Discernment websites …

I wonder if some of the “discernment websites” that enjoy featuring and critiquing the work of many of my friends and me would be willing to host some discussion on this bill currently proposed in the Ugandan parliament.
I’d be interested in reading whether participants in those blogs agree with the Ugandan bill, and if not, why not. (Details after the jump)

Andrew Marin gives an excellent overview of the situation here. He says …

Let me make this clear:
I don’t care how conservative your theological belief system is, killing people or imprisoning them for being gay or lesbian is wrong and should never, ever happen.
Notwithstanding, according to the bill, I, as a straight person, would also be imprisoned if I don’t turn in gays and lesbians to the Ugandan government.
….Please spread the word. No Christian (or person in general) should ever let this happen on our watch.

He explains how to take action here.
The initiator of this bill in Uganda, Martin Ssempa, used to have connections to Rick Warren and Saddleback Church, but they severed those ties when they learned about the Ugandan bill. Here is Rick’s statement:

Martin Ssempa does not represent me, my wife Kay, Saddleback Church, nor the Global PEACE Plan strategy. In 2007, we completely severed contact with Mr. Ssempa when we learned that his views and actions were in serious conflict with our own…”

Thank God for people like Andrew and the Warrens for making it clear where they stand. Of course I stand with them.
This bill shows where misguided zealotry can lead, friends – the kind of misguided zealotry right here in the US that I posted about recently, the kind that Paul wrote about when he said (2 Cor. 3:6),

God … has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of letter but of spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Paul, of course, new what he was talking about, because he had been this very kind of misguided zealot (1 Timothy 1:13) before he discovered a new vision of God in Christ. His belief system led him to hunt people down and seek to imprison and even kill them (for example, he participated – from a discrete distance – in the stoning of Stephen, Acts 7:58). In Christ Paul discovered a radically different image of God: one who doesn’t imprison, torture, and kill, but rather humbly descends to being imprisoned, tortured, and killed. Here’s how he described it (Phil. 2):

[Christ], though [or better translated, I think, because] he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited,
but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death –
even death on a cross.

You can see why I believe we need a new kind of Christianity. I hope there will be some robust discussion about this Ugandan death bill on the discernment websites and others too, and some constructive action as well.