Here is the first sentence of the article: Convinced that God has been erased from public schools, Southern Baptists are now working to open their own schools, where Jesus is writ large and Bible study is part of the daily curriculum. I am sorry, but that statement REALLY bothers me. If we as Christian parents do our jobs, our children will have all the knowledge and everything else necessary for them to make an informed decision to ask Jesus Christ to come into their heart. I know that, ultimately, it is the work of the Holy Spirit, but we can create a very fertile environment for that seed to take root. When it does, they carry Christ with them. While it is true that many of the things that existed in our schools prior to the mid 1960's, such as devotional Bible reading, corporate prayer and the like are gone, God is NOT. As long as our schools have godly administration, teachers, counselors, support staff and students, God is present and active in our schools. Our Christian kids have far more rights in the school than we want to believe. We have been scared into thinking otherwise. They can have their Bibles. They can pray. They can assemble and discuss biblical things. They can do A LOT! I recognize that what we enjoy here in East Tennessee may not be as prevalent in other places, but I am in enough schools here to know that at least it is here. Now if we accept the premise that God is present and active in our schools through our children, teachers and others, we must think about the ramifications of a wholesale exodus of Christ-followers from our schools.
Jesus prayed a prayer in John 17 of which this is a portion:
"I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name—the name you gave me—so that they may be one as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled. "I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified."
Before His ascension, He also left us some very important instructions you might find familiar in Matthew 28:
“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
My question is this: If the church removes their children from the "worldly schools" and we bring our Christian teachers out as well so that we can create our "Christian schools," how are we effectively maintaining the wishes and commands of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? Statistics overwhelmingly show that if an individual does not make a decision for Christ before his or her 18th birthday, the chances of that person coming to Christ plummets. How far down do the chances plummet if that individual has no Christian friends around to influence that decision through the formative years?
I simply refuse to believe that our Lord modeled for us a plan that requires us to create little Christian enclaves separated and set apart from the world that He loved and for whom He came to die (John 3:16).