CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Give Me One Real Christian Over a Thousand Fake Ones

Jun 17, 2019

OK, we all have things that cheese us off. We all have things that get our goat. One thing that really bugs me is when an admittedly flawed and far from perfect Christian seeks to do all he can to serve his Lord, especially in the public arena, but gets attacked for it by other believers.

It seems there will always be so-called Christians attacking those who are the real deal. While they sit at home, comfortable, doing nothing risky or sacrificial for the Kingdom, they will hurl broadsides at those who do. These critics are a dime a dozen, and they simply try to build themselves up by tearing others down.

We have countless examples of this, but one very obvious recent case involved the Australian rugby player Israel Folau and public comments he made about sin and salvation. I have already written a number of articles about this, including a piece where I also take on his many critics: billmuehlenberg.com/2019/04/15/folau-and-the-fallout/

Well, Folau keeps on speaking truth, especially in his role as a lay preacher, and the media keeps picking up on it and getting outraged, and the spineless Christian armchair critics keep coming out in force. As to the lamestream media, most of today’s articles on this have moved beyond reporting to editorialising, with most of the headlines speaking of him ‘attacking homosexuals’ and the like.

As but one example of this, here is the headline and much of a Sydney Morning Herald hit-piece:

Folau launches fresh attack on gay and transgender people

Israel Folau has launched another attack on gay people and also criticised young people being allowed to change gender during a sermon at his Sydney church. The former rugby union star described homosexuality as a sin and claimed the devil was behind primary school children being allowed to decide if they wanted to change gender.

“This is what the devil is trying to do, to instil into the government, into this world, into society, and it is slowly happening,” Folau said in his Sunday sermon at The Truth of Jesus Christ Church in Kenthurst. “The sad thing is why a lot of people out there that are non-Christians say bad things about the church, is because a lot of the churches allow those things to happen.

“They say that a man and a man should be able to be married and there is nothing wrong with it. This buys into the theme of pleasing man rather than pleasing God and standing up for the truth.” The 30-year-old’s sermon was posted on the church’s Facebook page. Folau also criticised modern “Westernised” churches and said true believers in Christ “profess him wherever we go”.

“Are we too scared because we might be cast out by our workplace or cast out of somewhere because we’re not liked or loved by those around us and don’t believe the same thing we do?” he asked. “You might be the only born-again Christian in that workplace, you might feel a bit awkward with your co-workers because they are in the world and you’re not. We should feel blessed … because God has called us.”
www.smh.com.au/sport/rugby-union/folau-launches-fresh-attack-on-gay-people-transgender-youths-20190617-p51yba.html

Um, no, he attacked no one. He simply shared biblical truth. He simply shared what all Jews and Christians have believed for three millennia. To simply say that the Bible calls us all sinners and commands repentance of all of us is not attacking anyone. It is just stating truth.

And to want to protect our innocent and vulnerable young children from the destructive and dangerous radical trans agenda is the epitome of love and compassion. The trans militants are engaging in actual child abuse, and concerned Christians like Folau simply want to protect these poor children from nefarious adult schemes.

Yet he is somehow the bad guy here? As secular left governments all across Australia keep pushing radical trans insanity on our children, someone needs to come to their defence. If most church leaders are just too cowardly or apathetic to do it, then I sure am glad that Israel is standing up here. Way to go Israel!

And you need to be aware of this: Did you know that it was not all that long ago that the SMH and other Australian newspapers would routinely print Sunday sermons in full in their Monday morning editions? This was a common and regular practice a century ago.

As I said in an earlier article: “John Fairfax (1804-1877), owner of the Sydney Morning Herald, had been a deacon and Sunday School superintendent back in the UK. He was an unashamed Christian who never tired of speaking of his faith and sharing it with others.”
billmuehlenberg.com/2019/01/29/a-review-of-the-fountain-of-public-prosperity-by-stuart-piggin-and-robert-linder/

It would be interesting to revisit those printed sermons. I do not doubt that with a little sniffing around we could find some of them – even some that might speak about things like homosexuality. Will the SMH and other papers now publicly denounce what they formerly ran with, remove all these past sermons, and delete all references to them?

What has changed here? Christianity has not changed. The biblical message has not changed. The need for preachers to declare biblical truth has not changed. What has changed is the media – it once faithfully reported and reflected what was going on around them. Now it stands in opposition to that culture, and has declared war on it.

But we expect the secular and Christophobic media and others to go after people like Folau. They hate everything about him, and all that he stands for. But what we do not expect, or at least should not expect, is when all these pharisaical armchair critics join in on the attack.

These Christian critics seem far more intent on receiving the praises of men than in supporting a brave brother in Christ who is seeking to make a stand for Christ and the Word, no matter how imperfectly. Most of these cowardly critics will never publicly affirm basic biblical truths – certainly on things like homosexuality.

Sorry, they have their reputations to keep intact. The world loves them too much for them to disappoint. They would rather be well-received by the masses than stand alone for Jesus Christ. I for one have had a gutful of such people. Give me one Israel Folau over a thousand of these folks any day of the week.

