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Should Christian Pastors Speak Out Against The Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Laws? I Say No!

Posted by Job on December 26, 2009

Homosexual activists and others who would promote and proliferate various forms of disorder and perversion throughout the world have tried to target and discredit Uganda ever since they proved on a national scale that it was possible to successfully fight the spread of AIDS, and it was done through a Christian woman in the Ugandan public health department who advocated abstinence. Now it seems that such people have their opening: Uganda’s considering a law that would criminalize homosexuality.

Now make no mistake, in general I oppose efforts to legislate morality. The purpose of human institutions i.e. cultures and governments are to restrain evil, and because humans are made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26) and are recipients of His common grace and used to achieve His purposes (Romans 13:1-8). However, because human institutions also reflect man’s fallen nature, they are incapable of achieving or imposing God’s righteousness and are not participants in or beneficiaries of special – that is saving – grace. Human institutions cannot and will not ever redeem cultures or nations. Instead, God will redeem His holy and elect nation, His church. Whenever a government passes the boundary of restraining evil, it becomes evil itself.

Now of course, the definition of government action which restrains evil varies with times and places because of the  state of the culture. What restrains evil in some cultural contexts creates confusion and chaos in others. (This is a principle that was quickly discovered by Christian evangelists on the mission field who at times caused real problems by attempting to change offensive local practices before the minds and hearts were ready for such changes.) That is one reason why we need wise, honest and prudent rulers, governors and administrators.

So, a law against homosexual behavior in America would be utterly ridiculous in a nation whose culture has been defined by 40 years of the sexual revolution – and also humanistic Enlightenment ideas for centuries before that – and now has large numbers of homosexuals in positions of authority in government, academia, media, culture (and increasingly clergy!) and where large portions of the population of major cities have given themselves over to this abomination, either by participating in it or having pleasure in those who do (Romans 1:32). But, a law against homosexuality in a culture where the homosexual population, culture and influence is small and more importantly the prevailing cultural mindset does not embrace the idea that living to please oneself is the goal and duty of man’s existence (and yes, American culture has long exalted the individualistic ideal of pleasing oneself) may be practical and effective in restraining evil in that culture.

This is important because in order to restrain evil, a law must be practical and effective. If a law is impractical or ineffective, it increases evil by making a mockery of the law itself and the rulers and servants who administer it. That is precisely an issue in America, which is plunging into disorder in no small part because of a labyrinth of laws that can never be enforced, causing the populace to view our government and leaders as weak and ineffective. A law against homosexual behavior would only cause more people to despise and defy the government, making the ability of the government to restrain evil in other ways (i.e. enforce laws against murder and theft) that much more difficult.

But would such a law be practical, effective and necessary (another vital component, as laws must also be needed and not capricious vanities) in restraining evil in Uganda? To this only Ugandans know the answer. But if a law against homosexually is necessary, practical and effective in Uganda and thereby restrains evil, what basis does a Christian  have for speaking against it? In Biblical terms, we have no reason.

Instead, the ability of such a law to restrain evil and the need for such a law is a matter for the Ugandan rulers to decide. Claiming otherwise is bad policy in the secular arena and bad theology in the Christian one. Yet many western Christian pastors and religious leaders are falling over themselves to criticize and denounce Uganda and in the process humiliate, undermine and make appear less effective government, rulers and administrators in an area that badly needs it (and yes, the failure of so many civil governments in Africa and the disastrous consequences of these failures is a major argument for one world government!) without stopping to consider that by acting against a government that appears to be effective at restraining evil that they are violating Romans 13:1-8. Why? In order not to offend mainstream sensibilities. In order to curry and maintain favor with those in power. In short, to be relevant.

Further, it is hypocritical for American pastors. What is the difference between a law against homosexuality and a law against polygamy? Please realize that where the Bible calls homosexuality a sin in both the Old and New Testament, it nowhere does so for polygamy. What about our laws regulating or criminalizing the use of some drugs (particularly allowing the ones that cause the most damage – alcohol and tobacco – to be legal while forbidding others)? What about our laws against gambling? Claims that either are based on the Bible is absurd. There are lots of things that are declared illegal by our laws but aren’t explicitly declared to be sins in the Bible.

