Center for Biblical Theology and Eschatology

If Any Hate Not His Father, Mother and His Own
Life also, He Cannot be My Disciple.

by Tony Warren

Luke 14:26:27
  • "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.
  • And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple."

      This passage may be one the most misunderstood texts in all of scripture. To say that the doctrine so clearly delineated here is unpopular with today's theologians and lay Christians alike, is an understatement. Christians go to such great lengths in their attempts to soften the word, they even claim that it actually means to love less, rather than hate. They do so by completely ignoring context, other passages where God's servants hate, and the rest of the instances where the word is actually used. Great distortions of Christian texts often come about as a result of the world's philosophies, definitions and points of view slowly being introduced into them. This seems to be one of those instances. Because for many Christians, hate is a word they believe would actually preclude one from even being a Christian. Yet God's servant David not only plainly declared that He hated God's enemies, He called upon God as a witness to the righteousness of his hatred. How is that possible, considering what most professing Christians believe about this word today? Surely in our day, David would be labeled unchristian, be ostracized, excluded and shunned by common consent. The question must be asked, was David (writing under inspiration of God) wrong in what he said? Because if he was not, then we must re-examine our views about hate in the light of the whole Bible, rather than a few select verses or the popular opinion of the day. Has God's word changed from the time David penned this in Psalms? Does there even exist something as absolutely righteous as a "perfect hatred" of God's enemies? Would this view of hatred contradict Christ's instruction to His servants to love their enemies? These are the pertinent questions that we will attempt to address in this bible study of this important issue.

First of all, in the New Testament the word translated hate in Luke is the Greek word [miseo], and it very literally means "to hate." In other words, to detest or abhor something. Any other definition placed upon this word, "as it used in the scriptures," is mere supposition. Its use throughout the Bible illustrates a rejection and revulsion, where one very strongly dislikes or detests whatever is in view. Its use reflects a direct conflict or contrast to love. Hate is the antonym or direct opposite of love. In fact, it is the exact same Greek word [miseo] that God inspired used in Romans 9:13 as a contrast to love, where He says, "Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated." It is clear that it doesn't say (nor can we arbitrarily infer, presume or postulate it means) Esau have I "Loved Less." It means that Jacob was loved of God and Esau was not loved. It means that God worked within Jacob unto agreement, but was in opposition to, and at enmity with Esau. The word hate in the bible never has any other meaning than to hate. The same as defined in dictionaries even in our day:

verb, hat·ed: a. intense hostility and aversion; b. to abhor someone or something; extreme or intense dislike or antipathy; to loathe; to detest, as to hate cooking; to despise; c. a passion or emotion that produces anger;

Nowhere in scripture or today's dictionaries is the word hatred ever defined as "loving less." This word is definitely a direct contrast or opposite to the word love that His disciples are commanded to have. And it is only because these words of Christ in Luke chapter 14 "seem" so shocking and out of character for a lot of Christians, that there is this rush to soften its meaning. Particularly because they read where Christ exhorts us to love our enemies (Luke 6:27) and where God's command is that we honor our father and mother (Exodus 20:12). So how are we to understand this?

Since the most basic and fundamental rule of sound hermeneutic is that "one scripture cannot contradict another," we should understand that this command of Christ to hate family members who are an enemy of the Lord, does not contradict His command that we love "our enemies." On the contrary, it is in complete harmony with it. Because love of our enemies is [agapao], the kindness in charity and benevolence of desiring their salvation. It is not the love or strong affection for those who offend and are enemies of our Lord. These are two entirely different things. We have to know that in the spirit of Christ, we are inherently at enmity with those who hate God, which is a contrast to the love we have for Christ unto our discipleship. In other words, when we are born of the Spirit from above, we have a divine hatred of the foes or enemies of Christ. If we do not have this spiritual enmity or hatred of them, then we must really question whether or not we are really born from above or are His disciples. When we are born from above, our Spirit is cries, "Thy will be done, not ours." Because we have the mind of Christ, wherein God's enemies as our enemies, and God's foes our foes. That is why, in the Spirit, our will is to rejoice in God's perfect hatred and judgment of them. In the spirit our desire is, let God's will be done to them. The same sentiment we see in David's prayer:

Psalms 68:1-4

This isn't a prayer that the righteous might adore of show love for those who hate God, but of their agreement and rejoicing at God's righteous judgments, in divine enmity of those who hate God. This is the testimony of God's servants perfect hatred of the enemies of God. It's not a sinful thing, it is that which is borne of the Spirit and intimately identified with those made righteous in Christ. The truth is, a lot of the misunderstanding of this word hate is due in no small part to the idea many theologians have postulated, that the word hate is actually antithetical to Christian love, which most certainly is not the case. There are perfectly good Greek words for "love less" and if that was what God had wanted to say in the book of Luke, He most surely would have inspired them written. So to hypothesize that Christ is using hate figuratively as some sort of idiom to mean 'love less' has no solid foundation.

