“Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.”


 Jesus by telling us to use the fruit argument is saying that no matter how good following him seems to be if people are hating each other too much over him or lying too much or whatever then that has something to do with him. Spiritual help that keeps you bad or worsens you or useless help makes Jesus to blame for he promised to connect with your spirit and put good qualities into it.


Jesus made it clear to Peter that good intentions can serve Satan's purpose. He called Peter Satan for Peter told him he must not die on the cross. See Matthew 16.
Matthew 7:15-20 New International Version (NIV)
Jesus said 15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them."


How do you answer those who point out against these texts that fruits cannot unveil a false prophet all the time, for a teacher can fall and fall big despite giving wise teaching? The answer is that the teacher is one of the fruits and you must consider the overall results. Too many falls or any continual evil or corruption is a sign that the teacher is using good teachings to manipulate you to evil.


A tree has to have leaves to pave the way for fruit.  A tree will have fruit and leaves at the one time.  So loads of lovely leaves representing people are no good.  You need the fruit.  A religion is not to be measured by having civil people in it but by how many heroes of God it has.  Politics and the media and indeed all of society only care about civility!  That is a sectarian view!
The text mentions that the prophets will seem so good that they are like sheep. All false prophets need to do a lot of good to get a following. Also, how much bad fruit does a tree need to be called a bad tree? Jesus is saying that a good tree bears only good fruit. This is a metaphor for a good tree can bear a little bad fruit. But the metaphor suggests that the true prophet makes his followers into trees that bear only the best of fruit. True followers of the prophet will be like angels.
Jesus said that bad fruits follow false prophets. He said that we know the true prophets and the false from their fruits. Good prophets make good fruits. He asked if grapes can be gathered from thorns. He meant us to see that they cannot. He denied that an evil religious teacher or prophet can produce ANY good fruits. Or did he?
Others say he meant that the false prophet cannot turn evil people into good rapidly. They point out that he said that a true prophet is able to gather grapes from thorns metaphorically speaking. He is talking about miracle conversions following true prophets. So if evil people miraculously turn good that is like the impossible happening and it is like grapes coming from thorns. The agent is God through his prophet.
Whatever Jesus meant, he rejected the popular view that if a religion does a reasonable amount of good it is from God. A reasonable amount of good is not enough. It is normal and so it means nothing. Jesus condemned normal morality in the Sermon on the Mount for he said you will get no credit from God for loving those who love you back.  He snidely said it is the kind of love pagans have for one another!!  Despite his sectarian racist bigotry - pagans at that time meant all non-Jews he claims to have the right to say that good fruits means that which is abnormally or miraculously good. Clearly the fruits he has in mind are heroic and supernatural virtue. He means true prophets have an unusually high following of saints. Their spiritual influence makes the saints.  He denied that an evil or good natured but fraudulent religious teacher or prophet can produce such good fruits. People tend to think a religious claim is true if followers feel happy because of it and do good. But Jesus says that is not enough. You need to see saintly heroism in them.


The teaching has two sides:


POSITIVE:  there is an unexplained (supernatural or paranormal or whatever) power following a truly good spiritual guide that produces shockingly incredibly good results when it comes to transforming human nature.  The bad become saints and the good become great.  The good is the enemy of the best so the grace of the teacher or God working through him rectifies that.  The power is hidden and only seen in the results.  As Jesus puts it, it is the fruits that tell the tale.


NEGATIVE: By DNA we mean a metaphor for some strange psychological or spiritual or paranormal or supernatural force and influence.  It passes on like a virus or genetic inheritance.  Scientology inherited Hubbard’s paranoia.  It is a natural mystery how that happens but its psychological genesis is unknown. Too many indifferent or malicious or fanatical sinners in the following means it is somehow the spiritual leader's fault.  There is something at fault in the DNA of the tree thanks to the teacher.  If you are on the tree you need to fall off.  That is what Jesus is getting at.  Jesus is staking his own reputation on this doctrine.  Without remarkable goodness, Christianity is a false religion. 


We cannot make Jesus immune to criticism when his followers are mostly corrupt and unremarkable.  However, the implication was that his fruits were marvellous so he was the Son of God and so should be a super-celeb.
The fruits that followed Jesus were:
# People being told to love God more than themselves or anybody else. Who cares what you love most of all as long as you do good? It is downright insulting to ask people to love God more than their doting parents who sacrificed so much for them! They know they have parents but as for God being they cannot be as sure. And if they say they are they are not right in the head. What is so great about having a perfect God as a role model when we will never be perfect and are better off following a wonderful but flawed human being?

