Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Educator says some pastors blind to public schools ills

Part 3 in a 3-part series posted at OneNewsNow.com
The director of a group that promotes private Christian education says there are several reasons why many pastors, including Southern Baptists, continue to ignore the problems within U.S. public schools, and continue to defend them from the pulpit.

Edward Gamble oversees the Orlando-based Southern Baptist Association of Christian Schools. The Association is offering seminars to teach church leaders how to open private Christian schools. He says while there are still some public schools that have not been affected or intimidated by the American Civil Liberties Union, and some that still employ well-meaning Christian teachers and administrators, one cannot escape the fact that the government-run school system promotes an atmosphere that is counter-biblical.

Still, says Gamble, many pastors express support for public schools. He cites three main reasons for this support. First, Southern Baptists are an egalitarian people -- they believe in an education for everybody, which he says is a good thing. Secondly, Gamble says pastors who defend public schools are remembering a public school system that does not exist anymore; a setting where God was welcomed, not banned. And lastly, he states that these pastors do not want to offend.

"They look out over their congregations, and they see all these people who work and teach and are involved in the public school system -- and frankly, they wonder how in the world they could take a position that appears to oppose those people's livelihood or investment," he explains. "And I'm not sure whether that is a failure on the part of the pastor to be courageous enough to call the situation what it is."

Gamble says if this is the case, God will judge that.

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