It is a great relief to see a resolution in the lengthy dispute between Israel Folau and Rugby Australia.
Folau has been given an apology by RA, as well as a confidential financial payout.
It all stemmed from Folau’s post on Instagram of a paraphrased quote from the Bible that warned people to repent of their sins and turn to Jesus Christ.
The specific reference to homosexual acts was the comment that brought the offence that led to his dismissal and the termination of his contract.
Thankfully, the outcome of this dispute is a recognition that it is important for individuals to be able to speak freely about issues that really matter to them, even if it is not necessarily aligned with some views in government and corporations.
I stand with Israel in wanting everyone, everywhere to turn away from their past lives and turn to Jesus as loving ruler and rescuer.
I stand with Israel in calling all people to repent and believe the good news about Jesus.
And this call to ‘repent’ will naturally cause offence.
Jesus offended people everywhere when he called out their rebellious acts and their sinful hearts.
But Jesus gave people a way to be fully forgiven of everything in their past, and to offer a fresh start in his safe arms.
It will be a tragedy for our nation if individuals are not free to say what they like about matters of religion and belief.
We need to be able to hear every opinion, and be ready to debate what is right and wrong.
We need to be free to have ‘dangerous’ ideas heard, so that we can respectfully listen, and where needed, powerfully discuss and refute.
And we should follow the call of the Apostle Paul to “speak the truth, in love” in every sphere in which we live.
(Photo credit: Georgie Pauwels via Flickr.com)