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Chris Fane's Student Ministry News

A youth ministry blog consisting of a collection of articles and notes related to
student / youth ministry. Gathered by Chris Fane of egadideas.com



Baptists Divided Over Public School 'Exodus Mandate'

FROM: CHRISTIAN POST / BY: ELAINE SPENCER

Two opposing voices are rising up among Baptist circles over the highly publicized 'exit strategy' from American public schools, setting the stage for another showdown at the upcoming Southern Baptist Annual meeting in June.

By the end of last week, more than 200 pastors, teachers and lay leaders signed onto a pastoral letter supporting public education that was issued a month ago. The letter, issued by the liberal Baptist Center for Ethics, called on supporters to pray for public schools and challenge religious voices that "demonize public education."

While the letter did not point fingers at any specific group, it referenced the call by some Southern Baptists for a mass exodus from public schools as the main need to support public education.

"Public education is ground zero in America's culture war," said Robert Parham, executive director of the Baptist Center for Ethics. "It's the place for fundamentalists where faith and science clash, church and state collide, racial/ethnic diversity and cultural purity war."

The movement for an "exit strategy" began two years ago amid rising concerns among conservative Southern Baptists over what they believed was an infiltration of the homosexual agenda in public schools.

While a resolution calling for a massive exodus failed to pass at the 2004 SBC annual meeting, a more toned-down resolution urging churches and parents to investigate their public schools was adopted in 2005.

Last month, the conservative "Exodus Mandate" announced that a resolution has been submitted for consideration at the 2006 SBC Annual Meeting calling for churches to "develop an exit strategy from the public schools that will give particular attention to the needs of orphans, single parents, and the disadvantaged."

"The resolution also urges the agencies of the Southern Baptists Convention to assist churches as they develop their exit strategies and commends Christians working in government schools," according to Exodus Mandate.

The resolution will have to be approved by the executive committee before it heads for a vote during the June 13-14 annual meeting in Greensboro, N.C. A simple majority would pass the resolution.

>>ORIGINAL POST HERE
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