Monday, 8 July 2013

A disciple of Christ “hating” the world

Since so many seem so offended by the concept...
Renee Lillquist writes:6 juli 16:06
Since so many seem so offended by the concept of a disciple of Christ “hating” the world, its people, and even his or her own life perhaps it's time to set the record straight.

Possibly the best example of the “hate” commanded by Christ (and as it is used in the Facebookgroup Christadelphians) can be found in Genesis 29:30-31. We are told Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah. We are also told when Yahweh saw Leah was “hated” He took steps to make her more desirable to Jacob. Occasionally in Scripture the words “hate” or “hatred” are not meant to convey hostility or disgust. Rather, they merely indicate a level of feeling. 
Context, as always, indicates when they are to be taken in such a way. Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah. In the same sense, Yeshua says: "Those who come to me and do not hate their fathers, mothers, wives, husbands, children, brothers, sisters, and even their own lives cannot be my disciples.” (Lk 14:26) Surely, he isn't teaching the need for disgust, dislike, hostility, or any other destructive attitude or action. He is attempting to convey the idea that his disciples must love him more than they love their families and even their own selves. Loving the Truth more than others or even self is absolutely necessary for anyone who wants to become Yeshua's disciple.

English: Steps To Christ
English: Steps To Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
At the time of Christ, most Jewish families were involved in religious traditions of human origin. These people and practices did not please Yahweh. Later, when Gentiles received the gospel, there were Gentile families involved in idolatry and other forms of false worship. Yahweh was also not pleased by these people and practices. To believe and follow Christ (then and now) meant leaving these people and their fake religions behind, even if it required a person to forsake his or her own family. It is obvious from Christ's own words that family rules and traditions must never come before Christ's commands. It is obvious we must never cave in to family pressure if it means putting Christ in second place. And it is obvious above all else that discipleship without cost or obligation isn't taught anywhere in Scripture.

Some who are trying to be true disciples may be yoked to a spouse not involved with the Truth, or one who is involved but has chosen not to follow Christ's commandments. There may be a temptation to compromise. There may be a strong tendency to break faith with Christ to keep peace in the marriage. The level of loyalty Yeshua demands enables true disciples to overcome this temptation. There is another test having to do with family pressure. Children can often draw parents away from Christ and his commandments. Again, disciples with the level of loyalty Yeshua demands will convey this message to their children: “You know what we believe and where we stand. We are committed to the Truth and if you turn from it we will not be turning with you.” If love for a child causes a disciple to compromise, it is not the type of love required by Yahweh and Christ. If love for a child causes a disciple to ignore the Child's sinful conduct or become involved in the sin, that is also not the kind of love required. Loyalty to Christ is the highest priority and it does not allow for any adjustments in belief or conduct because of anybody, family or not.

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