Boy Scouts of America: What the Policy Change Means

A statement by the Rev. Bart Day, Executive Director, Office of National Mission

On Thursday, May 23, 2013, a vote changed history. The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) voted yesterday to end its 103-year ban on allowing gay Scouts in the organization. Prior to the vote, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) spoke against this proposed policy change. We voiced our concern, not because we do not care for all people and not because we believe only certain individuals are known and loved by God. Instead, we spoke against the policy change because these uncharted waters, which now allow the BSA to supersede the authority of local scouting chapters, cause a crisis of conscience for our pastors, parents and congregation members.

For now, we ask your patience. LCMS leaders are already studying the implications of this policy change, but we will need some time to evaluate the decision and determine what it will mean for BSA troops in our LCMS congregations. We need to consider how this will affect our religious freedoms. We need to discuss how this may impact our ability, as confessing Lutherans, to continue to be bold about what we believe, according to Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions, in the public square. Finally, we need to reflect on how we can better live and work in such a way that best cares for those — in this case, young men especially — who may struggle with same-sex attraction.

As we consider these implications in light of who we are uniquely as Lutherans, we remain focused on Christ and on His cross, confident that His plan and will are best. And as we evaluate, we continue to do what we do best: We bear witness to Christ at every opportunity, we show mercy to those who are struggling and suffering, and we live in confidence that our Lord richly blesses all His children in their life together.

For more information

[download a copy of this statement]

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71 Responses to Boy Scouts of America: What the Policy Change Means

  1. Rev. Dr. Douglas Spittel May 24, 2013 at 2:39 pm #

    This is sad news, indeed. The national leadership of the Boy Scouts of America has decided to allow open and avowed homosexuality into Scouting.

    After 15 years of volunteer service to the Boy Scouts of America and as a recipient of the District Award of Merit, Wood Badge Beads, the Lamb Award, the Silver Beaver Award, and the honor of being named a James E. West Fellow, it is with a heavy heart that I resigned from all service to the BSA yesterday.

    I hope that there is a silver lining to this dark cloud. While people in powerful positions in this nation are trying to drive us away from traditional values, there are still many of us in the rank and file who are faithful and only want the best for our children. OnMyHonor.net may offer a continuation of a century of good tradition in our nation. Please pray for our scouts and scouting volunteers who must now move beyond a suddenly failed organization.

    The Reverend Dr. Douglas H. Spittel, Senior Pastor
    First Trinity Evangelical-Lutheran Church
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    • Kathy May 25, 2013 at 3:23 am #

      We are with you all the way Reverend Spittel.
      Yes it is sad that the BSA caved on this issue but we as Christians will fight for the really true and laws of our loving God! Praying for the BSA!
      Bless you, Reverend!

    • Jennifer M. May 31, 2013 at 11:27 am #

      We are called to be IN the world, not OF it. My 3 boys will no longer be part OF the BSA once the policy takes effect on Jan. 1, 2014 when it strays even farther from its founding. An organization professes ‘duty to God’ on one hand, but supports sin on the other does not send the right message to children.

      Prayers for all involved!!!

  2. Jim Howard May 24, 2013 at 3:05 pm #

    As an Eagle Scout, class of 1970, I deplore the BSA’s decision. I would whole heartedly support the churches decision to seperate itself from the BSA as it seems that they now support a sinful life style.

  3. Ed May 24, 2013 at 3:10 pm #

    Could at the District or overall level force the individual congregations to cease their association with cub/boy scout troops?

    • Kevin Casey June 23, 2013 at 8:42 am #

      Ed if it comes to that then I hope that Churches REJECT this unchrist like action & resign from the Mo. Synod. When I was a youth we sang in church the following song that for me defined what it meant to be a christian:
      We are one in the Spirit
      We are one in the Lord
      We are one in the Spirit
      We are one in the Lord
      And we pray that all unity
      May one day be restored
      And they’ll know we are Christians
      By our love, By our love
      Yes, they’ll know we are Christians
      By our love
      We will walk with each other
      We will walk hand in hand
      We will walk with each other
      We will walk hand in hand
      And together we’ll spread the news
      That God is in our land
      We will work with each other
      We will work side by side
      We will work with each other
      We will work side by side
      And we’ll guard each man’s dignity
      And save each man’s pride
      All praise to the Father
      From whom all things come
      And all praise to Christ Jesus His only son
      And all praise to the Spirit
      Who makes us one
      Make us one, Lord!
      Make us one, Lord!

      Somewhere we have forgotten God is LOVE. Greed & HATE is a SIN we have turned outr backs on Jesus’ Teachings in favor of Satan’s temptations.

      If as Christians we are to treat EVERYONE as we would like to be treated as well as Love for our brother then we CAN NOT stay on this path of HATE & GREED.

  4. Mark Bolar May 24, 2013 at 3:18 pm #

    I just sent this letter of resignation from all OFFICIAL Volunteer Positions with the BSA. I was involved at the Patrol, Troop District, Council Level with the BSA.
    ————
    Jenna, Todd, Tom, Chris, Greg, Dick-

    It is with a heavy heart that I write this note. I had hoped it would not come to this but it has. As you know, yesterday the BSA made a momentous and calculated decision. The impacts of the decision were weighed on both sides and it was known that there would be casualties with whatever direction was chosen.

    I always valued the BSA as being the ONE youth organization that would stand up for its principles in the face of adversity and a changing tide. That was one of the values that I sought to see modeled in my own life and that of my children. It appears that that lesson will be left for me to model to my children as the organization has retreated from that position.

    For me, that means that I will no longer invest my time and resources into the organization. I don’t consider this as me leaving Boy Scouts but that the Boy Scouts left me. If my boys determine that they wish to continue with Scouting, that is their choice and I will fully support them in their experience and celebrate each of their achievements with them. If they choose to leave or not complete their Eagle, it will be of their own decision with no influence from me either way. At this point in time, they have both indicated their desire to proceed toward Eagle and continue with camp and high adventure events this summer. I will participate with them this summer and see how things progress over time.

    “This above all: to thine own self be true,
    And it must follow, as the night the day,
    Thou canst not then be false to any man.
    Farewell, my blessing season this in thee!” (Shakespeare, Hamlet)

    Please consider this as my resignation from ALL official/volunteer capacities.

    Best of luck to each of you!

    Mark Bolar
    Eagle Scout

    Mark S Bolar
    msbolar@earthlink.net
    913-385-9223 (H)
    913-579-3100 (M)
    913-815-1849 (W)

  5. Steven May 24, 2013 at 3:36 pm #

    I don’t understand. I understand the need to keep a close eye on the leaders of these young men, but as a church are we to exclude these young men from Scouting? As a former Scout and a lifelong LCMS person and worker, am I to understand from the tone of this writing that we may decide that I can maybe no longer have this group that does a ton of good in my church anymore? Is this loving my neighbor?

    • Kelly S May 25, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

      No, we don’t have the authority to exclude them from Scouting, that is up to the BSA, as to whether or not, we can support the Scouts is the question.

      If an organization came and said, they wanted to film something controversial and do something that would desecrate the Sanctuary, but they were going to pay off the debts of the church, would we let them? By no means!

      The question is not about the good they do and if it is, then we have a business relationship with the scouts, that they pay to use the church by the good they do.

