"Don't think I've come to make life cozy. I've come to cut—make a sharp knife-cut between son and father, daughter and mother, bride and mother-in-law—cut through these cozy domestic arrangements and free you for God. Well-meaning family members can be your worst enemies. If you prefer father or mother over me, you don't deserve me. If you prefer son or daughter over me, you don't deserve me.I've always found Jesus' statement disturbing. Is he against families? Jim Packer proposes a paradox: the detachment implied by our being set apart for God enables us to be more loving towards family members, neighbours, friends, etc. Possibly. There is a state called codependency which is regarded as unhealthy; maybe if we are firmly dependent upon God, we can be more real towards our fellow human beings.
"If you don't go all the way with me, through thick and thin, you don't deserve me. If your first concern is to look after yourself, you'll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you'll find both yourself and me.
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Jim Packer, in Keep in Step with the Spirit, mischievously comments that there exists no contemporary account of holiness, so he will perforce write his own. He begins by suggesting that the New Testament view of holiness has two components - the idea of being set apart, and the idea of being morally pure. Coincidentally, I read this passage from Matthew's gospel this morning (Matthew 10:34-39 Msg):