Emulating Babylon: A Prescription
The official motto of the Republic of Uganda says, "For God and My Country." Perhaps many of the people in this majority Christian country had this in mind when considering, in the face of strong international condemnation from many Western countries, loss of foreign aid, and sanctions on trade, whether or not to support laws meant to prohibit the practice and promotion of homosexuality.
HIV/AIDS had a devastating effect on Uganda through the 1980s and early 1990s. The first recorded cases occurred in 1982 in the central region of Rakai District. Six years later, there were many thousands of Ugandans thought to be HIV-infected. The country had one of the highest infection rates in Africa, leading to many fatalities and a dramatic increase in orphaned children.
This led the Ugandan government to create the AIDS Control Program (ACP), under the authority of the Ministry of Health. The ACP was effective in disseminating HIV prevention, treatment, and care information throughout the country, resulting in success in reducing the number of new infections and the negative impact on individuals, families, and communities.
The people of Uganda eventually understood that the practice of sodomy, including homosexual activity, contributed to the transmission of HIV/AIDS in the nation, decimating the family and weakening the country. Realizing the toleration of this lifestyle to be a sin against God and a sure path to destruction, and desiring His blessing on them and their country, they moved to enact laws banning it.
On May 2, 2023, Uganda's parliament passed by an overwhelming margin The Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2023. Its stated purpose was to prohibit any form of sexual relations between persons of the same sex and the promotion or recognition of this activity. A person convicted of committing the offense of homosexuality faces the penalty of life in prison. The death penalty is given to those convicted of aggravated homosexuality, sex acts committed against children, people under duress, or those with physical or mental disabilities.
Before passage of the bill, Musa Ecweru, a member of parliament and Minister of State for Works and Transport, echoed the sentiments of the vast majority of the chamber when he said, "In our country, we will have our morals. We will protect our children. We are making this law for ourselves, our children, and the children of our children. This country will stand firm."
Significant pressure from the United States, other Western countries, international corporations, and well-financed LGBTQ+ activist organizations within and outside Uganda failed to discourage President Yoweri Museveni from signing the bill into law on May 26, 2023.
Thousands of students from at least 13 universities gathered in front of the parliament building in Kampala, expressing their appreciation to the lawmakers and President Museveni for defending their traditional values and cultural heritage by enacting this law. They said to those countries seeking to impose economic sanctions on them, "We don't want your pro-gay money. We want and love our country more than money."
The people of Uganda recognized cause and effect. They could see the terrible consequences of tolerating and promoting sexual immorality in their country as well as in other countries, prominent among them Western countries such as the United States and the European Union. They saw the harm it was doing to their cultures, especially to children, and wanted to prevent their nation from following the same course.
In his letter to Christians living in Rome, the apostle Paul described one of the characteristics of people -- and by extension, a nation -- facing the judgment of God as suppressing the truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18-32). This included, in spite of clear evidence, the denial of His existence from what He has created, His sustaining power, and their accountability to Him. Such a willful rejection of God results in being given over to the futile idolatry of self and things of the earth, leading to the depravity of sexual immorality and its celebration and promotion in society.
Ancient Babylon was a city located on the lower Euphrates River in southern Mesopotamia, which is in modern-day Iraq. It had its origins in the land of Shinar and was built by Nimrod, the great-grandson of Noah (Genesis 10:8-10). It was the location of the Tower of Babel, which had established its reputation as a place of rebellion against God (Genesis 11:1-9). Babylon eventually became the capital of the great Babylonian Empire, the first kingdom to have global influence, but was judged by God centuries later for its transgressions and those against other nations. Similar to Sodom and Gomorrah, which God destroyed for their wickedness, particularly their depraved sexual immorality (Genesis 19:1-29), Babylon in the Bible is used as a symbol for rebellion against God, persecuting His people, corruption, and the projection of wickedness worldwide.
The United States started out as a republic founded on Christian values. Its official motto says, "In God we trust." As long as this remained prevalent in the culture, God blessed America with liberty, opportunity, and prosperity. It has surpassed all other kingdoms of the past in power and global influence.
Unfortunately, the United States, over time, has turned away from God and has become a nation led by people like those described in Romans 1:18-32. It has become a leader, especially among Western nations, in pridefully promoting idolatry, greed, and sexual immorality around the world. Even using its enormous influence on nations to pressure them through threats of marginalization and economic penalties unless they assent to making these values a prominent part of their cultures. Disregarded are the lessons of the past recorded in the Bible warning against following such a path (1 Corinthians 10:1-11).
Some Bible scholars and teachers believe that Babylon mentioned in Revelation, the end-time world empire ruled by the antichrist, may be fulfilled by the United States. Whether this is the case or not, any nation emulating this future evil kingdom cannot avoid the judgment of God.
However, if any nation turns from its wicked ways, God will refrain from judging it (Jeremiah 18:7-8), as in the case of the Assyrians of Nineveh, who, at the preaching of the prophet Jonah, repented of their wickedness, sought the mercy of God, and avoided the calamity that the Lord was going to bring on them.
The same principle works for individuals who, coming out of Babylon, repent and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for forgiveness and salvation (Revelation 18:4).
Nations that follow the way of Babylon face failure and permanent destruction. Those who leave Babylon and turn to Jesus do not face the judgment of God but pass from death to eternal life (John 5:24).
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