      It is about what they teach, and can a church support an organization that teaches you can be morally straight, and ignore God’s Word. Even the command to confront people who are sinning, because you Love them, for they will not inherit the Kingdom of God. (Ezek 33; 1 Cor 6:9-10)

    • Mike May 28, 2013 at 9:46 am #

      It is not about excluding anyone. It is a matter of openly professing one’s sexual orientation. By not allowing openly gay scouts they are by no means excluded. The world however tells these boys that they must tell everyone and everyone has to accept them as right. The Scouts are about learning to be good citizens, learning to be comfortable around the outdoors and the tools involved. To gain knowledge that helps in the work world and so on. It has never been about how to cope with their sexuality in the world they are surrounded by. That is for the parents to guide the child. It has already been seen and stated by the gay community that they do not intend to stop until we have openly gay adult leaders. This will mean “sensitivity training” in the troop meetings. Do not fool yourself. The Scouts is not about sexuality training in the world. God LOVES the person but hates the sin. I can love and be around gay scouts but I cannot condone what they do.

      • T. S. June 1, 2013 at 2:23 am #

        Mike: The BSA is not telling anyone that they have to approve of or support homosexuality, or that homosexual activity will be a new merit badge.

        Simply, the BSA will no longer ban scouts who happen to be gay. There is a big difference.

        If you truly believe you are called to love the sinner and hate the sin, how can you love the sinner by saying “go away we don’t want your kind here.” ..?

      • Judy Haydel June 3, 2013 at 2:53 am #

        No one from my son’s troop ever asked a boy his sexual preference when he joined the troop or the congregation. Jesus teaches us to love everyone and shame on all the Christian churches who are behaving in such an unchristian manner.

  6. John J Flanagan May 24, 2013 at 3:48 pm #

    What need is there to “study” the implications? What need is there to “understand” the clear implications of this policy change in lieu of LCMS or any Biblical Christian’s obligation to be faithful to God, His
    Word, His declared admonitions as to our conduct? The homosexuals and their supporters in the popular culture have openly declared war on those opposed to their deviant lifestyle, and the churches are their latest targets. What they desire is for Christian supporters and sponsors of the BSA to simply accept this policy change as “settled” and as they continue to scratch away at decency by way of litigation and attacks on Christian “bigotry” they will achieve their stated goal. Does anyone on this planet actually believe they will not push for gay scout asters on the basis of their degraded view of “fairness”?
    If the blood of the martyrs, if the solid strength and courageous stands of the church fathers means nothing to the LCMS or any other Christian body affected by the BSA ruling, then ultimately the homosexuals will have won and will feel great satisfaction as resistance fads away. It would be better to remove any LCMS connection to the BSA at this point and keep our convictions and faith. Accomodating the LCMS to this wicked ruling would be the height of cowardice and hypocrisy against our principles. To do so will bring tears from heaven, as another body of God’s people fall away for lack of resolve, in spite of the strength we have in Christ.

    • Kathy May 25, 2013 at 3:28 am #

      Bless you and the LCMS!

    • Jack May 28, 2013 at 6:44 pm #

      Amen, brother. You are 100% correct.

  7. Doris Schur Watters May 24, 2013 at 4:04 pm #

    Jim and I keep all of you in prayer as you meet together and seek God’s will.

  8. Denise Seaman May 24, 2013 at 5:04 pm #

    Rev. Day, Your response to the BSA recent policy change is well-written…loving, courageous, faithful, bold and consistent with what we believe and confess as LCMS Christians. I thank our Lord for your voice of calm conviction and for giving each of us gracious clarity to speak likewise. Together in Christ Jesus’ love and joy, Daryl and Denise Seaman

  9. Mark Sims May 24, 2013 at 5:08 pm #

    As a Den Leader in Cub Scouts and an LCMS member, I am very upset about this decision. I did some searching on the internet this morning for a Christian alternative to scouting and found a little out about the Lutheran Rangers in Wisconsin. I think this sounds like a program that parents of Lutheran boys would support. I am willing to resign my position in Cub Scouts to support this alternative to Scouting.

  10. Anthony Adams May 24, 2013 at 5:51 pm #

    Stay with the scouts Jesus will.

  11. Gayle Wilson May 24, 2013 at 6:35 pm #

    We already have gay Scouts. And the promiscuous, and whatever else you can come up with. I think singling out gay scouts is perverse. Not welcoming all into our home congregations without asterisks and caveats seems more reflective of a pharisaical response than a Jesus one (and I’m not some warm & fuzzy universalist by any stretch of the imagination).

  12. Carol Paulk May 24, 2013 at 7:20 pm #

    I believe we need to hold to our faith. We need to pray about letting the Scouting programs continue in our church facilities, by doing so are we sending the wrong message to our children and members. On the other hand we need Gods guidance on this matter.Hate the sin , love the sinner..

    • Michael May 25, 2013 at 8:26 pm #

      I champion this call… hate the sin, love the sinner. As a Scouter, I must remind the Scouts to live up to the Scout Oath and Law. Every youth should have the chance to be a Scout. AND aa a Lutheran, be mindful of the meaning “to do my duty to God ” and to be ” Reverant”. There is no medical reason or genetic imbalance but a conscience choice to be gay. We all must stay the course set before us, preaching the Good News in Jesus Christ.

      • Michelle June 8, 2013 at 12:13 am #

        So when did you make a conscious choice to be straight? You were attracted to both sexes and chose the opposite sex?

  13. Rev. John C. Stennfeld May 24, 2013 at 8:01 pm #

    I don’t know how this BSA policy change can cause us a “crisis of conscience” if we continue to live as the church and continue to follow Christ’s commission. Might we be placed in positions that cause us more persecution now? Most certainly, but the BSA decision does nothing to change our position or proclamation. If anything it may give us more opportunities to minister, and more opportunities to stand in contrast to the world.
    The world’s hope for salvation is not that they learn from us how to be more moral, the world’s hope for salvation is that they learn from us of Jesus!

    • Chas May 24, 2013 at 9:45 pm #

      Rev. John,

      I am thankful for your response, and would like to add to it a slight amount. In regards to the BSA, the BSA for years has been a non-sectarian organization. As many know the Boy Scouts still do amazing things for many boys and even though we don’t agree with this on a religious issue, this should not be the basis for why we make the argument to leave the BSA or not. The true argument should be whether or not we believe in the BSA’s non-sectarian nature. To be quite honest, if you acknowledge and know of this, you would not have been surprised at all. Focusing strictly on the homosexual nature of this problem makes us out to be bigots, rather than loving Christians. Our true focus should be whether or not we agree with having multiple sects and religions in one organization, to be brutally honest there are many sects of Christianity that are fine with this decision. Our disagreement should be with them not the Scouts.

      • Hank June 5, 2013 at 1:52 am #

        Since when did standing up for Christian morals qualify one as a bigot? Were Paul, Moses and other divinely inspired writers of the Bible just bigots?

        On what moral or ethical standard is the view that homosexuality is a morally straight lifestyle based?

        What does the Bible say is the fate of those who intentionally lead children into sin?

    • Carol Gilmore May 25, 2013 at 2:50 am #

      So well said Rev. Stennfeld! That is exactly the commission of Christ, to walk among the unsaved, for this is the only way to minister as Jesus did. For if we stand outside of that world, while safe, we will only be seen as the religious, judging “icons” so many of us get ourselves perceived as when we are only willing to stand behind our protected “Good Christian” walls with those already saved rather than amongst our fellow brothers and sisters who our job is to witness and bring the Good News to so we can change the only thing different from us and them, being a FORGIVEN sinner. Your last statement reminds us of our entire mission on earth, stated in one sentence. Thank You!

