"What? Impossible!" You might be saying to yourself after reading the title. You might even be tempted to stop reading this article altogether. And who could blame you? Millions of people for centuries have been taught that Jesus preached a message of love and compassion. But, give this article a chance and let me explain myself.
It is true that Jesus taught us valuable lessons of love and compassion. But, along with those lessons, he also taught some truly terrible things. For example, the bible book of Luke, chapter 14 verse 26 reads like this: "If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters...such a person cannot be my disciple".
Jesus is saying that if it ever came down to it, we must choose him over our family. We have to "hate" them in the sense that being his follower must take priority over our own family...even our children. One must be ready to reject their own family if it means being a Christian. There have been many broken families as a result of this teaching. Brothers turning against brothers, mothers against daughters, fathers against sons, and so on. There were times when not being a Christian was punishable by death, and often times it would be family members who would turn their relatives in to the authorities.
A book that purports itself to be "holy" should never make us choose between our beliefs and our family. It is possible for family members to have different religions and still coexist peacefully and lovingly. The key is to respect each other's natural right to hold our own views. Instead of "hating" each other, like Jesus commanded, we can choose to love, understand, and learn from each other.
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