Do you honestly believe that Jesus would spank a child? Children are precious, wonderful human beings, and it is our duty to raise them lovingly. Reading through your question and answer sections concerning child-rearing and spanking, I was motivated to write to you.
Your answers are usually wise and sometimes give sufficient answers to readers. But it is wrong to spank a child. At this day in age, we as Christians and other worshipers of any faith must take our holy books with a grain of salt. The Bible was written so many thousands of years ago, when the human race was still barbaric enough to put people to death on the cross, stone disobedient children, and also spank them. Children are humans. It is wrong to strike an adult, and it is wrong to strike a child. Bring children up with love, and with patience, and with creativity regarding disciplinary methods. Children learn by example.
Some children grow up being spanked and turn out all right. Some do not. There's no proven evidence whether spanking causes more violence or less violence in teenagers and adults. But we should not take the risk. Save all children; the minority, perhaps, who would turn out worse for wear if their parents slapped their bottom. Parents who spank lack patience as a virtue. And spanking because of the Scriptures in the Old Testament is a misdirection of faith and a blind following.
Jesus taught us to love one another. The kingdom of heaven belongs to little children. Please teach your congregation to show these little ones the kingdom of heaven on this earth, do not make their lives a living hell.
Thank you for taking the time to read my letter. I hope it may give you a different perspective. Live in Jesus' name. He would never touch a child except with all the love and respect they deserve.
"He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly" (Proverbs 13:24).
You claim in your worldly wisdom that it is wrong to physically punish a child by spanking. You feel justified in reaching this conclusion because humans were barbaric thousands of years ago. Fascinating! Of course, you realize that the anti-spanking fade is of fairly recent origin. While there have been a few advocates in the 1800s, it didn't really take off until the 1950s.
Clearly, you have bought into the evolutionary view of the world and not the biblical view. You foolishly think that people today are superior to people of the past. A much wiser man pointed out, "That which has been is what will be, that which is done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which it may be said, "See, this is new"? It has already been in ancient times before us. There is no remembrance of former things, nor will there be any remembrance of things that are to come by those who will come after" (Ecclesiastes 1:9-11). The sole reason you think mankind is better today is because you and most of the world have forgotten the past. But that is all right, your children will think that they are superior to you in their turn.
Your statement that places all "holy books" on an equal plane and your plea that all such books should be taken with a grain of salt boldly display your disdain for religion. You do not believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God, but the product of man (II Timothy 3:16-17; I Corinthians 2:12-14). Thus you have no qualms about setting your opinions, which are baseless, above the writings of God. If this gives you the idea that I'm not impressed with your drivel, you are quite correct. Here is a foolish person who sets herself as judge of God and yet to bolster her position calls upon the example of Jesus in a vain attempt to justify her cause. You cite just a small portion of Jesus' teaching to give credence to your cause. But why cite Jesus? He lived thousands of years ago in barbaric circumstances. How could he know what you know about raising children?
Let's put things back into perspective. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made" (John 1:1-3). The Bible claims that Jesus is God and that he existed with God from the beginning. Everything that is exists through Jesus' power. Thus, Jesus was there when the world was created. He was there when Moses received the Law from God. He was there when Solomon recorded the proverbs to which you so strongly object. "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God" (II Timothy 3:16). "All" means both Old and New Testament. "Given by God" means that Jesus was involved in their writings and is in complete agreement with what was recorded. Jesus stated, "I and My Father are one" (John 10:30). There is no disagreement between Jesus and the Father.
Yet you argue that Jesus does disagree with what God wrote in the past! I mention that your position is baseless, and here is what I mean: upon what verse have you found that Jesus states that is it wrong or harmful to spank children when they are acting foolishly? I'll go one step further, there is no solid scientific study that proves spanking is harmful when properly used (to which you reluctantly agree). There are plenty of claims but there is no proof. Instead, there is plenty of evidence that spanking has its place in child-rearing. Yet with thousands of years of evidence that spanking works, you want it to cease because you imagine that there is a potential risk. Really! You want me to teach contrary to what God has said works based on on the imagined potential harm of someone who can present no evidence?
Paul stated, "For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope" (Romans 15:4). One of his teachings on child rearing was, "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. "Honor your father and mother," which is the first commandment with promise: "that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth." And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:1-4). You must have missed it, but Paul proved his point by citing Old Testament teachings. Yes, we do not live under that Law, but it doesn't mean we cannot learn from it or that everything it said was false. Actually, it is quite the opposite. "What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law" (Romans 7:7).
I hope one day you will forsake your pride and become a true Christian. At the moment, God tells us that you hate children (Proverbs 13:24). You don't really care about how they turn out as adults. It doesn't bother you if they don't have well-adjusted lives, just as long as you can feel that they like you every minute of the day. How utterly sad for the children and how terrifying they will become for society because you did not love them enough to give them restraint. You remind me of Eli when God said, "For I have told him that I will judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knows, because his sons made themselves vile, and he did not restrain them" (I Samuel 3:13).
Oh, by the way, in answer to your question regarding whether Jesus would spank a misbehaving child: Reading that "... the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power" (II Thessalonians 1:7-9); I don't find it contrary to Jesus' nature to correct a misbehaving child by spanking.
We agree to disagree. I do not hate my children. My husband and I were both spanked, once each, and our experiences with spanking harmed us enough to vow never to hit our children. That is my "proof". My children will learn how to behave themselves by other examples. People are not for hitting, they're for loving.
If I could give you one piece of advice, I would tell you to not be so condescending to other people. You are a minister, and that privilege comes with a responsibility to at least try and be nice to your neighbor.
Jesus was an inspiring, influential, amazing man, but he was only a man in my eyes. It's okay if we don't agree. But if I die and "your God" is so different from my interpretation or my Jewish neighbor, I would rather spend my eternity in hell where I can think for myself instead of becoming a "true Christian" that beats children and believes there is a simple answer for everything because God said so.
Let me see, your "evidence" is two peoples' personal experience with a single spanking each. Even scientists would laugh since anecdotal events do not constitute evidence of any sort. In addition, you hint that your children are very young; thus, we can't even cite personal experience or success at raising well-adjusted children. But you have total confidence in your personal wisdom to not only defy what history has taught, what studies have shown, and what God has said on the matter but to challenge anyone who upholds these ideas. You call me "condescending," but it appears to me that you take your personal opinions to a very high level.
You do not believe that Jesus is God, contrary to John 1:1-14, you don't believe the Bible is the inspired word of God (II Timothy 3:16-17), yet you believe yourself to be in the position to tell a minister how to do his job. Your audacity caused me to laugh several times while reading your note.
The point is that my God-given duty is not to please people, especially people such as yourself. "For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ" (Galatians 1:10). My job is to teach God's Holy Word as accurately as I can so that others can understand what it says. "If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen" (I Peter 4:11).
Of course, you don't like it. The Bible conflicts with your preconceived notions. It tells you that you are wrong and people with a high opinion of themselves hate to be told they are wrong. But that is between you and God. There is no "your God" and "my God." There is only one God (Ephesians 4:4-6). Yes, one day you and I both will stand before the Jesus whom you claim is no God to answer for our deeds. "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad" (II Corinthians 5:10). I know that you are in danger of eternal punishment if you continue down your current path. "Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men" (II Corinthians 5:11); and thus, I seek to shake you out of your complacency and blindness to the truth.
It does please me that you see my explanations as simple, but it would make me happier if saw that these simple ideas apply to you as well.
"For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you" (Titus 2:11-15).