Warren Throckmorton on Julius Oyet and the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill

Warren Throckmorton has a couple of interesting posts (here and here) about Julius Oyet, one of the Ugandan neo-Pentecostal ministers who has played a significant role in bringing forward the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill, while keeping a lower profile than Martin Ssempa and some of the other religious figures backing it:

Oyet is a self-designated Apostle and leader of the Lifeline Ministries. He has found favor with President Museveni for praying against areas of Northern Uganda once controlled by the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army. Oyet’s Born Again Federation in Uganda oversees over 10,000 churches and estimates 9 million Christians attend these churches.

Oyet promotes what is known as the “7 mountains strategy”; this is the belief that Christianity should advance in a society by taking control of seven domains:

To establish The Kingdom of God on the earth, we must claim and possess The Seven Mountains of Culture namely: Business, Government, Religion, Family, Media, Education and Entertainment.

This perspective is also shared by American “spiritual warfare” expert C. Peter Wagner, and Oyet has preached at a church in Atlanta whose pastor, Johnny Enlow, is the author of The Seven Mountain Prophecy and the Coming Elijah Revolution. This book has been endorsed by Wagner (whatever that’s worth), and it features Enlow’s views on homosexuality:

A Christian who espouses abortion rights or the validity of gay marriages, for example, is worthless as a “Christian” candidate. If candidates don’t understand righteous politics, they aren’t anointed for this mountain. They may have enough Christianity in them to enter heaven, but they don’t have enough Christianity to bring the rule and reign of God down to earth…

The world will come to learn, for example, that though God passionately loves every homosexual, remaining in that sin will cause someone to fall under the sword of His judgment. Feelings don’t validate a homosexual lifestyle any more than they validate a murderer’s desire to kill…. What comes to us naturally is sin… The sooner we understand that God expects righteousness—regardless of what our innate tendencies tell us—the sooner we will be able to eliminate His judgments from our personal and corporate lives.

One of the primary roles of future government leaders will be to instruct in righteousness. The more God’s judgments are poured out on earth, the more explicitly will they be able to give that instruction.

Throckmorton asked Enlow for a clarification about his views on how the law should relate to homosexuality, and received this response:

As to the question of whether governments should criminalize homosexuality as part of taking the mountain of government- this would only be a second best method of bringing awareness that the behavior of homosexuality is wrong. This becomes a necessity only when the moral fiber of society has become so degraded that society itself is in need of knowing right and wrong. For me, the point of criminalizing homosexuality is not to bring punishment to homosexuals but rather to inform society of right and wrong. I would be against harsh punishments against homosexual activity between consenting adults and would not endorse capital punishment for this scenario…The in-your-face activist homosexual agenda is of course generating it’s own strong repercussions and backlashes and to the degree that they insist on forcing upon society their aberrations to that degree they will see increasing measures to limit their activism of a sin behavior.

Throckmorton goes on to clarify that:

I want to state clearly that I do not believe anyone in the 7 Mountains movement prompted the Ugandan legislators to write and offer this bill as an expression of the 7 mountains teaching. However, according to Rev. Enlow, the concept of criminalization is consistent with his Apostle Wagner endorsed view of reclaiming the mountain of government. Could leaders and members of the Ugandan Born Again Federation view this bill as a means to a Kingdom end?

He notes this prophecy from Oyet, pronounced earlier this year:

God will judge evil in 2009 as mob justice will kill and destroy witches, thieves and evil people. There will be lots of manifestation of Satanists and exposition of homosexuality and other evils in the Church, human sacrifice and all sorts of evil will manifest in the nations. God’s people will rise in full authority and dominion! The righteous will march against evil and triumph over them all.

In Throckmorton’s view, the context seems to be the religious promotion of “national salvation” over the traditional evangelical emphasis on individual salvation.

Incidentally, it’s worth recalling that the “7 Mountains” idea is also promoted by Thomas Muthee, the Kenyan evangelist known for having anointed Sarah Palin in 2005. Muthee has dispensed some “mob justice” of his own to “destroy witches”, as one of his victims attests. And three women were burned to death as witches by “mob justice” in Uganda in 2007.

UPDATE: Bruce Wilson has more:

The 2001

Transformations II, The Glory Spreads, portrayed the impact of supernatural transformation on governments in several locations including Uganda, and featured footage of a January 1, 2000 stadium event initiated by First Lady Janet Museveni which dedicated Uganda to Jesus Christ through a 1,000 year covenant. Transformations II claimed that reductions in the Ugandan AIDS rate were achieved both through abstinence only campaigns and thousands of cases of miraculous faith-healings of HIV. Oyet also claims miracle cures of HIV, which he showcases on his ministry website.

…The 2005 Transformations video An Unconventional War, portrayed Julius Oyet as a hero who helped to end the suffering of Northern Uganda’s Acholi people. The video shows Oyet, at the request of President Museveni, supernaturally breaking the power of the Lord’s Resistance Army. When Oyet destroys the demonic altars which the video claims gave the rebel army supernatural powers, Acholi children the Lord’s Resistance Army had kidnapped are miraculously returned to their parents.

But Robert Ochola-Lukwiya presents another view of Oyet in his Ph.D. dissertation on the Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative – a multi-religious initiative that includes Christians and Muslims. Ochola-Lukwiya reports that Oyet almost provoked a riot, during a 2004 revival crusade Oyet held in the Acholi district of Kitgum, when he called for participants to bring forward their rosary beads and condoms to be burned.

…Julius Oyet is head of the Uganda division of the College of Prayer, an Atlanta-based international leadership training ministry led by Fred Hartley III, for which Wagner and his Apostles have frequently taught courses. Oyet presided over a series of 2009 high-profile prayer breakfasts billed as having the participation of dozens of Ugandan MPs and hundreds of Ugandan leaders. An article on the College of Prayer website, titled “COP Comes To Parliament,” describes an April 16th, 2009 event during which a College of Prayer team personally prayed and “prophesied” over each of 50 attending Ugandan MPs.

…Toward the close of [a bigger event soon afterwards], COP leaders selected eight MPs, including David Bahati, to serve in a College of Prayer “servant leadership team” in Uganda’s parliament.

…Co-sponsoring the Anti Homosexuality Bill with David Bahati was Ugandan MP Benson Obua-Ogwal, who later attended a July 21-25, 2009 conference that the College of Prayer held in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, at which Julius Oyet played a leadership role.

I blogged the “College of Prayer” here.