Luke 14:26:27

The word hate is used here because when family are the enemy of our father God, they become our enemies also because we are ambassadors or representatives of Christ. As such we are in spiritual enmity (hatred) with them. Every human relationship of the Children of God with those who hate Him is corrupt and polluted by man's sin. That holds true whether they are our parent, children or in sibling relationships. Even our own life as it stands from birth corrupt in sin, is an adversary in our sojourn as pilgrims on this earth. We must live in the body of this death temporarily, but we are alive in the Spirit of Christ forever. Thus by definition we have His spiritual hatred all those things that stand in opposition to our Lord. As we'll see later, there is no contradiction in this to God's command that we love "our enemies." The love that Christ requires is not love as the world defines it, nor is the hate of God's enemies a carnal hate. Nor as Theologians define hate as love less. Are we really to think that God merely means that we are to love father or mother just a little bit less than we love Christ? That is blatantly absurd. God requires a love that is in complete contrast to the hate we have for them as enemies of God. When mother or father hates God, and we are disciples of Christ, we are at enmity with them in perfect hatred that is borne of Christ's Spirit within us. To hate something or someone does conveniently re-translate to, "love them less." The word "hate" in the bible is in opposition to love, not a portion or percentage of it. It is important for Christians to understand that in biblical terms, the absence of and alternative to love, is hate. Meaning, if you do not love Christ, then by definition you hate Him. There is no in-between, no neutral or ambivalent type option to this as some might suppose. If you are not with Christ, then by definition you are an enemy, a foe, an adversary to Him. These are Christ's very own words.

Matthew 12:30

Therefore, there is no neutral position or a "love less" option in contrast to being a disciple of Christ. You either love and serve Him and at enmity/hating those who hate Him, or you love those who are against Him and thus hate Him. In relationship to the children of God, there are only the options of love or hate, and the one is in stark contrast to the other. They are not words used in conjunction with one another. We are either for, or against Christ. We either gather with Him, or we are of those who scatter. We are either friends, or we are enemies. We either love those who hate him, or we hate those who hate him. In Christ's own words in Luke 14:26 where he contrasts serving Him (being His disciple) with hating father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, even our own lives for His sake, we see "unambiguously" the biblical principle that one is in opposition to the other. If we are His disciple, we will be at enmity/hate them. If we don't have that enmity or hatred against them, then Christ says we cannot be His disciple. It is precisely because His disciples are Holy Temples of His Spirit, and this possess a perfect hatred of the enemies of God. In this teaching of Luke, we are directed to His words in order that we might see the reality of the war that exists between unsaved father and saved son, between unsaved mother and saved daughter (or vice-versa). It illustrates how in the Spirit of Christ, we are set at odds against or at enmity with those of our own household.

We must ask ourselves, why would Christ say He brings not peace but a sword (Matthew 10:34-36) against father and mother, and we throw all these pertinent, contextual and relevant words out, in order to postulate that He really meant "love them less?" Are we not to learn the meaning in the context that it was given of Christ not bringing peace between father and son, mother and daughter? This is unquestionably a context of Christ saying they will be at war, at enmity with one another. Certainly not of a son merely loving them less. Even if we look at the rest of the scenario, Christ was just speaking of the judgment of the house of Israel (Luke 14:24) who were bidden to the great supper but were not worthy. He goes on to expound about how the servants of the Master should then go to the poor, the maimed, the halt, and the blind so that the supper table will be full. It is in this context he expounds upon hating Mother, Father (Luke 14:25-29), and how those of your own household would be your foes. In other words, they were family (like Israel) but were not worthy. They thus they would become the enemy (Romans 11:28), the foes of those who serve Christ. This is the enmity or hatred that Christ is declaring must exist. In this division of love and hate, if we stand with Christ, we will be at enmity (at hatred) with all those of our own household who oppose Him, as even the Apostle Paul was. If not, then "we" are those who will also not be worthy of that great supper. So we should be aware that being at enmity means having a strong hatred toward, or a destestation against something. The mind of Christ, which we have (1st Corinthians 2:14-16), is at enmity with the carnal mind of our mother, father or children who hate Him. This is the law written within our hearts that operates with God unto obedience in love so that we hate the things that God hates. If this mind of Christ is not in us to hate perfectly, then as Christ stated, we cannot be His disciples.

