A couple of weeks ago Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa made a startling statement related to homosexuality. Tutu came to fame as a moral leader against the system of apartheid in his native country. His statement aligned Tutu with the gay rights movement. But that is not the main reason we should be alarmed by his comments.
He did not speak about homosexuality and whether or not it is accepted by those of us on earth. Instead he directed his comments towards heaven and God.
About heaven, he had this to say,
I would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven. No, I would say sorry, I mean I would much rather go to the other place.
About God, this was his comment.
I would not worship a God who is homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this.
Although I think the Bible’s teaching on what God thinks about homosexuality and other forms of sexuality that perverts his good gift, what troubles me about the bishop’s statement relates to his view of heaven and God.
I do not care what word you place in his sentences instead of the one related to homosexuality, his statement would be a problem. As soon as the creature says to the creator what the creator must think and do, the creature has committed the same sin Lucifer committed when he fell from heaven. It is the sin of pride. It is the hubris which believes that the creature can stand in judgment of the creator.
The question boils down to this. Who is God and who is not? I am not God. Neither is Bishop Desmond Tutu. For the sake of argument, let’s say that God does not accept homosexuals into heaven. If I say that God is wrong in this, I have made myself and my powers of reason stand in judgment of who God is and who he allows into heaven.
Let’s take homosexuality out of the picture. If I say that I would not worship a God or go to a heaven that does not accept left-handed people, I would be wrong. Whenever somebody says what Tutu said, they are exalting themselves above the most high. Or, rather, attempting to do so.
Unfortunately, Tutu is not the first person I have heard make such a statement. I often hear people saying something similar in an attempt to state how serious an issue is to them. Often it is said by people, that they cannot worship a God who allows people to suffer or go to hell.
Any statement like that misuses the term worship. To worship God is to ascribe to him worth based on who he is and what he does — whoever or whatever that may be. Since God is God, he may do whatever he wishes. Our response to who he is and what he does is to bow before him and acknowledge that he is far beyond us and his ways are beyond us. We do not challenge his person or actions.
Tutu and any of us who have thought the same type of thing, should respond to the God of heaven with repentance.