Folau, Hell, and Biblical Truth
Liberal Christians and political liberals are as one in so many areas. They both refuse to believe certain vital truths. For example, clear biblical teachings on such things as the uniqueness of Christ and the reality of hell are usually rejected by both.
The recent kerfuffle with Israel Folau and his remarks about homosexuals and hell provides us with a case in point. The leftists are up in arms that he said – in reply to a direct question – that without repentance and turning from sin, homosexuals are heading for a lost eternity.
Of course that is true of every person on the planet, be they sexual radicals, media journalists, politicians, or housekeepers. But I have discussed his case in more detail here: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2018/04/06/folau-and-unacceptable-truth/
Various liberals went berserk about his remarks. Political leftists were of course outraged that their sacred shibboleth of homosexuality was attacked. And since most lefties hate Christianity, this was a double no-no for the left. How dare Folau share his Christian beliefs in public?
Indeed, why do we suspect that many on the left would seek to have even his private views on the matter declared to be anathema? Many want Christianity confined to a purely private affair with no public expression, and some even want it shut down altogether, as it counters their radical agendas.
And religious leftists have long ago denied basic biblical doctrines including the belief in eternal punishment for the wicked. Things get a bit more confusing when people with conservative political views seek to combine liberal religious views.
Let me offer two cases of these sorts of leftism, beginning with the latter. One person I have recently come to know on the social media is a political conservative – which is good – but may be somewhat all over the place when it comes to religion.
He has rightly defended Folau and his right to free speech. Great, but in one post he spilled the beans on where he stood in terms of Christian beliefs. He spoke about how as a child he was taught by his religious Sisters that hell was real, but now he has taken a different view on such matters.
He wrote: “I subscribe to a more benign belief these days and don’t agree with Wallabies rugby player Israel Folau when he says gay people will go to Hell ‘unless they repent of their sins and turn to God’.” Interesting phrase he uses there: a “more benign belief”?
Let me remind you of a few synonyms of the term: kindly, kind, compassionate, caring, considerate, warm-hearted, good-natured, big-hearted, etc. If we think about this for a moment, especially in the light of biblical truth, we can see that this is hardly benign. In fact it is actually harmful and unloving.
To not share biblical truth with others, including that about their eternal destiny, is not exactly benign. In fact according to Scripture, it is not only unloving, but it is downright hateful. One simply has to offer a loose analogy here to make this clear:
Suppose a person went to the doctor, quite worried about his condition. His doctor discovers that he has a deadly cancer, but he sends him home, telling the patient that he is just fine. Um, that is hardly being loving. He is not being benign. He shows contempt for his patient by refusing to share life-giving truth with him.
It is the same here. The most loving thing we can do for sinners – be they homosexual, heterosexual, or whatever – is to tell them the truth. And given that Jesus spoke more about hell than anyone else in Scripture, this means that this is the most Christlike thing we can do.
But let me offer a second example of such biblical deconstructionism, this time from someone who is a political liberal as well as a religious liberal – if he even considers himself to be religious. I refer to Australian columnist and contributing editor Peter van Onselen.
He recently penned an incredibly bad piece about Folau and Scripture. Anyone with even a modicum of biblical intelligence would know how bad it was. I could easily dissect it, but Mark Powell has already penned a piece on this, so let me just run with a few quotes from him.
He offers this doozey of a quote from van Onselen: “I’m pretty certain that Jesus’s more important message in the New Testament was about inclusion and tolerance of others, rather than fostering the concept of the other. In fact, there is no direct mention of ‘hell’ in the bible.”
It is difficult to see how such egregious errors and flights of fancy could get past even a basic editorial scrutiny. A quick word search of a Bible concordance reveals that the term “hell” is in fact used fourteen separate times in the New Testament, with twelve of them coming directly from the lips of Jesus. (See Matt. 5:22, 29, 30; 10:28; 18:9; 23:15; 23:33; Mk. 9:43, 45, 47; Lk. 12:5; 16:23; Jas. 3:6; 2 Pe. 2:4). So much for Jesus championing the Leftist values of “inclusion” and “tolerance”.
Van Onselen quickly tried to cover his tracks by amending the article so that the paragraph now reads: “In fact, there is no direct mention of ‘hell’ in the bible. At least not the claim that people go to hell. That’s why Jehovah’s Witnesses – as bible literalists – don’t believe in hell.”
But this demonstrates that van Onselen is not only ignorant regarding the contents of the Bible, but he knows next to nothing about theology. You see, the Jehovah Witnesses—whom most mainline Christians regard as being a cult, not a fellow denomination — do believe in hell, they just don’t believe that it will last forever. Instead, they hold to a view called “annihilation” where the soul is destroyed after a period of time.
But more significantly, the Bible repeatedly speaks of a place of eternal torment and suffering, even when the term ‘hell’ is not employed (such as Rev. 21:6-8).
