May 31st, 2013
04:19 PM ET
Baptists plan exodus from Boy Scouts
By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
(CNN) - For Southern Baptist pastor Tim Reed, it was Scripture versus the Scouts.
“God’s word explicitly says homosexuality is a choice, a sin,” said Reed, pastor of First Baptist Church of Gravel Ridge in Jacksonville, Arkansas.
So when the Boy Scouts of America voted to lift its ban on openly gay youths on May 24, Reed said the church had no choice but to cut its charter with Troop 542.
“It’s not a hate thing here,” Reed told CNN affiliate Fox 16. “It’s a moral stance we must take as a Southern Baptist church.”
Southern Baptist leaders say Reed is not alone.
Baptist churches sponsor nearly 4,000 Scout units representing more than 100,000 youths, according to the Boy Scouts of America.
That number could drop precipitously.
The Southern Baptist Convention, the country’s largest Protestant denomination, will soon urge its 45,000 congregations and 16 million members to cut ties with the Scouts, according to church leaders.
The denomination will vote on nonbinding but influential resolutions during a convention June 11-12 in Houston.
“There’s a 100% chance that there will be a resolution about disaffiliation at the convention,” said Richard Land, the outgoing head of the Southern Baptists’ Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, “and a 100% chance that 99% of people will vote for it.”
“Southern Baptists are going to be leaving the Boy Scouts en masse,” Land continued.
Roger “Sing” Oldham, a spokesman for the Southern Baptist Convention, emphasized that local congregations make their own decision on the Scouts.
But he, too, said he expects Baptist delegates, which the church calls “messengers,” to voice their disagreement with the BSA's decision to allow gay youths.
“With this policy change, the Boy Scouts’ values are contradictory to the basic values of our local churches,” Oldham said.
Several religious groups with strong Scouting ties support the new policy.
“We have heard from both those who support the amended policy and those who would have preferred it would not have changed,” said BSA spokesman Deron Smith.
Faith-based organizations charter more than 70% of Scout chapters, providing meeting space and leadership, according to the BSA.
“There have been some organizations that have decided not to renew their charters with Scouting," said Smith, "but we can’t quantify the impact of the amended policy."
The National Jewish Committee on Scouting, the United Church of Christ, the Episcopal Church, the Unitarian Universalist Association and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which sponsors more Scout units than any other faith, all endorsed the change.
The National Catholic Committee on Scouting, which is run with oversight from a bishop, said Thursday that allowing gay youths in the Scouts does not conflict with church teaching. Each bishop will decide whether or not to allow churches in his diocese to charter Scout units, the committee added.
“We ask that Catholic Scouters and chartered organization heads not rush to judgment,” said Edward Martin, chairman of the National Catholic Committee on Scouting.
But the Rev. Derek Lappe, pastor of the Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Bremerton, Washington, has already made up his mind.
“I do not feel that it is possible for us to live out, and to teach, the authentic truth about human sexuality within the confines of the Boy Scout’s new policy,” said Lappe.
The priest told CNN affiliate FOX16 that his parish will part ways with the Scouts and develop its own programs.
There may soon be an alternative to the Scouts for social conservatives like Lappe.
John Stemberger, founder of On My Honor, a group that opposed the Scouts’ change in policy, plans to convene conservatives in Louisville, Kentucky, in June to consider forming a new Scout-like group, which could be up and running by the end of 2013.
“Churches and Scoutmasters are looking for leadership and direction,” said Stemberg, an attorney in Orlando, Florida.
A number of conservative religious denominations already sponsor their own groups.
For instance, the Southern Baptists have the Royal Ambassadors, an explicitly Christian program founded in 1908 for boys in first through sixth grade. (A similar group called Challengers equips older boys in “mission education.”)
The name comes from the New Testament, in which the Apostle Paul tells Christians to be “ambassadors for Christ.”
The estimated 31,000 Royal Ambassadors pledge “ to become a well-informed, responsible follower of Christ; to have a Christlike concern for all people; to learn how to carry the message of Christ around the world; to work with others in sharing Christ; and to keep myself clean and healthy in mind and body."
While not as outdoorsy as the Boy Scouts, Ambassadors do camp and play sports, said Land, who was a member of the group during the 1950s. But instead of merit badges for archery and bird study, young Ambassadors earn patches for memorizing Bible verses and mission work.
