Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki has threatened “war” against anyone who describes passages of the Bible as hate speech.
Tamaki has taken to his Twitter account with a post apparently in response to critics of Australian rugby player Israel Folau, who last week posted on social media that "hell awaits" homosexuals, aduterers and several other groups.
“This will be war if you call the Bible Hate speech when any verse in it is quoted,” Tamaki wrote today.
“Whether at home...at work or on the Street...how dare secular, liberal, left leaning, atheists openly attempt to legislate our founding faith...Christianity or the Bible as Hate Speech,” he posted.
Social media followers of Tamaki have slammed his stance, with one saying, "It's unarguable that the Bible contains passages that we today consider 'hate speech'.”
"The issue isn't with the existence of these passages, but with the application of them out of context in contemporary discourse...”
The Government is reviewing laws around hate speech in the wake of the Christchurch terrorist attacks.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said she doesn’t agree with what Folau said, and with being a person in a position of influence comes responsibility.
She said she’s particularly mindful of vulnerability of young members of the rainbow community.
Meanwhile, Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said today he won't pick Folau again due to the disruptions to player culture and team image his controversial religious social media posts bring.
Cheika's stance comes as Folau battles to keep his contract from being torn up by Rugby Australia following his posts.