Thursday, January 24, 2013

God Loves Uganda: Our First Response


We feel the need to give our friends some clarity as to why we are being called homophobes and the propagators of hate on the New York Times. A more comprehensive response will be forthcoming as we are able to get a full viewing of the film.

From what Rachelle and I are seeing in this NYT clip and some other things we have listened to, the premise of the movie is deeply flawed and deceptive in how it is portraying the entire issue. For the record, we do not hate homosexuals nor condone violence against them. This should be evidenced by the fact that we so willingly welcomed Roger Ross Williams into our lives. 

One of the major flaws of the film is oversimplifying the homosexual issue in Africa and blaming American evangelicals as the primary fomenters of gay hatred. This premise completely ignores the context of African tribal cultures. It is obvious that Roger does not live here nor understand these cultures. 

IHOP-KC’s involvement and influence in Uganda is drastically overstated. They do not have a single missionary in the country that we know of. Lou Engle held “The Call” one time that had a whopping 1,000 people in attendance. IHOP-KC is simply not a major player in Uganda.

There are bigger issues here that are under fire: the nature and law of God and the gospel itself. These need a deeper discussion in their relationship to the state and inclusiveness of the church, instead of just sound bites conveniently molded into a false narrative. We love and forgive Roger and pray for his salvation.



28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Roger has not asked for your forgiveness, and he doesn't need it.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like this documentary is on the right track. Christianity is losing hold in an educated world, so Christians have taken their closed minds to an uneducated continent to spread the ignorance and hate of a useless book written thousands of years ago.

andris said...

Our anonymous friends, Maybe I am wrong but it sounds like some people, perhaps Christ followers , have hurt you. If so, I am very sorry, and I ask your forgiveness on their behalf. You are loved.

Nate H said...

False appeals to the "authority" of an episcopal priest who claims to speak for the motivations of others (like IHOP-KC), straw man arguments, deceptive editing and false equivalencies. All in one solitary 8-minute clip!

Yes, I'd say Roger *does* need forgiveness, and it's a sign of honor and strength that the Digges would express it.

If this is an indication of the level of argument and logic which those who are "educated", "open-minded" and "loving" propagate ... well, as they say in Latin, res ipsa loquitur.

(And we are praying for you, Digges!)

Anonymous said...

Sounds to me like there are taking that Christians are doing and saying that it is wrong to met their own agenda. This is complete false representation of the people who are in the video. I know the people in this documentary personally and they are not homophobic... They love the people but don't condone their sin. Jesus urged everyone to live according to the Word, but it wasn't forced, especially by killing or any kind of torture (words or violence).

Anonymous said...

I support you, Digges. Praying for you.

Anonymous said...

sad how the liberl media puts out false propaganda to stir up hate toward christians. but we are the hatful ones.

Anonymous said...

Roger has a right to his opinion, and that is all it is. I know the Diggs they are a loving kind family who loves the Lord. They do not hate the gays, they believe in Gods word.My prayers are with them.

Joseph Jacobs said...

The Digges are a selfless family I have had the privilege of knowing well for 15 years now. They have nothing to gain from their sacrificial lives other than seeing the love of God spread to the people that they feel called to. Their meager materials possessions are proof of this. Thus, any suggestion - whether intended or accidental - that the "millions" donated to African missions are going to them is a laughable fallacy. Further, this inspiring family would never agree with the man in the film claiming others should kill homosexuals. Jessie and Rachelle would never advocate for that; and if given the chance to respond, they would instantly refute those remarks with honesty. Grouping those violent comments with this precious family is a terrible injustice. God does not hate gays, and neither do the Digges. Whether you've known them for years or spend a few minutes with them, you will at least know that much about their character and heart.

Hannah said...

Watching that video made me so sad! It really was so twisted and manipulated, and it just misses the heart of true Christianity and the love that comes with it. I love and support you Jesse and Rachelle.

Anonymous said...

A wonderful movie!!! We are also praying for the Digges, in that they could feel in their hearts that Gods message to us is LOVE, and only LOVE. We cannot judge or condemn. No where in his book of love does God tell us to evangelize a gospel of hate, despite our human need to define sin to our fellow brothers and sisters who may be "different". My prayer is that every evangelical church in this country will take the courageous, beautiful message in this film to its congregation.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Mr. Anonymous above - Jesus did not want you to judge anyone and tell them they're not living a "godly" life. That's not your place at all. By the way, here's what Jesus had to say about homosexuality: http://www.upworthy.com/revealed-what-jesus-had-to-say-about-homosexuality-in-30-seconds?c=bl3.

Anonymous said...

Yes Mr anonymous 2........you prove my point exactly! You need to see the movie

Anonymous said...

By the way........there are hundreds of verses in the bible that tell us what will become of us if we "judge others" for who they are, and attempt to do Gods job by directing them to what we believe is the true path to salvation. I love and forgive the Digges, and pray for their salvation.

Anonymous said...

I agree!! These fanatical IHOP nut cases must see the logs in their own eyes before they point out the splinters in others

Anonymous said...

Americans and Ugandans alike will benefit from the light that this documentary shines on your foolish behavior. You lend false moral justification for the institutionalization of violence and murder against an innocent minority. The connection is unmistakable.

This movie holds up a mirror to you and christians of your type. Can you look at yourself with a steady gaze, or can you only turn away in disgust and give in to the petty defensiveness typified in this post? Your defensive, dishonest response is selfish, unintelligent and un-Christlike.

Anonymous said...

I Agee wholeheartedly. Christ must be weeping over the abhorant violence CAUSED DIRECTLY by these IHOP radicals and the "ministry" they represent. Although some may have good intentions, and are simply misled.....the vast majority of these folks work in Uganda, and see the terrible acts against humanity their actions cause. They must be stopped.

