By Adriane Dorr
Following the May 23 Boy Scouts of America (BSA) vote to end the organization’s historic 103-year policy against allowing openly gay Scouts in the organization, the Rev. Bart Day, executive director of the LCMS Office of National Mission, released a statement on Friday, May 24.
Asking for patience and time to study the vote’s implications for The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, Day noted that “LCMS leaders are already studying the implications of this policy change, but we will need some time to evaluate the decision and determine what it will mean for BSA troops in our LCMS congregations.”
Prior to the vote, on May 16, LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison released a statement that voiced concerns over the BSA’s proposed policy change, explaining that “We suspect it [the policy change] will make it more challenging to care for young persons struggling with same-sex attraction and even open our churches to legal action.”
Day acknowledged that the vote moves scouting into “uncharted waters” since it “now allows the BSA to supersede the authority of local scouting chapters,” which could “cause a crisis of conscience for our pastors, parents and congregation members.”
In its official statement, the BSA announced that its National Council had “approved a resolution to remove the restriction denying membership to youth on the basis of sexual orientation alone.”
However, the resolution “also reinforces that Scouting is a youth program, and any sexual conduct, whether heterosexual or homosexual, by youth of Scouting age is contrary to the virtues of Scouting.”
The BSA’s statement can be read in its entirety here.
Adriane Dorr is associate executive director for Strategic Communications for the LCMS.
I was a cub scout in the 1960s/70s. I currently have a son in Boy Scouts and another son in Cub Scouts. Our church has been a chartering organization for both groups for over 40 years.
In just one day, the BSA places our pack and troop in a precarious situation with the very real possibility of losing our chartering organization: my church.
Never in a million years would I have believed the BSA would become an accomplice in the moral decay in America.
It is the darkest day in Scouting and I pray that God changes these leaders’ hearts so they follow His divine will.
In my humble view, BSA leaders have fired the first volley at the various Christian church sponsors of scout troops. They assume that most Christian churches will blink, backing down to the emerging gay friendly agenda now supported by many in the popular culture. The BSA considered this resolution strictly because certain corporate sponsors have threatened to withdraw financial support to the scouting program, claiming the organization not only discriminates against homosexual youths, but fails to affirm the gay lifestyle as acceptable by today’s standards.
As a result of this change in policy, those corporate sponsors will reward the BSA with increased contributions, to the delight of BSA leadership. There is a catch, however, and it is simply that opening the scouts to gay youth is not enough. The effort to include gay scoutmasters will begin immediately. It is a natural sequence for progressives to make “progress” incrementally, and this strategy is often effective. Once the entire organization is totally gay inclusive from top to bottom, their goal will have been achieved.
Now, as a result of this BSA resolution, the Baptists and Assembly of God churches seem determined to seriously withdraw from the scouting program. The Mormons will continue supporting the scouts in liberal states, but not in the conservative western states, a rather dubious policy at best.
Some denominations, and I fear the LCMS may be one, may develop a policy of allowing individual churches within the LCMS to make the decision. Some proponents of this weak and unbiblical approach may view this as an easy way to deal with a contentious issue, yet the individual churches would be better served by an unambiguous and strong statement from the LCMS main body. Those who equivocate and search for compromising solutions at this point in the history of American Christianity need to read their Bibles and find some intestinal fortitude to respond firmly and boldly against this assault against decency and Christian convictions.
As Lutherans, we might ask ourselves, “What would Martin Luther do? ” Is anyone in doubt as to what he would advise us to do in the situation facing the LCMS? Well, I will dare say that our beloved Martin would remove the church from the scouting program without hesitation, without equivocation, without regret, and he would do it immediately! I pray that the LCMS will do what is right in the sight of God, bearing the disdain and stripes inflicted by this perverse generation, and in doing so, will show it is a worthy Christian body, bold and fearless in defense of God and His word.
I have been involved in Scouting for 38 years, for the past 12 years I have served as a Chaplain and Scouting is my Ministry. My church charters a Pack, Troop and Crew with over 100 youth.
Scouting is an awesome outreach ministry. I have had the opportunity to introduce many youth, both unchurched and of Non-Christians beliefs, to the Gospel through Scouting.
