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)
This week is our second last talk on our series in Acts, ‘Launching the Church‘. We will see Paul put on trial as he is accused of stirring up trouble amongst the Jews, but his hope in God continues to shine through. The section from the Bible is Acts 24:1-26:32 and it would be great if you could have a read of it before you come to church.
If you missed last week’s Bible talk then why not head over to jamberooanglican.com/talks where you can also hear the answers to the questions, and get details about how to subscribe to our podcast.
Each week we have a question and answer segment during church. Here are the questions we’ll be hearing answers to this week:
1 What happened to the 40 hunger strike people?
2 Why do Christians still need the Old Testament?
3 Can people predict the second coming of Jesus?
4 Will God forgive you if you commit suicide just to be with Him?
5 How do you know if God has answered your prayer?
Join us this Saturday at 5pm for our all-age service, where we have a kids program and share dinner together afterwards. A youth group will follow from 7:30-9pm for the teens. Or why not come along on Sunday at 9am for our more classic Anglican style service, followed by morning tea and espresso coffee!
Grace and peace,