ARUA. Dr Luke Herrin, the Africa Inland Mission (AIM) director has lauded African churches for their opposition to secularism, describing it as the most dangerous thing ever to spread from the Western World.
“You will be under pressure from the West for wrong things. We were ashamed of our own former president coming to Africa to preach same sex
marriage which is directly against the Bible and the faith he professes,” Dr Herrin, an American based at the AIM headquarters in Bristol, United Kingdom said.
Dr Herrin said whereas the West has brought good things like Christianity, education and health; it has also brought corrupt ideas and secularism to threaten the Christian ideals.
He blamed the rise of western secularism on people abandoning the authority of the word of God and forgetting about eternity.
“We are focusing on enjoying life on this world. There are many devoted Christians helping the poor and treating the sick but they are also forgetting that we have a destiny in heaven,” he said.
He was addressing a media conference on the eve of the centenary celebrations of the Anglican Church in the West Nile region at Madi and West Nile diocese head offices on Saturday.
Sitting side by side with Dr Herrin was the retired archbishop of Uganda Henry Luke Orombi and the AIM unit head in Uganda, John Casse’s.
He said the AIM was honoroud to have worked with the church of Uganda to sow seeds of Christianity in the West Nile region.
“100 years ago it was not easy to be a Christian. Frank Gardner came with his family from Nairobi without knowing how the place was like. After independence the spread of the leftist influence especially during former president Idi Amin’s regime made it difficult to be a Christian,” he noted.
He said in another 100 years it should be people from West Nile going to preach the gospel to the rest of the world because AIM came and played its role in building the foundation of the church.
While calling for renewal of the faith, Mr Casse’s warned that it is dangerous to embrace anything western in this era.
“The African church has a distinct voice against vice of secularism. The West needs to draw strength from Africa because we are beginning to get defeated,” he asserted.
Mr Casse’s singled out Rt Rev John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York for praise for his uncompromising views on secular practices and said the World is yearning for more such people from Africa.
The centenary celebrations are also meant to honour Frank, Gardner, his wife and his brother Alfred Gardner who were the first protestant missionaries to set foot in West Nile in 1918.
As part of the centenary legacy, the diocese is planning to construct a sh3.5b Christian museum at Ovisoni and reconstruct the diocesan head offices including a sh10b business park having 160 lockups as a cash generating venture for the church.
Rt Rev Orombi said he has a lot of pride in what AIM did in exposing the region to Christianity and running schools.
“There were no good roads and no jets at the time when the Gardners came. Today we benefit from their sacrifice. We must rejoice as a diocese and God should give us the determination to carry the button into the next century,” he said.
He added that his early exposure to reading the Bible and upbringing by the church helped him to lead the church with integrity as the archbishop from 2004 to 2012.