Southern Baptists said they are preparing for a surge of interest in the Royal Ambassadors at their upcoming convention in Houston.
“We really have an opportunity here to strengthen our RA programs,” the Rev. Ernest Easley, chairman of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee, said in a sermon last Sunday, “and to get the boys in a program where they’re going to be protected, where there’s a high moral standard and where they will have an opportunity to learn about camping, missions, evangelism in the local church.”
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About this blog
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.
I wear a yellow frock. I feel pretty.
Most of the conflicts between people of different religions start simply because they disagree about "facts" that are every bit as meaningful as the names of Santa's reindeer
And atheists can't even agree on what is moral, much less whether there even is such a thing as morality. They're so blind they can't even see their own hypocrisy.
"And atheists can't even agree on what is moral, much less whether there even is such a thing as morality. "
Another great example of xitans lying for their god.
Oh, nonsense. If that were true, then a nation like Japan would be full of immoral behavior such as violent crime. It isn't.
Warbler, to be truthful, we have disagreement on scripture not only between different Faiths. There have been differences between Faithful within the same denomination.
Don't Ass U me to speak for atheists. We are moral, loving, all accepting because it is the right thing to do. Not because of a book or theology telling us to. BIG difference: atheists=self actualizing morality, theists=morality because outside influence dictates it. We are free thinkers not sheep blindly following any of the 1,200 goDs currently being worshipped on this planet.
Warbler is just a troll...no one can be that stupid...he tried to argue that Hitler was an athesit even though ALL of history proves that is not correct...Just ignore it...he is either too stupid to debate with or a troll, either way ignore him.
Rick, your cranium is rather small. If you think I'm the only one who thinks Hitler was an atheist, then you're more of a moron than I thought. He used Religion in the same way Obama the atheist does.
"I'm the only one who thinks Hitler was an atheist, then you're more of a moron than I thought. He used Religion in the same way Obama the atheist does."
And the xitan continues to lie.
For some strange reason, Hitler exemplified Nietzsche's atheistic uberman. Only atheism is capable of producing monsters like that and forcing people to give up religion as in the soviet union. But then those are your goals too, right? Demonize Christians, force them to give up their religion or kill them all? Atheists are sick, sick people.
"For some strange reason, Hitler exemplified Nietzsche's atheistic uberman. Only atheism is capable of producing monsters like that and forcing people to give up religion as in the soviet union. But then those are your goals too, right? Demonize Christians, force them to give up their religion or kill them all? Atheists are sick, sick people."
More lying from the xtian but really this is the same troll posting under multiple handles.
I'm sorry Warbler... are you suggesting that Christianity has never committed atrocities and genocide in the name of God?
Glory Hallelujah and Thanks Be To God!! The BSA certainly don't need any groups that are haters there especially when they have just turned over a new leaf from being exclusive to being inclusive. These hate-filled churches filled with un-Godly prejudice belong elsewhere, not in the Scouts!
Your promotion of immorality is what is causing them to feel they must separate. Your hatred of morality and those who stand for traditional moral values is what society should be focused on.
" Your hatred of morality and those who stand for traditional moral values is what society should be focused on."
The Biblical condemnation of homosexuality is based on human ignorance, suspicion of those who are different, and an overwhelming concern for ensuring the survival of the people. Since the Bible regards homosexuality as a capital crime (Leviticus 20:13), it clearly assumes that homosexuality is a matter of free choice, a deliberate rebellion against God. We have learned from modern science that people do not choose to be gay or straight; hence it is neither logical nor moral to condemn those whose nature it is to be gay or lesbian.
Like It Is,
I don’t know, but I don’t think it has anything to do with hate. I believe they don’t want to condone and support sinful behavior in activities that they sponsor.
Robert Brown, you believe a lot of stupid sh!t.
" I believe they don’t want to condone and support sinful behavior in activities that they sponsor."
Then they should close their doors since many churches accept divorcee's in their churches, they accept fat gluttonous people into their church, they accept the greedy wealthy in their church. They want to feel superior by condemning a minority so they don't have to look at the sinful nature of all those that attend their churches.
Who hates morality, Warbler, and why are you assuming that only straight Christians are moral? Gay people aren't immoral any more than straight people are. If you don't understand the nature of homosexuality, you shouldn't comment on it.
