Click on the quote below to read the article...

As our children grew up, we often received compliments on their behaviour. But the same people would plead with us not to discipline them, or not to expect so much from them. They liked the effect (or fruit) of discipline, but not the cause (or tree) from which it grew.

Jesus said, "You cannot get good fruit from a bad tree. Either say the fruit is good and therefore the tree is good, or say the fruit is bad, so the tree must be bad. A tree must be judged by the fruit it produces." (Matthew 7:15-20)

Clear understanding of the relationship between cause and effect is the basis of good science. Discipline, in the case above, is the cause, and good behaviour is the effect. But let us look at another cause and effect situation.

We have many non-religious friends who warmly receive our life-style, while rejecting our source. Because they accept the message, they are, in many ways, Christians, even though they don't profess to be (Matthew 10:40). But they will be hampered in their efforts to practice what we practice if they continue to maintain a blind spot against the Source of our message. This inability to humble themselves to a Power greater than themselves leads to an irrational approach to many other issues as well.

We will embrace anyone who lives by faith in love rather than money and who teaches others to do the same. But so far we've found no one prepared to take such a stand... except those of us who are following Jesus Christ.

If the message is beautiful, practical, sensible, wise, and constructive, then the same must be said of its source. You can't love the fruit and still reject the tree from which it came.

Some professing Christians say we have inspired and challenged them, but they make obvious efforts to distance themselves from us... remaining anonymous; withholding an address or phone number; cringing at an offer of further literature; hiding their relationship with us from their church friends; and just generally insisting that God wants them to stay away from us.

Fear is irrational, and fights fanatically against faith and anything that will strengthen faith. For this reason, we can understand some of the paranoia people feel when they get too close to our faith. But we cannot excuse it... and especially not when it comes from people who profess to being inspired by our message. Either make the message good and its source good, or make the message evil and its source evil.

We're not asking to be treated as gods; we're only channels through which God speaks. We are not the answer; but we have the answer. This is not presumption so much as it is a simple statement of reality. We are only the branches, but we can lead you to the Tree. And if you like our fruit, why not accept the Tree. (John 15:1-6)

(See also The Source, on page 12 of A New Economic Policy.)

Register or log in to take the quiz for this article
Pin It
Don't have an account yet? Register Now!

Sign in to your account