Last summer, it was the Presbyterian Church in America. Now it looks like it’s the Southern Baptist Convention’s turn to debate whether a resolution should be passed calling for members to withdraw their children from public schools:
Southern Baptist activists are again urging the denomination to remove its children from public schools, two years after a similar action was blocked.
The resolution calling for an ‘exit strategy’ from public schools is co-sponsored by Texas lawyer Bruce Shortt and Roger Moran, a member of the Southern Baptist Convention’s executive committee. They plan to submit the proposal for a possible vote by the convention at its annual meeting in North Carolina in June.
The resolution says recent federal court rulings have favored public schools ‘indoctrinating children with dogmatic Darwinism’ and have limited the rights of parents in deciding what schools can teach, including on matters of sexuality. Shortt and Moran announced their resolution after 56 pastors and church leaders urged Southern Baptists in a letter last week “to speak positively about public education.”
But the debate raises some interesting questions such as whether a denomination has the right to dictate to its members what choices they should make in educating their children.
Although I have chosen to educate my children at home, I find such resolutions troubling. As far as I know, there is no specific prohibition in the Bible against sending children to public school to receive their education. While that is not necessarily the best option that is available to parents, it’s not up to the churches to dictate what is essentially a matter of liberty to its members.
Baptists would do well to stay away from debatable social issues such as this and focus on being salt and light in the world as Jesus commanded.