Telling the Truth in Love
A response to the BSA policy change regarding homosexual membership
The Elders of Haysville Christian Church (August 2013)
At Haysville Christian Church we are striving to be, “All about Love.” The Bible states that, “God is love.” The fullest expression of God’s love for us is found in the sacrificial death of Jesus. The two greatest commandments tell us to, “Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love your neighbor as yourself.”
As Christians we are to be the most loving people in the world. We love because God first loved us. All of us are sinners and all of us are in need of God’s grace and forgiveness found in Jesus. However, as followers of Jesus we are also called to, “share the truth in love.” We are called to have the “mind” of Christ as well as the “heart” of Christ. We receive God’s gift of grace but we are also challenged to “go and sin no more.”
With regards to sexuality we challenge all people to live out the sexual ethics taught in the Scriptures–which encourages full sexual expression between a man and a woman in the context of marriage, and prescribes sexual abstinence and purity for everybody else.
But even as we challenge all of our people to these Biblical standards, we do so with grace-filled spirits, knowing the confusion and brokenness that is rampant in our fallen world. At HCC we honor the journey of everyone who is sincerely attempting to follow Christ.
However, there has been a movement in our culture which seeks to redefine sexual expression and the covenant of marriage. There is a movement, and there has been for some time, to equate homosexuality with heterosexuality. It is our opinion that the recent change in the Boy Scouts of America’s membership policy to include homosexuals was due to this influence.
In 2000 the landmark Supreme Court decision stated, BSA is a private organization with freedom of association to determine its own membership standards, upholding BSA’s policy not to allow homosexual leaders or members. BSA stated at the time that a departure from that longstanding policy would undermine its purpose of guiding boys to keep themselves “morally straight,” which is part of the Boy Scout Oath. Last summer a panel was selected to review the policy issue and their recommendations were to uphold the longstanding policy regarding homosexuals. This spring however, a group of executive BSA leaders by use of a push poll insured the policy change. In doing so the BSA has now equated homosexual and heterosexual relationships.
To their credit the BSA upheld their policy of not allowing gay leaders, however we see this as a change that will also take place in the near future. What happens when an openly gay Scout wants to advance to the rank of Eagle? All Eagle Scouts are charged to serve Scouting as adults. The policy change has also left the BSA with two sets of standards, one for youth and another for adult leaders. An organization based on morality should not need two sets of standards relating to sexual conduct.
Yes, we all need to demonstrate compassion and welcome those who are struggling with sexuality issues, but not in a way that condones such behavior. As followers of Jesus we cannot change the truth to fit current popular trends. To do so would be unloving. We must continue to tell the truth in love.
So it was with heavy hearts that the Eldership of HCC unanimously decided not to renew our charter with The Boy Scouts of America for 2014.
We encourage all of you to keep the Scouts, Troop 895, and our congregation in your prayers as we work through this change together in a way that honors Christ, builds His Kingdom, and builds our love and respect for one another.
To Troop 895-BSA. You have been a tremendous blessing to our congregation. Your leaders and this congregation have invested much over the past years to assure the best quality of Scouting available. YOU have done nothing wrong! Your sponsoring Church has done nothing wrong! Your Executive Leaders have forced us into this position, and as true Scouts, and as followers of Jesus, we will stand for the truth. We will continue our Duty to God. We will continue to encourage one another to be “morally straight.” We will love one another, and those who do not agree with us. But out of love, we will speak the truth.
To the gay community, you matter to God and you matter to us, but your ideas of restructuring the family in the ways that you are suggesting is not a plan that Christ followers can endorse. It is not because we are homophobic, or intolerant. It is not because we are unloving or have calloused hearts. It is because as, “Christ followers,” we have learned to trust the wisdom of God and recognize His sovereignty in all of our relationships.
In Christ love,
The Elders of Haysville Christian Church
Pastor Kurt Henson