Jesus and Paul on the Hermeneutics of Sexuality: The Recent Boy Scouts Decision, Part 1

According to a news report on Yahoo

The Boy Scouts of America, one of the country’s largest and oldest youth organizations, decided on Thursday to break 103 years of tradition by allowing openly gay members into its ranks.

The controversial move was approved by more than 60 percent of the approximate 1,400 votes cast by the BSA’s national council. According to the new resolution, beginning Jan. 1, 2014, “no youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.”

I’m not interested in the related question re gay scoutmasters. Rather, the vote relates solely to whether a gay kid should be able to join the Boy Scouts.

Now, this story was followed by this one

First Baptist Church of Helena Pastor Greg Walker told WBRC-TV that as a pastor and a Christian, he can’t allow a group “to openly support a sinful lifestyle under the umbrella of First Baptist Helena.”

“It’s hard on a personal level to say to a troop of young boys who have done nothing wrong and to the leaders, ‘You’re not welcome here,’” Walker said, adding he planned to meet with Troop 2′s leader on Wednesday to discuss the changes and will give the troop time to find a new meeting place.

The Rev. Mike Shaw, of the First Baptist Church of Pelham and former president of the Alabama Baptist Convention, says his church will no longer sponsor Troop 404 after the policy takes place next year.

“We’re not doing it out of hatred. The teachings of the scripture are very clear on this. We’re doing it because it violates the clear teaching of scripture,” Shaw told the Birmingham News.

The Rev. Harry Reeder II, of the Briarwood Presbyterian Church, said church elders will have to decide on whether Troop 254 will continue being allowed to meet at the church.

In Churches of Christ, it was once customary to refuse to allow the building to be used by any organization not tied to the Churches of Christ. But lately, even very conservative Churches have begun to open their buildings to all sorts of community groups — and Boy Scouts, I’m sure, are very commonly hosted in Church of Christ facilities.

What should their decision be regarding hosting a Boy Scout troop in a church building?

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About Jay F Guin

My name is Jay Guin, and I’m a retired elder. I wrote The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace about 18 years ago. I’ve spoken at the Pepperdine, Lipscomb, ACU, Harding, and Tulsa lectureships and at ElderLink. My wife’s name is Denise, and I have four sons, Chris, Jonathan, Tyler, and Philip. I have two grandchildren. And I practice law.
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41 Responses to Jesus and Paul on the Hermeneutics of Sexuality: The Recent Boy Scouts Decision, Part 1

  1. David Himes says:

    Don’t condemn others, because they sin differently that you do …
    Self-righteousness is a sin.
    A building is not a sacred place.

  2. David Purcell says:

    David

    Sinning “differently” implies that sin is rampant in churches of Christ. May I ask what
    damning sins you are referring to?

  3. Mark says:

    There are bigger problems in the church and nation than that. As long as that one topic continues to pit people against each other and causes one Christian to hate another Christian, we are just bringing about our own demise without any need for the enemy to do anything but sit and watch.

  4. laymond says:

    I agree with David Himes. A building is not a church. And the building is not sacred ground, unless the Lord is there with the congregation. I don’t think we should have Boy Scout meetings during worship services, any other time is OK with me and I trust it is fine with God. I hope and pray where ever under aged children are gathered God is there with them. If Jesus is not there he is never with any of us. We might need to read again what Jesus said about mistreating children.

  5. Monty says:

    I don’t think using the building is the problem. It’s probably something more along the lines of by giving permission to use the building, it looks like the church itself is condoning people living an openly gay lifestyle. It’s an image issue.

  6. Alabama John says:

    In our community it made the TV nightly news when our local lawyer was shown sending his Eagle Scout badge back.
    This will be fertile ground for Homos and they will go after other young boys. All swimming naked in creeks and rivers was normal for Scouts, but, how about now?
    Its bound to happen. Its like saying its OK to have your child ride somewhere with a drunk with whiskey in the vehicle since we all sin and must understand he is just doing as we do in some other way. Talk about stupid!
    The reaction of the parents of one raped will be interesting at best.
    I would not want to be the Scout Master and have the responsibility of keeping them apart and have that liability. Imagine explaining that liability to your insurance agent and asking for adequate coverage. Think he will take you serious when he stops laughing?

