In his latest sermon, Israel Folau has linked the bush fires and drought which have ravaged NSW and Queensland to same-sex marriage and abortion legislation.
Speaking at The Truth of Jesus Christ Church in Kenthurst, northwest of Sydney, Folau has again delivered yet another sermon which has taken aim at homosexuals.
During the 10-minute recording, the 30-year-old says the timing of the bushfire crisis is no coincidence but only a taste of God's judgment should nothing change.
"I've been looking around at the events that's been happening in Australia this past couple of weeks, with all the natural disasters, the bush fires and the droughts," he says.
He then reads from the Book of Isaiah in the Bible. "The earth is defiled by its people; they have disobeyed the laws, violated the statutes and broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore a curse consumes the earth; its people must bear their guilt. Therefore earth's inhabitants are burned up, and very few are left."
Folau links the passage to the twin disasters of bushfire and drought and, in turn, the legalising of same-sex marriage and abortion.
"The events that have happened here in Australia, in the last couple of years – God's word says for a man and a woman to be together … they've come and changed this law," he says.
"Abortion, it's OK now to murder, kill infants, unborn children."
"Look how rapid these bush fires, these droughts, all these things have come in a short period of time. Do you think it's a coincidence or not?
"God is speaking to you guys. Australia, you need to repent and take these laws and turn it back to what is right."
While Folau says his comments come "out of love", the former Wallaby's stance has sparked outrage around the world.
Sky News contributor and devoted Christian Gemma Tognini said Folau's message saying it makes her "desperately sad" and called his views "manure".
"As a Christian I feel so desperately sad reading that because that's not the nature of God, that's not the heart of God ... I feel like wearing a T-shirt saying 'not on my team'.
"At least I will say this, [Folau] is willing to say what he thinks and stand by his beliefs ... That being said, there's no such thing as freedom from consequences.
"It's almost as if he's acting as if he doesn't care if he ever plays rugby again — and he may not care.
"I just look at him and say 'why would you say such divisive, hurtful things?' It's a hurtful thing to say to someone who has lost their home in a bushfire — that God hates you and he's punishing you. Nothing could be further from the truth. It's manure.
CHURCH SLAMS FOLAU
Anglican minister Peter Kurti hit out at Folau, saying his message is "outrageous" and incorrect given "God's wrath" targeted the wrong people.
"If God really was going to punish us for changing the law on abortion (and) changing the law on marriage, it's the Parliament House in Macquarie St and the Parliament House in Canberra that should have been the target of God's wrath — not the mid-north coast and south Queensland," he told Sky News. "If God was angry, God's aim was off.
"These are outrageous views and they are up there with the religious fanaticism of the Greens. But ... we live in a free country and if this is what Israel Folau believes — and he's not a politician, he's not voting resources ... he's a preacher talking to his congregation — surely in Australia we want to defend his right to do so even though we can think the views he expresses are completely wrong and offensive."
Cardiff-based rugby writer Paul Williams slammed Folau as a fool while others sarcastically said "God must be so proud" of the former league star.
- Additional reporting by news.com.au