The recently installed Bishop of Grafton, Dr Murray Harvey, has chosen to wade publicly into the Israel Folau debate with a press release issued right before the hearing which took place over this weekend.
In his release Harvey accuses Folau of using “threatening” words and argues that if his statements are allowed to stand then it is the equivalent of justifying ethnic cleansing and slavery.
The full statement follows:
It’s hard to know what to make of this. Folau’s statement was pretty clear:
It is, of course, not a threat but a warning – indeed a loving warning to repent on the basis that “Jesus Christ loves you and is giving you time to turn away from your sin and come to him”.
Here at davidould.net we want to suggest that Dr Harvey should issue some more press releases because there are people out there making bigger threats than Folau. For instance, this guy should get a rocket:
Luke 13:1 Now there were some present on that occasion who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 He answered them, “Do you think these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered these things? 3 No, I tell you! But unless you repent, you will all perish as well! 4 Or those eighteen who were killed when the tower in Siloam fell on them, do you think they were worse offenders than all the others who live in Jerusalem? 5 No, I tell you! But unless you repent you will all perish as well!”
Luke 13:1-5 (NET)
Now there’s a threat if ever I saw one. He doesn’t just have a small list like the narrow-minded Apostle Paul in 1Cor. 6:9-10 (which Folau quotes in his post along with Gal. 5).
No, whoever that hater is in Luke 13 … well he just used hate speech to threaten and vilify everyone.
That’s the last thing a Christian should do. Someone should find out who he is and tell him to change his attitude and send a positive message about his faith and promote social inclusion (although what could be more socially inclusive than including all of society in your “threat”?).
As for community well-being, surely telling people that they will perish if they don’t repent can’t be good for anyone. Someone tell Dr. Harvey so he can sort this dangerous bigot out.