Canyon Ridge Christian Church has placed their recent statement to me on their website along with the documents provided to them by Martin Ssempa.
We are continuing our conversations with Martin Ssempa about his positions on the controversial issue of the “Anti-Homosexuality” legislation in Uganda. Again, we believe that because of the serious nature of the accusations that have cast him in a light inconsistent with our values, we are obligated to do what the Bible says – go to the person and work the issues through to discern the truth. This is what we have done and are continuing to do.
Martin has given us some documentation to clarify his position as he has represented it to us. We also have included this link to a radio interview where he discusses his position.
Because of the documents he has given us and our interactions with him, we do not believe Martin Ssempa to be the man the media and others have portrayed him to be. He has, with other pastors in Uganda, publicly expressed objection to the death penalty in the Anti-Homosexuality bill and made recommendations to Parliament to remove the death penalty from the bill and reduce the severity of other penalties in it. (Please see attached documents at the bottom of the page.)
We have worked with Martin for several years, making trips to Uganda to see his ministry first hand. He has welcomed and ministered to homosexual people in his church. He has championed the cause of abstinence, sexual purity and faithfulness in marriage that has been instrumental in pushing back the scourge of HIV/AIDS in Uganda. This work has now become a model for other African nations in stemming the tide of the HIV/AIDS pandemic on that continent. This work of saving lives in Africa was the genesis of our partnership in Uganda.
As you know, we have, through recent face to face (March 11, 2010) and video phone conversations, questioned Martin about the controversial issues and asked him to provide additional video and written statements that further clarify his positions. He has asked for and graciously received our counsel and correction and committed to continue pursuing balanced teaching of the grace and truth of God.
As with all of our partners, the evaluation of their ministries is ongoing. Our first move in moments like these is to clarify, then counsel and influence, not abandon.
CRCC Statement – released 6/27/2010
The video explains the history of the church relationship with Ssempa. I will have some reaction to these materials tomorrow. The volume is very low. Unfortunately the pastor in the video repeats the spin regarding bill and has misled his congregation. He blames the media for actually reading the bill. I have to ask why he does not simply post the bill.