September 27, 2003
Hating your parents

Over at Tom's place a big discussion broke out about hatred, and Rob asked:

For Jesus advocating "hate", check out Luke 14:26 and John 12:25. In both cases, Jesus teaches that one should "hate" his own life. In the former, he teaches that one should hate both his own life and his mother, father, brother, sister, etc. Does anybody have any thoughts on these teachings?

A good question (and an answer to Kynn's question about where Jesus spoke approvingly of hate). Actually, Telford and I discussed that passage last year, so rather than rehash it all, I'll just link to it.

Posted by Camassia at September 27, 2003 12:17 PM | TrackBack

Telford didn't spin it. I'm impressed.

Posted by: Rob on September 27, 2003 12:59 PM

Okay, that is fair enough -- the bible does, in two places, have Jesus refer to "hating" aspects of one's life, including one's relatives.

I don't have a quick answer for this. I'll have to think and pray about what it really means. (I think it's pretty clear that Jesus wouldn't advise you to literally hate your relations.)


Posted by: Kynn Bartlett on September 27, 2003 09:55 PM

I think that it means what it says: if you aren't ready to put Jesus before *everything* else, and make him the sole goal of your life, you are not ready to be his disciple. Anything that might be a stumbling block must be despised, to the extent that it IS a stumbling block--whether it's your eye, or your mother. Who are my mother and my brothers?

Posted by: Rob on September 28, 2003 03:19 AM

I would also make a distinction between saying, "You should hate your father, mother etc." and "Only those who hate them can be my followers." As I said back then, I don't think he was presenting this hatred as an ideal for Christians to strive for (like, say, loving your enemies), but as something they have to go through in order to shed their former attachments. As Telford said, he was talking to a crowd who lived in a society of suffocating clan loyalty, and their families were bound to be very upset about them following Jesus. So I don't think one should take this to mean all good Christians should hate their parents, or anything like that.

Posted by: Camassia on September 28, 2003 10:31 AM

No, I don't think he was saying that all good Christians (or potential discisples, at that point) *should* hate their parents; only that they should be prepared to do so, if necessary.

Posted by: Rob on September 28, 2003 01:04 PM

I don't know if you guys are still using this site, but I just happened to stumble across it and wanted to comment on this subject. I am facing something of this nature right now! I have a great friend that has contributed to my growth as a Christian, and has been a non-stop encouragement from day one. His brother which is an adult, hates the fact that we are such good friends, and has been trying to ruin my testimony ever since I accepted Christ. Here recently I told the brother to quit saying things and to just styay away from me (Which is scriptural, look at Paul and Barnabas). He of course ran & told everybody he could, including his mother and father which are completely insane. They called his older brother (my friend) and proceed to rip his head off for hanging out with me. The thing is that the Bible speaks of the evil person that ruins a Christian's testimony with false ttruths, and tries to break-up a friendship for his own gain-sake, then we can all agree that we are to avoid evil things. In stead of my friend standing up though, and saying that his brother is wrong and that his pareants need to quit being blinded by his manipulation, he just lets them continue to bash my testimony. I don't think that it should be a choice between me or his family, but at some point it does become a choice between his family and Christ. My friend will agree that his family is not right with God, but he doesn't want to deal with the stress of taking a stand against them, and would rather just let things go forever. One last thing, we are not talking highscholl age kids here. The strong Christian is 27 with a family of his own, myself and person starting the trouble are 22, and I live on my own with a job, whereas he still lives with his parents, and dont go to school, and has some part-time job. This is just an example, I think of what Christ is discussing in Luke 14:26. You hate your parnets when comparing your love for Christ. You can't agree with someone that is of evil spirit just because they are your family, actually you must stand against that, before it brings you down to their level.

Posted by: William on December 17, 2003 05:44 AM

That's a perfect example. Be patient.

Posted by: Rob on December 19, 2003 07:41 AM
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