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Despite Boy Scouts ending no-gays policy, Church of Christ association urges member units to ‘stay the course’


The board of trustees of Members of Churches of Christ for Scouting (MCCS) vehemently opposed this week’s decision by the Boy Scouts of America to allow openly gay boys into the ranks.
However, the national association, based in Abilene, Texas, is urging church-sponsored Scout units to “stay the course” and “continue to be a positive witness for Christ through the world of Scouting” rather than leave the organization.
Here is the full text of a statement shared with The Christian Chronicle by MCCS national chairman Steve Leddy and national executive director Kent Barnett:

Dear Friends, Scouters and Christian Brothers and Sisters,
We are deeply saddened by the decision which was rendered by the voting members of the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America effective January 1st, 2014, to allow openly homosexual youth to be members of the Boy Scouts of America, though we have faith that God reigns. MCCS loves the Boy Scouts of America which is why we are hurt by this decision, but we have served and continue to serve many youth organizations with diverse core values. We voiced our opposition to the change along with many other individuals and organizations of similar conviction.
MCCS’s mission is to interpret Scouting to Churches of Christ, encourage the use of Scouting by members of Churches of Christ and to promote the use of the Servant Leadership Series curricula. Our curricula are uncompromising in their messages of biblical values and authority. Our religious award materials adhere to our understanding of traditional, biblical morality to youth in the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, American Heritage Girls, Camp Fire and to young people unaffiliated with those organizations with a desire to learn about Christian servant leadership and biblical study.
God has put a challenge before us. We are not called to be a people of fear instead we must be a people of faith. We are His people and we will stand strong to be a witness for our understanding of Christian values. We firmly believe that Scouting and the young people of America are in deep need of prayerful, dedicated, moral service from God’s people. The membership standard within BSA has not been changed for adult leaders and now more than ever we need determined, courageous Christian men, women and congregations to stand up and reinforce existing units and charter new Scouting units so that they can lead young men and women to Christ while displaying Christian values and ethics to the young people in their charge. We must stay the course for the boys and girls we serve.
We are reminded of the biblical story of the prophet Jonah, who after running from God and His will to reach out to the people of the wicked city of Ninevah finally entered that city and was a powerful witness to the people of the redemptive power of God’s steadfast love. We are perplexed by the decision that was rendered, but we are confident that God is in control and that we can continue to be a positive witness for Christ throughout the world of Scouting.
Each Church of Christ sponsored unit has the opportunity to show God’s love and biblical truths to an unchurched generation. Scouting can be a ministry that provides a well developed program for youth both inside and outside of the church. The mission of the Boy Scouts of America has not changed, though its decision in its membership policies is difficult to understand from a biblical viewpoint. We take strength and comfort in Hebrews 13:8 where scripture says, “Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. “ Please pray for MCCS and for the youth and leaders of the Boy Scouts of America.
We continue to be Scouting for Christ.

About 550 Scouting units sponsored by Churches of Christ serve more than 15,000 youths, according to MCCS.

  • Feedback
    This is certainly a complex issue, and I am not sure whether the Scouts or LGBT community would like to be identified with “the wicked city of Ninevah.” In any case, of course, Nineveh repented when they realized that they did not know their “right hand from their left.” I certainly appreciate all that MCCS has done for Scouting among Churches of Christ.
    Richard Oster
    May, 25 2013

    Not sure how a church can stay affiliated with the Scouts when they now endorse something the Bible clearly says is sinful. If you continue to participate you will send a message it is ok to ignore God’s Word and commands.
    Jim
    May, 25 2013

    Why would the Churches of Christ stop allowing scouts to have meetings b/c of this? I don’t agree with homosexuality. However, I believe that the Scouts also allow boys who are openly greedy, violent, filled with lust, cuss like sailors, etc… Must I go on? We are called to love everyone. Everyone. I’m not personally a big proponent of the Scouts to start with. But, for those who believe it to be a good way to reach out to community, this is an opportunity to connect with a part of our population who struggle with a sin that is complex and that many of them are already bullied and outcasts for. He should not be “representatives of God” who pile on another layer of rejection and hate. We should display huge amount of grace and love while presented a savior who did the same for us!
    Chris
    May, 25 2013

    It’s going to be difficult to “show God’s love and biblical truths” to a group to whom you effectively said, “we wish you weren’t here.”
    TerryC
    May, 25 2013

    The LGBT community will not tolerate Christians trying to influence gays to become christians you will open the road wide to multiple lawsuits against your congregation if a christian scout leader tries to convert a gay boy to christianity.
    Sam
    May, 26 2013

    The resolution states a number of things that are clearly being overlooked; it confirms a Scout’s Duty to God, it says that any sexual activity by a Scout (heterosexual or homosexual) is inconsistent with the values of Scouting and it is behavioral based. It simply says that a youth cannot be denied the Scouting program simply because of sexual orientation alone.
    When I’ve asked churches, “What is your policy if a youth confides in an adult that he is gay or has same sex attraction? Is there a written policy that says he will be removed from your church or youth group”? The answer has been “No, it’s based on circumstance and behavior and we’d do what’s in the best interest of the youth and our church”. This resolution is the exact same thing, it is not an endorsement of homosexuality. Remember, the BSA partners with 38 different denominations who have different opinions on the issue of homosexuality but at the end of the day, this resolution is in the best interest of kids and leaves out the politics and emotions surrounding the morality of homosexuality.
    Mike Johnson
    May, 26 2013

