The reader may or may not know the name Israel Folau. I certainly didn’t until a few days ago. He’s a professional rugby player who’s suddenly been deemed unfit for employment. His violation? He posted a message for adulterers, homosexuals, thieves, atheists and the like through his Instagram account: repent, believe in Christ and be saved from Hellfire. If the reader is well versed in the modern socio-political scene, he will accurately presume that such a message wasn’t well received by the militant-homo-lobby and its vanguard. However, what if I were to tell you, dear reader, that another unexpected group also proceeded to rebuke Folau for simply communicating Biblical Truth – namely, conservatives – would you believe me?
The prime example comes from the Senior Editor over at PJMedia, Tyler O’Neil. When reporting on how Rugby Australia arbitrarily and maliciously terminated Folau’s contract (presumably to appease the wrath of the despotic Social Council of Sodomite Overlords), O’Neil, in a case of cowardly fence-straddling, gives the impression that Folau is partially to blame for the persecution heaped upon him. O’Neil proceeds to classify Folau’s messaging as tactless, without gentility, disrespectful and somewhat unbiblical. Additionally, he subjectively accuses Folau of not making a distinction between practicing homosexuals and homosexuals who follow Jesus Christ – a heresy which has become rather popular nowadays.
Biblical Christians will recognize that O’Neil’s assertions are baseless, a vilification, anti-Biblical and an exercise in appeasement. Allow this writer to furnish proof.
Firstly, in unequivocally and directly quoting the Bible, Folau is only reiterating what the Scriptures affirm. Therefore, when O’Neil writes that Folau should have been more tactful and genteel, he’s actually taking issue with what the Biblical directly teaches. Stated differently, his contention is actually against Biblical doctrine – he just won’t say so. Folau is a mere smokescreen for something O’Neil won’t readily admit. O’Neil attempts to distract from this fact by quoting 1st Peter 3:15-16, which states:
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.New King James Bible
O’Neil abuses and perverts the verse by using it as a bludgeon to castigate Folau’s well-intentioned and morally correct warning to non-believers, classifying it as sanctimonious and malicious in intent. This text calls Christians to be prepared to give a sound apologetic (apologia, Greek) of the Christian faith. It is not a command to Christians to be evasive in qualifying why the Bible teaches what it teaches so as to not anger sinners – clearly, what drives O’Neil to write his commentary on Folau. If this isn’t the case, why does the Bible command that the works of evil and evildoers be sharply rebuked? (Ephesians 5:11-13; 1 Timothy 5:20; 2 Timothy 4:2; Titus 2:15) I’m guessing O’Neil would have verbally chastised Jesus for violently casting out the moneychangers from the Temple, for his calling the Pharisees sons of Satan and John the Baptist using the phrase “generation of vipers” among other stern reproofs.
Secondly, O’Neil makes a heretical and erroneous distinction between those that practice homosexuality and those with “same-sex attractions and who identify as homosexual or gay” who “can still accept Jesus Christ and live celibate lives following Him”. According to God’s Word, both are reprobates. (Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10) In essence, O’Neil is denying the power of Jesus Christ to transform the lives of those caught up in sinful activity. I’ll use a corollary to prove this point.
Is it possible to claim that an adulterer who chooses to live a celibate life for Christ can be His faithful follower? Not according to Jesus. Christ himself stated that if any man looks at a woman in order to lust for her, he has already committed adultery in his heart. (Matthew 5:27-28) Why is this principle suddenly inapplicable to those who are sensually attracted to the same sex? Once again, O’Neil’s assertion smacks of a dilution of the Bible message in an attempt to appease sinners.
(Important Side Note: Jesus also taught that celibacy isn’t the natural state of men and women. It is only in very limited circumstances where said persons eschew, and in some cases are forced to eschew, heterosexual contact. (Matthew 19:12) Therefore, celibacy cannot be employed by homosexuals to give the impression that their inclinations are somehow less sinful than those who engage in physical contact with others of the same sex. This is in keeping with the principle delineated by Christ in Matthew 5:27-28.)
I believe we can classify this incident as another case of a self-professing “conservative” verbally exalting the courage to defend what’s morally correct and yet, hypocritically and ignobly turning around to denounce someone that does just that. Biblical Christians should zealously examine those who loudly claim to defend Christian values. It may very well be that those same defenders are all too willing to bend and bow down to the pressures of political correctness and misquote the Bible as a justification to do so.