(originally composed September 2004, edited and expanded April 2, 2006)
(Luke 14:26 KJV) If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
As I mentioned in chapter 11 of THE GREAT DREAM, the word for “hate” here is MISEO in the Greek. This word occurs 41 times in the NT, and in every other occurrence of this word, it is obvious that “hate” is the proper word to use in that place. I invite (challenge) everyone who has a Bible program on their computer that allows you to trace Greek words to LOOK UP every single use of the this word MISEO in the Greek of their New Testament, and try to invent some sort of “love less” definition for this word in those places and read it aloud. You will (must) see, as I did, that any attempt in the other 40 places where MISEO is used, to render it as anything but “HATE” will look AND BE ridiculous! ALSO (just in case anyone wonders), there is no a singe alternate reading of this verse in any ancient manuscript. ANY ancient quotation of Luke 14:26 in Greek reads EXACTLY as it does in our KJV. THERE IS JUST NO AVOIDING, GETTING AROUND OR EXPLAINING AWAY the PURPOSEFUL use of the word HATE in Luke 14:26. TRUE SCHOLARSHIP NEVER LIES!
I also insist that the word has a range of meaning, from “moderate distaste or dislike” to “reject violently”.
In any case, it does mean to “reject – push away – refuse” no matter how it is defined.
Now, the problem is (supposedly): HOW we can do THAT to our natural family without sin?
(and I answer) – HOW will you avoid obedience to Luke 14:26 without sin?
SO THEN the QUESTION WAS – how to define and describe the “hating” that we are commanded to in Luke 14:26.
AND THEN AGAIN, we would be faced with this problem over what the Bible says Jesus said whether I existed to bring it up, or not. This verse and that word are not a problem for me, for I have been reconciled to Luke 14:26 for a long time, and neither am I tempted to mitigate the word “hate” in this place in order to keep “mankind’s approval”. I think that I understand Luke 14:26 “practically” – that I understand it in it’s PROPER application – and this is how I understand it……….
………………Your immediate flesh and blood family are God’s main competitors for your loyalty. BECAUSE we all still “come short of the GLORY of God” and because many in our carnal (same as natural) family members are NOT (really) SAVED ANYWAY, these are the people that are most likely to pressure you to compromise your faith. They are also the people who are most likely to conspire to sin with you rather than to expose or correct you. They are most likely to endure those faults which say bad things about you spiritually as long as you “do your carnal duties” otherwise. These are the people who are MOST LIKELY to account you as “saved” even though if you were a stranger who “acted like that” they would doubt the validity of your religion. IN FACT, some members of your carnal family are so OBVIOUSLY “unspiritual” and otherwise unpleasant, that if you were not “stuck with them” you WOULD avoid them altogether.
Therefore, because the parents, the wife and the kids are the primary challenge to ME LIVING A CONSISTENTLY FAITHFUL LIFE, I “begin” with an automatic sense of guardedness in the consideration of my natural family. Only my wife could possibly set me up to lie and likely make me cooperate with it (SEE article titled “ADAM AND EVE AND YOU“).
ALSO – I do NOT believe that Luke 14:26 means that we must freshly renew our “hatred” for our carnal family moment by moment – just that we only “begin” our post-conversion relationship with them psychologically, and we should re-begin our every involvement with them (emotionally) by “pushing them back” – and then only readmitting them after they prove agreeable enough to our faith. Jesus said, “If any man COME unto Me and hate not…..”. This is in reference to your original coming….coming to Him for salvation/conversion. IF UPON attempting to approach God through the Name of Christ for salvation; if you have not at the same time agreed to reject everything about your family (and everything and everyone else) that possibly could conflict with your duties of loyalty to Christ and His Bible…. well, you were not really converted. I learned and understood why Luke 14:26 had to be worded the way it was worded early on – when I was newly converted. I had neither wife nor children (at the time) when I was converted, and every other member of my carnal family repudiated my faith. I always wanted them to approve of me (especially my parents), but because they never really approved, and because they were always testing and tempting me to compromise something, I grew to “hate them FOR CHRIST’S SAKE“. I realized my duty toward these carnal family members and tried to fulfill it, but they were no longer my “automatic friends”. Outside of what strictly defines my Divinely assigned duties to my carnal family, they are just like any stranger to me. No one gets admittance to Dean’s “cherished friendship and affections” unless they approach me in the Name of and through Jesus Christ.
PLEASE READ THE BELOW SCRIPTURES OUT LOUD TO YOURSELF?
While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him.
Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.
But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?
And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.