    I was saddened when I heard the decision. I was a member of a church of Christ sponsored troop and got my Eagle in 1987. The lessons learned in scouting were wonderful training and helped prepare me for mission work in Africa. I believe in Scouting and the positive impact it can have on young men. My three boys are soon starting Boy Scouts.
    As we let our light shine in this dark world, may everything we do be done in love and bring glory to God!
    Jeff
    May, 26 2013

    The bible clearly takes a stand against homosexuality. Know matter we all stand before the Great I AM we all are accountable for what we have done for Jesus Christ. How sad to think we have came to this. Whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a milestone were hung around his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Matthew 18:6
    dolly
    May, 26 2013

    Since the American Boys Scout has finally opened its door for gays, I think the available options for Christians is to either establish their own voluntary youth organization with clear moral mission and outlook or just opt out. Besides, I need to stress that the propensity for influencing would be in favour of the gay group since the government and secular institutions is encouraging them to see themselves as cultured.
    Sunday Akpore
    May, 26 2013

    Until the Boy Scouts of America ban every boy who openly sins, this is the most Christian decision they could have made. That is, if standing for justice and fairness is included in what it means to be Christian. Why does someone’s sins disallow them to belong to a group? Didn’t Jesus include tax-collectors and sinners at his table? He didn’t condone the sin, but he certainly did not say “you can’t eat with me and you can’t belong to my group.” I’m troubled that the MCCS takes a position that will no doubt drive away people in our churches struggling with homosexuality. A compassionate church will welcome all people struggling with all sins and learn about Jesus’ love for them as they cope with their temptations.
    Charles Stelding
    May, 26 2013

    The problem I have is that The Boy Scouts state and I quote “On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God.” We know there have always been gays, lovers of money, liars, back
    stabbers, cheaters, (insert any sin…..because we are ALL SINNERS) within the scouts…..but, to openly permit and promote a sin and call it honoring God, can not be tolerated! So, there are a bunch of families here in the Northeast that have pulled their families from the Boy Scouts. I think to do nothing, says we agree with their decision. I feel as Christians, it is time we speak up or the world is going to run us over!
    Christine Hazard
    May, 26 2013

    I felt compelled to make a few points on this subject. I was a scout, as a matter of fact it was in Abilene that I did this. What I feel that all should understand about this subject is this. These young men would not have made the decision to “Come Out” without adults influencing them to do this. If this were as is said today a normal and natural thing, then this subject would have been a topic of discussion long before there were Boy Scouts. This is not a matter of what is right or wrong, but more a matter of pressure for acceptance of this practice as “Normal” All men appreciate each other’s company, and many men would admit that they would prefer the company of another man if Sex were not the direction that this preference would eventually lead. Young men are not having foremost in their minds how they will eventually live their lives as relationships go. Let us just cut to the point, Homosexuality is about Sex, not about preferences. The word is in the name. For a man to choose to have a family and treat each other as someone of the opposite sex is not how we were built and is not what God put us here on this earth to do. He created woman to be a helpmate for man. If this were not necessary, then he simply would have created another man. He put us together (man and women) not only for procreation, but for completeness. Young men I don’t believe totally understand this if they are not raised with God’s teachings. They would not in a vacuum make a decision to become “Homosexual” unless there were forces older (and they think wiser) bearing down on them. There is nothing sinful in two men choosing to live together if they are close. It would not even be sinful if they chose to raise a family with this relationship in the head of the family. What makes it sinful is when you decide that you will make “Sex” a part of this factor. Sex between anyone not married is a sin. These young me have had their thinking perverted by adults. For a church of Christ to continue in a relationship with a group who are agreeing that this type of sex is correct and to be accepted is wrong! This training can be reproduced by a group of our own, that has nothing to do with the BSA. We do not need them to do the same thing. It would only take someone to come up with this group so that others may join. It is the same as any Church and their leadership who chooses to overlook and accept any sin as being “OK” when they choose to do that then they open the door to all things evil. We must teach each person and accept them for what they are. But if they sin, we must bring it to their attention. We could not have one of our members continue to show up at services drunk or living in a sinful state without approaching them and teaching them a better way. We cannot associate our churches with a group that feels that we must continue to accept a sinful state as something normal, when we know it is sin. We will eventually convince no one of the truth of the Gospel, and the fact that God expects us to follow certain laws about the way we live our lives.
    John Murphy
    May, 26 2013

