1 Corinthians 6:9-10: “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”
There have been many headlines written in recent weeks following a social media post by the leading Australian rugby player, Israel Folau, in which he posted an image stating that homosexuals, among many other groups of sinners, would go to hell if they don’t repent.
The post uploaded by Israel Folau on Instagram was based on the Scripture passage we have included at the top of the article.
Despite the fact that the image Israel Folau shared makes no difference between any of the sins specified, the mention of homosexuals was enough to get the poor sensitive souls reading it all in a fluster, demanding that Israel Folau, widely considered the best rugby player in Australia, be ditched by his national team.
Those efforts appear to have been successful as Israel Folau’s contract was ended by Rugby Australia, although we understand he may well be challenging the decision.
It certainly is a sad day when simply repeating what the Bible says is rewarded with the loss of your livelihood.
And it is sadder still when the leader of an influential, supposedly Christian church, has criticised Israel Folau for taking a stand for scriptural truth.
However, that is exactly what has happened with Hillsong Church leader Brian Houston castigating Israel Folau for merely being consistent with the teachings of the Bible.
He said: “As Christians it is equally important to look at ourselves and our own failings and imperfections.
“If you look at the list of sins that Izzy listed there’s not too many people he’s left out, including Christians. There isn’t a person on earth who hasn’t told a lie or put something before God (idolatry).
“In 40 years of telling people about the good news of Jesus, I have seen that the ‘turn or burn’, approach to proclaiming the message of Christianity alienates people. Scaring people doesn’t draw them into the love of Jesus.
“The world doesn’t need more judgmental Christians.”
The New Zealand Herald also reported that “Houston also said he hopes Folau grows to understand the importance of Christians loving even those who believe differently, and believes the rugby star could benefit from looking inwardly before judging others”.
Now certainly it is right and proper that all professing Christians examine themselves, and we are instructed to do so in the Scriptures.
2 Corinthians 13:5: “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”
But if Christians were waiting until they were perfect before they denounced sin, then nobody would ever criticise any sin and would have to turn a blind eye to all manner of evil around them.
This is clearly unscriptural.
We are told in Ephesians 5:11 to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them”.
Jude v 3 tells us to “earnestly contend for the faith”.
How can you instruct or implore anyone to turn away from sin without pointing out that which is sinful? How are people to know what is sinful unless they are told what is sinful?
Yet Brian Houston is advocating refusing to preach the full counsel of God.
He has rejected the notion of warning people about hell. Yet Jesus didn’t shun what Brian Houston calls the “turn or burn” approach.
Matthew 23:33: “Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?”
So Jesus warned against ending up in hell, yet Brian Houston of Hillsong disagrees with the approach of the One Whom he claims to be proclaiming.
Not only that, Brian Houston claims that “scaring people doesn’t draw them into the love of Jesus”.
Once again, let’s hear what Jesus Himself actually has to say on the matter.
Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
Jesus says we ought to fear Him and be afraid of His power in being able to condemn sinners to an eternity in hell.
That is what Jesus preached, yet Brian Houston claims to know better. Who do you believe?
Brian Houston would be far better preaching that an eternity in hell awaits those who don’t repent of their sin.
After all, how can anyone preach that you must be saved without telling people what there is to be saved from?
Of course, however, the so called ‘megachurch’ Hillsong is very clearly, to any who choose to look, an organisation which acts in defiance to God.
One of its leading figures, Joel Timothy Houston, has previously tweeted his rejection of the Biblical account of creation, instead choosing to back the utterly anti-Scriptural ‘Big Bang Theory’.
And to get an increased flavour of the ungodly nature of Hillsong, you can read this very good article on the ‘Protestant Standard’ website by clicking here.
So it can come as little surprise when we see Israel Folau being condemned by that church’s leader for taking a stand for Biblical morality.
We may not agree with everything that Folau believes, we simply do not know, though there would be concern at the fact his church is apparently part of the Australian Christian Churches group, which Brian Houston was, until recently, the leader of.
Certainly, being in fellowship with Hillsong in any way is very concerning indeed.
And we would encourage anyone reading this not to have anything to do with Hillsong and not to support it in any way.
2 Corinthians 6:17: “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing”.