The Vision Forum’s Tenets of Biblical Patriarchy, 16-21: Education, Transformation, and Control

Note: This is an edited and collated version of a series of posts that I made at Free Jinger in August 2011.

For much of my life, my encounters with U.S. fundamentalist Christianity were sporadic and bewildering.  I started digging into the roots of the fundamentalist mindset when I became a homeschooler and a Sunday school teacher.  As many of us have discovered, fundamentalism has become prevalent in both fields of endeavor–particularly homeschooling.

Fundamentalism, of course, is not a monolithic entity, but different fundamentalist groups share many common traits.  A particularly disturbing common trait is the fundamentalist use of exegesis.  In short, it stinks.  This incompetence exists right at the foundation: not only in interpretation, but also in basic reading comprehension.  This is a disturbing [Read more…]

Another Abusive Church

Cindy of Under Much Grace reports on a Lutheran church in La Habra, California which reportedly had a man assigned to the task of disciplining teenaged boys with a metal rod. This is the first time I have heard of a church  Taking The Rod Verses Literally.  Well, maybe not exactly literally, as the rod was too small and made of the wrong substance, but more literal than most.  I suppose they perceive that they are being persecuted for the sake of righteousness. I wonder if they also stone adulteresses and blasphemers. I think that they need to focus more on the message of the New Testament.

Spare the Rod: The Heart of the Matter

Little Hearts Gentle Parenting Resources has a post explaining how we should interpret the 5 Rod verses in Proverbs in light of the New Testament: Spare The Rod: The Heart of the Matter.

Just A Sore Thumb was having similar thoughts when he wrote, Spared Rods.

Does It Really Mean What You Think It Means?

Teresa from Teresa’s Whine And Cheese takes a good look at claims that Kids Today Are Worse Then they Used To Be in Correlation, causation, and the proof in the pudding.

Pastor Tim of Way Point Church discusses discerning the Biblical view in Biblical Christianity in which he states “[The Pearls’] claim to have a biblical view on parenting is delusional.”

Samuel Martin looks how Christian Scholars and Preachers Disagree on Spanking Children and explains what the commonly used verses in Proverbs are really saying.

And here is a bonus link.  While completely off topic for this blog, I found this video interesting.  Someone took an informal poll at a college campus asking the question,  “Can Men And Women Be Just Friends?”  The answers might surprise you.

Is It Ok To Spank Video

Mark Brown has posted a video on YouTube called, Is it ok to spank your child? What does the Bible say?  He takes a close look at Proverbs 13:24 and explores whether he should spank his child.  He concludes that he should not which got him a lot if very negative comments.

Elizabeth Esther on Anderson

Elizabeth Esther will be appearing on Anderson Cooper’s new daytime talk show (on FOX) with Michael Pearl this Friday (Dec 2, 2011) and she writes about it here, My appearance on Anderson Cooper’s daytime talk show airs this Friday, Dec. 2nd #NoMoreDeadKids.  She includes a link to find out where and when you can watch it in your area. And here is a promo for the show.

Here is another recent post where she explains why many people follow Pearls’ teachings: Seductive promise of perfectly happy, obedient children feeds abuse.

Taking The Rod Verses Literally

The Hippie Housewife looks at The Rod Verses in a 3 part series which I highly recommend:

  1. The Rod Verses: Taking the rod verses literally
  2. The Rod Verses: Taking other Proverbs literally
  3. The Rod Verses: What are they really saying?

 

Also, Theology Today explains the Rod Verses in Spanking Hurts Everybody By Robert R. Gillogly

Christianity Today Looks at TTUAC

Rachel Stone of Christianity Today takes a close look at To Train Up A Child  in When Child Discipline Becomes Abuse.  I notice that she linked to my blog which I much appreciate.  She obviously read TTUAC with a critical eye and really “gets it.”

A tested Biblical methodology for addressing traditions and false teachings in Christianity

Samuel Martin has a new post called,  I was wrong and how I intend to make it right: A tested Biblical methodology for addressing traditions and false teachings in Christianity.

Speaking of Samuel Martin, he is giving away 2 free books.  Here is the info:

Dear friends,

I am delighted to continue endorsing strongly Professor William Webb’s book. I can’t recommend it enough.

