Church Rejects Boy Scouts

I learned today that several local churches (mostly Baptist in denomination) including the famous Roswell Street Baptist Church have decided to sever ties with the Boy Scouts because the group has decided to allow openly gay scouts into its program. While I am appalled, I suppose I am not shocked. There seems to be a need among certain religious groups to make sure they do everything in their power to force people away from God rather than to try to attract them to God’s love.
I grew up in the Southern Baptist faith. That is to say I was taught from a young age that when faced with ones perceived enemies, shut the doors; when faced with differences, condemn; when given the opportunity to love those you deem to be on a sinful path, hate. It seems to be the knee-jerk, hardwired response of that specific religious group to make sure it haughtily condemns anyone and anything it deems to be a threat to their treasured and revered way of life. Is that what Jesus taught? Of course not. He dined with sinners and with saints. He sought out those deemed incorrigible to spend time with. Not to denigrate, not to ostracize, but to spend kind, loving moments in their company.
I do not now, nor have I ever understood the need for certain religious factions to judge and condemn others because they are on a path different from their own. I appreciate faith in God and adherence to religious principles because I believe without that our world would be far more chaotic and disrespectful of the rights of others than it already is. What I do not understand is why any religious group believes it will help pave a path to its version of a divine being by ostracizing those it finds to be the most in need of conversion to its beliefs. How on earth does chasing away ‘sinners’ help the cause of that or any religious ministry? Rather than opening its doors with kind, loving arms, it shuts the doors and hangs a sign on it that reads “Only Sin-Free Saints Need Apply for Admittance.” Do they think that the heterosexual boys in the troops are sin free? Surely not. You don’t have to spend much time in the company of many young men to find examples of the sins of gluttony, lust, dishonesty, laziness and greed. Yet those young men (as long as they aren’t openly gay) were welcomed.
Jesus once told a group of people who brought an adulterous woman to him whom they intended to stone “let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” Perhaps all the members of the churches and its leaders who have turned away the Boy Scouts are sin-free, but I doubt it. I know I won’t be seeking admittance into any of those churches and I highly doubt that any of the members of those cast-aside Boy Scout troops will either – at any point in their lives.

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