SBC leaders chide Boy Scouts

Leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention hope to sway an upcoming vote on changing membership standards of the Boy Scouts of America to include gays.

By Bob Allen

The Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, in a rare resolution on a public issue adopted between annual meetings of the SBC, criticized leaders who support dropping the Boy Scouts of America’s ban on gay Scouts and adult volunteers.

Meeting Feb. 18-19 in Nashville, Tenn., the Executive Committee issued a statement on a proposal to change the Boy Scouts membership and leadership standards expected to be presented at the Scout’s national annual meeting in May.

Citing biblical teaching “that sexuality is expressed most nobly and appropriately as a monogamous marital relationship between one man and one woman for life,” the resolution said the proposed change would place the Boy Scouts organization “at odds with a consistent biblical worldview on matters of human sexuality, making it an organization that would no longer complement but rather contradict our belief in God and his moral precepts that serve as the basis for our Christian faith.”

sbc logoThe Executive Committee resolution expressed “deep dismay and disappointment” at the conduct of Boy Scout leaders who are seeking to drop the ban on homosexuality and applauded Scouts, volunteers, parents and churches that sponsor Boy Scout units for speaking out against the change.

The statement called on members of the Boy Scout national council to vote against the change, and for business and corporate leaders to donate funds in ways that send “a strong signal to those corporations that have pressured the Scouts to capitulate to popular culture by financial coercion.”

Irrespective of what the Boy Scouts decide, Southern Baptist leaders reaffirmed support for Royal Ambassadors, a Scout-like program sponsored by Woman’s Missionary Union that promotes missions and evangelism among Southern Baptist youth.

While the Executive Committee routinely adopts resolutions on things like commendations for retiring agency heads, a statement on a matter of general interest is atypical. According to background materials, since the body passed its first general resolution in 1938, the Executive Committee has approved 54 general resolutions, and 27 since 1980.

Such statements of consensus beliefs normally occur during the SBC annual meeting, where a resolutions committee is appointed to bring recommendations to the convention floor for approval by messengers.