Here is where you can get your copy – http://www.ivpress.com/cgi-ivpress/book.pl/toc/code=2761

So, I am pleased to announce that I am giving a copy of this book away. This is the first book I’ve ever given away on my blog and I am pleased that it is this book.

To win this book, all you have to do send me an email (your email address will be kept confidential not to be shared with anyone) with your first and last name to info@biblechild.com answering the following three questions:

1.  I have read your book “Thy Rod and Thy Staff, They Comfort Me: Christians and the Spanking Controversy – YES or NO

2. I have read Professor Webb’s book – YES or NO

3. Pick one of the following:

A. If I don’t win the Webb book, I am planning to buy it.

B. I have already bought the Webb book and plan to give away the book if I win it.

C. I have not yet purchased the book by Prof. Webb.

So that is all there is to it. Except for one other thing.

The first name drawn will win the Webb book. Then, I will be drawing another name. The first name that I draw thereafter who answers the question “I have read your book “Thy Rod and Thy Staff, They Comfort Me: Christians and the Spanking Controversy” with a “NO”, will win a free autographed copy of my book.

I look forward to hear from you very soon. This drawing ends 23:59AM Jerusalem time on November 1.

Samuel Martin
Website: www.biblechild.com
Email: info@biblechild.com

A Closer Look at The Biblical Rod

Dara Stoltzfus describes how and why she gave up spanking.

Here are some very interesting posts from her blog, I Was Just Thinking:

Drawing the line between “spanking” and “abuse”

The Strength of Your Child’s Will!

“The Rod” as an instrument of protection

Easy Self-Test about “the use of the Biblical rod”

Na’ar in Proverbs…what kind of child are parents to strike?

Is your child a PERSON?

Growing Humans God’s Way

On the other hand, just read all her posts about spanking.  🙂

The Pearls’ Teachings are Not Biblical

Bible Scholar, Samuel Martin explains why he believes that Amazon should stop selling To Train Up A Child.  Please sign the petition, the link is in my sidebar.

And here are 2 posts about why the Pearls’ teachings are not Biblical:

Laura Ziesel shares an in depth study of Proverbs 22:6 in Train up a Child in Whose Way?

Samuel Martin shares a statement from Prof. William Webb responding to Hana’s death called, The Pearl’s Beatings Are Not Really Biblical which I am posting in its entirety below at his request.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

The Newsletter of the
“New Foundation for Biblical Research.”
A project of the Century One Foundation, Inc. (www.centuryone.org)
© Samuel Martin
Samuel Martin – Project Director – www.biblechild.com

