MY OPINION RE: the BSA

I have been seeing a lot of articles lately regarding the likelihood that the Boy Scouts of America will succumb to outside pressure within a few years and allow openly homosexual men as leaders, to which I say…

POPPYCOCK!!!

……..

Ok, now that I have let it sink in for a moment or two, let me put it in context:

I was a Boy Scout from age 11 to 18.  At age 15, I attended Buckskin TLD at Camp Emerson in California.  Everyone just called it “Buckskin,” but the “TLD” stood for “Troop Leadership Development.” The program has gone through some name changes, but the training still exists with the emphasis on training troop leadership.

Think about it. I was in hard-core LEADERSHIP training. I was taught “Manager of Learning” (MOL) principles (look it up – not lightweight fluff), how to train younger scouts using a flip chart, how to lead songs around the campfire, how plan a camp menu…in short, how to LEAD a Scout troop.

Newsflash, folks – the BSA has already voted to allow homosexuals in leadership.  I held every leadership position available to a Scout under age 18 – Assistant Patrol Leader, Patrol Leader, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader, Senior Patrol Leader, and Junior Assistant Scoutmaster.  I have no distinct memories of witnessing homosexual behavior (though there was plenty of coarse jesting about it). I definitely was exposed to a lot more deviant behavior than my Scoutmaster was aware of, including pyromania and drug abuse.  I have a distinct memory of senior Scouts putting new members through “initiation” off in the woods, which included pain and humiliation (such as being hung from a tree by rope tied to their underwear).

I had two of the best Scoutmasters one could want – one of whom was my father, and another a solid Baptist who taught us to honor God. Even so, they were not the real “leaders” of the troop. By design, they were there to be mentors and facilitators to the true leaders – the older Scouts – and they could not keep tabs on every last thing that happened; especially at a Camporee or Jamboree with hundreds of other Scouts in attendance.

In short, I can only imagine what a 15- to 18-year-old homosexual Senior Patrol Leader might deem appropriate for “initiation,” or what might happen to an 11-year-old Scout out in the woods on his first trip far from home, all without any adult involvement or knowledge.

To reiterate, people no longer have to worry about the BSA allowing homosexuals as leaders – it is a fait accompli. “And that’s all I have to say about that.”

Peace,

George

P.S. If you want an excellent father/son organization to join after leaving the BSA, give Alert Cadets a look.

PLEASE FAST AND PRAY FOR OUR PRESIDENT

Back when George W. Bush was elected President, it became fashionable in the Christian community to pray for the President. Thousands of people signed up for the Presidential Prayer Project, purchasing all sorts of PPP gear to show support for President Bush.

Another prayer team was formed at the same time, built as a grassroots movement with no hoopla, no coffee mugs to buy, with just one goal: encourage Christians to fast and pray for the President.  Thousands joined that group as well, but as of today only 210 are still onboard.

Please consider joining in this important work of God.  Our President, his staff, and our country need you.

http://www.fastforthepresident.com/

CODE OF CONDUCT

It is close enough to Veteran’s Day, I can still post the Code of Conduct I started working on a couple of years ago.  It is based on the Code of Conduct I had to memorize as a midshipman at the Naval Academy, adapted to the life of a Christian.

It has two versions.  The first is for husbands and fathers:

Code of Conduct

Article II am an Christian husband and father, fighting in the forces which guard my family and our way of life.  I give my life to their defense.

 Article II: I will never surrender.  As my family leader, I will never surrender the members of my family while they still have the means to resist.

 Article IIIIf the enemy attempts to capture me, I will continue to resist by all means available.  I will make every effort to aid others to escape his grasp.  I will not compromise nor make any agreement with the lies of the enemy.

 Article IVIf a family member becomes a prisoner of the enemy, I will keep faith with him or her.  I will give not take part in any action which might be harmful to my family.  Since I am senior, I will take command.  I will obey God and will back Him up in every way.

 Article VWhen questioned about my faith, I am required to give a ready answer for the hope that lies within me.  I will answer further questions to the utmost of my ability.  I will make no oral or written statements disloyal to my God and family or harmful to the faith.

 Article VII will never forget that I am a Christian husband and father, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made me free.  I will trust in my God and in the saving blood of His Son, Jesus Christ.

