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Israel Folau, Ancient Israel, and the God Who Is There

Nov 18, 2019

What are we to make of the latest comments by Israel Folau?

Star Rugby player (or ex-Rugby player) Israel Folau is in the news again for appealing to ancient Israel and the issue of natural disasters and the judgments of God. He said the nation’s laws on abortion and homosexuality have led to the bush fires and drought Australia has recently experienced.

He mentioned the ancient Israelite prophet Isaiah in a Sunday sermon about God judging the earth because of the sins of the people, and he sought to find parallels with Australia today. And for doing that, all hell has once again broken loose. Everyone is up in arms.

Secularists are of course completely outraged, but all sorts of trendy lefty Christians are also condemning him big time. Let me first offer a few more details on this matter, and then present a bit of commentary. One news item – which was a bit less severe on Folau than many others – said this:

In his latest sermon, Israel Folau has linked the bushfires and drought which have ravaged NSW and Queensland to same-sex marriage and abortion legislation. Speaking at The Truth of Jesus Christ Church in Kenthurst, north west of Sydney, Folau has again delivered yet another sermon which has taken aim at homosexuals.

In June, Folau launched an attack on homosexuals and transgender children, a matter of months after he had his Wallabies contract torn up for a series of social media posts. Folau had his $4 million contract torn up by Rugby Australia after he was found guilty of a code of conduct breach for saying “hell awaits” gay people in a social media post earlier this year.

He has since launched legal action, reportedly seeking $10 million in damages, believing he has been discriminated against because of his religious views. Folau is set to return to court in December ahead of a trial in February 2020 if mediation is unsuccessful. But in his latest sermon, Folau linked the devastating natural disasters to recent legislation. www.news.com.au/sport/sports-life/israel-folau-preaches-bushfires-and-drought-are-gods-punishment-for-samesex-marriage-and-abortion/news-story/1342cc45c7bdd686d99e56e97b608fcf

Another article with this title featured plenty of criticisms: “Fiery reaction after Israel Folau links Australian bushfires to same sex marriage.” Here are just two of them:

Even staunch ally Alan Jones condemned the comments. “Israel is a lovely human being, I know him well. But, Israel, button up,” Jones said on his 2GB radio program. “These comments don’t help.”

Others were saddened. “As a Christian I feel so desperately sad reading that because that’s not the nature of God, that’s not the heart of God … I feel like wearing a T-shirt saying ‘not on my team’,” Sky News contributor Gemma Tognini said. www.news.com.au/sport/sports-life/fiery-reaction-after-israel-folau-links-australian-bushfires-to-same-sex-marriage/news-story/35d07139e6ba4b69fae67a3388071a97

These were two of the milder complaints levelled against Folau. Plenty of other much harsher comments were made. So what are we to make of all this? Let me give a short answer and a long answer. Briefly, if he had simply said “These natural disasters may be part of God’s judgment on a sinful nation” I would have no problems with it.

But let me give a longer version of this. That God can and does use natural disasters, wild weather, floods, fires and all sorts of other things as a means of bringing judgment both to Israel and the nations is absolutely clear from Scripture. There are many dozens of verses on this found in Scripture.

Indeed, I have already penned a number of articles on this matter over the years, such as: billmuehlenberg.com/2017/09/10/hurricane-irma-god-natural-disasters/

Or this: billmuehlenberg.com/2015/09/13/on-mecca-and-natural-disasters/

In those and other related articles I list just some of the many Bible passages that speak directly to this. God is God, and he is actively involved in the affairs of this world. Christians are not deists, who believe that God is little more than an absentee landlord.

Instead, he is personally involved in the affairs of men – and that can include bringing judgment on them. In my own personal concordance, I have collected a hundred passages which speak to this. Let me offer just two from the Old Testament, one directly aimed at Israel and the other to a pagan nation:

Deuteronomy 28:20-24 The LORD will send on you curses, confusion and rebuke in everything you put your hand to, until you are destroyed and come to sudden ruin because of the evil you have done in forsaking him. The LORD will plague you with diseases until he has destroyed you from the land you are entering to possess. The LORD will strike you with wasting disease, with fever and inflammation, with scorching heat and drought, with blight and mildew, which will plague you until you perish. The sky over your head will be bronze, the ground beneath you iron. The LORD will turn the rain of your country into dust and powder; it will come down from the skies until you are destroyed.

Ezekiel 28:22-23 I am against you, Sidon,
    and among you I will display my glory.
You will know that I am the Lord,
    when I inflict punishment on you
    and within you am proved to be holy.
I will send a plague upon you
    and make blood flow in your streets.
The slain will fall within you,
    with the sword against you on every side.
Then you will know that I am the Lord.

But the God of the Old Testament is the same God of the New Testament of course. God still judges evil. Thus we find similar things mentioned there, such as this passage:

Revelation 6:7-8 When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.

And notice who is behind all this: none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. Contrary to the compromised Christians who think Jesus was just some peacenik who would never hurt a fly, the book of Revelation reveals him to be King of Kings and Lord of Lords who executes judgment on unrepentant nations and individuals.

But I return to my initial short answer. God certainly uses natural elements to achieve his purposes. The Bible is crystal clear on this. The only issue here is this: are all such acts always divine judgments, or something else? In the OT we had divinely inspired prophets who could offer us divine commentary on such things.

But I am not divinely inspired, nor is Folau. So at best, all we can say is something like this: “Such natural disasters may well be part of God’s judgment on a sinful and rebellious nation that has overwhelmingly turned its back on its Creator and King.”

That is a biblically fair call to make. But to say it definitely is – or is not – would be something I could not say with certainty. The biblical principles are clear: sin always has consequences, and it will always be judged, either in this life or in the next.

While the judgment of sin took place at the cross and forgiveness is available for those who repent, those who persist in sin and rebellion against God are still under his just judgment. So whether God uses a flood or a fire or whatever to mete out such judgment in our day, or whether this judgment comes latter in the next life, sin WILL be dealt with.