October 2011

Religious scholars speaking out against the teachings of Michael and Debi Pearl
Many of you may have by now heard about Hana-Grace Rose Williams, who died in May at the tender age of 13. See the details of her story here and how Michael and Debi Pearl’s book “To Train Up A Child” is yet again being implicated in this horrifying case. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2016361753_hana30m.html
When I saw this, I postponed what I had planned to publish this month and I immediately started writing to a number of religious scholars that I know asking them to speak out on this outrageous, unacceptable and evil publication. Thankfully, my call has immediately been answered by Prof, William Webb of Tyndale Seminary, Toronto, Canada. I know that I will be hearing from other religious scholars very soon and I will be sharing more testimonies and comments from them as I receive them. We need to hear these voices now.
Many of you know that I have strongly endorsed Prof. Webb’s book in this newsletter (July 2011 Newsletter). Today, I am herein once again not only endorsing this book, but I am asking you to support this book to ensure that it obtains the widest possible reading, attention and exposure. Rather than telling you what Prof. Webb told me, I am herein including a written communication from him that I received just this morning. The following is a direct quote from Prof. Webb and is used with his permission.
THE PEARL’S BEATINGS ARE NOT REALLY BIBLICAL
“Although they will tell you it is from the Bible, the Pearl’s version of child discipline is not really biblical.  Not in the truest sense.  Not in the deepest sense of what should shape biblical authority.  Not in a way that honors the Bible’s underlying redemptive spirit.  It is utterly heart breaking to watch “Christian materials” written by Michael and Debi Pearl become part of the murder investigations in three separate cases where so-called Christian parents allegedly abused their children in life-threatening and life-ending ways.  I am stunned and appalled by what I have seen on CNN, King5 News, etc.
Unfortunately, Christians often get stuck in their ability to apply the Bible in today’s world.  It is my hope that my recent book (Corporal Punishment in the Bible: A Redemptive-Movement Hermeneutic for Troubling Texts) will inspire hope and positive dialogue that helps the Christian community move towards something better for our children.  The book outlines how Marilyn (my wife) and I changed our minds about spanking.  Like the Pearls we were severely deluded in thinking that the rod was God’s way.  But over time we learned how to read and understand the Bible differently.  We also learned a truck-load of non-corporal methods of discipline which were far more weighty and effective than the Dobson version (2 smacks max) and certainly better than the abusive Pearl prescription (many beatings with the rod).  Like the slavery texts of Scripture, the answer is not simply in moving towards a better form of slavery.  That only captures part of Scripture’s redemptive spirit.  The Dobson approach is to be commended because they move away from the Pearl-type literalism.  But, that is not where biblical application should stop.  Like the slavery issue of past days, we need to move beyond a gentler, kinder form of slavery/corporal punishment.  Two smacks max is good but it does not reflect an ultimate ethical application of the Bible.  As with slavery, only abolitionism (of the rod) will permit Christians to fully embrace effective non-corporal methods and do the courageous, William Wilberforce action in this hour of time.  I pray that contemporary followers of Jesus might be known as those who want to live out the very highest ethical application of Scripture.  What the Pearls offer is nothing other than “gutter theology”; it is not really the Bible at all . . . well, not if we want to live out Scripture’s redemptive heartbeat.” Dr. William J. Webb is Adjunct Professor of New Testament at Tyndale Seminary, Toronto, Canada. (Quotation from Prof. Webb ends here.)
Brethren, now is the time for all of us to take action to work to stop what is happening today to children at the hands of dear misguided parents/others who think they are doing God’s will.
First, I am asking you to take this newsletter and the exact comments of Prof. Webb and post them to your blogs, pass them to your networks, put them on your FACEBOOK pages and disseminate his above referenced quotation as far and as wide as you can. For more links, reviews and other information about Professor Webb and his book see: http://redemptivechristianity.com &   http://www.ivpress.com/cgi-ivpress/book.pl/review/code=2761. Please include these in your posts.
Second, I am asking you to please buy his book. Get your copy here – https://shop.ivpress.com/epages/IVP.storefront/en/addtobasket/0-8308-2761-7
Third, I am asking you to write positive reviews of this book in any forum that you come across including but not limited to Amazon, news sites and other book related sites and blogs.
Fourth, I am also you to join me in applauding and supporting InterVarsity Press (www.ivpress.com) for publishing such courageous and careful scholarship. They need to know that we are watching and supporting Christian publishers who stand up for what is right. Please join me in doing this by writing/emailing them or leaving comments on their site.
I would like to thank Prof. Webb for standing up and letting his voice be heard through this newsletter at this difficult time. His message is an important one. His work is really an inspiration for those of us who are looking for truth. I am reminded of a quotation from a giant of Biblical scholarship who was a friend of my late father and I think it is appropriate to reference it here. “…we must bear in mind that the cause of learning has often been promoted by scholars who are prepared to take a risk and expose their brain-waves to the pitiless criticisms of others” (F.F.Bruce, “Modern Studies on the Judean Scrolls,” CT, I (11):5).
Prof. Webb, thank you for your courage, risk taking, intellectual honesty and standing up and speaking out for the truths of the Holy Scripture. I look forward to supporting you and your work for many years to come.

Posted by Samuel Martin at 1:31 PM

 

Christians Who Don’t Spank and Why

I came across 2 Christian bloggers who very eloquently explain why they don’t spank.

Spanking…..The Post I Finally Had to Write and Spare the Rod: What Spanking Teaches Children by Amanda at Not Just Cute

To spank or not to spank? by Raqual at Connected Christian Mom

Hildebrant’s Word Study of Proverbs 22:6a “To Train Up A Child.”

Here is a link to Ted Hildebrant’s article in the Grace Theological Journal 9.1 (1988) 3-19,  Proverbs 22:6a; To Train Up A Child? which analyses what “To Train Up A Child” really means.

