According to NBC News, a new Christian alternative to the Boy Scouts of America has started in response to BSA voting to drop its ban on gay youth earlier this year. The new organization – Trail Life USA – has the support of more than 1,200 former Scout officials, parents and youth from 44 states who attended a two-day national leadership convention for it.
The article quotes different fathers who are trying to voice their position on participating in the new group. One of them is John Stemberger, a former Eagle Scout, father of two scouts and Orlando Attorney:
“I want to have a prominent faith component that will be weaved in every fiber of the program… but at the same time, we are not going to become religious and churchy. This is not another church program. This is going to be a masculine outdoor program to raise young men… I want to be clear: We are not an anti-BSA organization. In fact, we are not an anti-anything or anyone organization.”
So… the story did make the news. Why is that?
I wonder if it’s possible for us to have a professional discussion here about this issue. Not a mean-spirited one where we jump into debate mode, but some observations and theorizing about how this might affect youth ministry.
- Is a youth group allowed to create its own policies on expressions of sexuality? Can you ask a barely dressed teenager to not come into your setting or two heterosexual teens who are all over each other physically to leave anymore than you can discourage two gay students from holding hands?
Keep in mind, I’m not asking if you should… I’m asking if you think you’re allowed to.
- Has culture really turned the right for personal pleasure into a moral issue? If so, how in the world do you impart a higher value of listening to God on such matters?
Maybe you have some thoughts on that, or perhaps even some questions of your own.
Let’s see if we can keep this respectable and God-honoring. Remember, the eternities of students are on the line.