Romans 8:7-9

We are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, and thus have the mind of Christ and perfect enmity against those who oppose Him. All unsaved people, whether father, mother, wife or brother, oppose God and are at enmity with Him. Thus they are at enmity with the servants of God who have the mind of Christ (1st Corinthians 2:14-16). The psalmist stated, "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me -Psalm 51:5," and "The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies -Psalm 58:3". It is impossible for any unsaved person to be anything but at enmity/hatred with God, as God declares that He hates all workers of iniquity. If we have the Spirit of God dwelling within us, of necessity there must be this full, perfect, complete "spiritual hatred" that manifests itself in spiritual enmity against them. I'm not saying that it is a physical, visceral or emotional hostility that we carry out against anyone, but that it is a spiritual enmity or hatred that is manifested in our spiritual sword, rather than a physical one as some religions. It is because we are finite being who do not know whom God loves or who may be God's elect that we are required to treat all mankind with love or the benevolent charity desiring their salvation. Not a love as the world defines it, but a spirit-Christocentric love not willing that any should perish. Love is having a spiritual agreement with Christ, not a earthly or carnal or emotional affection. To be at one with Him is more than lip service. Neither can we serve two masters in attempting to make hate mean, "love less." Because we will always be in tacit approval of one over the other. Either we will love the one and hate the other, or else we will take heed to one and give no heed to the other. This is not in the Spirit of agreement with God's word where we could be the disciple of Christ. His disciples must sacrifice mother, father or children for Christ. Does that mean that we will be at enmity/hatred with them? Of course it does, as Christ came not to bring peace but a sword. Nevertheless, we are moved of the Spirit to sacrifice, to take up our cross and follow Him. Be His disciple, take up His word against them. Christ spoke clearly of this spiritual division or enmity between families in Matthew chapter 10. Which ironically enough, is the very same passage that some theologians erroneously use in an attempt to prove the word hate doesn't actually mean hate:

Matthew 10:34-39

Many take a huge leap of faith in declaring from verse 37 (out of context), that the word hate doesn't really mean hate, but simply to "love less." But in truth, they have set the text backwards against itself. In point of fact, this passage is not redefining words or contradicting Matthew or Luke where the word hate is used, rather it is building upon what Christ said, so that we understand the full ramifications of what "hate" is. It is illustrating that to love those who hate Christ more than we love Christ is "the same" or equivalent to hating Christ, thus they cannot be His disciple. It most certainly is not saying this is not actually hate (that would be a contradiction), rather, it is further defining what this hate, this warfare, this setting at variance is. Much like when Christ further defined adultery by illustrating that it was even lusting over a woman with your eyes. To further define or explain these words does not contradict them or take away their actual meaning, it sheds further light upon them. So rather than His words in Matthew proving hate in Luke 14:26 doesn't really mean hate, this passage is actually in perfect harmony, illustrating that to love our friends, family or even our own selves more that Christ, IS TO HATE Christ and thus be found unworthy of Him. It has to be, since to be unworthy is to hate or be at enmity with Christ. Christ is building upon His stated principle that you can't hold to one and still love the other, because hate/love is a contrast rather than something to be measured or mixed together in compromise. To love Christ more than your family that opposes Him is to hate them. It is the same contrast between white and black, friendship and enmity, aversion and amity. There is no gray area. They are enemies of Christ and if He is not acknowledged in love as our Lord over all, then He is hated and cannot not be our Lord at all. More than that, since when do foes or enemies translate to those you love, but less. Or when did set at variance with them become, love them less. When did send a a sword against them mean, send love for them but less. Or taking peace away means sending less love? It makes no sense. These are all words that illustrate an enmity or hatred, not lesser measures of love. We can serve family or Him, but not both. For this is a law of man's human nature. We can hate them and love Christ, or hate Christ and love them, but not a little of both. That is the message here. A servant cannot serve two masters at the same time because his affections and obedience (love) would be divided, and he would inevitably fail in his obligation to the will of one or the other.

Galatians 1:10

We can please our families or please God, but not both and be a disciple of Christ. You must hate the one to please the other. When we look at what is being stated in Luke, why would one be predisposed to completely ignore the context where Christ is plainly teaching that He is not bringing peace between father and son, mother and daughter, but a sword, and deduce from this that God means love them less? It is totally irrational. A sword is not the object of loving them less, but of warfare and enmity. God says He sent not peace between them and us but a sword, and He further sheds light upon it by declaring he sets them at variance one against the other and that they will be our enemies or foes. How would a Christian get from God's very clear words there that this means we are to love them a little less? The language of them being foes is unmistakable "if" we are not predisposed to a worldly understanding of the word hate. The contrast is that if we have peace with God, we will not have peace with these family members that are opposed to Him, because we cannot love both. One will be a foe and the other a friend. He is not teaching that we will "love one less" than the other. He is very plainly teaching that you will be spiritually separated from them so that you are diametrically opposed to them as foes, enemies, at enmity with one another. To not hate them or be at enmity against them, would be to set yourself against discipleship with Christ.