  7. Gary says:

    If most gay men are closeted that is doubly true of gay youth. Almost every Boy Scout troop and sponsoring church already has gays in it. The previous ban served only to ostracize the few gay youth brave enough to come out. These controversies are really about the straight majority wanting gays to stay in the closet so that they will not have to feel uncomfortable around those who are openly gay.

    The real power broker behind this decision is the Mormon church. If they had not ok’ed this change it would not have gone through. They suffered a severe backlash in California after spending millions of dollars to defeat gay marriage there- a result that is likely to be reversed soon by the Supreme Court. (Interestingly the Catholic Church did not experience nearly the same degree of backlash.) Since then the Mormon hierarchy seems to have gone out of its way to take moderate positions on gay rights and on undocumented immigrants as well. They do not want to be seen as a far right religion.

  8. Skip says:

    Some thoughts: 1) How can we influence young men to become Christians if we ban them from the premises? How can we be salt if we isolate ourselves from sinners?
    2) The goal is not to create an environment for young men to come out and be proud of their temptations, rather it is to show them a positive Christian alternative where they can overcome their temptations and live a righteous life. This leads back to point 1).

  9. David Purcell says:

    Why did the homosexual lobby target the Boy Scouts? Was it because they were truly
    interested in youth and wanted to help the scouts? Or did they want to bring down an
    institution and show how powerful they are? Where are the homosexual parents who
    thought they were getting a raw deal?

    I suggest it is because the Boy Scouts promoted family values which is anathema to the
    homosexual agenda. This is not a ‘rights’ issue. What rights were violated by childless
    homosexual partners? Churches that were involved with the Boy Scouts are clearly
    within THEIR right to form separate scouting-like clubs and give the Boy Scouts of
    America over to the homosexual lobby. If that happened let’s see how long their
    interest lasts. This could turn out positively if it is handled sensibly.

    As for churches, coc included, why dance to their tune? I don’t care what activities
    you lease your building for. If you want to provide shelter for the homeless or use it
    AA meetings or take out all those unused pews and make room for a dance studio
    for children in the morning and an art gallery for wine sippers in the evening I
    DON’T CARE.

  10. Charles McLean says:

    While the BSA’s decision is water under the bridge, one interesting objection came from a Baptist leader who noted that the BSA policy simply did not make sense. It allows a homosexual youth to be involved in Scouting, and then bans him from continuing to participate in Scouting as an adult. This is absurd on its face. The BSA, like the Mormons did in this case, are trying to walk a tightrope of making as few people mad as possible, and in a mixing of metaphors, they wind up straddling an uncomfortably-high fence. Instead of making a moral or ethical stand on one side or the other, they merely played the political game as best they could. The priority was to keep the program alive, at whatever cost, but to hold that cost down as much as possible. Pragmatic, but not principled.

    That said, when a church closes its doors to a Scout troop in Oklahoma City because of the BSA’s new policy, a group of kids gets punished for doing nothing wrong and for the actions of adults elsewhere which may change nothing for that troop.

    I am not sure we have seen anybody even propose to do anything wrong. Scouting We have spent considerable time around here discussing homosexual desires versus homosexual acts. If a fourteen year old boy simply says, “I am gay,” exactly how does that act violate scripture again?

  11. Gary says:

    Charles, I agree that, by itself, the BSA half way decision makes no sense. It is an interim decision leading to total acceptance of gays down the road. The departure of many conservatives now from BSA makes that easier.

  12. Gary says:

    I think it is remarkable that lesbianism has not been an issue in the Girl Scouts who have always accepted all girls. Yet I’ve never heard any public outcry against the Girl Scouts. For whatever reasons straight people don’t feel threatened by lesbians but so frequently do irrationally fear gay men. Even in the OT lesbianism is never mentioned.