And while a passage like 2 Chronicles 7:14 has at its primary interpretation the ancient Israelites, there can well be a secondary application for us today. I discuss this here: billmuehlenberg.com/2015/05/02/2-chronicles-714-in-context/

Let me close by offering the last three paragraphs of that article here:

In sum, there is nothing wrong with citing this verse or praying this verse. But remember the context: disobedience will bring the judgment of God. Today our blessings are more spiritual in nature, and so too the judgments. A batch of bad weather may or may not be part of the specific blessing or curse of God.

But for Christian churches and individual Christians to check their own hearts and see if known and un-repented of sin still lurks is always a good exercise indeed. There may well be various spiritual blockages or setbacks because of such disobedience.

So if we want to see the full blessing of God in our lives, we must make sure that we are dealing with any and all acts of disobedience. Simply praying this prayer in the hopes that our nation will be turned around, without dealing with the disobedience issue – either as individuals or the church – and engaging in heartfelt repentance, will be an exercise in futility.

[1454 words]

58 Responses to Israel Folau, Ancient Israel, and the God Who Is There

  • Something I just wrote as a comment earlier this morning…

    I wouldn’t be prepared to be dogmatic about it but it is unavoidable fact that when Victoria passed what was then the worst most radical abortion legislation in the world in October 2008, Black Saturday followed on its heels just a month into 2009. Qld passed similar abortion laws a year ago and Jackie Trad threw a party to celebrate the anniversary of these horrendous laws a few weeks ago just before the bush fires started. And we all know about NSW also passing similar unbelievably radical abortion laws very recently. Is it a coincidence?? I would suggest only a fool would entirely dismiss any possible connection and only a very bold & possibly over confident person would dogmatically insist on a definite connection.

    If there is a connection I don’t believe it is God directly & deliberately causing the disasters as punishment. Yes the New Testament is about grace & mercy & forgiveness and not about judgement. But grace & mercy never has & never will negate consequences to sin. Grace & mercy may well delay some consequences & allow time for repentance & a turning back and in particular time for the Church collectively to proclaim God’s truth and declare warnings if rebellion against God continues. But consequences are inevitable even in this New Testament age of grace & mercy. God longs to forgive but forgiveness is entirely contingent upon confession & repentance….none of which we all know has happened.

    People love to quote “God is love” and obviously that it true. But it leaves a lot out. Among many other things, God is also holy & God is also just, and these aspects of God’s character are are no less than His character of love. You can’t cherry pick the one you prefer & ignore all the rest.

    The west generally & specifically we in Australia, because of our Christian foundations & heritage has historically lived out an ethos of mostly intending to please God. We have made many many mistakes & got many things wrong. But as a general rule I think it is fair to say we have mostly wanted to please God. But for a while now we have been moving slowly but surely further & further away from that ethos. And now we have arrived at a place where we are proactively, deliberately & intentionally expelling God from every aspect of our society, from any public acknowledgement of Him. We as a society are not just inadvertently making a mistake like in times past. We do this knowing full well precisely what we are doing. We have dramatically turned a sharp corner and fully intend heading in an entirely different direction of deliberate total rejection of God & His truth. When we pass legislation that legally enables unborn babies to be killed right up to the moment of delivery for any reason with nothing more than a scam of pretended accountability, and that legally enables same sex “couples” to marry with the same recognition & endorsement as a man/woman marriage as God declared, and when we enable punishment of those who speak God’s truth in these matters….we are in serious trouble.

    This inevitably has consequences.

    Remember the New Testament quote which applies to ALL ages…Galatians 6:7 “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap”.

  • Thanks Phil. Yes I am with you. But I might have a minor quibble however with what you say here: “Yes the New Testament is about grace & mercy & forgiveness and not about judgement.”

    Actually, we have grace and mercy and forgiveness and judgement found fully in BOTH Testaments. Its supreme expression is of course found in the Cross (in the NT). There the utmost of God’s grace and God’s judgment is on full display. See more on this issue here for example:

    https://billmuehlenberg.com/2015/09/23/on-divine-grace-and-judgment/

  • Morning Bill
    Thanks for your thoughts.
    Im with you on this.
    I recall as a new Christian l was at times too black and white and sppke too soon on matters that required much more thoight .
    My heart goes out to Isreal l think he needs a pastor who can give him better help than he appears to have.
    We must lift him up to the Lord.
    Blessings
    Julyan Sumner

  • We’re being attacked on all sides. Even Kerry Stoke’s Seven West Media is “for pride”: https://www.perthnow.com.au/

  • The Planet Earth is a mechanism that is highly volatile and may erupt at anytime.

    With this in mind, I am also mindful of what God said to us all in that if we do not do his edicts, he will turn his face from us.

    As such, God may not opt to raise his hand against us but simply with hold his hand from us and allow the volatility of the Earth to run rampant against us.

    So how doe this fit in with what Israel has said? Our sins are great in that we:-
    Have made a mockery of the sanctity of marriage with divorce and worse – have allowed homosexuals to get married by law. In this, there are two great sins:
    1. Corrupted the sanctity of marriage; And
    2. Mocked God by accepting homosexuality which God has condemned as an abomination and to death; And by tolerating the act of homosexuality have put God on trial in that we have deemed his edicts questionable and or a lie!
    If I was God and saw what we have done and what we are doing I would certainly turn my face from mankind and let mankind fend for itself until mankind has learnt its lesson.

    I say:- WHEN MANKIND NO LONGER LOOKS UP TO GOD IT MUST LOOK DOWN UPON ITSELF.

    John Abbott

  • Thanks John. Although withholding his hand is tantamount to raising his hand. Again, Christians are not deists with an aloof and non-involved God, but those who worship a personal God who is very much involved with us and our everyday world. Even if God built into the universe certain natural laws, ultimately he is behind them and working through them.