    • Chris Schultz May 31, 2013 at 1:24 am #

      The problem is that the homosexual, etc. activists agenda is to change us! It is part of their program. On the local level, we can believe we can reach the gay scouts and preach Jesus Christ but this is not what gay society wants and will definitely not leave us alone.

  14. Rev. John C. Stennfeld May 24, 2013 at 8:16 pm #

    There is no “crisis of conscience” for us in the church on this issue, unless of course we become afraid of the fallout that might take place as we boldly, yet lovingly, continue to proclaim what we have always proclaimed. The BSA decision does nothing to change Christ’s commission to us nor our response to His commission. Since our mission as the church is to make disciples of all nations as we baptize and teach everything that Christ has commanded us, (and not simply to work toward a moral conformity in our society), the BSA decision does nothing more than to give us one more opportunity to minister and one more way to stand in contrast to the world around us. To God be the Glory!

  15. Lorraine MacNicoll May 24, 2013 at 8:24 pm #

    Remember: part of scout Oath”to be morally straight” ! Hopefully, as only being young boys, scouting experiences will lead them to a different path. My son made eagle 2011.

  16. David May 24, 2013 at 10:52 pm #

    I am an Eagle Scout and participated in all the BSA surveys leading up to this. To clarify, this policy shift now makes it possible so that if a boy comes out, he isn’t automatically kicked out of scouting. It does not allow gay men or women to be leaders in Scouting. It still maintains that celibacy is to be upheld for scouts – straight or gay (sexual purity for all boys – straight and gay – is actually the meaning of “morally straight”). Is there a shift in LC-MS understanding of sexuality where now we exclude minors who are gay AND still commit to being celibate?

    Folks, please remember that you are talking about children who are wrestling with their sexual identity when you post. Some of the comments above are hurtful and can offer lasting damage when spoken to and about children. My prayer is that the church is never a place where adults tell a child that they are “deviant” (Flanagan) and not welcome.

  17. Concerned Scouter May 25, 2013 at 5:07 am #

    As George Santayana once said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” William D. Boyce, the man who brought Scouting to the United States in 1910, believed that whites were superior to other races. But when he agreed to give $12,000 a year to help organize the Boy Scouts, he wanted Scouting to be open to all, regardless of race or religion.

    I’m mindful that many deeply religious people have strong feelings about this issue. Many Cub Scout packs and Boy Scout troops are church-sponsored, so the Scouts face hard choices. Still, it’s worth remembering that religion was once used to justify slavery and claims that women were inferior to men. Some say that letting gays into the Scouts is a civil rights issue. I’m not sure I agree. I think it’s a matter of simple fairness, of living up to the promise of America and the values of tolerance and decency inherent in Scouting.

  18. John Mahaney May 25, 2013 at 4:00 pm #

    I have received the District Award of Merit, Silver Beaver, OA Vigil Honor, OA Founders Award, Scoutmaster Award of Merit, and Commissioner’s Arrowhead Award.

    Many levels of training and instructor including Wood Badge (two beads) and Wood Badge Course Director (four beads).

    I have a sad soul today. Scouting has done a lot for me and my family. All the past Scouting experiences will always have a special place in my memory, my history, and my friendships. Some of you are aware that this topic has been an issue for decades; and, I buried my stake in a place that Scouting has elected to abandon. I feel sorrow but no regret with my allegiance to that place and that stake. I am melancholy about the future of Scouting and our nation. I am not willing to pull up my stakes for the sake of misguided beliefs and amorality in place of morality. As of now as in immediately I will no longer associate nor be associated with Scouting and it’s purposeful deep sixing of it’s over one-hundred year old oath and law. I still believe in them and will serve them and my Lord until death and beyond.

  19. Steve May 25, 2013 at 4:33 pm #

    I happened to catch commentary on the situation briefly while flipping channels on satellite radio from the “gay” side. They were lamenting the situation from the aspect of BSA still prohibiting gay leaders. But their argument was interesting from our perspective. They said the decision to admit gay youth was part of the BSA’s campaign to help gay youth find a straight path out of their homosexuality. BSA in their opinion has always been anti-gay and still is. Their concern in the decision is that non-gay leaders will try to help boys that are in the process of discovering their identity (and questioning their sexuality) find a way to a straight conclusion. They indicated that was part of the BSA’s argument when their case went to the Supreme Court. If true, that is a ministry we could embrace. We need to listen to the other side, and maybe we can find some strength for helping boys discover their God-pleasing lives.

  20. Rev. Berton Greenway May 25, 2013 at 7:37 pm #

    The resolution voted upon by the Boy Scouts is one that will not be able to remain as is – and this is recognized by all sides on this issue. It is completely untenable to think that an openly gay eagle scout could be part of the organization until he is 17 years and 364 days old, but that on his 18th birthday he is suddenly no longer able to serve because of his sexual orientation. At this present time, some scout troops are already pressing ahead by ignoring this resolution and have determined to have open, avowed scout leaders and adults serve. Law-suits are almost certain to follow. Gay activists are not accepting this and as a result, this compromise resolution will soon fall. In my opinion, in the near future full and open, avowed homosexuality among scouts and scout leaders will become part of the Boy Scouts.

    Clearly, scouts who have struggled with same sex desires have been part of the organization for years. That doesn’t bother anyone, or at least it shouldn’t. Confusion often exists among young people regarding their sexuality. For scouts like this, strong male leadership can be a very good thing. And some individuals who might always struggle with same sex desires, know that these desires are contrary to God’s Word and bear a great cross. But the wonderful message we proclaim is that God loves all sinners in Christ, as He loves us poor miserable wretches, and that He will give us His strength to bear all our crosses and walk before Him. The problem with this decision by the Boy Scouts is that it now condones same sex desires and holds up something that is clearly contrary to God’s Word and nature and declares it to be “morally straight.” Yes, it is true that all of us are disordered because of sin, but God’s Word does not give license to that disorder. We shouldn’t go about bragging, for example, about our lust or greed or envy or our quick temper. As Luther said about temptation, “You cannot keep birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair.” The Boy Scouts have now said that there is nothing wrong if the birds build their nest and that on your very head. And soon, very soon, individual scout troops will not be allowed to say anything contrary to that…including those troops sponsored by Christian churches.

    The camel is asking only to get his nose into the tent, but soon his whole body will be inside, and when he does, he will ask you to leave. There will be no room for you. Like that camel with his nose, they are asking you now to tolerate them, but they will not tolerate you when they have full access. That day is sadly at hand. God give us strength to speak His Word boldly.

    The Rev. Berton L. Greenway
    Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  21. Jason May 26, 2013 at 10:52 am #

    My heart is also heavy with the decision of the BSA. I am a former scout, and currently serve as a Cubmaster in my son’s pack. Scouting has been a positive beacon of character building and moral direction to many youths for over a century because it stood for belief in God and doing what is right.

    From the Bible, we know the enemy seeks to confuse and twist things that are good. The enemy is very efficient at putting God’s people at odds with the rest of the world, as well. This decision by the BSA is only the latest in the battle for the hearts and minds of our youth. I believe that God is certainly greater than all of this, and pray that His will be done wherever this BSA decision leads. I hold no anger nor judgement toward those who voted to lift the ban, however I cannot, in faith, agree with the BSA’s decision allowing sexual immorality to openly flourish within the organization. It will only be a short time until the BSA must accept openly gay adult leaders as former scouts return to serve in leadership positions.

