By Rick Kern
In what has become a fierce contest for the hearts and minds of our nation’s children there is no name that carries more weight than Dr. James Dobson. His legendary radio broadcast, “Family Talk” has swelled to around a whopping quarter-of-a-million listeners daily across some 1,500 radio stations as he profiles issues related to the well-being of the family. Not long ago, another seasoned warrior for the soul of the next generation, the founder and president of Frontline Ministries and the Exodus Mandate Project, Lieutenant Colonel E. Ray Moore, joined Dr. Dobson on Family Talk to discuss their common concerns. The two battle-hardened defenders of the faith are at the forefront of a growing vanguard resisting a godless culture to put K-12 education back in the Great Commission as it were.
The “Exodus Mandate Project” is an international movement of volunteers calling Christian parents to remove their children from government-run, secular schools. Frontline Ministries wholeheartedly believes that all education is religious in nature and will bear deeply spiritual consequences. Accordingly, they challenge Christian parents to take personal responsibility for the education of their children — either in Christian schools or via homeschooling.
“We are a Christian ministry there to assist and encourage Christian families, pastors, and churches to leave behind the government school system — Pharaoh’s schools… for the promised land of Christian schools or homeschooling,” proclaims Chaplain Moore.”
A retired Chaplain in the United States Army, Moore has an impressive resume that more than equips him to lead the charge into a very real and consequential battle. He has served for over forty years in pastoral ministry as a campus pastor, congregational minister, and an Army Chaplain or Director of Christian Ministry. Additionally, he has been a campaign consultant for a number of major political campaigns. He served some nineteen-years as an Army Reserve Chaplain, retiring as a Lt. Colonel in 1999, and was awarded the Bronze Star for service in the first Gulf War.
The South Carolina native earned a B.A. in political science, and went on to receive graduate degrees, minting a Master of Divinity and a Master of Theology. He has authored books and executive-produced two films, penning the script for one. The man is eminently qualified to take on the education establishment and has ramped up his A-game with the release of the movie, “Escaping Common Core: Setting our Children Free.”
Tracing the trail of humanist efforts to turn American schools into a stronghold of godless, secular worldviews, the movie documents the spiritually-toxic, agenda-driven movement government elitists have christened, “Common Core” from its creation to present day. Detailing the origins of Common Core and the history of progressive education, it contrasts them with biblical Christian instruction. Furthermore, it exposes Common Core as an atheistic agenda rather than academic curricula, driven by the lure of massive government kickbacks or incentives to states, school districts, and municipalities that will use it. Moore and team then make the case for how it is shaping the hearts and minds of our children into a worldview that is hostile to God, and why it is critical to protect them from it.
It is a passion shared by James Dobson who has publically advocated for homeschooling since 1981 and also strongly supports Christian education. Dr. Dobson saw Moore give a workshop presentation at a conference both attended recently and while both were acquainted with each other, he was impressed enough to ask Moore to be on his show based upon what he saw that day.
“It was a workshop, a panel,” explains Moore. “We had three speakers that day on different aspects of the common core problem.” He continued, “We were talking about common core and different things related to it and I was basically introducing the movie and the topics in the movie. “Dr. Dobson was concerned about common core as a problem in education and I think that’s why he asked me to come.”
Ironically, years ago both Dobson and Moore were deeply impacted by the same book penned by homeschooling pioneer Raymond Moore (no relation). “He was the earliest pioneer of the home schooling. He wrote a Better Late Than Early: Home Grown Kids” Chaplain Moore recalled. “There was a couple other titles. My wife and I read those in the early years and of course, we were home schoolers, starting in the late ‘70’s and Dr. Dobson had him on his radio program in 1981.” He went on, “We got wind of it and I think we discussed that in the interview, so we tuned in. We had already been home schooling about four years and we didn’t really know anybody else at the time that was home schooling anywhere.”
That program had a profound impact on Moore and his wife. “It was very helpful to us. It validated us in the decision we made and as we found out in the interview on his show, it kind of helped give birth to the modern home school movement. That interview was very, very important in the early days of home schooling.” Continuing he noted, “In 1981, my guess is there were several hundred families doing it in the U.S., but after that, it just took off. It exploded and started growing exponentially and he was sort of the midwife for the early home school movement. So we enjoyed talking about that moment and he remembered it and I remembered it and it was many years ago.”
The Dobson appearance was a two day broadcast and took place March 20 and 21, 2017. It was largely well received, but not entirely as there are some who feel Moore’s position is too absolutistic. “I think the staff told me it was about 70 percent positive, but there was a lot of pushback in reaction again,” Moore reflected. “It’s hard to know exactly who it was coming from, but we think some was from Christian teachers and public schools and they are really threatened by this agenda and sometimes, I’ve had to deal with them too.” He continued, “They get very angry about it and so he had some pushback and I think normally he gets very little complaints. His program is mainly just helping people with their marriages, helping them with their raising children. You know, he doesn’t routinely have controversial topics and he anticipated it and was ready for it and willing for it.”
Neither Moore nor Dobson are rookies in this battle for the soul of the emerging generations. In fact, at this writing Exodus Mandate and Frontline Ministries are gearing up for their 20th anniversary celebration in Columbia, South Carolina. “Cal Thomas is our speaker,” says Moore. “It’s a big deal because he’s really well known, internationally known and probably the leading, major Christian leader in a nation who has been willing to speak well of us and support what we’re doing.”
Up the road Chaplain Moore hopes to bring some serious awareness to America’s Christian leaders, especially at the local level. “We’re going to try to work more on challenging the clergy, the conservative clergy,” said Moore passionately. “They are really the impediment. It’s taken me a long time to come to grips with the fact that the conservative pastors are the really, the biggest single problem we have in growing the movement. God has ordained the elders and the deacons, and particularly the pastors to be the leaders of the flock. But if they’re not leading, then the people will scatter.”
He continued, “It’s hard for them to come to terms with this and so most of the home school movement and Christian schools are just individual lay people. They have to go out and do it on their own; they don’t have the support from the churches in most cases.” Ultimately, he is deeply committed to his vision and message promising, “We’re going to have to address this because we’re in a real educational crisis. The nation is in a moral educational freefall. We’re going down fast and the shepherds and the pastors are not leading the flocks and their children and their churches.”
And while it can get lonely in the trenches for him, Moore remains solid, focused, and stalwart as well as grateful for those who labor along with him. “I just had an incredible response to the interview I did with Dr. Dobson,” he notes. “He really deserves kudos and if your readership agrees with what I’m saying, I would be very grateful if they would write him a thank you letter. Thank him for having me on. Ask him to consider more programs like that. He really stuck his neck out there and I’m really grateful.”
To learn more about the Exodus Mandate and Frontline Ministries visit their Website located at www.exodusmandate.org or call them at (803) 714-1744. Additionally, information on the movie “Escaping Common Core” can be found at www.escapecommoncore.com.