A lot of Christian moms are asking that question this week. I’ve asked myself and others that question, and I still wonder about an answer. The Boy Scouts of America are considering a change in their policies that would lift their ban on gay scouts and gay scout leaders. The organization is quick to say that individual sponsors and parents “would be able to choose a local unit which best meets the needs of their families.” In other words, the philosophy of the organization might change, but that doesn’t mean you have to think the same way they do. I have always had a great appreciation for the goals and ideals of the Boy Scouts. I think that is why I was so shocked by the news this week. Here is the question I have posed to a lot of Christians this week: Would you still feel good about taking your second grade son to a Boy Scout meeting? I have received a variety of answers.
The Boy Scouts were founded in the early 1900’s and millions of young people have participated in their programs. A Boy Scout must memorize and take an oath to: “Do my duty to God and country; do my best to help others, whatever it costs me; and know the scout law and obey it.” The Scout Law is an impressive list of values and behaviors associated with having moral character. This statement was added to the law in 1911 and I’m curious to see if it will remain: “A Scout is clean in thought, word and deed. Decent Scouts look down upon silly youths who talk dirt, and they do not let themselves give way to temptation, either to talk it or to do anything dirty. A Scout is pure, and clean-minded, and manly.” Will the organization change this law or try to redefine it by today’s standards?
Some of the parents I spoke with said they believed it would be okay for their son to be a Boy Scout as long as they were careful to choose the right, church sponsored troop. Other parents said they would want to have a lot of discussion with the troop leader and be reassured that their son would be taught the traditional values of scouting. Some parents said that they would not want to take their child to an organization that had chosen to teach a non-biblical message. The one common position among every Christian parent I spoke to was disappointment that it had come to this. Most thought they would just avoid the situation and choose to be involved in other things.
This is not the first time I have written on the issue of homosexuality. My husband and I chose to write on the same issue today because it is a huge issue facing the culture and the church. And it looks like the church is hoping to avoid the subject or find a way to reconcile with popular opinion. Unfortunately, there will always be inevitable consequences to that compromise. The Bible makes it clear, from Genesis to Revelation, that marriage is between a man and a woman, and sex is God’s gift for that relationship. The Bible teaches that homosexuality is not a sexual preference, it is a sexual perversion (Romans 1:26-27). Our culture used to embrace the biblical definition of marriage as truth. Now, many of our churches have stepped away from God’s definition in order to embrace the belief of the culture.
What should we tell our kids? That we believe the Bible is God’s word and we can trust God to tell the truth. We should be kind, we should be compassionate but we should not compromise. We can’t. The Bible is truth. Don’t be too upset with the Boy Scouts. They aren’t very different than many of our church denominations today. But we can’t allow the culture to define what is truth. We don’t ever want to tell God, “I don’t feel that you were right on this subject and I just can’t believe you.” God has not given us the choice to edit his Word, he has called us to obey it. The Boy Scouts take an oath to do their duty to God and country. How will their scoutmasters define that duty?
Will you feel good about dropping your child off at a Boy Scout meeting? Let me know what you think…I’m still wondering.