Scouting and a loving God

Our son is reaching the age where he could join the boy scouts. I've been informed that the Wisconsin Synod does not approve of scouting, but nobody has given me any substantial reasons. Why are we supposed to be against scouting?

It's not that we're against scouting. It's that we're for God, not a generic god who goes by a variety of names, but for the Triune God. We are so for God who has revealed himself in Scripture and in the incarnate Christ that we vehemently oppose any attempt to blur God's identity with the suggestion that all gods are alike. Unfortunately, scouting presents a god so generic he's even called "the Great Master of all scouts." Scouting is for the tolerance of all religious beliefs, something God wouldn't tolerate at Mt. Sinai and Mt. Carmel, and Mt. Zion.

We're for man. We're in favor of a correct understanding of man's nature, so that young people can grow up right. That means we teach original sin, the innate inability to know God and do right that necessitates regeneration. So we baptize and instruct children. And we oppose any philosophy that suggests people are morally good or neutral by nature. Unfortunately, that's what scouting does, reversing the prohibitions of God's law with the self-righteous promotions of the scout law. "A scout is reverent" . . . he does his duty to God. One scouting manual adds: "You may never know what your duty to God is," and goes on to promote religious evolution in place of revelation, all in the name of reverence to God.

We are for salvation, for the salvation of all who believe in Jesus, because the essence of Christianity is salvation by grace through faith, right? Then we must be opposed to any and all forms of work-righteous salvation. Unfortunately, scouting's printed explanations of the scout oath and law foster universalism (the idea that everybody's going to heaven if there is one) and work-righteousness (the notion that good deeds earn reward in the hereafter).

Maybe you've noticed that scouting is sort of religious, not just superficially religious but essentially religious. Spokesmen for scouting have regularly agreed with that assessment. Although the average scout meeting may not be a religious experience, belonging to the organization is a very visible subscription to what scouting says--about God, about man, and about salvation. That's a subscription incompatible with the creed we confess each Sunday. And anything that might tend to confuse a clear understanding of sin and forgiveness in my children is just too big a risk.

By the way, we are also for woodsmanship, citizenship, craftsmanship and those good things, but in their pace and not at the cost of eternal verities. I guess that's why a lot of our congregations have established Lutheran Pioneer groups. Check that out.



This isn't really my question, but I would like to know how to answer it. How can a loving God condemn people to hell?

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