This will be the conclusion of this series in which we have explored and discovered some of the origins of spanking children within Christianity. It was my goal to show that spanking is from man and not God, as so many well-meaning Christians have believed throughout the ages. In this paper, I will show how the idea of controlling children dates back to the early church in the ancient world, look at how Catholicism has advocated and used physical punishment with children, show the likely origin of the “Christian rules of how to spank children,” and will conclude with explaining Behaviorism and how physical punishment falls under that very old and outdated branch of Psychology.
The Origins of the Christian Need to Control Children
Many Christian advocates of spanking as well as the parents who follow these advocates are often quite concerned with controlling their children’s behavior, and really, one could say controlling their children. Advocates such as James Dobson, the Ezzos, the Pearls, and others teach parents that they must be in control of their children from birth. They claim that newborn infants must be taught that their parents are the bosses, not them. If this sounds familiar, it is because control and breaking children’s wills go hand and hand. We’ve seen how breaking the child’s will has been advocated for and done by Christians throughout history despite there being no biblical grounds for doing such a thing (See Parts 1, 2, & 3 for more info on breaking children’s wills). This need for adults to control their children dates back to New Testament times. In fact, certain verses of the New Testament are used to try and justify controlling one’s children. [Read more...]