Tuesday, February 15, 2011

lest ye be judged: an open letter to Ugandan pastors about homosexuality

An open letter to pastors in Uganda regarding the recent rise in anti-gay rhetoric and violence in their country.  If you would like to gather some background first, please read a news article like this one about the death of homosexual activist David Kato and the subsequent national reaction in Uganda.

Dear Fellow Pastors in Uganda,

Let me first begin by saying I am a Christian who truly believes that the Bible is the inerrant, inspired Word of God.  Though I am far from perfect, the Bible is the final authority on everything in my life.

I understand your consternation about homosexuality in your country.  The free exercise and outright promotion of sexual immorality in my country troubles me too.

But I must plead with you to show grace from those who struggle with sins that you do not.  Please stop supporting legislation that would force family, friends, and neighbors to report homosexuals to police and proposed punishments of imprisonment or execution for homosexuals.

In fact, I would ask you to oppose it.

Romans 1 tells us that God allows people to get lost in the folly of their own sin, and it specifically mentions homosexuality as an example of this.  My brothers, if God permits this sin to exist in the world, who are you to condemn it as punishable by death?

You might argue that the Old Testament prescribes punishment of sexual sins by stoning, but you should remember that those sins include adultery.  Furthermore, Jesus himself equated all lustful thoughts with adultery in one's heart.  If you believe the words of Jesus and want to practice Old Testament justice, then you have just condemned every human being with an active sex drive, presumably including yourselves.

Please do not mistake my voice as that of a man who condones homosexuality or advocates its codification in law through marriage.  As far as I believe, you are not obliged to ignore this practice in your church or incentivize it in government, nor should you.

But you are a light on a dark continent.  You stand with our brave brothers in South Sudan, representing Jesus, though you are a small, thoroughly surrounded minority.  The world watches you with curiosity about what Jesus can do on a war-scarred and spiritually-confused continent.  Please represent him well, better than this hateful grandstanding does.

David Kato was a man whom God loved regardless of his relationship with Him.  His brutal death is a tragedy, not something to which God-fearing people should ever lend approval or encouragement.  You should mourn, not rejoice.  You should pray, not persecute.

I hope that Martin Ssempa is the Ugandan equivalent of America's own incredibly embarrassing Westboro Baptist Church and that he, like Fred Phelps, is reviled by Christians and non-Christians alike in your country.  I know he allegedly even showed gay pornography in his church in support of his twisted agenda.  I hope that he is a loudmouth whose inflammatory rhetoric has gotten far more press than he deserves.

I hope that you, the real Christians of Uganda, find a way to love, protect, and serve your homosexual countrymen in a way that draws them toward Jesus rather than forever disgusts them about him.

My prayers are with you tonight.  May your light shine in Africa tomorrow.

God bless,
Raj Lulla

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