|Sept 18, 2001
We Are Losing Our
Remarks to the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee in
By: T.C. Pinckney
Brig. General USAF (ret)
Second Vice President - Southern Baptist Convention
The events of a week ago today were a terrible tragedy. The
nation is rightly aroused, and we need to take effective action. We
mourn for the slain and we pray for their families. Yet having said
that, evaluated as a long-term threat and in numbers of lives
destroyed, the tragedy I want to discuss with you dwarfs, literally
dwarfs, the attacks on the World Trade Center towers and the
We are losing our children. Research indicates that 70%of teens
who are involved in a church youth group will stop attending church
within two years of their high school graduation. Think about that
statement. It addresses only teenagers who attend church and
participate in the youth group. What does that suggest about those
teens who may attend church but do not take part in the youth group,
or who do not go to church at all?
In a talk at Southwestern Seminary Josh McDowell noted that less
than 1/3 of today's youth attend church. If he is right and 67% do
not go to church and then we lose 70% of those who do, that means
that within two years of finishing high school only 10% of young
Americans will attend church.
We are losing our youth.
Why is this happening? Many strands go into weaving a tapestry,
and surely there are many reasons this tragic departure of our youth
from Christ is taking place. However, I believe the evidence clearly
indicates that the primary reasons are, first, our failure as
Christian parents and churches and, second, the intentional,
persistent, and highly effective effort by anti-theists to use
public schools to lead children away from their parents and from the
|| A Bit of History ||
About 1830 a group of wealthy Unitarians in Boston became unhappy
with the locally controlled, parent-run, church- influenced schools
then prevalent. They decided to try to establish a system of
state-run, secular schools. They sent two young scholars abroad to
study the main European school systems in order to decide which
system to use as a model. After a two-year study the team
recommended and their sponsors adopted the Prussian system as their
model. Why? Because in that system the state had complete control,
parents had no influence, and children were entered at the earliest
With that decision made, the group designed a three part plan:
(1) compulsory attendance,
(2) a state teacher's college degree prerequisite to
certification as a teacher, and
(3) state owned and operated schools. This was the plan they
proposed to the Massachusetts' legislature.
Among themselves they agreed that if they could not at first get
all three elements approved, the most important part was the
required teacher's college. This was their priority because they
agreed that "If we teach them what to teach, they will teach what
they have been taught."
The first year's cost to establish the teacher'scollege was
$50,000. The Massachusetts legislature balked, saying the cost was
too high. So the wealthy Unitarians made them an offer they could
not refuse; they put up $25,000 if the state would match it. They
did, and in 1837 the first state public school system in the United
States was established. Soon other states followed suit.
|| The Philosophical Foundation of Governmental Schools ||
Just 14 years after the Massachusetts state school system was
established, Auguste Comte wrote the following in his _System of
Positive Polity_, vol. I,1851, pp. 35-6.
"The object of our philosophy is to direct the spiritual
reorganization of the civilized world. ...[W]e may begin at once to
construct that system of morality under which the final regeneration
of Humanity will proceed."
His "spiritual reorganization" was a long-term plan, and it has
been steadily progressing right up till today.
And you will recall that Darwin's great mythology,_Origin of
Species, was published in 1859.
Of course Comte was not alone in this vision of a future without
God, of humanity without individuality, of rule by the self-defined
most capable over the less capable. In 1918 Benjamin Kidd published
in London a book, _The Science of Power_. On p. 309 he wrote:
"Oh you blind leaders who seek to convert the world by labored
disputations. Step out of the way or the world must fling you aside.
GIVE US THE YOUNG. GIVE US THEYOUNG and we will create a new mind
and a new earth ina single generation."
Ten years later in 1928 Ross L. Finney, Ph. D., published in the
_United States A Sociological Philosophy of Education_. On p. 118
Finney wrote, "Everything depends on passing out the expert opinions
of the social scientists to the masses of the people and the
schools, particularly the high schools, are the only adequate agency
available for this function."
And on p. 117 he had just said, "It is the business of teachers
to run not merely the school, but the world and the world will never
be truly civilized until they assume that responsibility."