    Scripture is clear about God’s view on sexual immorality in both the Old and New Testament. Leviticus 18 and 20, Romans 1 and other passages in the Bible do not mince words on the topic. The Bible also reminds us to hate the sin and not the sinner, as well. I cannot force anyone to believe or act in a certain way, but that does not mean I should take part in an organization that promotes a lifestyle that is clearly against God’s teachings.

    I will resign my position with the BSA, and unfortunately not participate in funding the organization in the future. I will continue to pray for the people in BSA, and hope that the organization can change back to what is “morally straight” in God’s teachings.

    Even the Boy Scout Oath states that God comes before one’s country as well as the Scout Law. I must follow God before all other institutions of man.

  22. Tom May 26, 2013 at 8:21 pm #

    I understand the sympathy that some of you want to show homosexual children. But sympathy doesn’t help them. A society that says we think homosexuality is OK, doesn’t help them. Homosexual suicide has only increased as they gain more rights, privileges and prominence. Why? Perhaps because they realize that even though everyone is telling the it is OK, they know inside it isn’t.

    But that is truly secondary. The homosexual movement is doing this to destroy the Boy Scouts. Nothing more, they want to bring them down because they oppose them. Homosexual leaders will be next, and at that point, any sane parent that didn’t pull their sons from the program now will do so then.

    Some years ago the Canadian Scouts decided to admit women, gays, and atheists, they went from about 30,000 members nationwide to about 6,000 today. I expect the same future for the BSA. The homosexuals will win, and to accommodate 2-4% of the population, the rest of us will lose. God does not bless perversion.

  23. Gary Ford May 27, 2013 at 2:06 am #

    Here are some points that need be addressed. The homosexual agenda seeks to infiltrate all aspects of our society. The military recently banned the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy. Since this happened the assaults in the military have risen. The military released the figures that 12,000 women and 14,000 men have reported assaults. The gay agenda is achieving it’s goal of forcing their homosexual lifestyle on the military community, and causing strife. The BSA is a prime target for forcing their lifestyle on innocent boys. Homosexuals are predators and their prime target is young boys. The LCMS can not allow the BSA to be connected with our churches. This will send a message that we condone the homosexual lifestyle. We could also be letting our churches open to discrimination lawsuits, if in the future, we state that homosexuals can not be in our Scout groups. I would suggest that we encourage all Scout groups, connected to our church, to join similar groups. This would show that we are not against the scouting program, but only the agenda that the national BSA has adopted.

  24. Theresa May 27, 2013 at 3:46 am #

    Silence IS consent. A “don’t ask don’t tell” policy would have prevented homosexuals from flaunting their sexuality, but BSA CHOSE to become ideological about it. I foresee many future dangers for my new Webelos because of this policy change. Though I am sad that he will not get to participate in the many activities we had planned, we will stand for righteousness.

    BSA claims one of their character traits is courage, yet they don’t exhibit it. Thank you BSA for giving me the opportunity to SHOW my son what courage means by not conforming.

  25. Chris S May 28, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

    Pastor Day,

    As a former Boy Scout, current Cubmaster, and father to three sons who are all active in the BSA, I truly appreciate your words. My family has been praying for the BSA for months, but we are now faced with a very difficult decision. I have already informed my Cub Scout pack of my decision to begin distancing myself from the BSA, but I am working with a number of other Scout leaders to determine our best course of action going forward. We have not yet severed all ties with the BSA as we are working behind the scenes to gather as much information as we can to help in the formation of a new organization. We feel that if we simply quit, we are allowing the homosexual lobby to win.

    I urge you and all concerned LCMS members to follow OnMyHonor.net. I am most interested in how the LCMS will respond to the motion out of this group as it attempts to develop an alternative organization to the BSA. Even better would be if the church would be able to begin counseling the members of OnMyHonor.net as they consider the attributes of this new group. It is my hope that the LCMS will be able to fully support this new organization, and that my sons will be able to transition to it with a minimum of disruption.

    Again, thank you and God bless you for your work!

  26. Alexia Arensmeier May 29, 2013 at 1:46 pm #

    As a scout leader I can not counsel youth that I don’t include. As a scout leader I can work to insure that my unit sets a Christian example with regular prayer and worship. I can teach youth that are involved.

    The BSA has a good youth program and as long as we decide our leadership that is what’s important. Our focus should be on our leaders: do all of our leaders lead morally straight lives? Are we above reproach? I can’t throw the first stone at a sinner.

    I understand that in the past many Lutheran youth were not allowed to be a part of the Order of the Arrow because of secrecy and oaths. So historically we haven’t always agreed with the BSA. Other Church’s operate within the BSA but keep themselves very much apart. We will need to become more vigilant to ensure that our youth have good role models. Our Lutheran Association of Scouter’s will need to become a stronger, more vocal organization to help guide our units in whether to participate in District and Council events where we do not provide our own leadership. We could begin by all units displaying the Christian Flag and starting the morning with the pledge to the cross.

    Our units need to proclaim our Christian beliefs. My unit has had un-churched scouts in the past; one scout I remember had never walked into a church until he walked in with his scout troop. The BSA is not perfect but I’d hate to think of the young man who never got the opportunity to hear the word of God or walk through the door of a church !

    Alexia, Mother, Unit Leader, District, and Council volunteer

  27. Mike May 29, 2013 at 3:21 pm #

    It is a sad thing that the BSA has chosen to give into the gay community. I have read a few posts of well-meaning but naieve scout leaders who argue for the inclusion of gay scouts so that they can possibly have influence on them to turn away from their same sex attractions, but do you really believe that the homosexual community will allow you to do that? For those who believe that they can “staighten out” a gay scout it will not be long before the homosexual community starts bringing law suits against any scout leaders who attempt to show through teaching or example that there is anything wrong with that lifestyle. Yes, there have always been gay scouts as well as gay priests and gay pastors, but in the past, those people have not been able to openly declare their lifestyle and continue on as if nothing is wrong. The agenda of the homesexual community is to normalize their improper lifestyle so that no objections to it can be expressed. Please pray for all of us that we will hold tightly to God’s word and not give into the progressive, permissive slant of today’s society.Sin is sin and we are all sinners, but for us to condone or even permit open sin in our midst is the wrong thing for us to do.

  28. Eric May 29, 2013 at 8:15 pm #

    Should LCMS decide to withdraw its sponsorship of scout units because of BSA’s recent announcement to no longer discriminate based on sexual orientation, should it not also withdraw its support of Concordia Universities that do not deny admission based on sexual orientation? What about military service? Shall LCMS churches discourage their members from serving in the armed forces because of its recent repeal of don’t ask, don’t tell? Will LMCA no longer support its service members?

    Every week, thousands of scouts, both church members and non-members alike, enter the church doors. For some, this may be their only exposure to a church. If you are like me, you chose to join a church because of the scout troop you belonged to. What message will we send our youth if we decide to no longer charter their troops? Will it leave them with a positive view of religion or a negative one? How many will quit scouting altogether if their troop loses its charter? Then what? Will they be better off? Will the church better off?

    I don’t believe BSA’s change to its membership policy is an affirmation of any particular lifestyle but rather an attempt to see that no child is denied an opportunity to be a scout. The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law. How can the Lutheran Church facilitate that if it is turning them away?

    I trust that LCMS will carefully and prayerfully consider the long term impact of any decision it makes and will do so with the best interest of the boys in mind. After all, that is what scouting is all about.

    • Jane May 31, 2013 at 7:56 pm #

      Very well said Eric. These are my exact thoughts.

