A "Kingdom Education" leader in the Southern Baptist Convention says America needs a new Christian-run "public" school system committed to turning out followers of Jesus Christ.
"We have allowed Satan to run his strategy … 'own the schools, and I will own the culture,'" Ed Gamble, director of Southern Baptist Association of Christian Schools in Orlando, Fla., wrote in an opinion article in the Florida Baptist Witness.
Gamble said Christian children are "actively discipled" by the people who spend the most time teaching them. "So it is no wonder then that Christian students are involved in binge drinking, drug use, sexual experimentation and dishonesty with nearly the same frequency as unchurched youth," he said.
"What is needed," Gamble continued, "is a new 'public' school system, one that is open to the public but owned and operated by the Body of Christ."
Gamble asked readers to imagine "what if" the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation's largest Protestant denomination, opened its largely empty church buildings during the week to start thousands of Christian schools to replace America's public-education system.
"Funding is not the problem, faith is," Gamble said. "Would God honor such a grand vision for making disciples by providing every needed resource? He will!"
"Ask God to give us America's children," Gamble said. "When Jesus owns the schools, He will own the culture and the hearts of the children!"
The Southern Baptist Association of Christian Schools is a professional organization for K-12 Christian schools.