Thursday, 26 April 2018


The Belief of Unbelief

Israel Folau has been swept up in a maelstrom of criticism because he professed a perfectly sane, orthodox, traditional biblical position that unrepentant folk would be condemned to Hell.  Nothing startling there at all.

But then came the tsunami of  invective, anger, and hate.  How dare anyone speak of another human being as liable to Hell!

Some wiseacre expressed that he was profoundly puzzled about folk who profess to believe that Hell does not exist, one the one hand, yet make such a brouhaha over it, on the other.  If they don't believe in Hell, why the umbrage and outrage at Folau's perfectly orthodox, biblically faithful statement?

But it gets even more stupid.  We venture to say that most of these foaming folk use the noun, Hell every day, frequently.  It's "oh, Hell this" and "Hell, that" and "Helluva time" and " Go to Hell, you xxxx" and on and on and on.  And not a hair raised.  They utter imprecations upon people and circumstances wishing them to endure the curses of Hell without giving it a second thought.  Oftentimes their imprecations are said in anger yet ironically they have no sense of  doing anything wrong or evil.  But Israel Folau . . . . !

If ET were still around on the planet, he would doubtless find this a great mystery.

The issue is this: do these people believe Hell exists or not?  What do they profess on the matter?  We expect that that vast majority of people in New Zealand would hasten to tell us that Hell does not exist.  It is a figment of imagination.  Why, then, they still refer to Hell as a term of imprecation remains a great inconsistency.

But, in another, more profound sense, they are unconsciously testifying to a deeper belief structure--one which they prefer to keep hidden from others and above all from themselves.
  The do believe in the Living God.  They do believe in the divine judgement to come.  They know they have no hope of being declared innocent and without sin.  And they suppress these things as hard as they can.

As a consequence, Israel Folou's statement disturbs them profoundly.  Hence their hatred and outpouring of anger.  Hence the vituperation.  They are true believers after all, yet existing in self-denial.

Here is the infallible, divine indictment on our age: 
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honour him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonouring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever! Amen

For this reason God gave them up to dishonourable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God's decree that those who practise such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practise them.  [Romans 1: 16-32]
Think about the vituperation of the past few days; re-read the text above.  It explains perfectly what we have seen unfolding before our eyes. 

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