Exit Strategy Resolution

April 27, 2006 — 32 Comments

Most of my readers are aware of my views on the public schools, especially concerning being “salt and light” as well as missionaries in the public schools. The entire system has a base rotten to the core.

Another fact that some readers may be aware of would be the fact that I am Southern Baptist. I don’t really talk a huge amount about it because that’s just not my focus, but when Southern Baptists are doing something great that I may be a part of, I like to talk about it. And, yes, there are some Southern Baptists doing something extremely interesting this year. At our Convention, held in Greensboro, where I will be live-blogging, some Southern Baptists, including Dr. Bruce Shortt, author of “The Harsh Truth About Public Schools,” will be working to pass a resolution urging Southern Baptists to begin removing their children from the Public Schools.

Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee member Roger Moran stated that the “public schools have had “a major role in infiltrating and destroying the faith of those we have been commanded to train up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Dr. Al Mohler’s call for responsible Southern Baptists to develop an exit strategy from the public schools was not only wise, but courageous, for multitudes of our own people still don’t see the inherent dangers. The time has come for the debate to begin.”

That’s just one resolution I hope to support. Another one would be to clean the rolls of Southern Baptists churches, working to make sure we a properly recording legitimate members, and not inflating the list.

It’s really an exciting time as we near the convention in June, and I hope you will pray for me as well as those voting. It is important to see what groups of Christians are doing when they gather to pass resolutions. There will be more on that later, but for now, please pray.

Tim Sweetman

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Tim Sweetman is a young writer, blogger, and student who lives near our nation’s capital, Washington D.C. He has been much more widely known by his “code-name,” Agent Tim. This name also served as the name of his popular blog, which received over 750,000 visits between 2005 to 2007. In 2005, he quickly rose to become a leading teenage spokesperson and cultural critic within the booming blogosphere, taking on issues such as MySpace, alcohol, homeschooling, pride, racism, tolerance, and other topics relating to our culture today. His blog has come to the attention of people such as Albert Mohler, C.J. Mahaney, Alex and Brett Harris, and La Shawn Barber. Tim’s written work has appeared in Lifeway’s Living With Teenagers (February 2012), Lookout Magazine, FUSION Magazine, The Brink Online, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, Virtue Magazine, Regenerate Our Culture Online Magazine, and on many other blogs and websites across the internet like Marry Well and the Lies Young Women Believe Blog. He has also been featured in WORLD Magazine, The Towers Magazine, and Maryland Newsline. He is scheduled to have an article appear in Veritas Magazine this December. Most recently, his work can be found on Focus on the Family’s Boundless Webzine. His personal interests include writing (surprise!) and sports, both watching and playing. He is a die-hard Washington Redskins fan.

32 responses to Exit Strategy Resolution

  1. Tim,

    We homeschool our children and I was a public school teacher/coach for 2 years before I went to Seminary. I still don’t like the idea of the SBC making a motion to remove our children from schools. I think that is the job of each parent to decide.

  2. I’m not a Southern Baptist, but I’m still happy to see something like this. I read recently that nearly 90 percent of children raised in evangelical homes who attend public school later fall away from their church by age 18. I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks the public schools play a big part in this.

  3. Kevin,
    I really think, though, that we as a group of believers should encourage parents to remove their kids. I know we can’t do it, but at least we can present the facts, and the encourage them.

    Derek,
    Right on man! I’ll have to use that as a point when I talk about it. Maybe we can find a good statistic to show people instead of just being generic. I’ll look around.

  4. genesis maravillas April 29, 2006 at 6:28 AM

    Dear Tim,

    You see, I’m not an American and I wonder about what is happening inside America’s public schools. But I did hear about the banning of teaching about the Bible. But I also wonder if pulling the kids out of the public schools would be the best solution for that problem.

  5. The statistic that Derek may be referring to was a part of the report from the SBC Family Life Council in 2002. “88 percent of the children raised in evangelical homes leave church at the age of 18, never to return.” http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?ID=13591

    I have never seen a reference to a formal study with documentation so I don’t know where they got it from.

    It does not speak to a correlation between public school attendance and church involvement. It does say that we have problems.

  6. I personally don’t know of any public schooled young adults that have *left* the church–I do know of several homeschooled ones–I will see if I can get you the stats on that.

  7. My bad there. However, other statistics seem to show a correlation. For example, this website cites a survey that shows 75-85 percent of Christian children who attend public school later fall away from their church, while over 90 percent of homeschoolers continue to attend church after high school.

  8. Interesting correlation Derek…not sure this will fly with most Southern Baptists. I think we need to go about it in a diplomatic way. A very, very, diplomatic way. We need to be armed with the stats and sound reasoning…and humility.

