Over the last few months there has been increasing controversy regarding the Boy Scouts of America’s (BSA) ban on gay leaders. The BSA already ended the ban on openly gay scouts, and it wasn’t long before the discussion turned toward gay leaders. Well, on Monday, July 27, the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America ratified a resolution that permits openly gay adult leaders and employees. The resolution was passed by a 79% vote.
This is just another example of the further erosion of standards based on biblical authority and morality. Now, the BSA holds to a generic concept of God today, and they really don’t overtly claim to respect biblical authority and morality anymore, but they were founded by a Christian on biblical moral principles. Now, any organization that has left its clear foundation is bound to drift with the changing tides of culture and popular opinion. If you only have a vague concept of a god or God, then this God is open to accommodating many different interpretations of God. This decision leaves the Boy Scouts in the position of being originally founded on biblical principles and ethics, but then denying those very same tenets. Consider the statements made in Scout Law: “A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.” To whom are the Scout leaders guiding young scouts to be obedient and reverent toward with this type of legislation? Certainly not to God or to His Word, which calls homosexual behavior sin (as it does all sexual behavior outside of husband/wife marriage). For that matter, if you decide you want to ignore God’s commands, how can you have a foundation for what is trustworthy, clean, loyal, or obedient? As Christians who follow Scripture, we are told to pursue righteousness and what is good (1 Timothy 6:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:15); but if man decides for himself what is right (disregarding Scripture), then why even bother with virtuous things? What one considers to be kind or courteous (or loyal, helpful, or friendly) is relative and not absolute. We are left with a “do what is right in your own eyes” philosophy (Judges 17:6).
As another example, consider the Scout Oath:
On my honor I will do my best
to do my duty to God and my country
and to obey the Scout Law;
to help other people at all times;
to keep myself physically strong,
mentally awake, and morally straight.
Can anyone imagine that condoning and sanctioning homosexual leadership is going to help someone do their “duty to God” and be “morally straight”? These are contradictory statements. The BSA leadership is telling the boys that “good behavior” is rooted in a concept of duty to God and morality and then is trouncing those very ideals by openly promoting and endorsing behavior that God considers morally reprehensible, and which most evangelical Christians (and many other religious groups which actively support the BSA) consider to be a violation of God's commands. What a conflicting message to be teaching young and older boys.
According to the official release, “Religious chartered organizations may continue to use religious beliefs as criteria for selecting adult leaders, including matters of sexuality. This change allows Scouting’s members and parents to select local units, chartered to organizations with similar beliefs, that best meet the needs of their families. This change also respects the right of religious chartered organizations to choose adult volunteer leaders whose beliefs are consistent with their own.”
But Christian leaders are skeptical about the BSA’s promise to let church-sponsored units exclude gay leaders on religious grounds. According to Russell D. Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention,
After the Scouts’ shift on membership, they told religious groups this wouldn’t affect leadership. Now churches are told that these changes will not affect faith-based groups. Churches know that this is the final word only until the next evolution.
And, really, the Boy Scouts are making this radical change to appease a small minority of the population—and as a result, it will ultimately be the undoing of this movement.
Indeed, when you build your foundation upon the shifting quicksand of man’s “moral truth” instead of the rock-solid foundation of God’s Word, you can expect that morality will continue to become relative and erode away from what is mandated in Scripture.
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This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.