Boy Scouts of America and Their Open Doors

Why should it surprise us that the Boy Scouts of America have dropped their ban on openly gay scouts?  For over a hundred years they thought a belief in a Supreme Being was a sufficient confession of the true God.  For over a hundred years, they haven’t cared for what the First Commandment taught, so why should it startle or surprise that they don’t really care for what the 6th teaches?  Of course, this turn of events poses some interesting questions.

How long do you think it will take to drop the ban on openly gay leaders?  Answer: about as long as it took for the military to go from don’t ask, don’t tell to go ahead and flaunt it to all must acknowledge and accept it.

What other morals will the Boy Scouts let go of?  Now that we see that their morals never have been higher than the surrounding community, i.e. “I believe in God” and “In God we Trust” have been the gold standard of American civil religion for the last 100 plus years, and that was enough morality for the scouts.  Now that homosexuality is acceptable not only in literature, Hollywood, and pornography but in the military and marriage, the Boy Scouts of America have no leg to stand on.  Their standard never was that of Holy Scripture but human reason at best and conventional wisdom at worst.

What will churches that have been a citadel for Boy Scout troops do?  Answer: nothing if you’re the ELCA, United Methodist Church, or Presbyterian Church USA.  You long before this baptized, blessed, and confirmed the sin of homosexuality.

What will the LCMS do?  Answer: what they did with Boy Scouts in America in the first place.  At first we rejected the Boy Scouts using the same logic that we did with Lodges.  A person cannot hold two conflicting faiths.  Promoting a moral life apart from faith in Christ leads either to despair or self-righteousness.  Belief in a Supreme Being is not enough. But then the Statement of the Forty-Four prominent LCMS leaders, in 1945, challenged this position, and the LCMS opened her doors to the organization.

Liberal, conservative, and confessional LCMS churches now have them as part of their “programs,” what rational will they have for getting rid of them?  They are inconsistent with our confession of faith?  Oops, they’ve always been that.  If you didn’t have the wherewithal to reject the Boy Scouts of America based on the First Commandment, I don’t think you will based on the 6th.

I say this with one caveat.  People quite frequently and quite inconsistently bow up, even man up, when it comes to the 6th Commandment where they won’t in regards to the 1st.  Of course, this isn’t even shutting the barn door after the horse is out.  It’s trying to shut the barn door after the building has been demolished.


About Paul Harris

Pastor Harris retired from congregational ministry after 40 years in office on 31 December 2023. He is now devoting himself to being a husband, father, and grandfather. He still thinks cenobitic monasticism is overrated and cave dwelling under.
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