  9. Wrong way to go. It is the responsibility of the parents to lead and disciple their own kids. Trust me from experience, private school kids believe and do the same things as public school kids. If anything, we should work at replacing school board members with believers. Sticking our head in the sand and running away from the problem is not the answer. Isn’t that why our country is in the mess it is in now?

  10. Matt,
    I’d really encourage you to take a look at the resolution and make your decision then. I don’t see anyone running from the problem, but rather protecting our kids and even applauding those who work in the system. I’ve said it before: I’m not against teachers or students, but against the flawed system itself. The SBC can’t force parents to do anything, but we can encourage them to protect their children.

  11. Yep, for sure, I am going to believe those stats from a homeschooling website. I am not sure what your parents are teaching you all about statistics–but you can prove anything–and I mean just about anything with stats–so you might want to be careful what you try to prove. For instance, I am certain I could correlate global warming to the decline of pirates in the Caribbean. Really.

    In reality, I don’t think the stats would be ANY where near that high–really guys that’s absurd.

    I don’t know how much you really want to understand about people who put their children in public schools–but I can tell you–it’s all about NOT protecting them. We live in a world of evil. Children do much better if they are allowed to learn to deal with this in God’s way a bit at a time. It takes some serious parenting to do that. Perhaps much more than homeschooling. I am certain I could give you some good stats to prove that one :-)!

  12. JB,
    I know we’ve gone over this before. But to logically say that putting your kids in what some call a “humanism seminary” is not serious parenting. It’s sloppy parenting.

    I know you think all of those statistics are fake, but I have in front of me a book with pages and pages and pages of provable stats. Would you like me to give me provable statisitcs? And I’d like to see your statistics that aren’t made up.

    I’ve seen the stats from that website first hand. Everybody knows that the majority of kids that are in your youth group right now are going to leave the church after they graduate. And the majority of that group is, you guessed it, public schooled.

  13. Sorry, Tim–I think you have bought a boat load of propaganda. I can give you all kinds of *provable* stats–but please, give me stats NOT from a homeschooling page–that’s like proving the whole world in Catholic from a Catholic page. Someone not homeschooling will NEVER believe it! Really!

    If you are calling all parents that put their children in public school sloppy parents–you have rude, rude awakening coming sometime dude! You are 16 and calling me a sloppy parent??? I would LOVE to introduce you to all three of my children–they are 20, 24, and 24–and all did public school for 13 years. What would you expect from them Tim??

    And really–I don’t know of any of our friends–and we have a lot of friends–that the kids went to public school and now don’t go to church. Do you believe me??? Pleeaaaze! Have you bought the whole boat load?

    I am not even going to pretend I understand homeschooling–I know some about it–but you do it–so I would say you know a bunch more than me. I have told you repeatedly I am not against it.

    However, we did a total of 39 years of public school–and I know a bit about that–and I can tell from you comments you don’t know much. Why would you keep saying such offensive things to your Christian brothers and sisters that use public schools? Please tell me, do you think you know more than me?

    Christ has called us to be one–we may not all agree on some things–but we should not offend just because we have a different opinion.

  14. This isn’t about statistics, logic, running away or protectionism. The resolution is about obeying God’s word.

    I am a school board member and a homeschool dad and wanted to learn for myself what the “system” is all about. Our kids have been in public school, private school and now we homeschool. We have 15,000 students in our school district. Most Christians in the district would tell you that there are “good” people in the system and the schools are not “anti-God”. But when asked how many teachers teach God as the source of all wisdom, knowledge and understanding, and recognize God as creator, and his son as Lord and Savior, none have been able to tell me that the teachers can teach from these perspectives. Can teachers openly share the gospel?

    People need to understand that this isn’t about “Baptists” or “Christians” calling children out of public schools, but it is God.

    Take a look at the following verses:

    Deut 6:6-9 – And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. 9 And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.

    Psalm 111:10 – The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do [his commandments]: his praise endureth for ever.

    Psalm 119:160 – Thy word [is] true [from] the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments [endureth] for ever.

    Proverbs 1:7 – The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of knowledge: [but] fools despise wisdom and instruction.

    Proverbs 2:6 – For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth [cometh] knowledge and understanding.

    Proverbs 9:10 – The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy [is] understanding.

    Proverbs 22:6 – Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

    Malachi 2:14-15 – Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet [is] she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant. 15 And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.

    Malachi 4:6 – And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

    Parents are being deceived that their children can gain true wisdom, knowledge and understanding from a system that clearly rejects God. God is the beginning of all knowledge and the school system wants us to believe that man is the source of all knowledge and it can be gained in the absence of God.

