“Christianity is hate speech”

I was asked by the authorities a day or so ago what my attitude to Islam was. I said that I had strong theological opinions[a], which I would not share to them: the same authorities are interviewing anyone in NZ who has at any time said anything that may denigrate the prophet of a false God. The press, however, are doubling down.

A parent of a young rugby player has revealed the radical teachings of former Wallaby Israel Folau’s church.
Folau, who attends the Truth of Jesus Christ Church established by his father Eni in 2013, was sacked by the Wallabies after a controversial social media post in April that said homosexuals, fornicators, drunks, atheists and others were going to hell.
However, according to the teachings of Folau’s 30-strong congregation church, most Christians are also bound for hell – which would include most of the donors who gave money to the former rugby player’s legal defence fund organised by the Australian Christian Lobby.
When Folau started inviting other rugby players to his church, a Christian parent of a promising young rugby player started getting concerned and decided to find out herself what the Folaus were preaching. She was disturbed by what she discovered,

“I honestly do not want my son involved in what I have come to understand is false teachings and counterfeit Christianity. I’ve gone, I’ve checked it out and I would call them an isolated hate group,” the woman told the Sydney Morning Herald of her experience attending bible studies at Pastor Eni Folau’s home.

NZ Herald, archived.

Let’s consider basic systematic theology — Calvinist style. Firstly, we have all sinned and none of us deserve to go to heaven. We cannot earn it, we are reliant completely on the grace of God through Christ. Secondly, not all will be saved, for many will reject Christ. Thirdly, there is no way to God but through Christ bearing our sins on the cross, so we are accounted by faith as righteous.

It follows therefore that (a) without Christ there is no salvation (b) those who deny the divinity and resurrection of Christ have no hope of salvation and (c) it is the duty of Christians to preach this to all.

It also follows that without that saving faith you are lost, and there are false teachers and pewsitters in all churches.

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.

Bill Muehlenberg

We do not get our theology from our converged newspapers, or the woke activists scanning social media for something that they can deem hating the neuroses of the nanosecond. We get it from Christ, and it is eternal. This time will pass.

Going back to Folau. If Wikipedia has this correct [b], the Sydney Truth in Christ Church, of which he is a member, is, like Hillsong and Planetshakers, affiliated with the Australian Christian Churches, the fourth largest denomination in Australia. The theology they ascribe to is shared with the Australian PM. It is fairly standard Pentecostal beliefs.

The NZ press (the article is reprinted in most papers here) are calling this hate speech. This will not end well.

a. Muhummad is a false prophet and Islam is the antithesis of Christianity. There is no salvation in that faith. Our muslim friends have to receive Christ.

b. Wikipedia is not always correct: Infogalactic states his church is AoG which is synonymous with ACC