Statement: Canyon Ridge Christian Church does not support efforts to pass Anti-Homosexuality Bill

This afternoon, Mitch Harrison at Canyon Ridge Christian Church sent me a statement about church support for Martin Ssempa. The statement, in full, reads:

Canyon Ridge Christian Church began work in Uganda with the intent of helping address the HIV/AIDS pandemic that was wiping out generations of people in that country and other parts of Africa. Our partnership with Pastor Martin Ssempa began in response to this intent.

 

Because of the current controversy in Uganda over the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, and because of Pastor Ssempa’s involvement in the support of the bill, we have been in regular communication with him to clarify his positions and opinions. While we have come to understand that Pastor Ssempa advocates for an amended version of the Anti-Homosexuality bill that removes the death penalty and reduces other severe penalties, he is still supports passage of this bill.

 

We, however, do not support him in this effort.

 

We are in the process of determining how we can redirect our support in Uganda to activities specifically related to addressing HIV/AIDS issues.

 

Further, we condemn acts of violence against any person regardless of sexual orientation.

 

Our desire is to see God’s purposes lived out in Uganda, and for the redemption and abundant life he gives to be experienced by everyone.

While CRCC is not directly acknowledging the errors in their earlier statement (still up but probably not for long), they do so implicitly by condemning acts of violence which the AHB would lead to and which has been recently incited by Uganda’s Rolling Stone.

Background for this story is here, here, here, here, and here (all of my articles at Salon.com)

UPDATE: CRCC has replaced their former statement with the one above on their website. The Ssempas are no longer referenced as mission partners but rather a link to this statement has replaced their page. The former page is archived here (page 1, page 2, page 3).

  • ken

    I wonder if the church administrators really were talking with Ssempa and finally realized how far he is going, or if too many of their parishioners started asking why so many organizations where dis-associating themselves with Canyon Ridge.

    In any case, I think that you, Michael, Jim and Timothy deserve a lot of credit for forcing them to take a good look at who they are doing business with.

    I’m also curious to hear what Ssempa’s response to this announcement is going to be. How hard is he willing to bite the hand that feeds him?

  • http://six11.wordpress.com Shawn

    THANK YOU WARREN!!!!!!!!! PRAISE JESUS!

  • Michael Bussee

    Very good news.

  • ~Steve Thrush

    warren~

    thank you. it’s this kind of stand that following Jesus sometimes requires. there are far too many turning away from Him because they become bruised and blinded by bad religion. i appreciate your courage. i’m deeply touched.

    ~steveT

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

    ken – I asked Ssempa – we’ll see if he answers.

    Michael – Yes, indeed. Good on you too.

    ken, Shawn, Steve – Thanks for the kind words.

  • Pingback: Box Turtle Bulletin » Las Vegas Church May Drop Support for Ugandan Anti-Gay Pastor

  • Michael Bussee

    This summer, Aid for AIDS Nevada and Southern Nevada Health District both dropped Canyon Ridge Christian Church as a partner in the fight against HIV — due to CRCC’s support of Ssempa. Perhaps this sort of community pressure helped prompt CRCC to take this step.

    It does seem unclear as to what will happen next. I sincerely hope that CRCC will sever all ties to Ssempa and that they will not continue to provide financial assistance for Ssempa’s work in “HIV/AIDS issues” while condemning the passage of the anti-gay bill.

  • Richard

    Great work, Warren! Your patient but determined efforts have borne good fruit.


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