October 2013 – The Boy Scouts of America bravely fought for its moral principles for years. When challenged in court by homosexual activists who insisted that it open its doors to gay scouts, BSA said no. In 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court even ruled in favor of the Scouts in a landmark decision, Boy Scouts of America v Dale.
This year, however, BSA reversed itself and voted to allow homosexuals to join. In response, AFA recommended that Christian parents pull their young men out and place them in a Christian alternative.
In the July-August issue of AFA Journal the case for this recommendation was laid out in detail. Not all of our readers agreed, and we wanted to address the three main concerns raised by our loyal supporters.
Conduct vs. orientation
One reader rebuked AFA Journal by pointing to the fact that the Boy Scouts resolution kept its ban on homosexual conduct. “It is the conduct that matters!” he said, “The BSA got it right.”
This is splitting hairs. Yes, BSA has always forbidden homosexual conduct in Scouting, but it has also forbidden heterosexual conduct. After all, Boy Scouts were not allowed to bring their girlfriends along on campouts.
What has clearly changed now is that BSA leadership no longer acknowledges that homosexuality itself is wrong. In accordance with the Boy Scout Oath, homosexuality is now part of being “morally straight.”
In other words, there is no separating orientation from conduct. This was made explicit by the Supreme Court in the Dale decision. In that ruling Chief Justice William Rehnquist stated that the mere presence of homosexuals in the Scouts would “force the organization to send a message, both to the youth members and the world, that the Boy Scouts accepts homosexual conduct as a legitimate form of behavior.” (Emphasis added.)
The high court understood the obvious: If BSA was forced to allow homosexuals to join, then the organization was being forced to declare that it approves of homosexuality itself. And if the Scouts were forced to affirm that homosexuality is moral, then they were likewise being forced to pronounce that homosexual conduct is moral.
Love the sinner
Others complained that we had forgotten the adage “hate the sin, love the sinner,” and that if the church doesn’t turn sinners away at the door, then neither should the Scouts.
But churches don’t turn sinners away from their doors because (presumably) those churches are proclaiming the answer for sin: the gospel. If those churches continue to uphold God’s standards of holiness and preach repentance and faith in Christ, then in those churches everyone can find hope – including the homosexual.
That is not the situation with BSA, which has now embraced homosexuality. The argument should be turned around: What Christian would want to send homosexual boys to the Boy Scouts so they can be affirmed in their homosexuality?
Certainly Christians should love all sinners – including the homosexual – because God loved us while we were yet sinners (Romans 5:8).
But in that fallen and doomed state, how did God show His love to us? He sent His Son to die on a cross to pay for those sins, and He sent the Holy Spirit to convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16:8). Christians are thus called to preach “repentance for forgiveness of sins” (Luke 24:47) – not to declare that sins don’t matter.
Still a valuable organization
Many who wrote to express concern with AFA’s position stated they believed BSA is still a great organization for young men, and the good it does far outweighs the decision to allow homosexuals to join.
However, Scripture states that the message of Christ should not be mixed with a compromised message. In 2 Corinthians 6:14 the apostle Paul asks, “What partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?”
The answer is none. And sending impressionable boys to an organization that mixes light and dark is not only wrong but also spiritually dangerous.