Fired for quoting the Bible

Australian Rugby professional, Israel Folau has had his multiple million dollar contract ended because of alleged “homophobic” comments made on his private social media account.

Note, those comments were effectively a quote from scripture – and they don’t single out homosexuals, but equally specifies several types of sinners who need to turn to Jesus.

Why the allegations of “homophobia” and not similar complaints about the condemnation of drunkards, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves atheists and idolaters?

 

 

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Those that are living in Sin will end up in Hell unless you repent. Jesus Christ loves you and is giving you time to turn away from your sin and come to him. _______________ Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these , adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Galatians 5:19‭-‬21 KJV _______________ Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Acts 2:38 KJV _______________ And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
Acts 17:30 KJV _______________

A post shared by Israel Folau (@izzyfolau) on

 

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Christchurch

A few of my thoughts about the terror attack in Christchurch New Zealand.

The question has been asked why NZ?

The fact that the alleged perpetrator was Australian and had far rightwing, racist allegiances is very relevant to that question.
Political rhetoric in Australia in recent years has developed an ugly racist element. The Guardian article linked below gives a lot of detail of that.
Also see the link to an earlier blog post of mine that refers to the foolish Christian involvement in support of that political direction.

Added to that atmosphere is the difference in gun laws between close neighbours Australia and New Zealand. Many years ago the Australian parliament passed laws that prohibited the kind of fire arm used in the Christchurch attack.

Those guns are legally available in New Zealand, making an attack like the one on Friday easier to carry out against Muslims in New Zealand than it would be in Australia, where the type of weapon used would not be easily obtained.
Combine the Australian political climate that has given traction to far right racist dogma together with the availability of semi-automatic weapons in nearby NZ and I can understand “why New Zealand”.

Yesterday I noticed that the Sunday Telegraph front page had a large photo of a small child, one of the victims of the shootings. The major headline read “Peace Be Upon You” – a common Muslim religious phrase that is used to greet or say farewell to others.

The Sunday Telegraph is one of the Murdoch papers referred to in the Guardian article. The Murdoch press has regularly given a platform for strong anti-Muslim rhetoric from commentators in their weekly columns and I believe that has been instrumental in fomenting a political climate that makes far right extremism more likely.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/mar/17/australians-are-asking-how-did-we-get-here-well-islamophobia-is-practically-enshrined-as-public-policy

https://onesimusfiles.wordpress.com/2015/12/14/danny-nalliah-false-prophet-and-political-agitator/

Truth-Challenged Politics

America has it’s Trump-loving evangelicals.

In Australia we have the truth-challenged Pentecostal Prime Minister, who  has no difficulty ignoring, avoiding and refusing to acknowledge the truth when the truth is politically inconvenient. He’s also not averse to spinning a lie or two (or three or four or…) *

In the US and Australia, the result is the same: contempt is poured on the name of Jesus.

But the lesson should also be the same – followers of Jesus should not put their trust in politicians, or politics, for faith related matters or to bring about “Kingdom conditions” on earth. That is not what the gospel is about.
Politics will never further the gospel or do the work of the gospel.

I’ll let you into a little secret. Democracy is not God’s form of Government.  Democracy is man’s best attempt at dealing with government corruption (sin) – giving a community or nation the possibility of voting out one sinner or group of sinners and replacing them with another sinner or group of sinners. It allows a community or nation to say enough is enough when a government fails to deliver, and lets them appoint another government that will also fail to deliver.

God’s Government is the rule of a righteous King.

May that Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.

Not as the result of misguided, even corrupt, political machinations by professing Christians, but by the return of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

 

Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:

KING OF KINGS AND
LORD OF LORDS.

 

 

 

___________________

References.

* https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/feb/13/pm-pushes-off-medevac-loss-by-launching-a-sonic-boom-on-border-protection

A former leader of the PM’s party also wrote (in the Sydney Morning Herald, 14 Feb) that for the PM to continue his current scare campaign would be totally dishonest, ignoring the facts.

___

Pentecostal PM

It’s been an eventful week in Australian politics, with the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull being overthrown by a fringe, extreme element of his own party.

It wasn’t surprising. He has been a target of that group since he took the leadership from his predecessor, Tony Abbott, in a similar coup.

The main difference between the two leadership changes was that the first time the nation seemed to issue a huge sigh of relief, and Turnbull started his tenure as PM with very high approval ratings – a complete turnaround from Abbott’s then rapidly reducing approval among the electorate.

This time the electorate aren’t so happy about the change, and things didn’t go the way expected by the plotters against Turnbull. Their favoured candidate (the very unpopular Peter Dutton) failed in his bid to take over the leadership, and instead Scott Morrison won through as the “accidental Prime Minister”.

The result is perhaps one that many Australian evangelicals are seeing as a miracle. Morrison is a member of a Pentecostal,  evangelical church – the first Pentecostal Prime Minster in Australian history.

