The Boy Scouts voted today to drop their long-standing prohibition on gay members (gay adult leaders will still not be allowed). A lot of scout troops are sponsored by churches, many of which have taken stances on homosexuality. Apparently, for some churches, that stance will now include dropping their Scout affiliation.
Essentially, these churches are saying that if LGBTQ kids want to join scouts, they're not welcome. They're not welcome because the church doesn't want them in their troop. The kids aren't welcome because apparently the church thinks that homosexuality is a quality in a kid that disqualifies that child from participating in church activities.
I wonder what other qualities are disqualifying, especially according to the Bible?
Lying? That's a big one. And I'd like to see a show of hands of all people who can claim never to have lied as a kid. Anyone? Still waiting. Nope, I don't see that hand.
Rebelling against parents? Another major no-no. In fact, that one could have gotten you the death penalty in ancient Israel.
Idolatry? Show me a kid with an Xbox and I'll show you someone who is at risk for idolatry. Not good.
Gossip? Wow, do kids like to spread stories about each other, and it can ruin relationships.
So why are some churches drawing the line at homosexuality, barring the door and putting up the "not welcome" sign for gay youth?
But if these churches would keep their eyes on Jesus, as the Bible also commands, they would see Him hanging out with those who have been marginalized by society: the woman at the well; the woman who crashed the party to kiss His feet; the tax collectors and sinners of Matthew 9:10-13.
Jesus lived on the margins of society because that's where the people who need Him are. “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick,” He said. “But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Drop the Boy Scouts because they allow gay members? The churches considering such action should instead be throwing a party and inviting them to come on in. Then all involved will see Jesus. He'll be walking alongside the other invitees.