The Call Uganda will proceed as planned but Lou Engle just now released a statement which addresses the controversy over the upcoming assembly in Kampala. About Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill, Engle says, “…we do not see the character of Christ reflected in some key aspects of the language of the current bill.” The statement also addresses issues from the California Prop 8 campaign.
TheCall Uganda Press Release:
When TheCall was invited to come to Uganda our intent was to join with the leaders and the people of the great Ugandan Church in a gathering of fasting and prayer to confess our personal and national sins, to pray for God’s blessing on the nation, and for a great spiritual awakening among her youth. Personal and national repentance among Christians and prayer for spiritual awakening has been the core focus of TheCall since her inception.
TheCall had no knowledge at the time, of the Uganda homosexual bill and the controversy surrounding it. TheCall was unaware that our genuine intent to encourage the Ugandan church in prayer would thrust us into an international controversy.
TheCall, in 2008, mobilized thousands to pray and fast in California that marriage would be upheld between a man and a woman, believing this to be God’s design for the good of society, family, and children. TheCall belief and intent has never been about promoting hatred toward the homosexual community as a whole or towards individuals who identify as LGBT. We have always sought to offer a message of love and redemption to those with same-sex attractions, though at times our communication could have been expressed more effectively and graciously. In this aspect, we humbly seek your forgiveness if we had not communicated God’s righteousness and mercy adequately.
Now recently, TheCall has been wrongfully marked and vilified as an organization promoting hatred and violence against homosexuals and as one that supports the Uganda bill as currently written. To the contrary, we have never made a private or a public statement of support for that bill. Though we honor the courage and stand with the stated purpose of the many Church leaders in Uganda who are seeking to protect the traditional and biblical family foundations of the nation, we have serious concerns with the bill as presently written, especially in terms of some of the harsh penalties for certain homosexual behaviors or offenses. Sadly, many around the world are identifying TheCall with these aspects of the bill. Our concern is not to avoid the controversy the bill is stirring up, but to give an accurate representation of biblical values and the heart of Christ for all humanity. Though TheCall is not afraid to take a clear stand on biblical truth on matters of sexuality, we are deeply concerned that TheCall ministry would not wrongfully reflect the character of Christ, and we do not see the character of Christ reflected in some key aspects of the language of the current bill.
Therefore TheCall, though continuing to be held in Uganda, will not promote this bill. In fact, we challenge the Church of Uganda to join with Christians around the world, to first examine our own moral failures, confess our own lack of love, and from that heart seek to establish true biblical standards, reflecting compassion for those struggling with same-sex attraction and equal justice for criminal offenses committed by heterosexuals or homosexuals. We believe this also reflects the heart and intent of the Christian leaders of Uganda.
In releasing this statement, we want to take this opportunity to reiterate our deep love for the homosexual community and, as followers of Jesus, our commitment to oppose all hatred and violence directed towards that community.
I appreciate the ideals expressed here in broad conceptual terms. However, to me, it seems that the application of those ideals would lead to a rejection of criminalization altogether. I do hope that the opposition to hatred and violence expressed here will be made clear to rally-goers on Sunday.
Update: This statement has been added to The Call website…