This last week there was another little rumble about Israel Folau. Once again there are people complaining about the ‘homophobic’ links he is posting, about his ‘preaching’, how he does this in defiance of Rugby Australia, and how he should stop it.
I went to the trouble of watching the YouTube link to the talk he posted, and it was pretty apparent to me that those who were complaining about Israel’s hatefulness hadn’t actually bothered to watch or listen to what he posted. Instead, it seems like a case of everyone jumping on the bandwagon without actually knowing anything about it.
Yes, the post was pretty blunt about people’s need for salvation, but it wasn’t a hateful thing, and it wasn’t directed against same sex marriage or homosexuals.
And the whole episode reminded me of some of the emails and posts I see from Christians from time to time. Where they want to rally support for a cause or draw attention to some type of anti-Christian event or law somewhere. And it is pretty obvious that they have never actually checked what they are posting. More frequently than you might realise, people post things that are not only factually incorrect, but are also causing us to fear or hate others for no reason.
It almost seems like there is a disregard for truth, and most people are happy to post what they ‘feel’ is right, whether they are Christians or not. Human behaviour on-line is often what in a previous generation would be regarded as gossip, or even slander, and yet we give no thought to it.
Christians need to remember that gossip is wrong – it is destructive, and breaks down trust between people. We also need to remember that the One we follow described himself as “the Way, the Truth and the Life” and that when we follow him we need to seek what is true. That might mean being skeptical of things that are posted by other Christians, and do a bit of fact checking ourselves.
It should also mean that we resist the temptation to just click ‘like’, or repost something, or forward an email, until we have checked it whether it is true. And in so doing, we honour the author of all that is true and good.