Ulster and Ireland rugby star Jacob Stockdale has again made some very disappointing comments for a professing Christian by condemning Australian rugby star Israel Folau for stating the Biblical position on homosexuality.
Stockdale, who is involved with Banbridge Road Presbyterian Church in Dromore, County Down and whose father is a Presbyterian prison chaplain, said Folau was “preaching all the wrong things about Christianity”.
This follows on from a previous interview Jacob Stockdale gave to the Presbyterian Herald, in which he stated that he went drinking with his team mates and outlined his opposition to the Biblical principle of separation, which you can read about by clicking here.
And he has now joined the leader of the utterly ungodly Hillsong Church movement, Brian Houston (pictured, below) in condemning Israel Folau for simply repeating what the Bible has to say.
Let us remember what Israel Folau said, or indeed posted on his Instagram page.
His post, which is pictured at the top of this article, stated:
WARNING: Drunks, Homosexuals, Adulterers, Liars, Fornicators, Thieves, Atheists, Idolaters – HELL AWAITS YOU. REPENT! ONLY JESUS SAVES.
This is taken from the following passage in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, which says: “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”
So Israel Folau was simply repeating what the Bible says but Jacob Stockdale appears to be claiming to know better than God’s Word, saying Israel Folau is “preaching all the wrong things about Christianity”.
Does that mean Jacob Stockdale strokes that passage from his copy of the Bible?
The wrath and judgement of God is a crucial aspect of Christianity, just as is His love and mercy.
Were there no punishment for sin, then why would we need or desire God’s love or mercy?
Paul, in his first letter to the believers at Thessalonika, stated that Jesus had delivered those who were saved “from the wrath to come”.
Jesus spoke of “the wrath to come” in His time on earth (Matthew 3:7) and warned that we ought to “fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28).
Is this what Jacob Stockdale considers to be “all the wrong things about Christianity”?
Jesus and the Apostle Paul both preached the judgment of God, yet Jacob Stockdale seems to be opposed to this.
It is very disappointing he could not side with Israel Folau, but instead sides with the LGBT agenda which is spreading like wildfire through our country.
This is what Jacob Stockdale said in an interview with the Irish Times: “From a religious point of view, it preaches all the wrong things about Christianity. It preaches God is a spiteful God, a hateful God. You are going to hell. You are going to burn in hell. Realistically, God is an all loving God. He’s a forgiving God.
“Going back to Israel Folau that’s the point he missed, that’s the point he didn’t talk about. As a Christian and rugby player it was very disappointing. For me Israel Folau wasn’t respectful of other people.
“As a Christian and a professional sports person you don’t want to divide people. You don’t want to alienate people.
“You want people to feel comfortable coming to watch you play rugby. You want people to feel comfortable coming to support you knowing why you believe and knowing what kind of person you are.”
There are a great many things we could highlight from those quotes and, to (hopefully!) prevent the article becoming too lengthy, we will address just some of it.
Saying that Israel Folau, by quoting the Bible, is preaching a “hateful” and “spiteful God”, is a very foolish thing to do.
Jacob Stockdale goes on to say it is hateful to say that people are going to hell and that God is an “all loving” and “forgiving God”.
Certainly God is a God of love, He is patient and He is willing and able to forgive us of our sins.
2 Peter 3:9 says: “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
But there are consequences for failing to repent of our sins.
Revelation 21:8 outlines this. It says: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Romans 6:23 reminds us that the “wages of sin is death” and Jesus said in Luke 13:3 that “except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish”.
We are all under a death sentence for sin and the only way to be saved from it is to place our faith and trust in Christ and repent of our sins.
This is the central message of the gospel, yet Jacob Stockdale seems to think it is wrong for Israel Folau to mention it.
He also unfairly and inaccurately claims that Israel Folau “didn’t talk about” God’s forgiveness. In the caption Israel Folau placed beside the post he shared, he said that “Jesus Christ loves you and is giving you time to turn away from your sin and come to him”.
It’s pretty clear that claim by Jacob Stockdale is wrong.
And he concludes by saying that you “don’t want to divide people” or “alienate” them.
Certainly it is not desirable to do that, but at what cost?
Do professing Christians, to save from offending the unsaved, refuse to tell them what the Bible says and the judgement God has in store if they don’t repent?
Paul, as he bid farewell to those in the church at Ephesus, said in Acts 20:26-27: “Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men . For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.”
Paul hadn’t just told people the nice bits of the love, mercy, lovingkindness and salvation of God, but he had preached the consequences of sin, he had preached the punishment of the unrepentant. In doing so, he had discharged his duty and the blood of the people of Ephesus was not on his hands.
He was a good watchman (see Ezekiel 33).
If Jacob Stockdale is refusing to tell others of the consequences of their sin so as not to offend or “alienate” them, then the same could not be said of him.
Jacob Stockdale’s idea of not dividing people is also an unscriptural one.
Jesus states this Himself in Matthew 10:34-35, which says: “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.”
Jacob Stockdale’s idea of not offending people is also an unscriptural one.
1 Peter 2:7-8 says: “Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient”.
As we have stated, we should not set out to offend people, but we “ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).
But it is not up to us if people will listen or not, if they will be offended or not, all we can do is discharge our duty and warn of God’s judgement.
Ezekiel 2:7 says: “And thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear: for they are most rebellious.”
Sadly, it would appear that Jacob Stockdale is not prepared to do this.
As we stated before, Jacob Stockdale is seen as a role model by many young Christians and is in a position where he could take an incredibly powerful stand for God.
It is most disappointing that he is instead criticising Israel Folau (whose church links we would have considerable reservations over but he is clearly right in this instance) for taking a stand on this key battleground in the drive by God-defiers and God-deniers to attack Christianity.
We would once again urge Jacob Stockdale in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to “consider your ways” (Haggai 1:5) and take what would prove to be a mighty stand for God.
And we would urge anyone reading this to take that same stand for God and speak out against that which is contrary to God and His Word and never be afraid to “declare all the counsel of God”.
2 Timothy 4:2: “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”