Tree Without Fruit
by Paul Green
Recently by Paul Green: The
State and the Saviour
In the New Testament is recorded the
story of Jesus who, while walking
with His disciples, came across the sight of a fig tree with leaves.
With fig trees, leaves normally indicate that there is ripe fruit
also. This promise of fruit caused Jesus to approach the tree for
refreshment and nourishment while travelling.
But the tree had no fruit, despite the promising
leaves, and this served as an opportunity for Jesus to teach his
disciples something many Christians today might think to be un-Christian:
a curse, and moreover instructed his
disciples how to do the same. Beginning right then it died at the
roots, and by the next day the fig tree had visibly withered.
Of course, this was not a curse on a human being
– even the strong rebukes and warnings Jesus at times issued (mostly
to elites and officials) were for the good of the hearers.
But Jesus did use the fig tree, which was on
public/common land, to illustrate by example how we should react
to the fruitless and useless things in life that promise great things
and yet fail to provide any benefit.
A similar example elsewhere in the New Testament,
is Jesus’ teaching concerning those who spread false ideas that
ensnare, enslave and, rather than producing promised beneficial
results, produce only destruction and loss.
of false teachers…. By their fruits you will know them."
In times past, ideas and instruction – both
practical and spiritual – were mostly disseminated at a local level:
Local schools, local churches, local public houses… and local governments
through local officials. Centralised institutions, though present,
were more distant.
Today with the rise of the regulated mass media,
the misuse of communications technology, and with government-controlled
education, we have the homogeneous propagation of ideas across whole
nations and the world, to an unprecedented degree.
The pervasive force behind the ideas that guide
and set the framework for much of the conversation, the outlook,
the hopes and aspirations of peoples around the world is the State.
Most of the "big ideas" that filter down into the everyday
actions of people in these State dominated cultures are from sources
approved and/or funded, directly or indirectly, by government.
So let us take a look at this entity, along
with its prophets and experts, who promise hope and who terrify
people into the idea that without them we are doomed to chaos.
If it is "by their fruits you will know
them," then let us examine their "fruits" and
whether their promises of hope have really been fulfilled – in order
to determine a right response to the experts, their plans and the
entity of the State itself. In just a few areas, we’ll consider
the "leaves" of promise, and then we’ll consider the "fruit"
In order to determine the existence of any real
"fruit," we will use the words of Jesus as a reference:
thief comes only to kill, steal and destroy but I am come
that you might have life and have it more abundantly"
Promise: "The State promises you
peace and security from external enemies. By pre-emptively attacking
other countries and regrettably but necessarily killing as many
innocent people as needed, security is assured."
Murder on a mass scale, around the world. Current estimates
exceed one million dead in Iraq, with one half million even officially
acknowledged by the UK government in recent years. Only a few of
these were combatants and even of those, some were only defending
their own land from invasion.
Theft on a mass scale, that is, unless
the State is to be deified and made exempt from moral law. For example,
military incursions abroad cost the people of the US at least one
trillion dollars per year.
Destruction on a mass scale – both of
the economic well being of the militaristic countries (now on the
verge of disaster) and of the infrastructure and societies of those
But is there any benefit for the security of
the aggressors? None; except in the speculative fantasy of the aggressors.
Is there any evidence, other than speculation,
that angering and provoking populations abroad with monstrous atrocities
ensures future safety? It requires more blind faith to believe so,
than it does to have a little faith in God and just refuse to murder
innocent people for any reason.
Promise: "The State offers you security
from danger by enforcement of legislated laws and regulations, above
and beyond moral law. To do this it is necessary to create a special
class of State agents, who are authorised to use violence and to
commit acts that would otherwise be considered crimes."
Violence or the threat of violence – including killing
if regulations and/or enforcement officers are resisted. Every rule
or regulation is ultimately a threat of death and/or destruction
if resisted sufficiently. For example, even a morally upright person
resisting the most unjust law will be first threatened and then,
if they as an innocent person resist the enforcers or use legitimate
self defence, they will be killed.
Many businesses are destroyed or made
impossible by legislative rules restricting activities or products
to favoured large, compliant businesses with the ability to lobby
and craft legislation. Creativity is stifled and corporations made
artificially large by monopoly grants such as copyright and patents,
where competitors or customers are threatened with the force of
Promise: "The State offers security
and plenty for those in need. To do this it is necessary to introduce
a high level of taxation, which those who truly care should feel
morally obliged to pay, even at the expense of their own families
or charitable causes."
This is nothing more than organised theft which, in proportion
to the degree of taxation, destroys the ability of families
not only to provide for their own but also to fulfil the command
of Jesus to personally give to the poor. Voluntary charity, a product
of compassion, is redefined and undermined by bureaucracy and force.