I am totally sure that Jesus’s mother and brothers and sisters were not “criminals”. They were not drunkards or open thieves or fornicators – I am totally sure of that: but they were just not “devoted” to the right things in the way that Jesus required that His friends (and family) be devoted, so they were EXCLUDED. This IS the perfect example of how we must and CAN legitimately HATE our carnal family – through acts and words like these. I am also SURE that Jesus’s family could have labeled the treatment they were receiving as “hateful”….and maybe they did, too.
THAT our carnal family will always and automatically be the main competition WITH GOD for our loyalty is implied by Paul with these words:
(1 Cor 7:33 KJV) But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.
I have been married for 27 years……so I know what you married folks do with each other, and how you do it (again, see article titled, ‘ADAM AND EVE AND YOU‘).
Luke 14:26 is Christ’s anticipation that we would be most tempted to unfairly justify and excuse the people in our carnal family. This is not only because we normally have a natural “family love” (STORGIA – Grk) for these people (especially our children), but because we are very dependant upon these family members for our own welfare and happiness. You can “afford” to lose the affections of a stranger because then, his affections are ALL you lose. IF however, you manage to sufficiently offend that wife or child or parent, that wife or child or parent has the power to make your life miserable on a daily basis for a long time to come.
(Mat 10:35 KJV) For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
(Mat 10:36 KJV) And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.
(Mat 10:37 KJV) He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
I have never figured out why these particular family members were mentioned, and I doubt that it means that there will never be “variance” (for religion’s sake) between the son-in-law and the father-in-law: but here Jesus predicts – as if it were going to be UNAVOIDABLE conflicts and even separations over religion within the natural family. Notice that Jesus says, And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He makes this a “for sure”, so that it would be the UNUSUAL EXCEPTION if a Christian’s main personal adversaries-in-faith were ANYONE BUT the people in his (or her) own natural family.
This alone denies that salvation “runs in families” – but one might think it did – to hear how things are described and reported by most professing Christians.
THE MAIN ISSUE here is regarding the matter of how we evaluate people to decide whether or not they deserve our special attention or special support. Most people automatically – almost instinctively – tend to favor their carnal relatives over those persons with whom their only connection is through professed faith. OF COURSE you should remember mom’s birthday and buy her a gift – that falls under 5th Commandment obligation – but throughout the year, we ought not to seek out mom for “fellowship” more than we seek out some other person just because she IS “mom”. It is common (though not right or good) that professing Christians will remember every birthday for every child in their extended NATURAL family – and will buy that child a gift. But it never occurs to them to know when the birthday will be for some child with whom they are only connected by profession of faith.
The error is especially manifest in how MOST professing Christians act towards their less-than-immediate family. They will go along with and spend extra and special time or money on some uncle or brother-in-law that they would refuse and judge as an infidel if they were not “family”. You have to put on a show of interest and affection in order to please your mother or your wife or your son or daughter.
I have a duty towards my wife and children – but still, I can only “prefer” their company for the same reasons I might like your company – that is, if you remind me of a successful life-of-faith-in-Christ. There is really no need to confuse what is strictly “duty” with what you choose and prefer to do with your extra time and money.
AND THE FACT IS (I say) that every one of you that are in conflict with what Christ commanded us in Luke 14:26 almost immediately knows that it’s you and you also know with whom you are maintaining a carnal (natural-fleshly) relationship.
Let me explain these carnal (fleshly) relationships to you: they are the very same relationships that (relatively well behaved and otherwise reliable) unsaved people have with each other. They are the exact same relationships that unsaved husbands have with unsaved wives, or that unsaved wives have with unsaved husbands. They are the very same relationships that (otherwise decent) unsaved parents have with their unsaved children. In the end – they are just the ordinary relationships that unsaved people have with each other.
In the 1930’s the well known ‘Christian author and martyr’ Dietrich Bonnhoeffer defined and described these ordinary carnal relationships as “DIRECT RELATIONSHIPS”. What he meant by that, was a human relationship that was NOT mediated through Christ and through the ‘filter’ of Bible teachings and ethics. These he called “DIRECT RELATIONSHIPS” because they were immediate personal relationships person-to-person without any separate mediator or judge OR FILTER of those relationships. (Bonhoeffer wrote of this in his famous book, “The Cost Of Discipleship”). When I read this book in the early 1980’s I immediately knew exactly what he was describing – because it was only with sincere effort and while enduring a distinct COST to me socially and otherwise that I managed to AVOID these SINFUL ‘direct relationships’.
I do not say that I never indulge in moments or incidents of such direct relationships with anyone anymore – but that I will claim that you would be very hard pressed to point out any evidence that I unrighteously favor or pander to anyone in my carnal family (or anyone else, for that matter) in any habitual way.
