Discernment Needed for Boy Scouts Decision

Posted: June 14, 2013 in Bible, Church, Evangelism, Family, Pastoral Ministry, Public Affairs

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Last week I attended the Southern Baptist Convention in Houston with Gayla, along with Tim Scott and Andrew Hackler from our church staff. We had an encouraging time interacting meeting with representatives of the International Mission Board and other ministry leaders. We celebrated the reelection of Pastor Fred Luter as president of the SBC. Of course the two-day business meeting was filled with reports from our various boards and agencies. The messengers approved twelve resolutions including ones dealing with sexual abuse of children, human trafficking, prayer for the president of the United States, and another dealing with the Boy Scouts. After several amendments to the original Boy Scout resolution were offered, debated, and approved or rejected, the messengers overwhelmingly approved the resolution that officially expressed its opposition to the Boy Scouts’ new policy regarding homosexuality.

Only this year did our church become the charter holder of Boy Scout Troop 85. Even prior to our becoming the charter holder, we made it clear that should the Boy Scouts of America turn from its historic roots in such a way that would diminish our congregation’s name or mission that we would be forced to sever the relationship.

While no decision has been made on this matter, I want to offer something to consider as we go forward. Prior to going to the convention, I met with both men from our church who have sons in Troop 85 and who serves as leaders in the troop. They understand the situation we face and understand that further changes to BSA policy could negatively affect our relationship. I asked for a greater role in the troop activities, particularly working with the leadership.

One of the amendments to the resolution offered by David Uth of FBC, Orlando, whose church has had a Boy Scout troop since 2005 so that they might influence boys and their families for the gospel, encouraged those churches that continue to sponsor Boy Scout troops to “seek to impact as many boys as possible with the life-changing gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Here’s what I am asking you to do right now: pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Make yourself open to His leadership. Pray for the boys and the families involved in scouting. Pray for discernment for our congregation so that we might clearly know how we should respond.

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