And what of things that are illegal in America ONLY because they are declared to be sinful in the Bible? Best example: prostitution. Make a case that prostitution should be illegal without resorting to what the Bible says about fornication and adultery. You can’t. Plus the fact that pornography is legal makes laws against prostitution ridiculous. There are other areas also. Why, for instance, do statutory rape laws – a matter completely different from child molestation mind you – exist? And what about age-consent laws for marriage?

So, now we have the bizarre state of affairs where evangelical pastors in the west are speaking out against anti-homosexuality measures in Uganda while remaining silent concerning THOROUGHLY INEFFECTIVE measures against gambling, marijuana and polygamy (the state can only prosecute a person for legally marrying multiple spouses but can’t do a thing to prevent it socially or culturally, and yes religious groups can and do perform marriages to polygamists) in their own countries, and moreover lack the theological consistency to recognize that an anti-homosexuality law is no different from a law against prostitution or statutory rape in their own countries.

So, their stand is not based on the Bible, for if it were such pastors would – in order to be consistent – oppose our own laws against prostitution as well. But as the evangelical pastor who favors decriminalizing prostitution would soon find himself without a congregation – and the influence that comes from being a pastor of one – on this issue they remain silent. That exposes the danger of playing politics and attempting to mix being a religious leader and a secular one. It is, quite simply, impossible to be effective in both religious and secular leadership spheres because in the former you are leading (mostly) born again people and in the latter you are influencing (mostly) unsaved ones, and you are bound by the duties of your leadership to respond to the needs and desires of both. It is inevitable for the leadership spheres to be in conflict, and you must wind up choosing one over the other. As Jesus Christ said, you cannot serve both God and mammon, for you will either love one or hate the other.

This is not an argument against Christians being in government service or even against pastors’ having secular jobs. Instead, it is a statement that Christian pastors, when acting and speaking from the role of pastor with the authority of pastor, should rule wisely with wisdom, caution, prudence and consistency. Speaking out against Uganda’s anti-homosexuality laws because retaining your place of popularity and leadership in mainstream society requires that you do so falls short of this principle, especially if by doing so you ignore similar problems with our own government and laws. Pastors, concentrate on effectively serving your own churches first, and let God take care of the rest.

9 Responses to “Should Christian Pastors Speak Out Against The Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Laws? I Say No!”

  1. john r said

    Equality of homosexuals to heterosexuals:
    homosexuals have never been found wanting in any sector of society compared to heterosexuals. they are not less a friend, father, counselor, teacher, engineer, soldier, administrator, doctor, neighbor, brother, etc.

    There is separation between church and state in this country. Congress shall make no law honoring any religion, or any religious views.

    Homosexuality has been deemed legal in this country compared to heterosexuality and therefore legally must be given equal protection under the law for life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. What ever heterosexuals are entitled to, homosexuals must be given the same entitlement.

    Believers for 2000 years have attempted to say that the scriptures had declared homosexuality a sin, by adding their own stroke to the law(gen,matt), by making fraudulent transpositions into scripture(1corr,1tim), by assigning meaning to scriptural verses in spite of their words(romans), by assuming all prohibitions of the old testament were of themselves sins and attempting to apply them to the new covenant, to make regulation in the new covenant when in fact the new covenant is without regulation, unlike as is in the old covenant in deut. 28(romans,galatians,1corr).

    Jesus said “you will recognize them by their fruit”…..the fruit of the spirit that is in their lives……….the fruit of the spirit of Christ is different than that of powers and principalities.(gal)

    The lives of single and married homosexual believers are filled with the fruit of the spirit in the same way as those of single and married heterosexual believers.

  2. john r said

    my understanding is that because the gospel has now more closely associated with human rights and protection from persecution, and because the new covenant has been more fully embraced by christendom as a gospel of love(the 2nd commandment being the summation of the “entire law” of the new covenant………..love your neighbor….)(galatians) pastors feel compelled to speak out especially to those to whom they have a spiritual relationship with.