  13. Chris says:

    So, has the saying “love the sinner and hate the sin,” been changed to “love the sinner and accept the sin?”
    How can you hope to lead someone to Christ if you say there is no need to repent? I think the BSA should have said we don’t turn any one away, but the focus of
    our group is not about sexuality – those lessons are taught in the home and church.

  14. Larry Cheek says:

    I am really amazed at some of the comments. Some that I thought were Christians are saying that they cannot see a problem where a church that owns a building and uses that structure while teaching principles contained in the Bible, then at times when they are not in the building allow any kind of worldly activities into the building to promote anything they desire. As I understand some of the comments, if a pimp, or drug dealer, or an abortion doctor, would approach the church to use the building for his headquarters, while the members of the church were not there the church should willingly allow the use of the facilities because no one sin is any worse than another. The concept being that no Christian is totally without sin therefore even when they are assembled there is sin present. It does appear that the very men that made these comments admitted that the actions that we are discussing is sin. Have you not learned through your studies in scriptures that God is without sin and that where sin is he will not be? Throughout the Bible men were commanded to perform actions to cleanse themselves prior to serving or worshiping God. Moses was commanded to remove his sandals, the High Priest offered sacrifice for cleansing, and no Levite was allowed to serve without a cleansing process. How does this fit into the present message? Christians have been cleansed by Jesus’ Blood and remain cleansed even though they do commit some sins. Therefore, as Christians assemble at the building they have purchased for that purpose, they are to portray the assembly as the temple of God, not only as individual members but the very place that they are assembled. Why do you suppose that Jesus preformed the action of cleansing the Temple? Why would he do that, following the line of thinking that some have expressed? Isn’t the world supposed to see individual Christians as being different from the world (we have been called out, to be different) yet when we are assembled we are again transformed into an image of the world which we had been called from? Individual Christians and Christians assembled are commanded to become Christ like. As you think about that a little, read some of the messages that he communicated to the chosen people, The Jews, can you identify anyplace in his teaching that would leave the impression about condoning or possibly promoting sins like the actions being described by some? Do we really look at the Jews through the messages directed to them in scripture and see that because they were counted as sinners, that it is alright for us on this side of the cross to be seen by the world just as those outside of God’s chosen people saw the Jews? When we assemble regularly together as Christians regardless if it is beside the sea shore, in a large field, inside a building, or where ever the world should notice that that place is even special when we are not there, just because it is a place being used by God’s people. Even a Tavern would be noted by the world if a body of Christians began assembling there for a time being devoted to God. I am sure that you could visualize that those worldly that normally gathered there would soon be uncomfortable enough that they would remove themselves from assembling there and find a place more comfortable to them.

  15. David P Himes says:

    To David Purcell,
    Yes sin is rampant in the churches of Christ. Sin is rampant everywhere. The point of our faith is not that we are sinless, but that we are forgiven and redeemed.

  16. Mark says:

    That is why most Protestant and Catholic Churches have the general public confession right before the Eucharist. Also they say together and out loud the prayer (in the old language) that ends with “not weighing our merits but pardoning our offenses.”

  17. Skip says:

    Why are we devoting so much cyberspace to arguing over gay boyscouts or gays in general? There are many bigger fish to fry such as: dealing with dying churches, seeking and saving the lost, prayer for our nation, combating the threat of radical Islam, putting fire and passion back into discipleship, deeper faith, greater love, …

  18. Charles McLean says:

    So, Larry, are you saying that people who don’t agree with you on the use of church buildings are not really Christians at all? That is what I gathered from your last post and your phrase “some that I thought were Christians”.

    Larry, does the start-up congregation who uses a Holiday Inn meeting room every Sunday have to stop doing so because the Holiday Inn will also rent that room to an atheist group on Monday night? Or is there some “doctrine of dedicated church buildings” of which I am ignorant?