    If God’s word is true, then truth can only come from God.

    As far as staying in the system, God says:
    Mat 10:14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.

    Since the system actively rejects God, there is no reason for Christians to remain as an attempt to “reform” the system. There is nothing wrong with teachers, administrators and board members boldly sharing the gospel, but their voices are being overrun with an anti-biblical agenda to permanently silence them. If they can’t share the gospel, there is no need for them to be there.

  15. We sent our children to public school and we feel we were obedient in every one of those scriptures. Do you think we weren’t? BTW, I was very active in the schools, and I knew what was happening. I even subbed some, so I could know. My kids talked to me. I knew all their teachers. I knew what was happening–and I believe we obeyed these scriptures.

    I don’t agree with you at all–and that’s fine with me. I

  16. sorry–I don’t know what happened.

    You have a right to your opinion–and all the stuff you say here other than scripture is just opinion. I find it amusing that people judge me–you don’t even come close to understanding me!

  17. Jettybetty,

    I’m not judging anyone. I am mearly repeating what God is saying. You need to decide for yourself if you are obeying God, that is not for me to determine.

    I am not sure what you mean by “all the stuff you say here other than scripture is just opinion.” If you mean I don’t have first hand knowledge of every single public school district in the US and therefore can’t say that public schools reject God?

    Show me one public school that bases all of their teaching on God’s word and maybe the “opinion” that I state above is just that, “opinion”. I guess I do have a very limited view of just our small school system here and have only read about other school districts. So maybe there are others out there that DO accept God’s truth and preach the Gospel. I wish it could be reported in the media some time and set the record straight.

  18. Ditto Brian. I understand that some kids get through the public school system fine–I can’t deny that. But, as we have seen over and over again the majority do not. And many times they barely make it through high school and are ruined in college.

    But all that I’m saying can only be backed up with Scripture, and Brian has done a good job of listing it. There’s not much more to say when you have God’s Word speaking over ours.

  19. Do YOU think you are following all those scriptures? I don’t know any sincere Christians who openly disobey scriptures–but as you can see–there are many different ways of interpreting some things. (Some things are non-negotiable–like Jesus is Lord. Some things the Bible just does not mention–like how to educate your child–I suppose you think that list you metion in a previous comment tells you to homeschool–but you need to understand the same scriptures do not say that to me.)

    I don’t believe a school district has to teach only God’s word. We live in a fallen world. I believe our children need to learn to deal with that daily while they are at home with their parents. I’ve seen so many young adults fall because they were way too protected. We choose not to do that. They clearly knew what we believed. I am not promoting sending your children to public school and forgetting them. I am talking about USING the public schools for God’s glory. That’s what we attempted to do–I believe God blessed it. I don’t think some homeschoolers want to believe that it possible. I do–and I believe God is honored by it.

    BTW, I just read the Bible for the truth of what God is saying, too. I don’t want my opinion to be more important that God’s truth.

    The thing that bothers me about SOME homeschoolers the most is from their writing they believe they have the Bible figured out and those of us that don’t agree with them are stupid or confused or just flat wrong–they assume because we don’t agree with them–we can’t read the Bible. Agent Tim earlier in the comments here called parents that send their children to public school “sloppy parents”. He’s 16–and it seems he believe he knows more about parenting than I do.

  20. First, to Tim, I know you realize God is sovereign. His plan will not be thwarted by man. God will still work in many situations regardless of man’s attempt to stop Him, ignore Him or reject Him. Just because one person is saved or one person does not succumb to the pressures of Satan, does not make any activity right in the Lord’s eyes, whether we are talking about public schools, churches, rock concerts or bars. God is perfect and man is not. God knows the future and man does not. God knows the heart of men and man does not. God will still work regardless of man’s failed activities.

    To jettybetty, again, these are things that you need to decide for yourself. God calls us to all things about Him, through Him and for Him. He calls us to meditate on his word, to pray without ceasing, and to come to foot of the cross seeking His will, His plan, and a deep intimate relationship with Him through the death and resurrection of His son Jesus Christ.

    With regards to our children:

    Mat 19:14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

    Parents need to decide how they will live this out.

    Most home schoolers I know do NOT judge the activities of other people by way of opinion, but they do proclaim God’s word. IF people feel judged by these words, then that is between them and the Lord. We will contend for God’s word. We will stand up for it and most who I know will proclaim the need for an intimate relationship Jesus Christ. It is through this relationship that others will know the truth and not through our arguments.

    God’s truth is not based on my opinion or interpretation. Whether I choose to believe it or not, or you choose to believe it or not does not make it any more or less true. We all need to seek truth from God himself. We need to be soft clay in His hands, molded to His truth and not that of any man.