The money is no longer given, but taken by an army of officials
backed with the power to destroy businesses, seize property
and ultimately use force to kill should a victim attempt
to defend their own property.
Despite this known behaviour, supporters claim
the poor are helped. But with the same moral authority it can be
argued that a poor bank robber will be better off. This is not "social
justice" – because covetousness and theft are not social "justice."
The plight of the poor is not that they are denied a "right"
to someone else’s money.
In fact, governments create or massively contribute
to poverty by obstructing productivity and liberty; only to then
present themselves as saviours with false promises appealing to
covetousness, and by claiming false credit for what productivity
that they have not yet stifled.
A morally bankrupt and dependant underclass
is the result, along with destruction of the primary natural
social welfare institution, the family, immediate and extended.
Secondary welfare institutions, such as domestic service and church/charitable
activity are also taxed, regulated and morally undermined in order
to give the State primacy.
Promise: "The government will save
you when you are sick; a universal bureaucracy is the best way to
see that everyone is offered a high standard of healthcare. Others
richer than you will pay."
First the government destroys person to person healthcare
– the direct and free relationship between a patient and a doctor
who competes for patients against other doctors, and who is regulated
by the spread of his reputation to all prospective customers. Naturally
there are problems, because doctors are human beings, because they
try to create guilds and cartels, and the system is never free from
the State. Let us say efficiency in a fairly competitive market
So, the government attempts to destroy this
by legislation, regulation and subsidy. Its paid experts point to
the 30% rate of inefficiency and magnify it. The government steps
in with regulations which push up prices, and create forced relationships
with approved third party corporations and insurance companies.
Problems and inefficiencies increase, although the remaining market
freedom still produces improvements. So the State claims credit
for these improvements and blames the expense and inefficiencies
on insufficiently regulated and greedy (but approved) corporations.
Finally the government (secretly backed by a
few most favoured mega-corporate suppliers) takes over. The UK healthcare
system, for example, is now the biggest bureaucracy in the world
outside the communist Chinese State. I do not remember a time when
people have been happy with it, or a time when the current government
has not promised to fix it (with more government).
Particularly in healthcare, inefficiencies caused
by non-competitive, distant and unaccountable bureaucracy mean unnecessary
deaths. Over time, that means tens and hundreds of thousands
of deaths – on top of terrible medical errors also fostered by inefficiency
It is clear that on that "tree" we
call government or the State – there are many leaves but no fruit.
The State can only exist by making false promises – and can only
grow by killing, stealing and destroying in order to make room for
itself and its allies.
But God has invested His very likeness not in
systems of bureaucracy or powerful elites, but in each one of us,
as individual human beings. We are therefore to have dominion over
our own lives, and not be stifled by hierarchy and bureaucracy or
made into the serfs of "wiser" State overlords.
The response of Christians to the many false
prophets of the State should be a clear rebuke of their words –
yet, not a cursing of their person. But the response to the State
apparatus itself – to the evil schemes and oppressive initiatives
obscured by deceptive promises – should be even stronger: Curse
it. Damn it. Doom it.
Believe me, I can well understand swearing at
the TV when you hear another official lie, but that is not what
I mean. In fact, I recommend you avoid that – depending how it is
said, it can actually be negativity, grumbling, unconscious faith
in the power of evil to harm you.
But, for example, recently the British government
planned to register, monitor and control homeschoolers – just like
paedophiles. My wife and I heard about it well in advance. We agreed
in prayer, and cursed it. I hope others did too. Now, I’m not saying
our prayer can completely overrule the free will of the British
people overall. But as long as we are to spend time in the UK, I
believe God will make provision for us.
It looked inevitable, many a "final"
official pronouncement was made – yet the scheme was recently dumped.
The same went for ID cards – we had doomed that for nearly five
years. I can also testify to similar victories in a number of personal
"run-ins" with officialdom over the years.
Even the first recorded public prayer meeting
of the Christian church in the Book of Acts was along these lines.
Read it in Acts
Local government leaders were exhibiting their
usual rotten "fruit," so the church prayed specifically
to frustrate the plans of the scheming politicians and rulers –
and went on to disobey them openly. I particularly like Psalms
2, the chapter they quoted, because
it goes on to say that God Himself actually laughs at and holds
these "rulers" in derision. It is an example we should
So instead of despairing at these dark days,
why don’t you join those of us who are doing something about it
– including spiritually? We can restrain governments because there
is only one true Kingdom – the others are all illegitimate and not
supposed to be there. As I mentioned in my last article, it’s even
right there in the Lord’s Prayer:
"… deliver us from evil: For thine is
the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen."
Green [send him mail] is
of British background and supplies computer security and privacy
services in the UK and Switzerland while his wife home-schools
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