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I recently moved from home after college, starting my own life and all, and am currently looking for a church I can join and become part of.

In my country, we have had many cases of 'fake' pastors and preachers - adulterers, fake miracles, others greedy for power, fame and money, etc.

In Matthew 7:15-20, Jesus says that you shall recognize them by their fruits.

15: Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16: You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17: Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit.
18: A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19: Every tree that brings not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20: Why by their fruits you shall know them.

Which are these fruits? How can I distinguish between a real and a fake pastor without waiting for them to appear on the news for having done some crazy scheme somewhere? Is there a way I can know them at first glance or something?

marked as duplicate by fredsbend, Dan, Affable Geek, David Stratton, Caleb Feb 24 '14 at 10:05

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    Watch out for pastors who use church finances to "pay themselves" and buy extravagant homes, cars and/or other extravagant items. – Elberich Schneider Feb 23 '14 at 20:18
  • @ElberichSchneider That's exactly what most of them are doing here. Am afraid for most of the congregations. – Parto Feb 23 '14 at 20:20
  • I wish I could give you better advice, but this is what I do. Check to see if he quotes from the Bible to make his point in his sermon. Check what he preaches against what the Bible says. If you do not have a Bible here are two free Bible study programs you download from the internet. e-sword.net and the word.net. Both are excellent and have many modules you can download and install for free. Each has multiple English translations, and African translations. Choose the one who preaches from the Bible, but also if possible learn how they live, and if it isn't what the Bible says go elswhere. – BYE Feb 23 '14 at 20:21
  • @CecilBeckum Preaching from the Bible is a major point though you can't 'see' that on the first day. I think learning about their lives, how they live, their families, how they act in public, etc can really help. – Parto Feb 23 '14 at 20:28
  • @fredsbend That question is related but is based more on prophets. Am asking about church pastors, those who lead the service. Think of a local town church. – Parto Feb 23 '14 at 20:34

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