Yesterday, Archbishop Tutu stated "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," and "I would not worship a God who is homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this."
Such a statement reflects what happens when we forget the aim of Christianity and reduce it to being nothing more than a social action NGO by focusing solely on the immediate physical needs of individuals.
The Christian is called to know, love and serve God. Christ makes obedience to His commandments a sign of loving Him (see John 14:15). Since His Church and His scriptures say that homosexual acts are wrong, the Christian is called to avoid those acts and to speak out to make others aware of the dangers of the path they are on (See Ezekiel 33:1-20). If we are silent, the sinner will die in his sins and we will be held accountable.
Tutu, by his statement, has effectively rejected the God who is goodness and love unless God will change His teaching to conform with Tutu's will. I'm sure he's being over rhetorical in saying he (like many Anglicans) rejects the Christian teaching on homosexuality, denying it is from God, but the problem is his rhetoric is a denial of God in one way or another.
Since the Scriptures and the Church do teach that homosexual acts are intrinsically wrong, Tutu is either:
- denying that God is good or
- denying that Scripture does authoritatively teach truth about how we are to behave.
In other words, Tutu either rejects God explicitly or rejects the authority of teachings he dislikes even when Christianity believes it comes from God.
Now, acts of violence against people on account of their sexual orientation (which seems to be the basis of his statement) is of course condemned and the acts of violence described in the article of course fall under that condemnation. For example, the Catholic Church teaches:
2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, emphasis added)
However, the unjust actions some people perform against individuals with a same sex attraction disorder do not take away the fact that actions which are intrinsically wrong may never be justified.
That's the problem. "Homophobia" is a pejorative label which seeks to vilify anyone who believes homosexual acts are morally wrong. It is used to equate Christians who try to live as God commands with the barbaric thugs who actually kill or harm people. It's like saying that all Muslims are terrorists based on the actions of some Muslim radicals. Muslims can rightly be appalled by the immorality of the West without being terrorists and Christians can oppose homosexual acts as sinful without supporting violence against people with homosexual attraction.
So with Tutu, he uses the appeal to emotion to link apartheid and belief that homosexuality is wrong – basically claiming (without proof) that belief that homosexual acts are sinful have the same motivation as the appalling racism of apartheid. But if the Christian teaching comes from God, then Tutu is indeed rejecting God… either by repudiating Him directly or by denying the authority of His Scriptures and Church.