Hostile Takeover or Populist Makeover? Why Uganda Poses a “Problem” for Some Christians

Uganda-at-50

If there’s one criticism that is most often hurled against Christian Reconstructionism, it is that the movement is really a sort of nefarious, political action committee that seeks to surreptitiously “take over” the country and impose its “top-down” theocratic agenda on the rest of the population, bringing its own brand of “taliban”-style totalitarianism to bear on the levers of power and overthrow our Western-style democracy in favor of a brutal and backwards “biblical oppressiveness.”

There’s just one little problem with this “popular” assertion. . .

It’s COMPLETELY WRONG!

All that has ever been written or said by any of the major players in the now-40-year-old Christian Reconstruction movement–whether Rushdoony, Bahnsen, North or any of the others–points to it as being, (a), a grass-roots, bottom-up, voluntary association of believers acting co-operatively, lawfully and peacefully to bring about biblical reforms within the realms of politics–the state–the family and the church, and, (b), a movement that has a STRONG “Christian libertarian” vein running through it:  SELF-government under God.  LIBERTY under His law. SPIRITUAL transformation of individual hearts and minds first, cultural transformation of societies and institutions second.  Renewal and restoration from the ground up, from the inside out.

No totalitarianist tendencies here.

Let’s take a look what has been happening in Uganda over the past two months.

In October, President Muzeveni prayed a public prayer of confession and repentance for the national sins of Uganda committed during its first 50 years of existence as an independent, self-governing nation, thereby doing what NO other political leader has done at any time in modern history: placing his entire nation and its people directly under the covenantal sanctions of God and begging for His mercy, clemency and forgiveness!

In November, a bill toughening criminal penalties against the practice of homosexuality in Uganda passed through committee and is scheduled to be voted on in Parliament this month (December).

The original 2009 “anti-homosexuality bill” reads like this.

The media, of course, has been apoplectic and unrighteously indignant at the inclusion of a death penalty in the bill for certain “aggravated” offenses involving acts of homosexuality.  Lawmakers caved (to pressure and their own misgivings), and that provision has since been removed.

Now, in all the hysteria, the focus has been almost exclusively on WHAT they’re doing over there (i.e., oppressing gays, discriminating against, penalizing/criminalizing sexual orientation, etc., etc..)

Hardly anyone has focussed on WHO is doing it.

Or more to the point, who is not doing it. . .

It is not the leaders “seeking to impose a top-down, theocratic agenda” on the people of Uganda.

No, no, no, gentle reader.  That’s what the critics want you to believe.  That is what those who hate government-enforced biblical morality want you to believe.

Rather, it is the people of Uganda who are doing this.  They are telling their elected officials, this is what WE want!

Big difference.

Let’s take a look at demographics.  Uganda is a country whose population is over 80% Christian.  Now, do you suppose that a pretty good-size chunk of those 80%, maybe, go to the polls and VOTE?  Yes!  Do you suppose that, perhaps, some of those same voters occasionally (or perhaps regularly) go to their elected leaders from time to time (“write their congressman”), attend their meetings and hearings, voice their opinions and perhaps tell them, you know, in light of all that our little nation has been through, this is the kind of legislation we’d like you to pass, these are the kinds of laws we think would be best for our people?  Ya think, hmmm?

Yes!

Well, that is exactly what happened in Uganda.

Coincidentally, that is exactly how “Christian reconstruction” is supposed to work.  How it does work.  The people, having had a “change of heart” and change in their thinking, begin to make changes in their government and in their laws as they see fit and as they begin to see the need and opportunity, according to their values, their shared beliefs, their shared convictions of what is right and wrong.

Now, here’s another twist to the unusual developments in an already theologically-loaded situation there in the east-African nation.

What’s going on in Uganda poses a unique “problem”, not only for liberals and gay activists.  It poses a sticky eschatological problem for some Christians.

Not all God’s people are saying ‘Amen’!

You see, what’s happening over there doesn’t fit neatly into certain eschatological schemes, prophetic timetables and other artificial doctrinal and  theological constraints placed on the belief systems and “worldviews” of millions of evangelical and Reformed Christians.

Darn those Ugandans!

Don’t they know, we’ve almost got “Antichrist” right where we want him now so that the prophetic time clock can be restarted and we can finally have our long-awaited Rapture and subsequent Jewish holocaust and unbiblical reinstatement of temple animal sacrifice like we’re supposed to?

Don’t they know the Gospel and Christianity are ‘for individual use’ only?  Not intended for resale (or wholesale) to cultures and societies?  Certainly not for institutional use?  Don’t they know the Church of Jesus Christ is destined (predestined) to be a complete and total, global epic failure in history, and ‘Satan is lord’ (politically) until Jesus comes again to dethrone him and clean up the unholy mess we’ve made?

Bojidar Marinov, Bulgarian missionary and firebrand Reconstructionist, has written an excellent article on “a problem called Uganda” as it relates to the preconceived notions of premillennialist, dispensationalist, amillennialist, antinomian and anti-Reconstructionist Christians.

I highly recommend reading what Bojidar says.

