Assemblies of God Response to the Boy Scouts of America's Resolution May 23, 2013
Assemblies of God leadership regrets that the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has voted to change its policy regarding inclusion of homosexual youth members. We believe – as do a majority of Boy Scout volunteer leaders and parents – that this is not the best policy for BSA, nor for the young men it serves.
As the landmark 2000 Supreme Court decision stated, BSA is a private organization with freedom of association to determine its own membership standards, upholding BSA's policy not to allow homosexual leaders or members. BSA stated at the time that a departure from that longstanding policy would undermine its purpose of guiding boys to keep themselves "morally straight," which is part of the Boy Scout Oath.
While we are disappointed by BSA's recent membership decision, we are pleased that the organization will retain its policy regarding adult leaders, and applaud the organization for standing firm on that issue. However, today's vote to allow homosexual youth members negates BSA's ability to legally defend its position regarding leadership and opens the door to more efforts by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) lobbies to make further policy changes.
A majority of scout groups are sponsored by churches or other religious entities, which have as their foundation a belief in biblical teachings that identify homosexual behavior as outside of God's plan for sexuality. While we agree that youths who experience confusion or same-sex attraction need to be welcomed, in our churches they are confronted with this biblical teaching and will be counseled and prayed with that God will help them to align their lives in conformity to that teaching. We agree with the BSA that we need to demonstrate compassion and welcome those who are struggling with sexuality issues, but not in a way that condones such behavior, which is what the new BSA policy does.
Though the BSA shares a common mission with the Church, "to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes," the Church answers to a higher Authority in providing a value-added spiritual dimension. As such, based on Scripture, we provide a loving, welcoming environment to young people in their search for purpose, meaning and God's best for their lives. Until this decision today BSA agreed in teaching that "homosexual conduct is not morally straight" and in not wanting to "promote homosexual conduct as a legitimate form of behavior." BSA had been well-served by holding to that position.
We believe that the BSA policy change will lead to a mass exodus from the Boy Scout program, as Assemblies of God and many other churches can no longer support groups that are part of an organization allowing members who are openly homosexual. However, as a positive alternative, we offer a program – the Royal Rangers – that operates with values consistent to that of the BSA prior to today's change.
In the fractured family and culture today, we recognize that many youth are struggling with sexual identity and behavior. Our Assemblies of God churches seek to help these young people experience sexual purity in their lives, and remain virgins until married to a person of the opposite sex. Love, counseling and prayer is given for those who fail in this regard so that young people who engage in sexual relations outside marriage can reset their moral compass toward God's will through repentance, forgiveness and restoration.
What is Royal Rangers?
Royal Rangers is a mentoring program for future men. We provide Christlike character formation and servant leadership development for boys and young men in a highly relational and fun environment. Our mission is to evangelize, equip, and empower the next generation of Christlike men and lifelong servant leaders.
Mentoring Future Men
We are prepared to take Royal Rangers to a whole new generation of future men, to the iPod generation. The iPod has three characteristics important to its users. These same qualities are reflected in Royal Rangers.
Mechanically, every iPod is the same. It is a robust electronic device designed to deliver high quality music. Royal Rangers is likewise a robust mentoring ministry that shapes future men into godly husbands and fathers and excellent servant leaders in every sphere of life. Royal Rangers is a tool that men and boys, serving together, can use to evangelize their world, equip the next generation of Christlike men, and empower them to become lifelong servant leaders.
Flexible & Effective
Functionally, each iPod is unique, reflecting the user’s choices and preferences in music and media. Royal Rangers is also highly flexible and agile, enabling each outpost to implement our effective discipleship process while reflecting the preferences and practices of its local church leaders to best impact the families in its communities.
Royal Rangers provides flexibility in…
- Activities - Outdoors, sports, trades, professions, arts, technology, and ministry.
- Cost - Royal Rangers offer cost effective options so every boy and church can participate.
An iPod is a device that is highly interconnected with other technologies. In a similar way, Royal Rangers is highly modular and interconnected, a complement to the ministries of any church. Royal Rangers serves as a compliment to other church ministries, such as…
- Boys & Girls Missionary Challenge (BGMC)
- Speed-the-Light (STL)
- Youth Ministries
- Men’s Ministries
- Girls Ministries
The Value of Royal Rangers
Royal Rangers provides an effective means of discipling boys and young men by utilizing direct personal relationships between men and boys, developed around a core of shared interests and experiences. Activity-based ministries are essential to the spiritual development of boys. (More)
Our History & Heritage
Royal Rangers has a rich history upon which this great ministry has been built. (More)
The Royal Rangers program is defined by the core principles upon which it was built. These core principles of evangelism, discipleship, leadership, achievement, and service are represented by our pledge, code, motto, and emblem.
- Learn about Royal Rangers and start a group
- Review our chartering policy
- View our print and online curriculum
- Commitment to Biblical Standards
- See our advancement system
- Advancement Transition Plan
- Explore training opportunities for mentors
- Find a Royal Rangers group near you