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Of Counterfeits and Cash

There is counterfeit currency. A few years ago, a woman attempted to make her $1,600 purchase at Wal-Mart with a $1 million dollar bill. One problem with that is that the U.S. Treasury does not issue a $1 million bill. It was counterfeit, but at least she was aiming high.

There is also counterfeit Christianity. Jesus told a parable about a wheat field in which weeds resembling wheat also grew. The parable illustrated some important truths about how to respond to fakes.

There is counterfeit cash, but not all cash is crooked. Don’t reject what is authentic because some is artificial. No sane person burns all currency he because there might be some counterfeits in circulation. In the same way, it’s absurd to reject God’s kingdom because there are some counterfeit Christians. In the parable, the master stopped workers who wanted to yank up the weeds, lest they “root up the wheat” also (13:29). Yes, there are fakes at church. But the master does not want us to burn down the house to get rid of them.

There is counterfeit money, but don’t get angry at the U.S. Treasury for that. If the bill is bad, it didn’t come from the official mint. There is evil in the world – and in the church – but it doesn’t come from God. “The weeds are the sons of the evil one,” Jesus explained, “and the enemy who sows them is the devil” (13:38-39). It’s appropriate to be angered by corruption and hypocrisy; just don’t blame God for it.

There is counterfeit money, so be aware of the danger of being duped. I don’t reject all cash, but I would reject a twenty with a picture of Donald Duck. I would know instantly that’s funny money. Jesus said elsewhere that we shouldn’t trust everyone. “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves” (Matthew 7:15). The apostle Paul even warned that there would be “all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders” (2 Thessalonians 2:9).

There is counterfeit money, but that’s not permission to print your own. There is coming a day of winnowing. “At that time,” Jesus said, “I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn' "(13:30). Before that day, we need to insure that our own faith is fact and not fake.

There is counterfeit Christianity. Let’s value the real kind. .


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