It’s all very well-and-good to be well-meaning, but what happens when the intentional non-harming ministers fails to fully take the culture into consideration when entering foreign lands to preach the gospel? Without intending, we sometimes can be unwittingly sowing the seeds of harm that will wreak havoc after our departure.
The sad turn of events in Uganda in October 2009 is one case in point, and our stand at NHM Ministrants is that wherever there is a significant risk of harm or death to a minority group, the non harming minister with a conscience must err on the side of refraining from harm. We would argue, this could be taken a step further, to include even to the point of standing up for that minority. There is an American slogan “I may not agree with you, but I’ll defend your right to disagree.” We realize that this will not be a popular view in the case of homosexuality, but we the non harming minister will defend threatened minorities in their right to coexist in peace, unharmed and unthreatened. This involves refraining from judging, shaming and condemning, leaving the judgments rightfully to God. Can we even then envision a circle of compassion that is so wide that none stand outside it?
When working to bring peace, we need to understand that each side has their story, and that some people cling to the role of victim, then use victim claims while inflicting harm on others. Situations can be very complex. Knowing that the world is imperfect, we can begin by seeking mercy, forgiveness and reconciliation. Jesus said “judge not, lest ye be judged” and “let the one who is without sin cast the first stone” and then disbanded the crowd. We can all stand to listen to his admonishment of “go, and sin no more.”