  19. Charles McLean says:

    And the idea of meeting in a tavern so that the worldly people there would eventually become uncomfortable with us Christians and go someplace more carnal is an idea that seems entirely inside out to me. If we want to have a “special” place which keeps unbelievers away and encourages them to avoid us and to retreat to dark and worldly environs, well, I think there are lots of those places already…

  20. Alabama John says:

    The church is where two or three are gathered in my name.
    I have been a part of a church much like that on many occasions with goings on all around us most of you wouldn’t believe.
    God recognized our church and that is what matters!

  21. David Purcell says:

    David

    What I asked is which DAMNING sins are church members guilty of. There is sin that
    leads to death but I haven’t seen any of those happening where I attend. Even the most conservative bodies are sincere in their understanding of scriptures. They just
    apply them unnecessarily a lot of the time, but that is hardly damning.

    Every sin that is damning is listed in scripture. Just don’t commit any of those and
    worship with a clear conscience.

  22. Chris says:

    “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.'” Matthew 21:13
    What does God think of the building where we assemble? I don’t think most of us would feel comfortable hosting a rock concert or poker tournament, not because we hate rock singers or gamblers, but because we don’t condone it.

  23. Gary says:

    So there are damning sins and nondamning sins? James did not think so. According to James 2:10 to disobey one command of God’s law for us is to be guilty of disobeying all of God’s law or will for us. We are either saved by God’s grace or we are lost. There is no class of superior Christians who are saved by not committing “damning sins.” Interesting how “damning sins” are what other people do!

  24. Gary says:

    It is sad indeed today to read in the Christian Chronicle that Members of Churches of Christ for Scouting “vehemently opposed” opening the BSA to openly gay youth. How a traditional understanding of homosexuality justifies discrimination against anyone but especially against innocent children is beyond me. What a sad legacy for Churches of Christ. Once again we are on the wrong side both of history and our loving, compassionate God.

  25. Alabama John says:

    I’ve been involved with thousands of young boys as a child participant, and as an adult coach in various sports and camping, fishing , hunting trips for over 66 years. Raised three sons of our own with my bride of course.

    Boys join the Boy Scouts at 11 years old, Cub Scouts earlier, and I do not believe they would know what gay is at that age. I know none I have known would. They are still children.

    Of course, I expect Gary to correct me by responding and saying they really were but undercover, but, my opinion is just as good as Garys as being gay does not make him right in all aspects of this sinful behavior. To disagree with him makes you suspect as being gay yourself is his comeback, what a negative comment shield to stave of anyone disagreeing with Gary that is.

    Gary sees gay folks everywhere, in great numbers and in all ages, some have just not come out yet. He’s come out openly so that makes him more righteous. That is self-aggrandizement, that’s all and simply understood.

    I believe gays are few, seldom seen, and looked down on as sinners or at best strange by every male and female made in Gods image like Adam and Eve were.

    The USMC would not have one when I served and there were none for good reason. PERIOD!!!

  26. David Purcell says:

    AJ, the Corps and Navy, where I got first exposure to sin and lots of it, would not put
    up with homosexual acts and got you a bad conduct discharge. It was for good reason.
    Men in close quarters for months at a time sure don’t want to be bothered with stuff
    like that. On my ship, out for seven months to Antarctica, a predator would have been
    subject to a late night swim.
    There seems to be some confusion over damning sins and saying hell or damn in a
    weak moment. Thank God the simple mistakes human make are not damnable. We
    have access to forgiveness anytime we stumble. Remember John said the sin that
    leads to death is denying Jesus Christ and causing weak brothers and sisters to do
    likewise. Shaming Christ who died for us leads to death/separation from the Light.
    It’s really not that complicated, rebellion against God leads to loss of the protecting
    grace of our loving God. He wants us to repent of breaching His covenant with us.
    But if you continue to sin willfully His patience ends and doesn’t know you any
    longer. You have become an alien to His benevolence, a dead man walking.

  27. David Purcell says:

    Actually the MCCS of Abilene pleaded with member churches to “stay the course”
    and not abandon the BSA. . . The Christian Chronicle Blog yesterday.

  28. Larry Cheek says:

    Charles,
    In reference to your suspicion. “So, Larry, are you saying that people who don’t agree with you on the use of church buildings are not really Christians at all? That is what I gathered from your last post and your phrase “some that I thought were Christians””.