Watching him on TV, being sworn in last Friday night, it was easy to feel slightly optimistic…
…until, the political interviews began and his fellow Government members cut through that optimism with a slew of political obfuscation; basically regurgitating the same old rhetorical nonsense they’d been spouting for years.

Despite the alleged Pentecostal/ evangelical connections of the new Prime Minister, the message and the program of his party remains the same.

A telling part of the TV coverage on Friday night came when the studio reporters introduced a guest who had written a book about the religious beliefs of Australian Prime Minsters. Presumably they’d invited him to comment on the new PM’s religious faith, however, when the author started to address that very topic, pointing out that Morrison didn’t take a biblical direction with his social policy, he was cut off mid-sentence so they could take the audience to a reporter on location.
It seemed that something urgent needed to be reported, but that wasn’t the case. I suspect the mid-sentence switch was just an excuse to dismiss their guest when his commentary didn’t fit the kind of message they were wanting to  broadcast.

There seems to be a clear reluctance to broadcast anything purporting to be a biblical point of view, even by a guest invited to present a ‘religious’ viewpoint. And to be acceptable, any expressed religious view is expected to fit the pre-determined stereotypical expectations of the barely tolerant unbeliever.

 

_____________________

Some interesting reading related to Australia’s new “Christian” Prime Minister.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/aug/31/australia-needs-a-moral-revolution

 

Let no one deceive you by any means

“Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first…”

In age of Trump, evangelicals back self-styled top U.S. pimp

PAHRUMP, Nev. (Reuters) – He styles himself as America’s best-known pimp, a strip-club owner who runs multiple brothels and looks set to win a seat as a Republican in the Nevada legislature with the blessing of many conservative Christian voters.

____

When news broke that Hof had won the nominating contest for a state Assembly seat on June 12, evangelical pastor Victor Fuentes said he closed his eyes and prayed.

He did not ask God to deliver Nevada and the Republican Party from Hof, the thrice-divorced author of “The Art of the Pimp” who campaigned as the “Trump of Pahrump.” Although Christian groups have long rallied against the state’s legal brothel industry, Fuentes was willing to overlook Hof’s history as a champion of the flesh trade and gave thanks for his victory

 

full article here: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-religion-brothels/in-age-of-trump-evangelicals-back-self-styled-top-u-s-pimp-idUSKBN1JI1A9?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=twitter

(Thanks to Chris for finding the article above)

 

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them. (Romans 1: 28-32)

Discipleship, works of the flesh and confusion about kingdoms

My friend Steve visits this blog and occasionally shares a comment or two regarding topics being addressed.
We share a concern about the increasing politicisation of “evangelicals” and how it compromises Christian witness.

Recently he has written about his experience of seeing someone, whose views he had respected, take  a detour down an increasingly extreme political path.

See Steve’s blog post here:

https://cross-purposes.blogspot.com/2018/06/why-delete-link.html

What Steve describes matches my own experience of seeing professing believers stray into partisan-political territory and before long into beliefs that have little relationship to reality and NOTHING in common with the truth of Jesus Christ.

 

Steve writes:

It’s a breaking-point, for me, when people choose to assert a “reality” contrary to the one God created and sustains, in which rational people believe and live.

I’ve lost count of how many friendships I’ve lost through those friends becoming increasingly politicised, and justifying that increasingly political partisanship with questionable use of biblical references. While they may have thought their interpretation of scripture supported the direction political ideology was taking them, they paid no attention to the very ungodly attitudes and behaviour they adopted as a result.

It became increasingly noticeable to me around the time of the election of Obama as president, and the blatant Obama-hatred that dates back to that time continues today. (Steve’s blog post gives an example that he has seen from one “evangelical”).

[His]claim that violent pro-Obama riots are rampant, and created to bring about a “leftist” dictatorship, doesn’t seem to match up with any reality this side of Breitbart or World Net Daily’s headlines.

I think there’s no coincidence in the fact that Obama was the first non-white president; that his name was unusual, even to the extent of having the middle name Hussein (Saddam references anyone?). I recall one of those lost friends insisted on highlighting the HUSSEIN every time he referred to Obama. And of course Obama’s dad was a foreigner, a black man, a one time Muslim. All guaranteed to add fuel to the fire.

I don’t recall any other president being subjected to so much abuse and hatred, especially from those claiming to be followers of Christ. All along I’ve suggested that with Donald Trump, God gave the American evangelical community the president who most closely reflects the attitudes* they’ve displayed in their antagonism to Obama. Effectively the Trump adoration prominent among “evangelicals” is just a natural progression of the problem that began with the hostility towards the previous president, a hostility some still retain (confirmed by the example given in Steve’s article). It’s a problem originating from confusion and ignorance leading to misguided priorities and allegiances; creating a hybrid of patriotism and religion that is mistaken for Christian commitment and a distorted understanding of the Kingdom of God.

 

* Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God

Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.”