An attendee of embattled rugby star Israel Folau’s church has said she was ‘greatly disturbed’ by what she saw there.
A Christian parent of a young rugby player became concerned when Folau, who was recently fired over homophobic social media posts, invited players to his family’s church.
Folau’s father Eni set up the Truth of Jesus Christ Church in Sydney’s north-west in 2013.
But, the parent told the Sydney Morning Herald, she found the church preaching ‘false teachings and counterfeit Christianity’.
‘I’ve gone, I’ve checked it out and I would call them an isolated hate group.’
The Folau family reportedly believe ‘only we have the truth’. Only their version of baptism is enough to prevent people from heading to hell, they reportedly say.
Attendees of the Folau church told the Herald they had contacted the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL).
But, ACL head Martyn Iles who has backed Folau’s court case against his former employer, said he had ‘never heard’ Folau say anything that contradicts mainstream Christian belief.
Another local minister, however, described folau as ‘effectively what we used to call a heretic’.
Israel Folau’s hate speech
Folau, a devout Christian, posted an image to social media in April saying ‘hell awaits homosexuals’.
Rugby Australia found him guilty of a ‘high-level breach’ of his code of conduct.
His lucrative four-year contract was worth AUS$1.0 million (US$700,000) annually.
The former Australia international and New South Wales Waratahs player was seeking AUS$3 million (US$2,076,000/€1,836,000) to fight the ruling in court.
After GoFundMe suspended his page for ‘promotion of discrimination or exclusion’. But, the ACL took over fundraising efforts.
Earlier this month, lawyers for Folau said the player had lodged a complaint with Australia’s Fair Work Commission.
‘Under section 772 of the Fair Work Act it is unlawful to terminate employment on the basis of religion.’
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Author: Rik Glauert