The second is for singles:

Article II am an Christian warrior, fighting in the forces which guard my faith and our way of life.  I give my life to their defense.

 Article III will never surrender.  If I am a leader, I will never surrender the brothers and sisters under my care while we still have the means to resist.

 Article IIIIf the enemy attempts to capture me, I will continue to resist by all means available.  I will make every effort to aid others to escape his grasp.  I will not compromise nor make any agreement with the lies of the enemy.

 Article IV: If a fellow Christian becomes a prisoner of the enemy, I will keep faith with him or her.  I will give not take part in any action which might be harmful to the Church.  If I am the most mature Christian, I will take command.  I will obey God and will back Him up in every way.

 Article VWhen questioned about my faith, I am required to give a ready answer for the hope that lies within me.  I will answer further questions to the utmost of my ability.  I will make no oral or written statements disloyal to my God or harmful to the faith.

 Article VII will never forget that I am a Christian warrior, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made me free.  I will trust in my God and in the saving blood of His Son, Jesus Christ.

– George

BREAKPOINT 09-19-2012

Today’s BreakPoint is a must-read as well, following up to yesterday’s:

 

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More than Rule Following

Virtue and Character

Eric Metaxas

September 19, 2012

Yesterday, I told you about the cheating scandal at Harvard involving half of the students in an “Introduction to Congress” class. (No, I’m not making that up!) The scandal has already cost Harvard two of its best players from last season’s Ivy League basketball champions.

But there’s more to this story than academics, basketball, or even cheating itself. It’s ultimately about character.

The students under investigation claim, as the “New York Times” put it, that “they were tripped up by a course whose tests were confusing, whose grading was inconsistent, and for which the professor and teaching assistants gave contradictory signals about what was expected.”

Not surprisingly, students facing possible suspension have threatened to sue Harvard over the matter.

I don’t know whether “contradictory signals” were given or not. But what I do know is that more than half of the class did not collaborate. Apparently, they didn’t interpret the “contradictory signals” as a license to cheat.

Events in Cambridge demonstrate the limitations of defining ethics, and especially virtue, as a matter of rules. People have an almost infinite capacity for rationalization and what lawyers and ethicists call “casuistry.” We acknowledge that lying and theft are wrong in one breath and then “explain” why what we’re doing is neither lying nor thievery, in this particular instance, in the next.

For the Christian, while rules matter, they are far from enough. The goal is not rule-keeping, it’s character and virtue.

In his book, “After You Believe,” theologian N.T. Wright uses the story of Chesley Sullenberger, the celebrated US Airways pilot who safely landed an Airbus 320 in the Hudson River after it had been disabled by a flock of geese.

According to Wright, Sullenberger’s achievement was “to have so formed his character, by thousands of small choices and learned decisions . . . that, when the test came, he did by ‘second nature’ what was required.”

This kind of “second nature” is what Wright means by “character.” Christians overcome our sinful fallen natures one “small choice and learned decision” at a time until we no longer need to consciously ask ourselves what the rules are.

Of course it isn’t only Christians. Something similar, minus the specifically-Christian virtues of faith, hope, and love, was what previous generations had in mind when they referred to a person’s “character.” In this setting, for an honest person honesty was a habit, not a matter of interpreting signals.

Unfortunately, as James Davison Hunter wrote in The Death of Character, “Character is dead. It’s time has passed.” He didn’t mean that virtues such as courage, prudence, and temperance are no longer being practiced or that our culture denies that they are good things.

Hunter meant that a “profound transformation” in America’s “moral culture” in the 20th century made it much more difficult to instruct the young about the importance of virtue. And without this instruction, character formation is, at best, difficult.

Thus, cheating is no longer a matter of “what kind of person do I want to be?” Instead, it’s “do the rules apply to me in this instance?” In other words, the stuff of lawyers.

On Monday, I’ll tell you about the alternative. It requires a certain kind of courage: the willingness to be out-of-step with the times. It’s not easy, but it’s the only road that leads back to character. Please tune in.

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

BREAKPOINT 09-18-2012

Having attended the Naval Academy and experienced various ways we ignored or rationalized the Honor Concept (“A midshipman does not lie, cheat, or steal”), the BreakPoint message below resonates.

