Examining their fruits

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by James_Newman, Jan 16, 2007.

  1. James_Newman

    James_Newman
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    I should have titled this thread Examining the Tree... Another thread brought up the subject of Calvin and his alleged murders. I don't care to discuss calvinism, but would rather like to discuss the command of the Lord to beware of false prophets.

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

    My questions are, how much bad fruit does a teacher or teaching have to manifest before we begin to recognize the tree as corrupt? We are seeing many churches today rocked by scandals in the pulpits. What is the underlying cause of so much corruption? Would there not have to be a fundamental crack in the foundation to cause such breeches? When we see a man of God fall into great sin, should we not also expect to find great doctrinal errors? Is it possible that there are common teachings in churches that are leading to more and more ungodliness, as Paul warned of in 2 Timothy?

    2 Timothy 2:16-18
    16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
    17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;
    18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.
     
  2. GordonSlocum

    GordonSlocum
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    Good Topic.

    The word that comes to my heart is surrender and commitment to the moral principles of God's word. What I long for is to be in the presence of believers who are in love with God. Where they love to praise God, worship Him and look at the Scripture with an eye that searches the heart and pricks and checks our motives and intent. We are in constant need to submit, surrender and do the revealed will of God. Show me a church that is in love with missions, reaching the lost and studies God's word this way and I believe you will have a growing, learning, united body of believers. Both the principles, and instruction of God are taught, and the motivation is there for service. I have to say I believe I attend such a local body of believers.


    My pastor related to us just Sunday Night that the staff gets away here and there to check their intent, motives, and goals. He told us that they did not want any one aspect of church life to consider itself more important than the other. All phases of the body are equally important.
     
  3. webdog

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    Good topic. Wouldn't intent be the hinge behind who is / isn't a false prophet?
     
  4. MB

    MB
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    Hi James;
    Some would probably say that as soon as they see just one bad fruit. This problem in my opinion cannot be perfection. Man isn't perfect.
    It seems Satan is winning. Indeed he is, when it comes to the souls of most men.
    In my opinion there are cracks in everyones foundation because man isn't perfect. The same was true of the earliest church.
    Since men are rarely completely known because we cannot see in to the souls of another, no one can really know what goes on inside of any man. We have to judge by outward appearances and these aren't always right. We can and have been fooled. This doesn't make the doctrines of Christ wrong if they are in fact the doctrines of Christ.
    Of course but if it isn't in scripture, then it isn't real doctrine. Which is why when someone tells us the bible says so, and so, we should be on our toes checking it out in text so we can know if the scripture has been misused.
    What most seem to forget is that these scandals over the morals of there Pastors is only proof there is no one with out sin. Not even Pastors. We are all still living in the same flesh we war with everyday over what is right and wrong. No matter how great a Christian we all still sin. We can't seem to escape it all together because, we are still mortals. What is bad is when congregations can't forgive when the people involved who are accused of such, ask there congregations for forgiveness.

    The doctrines of Christ are in scripture. It's why we are told to read it regularly. The problem with all corruption is the cracks in the foundation and that crack in my opinion is always ignorance of God's word. If not the ignorance then the blatant ignoring of what it says.
    MB
     
  5. GordonSlocum

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    Amen to that. When the prophet came to David after about one year following his fall. His heart was pricked and he humbled before the Lord. Intent of David's heart was true contriteness, repentance.

    Regardless of how large or sever the sin the believe who humbles his heart and in true contrition is forgiven. The stubborn are dealt with according to God's time and manner. We are constantly warned to be careful, watch, take heed, avoid, and do - To God be the Glory. What a wonderful God we serve. Abide in Me -

    http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/w/a/walkthou.htm
     
  6. Helen

    Helen
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    Here are some fruits to consider:
    Wars and persecutions....from the Roman Catholic Church
    Polygamy, racism, massive legalism -- the LDS church
    A 'revised translation', refusal of celebrations, legalism -- JW's

    These are easy ones. You can go on to such things as the health and wealth movement, the name-it-and-claim-it doctrines, etc., which leave people broke, disillusioned, and frightened.

    These are the fruits which make the trees clear as to their type.

    There are others, but no sense in starting a fight here, too!
     
  7. GordonSlocum

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    Here is another hymn to soothe the soul. Music has a way of keeping the fight down for most. Enjoy.

    http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/b/e/beforetg.htm
     
  8. donnA

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    Exactly. Since no one is perfect, no one is without sin. Do we call someone a false prophet becasue we disagree with them. I say this becasue the thread being referenced seems to be difference of opinon rather then real actions.
    The biggest problem with examining fruit, is that the examiner is just as flawed as the fruit he is examining, he is biased by his own beliefs and weaknesses and sins.
     
  9. DQuixote

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  10. TaterTot

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    Its always a good thing to examine our fruit. Esp before we examine others' fruit. ;)
     
  11. El_Guero

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    Now you done and went and asked the big Question . . .

    :saint:

     
  12. James_Newman

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    didn't mean to abandon the thread, I was just waiting for some more responses. I understand that no-one is perfect, and that some good men are going to fall. But I have to wonder if what we are seeing is not the beginning of an epidemic of sin in our church leaders.

    1 Timothy 3:2-6
    2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
    3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
    4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
    5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
    6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.

    Perhaps too many pastors are being taken into the ministry without having proved themselves as faithful men? Do many churches take pastors fresh out of seminary? I don't know, so I'm asking.
     
  13. J. Jump

    J. Jump
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    James I think that when it comes to pastors people are more interested in "their" qualifications than they are God's qualifications. I mean there is so much that could be said in this area and the area the church in general has gone.
     
  14. Jon-Marc

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    I can't help but wonder if Jesus set the example of when a man is mature enough to pastor a church. He was 30 when He started his ministry and called His disciples. Of course, I understand that was the custom, but it could be a good age to go by in determining when a man is ready for the responsibility. Just an opinion of course.
     
  15. Jkdbuck76

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    I'd say it would have to do whether or not their "prophesies" have happened or not. There are plenty of documented instances of some of the televangelists making prophecies that do not come to pass.

    I believe Oral Roberts said that if they built the Oral Roberts medical center, then God said He would allow them to discover the cure for cancer.

    benny hinn recounted how he was taken up into heaven in a vision where he saw our Lord (OUR Lord) crying.....

    I think a prophet is false if what he says never happens. And in OT times, he was to be put to death.

    Cheerio!
     

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