Author of school resolution speaks out
Offers list of maladies that threaten children
By Allen Palmeri
November 29, 2005
JEFFERSON CITY —Roger Moran has been sounding the trumpet for a long time about the dangers that lurk within the American public school system. And now, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) Executive Committee member from Winfield believes Southern Baptists are beginning to awaken to the concern that America’s public schools are training an entire generation of young people into a worldview that is the antithesis of Biblical Christianity.
“When the Bible was removed as the authoritative source for determining right from wrong; when prayer was outlawed; when the concept of creation was replaced with evolution as the official explanation of our origin; when the Ten Commandments became too offensive to be posted in the schools; and when the simple acknowledgement of Jesus Christ became taboo; should we not have expected the end result to be the undermining of the Christian faith in the educational process?” Moran asked rhetorically.
During the recent annual meeting of the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC), messengers voted nearly unanimously for a key resolution – in part crafted by Moran – calling for parents and churches to “investigate diligently the curricula, textbooks and programs in the community schools” and to “hold accountable schools, institutions and industries for their moral influence on our children.” The resolution was nearly identical to the one passed by the SBC in June which warned parents of “homosexual activists and their allies (who) are devoting substantial resources and using political power to promote acceptance among school children of homosexuality as a morally legitimate lifestyle.”
Moran pointed to the recent ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals as one more bizarre example of the direction the culture is being forced to go by liberal activist judges. The court ruled that “parents are possessed of no constitutional right to prevent the public schools from providing information on (sex) to their students in any forum or manner they select.” The court further declared that “there is no free-standing fundamental right of parents to control the upbringing of their children… in accordance with their personal and religious values and beliefs” when it comes to the subject of sex.
“What is even more perplexing,” Moran noted, “is how we hear so much about the judicial philosophy of a single U.S. Supreme Court nominee, yet never give the slightest consideration to the educational philosophy of the entire public school system where the vast majority of the next generation is being trained how and what to think.”
This year’s MBC resolution on the education of our children comes on the heels of a resolution passed by messengers at last year’s annual meeting which called on Missouri Southern Baptists to “give serious consideration to the inherent dangers of the secular educational philosophy that now permeates America’s public education system.”
“For many years, it was considered an honorable thing to keep our children in the public schools where they would act as the ‘salt of the earth’ and ‘light of the world,’” Moran said. “To some degree, public schools were viewed as a mission field where children could evangelize children. But now, we’ve learned that the real ‘evangelists’ are those who have forced upon their captive audience a humanistic worldview wrapped in New Age mysticism.
“The overwhelming issue we are now faced with is about the survival of a biblical worldview among the generation that will soon be leading our churches.”
In urging Missouri Baptist parents to give serious consideration to the educational resolution, Moran stated: “At some point, we must acknowledge that there was a reason why the far-left in American politics has focused so much of its time and attention for so many years on the government-owned and controlled public schools. As Christians, we understand that the worldview into which our children are educated matters supremely. But long before we understood this fact, far-left political activists understood it much better.”
Quoting Charles Francis Potter, a signer of Humanist Manifesto I and an honorary president of the National Education Association, Moran emphasized that humanists have nothing but contempt for Biblical Christianity: “Education is thus a most powerful ally of Humanism, and every American public school is a school of Humanism. What can a theistic Sunday School’s meeting, for an hour once a week and teaching only a fraction of the children, do to stem the tide of the five-day program of Humanistic teaching?”
While Moran has been an outspoken advocate for re-considering the compatibility of modern American public education and Biblical Christianity, neither has he been a lone voice. In a June 17 commentary, R. Albert Mohler Jr., one of the SBC’s leading theologians and president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Ky., called upon “responsible Southern Baptists to develop an exit strategy from the public schools.” Other prominent leaders in the SBC like retired Air Force General T. C. Pinkney (a former vice president of the SBC), attorney and author Bruce N. Shortt and prominent African-American evangelist Voddie Baucham are speaking out on the issue of education, causing many to re-think what it means to train our children in the ways of the Lord.
While the issue of public education is becoming a major point of controversy among Bible-believing Christians, Moran argues that public education is only one of several “cultural forces of influence” that have far too often rendered the church ineffective.
In the resolution passed by the MBC last year, and written by Moran, he identified four of the leading forces of influence in our contemporary American culture. At their most basic level, he argued, they are: “secular music, television programming, Hollywood movies and the secularization of public education.” Moran went on to explain.
“Too often, these cultural forces of influence glorify the very sins for which Christ died, assault our biblical understanding of the seriousness of sin, nurture our fleshly nature and influence our children to think and reason within the frame work of the secular philosophies of this world and according to the godless principles of this age,” he said. “These cultural forces of influence have significantly dulled our spiritual senses and have become the doorway whereby the church has willfully entered into spiritual captivity by virtue of an unrestrained and undisciplined thought life.
“These cultural forces of influence have formed a united front against an entire generation of American young people who are neither spiritually prepared to face nor morally prepared to resist. It’s time for Southern Baptists to re-think what it means to be Christian and what the passionate pursuit of holiness is all about.”
For 217 years—from 1620, when the Pilgrims landed, until 1837—virtually all education in America was private and Christian, according to noted author, pastor and scholar D. James Kennedy. “Virtually all of the colleges were established for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith, or for some similar statement of purpose,” Kennedy wrote. He went on to conclude that “the anti-Christian, anti-God bias, the censorship of all things Christian and the infusion of an atheistic, amoral, evolutionary, socialistic, one-world, anti-American system of education in our public schools has indeed become such that if it had been done by an enemy it would be considered an act of war.”
Moran is a bit perplexed that Southern Baptists have been slow to respond to the trends that Kennedy has identified.
“One of the great blind spots of contemporary Southern Baptist life is that the worldview into which our children are being trained doesn’t matter,” he said.