Unless you hate your Father and your Mother, you cannot follow me..
Yes, I guess you could say that was a hard saying, especially from the man who also asks you to forgive your enemy and to bless those who curse you.

I think it means this.

    That, if we are to have a living heart, we must go with the Truth as we see it. Not within the safety of tradition for tradition's sake, not because our Parents believed it (though if we see that it made great sense in their lives we might find that persuasive). Not because I say so, or because the Church says so, nor because it is in the Bible or even because it is in the First Covenant of the Law.
    It means we can't hate people because our parents found them offensive. Or because their ancestors killed our ancestors. Or for any reason at all really. We can't turn our backs on others simply because they've had a fight with our best friends, and we must forgive the unforgivable no matter who this offends. In the end, we cannot trust even our own judgement, or our own will. No matter how sensible or how historically valid it may seem to us to be. Otherwise we are in the position of hearing others surprised to hear that Jesus did not  say án eye for and eye' but rather 'turn the other cheek'. Or of hearing a Christian say, when told that to love his enemies might mean to love the Roman Catholic woman who lived next door to him, and bugged the life out of him with her Popish Ways, "That's an unusual way of looking at it"

By what then are we to judge? The Holy Spirit? Our own minds? The World Wide Communion?

All those things. But if we are not to be self opinionated and judgmental, it seems to me that we must judge all things by how consonant they are with the Sermon on the Mount. These are the words He spoke to us. They're recorded in the Gospels, in the Pseudo Gospels and in many other fragments.

He lived by them. And we, if we wish to be the same breed as He, need to take them seriously. More seriously than all those things we have taken for granted, be it a parent's love, or society's control

Of course, though He said this would Bless you, he didn't actually say anything about this making you a raving success or particularly popular or admired.

Just that you would be, like Him,

Don't believe this just because I say so either. Listen, rather, in the silence of your own  heart, to Him
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