Doesn't Ruth 1:16 contradict Matthew 10:37?
Ruth 1:16 (NASB) says:
But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.
Ask yourself: was it love for and loyalty to, the God of Israel, that motivated Ruth to go with Naomi; or was it love for and loyalty to, Naomi herself? "where you go", "where you lodge", "your people", "your God". Ruth was essentially saying: "I love you so much, mother, that I will loyally accept anything you accept. I will make your life my life. What you love I will love". What if Naomi had decided to become a Baal worshiper? "your God [shall be] my God"! Yes, Ruth would have followed suit. Really, it is clear that Ruth loved Naomi more than she loved Jehovah. She became a worshiper of Jehovah only because Naomi was one!
Contrast Ruth's attitude with the attitude Jesus urged his followers to have, as recorded at Matthew 10:37 (NASB):
“ He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me."
Jesus urged the opposite. He said we should have greater affection for him than for family. Ruth is not worthy of Christ, because she put her mother in law ahead of everything else - including God. Her choice of worship was predicated on being with her mother in law.
Isn't it ironic that Ruth became the ancestress of Jesus because of her having exactly the kind of attitude that Jesus told his followers they should not have?
It's interesting the way Watchtower spins Ruth's attitude, given that it flies in the face of Watchtower's teaching that family should be kept in its proper place.
Its a common misconception that Jesus is urging people to prefer HIM to Family, especially in 1st century Judaisim that was so family oriented.
There have been a few views to address this but, IMO, the issue was simply what does it mean to follow Jesus? what did He stand for? and what would it mean NOT to follow Him?
And of course the context of what is being said, to whom it is being said and why.
Matthew 10 is all about the 12 being "introduced" to service, to go out and proclaim Christ and to whom to proclaim it.
The issue of verses 34-39 is that they do sound very "anti-family" on the surface BUT read the whole context of the chapter in light of who and what Christ is then you see things a bit different.
To go against Christ is to go against the proclamtion of salvation and redemption, to go someone will to dye for Us so that we may be saved NOT based on anything we do TO BE SAVED ( ultior motive) but to be saved by our faith in HIM and what He DID. To go against His love for us, a love that strengthens and empowers Us. Jesus foresaw that He would bring strife, that His message would NOT be accepted by all, that His followers would be persecuted and killed and He states that the rewards for following Him are far greater than simply keeping the peace for the sake of family.
THE problem with the JW's is that they see themselves as the "persecuted" and don't realise that when they shun people that have decided to follow Christ in THEIR way, through a PERSONAL relationship with God and NOT through an organization, that THEY ( The JW's) are the ones that Christ is speaking about when He says :
And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me