ALDAN, Penn. — A non-denominational church in Pennsylvania has voted to boot the Boy Scouts of America from their premises over the organization’s amended policy permitting openly homosexual boys to serve as members.
Aldan Union Church is located just outside of Philadelphia, and has had an amicable working relationship with the Boy Scouts for 93 years. However, due to the decision earlier this year to lift the organization’s ban on open homosexuals, the church decided that it was time to cut ties.
“We decided that it was best to part ways with the Boy Scouts of America,” Pastor Paul Thompson told the Daily Times. “Unfortunately, that meant that we wouldn’t be the chartering organization for our Scouts any longer.”
He said that the decision was based on the church’s conviction to stay true to Scripture.
“We try to have the authority being in the Scriptures rather than ourselves,” Thompson told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “We believe that among those sins is the sin of homosexuality.”
He said that he was also concerned that the Scouts decided to take a vote on matters of morality as if right and wrong are based on public opinion.
“We could see that BSA was heading in a different direction than where we were,” Thompson explained. “It was not only the decision that was made; it was the way in which it was made: Responding to the changes in society as reflected in questionnaires to their constituents, and where that type of thinking could take them in the future.”
Therefore, the board of elders, comprised of 21 members, voted almost unanimously late last month to discontinue sponsoring one Boy Scout and one Cub Scout troop.
“It was not unanimous but the majority were in favor,” board chairman Bill Ressler told reporters. “There were only two or three who did not vote for it. … Based on the reaction of the congregation, I would say the ratio of those in favor versus those against is about 10-to-1 and even those against understand why we did it.”
Gregory Daniels, scoutmaster for Pack 2, advised the Inquirer that he understood the church’s decision, even though he disagreed.
“I don’t fault the church for their views. That’s their views,” he stated. “Unfortunately, their views no longer coincide with the Boy Scouts of America.”
As previously reported, a number of churches across the nation are similarly cutting ties with the Boy Scouts of America over its amendment policy. Pastor Mike Shaw of the First Baptist Church of Pelham, Alabama is among those ending his alliance with the Scouts. He recently explained that his church could not in good conscience support the acceptance of sinful behavior.
“We don’t hate anybody,” Shaw told reporters. “We’re not doing it out of hatred. The teachings of the Scripture are very clear on this. We’re doing it because it violates the clear teaching of Scripture.”
Pastor Tim Hester of Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky met with his board of elders this past June, which likewise decided not to renew its charter with the Boy Scouts.
“Truly for us it’s a logical decision,” he said. “We cannot be distracted from the mission God has called us to.”
The Aldan Scouts will now meet at the local American Legion beginning in January.