He also refers to the remarks of Liberal MP and homosexual Tim Wilson who said Folau is better known for his brawn than his brain. Powell concludes his piece as follows:
Unlike the Liberal MP Tim Wilson, Folau might not be skilled in the dark arts of political spin. But for Wilson to cast a slur on Folau’s intellectual ability ironically reeks of might be called ‘white privilege’, since Folau is better read than either van Onselen or Wilson in the New Testament. Clearly, Folau has both brawn and brains. However, what is becoming more and more obvious is that van Onselen has nothing but shamelessness. In spades.
Biblical deconstructionism comes in many forms. Political and religious lefties seek to do it all the time. And sometimes political conservatives who are weak on Scripture also try to do it. In either case, it just won’t wash. At the end of the day the Word of God stands.
The biblical deconstructionists however come and go. Needless to say, I fully stand with Folau on all this. More power to you mate.
19 Replies to “Folau, Hell, and Biblical Truth”
Fully concur with both Israel’s and you comments wrt. the consequences of sin- be they sexual or any other sort of sin. Of course we’ve had the never-ending bleating of liberal theologians (Father Rod of Gosford et.al.) that the “sin” of Sodom was inhospitality even to the extent that because of the government’s tougher immigration policies, the Peter Dutton has been publicly branded a “Sodomite”. Not sure what Gomorrah’s sin was if it wasn’t sodomy. No mention of the inhospitality of Gomorrah. And the inhospitality of Sodom’s citizens was what- being angry that Lot wouldn’t send his guests out to be homosexually raped? Christ was very up front about the consequences of sin- because he WAS compassionate. He wasn’t benign with the temple harlots and traders. He wasn’t benign with the hypocritical temple lawyers.He was so compassionate as to advocate the leaving the 99 for the sake of one who was lost. Yes jesus knew that the consequences of sin was eternal separation from God which is a painful existence- whether its called Hell, Gehenna, Hades, Sheol, Lake of Fire, Second Death or Eternal Retribution. They’re all nasty places in which God is not present- much like some Godless places on the earth today.
Well written Bill,
The level of biblical illiteracy within the so called “well educated ” is alarming. They clearly fabricate a belief that suits their argument but it has nothing to do with God’s word,
This Israel Folau situation is doing an excellent job of showing how the left is super intolerant towards personal Christian beliefs. To call Folau a “jerk” is really immature and illustrates Socrates’ saying well – “When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.”
I see more and more people waking up to their bullying tactics and commenting on this matter to support Israel even though they don’t agree with him!
All that comes to mind is 2 Timothy Scripture 3, 1-3, 1-6. 1. But understand this: In the last days terrible times will come. 2. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3. unloving, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, without love of good, 4. traitorous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5. having a form of godliness but denying its power. Turn away from such as these! Please God keep us close to you. As King David said in Psalm 51:7, cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean. Ouch, that would hurt, but only to save one soul form an eternal separation.
If these degenerates don’t believe in Hell then what are they mad about? If they really did not believe they would simply laugh it off but the fact that they are up in arms gives me the impression that they do believe but don’t like anyone reminding them.
Funny isn’t it!? The Left is in a furore about what Folau said as if they had never heard that this was standard Christian doctrine. Either this is feigned outrage again or they really are ignorant.
By the way, the JWs don’t believe that man possesses a soul, or in the divinity of Christ for that matter. We Catholics class them as non-Christians.
Thanks Charles. Yes we Protestants regard the JWs to be a cult as well, not only because of teachings like annihilationism, but their denial of core biblical doctrines such as the Trinity, and the deity of Christ, as you mention. I speak to this more fully here:
Are we entering a POST-TRUTH world? A world where people are becoming incapable of distinguishing between truth and lies. We are living in a time of moral and spiritual confusion. If we speak out for traditional marriage, people will call us a bigot and a homophobe. Our reputation and livelihood can be destroyed.
So many people and institutions have rejected the concept of truth.
Western civilisation is based on the importance of rational thought, objective truth, and timeless Biblical principles. Christian faith is reasonable, and based on objective evidence.
Destructive forces are tearing our world apart. Even many Christians are fearful and afraid to speak out for the truth. Many clergy avoid preaching about end times, and the reality of hell. Jesus warned about hell more often then He spoke about Heaven.
As Christians guided and indwelt with The Holy Spirit, we should love as Jesus loved. We must speak the truth as Israel Folau did. How can we say we love our family, friends, and all humanity, if we do not tell them the truth in love. When those deceived realise the reality of hell – too late—won’t they cry out to us “Why didn’t you tell me!”
SSM supporters are posing as loving and tolerant people. People who value equality.
Love is wanting the best for people – for now, and for Eternity.
Yes quite right Adele.
You have hit the nail on the head.
The level of deception and twist is increasing across Society.
Adele, you have just described post-modernism and it’s core assumption that truth is entirely relative and flexible.
Waratahs and Wallabies winger Curtis Rona has thrown his support behind Israel Folau – Rona posted an Instagram story on Thursday morning to profess his support for Folau, quoting a passage from the Bible and saying “We stand with #IsraelFolau”. https://www.smh.com.au/sport/rugby-union/we-stand-with-israel-curtis-rona-throws-support-behind-israel-folau-20180412-p4z97w.html
The NRL has come out expressing its intent to exclude Mr Folau on account of his views which they say contradict their policy of inclusivity. Hypocrites.