Those of us who embrace postmillennialism (the Gospel WILL succeed globally before Jesus returns), biblical preterism (fulfilled prophecy), theonomy (God’s law, our liberty) and covenant theology (historic, not the modern discombobulated kind), on the other hand, are greatly encouraged by what we see happening in the nation of Uganda (and in Zambia, too)–unlike our unlike-minded brothers in Christ who see Uganda the way Churchill saw Russia: “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma”.

Maybe we can invite President Museveni to come speak to a joint session of Congress and talk to our lawmakers about how we can avoid going over the “moral, ethical and spiritual cliff”!

We Americans have a lot of national sins to repent of, too.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Before Facebook inexplicably erased the share count on Dec. 5, 2012, this article had been shared 31 times!  I don’t know what happened, but I want to thank all of you who thought what was written here was worth sharing–PR.

Dec. 7, 2012: Looks like they reset the share counter to zero, but at least it’s working again!–PR.

Uganda’s Christian President Shows the World How to ‘Reconstruct’ a Nation

Imagine an American president doing this at our nation’s 250th anniversary celebration of its independence from Great Britain.

Uganda’s longtime president, Yoweri Museveni, a Christian, made history when, at his nation’s 50th anniversary celebration of its independence from Great Britain, he publicly offered a prayer of national repentance and confession, asking God’s forgiveness for his sins and the sins of his people.

Read this prayer all the way through in its entirety, word for word.

Father God in heaven, today we stand here as Ugandans, to thank you for Uganda. We are proud that we are Ugandans and Africans. We thank you for all your goodness to us.
I stand here today to close the evil past and especially in the last 50 years of our national leadership history and at the threshold of a new dispensation in the life of this nation. I stand here on my own behalf and on behalf of my predecessors to repent. We ask for your forgiveness.
We confess these sins, which have greatly hampered our national cohesion and delayed our political, social and economic transformation.
We confess sins of idolatry and witchcraft which are rampant in our land. We confess sins of shedding innocent blood, sins of political hypocrisy, dishonesty, intrigue and betrayal.
Forgive us of sins of pride, tribalism and sectarianism; sins of laziness, indifference and irresponsibility; sins of corruption and bribery that have eroded our national resources; sins of sexual immorality, drunkenness and debauchery; sins of unforgiveness, bitterness, hatred and revenge; sins of injustice, oppression and exploitation; sins of rebellion, insubordination, strife and conflict.
These sins and many others have characterised our past leadership, especially the last 50 years of our history. Lord forgive us and give us a new beginning. Give us a heart to love you, to fear you and to seek you. Take away from us all the above sins.
We pray for national unity. Unite us as Ugandans and eliminate all forms of conflict, sectarianism and tribalism. Help us to see that we are all your children, children of the same Father. Help us to love and respect one another and to appreciate unity in diversity.
We pray for prosperity and transformation. Deliver us from ignorance, poverty and disease. As leaders, give us wisdom to help lead our people into political, social and economic transformation.
We want to dedicate this nation to you so that you will be our God and guide. We want Uganda to be known as a nation that fears God and as a nation whose foundations are firmly rooted in righteousness and justice to fulfil what the Bible says in Psalm 33:12: Blessed is the nation, whose God is the Lord. A people you have chosen as your own.
I renounce all the evil foundations and covenants that were laid in idolatry and witchcraft. I renounce all the satanic influence on this nation. And I hereby covenant Uganda to you, to walk in your ways and experience all your blessings forever.
I pray for all these in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

This is incredible.  Here we have an elected politician–actually, Mr. Museveni is a statesman–who is not only a Christian, but a Christian who is applying his faith and the principles of the Bible to the civil government of his country!

Museveni is no new-comer to Ugandan politics.  He has been involved in its brief but tumultuous history as an independent republic since 1970 when he joined the fledgling intelligence service shortly before Idi Amin seized power in a military coup in 1971.

He was born and raised and educated in Uganda, became a Marxist-leftist radical while in college (surprise!), converted to Christianity later on, and has been the country’s president since 1986.

While he has been commended and lauded by leaders around the world for a number of reforms that he has implemented during his tenure, he has also had no shortage of enemies internationally since he and his nation began moving to the right, politically, especially during the last several years.

Now, he is making a clean, public break with the past and setting Uganda on a course that we haven’t seen an elected government official set his country on since, well, since I don’t know when.

And he didn’t just make a break.  He made a covenant.  With God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  He means business, this Museveni!

Even the Wikipedia article characterizes his term of office as one of “political and economic regeneration”.

He is clearly in rebuilding mode (which usually follows a collapse or disintegration), and this rebuilding is looking more and more biblical and Christian-influenced all the time.

Of course, we would also use that other “r” word to describe what is going on in Uganda.

But that might offend some of our Christian non-Reconstructionist brothers and sisters!

For further reading, click here.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Before Facebook inexplicably erased the share count on Dec. 5, 2012, this article had been shared 79 times!  I don’t know what happened, but I want to thank all of you who thought what was written here was worth sharing–PR.

Dec. 7, 2012: Looks like they reset the share counter to zero, but at least it’s working again!–PR