I have been involved with Boy Scouting for most of my life. At the beginning of every Boy Scout meeting, Scouts recite the Boy Scout Oath and Boy Scout Law. Many Scouts do not realize the connection between the values of Scouting and the Bible. Lord Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the Scouting movement, once said, “Scouting is nothing less than applied Christianity” – (Scouting & Christianity, 1917).
This is the continuation of the series of blogs examining the connection between the values of Scouting and the Bible.
A Scout is…Kind
A Scout treats others as he wants to be treated. He knows there is strength in being gentle. He does not harm or kill any living thing without good reason.
The sixth point of the Scout Law is, “A Scout is kind.” Kindness is a virtue that is repeatedly encouraged in the Bible.
Dictionary.com defines the word kind as meaning, “of a good or benevolent nature or disposition.” Kindness involves generosity, compassion, and caring.
The apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 5:22-23, “22 but the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” To the Colossians, he wrote, “12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do” Colossians 3:12-13).
The Boy Scout Handbook describes being kind by saying, “A Scout treats others as he wants to be treated. “ Matthew 7:12 says, “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” The Handbook also says that a Scout “knows there is strength in being gentle.” Jesus Christ is quoted by Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
In the Scout Oath, a Scout promises to “help other people at all times.” The Scout slogan is, “Do a good turn daily.” Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13:4, “Love is patient, love is kind…” Kindness is a virtue that is commended by God both in the life of the Scout and the Christian.
The values of Scouting were not simply created by Baden-Powell to reflect the culture of his time. He strategically chose values that reflect the Christian life as applauded in the Bible. I thank God that the Boy Scouts of America has continued to uphold these values, despite the pressures from the culture to compromise. Boy Scouting continues to be a tremendously positive influence on the young men of today, because it continues to hold to the values of the Bible.