The true teaching of Christ in Matthew 10:34-39 is that His coming produces a natural discord and contention between saved and unsaved, father and son, daughter and mother, setting them at variance and spiritually separating them as foes or enemies who hate each other. That is what the sword symbolizes. This is because one camp loves Christ and the other hates Him. There is not peace in love between them, but war and hatred, the spiritual sword that God's people have for His enemies. In this sense, when we love God and are His disciples, we must by definition hate them that hate Him. Is there a contradiction between Christ saying in other places that He brings peace, and saying here that we are not to think that He brings peace, but a sword? No, not at all. No more a contradiction than His saying that we are to love and honor our father and mother in one place, and in Luke saying that we are to hate them if we are to become Disciples of Christ. Because the key is the context and application. Thus we understand that He does bring peace between the elect and God, while we are not to think He brings an earthly or carnal peace, as between the saved and the unsaved. Christ clearly paints a portrait of the members of our household being those fit for the sword and at enmity with God. There is no contradiction because Christ came to bring peace between us and God, not between us and unsaved family members, nor between us and the world. So what would first appear a contradiction is actually harmonious and quite easy to understand. Likewise, we are to love "our" enemies as Christ defines love, not as the world defines love. To love family that hates God in the sense of assent, devotion, approval, attachment or adoration would go against other scriptures. That is not love of our enemies as God defines it, that is love of God's enemies, an infatuation, genus or paternal passion. Christ said we are to hate even our own life, not that we are to love our life less, but "hate" our life. Why? Because in the flesh is no good thing, it is a hindrance to Christ-like discipleship.

Luke 14:26-27

Supreme affection can be fixed upon only one object, else it is not supreme. If we divide love between the haters of God and God, we do God a great disservice. Were any of us to think that there wasn't going to be "real spiritual warfare" within our homes between family members when we "actually" surrender authority to Christ and commit our life to being His disciple? There is no peace between us, there is spiritual hatred. We are not instructed to love them less because of it, but that there is a sword for us to wield against them, and a cross that we are also to take upon us and follow Him. For the cross is the symbol of sacrifice, the evidence of true Christian love of God--as opposed to loving those who hate him less. It is the rejection of family assent and the denial of self for the discipleship of Christ. The cross is not a simple trinket one wears on the body as we see so often today. It is a real spirit filled self-sacrifice where if we love Christ, we will be moved to real spiritual enmity against those family and friends that oppose Him. The terms of discipleship is not love the enemy less, but in agreement with the will of the Spirit. It is in demonstrating that we are willing to become an enemy of family, for Christ's sake. In our Spirit we have a perfect and complete hate of all those who would be an obstacle of our loving Christ fully. Hate even our own life in the body of this death, because it is our own flesh that also wars against us. That is why we are told to crucify the flesh, for that is the only right path in being a disciple of Christ, the complete spiritual renunciation of anyone and anything that stands in opposition or competition with Him. Christ continues in this same vein within the context of Luke chapter 14 explaining exactly what this required hatred of discipleship entails:

Luke 14:31-33

If the cost of your discipleship is forsaking family, friends, the body of this death, and hate all that would stand in the way of the Spirit of Christ within you, it's a small price to pay. Forsake does not equate to "loving it less," it means a total abandonment or giving it up. None of us can be a sincere disciple of Christ when we love this flesh or our relatives who are the sworn enemies of Christ. For that means that deep within our hearts we actually don't love Christ at all. The love of Christ is illustrated in spiritual warfare and enmity/hatred against all who oppose Him. If there is no such enmity, then we have no evidence of conversion at all. Christ calls this "hatred" not because He is using a hyperbole, but because that is "exactly" what enmity is. Enmity is hatred. The fact is, because of the fall of man there is natural enmity between the children of God and those who are unsaved. Be they your friends or your family. Christ is using the word hate in contrast to the love of God revealed in discipleship. In other words, loving father and mother who oppose Christ is to be in opposition to Christ. So if we are to be His disciple, we must spiritually abandon father, mother, wife, children, brethren, sisters and even our own life, because they oppose Him. Not physically dishonor them or have a carnal hatred, but in the spirit of God which is at enmity with them. The fact is, there is no sin or wickedness within us for doing so. This can easily be proven. Consider God's servant David, who declared this plainly and succinctly in Psalms chapter 139:

Psalms 139:21-24

In David hating as God hates he shows himself to be a son of the Father, touching the father's perfect mind in Christ Jesus. Those who hate God grieve God's children because His Spirits is within them, that they desire God's perfect will. David had no fear or shame in boldly declaring that those opposed to God were His enemies whom he hated with a perfect or complete hatred.