It is especially poignant when I think of how many times I have rationalized (or had others rationalize for me) my sin.  For example, after confessing my bondage to pornography and my adultery through lust and masturbation, I was told by one person, “It’s not as bad as if you had physically committed adultery.” (or words to that effect)  Another accountability partner (who has since divorced) told me, essentially, “Your wife has to understand – you’re going to fall into sin again.  She can’t expect you to never [lust][commit adultery][look at pornography][whatever – choose the sexual sin] again!”

In my own mind, I have rationalized sins long enough to commit them, then minutes or hours or days or weeks later been convicted by the Holy Spirit, and had to confess and ask forgiveness from God and others I sinned against (or, for many years, just live in guilt and the fear of being discovered).

Sin is sin.  You know it is sin.  If you find yourself trying to find a way to convince yourself (and you conscience) something is not sin, so that you can “enjoy” it guilt-free, you’re rationalizing…IT’S STILL SIN!

Give it a read:

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Cheating at Harvard

Let’s Be Honest About Ourselves

Eric Metaxas

September 18, 2012

The disciplinary board at Harvard recently announced that it was investigating allegations of cheating that were described as “unprecedented in anyone’s living memory.”

The allegations of plagiarism and “inappropriate collaboration” on last spring’s take-home final in the course “Introduction to Congress,” involved nearly one-half of the 279 Harvard students who took the class.

The investigation began when the professor noticed that between ten and twenty of the tests contained similar answers. Further investigation by the disciplinary board found an additional 100 or so to be “suspicious.”

If the students are found guilty of cheating, they could be suspended for one year and receive other sanctions.

While I as a Yale alumnus am tempted to have some fun at Harvard’s expense, that would be inappropriate. First of all, we don’t have all the facts.

Even more important, cheating happens virtually everywhere—it’s part of the human condition.

Last year, an epidemic of cheating was uncovered in the Atlanta public school system. There was strong evidence that teachers in some public schools had erased students’ answers on standardized tests and penciled in the correct ones.

Then there are the less dramatic ways that, in the words of behavioral economist Dan Ariely, “we lie to everyone—especially ourselves.” In his new book, “The (Honest) Truth about Dishonesty,” Ariely debunks the notion that a kind of cost-benefit analysis lies behind human dishonesty. On the contrary, his research shows that neither possible rewards nor even the likelihood of getting caught play much of a role in the decision to cheat.

He also disputes the idea that cheating involves a rejection of the idea of right and wrong. In his account, people are caught between two competing goals: They want to see themselves as good and moral people, and they also want stuff.

I don’t know if Ariely, who is an Israeli, has read Romans 7, but he is describing the dilemma the Apostle Paul identified.

The way we reconcile these competing goals is to lie to ourselves about our honesty. The most obvious form of this self-deception is rationalization. In the aforementioned Atlanta scandal, teachers rationalized their cheating as a kind of protest against over-emphasizing standardized tests.

Ariely also documents that we “limit” ourselves to small acts of dishonesty. In several experiments Ariely and company found that “lots of people cheat a little bit; very, very few people cheat a lot.” Those who cheated “a little bit” got the benefits of cheating while continuing to think of themselves as good and moral people.

Except, of course, they really aren’t. To reference the Apostle Paul again, “none is righteous, no, not one…” Virtue isn’t what you do when nothing is at stake: It’s what you do when doing the right thing comes at a cost, whether large or small.

For the Christian, the response to this dilemma is God’s grace, which forgives and transforms us. We become new creatures instead of imagining ourselves as something we’re not.

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

BreakPoint/Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview

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COLOSSIANS 3

I read this passage again several times today. It has had a big impact on my life, so I thought I’d share…

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all. Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. Slaves, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality. (Colossians 3:1-25 ESV)

LETTER TO STARBUCKS

Here is a letter I recently sent to Starbucks:

Dear Starbucks,

I am finally getting around to writing, letting you know my wife and I have stopped spending money at your stores.  We used to spend about $100 per month, but feel that we cannot knowingly support a company which aggressively endorses and promotes sinful behavior.

I, myself, have sinned a lot in my day – but I do not expect anyone to endorse my lifestyle choice or push to have my behavior legally ratified.  Same-sex marriage is just one amongst many things condemned by the bible, so I do not think it deserves a pass any more than the other behaviors listed in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10:  “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

I have been a thief, a drunkard, a reviler, greedy, sexually immoral, an adulterer, and an idolater – but I have turned away from those sins, not campaigned to try and make everyone accept those things as normal and good. 

