Troop 113 families, come celebrate with us tonight. We’ll have popcorn, games, activities.
This is our last troop meeting as BSA Troop 113.
You see, after three years of operating a Faith-Based Troop, the families have decided that they can’t continue to support a contractual relationship with BSA since their policies have changed — specifically by stating that the membership issue is one of “distraction” not “ethics or morals”.
Some families reminded me that based on 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 (each man’s work to be tested by fire for reward or removal of the impure/imperfect) it was time to ask some tough questions of themselves and if the answer to any one of these was affirmative, it was time to part company with BSA.
- Have I compromised my faith by idolizing my involvement in BSA (i.e. has my “1.5 hours per week” become more of a religion to me than my actual faith practice)? (1 Cor 10)
- Am I happier and more excited to be at scouting events than Bible Study, Church or Sunday School? (Matthew 6:21)
- Do I actually testify as to my beliefs while scouting at district/council events, round table, summer camp, camporees, etc. or do I hide my candle under a bushel for fear my scout buddies won’t tolerate my testimony (Acts 17:22-33)
- Does the BSA practice of non-sectarianism equate to “all faiths are equally valid paths to God?” and if so, can Christians reconcile that with scriptures (John 14:6, etc.)
- Is the issue of same-sex attraction a moral, ethical, spiritual issue or merely one of “distraction” as BSA characterizes it? (Romans 1:18-32, et.al.)
- I sign a contract with BSA each year that affirms my commitment to the Declaration of Religious Principle, and that I’ll uphold EACH of their policies regardless of my beliefs. Does that constitute unequal yoking (2 Cor 6:14-17) or can I just ignore those verses?
- Is BSA helping me win my race, or has it become a distraction – am I closer to God because of BSA or in spite of BSA? (1Cor.9:24)
- 1 Cor. 10:31 tells me to do ALL that I do to the glory of God — are my BSA activities, discussions, and ideals consistently glorifying to God or are they compromised by BSA social norms (behaving differently around other scouters to fit in with their expectations, speech, rough humor, biases and discouragement of “proselytizing”)?
- Is the focus of our unit meetings merely on the “highly practical, but temporal, things of earth” or do we genuinely celebrate and understand matters of eternity?(John 12:25; James 4:4; James 4:13-15; Romans 12:2; 1 John 2:15-16; Col. 3:2; Philippians 4:8; 1 Peter 2:11; Hebrews 11:13; Philippians 3:19-20; Ps 73:1-3 & 17)
So it’s not really about bigotry or fear, but whether we’re going to be hypocrites to our own scriptures and faith. It’s not about you, them, or someone else, but merely a question of “am I being true to my God — the creator of the universe, the Savior of my soul, the forgiver of my trespasses and the restorer of my heart?” (agere sequitur credere: we act according to what we believe)
- For most of the families, in the balance beam scale of “God” versus “BSA”, they’ve decided it’s time to move on to something else that provides the benefits of BSA without the compromises.
- For those families that are confident that they can continue with BSA without compromising their faith practice, we’ve offered guidance on locating another troop in their local neighborhood, how to join a local Venture Crew or become registered as a lone scout.
So come have some snacks, and maybe we’ll sing a few campfire songs. We do have one more outing scheduled for the last week of December, and we’ll need a precise headcount tonight. We couldn’t throw in the BSA towel unless we bowled together one last time!