As the issues of religious freedoms are in the thoughts of many Christian and mainstream commentators right now, it may be a good time to reflect on another dimension of the controversy surrounding rugby player Israel Folau.
Israel’s story has dominated the headlines because of his Instagram post that led to the loss of his contract with Rugby Australia.
People all over Australia have been passing their own judgement with many everyday Aussies not wanting to interrupt their blissful life of living with acknowledging the very dire consequences of sin.
Apart from the fact that the LGBTQI+ community is outraged that the Bible doesn’t affirm their choices, what has come to light and should be a concern to every one of us is the degree to which society as a whole is completely ignorant of the basic Gospel message.
So how can we as Christians stand for Biblical truth and not burn bridges in our eagerness to win the argument? How do we make sure that we’re not missing opportunities to share God’s love and ultimately winning a soul?
“It’s not an easy thing,” Berni says about getting the balance right. “On the one hand we want to live in a free society where we can say and think what we like. On the other hand, I think there is a risk of Christian tribalism and us being offended by our rights being taken away.”
“It’s easy for us to step over a line where we start to think it’s about winning the argument and protecting our rights, whereas Jesus didn’t call us to do that.”
“I’m not saying there is anything wrong with us participating in the debate or talking about religious freedom. At the end of the day, we are not called to win an argument; we are called to win souls.”
“I know on my own social media account I have many friends who are not Christians. So, before I post things on my Facebook page, I think about how are they going to perceive it. Am I going to push them away from Jesus, or draw closer them to Jesus?”
However, could those called to engage in the religious freedom debate be actually sparking an opportunity to share the Gospel?
“I’ve been praying for quite some time that something would break in the psyche of our nation, that this spirit of promiscuity and individualism over our society would break.”
“Honestly, when you look at what Izzy Folau has done by paraphrasing the Bible in that meme, and the firestorm it’s created, I think God often brings opportunity in difficult times. And hats off to Izzy for standing true to what he believes.”