A Scout is…

August 2, 2010 at 10:04 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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On February 8th, 1910, William Boyce began an organization that has impacted millions of people over the course of 100 years. Mr. Boyce wanted to instill in young men the values of citizenship and morality, as well as life skills that will help them build solid relationships and families. Mr. Boyce is the founder of the Boy Scouts of America. This past week, thousands of scouts from all over the world converged on Ft. A.P. Hill in Virginia for the Jamboree celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts. The news focused on the fact that the President decided to go tape a session of “The View” rather than preside over the Jamboree as the honorary leader of the scouts. The news of the Jamboree struck a chord though.

I went through the scouting organization from Cub Scouts at eight years old to Eagle scout at eighteen and then on to be a leader for 4 years. The time that I spent in scouts allowed me a lot of things. It provided strong friendships that I still have today. It also gave me something consistent and conrete at a time when I moved around a lot and didn’t have a father figure to help me out. The men in my troop taught me the things that I would need to know as a man. One of these men eventually became my stepdad.

As I continued to think about the scouts, my mind drifted to the different things that we had to memorize. Things like the Scout Oath, Scout Law, Scout Motto, and Scout Slogan were things that we said at every meeting. These things were the foundation of why we were scouts and they gave us guidelines for our troop as well as our individual lives. I can still recite all of these things after years of not being affiliated with the scouting organization. In honor of my time in the scouts and the 100th anniversary of the organization that gave me so much, I just wanted to offer up some food for thought. Going over the Oath, Law, Motto, and Slogan; I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if more people adopted these things in their lives. These different ideals are completely based in Christianity. They shouldn’t be used in place of Christ, but they could definitely be used as a pointer and guide to Christianity.

Here is the Scout Oath:

On my honor, I will do my best, to do my duty to God and my country; to obey the Scout Law. To help other people at all times, to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.

What if more people decided to do this? The main problem is that much of this is outdated. If it were going to be used by families, churches, schools, politicians, or other groups; it would have to be changed. I mean, really, who knows what honor is anymore? That is so old-fashioned. Honor has absolutely no meaning to a large number of people. The enormous number of people who don’t even care about their honor is appalling. Politicians don’t have honor anymore. Instead, it is all about them and the ends justify the means. This ideology has bled into society, producing lazy, uncaring, selfish generations of children and adults. And – if honor goes – then duty has got to go too. Duty to God would be an affront to many today who think that they have so much more knowledge than those “superstitious”, ingnorant, Christians who need to use God as a crutch. Duty has been abandoned in favor of backdoor deals that only last as long as they are beneficial to both people. Duty to country would also have to go. The current presidential administration has started an all out war on patriotism. It is no longer “politically correct” to be (truly) patriotic. Those who are have been ridiculed and mocked by those who are not. They are called wackos, psychos, and “astroturf”. They are minimalized by the brainiacs who obviously know and understand the real history of our country. The next part is a toughy. Helping people is something that America seems to be good at (although there is nothing in secular humanism/atheism that can explain why we help others). It is also something that many churches lift up as necessary (for salvation) and have named “social justice”. Physically strong can only stay if it is in regards to vanity and drawing attention to yourself. Being mentally awake is more and more difficult in a society where information streams twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. With all this info at our fingertips, we seem to be more in a fog now than ever. And, you can just forget morally straight. Today, anyone that preaches the truth of Christianity is called intolerant and bigoted. It is seen as “forcing morals” on others.

The Scout Law would need to be “comprehensively reformed” (like everything else according to the President) as well. The Scout Law is a list of twelve simple and yet necessary qualities needed in a well-mannered and productive person. Here is the Scout Law:

A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.

Again, these are great qualities that all of us should strive for. Some of them are also the result of those who have been saved by Jesus Christ. All of these qualities have been abandoned in favor of more self-serving ones that bring instant gratification at the expense of friendships, relationships, and growth of any kind. The Scout Motto (Be Prepared) and the Scout Slogan (Do A Good Turn Daily) are other things that seem to have cast aside in this new, more intellectual society. The sadness comes in the realization of all of the other things that we have tossed out with them.

What if men, women, and children started living their lives and building their families according to these wonderful, God honoring, statements. Many churches would do well to abide by these too, but they seem too busy chasing new growth methods, the hottest new “worship” songs, and whatever else they can do to bring in the lost.

My thanks and gratitude go out to the Boy Scouts and to those men and women who helped shape me into who I am: Mr. Bair, Mr. Riley, Mr. Werner, Mr. Toth, Mr. Letki, Mr. Kline, Connie, Donald, Matt, Greg, Kenny, J.P., and so many others. I owe you much and can only hope that I’ve given a little bit back in return. It is my prayer that the Scouts will continue instilling the sorely needed virtues founded in scripture into generations of boys and young men for hundreds more years. God knows that our nation needs them…

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