“Good without God” or “good with God”?

.. .the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.. .

Some Buddhists have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
Some Muslims have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
Some Atheists have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
And, even some Christians have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.

The question I have is this:-

If these people have genuine fruit of the Spirit then doesn’t that imply that they have the Spirit of God?

This entry was posted in Good. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to “Good without God” or “good with God”?

  1. Blair M says:

    To have the Spirit of God, you have to be in God’s Truth. Otherwise the Spirit can be at work in your life, but that does not give you the Chrism (anointing) of the Spirit. This is only possible for Christians.

  2. reed says:

    Blair
    Are you saying that a person can have the fruit of the Spirit and at the same time not have the Spirit?

  3. Blair M says:

    Of course. You can give money to the homeless, but if you then say “I am doing this because I am a humanist”, or “I am doing this because I am seeking a better reincarnation”, then what does it profit you? Your actions are worshiping the wrong god. That does not mean that the Spirit is not at work in those actions. All good things come from God. But to “have the Spirit” is to have the anointing of the Spirit – that is to say – God is working from within you. Human beings, being created good, are not therefore uncapable of good by their own efforts, but those efforts are wasted if they are done in the name of a false or heretical view of God. The Spirit can only work from within if you are working in the name of the True God, having been baptised in the name of the Triune God.

  4. reed says:

    Of course [a person can have the fruit of the Spirit and at the same time not have the Spirit].

    It’s not obvious and it seems awkward.

    You can give money to the homeless, but if you then say “I am doing this because I am a humanist”, or “I am doing this because I am seeking a better reincarnation”, then what does it profit you? Your actions are worshiping the wrong god. What does it profit?

    If we were to discuss people acting out of bad motives then we would not be discussing fruit of the Spirit.
    Possibly you are expressing doubt that non-Christians can have genuine fruit of the Spirit.

    That does not mean that the Spirit is not at work in those actions.

    God can use evil actions but that does not mean that evil acts are of the Spirit.

    All good things come from God.

    Agreed.

    But to “have the Spirit” is to have the anointing of the Spirit – that is to say – God is working from within you. Human beings, being created good, are not therefore uncapable of good by their own efforts, but those efforts are wasted if they are done in the name of a false or heretical view of God. The Spirit can only work from within if you are working in the name of the True God, having been baptised in the name of the Triune God.

    You seem to be concerned with “good works” which is not the topic of this post and your doctrine looks a bit messed up from my perspective.

    The fruit of the Spirit is about good character and living well.

  5. BlairM says:

    I think the problem here is that you are in thrall to a logical fallacy. If the Apostle’s statement is that “…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…” then that describes outward signs of the Holy Spirit at work. It says nothing about how the Spirit works, or where He is when He is working. You cannot beg the question by assuming the outward signs imply something about His inward dwelling.

    Even if you are assuming the Apostle is talking about an indwelling or a chrism, the logic stated is “IF the Holy Spirit indwells a person, you will see these fruits”. It is not “IF and ONLY IF the Holy Spirit indwells a person, you will see these fruits”.

    “If we were to discuss people acting out of bad motives then we would not be discussing fruit of the Spirit.”

    But that was the whole premise of your original post! You were talking about Buddhists and Muslims having “genuine fruit of the Spirit”! But a Buddhist acts out of bad motives *by definition*, since in displaying love joy peace patience etc. they are not by God’s grace on a journey to theosis with the Triune God, but reincarnation unto nothingness – a false hope. Which brings us to another assumption – that the nine fruits of the Galatian Epistle are supposed to be a complete and discrete list of the sign of the Spirit’s presence, and of course they are not – there are other qualifications, not least that of speaking God’s Truth.

    “You seem to be concerned with “good works” which is not the topic of this post and your doctrine looks a bit messed up from my perspective.”

    How do you know a man is joyful, except that he behaves joyfully? How do you know a man is self-controlled, except that he controls himself? How do you know a man is kind, except that he acts with kindness? The fruits of the Spirit are not a secret that someone can keep to themselves – they are only displayed through action. And it is not only true that the Spirit acts within us, but also that we act to acquire the Spirit. See Luke 6:38.

    I believe my doctrine to be both orthodox and Orthodox. Lord have mercy if it is not. How do you see it?

  6. reed says:

    I believe my doctrine to be both orthodox and Orthodox. Lord have mercy if it is not. How do you see it?

    I believe my doctrine is full of holes, vague in parts and probably incorrect in parts that I am attached to. Thank God.

  7. reed says:

    Blair
    You consider my question to be a complex question. That’s fair. I actually hesitated over the word “have” when I wrote it and I considered somehow using the word “with”.

    Breaking my question down…
    X is the fruit of the Spirit.
    X can only result from the Spirit of God.
    Some non-Christians have X.
    Some Christians have X.
    People have X because… [fill in this part].

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *