Monday, August 4, 2008

Good Fruit & Bad Fruit

In the Word of God we are told that good fruit and bad fruit cannot come from the same tree.

Matthew 7:15-20 in the King James Version says, "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. "

The Message translation says, "Be wary of false preachers who smile a lot, dripping with practiced sincerity. Chances are they are out to rip you off some way or other. Don't be impressed with charisma; look for character. Who preachers are is the main thing, not what they say. A genuine leader will never exploit your emotions of your pocketbook. These diseased trees with their bad apples are going to be chopped down and burned."

In looking at these scriptures I began to evaluate the fruit of the church that I used to attend. In a previous post, Where is the Fruit, I stated that I had searched for good fruit and had a problem finding any lasting good fruit. The bad fruit has a horrifically wide range. Many people over the years have been hurt and abused in many ways. Some never want to go to church again. Some feel that they can never trust church leadership again. Many who truly need pastoral guidance in their lives have never had it from a true pastor and will never give another pastor the chance to minister to them on a personal level.

I find it devastating that I was so enamored with the leadership of this church, with their charisma and practiced sincerity that I chose to overlook so many things that I knew in my heart were wrong. How did I allow myself to be so deceived for so long? Unfortunately, I did not read my Bible. Here in these scriptures, it is unmistakeably evident that I was part of a very bad tree. I will never again excuse things that do not line up with scripture or things that don't seem right about the church I am attending. I encourage anyone who is in a church that raises even the smallest question or doubt on the inside to step back and examine the whole picture of that church.

I know there are many churches and ministries out there that have leadership with character and integrity. Do not settle for a cheap fabrication of a shepherd after God's own heart. Follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and trust what He it telling YOU. Ask questions. If you are in a church where questions about the leadership are frowned upon..... leave. God is perfectly capable of leading you, His sheep, to green pastures and still waters, and a pastor who loves with actions that can be seen and not words without action.


Anonymous said...

I am so glad that you are free and moving on.

Great post, keep it up.

Anonymous said...

I never knew that all of this kind of stuff was going on with so many people. It is almost unbelievable.

Anonymous said...

Great post! I also found the verse mentioned helpful. It took me a while to realize that I wasn't coming against the Holy Spirit by recognizing false prophets. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Preach it. Amazing scripture and insightful observations. Keep it up.