  • Christians know it’s an act of God to offer an opportunity to repent and to turn back to Him in faith.

    Unfortunately the majority of people are atheists and don’t even recognise when they are getting whacked with a stick.

    In the past, even pagans would convert at these signs. This shows how insidious atheism is.

    They are completely blind to reality – it is literally the blind leading the blind.

    The problem is that they are taking us Christians into the ditch with them.

    How can we convince them when even the Creator of the universe cannot?

    I think I now know why pride is considered the root of all sins.

    Lord have mercy.

  • I’ve had a lot of difficulty choosing words to pray into this situation. Then Sue Tinworth of PIPES emailed an article that expressed what I believe so clearly. Rather than my quoting most of the article, please read. Sue has given permission to share.
    https://mailchi.mp/partnersinprayer/loving-our-neighbours-in-the-fire-season?e=56de67775c

  • Events are happening around the World that will Polarise Christianity into those who have forgotten or never realised that God does Judge Sin and think that he a sort of Blind father Christmas and those who see the hand of God in Judgement in our time. We are advancing into the End of the Age when Evil will replace Good and Christians will have to call it out.
    As Israel Folau was Preaching in His Fellowship it would seem that soon the SpyBots will be in every Church Building soon checking out what is said for Political Correctness.
    If Christians don’t stand they will Fall and lose their Witness, a problem that has bedevilled the Church since the 1960’s when Evolution was first taught in Schools attacking the book of Genesis.
    Israel Folau and Maryn Iles from the ACL are a very welcome breath of Spiritual Fresh Air in Australia.

  • Yeah you are right Bill. I actually meant to say…the New Testament is about grace & mercy & forgiveness and not PRIMARILY about judgment. And by that I also mean there is judgment at the end of the age but generally not in this current new covenant age as long as it continues. There is no shortage of judgment referred to in Revelation.

  • Who knows what moved Israel to post the claim of God’s fiery divine judgment on this nation because of laws permitting abortion and gay marriage. Maybe his posting was from divine inspiration, or maybe from a loving concern for the souls of those heading for a lost eternity.
    I remember around the late 50s early 60s it was not unusual to see men mainly, some pushing cart, riding pushbikes around Sydney city with doom and gloom signs attached to their vehicles. I remember one particular sign that was very heavy, it read “turn or burn sinner”
    That, however, was the theme of most of the sign messengers.
    The man in the 40s who wrote Eternity on footpaths in Sydney was telling us to choose our life choices carefully, cause there is a judgment, we will all be held to account.
    Israel simply loves people and maybe it grieves him to know that a lot of people make eternally fateful discissions.

  • Obviously you are also right in God’s judgment on Jesus on the cross. Again….I was referring to judgment on us….as in people…not what we all know what was on Jesus on the cross 🙂

  • Thanks again Phil. Although judgment in the NT is not confined just to the cross and the last judgment. Because God is actively involved in our world and our lives, there is judgment taking place all the time – in this present age. There is judgment of non-believers in the here and now (think of how God struck down Herod for example in Acts 12:22-24) and judgment of believers in the here and now (think of how God struck down Ananias and Sapphira for example in Acts 5:1-10).

  • If you cannot for certain say whether it is or is not a judgement from God then it isn’t! God doesn’t make these things ambiguous!

  • Thanks Damien. But the fact that WE may not know for sure if something is of God or not does NOT at all mean it may not be of God. It may indeed be of God, but we finite creatures still see through a glass darkly. Our knowledge is always imperfect and partial, even with the help of the Holy Spirit. So my rendering seems to be the more biblical one: “Such natural disasters may well be part of God’s judgment on a sinful and rebellious nation that has overwhelmingly turned its back on its Creator and King.” It is simply the case – as I stated – that I cannot know for certain if it was or was not. That is where I differ with Folau. But the fact that I may not be 100 per cent sure if it was divine judgment does NOT mean it was not. God’s activities are not determined by my mere understanding or comprehension of them. Thus it is not a case of making things ambiguous or not. His ways ARE often mysterious and hard to fully fathom even at the best of times. Indeed, God often DID make things deliberately ambiguous and elusive, as when Jesus spoke in parables. And what God does often seems to be ambiguous. But that is our fault as fallen and finite creatures who do not have full understanding of all things. It is not God who is ambiguous, but us in our limited knowledge.

  • God says in Jer 9:24 “Let him who glories glory in this that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgement and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight.”
    The PC Christians do not like to include the judgement of God – they exclude it. So, by this definitive verse they do not fully know and understand God. When we read about the judgement of God on Israel in the last chapters of 2 Kings, Australia is no different. We sacrifice babies for a comfortable life, but we still kick up a fuss if race horses are beaten, or sharks are killed. Our land is full of idolatry – sport, clothes, holidays, pets all drain our bank accounts, while people starve.
    Israel Folau is a courageous believer, and while I cannot say for certain that he is correct, I would be more surprised if God told me that he was wrong. We deserve the judgement of God – sadly.

  • Usually a sermon is heard only by the members of the congregation. One wonders why the media have suddenly becomes so interested in this pastor’s sermons. Will this be the start of a trend? If so, I am sure my pastor will be happy to e-mail them his sermons for publication. Perhaps we shall start to see journalists attending services in the cathedrals and reporting on the archbishop’s sermons.
    Likewise, Israel Folau’s social media was presumably originally read only by his fans and those interested in his opinions. Perhaps he should be grateful to the immoralists and assorted God-haters for publicising his message.

  • “By thoughts man often disturbs the order of creation. That is how the first people were destroyed––in a flood––because of their evil thoughts and intentions. This is true even today; our thoughts are evil, and therefore we do not bear good fruit. We must change.” ~ Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica

  • It’s a bit like him posting the meme. I don’t really understand why people are reacting so intensely. If you believe he’s right and God is judging Australia, you’ll agree with the sentiment. If you think he’s wrong – and are consistent in your beliefs – you’ll ignore what he’s said and probably laugh it off.