Starbucks is taking a socially and morally irresponsible stand, and I will not spend my money to support your company while you continue to do so.

Thank you for your time.

Respectfully,

George Ganahl

PAUL’S PRAYER

I was reading in the book of Colossians today, and was struck with the relevance of Paul’s prayer for them as it relates to walking in brokenness:

And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:9-14 ESV)

The day-to-day walk of brokenness for a Christian includes knowing God’s will (we must be studying scripture), pleasing Him by our obedience to His will rather than our own, and bearing fruit. Consequently, we will be given the strength we need (that ongoing aspect of God’s grace) to endure throughout this life, not giving up but filled with joy to do His work.

I especially love the assurance that “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness” – we are set free from bondage to sin! We don’t have to live in darkness any longer, but can live open, broken, and free as recipients of God’s kingdom!

We are redeemed and forgiven by the blood of Jesus Christ! Hallelujah!

To all those at the WIT! Singles conference this weekend, I’m praying for you!

Love in Christ,

George

AN OLD ESSAY

Here is an essay I wrote back in 2000, before I came clean with my wife and family.  I had plenty of knowledge, but wasn’t living by it:

1John 2:16 says “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” These are three destroyers that may overwhelm the human spirit. The lust of the eyes is a destroyer of spiritual relationship, taking one’s eyes off the appropriate target (God, one’s wife, a God-given job, God’s provision) and stirring up discontentment (Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods). Jesus makes it clear in Matthew 5:28 that “whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart”, thus destroying the spiritual relationship with his wife and God.

The lust of the flesh is a destroyer of physical relationships. It pollutes what 1Corinthians 6:19 calls “the temple of the Holy Ghost”. Abuse of the body through drugs or gluttony or fornication reduces the mere physical ability to serve the Lord. Of the marriage relationship, Mark 10:8 says “And they twain shall be one flesh.” Adultery and fornication introduce multiple persons into that one flesh, detracting forever from the marriage relationship ordained by God. While I do not believe a Christian can be possessed by a demon, I do think that indulging the lust of the flesh invites the presence of demons and their influence.

The pride of life is a destroyer of self, putting oneself on a level higher than that ordained by God. One cannot be prideful and also be a true servant, because a servant must not put self first. In John13:14 Jesus set the example and told his apostles, “If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.” Too often we are captivated instead by Satan’s sin, “”: For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:” as he says in Isaiah 14:13. When we suffer from this “I” disease, we must be cast down and broken before being built back up by God into the Christians we are meant to be – extremely painful, but necessary.

All three – the lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, and the pride of life – are rooted in selfishness. To break free, we must be true Christians (“little Christs”), and live as selflessly as the God/man we model ourselves after.

The other side of the coin is man’s spirit, which must be properly fed to withstand these attacks of the flesh. Genesis 1:26 says “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness”, while John 4:24 says “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” Thus our spirit is the portion of man created in God’s image, designed for worship and fellowship with Him.

Diligent study of God’s Word (either the written word or in the person of Jesus Christ – John 1:1) is required to learn how God would have us live. 2Timothy 3:16 says “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” Action is useless if it is for the wrong reasons, and the Word teaches us what should truly motivate the spirit – love.

John 16:3 tells us “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth.” The Spirit of God is sent to come alongside us to lend guidance in our daily Christian life. The Holy Spirit is the “still small voice” mentioned in 1Kings 19:12 which speaks directly to one’s own spirit giving direction, motivation, and adding strength to the desire to perform God’s will. Without the Holy Spirit, the “Spirit of wisdom and of understanding” (Isaiah 11:2) it is impossible to correctly understand God’s Word.

The spirit within feeds itself and builds defenses against the attacks on the flesh by lust and pride. A spirit which is well-fed by God’s Word and in tune with the Holy Spirit will be robust, filling the heart and pushing aside the influences of carnal man. Galatians 6:8 – “The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” A poorly fed spirit will be small and weak, easily succumbing to the worldly influences within and without. Let us all pray to be filled with wisdom and the Holy Spirit, the better to serve God and reflect His image to all men!