    When men claim to be Christians and promote concepts that are not at all like the teachings of Christ, I become suspicious that they are very much like the Jews that Jesus addressed when he explained to them; (John 8:44 KJV) Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
    I certainly believe that history proves that are many that claim to be Christians and promote some of Christ’s teachings who have been indoctrinated by the master deceiver who has changed his attack from persecution of the children of God to being an impostor Christian with a purpose to distort the bride of Christ into an unacceptable Bride. Paul testified to that fact; (2 Pet 2:1 KJV) But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
    In light of this information can you assure me or anyone that (all that claim to be Christians) are?
    I’ll attempt to enlighten your understanding about this comment.
    “Larry, does the start-up congregation who uses a Holiday Inn meeting room every Sunday have to stop doing so because the Holiday Inn will also rent that room to an atheist group on Monday night? Or is there some “doctrine of dedicated church buildings” of which I am ignorant?”

    The start up church might possibly post a sign on the door of the rented meeting room while they are there, but we would assume that the sign would be removed when they leave. I know of no individual that would believe that the church owned or had any kind of control over that room beyond their rental agreement, since you mentioned that, “the Holiday Inn will also rent that room to an atheist group on Monday night” I know that you aware of this concept. The only method that I can think of that would bring on the identity that you have described would be if the church took complete control of this room in their rental agreement and placed their identification permanently upon this room then decided to rent this room or even allow users access to this room of the type that you have suggested. Then the integrity of the church would be compromised by their support of whatever events were conducted there.
    This is exactly the situation that I see the churches in that have made commitments not make their facilities available to any organization that teaches other doctrines than they support. I remember Jay telling about the church he attends sharing their building with other denominations during the aftermath of the Tornado in their town, but this is nothing to compare with what we are now discussing. A comparison of the concepts that we are addressing would be more like allowing the first church of Satan to use our facilities, possibly performing sacrificial acts not acceptable within Christianity within the building owned by the church a building that was dedicated to the use of the Saints of God.

    Then you mention; “If we want to have a “special” place which keeps unbelievers away and encourages them to avoid us and to retreat to dark and worldly environs, well, I think there are lots of those places already…” There has never been a message in all scripture that explained to God’s people that they were to go to the other nations, the lost or unbelievers that are not following God’s instructions meet them where they are and become as they are or leave them there. God’s messages have always directed for those following other beliefs was for them to come to him, come out from among those societies or beliefs.
    (2 Cor 6:16 KJV) And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
    Anticipating that you might see that this message was somehow directed to the Old Law, notice the next verse.
    (2 Cor 7:1 KJV) Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 2 Receive us; we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man.

    (Rev 18:4 KJV) And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
    5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.

    God’s people are to be a light in the darkness, a place that draws ungodly people from their darkness. There is no instructions that indicate that we can take a message of God into the unbelievers and they can remain in their previous environment, meaning that a spiritual change and a coming out is absolutely necessary.

  29. Larry Cheek says:

    Now for the ultimate test. Which of you parents understanding that your son is going to be placed into an environment where he may be required to share a private pup tent or be available to be into a totally private secluded area with another boy that sees no wrong in participating in these acts, and of course the Scout Master would be in violation of a child’s rights of privacy if he attempted to teach or control these children that they were not allowed to participate in these acts while under his supervision. Are you going to encourage your sons to become a Boy Scout? Or allow him to participate with any Boy Scout programs? If parents are not alarmed, what about you Grandparents or Great Grandparents? Actually, it may be time for Christians in the churches to begin to teach their own version of the criteria that is taught through the Boy Scouts. Is the association with the organization the important factor, or is it the messages conveyed to the child through the learning process?