Did you guys even read the article. They are not kicking individuals out of their church or preventing them from coming to worship services. They are no longer going to be associated with the BSA because they disagree with their new policy.
My aren't we filled with hatred of church folk, Pete? If you were ever to darken the doors of a church you might find out that divorce IS preached against as are gluttony and your favorite sin being discussed here. Churches don't accept sin, but they do have love for the sinners. But I guess you really know that down deep, because you recognize tha
t sinners are not kicked out of the church.
"Churches don't accept sin, but they do have love for the sinners. But I guess you really know that down deep, because you recognize tha
t sinners are not kicked out of the church."
Actually the Catholic Church does kick people out.
Like It Is, let me tell you like it is. These kids didn't choose to be in their churches. Rather, their parents chose. And it's not like they're showing up to scout events preaching. They're too busy canoeing, starting fires and s*1t. I can only hope that the S Baptists find another learning tool for their children than the BSA.
Danny, I guess you don't want children to be taught moral values by their parents. Instead you want everyone's children to be taught liberal acceptance of immorality and debauchery in school. That where liberals brainwash children. It's either your way or mine. I prefer mine.
" Instead you want everyone's children to be taught liberal acceptance of immorality and debauchery in school. "
The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured."
Like their heterosexual counterparts, many gay and lesbian people want to form stable, long-lasting, committed relationships. Indeed, many of them do and that large proportions are currently involved in such a relationship and that a substantial number of those couples have been together 10 or more years.
Research demonstrates that the psychological and social aspects of committed relationships between same-sex partners closely resemble those of heterosexual partnerships. Like heterosexual couples, same-sex couples form deep emotional attachments and commitments. Heterosexual and same-sex couples alike face similar issues concerning intimacy, love, equity, loyalty, and stability, and they go through similar processes to address those issues. Research examining the quality of intimate relationships also shows that gay and lesbian couples have levels of relationship satisfaction similar to or higher than those of heterosexual couples.
A large number of gay and lesbian couples raise children. Children and teenagers whose parents provide loving guidance in the context of secure home environments are more likely to flourish – and this is just as true for children of same-sex parents as it is for children of opposite-sex parents. Based on research findings, mental health professionals have also reached a consensus that the quality of relationships among significant adults in a child’s or adolescent’s life is associated with adjustment. When relationships between parents are characterized by love, warmth, cooperation, security, and mutual support, children and adolescents are more likely to show positive adjustment. In contrast, when relationships between parents are conflict-ridden and acrimonious, the adjustment of children and adolescents is likely to be less favorable. These correlations are just as true for children of same-sex parents as for children of opposite-sex parents.
Assertions that heterosexual couples are inherently better parents than same sex couples, or that the children of lesbian or gay parents fare worse than children of heterosexual parents, have no support in the scientific research literature. On the contrary, the scientific research that has directly compared outcomes for children with gay and lesbian parents with outcomes for children with heterosexual parents has consistently shown that the former are as fit and capable as the latter and that their children are as psychologically healthy and well adjusted as children reared by heterosexual parents.
Since when did "traditional" values equate to irrational Biblical servitude?
For the mentally ill, Babble Humper, always. . .
GOD IT THE UNIVERSE WE LIVE IN AND THE PLANET WE STAND ON, PERIOD. WHEN EITHER OF THEM DECIDES TO MESS WITH US, NO GUY/GIRL IN A ROBE IS GONNA COME DOWN FROM THE HEAVENS AND SAVE OUR SORRY BUTTS... EOS! BELIEFS ARE JUST THAT, BELIEFS. THE UNIVERSE IS REAL ALL DAY 24/7...
The main takeaway here is these churches should never have been involved in sponsoring non-church activities.
The main takeaway is that Jesus was inclusionary, and the SB are not. So, in reality, they are not following Christs's teachings.
The main take away here is, like with slavery and Jim Crow, the Southern Baptists are on the wrong side of history. One has to wonder how many more times they can swing and miss and still be relevant.
Come on Chad you can do IT ...............just 12 more pages for a tie !...............remember to view source.
When Christians become a 'hated minority'
It's indecent and irresponsible for an educated person in the 21st century to believe in God.