Matthew 5:48

As Christians, what the Lord hates, in His Spirit we also hate. Indeed, unlike many professing saints today, David pronounces it a virtue fit to be testified by the witness of God. He petitions the Lord, Search me, see if there be any wicked way in me (Psalms 139:21-24). Those who claim that Christians don't hate with a perfect hatred should consider truth in the light of the whole Bible, not of a couple isolated verses. For this is the righteous spiritual hatred that God's servants have when they are truly His disciples. Because it is this perfect hatred in the Spirit of Christ that makes mother and father foes in your own household. It is what produces the sword between Mother and daughter, between father and son, that they become enemies of the disciples of Christ. In other words, Christ is telling us that He came with a Spirit that would bring enmity (hate) between them. The definition of enmity is a shared hatred between enemies. Obviously the Bible teaches that those who oppose Christ are at enmity with us. David testifies we have perfect hatred or enmity against them. It is revealed in the Spirit of the righteousness of Christ (not our own), wherein our souls we hate those who hate our Lord. As David testified, there is no unrighteousness or wickedness in that. We must live in this world with the enemies of Christ, and we have a [agape] or charitable love of hope for them. But we also hate the ungodly in the Spirit of God, with His perfect hatred. To love them in the sense of approbation, endorsement, sanction, consent, agreement, and approval would show ourselves to be enemies of God.

2nd Chronicles 19:2

It;'s a rhetorical question and the answer is no. We shouldn't be helping the ungodly or loving them that hate the Lord. At least not in the sense of love wherein modern society defines the word. The problem is, many professing Christians believe that this doctrine produces a contradiction with Christ's command that we should love our enemies. But in truth there is no contradiction between these two clear teachings of the Bible. Because this hate is not carnal or vengeance, nor is God's love our approval and commiseration with the haters of God. Hate is having enmity between us and them, which clearly the Bible teaches. To love all men with agape or charity is our duty, but to love any wicked person in the spirit of carnal feelings of approbation, enabling, indifference or approval would be sin. Christ-like love is charity wherein we desire for them the very same as we desire for ourselves. It is not tacit or silent agreement or approval.

James 2:8

The law of the children of the Kingdom of Christ is to love thy neighbor as thyself. Namely, the best we can desire for ourselves is salvation. Thus we should desire that same thing in agape love for our neighbor. If we love Christ, we will do the work of an evangelist. As Christ asked and told Peter, "Lovest thou me--Feed my Sheep," meaning we show our love for the king, as we seek to evangelize so that others might become saved. This is the kingly law of loving our neighbor as ourselves. Not the love as the world defines it as feelings, niceties or , and not the peace as the world defines it as loving God's enemies, and not the hate as the world defines it as visceral, carnal emotions.

Psalms 31:6

Again, that's not an ungodly statement by David, it is a recognition of the perfect hatred of one who has the Spirit of God dwelling within them. The problem with many of today's Christians is that they refuse to be enemies of the world, not because they love God, but because they want to live as close to the world as possible and still call themselves Christian. They want to "love the world less." One professed Christian told me, "You shouldn't write articles saying homosexuality is wrong, you should love them as God's children also." In other words, He was equating my witness of God's disapproval of Homosexuality, to being unchristian and hateful. While those who ignored the law in tacit approval, were considered as those demonstrating God's love of all people. In this we see demonstrated the Christian's warped sense of love and hate today. Is it hate to be a watchman and warn the unlawful of God's words of judgment, or is that actually [agape] love? Is it love to silently stand by in witness of what God calls an abomination and tell them "God loves you," or is that really wicked and hatred? You can't both hate the world and be a friend of it, just as you can't be friends of the world and a friend of Christ. Even though we have been warned about the folly of such adulteration many times, this error persists in the church.