    Concerning alternative organizations here is one:
    The Christian Service Brigade [CBS]
    From their website:
    We are a discipleship ministry dedicated to engaging, encouraging and equipping godly men to raise up godly young men to lead and serve in family, church and community.
    <b>Our Mission
    Building godly men of today and tomorrow.
    The men of today are the men now serving or are ready to serve Christ by leading boys. We exist to build up these men in Christ.
    The men of tomorrow are the young men and boys of today. We exist to build up these young men and boys in Christ.
    The phrase �…godly men of today and tomorrow� speaks to a central purpose. Equipping boys to be the godly men of tomorrow – able to serve, lead and disciple in family, church and community!
    We accomplish our mission by:
    Training, equipping and encouraging men for ministry in general and ministry to young men and boys specifically.
    Empowering men to use their own gifts, talents and experience to teach the truth of God�s Word with insight and enthusiasm.
    Encouraging young men and boys to grow in Christ-likeness through relationships with godly men, through fun Bible-related activities that are exciting and relevant to them, through applying Scripture to daily life, through opportunities to serve Christ together, and through memorizing God�s Word.
    Providing materials that give men a practical, fun and dynamic way to disciple young men and boys for Christ so that they develop mentally, physically, spiritually and socially.
    Fostering the skill of fathering through mutual father/son experiences.
    II Timothy 2:2, Proverbs 22:6, Luke 2:52, Titus 2:6-8
    Their website is: http://www.csbministries.org/
    John Murphy
    May, 26 2013

    “For this cause God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so GOD GAVE THEM OVER TO A DEPRAVED MIND, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity.” (Romans 1:26-29)
    The language is clear … God gave them over to a depraved mind. He has washed His hands of them, turning them over to the soul-damning lifestyle that they worship in place of God. The only thing accomplished by mingling YOUR CHILDREN with homosexuals is that you run the risk of turning YOUR CHILDREN over to a depraved mind. Why put God to the test?
    Mary Waterton
    May, 26 2013

    Chris,
    Scouts don’t allow boys who are openly greedy, violent, filled with lust, cuss like sailors, etc� in the sense that if the leaders found a scout behaving any of those ways they would discuss that behavior with the scout and tell them that it is not acceptable behavior and a violation of the Oath. The leader could also tell them more specifically that the behavior isn’t being morally stright! This new policy prohibits a leader from telling a scout that their homosexual relationship is a violation of their Oath and isn’t being morally straight.
    This issue isn’t about allowing kids who have same sex attraction to participate in Scouting, it’s about allowing kids who have that attraction and have a boyfriend to openly talk about it and have that relationship recieved as accepted behavior and morally good!
    A leader discussing this behavior with the Scout would be open to removal of their position and or a lawsuit for caring enough about the Scout to say something.
    Ron
    May, 27 2013

    I have a question for MCCS. Where do they draw the line and say we cannot be associated with this organization anymore? Is it with openly gay leaders? Where? Is it MCCS’s place to encourage congregations to tollerate a teaching of acceptance of sin and not speak out about it? I would incourage them to consider the church in Thyatira who tolerated a woman who mislead people about and into sexual immorality.
    We live in a world that is often opposed to truth. Our culture promotes tolerance over truth, but a wise king reminds us that there is a difference between right and wrong, good and bad, righteousness and evil. Level paths that have a solid foundation lead to success, but evil and unstable choices will lead to destruction.
    Prov. 4:23-27 Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.
    “Above all else” guard our chidren’s hearts that’s a high priority. I don’t see how being muted and tollerant of sexual immorality accomplishes that priority.
    Ron
    May, 27 2013

    Obviously homosexuals will never have any tolerance for a religion that teaches the Divine condemnation on sodomy. Never. The BSA and its principles have fallen. To stay with the organization at this point is foolish.
    It is a weak-minded opinion to seek a compromise and refer to the LGBT issues as “complex”—it is not complex—it is simply condemned by God. Homosexual advocates have decided to fight against God Himself, who judged long before we were on the earth, that sodomy is vile and against His law. Christians are either for Him or against Him—lukewarm is not acceptable.
    Consider that at the beginning of chapter 6 in Genesis that the sons of God mingled with the people of the world who refused to serve God and didn’t convert them, but rather fell to their ways. And before the end of that chapter, the sons of God forsook God’s law, and the earth was filled with wickedness, i.e., no one serving God, save Noah. That was a horrible time in man’s history. We’re fast approaching it with the wicked on the rise and the righteous neglecting the power of God’s Word.
    Tom
    May, 27 2013

    Question: How much are the Boy Scouts’ assets worth? i.e., land, buildings, etc? What happens if the Christian-minded community loses control of those assets and the homosexual-community seizes control? What happens to the values taught and the property owned then?
    Tom
    May, 27 2013

    Mike Johnson said, “it (the resolution) is not an endorsement of homosexuality” and later “this resolution is in the best interest of kids and leaves out the politics and emotions surrounding the morality of homosexuality.”
    I would really like to know if Mike has been following the reporting of this resolution. It most certainly has been interpreted as an endorsement of the homosexual lifestyle by the LGBT community, and beyond that, it has been reported that homosexual scouts and their parents/guardians will not stop until openly gay adults (male and female) are allowed to be scout leaders. So, with all the best intentions of Mr. Johnson understood, I believe he is absolutely wrong on both accounts. This decision is clearly viewed as an endorsement of the homosexual lifestyle, and, as such, cannot in any way, shape or form be viewed as being “in the best interest of kids.”
    I agree that a young man needs to be able to discuss this question, as well as any other relationship issue, with his parents, minister, teacher, scout leader or any other trusted adult. Where I draw the line is at the point that the adult he talks to cannot show him that a homosexual lifestyle is sinful and clearly contrary to the will of God. With this resolution, and the legal machinations that will surely follow, such counsel will be forbidden (if it is not already.)
    As with every other issue, each congregation should be free to make its collective decision about whether to stay or leave the BSA. However, I think that, beyond the simple words of the resolution, I feel that the way in which the resolution is being interpreted, and very likely will be interpreted by the courts of the country, should be included in the discussion.
    Simply put – there are two issues at play here. One might be the “literal” meaning of the resolution, the other is the way it is being interpreted by the most militant advocates of the LGBT community.
    Paul Smith
    May, 27 2013

