Episode Two: “By Whom Are We Challenged?” [First instalment here.]
BY WHOM ARE WE CHALLENGED?
There are several forces in the world which challenge our Scout faith, and many of them have little or nothing in common. We should recognise these forces, however seldom some of us happen to meet the types of people who are swayed by them.
The first type are the atheists – those who do not believe in the existence of any God. They may describe themselves as Materialists, Secularists, Humanists and the rest, but they all say “there is no God”. It is clear that they cannot truthfully take the Scout Promise. No atheist can be a Scout.
The second type are the agnostics – those who say they do not know about God, and therefore neither believe nor disbelieve. They Scout Promise demands a positive belief.
People of both types may try to shake our faith, and that is why it is so important for us to know what we believe. So often we are shaken by some plausible argument when there is a perfectly good answer at hand if we only know what it is. It is, perhaps, tempting to our pride to say that man is sufficient of himself, but two world wars have shown to what depths man can sink when he has no standard higher than himself to aim at. Man may be clever enough to split the atom, but does he know how to control the use of its energy?
The third type is very common, and consists of those who are apathetic about religion, and who are content to follow the world’s standards. They challenge us, rather indirectly, by suggesting that we are too pious, and our standards unrealistic. They may form the majority of the people among whom we live, and it is hard for some of us to be different. We are tempted to copy their example and to follow the easy road.
Next up: “Communism”