    It’s the other reactions that bother me more than Folau. Much more.

    I’m more concerned at those who want to use this kind of thing as an excuse to control other people’s speech. The truth is that Folau’s few words materially harm no one. Ignore them, and you’ll discover your day is no different. But someone watching over the speech (!) of everyone for the sake of ‘potential of harm’ is a tyrant and I do fear them.

    I’m also bewildered at some Christians who appear not to have fully understood that Jesus certainly is capable of the absolute worst and severe judgment and made it clear many times in the Gospels repentance is essential to escape it in the future. Like you, Bill, I don’t have insight to declare what God did in respect of the fires, but we can’t say with certainty He did or didn’t have a hand in them. Revelation, especially chapters 1-3 and 21-22 make it clear that with Jesus there is much more than meets the eye. Jesus is not ‘nice guy, meek and mild’, the next time He comes, His Kingly glory will not be veiled and He will terrify everyone who is not prepared. Are you ready?

  • Of course God is in control and is doing exactly the things He has always done and the things He said He would do. How is it people think God has changed?

    It’s actually people like Peter Kurti, who’s aim is off, not God’s. Unfortunately Peter Kurti has shown that he does not understand how authority works. God is very unlikely to attack a parliament because they are working both in God given and in man’s authority and any authority from God simply is not removed lightly. (This is why we have so much problem with Satan.)

    Peter Kurti has simply shown he has little knowledge of God. When Jesus was crucified He could easily have destroyed the entire Earth (which would have been His right) or at least destroyed the head of government in Rome but He did neither.

    Those who attempt to remake God as they would have Him be will be in exactly the same position as the hypocrites of Jesus’ time when He was humbled as the “Son of Man.” Hypocrites will always claim to love and have faith in God but will inevitably prove by their actions that they don’t. It was not a minor criticism when Jesus came down so hard on hypocrisy.

    Hypocrites only have faith in their own created image of God which is why Jesus pointed out to the Pharisees that their worship was worthless. This is because they are simply worshiping a different God.

    We cannot remake God as we would have Him be and if you are not happy with the one-and-only creator, there is no other option. All you are doing is proving your own unrighteousness. Having faith in God means having faith in what He says.

    This is not rocket science.

    Gal 5:19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;
    20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions
    21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
    (NIV)

    If we are being punished it actually good because it means God sees that here is room for repentance.

    Rev 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; therefore be zealous and repent.
    Rev 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him and he with Me.
    Rev 3:21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame and have sat down with My Father in His throne.
    Rev 3:22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
    (MKJV)

  • When through out history has a prophets voice been readily accepted?

    I would question this modern idea that the whole NT is about love and mercy. Read MATTHEW 24, read what the end times will be like?
    Yes, through Jesus God offers grace Love and mercy. We have to accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour. If we fail to sit under the umbrella of God love through Christ we, by default sit under God’s judgement. God judgement has gone away, it is still there it is a matter as to whether we decide to sit under His grace or under His judgement. This modern theology of LOVE LOVE LOVE, does God an injustice.
    On Sunday in my sermon I couldn’t categorically say the drought and fires were God’s judgement but I said we cannot ignore the possibility.

    2 Ch 7:14  if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land

    So when drought and floods and fires happen is it a sign for people to humble themselves before Almighty God?

  • Hi Bill,

    Do we think and compare Israel Folau to John The Baptist, who lost his head by confronting the ruler and religious elite with the truth?

    Whichever way the current draught and bushfires are affecting people, does not exclude that God used and still uses the weather and fire and a flood that wiped out the entire population. In fact, God is the same today, yesterday and forever. (Hebrews 13:8) , and being a Sovereign God, does what He wants to, hoping to draw people to his Son, Jesus Christ for their salvation and eternity living…

    So if Christians have a problem with His Word and its meaning, the complaints department is with Him.

    Cheers & blessings

    Eric Hansen

    Please keep praying, for hearts to be convicted and softened, both in the unbelievers and especially ourselves!

  • Quote from Bill (see above)
    “The only issue here is this: are all such acts always divine judgments, or something else?”
    It is my thought that if not a judgment then a warning at least, (too many coincidences) yes our God is a god of mercy. However, I also believe that mercy comes after repentance and only to those that love God AND keep His commandments, this rules out sodomites, murderers, abortionists, thieves, etc. who will never receive mercy until they repent (turn from their sin) and turn to God.

    Exo 20:6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

    Divine Judgment or divine warning, either way, time to repent, unfortunately those mentioned above have had their hearts hardened and are doomed to enter the wide gate to destruction.
    Personally I believe it is divine judgment, we have been warned. God IS in command.

  • Maybe there are two things to add here; unless I missed them.

    1. Suffering and disasters of any kind will cause some to call out to God for help, and maybe also lead some to repentance. This is a positive.
    If we believe that God knows what He is doing, and we should, then He also knows who will respond to him that way; perhaps it is even His purpose in these fires.
    Likewise there is also the hardening of the heart, which is not only a humanly responsible choice, but can also be the work of God; perhaps likewise, it is even for some His purpose in these fires.
    I have also been told of some miraculous escapes by people of faith.
    The fires may seem like a very blunt instrument, but if we knew the details of God’s heart, I’m sure we would be somewhat surprised.

