Southern Baptist Response To Boy Scouts Gay Policy: Homosexual Conduct Against Scout's Oath, ‘Ungodly And Unacceptable’
By Staff Writer | June 12, 2013 09:24 PM EDT
The Southern Baptist Convention, one of the largest religious affiliates of the Boy Scouts, approved on Wednesday a non-binding resolution opposing the new policy of the organization at its annual convention in Houston, reports Reuters.
The nation's largest Protestant denomination said that homosexual conduct is contrary to a scout’s oath to do his duty to God.
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Wes Taylor, pastor at the Tabernacle Baptist Church in Newport News, Virginia, said during the debate at the annual convention: “I am very sad to say that it seems (Boy Scouts) are moving away from the principles they were founded upon.”
He continued, “It is an environment just fertile for young boys to be exposed to something that is ungodly and unacceptable.”
Around 108,000 Boy Scouts in almost 4,000 units are sponsored by Baptist churches, according to the Boy Scouts website.
Other religious leaders are severing their ties with the Boy Scouts of America, saying that they will no longer permit scout troops to meet at their churches.
According to Reuters, the Boy Scouts has deep ties to churches all over the United States. About 70 percent of the group’s more than 100,000 units are chartered by faith-based organizations.
Southern Baptist leaders said that the resolution was not aimed at the boys, but the organization they said was opening doors for homosexual scout leaders and creating an unhealthy environment.
“This (BSA) decision policitizes the membership and it also brings a sexual dimension that wasn’t there before,” according to Steve Lemke, provost of the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and chairman of Southern Baptist Convention Resolutions Committee.
Some leaders and attendees at the Southern Baptist conference said that the church should embrace gay members of scouting and guide them toward a more Christian life.
One pastor shared that a young boy who claims to be gay is most likely the victim of abuse or otherwise needs more guidance, and that the church or scouts should not abandon him.
The pastor of Indian Springs First Baptist church, Charlie Dale said, "Such a boy needs our love. So let's bring him in and show him what real Biblical manhood is about."
The Southern Baptist Convention urges churches that continue to work with the Boy Scouts to work toward the reversal of the new policy. They are also asking churches to advocate against any change in leadership and membership that “normalizes sexual conduct outside of the Biblical standards.”
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