    One other thought that I forgot to mention – with this resolution the BSA has created an impossible double standard. The BSA has ruled it is perfectly okay for an openly homosexual boy to be a scout until he turns 18, at which point he is no longer allowed to serve as a leader. This is clearly a double standard, and courts in the US hate double standards, unless there is clear reasoning as to why such a standard must exist.
    I don’t know whether the resolution was set up this way intentionally or by accident. My thought is one side wanted the double standard to be clearly exposed, and the other side either did not see it, or chose to overlook the possible consequences.
    And so the question posed above for the MCCS is very appropriate – what will the MCCS do when openly homosexual adults are allowed to serve as leaders, mentors and guides for the BSA?
    Paul Smith
    May, 27 2013

    the Scouts have a rule in place that boys and Scout leaders may not bring a girlfriend / member of opposite sex on a camping trip,ie, share a tent. This recognizes that most boys/men are heterosexual and CAN control themselves. Openly gay should not be allowed to participate in sexual acts while with or representing Scouts. The BSA should provide written guidance on how to respond to suspicion or accusations of sexual abuse by a leader or another scout.boy Scouts are not allowed to fight either – what happens when boys do fight? The leaders must lead.
    mary Oppy, RN
    May, 28 2013

    The Boy Scout organization has provided the answers to several questions in these comments at:
    http://www.scouting.org/sitecore/content/MembershipStandards/Resolution/FAQ.aspx
    It will help us understand this decision if we’ll read this official document, and not believe the uninformed gossip on the web.
    Here’s one example:
    “This proposal reinforces Scouting’s belief that sexual conduct by any Scout, heterosexual or homosexual, is contrary to the virtues of Scouting and is reflective of the beliefs of most of our major religious chartered organizations.”
    Charles Stelding
    May, 28 2013

    This particular problem with BSA may be new… but the organization is far from ideal. It allows pretty much any definition of religion, and the single largest sponsor of religious scout units isn’t Christian, it’s Mormon.
    Everything Earthly is corruptible, and scouting was hardly perfect before. Consider the U.S. flag retirement ceremony, for instance: I do not speak lightly when I say that what I saw executed there was a truly and thoroughly idolatrous ceremony, where emotional fervor and religious devotion which belongs only and totally to God was openly and intentionally given to a series of flags.
    So many of the ideals of scouting are grand… but so many of them are directly in conflict with the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
    Jonathan Clemens
    May, 28 2013

    While I understand that we are to show the love of Christ to all, this does not mean that everyone is going to love Christ. Jesus did not run after the “rich young ruler” nor did he let him stay around to influence him for good. The rich young ruler decided to reject Jesus. The BSA has made a decision not to accept the lifestyle of a Christian ( they have collectively decided to reject Jesus and Christianity). I am sadden that it bent to the “political” pressure of the Gay community. It must be understood that this is not individual sin (cussing, cheating, or even engaging in underage sex) this is a group consensus that has decided to reject the church. This is not the church rejecting children or witch hunting sinners, this is about the continued push against Christianity. Christianity transcends the BSA. Sex immorality is wrong no matter if it heterosexually or homosexually. If you think about the age of the Boy Scout, you are automatically talking about under age sex (which is illegal). On a practical level this is going to cause major liability issues for churches. Also, the Bible and Christianity transcend the Constitution. Just because a few men decided that homosexuality is a sexual orientation, in reality it is at best a sexual preference. Why are underage children/boys even discussing this in the BSA? This alone is why individual churches should pass. Obvious from the MCSS’s letter that Christians have very little influence on the BSA.
    Alex Clayton
    May, 29 2013

    “Boy Scouts and adult volunteers wore their uniforms Sunday as they marched in Utah’s gay pride parade � defying a leader of the youth organization who had said they couldn’t do so under the organization’s guidelines prohibiting advocating political or social positions.” Why would BSA expect these people to not advocate this political and social position when they cracked the door open on the very same issue. BSA can try all they might like to think that their policy change wasn’t a part of a bigger movement but it was and is!
    “It just feels like the right thing to do,” Kenji Mikesell, an 18-year-old Eagle Scout and high school senior still active with his troop, said before leaving for the parade in Salt Lake City in his uniform. That kind of thinking will bring in the leaders too. I think we will find that BSA has no discipline to go with their moral decline.
    Editor’s note: Here’s a link to the story: http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/06/02/18699493-boy-scouts-defy-orders-wear-uniforms-in-utah-gay-pride-parade?lite
    Ron
    June, 3 2013

    When outside forces are allowed within, it will cause walls to crumble. That’s why we have elders to rightly divide the word.
    Don Sinquefield
    June, 4 2013

