One of the very clear things in this fallen time is that if you preach the word of God without fear or favour it is highly likely that your employer will be frightened. I was encouraged to take down a blog last year, and go anonymous. For a season I did not blog the lectionary daily. I now think twice about what I say. For the narrative has costs. About 40% of the population are on the police intelligence list for various reasons.
It appears that Israel Folau is going to lose his job playing rugby because he’s taking the bible seriously. In the UK, liking his posts is getting Rugby players into trouble. The celebrities of NZ are falling in line to criticize Folau. It is as if we have blasphemy laws against the narrative of this age.
Folau is correct on this; without Christ we will all go to hell. If we preach Christ, those who have chosen otherwise will oppose you. Christ suffers, and those whom he calls will share in his suffering. Even our brother Milo, who married his boyfriend, because he had the temerity to defend Catholic teaching, has been deplatformed, bankrupted, and is fighting his way back.
There is nothing new here.
Psalm 31:9-16, NASB.
9 Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress;
My eye is wasted away from grief, my soul and my body also.
10 For my life is spent with sorrow
And my years with sighing;
My strength has failed because of my iniquity,
And my [a]body has wasted away.
11 Because of all my adversaries, I have become a reproach,
Especially to my neighbors,
And an object of dread to my acquaintances;
Those who see me in the street flee from me.
12 I am forgotten as a dead man, out of mind;
I am like a broken vessel.
13 For I have heard the [b]slander of many,
Terror is on every side;
While they took counsel together against me,
They schemed to take away my life.
14 But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord,
I say, “You are my God.”
15 My times are in Your hand;
Deliver me from the hand of my enemies and from those who persecute me.
16 Make Your face to shine upon Your servant;
Save me in Your lovingkindness.
It is our role to be a reproach. By doing good to our neighbours, we are confronting their hatred. By speaking truth, we expose their lies. The spirit of this age wants us silent, fearful, cowed, and submissive so they can smear us with this evil as if we are doormats on a farm.
But in Christ we are saved, and by the Father we are held. Let the celebrities joke and mock. Their knee will bow eventually. But far better sooner than later.