NASHVILLE (BP) -- The president of the Association of Baptists for Scouting said he agrees with an SBC entity leader who said Southern Baptists' resolution on the Boy Scouts membership policy was "not frantic or angry."
Boy Scout resolution adopted by SBC
HOUSTON (BP) -- Southern Baptists expressed their "opposition to and disappointment in" the membership policy of the Boy Scouts of America but affirmed the freedom of local churches to determine their own relationships with the national Scouting organization.
The action came in a resolution drafted by the convention's Resolutions Committee and approved by messengers June 12 during the SBC's annual meeting in Houston. Southern Baptists have tracked the BSA membership controversy closely in recent months, as many churches either sponsor or are affiliated with local Scouting troops.
Steve Lemke, provost at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary who chaired the Resolutions Committee, said the committee felt compelled to address the matter.
"We think we did so in a balanced way," Lemke said.
The lengthy resolution detailed the sequence of events that led to the BSA's May 23 vote to approve new membership guidelines stating that "no youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone."
TIMELINE: Boy Scouts & Southern Baptists
HOUSTON (BP) -- Spurred by the decision of the Boy Scouts of America to admit openly homosexual youth as Scouts, the Southern Baptist Convention passed a resolution on the matter June 12 during its annual meeting in Houston.
Boy Scouts defenders leave concerns unanswered
HOUSTON (BP) -- A statement by the Association of Baptists for Scouting has urged churches to continue their involvement with Boy Scout troops without addressing cautions noted by key leaders over the BSA's acceptance of homosexuality.
Among the concerns addressed by Southern Baptist leaders are whether churches should embrace an organization that openly opposes biblical standards for morality, whether churches will be caught up in litigation resulting from the policy change and how the Scouts will protect boys from a potential increase in sexual abuse of children.
In an official statement of the Association of Baptists for Scouting released to Baptist Press June 6, A.J. Smith, the organization's president, set forth four points interpreting the change in the Boy Scouts' membership policy. National Scouting officials, he said, signed off on his interpretations.
Calif. Senate: Scouts didn't go far enough
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (BP) -- Less than a week after the Boy Scouts changed its policy to allow gay-identifying youth, the California Senate passed a law that would revoke the organization's tax-exempt status if it doesn't also allow gay leaders.
MARIETTA, Ga. (BP) -- Parents of Boy Scouts should remove their children from the organization, Atlanta-area pastor Ernest Easley advised in his Sunday sermon.
Troop 204's affiliation with Roswell Street Baptist Church also will end, Easley said.
GRAPEVINE, Texas (BP) -- Delegates to the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Thursday (May 23) approved new membership guidelines which open the ranks of the organization to homosexual members. Young men who openly claim to be homosexual may now participate as Scouts.
The decision, the BSA leadership said in a statement, was based on "growing input from within the Scouting family." That input led to a national review of policy, or a "comprehensive listening exercise," resulting in a resolution to remove the restriction "denying membership to youth on the basis of sexual orientation alone."
GRAPEVINE, Texas (BP) -- With the decision Thursday (May 23) to open the Boy Scouts of America membership to homosexual youth, the 70,000 faith-based organizations, including many churches, that have championed the virtues of "duty to God" and moral straightness by sponsoring local troops must decide whether to cut ties with the Scouts or continue their association with evangelistic outreach in mind.
Page, Land send letters opposing Scout proposal
NASHVILLE (BP) -- Southern Baptist leaders Frank Page and Richard Land have written letters expressing strong opposition to a proposal that would leave in place the prohibition on homosexual Scout leaders but would allow youth who identify as gay to join.
IN-DEPTH: Will the Scouts withstand pressure?
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (BP) -- Every four years more than 40,000 Boy Scouts and their leaders hold a National Jamboree. This year they are scheduled to gather in July at the new Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia. They'll pitch tents, hike, tie knots, trade patches, and raise their right hands to affirm: "On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country, to obey the Scout law, to help other people at all times, and to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight."
NASHVILLE (BP) -- The Middle Tennessee Council of the Boys Scouts of America has voted to affirm Scouting's current national membership policy as "a core value of the Scout Oath and Law."
Hugh Travis, the Scout executive for the 37-county council, said in a May 6 news release that its delegates "will not vote to approve the resolution" -- to allow openly homosexual youth as Scouts -- "but to retain the current membership policy."
Meanwhile, Frank Page, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Executive Committee, has issued a statement underscoring his opposition to what the national Scouting organization has touted as a "compromise" by dropping its plan to allow openly gay Scout leaders.
NASHVILLE (BP) -- "Stand with Scouts," a national simulcast by the Family Research Council, urged viewers to preserve Scouting's traditional values by opposing a policy change to allow youth who identify themselves as gay to become Scouts.