A millennial’s response…to SBC’s potential issues of Homosexuality and Boy Scouts

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I am posting a millennial’s response to a USA article written by Bob Smietana, entitled “Baptists consider dropping Boy Scouts” an issue that SBC will discuss and consider today. I am praying for our convention. As a pastor that leads a church that is made up mainly of millennial’s,these types of issues really makes it difficult to do ministry in the area in which I serve.

First I am posting the link to the article, then I am posting this young mans initial response after reading the article, then you will read my response and his answer to my response

I would love to hear from you and how you feel about this issue?

http://m.usatoday.com/article/news/2413471

His response after reading the article

Things like this is why the SBC will not ever lead any movements to reach the next generation. What good does this do? Will they vote to stop supporting the military next? After all, the military “allow gays”. Maybe they should vote to ban supporting any political figures of any party because they are all liars, and I believe lying is a sin according to God. Lets boycott everything, because that accomplishes so much. I grew up Southern Baptist. I get the culture of the SBC. I know about all the good the SBC does in certain areas of ministry. I understand all that and this stuff still drives me insane. If this bothers a child of SBC upbringing how much more does a lost world look at these shenanigans and dismiss the SBC? Look no further than the reader comments at the bottom of the article.

My response to his original statement

I agree, but I can also see the slippery slide that the ethics commission (SBC) have to deal with. What is the answer?

His answer…

The answer? Well first of all I think SBC is too far gone to be the engine of real change for the current & future generations, at least in America. They’ve burned too many bridges & created a “brand” that many unchurched want nothing to do with.

But on this particular issue what is the answer? Easy, there’s not an issue. They created one. Just like the 10 commandments monument in Starke. They are creating a controversy then are going to “stand firm”. Any employer in America isn’t allowed to discriminate based on sexual orientation. Do we boycott them because they “allow gays”? No, that’s absurd. Allowing a sinner of a particular type to join a civic organization is a far cry from an endorsement of homosexuality. The slippery slope isn’t the acceptance of sin, but the legalistic shunning of, ultimately, EVERYONE. We should not endorse homosexuality, but we shouldn’t single it out either. The Boy Scouts are a good organization. They are simply saying they won’t turn these people away. I have no problem with that.

As the church collective, the issue of homosexuality needs to be approached in 2 particular ways:

1. Don’t approach it by being against “homosexuality”, but preach & prove that the Bible teaches that sex is for one man & one woman in a married, monogamous relationship. After you’ve established that, you can address not only homosexuality but all sexual sin.

2. Deal with it directly on an individual level. Don’t attack the collective group. Someone who has a relationship with an individual is more likely to listened to and not be called a “bigot” because you can show that individual that you care for & respect them, while still disagreeing on a particular issue. Furthermore, on the individual level you can methodically explain WHY your faith believes this and that we aren’t just “gay haters”.

A vote up or down for the Boy Scouts ultimately means nothing. The fact that they are having the vote at all is enough to show they are completely out of touch.

Now, if the Boy Scouts became a big gay front group and started pushing an agenda of homosexuality, that’s a different issue. I still think it doesn’t need and SBC vote, but should be handled at the individual & church level.

Anyone else have any thoughts? What do I know? I have no formal training like the mighty old men in suits from the SBC. This just seems common sense to me. Correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t Jesus typically deal with sin at the individual level? In fact, as I remember it, and I could be wrong, but the only times he called out whole groups of people for their sin was when he was talking to the RELIGIOUS elites. Like I said, I could be wrong, but that was just a thought.

What do you think?

  • Soula Dortch

    I could not have expressed this as you did, but I agree with you. If it were not for my very loving Sunday School class that has been so supportive of me during some tough times, I would have no problem leaving my Southern Baptist Church. For the past few years I have been in disagreement with them on several issues.

  • Michelle Benefield

    I am in agreement with the original responder. The SBC should not be voting at all. The Boy Scouts are a good organization whom meet at many places of worship and have a positive impact on communities throughout the USA. Targeting individuals is the better approach. I am a new Christian but have spent most of my life as a child, teen, and young adult growing up on church. I am part of the millennial generation.

  • John Claunch

    Bro. Jeff.

    It’s very encouraging, as a Christian, to see pastors like yourself approach this issue from a more even tempered and rational standpoint than most pastors would in the SBC. Kristi and I made a joint decision to find a “middle of the road” church to attend back when we were dating over the hyper-politicization prevalent in the Southern Baptist Church. I grew up Methodist, where even very conservative factions of the Church believed in keeping politics out of the pulpit.

    This is not to say I don’t believe Christians should stand up for what they believe in the public square, but I do believe they should pick their battles. Things like the plight of poverty, the atrocity of the sex-trafficking industry, and the killing of Christians in the Middle East should, in my opinion, hold a much bigger platform of argument than whether or not gays should be openly accepted in society.