If you're a red neck, you may carry on though
Word education means knowledge and hindu secular s, ignorant self centered may have studied alot of books, but they have no education, knowledge of truth absolute and they follow hindu animals, ignorant secular by nature as their gods.
From the Wikipedia entry on "word salad": "Word salad may describe a symptom of mental conditions in which a person attempts to communicate an idea, but words and phrases that may appear to be random and unrelated come out in an incoherent sequence instead. Often, the person is unaware that he or she did not make sense. It appears in people with dementia and schizophrenia, as well as after anoxic brain injury."
You can justify and twist anything your way so long as it is in the name of Jesus Christ.
or sticking your thing into the filthiest place on your body.
I'll bet ray loves watching lesbians, though.
People like you are twisting and justifying everything your way in the name of Lucifer, so what's the difference? At least if we follow Christ, we'll end up in heaven. While those who follow Lucifer will end up in hell...
If an imbecilic shhead like you goes to heaven, then I'd rather be anywhere else, NT.
shhead should be "shithead."
Did you know the etymology of "Lucifer"? It means "bringer of light". If supernatural creatures existed, that's the kind of guy I'd like to have on my side, instead of someone so appalling that he'd burn people alive forever.
@ray, do you mean your mouth ?
I am looking forward to eternal punishment with Satan and the rest of the gay posters.
Let me be clear, I want to be eternally punished in the lake of fire.
Apparently you can log in under any name you want, including one that's already in use. In order to simplify things, I am leaving now to get some actual work done.
Hitler was one of your brothers in Christ...so he is in heaven now too, right.
Richard Cranium... Hitler was never saved or IN Christ. So how could he be my brother?…
You and Hitler surely do see eye to eye on the issue of gays, Nice Try. I'll bet you feel the same way about blacks and Jews, don't you?
"Hitler was never saved or IN Christ. "
"My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God's truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. To-day, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before in the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice.... And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people.... When I go out in the morning and see these men standing in their queues and look into their pinched faces, then I believe I would be no Christian, but a very devil if I felt no pity for them, if I did not, as did our Lord two thousand years ago, turn against those by whom to-day this poor people is plundered and exploited."
-Adolf Hitler, in his speech in Munich on 12 April 1922
Awww. I must have hit a nerve. Poor little boys!
Not all Baptist believe as this particular group does. Here in Chicago Minister Greenfield (executive minister of the American Baptist Churches of Metro Chicago) was one of more than 200 pastors and rabbis in the state who signed an open letter saying marriage rights for all people is a matter of justice and equality.
“There can be no justification for the law treating people differently on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity,” the clergy wrote.
“We accept our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters and recognize that their families need equal recognition and protections,” they said. “We believe all Illinois couples should have the same civil protections and urge our public officials to support measures to achieve equality.”
Good for them!
Why, that crazy radical! He probably would've spoken out against slavery, too, which the Bible explicitly endorses. Good thing the Southern congregations of the Baptist denomination left his ilk way behind when they split off back in 1845, so they could follow the TRUE teachings of the Bible.
Regardless of they twist and break their dogma to allow for tolerance, their holy book still preaches it. This makes their tolerance only a tactic to reach new believers, which we need less of.
Shame on them!
RichardSRussell, you are an extremely ignorant person. You know nothing about the Bible at all, which is clear from your totally biased and hostile posts. Unmitigated slavery, which is why you are alluding to, is in no way endorsed by the Bible. And to add to the Bible is a very wicked thing, especially with the agenda of tearing it down and ridiculing it. And you do that because you hate it because it points out your sin and shows you what a rotten person you are. And if you had an ounce of integrity you would admit that.
George... I hate to tell you this. But all churches who believe as you do are of the devil, and the word of God clearly disagrees with you...
No, it doesn't, Nice Try. You just wish it did.
"I hate to tell you this. But all churches who believe as you do are of the devil, and the word of God clearly disagrees with you..."
The scriptures actually say nothing about homosexuality as a psychosexual orientation. Our understandings of sexual orientation are distinctly modern ones that were not present in the minds of Scripture writers. A few passages of Scripture (seven at the most) object to certain types of same-sex expressions or acts. The particular acts in question, however, are sexual expressions which are exploitative, oppressive, commercialized, or offensive to ancient purity rituals. There is no Scriptural guidance for same-sex relationships which are loving and mutually respecting. Guidelines for these relationships should come from the same general Scriptural norms that apply to heterosexual relationships.
