Weak Support of Christian Education Costing Ministries 'Cultural War'
Major Christian and pro-family organizations are losing the cultural war because they don't do enough to support K-12 Christian education or homeschooling, says a ministry dedicated to Christian education.
Exodus Mandate, a leading advocate for Christian-based homeschooling, issued the remark after reviewing a cross-section of Christian groups based on how effectively they supported Christian homeschooling and rejected public schools.
The organization released a report card of the nine groups on Tuesday, during a press conference at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention in Nashville, Tenn.
The report card found that overall the majority of the groups scored decent marks when it came to criteria on promoting a Christian worldview, promoting K-12 Christian education or homeschooling and warning about the dangers of public schools.
However, the groups received poor grades on criteria that examined whether they wasted their efforts on public-school reform, justified keeping Christian children in public schools to be salt and light, or promoted a moral equivalence between K-12 public, Christian and homeschools.
The nine groups reviewed in the report card included: Focus on the Family, Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, American Family Association, Wall Builders, Family Life, Josh McDowell Ministries, Vision America and Coral Ridge Ministries.
E. Ray Moore, director and founder of the Exodus Mandate, said the best ways to fight the cultural war are through "protests, lobbying, voting and legislative remedies."
Even though these groups are "valiantly fighting the culture war, they have suffered terrible defeats" because they have ignored these methods, he contended.
Exodus Mandate takes the position that public schools are impossible to reform and the biblical model for spiritual and cultural renewal is for Christian families to homeschool their children or place them in Christian schools.
In the report card, Coral Ridge Ministries had the best overall mark, carrying a B grade. The rest had average grades of C's and D's.
"The failure in these criteria is largely due to the fact that some Christian ministries have not yet come to believe that there is an explicit biblical theology of Christian education in the Holy Scriptures," said Chaplain E. Ray Moore, founder of Exodus Mandate.
"These same ministries have promoted a Christian worldview, and many Christian families, taking this teaching to its logical conclusion, have now outstripped the ministries," he added.
There are an estimated 1.5 million homeschooled children, according to the most recent data released by the National Center of Education Statistics (NCES).
According to NCES, the number of homeschooled students increased by more than 36 percent, between 2003 and 2007.
Exodus Mandate estimates homeschoolers actually total around 2.1 to 2.5 million students.
NCES found that the top reason parents gave in 2007 for homeschooling their children was to provide religious or moral instruction (36 percent). Another 21 percent said the most important reason was concern about the school environment, and 17 percent listed dissatisfaction with the academic instruction available at other schools.
The nine groups in the Exodus Mandate report card were selected because they have family, education or youth in their organization name or as part of their mission, said Exodus Mandate. A group of raters studied programs, publications and web pages of the groups to issue the grades.