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Friday, July 29, 2005

Jesus says "NO" to life

Jesus says to his disciples in Luke 14:26
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters – yes, even his own life – he cannot be my disciple.”


What are we to make of Jesus’ call to discipleship when he says “hate your own life?” Such a statement seems contrary to common sense for one must love one’s life in some capacity otherwise reality will take its course through death. Perhaps he is allegorizing a bit? Or is he?

The word “hate” in Greek is “misew" pronounced “mis-eh'-o.” According to Strong’s this word means to hate or pursue with hatred, detest. This does not help much so turning to Webster’s a clearer picture can be gained. One who hates has a deep seated hostility or animosity toward someone or something. Particularly interesting are the actions associated with the emotion. It is almost as if the intense emotional feeling begs and/or compels the beholder to take some course of action.

Before going on I think it behooves one to ask what emotions are. Are emotions something that arises from nowhere? Do emotions have a source? If so where do they come from?

Emotions are the result of value judgments and/or knowledge about a particular thing being observed. [I distinguish this from “emotional state” which has its basis in the biological construction of the mind. Some states favor depression while others optimism. One should not confuse the two. The definition provided by Webster is referring to emotions and not an emotional state.] For instance, different people may have different emotional reactions to a piece of candy. To one the candy bar meets a need – hunger – and the result is happiness. Another, who is on a diet, sees a piece of fat laying there and is disgusted. For another – perhaps someone from the jungle – has never seen candy before and is curious. Depending on values held each will respond with a different emotion because of a value judgment. [Values being those things that we seek to gain or keep.] Our values influence our emotions and how we view a particular thing will cause certain emotions to surface.

Jesus gives a few examples of things to hate – father, mother, brother and sister. [I will get to self later.] We could look at this in a number of ways but I think I will cut to the quick and say that Jesus wants his follower to be one who does not allow relationships to have any meaning apart from him. By understanding the word “hate” it becomes clear that one is to be moved in such a way that action is required. In other words, values – things we aim to gain or keep – such as relationships are things to be hated if they come between the follower and the leader. One should see them with disgust and react with such repugnant emotion that the follower will throw away the value “relationship” if it might cause one to slide from discipleship. Truly Jesus is making a very bold statement indeed.

But this is not the whole story. For relationships are only values to be gained in the sense that one knows the values one seeks to gain in the first place. Let’s say that someone seeks to gain from fishing. One person could fish for himself but perhaps a family could catch more. By catching more perhaps the surplus could be sold for profit. A relationship, then, is not some thing one seeks to gain apart from the “things” one seeks to gain for himself. A relationship is therefore the result of similar values sought between two or more people. When Jesus says that one should seek him above relationships Jesus is also saying that any values one hoped to have gained via those relationships are also considered vanity. Jesus’ words are not just the dropping of relationships but a whole slew of value seeking.

Before addressing self I think it also good to examine the word “life” in this statement. There are many different Greek words used for life such as “zwh” and “Bios” pronounced dzo-ay and bee'-os respectively. The first is usually associated with eternal things. The second with more earthly matters and is generally an all inclusive view of life i.e. plant life included.

The Greek used is “yuch" pronounced psoo-khay and is the “vital force which animates the body and shows itself in breathing.” [1] It is the living soul, the “seat of the feelings, desires, affections and aversions.” It is the “essence which differs from the body and is not dissolved by death.” [1]

When Jesus is speaking of one’s life he is not only speaking of one’s existence physically – Bios – but of one’s very soul. One could be tempted to insert the idea original sin but I do not think that given the definition “yuch" one can draw that conclusion. Jesus is literally saying one should hate his very being – soul and all.

By hating ourselves to the core hating others can only be a logical extension of an inner conviction. So Jesus is quite right about his statement – if one hates himself he can only, by virtue of that hate, hate the relationships that might have otherwise been pursued.

