When I think of the Boy Scout organization I think of amazing young men like Stephen, Cade and Wil. All three of these young men grew up in scouting and achieved the highest ranking that the Boy Scouts offers - Eagle Scout. They each had to earn at least 21 merit badges and stay true to demonstrating what is called the "Scout Spirit" through the Boy Scout Oath and Law, service, and leadership. The final step to achieving Eagle is planning, organizing, leading, executing and managing an extensive project which benefits the community.
All of those details have faded in the shadow of the current debate which is now prominent in our news. The Boy Scouts have made the decision to allow gay members. The Southern Baptist Convention issued a statement saying that homosexual conduct is contrary to a scout's oath to do his duty to God. It approved a non-binding
resolution opposing the Boy Scout policy at its annual convention in Houston. The
resolution requires no action by member churches but leaves them to
decide individually whether to stop sponsoring scout troops.
Since then I have seen article after article in the news about churches who are not allowing Boy Scouts to meet in their church.
There is something sadly ironic about this decision to me. A church is supposed to be a hospital. A place to find help and healing. Every Sunday our pews are filled with people who are sinners. It is no secret that a lot of time people hide their hurting because they feel like they have to be "perfect" to be at church.
Do these decisions by churches to push out the Boy Scouts further reinforce this feeling? Are we missing a prime opportunity to minister and show God's love?
When I think about this decision and all it means, my heart thinks about all the young men and women we work with on Tuesday evenings. Young adults struggling with homosexuality, drug addiction, alcoholism, rejection from their families, anger -- you name it. So many of them are scared of the church and "Christians" because they have felt judged by them because they did not feel good enough.
I love Jesus' words in Matthew 11:28...
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."
Our churches need to return to being a place where a weary and burdened world can come and get help. Not a
battle ground that tells them that we have drawn a line in the sand.