church in Troy, Mo., and former member of the SBC Executive Committee said he found it "odd that we want to hand our children over to Caesar to be trained into a worldview of Caesar that is hostile to biblical Christianity, and then expect our kids to go in to do the culture war stuff, which are our youngest and most vulnerable."

"I am deeply concerned that there is an incredible disconnect between what we say as Southern Baptists that we believe and the lives that we're living," Moran said. "I guess my question is at what point are Southern Baptists going to rise up and say, 'Enough is enough?' We need to be faithful to Deuteronomy 6 in that we are going to train our children into a biblical worldview, so that the next generation of Southern Baptists are going to be committed to the same things we say we are."

"I think the idea that we would put our children under teachers where they will be instructed that homosexual behavior, homosexual marriage and those kind of things are acceptable is not a good idea, and it's not the way we need to go," Moran said.

Bruce Shortt, a messenger from North Oaks Baptist Church in Spring, Texas, found it "ironic that we have decided to speak on a Supreme Court case out of California that has national implications and are attempting to avoid speaking on legislation coming out of California that has even more dire consequences for the rest of us in this country."

"Even if we were to have the Supreme Court in California overturned, the public schools in California would still be teaching children that marriage can be between two men, two women, two transsexuals, two transvestites, a man and a transsexual and any number of combinations that you care to mention," Shortt said.

Shortt, an attorney, author and homeschool dad, is a leader in the SBC "exodus" movement that advocates a nationwide "exit strategy" from public schools.

"The committee says that they're not wanting to bring this up because they want to engage the culture," Shortt said. "I say what we are doing is an abject surrender to the culture."

"The California legislature has been offering up kindergarteners as a living sacrifice to the Moloch of a corrupt California public school system that is under the control of sexual deviants now, when it comes to the teaching of human sexuality, marriage and the family," Shortt said. "If we decide that we are not going to speak out on this, I think that history will look back on this and say that when the children of California needed help in being rescued, the Southern Baptist Convention blandly turned its face away, shrugged its shoulders, muttering 'Am I my brother's keeper?'"

Bob Allen is managing editor of EthicsDaily.com.

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