CAPTURE THE NEXT GENERATION: ED GAMBLE

By Connie Davis Bushey
News Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Tennessee Baptists visit with leaders of a breakout session of Summit on Christian schools. From left are Walter Grubb, president, Harrison-Chilhowee Baptist Academy, Seymour; Wesley Scott, Southern Baptist Association of Christian Schools; Larry Reagan, pastor, Adams Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, Dresden, and headmaster, Central Christian Academy, Martin; and Ed Gamble, SBACS.

Tennessee Baptists visit with leaders of a breakout session of Summit on Christian schools. From left are Walter Grubb, president, Harrison-Chilhowee Baptist Academy, Seymour; Wesley Scott, Southern Baptist Association of Christian Schools; Larry Reagan, pastor, Adams Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, Dresden, and headmaster, Central Christian Academy, Martin; and Ed Gamble, SBACS.

SEVIERVILLE — “Ninety percent of America’s evangelical kids attend a school where it is illegal to teach the full truth, ” said Ed Gamble in a breakout session of Summit which includes the annual meeting of the Tennessee Baptist Convention.

“Why is it so important that the church take ownership of the weekday?” he asked in the Nov. 14 session, “Christian Schools and Beyond: Capturing the Next Generation.” 

Christians should be “passing our faith from one generation to the next,” however “in America we’re not getting it done.” said Gamble, retired executive director, Southern Baptist Association of Christian Schools.

His hope is that the 46,000 Southern Baptist churches, of which about 2 percent now provide Christian schools, would increase that to 20 percent so Southern Baptists would be teaching from 7-12 percent of students in the United States.

Currently, five percent of children in the United States attend Catholic schools, 2 percent go to Christian schools, and about 2-3 percent are homeschooled. That leaves 90 percent in the public schools.

In public schools, children at young ages are being “indoctrinated” in such beliefs as transgenderism using “Genderbread” curriculum, a permutation of gingerbread, Gamble added. The curriculum can be found at itspronouncedmetrosexual.com.

“It is only the brokenness caused by Satan that gives rise to this ideology,” stated Gamble.

“When you say there’s multiple genders you get nonsense. When you say there’s no absolute truth you get nonsense. We live in a world where nonsense is becoming the truth. Listen, this confusion is everywhere. …

“Today most of the education in America is based on secular humanism, that’s what the fundamental, philosophical under pinning of American education is … humanistic thought. If you don’t believe it start reading textbooks.”

Even in the popular and good movie “Forest Gump,” nonsense is taught as Gump says he has both a divine destiny and is ruled by fate, Gamble noted. Certainly Carl Sagan, a leading scientist, influenced thought as he presented an atheistic view of science in the TV series, “Cosmos.” 

“Satan’s strategy is when I own the schools, I’ll own the children and their culture,” suggested Gamble. He referred to I Peter 5:8.

Even while children are away from school they are hearing views which are not Christian from books, TV, movies, games, and music, he observed.

Humanism is so pervasive it also can be found in the children’s book series of Berenstain Bears for children, The Big Book of Science and Nature. In it children learn, “Nature is all there is or ever will be.”

To counter this are fewer Christians and Southern Baptists, he continued. 

Southern Baptists and Christians ought to follow the example of Jesus who discipled his students or disciples over the period of 16,000 hours, noted Gamble. He spent about three years, about 1,000 days, and taught them about 16 hours a day. 

In school, students are going to spend 13 years, which is 180 days, seven hours a day which totals 16,000 hours, he reported. At church if they attend regularly, they’ll receive only 1,000 hours of training. 

Replacing the time students are in public school with a Christian education is needed to thwart the negative impact of public school and will lead to students being discipled, he noted.

God has a very simple strategy to pass on our faith, he explained, and that is for parents to teach the children. But “most Christian parents today count themselves fortunate if their kids graduate from high school and they’re not pregnant or have gotten somebody pregnant or they go off to college and they come home and say, ‘I’ll never go to church again.’ ”

Wesley Scott also spoke. He warned that children probably are spending 16,000 hours of their adolescence with media and it probably is “more influential in their lives …” than school because it is a multi-sensory experience. Scott is executive director, SBACS.

Another argument for churches starting Christian schools is that it is a great way to use church facilities, added Scott.

“Christian schools are ministries of local churches.”

SBACS will help churches start Christian schools, said Scott. 

“Consider planting a Christian school,” he stated.

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