More Concerning Reports
A concerned parent of a rugby player, who chose to remain anonymous, recently wrote an opinion piece in the Sydney Morning Herald about her interactions with the Folaus and their church. The anonymous mother’s rugby-playing son was invited to the Folau’s church and she wanted to see what the church was teaching. What she found disconcerted her.
The mother says members of TJOC believe most people who claim to be Christians are going to hell. Included in this group, in their opinion, is Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison. When the mother asked if Morrison was a Christian, apparently members of the group laughed and said no, that he’s not a Christian but that “he’s a Hillsong.”
While the Folau’s attended Hillsong Church Australia for a time, they’ve since changed their tune about Australia’s largest church. Last year, Israel posted a series of Tweets in which he called out the head of Hillsong, Brian Houston. In a post including a picture of “prosperity gospel” preachers such as Kenneth Copeland, Joel Osteen, Benny Hinn, and Paula White, Folau tagged Houston and wrote “Stop teaching false doctrine and leading millions astray. People that are following such heresy. YOU need to wake up.”
Mainstream Christians Financially Support Israel Folau
When the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) took up Israel’s cause to help him raise funds for his legal battle, the concerned mother reached out to managing director Martyn Iles to alert the group to Israel’s unorthodox views. According to the mother, during a 35-minute phone call in which she did not reveal her identity, Iles heard her concerns and told her he would meet with Israel personally to discuss them. He also stated the case was on his radar due to its religious freedom implications. Iles said that while he was sure there would be disagreements in belief, as there are among Christian denominations, he did not hear anything from Israel that “contradicts mainstream Christian belief.”
Iles later stated: “The unity we share for the cause of free expression is the key issue driving the need for Israel’s legal fight and public campaign. All of us may one day find that our beliefs stray outside of the narrow band of political correctness and that will be a day when we treasure our freedoms.”
Iles would also go on to call the mother’s claims made up and describe her as a “hostile woman with an axe to grind against Izzy’s [Israel Folau’s] family.”
Meanwhile, the ACL has “hit pause” on their fundraising campaign for Israel Folau, stating they’ve raised over $2 million from over 20,000 donors in just two days.