By World Scouting
Aug 30, 2015

B-P’s Blog: Christianity, Religion and Scouting

Our founder, Baden Powell, had strong views on religion and one’s Duty to God. Listed here are a few statements he left us to consider:baden-powell

“Scouting is nothing less than applied Christianity” – (Scouting & Christianity, 1917)

“The religion of a man is not the creed he professes but his life – what he acts upon, and knows of life, and his duty in it. A bad man who believes in a creed is no more religious than the good man who does not.” – Baden-Powell quoting Carlyle

“Christianity or broad-minded love-practice does not as yet prevail in this world.” –

“When asked where religion came into Scouting and Guiding, Baden-Powell replied, It does not come in at all. It is already there. It is a fundamental factor underlying Scouting and Guiding.” (Religion and the Boy Scout and Girl Guides Movement–an address, 1926).

“….We aim for the practice of Christianity in their everyday life and dealings, and not mearly the profession of theology on Sundays…. The co-operation of tiny sea insects has brought about the formation of coral islands. No enterprise is too big where there is goodwill and co-operation carrying it out. Every day we are turning away boys anxious to join the Movement, because we have no men or women to take them in hand. There is a vast reserve of loyal patriotism and Christian spirit lying dormant in our nation today, mainly because it sees no direct opportunity for expressing itself. Here in this joyous brotherhood there is a vast opportunity open to all in a happy work that shows the results under your hands and a work that is worth while because it gives every man his chance of service for his fellow-men and for God.” – (Scouting For Boys, 1908)

Norman Rockwell, A Scout is Reverent

Norman Rockwell, A Scout is Reverent

“No man is much good unless he believes in God and obeys His laws. So every Scout should have a religion….Religion seems a very simple thing: First: Love and Serve God. Second: Love and serve your neighbour.” – (Scouting For Boys, 1908)

“The atheists….maintain that a religion that has to be learnt from books written by men cannot be a true one. But they don’t seem to see that besides printed books….God has given us as one step the great Book of Nature to read; and they cannot say that there is untruth there – the facts stand before them….I do not suggest Nature Study as a form of worship or as a substitute for religion, but I advocate the understanding of Nature as a step, in certain cases, towards gaining religion.” – (Rovering To Success, 1930)

“Development of outlook naturally begins with a respect for God, which we may best term “Reverence. Reverence to God and reverence for one’s neighbour and reverence for oneself as a servant of God, is the basis of every form of religion. The method of expression of reverence to God varies with every sect and denomination. What sect or denomination a boy belongs to depends, as a rule, on his parents’ wishes. It is they who decide. It is our business to respect their wishes and to second their efforts to inculcate reverence, whatever form of religion the boy professes. There may be many difficulties relating to the definition of the religious training in our Movement where so many different denominations exist, and the details of the expression of duty to God have, therefore, to be left largely in the hands of the local authority. But there is no difficulty at all in suggesting the line to take on the human side, since direct duty to one’s neighbour is implied in almost every form of belief.”(Aids to Scoutmastership, 1919)

The Scoutmaster teaches boys to play the game by doing so himself. --Robert Baden-Powell
Author: Lord Robert Baden Powell | Chief Scout of the World

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