Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Reflection on the Past Six Months - Heartbroken

Dear Friends,

I am heartbroken.

It has been six weeks since the Boy Scouts of America made the historical decision to change their membership standards for youth.  And it has been six months since I first heard murmurs on a national level that this topic was a source of discussion and apparent quick action.

After years of promoting BSA to the thousands of families seeking a brother program for their AHG daughter, after years of learning best practices from BSA while sharing some of our own, after years of building relationships with the various departments of the National  Council and ultimately creating a program of Ambassador to the Boy Scout Council (with all the training, vetting and tracking necessary for success), after many airplane trips to Irving and places beyond, many hours of standing at AHG/BSA exhibit booths at homeschool conventions, Children’s Pastor Conferences, BSA Annual Meetings, AHG Conventions and the like -- I am heartbroken. 

I am heartbroken not because of AHG’s investment in the relationship with the Boy Scouts of America, nor because of my personal time commitment and lost friendships, but heartbroken for the youth of our country.
 
Today’s youth deserve to know truth.  Today’s youth desire to be loved.  Today’s youth desire to experience joy.  Today’s youth deserve love that is filled with truth that results in joy- filled living. 

But in the place of authentic truth, joy and love, today’s youth are inundated with an onslaught of pro-gay media and a culture that celebrates promiscuity over the truthful personification of the  dignity of male and female sexuality given in a covenant of marriage. Lyrics like “I can’t change, even if I tried, even if I wanted to” from hit hip hop artist “Macklemore” and sitcoms like “The Fosters” and “Mistresses”  shape the minds and hearts of today’s kids far more than the Book of Genesis.  It is no wonder I grieve for today’s youth.

I am the first to say that I have a heart for people – all people.  I have great empathy for all of my fellow, fragile, broken, human beings.  I too, am a fragile, broken sinner who is in great need of redemption.   But I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my God is a great lover of His people and He has enough love to change our brokenness into wholeness if we turn to Him and follow His commands so lovingly written in the Scriptures. 

I believe my heartache over the BSA change in membership standards is because I love kids so much that I truly care for their well-being.  Placing a stereotype and a label on a child who is struggling is easy-- loving him/her enough to share the truth of his Creator, is not.  I choose to do the latter, and I pray that you will too.  We owe this to our Father and to the next generation.

Father God, I pray for you to speak through me as I share your love with others.  May my words be gentle, but Your message strong as I exert the moral courage necessary to bring truth in love to the youth of today.  In the name of Your precious Son Jesus, I pray.

Until Next Time,
Patti


Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. – Proverbs 22:6

8 comments:

Fiddledeedee said...

Patti, that was beautifully spoken.

Beach Mama said...

You expressed this beautifully. My family has been a "Boy Scout" family for 16 years. My husband, an assistant troop leader, talked with our son (1st Class Rank) last week that we are leaving Scouting. It has been heart wrenching watching my husband and son deal with this loss. It has been so much a part of our lives. On the bright side, AHG will become a part of our lives now that our daughters are old enough to participate.

Paul Dunham said...

"Placing a stereotype and a label on a child who is struggling is easy-- loving him/her enough to share the truth of his Creator, is not. I choose to do the latter, and I pray that you will too. We owe this to our Father and to the next generation."

I agree totally with this statement. I find it hard to share the love of Christ with someone I've turned away. If we turn away youth based on their supposed sexuality, how can we teach them the truth? They will never be there for that.

I am an Eagle Scout from the 1980s. The 'historical standard' of BSA that is being lamented wasn't even in place then. The change they just did basically went back- for the boys- to the standards in place when I was a Boy Scout. My family is actively involved in both AHG & BSA, as is my church. The greatest impact on us from the recent changes are not from BSA's changes but from AHG's.

In our youth and children's ministry throughout the church, we do not tell any child they cannot participate. I'm disappointed that AHG seems to be pushing against that, and in their leadership's hasty response to the BSA changes they have made life harder for us. And I say this, remember, as one who agrees that homosexual practice is incompatible with Christian teaching, just as alcoholism, gluttony, gossip, indifference to suffering and being unloving are also incompatible with Christian teaching. Of course, I don't kick kids out of my program for those sins either- I love them enough to keep them close so I can share the freedom of Christ while sanctification blossoms in them.

Anita said...

Beautiful, Patti. I share your heartache. I feel sorrow that so great a program has been swept into the current of the modern trends. I feel personal sorrow. I watched my little Tiger Cub weep when we told him we could not go back in the fall. I feel sorrow that my own sister who lives a different "lifestyle" sees the truth as hate, when all I feel for her is love. I feel sorrow for all the kids who will be raised with such twisted views.

But it was during a similar time of heartbreak watching things happen in our government that I decided that while I cannot change it all, I can do this one little thing. I started a Troop in my town so that I can stand on the side of right and provide a haven for the purity and innocence of our girls.

Thank you so much for starting AHG and for being a voice crying out in the wilderness, a light set upon the hill. My prayer for you and for AHG is for perseverance in truth and courage under persecution.
Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

AHG Blog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AHG Blog said...

Paul. AHG and the Charter Organization do work with girls who may be experiencing these feelings. If they continually act out sexually and insist not to maintain a code of purity, they have chosen to exclude themselves, not AHG. Most organizations have a code of conduct, particularly those who desire to develop character. Please see AHG's Living a Life of Virtue statement @ http://www.ahgonline.org/pages/page.asp?page_id=278603

Scouter mom said...

The National Catholic Committee on Scouting made a great statement, which I agree with:

"The statement from the NCCS said that the Catholic Church teaches that people "who experience a homosexual inclination or a same sex attraction are to be treated with respect recognizing the dignity of all persons."

"The church's teaching is clear that engaging in sexual activity outside of marriage is immoral," it continued. "Individuals who are open and avowed homosexuals promoting and engaging in homosexual conduct are not living lives consistent with Catholic teaching."

In a separate statement, the Washington Archdiocese said the Boy Scouts of America policy change "does not affect the teachings of the Catholic Church and the manner in which the Archdiocese of Washington conducts the Scouting programs under its purview."

"Scouting programs seek to instill the importance of duty to God and to country, and groups chartered through the Catholic Church witness to the faith while continuing to provide an opportunity to involve youth in the life of the local parish," it said in a statement.

"The church, through its clergy and lay leaders, has the responsibility to teach the Gospel and encourage all people to live out the teachings of Christ -- regardless of their sexual preference," it added.

The Denver Archdiocese in a statement said that the Catholic Church "agrees that no group should reduce a person to their sexual orientation or proclivity. However, the moral formation of youth must include a firm commitment to respecting and promoting an authentic vision of sexuality rooted in the Gospel itself."

cynthia2156 said...

Thank you Patti. I too have found this whole thing heartbreaking. We had a family troop-AHG, Cubs and Scouts all meeting at the same time.
The day of the vote most boy families quit BSA and all are heading in various directions. This vote has cost me not only our BSA membrship which was a treasured thing, we will miss our firends who are finding other organizations to join and some of our girls who will no longer be in AHG since their brothers will not longer be coming.

We will be starting a Faith based boys troop to replace our BSA troop but will have to start ALL over again recruiting new leaders, getting the necessary training etc. Hours of meetings and planning all as a result of this vote.

Taking solace in the fact that the new group will be awesome and we will be founding members. God WILL bring good from this pain.

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