We’re in Soroti, Uganda, teaching Spiritual Leadership and Stewardship for the week at the Soroti Bible Institute. Today I want to relate another issue, though, that comes up every time I speak or teach and is something very current in Uganda since it is going on right now. It will again give you much insight into the culture of Uganda and the state of the young church here.

There is a well-known pastor in Kampala, the capitol, of a church of 6,000 who was raised up by a certain other leader who is a strong and well-respected man. I am told the older pastor is responsible for raising up many young pastors and planting many churches. Recently, according to the reports, his disciple has rebelled against his spiritual father in the most violent terms. He uses every opportunity to attack his character and reputation publicly and to defame his name. Everyone who follows such things, and many Ugandan Christians do, are amazed that he is seeking to destroy this well-respected pastor who has only done good for him.

But all that is really just background.

The younger pastor is reported to be currently engaged in the most bizarre religious book-burning event that I have ever heard of. His entire church has been enlisted to help him root out the evil in these books.  Each week there are new reports in the media of further piles and piles of books going up in flames.

Is he burning witchcraft books? No. Is he trying to separate worldly books from the hands of his congregation to protect them? No. Is he raiding the stores and burning pornography? No. The tragedy is that he is burning King James Bibles! Every King James Bible his congregation can lay their hands on is fed to the flames.

So what is the issue this pastor has with the KJV? Does he say it is outmoded by more modern translations? Does he suggest that it is too difficult to read? No. His issue with the KJV is that it repeatedly uses the term “Holy Ghost,” and “the devil worshipers want people to worship ghosts,” so the KJV must be evil and deserves to be burned. His little campaign to “out the Holy Ghost” in Uganda has captured the news and the imagination of the entire nation.

You wonder about things like this. The rest of Uganda seems to rush to judgment when these kinds of events become known. Certainly, I am now asked “serious” questions wherever I go about the term “Holy Ghost” that the KJV uses and why this famous musungu bible would say such a thing. But, without being there to see the book-burnings and to ask questions of the pastor myself, I can’t even guess what his motives might be or what he is really telling his people. And unlike the majority of Christians here, I won’t judge him, though I will admit the reports are certainly strange.

Here is a link from the media covering these events: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Tempers-flare-Pastor-Bugingo-burns-Bibles/688334-3899456-pxb67pz/index.html.

Historically, whole nations have fallen into riot and violence to such strange beginnings as this while following similar campaigns “against” something  – it’s as if religious paranoia knows no bounds or reason. The latest wave of Illuminati fear among the Christians here is just now beginning to pass, leaving behind it many ruined ministries that have been accused publicly of being part of this mysterious and, dare I say it, imaginary organization (Gail says with a sardonic grin, “That’s just what they want you to think…. )

This is why I am teaching the church leaders in Uganda, urging them to come away from childish things and to engage the meat of the Word. We really just don’t have time for this kind of thing, do we?