    2. Many of the disasters in the OT that were recognised as being the hand of God were prophesied before hand.
    Likewise, if there are current prophesies that we can recognise as being genuinely from God, and those predictions come about in a timely manner, then we can link the event to the cause mentioned in the prophecy.
    We saw this in Victoria as someone already has mentioned here. Danny Nalliah said that God was going to judge Victoria by fire over the abortion legislation, and it happened. We can make the link, and fairly confidently say that the fire was God’s judgement.
    If there is no such prophecy then making the link between an event and the judgement of God is fraught with arrogance or ignorance.
    Jesus mentioned a couple of disasters in his day that were commonly understood to have been God’s judgement, but Jesus denied the special link, simply warning that “unless you repent you will all likewise perish”. Lk 13.1-5

  • The people of Sodom and those banging on the sides of Noah’s ark, wanting to be let in, or the sons of Korah might have a thing to say about a connection between God;’s wrath and natural catastrophes.
    But let us concentrate on the beautiful Raelene Castle, the CEO of the Wallabees. She says that a great leader is one can get people to walk off a cliff for the leader. Well she has certain scored there. Clearly for Raelene it is a race to the bottom – to go from Wallabees to Wannabees – so as to qualify for the coveted oppressed victim trophy so coveted by queers and feminists.
    https://youtu.be/5znmNX2q4hA?t=96

    She says that she wants to build a culture where winning is not everything. The most important thing is to draw a line in the sand and to get rid of anyone who is not building the collective cultural values of equality, diversity and inclusion where everyone is respected no matter who, what or how they love. A man can marry a man; a woman can marry a woman and a whole rugby team can all marry one another.
    https://youtu.be/hL_wDdrVDag?t=1021

    Raelene has shown women that they can be whatever they want to be. No doubt she has plans to replace all the men in the team with women apart from the referees and linesmen.
    https://youtu.be/rjh09icez8Y?t=176

    Sometimes truth comes from the lips of babes, “Don’t let any parent tell their children what they cannot be”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rw6ziQjadic&feature=youtu.be&t=151

    David Skinner UK

  • I was reminded last week of a Billy Graham quote to the effect that if God does not judge America, then He will need to apologise to Sodom and Gomorrah. I thought the same applies to this nation.
    I concur with what you have written Bill.
    We don’t have prophets to reveal God’s will as minutely as in the OT anymore, but we have God’s revealed word, with all of its teaching, instruction, exhortation, warnings, prophecies and lists of blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience. So Australia has no excuse, nor do any of us. I pray for the preservation of life, but mostly that these things would drive our nation to its knees and to the Lord, regardless of whether these things are God’s direct judgement or not.
    The reality of God’s judgement is that it is so merciful. God instructs, exhorts and warns first, and He is long-suffering. And as I have to remind my children sometimes when they wonder at the justice of God as displayed in His righteous acts of judgement that seem ‘harsh’ to them- there was only one innocent man in the Bible who didn’t deserve the judgement he came under.

  • Hi Bill
    I still see the effects of living in blessings or curses.
    I would probably say much of what happens on the planet is a result of not living in blessing.
    Another way to put it is the consequences of sin is death (and a death lifestyle if you will).
    Australia is definitely not the lucky country (people) anymore as she had blood on her hands.
    Abortion is one prime example.

  • Thanks Kym. Yes that is certainly part of the overall discussion, although some care is needed in how far we run with it. See here for more detail:

    https://billmuehlenberg.com/2015/01/03/misappropriating-old-testament-blessings-and-curses/

  • Israel Folau in his sermon placed the issue of homosexuality and abortion side by side. Indeed they are one and the same issue. Leviticus 18: 21&22 endorse this.
    Apparently In a civilised society, ALL girls, are being encouraged to experiment with all manner of sexual pleasure including lesbianism and eschew marriage, which they see as a male dominated, patriarchal and oppressive institution, one that they are determined smash.
    https://www.newsflare.com/video/302712/entertainment-arts/women-moons-homophobic-religious-protesters-during-london-pride-2019

    In the meantime they are quite at liberty to have sex with males as well. If feminists and lesbians want to produce babies themselves and not have to adopt them then men are always there to oblige them with serving them, either in the natural way, or by having their semen harvested. Society only needs a few men, for one man produces millions of sperms compared to the few eggs produced by one woman. Lesbians and bisexuals lead the way for claiming that LGBT rights are abortion rights
    https://www.them.us/story/abortion-access-lgbtq-rights-alabama

  • Folau is absolutely right. Just read Quo vadis, Australia by Paul Suski

  • Israel Folau has just preached what I and many others have been thinking but only because of his fame was the message able to be transmitted everywhere by the talking snake media. I otherwise agree with what is written in the article and the majority of the comments. When sodomite marriage was legalised a couple years back ‘overwhelmingly’ as stated by the feral Labor party, I wondered when the punishments on our nation were to begin. And now we have mass legalised baby slaughter all over Oz. I walk in the streets of the city of Sydney when that blasphemous sodom and Gomorrah Mardi Gras parade is held and people shake their fists at God with all there sodomite paraphernalia on the streets and in the shops. The anger and rage boils inside of me when I see it all and I want to smash it all. God is not mocked (Gal 6:7)

  • Australia is proud of its independent and anti-authoritarian character, which is why no respecting Aussie, cannot trace their ancestry back to a convict. Indeed their national hero is Ned Kelly.
    And yet they love royalty and doffing the forelock to the Queen Elizabeth. Tony Jones and Stephen Fry savoured the moment together when the queen gave her royal assent to gay marriage.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBy3hEpRNm8&feature=youtu.be&t=802

    They seemingly do not mind a pommy Governor General interfering in their government by getting rid of one prime ministers and replacing him with another. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1975_Australian_constitutional_crisis

    However one thing the Aussies and the Queen have in common is that it does not matter whether the country is going to hell in a handcart, they both love gambling, especially horse racing. This is what binds Great Britain and Great Australia together. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAGoqXCgq8U

    David Skinner UK

  • Who cares what Alan Jones or Scott Morrison or anyone in the talking snake media thinks of what Folau said. Interestingly, islamic “clerics” frequently attribute disasters to the “will of Allah” and if I recall correctly, one Muslim cleric called hurricane Katrina or it might have been the tsunami that hit Asia in 2004 a “soldier of Allah”. Yet no condemnation or criticism at all by the godless talking snake media or the godless left. Just imagine if Folau had called the recent bushfires a “soldier of Allah” – I would cheer but he would be hung, drawn, quartered and shot

  • On page 15 of Robert Spencer’s book “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam”, it is stated that when the tsunami that devastated the South Pacific on 26 December 2004, Australia and the US alone pledged more than one billion dollars in aid while oil-soaked Arab countries – Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Kuwait, Algeria, Bahrain and Libya – made a combined pledge of less than one-tenth of this amount. According to Spencer, one reason for this is that Islamic teachers attributed the tsunami to the sins committed by infidels and Muslims in heavily islamic Indonesia. As one Saudi cleric said “It happened at Christmas when fornicators and corrupt people from all over the world came to commit fornication and sexual perversion”.

