· Scouting

The Scout oath and the oath we should take


By Steven Scheid


The Scout oath reads:

“On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.”


This is the benchmark for the discipline and growth in a troop, pack, crew, post, or team. It is the base.

Behaviors are measured, moved back into alignment or edged forward based on this foundation.


I have been asking myself, “What oath or measuring stick should we use as followers of Christ?”


We have often said our goal is to “love God and others as yourself.”


That goal becomes problematic when a person does not like himself.


Suicide is up. Obesity is a huge problem. Some people don't seem to like (let alone love) themselves. They show little care and less intent.


For that reason, I challenge the church to quit saying, “Love others as yourself.”


We are not the measure.


The correct measure is best summed up in John 13:34:


“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

We need to love as God loved.


The most powerful and infinite God became bound in the prison cell of a human body for 33 years by choice. How many of us would be willing to suffer that long for anyone?


Christ died for us!


We, as the church, are to love as Christ loved.


Scouts repeat the Scout oath at the start of each meeting. It sets the measure of who and what they are to be.

Let us begin every time, in every place, and in every meeting with the silent oath: “On my honor, I will do my best to love as Christ has loved.”


Steven Scheid, director of the Center for Scouting Ministries

General Commission on UM Men


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