    As a leader who has held most adult positions in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, and a Vigil Honor Order of the Arrow Adult member, this has been a matter of much discussion in my district and Council.
    But we must look at one thing first. HOMOSEXUALITY is a sin (we make it acceptable to call it being “gay” or “lesbian”). Oh, but so is lying, cheating, stealing, gossiping, and on and on and on.
    Our congregations are FILLED with sinners – and Christ, when challenged, said he went where he was needed, to the sinners and not to those who were “healthy”. Are you going to close your assembly hall’s doors to a homosexual? then you have to close it to EVERYONE!
    Now let’s get to the heart of the matter – “openly homosexual boys” in chartered units. Every unit is chartered (CO), most by various religious groups, and some by local community groups. Each unit conducts the troop according to BOTH their own faith and the BSA rules. And sexual contact is forbidden by ANYONE not married on BSA activities. So any boy and adult who conducts themselves in a way contrary to the BSA and the CO rules, may be removed from the activity, and may be have their membership dropped.
    Obviously if the homosexual community tries to force their will on our congregations, they would be asked to leave. BUT we have every right, in fact duty according to the way I read the rules, to teach what we believe (the Bible). The MCCS workbook for all ages in Scouts and other organizations, teaches what we believe. And that is what they must follow to receive the religious emblem for their age group. I am one of, if not the first, to receive the “Faithful Servant”, the adult religious emblem for the Churches of Christ, recognized by the BSA.
    I thank the founders of the MCCS, because without this organization, they Church would not have had ANY voice in the BSA. And while my initial reaction to the BSA action is one of sorrow and repulsion, I believe that the stand of the MCCS board is correct.
    By the way, the GSA does not prohibit homosexuals from their organization. Our members who work with Chaplaincy organizations have been dealing with this every since the DSM was changed to no longer include homosexuality as a mental illness. And all of us who work with the public are required to treat homosexuality as acceptable, even though we see it as a sin and very disgusting. Any every person out there who has a business knows that if you refuse to provide service to someone purely on the basis of their stating they were homosexual, would probably lose their business in a discrimination lawsuit.
    Like I was taught when I was first immersed, God hates the sin, but loves the sinner. We need to treat someone who says they are homosexual no differently than someone who says they are an alcoholic, liar, thief, gossiper, etc.
    Homosexuality will always be wrong. However we are now living in a world-wide Sodom and Gomorrah, and it does not look to be repenting. I fear for my children, both now Marines, and my grandson. Until we get involved in politics, and fight against depravity, it will only get worse. And to obey Christ, we must go into ALL the world and teach the Gospel. This does not say teach to only those we agree with – but to teach it to ALL THE WORLD!
    Paul Johnson
    June, 4 2013

    The issue is clear. Christ has made it so when he summed up the Law and the Prophets and gave us the greatest commandment to love God and love our neighbor as ourselves.
    What is the best way to love homosexuals? Is it to tell them they are okay just the way they are? Would you see a man bleeding on the side of the road, pat him on the back and tell him to keep up the good work? Homosexuality is a self-destructive lifestyle. It destroys individuals and families.
    It is now the Boy Scouts of America official policy to accept without question professing homosexual boys. In effect, this is an endorsement of the homosexual lifestyle that all scout leaders are bound to obey. The phrase, “morally straight” has now been redefined for everyone in scouts.
    The BSA is a private club I have chosen to join. By choosing to stay with the club, I am endorsing that club’s rules and policies.
    My troop’s policy has always been to accept everyone in whatever state of sin, as long as they know in advance that we are a Christian troop who pray in Jesus’ name and that they must abide by our standards and join in our devotionals and teaching. In effect, this new policy would be like a boy announcing that he is a practicing thief and then we would be bound to take him into our troop without the option to teach him that thievery is wrong.
    By the way…I have never heard of the “MCCS” and I don’t know why their pronouncement is newsworthy.
    Jeff Atnip
    June, 4 2013

    This issue could if handled wisely turn out positively. Use whatever influence you have to form separate local scout-like clubs with no ties to BSA. It is sad to say goodbye, but go your own way but we will go ours.
    If churches united and pulled out en masse the victory would be denied the enemy. But if you play with their cards you will lose.
    David Purcell
    June, 4 2013

    I agree that homosexuality is a sin as is greed, violence, lust, and sailor cussing. BUT, the BSA did not have a vote to let cussin’ sailors, specifically, be in the BSA. Now did they? They did however just mainstream homosexuals and the homosexual lifestyle.
    If I were part of congregation that had Boy Scouts meeting in their building, I for one would give them two weeks notice. If I were a parent or guardian who had someone in scouting- I’d pull them out.
    As for all this “WWJD” stuff about homosexuals- Since Jesus had zero contact with them as far as we know and He did hang around with publican and sinners and lepers, I think “WWJD?” as far as homosexuals- He’d avoid any public or personal affirmation of them. Just as He did in His physical life and eternal Word.
    Don Neyland
    June, 4 2013

    I say, everyone who is involved in it that is Christian, get out of it and quit promoting it. Any money spent on them withdraw it. Lets take the purse strings away…
    Richard Bates
    June, 4 2013