  29. May 29, 2013 at 9:45 pm #

    Not knowing that this event would take place,last year our congregaton developed a ministry called (Luther Cadets Inc. ) We modeled it after the boy scouts with a few changes. It is our hope that this ministry will become a model for developing youngmen with a frim foundation in the word of God. Secoundly we pray God will use this model to bring healing to youngmale ministries through out the church that have dissasociated themselves form the Boyscouts of America.
    I can be reached at Our Savior Lutheran Orlando Florida. or 1(716) 578-4031

  30. James May 30, 2013 at 4:37 am #

    As an Eagle Scout from a troop chartered by a LCMS church, I hope that the LCMS will continue to charter troops, packs, and crews in the BSA. I agree that this sinful lifestyle is contrary to the Word of God which is the absolute authority. I also believe that the scouting movement can also provide many benefits to the youth of our congregations and our country. I see this as an opportunity to help those who struggle with this lifestyle by means of providing them with upstanding role models that may help them see what Christ has planned for our lives. I believe that the LCMS should continue to help provide the valuable resources and experiences offered to the young men and women of our synod because of it’s valuable lessons that are not often taught in today’s society.

    If we look at the troops chartered by LCMS church’s in a similar way as the schools we provide, we can see that there are many important lessons we can teach them. Scouting holds to its beliefs that we have a duty to God and we are able to still express and emphasize that through the BSA. People of this lifestyle are not banned from our schools and congregations so why should we stop chartering troops because they have lifted this ban? Instead, we see our schools and congregations as ways for us to reach these people, and all sinners, in a loving way. Why then can we not also treat the troops we charter as a similar mission field?

    It is for these reasons that I sincerely hope that our synod will continue to serve God through the troops, packs, and crews of the BSA and continue to help the youth of our congregations learn lifelong values and beliefs founded upon God’s Word as we have for so many years. There are still innumerable benefits to the scouting movement.

    Please continue to support and charter troops of the Boy Scouts of America through our congregations and schools.

  31. Ron Goddard May 30, 2013 at 11:18 am #

    After 48 years of teaching boys the wonderful lessons of the B.S.A., I have resigned my position as District Vice Chairman and Assistant District Commissioner in my local council. What I’m afraid will happen is that a boy going camping for the fist time wants to be accepted into his troop, he is greeted by an older boy who is “gay”, this boy fondles the new recruit in the middle of the night telling him that it is an initiation practice and that it is a “secret”, that the boy must tell no one. The new boy k.eeps this to himself and accepts it as a way of scouting and that it is normal behavior, so he perpetuates the act and before long we have a whole troop of “gays”. This is not about scouting being changed, it is about excluding God from ones life. Gays consider the Holy Bible antiquated and no longer needed, (SODOM and GOMORAH) Someone will be repentant when Christ returns. I actually LOVE all gay scouts, it’s their lifestyle that I cannot agree with.

    • James R Keller June 7, 2013 at 3:17 am #

      Ron: You need to update your Youth Protection Training. ASSUMING the unit is doing its duty to show the YPT movie annually and require parents and Scouts to review the front section of the Scout Handbooks, the scenario you project is a nothing more than an attempt at fear-mongering. JRK

  32. larry May 30, 2013 at 9:41 pm #

    Just a note that Ez. 16:49/50 suggests that arrogance, no concern for the widows/orphans were listed before other reasoning. I hope that we also teach our parishioners that the greed often exhibited in our culture is not acceptable to God

  33. Rev. Robert Carabotta May 31, 2013 at 4:35 am #

    I do appreciate that our synodical leadership gives open opportunity for responses from the people that are affected by this Boy Scouts of America (BSA) change of policy.

    What I can see from the various comments above is what I saw beforehand of what this change of BSA policy would bring to light—division within our Church body and where we must emphasize our preaching, teaching and witness to the world of what God’s gracious and unchanged Word says of how human sexuality is designed and how it is to be ordered. We must emphasize our preaching, teaching and witness to our fellow members within our congregations about how the Word of the Lord and the Holy Spirit work transformation of hearts, over time, that are disoriented in any way in their desires.

    What I can see from the various comments above and what I think I discern (hopefully rightly) from Rev. Day’s 5-24-13 letter is that whatever our synodical leadership’s decision or admonition will be, some division (or at least disagreement) will follow from it, no matter how faithful to the Scriptures that clarification and admonition may be. The LC-MS has, in the past, faced the prospect of losing members if it remained faithful to the Scriptures by stating what the confessional position of doctrine and practice is for the LC-MS and for its member congregations. Such happened in the early 1970s as one example; as a result, those churches that left the LC-MS eventually lost members over time to the LC-MS and to other confessional Lutheran Church bodies because the implications of their unbiblical beliefs and practices were fully manifested to their confessional members. We also have not changed our belief or practice about not allowing our members to hold membership in the Masonic Lodge because of the Lodge’s beliefs and practices being contrary to Scripture. Such stated positions have come from our Synod and its leadership for clarification and loving admonition to its member congregations. For those we give God thanks for the unity that they provide.

    Now the BSA has changed its beliefs and practices to reflect the surrounding culture’s beliefs and practices contrary to Scripture. This matter of the fundamental/ideological change of the BSA was, continues to be and will continue to be directed by the ideology of activist groups that say homosexual behavior is good and not to be discouraged, and our shared experience is that these groups are litigious in their coercion of their ideology upon others in all major and smaller public and private institutions. The good news is that already reputable alternatives to the BSA, alternative organizations with excellent resources and long-time experienced leaders, are being formed that our LC-MS and its member congregations, pastors, ministers, leaders and parents can support, host and sponsor in good and winsome conscience. OnMyHonor.net is already organizing such an organization for boys, and Pastor Kenyatta T. Cobb, Sr. of Orlando, Florida offers his help, and Lutheran Rangers in Wisconsin and again OnMyHonor.net offer alternatives for our boys. An alternative organization for our boys may be able to lovingly direct our boys in the principled way (which the BSA will now not be able to do). Such alternative organizations could have a Sixth Commandment and Lord’s Prayer policy and clear procedures by which boys may be able to confide (rather than proclaim) in their leaders that they struggle with same-sex attractions, and those leaders can then direct the boys toward the truth, healing, transformation of mind and desires, set loving and protective boundaries and genuine and holy fellowship without leaders fearing false accusation of discrimination or coercion. With such an alternative for our boys we would thereby fulfill the Great Commission and the petitions that we hallow God’s name among us, His will be done among us, and that we all be led away from temptation. It’s a very serious thought worth very serious consideration. If the synodical leadership does not consider this to be sufficient protection to our youth, so be it.

    But here is the practical and unavoidable situation about pursuing any alternative to our boys and congregations throughout our Synod: Our pastors and congregations cannot in a united and loving action offer such alternatives to our congregations, leaders, parents and scout troops if our synodical leadership does not clearly state what the confessional position in doctrine and practice is in this matter of the BSA’s change of direction that confronts us. If our synodical leadership does not state what that position is and fails to urge such alternative organizations, then we leaders and members in the congregations will be found without adequate support to offer, set up and implement those alternatives in our congregations and to our parents, and further division will ensue in our Church body.

    But I believe that by the grace and help of God our synodical leadership will state that confessional position and urge such uniting alternatives. Our prayers for our synodical leaders, professors, pastors and congregations in this matter are the very petitions that our Lord taught us to pray and the meaning of those petitions that we learn from the Small Catechism. It is astounding how applicable those petitions and their meanings are to this matter and what God is calling us, and empowering us, to do in such a time as this! God’s peace in Christ to His people.