Another interesting quote comes from _The Reconstruction of
Religion_ by Charles A. Ellwood, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology, U.
Of Missouri, 1923, p.177: "Human institutions, sociology shows, are
in every case learned adjustments. As such, they can be modified
provided we can obtain control of the learning process."
And the American Humanist Association understands the importance
of capturing the children for they have written: "In order to
capture this nation, one has to totally remove moral and spiritual
values and absolutes from the thinking of the child. The child has
to think that there is no standard of right and wrong, that truth is
relative, and that diversity is the only absolute to be gained."
Everyone has a worldview, a perspective of the world around him.
Bob Reccord referred to this as a"reference point." He may not think
of it in these terms. Indeed, he may not think of it consciously at
all, but you cannot exist without a framework within which you place
events and individuals, which determines your values, which values
in turn guide your actions and reactions to events and people.
Although there are many worldviews designated by many exotic or
not so exotic terms, they all boil down to just two types: Your
worldview will be man-centered or God-centered.
We are all familiar with Deuteronomy 6:7-9: "And thou shalt teach
them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou
sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when
thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them
for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between
thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house,
and on thy gates."
Yet we seem to have forgotten or ignored God's commands about
education:-- Luke 6:40 (NASB) "A pupil is not above his teacher; but
everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his
teacher." Do we want our children to adopt the anti-Christian,
socialistic, pro-homosexual, no absolute right and wrong beliefs
promulgated in government schools?
-- Colossians 2:8 "Beware lest any man spoil you through
philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the
rudiments of the world, and not after Christ." This is exactly what
is happening to our children. They are being spoiled by philosophies
and deceits "after the tradition of men."
-- II Corinthians 6:14 "Be ye not unequally yoked together with
unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with
unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?" But
this is exactly what we do when we send our children to government
Most Southern Baptists and most Southern Baptist churches are
failing to obey God's commands regarding our children. Yes, we take
them to Sunday worship and Sunday School. Yes, they may also attend
AWANAs or another church-centered youth program. They may even have
Bible study at home.
But two or three hours on Sunday and 20 minutes or so of Bible
study at home are overpowered by 30 or more hours a week in
anti-Christian government schools and the constant pagan media
bombardment which may add up to another 10, 20, 30, or more hours
Now of course many schoolteachers are Christians. And may God
bless them as they do what they can. But they are strictly limited
by school policy, humanist textbooks, programs teaching the validity
of homosexuality, "make up your own minds" approaches to morality,
"safe sex" instruction, and on and on.
Why have we failed our God in this critically important
We have failed because we have been willfully, blissfully
ignorant ... and satisfied in our ignorance.
We have failed because the great majority of us have not made the
effort to inform ourselves of the facts... even though there are
books and articles galore readily available.
We have failed because -- even when we have known the facts -- we
have not had the courage to point them out to our people.
We have failed because we have been afraid to offend people. So
we have chosen to offend God rather than men.
|| What Should We Do? ||
The ideal, most biblical solution is for parents to teach their
children, to be home schoolers. All our churches should welcome and
openly encourage home-schoolers. But clearly many parents cannot or
will not home-school. For their children we need to start large
numbers of Christian schools.
And these schools need to be truly Christian:
-- Christian in the sincere faith of the teachers and all other
-- Christian in textbooks carefully chosen,
-- Christian in their entire worldview.
Note that they should also teach about evolution, about humanism,
about post-modernism ... but in a balanced way, giving the
evolutionists' arguments fully and fairly, but also demonstrating
their weaknesses, the mythological presuppositions upon which these
lies are based, and the disastrous consequences for those who choose
to live without God. Our children must be prepared to live among,
confront when necessary, and triumph in debate with secularists.
This is one area where ignorance is NOT bliss.
It has been a privilege to be with you today. As Executive
Committee members you fill a critically important role in Southern
Baptist life, and indeed in Christian life throughout the United
States and the entire world. I pray the Lord will lay a burden on
your hearts for our children and their Christian education. And I
pray that He will lead you to encourage home-schooling and the
establishment of more and more truly Christian schools.