Retired Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s recent comments in support of the gay agenda have drawn fire from colleagues, including a statement by an African archbishop that Tutu may have accepted gratuities to do so.
Anglican Archbishop Yinkah Sarfo of Ghana strongly condemned Tutu over his comments, in which Tutu declared he would not worship a God who is homophobic, adding, “I would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven. ... I mean, I would much rather go to the other place [hell].”
The Anglican archbishop was speaking at a United Nations’ Gay Rights Campaign function in Cape Town, South Africa, recently.
“Archbishop Tutu is respected in the Anglican church and around the world, but this time he has misfired, and all Anglican bishops from Africa, Asia and South America condemn his statement in no uncertain terms,” Sarfo told Ghana’s Adom News.
Sarfo said Tutu’s comments were not the stand of the entire Anglican communion, which is increasingly led by traditionalist voices from the global south that adhere to a more conservative theological perspective.
”We [other African bishops] suspect that retired Archbishop Tutu may have collected some moneys from some of the Western governments or from gay rights activists to do their bidding, but the Anglican Church condemns gay practice,” Sarfo said.
Tutu is not the first South African Anglican bishop to make statements that are not in accord with more traditional Christians. In a 2008 Christmas message, archbishop of Southern Africa Thabo Makgoba infamously declared, “Jesus is like a ‘bucketful of God’”—a statement seemingly at odds with church teaching about Christ being the exact imprint of God’s character in whom “the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily.”
Jeff Walton, the Anglican program director for the Institute on Religion and Democracy, also condemned Tutu’s statements.
“Tutu’s declaration demands that God operate on his terms,” Walton says. “Tutu’s god is one that many will recognize—an idealized version of ourselves times 2 or 3. God operates on a whole different standard of holiness beyond this self-constructed deity.
"Tutu never speaks for the majority of Anglicans in Africa. The center of Anglican leadership on the continent has moved to countries like Nigeria and Kenya. Apart from Tutu’s dismissiveness, African Anglicans are very interested in spending eternity with God and want their neighbors to share in that, too.
“African Anglicans have quickly become the majority voice in the Anglican communion. They focus on evangelism and discipleship, seeking to win souls for Christ rather than prioritize earthly political ambitions.”