…You Will Know Them by Their Fruit…

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I bet you wouldn’t want to eat that fruit, would you? It’s gross. Unfortunately, chances are someone close to wants you to eat that fruit. Or they think the fruit is good. Or they are that fruit. Or they are the plant that produced that fruit. Where was I going?

That fruit is gross. End of story. If anyone would like to contest me on that you’re more than welcome. The problem is, this is the sort of fruit that passes for Christianity in the United States today. Rotten. Potentially sickening. And people eat it right up without a thought.

In Matthew Jesus says,

Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. [1]Matthew 7:15-18 (NLT)

We can identify false prophets by the fruit they produce. 

This is where things are going to get a little harsh. Christianity, as a whole, in the United States has become a collective of false prophets. We’re no longer producing good fruit. We’ve become trees that produce poisonous berries and rotten apples, and try to pass them off as delicacies that those who don’t enjoy are, “blinded to the truth.”[2]Yes, I meant such a harsh indictment.

We all know the Fruits of the Spirit [3]“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! (Galatians 5:22-23 [NLT]) and if you don’t, check out Theopedia, so I won’t discuss them here. But what I will do is look at four ways Christians are not producing said fruit in the public square.[4]or society as a whole

1. Customer Service
Everyone knows that “the after-church crowd” are terrible tippers. I even had a customer at my bank comment on how much everyone hates working Sundays. But it doesn’t stop there. I’ve been known to be handed a tract both while working in food service and at my current bank.I’m not going to debate the merits of tracts in this post[5]spoiler: there are not many, just know that I do not believe them to be beneficial.When I was at McDonald’s we also had a customer tell a worker she, “looked like she needs Jesus.”  And don’t even get workers started on the mess most of them leave.

I’ve even heard of places asking specific representatives from a church not to come back because of the way they treat the employees. This isn’t just a person treating people poorly. This is a designated representative of the church treating people poorly. Do they not understand the negative perception they’re giving of themselves, their church, and Christianity as a whole?

When Christians are known for being bad customers, we have a problem. We’re not honoring the people working to help us. To put it into little kid terms: we’re not living by the golden rule. 

ROTTEN FRUITS: love, patience, kindness, faithfulness, self-control

2. Politics
I could fill my site’s entire bandwidth with how US Christians are rotten fruits in the political world, but I wanted to keep it short.

For more on Christians being poor Christians in politics see my posts:
Christianity is not… (pt. 1)
America the bully-full
Jesus wept
retrain your restraint

ROTTEN FRUITS: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control

3. Churches

“All Are Welcome” is kinda like a church equivalent of “All Lives Matter” [6]Kevin B.

I’ve discussed this exact idea before. And it still remain true today. Churches love to say they’re welcoming and all that matters is that you love Jesus, but, at the end of the day they don’t act that way.

There’s an unofficial hierarchy of sins within each church. If you do one of them you’re excluded from this, that, or the other thing. But they continue to say, “we’re all sinners.” And it’s perfectly cool[7]even admired for the pastor to admit to still struggling with sin. But when a church member disagrees with the pastor on things, they’re asked to leave. And the pastor can contact their new church to tell them about the person. And the pastor can ask members of the church not to attend their wedding. And the leadership can give the girl in youth group a list of “do”s in order to be on the worship team.

But all sins are the same. And we’re all saved by Grace.

Or what about the pastors who have houses more expensive than their church? Or the churches that spend more on their building than they do on helping people?

And, while not specifically a church, let’s address briefly the schools that are getting Title IX waivers to discriminate against LGBT+ students, those who have had abortions, and even marital status. When did Jesus do any of that? How does that fall under being loving and patient with people?

And then there’s Liberty University promoting killing, and offering students concealed carry classes? How is that gentle?

ROTTEN FRUITS: love, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control

The point blank fact is this: Christianity in the United States has created a community of rotten fruit. But we’re passing it out like the ripest apple from the tree. Saying that it’s God will, and we’re the most Christ-like people we know when we’re constantly disobeying his commands and neglecting the fruits of the spirit. 

If we know false prophets by their fruit, then I’d wager the vast majority of Christians in the US are false prophets, specifically those in any place of authority.

Now the real question is: what kind of fruit are you producing?

Grace and Peace,
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