  30. Charles McLean says:

    So, Larry, if there is a sign and a lease, it’s sin, but if not, it’s not sin? How long does the rental agreement have to be for? Is six months the biblical minimum? Does the sign have to be glued to the door, or can they use more easily removeable screws? If they use nails on the sign, they are probably Christians, but if the rental agreement is for only three months, then they may NOT be Christians? You’ve created the rules so far; we are going to need a lot more rules if we are to follow your reasoning out to any practical conclusion. Honestly, Larry, I’m trying to take this sort of hair-splitting seriously, but I am having trouble doing so. Your argument sounds more like a room full of rabbis squabbling over whether using a watch with a lighted dial on the Sabbath breaches the prohibition for making fire.

    There is little point is being a light in the darkness if once we have brought the light, we banish those who we approach back into the shadows. Jesus came to save men, not buildings or reputations.

    Larry, there is also a historic debate in the church over whether a Christian can go to war and kill others to support government policy. Should those who believe in such non-violence begin to cast suspicion on the soldier down the street and suggest -using your reasoning- that he might just not be a Christian after all? Jesus never approved his disciples killing anyone, even for political reasons. His teachings run the opposite direction. Are you as suspicious of the man who has killed Afghans or Iraqis as you are of the congregation who lets kids use the church basement to make teepees out of popsicle sticks?

    Your suspicions in this matter seem to me to be highly selective. And your willingness to challenge the salvation of those who don’t oppose what you oppose in strong enough terms to suit you makes ME wonder about just what sort of light it is that you are bringing.

  31. Charles McLean says:

    And Larry, the scenario you paint shows a painful ignorance of the facts of this case, and uses the worst sort of exaggeration and fear-mongering, not for the purpose of preventing any specific harm, but merely to try to swing others’ opinion your direction. If you do consider this fear to be a real one, then the best thing you can do is to become a Scout leader yourself and protect some real boys from the real risks you show such concern about.

    And if the association with the organization is not “the important factor”, what are you so stirred up about in the first place? That seems to be the whole point of your argument. You have sawed the branch off behind you here, my friend.

  32. Charles McLean says:

    I wonder if my conservative brothers have considered that the BSA now provides exclusively heterosexual male leaders and role models to boys who say they are gay…. and whether they see anything positive in that.

    This might be a real blessing if the Christians don’t screw it up.

  33. Skip says:

    At the risk of further fueling BSA fires…shouldn’t there be rules forbidding sexual activity among scouts? Shouldn’t leaders create an environment where boys are not alone together but are supervised?

  34. Gary says:

    Straight Boy Scouts were sure not all celibate in the 60’s when I was a Boy Scout. I’m not sure when celibacy became a requirement for Boy Scouts. In my experience the relationship between troops and their sponsoring churches is often nominal.

  35. Larry Cheek says:

    Charles,
    Did you glean all this from God’s principles learned through reading his instructions or was this a message that you received through the revelations that you claim to receive directly? First of all you were the one that elevated the physical room, building and whatever to the status of (sin) I did not and had no intentions of that being the case. Then using that as a straw man you attempted to kick it, stomp it and destroy it. The one principle that I was addressing is the fact that the church must be seen by the world as being different than the worldly. Your comments have not given me a clue as to why my view of the use of the building owned by the church can become a negative influence upon the church by those that are not members is in error.
    I see that you totally ignored addressing whether we can accept all men that claim to be Christians. Do we have an obligation to apply the messages from Paul that I quoted? If we do then would not my statement be part of the actions we are supposed to analyze? My statement, “When men claim to be Christians and promote concepts that are not at all like the teachings of Christ.” If you don’t agree than please explain your interpretation of how to apply Paul’s teachings.
    In tonight’s post by Jay he has indicated that much of the information about this issue has been distorted, did you see it that way before he offered his conclusions? If you did why did you not explain your thoughts in stead of shooting down a imaginary straw man, criticizing your brother in Christ in a very rude fashion, placing words into his message that were totally out of the direction of the communication?
    Did I really indicate that I was attempting to save, buildings or reputations, and ignore the saving of men? You seem to have read that into my communications. I will affirm that I do believe that Christ’s Bride the church made up of each and all Christians must be seen by the world as a representation of more than being filled with the men that are no different than worldly men. Those professing to follow Christ must display that there has been a change in their worldly views. Of course all worldly men will not see them as sinless because they are not, but one of the attributes that the world must see is their love for each other and for God. The worldly sometimes shows a higher quality of love for each other than Christians display, but the worldly does not love God.

