Adversary or Advocate?

This article by Sally Clarkson asks us to consider whether we want our children see us as Adversaries or Advocates.

Along similar lines, Dulce de Leche writes about different ways of seeing God in Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.

Edited to add: Sally Clarkson has more to say on this topic in Mentoring Monday: Advocate or Adversary: Your view of God Determines your Parenting Philosophy.

Series on First Time Obedience

Cindy of Under Much Grace has posted part 5 of her series about First Time Obedience: Revisiting First Time Obedience: Finding New Alternatives

For your convenience I will paste here the links to the rest of the series along with her descriptions:

  • A review of the submission required under multigenerational faithfulness as Vision Forum’s carryover from Bill Gothard’s submission teachings with various examples of this demand for unquestioned obedience without credulity. First post specifically examining “First Time Obedience” in young children.
  • A review of the principle of sacerdotalism and parental convenience (as a control issue in dysfunctional families) as rationales for requiring “First Time Obedience” and “leaps of faith” required under multigenerational faithfulness.
  • Review of the tendency to make every banal daily activity one of great eternal spiritual significance as a consequence of works-based salvation. Includes a discussion of viewing personality traits that do not fit the belief system’s paradigm as sinful as well as the building up of all gender related activities as sacramental for the impartation of inward sanctification.
  • Blog host’s personal experience with inherent personality traits treated by parents as sin, the idolatry of seeking parental approval, and the consequences of requiring unquestioned submission with the use of guilt and shame that predisposes one to easy brainwashing and compliance with thought reform. Includes a section from Biderman’s Chart of Coercion addressing the powerful effects of devaluing individuals in religious settings.
  • Discussion of the development of how perfectionism, works-based salvation and First Time Obedience squelch problem-solving skill and prevent the development of critical thinking under the guise of multigenerational faithfulness.

A specific review of the theological problems in Voddie Baucham’s defense of First Time Obedience as well as the refutation of the practice from Scripture. Echos concerns noted in this previous blog post concerning Baucham’s “Family Driven Faith” book.

Spanking is NOT God’s Will Part 8

More information on the Book, Gentle Firmness, by Stephanie Cox

( part 1 ) ( part 2 ) ( part 3 )

What is grace?  This is the question running through my head as I wrestle with a bit of discouragement as children continue to be harmed by well-meaning people who want so badly to obey God in their parenting.  As I continue to hear the same comments from pro-spankers who seem almost desperate to defend themselves for fear of being wrong.  As I hear on the morning news that two teenagers were shot and killed by their own mother because they were being “mouthy.”  As a book that advocates spanking infants may be being used by people that I know.  What is grace?  Who deserves grace?  Is the Bible Truth or something that can be used however we want in order to support our own beliefs?  What does it mean to be Spirit led and to take up our crosses and follow Jesus?  Why do some Christians proclaim, “God hates fags?”  Why is there so much division in the Body of Christ when God commands us to be “like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind” Philippians 2:2?

Another thing that keeps popping up in my mind and during my Bible study is the following verse:

“So he said to me, ‘This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty” Zechariah 4:6.

This verse is in context with an angel showing Zechariah a vision seemingly related to the coming of a future Messiah to rescue the people.  Yesterday in church, the pastor discussed the uneventful way that Jesus quietly came on the scene amidst the crowds that were waiting by the Jordan River in order to be baptized by a relative, John The Baptist (Matthew 3:13-17).  Everyone thought that the Messiah would come and mightily restore Israel with a mighty sword.  But instead, Jesus came as an infant and lived in humble settings.  He didn’t even look like a powerful king that everyone expected Him to be.  Look how Isaiah the prophet described Jesus: [Read more…]

You Always Hurt The One You Love?

Molly remembers the messages she got as a child that parents must hurt their children because they love them.    What kind of damage does that do to a child?

And speaking of damage.  What kind of damage is done to a child who is given a Roy Lessin spanking for every infraction? Especially when not being happy enough (even after a spanking) is a punishable offense.   Read Beth Fenimore’s testimony (on Peaceful Parenting) in her open letter to Roy Lessin but first brace yourself as it really is a heart wrenching story.

Does Punishment Really Produce Godly Character?

I just found out about the group known as the Assembly under the ministry of George and Betty Geftakys. I had not heard of them before this, but as they were using the teachings of Michael and Debi Pearl (as well as Fugate and Ezzo,) they are of interest.  Apparently, they are another cultic and spiritually abusive group.   In fact, Betty Geftakys had her own pamphet about child training which almost makes the Pearl’s training methods look mild by comparison.

The post I want to highlight today is from Meg, a former member of that group,  and is entitled, Does Discipline Really Produce Godly Character…?

Bethany Breaks Free

Bethany Basset, of Coffee Stained Clarity, reflects on the sadness she feels at finding out that her high school friends are following the Pearls’ teachings.

I see that Bethany was raised in the VF/Patriarchy mindset.  She posts her story in 5 parts:

The Preface: The Stuff of Brains
Part 1: The Net
Part 2: The Reality
Part 3: The Hope
Part 4: The Outcome

And she has an epilogue about parenting with grace here.  I love a happy ending.  <3

Spanking and Proverbs – Part 2: Interpretations

Barefoot Betsy continues her look at Proverbs with, Spanking and Proverbs Part 2: Interpretations.  This is long but very well worth reading as she has done a very good job of helping us understand what the proverbs about the rod are really saying.