Alan Jones attacks Israel Folau for saying fires, drought are God’s punishment.
One of Israel Folau’s closest allies, Alan Jones, has attacked the former rugby union star’s latest controversial sermon in which he suggested bush fires ravaging NSW and Queensland and the drought are God’s punishment for the legalisation of same-sex marriage and abortion.
The devout Christian, who had his $4m Rugby Australia contract terminated over homophobic social media posts, said the timing of the bush fires was not a “coincidence” while delivering a sermon at his church in Sydney’s northwest on Sunday. Folau told fellow worshippers at the Kenthurst church the drought and bushfires were God’s way of telling Australia “You need to repent” and that they were only a taste of what God’s punishment could be. How right Folau is about God using catastrophes for His purposes.
“They have changed the law and changed the ordinance of these things,” he said. “Look how rapid these bush fires, these droughts, all these things have come in a short period of time. You think it is a coincidence or not? They have changed that law and legalised same-sex marriage and now those things are OK in society, going against the laws of what God says. Abortion — it is OK now to murder and kill infants, unborn children, and they think that to be OK.”
Jones was unimpressed, telling listeners to his 2GB program on Monday morning that Folau needs to “button up.” “Israel is a lovely human being, I know him well. (But) Israel, button up Jones said. These comments don’t help.”
Labor leader Anthony Albanese attacked Folau’s comments, describing them as “pretty reprehensible.”
“I think most people when they think of God or spirituality, they think of something positive and they think of a loving god,” Mr Albanese told Sky News on Monday. “They don’t think religion or faith in those terms and his comments are in line with some of his other comments, which are pretty reprehensible frankly.”
Mr Albanese said that in the context of six people losing their lives and hundreds of homes being destroyed in the blaze, Folau’s input didn’t bring anything “positive or constructive” to the discussion.
Nationals backbencher Barnaby Joyce also chastised. Mr Joyce told Seven News on Monday it was pointless to engage with Folau. “He throws rocks at us so he feels good, we throw rocks back at him so we feel good … but not one of those actions is making a sandwich for a person fighting the fires,” he said.
Liberal MP Dave Sharma described Folau’s comments as “off the grid”, telling Sky News he disagreed with the sacked rugby star “strongly” and he wouldn’t seek to give him any more publicity. “I think it’s important we focus really on the bushfires themselves and how we deal with them, how we combat them and how we help communities recover,” Mr Sharma told Sky News.
Folau’s latest sermon come as Australia is in the grips of an unprecedented bush fire crisis affecting three states, with four people killed in recent weeks.
“What you see out there in the world — it’s only a little taste of what God’s judgement is like,” Folau said.
“God is speaking to us. Speaking to you, to repent and to turn away from this.
“We look back to what God (has) done to Sodom and Gomorrah — it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed that city because of the sin that they were living in.”
The rugby star’s Wallabies contract was torn up by Rugby Australia in May after he shared a social media post saying that homosexuals were going to hell unless they repented.
In his sermon at the time, he said same-sex marriage and abortion were “evil in the eyes of God” but were deemed by society as “good”. “This generation is full of arrogance and full of pride,” he said. “They want to turn their back on God. They don’t want to know one bit of who God is because they’re so immersed in their sinful, wicked, evil ways.”
“I knew it was going to be offensive to a lot of people … but ultimately it’s a message of love,” Folau said.
In another sermon in June, he took aim at transgender children, saying the government was letting children, “basically 16 years old or younger”, go through treatment despite “not even knowing what they are doing”.
Folau is speaking the truth about God. The world and even some who claim to be Christian see it as offensive.
In the last days, we are told, the people of the world, controlled by Satan and his demons, will do their utmost to persecute those who hold to the truth of God’s Word.