I used to think that if you were really good at your job, then it wouldn’t matter if you were serious about your Christian beliefs, because no one would fire you. But I guess that’s not true when it comes to the conflict between gay rights and the Bible. On Friday, an Australian rugby player had his contract canceled because he shared some Bible verses on social media.
Here’s the story from the UK Daily Mail:
Israel Folau says he ‘deeply saddened’ by Rugby Australia’s decision to tear up his $4million rugby contract, but his religious beliefs should not stop him from playing the sport.
The decision, which was announced on Friday afternoon, makes the devout Christian the first Australian athlete dismissed for expressing religious beliefs after sharing a homophobic Instagram post.
[…]’The Christian faith has always been a part of my life and I believe it is my duty as a Christian to share God’s word.
‘Upholding my religious beliefs should not prevent my ability to work or play for my club and country.’
The words he cited are from 1 Corinthians 6:9-14 which are about sin and repentance and who will be admitted to the Kingdom of God.
Just to be clear, the Christian position on sexuality is that you cannot have sex outside of marriage. And the Christian position on marriage is that it is one man and one woman for life. Authentic Bible-believing Christians may fail to live out that standard, but they can never take any other stance than that in public. If you are a Christian, you cannot say that sex outside of marriage is fine with God. If you are a Christian you cannot say that redefinitions of natural marriage are OK with God. There’s only one kind of authentic Christian, and that’s the kind that takes the Bible as authoritative, including on moral issues. Telling someone they can’t quote the Bible in public is essentially telling them that they can’t be a Christian in public.
Whenever things like this happen to Christians who are serious about their beliefs, I always try to find out what the people who take away their livelihood have to say about it. These people usually think of themselves as very tolerant and open-minded, so it’s interesting to hear how they keep their self-image after firing someone for their religious beliefs.
The article says:
In a press conference this afternoon, Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle said Folau was a ‘great player’ but that everyone has the right to be respected regardless of sexuality, race, gender or religion.
[…]’Our clear message today is that we need to stand by our values and the qualities of inclusion, passion, integrity, discipline, respect and teamwork.’
Ms Castle said she had told all rugby players in Australia that RA supports their rights to their own beliefs.
‘But when we are talking about inclusiveness in our game, we are talking about respecting differences as well,’ she said.
‘When we say rugby is a game for all, we mean it. People need to feel safe and welcoming in the game, regardless of their race, background or sexuality.
[…]’I’m confident because those players understand that everybody has a right to their own views or religious beliefs, and as long as they continue to express them in a respectful way we will continue to support them,’ she said.
[…]Ms Castle said she was ‘disappointed’ that Folau had not apologised.
So, did the rugby player have a right to be respected regardless of his religion? No, he needed to be fired. Did she respect his differences? No, she fired him. She says that authentic Christian quoting the Bible on social media is not being a Christian “in a respectful way”. So there’s a non-Christian telling a Christian how to behave like a Christian. And after she fires you, she’s disappointed that you didn’t apologize to her for not being Christian in a respectful way.
I have two thoughts about this. First, if you want to be public about your Christianity and keep your job, then you need to have an alias. Because of this intimidation from secular left fascists, Christians are refusing to speak out on moral issues on a daily basis. To help you to be more comfortable speaking out, you should have an alias. I have blogged about sexual issues and marriage many, many times on this blog, often citing peer-reviewed research in order to support the Christian position on these issues. And so far, no one has been able to get me fired. My goal is to have an influence. I want to do as much as I can without letting the fascists on the other side stop me.
Second, I’ve noticed that it’s increasingly common for Christians to side with the gay activists against other Christians. And that’s because Christianity has become so much about feelings and self-esteem that many people who claim to be Christians think that Christianity should always make them feel good and be popular. If all you have is feelings, it’s pretty easy to put your need to feel good above the need to defend what the Bible teaches.
For those who would like to be bolder but don’t know how, the Bible actually has an answer to that in 1 Pet 3:15. In order to be bold, you need to be prepared. By reading books outside of the Bible, you’ll equip yourself with evidence so that you can debate non-Christians who don’t accept the Bible. They may not accept the Bible, but they have to accept evidence, or they’ll look stupid and irrational.