You Baptists do realize that God hates FIGS (with an "I"). Fellow human beings he's actually remarkably cool with. He even had this neat son who came here and had all sorts of neat messages about tolerance and love.
You might want to find a copy of that book about his kid- he was actually a pretty decent fellow that might be able to shed some light on being a decent person.
Well, Jeebus did curse a fig tree for not having fruit on it out of season. Not sure why he didn't know it wasn't fig season, being god and all.
Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will send upon them the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, and will make them like vile figs, that cannot be eaten, they are so evil.
What would Jesus do? Not be a Baptist, that's for sure.
So much for tolerance and love....
or a filthy degenerate deviant
I am sure that there are a lot of gay groups that will step in and volunteer the use of their facilities and money.
PaulC... I'll tell you exactly what Jesus would do. He wouldn't even have been in the BSA in the first place. The BSA is of the world. And the world is of the devil....
i was in ala-blam-a volunteering during the katrina relief, the scouts are not missing a thing...
good. meanwhile society progresses, as it should, and these scared little people can languish in the dark ages.
Funny term. Really inaccurate , but used by the ignorant. Seriously, look it up.
You are extremely arrogant, not to mention ignorant and stupid. The dark ages you say? Did you not know that all of the greatest advances in science and culture came through Christian nations, especially since the Protestant Reformation? And did you not know hat most of the greatest contributions came from Christian. The Wright brothers, sons of an Episcopal Bishop, without a formal education created the airplane. Euler, the son of a Reformed clergyman, made the greatest contributions to the calculus since Newton. And even Newton was a believer. And before the Christian influence, the world languished. The evidence is clearly there. You're just a fool.
Humanity has advanced in spite of religion, not because of it.
stellar... What you call society advancing is only taking you one step closer to hell. Only you're too blind to see it...
There is no god. The concept of a god or gods is a whimsical foolishness based entirely on the dogma of clerics and the gullibility of people
Big words, and not a shred of evidence to back it up. You're nothing but talk...
Yeah Nice Try – and just what have you brought to the table/
My History is a bit fuzzy.
Someone remind me how the Southern Babtist church's strong stance SUPPORTING slavery (on the biblical grounds of course) worked out for them...
They have a good track record of being on the right side of history, right? (Assuming they aren't too bust banning history, science, math, or other books in their schools...)
Yes they did, and corrected, but what about hinduism, racism of hindu secular s, criminal self centered of india, treating 300 million human being as untouchable sanctioned by hinduism racism as religion right now.
Same Denomination that demonstrates & celebrates at funerals of our soldiers!
That's India, Islamabot. Stay on topic.
Extreme Christianity shares the same blinders with extreme Islam: true believers bury their faces in ancient books, and ignore the evidence around them, then condemn others for noticing that now is now and "God" consciousness evolves, along with the rest of reality. So sad, really, to be so closed off to others.
This is why people backlash against us Christians–we need to openly embrace and welcome them instead of shunning them out; we need to show them the love Christ showed us.
the backlash should be aimed at the filthy degenerates who want to teach children that this sickness is acceptable.
ray, you don't have any children. You're 12.
Dee... That is not what the bible says. The scriptures clearly tell us to "separate ourselves" from unbelievers and from those who walk disorderly. If you're not doing that then you're not of God...
Nice Try – if that's what you truly believe – then I suggest you follow the Piligrim's example and LEAVE.
GOOD RIDDANCE YOU BIBLE BEATING HYPOCRITES! THE BSA IS FAR FROM PERFECT - BUT THEY'RE CERTAINLY GOING TO BE A BETTER ORGANIZATION WITHOUT THE LIKES OF YOU MORONS INFESTING THEIR RANKS!
Our country has FAR worse problems than getting all agitated about Gay people!
Sasha... Wow. Such gay hate. Why do you people hate so much. Hypocrites...
As Jesus famously said: "Little children, welcome. Sinners, welcome. Lepers, welcome. Harlots, welcome. Tax collectors, welcome. But you gay guys, get the hell out of here." —John 66:6
That's a misconception. What Jesus actually said was "I hate figs" .