    In my personal faith, I have had to struggle with many different things I have learned in school, in my workplace, and in personal experience that conflict with fundamentalist Christian beliefs. It has lead to me challenging many things that I learned as a child. In some ways, it has broadened my view of God and taught me to be more loving and kind to people who are different than me, in others it has lead me to throw out some beliefs that seem more destructive and hurtful than loving and uplifting. When it comes to the issue of homosexuality, I have decided that whether or not its a choice to sin or a genetic disposition that people are born with, it not worth beating the war drum over to prove the traditional biblical viewpoint. I have accepted gay people at least deserve to be treated with respect. They should be allowed to get married in a court of law. They should be allowed to be a boy scout or a boy scout leader. If most conservative Christians took the time to get to know a few in the homosexual community like I have, they would know they aren’t any more prone to pedophilia than a straight person or pose a threat to traditional marriage.

    Anyway, I know most in the SBC won’t agree with me and that’s ok. But, one day those in traditional Christian circles are going to have to decide whether it’s more important to be “right” or to bring people to a loving understanding of Christ.

    Just my two cents. Take it for what it’s worth.

  • Dennis Shelton

    Jeff,
    Thank you for presenting this in such a great way. I find myself sighing and shaking my head when the SBC starts releasing statements. It seems that the “men in suits” have lost track of the sinner and are focusing on irrelevant issues. In John 8, a bunch of church leaders lost focus on the sinner, and, in the end, walked away convicted of their own sin. I find it telling that while the church leaders in that passage were begging for judgement, Jesus was ignoring them.

    I think that happens now.

    When all of the church leaders left the presence of the adulteress, and it was just her and Jesus – THAT was when her life changed forever. i ask myself… do I have to leave the room for Jesus to change someone’s life?

    I certainly hope not.

    I pray that I am never a “man in a suit” I would rather emulate a dusty carpenter that loves people no matter what.

  • Vikki Pearce

    People are funning and oft times church members are the funniest! The longer you have been a part of the church the more you morph into doctrine and “traditions” of that faith. Gone are the days when you “tried the spirit” to see if it were true. It became easier to say to ourselves the Pastor said it so it must be true- forget looking it up. It also becomes easier to live by the list of do’s and don’ts becuase that’s how everyone will perceive if you’re a good Christian or not. A while back I had a teenage girl come to the house doing a school project. She wanted to video my response to gay people as a Christian. I said sure and I told her God loves eveyone regardless of their sin, doesn’t mean that He wants us to stay in it, but if He could love me in my sin then I must love others in theirs as well for I am loving THEM not their sin.
    So as you may gather I am not a millenial but I am saved by grace and can love all because He first loved me!
    Does the SBC need to vote,probably not, but don’t just leave it in their lap because Independant Baptists would also take a vote. We have this fear sin will rub off on us.Just remember this As a man thinks, so is he. If our eyes are on God he will cast out our fears. Stay in the Word. God gives us faithful men to lead us and I love my Pastor, but he is human, so if he should go off the deep end, I’ll hold to God’s unchanging hand and follow God not man! Teach the truth not man’s traditions.

  • Ben Rivers

    I think that the Southern Baptist Convention, its messengers and the “men in suits” handled this topic of concern very well.
    It is important to note that “A resolution has traditionally been defined as an expression of opinion or concern, as compared to a motion, which calls for action. A resolution is not used to direct an entity of the Southern Baptist Convention to specific action other than to communicate the opinion or concern expressed,” as stated on the SBC website.
    The SBC did not “vote to ban” the support of the Boy Scouts of America. The SBC simply expressed its opinion of concern on the topic at hand. The resolution, which is what was discussed at the annual meeting of the SBC, was not intended to direct any entity of the SBC to specific action, as stated. Rather, the purpose was to communicate the opinion or concern expressed.
    The resolution (in a nutshell) stated that the SBC is opposed to the policy change of the BSA and that 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. I am in agreement with this.
    The SBC, how I understand, is not responsible for any church or entity in the SBC not affiliating with or participating with the BSA. The SBC merely encourages prayerful consideration and the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
    I encourage people to read what was actually resolved during the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention regarding the Boy Scouts of America, rather than getting all of your information from a journalist reporting on what happened. You can access this information at http://www.sbc.org.

    The Southern Baptist Convention never was, is not, and never will be “the engine for real change” in ANY generation. However, the life-changing Gospel of Jesus Christ has, is, and always will be the engine for real change in every generation. And to share that Gospel, as I heard over and over during the annual meeting, is the entire purpose of the Southern Baptist Convention.