SBACS Director Asserts 'Christian Education' as Alternative

( [email protected] ) Jun 24, 2004 06:07 AM EDT

Despite the decision made by the Southern Baptist Convention last week, rejecting a resolution urging the Southern Baptists to remove their children from public schools, a Southern Baptist leader hasn’t given up advocating a movement to promote Christian education in public schools.

Ed Gamble, executive director of the Southern Baptist Association of Christian Schools (SBACS), said the resolution proposed by T.C. Pinckney and Bruce Shortt was overly harsh on public schools. He said the current situation calls for an alternative approach for children.

"Instead of beating up the public schools, I think what we need to be doing is offering the alternative -- that is, a Christian education,” He said, "I would say, philosophically, I think we need to be giving a kingdom education."

According to Gamble, more Southern Baptists are supportive of Christian education even though the proposal was rejected. He said 85 to 90 percent of Southern Baptists have been pro-public schools but the number is starting to change because more people see how ineffective it has been in raising their children to be the “salt and light” in public schools.

As Gamble sees more and more Southern Baptists are rethinking of the idea of removing their children from public schools positively, he said he feels there is "sea-change" in the SBC's view of education, calling the resolution proposed by Pinckney and Shortt "just a rock through the window” and “the beginning of a tidal wave movement" toward Christian education.

"I'm all for the 'salt and light' argument," Gamble said, "but has it worked in the last 30 years? Do we see an increasingly Christian public school system because we've sent our children to it? I don't see that happening. So if we're going to keep doing the same thing over and over and expect a different result, we're insane."