A Scout is…Friendly

I have been involved with the Boy Scouts since I joined Cub Scouts in 1969.  At the beginning of every Boy Scout meeting, we recited the Boy Scout Oath and Boy Scout Law.  It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized 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).  When asked where religion came into Scouting, Baden-Powell replied, “It does not come in at all. It is already there.  It is a fundamental factor underlying Scouting…” (Religion and the Boy Scout and Girl Guides Movement–an address, 1926).

This is the continuation of the series of blogs examining the connection between the values of Scouting and the Bible.

A Scout is…Friendly

A Scout is a friend to all. He is a brother to other Scouts.  He offers his friendship to people of all races, religions, and nations, and respects them even if their beliefs and customs are different from his own.

The fourth point of the Scout Law is, “A Scout is friendly.”

There are many examples of close friends in the Bible.  David was friends with Jonathan (1 Samuel 18:1-3), Abiathar (1 Samuel 22:23), Nahash (2 Samuel 10:2), and Hushai (2 Samuel 15:32–37).  Elijah and Elisha were close friends (2 Kings 2:2), as were Ruth and Naomi (Ruth 1:16-17). Paul mentions many of his friends in his letters (Romans 16:3-5; 2 Corinthians 2:12-13; Philippians 2:25; Colossians 4:7, 14; 2 Timothy 1:2-4; Philemon 1:1-6).

Christians are warned against becoming “friends” with the things of this world (James 4:4), but are encouraged to form friendships with non-Christians for the purpose of leading them to a relationship with Christ.

Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23:

19 For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; 20 and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; 21 to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; 22 to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. 23 Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.

Christians, like Scouts, should respect the beliefs and customs of others, even though the Bible tells us they are incorrect.  We need to become “all things to all men” in order to reach non-Christians with the Gospel.  This absolutely does not mean we compromise Biblical truth; rather, it means we must be willing to look beyond our differences in order to build friendly relationships with those who have not yet received Christ as Savior, in order to share the Gospel.