ABT Pastor Jerry Prevo explained that Boy Scouts have "tucked and run" from taking a stand since he was a Scout. Prevo believes allowing scouts to meet in the building constitutes an implicit endorsement of homosexuality, and cited Leviticus 18:22 and 1 Corinthians 6:9 as scriptural backing for his decision. Romans 1:26-27 is also frequently cited as critical of homosexuality. Since the Boy Scouts announced their decision to allow homosexual Scouts while continuing to exclude gay Scout leaders back on May 23rd, 2013, this implies Prevo made his decision only after considerable deliberation. Pastor Prevo said he delayed because he was hoping that BSA would reverse course.
Even though ABT is by its own definition an independent Baptist church, they are following the example of the Southern Baptist Convention, which on June 12th, 2013, passed a resolution expressing its opposition to and disappointment in the Boy Scouts of America's new policy allowing gay Scouts and calling upon the Boy Scouts to remove executive and board leaders who tried to allow gays as both members and leaders without consulting the many religious groups that sponsor Scout troops. Although the resolution did not recommend that Southern Baptists drop ties with the Scouts, it expressed support for those churches and families that decide to do so, and also encouraged churches and families who choose to remain with the Scouts to work toward reversing the new membership policy. Alaska Family Action also expressed its own concern about the change in Boy Scouts policy, saying that although the full resolution may give reason for hope, the recent actions of BSA senior leadership also give reason for suspicion. AFA advised parents and adult leaders to watch carefully and be fully engaged in the coming months, and, if appropriate, be ready to find and support another venue for the character development of their youth. Experience with the Gay Mafia indicates that they won't stop here, but will continue to push the envelope, calling for inclusion of gay adult leaders.
Nevertheless, the fact that Pastor Prevo did not rush into his decision is of small comfort to the father of one of the scouts, Mark Schneider. While Schneider does not entirely agree with the Boy Scouts' new policy, he believes ABT is putting kids at the center of an issue that should be left to adults. Schneider also said "Jesus didn't walk with the rich, the wealthy and the pure. If you don't want sinners in your building, why did you build (a church)?" In response to concerns that Troop 1316 may have to dissolve, Reverend Peter Perry of the Saint John United Methodist Church and other Anchorage religious leaders are working to find a substitute church to sponsor the troop and avert the end of the unit. A coalition called "Christians for Equality" feels confident that a new home for the displaced Boy Scouts can be found. And Troop 1316 may not be the only Scout unit affected; on KTUU, Jackie S. commented that Cub Scout Pack 316 was also turned out from ABT (now confirmed).
I am not aware of any other local churches which have severed formal ties with the Boy Scouts. The socially-conservative Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the largest religious sponsor of Scouting units nationwide, issued an official statement after the BSA announcement indicating that they would accept the decision, while reiterating the need for all participants in their Scouting units to abide by LDS Church standards, which are spelled out in the For The Strength Of Youth book and which prescribe total sexual abstinence outside of heterosexual marriage.
Update September 3rd: Troop 1316 has found a new home. They will join Troop 215, which meets at Hillcrest Church of the Nazarene. However, Cub Scout Pack 316 has not found a new sponsor and is apparently disbanding.
Local Public Reaction: As of this post, there are 39 comments posted at KTUU. ABT is already taking a barrage of criticism, mostly from those on the left. Some are so desperate to take cheap shots at ABT that they misrepresent the church; Pamela Tesche, the widow of the late radical left-wing Assemblyman Allan Tesche, falsely states on the Christians for Equality Facebook page that Pastor Prevo doesn't have a PhD (although he got one PhD from a non-accredited school, in 1993, Dr. Prevo was awarded a second Doctor of Divinity degree by Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, which is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Some are playing up the continuing dispute over the property tax exemptions granted to a number of ABT's properties. However, ABT does have some support (after the jump):
desertrose at 10:17 AM August 8, 2013:
It is very interesting that so many commenters want to refer to the attendees and the pastor of this church as "haters". The issue is not about hating, I don't know a person who hates anyone involved in this issue other than many of the commenters who spew venom toward this pastor. The issue is that there are many who believe the Bible to be the inerrant Word of God and the bible teaches that homosexuality is an abomination. To support the homosexual agenda by allowing them to practice their support of said abomination in a house of worship would be to give silent assent to the practice of homosexuality. Thanks to Pastor Prevo for saying "Not in this house you don't". It is not personal, it is a conviction regarding right and wrong. For those of you who want to worship God, you are more than welcome to do that in this building. That is what this building was built for, not for anything else anyway; it was a nicety that the troop was allowed to use the building to begin with. And for those who want to personally attack the pastor: who made you God? If you did some research you would know that much of what the pastor and his family have was given to them as gifts of appreciation from people. And what business is that of yours anyway? Who questions what you drive or eat or do for entertainment or have for friends, etc? Bottom line: darkness of lies hates the light of truth.
AKgirl64 at 10:46 PM August 7, 2013:
I appreciate the stand Jerry Prevo is taking. There comes a time when you have to make tough decisions and God does not make exceptions. Not even for the Boy Scouts. They use to stand for strong family morals as well. There is so much talk about equality and tollerance, that we are throwing our morals away and our country is going down hill. I am glad we still have REAL MEN of GOD out there willing to take that stand even though they know it is not the popular thing to do. I respect a man who is willing to follow God even in the hard times, the times when everyone wants to tell God "what he really means" God said what he meant and He makes no apologies for it.
As far as allowing sinners in the church, I believe all sinners are welcome to come and hear the message of Jesus Christ, but it is not a place to hold meetings that condone what the Bible calls sin.
Jerry Prevo is a man you can count on to be consistant, to preach the word of God, ALL of it, he does not pick and choose or sugar coat. You may want to call him names and poke fun and ridicule him, but he did not write the Bible, God did, if you have a problem with it, your problem is with God.
Thank You Jerry for the stand you take and for your commitment to God, I wish our country had more Pastors like you today, Ones that actually preach the WHOLE BIBLE, perhaps our wolrd would not be in the mess it is today.
Ingram091 at 9:51 PM August 7, 2013:
Hatred and bigotry my Butt. Homosexuality like ALL sexuality is a learned behavior, brought forth from upbringing and peers and in recent years entertainment industry coercing towards the amoral. We have raised a godless atheist generation demanding equality for a bad behavior imagining it to be genetics. There is no DNA that produces homosexuals, if there were it would be screened for as down-syndrome & retardation are today prior to birth. Point is the Homosexual community HAS to Recruit from the innocent to sustain its movement. Has to essentially brainwash the youth to tolerate the peer amorality against the wills of their rightful guardians whom have abdicated their parenting responsibilities to the state to raise them through peer pressure and Entertainment culture. Any culture that condones the sexuality of Children is amoral period straight or otherwise. While there is no doubt that it happens, using that as an excuse to endorse Sodomy as a alternative to getting pregnant in junior high is repulsive, and having this discussion with scouts is JUST AS EQUALLY repulsive. these children should NOT be sexually ANYTHING, as THAT is an Adult decision. Boy Scouts are not the scouting of my and most youth anymore, the church is right to remove them from their affiliation. Please do form private faith based scouting again as the BSA once was.