  34. jim May 31, 2013 at 1:22 pm #

    Three questions rise in my mind: In our society, why would anyone choose to be gay? Do those who are gay struggle with being gay, or with rejection because they are gay?How could a gay person perceive the LCMS attitude as loving?

  35. May 31, 2013 at 7:24 pm #

    I find it difficult to grasp how a large percentage of the comments made above fit into the understanding that we are all people for whom our Savior (with absolutely no discrimination) died. In some cases, it sounds like gay folks might even be banned from participation in congregational activities perhaps to the inclusion of worship services. That boggles my mind. Our Lord spent His entire ministry reaching out to all people and rejecting none. He did so until the very day He died as He asked His Father to forgive the very people who nailed him to the cross. I cannot in my wildest imagination picture Jesus turning anyone away from His love, and yet I hear an entire group of people He loved enough to die for being classified and spoken of as though they are not welcome in His presence. It is interesting that it took a decision by the Boy Scouts of America to bring out this ugly bigotry that has apparently been festering beneath the surface for a long time. It is my prayer that these are not the true colors of our denomination finally showing through.

    • Mike June 4, 2013 at 12:41 am #

      My heart and soul are glad to hear your love and concern Rev. Seiferth. I don’t want the LCMS to, as you put it, have people “being classified and spoken of as though they are not welcome in His presence.”

      I think of the Bible stories of Jesus eating with tax collectors, saving prostitutes, and the like. I’m not Bible scholar, but it seems we are called upon to love one another. Let’s put that love first and move forward with our great commission.

  36. Trey May 31, 2013 at 9:52 pm #

    And this is attitude is why I left the LCMS. Why are we so concerned about this one particular “sin?” When I was in Boy Scouts–in church-affiliated troops (one LCMS, one Methodist)–there were plenty of Scouts who weren’t living in Christ-affirming lives. There were heterosexually active boys, Buddhist boys, Hindu boys, atheist boys, boys who had been in gangs, boys who were “problem children,” and many others. Why is the LCMS continually fixated on homosexuals?

    I’m not seeing a lot of Christ’s love in either this statement or the posters’ comments. Instead, I’m seeing a lot of self-elevation disguised as piety. And from my reading of the Gospels, Christ had a lot more to say about this sort of Pharisee-like behavior than he ever did about people’s sexual lives.

    • Cynthia Carter June 3, 2013 at 5:09 pm #

      The “fixation” on homosexuality did not originate in the LCMS church. The LCMS is only responding to the fixation of the homosexual agenda to redefine morality. I imagine we would fixate on any movement who’s main objective is to change our entire society’s belief in what is moral and in so doing, deny the sin they are supporting.
      And for the record, any openly heterosexually active boy who espouses his wrong-doing isn’t wrong should also be ushered out of the BSA for immorality along with anyone else not TRYING (as no one is perfect) to live morally upright!

    • Kyle Hollman June 10, 2013 at 3:42 pm #

      There are a lot of things I tell my children they cannot do because it might harm them, either physically or spiritually. I do this because I love my children. They don’t always see that as loving. There are time when they probably hate me for it. Love is not giving everyone what they want no matter the consequences. That is part of the whole point about preaching both Law and Gospel. The problem with the homosexual agenda isn’t that it is a sin, the problem is that it is sinning without repentance. It is reveling in the sin. The BSA’s change on is not just going to be about whether homosexuals are excluded. It will also be about how homosexuality is treated and what is said about it. Do you really think the BSA and the people who pushed for this policy change are going to sit back and allow scout leader to preach against homosexuality?

  37. Cynthia Carter June 1, 2013 at 3:51 pm #

    Perhaps it would be easier to grasp this “bigotry” if we were to change the label of the sin involved. Let’s say a group of people came out of the closet as having the proclivity for robbing banks. They say it is in their genetic code to want to rob banks. They can’t help it. It is how they were created. Now they want social acceptance. They band together to start a bank-robbing movement. They infiltrate government, schools and even churches to win the acceptance they are looking for. They don’t want help overcoming their sin; they want people to look at it as if it weren’t even a sin. They label those who condemn their actions as wrong, as being “bankrobophobic” and start swaying public opinion against those who still cling to their own sense of morality.

    What would we in the church do? I would hope that we would respond Biblically by approaching each sinner individually out of love and confront him in his sin, urging him to repent. Counsel him that robbing banks is wrong and that through Christ, he can resist his bank-robbing tendencies. If he doesn’t listen you, take one or two others along, so that there are witnesses. If he maintains that bank robbing is not wrong, we should then go the church and with the elders again confront him in his sin. If he WILL NOT REPENT, then he should be cut off from the church lest he influence others to sin as well.

    Now of course this is a ridiculous analogy because bank robbing is not a victimless crime, so no one (I would hope) would ever be persuaded to change their views on bank robbing. But everyone needs to understand that neither is homosexuality victimless. The victims are the future generations who are being raised to believe that it is not wrong. In middles schools today, there is talk about how homosexual experimentation is a “safe” alternative because no pregnancy results. “It doesn’t mean you’re gay, it’s just having fun.”

    The Boy Scouts of America has never discriminated against someone with a homosexual proclivity, just against someone who openly condones the immoral behavior. So maybe it’s just confusing that there isn’t a different term for someone who has the proclivity and someone who lives the lifestyle and is unrepentant. After all you wouldn’t label someone a bank robber just for loving those type of films, secretly planning/fantasizing about them and imagining the thrill of being clever enough to get away with it, but would never actually pull one off? No, bank robber is a label reserved for those who actually commit the crime. The policy of the BSA has not been to exclude homosexuals (the proclivity) but only exclude those who practice/endorse the deviant sexual behavior of homosexuality just as it has excluded those who practice/endorse any other immoral behavior because it goes against their teachings. And now BSA has cow-tailed to political and social pressure and watered down their sense of morality. This policy has opened the door to even more change. Shame on them!

    And shame on you, Rev. Larry Seiferth, for joining the homosexual agenda in condemning those who are standing firm against changing our sense of morality to bring social acceptance of their continued immoral behavior and labeling us bigots. God’s view on homosexuality (the act) is clear. It is an ABOMINATION! And we as Christians need to remember that while Christ loves and died for all, he didn’t stop at just forgiving us, he admonishes us to go and SIN NO MORE. God’s forgiveness is not a license to keep on sinning. Anyone who denies and endorses any sin should be cut off from the church body. Does that mean we stop loving them? No. Does that mean we stop praying for them? No. Does it mean we don’t welcome them back if they repent? No. It means we exclude them while they are in denial of their sin to keep them from influencing the weak among us. Homosexuality (the act) is just the sin du jour because denying the sin is exactly what the homosexual movement is doing!

    And who among us is more weak and in need of our protection than our children?

    • Rev. Mathew Andersen June 3, 2013 at 5:22 pm #

      The difference between robbing a bank and homosexuality is that a person is not labeled a “bank robber” until he actually robs a bank.

      A kid is considered “homosexual,” however, based solely on attraction whether or not he has acted on that attraction or ever intends to do so.

      While many kids do “come-out” as gay-affirming, there are many groups who exist to help same sex attracted individuals who choose to follow the biblical mandate to refrain from sex outside of male/female marriage. These groups report a large increase in same sex attracted teens seeking such help over the last 5 years. These kids would be considered “openly homosexual” yet accept the biblical law against acting on their desires. Unfortunately, because of legal issues, many of these groups are unable to provide that support for kids under 18.

      These kids are stuck. The gay community pushes them toward a “positive gay identity,” the conservative churches give them Law without Gospel, in spite of the fact they are repentant, the support groups can not serve them because of their age and now many church leaders sign open letters asking BSA to refuse them entrance.

