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美國第二大基督教宗派美南浸信會聯會(The Southern Baptist Convention),於 2013 年 6 月 12 日在該聯會年會上,以推動同性戀者參軍且未征求聯會意見為由,決議開除所有渉事的男童子軍執行官會籍,但決議並未渉及各地方教會如何處理其與男童子軍軍團的關係。詳情請參閱以下的英文報導。

Big Baptist group urges ouster of Boy Scout execs

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) – The Southern Baptist Convention, the country's second largest church, called for the ouster on Wednesday of Boy Scout executives who pushed to allow openly gay youth without consulting members.

Southern Baptist leaders stopped short of urging churches to cut ties with local troops but didn't encourage them to stay either.

"I don't think we should be on record as encouraging a relationship with Scout troops that have homosexual members," said Pastor Paul Taylor of Mauriceville, Texas.

Some top Boy Scout leaders failed to confer with membership before proposing the historic change and should be removed from office, the Southern Baptists said in a resolution passed at its annual meeting in Houston.

The resolution, which garnered overwhelming support, also said that allowing gay Scouts could "complicate basic understandings of male friendships, needlessly politicize human sexuality, and heighten sexual tensions within the Boy Scouts."

Since 1996, Southern Baptists have passed 10 resolutions centering on homosexuality, including two resolutions calling on Baptists to boycott Disney because they think the company promotes "immoral ideologies." The boycotts were later dropped.

With 16 million members in some 45,000 congregations, the Southern Baptist Convention is the country's largest Protestant denomination. Baptists as a whole, including several smaller denominations, sponsor about 4,000 Scouting units representing 100,000 youths.

"We have a deep respect for the Southern Baptist Convention and its churches that use Scouting in their youth ministries," said Deron Smith, a spokesman for the Boy Scouts of America.

"Scouting's youth member policy is not about the BSA condoning homosexuality, or forcing its chartered organizations to do the same."

More than 60% of the BSA's 1,400-member national council voted in May to allow openly gay Scouts.

The change will take effect January 1. Scout executives had planned to proceed with the change unilaterally before conservative groups complained, according to the Southern Baptists.

Boy Scouts to allow gay youths to join

Smith said opening membership to gay youth "allows Scouting to be more compassionate in its response to a young person who expresses a same-sex attraction."

The Boy Scouts of America will continue to prohibit any sexual conduct –heterosexual or homosexual – among its youth. The ban on openly gay leaders continues as well.

Faith-based organizations charter more than 70% of Scout chapters, providing meeting space and leadership, according to the BSA.

Several of the largest religious sponsors, including the Mormon church, the United Methodist Church and the Roman Catholic Church, have indicated that they do not plan to disaffiliate from the BSA.

Still, many conservative congregations, particularly Southern Baptists, have pledged to cut ties with local troops, and some pastors on Wednesday called on the entire denomination to do likewise.

"We should stand firmly and keep ourselves from having to revisit this issue in future years," Pastor Mike Janz of First Baptist Church of Rosamond, California, said Wednesday at the Baptist meeting.

Janz's proposal to urge all Southern Baptists to disaffiliate from the Scouts was handily defeated Wednesday.

Still, some top Southern Baptist leaders predict that congregations will leave the Scouts "en masse."

Baptists plan exodus from Boy Scouts

Pastor Charlie Dale of Indian Springs First Baptist Church in Alabama said churches and Scouts should help, not bar, boys who believe they are gay.

"Such a boy needs love," Dale said. "So let's bring him in and show him what biblical manhood and real love is about."

Affiliating with Scout troops also provides an avenue for evangelism, said Pastor David Uth of Orlando.
"We are very happy to partner (with Scouts) because it gives us access to more families and more boys to share the life-saving gospel of Jesus Christ."

Russell Moore, the new head of the SBC's powerful Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, called Uth's approach "wise and gospel-focused."

"This isn't Disney redux, as some media predicted," Moore tweeted.

The Southern Baptists' resolution encourages churches to consider the denomination's homegrown Scouting alternative, the Royal Ambassadors, a Christian group dedicated to developing "godly young men."

Meanwhile, liberal churches pledged to sponsor troops disowned by conservative congregations.

For every host organization that has decided to sever ties with their troop, eight to 10 new ones have invited the Boy Scouts into their community, according to Jeff Fulcher, spokesman for the Atlanta Area Council of the BSA.

"This membership issue is a sensitive issue with a lot of people in our community," Fulcher said. "Some can't continue supporting the scouting programs. But the vast majority of the Scouts in our organization still want to continue scouting, and we've had a wide variety of churches, places of worship and civic organizations reaching out to us because they want scouting programs in their neighborhoods."

One such church is the One World Spiritual Center in Marietta, Georgia, where the community extended an invitation to Boys Scout troops soon to lose their meeting place.

The Rev. Stephanie Seigh, head of the One World, said the church decided invite the Scouts after learning that Southern Baptists nearby refused to continue hosting their troops.

"We teach our children that God is in everyone and everything. We don't discriminate," Seigh told CNN.

CNN's Mayra Cuevas contributed to this report.

Daniel Burke - CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor





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