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Editorial — Our Culture is Changing: Better or Worse?

anti-boyscoutsKENTUCKY (7/4/13) – As we celebrate the birthday of our Nation this date, we celebrate our freedom of speech, freedom of religion and other freedoms not known in other parts of the world. These freedoms make things a bit messy at times; but, that is part of the plan.

With these freedoms, cultural changes happen much more quickly. We are witness to a significant change going on now. Some compare the change to the Civil Rights Movement for African Americans and women. Others argue that this time it is different. At issue is a changing perception of homosexuality in this country. Voters, governments and the court system, including the US Supreme Court, are being challenged by the changing culture. These changes are driven by gay rights groups and supported by national news media.

To some Christians this new perception is in direct conflict with the biblical teaching of homosexual activity as an immoral act. They will refer to 1 Timothy Chapter 1: "8We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. 9We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.”

Other Christians try not to judge people by their sexual orientation. They try to see each person as God’s creation that they are to love and serve. At the same time they do not condone homosexuality. These Christians will use Matthew 7:1-3 as their argument: “'Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 'Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”

The simmering pot exploded when the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) caved in to media pressure and pressure from gay rights groups to include homosexuals in the scouting program. By a 60% margin the BSA voted on a resolution that states: "No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone," The BSA, however, will maintain its ban on gay adult leaders. The BSA said "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," There are no plans for further review by the BSA.

About 2.7 million youth now participate in scouting nationwide which is about a 30 percent decline over the past 15 years. The rub comes in when you discover that more than 70% of troops are affiliated or sponsored with a church or religious groups. Suddenly, these churches found that they were now sponsoring an organization that (from their view) condoned an immoral activity. Many churches decided that despite the huge positive influence of Boy Scouts on tens of thousands of young men, the programs had to go.

In response, The Southern Baptist Convention addressed the issue as follows in part:

WHEREAS, The National Council of the Boy Scouts voted on May 23, 2013, to approve new membership guidelines that state, “no youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone”; and

WHEREAS, While those who embrace a biblical worldview are grateful that the leadership policy of the BSA remains unchanged, the executive leadership and certain members of the Boy Scouts board clearly signaled their desire to change both the membership and leadership policies of the BSA; and

WHEREAS, This decision of the BSA is viewed by many homosexual activists as merely the first step in a process that will fundamentally change the BSA, putting the Scouts at odds with a consistent biblical worldview on matters of human sexuality; and

WHEREAS, This decision has the potential to complicate basic understandings of male friendships, needlessly politicize human sexuality, and heighten sexual tensions within the Boy Scouts; and

WHEREAS, Many Southern Baptist churches sponsor Boy Scout troops and many Southern Baptists are involved in Scouting; and

WHEREAS, The Baptist Faith and Message states that “Christians should oppose . . . all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery, homosexuality, and pornography,” and Southern Baptists consistently have expressed their opposition to the normalization of homosexual behavior in American culture through more than a dozen resolutions over the past thirty years; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Houston, Texas, June 11–12, 2013, express our continued opposition to and disappointment in the decision of the Boy Scouts of America to change its membership policy; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we express our gratitude for the thousands of individuals within the Scouting family and the culture at large who expressed their opposition to the BSA executive leadership’s intent to change its membership and leadership policies in regard to homosexuality, leading to the compromise recommendation it presented to the BSA National Council; …

RESOLVED, That we affirm the right of all families and churches prayerfully to assess their continued relationship with the BSA, expressing our support for those churches and families that as a matter of conscience can no longer be part of the Scouting family; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we encourage churches and families that remain in the Boy Scouts to seek to impact as many boys as possible with the life-changing Gospel of Jesus Christ, to work toward the reversal of this new membership policy, and to advocate against any future change in leadership and membership policy that normalizes sexual conduct opposed to the biblical standard; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we encourage churches that choose to sever ties with the Boy Scouts not to abandon their ministry to boys but consider expanding their Royal Ambassadors ministry, a distinctively Southern Baptist missions organization to develop godly young men; …

Note that the resolution does not ban Southern Baptist Churches from sponsorship of Boy Scout activities. To see the full resolution visit: http://www.sbc.net/resolutions/amResolution.asp?ID=1233.

There will continue to be forces that push for the continued culture shift and other forces that will resist the cultural changes. Both sides claim the moral high ground.

Ron Sanders
SurfKY News

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