# The vast majority following perversions of his teaching and distortions of real right and wrong with a gross fanaticism.
# Christianity holding science back for centuries and thus killing most of the people who lived in the centuries since Jesus allegedly lived.
# The doctrine that suffering can lead us to God. Suffering is to be seen as evil and abhorrent and useless. Good cannot come out of something so vile. It only appears in spite of it. Suffering is the sense of meaningless existence. It is despair. Pain and suffering are not the same in the sense that you can be happy and in a lot of pain. There is an unmistakeable callousness in the person who says that suffering leads to God. Also, to tell a suffering person that their suffering has a purpose is only going to make them feel worse if that is possible. It is insensitive to tell a person who experiences meaningless existence that their suffering has a purpose. It is not intended to help. Telling it is about you displaying your righteousness not about the other person. The sufferer will want to get rid of the suffering. That is what he or she cares about not God.
# When Jesus said he was the way the truth and the life he commanded that dogmatism be adopted. That is the attitude that what a religion says should be stood by even when the evidence throws doubt on it. Dogmatism opposes freedom of thought and the right to information. When a dogmatic religion commands martyrdom under the right circumstances it follows that the religion is murderous and all who join it are taking its evil on themselves as part of themselves. Dogma claims to be the truth and that error has no right to exist which means that anything that contradicts it must not be allowed.
# Excessive killings and persecutions in his name.
# He was very abusive towards the Jewish leaders. He was an anti-Semitist Jew. Christianity because of him put its anti-Semitism into Hitler - with devastating results. The Church has promoted and buttressed the hatred of Jews down through the years.
# Hatred of women. Christian clergy have mostly been ungrateful to the mothers that bore them by shunning women and by trying to make them second-class citizens.  Jesus in Matthew 23 told the Jewish leaders they were baying for blood.  He needed to take responsibility if somebody standing there attacked any of those men and you can be sure the wife and children would be endangered.  Provoking violence against any man is risking his wife and children.
# Cruel morality and pious frauds. The Church opposes rule utilitarianism the only true view of right and wrong.
# Saints who disguised masochism and sadism as altruism. Many pulled martyrdom on themselves as if it were for Christ. What it is really for is their trust in the New Testament which is anything but trusting in Jesus for Jesus didn’t write it nor did the authors prove they had the authority to write the way they did which was claiming to convey the word of God. 
# Attempts to become a deranged and dangerous fanatic. Nobody normal could possibly be able to love God unconditionally. They are not supposed to love him so that they might avoid everlasting punishment but to love him unconditionally. Thus the system of Jesus which warned about everlasting torment was geared towards putting Christians on a treadmill. They would fight and struggle all their lives to exercise an impossible unconditional love and in their anger and frustration they would inflict their religion on others by force if necessary or possible. They would get cynical with themselves with all the bad fruits that brings. They would have to try to frustrate and destroy their own sanity to attain a state of serious abnormality. Even if there is no everlasting punishment we still have to love God unconditionally. We still have to have the attitude that if there were a Hell we would not love him to avoid it but just to please him. Belief in God is dangerous.
# Jesus magically made the equivalent of nine hundred bottles of good wine at Cana from water when the guests were already drunk (page 6, A Christian Faith for Today, W Montgomery Watt, Routledge, London, 2002). This is reported in the gospel of John. It is remarked in the story that this wine was very good and served at the point when the bad wine was served. The guests then were meant to be drunk enough not to know that they were now getting bad cheap wine. He encouraged their will to get drunk. He encouraged their sin. The Church says that miracles are about God's action and meant to have a positive and good spiritual effect on us and magic is not. If so the Cana event was not a miracle but an act of magic.

Any good that was done could have been done with a rational morality and with belief in a higher power of goodness. The good was outweighed by the bad by far.
The Christian answer to all that is, "Oh that is just your interpretation. Jesus was wonderful!" That answer coming from people who brag that they don't judge and that they love everybody is interesting. It is accusing you of being sour enough to distort things about such a wonderful person. And when it comes from people who have never read the Bible it is so irritating.  They are in fact boasting about themselves as if they are too good to see the bad in anybody.  Tell them that!
Another answer is, "Jesus did not tell his followers to do the bad things they did. It was the people to blame not the religion he made." That argument is an excuse. It refuses to admit that religion is not necessarily right or perfect in itself. If Christianity is man-made then it is to blame as a religion. It is bigotry to judge the members of the religion rather than the religion itself as a system.  If you form a religion that is for curing sin and which is a disaster at it what good you tell the people to do does not get you off the hook.  It puts you on the hook.




A pious fraud may do good now but in time people will suffer at finding it was a farce and critics will be dismissed as cruel immoral people just for trying to save people from an illusion. And frauds need further frauds to prolong and sustain them. Jesus warned that if the seed is bad the tree will be worse. Protecting a lie is damn hard dangerous work so the truth will out so you are better getting rid of the lie and facing the truth no matter how terrible it seems.

Jesus could be understood as saying that we should drop him and his religion no matter how good they seem to be or are for if the fruits are bad then there is something badly wrong with the tree though you cannot tell what.  The tree is terrible.  Jesus is being used by the Christian faith.


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