The Listening Process

Reports from the Provinces - The Church of Uganda.

The Church of Uganda upholds resolution I.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference in saying that “Homosexual practice is incompatible with Scripture”. In 2005 the Church commissioned a group of theologians, male and female, ordained and lay, to produce a Position Paper on issues relating to homosexuality and the communion for ACC - 13. The final section contains these paragraphs:

“We believe that God is calling the Church of Uganda to seek continual transformation from the Word of God written, in preaching repentance and faith in Christ and develop ministries of pastoral care that don’t ostracize, shun, or reject those tempted by homosexual desire.  We acknowledge that God is calling us to come alongside those who give into the temptation of homosexual desire and show them the power of the Word of God to bring joy, peace, and satisfaction to their life through repentance and obedience to God’s Word.”

The Church has felt it imperative to respond to the present crisis which has seen the fabric of the Communion torn.

The Position Paper sets out a Biblical understanding of human sexuality. It shows how God’s design for sexual relationships, as seen in Genesis, is male female and is the only one to be extolled as normative. However, the fall caused the distortion of desire.

“Concerning homosexual behaviour and relationships in particular, from a plain reading of Scripture, from a careful reading of Scripture and from a critical reading of Scripture, it has no place in God’s design of creation, the continuation of the human race through procreation, or His plan of redemption.”

In Christ people and their sexual desires are redeemed and restored to God’s original intent and marriage itself can be a divine agent of sanctification.

The Position Paper makes it clear that “Contemporary Ugandan society has been transformed through Scripture’s teaching.” The Paper sets out that from the coming of missionaries and the formation of the Revival, obedience to the Holy Scriptures has marked the Church of Uganda and lead it in truth. It has challenged culture with wonderful results. It has ended the traditions of revenge and enslavement to evil spirits. It has widened the circle of love beyond the immediate family and thus broken strife and mutual exploitation this caused. Inter-ethnic  marriage has produced a united society. It has freed women from the bonds of male oppression  and challenged polygamy and divorce at will and valued the biblical institution of marriage. It has satisfied the quest for a living God and transformed society especially in the political sphere. It is this obedience to the Holy Scriptures which has enabled the church to counter HIV/AIDS.

The Church of Uganda has a long history of valueing the Ministry of women and has ordained women fron the 1980's and is insulted by the connection made by some between the freedom of women and homosexuality.

In Ugandan society there has been an aggressive upturn in homosexual propaganda on the radio and a huge rise in the availability of pornography challenging both biblical and traditional understandings of the glory of human sexuality within marriage. The Church is developing family life networks to counter false teaching and to strengthen young people to remain chaste prior to marriage and faithful in marriage.

The Church has encouraged the growth in numbers of well trained (to masters level) Christian counsellors who live out the Church’s mission to offer love for all, including those who are homosexual. The counsellors affirm their commitment to biblical principles.