Hover over Romans 1:20-22 for proof of God's existence, and over Matthew 5:27-28 for Judgment Day’s perfect standard. Then hover over John 3:16-18 for what God did, and over Acts 17:30-31 for what to do.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Hating your parents and siblings

"Ray, You say that '[God] also warns that if you hate someone, you have as good as killed them.' Then why does Jesus proclaim the following? 'If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple' (Luke 14:26). So to be a Christian you have to be both homicidal and suicidal. If you're not, then you're not a disciple of Christ. I welcome a thorough explanation of this conundrum."

This is what is known as "hyperbole." It’s a statement of exaggeration, contrasting love with hate for the sake of emphasis. We still use hyperbole in every day speech--"I have told you a million times not to exaggerate." The Bible often uses hyperbole to make a point. The Book of Proverbs says that if you fail to discipline your child you "hate" him. The obvious point is that discipline is a token of parental love.

The verse you quoted shows that Jesus of Nazareth was either a deluded raving lunatic (which doesn’t match the brilliance of His other words--read the Sermon on the Mount given to us in Matthew 5-7) or He was God in human form. He is saying that we should so love Him that our love for our mother, father, etc., (our "loved" ones) should seem like hate, compared to the love we have for the One who gave us those loved ones in the first place. This is the essence of the First of the Ten Commandments.