|Uganda - in need of God's grace|
(Exo 23:1 NKJV) "You shall not circulate a false report. Do not put your hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness.
(Exo 23:2 NKJV) "You shall not follow a crowd to do evil; nor shall you testify in a dispute so as to turn aside after many to pervert justice.
Uganda is a predominantly Christian country of 32 million (84% Christian with RC (42%) and Anglican (36%) being the largest denominations). It has a murderous history of dictatorship of Idi Amin whose rule killed 300,000 people. The Ugandan economy has been devastated by wars with Tanzania, Congo and internal civil wars. Uganda is one of the poorest countries in the world with a nominal per capita GDP of $474.
Not all Christians are like that we may protest, but this argument denies that a large majority is virulently anti-gay as seen by the Uganda’s “anti-homosexuality” laws on the verge of getting approved which calls for the death penalty for gays. The false witness by the Christian Right against gays has two main motives – as a wedge issue to promote fund raising causes for their ministry, and to exalt their self righteousness and Holiness.
Encouraged by the Christian Right Lobby in America, Uganda has turned their vicious streak to kill gays. There is so much blood in the hands of Christian Uganda in the crimes committed against humanity in the civil wars over the last 40 years that a scapegoat must be found to be portrayed as being utterly sinful so that their own real hideous sins are soothed in their conscience. Their conscience demand a sacrifice for their sins and gays are the gentle lambs to be sacrificed on their behalf.
In Christianity Today, The Rt. Rev. Dr. David Zac Niringiye, assistant bishop of Kampala in the Anglican Church of Uganda has said that the "Kill Gay" bill has the total support of Christians in Uganda and that outsiders have no speaking rights on an internal matter. However, the Bishop is being inconsistent when Uganda has been outspoken of the Episcopal Church in America and Uganda has received much foreign aid. Should foreign countries cut all foreign aid to Uganda? We are all related one way or the other.
(Deu 19:18 NKJV) "And the judges shall make careful inquiry, and indeed, if the witness is a false witness, who has testified falsely against his brother,
(Deu 19:19 NKJV) "then you shall do to him as he thought to have done to his brother; so you shall put away the evil from among you.
The bible is clear on the punishment on false witness used in a court of judgment where the accusations against the innocent in Uganda may cause the death of the victim or long jail terms. There is little mercy nor grace. As we are calling gays to be put into jail and face the death penalty, we are in return preaching bondage and destruction upon the entire Christian Community.
In Singapore for example, when Pastor Derek Hong of the Anglican Church of Our Saviour proclaimed that gays are “seeking special rights” when gays have few basic rights, he was planting the seed of bondage into the church. On harvest day, others will put restriction in how we worship, where we worship, and the many related companies/businesses that the mega churches own. As Gays have little rights despite our claims of them seeking special rights, our rights of how we do church will be curtailed as a whole church.
It is fortunate that we have a separation of state and religion in Singapore. If not we may well end up like Uganda where gays are being sent to jail or executed. This is already happening on a wide scale in religious hard line countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Some gay Christians are so eager to support the mega churches and any criticism of their anointed senior pastors would be considered as blasphemy. But listen to some of these pastors carefully, and see that underneath it all, they like the Ugandan Christians have an insidious “Kill Gay” motive. The Uganda Anglican churches are part of the Anglican South, with our Singaporean Archbishop John Chew as its head. Chew is also the President of the Council of Churches in Singapore. We are not too far from harm.
There are many Christians who correctly call for social justice as a major mandate of the church. However, before we can call for social justice, we cannot be agents of social injustice. We are called to worship God, and if our hands are filled with blood of the innocent gay lambs (Isa 59:3), will God listen to our prayers?
This is the tragedy of Uganda, with 32 million living in poverty in general, yet persecuting the minority groups and slaying them with a self righteous attitude believing that they are doing God’s work. If we insist on the Law, we negate God's grace and be condemned by the very law we use to judge others. In effect, we are negating God's grace and mercy needed so much in a country in desperate strive.
To the Ugandan gays living in the amidst incredible persecution, strive and hiding underground, blamed and vilified. God is with you, His grace and mercy abounds forever more. There is darkness, but one day there will be light. Our thoughts and prayers are with you day. As the sun goes down, and darkness all over, our praise will rise to heaven. We are left only with dreams that we will be nearer to God one day, and be fully accepted by Him. "Angels to beckon me nearer, my God, to Thee. "
Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Though like the wanderer, the sun gone down,
There let the way appear, steps unto Heav’n;
Then, with my waking thoughts bright with Thy
Or, if on joyful wing cleaving the sky,
There in my Father’s home, safe and at rest,