'This will be war if you call the Bible hate speech' - Brian Tamaki

Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki has made an open threat to anyone who claims any part of the Bible is hate speech.

Posting on his Twitter account, Tamaki appears to have made the remark in response to critics of Wallaby rugby player Israel Folau, who last week claimed "hell awaits" gay people.

"This will be war if you call the Bible hate speech when any verse in it is quoted," his tweet read.

"How dare secular, liberal, left-leaning, atheists openly attempt to legislate our founding faith, Christianity or the Bible as hate speech."

The Government is reviewing laws around hate speech following the Christchurch terror attack, though it is unclear who Tamaki is referring to in his reference to legislators.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been reluctant to classify comments from Folau, directly founded in his religion, as hate speech in the past.

"I disagree with them but I'm very careful around how I categorise someone's speech," she told Newshub in 2018 when Folau posted similar views against the LGBTQ community.

Similarly, National MP Paula Bennett has indicated that legislating against comments like Folau's would be a step too far.

"I'm not sure I do respect his right to say something like that when it could be extremely harmful to some people out there who don't quite have the maturity to see it as one person's view," she said.

"But as far as there being laws or anything like that, I think that's a step too far and not something I would support."

The Human Rights Act section 61 protects against hate speech directed at people on the basis of "colour, race or ethnic or national origins", but not sexual orientation. The part of the Act which deals in sexual harassment - section 62 - doesn't cover speech.

Tamaki has consistently backed Folau's anti-gay stance and also criticised the Government after the Muslim call to prayer was broadcast during a memorial for victims of the Christchurch terror attack.