I am a pastor at New Hope Bible Church of Front Royal. It has been an honor for us as a church to be associated with and support as a chartering organization the wonderful youth and fine leadership of the Boy Scouts of America Venture Crew 247.
The character of the people involved in this crew and the moral code of scouting made the decision to support them an easy and natural one. Because the Venturing Oath has as its core "duty to God" and its code mentions "the traditions of our people," our support of them was completely compatible with our core values and our commitment to the teachings of God's word.
The youth and the leadership of Crew 247 are as wonderful now as they were when we first began to support them years ago -- they haven't changed. Unfortunately, Scouting has. The Boy Scouts of America's National Council violated their own moral code when they recently decided to remove a restriction denying membership to Scouting on the basis of sexual orientation. That decision needlessly politicizes human sexuality and is deeply troubling in light of the clear teaching of the Bible concerning homosexuality.
The council's resolution makes continuing our support for Scouting incompatible with our commitment to the truths of the Bible. Therefore, I am saddened to report that we recently informed the leadership of Venture Crew 247 that we will not be renewing the charter when it expires later this year.
We know that not everyone will understand or agree with our decision. Some will say we're homophobic; I assure you that we're not. We hate no one. To the contrary, like the Lord we serve, we love everyone and desire the very best for all. We do this, not because we're homophobic; we do it because we're theophobic. "Fear the Lord your God, serve him only..." (Deu. 6:13 NIV).
Terry Keaton, Front Royal