The road to Hell is paved with good intentions. That’s what dad always said. Maybe that’s because Hell is, in fact, the destination of “good intentions”.
By “good intentions” I mean mere good intentions… as in, when intentions are given greater priority than results.
Jesus said to the Church of Thyatira, “And all the Churches will know that I am the one who searches mind and heart, yet I render to each one of you according to deeds.” (Jesse’s translation from Greek.)
This was the Fifth of the Seven Churches Jesus addressed in the beginning of Revelation. To this Church, specifically, Jesus introduced Himself as the one with eyes like fire. To the Greek mind, that means that His sight pierces every shield and even brings about change.
So, Jesus sees everything. So what? you may ask. And that’s exactly His response: So what! He sees our intentions—every one of them. But so what. He’s concerned about our results. Are we?
Though society is made of different spheres, those spheres impact each other. If there was one problem that the sphere of Church has in common with the sphere of government, it’s the politicians. There’s a lot politicians do in secret, which they think nobody sees. Politicians begin their careers with great hopes, dreams, goals, and… well… intentions. Some politicians lead in government while others lead in the Church.
It’s funny, isn’t it, that corruption, hypocrisy, immorality, dishonesty, manipulation, and illicit financial activity are every bit as rampant in both spheres. Is it possible that society—which is impacted by both Church and government—has extended too much tolerance to leaders who do not prioritize results over intentions? Then again, maybe it’s not so funny.
Jesus said, “You shall know them by their fruit.” Maybe He was on to something. Maybe, since He created us… maybe, He knows that we were created in a world that needs food.
Every favorite restaurant, every good grocery store, and every corner fruit stand—we all know them because of their food.
Food really does make the world go around, in a sense. If you follow Wall Street at all, you may be thinking, “No way! It’s OIL that runs our lives. Oil creates war. Oil raises and smashes economies. OIL runs the world!” But, actually, oil is merely food for our cars, heaters, and plastics. So, again, everyone—and every thing—needs to eat some form of food. But, so what?
That’s where farming comes into the picture. Jesus refers to farming in many of His parables. The Jews were an agricultural society—they were promised a land flowing with milk and honey. The Kingdom of God is like seeds scattered—like a mustard seed that yields a thousand times its investment. God commanded humanity to “be fruitful”, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it.
Though we rarely think about the major role farming plays in our jobs, families, and economies, it’s hard to do anything unless someone is farming.
Every farmer knows that there’s no fooling the crops. If you did a good job, you’ll reap a harvest. If you poke around all summer or if you don’t know how to handle your crops, the fruits won’t be so good.
Look at it another way: Apples don’t fall from orange trees. And strawberries don’t grow on cotton. Every crop plant is known by its fruit.
As a side note, every fruit begins as a flower. A good farmer knows the fruit that follows, merely by identifying its flower. But it is fruit, not flowers, that the world eats to survive. Likewise, a farmer’s worth is measured, not by his flowers, but by his fruit.
So what? What’s this got to do with Satan’s good intentions?
Have you ever thought about why he did it—why Satan rebelled against the all powerful, invincible, all-knowing, uncreated God? It probably began with good intentions. He probably thought he could lead creation better than God. When his takeover of the Heavens failed, and Heaven didn’t want his mischief, he resorted to earth—for now, ruling the earth is enough for him… for now, anyway.
That puts Satan in a power struggle against us. We humans were given dominion over the earth, under God, but now Satan wants to rule it. Problem: Satan isn’t human; Jesus is. Only the Lamb of God is worthy to rule the earth. In other words, Satan’s ambitions for the earth are doomed to fail.
Of course, from the beginning, his “good intentions” were narcissistic and insane—lead better than God? I mean, God hasn’t done such a bad job. Molecules keep holding together—unless we smash them and create a nuclear mess. Gravity works for all of us, Satan hasn’t messed that up… yet. Sure, we all have enemies that say bad stuff about us, but we can say stuff in response. Peoples make war with each other—but everyone is capable of standing up for what he believes and sacrificing himself for others, like William Wallace did. Even with evil on the run, Order and Chaos continue.
The Author and Sustainer is sustaining what He authored. God is doing a pretty good job. And ever since Satan gave bad advice to Eve—advice about fruit—Humanity sure made a mess of things… But gravity still works. And that means that God is doing a good job of allowing everything that goes up to come down… including Satan, who will eventually fall all the way down… eventually.
So what? Why would I write an article about Satan, God, fruit, and good intentions, just to compare government politicians to religious politicians? Well, I’m glad you asked. That’s exactly why, in fact.
You see, it’s funny. Or, then again, maybe it’s not so funny… Christians can’t stand government leaders who don’t bear good fruit. RINO-crats and Demagogue-rats are the main disgust of discussion. We re-elect them time and again, but always get the same lack of results and it’s irritating.
They have good intentions. They talk good. They look good. They stand up for our theories, ideals, values, and religious doctrine when they speak publicly. But Christians don’t tolerate it… Well, they don’t tolerate it in government, but Christians tolerate lack of fruit in established religion all the time and without exception or complaint.
Remember the exodus during the Emergent Church “discussion”? In the wake of complaint about all the people supposedly being misled, how many voting parishioner-members fired their well-intended pastors for having bad fruit? How many parents said to themselves, “Maybe Churchianity doesn’t work. Maybe I should try Jesus instead.”
Could it be that the main stream Churchianity establishment despised Bell, Miller, and McLaren because—whether those authors were each right or wrong—they proved the faulty foundation of institutionalized Churchianity?
Maybe we should be “less critical” of teachers who have no good results to show. Maybe we should march, pitchforks in hand, against unaccomplished pundits who make our lives miserable as their bad advice consumes our time, money, and families, evermore attempting to prove their failed theories at everyone’s expense but their own.
Maybe the failed fruits of Satan’s politics, government’s politics, and Churchianity’s politics each share a common strand—they all have good intentions… and that’s all they have. Maybe the relationship between the three isn’t a coincidence.
Maybe we should reevaluate our teachers and leaders according to the fruit they help us—or do not help us—develop in our own lives. Or maybe the establishment just wants people like you and me to shut up.
Actually pursue Life, Liberty, and Happiness—rather than sacrificing our own corn fields on the altar of kings’ reputations and clergy’s careens? What a silly idea. Who do we think we are, anyway?
Then again, maybe I think too much.
So what! You may disagree with me. It doesn’t matter. At least the path we travel is well-intended.