James 4:4

Again, God contrasts friends and enemies. Friends of God love Him, while His enemies hate Him. To be a disciple of the Lord, you will automatically be an enemy of those of the world. That doesn't mean that Christians either seek to be hated or have a visceral or animal hatred, rather it illustrates that there is a "natural" enmity that exists between children of God and children of the Devil. If we are filled with the Spirit of God, we will be hated of the world (Luke 6:22-23), and they will be our enemies. Likewise, you simply cannot love the world that hates God "a little less" than you love God. You hate them precisely because you are Spirit filled, and they are opposed to Him that dwells within you. To hate family and friends because of self-righteousness is sin, but to Hate in the Spirit of God's perfect hatred because you are at enmity with the foes of God and enemies of righteousness, is nothing less than our obligation. All that pertains to the flesh, including a loved one or our own body, has to be hated when we love God. It is inevitable. Just as God's servant David was at enmity and hated all those who hated the Lord. It wasn't that David "loved them less" than he loved the Lord, he had a spiritual aversion to them that can only be defined by God as hate.

Sadly, Christians today want to hang out at parties with them, want to talk like them, want to dress like them, drink and gamble like them, tattoo and pierce like them, listen to their music, even incorporate their worldly views into the church in order that they fit in or be accepted. But God warned, friendship with the world is enmity or hatred against God. He is shedding light on hatred to further define it, but Christians are not listening.

I do want to reiterate that I am not teaching that Christians should hate their neighbors in the sense of treating them badly, physically disdain them, being rude, taking vengeance, judgment for sin, or of persecuting them. I'm speaking of the natural spiritual hatred that the Bible teaches exists between the two camps of God's people and those of the world. That work of grace within us produces a spiritual separation and enmity. But often in the deep recesses of man's humanistic reasoning, he doesn't really like what the word of God says about hating father and mother in order to serve Christ. So he typically (and perhaps subconsciously) looks for ways to get around what is actually said. They do it by using euphemisms, or diverse ways to soften the language or to change the meaning of words. But true love of God is revealed in not turning to the right hand nor the left in order to get around the unadulterated word. It is revealed in he who hath an ear to hear, receiving what is said. This is not a contradiction, nor teaching a carnal and physical type of violent hate as some religions do. But a perfect hatred in the Spirit. Which goes very harmoniously with God's instructing us to love our enemies. Meaning that we are to seek their good, as if seeking our own good.

Luke 6:27-31

How do we hate the enemies of God and love them as well? We do so with the mind of Christ, the same way as God does with us. We were haters of God, but God was longsuffering or patient with us, not willing that any would perish (2nd Peter 3:9). God puts up with the wicked for the sake of the elect. We are not God and so we do not know who the election are. So in the patience of the saints, and the charity of God's stewards, we are to love our enemies that unbeknownst to us perhaps some of them might be God's called and chosen. That perhaps some may be forgiven, even as we were forgiven. Yet still having the Spirit to hate the haters of God with a perfect hatred. There is no contradiction with that, but a divine synergy that can only be from the mind of Christ. A mind signifying we think like Christ in having a love of the wicked unto their salvation, while at the same time hating all workers of iniquity with the Spirit (Psalms 5:5) of His perfect hatred. The question is not one of "if" we love our enemies, or "if" we hate those who hate God with a perfect hatred, the question is how do we love our enemies. How do we "really" do good and show [agape] love to those who are enemies? How do we hate the enemies of God with a perfect hatred. Is it demonstrated in showing worldly love by excusing or comforting the wicked in their sins, or by refusal to warn, thus giving tacit approval to what we know is wrong? Do we parrot the lie that God loves them regardless of how they live? Do we hate the enemies of God by going out and persecuting them, beating them or killing them? Is that the Christian love and hate that Christ is teaching? Most certainly not. That is not love, that is humanistic sentimentality, commiseration and compromise. In truth, that is the opposite of love. Likewise, the question is not one of "if" we hate our mother and father who hate the Lord, but of how do we hate them. If God's hatred of them is full or perfect, then how can we who have God within us think that there is no perfect hatred of them in us? If God is in us, there has to be. The only question is, is it with the perfect hatred of the Lord, or with the carnal hatred of men. Do we (as some) cane or beat infidels into submission, burn them at the stake, chop off their heads, bomb their assemblies, preach violent bodily harm against them? Not at all. That's not the perfect hatred of the Spirit within us, that is man's self righteousness in blindly serving a religion. We should consider what the Lord said about serving two masters because it is germane to this issue. He said that we cannot love them both, nor can you hate them both. Because if we love one, we will automatically hate the other. That's the principle here of love and hate. The point is that there is this natural contrast:

Matthew 6:24

In other words, Christ sets one in opposition to the other saying, if you love one, you automatically hate the other. It's a contrast which cannot in any way be redefined to mean "love less." Christ is teaching that you can't really be friends with one, if you love the other. You'll naturally despise the other. In this we see the principle of loving Christ and hating Father and mother. If you serve Christ, then you will automatically be at enmity with mother, father, sister, or whoever is against him. For they serve their own master and are of an entirely different family that is at enmity with our master Christ by nature. It doesn't matter if it is your mother or brother in this other camp, he is your enemy and at enmity with you and yours. The context of Matthew actually reveals this itself when Christ explained it, declaring He did not come to bring peace between brother and sister, mother and father, rather a sword, that they would become your foes. How much clearer can it get? Where there is true discipleship of Christ, there must be a spiritual hate, offense, umbrage against those who oppose Him. That's just the "nature" of those with the Spirit of God within them. We don't "love them less," they are counted enemies for Christ's sake.

