US Army's "Spiritual Fitness" Campaign and Uganda's "Kill the Gays Bill" Linked
Bruce Wilson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 07:37:13 PM EST
Founded in the late 19th Century, the Christian and Missionary Alliance (CMA) is a small international Protestant denomination that has boasted, as one of its active duty chaplains for 2010, an Army Colonel who says he helped introduce into the US Army Field Manual the doctrine that "spiritual fitness" is a component of military readiness. Meanwhile, the CMA's leadership has organizational and financial ties to top leaders in the mounting antigay crusade in Uganda:

Leading prayer and worship at the Christian and Missionary Alliance's upcoming yearly General Council meeting in May 2011 will be Lilburn Alliance Church head pastor Fred Hartley III, whose College of Prayer ministry has funded to the tune of over $11,000 (according to COP's 2007 990 tax form), and is currently fund-raising for, Ugandan Bishop Julius Oyet--one of the professed co-authors of Uganda's "kill the gays bill", which may come before Uganda's parliament after Uganda's February 18th, 2011 elections.

In several conversations with French journalist Dominique Mesmin, who interviewed Oyet for the upcoming documentary Uganda: Killing In The Name... , Mesmin has described to me (and provided a transcript of) his video/audio interview with Julius Oyet in which Oyet told Mesmin about his role in writing and co-planning, with David Bahati, the introduction in Uganda's parliament the "kill the gays bill." Hartley and Oyet are, in turn, mentoring the Anti Homosexuality Bill's lead author and champion in Uganda's parliament, MP David Bahati.

[video, below: Fred Hartley III stars in College of Prayer fund-raising video for College of Prayer Uganda, led by Bishop Julius Oyet-professed co-author of the Anti Homosexuality Bill. Hartley and Oyet are mentoring David Bahati, lead author and advocate for the bill in Uganda's parliament]

As Fred Hartley described in a November 2009 radio show appearance, he and Julius Oyet led an April 18th, 2009 Kampala prayer breakfast rally of over 50 members of Uganda's parliament, including one of the co-sponsors of the "kill the gays bill", MP Benson Obua-Ogwal, and hundreds of top Ugandan leaders from all sectors of society. The rally was held 11 days before the April 29th, 2009 introduction of the Anti Homosexuality Bill (AHB) in parliament.

Hartley's and Oyet's rally was under the auspices of College of Prayer International, with Hartley as president and Oyet as president of COP Uganda. Lead author of the AHB, MP David Bahati, as well as another top parliament member backing the bill, government Office of Ethics and Integrity head Nsaba Buturo, have both joined Oyet's College of Prayer Uganda.

In October 31-November 1st, 2009, Fred Hartley III led COP Uganda's first "training module" for its COP parliament members, including Bahati and Buturo. Later that month, on a US-based radio show, Hartley effused about their leadership in Uganda's parliament:

"[J]ust two weeks ago I was with the members of parliament and had a marvelous time, these are dear brothers and sisters in Christ and they are in earnest about righteousness and the cause of Christ and the amazing thing is they are standing for righteousness in areas that where we have long ago sold ourselves down the river but they're looking to us for spiritual mentoring to, that they - as kings and queens so to speak - can stand in kingdom alignment and operate according to Biblical principles in their spheres of influence."

The Anti Homosexuality Bill would allow the execution or imprisonment for life of Uganda's entire gay population and impose a surveillance state in which citizens would be required to report suspected homosexuals to government authorities or else face three-year prison sentences.

A simple Google search on the terms "spiritual fitness", and "Military Religious Freedom Foundation" returns numerous mainstream media stories concerning MRFF's attempt to fight what seems to be a thinly-disguised religious indoctrination program written into the Army's Field Manual, which defines "spiritual fitness" as part of combat readiness.

As Military Religious Freedom Foundation head researcher Chris Rodda describes, in a January 19, 2011 story, all U.S. Army soldiers are now mandated to take an online "spiritual fitness" test, and according to Rodda MRFF has been contacted by soldiers who report that after failing the test they have been ordered to meet with military chaplains.

One professed co-author of the Army's "spiritual fitness" doctrine who says he was in the team that introduced the "spiritual fitness" material into the Army Field Manual is Ron Huggler, then an Army Lt. Colonel, who went on to become a chaplain with the Christian and Missionary Alliance.

As the Christian and Missionary Alliance's Alliance Life publication stated, Ron. Huggler was slated to be one of the CMA's most influential active-duty military chaplains in 2010:

Chaplain (Col.) Ron Huggler (U.S. Army) is the installation chaplain at Fort Bliss (our second largest U.S. military post), located in El Paso, Texas. Ron provides spiritual leadership for the command and the more than 70 unit ministry teams stationed that serve nearly 30,000 soldiers. His ministry vision to bring the El Paso religious community into partnership with unit chaplains and post leadership to support families coming to and deploying from Fort Bliss has become a model for other military installations around the country.

The work that Ron and his wife, Sue, do is influencing the entire city of El Paso--more than 50 churches around Fort Bliss are participating in the "Host Family" program that the Hugglers developed! In addition, they are editing the E100 Military v.1.0 (a Bible resource designed to help military personnel engage in the life-changing message of the Word of God). This tool has the potential to impact more than 1 million people during the next five years. Ron will retire this month after more than 30 years of faithful service.

Ron Huggler is also associated with the Association for Christian Conferences Teaching and Service, a Denver, Colorado-based international military ministry which provides support to the Association of Military Christian Fellowships. In a paper posted (scroll down for Huggler paper) on the ACCTS web site, titled "Teaching Character and Developing Character in the Armed Forces", [then] Lt. Colonel Huggler states that the "spiritual fitness" doctrine is designed to promote Christianity in the military:

"What is there besides human reason and experience that can assist us in deciding what is ultimately right and wrong? I submit that religion, (in the US military we call it spiritual fitness), is the critical missing element...

