Monday, May 26, 2014

Called to Be Fruit Recognizers

I've been told by Christians before "We are not supposed to judge, but the Bible tells us to be fruit inspectors. We're inspecting the fruit in people's life. That's not judging."

A) That is judging, but by using a less critical word.

B) We're not told to be fruit inspectors, see here. We are told we can recognize people by their fruits.

Liz, you're splitting hairs. What's the difference between fruit inspecting and fruit recognizing?

Fruit Recognizing
*holds up some apples* What are these?
An apple.
*holds up some bananas* What are these?
A banana.
*holds up another (albeit smaller) type apples* What are these?
An apple.
Congrats. You can recognize the difference between fruit.
Can you recognize love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control in the lives of believers? (Galations 5:22-23) Can you say, "Yep that person has joy in their life."?

Fruit Inspecting
*places apples on a table* Please rank these from best to worst.
These are green, those are red, these are yellow. The original apples were yellow, so they are the highest quality.
*places bananas on a table* Please rank these from best to worst.
Well, this one is still green. This one is rotten. That one is the best out of the options.
Inspecting implies (to me) that you are measuring, judging, and weighing the options. Bob has less patience than Sally. To inspect, by its definition, means to closely examine, to critically view in a formal manner, especially looking for faults or errors. Inspecting fruit is subjective. How much is enough? How does it display itself in one's life?


The Greek Word G1921 is used in Matthew 7:15-20. I looked at these verses through every English translation on Biblegateway.com. You know what? The word was know 20 times, recognize 11 times, tell what they are 2 times, tell them 1 time, and identify 1 time. I admit, I couldn't figure out what the keyword was in The Message or Orthodox Jewish Bible. You'll notice that nowhere do you see the word "inspect."

Look at the context of Jesus' words: He's talking about how to identify false prophets. He didn't say, "Inspect the lives of believers. You'll know believers by their fruit." He's talking about identifying false prophets. For more information on this, check out this site.

If we are in Christ (the vine), we (the branches) will bear fruit. It's a natural outcome. (John 15).

We are supposed to weigh the words of our teachers, to compare them to the Scriptures. But judging? No. But inspecting fruit? No. By comparing what they say to what the Bible says? Yes.

There are several sites which would beg to differ with my analysis. If you wish to read the other side's opinions without searching the internet, here are four sites here (favorite) and here (second favorite) and here and here. The sites I marked as my favorite, I would mainly argue the semantics of inspecting vs. knowing.

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