When I was younger there was a picture that used to hang in our church of an angry man with the phrase “To hate life is to take it.” While I understand the message that the Christian authors were trying to convey the above puts that in a new light. It is only through hating one’s life that one can truly become a disciple of Jesus - the only result gained can be death.

[1] Definitions from the Greek Bible online http://www.greekbible.com/

Post a Comment


30 Comments:

At 7/29/2005 3:49 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Very nice post CADman. Youre analysis of Jesus' message is right on point.

This fits really well with what I had to say on my blog about worshipping death. Christianity wants you to hate your current life and your family for the benefit of the afterlife. This life is supposed to be totally sacrificed... a literal death worship.

 
At 7/29/2005 8:45 PM, Blogger Paul Manata declaimed...

have you friggin idiots ever heard of hyperbole?

 
At 7/29/2005 9:12 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

INTERESTING. Is Paul using... secular... standards... to judge Jesus' own words ? Or is he simply lying ?

 
At 7/29/2005 10:05 PM, Blogger Paul Manata declaimed...

well I guess that shows how much you don't know about my theory of language. You can check out, for example, the first three tapes on Bahnsen's series on hermeneutics, or some of carl Henry's insights in his massive set, etc.

Anyway, you can think you look cool to your dork buddies, but I don't care. People actually knowledgable in philosophy can join me in laughing at you.

Anyway, I refuted your entire post with one word: "hyperbole"

How sad.

Oh yeah, why don't you go and prove, from premises that *I agree to* that I can't use words that are not in the Bible. Mmmmkay, jackace.

 
At 7/29/2005 10:27 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

And once again I repeat... is Paul actually admitting, in public, that he is using ATHEISTIC standards to judge the Bible ?

 
At 7/30/2005 1:16 AM, Blogger Paul Manata declaimed...

Franc, let's see the valid/sound argument here.

So far we have:

P1: Jesus used hyperbole



{BIG GAPING HOLE}





_________

C1: Therefore Paul Manata used atheistic standards.




Fransuave, see the big gaping hole in the middle? Kinda like the one between your two front teeth? That's where your argument goes.

So, fill it in for us. Or, are you just asserting another objectivist slogan for us?

A=A Fransauve is dumb = Fransuave is dumb. Hey, don't ask me to prove that one, it's an axiom of mine.


Now kiddies, let's see if Fransuave can man up, show the world Canadian men have a pair, and give an argument. My bet is that he'll whine and complain, thus killing his blogg again.

 
At 7/30/2005 6:47 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

that was quite a waste of space that was refuted by one word! almost too funny.

 
At 7/30/2005 8:55 PM, Blogger Paul Manata declaimed...

A = A

One word refutation = One word refutation.

A = A

This was a stupid post = This was a stupid post.

A = A

Objectivists are dumb = Objectivists are dumb.

All the above are axiomatic for me.

 
At 7/30/2005 10:39 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

Paul, don't tell me you can't answer a simple yes or no question ? Dear Rand on a pogo stick, what a windbag.

 
At 7/30/2005 10:59 PM, Blogger VanTilsGhost declaimed...

Paul, my young protege! You've returned from the abyss!!!

Of course young Paul is using secular standards to judge the bible and Jesus words...there are no other standards to use! :)

Nothing quite as funny as watching people argue about which holy book is the right one! Such a sad state of affairs!

 
At 7/30/2005 11:00 PM, Blogger Not Reformed declaimed...

Paul=clown
Calvin=monster
Paul=Calvin (ist)
Paul=monter
Clown=Calvin

Wow...this is fun!

 
At 7/30/2005 11:33 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

Why yes, Paul is a clown. He's been so pounded to the ground on this blog that I'm thoroughly (sp ?) tired of him. His ignorance of basic epistemology or mathematics would be laughable, if he wasn't so annoying.

 
At 7/30/2005 11:39 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 7/30/2005 11:44 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 7/30/2005 11:53 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

Greek words ? Apparently languages is not your stong suit. Do you even have a strong suit ? Can you even tie your shoelaces ?