    Folau is correct to speak in harsh terms

  • Excellent piece again Bill,
    CLEARLY HAS GENERATED A LOT OF COMMENT. Also well said Ian Hartley. I fully agree.

    We are living in a world where there is little, if any fear of God. No consequence sin including defacto & same sex relationships etc are ALL OKAY by worldly standards and also by some Christians. As Bill has clearly described God has clearly acted in the past bringing judgements upon Israel as foretold by the prophets. He is acting and will act again. It is quite possible that the bush fires are a judgement wake up call to Australians. Revelation chapters 6 and 7 describes the future opening of the seals involving successive judgements upon the earth. These are clearly global in nature and Christians IMHO will certainly be here. Those Christians who believe in the Father Christmas god are in for a huge wake up. I believe Christians will be here on the planet at least to the end of the fifth seal. Some of my christian friends in the USA as in preparation mode now for this coming period. If I’m correct a large falling away of Christians will occur during this challenging period, because they lack understanding or refuse to believe the nature of a pure, holy and righteous God.

    I thank the Lord for the boldness of Israel Folau and others. I cannot say he is a modern day prophet or “John the baptist” but he may well have a prophetic anointing. Bill, small point, but with respect I don’t think you can make a dogmatic statement that Folau is “not divinely inspired.” I believe over time his integrity will be demonstrated one way or the other. Folau is young and could well be work of God in progress. I remember Pastor Daniel Nalliah (Victoria) made a similar statement after the Victorian fires and was smashed by a number in the media including Peter Costello (who supposedly is a Christian). Daniel IMHO has a prophetic anointing on him, but he doesn’t get it right all the time.

    God Bless,
    Phil

  • Thanks Philip. By that I meant that we now do not have the same inerrant inspired word of God that became part of the biblical canon that the earlier authors of Scripture did. God may well move people to speak, but our words are not on a par with the inspired and infallible word of God.

  • God doesn’t create evil but He allows it, usually as a corrective.

    Then I think; why?

    Killing babies. Blaspheming the sacrament of marriage.

    These are very grave sins.

    I think God loves us enough to warn us.

  • I believe the URL of the Folau sermon in question is: https://www.facebook.com/592277641115135/videos/528446637884157/ , The source data, whatever we make of it, is always to be consulted before secondhand reporting and analysis.

  • In Genesis Chapter 18 verses 16 to 33, Abraham tried to intercede for Sodom and it appears the LORD was asking for as few as 10 righteous people to save Sodom from destruction, but none could be found except for Lot.

    Thus Sodom was destroyed. But are there not a few righteous people here to stand in the gap?

    As sinful Australia is and always has been in ALL manner of sins (not just abortion and homosexuality) there have always been the ‘righteous few’ in among our midst, and still are, many on this site for example.

    Do their prayers count for nought? Not even among the Fire Service, the Ambos, the doctors and nurses, or Christian Organisations such as Outback Outcomes (they have been working with he farming community for years). Do their prayers and good works count for nothing?

    For those reasons I don’t agree with Israel Folau , his timing was terrible. There are grieving people out there.
    Bushfires:-

    There are simple biochemical reasons for the bushfires, caused by mismanagement of the bush and intense flammability of accumulating eucalyptus oil. That oil acts as a preservative and prevents natural biological decay of the leaves and branches. It has a flashpoint of 49C

    You might as well throw a bucket of napalm into the bush once a week for months and then one day light it, the blaze will be jast as intense. Droughts we have had for generations, I lived in Africa as a boy, and we had them there too, don’t remember too many abortions or legalised homosexuality then, but other multiple sins?? Oh yes ( my own included).

    I think Folau was wrong to speak out like this onto the heads of grieving people, that’s my opinion.

    I realise Usaiah Ch 58 is an instruction from the LORD as to how the country should be redirected.

    There are practical things to activate as well as relying on the ‘pointing finger’ (9).

    Some Pastors I know, including Aboriginal ones are coming together in communities to comfort the bereaved and apply practical assistance,praying for the afflicted and turning up to help.

    As we know, human nature is such that they are at the best in a crisis.

    The sin of abortion is murder no more no less, and I agree with the denunciation of homosexuality, but I have seen Christian Homosexuals healed of their sins and have married to the opposite sex, and have children.

    I am aware of course that I was not there to hear Folau in person, and I am also wary of reporting from the MSM. So we must be careful.

    That’s why it’s good to have your site Bill, (Culture Watch) for the other side of the story.

    Israel should be encouraged to give a measured, calm, interview to a trusted journo ( someone like you Bill) to allow him to expand as to what he is saying.

