In a letter published February 10, Archbishop Stephen Samuel Kaziimba of the Church of Uganda responded to the recent vote of the Anglican Church of England approving the liturgical blessing of same-sex unions, a decision lauded by Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, who said in a joint statement, “For the first time, the Church of England will publicly, unreservedly, and joyfully welcome same-sex couples in church.”
Criticizing the decision as an attempt to appease both sides on the same-sex “marriage” debate by proposing a contradiction, Archbishop Kaziimba said of the Church of England, “They have decided to allow clergy to preside at Blessings of Same-sex Unions and have approved supplemental prayers and liturgies for such occasions. The Church of England is very good at making contradictory statements and expecting everyone to believe both can be true at the same time. That’s what they have done with this decision.”
Kaziimba continued, “The only significant difference between a wedding and a service of ‘blessing’ is the terminology used. The Church of England insists it is not changing its doctrine of marriage. But, in practice, they are doing precisely that.”
Distancing the Church of Uganda from the effective change in doctrine, Kaziimba insisted, “But, what I want you to know is that if it looks like a wedding, and sounds like a wedding… it IS a wedding.”
Reiterating that the condemnation of sodomy is contained in Scripture, the archbishop expounded the traditional Christian understanding of marriage, family, and sexual morality.
He declared, “From the first page of the Bible in the book of Genesis to the last page of the Bible in the book of Revelation, it is clear that God’s design for human flourishing is that we are part of a family – a family that is defined as one man and one woman united in holy matrimony for life and, God willing, a union that produces children. God’s Word has said that the only context for sexual relationships is in the context of a marriage of one man and one woman.”
“Because lifelong, exclusive marriage between one man and one woman is the only context for sexual relationships, the Bible calls any other kind of sexual relationship a sin. Whether it is adultery, or fornication, or polygamy, or homosexual relationships. They are all sin and they all separate us from God.
That means sleeping with your girlfriend or your boyfriend before marriage is a sin.
That means that if you are married and have a ‘side dish,’ that is a sin.
That means that if you take a second or third wife that is a sin.
That means if you engage in homosexual or same-sex sexual relationships, that is a sin.”
‘God cannot bless what He calls sin’
The archbishop affirmed that the Church of Uganda would remain faithful to the Biblical teaching on “lifelong, exclusive marriage between one man and one woman,” refusing to accept or bless sexual sins. He condemned the Church of England as departing this teaching of revelation, saying, “Our message is the message of the Bible, which is, ‘Go, and sin no more.’ The Church of England, on the other hand, has now departed from the Bible and their new message is the opposite message of the Bible. They are now saying, ‘Go, and sin some more.’ They are even offering to bless that sin. That is wrong. As Church of Uganda we cannot accept that. God cannot bless what He calls sin.”
The archbishop then recalled the witness of the Ugandan Catholic Martyrs, who were killed for having refused to engage in the homosexual acts demanded by the country’s rulers. This refusal is counted as witness by blood to the moral doctrine of Christ specifically on the grave sinfulness of all homosexual acts.
The archbishop said, “We all know the story of the Uganda Martyrs, how they refused to engage in homosexual sex with their leaders. They stood firm in their Christian faith and were martyred for it. We cannot betray them or our Lord Jesus Christ. We will not betray the Word of God or His ways. The Bible tells us that Jesus alone is ‘the way, the truth, and the life,’ and that he is the same ‘yesterday, today, and forever.’”
Kaziimba then detailed some of the 20-year background to the present move by the Church of England. He recounted, “The suicidal path the Church of England has now taken began in the Anglican Communion in 2003 when The Episcopal Church in America consecrated a gay man as a Bishop. As Church of Uganda, we broke fellowship with them at that time.”
The archbishop then challenged the Church of England to depart from the “Anglican Communion” on account their departure from Christ’s teaching on marriage. He declared, “We now want to ask the Church of England, ‘Do you have the integrity to step out of the Anglican Communion because you have departed from the Anglican faith?’ God called you to preach a Gospel of repentance and faith. Instead, you’re like Jonah. You have disobeyed and are running in the opposite direction.”
“We pray for them to repent,” the archbishop continued. “And, if they refuse to repent, then we call on them to have the integrity to form their own Canterbury Communion because what they believe is not Anglicanism and it is not the faith once delivered to the saints. If they want to take their whole church into the belly of a whale, they are free to do that; we are, after all, autonomous Anglican Provinces. We think it’s a bad idea, but they are free to do it. But, they are NOT free to drag the whole Anglican Communion with them. The Anglican Communion is NOT an extension of the Church of England.”
The archbishop then warned all Ugandans against the attempts of pro-homosexual groups to groom children in school. Decrying the tactic of the promise and lure of money, Kaziimba said, “Now that our children are back in school, beware of the well-funded Gay organizations that are recruiting our children into homosexuality. Not only in Kampala, but all over the country. They target our poverty and promise our youth money.”
‘Do not lose your soul because you think you will gain the whole world through the money they offer you’
“My fellow Ugandans – we cannot serve God and mammon,” he declared. “We cannot serve God and money. Do not lose your soul because you think you will gain the whole world through the money they offer you. Do not think you can take the money, but not fall into their trap. It’s a lie; you are being exploited with that money.”
Turning again to Scripture, the archbishop concluded, “The Bible says, ‘Resist the devil and he will flee from you.’ So, just say, ‘No.’ I am here today to declare, ‘As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!’ The House of Bishops is united on this. The Provincial Assembly is united on this – ‘As for me and the Church of Uganda, we will serve the Lord.’”
The archbishop’s strong condemnation of the Church of England’s blessing of same-sex unions comes amid an increasingly strong push for African countries to accept the liberal LGBT agenda that has taken hold of Western countries and churches.
Last year, Catholic bishops in Belgium, and this year, Catholic bishops in Germany have approved liturgical blessings of same-sex unions, despite the Catholic Church teaching that sodomy is one of the four sins that “cries out to heaven for vengeance.” Cardinal Robert McElroy of San Diego has recently called for the admittance of active homosexuals to the reception of Holy Communion. And Pope Francis has infamously called for the decriminalization of sodomy several times over the past few weeks on the occasion of his visit to Sudan and the Congo, with public officials in Sudan openly resisting the push to regularize homosexual lifestyles. Two priests publicly rebuked the Pope for his departure from Catholic tradition on the matter, calling on the Pontiff to repent and preach the Gospel authentically.