 
At 7/31/2005 12:32 AM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

my bad franc.. I assumed it was one of your posts!

 
At 7/31/2005 1:35 AM, Blogger CADman904 declaimed...

I'm wondering... how is it that one determines when a hyperbole is being expressed and when its not. Do you trust the Bible implicitly or not? Are you saying that one should appeal to "common sense?" Is there some standard that one uses in order to judge if Jesus really means what he's saying?

Is Jesus speaking hyperbole here?Why or why not?


27"But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. 30Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31Do to others as you would have them do to you.
32"If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' love those who love them. 33And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' do that. 34And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' lend to 'sinners,' expecting to be repaid in full. 35But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. [1]

Tell me, have you prayed for me lately? If I come over and steal your stuff will you demand it back? If I punch you in the face what will you do? If I rape your wife and kids will you retaliate? By what standard do you place limits on Jesus' words here? The government? Isn't your morality higher? Afterall, if you follow what he says - hating your life to the core - then won't his words make more sense in this section? The Bible interprets itself right? It's always flipping words around to mean the opposite - life is death, death is life; hate is love love is hate. Hating yourself to the core is really the only way one can love it... right?

Maybe you can take comfort in the "fact" that by trusting him implicilty you will have a huge return on your "investment."

Have you been trusting Jesus to this extent yet my friends? Are you truly his disciples?

Be Well.

[1] Biblegateway.com - Luke 6:27-35

 
At 7/31/2005 12:34 PM, Blogger Paul Manata declaimed...

*BUMP*

Franc, let's see the valid/sound argument here.

So far we have:

P1: Jesus used hyperbole



{BIG GAPING HOLE}





_________

C1: Therefore Paul Manata used atheistic standards.



Franc, the gaping whole, not unlike the one inbetween your two front teeth, is where what's called an *argument* goes. I'm still waiting.

 
At 7/31/2005 2:05 PM, Blogger CADman904 declaimed...

P1: Jesus used hyperbole



{BIG GAPING HOLE}






----------------

C1 This is where you should insert how you know that Jesus' comment was hyperbole...

 
At 7/31/2005 4:45 PM, Blogger Not Reformed declaimed...

P1 - Manata is a clown

*Big Gaping Hole in Manata's Brain*

C1 - Manata's conclusions suck

Case closed.

 
At 7/31/2005 7:23 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

CADman brought up a good point. How do we know when Jesus was or was not using hyperbole?

Dear Manata,

If Jesus was using hyperbole, which is defined basically as a deliberate exagerration to drive home a point, then what was Jesus REALLY saying here?

Hyperbole is something like "Im so tired I could sleep for a year!" where the exagerration is obvious and the true meaning of the statement is easy to get.

So what was Jesus' real message in this case? What, specifically, was the exagerrated part in his words, and what was the literal meaning?

 
At 7/31/2005 7:39 PM, Blogger VanTilsGhost declaimed...

poor unbelievers...

You see, you're just not using the proper hermaneutics...you know, the ones that the Bible defines. Oh wait...it doesn't...

Well, you could always listen to what young Greg Bahnsen says in the first 3 tapes of his series...if you still have a tape player that is. Tapes are so 1980. Kind of like Bahnsen's cute little way of trying to explain his funny views on reality.

Paul, maybe you could supply the Bahnsen messages on 8-track or vinyl disc? That would be wonderful! Or maybe in a film strip or motion picture? His fresh ideas are so modern and exciting!

I suppose it is hard to convey the thoughts/ideas of stone-age shepherds in a modern way. Hilarious that people are even debating these things, considering that the people that wrote them would think a wheelbarrel was a technological wonder.

 
At 8/01/2005 11:22 AM, Blogger Paul Manata declaimed...

Dear Manata,

If Jesus was using hyperbole, which is defined basically as a deliberate exagerration to drive home a point, then what was Jesus REALLY saying here?

