I still remember it like it was yesterday. There I was in a packed quadrangle dressed from head to toe in a freshly pressed Boy’s Scout uniform surrounded by the entire student body. As I belted out the local troop’s pledge song, the sound of my voice in unison with the whole company drifted through the silence of the audience like the aroma of freshly baked bread. Few moments have surpassed the pride and exuberance I felt that day when I became a Scout.

 At that point in my life, I was unaware of the Scout’s history. I was unaware that the Scouts maintained a religious principle that called on Scouts to recognize their obligation to God and country; that Scouts were to be brave, clean, and reverent; that ‘Scout’s Honor’ was not just a catch phrase, but it was an indication of moral propriety and trustworthiness. The only thing that mattered to me at that point was that for the first time in my life I felt accepted, safe, and loved.

Perhaps I am being a bit melodramatic, but when someone or something has had a considerable impact on your life you cannot help but to speak of it in glowing terms. This is precisely why April 19th, 2013 became a watershed moment in my life. While trolling the internet trying to keep up with the unfolding events in Boston, Mass., tucked away in a corner was the title of an article that read, “Boys Scouts to lift ban on gay youth members.” The battle was over, the fight had ended, the Scouts had caved; and at that point, in one swift moment, all that I loved and respected about the Scouts had caved as well.

Don’t misunderstand me, I am not upset over the fact that gays are now allowed to be a part of the Scouts, they already were, albeit in secret. I am also not upset that the Scouts went back on a fundamental stance that in a way came to define their whole organization. What I am upset about is the reason behind the decision. No, it wasn’t for the greater social good of America, it wasn’t for the good of those who may have been excluded under the current gay ban, and it certainly wasn’t for the good of the young men who are currently a part of the Scouts. No, the reason was much less noble but equally as persuasive, the reason was money.

After corporate sponsors threatened to pull funding, and members of various social groups branded them as hateful elitist; the brand of the Scouts stood in jeopardy. But rather than stand firm in their convictions, they decided to do what no Scout ever does–they broke “Scout’s Honor.” They forgot to be physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight. They gave up, and at that telling moment the phrase “On my honor it is so” had lost all meaning. I guess I always knew that money was truly at the root of all decision making; and that it wields a power that even the most righteous among us struggle mightily to withstand. But I never thought for a moment that the power of green could penetrate the moral steadfastness of what those iconic tan shirts represent, and influence the heart.

This recent moral reversal or the consideration thereof by the Boy’s Scouts should serve as a grave reminder to believers everywhere that life should not be lived on mere “echoes” of biblical principle, but firmly rooted in gospel convictions. These gospel convictions–that maintain the Bible as the word of God, Christ as both Savior and Lord, love for all mankind, and humility–are not for sale; nor can they be reconsidered because of possible monetary loss. Why? Because they are convictions that are implanted by God at the point of regeneration, sealed in us by the Holy Spirit, and stored away in our union with Christ. And because of this Trinitarian reinforcement, we do not bow the knee to pressure nor do we rethink our convictions because of the financial consequences.

But in a world driven by greed, obsessed with fortune and fame, and governed by a ruthless finagling for the all mighty dollar; one would think that the Scouts–those noble few–would be immune to the controlling power of money. Whatever happened to ‘Scout’s Honor,” whatever happened to that sense of integrity and willingness to stick by your convictions, whatever happened to that willingness to bend but not break? Apparently, like almost everything else in our morally neutral society, all of those convictions went to the highest bidder.

Despite what has happened, the shock of April 19th, 2013 cannot put a damper on the memories of that day I became a scout. As I sit here behind my desk, I can still hear the melody of our troop song. I can still picture that quadrangle. I can still remember looking over my shoulder and seeing my troop leader brimming with pride as his troubled youth found purpose in life. Yes, I remember that day, because that was the day I promised my troop that I would be faithful and true to the “Scout” tradition. Fast forward twenty five years, and what you will find is a man that has remained faithful to those ideals. I just hope that the Scouts would do the same.