The Scouts meet in our Sunday School classrooms, and in our sanctuary. They and their families come to church on Scout Sunday to provide a flag ceremony and listen to the sermon. We have offered parenting classes to parents of Scouts using Christ-centered educational materials. As a Chaplain, I have had the opportunity to give Christ-centered counseling to these youth and their families. Because of Scouting, many families have felt a connection to the church and have joined us for Christmas and Easter celebrations. I pray at every major gathering and invite the families to talk to me about our church.
I all of these years, working with thousands of kids, I have never had a discussion regarding homosexuality. Even if I had, and I forgot, I am sure that is was minuscule, compared to the opportunity I have had to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I, myself was brought back to Christ through my involvement in Scouting.
I am in the program working directly with the youth. I can assure you that this entire issue has little to do with the operations at the unit level. It makes for good media, propagation of personal causes and armchair quarterbacking from people wo are not working at the unit level and have no clue what is going on.
We can hide behind our might fortress or we can take our message to the woman at the well. If we, as a church, are not using our Scouting Programs, AA Programs, community program or any other contact with the community as an outreach ministry, shame on us! If we want to build dividing walls and hide behind them, then we have lost the meaning of the Great Commission.
Scouting is not a church. Scouting is a youth program that teaches Leadership, Participating Citizenship, and yes, Moral Values through the Ideals. Nowhere in the ideals of Scouting, is sin of any kind encouraged. The fact that Scouting has changed is membership standards for youth, will not change those values and will probably have little to no impact at the unit level. It does, however, relieve pressure on the national level from some very loud and powerful organizations.
If your church is not involved in it’s Scouting Program, then you are squandering an opportunity that God has given you and has invited you to work with Him. My hope and prayer is that the LCMS sees and ceases this community outreach opportunity.
I believe it was Pastor Steve Wagoner who stated that if the church is once again to become the center of the community, it needs to act like a community center.
Patrick, there is a fork in the Narrow Road that lies before you. The left fork is the wide path. While the narrow road you have been traveling on is getting rocky, with a few potholes and cracks, the wide path seems paved and more scenic. Well, so now you have a choice. You may follow the saints who came before you and followed the narrow way, true to God and conscience, or you may find some excuse, some exit strategy, some plausible narrative, to steer left and make the wide path your choice. However, the problem is that the wide path is littered with the lost, with the wicked, with the compromises, with religious people and smart people alike.
No argument exists for the LCMS to enable the BSA to have a home on church grounds, to participate, or to materially support this organization any longer. To do so gives victory to those who have set their mouths against heaven and the people of God. In the culture wars, homosexuality, gay marriage, abortion, religious persecution, are skirmishes in which we must engage on the side of Christ and His word. If we are unwilling to be bold in fighting in the skirmishes, we will be useless in the war for men’s souls.
Are we not all created by God? The explanation to the first article says that I believe that God has made me and all creation. For the LGBT community, that is not their chosen life-style. They are born with chromosomes mixed, other than strictly boy or girl.
Jesus’ example was to love and accept everyone, we need to love and accept lesbians, gays, bisexual, and transgender.
Jesus does love everyone, but in the Bible He also told people to “Go and Sin No More.”
Last I read, the study that saying it is a genetic mix up has been proven false. There might be new studies I don’t know about, but I would check that it is not a choice. The media often portrays it that way, but I do believe that study was with deemed invalid.
Unfortunately most of the left’s definition of, to quote you ,”we need to love and accept lesbians, gays, bisexual, and transgender.” means all must bow down and accept this lifestyle as a legitimate God given lifestyle. To disagree equals hate for some reason. I disagreed with things my kids did and was INTOLERANT of some of their behaviors but I do not ever recall stopping loving them…hmm..
It is NOT Godly, plain and simple!! While Jesus taught to love all, never did he once say we must tolerate and accept sinful behavior. He did not condone the prostitute’s behavior, he forgave her and told her to sin no more. He ate with the tax collectors but never once said “you were born this way so it’s ok”.
I am not going to say that these people are not born that way. Only God knows that. But, they DO have a choice on whether they indulge the tenancies or not. The secular world says its ok so it becomes ok and easy to indulge the perversion.
My family has a long scouting tradition, and I am just heartsick by this decision.
Why, oh why does an organization for children need to pass policies concerning anything sexual? These kids are not legal to engage in any sexual activity, no matter what their urges are. The scouts should have just said that they do not endorse any illegal activities, and left it at that.
