May 2007

SBC President Frank Page clarifies views on education

May 10 2007 by

SBC President Frank Page clarifies views on education
Thursday, May 10, 2007

SBC President Frank Page clarifies views on education

Baptist Press

TAYLORS, S.C. - With some news stories seemingly tying him to the so-called public school "exit strategy," Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) President Frank Page issued a statement May 9 saying he "strongly supports" Christian families involved in public school education but also is "deeply concerned" for parents who cannot afford to choose alternatives to public education.

Frank Page

The pastor of First Baptist Church in Taylors, S.C., Page said he is "in full support" of last year's SBC resolution that affirmed those who teach in public schools and also called upon Southern Baptists to "engage the culture of our public school systems nationwide by running for election to their local school boards and exerting their godly influence upon these school systems."

Page released his statement after representatives of the Exodus Mandate - a group calling for a Christian "exodus" from the public schools - said they would introduce a resolution at the SBC annual meeting in June that "applauds" those who teach in public schools but also calls for more churches to start Christian schools. The proposed resolution refers to what it terms the "anti-Christian government school system" and it mentions Page six times, including a quote from Page from last year when he said more churches should start Christian schools. Former SBC President Jack Graham made a similar comment in 2002.

In his statement to Baptist Press, Page said he was seeking to clarify his stance on the issue of education. Page last year was a member of the SBC Resolutions Committee that rejected a proposed resolution from Exodus calling for a withdrawal from public schools.

"I am pastor of a church that has strong support for home schoolers and their families," Page said. "Many in my church go to Christian schools. Two of my three daughters graduated from Christian schools. However, I also support those who feel led to continue their children in public school education. I strongly support those Christian men and women who teach in our public schools and our young people who are seriously considering the teaching profession as a possible calling of God. Basically, I support a parent's right to decide where their children should be educated. There are many crucial issues involved. Parents must be very careful about where they place their children. They must carefully seek the leadership of the Lord in this important matter. I am also deeply concerned about those in our society who cannot afford to either home school (because of work schedules) or place their children in Christian education because of the costs. This is a serious issue to me.

"Let us pray for parents to be very sensitive to the leadership of the Lord. Let us encourage those who seek to make a difference. The June 2006 Resolution said it well when it encouraged Southern Baptists to 'heed our Lord's admonition to be salt and light in our society.'"

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