    From my experience, I was blinded by Satan. I did not fully understand the evil that exists within the public school system. I thought I could overcome anything that came our way. I thought it was important for my kids to be salt and light. But then the Holy Spirit began to tug on my heart. I desired a deeper more intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. I wanted to understand why there was something missing in my family, in our relationships with one another and in our relationship with Jesus Christ.

    I was living a selfish life. A life dedicated to promoting the Gospel my way and not God’s. I didn’t know how to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit. I didn’t know what it meant to die to self at the foot of the cross. I was saved, but I still had a void, something wasn’t right in our family.

    I am now free to follow Jesus. I don’t claim to do it perfectly all the time, but I still have experienced the freedom that comes from dieing to my selfish desires and opinions and allowing the work of the Holy Spirit and the truth of God’s word to now be my guide.

    Mat 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

    Gal 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

    Rom 8:1 [There is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

    I pray that you also have this freedom, that you do not feel “judged” by homeschoolers, that you seek deeper understanding of who God is, draw nearer to His word, be empowered by his Spirit, and proclaim the love of Jesus Christ to all that come across your path.

    To God be the glory…(and not “homeschoolers”).

  21. Tim,
    Once again–I do not think you have any provable fact that children are less likely to *keep their faith* if they are homeschooled. You keep stating that, but you have never given any stats except something that was on a biased homeschool page–and that proves nothing to anyone that does not homeschool. Please find me hard facts and report–or please quit stating some opinion of yours as fact.

    Also, Tim, the scriptures Brian used are great about child rearing–they never say anything about homeschooling. That is the way you interpret them. That’s fine–I don’t read them that way. I can use the same ones to show why we put our children in public schools.

    Brian,
    I appreciate your comments. I pray you will also have the freedom to educate your children the way God calls you, too. I don’t think we were selfish in what we did at all. We researched the facts–prayed a lot–and did what God called us to do. In fact, the way we used public schools was much more work for us than most people who homeschool.

    For both of you, a post of mine about homeschooling is here.

    Blessings!

  22. jettybetty,

    Well there you have it…end of the discussion. Both your post above and your post on your blog indicate that you “did what God called you to do”.

    I will be the last to argue with that.

    The last post on your site from Nancy makes a great point, if God leads someone to train their children by using American Idol (or Friends, or 24, or WWF, or MTV, or __________), then the discussion is over and there is no need for the body of Christ to question this decision.

    But, if someone is struggling to figure out the education for their children, should the church be silent? If a father is struggling with pornography, should the church be silent? If a couple is struggling to keep their marriage together, should the church be silent? If a mom is struggling whether to abort her child, should the church be silent?…all in an effort to avoid violating someone’s right to choose? Or to avoid “judgment”?

    At what point and on what issues should the church take a stand? How do you know or how does the church know which issues to stand for if people can’t agree on everything? Does the body of Christ just avoid issues that might offend someone? Does the body of Christ only stand on the most popular issues and then be silent on those that are unpopular (or the issues the majority don’t want to talk about)?

    How about the issue of relative truth verses absolute truth? Is it possible that truth is relative if we each hear something different from God? If this is true, then in order to avoid an argument/discussion/war, we should not discuss whether truth is relative or absolute. Are we absolutely sure about this?

    As I said, when someone tells me that God has directed their path, I will no longer argue with that decision. But if someone then continues to present their path as truth without the support of scripture, I will continue to debate the issue.

  23. Brian,
    I appreciate your respect in this. I have not been afforded that respect by several in the homeschooling community. They seem to assume the absolute worst of anyone who would send their child to a public school. I know so many wonderful parents, parenting their children through public schools.

    As far as relative truth verses absolute truth in the church–I believe we should teach only scripture–and let the Holy Spirit interpret in each believer’s life.

    The church can take a stand on issues that are specifically addressed–lying, cheating, stealing, murder–we can emphatically teach Jesus is Lord–and that He died for our sins. Anything that is not in scripture–like where to send your kids to school–is left for God’s leading to each person (or family).

    Honestly, some of the reasons homeschoolers pull their kids out of public schools are the reasons we put our there. It’s how God gave us to teach them. God is good.

    And Nancy–from the post–was getting me because we do NOT watch tv–at all. She doesn’t understand it. I personally don’t have time for it–nor do I want it to influence my thoughts. I don’t dictate to her whether or not she should watch tv–that’s something else God has given us–and if He wants to give that to Nancy–I believe He’s powerful enough to do it.

    Once again–this is a long comment to thank you for your respect. Like you said–end of discussion for me, too!

    Blessings to you and your family!

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

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