The Incongruity In The Church
"No tree 'can' bring forth fruit inconsistent with its nature..." - Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary
"True religion (Christianity) will not admit of contradictions; and a truly religious (Christian) man can never allow of them either in his words or actions..." - Matthew Henry
"God's children are full of love and live holy lives. Those of the devil are the opposite." - People's New Testament
"There is no middle class between the children of God and the children of the devil." - Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary
"A life of sin is proof that one is a child of the devil and not of God." - Robertson's Word Pictures
"Every thing both in the animal and vegetable world was made so according to its kind, both in genus and species, so as to produce its own kind through endless generations. Thus the several races of animals and plants have been kept distinct from the foundation of world to the present day."
- Adam Clarke
In James 3:12, the Apostle James asks a very interesting question - "Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh." Although James is referring here to the incongruity of the tongue bringing forth blessing and cursing from the same source (the heart), we would like to use this Scripture as a springboard in speaking about the contrariety or contradiction that is allowed in the churches of today.
As the about verse implies, no one would go to a "fig tree" looking for "olive berries." Nor would anyone walk up to a "vine" expecting to find "figs." No tree bears two opposite kinds of fruit. On the contrary, every tree bears fruit according to its kind. Hence, a fig tree bears figs...an olive tree bears olives berries...and a vine bears grapes.
In Genesis, we see over and over the order of God in creating everything "after his kind."
Genesis 1:11 says - "And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so."
Genesis 1:12 says - "And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good."
Genesis 1:21 says - "And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good."
Genesis 1:24 says - "And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so."
Throughout these Scriptures, we see the intimation that "like produces like." The kinds or species are fixed and don't run into one another. Each of them produces a seed according to its own nature. What is sown produces the like. The power of multiplication is in itself.
Notice that whatever God spoke - "it was so." The "seed' in itself produced fruit "after his kind." And the Bible goes on to say - "...and God saw that it was good." He was pleased with the congruity of the similar natures throughout His creation.
"Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh."
Let's take this question and statement from James and apply it to the church today.
Are we - generally speaking - guilty of permitting a "fig tree" to say that it is bearing "olive berries"...a "vine," "figs"...or a "fountain" yielding both "salt water and fresh" and not questioning the incongruity of it all? Nature itself says that this is impossible. Everything produces "after its own kind." Yet, in the church, we have people confessing that they are "Born Again" and still have the nature of Satan in them or are producing fruit "after his kind."
1 Peter 1:23 says - "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever."
1 John 3:9 says - "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for His seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God."
1 John 3:10 says - "In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother."
"The child of God" has a divine and heavenly principle of life implanted in his spirit. This is the divine nature of God which produces "after His kind." It is an internal principle of grace...a germ of piety and holiness produced in the heart by the Word and Holy Spirit...a new nature...a new man formed... containing all grace to oppose, check, and prevent sin.
This "child of God" is characterized by two main traits - he does what is right according to the Bible and walks in love toward others. On the contrary, those who omit and disregard their duties toward God and man and despise, persecute, or oppress others are the "children of the devil." One carries the "seed of God" within him causing him to do what is right; the other has the "seed of the serpent" in him causing him to sin and rebel against God's commands or standard of holiness.
Matthew 13:38 says - "...the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one." Notice the distinction that is made between the two. There is no half-breed implied nor tolerated.
John 8:44 says - "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do..." Notice that the children will imitate their father in his ways.
We see what the Scriptures are saying, yet in the church of today, we call people "Christians" who are - "full of all subtlety and mischief"..."enemies of righteousness"...and "perverting the right ways of the Lord" (Acts 13:10). We think nothing of those who claim to be saved, yet are walking in unforgiveness, bitterness, and hatred toward their brethren when the Bible strictly says that - "He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love" (1 John 4:8).
Doesn't the Bible say in 1 John 3:7-8 - "Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning..."?
1 John 2:29 says - "If ye know that He is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of Him." John 8:47 says - "He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God."
3 John 11 says - "...He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God."
There is no tolerance here for incongruity. The Bible is not advocating going to the "fig tree" and expecting to find "olive berries" or going to the "vine" expecting to find "figs." Everything is "after his own kind."
Isaiah 61:11 says - "For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth..." Whatever seed is sown in a garden, that is the kind of plant that will spring forth. Hence, if you sow the Word of God into an individual, righteousness and praise will result. On the other hand, if you sow worldliness, carnality, covetousness, lust, hatred, strife, violence, etc., sin will be the result.
The problem is - we have spiritual "fountains" walking around yielding both "salt water and fresh," and we think nothing of it. We have spiritual "fig trees" bearing "olive berries," yet it doesn't affect us. We have spiritual "vines" producing "figs," yet we don't blink an eye over it. It has all become acceptable.
Notwithstanding, the Bible does not advocate such incongruity in nature among those who name the name of Christ.
Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary confirms this fact with these words - "There is no middle class between the children of God and the children of the devil."
Matthew Henry adds - "True religion (Christianity) will not admit of contradictions; and a truly religious (Christian) man can never allow of them either in his words or actions..."
Contradictions...inconsistency...contrariety...incongruity - it should never be accepted in the church.
Then tell me, why is it happening - and on such a large scale - when God created everything "after his kind" and then called it "good" ?