Here is a short quote from the intro:

Careful consideration of lexical and contextual factors suggests that “train up a child in the way he should go” needs to be reexamined. The verb “to train” really refers to a bestowal of status and responsibility.  The noun translated “child” denotes the status of a late adolescent rather than a child.  “In the way he should go” is best understood as “according to what is expected.”   The original intent then of this verse addresses a late adolescent’s entrance into his place in adult society.

As he did not study the word for Rod, this article does not change his ideas about spanking. He does, however, come to the conclusion that the verse does not advocate early childhood training.   He also reminds us that it is a Proverb, not a promise, which is something to keep in mind.

His final conclusion is this:

The parent must not violate the adolescent’s personhood by authoritarian domination, permissive allowance of immaturity, or overprotection from the consequences of his actions.

I must make note of the fact that his Hebrew words were transliterated Right to Left so that they read, “backwards” for us. If you want to read a better version of this article, you may read it here, but you will have to subscribe to the site first.

Na’ar in Proverbs…what kind of child are parents to strike?

“I Was Just Thinking…” blog looks at Na’ar in Proverbs…what kind of child are parents to strike?

Here are more of her thoughts about spanking.

Responses to Our Critics

pFamilyGal considers the question of whether it is right for Christians to condemn the Pearls’ teachings in Called to Judge.

Pearl In Oyster (PIO) responds to her critics in More Thoughts on Biblical Parenting where she discusses Divine Punishment vs. Grace, Spanking for Danger Situations and the Rod Verses.

Book Review: Thy Rod and Thy Staff, They Comfort Me, Part II

Dulce de Leche has finally posted part 2 of her book review of Samuel Martin’s book, Thy Rod and Thy Staff, They Comfort Me where she discusses the content of the book chapter by chapter.

A Stand For Truth

Pearl in Oyster has a post examining what the Bible says about how to respond to false teachers in A Stand For Truth.

If false teachers are to be treated kindly and patiently and instructed gently, how much more should I be kind, patient and gentle with my child?  If it’s God’s job to change the hearts of false teachers, then it stands to reason that it is God’s job to change my child’s heart.

Gentle Parenting of Teens

Lucy tells us how she gently parents her teenager at Dare to Disciple.

Along similar lines, Virginia Is For Mothers has written a post about using Calm Words with our children rather than yelling and/or scolding.  This is a good reminder for all of us.

Meanwhile, Under Much Grace continues with her series analyzing the Schatz Tragedy.  It occurs to me that this series should probably be read by the Schatzes defense attorneys.

Biblical Perspectives on Spanking

Ordained Minister( and Parenting and Relationship expert)  Thomas Haller has written an article with Chick Moorman called, Biblical Perspectives on Spanking in which they take a closer look at the typical verses which are considered to command parents to spank.

Samuel Martin’s book, Thy Rod and Thy Staff They Comfort Me, also studies those verses, as well as Jewish attitudes towards children in Biblical times.  Brenda King of Positively Feminine has a book review of his book and is also offering a chance to win a free copy of it.

In other news, I have updated yesterday’s post with part III of the series.

Deb’s Review of TTUAC – Part 3

Deb has posted the 3rd and final part of her review of Michael Pearl’s book, To Train Up A Child. In this post she looks at how Pearl prevented “sissies” and trained his children to always be happy. She also looks at what he teaches about the rod. She says that what Pearl teaches about persistence bothered her the most. I totally understand that. It is exactly this emphasis on persistence which I suspect killed Lydia Schatz.

For your convenience, here are Part 1 and Part 2 and here is the Intro.

A Study of “Spanking” Scriptures

Discipleship Parenting has started a series of  Biblical evidence against spanking in, Rightly Dividing the Word: A Study of “Spanking” Scriptures.

She has also posted 2 addendums to her Letters to Dobson:
Addendum to “Grace”
Handling Disputes Biblically

The Christian History of Spanking Part 1

This page was part of the rough draft of the soon-to-be-released book, “Gentle Firmness,” by Stephanie Cox.  You may read a few chapters from the book  here.

Suffer The Little Children

The website, Suffer The Little Children, belongs to Joan Vasquez, the writer of the Rod Study.  She has many interesting articles as well as an interview of the author of Biblical Parenting, Crystal Lutton. This website is an invaluable resource and I recommend that you read it thoroughly.