    Charles, I want to ask you how you came to this conclusion. “And if the association with the organization is not “the important factor”, what are you so stirred up about in the first place? That seems to be the whole point of your argument. You have sawed the branch off behind you here, my friend.”
    I thought that my communication was directed in exactly the opposite of your conclusion. I have never considered the organization so prestigious or important, the credentials that are obtained in the BSA has never been a factor of consideration in any job application that I am aware of, and I have seen very few adults, in fact I don’t remember any adults stating that they relied upon their credentials as a Scout to offer them any benefits in their lives. Now, that I have said that, I am not trying to minimize the value of the values they have learned in the Scouts being applied in their lives, but the Scouts are not the only source for similar learning that can be applied to life.

  36. Charles McLean says:

    The Scouts have always considered the term “morally straight” in the scout oath to include not engaging in immoral sex. Takes a pretty dark set of sunglasses not to be able to see this as a part of their history and culture.

  37. Charles McLean says:

    Larry, when you start your post with ad hominem, I know your arguments are getting weaker, and sure enough, when I read them, that turns out to be the case.

    As to where I get my argument, “Love one another as I have loved you” is a solid enough basis for me on this topic.

    As to Christians who are not really Christians at all: To speak plainly, I question that you have the wisdom to determine who is a Christian and who is not based on a person’s response to a policy of a national civic group, which is the task you seem to be taking upon yourself. That pretty much covers my response to your lengthy concerns about false brethren. I’m sure they are out there and I am equally sure I don’t trust your judgment to identify them.

    My previous post was a response to your post, and if you did not mean it the way it sounded, I’ll take your word for it. My argument was based on your words themselves; I don’t read minds. Again, if you will note, my sharp response is to your ideas themselves and to the conclusions to which they appear to lead. I don’t stoop to ad hominem. If you find me doing so, please point it out and I will correct it.

    And having once pointed out that your argument contradicts itself, I won’t take it upon myself to reprise it. The reader can judge it for himself. The fact that you don’t see the contradiction does not surprise. In fact, I imagine that you would never have offered the argument if you had been able to see that contradiction.

  38. Larry Cheek says:

    Charles,
    You stated, “I don’t stoop to ad hominem. If you find me doing so, please point it out and I will correct it.” I have not been able to identify your corrections of any of my communication in your response following; “And Larry, the scenario you paint shows a painful ignorance of the facts of this case, and uses the worst sort of exaggeration and fear-mongering, not for the purpose of preventing any specific harm, but merely to try to swing others’ opinion your direction.” I would have to guess that you did not address a specific point because you thought that the whole message disagreed with your concepts. That has to be your concept because you did not direct me to any messages in scripture to correct my understanding. I used the scriptures and examples in scriptures as much as possible so you and others can observe by what authority I was communicating. Unless I would pull the scriptures out of context they would be the authority, if I did pull them out of context then you could easily refute my message with the correct message from scripture. I noticed though that your message to me above is not like any messages I have read in scripture, have you found or can you find in scripture where any of God’s messengers ever delivered such a message to anyone? You do claim to be a Christian. Should I expect that Christ would have communicated to me in the fashion that you have?
    I wonder do you really know what ad hominem is? I will admit in the area of the world that I live in I have never heard the term used, therefore I was ignorant of the meaning. I thought since I had been accused of performing this action I really needed to find the definition, when I found it and read it I became very curious if you really understood it when I reread your comment. Notice the definition; From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, An ad hominem (Latin for “to the man” or “to the person”[1]), short for argumentum ad hominem, is an argument made personally against an opponent instead of against their argument.[2] Ad hominem reasoning is normally described as an informal fallacy,[3][4][5] more precisely an irrelevance.[6]

    This is the portion the really caught my attention, ad hominem, is an argument made personally against an opponent instead of against their argument.

