Grace and Truth

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My Upbringing in a Cult and Israel Folau

So it looks like Israel (Izzy) Folau may be a Oneness Pentecostal.

Izzy’s “non-mainstream Christianity” is the new line the media is taking in their reporting of this whole fiasco.

When I first read about it I didn’t believe it.  I just thought that it was another way the media was attacking him for his faith.  But having looked into it myself and going by his own words in his own tweets, which I will share, it looks like it may be true.

This is disturbing to me, for two main reasons:

  1. I was brought up in a Oneness Pentecostal cult and so I know the false doctrine that pervades this system of false theology and
  2. I have supported him thus far, what should I do now?

My Upbringing in a Cult

I have hesitated to share my upbringing in a cult for the sake of my parents.  I love and respect them as parents, grandparents and Christians and so I don’t want to bring any dishonour to them.  So before I begin my brief discourse here, I will say that although they brought me up in the Revival Centres International cult, they left when I was in my 20’s and then they were absolutely instrumental in getting me out of the cult.  When I was still indoctrinated with the false teachings they would give me sermons to listen to by Bill Randles, David Wilkerson and Paris Reidhead.  In fact it was by listening to  “Ten Shekels and a Shirt”, which my mum  had given me, that I was convicted of sin and turned to the true Christ.  So I can honestly say I wouldn’t be where I am now without their guidance and I honour them for that.

So back to Oneness Pentecostalism… I was taught and fully believed :

  • that there was no such thing as the Trinity, or Godhead, that Jesus Christ is not God and that the Holy Spirit was an impersonal force and not a person.
  • that you must speak in tongues to be saved,
  • Acts 2:38 was the go-to scripture that we preached, it was the 3-step formula for how to be saved
  • that once you spoke in tongues you could not sin ever again because there is no more forgiveness for sin after that cut-off point,
  • that the devil was also an impersonal force of evil, not a person, or he was just “the world system”,
  • that there was no heaven nor hell,
  • Adam and Eve were not the first people on earth, they were the first farmers,
  • British Israelism was true
  • That we were the only ones really saved etc etc

I remember clearly the head Pastor, Lloyd Longfield, specifically saying “Jesus is not deity”.  (After I left RCI I prayed and do hope that he may have repented of everything before he died.)

I spoke in tongues when I was 9 years old and so from that moment on I believed I could never sin again, because “there remained no more sacrifice for sin”.  Can you imagine the uncertainty, the bondage, the guilt that was provoked by this doctrine? I remember as a teenager, and even into my 20’s trying to work out whether I had done such and such a sin before or after I was 9 years old, so was I forgiven?  Was I saved?  Salvation was a tenuous thing that you could lose at any moment.  We viewed God as an exacting tyrant looking for any little thing we’d done just so He could wipe our name out of the Book of Life.  The pastors would say there was no way of knowing if you’re forgiven, so “just do your best”.

So then a religion of works would kick in… have I done enough to expiate my earlier sins?  Will God forgive me now?  Legalism was rife.  There were rules for everything.  People were encouraged to “dob” others in when they broke a rule otherwise “their sin would be on your head”.  I remember the fear of that.  I dobbed in a fellow teenager for using magic mushrooms because I was terrified his blood would be on my hands.

But all PRAISE TO JESUS, who is God in the flesh, (John 1:1-14) for leading me out of false doctrine by His Holy Spirit, who is the third Person of the Godhead, (John 14:15-17) and revealing that “it is by grace I have been saved, through faith- and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works…” Ephesians 2:8-9.  I thank my loving, Heavenly Father that He is not a tyrant but a good God who is ever so faithful to keep me and love me just as I am.  I am ever so grateful for the BLOOD of Jesus that even when I do sin it continually cleanses me and that if I confess my sin He is faithful and just and forgives me. (1 John 1)

 

Izzy’s Beliefs

So back to Izzy’s beliefs…

Izzy Folau’s church is called the True Church of Jesus Christ.  I have no idea whether they believe you have to speak in tongues to be saved or not, or any of the other things I used to believe, but they are Trinity-deniers as Izzy’s own tweets show:

 

This goes against orthodox Christianity as well as the Word of God. (See 2 Corinthians 13:14; Colossians 2:9; John 1:14; Matthew 28:19)

He does also seem very focussed on Acts 2:38 as a 3-step formula which rings alarm bells for me coming out of that false theology:

So What To Do Now With this Knowledge?

I cannot support Izzy’s false doctrine, because it is a denial of the true Christ of the Bible.  I cannot and do not agree with him or his church in what they believe or teach.  I have written to him in love on his Twitter account to inform him of his erroneous beliefs and how I cannot support them, especially since I have come out of similar beliefs myself.