  3. Job said

    John:

    The Bible plainly calls homosexuality a sin. Further, despite liars who claim otherwise, there is not one single homosexual couple depicted in the Bible, in either testament. People who claim that the Bible was falsely interpreted or altered to appear to depict homosexuality as a sin cannot come up with a single manuscript or a single early alternate translation from an early church father (i.e. during the 1st and 2nd century) to support their case. This is notable because homosexuality was fully embraced and pervasively practiced in Rome, so there was no anti-homosexual culture in existence that would have doctored the manuscripts or created erroneous interpretations to begin with. The Roman Empire only began to frown on homosexuality when and because the Roman Empire was Christianized. You are expecting us to believe that the heavily Gentile Roman church altered the Bible to make behavior that A) the Bible did not call sin and B) that was fully accepted and widely practiced in Roman society into a sin, and that it was motivated by some “homophobia” that didn’t even exist back then. Look, at the time that the Bible was written, homosexuality was a celebrated part of the culture, behavior embraced by aristocrats (especially the men) and venerated in pagan religious worship (especially the women). So, had the New Testament not called homosexuality to be a sin in language that was well known and easily understood by people living in the Roman Empire, homosexuality would have NEVER been considered so because there would have been NO REASON for it. You are thinking anachronistically, importing the values of modern America (or at least modern evangelical Christian America) or perhaps even Calvin’s Geneva into the time and place that the Bible was written and translated. What you refuse to recognize is that in the time and place that the Bible was written and translated, calling homosexuality an abomination was a radical challenge to the predominant culture, and one of the reasons why Christians were persecuted … the elite rulers and the pagans hated being told that their decadent homosexuality was wrong. It was one thing for the Jews to consider homosexuality wrong, because the Jews kept to themselves. But it was quite another for the a heavily Gentile – and growing – Christian church to take this stand.

    And you know what? You folks know this already. You know that you are liars, that you have no actual factual evidence to back up your claim. (For instance, you claimed that Romans is being taken out of context? Have you actually READ Romans 1?) The homosexual “theologians” just make up things for which they have no evidence to support and indeed run contrary to all evidence and common sense and call people “homophobic” for not buying it. I mean, what God do you worship? Do you honestly think that a true, living all powerful God would ALLOW the truth of His acceptance and blessing of homosexuality to be hidden for 2000 years? You can’t name one single doctrine that was suppressed by the church for any period of time. (For instance, even in the darkness of Roman Catholicism, there were PLENTY of oppositional movements, including alternate churches. The only thing that the Protestant Reformation accomplished was the successful establishment of rival churches within the formerly Catholic west.)

    Again, name a single homosexual relationship in the Bible. More to the purpose, tell me why homosexuality exists. What purpose does homosexuality play in God’s plan for creation? The Bible even prominently mentions God using eunuchs in some areas – i.e. the Ethiopian eunuch – but NEVER homosexuals. You folks are just coming up with nonsense to justify indulging in behavior that makes you feel good, and demanding that everyone who doesn’t bow to your right to do whatever makes you feel good is a bigot. Well, what about people who enjoy stealing? Theft? Idolatry? Rape? Gluttony? Drunkenness? Lying? Adultery? Murder? What keeps those people from making the same claims that you do about how the Bible REALLY doesn’t call those sins, and that for 2000 years Christianity has gotten it wrong?

    And that is the real issue with “gay theology” … you only want to excuse your own sin, not everybody else’s. According to you, all the other sins are still wrong. The current versions, translations, and interpretations of the Bible are correct when it comes to all the OTHER sins. But it is only YOUR SIN that is so special, so unique, so different, so precious in the eyes of God that there needed to be some 2000 year conspiracy! Don’t you realize how vain, how arrogant, how self-centered that is? Only YOUR SIN was so important that it took a 2000 year conspiracy to keep it down. Not a single other behavior was suppressed in this manner, and further not a single behavior that should be considered sin was left out. So, people like you can take homosexuality off the list of sins but nothing else AND you can’t add anything to it. Why? BECAUSE IT IS ALL ABOUT YOU! IT IS ALL ABOUT YOUR DESIRE TO JUSTIFY YOUR OWN BEHAVIOR AND DEMAND THAT EVERYBODY ELSE ACCEPT IT! That is why you continue in this rebellion despite the incontrovertible fact that it cannot possibly be true, despite the fact that there is no way that a culture whose elite citizens and its religious systems regularly participated in and glorified homosexuality (take away homosexuality and Greco-Roman paganism falls apart) would have ever altered or falsely interpreted the Bible to make homosexuality appear wrong when it wasn’t. Look, throughout church history, SCORES of significant figures are reputed to have been repressed or closeted homosexuals. Don’t you think that THEY would have been the ones to make these “discoveries” of false insertions into texts or false interpretations and not you?