    Well I thought that this explained the term, then as I reread again your post to me, “And Larry, the scenario you paint shows a painful ignorance of the facts of this case, and uses the worst sort of exaggeration and fear-mongering, not for the purpose of preventing any specific harm, but merely to try to swing others’ opinion your direction.” I really have a problem not identifying this as what is being described in the definition of (ad hominem). Charles, can you help to clarify if there is a different definition that you were referring to.

  39. Charles McLean says:

    Larry, I am well acquainted with the ad hominem fallacy in argument. In your case, it appeared to me that you were mocking my hearing from the Holy Spirit in some way besides from the words of the canonical text, rather than addressing the substance of my argument. A classic ad hominem. Now, if you ARE taking such extra-biblical revelation seriously, please advise. I will take your word for it and change my opinion of your statement. And while my criticism of your position was somewhat sharp, it was a criticism of your argument and your rhetoric, not a slap at the person offering it.

    You seem to be quite offended that I sharply disagree with you and you seem befuddled that anyone could be a Christian and speak to you in such a manner. You ask if I can show you that Jesus would speak to anyone in such a manner. I refer you to Matthew 15:1-14, all of Matthew 23, and Luke 13:10-17. Compared to these exchanges, I am all sweetness and light. Jesus blasted these people personally; all I did was continue to point out the folly of your argument. You seem to be unaccustomed to anyone doing this, or at least doing so rationally. I do not know your own circumstance, but I find such a reaction quite common among folks whose church experience seldom allows internal dissent on things of significance.

  40. Larry Cheek says:

    Charles,
    You stated.
    “In your case, it appeared to me that you were mocking my hearing from the Holy Spirit in some way besides from the words of the canonical text, rather than addressing the substance of my argument.”

    I really was not aware that you thought that you needed to be so protective of the messages that you claim to be able to receive that you would jump to the conclusion that, I was attacking it while asking you to identify your source of authority for your conclusion. Since I have never received that kind of revelation (and I read in the scriptures that they are; (2 Tim 3:16 NIV) All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.)) I believe that your revelations will coincide perfectly with the scriptures; therefore, understanding your source would help me to locate the likeness in scripture since you did not identify it. I also noticed you must equate these revelations with the canonical text.

    Evidently, you did not notice that the messages you referred me to was Jesus communicating to the Jews that did not accept him. He was not speaking to Christians in, Matthew 15:1-14, all of Matthew 23, and Luke 13:10-17. If this is supposed to be an example that could somewhat authorize your communicating to me and considering your statement, “To speak plainly, I question that you have the wisdom to determine who is a Christian and who is not based on a person’s response to a policy of a national civic group, which is the task you seem to be taking upon yourself.” It appears to me that you must consider me in the same context that I used to make the statement from comments read. Whereas I saw that a persons comments can provide incite into their association and dedication with Christianity. In very simple words you seem to believe that I am not a Christian.

    I really understood that the Word of God was to be learned in such a way that all Christians were to become capable of identifying false teachers, we must not rely totally upon the scribes, lawyers or highly educated to identify these teachers for us. We know through history of the Jewish nation who was the most deceived. Do you really believe that the same principles cannot exist today? As I ponder your statement regarding false teachers, “I’m sure they are out there and I am equally sure I don’t trust your judgment to identify them.” Is (sure) the same as “know”? You have informed me that, “I don’t trust your judgment to identify them.” Let me assure you that my judgment is not supposed to be the authority, but when I compare the instructions in scripture that explain what a false teacher looks like or acts like and find someone matching that description, I would be in violation of God’s Word if I used my judgment to accept that person or his teachings to be faithful servant or to be a faithful message of God. All throughout history God’s servants have used God’s Word to identify prophets of other religions, Baal etc;. If only the leaders were endowed with the ability to identify error, then the common servant of God could not have been held accountable for being deceived.

  41. Charles McLean says:

    I feel like a man following the elephant at the parade. No matter how far along we go, I have to do the same job over and over. The quantity of the work before me shows no sign of abating, so I think I will retire my shovel for now. The floor is yours.

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