However I still do support his right to freedom of expression and freedom of speech.  I still believe he should not have lost his livelihood because he quoted a scripture.  I still believe the scripture he quoted, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, is right and he had a right to quote it.  The fact is that many non-Christians will not understand the difference in orthodox or non-orthodox theology and so I still believe he should fight this as a champion for freedom of speech and Christianity in this country.

It’s not perfect but I guess it’s along the lines of what the late, great Francis Schaeffer said about “co-belligerence”:

 “An ally is a person who is a born-again Christian with whom I can go a long way down the road . . . A co-belligerent is a person who may not have any sufficient basis for taking the right position but takes the right position on a single issue. And I can join with him without any danger as long as I realize that he is not an ally and all we’re talking about is a single issue.”

I pray for Izzy that he will see the truth and repent of his erroneous beliefs, just as I had to do.

Happy to hear your thoughts on this!

Belinda 🙂

 

 


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The Media is Missing the Point of Israel Folau’s GoFundMe Page

Once again the media and the elites are missing the point of the Israel Folau case, and in particular, his GoFundMe page.

Honestly you would think they would have learnt something from the “shock” result of the recent Australian election…

Israel Folau’s case has become huge in Australia. An extremely talented rugby player, Folau was recently sacked by Rugby Australia for posting this on his personal Instagram account :

Israel Folau’s Insta postHis refusal to take it down at their behest led to him being sacked and having his $4million contract torn up. Many believe that Rugby Australia’s sacking of Folau was in large part due to the placating of their biggest sponsor, Qantas, which is run by gay activist CEO, Alan Joyce.

Now Folau has announced he will take his sacking to the Fair Work Commission and a couple of days ago started a GoFundMe page to raise the money to fight his legal battle.

The media’s unrelenting bias against Folau is obvious to anyone who has been following his case. To date I have not seen one article that has not been skewed against him. And of course the elites are Tweeting in condemnation of his recent donation request, branding it “sickening”, ”hypocrisy” and that we “should be ashamed” of ourselves for donating to his cause.

Yet… it seems like no one is really listening. Their constant stream of vitriol against him has the tinge of desperation to it as his GoFundMe fund grows by the minute.

This case is now taking on a life of its own and they can do nothing to stop it. And boy do they hate that.

The GoFundMe page is a stroke of brilliance in Folau’s case. Of course, he has every right to start one up, just as everybody has the right not to donate to it if they don’t want to. But as his fund continues to grow, it bears witness to the silent Australian who, compared to the media, has no voice. We are a laid-back people and it takes a lot to get us in to the streets protesting. But, just like in the recent election, this is one way we can make our voices heard.  I think Israel’s case has crossed a line for many people, including non-Christians. For if a man can lose his job and his livelihood for expressing his personal beliefs, what does that mean for the rest of us? Where will this lead?

So for us Aussies, as we give to Folau’s fund, we are saying something to the media and the elites who for too long have been telling us how we ought to think.

We are saying stop misrepresenting what is really going on, and to back off from our personal freedoms. We are saying we care about the freedom of religion and the freedom to express it. We are using this to protest the growing fanaticism of political correctness in this country.

To those of us who care about personal freedom, Israel Folau’s case has become something of a symbol for the fight for freedom from the tyranny of the media, the LGBT mafia and the virtue signalling of the Left of politics. In fact Israel now is becoming something of a champion or standard-bearer, if you will, for freedom of speech.

To prove my point here are some of the names people are using to donate to Folau’s fund :

Freedom Speech

William Wallace

Media blatantly doing everything they can to sabotage Izzy #media is a joke

Religious Freedom

Media is Clueless not Folau

I don’t care if Israel Folau is a billionaire. This is all our fight. With my hard earned $50 I stand.

So, and this is the brilliance of it all, as the media and the elites try every angle and manipulation in their articles and tweets in an attempt to stop the juggernaut that has become his GoFundMe page, it is only serving to highlight and compound the reason for the necessity for this fight in the first place.

And silently the fund grows.

So keep going media, keep on Tweeting celebrities, keep attacking Israel! Because it seems there is no better way to keep the donations rolling in.

 

So far his fund is at $541,485.00

https://au.gofundme.com/israel-folau-legal-action-fund

 


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The West’s New Clothes – Adapted from the Emperor’s New Clothes

Emperor West was a vain man. He was always shopping and buying new clothes. As soon as he’d get back to his palace he would race into his dressing-chamber and take selfies of himself in his new outfits. In fact, he’d spend so much time congratulating himself on how many likes he got on Facebook that the actual running of the kingdom was neglected! For instance, the army was usually in disarray and the kingdom was constantly at threat by their enemies.