Hyperbole is something like "Im so tired I could sleep for a year!" where the exagerration is obvious and the true meaning of the statement is easy to get.

So what was Jesus' real message in this case? What, specifically, was the exagerrated part in his words, and what was the literal meaning?


That all else is to be considered rubbish *compared to* following Christ, i.e., that is the ultimate goal.


~Paul

P.S. I determine hyperbole the same way you do, why the mystery? Anyway, this is really all quite simple.

 
At 8/01/2005 1:07 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Paul said:

That all else is to be considered rubbish *compared to* following Christ, i.e., that is the ultimate goal.


~Paul

P.S. I determine hyperbole the same way you do, why the mystery? Anyway, this is really all quite simple.


It is simple, and you quite simply got it wrong. Hyperbole does not allow for "discarding" statements, but merely toning them down. The reason I asked the question is because this Jesus quote doesnt look as "hyperbolic" as, for example, the other hyperbole sentence I typed up.

Let me analyze the hyperbole statements in detail to show you what I mean.

Hyperbole example #1: "Im so tired I could sleep for a year!"

This sentence can be determined to be hyperbole fairly easily. We see that the speaker is very tired, and plans to sleep alot. Obviously not for a whole year, but the "sleep for a year" part shows that this person will do alot of sleeping, likely more than 8 hours. Note that nothing in the sentence is "discarded" as you said about the Jesus quote; instead of being "discarded", the meaning of the sentence in this case was "exagerrated".

Hyperbole example #2: "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters – yes, even his own life – he cannot be my disciple.”

Now with Jesus' statement, the hyperbole is not as obvious as the last example. If we are to assume hyperbole in what Jesus said, we cannot "discard" anything as you said Paul. Instead, we should analyze the statement for "exagerration." So maybe Jesus exagerrated with the "hate yourself and your life" part. Maybe Jesus didnt want us to literally hate, but merely be displeased with ones family and oneself. But even this doesnt make sense to me, for if Jesus loves me and I love Jesus, I should love myself as well. After all, how can anyone love anyone if they dont love themselves first?

The hyperbole in Jesus' words would allow only for analysis of exagerration, not a discarding of the majority of the statement. At best, to assume hyperbole with Jesus' words we can take his statement and reword it thusly:

"If anyone comes to me and does not dislike his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters – yes, even his own life – he cannot be my disciple.”

See Paul, with hyperbole, the meaning is still there...but the degree of the meaning is exagerrated. When you say you can sleep for a year, you only mean you will sleep for a long time; you dont discard the whole part about wanting to sleep.

And along the same lines, when you say you have to hate yourself and your family, then we can tone it down to something like "dislike" or "think poorly of" oneself and ones family. But you cannot discard the message about not liking oneself and ones family.

Now if we substitute the word "hate" for "dislike" in Jesus' words, then everything CADman said still stands. Reducing the severity of Jesus' sentiments doesnt refute what CADman said. In fact, the only way to refute what CADman said is to redefine the term "hyperbole" so that you can "discard" the parts that you dont like. Hmmmm... picking and choosing Bible quotes to fit ones agenda, and discarding what one does not like. Why does that sound so familiar to me?

So, to refute CADmans post with one word, Paul Manata had to redefine hyperbole to discard rather than tone down parts of a message. But I just exposed it here.

Then again, I did obtain my "hyperbole" definition from an evil, secular source: dictionary.com. And as we all know (according to Paul) using sources like dictionaries and wikipedia to define terms is "bad form" (like using the Bible isnt?)

So Paul, maybe you can still save yourself and make me look like a total moron by providing a "good form" (that is, Biblical) definition for the word "hyperbole"? (Not to be confused with parables by the way)

 
At 8/01/2005 3:08 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

"That all else is to be considered rubbish *compared to* following Christ"

Wow. Even after being generously reinterpreted by Manata, Jesus' words are still bullshit. It sounds like it's really hard to reinterpret this Jesus fellow and make him sound reasonable.