Oh, and earth calling critics: guess what? Athletes are not always known for being great intellects, being eloquent in speech, or being properly refined and polished. For heaven’s sake, they are just jocks (as we call them in America), usually known more for their physical abilities than their mental or social abilities.

So if Folau says things a bit differently than how I might have said them, so what? At least he is speaking up and saying what needs to be said. These craven critics will never get up and say what needs to be said. They will keep bending over backwards to please people and be thought well of by everyone. They will have their reward.

As for me and my house we will stand with the Lord – and with his imperfect but fearless champion Israel Folau.

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20 Responses to Give Me One Real Christian Over a Thousand Fake Ones

  • Israel is so inspiring. So far the bulk of comments on social media are in support of him and his right to his belief so this continued persecution of Israel may actually have the opposite effect!

  • Israel is like Daniel in the Old Testament who along with his friends refused to bow the knee and worship King Nebacanezzer who proclaimed himself to be God. Everyone else was bowing down and worshipping the King and the statues and idols set up to proclaim himselfas their King and God. Why not Daniel? He refused and said he was a false God. Daniel was set upon and thrown with his two friends into a fiery furnace so hot that it killed some of the soldiers preparing it. King Nebacanezzer was watching and said there were three thrown into the furnace but I can see four……..later Daniel walked out of the furnace without even a sniff of smoke or a burn and said the God he worshipped stood next to him and protected him from the flames. The true Christian God will protect Israel as the anti Christian media throw him into the fiery furnace….

  • Yes Bill,
    No time in todays world for being mamby pamby, hair fairy or lame duck.

    There was something said about, the luke warm, fence sitters?

    Yeah:Revelations 3-16 …
    Something about, Quote: “Spitting you out of My mouth.”
    (Doesn’t pay to be hot nor cold neither.)

    Naturally we all know that this Brave heart Folau isn’t warning those with certain tendancies or weakness’ (we all have them) rather those of us who have succumb to the temptations.
    Then with obstinate hearts, (like Judas) fail to repent (admit) to our crimes.
    Which is a greater crime in itself. A bit like fence sitting.
    Those of us who are real bad eggs. Yep! Rotten to the core.

    However! It’s in our best interest that this true blue Folau is speaking out.
    In reality his speaking truthfully, is an excellent example of, his concern (love) for his brother man.
    Regards
    Terrence McDonnell
    Ps only watch out for the logs in our eyes.

  • Yet Rugby Australian and now the SMH can vilify Christianity as much as they like and get away with it. It is no secret that Christianity opposes any sexuality other than lifelong, heterosexual relationships, sanctified by God.

    Israel is not “throwing stones” a some extraordinarily ignorant people claim. He is doing his best to prevent people from eternal damnation and has paid a phenomenal price for the love he has shown.

    Rugby Australia has done an extraordinary wrong here. Their bigotry and fundamental disregard for basic human rights is absolutely profound.

  • As Bill says, the SMH has fallen mightly from the time of its Christian founder John Fairfax. I could imagine John Fairfax’s reaction when someone proposed running an article on transgender-rights in his 1860’s SMH.

    https://atributetoaustralianchristians.wordpress.com/2011/03/24/john-fairfax/

  • John Fairfax was one of the Christian founders of the AMP Society. In 2018 the royal commission into banking misconduct recommended AMP should face criminal prosecution for misleading the corporate regulator. John Fairfax would ‘roll over in his grave.’ if he knew of the sad state of the SMH and the AMP today.

    https://atributetoaustralianchristians.wordpress.com/2011/08/03/the-australian-mutual-provident-society-amp/

  • Thank you sir. It’s really hard to run a race when all your fellow racers main objective seems to be tripping each other you yourself.

  • With friends like these critics, who needs enemies?
    This is a prime example of how NOT to be an answer to the prayers of Jesus for the unity of believers in John 17.
    Can they not see that God has not made Christians to be clones of each other?

    Israel will reach people in his own sub-culture that the critics could never reach; they will also reach people in their sub-culture that Izzie is not gifted to reach.
    The one thing that unites us all (supposedly) is the truth of the Gospel.
    All the critics can achieve is to bring the gospel into disrepute by the divisiveness they display.

  • The attacks on him are just a taste of what’s to come to all Christians, fake and real. There is a real spiritual war happening. The fake ones will give in too easily. The real ones will keep on standing up for their faith in Jesus.

  • A wolf in sheep’s clothing.

    http://www.starobserver.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Screen-Shot-2019-06-19-at-11.07.59-am-1140×641.png

    Jesus condemning the religious leaders who, “… honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” (Matthew 15:8-9)

  • Fr Rod Bower’s Statement of Faith:

    “The Bible is wrong. Don’t listen to it.”

    – and the Anglican Church continues to ‘recognise’ him.

  • I am a Catholic Christian Bill and I personally am grateful for someone as well known as Israel Folau for courageously sticking his neck out to proclaim this Biblical Truth. Whether people, including so called Christians, agree with him or not he has been heard and it has cost him much, not least ridicule.

