As churches and Christian organizations weigh whether or not to continue participating in and sponsoring the Boy Scouts of America after it lifted a ban on openly gay scout leaders, a number of prominent evangelical figures are advising churchgoers to drop out and to stop supporting the BSA altogether.
Don Blake, president of the Virginia Christian Alliance, a coalition that encourages Christians to stand up against the rise of secular culture, told a central Virginia NBC affiliate that Christians who are involved with the Boy Scouts of America need to protect their children by either starting their own scouting programs or joining already existing programs that do not permit openly gay scout leaders.
"All the church people who believe in the Bible need to drop out of the Boy Scouts and start their own program," Blake asserted. "There are existing programs out there."
As the executive committee of the BSA voted 17-0 on Monday to pass a resolution to end its ban on openly same-sex attracted adult volunteers, Blake further asserts the move will lead to even more parents being hesitant about allowing their sons to participate in Boy Scouts due to the fear they could be sexually abused.
"I think it's the beginning of the end of the Boy Scouts," Blake argued. "Parents have to fear their children being molested."
As about 70 percent of the BSA's troops are sponsored by Christian groups and churches, lifting the ban will not force scouts sponsored by Christian organizations to take on gay scout leaders.
"If an organization says 'it's against our religious faith to have someone who is openly gay' as their leader, that's their choice in this new decision," Deputy Scout Executive Todd Martin told NBC. "And if a person happens to be gay, but is the best selection as determined by the parents of those scouts, then they have the choice now to make that determination."
Even though BSA leaders have assured that religious objectors will still maintain the right to exclude homosexual adult volunteers, Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, told The New York Times that BSA has only created a slippery slope.
"After the scouts' shift on membership, they told religious groups this wouldn't affect leadership," he said. "Now churches are told that these changes will not affect faith-based groups. Churches know that this is the final word only until the next evolution."
In an interview with ABC News, Moore explained that more Baptist churches and groups will likely continue to leave the BSA.
"In recent years I have seen a definite cooling on the part of Baptist churches toward the scouts," Moore said. "This will probably bring that cooling to a freeze."
Dallas megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress, who leads the 11,000-member First Baptist Church, is also predicting that the BSA's decisions will lead to its downfall.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Jeffress urged parents to "run away" from the organization.
"My advice to parents who are asking me about this is: If you are concerned about the safety of your boys, you should run, not walk, away from the Boy Scouts as quickly as possible," Jeffress stated.
Jeffress then contended that "100 percent" of child sex abuses cases in the Boy Scouts have been committed by "homosexuals."
"Just a few years ago, the Boy Scouts were forced to release 14,000 pages of documents revealing thousands of cases of sexual assault against boys," Jeffress explained. "And while it's true the majority of homosexuals are not pedophiles, it's equally true that in 100 percent of these troop leaders who assaulted boy scouts, 100 percent of them were homosexuals."
BSA's largest sponsor, the Mormon church, announced that it will be reevaluating its participation with the BSA in August.
"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is deeply troubled by today's vote by the Boy Scouts of America National Executive Board," the Mormon church said on Monday. "In spite of a request to delay the vote, it was scheduled at a time in July when members of the Church's governing councils are out of their offices and do not meet. When the leadership of the Church resumes its regular schedule of meetings in August, the century-long association with scouting will need to be examined."