Southern Baptists Exit Strategy Fails

By: Althea Paul
By: Althea Paul

June 14, 2006

A resolution to take kids out of public schools and place them in private or home schooling has failed again at the Southern Baptist Convention this year.

"They're really frustrated with the moral decline that's occurring in our schools," said associate pastor at First Baptist Church in Charlottesville, Mark Long.

He believes that's the main reason some Southern Baptists are looking into taking their kids out of public schools.

It was a topic Wednesday at the annual Southern Baptist Convention. The proposal expressed concern over how schools are handling subjects such as homosexuality and intelligent design.

"I think the individuals that are bringing this up, the exit strategy, they may have already given up on public schools. But I'm not one to feel like it's time to give up," said Pastor Long.

It seems leaders at the convention felt the same - refusing to support the proposal.

"I believe public schools are not perfect. Christian schools are not perfect. We're all imperfect, but we don't need to turn and put our hand into the sand. I think we need to be actively engaged in helping our school, regardless of what school it is to be the best school it can be," said Pastor Long.

Instead of putting the exit strategy before delegates, the denomination's resolutions committee called on members to "engage the culture of our public school systems" by exerting "godly influence."

Even if the resolution would have gotten approved, Pastor Long says that it still doesn't mean that local churches must abide by it.

A proposal similar to the one offered today was on the table two years ago and also failed to pass.

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