    Of course the Devil is behind the gender issue and same sex marriage but mentioning the Devil, Hell etc. does not make some so called Christians feel warm and fuzzy enough. At Judgement it won’t just be what we did wrong it will be what we “failed to do”.

    According to Catholic tradition we should reflect often on the four last things which are Death Judgement Heaven and Hell.

  • Revelation makes it clear those who will be candidates for the fiery lake (21:8) and mentioned before the murderers, sexually immoral, idolaters, the vile etc are the COWARDLY! The armchair (so called) Christian’s (minus a backbone) will be the ones filling this spot! The same Greek word is used in 2 Tim1:7 where it says that God has not given us a spirit of timidity (Cowardice) but a spirit of power, love and sound mind! Israel has demonstrated love, power and right thinking and has honoured God and his Word in the process. The critics need to do some hard repenting on their knees because of their damning COWARDICE.
    Brilliant as always Bill!

  • I emailed Brian Houston’s Church the following when Brian attacked Israel Folau in the media:
    How ‘sad’ to see Pastor Brian Houston attack Israel Folau, who was quoting from 1 Corinthians 6, and warning sinners of their fate, should they not repent. Brian claimed that Israel’s “way is not the right way. It does not reflect the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. The New Testament is clear, but grace does not point fingers. It recognises our own sinfulness. ‘But by the grace of God’.” What a lot of compromised twaddle. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (NKJV) states, “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”

    This is the real gospel – that sinners can be forgiven their sins, if they repent.
    I’m sure, given Brian’s compromised view of Christianity, that he would have tweeted against the Prophet Isaiah, the Prophet Jeremiah, the Prophet Ezekiel and other prophets of God, had they been contemporaries. After all, they too pointed out clearly their people’s sins and their need to repent. And Jesus Himself, called sinners to repent. Luke 5:32 being one example. Matthew 4:17 another example: “From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (NKJV). Would you tweet against that too, Brian?

    Revelation 3:14-22 states: “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ’ ” The good news in this warning to the Laodicean Church is that Christ does love this Church but calls it to repent.

    I do acknowledge that Brian is under tremendous pressure to compromise in these last days, as probably the preeminent Pastor in Australia. All the more reason that he should stand up for Christ, submitting to God (definitely not Allah!) and resisting the Devil. Many Christians look to you for example, Brian. Please defend the truth, quit pleasing people and compromising. You may have written a book titled, “You need more money” but the truth is Brian, you need more backbone – forget the prosperity stuff and concentrate on the real gospel. Make a clear and unambiguous stand for Jesus!
    I pray that the Lord God gives you the wisdom to stand firm in these days.
    Sincerely
    Ron McLay

  • There were both Elijah and Elisha in the days of Ahab, Jezebel and what passed for the rest of Omri’s wicked dynasty. Elijah called down fire from Heaven more than once and called on a drought in a land that worshipped the Canaanite Sidonian Jezebel’s deity of rain thunder and fertility, Ba’al.

    Elisha poured water on his teacher, Elijah’s hands and did other good things with water and olive oil. He also had an entire invading Aramean army sent home in peace after they were given royal hospitality at his insistence.

    In their days of earthly ministry, our Lord Jesus and John the Baptist found their ministries in contrast to one another in style. Both were equally criticised by the pious “do-gooders” of their community.

    Our days are days of rampant departure from the one, true God: We need both “Elijahs” and “Elishas” in confronting a generation that is increasingly without God and without hope in this ever darker world. Mr Folau appears to be shaping up as one of those with an “Elijah” ministry.

  • John Wigg mentioned Elijah and Elisha in the days of Ahab and Jezebel. There was a third figure in those days, Ahab’s court official Obadiah. Unfortunately though, there seems to be no clear consensus amongst Christians on how to evaluate him. Elijah and Elisha are clearly ‘heroic’ but for Obadiah, on the one hand he was still loyal to God (though maybe secretly and not publicly?) and did shelter 100 prophets from persecution, on the other hand, there are those who think he was some kind of coward or compromiser who still served Ahab and apparently never boldly confronted Ahab with the truth. I’m sure we will find some equivalent to Obadiah in our times, with similar divided opinions.
    Credit indeed to Mr Folau, he is so far shaping up to be an Elijah-type figure for these times.

    To Ron McLay, Brian Houston’s attack on Folau may have something to do with another critical post by Folau. Folau is not impressed it seems with health/wealth/prosperity preachers:
    https://www.instagram.com/p/Bj9gioxhMII/

    By the way, if you want to help Folau with his legal fight:
    https://au.gofundme.com/Israel-folau-legal-action-fund

  • Mr Folau’s sermon was on the topic of the choice between pleasing men and the alternative, pleasing God – while plainly disagreeing with certain agendas of the latest wave of the Sexual Revolution, the sermon calls for love for sinners – love that dares to call them to repentance [Go to: https://www.facebook.com/592277641115135/videos/351587558886560/ ]. I fear the media reporting of the sermon is another case of “text without context is pretext”…

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