    It sounds reasonable to continue the association with the Boys Scouts as an outreach tool and as a way to share the truth.
    The problem is, will you be allowed to voice your beliefs about what you know to be wrong in an association which now openly expects its members to “accept” this lifestyle as OK? How much “sharing” of the truth can you reasonably expect, given the groundwork now laid out by the leaders of this organization?
    Will the Boy Scouts allow those troops and troop leaders from Churches of Christ to express their beliefs–or will that be “against the rules.”
    It seems that it will be a very difficult “rope to walk”; we want to be loving and fair and tolerant. But not to the extent that “wrong” is now called “right” and “acceptable.” And worse, that, now, Christian scouts and scout leaders are expected to “walk this rope” with the odds being that they will be “scorned” and “ridiculed” if they openly express their beliefs–and even try to teach these beliefs.
    It is probably better to go ahead and make your stand here. And now. Remember, when God through this apostle Paul wanted to describe the height of depravity in the first century world, he did so using homosexuality as an example of the worst behavior that men can commit against their Creator.
    Don’t think we need to ‘tiptoe” around the issue. And I think we all understand that the forces behind these decisions will be pressing for more and more “tolerance” as they push to legitimize more and more aberrant behavior–beginning with the push to allow gay scout leaders.
    It is a tough call; we want to show love. But, in the church, we have a responsibility to resist sin–of “any shape and size”. How do we avoid involving our children in an “unequal yoking” with unbelievers by placing them squarely in this atmosphere?
    Much prayer is needed; along with some intestinal fortitude among our congregations who are dealing with this situation.
    Franklin Cooper
    June, 4 2013

    As an eagle scout, I hesitate to say this, but I am terribly afraid that the Boy Scouts, a proud and historic organization for these many years, is on its way out. I just don’t think the Church can continue to support the scouts unless this travesty is overturned. may God help us.
    David Reed
    June, 4 2013

    Respecting my friends at MCCS who plan to “stay the course,” I will be leaving the BSA before the policy change becomes effective.
    The link below highlights my thoughts on the subject.
    http://gatidwell.blogspot.com/2013/05/the-end-of-era.html?view=flipcard
    GATidwell
    June, 5 2013

    I have been a scout leader for about 25 years now. I’ve served in positions from WEBELOS leader to Scoutmaster (for two different troops). I helped start the one I serve in now. I have even helped organize and run Camporees as a District Committee Member. Three of my sons are Eagle Scouts and I have advocated scouts to congregations as an outreach ministry that builds Christian leaders who understand that key values must frame everything they do — for life. I’ve been a member of MCCS, gone to their retreats and prayed with them. In short, I have been a true believer in Scouting. What we do is not just fun, it’s important. Sadly, you have no idea how sadly, I will be severing my relationship with BSA.
    While I understand the drive to use BSA’s program, the moral implications of supporting an organization that has defined homosexuality as “morally straight” and “reverent” are just too overwhelming to ignore. Yes, boys who identify as homosexual need God’s love and guidance desperately, but ministry can never take precedence over the duty to protect children. Serve them, but don’t put boys in jeopardy to do so. I won’t expound on this area for two reasons. First, it really is pretty self-evident. Second, others have made strong and compelling arguments on this already.
    I think it’s important to look at this from a safety perspective. As a parent, my first responsibility is to keep my children safe — everything else depends on this. As a Scoutmaster, my first responsibility is also to keep my boys safe and our parents rightfully demand this. The new BSA policy will magnify the danger to scouts substantially. Let me explain. Ask yourself this, “Would you allow your 11 year old daughter to sleep in a tent with a 14 year old boy?” That’s exactly what the new policy sets up. If there is a more sexually energized and confused being than an adolescent male I have no idea what it is. (I’m a Marriage, Family and Child Therapist, and have done foster care with my lovely wife for over 30 children, so I have better than average experience here.) Anyway, BSA is telling their members that any sexual behavior is inappropriate and should be dealt with as though that declaration will tame the adolescent drive. As a Scoutmaster with both homosexual and heterosexual scouts, how should I arrange tenting? Can I ask the boys to tell me who is who then place like scouts together? Bad idea. Can I mix them up? Again, bad idea. Okay, what about restrooms &amp; showers? Buddy policy demands that scouts go together. Again, bad idea. The only safe way to set up tenting would be to put every scout in their own tent and post two adults in the camp — all night. Similar arrangements will have to be made for showers. How do I know this? In one of my troops there was a long term ASM who perpetrated against scouts over several years (before I arrived). He committed suicide so all the details were not discovered, but it appears that he recruited followers who later perpetrated on other scouts in the showers, under the stars, and yes, in the tents. It’s hard enough to keep scouts safe with the old rules. Now they’re inviting young men at a hyper-sexual stage of their development who have declared an attraction for other males to come tent and shower with heterosexual scouts at a hypersexual stage of their development. Setting aside the obvious conclusion that BSA will have to relent on homosexual adults very soon after the first openly homosexual Eagles turn 18, disaster is on the horizon. Folks, I don’t think your sons are not going to be safe on BSA campouts after Jan 1, 2014. When an incident happens, not only will the name of the Lord’s church be damaged, but congregations may find themselves with devastating legal bills on top of the horrible guilt of having helped facilitate tragedy. I pray that as this all unfolds and troops leave, BSA will have a change of heart, in the meantime, please check out http://www.faithbasedboys.org and http://www.onmyhonor.net
    Rich Roper, Scoutmaster Troop 3130
    Richard P. Roper
    June, 5 2013

