Give Me One Real Christian Over a Thousand Fake Ones

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.

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.”

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.”

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.

___

Originally published at CultureWatch.

About the Author:

Bill Muehlenberg is married, with three sons and he is an apologist and ethicist in Melbourne, Australia. He has written several books and has numerous articles printed in most mainstream Australian Newspapers as well as being the main drafter of the Canberra Declaration.  Bill has a BA with honours in philosophy (Wheaton College, Chicago), an MA with highest honours in theology (Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Boston) and is currently completing a PhD in theology. He is a prolific author, and a much sought-after media commentator, and has been featured on most Australian television and radio current affairs programs. Bill teaches ethics, apologetics and theology at several Melbourne Bible Colleges. He has his own blog, CultureWatch, which features Christian commentary on the issues of the day.

9 Comments

  1. Tim June 19, 2019 at 8:09 am - Reply

    I stand with Izzy. It does sadden me to think that the once faithful Fairfax clan (former employee) have turned on their ancestor.

    I do wish Izzy would.pick better scripture. The 1 Cor 6 post that started this media barrage is directed at Christians who had been those listed.

    After all we are instructed…

    Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Colossians 4:6.

    But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,
    1 Peter 3:15.

    Israel has always been a stand up guy who supported a gay rugby team because he loves people and rugby. He loves Jesus above all else. Unfortunately, it is the tale of a hypocritical CEO who runs two organizations, Rugby Australia and Qantas. He’s Prepared to jump into bed with UAE based airlines who won’t employ gays and their country retains the right to execute them yet he is prepared to ostracise our best rugby player for his beliefs.

    Let’s see how they go with the Fair Work Act.

  2. Helen Cameron June 19, 2019 at 9:09 am - Reply

    This is a good analysis, the biblical verse that springs to mind is “God hath chosen the weak thimgs of this world to confound the wise. Is the Canberra Declaration launching a prayer vigil for Israel Folau when he fronts the Fair Works Commission, if not before?

  3. Graeme Askew June 19, 2019 at 9:54 am - Reply

    Yes I agree with you and Israel Folau, more and more true believers will have to stand for God and His truth as we see the day approaching. Many claim they are speaking for God when they are not. Many have watered down the Word of God to the point of worthlessness/apostasy. And Jesus Christ words/ warnings about His return and the coming judgement upon a rebelious world (could Sodom have been any worse than today?) are completly ignored by most of todays “christian”churches. Thank you and may God bless your blog, I will go back and read more of your posts. PS I have also been impressed by Martin Iles (ACL) and his The Truth of it messages.

  4. Marion June 19, 2019 at 12:19 pm - Reply

    Thankyou Mr Muehlenberg for this article – wonderful. My heart is singing for joy to Learn of Israel Folau’s unashamed Godly stand and your unashamed stand beside him. God save Australia.

  5. Katherine Fishley June 19, 2019 at 3:30 pm - Reply

    Glad it is not only the agnostics sticking up for His right to free speech. Rita Panahi and Andrew Bolte have both argued that he has the right to his opinion whilst many Christians condemn him.
    I wonder if Victorians think railway crossings are more important than children but that is for another conversation.

  6. Peter Wilson June 19, 2019 at 8:04 pm - Reply

    My thoughts exactly Bill, there would be not many, if any, so called “Christian leaders” that have half the guts that Israel is showing.
    Most Christians, even if they are too scared to admit it, are barracking for Israel in this arena.

    What if all Christians stood up and declared their faith publicly like Israel, what would society be like today?
    I’m sure that the so called “mental illness “, would not be around, or if it was, it would only be a few cases.
    Alcohol, drugs, pornography, family violence etc, would not be a problem in our society, because most people would have a conscience of sin and a knowledge of what is right and just and good.
    Israel Folau is a bright light in a very dark place.

  7. Sharon June 23, 2019 at 9:48 am - Reply

    What about Job1:21 The Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away. Has anyone thought that maybe, like Job, he is being tested. I am sure God never had plans for him to start a Gofundme and I am pretty sure he’s not impressed.His stance and comments make a mockery of the Bible and also Christians who have not been fully brain washed. I for one have lost what respect I previously had for him.

  8. […] ultimate concern is not to protect religious freedoms, or even to see Israel Folau reemployed by Rugby […]

  9. […] that God will use our weak efforts to uphold the honour of His name and that God will bless Israel Folau and his family and protect […]

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