The Conference of Presidents was asked to review the current Scouting organization to determine whether Scouting has changed in a way that would remove the objectionable features.
Our synod has consistently voiced its objections to Scouting for several reasons:
- Scouting promotes a religion that contradicts the Scriptures. A Scout is to “do his duty to God” without the means or motivation that faith in Christ provides.
- Scouting urges each Scout to “do his duty to God” without naming who this God is or urging that honor be given alone to the triune God of the Scriptures.
- Scouting promotes prayers, devotions, and worship that refuse to insist that Christ is the only way to salvation and that without him there is no salvation.
- Scouting promotes a religious unionism that does not distinguish between Christian denominations nor between Christian and non-Christian churches.
In a 12-lesson study on Scouting prepared under the auspices of the Conference of Presidents for use in our congregations, Scripture and quotations taken directly from Scouting resources point out that essentially nothing in Scouting has changed. In fact, some changes in the organization have added new concerns. Scouting has taken the step to open its doors to participants and leaders who espouse a view of sexuality that contradicts the Scriptures.
While public documents and manuals of the Scouting organization have been scrubbed and sanitized to remove many references to Scouting’s religious nature and practices, it is evident that in substance nothing has changed. Scouting still contains religious elements and espouses a religious philosophy that runs counter to the Scriptures and promotes the worship of a deity that is not the God who has revealed himself to us in his Word.
The Bible study can be found online at welscongregationalservices.net.
Parents and congregations that are looking to provide their children with an experience similar to Scouting (but based on biblical principles that are consistent with our beliefs), should consider Lutheran Pioneers or Lutheran Girl Pioneers. These are WELS organizations that provide materials and resources to enable congregations to conduct a ministry that features activities, skills training, leadership development, and devotional opportunities to boys and girls within our fellowship. Your congregation may already have a chapter; if not, anyone interested in starting a chapter can learn more at lutheranpioneers.org or lgp.org.
Submitted by President Mark Schroeder and the WELS Conference of Presidents
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