    As an Eagle scout from 1975 and a 40 year scouter—but more importantly as a servant of our Lord in the church, I am as conflicted as anyone on this issue. Ultimately in all things our Lord must prevail in our stand. I believe that we must remember the purpose of the church–to seek and save the lost, to edify the saints and to demonstrate love in benevolence and kindness—being able to give glory to the Lord.
    Many congregations of the Lord’s church have opened their doors to AA, divorce recovery help groups and other worthwhile causes. However, would the church host a “keg party” or invite others to come in and explore divorce options with a panel of divorce attorneys? Obviously not. The recent stand by the BSA makes it clear that “openly homosexual” scouts should be welcome. If the church sponsors such a group now, you would be prohibited from trying to influence for good in any way such a young man. As a Scoutmaster I had always tamped down discussions regarding sexual activity–scouting is not the place for it…period. Now however, one group is not only permitted to participate in such an activity–but to declare it. I can not see that the church can continue to sponsor such an organization. I would encourage, however, adults and young Christian men to continue to support scouting in their own pursuits—however endeavoring to “keep oneself unspotted from the world”. Obviously, should sexual promiscuity and sinful endeavors be tolerated or promoted in a unit, then withdrawing oneself from such an environment should be strongly considered if unable to create a more wholesome, positive environment for all concerned. We must make similar calls in our attendance at school, work and in other places, thus being “in the world, but not of the world.” The church sponsoring Scouts now would place it “of the world”.
    Brian
    June, 5 2013

    Just one itty bitty question: If there are about 550 BSA scouting units sponsored by Churches of Christ which serve more than 15,000 youths (WOW!), what is there to prevent you from pulling YOUR 550 scouting units of more than 15,000 scouts OUT and forming your OWN scouting club? You could even then expand it to include scout units sponsored by members of churches of Christ in other countries, and thus become an INTERNATIONAL scouting club and call it Members of Churches of Christ for Scouting International (MCCSI). Just think of the possibilities! Scouts from the USA joining with scouts from Canada and other countries to do scout projects in third world countries and all kinds of community projects. You don’t need the BSA buildings, money and resources. Just because the BSA has run amuck, does not need to mean compromise or the end of scouting. Just form your own club with even improved values, and watch it mushroom! I could be wrong, but I believe that if you stay with the BSA, you will lose members, regardless of what you say. But if you pull out and form your own club, I believe that you will grow and the possibilities are endless. And God bless you for it.
    Evelyn
    June, 6 2013

    Evelyn,
    We cannot form any unit called “Scouts” or any variation of that, because the BSA has the copyright on it.
    There are currently 2 potential organizations that are trying to start something similar to the Boy Scout program: On Our Honor and Faith Based Boys. They are not associated with the CoC, but look to have the intent of using the same methods of teaching leadership and exploring potential jobs (Yes, that is what Scouting is), but specifically keeping homosexuality away from the boys.
    I very much doubt that the BSA will be able to get as many boys from the homosexual community as they lose from all other organizations. However that also points out what is happening nationwide. Very small but very vocal groups are promoting amoral, anti-God, and hate filled agendas. And because the much larger group that claims to be Christians did not shout them down, we will have them taking over very shortly. Even the homosexual community claims to have approximately 1% of the US population, yet nearly EVERY show on TV promotes that lifestyle.
    I fear that Scouting is dying, and there is almost nothing we can do to save it that does not cause some conflict within the body of Christ. Scouting helped my sons tremendously, especially since I am disabled, and have been since they were only 2 &amp; 4. But they lived, and we brought them up, in such a manner that they excelled in the Marine Corps. They are looked up to by men much older than they are, and they have been leaders wherever they are.
    Paul Johnson
    June, 6 2013

    As a former ASM I am sadden and sickened by the decision to allow openly homosexual young boys to be members of my local troop. I will not accept homosexuality as something normal or as an “alternative lifestyle”. It is true we are all sinners and have fallen short of the glory of God. I know you can not legislate morality but there is no need to openly promote sin! So how can a adult leader influence young boys to be morally straight when homosexuality is looked upon as normal?
    David Krischel
    June, 7 2013

    BSA does not have a copyright on the word “scout.” The word is borrowed from military history and is still used in that context. While “Boy Scout” is certainly trademarked and careless use of the word “scout” especially in the name of the organization, might attract unwanted attention, it’s not illegal. We “scout” new locations to live, hunt, or camp in. Baseball and football “scouts” go about their business without worrying about being sued by BSA or GSA. Whatever new organization may come out of this, their business will still be scouting. Let’s stay focused on the real issues: the morality of calling and supporting immorality as moral. And, the inherent danger of deliberately mixing openly homosexual boys with heterosexual boys. Do you want to reach out to homosexual youth? Great, find a way to do so without condoning the behavior or consciously exposing our sons to danger. For the record, folks should know that “Spiral Scouts” were started about 1999 specifically to serve youth that didn’t fit the BSA model. They and several other scouting organizations already embrace homosexual and atheist youth. This has never been a case of needing to meet the needs of those communities. On BSA’s declaration that no sexual behavior is appropriate in scouting. Really, does anyone really believe that will change the average adolescent male’s behavior? Nothing but a paper tiger, crepe paper. Oh, did I mention “Spiral Scouts”? That’s right, they already use “Scout” in their name. 😉
    Rich Roper
    June, 8 2013

