Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Southern Baptists and Public Schools

Last summer, it was the Presbyterian Church in America. Now it looks like it's the Southern Baptist Convention's turn to debate whether a resolution should be passed calling for members to withdraw their children from public schools:

Southern Baptist activists are again urging the denomination to remove its children from public schools, two years after a similar action was blocked.

The resolution calling for an “exit strategy” from public schools is co-sponsored by Texas lawyer Bruce Shortt and Roger Moran, a member of the Southern Baptist Convention's executive committee. They plan to submit the proposal for a possible vote by the convention at its annual meeting in North Carolina in June.

The resolution says recent federal court rulings have favored public schools “indoctrinating children with dogmatic Darwinism” and have limited the rights of parents in deciding what schools can teach, including on matters of sexuality.

Shortt and Moran announced their resolution after 56 pastors and church leaders urged Southern Baptists in a letter last week "to speak positively about public education."

But the debate raises some interesting questions such as whether a denomination has the right to dictate to its members what choices they should make in educating their children.

Although I have chosen to educate my children at home, I find such resolutions troubling. As far as I know, there is no specific prohibition in the Bible against sending children to public school to receive their education. While that is not necessarily the best option that is available to parents, it's not up to the churches to dictate what is essentially a matter of liberty to its members.

Baptists would do well to stay away from debatable social issues such as this and focus on being salt and light in the world as Jesus commanded.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Taking Google to Task

In case you missed it, our friend Stacy Harp of Active Christian Media was on Fox News yesterday discussing Google's refusal to remove pedophilia blogs from their site. Click on this link to see the video.

Godd job, Stacy, and keep up the good work!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Time With Dad

I used to think that spending time with my kids meant doing soemthing elaborate or special with them. I’d take each of my daughters on “dates” which were special evenings out that we would go and do something they liked. While thse were good times (and I still occassionally try to have those dates with my duaghters), I was reminded this past week that sometimes that time with my kids doesn’t have to be anything elaborate at all.

Take my oldest daughter, for example. If I’m running errands (such as going to the grocery store) she willl invariably want to tag along not because she finds what I am doing so exciting but because she just wants to hang out with me. In fact, I asked her on one of these recent excursions why she wanted to go with me and she said that she just enjoyed hanging out with Dad. I also have discovered that these are her opportunities to ask tough questions of me. She likes to use these times together to ask me about things that she has been thinking about. It’s in these moments that I get glimpses into what’s going on in her world.

Although my youngest daughter prefers to hang out at home, she will also desire that one-on-one time with me. Like my older daugther, she’ll use the opportunities when we are together to talk to me about difficult things that she may not want to share in front of anyone else.

We have so little time to make an impact on our kids as fathers. By being intentional about simply spending time with them we are allowing for those teachable moments to be created and the door opened to the hearts of our children. For me, spending time with my kids is no longer just about doing something special. It’s about just doing something with them.