After spending Sunday afternoon with his congregation in north-western Sydney, Israel Folau did not back down from his controversial comments about homosexuals ending ‘up in Hell’ and said he is prepared to stop playing rugby if that was what God wanted for him.
“It’s obviously a decision that’s in the process right now but I believe in a God that’s in control of all things,” Folau said.
“Whatever His will is, whether that’s to continue playing or not, I’m more than happy to do what He wants me to do.”
Would he be content if he walked away from rugby?
“Absolutely,” Folau said “First and foremost, I live for God now. Whatever He wants me to do, I believe His plans for me are better than whatever I can think. If that’s not to continue on playing, so be it.
“In saying that, obviously I love playing footy and if it goes down that path I’ll definitely miss it. But my faith in Jesus Christ is what comes first.”
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Folau said the outrage about him calling homosexuals sinners had not caused him to reconsider his comments.
“Absolutely not,” he said. “I’ll stand on what the Bible says. I share it with love. I can see the other side of the coin where people’s reactions are the total opposite to how I’m sharing it.
“But in Ezekiel, chapter 33, verse 11, it says that ‘God has no pleasure in the person that’s living in sin’ … He’s a loving God and he wants people to turn away from what they’re living in and he’ll give them life.
“That’s the message that I’m trying to share, even though it comes across as harsh. I can’t change what the word of God says.”