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According to the U.S. Secret Service, to detect counterfeit money, you should compare suspected money with what you know is genuine. Pay attention to the paper and printing quality. Look for differences, not similarities. Jesus told us how to detect counterfeit preachers and teachers. We read this in Luke 7, “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 thorn bushes, 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. Yes just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions. Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.” Based on what Jesus said, you cannot tell a genuine teacher or preacher by oratory, miracles, or the crowds they attract. False teachers tend to glorify themselves rather than Christ, and the things that motivate them are money, fame, or power. Of course, even genuine teachers are not perfect, but they seek to live what they teach, to help others, and to lift up Jesus the Christ.

One Comment

  • AfterMath says:

    Something bothers me about this. There was an episode of South Park where they discussed “The Catcher in the Rye” being on the banned book list. It was on said list because someone said it inspired their killing. If we call this killer the “fruit” produced by this book, then we’d be likely to reach the same conclusions.

    Or on a more Biblical level, I’m taught to Love my Neighbor. But what does that really mean? One guy may interpret that to mean giving the homeless guy on the corner the spare change that he asks for. If this homeless man then goes and buys a beer and is later seen in a drunken state, is he not the fruit of the Love my Neighbor command? And if so, does this mean that the command itself is a bad tree?

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