So anyone declaring that these passages teach that we are free to hate our parents viscerally or emotionally, are also without any understanding of the Lord's words. Such hate of parents would contradict other scriptures (Exodus 20:12; Ephesians 6:1-3; Colossians 3:20). Christ is not encouraging Christians to lack natural affection or honor toward family. Indeed it is the duty of children to honor their parents and the husband his wife. But Christ is also the ultimate love, thus in our Spirit we hate all that oppose Him. Make no mistake, there is "always" enmity between father and son, mother and daughter, when one of them is in Christ and the other is not. Christians may not understand it, but this natural enmity (mutual hatred) between the two camps (Genesis 3:15) is always there. Peace with God means enmity with the world.

Romans 8:6-9

When Christ says we must hate father and mother, He is addressing the real separation that exists between the Disciples of Christ, and those of our family who are at enmity with Him. That's why Christ goes on to say that, "whosoever does not bear his cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple." Our family who are at enmity with God will pressure, revile, persecute and have disdain for those of us who stand with Christ. As Disciples of Christ, there is a work of grace in us so that we see an actual spiritual enmity between us and the world wherein we don't "love them less" but are in agreement with God's curse upon them.

1st Corinthians 16:22

This isn't an instruction to love those who don't love the Lord "less than" Christ, it is a declaration of hatred or enmity. It is Anathema Maranatha, meaning let him be judged accursed at Christ's coming. Those are not watered down words as Today's theologians would use, they mean exactly what they say. What is said is decidedly not "loving those, but just a little less" than Christ. This idea of loving less is the wishful thinking of humanism, not the word of Christianity. To hate something or someone does not mean to "love less." That may be a convenient and palatable personal interpretation of some theologians, but it is not true. God loves and is a friend of His people, while God hates and is an enemy to the unsaved. In this same way, we are sanctified, set apart from them in service to God, that they are enemies.

Psalms 26:4-5

David didn't love the assembly of evil doers "less" than the Assembly of God, he again plainly declares that he hated them "because" He had the Holy Spirit of God dwelling within him. The same Holy Spirit of Christ that all Christians today have in them. It doesn't mean we physically revile, insult, abuse, scorn, condemn, berate or disparage every single person in the world who is unsaved, but it does mean that we have the Spirit of perfect hatred, being in perfect harmony with the Spirit of Christ within us.

Proverbs 8:13

Christians hate the evil tongue because they are of the Spirit at enmity with it. We don't excuse or approve evil because it comes from our father, mother, wife, children, brother or sister. Nor when we find it in our own lives do we justify it, but we hate it and turn away. Because loving Christ means hating it, those who bring it, even our own lives as it stands from birth corrupt and of a depraved and desperately wicked nature. If our family, or our own lives stand in contrast to Christ, we must hate them or die to them, that we might live with Christ. Because friendship of comradeship with them is enmity against God. One always lies in contrast with the other.

Psalms 97:10

Note the very same contrast in terms, love to hate. If we love the Lord, then we will have the Spirit to hate evil. We don't love evil less, we hate it with a perfect hatred. Or to put it another way, if we don't hate evil, then we don't truly love the Lord. If we hate being put in an uncomfortable position for Christ, if we hate making wife or husband upset by doing righteousness, if we hate making family sad by our discipleship, then we are being men pleasers rather than God pleasers. We reveal that we love them and we hate Christ, and thus are not worthy of Christ. Hate must be the exact opposite of love. We must hate father, mother, sister or brother who oppose Christ, in order to love Christ. When we hate evil, we love God and forsake those that live in wickedness.