That is why the military has turned away from a values system based on reason and experience alone. We are instead pursuing a values system that's ultimate source of right and wrong is defined by religious, primarily Christian, principles. This method enables our military to have moral absolutes."

The official manual of the Christian and Missionary Alliance states that the CMA "encourages its churches and members to treat persons who engage in homosexual conduct and/or relationships with compassion and to extend the gospel of repentance, forgiveness, and transformation through Jesus Christ to such persons without reservation."

However, the same manual [PDF of CMA manual] also declares that "Homosexual conduct is detestable because it is out of harmony with the purpose for which God created human beings" and states,

"In no case ought any person to enter into any so-called "marriage" with a person of the same sex. Homosexual unions are specifically forbidden in Scripture and are described as manifestations of the basest forms of sinful conduct which degrade human dignity and desecrate God's creational design (Leviticus 20:13, Romans 1:26-27, 32, 1 Corinthians 6:9)."

According to the College of Prayer International website, COP is overseen by the Revival Prayer Institute, and 5 out of 7 of the Revival Prayer Institute's Board of Directors are members of the Atlanta, Georgia-area Lilburn Alliance Church, a member of the Christian and Missionary Alliance.

While Lilburn Alliance Church head pastor Fred Hartley III is the prayer & worship leader for the CMA's 2011 General Council meeting, two other of his fellow Revival Prayer Institute Board of Directors members do missionary work for the CMA.

Another major connection between American evangelicals and Ugandan evangelicals and political leaders inciting antigay hatred in Uganda (which include Uganda's president Yoweri Museveni and First Lady Janet Museveni - as described in this story from the NYC-based Blackstarnews service) : in early 2010 I released my 20-minute documentary video "Transforming Uganda", which was cited in congressional testimony, before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, concerning the promotion of antigay hatred in Africa.

Transforming Uganda traces connections between Uganda's top leadership, including Janet Museveni, her daughter Patience, and her nephew Joseph Okia, as well as Bishop Julius Oyet, and the ministry of Argentine-born, US-based evangelist Ed Silvoso.

Since making that documentary, my research during 2010 and into 2011 has shown me that the American influence on the ground-level promotion of antigay hatred in Uganda traces principally to the apostles, prophets, and ideological allies of a man who has not been recognized as playing any role whatsoever in the mounting antigay climate in Uganda and Sub-Saharan Africa: C. Peter Wagner.

I will be describing those connections in future posts, but let me begin with this teaser:

In a December 4th, 2009 Talk To Action story titled Rick Warren's Dissertation Advisor Leads Network Promoting Uganda Anti-Gay Bill, I outlined the very initial part of that case. Included in the story was the fact that C. Peter Wagner, who is credited with helped launch the Third Wave movement in charismatic Christianity that by some accounts encompassed almost 300 million of the world's Christians by the year 2000, was Purpose Driven Life author and mega-evangelist Rick Warren's doctoral dissertation adviser, for Warren's 1993 dissertation written for Fuller Theological Seminary.

A few weeks after my post, under heavy pressure because of his ties to virulently antigay Ugandan evangelist Martin Ssempa, who along with Julius Oyet and David Bahati also helped write Uganda's Anti Homosexuality Bill, Rick Warren issued a globally-distributed statement denouncing the Bill.

Attached to Warren's press release on the statement, addressed to Uganda's pastors, was the bizarre declaration (see bottom of Rick Warren's A. Larry Ross press release, item #10), from Warren, that he was not "conspiring" with C. Peter Wagner, to "rid the world of homosexuals." Warren also lied about his relationship to Wagner, claiming that Wagner was not Warren's dissertation adviser - I have posted scans of the first several pages of Warren's dissertation, here at Talk To Action, to demonstrate the lie.

The oddest thing about it was that my Talk To Action story was, to my knowledge, by far the most public account of Warren's ties to Wagner but I did not accuse Rick Warren of being in a conspiracy with C. Peter Wagner, let alone a conspiracy to commit genocide.

However, as my colleague Rachel Tabachnick and I have mentioned, in Peter Wagner's 2008 book Dominion! Wagner states that Rick Warren is "phase one":

"I think the P.E.A.C.E. plan fits most comfortably into Phase One, the "social action" phase of strategies for obeying God's cultural mandate. The Phase Two emphases on strategic-level spiritual warfare and associated activities have not been placed front and center. And crucial to Phase Three, as I am defining it, are such things as apostolic/prophetic government of the Church, the Church (including apostles) in the workplace, the great transfer of wealth, dominion theology and the 7-M mandate."
[page 174, Dominion! How Kingdom Action Can Change the World, by C. Peter Wagner, published in 2008 by Chosen Books

As I'll be detailing in further installments of this series, College of Prayer Uganda president Julius Oyet as well as COP International, headed by Fred Hartley III, are tightly tied to the apostles and prophets, and the ideological movement, of C. Peter Wagner.

In December 2009, I broke the story that C. Peter Wagner's prophet Lou Engle, who serves in Wagner's Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders, was planning to bring his signature "mega antigay" The Call event to Uganda in May 2010. Lou Engle did indeed hold one of his The Call rallies in Kampala, Uganda, at Makerere University.

Those who wrote about the event almost uniformly failed to note Lou Engle's ties (as Rachel Tabachnick details) to C. Peter Wagner and Wagner's apostolic and prophetic networks or Julius Oyet's extensive ties to Wagner's networks.

But, Wagner's apostles and prophets are inciting antigay hatred on a global scale, and that is far from the full range of their activities. I'll be detailing those in future installments.

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