How Folau changed Farr-Jones' mind
REACTION: Israel Folau convinced former Wallaby captain Nick Farr-Jones to change his mind on apologising over religiously-motivated social media posts.
Farr-Jones was planning to advise Folau to apologise over his controversial social media posts, before meeting with the under-fire superstar.
Folau reached out to 1991 World Cup-winning skipper Farr-Jones, a fellow committed Christian, a fortnight ago and flew back to Sydney from Adelaide to seek his counsel.
“I had a lot of difficult and hard questions [for him],” Farr-Jones told Seven’s Sunrise, after a code of conduct hearing found Folau had committed a “high level” breach of his Rugby Australia contract.
“But after 90 minutes, I felt that I knew the man. I thought I knew the authenticity of the man and I certainly understood his beliefs.”
Folau took to Instagram last month to proclaim “hell awaits” for “drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists, idolators” in a religiously-motivated post.
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Those that are living in Sin will end up in Hell unless you repent. Jesus Christ loves you and is giving you time to turn away from your sin and come to him. _______________ Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these , adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21 KJV _______________ Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Acts 2:38 KJV _______________ And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Acts 17:30 KJV _______________
Rugby Australia said it had formally warned Folau against making inflammatory social media comments last year before awarding him his new four-year, $4 million contract.
But Farr-Jones said Folau disputes how strongly that message was conveyed by RA Chief Executive Raelene Castle and Wallabies coach Michael Cheika.
Castle met with Folau in London prior to November’s Test against England and he was advised on writing about his beliefs in a respectful, non-offensive way, according to Farr-Jones.
“She proposed to him, say something like ‘heaven awaits those who repent from their sins’. Tip-toeing around what he said,” Farr-Jones said.
Folau’s perceived lack of clarity on what he could and couldn’t say and “loving” intentions toward sinners led to Farr-Jones changing his mind.
“When I first met with him … I was going to encourage him to say ‘look, I apologise. I won’t do it again and can I have another chance’,” said Farr-Jones.
“He doesn’t believe he’s done anything wrong.
“I did originally (think he should apologise) had he been told don’t do this again – don’t mention the word hell, for example, awaits these various groups of people,” he said.
“But he’s saying he was never instructed that way.
“He does it, I promise you, in a loving way, wanting to seek change in people.
“I know a lot of people don’t get it.”