 
At 8/01/2005 3:46 PM, Blogger CADman904 declaimed...

Actually Paul wrote those words and the greek here means that paul [the apostle] thinks that his life is bullshit.

Phil 3:8
What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ

The greek means anything that is synonymous with refuse, as the excrement of animals, offscourings, rubbish and or dregs. So again, Paul is endorsing what Jesus is saying despite claiming hyperbole.

This kind of falls right in line with Isaiah saying that all his deeds are like "filthy rags" - garments used during a womans monthly cycle. They all held such high views of themselves...

 
At 8/02/2005 10:06 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

I'm vacationing in Thailand right now, but had a few moments so I thought I'd check in to see if everyone's playing nicely.

Paul: "That all else is to be considered rubbish *compared to* following Christ, i.e., that is the ultimate goal."

My goal is not to follow a mythic figure, and I certainly do not consider myself "rubbish." Paul may consider me "rubbish," but that matters not.

Paul: "P.S. I determine hyperbole the same way you do."

Then Franc was right to ask "Is Paul using... secular... standards... to judge Jesus' own words ?" Paul has admitted that the reasoning process he used to come to the conclusion that Jesus was using hyperbole is not unlike our secular, atheistic or "autonomous" methods.

If the passage attribued to Jesus is to be considered hyperbole, I'd say that much of the bible indulges in flagrant hyperbole and thus should not be taken so seriously. If the primitives who wrote it couldn't spell out their message without such childish embellishments, then they didn't have a worthy message to begin with.

Anyway, I can't be a Christian because I don't hate myself, or anyone in my family, or my wife. That must really pour hot coals of fury on the small-minded Christian god of jealousy and temper tantrums.

 
At 8/06/2005 4:33 PM, Blogger DerekSansone declaimed...

Dawson,

Hey buddy....Hope you have a great trip.

You said:

"If the passage attribued to Jesus is to be considered hyperbole, I'd say that much of the bible indulges in flagrant hyperbole and thus should not be taken so seriously. If the primitives who wrote it couldn't spell out their message without such childish embellishments, then they didn't have a worthy message to begin with.

Anyway, I can't be a Christian because I don't hate myself, or anyone in my family, or my wife. That must really pour hot coals of fury on the small-minded Christian god of jealousy and temper tantrums. "

This is pure genus...I am not really into the Objectivist Philosophy that much, even though I do like some of their stuff...Maybe I am a closet Objectivist that will emerge one day....

BUt so far I don't really care for a "label"....Chaotic Determinist seams to be accurate, however...

But ths was a great point...I was talking to my gay friends last night about when some of us were Christians... One close friend and I remember at our old church, when I was in the apologetic equipping ministry, and he was a struggling homosexual attending this program called “celebrate recovery"....

I remember them telling him that he can over come his sinful pleasures and he was sitting there next to porn addicts sex addicts drug users, and all sorts of other "sinners"....

Can you imagine having your nature desires on one hand, then on the other you are being told how depraved and sinful we are and that is not God swill for us?

Imagine the balancing nightmare it is for these people? Sure drugs can really waste away potential if not handled quickly....You'd hate to see that....But homosexuality? This is a little different.

Here the point:

Sell sin, sell salvation! If you think you are a shitty little peon worthy of rat meat and hellfire breakfast, then anything God does is ok...Because you are his little clay, and he's the mighty sovereign grumpy old fart....

This is why I debate. This is why I have it out for this worldview, even though I understand it.....

I have another gospel!!!

 
At 8/06/2005 8:46 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

Like Scientologists who make you believe that you have a "reactive mind", and then "cure you" of its effects... then make you believe that you have "body thetans" and then "cure you" of them... all for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

 
At 8/16/2010 3:14 AM, Blogger ming declaimed...

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