Israel Folau: ‘I won’t stop spreading word of God’
Israel Folau has vowed to keep sharing his controversial views as it is his duty to spread "the word of God" and it would be "unloving" of him to keep them to himself.
In a new video posted on social media, the sacked Wallabies star insists his religious crusade against same-sex marriage and abortion is because he loves all mankind and wants to save them, even as Christians distance themselves from his beliefs.
Folau, who will attend a mediation session with Rugby Australia tomorrow seeking an unprecedented $14 million in lost earnings, said he is worried about people's souls and that he is on a "great commission from God".
"Sharing the word of God is so important to me because it's the great commission, it's what God has called each Christian to do," Folau says in the video.
"It would be unloving for me just to keep it to myself and keep it within the four walls of my church and within my family.
"Because God wants the Gospel out there and wants people to hopefully come to the knowledge of the truth and have the peace and love that comes from him, it's our duty as a Christian to be able to go out there and share that.
"So that's why I'm so vocal about it at church, in the general public and on social media because I care about the state of people's souls, and the love that I have for mankind is what is driving me."
Folau has been roundly criticised for suggesting recent bushfires are punishment from God because of law changes to same-sex marriage and abortion.
"What I was referring to in terms of the natural disasters that are happening now wasn't a direct, I guess, message to the people that are affected," Folau said.
"In actual fact, it was just a timely reminder of God's word and trying to point people on to the path of righteousness. In saying that, my thoughts and prayers do go out to the people affected.
"It's horrible to see and you never want anyone to go through that sort of stuff but, as a Christian, you are always praying for people.
"You see the droughts today, you pray for rain and things to be restored, and that's ultimately as Christians what we're driven by and what we're bound by is God's love."
But Folau remains resolute that homosexuality is a sin that must be repented and that his version of Christianity, where one must be baptised in a pool and proclaim Jesus as the one true God, is the only way to avoid hell.
Folau revealed he and wife Maria pray and read scriptures every morning in their home.
"It's what governs our thoughts and the way we live our lives,' Folau said.
"I'm always trying to examine myself, to see that I'm walking in accordance to what God says. It's central to everything that I do in my life, and so that's what's so important to Maria and I."
If Folau and RA fail to reach a settlement tomorrow at the Federal Circuit of Australia in Melbourne, the matter will head for trial, which will start on February 4 next year.