      There is no biblical or theological reason to restrict an openly homosexual kid from taking part in an organization such as boy scout, regardless of his own view of his sexuality, as long as he does not make his orientation an issue while in the group, much less a kid who is open and repentant. We are not talking about communion here, where a pastor must make a pastoral decision based on repentance. There is no biblical mandate anywhere that would support keeping kids out of BSA as long as their behavior does not conflict with the purposes of the group.

      Christ condemned the Pharisees for refusing forgiveness to the tax collectors (who, acting on their desires, had committed sins against others, much like “bank robbers”). One is forced to wonder what Christ would say about condemning teens for mere temptation and refusing to associate with them because of a mere attraction. Christ ate with tax collectors (and, no, there is no indication that Matthew invited only “repentant” sinners to the dinner he hosted for Christ). One wonders how Christ would respond to our refusal to allow our children to associate with other kids based only on experiencing temptation?

    • June 15, 2013 at 9:08 pm #

      I’ll give you that Jesus said,”Go and sin no more,” but do you suppose He actually thought that woman would sin no more? In fact, who among us is able to sin no more? His sacrifice atoned for all of our sins, past. present, and future. That forgiveness includes even those sins we do after He has told us to sin no more. Surely it is our intention, as we awaken each day to sin no more, and we try not to sin any more. However even our best intentions are often thwarted by the “old evil foe.” I think we need to remember that sin is sin; none any worse than any other in God’s eyes. Unfortunately our simple minds are unable to figure out how that can be. It is a good thing that God doesn’t demand that we understand how it works before He makes it so.

  38. Erich Abraham June 2, 2013 at 11:16 am #

    The tragedy is just unfolding. The LCMS Lutherans have long supported the passing our of condoms to stop aids, they have allowed non sacramental people to be elders and appointed non Lutherans to lead Lutherans. So what’s the great “Hullabaloo?”
    Our Lutheran leaders are great pharisees who flow with the wind, this decision should be easy.

  39. Dave Carlson June 2, 2013 at 6:58 pm #

    The recent membership change by the BSA is a speck in the eye. Our Synod needs to address the log-in-the-eye issue. The BSA has mixed elements of the Kingdom of the Right (faith) and the Kingdom of the left (secular world) and wrapped it with patriotism. The BSA ultimately promotes universalism, which is clearly evident if you have ever attended Scout Vespers led by a council or by National. These services typically include Native American prayers and readings from most major world religions – not unlike the recent interfaith service in Newtown, CT. The Synod should start looking at its relationship with not just the BSA but with all outside organization and formulating guidelines. Popular culture will continue to target groups like the BSA until they conform to its agenda. I expect the BSA will continue to be under pressure as the activists know to follow the money and put pressure on the corporate donors. I think congregations also need to evaluate what role scouting has in church life. The BSA also needs to decide whether it is a religious group or a secular group. It can’t be both. I write this as a confessional Lutheran Christian and as an assistant scoutmaster of a troop chartered by a PCUSA church. Scouting has many positive attributes but the religious part is a real struggle.

  40. Lisa June 3, 2013 at 11:36 am #

    Having close family members in scouting over the years, I am truly saddened at the recent turn of events. The BSA had right on their side, as well as the support of the Supreme Court. It is not bigotry to leave scouting now, as the Body of Christ, we do not hate, but also cannot celebrate or be forced to acclimate to what God considers an abomination. Sexuality in any form is totally inappropriate for any children’s organization, and the BSA has allowed the wishes of a small number of adults to impact thousands of children. It is apparent that the BSA will have to eventually give in to full inclusion of gay troop leaders. Will the BSA be prepared for the coming litigation from gay boys who have been heavily involved in scouting, and then want to become troop leaders but are told no?

  41. Rev. Michael Nemec June 3, 2013 at 10:48 pm #

    My congregation is very possibly facing a decision regarding a building that was built by our community for the Scouts on our church property. At the time (about 15 years ago), an agreement (a lease) was made between our congregation and the Scouts. We are not the official sponsors of the group, but again, they meet in a “Scout Hut” building on our property.

    I have heard from people with differing positions on either side, from Scout leaders and from members of our congregation. A few actually fall into both categories. And my youngest son is currently a “Cub Scout”. I am friends with all of the current Scout leaders and even most of the men on the local BSA board. Most importantly however, I serve the people of my congregation and our witness to the Lord Jesus and His Word.

    There are a few people in the BSA group who are suggesting separating from the BSA and forming an independent group, but I think the people with that opinion are in the minority. Most of the parents and youth involved do not want to lose the benefits for college, military, etc. that they receive from being a Boy Scout. Sad that this (money) should be more important than following the teachings of God’s Word. However, I know most of the families are low-income and in need of the help for their sons to continue after high school.

    So, like so many pastors and Christians throughout our country, we may have some difficult decisions to make. We have an Elders meeting tomorrow evening and the Scouts use of the building on our property is on the agenda. I have told the chair of our Elders and some of the representatives in our community that if our church would make a decision to ask the Scouts to leave our property, the decision would not be made in a hurry (as I think some are fearing) but only after consultation with all involved and prayer.

    I’ve asked my circuit counselor for guidance (just today, so I haven’t heard back) but any suggestions or thoughts from anyone out there in internet land would certainly be appreciated. Please keep congregations like ours, and pastors like myself who are trying to serve our people and our communities in truth and in love, in your prayers.

    Michael Nemec
    Pastor, Christ Lutheran Church
    Hillsboro, Texas

    • June 14, 2013 at 7:24 pm #

      It is my understanding that being a homosexual is not a sin, nor is being right-handed a sin, nor is having blond hair a sin. On the other hand, left handed people can sin, blond haired people can sin, and homosexual people can sin. It is clear in Holy Scripture that any thought, word, or action in opposition to God’s will is sin. Condemnation of such sin is easy to find in the Bible. However I have not run across a passage anywhere that condemns the sinner. It seems only fair that if God does not single out for condemnation any individual sinner, it would be wrong for us to do otherwise. As I look around at the faces in my congregation, I see sinners. They are admitted sinners. They confess it to be so out loud for all to hear in every worship service. I look in the mirror, and I see a sinner. I am admittedly so. I confess it out loud with my congregation in every worship service. Immediately upon hearing our confession of sinfulness, I announce God’s forgiveness of all of those sins for the sake of his Son, Jesus Christ. No one is asked to specify his or her sin, nor is it required by God that we do so. It is simply understood that sin is sin, and if you do one, it is as though you have done them all. This puts all of us in the same boat labeled “Sinners,” and it is that boat-load of people for whom Jesus shed His blood and died.

      We do this together at the beginning of every worship service, and I think we are doing it correctly. If that is the case, how is it right that some people who do some sins should be dealt with differently? It boggles my mind to hear of churches (some even in my own denomination) that single out an entire group of people (sinners) to be shunned because of sins that they may or may not even do. If taken to its logical conclusion, everyone (all sinners) should shun or be shunned by all other people (sinners). That seems to me to be the superlative in isolationism, judgmental-ism, and Pharisee-ism (if there is such a word). Shame on those who do it and suggest that others do it too. Furthermore, to deny access to the Scouting Program based on the fact that a child or adult is among the people in the “boat” is at the very least outrageous and at the very worst Un-Biblical. We will strive to maintain the charter that our congregation has with the B.S.A., and we will pray that our denomination does not attempt to force us to so otherwise.

