During a recent trip to Africa to help renovate a cancer screening clinic in Zambia, former president George W. Bush used Scripture to outline his belief that the world should not be “overly critical” of homosexuality.
A Zambian reporter had asked Bush how he feels about the issue of same-sex “marriage,” and whether it is compatible with Christianity.
“I shouldn’t be taking a speck out of someone else’s eye when I have a log in my own,” he said, referring to the words of Christ in Matthew 7:3.
Later, ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl asked Bush about his comments, but he declined to elaborate further, stating that he was no longer involved in politics.
“I meant that I’m not going to answer the question then and I’m not going to answer it now in terms of the political question about whether or not [it’s compatible with Christianity]. I just don’t want to weigh back in the debate,” he responded. “I’m out of politics.”
“But, I meant it’s very important for people not to be overly critical of someone else until you’ve examined your own heart,” Bush added.
When Karl then asked whether Bush’s views had “evolved” on homosexuality, he again refused to explain.
“Jon, you didn’t hear my answer,” he replied. “I’m not going to weigh back into those kinds of issues. I’m out of politics. The only way I can really make news is either criticize the president, which I don’t want to do, criticize my own party, or weigh in on a controversial issue. And I’m off the stage.”
“Unless I’m promoting something I strongly believe in — I believe that what we’re doing in Africa is incredibly important. And will continue to do so, so long as I’m ambulatory,” Bush continued.
However, some are disappointed with Bush’s response and state that he used Scripture out of context in providing an answer.
“Mr. Bush has actually misinterpreted the verse and applied it wrongly, most likely because he is unaware of the whole counsel of God on the matter of judgment,” Pastor Scott Brown, the director of the National Center for Family-Integrated Churches and elder at Hope Baptist Church in Wake Forest, North Carolina, told Christian News Network. “The Bible speaks abundantly and clearly on matters of judgment and Mr. Bush has taken one single verse out of context and ignored the many other things the Bible says about it.”
“From the first prophet in the Old Testament to the first prophet of the New Testament we learn that men of God ought to pass judgment on matters of morality,” he added. “This has little to do with taking the log out of your own eye.”
Brown explained that while Jesus warned against being a hypocrite, He never said that men should dispense with His moral law. He also outlined 12 ways in which Christians are to make judgments, including the judgment of false doctrines and false teachers, and judging the state of civil affairs.
“The very nature of preaching requires making [moral] judgments,” Brown said.
The ministry leader himself taught about homosexuality in Africa during his visit in 2012, which was during the same time that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was visiting the continent.
“I was invited to Malawi to speak to a group of men from various churches that included government officials and high level executives,” he explained. “They requested that I deliver a message on the issue of homosexuality.”
In addition to addressing topics such as “What Do The Scriptures Say?” and “What Is The Solution?” Brown outlined that homosexuality comes as a result of the fallen nature that Jesus died to redeem.
“It is the result of The Fall,” Brown told the people. “The desire arises exclusively from sin, not heredity. … There are many sexual sins that people are attracted to and sodomy is only one of them.”
Discussion begins at 6:13