    A homosexual cannot be Holy Spirit-filled because a homosexual has not met a vital condition for salvation, which is repentance, turning away from sin.

    • Job, If ever there was a statement that transcends every word ever spoken on this subject it would be what you wrote:

      A homosexual cannot be Holy Spirit-filled because a homosexual has not met a vital condition for salvation, which is repentance, turning away from sin.

  4. John Kaniecki said

    Job,

    Hi hope you are well.

    One correction if I may, “A homosexual not recognizing his sin and dealing with it in a repentive manner is the one who has abandonned the Lord.” I know of homosexuals who recognized their sin and fought there urges. In this respect homosexuality is no worse than any other sin.

    I for one do not see why the ‘christian’ world comes down so hard on homosexuality in comparison to other sins. Surely adultery is just as wrong and perhaps more destructive.

    Finally the arguement that homosexuality is not a sin is a very weak one. I have a friend who is a homosexual that likes to say “What did Jesus says about homosexuality?” Well the Word of God is the entire Bible. For that matter there is more evidence that homosexuality is a sin then child molestation. Surely you wouldn’t justify that now would you?

    Also it is always convienant for people to say that scripture is wrong to justify their sin. What you are doing is making a mockery of both the Word of God and God Himself.

    Love,

    John

    • Job said

      John Kaniecki:

      I understand your concern. However, I was speaking as to homosexuality as an identity, not the behavior or temptation. The person who refers to himself as a homosexual is someone who embraces the sinful behavior and lifestyle, meaning that he has not repented. The person who has repented and turned to salvation through Jesus Christ refers to himself as a FORMER homosexual. Thank you.

      • i agree with Job — when homosexuals indentify with this label, they are more or less decieved by the enemy. Christ can and will forgive any sin, including this one but it is a hard cloud to come out of from what those who have been in bondage to this sin report. i would also like to comment on earlier item. i believe that morality is already and should be legislated in all countries. true, i understand your point, Job, that there are cultures and traditions that may not agree with basic biblical standards, no matter how whacked and depraved some they may be. but don’t they already do this, when they make laws against murder, rape,etc. absolutley, that is law based on morality, even if they dont have biblical standards, they still have been given a conscious to know basic right from wrong-even if they become depraved. God will hold them accountable to the truth they made into a lie, but it is up to christians to do their part in all arenas, especially politics, to make sure they have been giving correct info. to make right decisions. just google Alan Keyes and see what a real godly man can do in politics compared to those who only profess Christ only to get into office to promote their own agendas.

        without a foundation of morality behind laws, we get depraved minds such as men and women having sex with infants, men raping women whenever they get an urge on the streets, canibolism and other filthy things that the human mind can stoop to. so i say yes, i believe we must legislate homosexuality and all morality for that b/c it is an abomination to the LORD and the last time i read about homosexuality was regarding Sodom and Gomorhea and we all know that GOD don’t play that. when we as christians don’t take stands for righteousness, i call that the death of discernment.

  5. John Kaniecki said

    Job,

    Hi hope you are well.

    Yes the whole homosexual thing can bring a life unto it’s own. Just like the gang culture, the drug culture and so forth. There are peverse and unGodly behaivour in all.

    I recall a friend from college whom we always suspected was gay. One day years later I was having lunch with him and his lover when he admitted his homosexuality. They have a whole existance centered around their sexuality, in the same way we center ourselves around Christ.

    Love,

    John

  6. Joe Kutoane said

    John,
    You can’t be apologist for America’s tolerance towards homosexuality. Jesus would have said “Get behind me Satan” when it’s reasoned that it’s much easier to pass anti-homosexuality in Uganda because of excuse1, excuse2, etc.

    When the devil fell, he proceeded to pervert everything on this earth. Many kings and presidents could legislate abominations: smoking, homosexuality, praying to idols.

    Ninivites repented enmasse. It can be done.

    We should all pray for boldness Eph6v20 in the church.

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