    The thing that everyone should keep in mind is that whether what you do is right or wrong is not determined by what you do but rather by WHY you do what you do. If a person remains in the Boy Scouts out of concern for others and because of the positive influence he might be in encouraging members to be true to the golden rule (which is the word of God or “gospel”) which saves people from the damage (sin) they do to others when they misjudge them and from the guilt (sin) people feel when misjudged by others then it’s the right thing to do. However, it’s also right to leave the scouts when a person is concerned that their participation might have a negative influence on others and maybe even themselves. You see, the golden rule quite literally frees a person from sin because as long as you do what you do out of genuine concern for others that’s at least equal to or greater than their concern for self it’s the right thing to do. Things that you used to think of as sin no longer are if they’re done out of love; out of genuine concern for what you believe is in the best interests of all concerned. This is what a person should understand when they think about what it means to obey the gospel. The golden rule is the “good news” or the truth that is able to literally set you free from sin and from ever sinning again. “If you want to be perfect…” said Jesus to a certain man who asked what he had to do to have eternal life, or get into the kingdom of God in other words, “then obey the golden rule that I teach and demonstrate.”
    David
    June, 9 2013

    The BSA’s decision is truly heart-breaking, but even more disturbing is the MCCS Board’s recent urging church-sponsored groups to remain part of the organization that has obviously abandoned its core values. The church must decide whether it loves the name “Christ” more than “Boy Scout” and which one we’re going to represent. I used to encourage parents to get their boys involved with BSA, but I no longer do that and will not. It is difficult to give up those things we cherish, but there’s where our faith is often challenged. Is the church willing to give up its association with this organization in order to stand firm on its commitment to follow Christ completely? We are to be in the world, not of it. By “staying the course” with this organization many, many people will see it as the church compromising its values. We cannot do that.
    The organizations we associate with reflect upon the church. We are commanded to avoid every appearance of evil. I think it would be tragic if the church did not take a firm stand against this decision by withdrawing from BSA. The scouting programs within the church do not have to discontinue merely because they would no longer have the “Boy Scout” name attached to them. Better they bear the name of Christ only.
    You can bet that the next thing to go in BSA will be the removal of “God” from their pledge. The athiest organizations are already lobbying for that with the same fervor that the LGBT community went after this issue. If they are successful in those efforts, will the MCCS then say, “We’re out of here!”
    Susan Cronk
    June, 12 2013

    The resolution by the BSA does not give troops permission to minister to gay youths whether they are a Church based troop or not. The resolution mandates something else.
    While righteousness without love is judgmentalism; love without righteousness is just permissive permission to keep sinning. The question I have is how do you show them God�s love which is based is his righteousness? We can only rely on the examples Christ gave, but the fact is you will never have the opportunity to minister to any gay youth in a troop (go your way and sin no more) for if you do the first thing will be �the BSA accepts� gay youth. They next thing will be the attorney.
    Let us be honest about the near term, the next thing will be open gay leadership in BSA. Christian participation in BSA is at a maximum right now but will drop due to the rule change and then it is just a matter of time. It is coming. It just didn�t happen now.
    Also, the level of naivet� from the MCCS is just astounding. God�s love will not be shown to gay youth nor will biblical truths be proclaimed. What will be shown to Church of Christ troops that it is that it is OK and acceptable to be gay. I can just hear it now in five years �our church troop had gays and everyone was cool with it and no one said anything, the bible is just wrong about it being a sin. It is OK�.
    If the rule change on membership was not enough to MCCS to take action then changes to the BSA leadership rule in the near future will not lead to changes either, but will just lead to more expressions of �regret� and more �stay the course�.
    For the MCCS I have this question: one of the commands in the Bible is for us to be in the world but not a part of it. By accepting an organization which accepts that which God has said is unacceptable guess which line you have just crossed?
    Anthony
    June, 13 2013

    The only way possible for the cofC to have harmony within their organization is to emotionally divorce yourselves from anyone unless they subscribe to your tenants and practice the mechanics of faith as a herd. I have suffered the pain of this arrogance within my own family as they relate more to their “brothers and sisters in Christ” than they do a sibling who simply cannot grasp a God who is this vindictive and narrow minded.
    Hope
    June, 14 2013

    Sorry…tenets
    any opinion, principle, doctrine, dogma, etc., especially one held as true by members of a profession, group, or movement.
    Hope
    June, 17 2013

    What a lot of comments this subject has drawn! Since it’s such a compelling subject, I’ll offer a personal anecdote: As a Christian mother, when my son was of scouting age, I encouraged him to be a Cub, then a Boy Scout. If this matter of homosexual acceptance had been a consideration then, I would have urged him another direction–probably toward AWANA or other overtly Christian organization.
    Now I have a grandson who attends Christian school. Because of this development in Boy Scouts, my grandon’s parents will seek some other direction for their son than scouting; I concur with their decision. I suspect that many Christian parents, rather than putting their beloved children into situations that are potentially awkward for them at least and seriously damaging to them at worst, will quietly “vote with their feet” and urge their children in a different direction.
    I consider this decision by the Boy Scouts of America a very sad development in our nation’s history because when I was young, both my brothers were in Cub Scouts and then Boy Scouts. I was a Camp Fire Girl. In those days, all these organizations were very strong on promoting what they called “Christian values”. It’s very sad that things have changed so much and parents now have to be doubly vigilant about what their children may be exposed to.
    Anita Romeo
    June, 22 2013

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