  • Perhaps Bill, you need to explain the difference between foretelling and forth telling but no doubt you have covered that elsewhere.
    One man who was prophetic in both senses was Solzhenitzyn when in 1976 he address both Britain and the USA with a warning:

    ‘All of us are standing on the brink of a great historical cataclysm. I intend to speak frankly and I shall not try to please you or to flatter you in any way. I would ask you to believe me when I say nothing could give me more pleasure than to express only admiration. The West represented for us the light of freedom. For us the West was not only the stronghold of the spirit but also the depository of wisdom. It is with a strange feeling that those of us who come from the Soviet Union look upon the West of today. It is as though we were neither neighbours on the same planet, nor contemporaries – and yet we contemplate the West from what will be your future, or look back seventy years, to see our past suddenly repeating itself. And what we see is always the same, always the same as it was then; adults deferring to the opinion of their children; the younger generation carried away by shallow worthless ideas; professors scared of being unfashionable; journalists refusing to take responsibility for the words they squander so profusely; universal sympathy for revolutionary extremists; people with serious objections unable or unwilling to voice them; the majority passively obsessed by a feeling of doom; feeble governments; societies whose defensive reactions have become paralysed; spiritual confusion leading to political upheaval. What will happen as a result of all this lies ahead of us. But the time is near, and from bitter memory we can easily predict what these events will be. With Hitler, Britain assumed a moral stance and it was this that inspired her to one of the most heroic acts of resistance in her history. A moral stance, even in politics, always safeguards our spirit; sometimes, as we can see, it even protects our very existence. A moral stance can suddenly turn out to be more farsighted than any calculated pragmatism. Of course, it is not just a question of Britain, it is not just a question of the West – it concerns all of us, in the East as well as in the West.”

    https://theimaginativeconservative.org/2013/03/alexander-solzhenitsyn-courage-to-be-a-christian.html

    David Skinner UK

  • Funny enough, at our evening prayer group last night we discussed the same thing and concluded we wouldn’t be surprised if these disasters are from the hand of God against our ungodly nation. Our nation continues to revel in the filth of sinful behaviour and our government legalises it through the legalisation of the horrendous acts of abortion and homosexual marriage.
    Sadly, there are people who say they are Christian but mock God; they live and teach as if God’s grace allows us to trample on His righteousness and holiness. “Be holy for I AM holy”. If they think this is just an OT quote, then they need to read Peter’s 1st letter 1:13-25. Peter highlights the fact that as Christians we are not to live by the sinful desires that we had when we lived as non-Christians, but as those called into holiness by our Holy God. We need to continue in steadfast prayer for our nation to turn back to God, and for our brothers and sisters who are blinded by the evil one, who continues to engage us in spiritual warfare even though he was defeated at the cross.

  • Thank you again Bill, for a balanced commentary on what has become a national issue. For myself, every disaster I experience whether personal or on a national scale is a reminder for me to turn in repentance and seek the Lord. Both His goodness and His judgments are all designed to turn us to Him. I am especially reminded of Revelation 2 and 3, the last message of Jesus to the Church. It was essentially a call to repentance, a call to which we need constant reminders.

  • Those who oppose what the scriptures say and don’t see God removing His hand of protection on this nation will rightly point out that you cannot judge the people who have suffered the most from these disasters as being more evil than others. The scriptures are clear from Job onward that it does not matter how God’s protection is removed, once it is removed Satan will prioritize his attacks on those he wants to take vengeance against, so those who suffer may well be people who we would consider to be good people. This is why Jews have suffered more than other groups who have individually done much more evil. This is why, despite what we have allowed our governments to do, we need to pray for mercy for ourselves.

    The scriptures have made it absolutely clear that you cannot expect God to implement justice in this world – that job has been given to us. This is why there is so much to do in the scriptures with rewards and punishment in the next life. The scriptures are clear that we have failed and we won’t get justice here but we can have faith that God will correct this.

    Job was attacked specifically because he was a good man and God allowed it because He knew Job would justify himself and show himself worthy. What saint would now deny Job huge riches in Heaven?

    The very sad thing is, now that our governments have thumbed their noses at God, if they now ask for prayer it will simply confirm them as hypocrites and doubly worthy of condemnation.

    In all our actions ignoring God we have confirmed that we do not want to treat God with justice and so this is why God removes His hand of protection.

  • Prophets get a hard time in the Church and the secular equivalent…and are not received generally .Folau is speaking from a traditional Christian perspective and understanding…in fact if he is not speaking from Scripture then he is false and has no light in him! Folau rebellion against this present zeitgeist should be applauded..This mans stand has cost him dearly…may he be bold to speak into the travesty of what is our Church and Nation…The bell is tolling and who is offended? The sword of the Lord will bring division….peace peace..hardly!

  • People are happy to look at a nice calm ocean and see God, or look from the top of a mountain at the clouds and sunset and see God.

    But when there is bushfire or a cyclone all of a sudden it is just nature which can be explained away by science.

    God miraculously ceases to exist.

    Then on the other hand, if we believe God and that He is living and ever-present and allowed this to occur, we cannot then look at this and say it is meaningless destruction.

    God is loving and there is meaning behind this disaster.

  • Speaking of the modern nation of Israel, in his book “Eye to Eye”, former White House correspondent Bill Koenig has documented the often immediate aftermath of repeated American attempts to throw modern Israel under the proverbial bus over the past 30 years:
    https://www.christianpublications.us/product/eye-to-eye-facing-the-consequences-of-dividing-israel-book/

    I haven’t read the book, but the trailer looks interesting:
    https://www.watch.org/eye-to-eye/eye-eye-video-trailer-god-israel-will-not-allow-arab-state-judea-and-samaria

    It seems that Gen 12:3 still applies – those who curse Abraham and his descendants are still cursed.

  • For I know that the Lord is great and that our Lord is above all gods. Whatever the Lord pleases, He does, in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps. [Psalm 135:5-6]

    From the rising to the setting of the sun that there is no one besides Me. I am the Lord, and there is no other, the One forming light and creating darkness, causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the Lord who does all these. [Isaiah 45:6-7]

    God has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men to see if there is anyone who understands, who seeks after God. Every one of them has turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one. [Psalm 53:2-3]

    Weren’t there innocent lives taken when God flooded the earth in Noah’s days?
    Weren’t there innocent lives taken when God allowed Satan to killed Job’s children and servants?

    Do not think you are more loving than God when it comes to death of “innocent” lives.

