Well, he may be ageing but apparently he is not getting any wiser. Desmond Tutu once again made the headlines with his characteristic irreverent denigration of God’s Word. Speaking to reporters in Cape Town this past week the Archbishop Emeritus said that he did not support a homophobic God.
“I would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven. No, I’d say sorry. I mean, I’d much rather go to that other place,” he told reporters in Cape Town. Sadly, it appears by what is coming out of his mouth that he will probably get his wish, for as Jesus said, “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgement. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:36-37). And this is because “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (v. 34). It would seem, from his own words, that Mr. Tutu needs a new heart.
Tutu was speaking at the launch of the United Nations “Free and Equal” global campaign for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equality in Cape Town. He said he would do “almost anything” in support of the campaign, which aimed to raise awareness of homophobic violence and discrimination. He said this discrimination was based on something people were born with and could do nothing about, just as with race. That is what he said; it is not what God has said. Certainly it is just as much a sin to behave violently towards such individuals but that is another matter altogether. At issue is the foolish claim that people are born as homosexuals. Homosexual behaviour, like all sinful behaviour, is a behavioural choice—and a sinful one (see for one example, Romans 1:18ff). God said it; that really does settle it.
Psalm 14:1 informs us, “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” Warren Wiersbe once pointed out that the words “there is” are supplied by the translators, and hence we could legitimately read this verse, “The fool has said in his heart, ‘No, God!’” Such defiant belligerence is indeed the mark of a fool.
Whenever we attempt to correct what God has revealed we are merely behaving like a fool. And so when we call good evil and evil good then folly is our reward. This is precisely what practical atheists such as Mr. Tutu and many other world(ly) leaders are blatantly and brazenly doing in our day. God has clearly spoken in His Word, defining gender and setting the rules for marriage and sexual behaviour. People like Mr. Tutu, along with the Queen of England and President Obama, would be wise to keep their mouths firmly closed if they have something to say that contradicts what God has said. After all, as Solomon said, “even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace” (Proverbs 17:28). Rather than saying, “No, God,” they would be better off submitting to their Creator. And if they will not do so then they should remain silent.
I mention these three people in particular because each of them professes to be a Christian and yet each has endorsed the legitimacy of homosexuality and therefore the legitimacy of gay marriage. But in reality these professing Christians are practical atheists. They seemingly live as though there is no God or perhaps as if they themselves are god; and therefore they presumptuously usurp the right to make the rules. God says, “No!” and they scream, “Yes!” God speaks, “Yes” and they shout, “No!”
But perhaps you and I should do some personal reflection of our own. After all, we who profess to be orthodox, Bible-believing evangelicals can find ourselves in a similar precarious frame of mind. For instance, God says to His people, “Be baptised” and we say, “Maybe later.” (That’s simply a nicer way of saying no!) Or God says, “Join the church and be a covenantally committed member” and we offer up lame excuses instead. God says to Christian husbands, “Love your wife as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her” and we respond with, “But my wife . . .” When we respond this way to God’s written Word we are behaving, in a similar way, like a fool.
I seriously doubt that Desmond Tutu awoke one day and out of the blue decided that he would become a heretic. Rather, his apostasy no doubt was the cumulative result of repeatedly saying, no to God in “smaller” areas until eventually this became a blasphemous way of life.
Mr. Tutu claims that God is not homophobic. Of course He is not. God is not afraid of anyone or of anything. But Mr. Tutu should be afraid. For even though the fool may shout, “No, God!” there is coming a day when such practical atheists, apart from the intervention of God’s saving grace, will find themselves screaming, “Oh no, God!” Eternal judgement is real and having a phobia of being separated from the holy God forever and ever under eternal condemnation and punishment would be a good one to develop. After all, Job (and others) affirmed that with the fear of the Lord is wisdom (Job 28:28). Oh that Mr. Tutu would experience such a God-centred phobia! But until that happens, pay him little heed and rather listen to those who speak with wisdom—God’s wisdom.