A TYPICAL EXAMPLE of people who reveal their willingness to pursue such direct relationships is in what I beheld among most of the young adults around me that GOT MARRIED after they were (supposedly) converted and after they had been a participating member of the social life of The Church for some years before they were married. Suddenly these were spending Saturday with the unsaved relatives of their spouse’s family – or even they were suddenly spending a lot more time with their own mom or dad and their own married siblings. SUDDENLY they had a greater identification with other people by virtue of being married than they had with their prior Brethren-through-shared religion.
AND OF COURSE, many of these unrighteous direct relationships were excused and “explained” by claiming that “So and So are Christians, too!” – when in fact, they would never have attached themselves to THAT KIND of “Christian” before getting married gave them a new basis for their perception of reality. Suddenly, they have grown “broadminded” and “generous” (this is what they always claim) in their evaluation of other people’s profession and practice of faith. Suddenly they realize that there is no reason why they can’t get along with that Roman Catholic or Methodist or Baptist person, because (they will say) “they claim Christ, too!”. They most certainly will not allow their “new friend” to suspect that their faith is being rejected and judged, and they will express their “‘sincere’ hopefulness” about these “new relatives and friends” to all their prior (real) Christian Friends. “I have to spend some time with them to win them, don’t I?” (they might say)……and, (they say) “I testify to my faith to those relatives by my conduct” (meaning that they will not SAY that certain thing that will offend or arouse the ire of these “new friends”).
Anyone who has actually come to Christ genuinely seeking for salvation has agreed in that initiatory moment to reject and refuse everything and everyone that cannot be received in agreement with Christ Jesus and the Bible. If you have never actually done this – maybe you can “get saved” now…… So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:33 KJV)……”ALL” means “all“, as in how we always normally define “all”. Your carnal family and the comforts and advantages you have from them are just part of “the all” This is not something that you can or should be actively doing over and over again – as in selling all your possessions every time you gain any, and giving them away again! It is not right to try and “explain” these commandments into something ridiculous and totally UN-obeyable, just as it is not right to contradict these commandments by your “explanations”.
I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother’s children.
For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.
Could you say Psalm 68:8-9 about yourself? I mean – is it really so that every person in your carnal family whose favor and support you wish to keep is a TRUE born again CHILD OF GOD – and/or are they REALLY (you say) “such a good prospect for conversion” that you are obliged to pay extra attention to them and fellowship with them? Of course we’re not the final judges of anyone’s soul, but this cry (about “not judging”), is merely an attempt to escape obligation to the words of Christ. We KNOW that THAT Roman Catholic or Mormon COULD maybe GET saved someday sooner or later, but we (people on this mailing list) do NOT normally pursue or maintain active and participatory friendships with such persons…. or do you? The language that Christ used in respect to this matter seems to presume that most Saints will have to realize that most of their relatives (or often all of them) are not saved and never will be.
for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?
and what communion hath light with darkness?
And what concord hath Christ with Belial?
or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?
for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said,
I will dwell in them, and walk in them;
and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord,
and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
And will be a Father unto you,
and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
(2 Cor 6:14-18 KJV)
The “right answer” for every question above is, “NONE”.
The “unequal yoke” is whatever ties the believer to the non-believer (or the heretic or backslid person). What makes the YOKE unequal is the inequality of the persons.
Yes…….. these questions (in 2 Corinthians 6:14-18) are fair questions. What KIND of fellowship is it that a believer maintains with an unbeliever? BEING “yoked” means being tied or connected by business agreements or living situations or social commitment and habit. We are not to be “connected and obliged” to any unbelievers in any voluntary way.…. and the THREAT from God is that IF YOU ARE so connected and intentionally obliged to unbelievers, that God will NOT receive you AS a son or daughter”. Make of that whatever you can…. but this is not “my doctrine” – this is BIBLE DOCTRINE, and I have not shown you all of the scripture texts that speak to this matter. REMEMBER if you are tempted to say that I am exaggerating this matter beyond anything that God ever intended – that it was JESUS (your Bible) that said, HATE!
