Southern Baptist leaders predicted Tuesday (July 28) that some churches might cut ties with the Boy Scouts of America now that gay men are permitted to lead scout troops. They expressed disappointment with the policy change, even though local scout sponsors may still exclude gay leaders.
“Sadly and regrettably, I believe churches who stand on the biblical ethic of sexuality will have to cease their sponsorship and involvement in the Boy Scouts of America,” Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd told Baptist Press.
Every June at an annual meeting, the Southern Baptist Convention adopts non-binding resolutions to reflect beliefs. Its statement of faith, as revised in 2000, says, “In the spirit of Christ, Christians should oppose … all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery, homosexuality and pornography.”
Southern Baptist churches sponsored more than 3,900 scout troops in the United States in 2013, according to USA Today, making it one of the largest sectarian sponsors. Its individual churches, including an estimated 120 in the New Orleans area, decide autonomously whether they want to host a scout troop.
The Boy Scouts of America’s National Executive Board voted Monday to allow gay men to lead troops, reversing a longstanding policy. It still lets local sponsors make the decision.
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SOURCE: NOLA.com, Shelby Hartman