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
- Issues, Etc. Radio interview with the Rev. Bart Day
May 17, 2013