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  • Lutherans and Honor Societies

    Vicki, good comments in the post I spun this off from.

    We've been through this before on several threads. I'm a former youth Arrowman (meaning I am now well beyond my 21st year), an Honorary (Adult entry) Warrior in the Tribe of Mic-o-Say, and a member of the National Lutheran Association on Scouting. Let me walk the dog:

    - Wisconsin Evangelican Lutheran Synod: This body believes neither BSA or GSUSA are compatible with their interpretation of Christian faith:

    - Evangelical Lutheran Synod: I just called their President. The organizational church is in fellowship with Wisconsin. They discourage parishes from being Chartered Partners. Individuals in parishes might be members, but it sounded like Pastors have a duty to work patiently with these folks to show them their error in the Lord.

    - Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod: There is a memorandum of mutual support in place:

    - Evangelical Lutheran Church in America: Openly embraces Scouting. g%20organizations

    I've told the tale before. She who was once my bride tried to claim OA and the Tribe were secret societies in the construct of Masonic. Several fellow men of my parish came to mine and my sons' defense. Had this been so, I could have been under Matthew 18 church disciple faster than I can say the Apostle's Creed.

    I've also said elsewhere that I must respect anothers' religious beliefs. I do not, though, have to worship in anothers' tradition. Thankfully, I just googled Scouts' Own Service, and that abomination that tried to make the Scout Law into articles of faith seems to be finally gone from the interwebs.(This message has been edited by John-in-KC)

  • #2
    If you Googled "Scouts Own," you probably didn't find much. That's now known as an "interfaith worship service." And there is a handout at that includes a responsive reading based on the Law (don't know if that's exactly what you were referring to).


    • #3
      I think it is good that the WELS and ELS encourage their faithful to emulate Christ.

      One can easily find Responsive Readings from the BSA Scout Law, based on the Old Testement (Torah) and the New Testamant. I have not found any based in the Bagavadgita or the Lotus Sutra, but here is a source for one based on the Qu'ran:


      • #4

        I can live with the construct of specific statements to cross-connect Scouting and the (Christian)(Jewish)(Islamic)(X) faith depending on the desire of the chartered partner.

        I've been in an OA service where the Chaplain did intermingle books of faith beyond OT/NT. One word: Anathema.


        • #5
          I appreciate your vocabulary, especially that word you slipped in on me one time when I referred to Hitler somehow.
          Anaethma isn't in my vocabulary, and I'm not really sure how you mean it here. I'm assuming that you mean it's totally wrong and inappropriate, and that you're not going to participate. Am I right? Is there more to it?


          • #6

            Just to clarify a point that's been nagging me ... Would there be *any* type of interfaith elements at a Scouting service that would be acceptable? For example, if a Scout were simply to read a selection from the Baha'i writings as a way of sharing the perspective of one of the faiths represented at camp? What about a presentation comparing the Golden Rule as it is expressed in various faiths? Or a Zuni prayer of thanksgiving for the day?

            Or would *everything* have to come from the Old or New Testament to be acceptable?


            • #7

              If the exposition is simply a teaching moment, and the Scouts and Scouters are given opportunity to pray in their own fashion, I'm ok.

              I do not want to see a Muslim offended by having the NT read to him as defined Holy Writ.

              I do not want ot see a Jew offended by having the Q'uran read to him as defined Holy Writ.

              I do not want to see a Christian offended by having the Bhagavad-Gita read to him as defined Holy Writ.

              That make sense?


              [uh-nath-uh-muh]   Example Sentences Origin

                 [uh-nath-uh-muh] Show IPA
              noun, plural -mas.
              1. a person or thing detested or loathed: That subject is anathema to him.
              2. a person or thing accursed or consigned to damnation or destruction.
              3. a formal ecclesiastical curse involving excommunication.
              4. any imprecation of divine punishment.
              5. a curse; execration.
              152030; < Latin < Greek: a thing accursed, devoted to evil, orig. devoted, equivalent to ana ( ti ) th ( nai ) to set up + -ma noun suffix

              I am using it in the context of the reading being a THING under the first definition.


              • #8
                I think so. It seems like the line that you object to crossing would be someone saying "Let us pray," and then reading a prayer from the tradition of Religion X to the whole assembly, when everyone in attendance does not follow that path. Would that be approximately accurate?


                • #9
                  I don't mind some interfaith services. I understand your feeling regarding "worship," and I agree. I don't mind teachings or thoughts on peace and generosity, etc. What I like least of all is someone thinking it's OK to call upon the spirit of the west wind, then the east, and so forth. That's a crock. In interfaith services, it seems that any resource is available except for the New Testament. That's somehow off limits, because it might offend somebody.
                  I don't want this to get carried away, as it often does. I just wanted to know what you meant by anathema. It's what I thought, and I hear you. We all have our own opinions, and yours is very clear. I appreciate that.
                  For me, I'm not against interfaith services, but they can very easily cross a line, and people generally don't notice (until sometimes it's too late). They need to be vetted by someone who knows what they're doing, and who knows the audience.


                  • #10

                    Yep. That's the line.

                    Pastor Gordon Gross for many years was (is?) a staff chaplain at Philmont. I first met him at PTC in 2003, and again in 2008. He had a neat and simple question which he'd ask at the beginning of chapel time: What are the faith communities we have here? If he had more than one, he kept matters rather focused to broad morality common to most religions. He also did not pray during his time in front. When he stepped away, he gave time for people to pray in their fashion.

                    Now, when the folks attending chapel were overtly/covertly Christian, he'd go into worship mode.

                    Of course, Philmont also has multiple resources for worship. Many of our district events are fortunate to have one chaplain.


                    • #11
                      We really need a "Faith, Religion and Chaplaincy" forum category.