One day when the Emperor was just about to upload a particularly flattering video to his Instagram story, two con-men came up to the palace. They’d heard that the Emperor was vain and spoilt and thought they could probably swindle this guy prettily easily.

And they were right. All they had to do was exploit the Emperor’s pride in order to deceive him into believing that they could make him look even more gorgeous, and thus more admired, in their magic outfit that they would tailor for him. There was one amazing thing about these clothes: they had a magic thread that was invisible to the stupid or to those unfit for office.

Emperor West was captivated. With these clothes he would be able to deduce who of his courtiers, officers and ministers around him were foolish or unfit for their job. That would save him from having to use his brain with the added bonus of giving him more time to check-out those new filters on Instagram he’d just discovered.

As the con-men began to “work” on the Emperor’s New Clothes the Emperor would send his ministers in one by one to check on their progress. And one by one the ministers were faced with the same conundrum: none of them could actually see the clothes or the threads. In fact to them it looked as if the “tailors” were actually making a big, fat lie!

But the Emperor was waiting for their report. What were they to do? Do they report what they actually saw and face being denounced as “stupid” and potentially lose their job? Or do they go along with it? I mean, maybe they were stupid and everyone else could actually see the threads! Was it just them? Because Minister Man-Pleaser had reported yesterday that the outfit was beautiful. Perhaps if they had done that doctorate at university like he had they too would be able to see them…

The pressure was huge. To say what the Emperor expected them to say… To say what everyone else had said… to not be thought of as less intelligent than the other Ministers…. To not be called names, or lose their reputation, their standing, their position… to go along with the New Clothes.

And so that’s what they did, one by one. Each reported back to the Emperor that the outfit was taking shape nicely, the threads were exquisite, the design more beautiful than anything they’d seen. And with each new report, the pressure mounted for each successive minister sent in to inspect the clothes.

Meanwhile the news of the Emperor’s New Clothes was fast spreading around the Kingdom. This was encouraged by the Emperor himself who wanted to garner as much admiration for himself as possible from his loyal subjects. After all the latest poll was due any day now and, since he had eradicated the need for government policies to be based on any objective morality long ago, the polls had become the ultimate point-of-reference for his government. So important were these New Clothes that when he finally put them on for the first time not even a live feed would suffice – no, for this there would be a PARADE.

And so with the ministers boasting to their families and friends about how they had seen the Emperor’s New Clothes taking shape themselves, the media promoting them and celebrities tweeting and even writing songs about the New Clothes, a veritable frenzy ensued and the people were primed and ready to receive the Emperor with his New Clothes.

(It must be added that there was the constant sub-current reminder to the kingdom’s subjects that ONLY the intelligent and competent were able to see the Emperor’s New Clothes. Occasionally a nay-sayer would pipe up with a disparate opinion but that one was suitably shouted down by the crowd, and even a few celebrities, using a few choice words such as “ignorant” and “bigot”, much to the Emperor’s satisfaction.)

In fact the Emperor was sometimes a little taken aback himself by the strength of force levelled at those few dissenters, but it suited his purpose well enough and so he told himself that if at times it seemed a little malicious, the end justifies the means.

Finally the day of the parade dawned and the Emperor woke up bright and early. As his courtiers ushered in the con-men tailors the king was shocked. He could not see any New Clothes at all in the arms of the tailors. But as they “dressed” him in the light, silken cloth and flattered his ego the Emperor West decided it was too late to turn back now. Even though he couldn’t see the clothes himself he was darned if he was going to disappoint the crowds of loyal subjects lining the streets to see him.

Proud as peacock the Emperor began his parade. The crowds most satisfyingly ooohed and aaahed at his splendid New Clothes. They commented to their neighbours on the fabric, the design and the colours, each one outdoing the rest in their admiration of the New Clothes.

Suddenly a 9 year old boy giggled. And snorted. And then pointed at the passing Emperor.

“He’s not wearing any clothes!” He called out laughing. His sister also started to laugh.

There was silence.

That wasn’t meant to be said.

But it was too late to un-say it.

From the back of the crowd two men in suits and sunglasses emerged and made their way to the 9 year old boy and his family. There was some talking in low voices between the men and the boy’s parents. While the crowd looked on the parents at first seemed to resist but then the family of four went with the men. After a few moments the crowd filled in the hole where the family had been and the Emperor continued his parade. The cheers began again and the crowd congratulated themselves in the knowledge that they were progressive.

The next week a new decree was issued from Emperor West’s palace that far and wide the kingdom’s schools would be introducing new methods of education for the kingdom’s children. Everyone agreed that the new books being written, new songs to teach the children and even new teachers were a good idea and ultimately in the kingdom’s best interest.

THE END

Adapted from Hans Christian Andersen’s story “The Emperor’s New Clothes”

By Belinda Thorne