I would be remiss if I didn't comment on Genesis chapter twenty nine. I am well aware that some theologians claim that the story of Jacob, Rachel, and Leah illustrate the use of this term "hate" in the sense of "to love less," but that is not what it says, nor what it means. This is supposition based upon two verses that use different words. It doesn't prove hate means love less, but what it does prove is what I said previously that God has perfectly good words for "love more" or "love less," and the words loved more are used for Rachel. But God uses the very different word "hate" in describing what He saw and His consequent reaction to it. It doesn't imply at all that Jacob loving Rachel more means He didn't hate Leah. It may appear so to the casual reader, but this is not the case. Nowhere in scripture does the word hate mean to "love less." That includes this instance:

Genesis 29:30-31

The first statement (verse 30) says Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah. The second statement (verse 31) says the Lord saw that Leah was hated, and because of this (hatred) He opened her womb that she would receive the blessing of children. It doesn't say that the Lord saw that Leah was "loved less," it says THE LORD saw that Leah was hated. Please note, these are two entirely different statements. #1. Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah. #2. God saw that Jacob "hated" Leah and consequently gave her children because of this. Because of what? Because Jacob loved Leah a little less than her? No, not at all. It was because God saw that Jacob "hated" her, just as God's word so plainly declares right there in the text. As I said before, God could have inspired His word to say when He saw Leah was "loved less," He did something, but He didn't. That's not as insignificant as some theologians would have you believe. It goes back to what I said about the Matthew commentary where Christ said that He that loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me. God equated that with hatred, and we are seeing the same picture here as God unambiguously says He saw that Leah was hated and so He acted accordingly. Of course, in the historical context of Jacob being tricked to work for 14 years to get the woman (Rachel) he actually wanted, we can readily see why he would have felt bitterness and frustration toward Leah. This is proven as God says He saw that Jacob hated Leah, and that is why He blessed her with children. Not because Rachel was simply loved a little more, as some theologians surmise. Genesis 29:31 This was an unjust action by Jacob, and a righteous reaction to it by God. Leah was unjustly hated, and God reacted to it by blessing her with the fruit of the womb. Indeed, Leah herself wanted children because she desired her husband would love her. Which harmonizes perfectly with God saying He saw Jacob hated her. Like the Greek word for hate in the New Testament, the Hebrew word for hate is never used in the Bible in the sense of loving less. The Hebrew word for 'hate' is [sane,] and expresses an opposition, as something loathed, detested, disliked or despised. That is what the Lord saw in Jacob toward Leah and so blessed her with children. Jacob grew to detest Leah. He showed the opposite of love toward Leah, and God saw that she was hated. Genesis 29:32-33 Clearly Leah desired her husband's love, which she was not getting. The Lord heard her and answered her prayers. To claim that God did that because she was simply "loved a little less" than Rachel is to dabble in absurdity. The Lord heard her prayers from heaven that she was hated, not loved. Hated here is a Hebrew word that is clearly defined.

Malachi 1:2-3

This is the exact same word [sane] or hated that God inspired used for Leah. Not one jot or tittle is out of place. No, Jacob loving Rachel and Hating Leah doesn't prove hate means love less, this proves what I stated in the article concerning Matthew and Luke--namely that loving father and mother more than Christ meant that they hated Christ and consequently could not be His disciple. Selah.

In conclusion, Christ's words in Luke 14:26 direct us to the reality of the enmity between disciples of Christ and those who oppose Him, as they are set at variance against us. So that if we love Christ, of necessity we will hate all those who hate Him. Contrary to popular church doctrines today, Christ is teaching that we must take sides. Either we are with Christ, or we are against him. Either we hate evil, or we hate Christ. Either we Love the world or we love Christ. We cannot serve two masters and we cannot love both and be His disciple. If we aren't willing to make the sacrifice to take up the cross and follow him, we don't love Him. Any love that competes with our Love of God, is actually hatred against God and thus disqualifies us from being His disciple.

Mark 8:34-435

When Christ says deny yourself, take up the cross and follow me, He is not saying love yourself "less than" Christ, He is saying "hate" yourself, hate the body of this death, crucify yourself, renounce your flesh, sacrifice father and mother for Love of Christ. You cannot love God, except you have that spirit within you moving you to hate all that oppose Him. Likewise, you cannot hate those that hate God except you have His Spirit within you of love for Him. If you are a disciple of Christ, your spiritual and perfect hatred of those who hate the Lord is as much a part of your being as your new birth. You do not hate as a choice of the will, you hate sinners because God is within you producing this perfect hatred. His will within you is your will. To say anything less to to dabble in absurdity. The truth is, when we pray, "not my will, but thine be done," we are praying for His perfect hatred of those who hate Him. It is evident then that a supernatural work of the Spirit convicts us of His perfect hatred within us, wherein any man that is His disciple will possess.

These are those who don't hate the evil (Psalm 97:10) enough to forsake their ways and put Christ before them. If they aren't willing to submit to temporal inconvenience, persecution and even death itself for Him, they aren't worthy of him.



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Copyright ©2012 Tony Warren
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