Christians, even those of us who are infallible Doctrinal Warriors, must always remain open to the possibility of God leading us in new directions, and calling us to face new challenges. Growing in Christian maturity never ceases to bring he possibility of new insights and deeper understanding into the mysteries of our faith.
Which is why I’m not ashamed to admit, my Dearly Beloved Sinners, that I’ve recently been brought by the Spirit to a new conviction concerning a group of people I’ve always considered the Bible as condemning on account of their perverse lifestyle.
These are people who, despite the manifest sinfulness of their chosen way of living, persist in maintaining they “were born that way” - irrespective of the fact that plain common sense, not to mention the entire canon of church tradition (in so far as it refers to such people at all) makes it clear that that they have in fact surrendered themselves willingly to defilement, choosing to become an abomination in the sight of God's self-appointed spokesmen.
Yet without seeking to mitigate their shame and wickedness, I have now seen that just as Rahab proved herself faithful despite being a filthy evil-encrusted denizen of Jericho, there are also - purely by God’s grace – men and women among this group whom I once believed damned perverts who are – I know you’ll find this challenging to hear - actually Christians!
By now I’ve no doubt even the most Biblically Illiterate Episcopalians among you will have realized that the people of whom I have been talking are Ugandans. After all, Natural Order (thanks Bishop Lawrence) proves them utterly steeped in sin. What’s more it’s an indisputable Biblical fact that the Scriptures never so much as once mention Ugandans in a positive light. Nor did Jesus, or God’s son, the Apostle Paul, ever suggest the possibility of someone being both Christian and Ugandan. Besides, if God had wanted people to be Ugandan he would have created Adam and Orombi, not Adam and Eve.
Because St. Onuphrius’ is a caring congregation with a profound sense of mission we have over the years done much to minister to sinners ensared by the Ugandan lifestyle. To those who might claim being Ugandan is a matter of birth and development, or genetics, I would simply draw attention to the men and women who’ve come through our program and whom have now put the shame of their time in the Ugandan deception behind them. Some, for example, now by God’s grace describe themselves as Norwegian, or Latvian, and I personally know of at least one ex-Ugandan now living happily as an Esquimaux.
Which is not to say they don’t still face difficulties. The repentant Norwegians have yet to obtain passports, and since moving to Florida the Esquimaux has experienced terrible difficulties keeping his igloo from melting. Yet challenges like these are part of what it means to be a Christian, or at least they are for those whom GAFCON leaders like myself have successfully burdened with a hefty layer of extra-Biblical guilt. Sure, we’ve witnessed setbacks and failures in those to whom we minister (to be perfectly honest not a single Ugandan has ever experienced lasting reorientation), which is why we prefer not to submit our program to independent evaluation, but against this must considered the fact that we’ve been able to wring a fortune in donations from people who through issues of their own want to support the ministry.
Yet, like St. Peter learning it’s ok to enjoy a little sweet-and-sour pork with gentiles, the Lord recently convicted me to acknowledge what I once believed impossible: a Ugandan blessed with the Spirit and perception of Our Lord. Read his words for yourself and I’ve no doubt that you’ll understand this change in my position. Hopefully it will inspire you to reconsider your own attitude towards those whom you were once certain Scripture declared entirely beyond the reach of salvation. You might even – as I have been called to do – find it in your heart to remember this man and other Ugandans like him in your prayers. Lord knows they need all the help they can get.
I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.