Joe said...

These comments are so absurd it is funny. Thank you all who will use the anonymity of the internet to lash out at The Digges who live in poverty, having sold tremendous comfort in the USA to start an open-ended trip in a 3rd world country because they felt the call to feed, clothe, and support orphans,widows, and those who are hungry for a more meaningful life. You will only further their cause.

They would welcome you in to their home as they did this misleading film crew and perhaps you would reconsider who is judging.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the Digges are selfless, yet are incredibly ignorant if they truly do not realize the horrendous collateral damage they cause by their actions. GOD wants his people to be selfless but vigilant. Very sad indeed! Please tell them to remove the blinders or leave Uganda before they inadvertently force further bloodshed on the innocent.

Anonymous said...

Hey Digges family, my name is Nkamwesiga Gilbert and I and My wife Amanda live and serve in Uganda. I was born and raised in Uganda and truth be told,i have never seen a gay man beaten or even taken to jail as that false witness stated. we will keep praying that God provides for your needs and that you do not lose hope as you keep on with the task of reaching the lost. Roger and all these other people would like to deter you from doing God's work. ignore them. my email is g2nil@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

With all due respect, you may not be out right homophobic's but in the documentary your wife as well as yourself were unaware of the Ugandan Anti- Homosexuality Bill. Both of you said you had not read it. If you really care for the welfare of people, you must educate yourself. Fight for human rights and how these people are being treated.
If you truly followed the gospel, you would know Jesus, the son of God washed others feet. He helped lepers and would talk to women which was unheard of in that time. A woman before anyone else, not even his disciples saw him after he had risen. He loved the outcasts even if no on else did.
And as you said by quoting the bible "no one can come through the father but me" which was said by Jesus so stop determining others fate when you have not been given the knowledge to where their path will be or where it will go.
Fight for them on how they are being mistreated...people are murdered and killed because of this Bill.
God help you.

Anonymous said...

Rejoice in The Lord! The Digges.

I believe you went to Africa with a desire to please God, that carries eternal value, and that's the only thing matters ...

JHughes said...

America isn't perfect, but when I hear about goings-on like what IHOP is doing in Uganda it makes me so happy to know I live in an increasingly accepting country. Think on this: If you raised a person to the age of 18 without ever mentioning the idea of religion and only taught them science, math, sociology, economics, etc. and then, on their 18th birthday handed them the Bible and said, "Here. This is one, all-powerful truth in the universe" they would look at you like you just grew a horn out of your forehead. That is why people like the Digges have to go to third world countries to proselytize. I'm sure they're not preaching against eating leavened bread, shellfish, or a wide variety of birds. OR rounding your haircut, wearing anything fashionable, having contact with a women anytime during or for a couple of weeks after her period/giving birth. I also doubt they are condoning sleeping with your father, having multiple wives, taking women as your own after battle, cutting of the hand that touched something "unclean", or agreeing to murder your child when you hear "god" tell you to to prove your faith. Also, I'd imagine Rachelle doesn't abide by the rule that she's not to speak in church and ask her husband if she wishes to learn something. Religion has nothing to offer the happy person.

Jesse Digges said...

JHughes I would like you to read my response to God Loves Uganda at toliveischristblog.blogspot.com. I think you will find it more enlightening. You will also see that IHOP's role in Uganda is overplayed.

I resent your comment that we needed to go to Uganda to proselytize. We proselytize everywhere we go, not just Uganda.

I thought about your comment and imagined a world in which there is only math, science etc... Several words came to mind, meaningless, purposeless, unreal. There is not such a world and never will be because human beings are not reducible to random equations and subatomic particles, we are persons who have meaning. We are not just bodies, my friend, we also have minds and spirits. Also I don't really do well with hypothetical situations, I like to deal with realty.

Here is a reality to consider. Jesus lived, impressed a lot of people by performing miracles, was crucified, and his followers all said that they witnessed him rise from the dead (and they were willing to die for that testimony). You have to deal with this, my friend. Many who never heard of Christ or the bible have believed even though they had passed the age of 18 when they first heard it.

Also I urge you to read the bible, you seem confused by elements found in it... Especialy about the part related to the levitical law and how it relates to Christians in the New Covenant. We are simply not under that law. I have also written a blog on women speaking in church, you can read it under the archives in toliveischrist on Titus 1:6. God bless you.

1Tim. 3:16 "Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness:
He was manifested in the flesh,
vindicated by the Spirit,
seen by angels,
proclaimed among the nations,
believed on in the world,
taken up in glory."

Anonymous said...

the bible presents absolutely zero evidence that Jesus was heterosexual. In fact, the accounts of his lifestyle tilt toward the opposite conclusion. While one assumes Jesus loved all his Disciples, the bible repeatedly makes clear John specifically was the "beloved of Jesus," not to mention their interaction at the last supper, or when he presents John to his mother as "her son" upon his execution. He never showed interest in women and had two dads. Gee, I can't imagine how a religion that executed folks claiming the world was round got another concept wrong while again drowning in the blood of innocents.

Dane meets Simone said...

Christian bigotry has nothing to do with Jesus.

Anonymous said...

I think that people like the Digges are not bad people, but deluded and accidentally do a lot of harm. The Bible is famously malleable. For a time people wanted to use it to justify slavery, they used it to justify misogyny, now some people use it to justify homophobia. It is a very convenient position to come from, because if questioned about your homophobia you fall back on it being 'the word of God' and don't have to consider the consequences of your actions or form a logically justify why you want a world where you spread a message which causes families and communities to turn on their fellow men. I do not hate the Digges and people like them, but I hate their sin and hope they will see the error of their ways.

Anonymous said...

How would you feel if Muslim missions started opening up in the USA and started providing infrastructure - but with the catch that they will use it to proselytize.

Empire builders go home!