I posted about the alleged connection between Rick Warren and the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill a few days ago here. As I said there, I am convinced that the so-called link is entirely in the imaginations of people who hate Rick Warren. I have no doubt that Warren strongly opposes the bill and that he and his wife are both mortified and saddened that their names could be used to support such a thing. I also have no doubt that if Rick Warren wanted to, he could exert significant influence within Uganda to defeat the bill.
And I totally understand why he is not.
Warren has made defeating the global giants of spiritual emptiness, corrupt leadership, extreme poverty, pandemic disease and epidemic illiteracy, his personal mission. To do so, he has launched The Global P.E.A.C.E. Plan — a grassroots movement focused on local churches and partnering with business, government and NGO’s to promote reconciliation, equip servant leaders, assist the poor, care for the sick, and educate the next generation. In short, this is missions work the way it should be done. It is focused on partnerships, sustainability and results — and it is centered in the local church.
The PEACE Plan has already done incredible things in Rwanda (read about it here), and Warren is now working to help replicate those results in Uganda.
Warren understandably wants to do nothing that will compromise the long-term success of The PEACE Plan initiatives in Uganda. If successful, millions of lives will be saved and the future will be radically different for millions of Uganda children. The stakes are very high to say the least. A significant part of the success of The PEACE Plan is based on authentic partnerships and grass-roots work — it is a network of local churches, not a top-down organized structure with Warren at the top.
Given all the horrific things done in the name of missions work in the past — imperialism, etc — Warren is appropriately careful about not getting too involved with internal issues beyond the scope of The PEACE initiatives in the countries he is involved with. If he alienates the political leaders in these countries, he is done and the PEACE Plan would be done too. Warren is wise and understands how this all works.
And that is why I fully understand Rick Warren’s hesitancy to speak out more forcefully about the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, that calls for life imprisonment or the death penalty in many cases.
That said, I ALSO THINK RICK WARREN IS TOTALLY WRONG ON THIS ONE.
Sometimes the potential injustice is so great that we must risk losing ground to do that which is right — and trust that God always honors integrity. This is one of those cases.