Wednesday, March 01, 2006

"Southern Baptist indoctrination centers" pushed to take place of public schools

Ed Gamble, the head of the Southern Baptist Association of Christian Schools, may well be pushing for what one Baptist angrily calls “a system of Southern Baptist indoctrination centers.”

Mainstream Baptist over at Talk2Action points us toward an Ethics Daily report of an article by Gamble. The article was published in a Florida Baptist newspaper.

Gamble wrote:
What is needed is a new 'public' school system, one that is open to the public but owned and operated by the Body of Christ.
Ethics Daily reported:
Gamble asked readers to imagine "what if" the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation's largest Protestant denomination, opened its largely empty church buildings during the week to start thousands of Christian schools to replace America's public-education system.

“Ask God to give us America's children," Gamble said. "When Jesus owns the chools, He will own the culture and the hearts of the children!"
Mainstream Baptist thinks this is a horrible idea. Interestingly, he argues that it violates basic principles of Baptist teaching.
Southern Baptists have lost confidence in the "foolishness of preaching" in regard to changing hearts and transforming lives. They think it must be supplemented by what they call a "Kingdom Education." Until Southern Baptists recover their confidence in the gospel and their respect for "soul liberty," they will continue to blame the public schools and the culture for the failures of their own scapegoat blaming preaching and coercive public witnessing.
I can’t speak on the issues Mainstream Baptist raises, but I can note that Gamble’s article makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck.

I don’t want anyone coming after my son or anyone else’s child. I don’t want anyone to “own the culture and the hearts of the children.” Apparently, what I want is incredibly old fashioned. In the 21st Century of the Dominationists, I am so out of date.

I want the Constitution enforced. I want the freedom to have my life and my liberty and to pursue my form of happiness. I want the freedom to follow my own religion, and perhaps foolishly, I want Southern Baptists and people like Ed Gamble to have the freedom to follow their religion.

If anyone in this country ever succeeds in creating a system of indoctrination centers, then we are all truly in trouble.

Perhaps it’s time to revisit an old post: The Fundamentalists’ Bad Bet

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