A CALL TO VICTORY IN THE CULTURE WAR
William Wilberforce was a Christian parliamentarian who was tireless in the fight for abolition in England during the end of the 18th century, and was the subject of the recent film Amazing Grace. Wilberforce was close friends with John Newton, author of the beloved hymn of the same name. Wilberforce spoke about education late in his life. He believed that it is crucially important to make sure that parenting and education point in the same direction
�Let us beware before it is too late. Let us beware that, in schools and colleges, Christianity is almost-if not altogether neglected. We cannot expect those who pay so little regard to this great object of education of their children to be more attentive to it in other parts of their children�s conduct. If they have little regard for the state of Christianity, they will be still more indifferent about communicating the light of divine truth to the nations which still sit in darkness.� --William Wilberforce on Parenting
This month in Columbia, SC, hundreds of Wilberforce-like Christians celebrate a decade of God�s grace in Christian Education. Christian school champions and supporters of Exodus Mandate will be gathering to celebrate at their tenth anniversary, appropriately called A �Call to Victory Celebration.�
Creating a New Cultural Reformation
No one understands the battle that rages over the souls of our children and what is at stake more than Lt. Col E. Ray Moore, founder of Exodus mandate. �There are two cultural streams flowing in America at the same time, Moore said. On one hand, we have a serious recovery effort. A lot of Christians have been sitting on the fence, and now they are waking up. The home-schooling movement is a big part of that.� �We�re in a war for the soul of the family, the church and the nation-and we can win.(Duigon, 2005)
Moore�s organization has served as a catalyst that has shifted thousands of children out of the public schools and into Christian schools or home-schooling. As public schools continue to dumb down students, and define deviance downward, this momentum is likely to continue into the 21st century. Moore estimates that �15 % of the kids are already out of the public schools, and with 2 million children already home-schooling, another million could push the public schools to a tipping point.� (Duigon 2005)
Home-schooling Family to Family, an initiative of Exodus Mandate, seeks to attract 1 million into home-schooling in the next 5 to 10 years. This will likely continue the exodus.
The road has not been easy. Moore launched Exodus Mandate 10 years ago and won support a year later from D. James Kennedy, president of Coral Ridge Ministries (recently deceased). �We were swimming against stream, against the current, even against the Christian Community,� Moore said.
Moore grounds his argument in scripture. He cites Deuteronomy 6: 1-9, proverbs 22:6 and Ephesians 6:1-4. Nowhere in scripture, he said, does God suggest delegating the educational role to the state. America�s early educational system was based through the church. The state system which Moore calls a �renegade model� developed during the 20th century under the influence of Horace Mann, a Unitarian, and John Dewey, a humanist. (The Columbia World, Oct. 2002)
Reframing the Entire Education Debate
Now, for the first time in evangelical circles, major conservative denominations like the Southern Baptist Convention and the Presbyterian Church of America are being forced to take a hard look at the current education model. More and more parents and Christian leaders are realizing the futility of reforming the public schools and are opting to remove their kids from the anti-Christian, government schools. Additionally, churches are being encouraged to start Christian schools, and to assist single mothers with home-schooling.
Attorney Bruce Shortt, a prominent Southern Baptist, and author of The Harsh Truth about Public Schools, understands the tough battle it has been with the pastors reluctance to address education.
�About 85 % of Christian children attend government schools, but the message that Christian parents are obligated to provide a Christian education to their children is seldom heard from the pulpit. Can you imagine a similar silence if 85 % of a congregation�s parents with school-age children had a �drug problem� or an �adultery problem�? Shortt exclaims. (The Harsh Truth About Public Schools, p. 21)
The results of this silence has been devastating as 88 percent of our children are leaving church by age 18 never to return. T.C Pinckney, Brigadier General, USAF ret, and former 2nd vice president of the SBC says �We are losing our children. Research indicates that 70 % of teens who are involved in a church youth will stop attending church within two years of their high school graduation.� Pinckney says �We have failed because we have been afraid to offend people. So we have chosen to offend God rather than men.� (Columbia World)
Going on Offense
With all the children losing their faith there is still cause for hope.
A lot has changed since Rev. Moore and his wife began home schooling their children at the beginning of the home-school movement. �Since it began some 25 years ago, home-schooling has been playing defense,� Moore relates.
�Now the environment in the public schools has grown so toxic that it�s our turn to ask Christian parents, who have left their children in these schools, �God lets you do that?� and �What about socialization?�� (Duigon 2005)
It is becoming more and more difficult to justify sending children to school to be �salt and light.� �Being a missionary is not kids play-it�s adult work and certainly not for children not yet prepared or trained apologetically to defend their faiths and beliefs. It is only by the grace of God that in some cases He protects their children from harm.� (Salt and Light: The Great Commission and Who�s Responsible for Educating Your Children)
As a result of Moore and efforts of men and women like him, children are daily being rescued from toxic public schools. Three much needed home-school organizations have been formed and more are on the way. No longer are parents out on an island. We applaud the efforts of men like Pinckney, Moore, and Shortt. Much ground has been made up but there is much more to be taken.
we continue into the 21st century, with escalating cultural disintegration,
much is at stake for our nation. Our children and our children�s children
are heading for perilous times. Gathering around flag poles is not
going to cut it. We need prayer and action. It will take men like
William Wilberforce. So let�s celebrate 10 years of victory and then
get back to work.
� 2007 Nicholas Jackson
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Nick is Executive Director of Reform America, and Ohio Coordinator for Exodus Mandate. In addition, he spends time as a free-lance writer articulating the Christian viewpoint into our culture.
E-mail: [email protected]
No one understands the battle that rages over the souls of our children and what is at stake more than Lt. Col E. Ray Moore, founder of Exodus mandate.