Prodigal Son

Carissa Robinson reflects at how spanking is hitting no matter how it is done and then looks at what we can learn about God in the story of  The Prodigal Son.

Letters to Dobson

Discipleship Parenting wrote a Letter to Dr. James Dobson. It is a lovely letter, you should take a look at it. In it she gives a testimony of how his teaching on spanking hurt her family and how they found something better.

She got a reply from Focus on The Family defending their stance.

She then wrote another letter where she explained further how his teachings are damaging and dangerous.

She received another reply from Focus on the Family which reiterated what was said in the first letter.

I highly recommend that you read these letters.

Edited to add that  she has posted 2 addendums to her first letter to Dobson:
Addendum to “Grace”
Handling Disputes Biblically

Is Punishment Biblical?

Rach at The Incorrigible Gingers discusses the question, “Is Punishment Biblical?”  Notice that she is not just referring to corporal punishment here but all punishment.   Now, that is a really radical thought.

Myth Busting

Claire has been doing some Myth Busting over at Dare to Disciple.   Today  I would like to feature  Myth Busting 3: Backtalk, Consistency and the United Front.

For your convenience, here are her previous posts:

Spanking is NOT God’s Will Part 2

(Part 1)

After reading and studying more today in this wonderful book by Samuel Martin and doing my own Bible study, here are some things that God has revealed to me.

First, the book of Proverbs is the oldest book in the Holy Bible.  While King Solomon and King Hezekiah wrote most of Proverbs, according to Martin’s book, some of it was also written by authors of ancient Egypt hundreds of years prior to King Solomon and King Hezekiah.  In the Hebrew Bible, The Wisdom Literature which are Job, Psalms, and Proverbs are arranged in a different order than they appear in our modern day Bibles.  Instead of Job,  Psalms, Proverbs; it’s Psalms, Proverbs, Job.  These Holy books were inspired by God to be written primarily for young men.

The Hebrew language breaks up each stage of childhood in the Bible into specific names from birth to adulthood.   I will not list them here at the moment, but what is key to point out here is the Book of Proverbs was written for young men (Hebrew: Na’ar).  Na’ar is the teenage years, 12 years to roughly 19.  During this stage of life during biblical times, young men were considered ready to learn the Law, looking to marry, and able to understand abstract concepts.  This makes sense as reknown psychologist Jean Piaget recognized that people 12 and up were in the Formal Operational stage of cognitive development.  Young children cannot think abstractly.  That is why a young child will run to the window if you say it’s raining cats and dogs.  The young child truly expects to see cats and dogs falling from the sky.  The young takes everything at its literal meaning.  [Read more…]

Spanking and Proverbs – Part 3: Believer’s Behavior

Barefoot Betsy looks at “what the rest of the Bibles says about spanking in the light of what the Bible – in particular, the New Testament – says about how we, as Christians, are to behave” in Spanking and Proverbs- Part 3: Believer’s Behavior.

Spanking is NOT God’s Will Part 1

I am reading a wonderful book by theologian, Samuel Martin, Thy Rod and Thy Staff They Comfort Me. It’s clear from historic, contextual, Hebrew info on the book of Proverbs that we are NOT to spank (hit) children. The book of Proverbs was not meant for verses to be taken out of context. Even Jewish scholars believe that spankings are for boys 12 years & up and only as an absolute LAST resort. Proverbs was written under the Law of Moses. Christians are under the Law of Christ.  What is the Law of Christ?  Grace, peace, mercy and love.  ” But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law”  Galatians 5:22-23.

Jesus freed us from the Law.  “But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law”  Galatians 5:18. When we spank, we are parenting under the Law.   We are not accepting the grace, mercy and forgiveness of Jesus.  Jesus died for us.  He was beaten to a bloody pulp for us.  Why do we feel we must beat, spank, and hit our young children who do not understand sin nor physical punishment.  “In regard to evil be infants” 1 Corinthians 14:20b.

Even Jewish scholars forbid the use of physical punishment for children under 6.  The very age Christian advocates of spanking say it’s best for.  Every time you hit a child, even “lovingly,” you create confusion, anger, fear, and resentment which breed sin later on. [Read more…]