AND FINALLY, all that you really have to do to obey Luke 14:26 in a way that proves your sincerity is to never allow these other relationships to affect what you confess and describe as the necessary way of life. If those relatives or that son or daughter know that you believe (in agreement with “us”) that (1) God forbids women pastors (2) Tithing is not a NT doctrine and is lied about by those who teach it as a NT doctrine (3) there is NO essential sin in using tobacco or alcohol or any such thing…. and etc. OR THAT abortion-on-demand amounts to murder by a “choice”; or that the Bible definitely SAYS that The Church Age ends in APOSTASY- if you will confess those same true doctrines and defend those doctrines persistently to all those natural relatives, you will have passed the “Luke 14:26 test”. OF COURSE, if you instead come up with all sorts of different views and explanations for those doctrines in order to avoid the conflict and to “make room” for these natural relatives and carnal friends, well, you certainly are not concerned about THIS: How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only? (John 5:44 KJV)
(John 12:48 KJV) He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
ARE YOU ASHAMED OF THE WORDS OF JESUS IN LUKE 14:26 or elsewhere? (YES?) or (NO?)
If anyone has any questions related to this matter that I did not answer already in a satisfactory way – then please tell me about those questions or concerns. I am also sure that some who see this will be offended and contentious no matter how far I go in attempting to apply these verses to our lives in a practical way. Nonetheless, God will be found true in the end, and all who conspired to disagree will be found liars.
(Luke 14:26 KJV) If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
The people that you have not volunteered to embrace because of your obligations and duties as a Christian should not be taking up any more of your time and money than you are OBLIGED to give to them by law and morality. Your best “buddy” ought to be the best Christian you know who will have you and can make time for you…. and if not, then how do you choose your friends?
I realized many years ago that this was going to be the NUMBER ONE issue that would annoy me about (even) the people I wished to account as Friends – and it has proved surely true. This UNRIGHTEOUS, CARNAL, FLESHLY, SELF-PRESERVING penchant even in (real) Christians, to favor their fleshly family or their “old family friends” over those they CALL “Saints” has been an endless source of conflict for me since I was converted. I suspect that I am the first person that ever presented these matters to any of you. I have lost supposed “Friends” a plenty (and MONEY) over this very matter for years and years. I will not retreat nor will I soften this message for any of you. THIS IS WHERE even the best among you may be compromised, worldly, and unfaithful to your professed religion. If you “feel” that I am right, but you’ve got specific problems and issues with this matter that still threaten frighten and corner you – I am glad to talk you through and out of those problems IF YOU WANT TO OBEY THE TRUTH. If not – then realize that I have condemned and denounced you for a plain sin against God, against The Church, and against the bible, and against me – for resisting or compromising this Plain and oft repeated Bible truth.
What I am teaching you ‘as the oracles of God’ here DOES NOT require that you sin in the least way against any of these carnal, fleshly relatives and friends. If you insist on quibbling and dodging and pretending that you do not know what I am speaking of – then you are just LYING AGAINST THE TRUTH for the common, carnal, Godless reasons that all the world insists that “blood is thicker than water”. WELL, I disagree COMPLETELY. Let’s account the “water” here to be water of Christian water-baptism, which supposedly declares one’s entrance into and loyalty to the Christian faith. In THAT CASE, water is infinitely thicker than blood. To prefer and choose your NATURAL FAMILY OR FRIENDS-BY-NATURAL CONNECTION OVER those you call Saints is a sin, by which you wound The Church and for which you shall most certainly be called to account by God. You should have a SINGLE STANDARD by which to evaluate your choice of friends – and a SINGLE STANDARD through which you decide who is to be acknowledged as a Real Saint and who may be a ‘Christian-in-name-only’. If your uncle or dad does not pass the same orthodoxy and faithfulness test that EVERY ONE OF YOU REQUIRE THAT I (Dean) PASS, then you are a hypocrite. I have met many REAL Christians who are hypocrites in this particular way – so neither does this mean that I am labeling you as not saved. But if you show this unspiritual favoritism in MY SIGHT – I will call you out for it – so be be forewarned – and if I do not see it and call you out for it, GOD WILL, FOR SURE, and you will be guilty and sorry and YOU WILL PAY for this selfish and carnal crime against The Saints. The whole Bible is ON MY SIDE in this matter – and there is NO honest and fair argument against what I have just described.
I realize this article is a little more fierce and demanding than most that I have sent to you – but this is because of my right and correct anticipation of just how much nonsense and lies I am expecting to be confronted with by those who disagree. I will not be moved off this doctrine – and I am the way I am in defense of God’s Church and all the Saints who are overpassed and ignored by their so-called “Brethren”, who despite their boast and claim to serious faith, live and act just like all the “decent” UNBELIEVERS when it comes to this matter. GOD(I say) is holding you accountable to MY WORDS in this matter. Be faithful to your faith, and take the risks and the blows that faithfulness to this True Doctrine will cause you to live through. Be a living blessing to The (Real) Saints, and do not leave them alone or unsupported or without comfort because you are being worldly- wise and as carnal as the common unbeliever in this matter.
(Mat 8:22 KJV) But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.