The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) has approved a resolution that opposes the change in policy allowing openly gay youths to join troops in the Boy Scouts of America. While the resolution does not prohibit all SBC churches from supporting the Scouts in light of its new membership rules, it does urge those who continue to support the organization to work hard to reverse the policy change.
The Boy Scouts of America opened its membership to young boys who openly profess same-sex attraction in May of this year, prompting many religious organizations to withdraw their support from the troops. Many Christians feel that the change in policy endorses a lifestyle that is contrary to the Bible and will not continue to support the organization.
The statement of faith for the Southern Baptist Convention opposes all sexual sin, including homosexual practice. They encourage those who no longer support the Boy Scouts to consider becoming involved in Royal Ambassadors, “a Bible-centered, church-based, Southern Baptist missions education organization for boys in grades 1-6” that the SBC hopes will encourage spiritual growth for its young men. The program was established in 1908 and facilitates camping trips, sports, games, evangelism, missionary support, mentorship, and prayer for the youth. The Royal Ambassadors’ motto stems from 2 Corinthians 5:20 - “We are Ambassadors for Christ," it says.
Similar to the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church will allow bishops to decide whether or not to support Scout troops in their diocese. The SBC has also requested that the Scouts remove board members who instigated the policy change to include openly gay youth without getting input from the many faith-based organizations who support the Boy Scouts of America.