John, even in a post-modernist world with relative and flexible truths there’s clearly some absolutes. Expressing the Biblical view of homosexuality – and one roughly shared by Islam as well, is apparently absolutely wrong. It’s paradoxical. As with so many of these controversies I keep thinking of Sodom and Gomorrah. Are we cascading towards the Last Days?
Those who accuse Israel Falou are hypocrites and need to be exposed.
A couple of months of ago, on ITV , Piers Morgan launched into Mike Davidson, therapist , ex -homosexual and now someone who helps those with unwanted same sex attractions to escape from the curse of homosexuality. The level of hatred, slander and bigotry hurled at Mike was truly shocking . But as they say it makes for “good television.”
At 5minutes 18 seconds Piers, referring to Mike, says, “Do you know what we call these people ? We call these people horrible little bigots in the modern world ….just bigoted people who actually talk absolutely claptrap and are in my view a malevolent and dangerous part of our society . What’s the matter with you ?”
Mike could have answered there was clearly nothing the matter with Piers Morgan who had stopped struggling to be unfaithful to his wives and mistresses , and instead become comfortable with fornication, pornography, homosexuality and paedophilia all of which have appeared in the magazine of his close friend, Hugh Hefner, the Playboy magazine.
“Piers Morgan married Marion Shalloe in 1991, but left her and their three children after an affair with the very married Guardian columnist, Marina Hyde. Then in 2006, after breaking up with Hyde, he became transfixed with The Daily Telegraph gossip columnist Celia Walden, daughter of former Tory MP George Walden, after she interviewed him.”- Independent.
They are both married but Celia became a member of Ashley Madison a dating site for those wanting an affair.
Whereas Mike Davidson and Israel Folau continue to fight the temptation of sin, as we all do, their protagonists gave into lust and wickedness a long time ago. They are not likely the change as that’s what feels natural to them.
David Skinner UK
We need to challenge those who call us narrow minded homophobic bigots by accusing them of being closet homosexuals . If they then claim that they are straight, ask them to prove it. If they then say that they are married to women, we need to point out that so are a lot of gay men. Then as they become more passionate with their claim that they are straight, we can suggest that they protest too much and are clearly hiding something. There is no straight gene, so they had better come up with something better than spluttering outrage.
David Skinner UK
Interesting article by Israel Folau on sports website Player’s Voice:
(QUOTE): “… I read the Bible every day. It gives me a sense of peace I have not been able to find in any other area of my life. It gives me direction. It answers my questions. I believe that it is a loving gesture to share passages from the Bible with others. I do it all the time when people ask me questions about my faith or things relating to their lives, whether that’s in-person or on my social media accounts …
I was asked a question by somebody about what God’s plan is for gay people. My response to the question is what I believe God’s plan is for all sinners, according to my understanding of my Bible teachings, specifically 1 Corinthians 6: 9-10:
‘Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor the drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.’
… I believe the Bible is the truth and sometimes the truth can be difficult to hear …
we are talking about sin as the Bible describes it, not just homosexuality, which I think has been lost on a lot of people.There are many sins outlined in that passage from 1 Corinthians and I have been guilty of committing some of them myself.
No man or woman is different from another – if you sin, which we all do, and do not repent and seek forgiveness, you will not inherit the kingdom of God. As it is written in Acts 2:38:
‘Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’
I believe when Jesus died on the cross for us, it gave us all the opportunity to accept and believe in Him if we wanted to. To enter the kingdom of Heaven, though, we must try our best to follow His teachings and, when we fall short, to seek His forgiveness.” (END QUOTE) (Folau, Israel. “I’m A Sinner Too.” PlayersVoice, 16 April 2018. https://www.playersvoice.com.au/israel-folau-im-a-sinner-too/).
here we go again. This situation reminds me so much of the same-sex marriage debate. Those who stood up for their beliefs about marriage were ridiculed and even threatened for holding those beliefs. It seems to me that there is some unfinished business as far as religious freedoms are concerned. Those supporting their beliefs tend to quietly go about standing up for their right while those opposing this, and that is the ones that seem to shout the loudest about tolerance and equality, are the ones being intolerant, discriminatory and even snarly and vicious in letting people know what is right. They contradict the values they claim to be standing up for and refuse to even see that. When that happens you know that something is not right and there is some sort of agenda going on.
Only last year, at a Bible study group, a minister connected with the Methodist church I go to actually said and I quote ‘The concept of hell is inconsistent with a God of love’. If I am to believe this, I no longer have to worry or feel guilty about my sins and I don’t even have to rely and believe 100% on what Jesus did on the cross for my sake and everyone else’s sake. God just loves me anyway, no matter what! There were quite a few other ‘unbiblical’ things he said that really worried me, so I no longer attend these so called ‘Bible’ studies, which are nothing of the kind. Just people coming out with their own human theories and ideas and creating God in their own image. As the Bible says ‘Go from the presence of a foolish man, when you do not perceive knowledge in his mouth’.
Thanks for this article, Bill and for showcasing God’s truth as always.