Thursday, June 13, 2013

Southern Baptists Adopt Resolution On Boy Scouts; Public Policy Spokesman Talks With Reporters

During its annual meeting yesterday, the Southern Baptist Convention adopted a lengthy resolution expressing the denomination's "continued opposition to and disappointment in the decision of the Boy Scouts of America to change its membership policy" to allow gays to become members of the Scouts.  (See prior posting.)  The resolution expressed concern that this may be the first step toward approving homosexual scout leaders. The resolution went on to:
affirm the right of all families and churches prayerfully to assess their continued relationship with the BSA, expressing our support for those churches and families that as a matter of conscience can no longer be part of the Scouting family....
we encourage churches and families that remain in the Boy Scouts to seek to impact as many boys as possible with the life-changing Gospel of Jesus Christ, to work toward the reversal of this new membership policy.... 
we declare our love in Christ for all young people regardless of their perceived sexual orientation, praying that God will bring all youth into a saving knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The resolution encourages churches that sever ties with the Scouts to expand their Royal Ambassador ministry program for boys. Baptist Press has a report along with the full text of the resolution.

At the meeting, Russell Moore, newly elected president of the Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission held his first press conference. (BP report.) He told reporters that religious liberty has become the most significant issue in American culture. Focusing on engagement with the broader society, he said that "expressions of outrage, boycotts consistently against everyone who doesn't conform to our sense of values [are] not an effective way to engage culture." On politics, he said: "[T]he church of Jesus Christ is not owned by any political party and shouldn't be co-opted by any political party."

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