Israel Folau is a highly successful Rugby Union player who has represented Australia many times. He is a committed Christian who regularly proclaims Christ on his personal Instagram account. On 10 April 2019 he posted a photo of poster warning that Hell awaits those who don’t repent of their sins. The poster included this list of sins: “drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters”.  Under the list it read: “Repent!  Only Jesus Saves”.  Beside the photo Israel Folau wrote: “Those that are living in Sin will end up in Hell unless you repent. Jesus Christ loves you and is giving you time to turn away from your sin and come to him.” Photo and post here:

Following this post Folau had been the subject of much vitriolic criticism, with the gay buzz-word “homophobic” being the dominant theme. The organisation that runs Australian Rugby Union has now terminated Folau’s contract and told him he will not play for Australia again because the Instagram post was “a high-level breach of the Professional Players’ Code of Conduct warranting termination of his employment contract”. In response to this Folau told a Sydney Morning Herald newspaper reporter: “I share it with love. I can see the other side of the coin where people’s reactions are the total opposite to how I’m sharing it. First and foremost, I live for God now. Whatever He wants me to do, I believe His plans for me are better than “whatever I can think. If that’s not to continue on playing, so be it,” he added. In saying that, obviously I love playing footy and if it goes down that path I’ll definitely miss it. But my faith in Jesus Christ is what comes first.” BBC article 15 April 2019.

Some support has come for Folau. An editorial in a New Zealand newspaper pointed out the inconsistency of Qantas (a major sponsor of Australian Rugby) in condemning Folau but going into partnership with Emirates Airlines who operate out of a Muslim country that severely punishes homosexuals. Northland Age 24 April 2019 here.

British rugby player Billy Vunipola, liked Folau’s post and commented that people should “live their lives how God intended” and “man was made for woman to procreate”. He was also subject to intense criticism and faces discipline from the British Rugby authorities. He told the BBC: “So this morning I got three phone calls from people telling me to ‘unlike’ the Izzy Folau post. This is my position on it. I don’t HATE anyone, neither do I think I’m perfect. There just comes a point when you insult what I grew up believing in that you just say enough is enough – what he’s saying isn’t that he doesn’t like or love those people. He’s saying how we live our lives needs to be closer to how God intended them to be. Man was made for woman to procreate, that was the goal no? I’m not perfect – I’m at least everything on that list at least at one point in my life. It hurts to know that. But that’s why I believe there’s a God. To guide and protect us and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” BBC article 12 April 2019.

Folau is one of many Rugby players in Australia who come from a Pacific Island country. Since our original newsletter was posted, fellow Pacific Islanders have come out in support. Taniela Tupou, who also plays for the national team, commented on his Facebook page: “Seriously … Might as well sack me and all the other Pacific Islands rugby players around the world because we have the same Christian beliefs. I will never apologise for my faith and what I believe in, religion had nothing to do with rugby anyways… #TYJ” Reported in ABC article 1 May 2019.

Editorial Comment: Here are some of our experiences from many years of dealing with the issue of homosexuality.

  1. Two young men living in a homosexual relationship viewed our DVD “Are you born homosexual?” They contacted us and said “We didn’t even know it was wrong!” Now they are Christians and have abandoned the homosexual relationship.
  2. Last year a “Christian” doctor in a Church had been counselling two young men in the congregation about entering into a homosexual relationship advising them there was nothing wrong. The doctor was given our DVD and reacted angrily – with all sorts of threats and antagonism. But within two weeks the Holy Spirit had broken in – the doctor backed off, and the young men, who had angrily left the church came back, no longer planning on a gay lifestyle and are continuing that way.
  3. The young man needed help! His parents had trusted the whole family, uncles, cousins, aunts, but their discernment was lacking. There were homosexuals in the broader family and the young man had been raped. It has robbed him of any trust in people.
  4. I (John Mackay) was preaching in a conservative Baptist Church and the issue of homosexuality came up and some genteel saints were very offended when I described exactly what happens in gay male relationships using terms from some disgusted farmer friends – they poke a penis up a poo pipe!
  5. One bluntly spoken Yorkshire farmer known for his conservative views was interviewed on British Radio and came out with a very pragmatic; ‘Bu’ if all me bulls wa’ gay, we’d ‘ av no mea’ to eat – so less stop been stupid!’
  6. For comment on the sad medical consequences of homosexuality see the USA Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Conclusion: Those who condemned Folau are hypocrites. They demanded he repent – and then sacked him when he refused! But repent is what Israel Folau told them God wants everyone of us to do. The hypocrisy involved here is so immensely blind. How can they be offended by Folau’s call to repent when they’ve made the same demand of him.

They may not admit it, but at heart their actions result from their rejection of the One True Creator Christ, and they cannot tolerate anyone who accepts His Lordship over life.

But this issue goes way beyond sport, and is at the core of destroying not only freedom of speech, but the freedom of Christians to preach the gospel. The father of lying, homosexuality, thieving, adultery, drunkenness, and all the things Izzy faithfully listed from the Apostle Paul’s New Testament teaching in Romans and Corinthians, i.e. the Devil, is pushing his children hard to get them to block every possible opportunity to hear the truth of Christ about sin – starting with Genesis, Creator and Creation, then definitely removing His laws about sex in Leviticus. The Devil’s ultimate aim is to prevent people from seeing their need of The Saviour, and make us all blind to His coming Judgement for the sin list Folau posted.

For more information on this issue see Ask John Mackay, search for “homosexuality”.

Evidence News vol. 19, No. 7
17 April 2019
Creation Research Australia

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