It's always surprising how someone who desires to serve God by being a minister of the Gospel can often be tempted to conjure up a gospel of their own creation, making a somewhat more manageable but wholly inaccurate representation of God. Consider the following.
Desmond Tutu is no stranger to controversy. The 81- year old, who retired from serving as the Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa in 1996, rose to international fame as the leading opponent of apartheid.
He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984, the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism in 1986 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009, along with several other prestigious awards.
Tutu has never been reticent about sharing his political views on a variety of topics ranging from climate change, to immigration; from women's rights to the arrest of Bradley Manning. But recently, he spoke at a press conference held to launch a new campaign entitled "Free and Equal."
The campaign comes out of the Office of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights with the unprecedented goal of trying to advance LGBT rights globally. Speaking in South Africa, the High Commissioner, Navi Pillay said:
"The Universal Declaration of Human Rights promises a world in which everyone is born free and equal in dignity and rights – no exceptions, no-one left behind. Yet it's still a hollow promise for many millions of LGBT people forced to confront hatred, intolerance, violence and discrimination on a daily basis."
No sincere follower of Jesus would ever wish hatred, violence or discrimination against anyone. But behaving in a way that honors God is not the same as declaring that God must somehow changed His mind on sin.
Tutu is an ardent supporter of gay rights and said that he "would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven." "No," he said, "I would say sorry – I mean, I would much rather go to the other place. I would not worship a God who is homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this."
The former Archbishop may have been heroic on his work to end racism in Africa, but his recent statements on homosexuality show an utter lack of understand of what Scripture says on the subject of sin and sexuality.
The Bible is not ambiguous on how marriage is to be defined– one man and one woman. There is no confusion on who designed sexual expression and where that mystical act is to be enjoyed and confined – within marriage. No pre-marital sex, no extra-marital sex and no same-sex expression. God makes this issue very clear because He loves us - and has our welfare at heart.
Unfortunately, Desmond Tutu's remarks were political not biblical. They were also very damaging because they fail to acknowledge the seriousness of sin. They likewise fail to affirm the completed work of the Cross.
All of us are great sinners in need of a great Savior. His love is meaningless without His law – and that does not make God homophobic. It makes Him holy.