There are those of us who live in liberal states that working overtime to find ways to force the church to “accommodate” everyone. If we look the other way on this scouting issue, we will be forced by law to compromise later. We will be forced to hand over our sanctuaries to same sex marriage.
The liberal left is going to have a field day with this. “Oh look, the church is throwing children out in the cold, because of their intolerance.” Nothing could be further from the truth, but truth matters not in this day and age, only destroying Christianity.
I have previously noted my opinion of why the LCMS should join with the Assembly of God churches, Southern Baptist churches, and other Christian denominations which have already affirmed that they will uniformly leave the BSA program on clear Biblical grounds.
To just add one more item, the supporters of having openly gay scouts in the BSA have predicted that most churches will just fall in line with the new policy, and that only about 5 percent will leave the scout program. Such arrogance! This is the open contempt and disdain these leaders hold for those professing the Christian faith.
Once this policy is in place, gay scoutmasters will follow. How much thought must be given to an issue in which the Bible clearly speaks, and in which the Christian churches and denominations have a clear mandate to obey the word of God?
Perhaps, few in the LCMS are talking about this issue. Perhaps, there is some worldly apathy infecting many Christians today. As for me, I shall be greatly interested in the response and direction of Lutherans.
It is sad that most professing “christians” are almost entirely informed by the world versus God’s Word in their almost total lack of understanding of sexuality, e.g. the brainwashed use of the “gay” and “homosex-” frauds only used by the worldly and deluded. As the Nazis & Soviets knew, who actually conquered us without our realizing it, those who control the definitions of terms have already won the debate, as is the case with sodomy where most professing “christians” are fools for the world and only REact to evil, such that it becomes their master & guide, failing to proactively ACT Biblically as Jesus did, He Whom they claim as their Lord without acting accordingly where like with the Pharisees it’s far more comfortable to embrace tradition and the world and ignore God’s Word and just roll over and go to sleep like the Scouts have done, pretending the devil for whom they’re whoring won’t destroy them. God save us. See “The gay invention” at http://www.touchstonemag.com & http://www.DrJudithReisman.org for what the devil & his henchmen have been up to in seeking the Church’s destruction while LCMS & others have been sleeping, pretending our church building techniques are even remotely as effective as Jesus’s. I’m new to LCMS and have simply been appalled at the incredible spiritual laxity; I don’t know which is ignored and despised more, God HImself, His Word, or the faithful word of His servant Luther, kind of a 3-way tie for last place. God save us.
If I weren’t a charismatic and encouraged by the Holy Spirit in ways LCMS despises and rejects I’d be undone by such tragedy, but I rejoice how He is so faithful even when we’re not, though we only dare violate 2Tim 2:12-13 at our dire peril: “if we endure together we shall also reign together; if we deny Him, He also shall deny us; 13 if we are faithless, He remains faithful [to HImself]; to deny Himself He is not able.” Most professing “churches” today are a lot more interested in belittling God to make man feel good about his sin than in taking God seriously when He said He will build His Church [His Way, not ours] in Matt 16; how they are so deluded as to even pretend they can even begin to do so without the charismata (G5486, Rom 11:29 for irrevocable are the gifts and the calling of God) & pneumatika (G4152, Rom 1:11 for I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, that ye may be established), He demands in His Word in Paul’s Epistles is incredible. Why surely we know better than Paul considering how much better a job we’ve done in ruining and shrinking God’s Church & mission than he! God save us.
From what I understand the Boy Scouts did not deny membership based on sexual orientation. What they now decided is to allow openly gay children into scouts….those who identify themselves as gay, those who actively and openly profess to being gay. This will now open doors for openly influencing our youth about the gay agenda. It is not the same as opening church facilities to organizations such as A.A. which is an organization about overcoming and having victory over addiction…an organization where members support each other in overcoming addiction. A.A. does not encourage people to be openly drunk.. It is not wise for a church to support a group that now supports that which opposes God.
The homosexual activists are aggressive, persistent and very skilled. They will continue the effort to force Boy Scouts to accept homosexual leaders. Who thinks that will take more than a year or two? Churches professing and teaching the Gospel of Christ that choose to sponsor Boy Scout troops will be targeted. If a church chooses to affiliate with the Scouts, it must accept a huge risk of becoming complicit in encouraging children into sin. The wide and easy path is to follow the crowd and acquiesce. But Christ said the path to the Kingdom of God is narrow. And then devil whispers in our ear – go ahead and acquiesce, God won’t notice.