    No one is innocent!

    Everyone is on death row until they turn to Jesus for clemency.

    Not only everyone is a sinner, everyone is an enemy of God until they are justified by the blood of Jesus.

    For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. [Romans 5:10]

    All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, but He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; and no one can ward off His hand or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’ [Daniel 4:35]

    Praise the Lord God Almighty!

  • Interesting that there is division in the Church about Israels sermon…Whilst I find it un surprising that the secular world is getting their nose out of joint, why is it that Christians would do so? May I suggest it is because these “Christians” don’t know their bible or their God? The New testament often expresses the holiness and Judgement of God. Yes, he is forgiving and merciful – following repentance..and the book of Revelation specifically says that God has had a gutful of unrepentant man and has given mankind so many blessings in the hope they would turn to him and repent, but the last thing he has on his plate is punishment and wrath being poured out throgh natural disasters and wars, etc, still hoping that man will repent.
    Is it really a long straw to draw that God is punishing Australia for its wicked laws and attitude towards morality? I don’t think so. To be honest, I’m surprised he has waited as long as he has…Perhaps a more PC way to express it may be that God has withdrawn his protection/blessings from the country for its sinful nature and letting the natural course of events unfurl…but it all boils down to the same thing in the long run. Australia as a whole has become morally bankrupt and maybe it is just reaping what it has sown.

  • Thanks guys. Believers should do a better job of thinking straight and thinking biblically:

    https://billmuehlenberg.com/2019/11/19/when-sloppy-thinking-abounds/

  • I”ve heard several climate change warriors blame our bushfires on our irresponsible use of power. Is climate change theory a new substitute for God?

  • I have sympathy to a certain extent with the sentiments of Alan Pemberton. Many “natural ” disasters are as a consequence of our own making. Nothing to do with God. But I do not think Israel Folau is being judgemental. He is merely warning that there are consequences to the way we live. And I am confident that he would support reparative therapy and Christian counselling to both those who have unwanted homosexual desires and those who are contemplating having, or who have had, an abortion. I am confident that he speaks out of love and not hatred.

    However, my view is that God does not regard homosexuality and abortion as sins which require punishment. It is worse than that. The real sin is idolatry and as a consequence God curses us with homosexuality and abortion. Romans 1 talks of the human race being given over to these things which are far worse than natural disasters. Homosexuality and abortion are the punishments which destroy us from within, unlike bushfires and tsunamis which only attack our outer fabric.

    Thank God for Israel Folau and may God richly reward him for his faithfulness and courage.

    David Skinner, UK

  • I thank God for Israel Folau and his wife who are prepared to speak out Truth in such an uncompromising way. He may have overstated his case in being so definite about judgement and these natural disasters but there is still so much that is biblical in his comments. His lack of nuance may be cultural ??
    Anyway may more Christians be so bold and outspoken for Jesus and be prepared to count the cost like Israel and still keep going.

  • Dear Bill,

    Thank you for the excellent article on this controversial and important subject. As the Creator of the world God oversees everything.That does not mean to say that He is less a God of Love and Mercy because He allows unpleasant things to happen. He has given humankind a free will and when God gives a gift it is forever so if human beings bring about disaster on themselves He is not going to prevent it or He would be retracting the great gift He has bestowed on humankind. If a person lives a homosexual life or has an abortion then ultimately they will suffer in some way because both acts are against nature and the commandments. Likewise if the community supports such things by having them legalised then ultimately they will suffer too. The innocent with the guilty unfortunately. If that suffering possibly means that God decides to leave humankind to its own stupidity and pigheadedness and withdraws His protection from the world then anything can happen and humankind in general will have deserved it.

    The Green religious zealots fell over themselves claiming that the bushfires were caused by climate change so really what was so different in Israel saying what he thinks are the cause of them? Scott Morrison should have picked up on that but instead he preferred the PC approach which was disappointing.

  • Do you remember the harrowing floods in Australia in 2010/2011? And what about the series of earlier calamities after the Olympic Games in 2000, where the Olympic Torch was “blessed” by the Aborigines at one of their sacred and secret places of worship before being sent round the country to draw peoples to the Games – which opened with blatantly heathen ceremonies exalting false gods? Coincidence?

    After the 2000 Games, there was no peace from the elements, namely, bushfires, violent winds, storms and floods in places where drought had previously occurred. One perceptive Australian commentator at the time said Australia is a nation blinded by heathen worship, evidenced by “huge” Buddhist temples, Muslim mosques, and Hindu temples. The man went on to say the country is RIPE FOR JUDGEMENT – with even the secular press describing the 2010/2011 floods being of BIBLICAL proportions.

    Things have not got any better since then – and Australia is not alone.

  • Well said Andrew.
    Several Christians I follow, see global economic hard times in 2020. the worship of the dollar and prosperity theology may soon be tested. Is this beneficial? Yes I believe so, if it leads us and many closer to God and genuine Christian care for our community away from ourselves. I say yes but it will be very difficult,
    Best regards and be prepared, Phil

  • We are living in these dark days where a prophetic voice is so much needed. A prophetic voice that enable us to heed God’s warning of judgment and embrace his mercy through our repentance from our wicked ways and return to the Mighty God through the blood of the Lamb.

  • I agree with you Bill that there could be link between the abortion/gay marriage legislation and the bushfires/drought. However I think it’s worth noting that we should be careful not to misinterpret Isaiah 24, where Folau was preaching from. I believe that Isaiah chapters 24-27 are referring to God’s future judgement of the earth near the end of the tribulation, just before Jesus returns to rule on Earth for 1000 years. As an example of the context of Isaiah 24, vs 23 refers to the moon and sun, as well as Jesus reigning on Mount Zion, exactly as described in Joel 2, Zechariah 14, Matt 24, Mark 13 and Revelation 6:12.
    I believe that as a body of believers we need to be very clear on theses things, especially as the world puts the church under a microscope.

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