Monthly Archives: June 2013

Should I stay or should I go? What I’m thinking about my involvement with the Boy Scouts of America.

Also Read: Philippians 1:1-30; 1 Corinthians 5:9-13

The other day I had the opportunity to sit down with a fellow believer who is involved in Boy Scouts as a leader. I also serve as an assistant Boy Scout leader. Since the passing of the newest capitulation to the gay lobby, the boy Scouts of America are now accepting openly gay scouts; but denying openly gay leaders access. This other leader asked me about my resolve to stay active in the Boy Scouts, because he was wrestling with the need to withdraw. I am hearing of Churches all over the country who once sponsored the scouts but are dropping their sponsorships and kicking the scouts out – should he, and should I follow suit? Is it right that I, and my son continue to take part in an organization that has, with the proverbial stroke of a pen, redefined what it means to be “morally straight”?

My friend asked, “Tom, In terms of Boy Scouts I am struggling with this and would love your perspective. On one hand, I am morally outraged at the activism that is seeking to tear down Christian values and insert themselves into institutions that have upheld those values. The Boy Scouts are the latest example, but also church denominations that ordain homosexual clergy. But as a parent of a Boy Scout and a leader in Scouts I find it hard to accept this change and stay in Scouts. Then as a Christian …I find myself wondering if I should be staying in Scouts as a witness.”

Brother, I feel your pain.

The NORMAL Christian Life Read: 1 Samuel 17:1-54

The Christian life is not an action movie. But neither is any part of real life. In an action movie the hero might be suddenly awakened to discover that his life is in danger and only through amazing luck and daring fight moves does he manage to get dressed, find his weapon, outrun the bad guy, and find a fast car while still managing to get breakfast. He punctuates his scrambled eggs with a high speed chase through crowded city streets and after a flight to Hong-Kong finds himself staring the super villain in the eyes in a fight to the finish dual that involves amazing choreography, three handguns, an ancient vase and a host of witty puns and wry grins. When the smoke clears he’s back in his apartment straightening up his bow-tie as he prepares for a dinner party.
Based on some of the missionary letters I’ve seen, we might think that every day on the mission field is the way the Christian life is meant to be lived – they’re talking to natives, hacking through the jungles with machete’s, or planting churches in a new village every week with at least a thousand new converts on their way to becoming pastors. Look at Christian advertising and you get questions like, “Is your church on the road to impact?” Another one shouts, “We partner with you till your project is a success!” Another one pictures a group of smiling children running because they’ve been blessed by Jesus. That one guarantees revival, the other one promises to answer all your questions, grow your church, grant your dreams, and wash away all of your problems for the base price of $299 depending on your congregational size.
Based on some of the book titles out there we’re supposed to be Radical, Happy, happy happy, or telling people about our dreams and out of body experiences. Half the titles out there sound like someone in the marketing department opened up their thesaurus to “speed freak”, “cool”, or “special” and sought out every manipulative word they could find.
But amid all of the jargon it’s gotten me wondering this: What is the portrait of the normal Christian life in Scripture, as opposed to the action movie version of Christianity that is sold in stores today? I think the answer might leave you surprised, relieved, and more than a little challenged.