  42. Michael June 4, 2013 at 12:28 am #

    As far as I’m aware, sexual orientation has not previously been—and is not now—a disqualifying factor for boys who want to participate in LCMS sponsored youth groups. Our congregation does not have a rule against gay youth participating in youth activities. I doubt we will start banning gay youth from LCMS sponsored functions. I hope not.

    As a life-long LCMS member and Scout leader of many years, I hope the LCMS will continue to support not only Boy Scouting but also various outreach to young people through local congregations, including: Girl Scouts of the USA, Camp Fire USA, 4-H, Big Brothers Big Sisters, elementary/middle schools serving underprivileged children, and various other organizations that do not require one to be heterosexual.

    As the Church of Christ has indicated, “God has put a challenge before us. We are not called to be a people of fear instead we must be a people of faith. We are His people and we will stand strong to be a witness for our understanding of Christian values. We are reminded of the biblical story of the prophet Jonah, who after running from God and His will to reach out to the people of the wicked city of Ninevah finally entered that city and was a powerful witness to the people of the redemptive power of God’s steadfast love. We are perplexed by the decision that was rendered, but we are confident that God is in control and that we can continue to be a positive witness for Christ throughout the world of Scouting.”

  43. M.R.S. June 6, 2013 at 3:22 am #

    A few points please.
    “Love the sinner, not the sin” also implies denouncing the sin.
    Incrementalism is the progressive way to destroy institutions, governments, social norms and moral standards that they oppose. “Openly” gay scouts now means “tolerance” later, and then “Openly” gay leaders and volunteers.

    Take a look at the Girl Scouts of America and their decline and fall since embracing homosexuality. Do some research into their national leadership and the agenda/program offered to our daughters. Their membership is 10% of what it was in the 1960’s, and they are being forced to sell their camp sites because they can not afford to maintain them.

    Next, research American Heritage Girls. Every LC-MS (yes, I’m that old) church should have a AHG unit chartered and operational by August. That is a decisive message that will be salt and light to this progressive world we find ourselves in. And will bring in many non-Lutheran or non-Christian girls that need a Scripture based faith and church home.

    Finally, I urge all present BSA leaders and adult volunteers to stay active in BSA, but fight tooth and nail to back away from this membership change, and reinstitute the “don’t ask, don’t flaunt” practice that has been working for decades. Yes there are homosexual scouts, leaders, and volunteers in the BSA. But just as heterosexual sex acts are not tolerated in the Scouts, and should not be, neither should homosexual sex acts. Boy Scouts activities are supposed to be, and should be kept a sex free zone. No sex of any sort can be tolerated. Because that is how we are instructed, and even admonished, by Jesus to live. No time limits, no exceptions, nothing about changing world views (except to beware false prophets and preachers preaching a new or different gospel.) and political wind changes. As many here argue that Christians must stay in Scouting to be there for the youth, I say that we must be there for the organization itself. The fight is not with the boys. The fight is with the LDS driven national executives of the BSA and the political correctness movement of the Progressive left. We should not tolerate the membership change, but rather than cede the field of battle, as we have with public school prayer and overt religious Christian public displays, we must stand firm and fight the evil of sin and the “tolerant”, compassionate, spineless folks that advocate that agenda. We must fight and win this battle to turn back the moral cancer that is killing our Christian democratic republic and our moral society. Yes, that’s right, I said that homosexuality is evil, and immoral. Just as heterosexual sex outside the bonds of marriage is also. So we must stick together to fire the national Executives and replace them with men of moral and Christian values and integrity. These men should and can be fired and replaced. This is our fight and should be our agenda. Not running and hiding and abandoning an organization that has server boys and men well since 1910. We don’t abandon Grandpa when he has a head cold, we fight the infection.

    I just returned from 4 days at Cub Scout resident camp in the Ozarks. Great experience for my grandson and I. Not one of the Scouters I spoke to there were in favor of this membership change. Lending credence to the statements in the following blog post from Rob Green, Scout Executive of Palmetto Council, BSA; http://palmettocouncil.org/forms/For%20our%20website.pdf

    I agree with and applaud Mr. Green. And for the LC-MS pastors and other members that wish to be “tolerant” of practicing homosexual sinners in a go-along, get-along practice, let me suggest you take a look at ELCA as a more “tolerant” church organization. I highly recommend you to that organization. (Can’t force myself to refer to them as a “church”.)

  44. Norman Gerring June 6, 2013 at 2:21 pm #

    “Love the sinner, not the sin” good words to live by. It does not say accept the sin, so get OUT of anything to do with BSA.

    • Mike June 6, 2013 at 3:30 pm #

      What’s to discuss and evaluate? We cannot condone sin.

  45. James R Keller June 7, 2013 at 3:05 am #

    I am truly sorry that so many of my fellow Lutherans are reacting to the media reports of what the BSA resolution said rather than reading the resolution itself and the explanatory notes which are found on the BSA http://www.scouting.org website.

    FIRST, the resolution DID NOT open the door to open and overt homosexuals. It DID allow a young man to remain in Scouting who may yet only be confused about his sexual identity. The revised membership criteria makes clear that a Scout who identifies as homosexual cannot be removed from Scouting SOLELY for that reason. A Scout who solicits his troop members or is currently sexually active as a homosexual can be removed. I am constantly reminded that we in the LCMS are enjoined to Love the Sinner but hate the Sin.

    SECOND, that same resolution REAFFIRMED the stand against homosexual leaders.

    I was personally disappointed that the resolution passed in the face of overwhelming opposition by the “rank and file.” I agree with the proposition that this represented no real change in the criteria for youth membership except it clarified that the BSA will look to conduct not inclination in making a decision to exclude. I remain concerned that this resolution will not serve to placate the LGBT agenda, but, rather, will embolden the advocates of immorality to continue their assault.

    So… for the time being, I’m staying with the Scouting program. I’d rather fight the good fight from inside rather than the outside.

    James R. Keller
    Rochester Hills, Michigan
    Our Shepherd Lutheran Church
    Pack, Troop and Crew 1006
    Eagle Scout Class of 1965
    Vigil Class of 1987
    Silver Beaver Class of 1988
    Lamb Award 2005
    Life-Long Member, LCMS

  46. M.R.S. June 9, 2013 at 5:24 am #

    Here is an update on Bob Green;

    http://www.goupstate.com/assets/pdf/SJ2729663.PDF

    I urge everyone to read it.

    I still believe that the fight is worth engaging in. The top 3 national executives need to be fired and the membership policy returned to what it was before the LDS decided thet homosexuals were a new mission opportunity.

    So, what is the procedure to fire these three opportunists, and anyone that supports them?

  47. Tim Millard June 9, 2013 at 4:12 pm #

    This change is perplexing. Why would one church group that has a majority of registered Scouts change from their historical position and vote to allow this? That same group has not issued a similar change for their members. Yet, they seem to think this was the right change for Scouting? So they voted for a rule change in Scouting that they will not actually follow in their Troops or Packs because if any Scout made claim that they were homosexual then their church will kick that Scout out.

    Now ask yourself what happens to Scouting if all the True Confessional Churches leave because of this change? You might think that it could no longer function; however that same group that voted for this change will remain. They will also inherit all the considerable assets of BSA that are left behind. Camps, programs, brands, etc.. These things are worth $100’s of millions. They will have more control of Scouting than ever before, all because they forced through this change. A change they knew other churches would not want. This change was made to steal the assets of Scout away from good Christian people that have donated their time and treasure to a program that is necessary to many a boy.

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