How Many Churches Allow and Even Encourage Abuse

Valerie Tarico looks at the problem of  Christian discipline leading to abuse in “Bible-based” discipline has led to child abuse in Salon Magazine.  I am seeing non-believers getting more and more concerned with this issue and rightly so.  It breaks my heart that abusive Christians are giving Christianity a bad name.  Of course, it is only natural that they are trying to find a way to stop the abuse.  My only concern with that is that their definition of abuse often includes teaching children that they are sinners in need of salvation, which is the heart of the Gospel.

Because of that article, Pastor Doug Bursch (who was raised in a grace-filled, loving home) discussed the problem with M. Dolon Hickmon on his Christian Talk Radio show, Live from Seattle 820AM.  This conversation is extremely interesting as well as important.  Dolon explains how important it is for Christians to recognize abuse.  Not only do churches fail to notice abuse, they often inadvertently encourage it.  He explains how each person listening to a sermon about spanking has a different definition for the words being used.  Both abused children and their parents assume that the word, “spanking” means exactly what they are currently doing and are being validated that they should continue, even if the pastor preaching means nothing of the sort.  Raising awareness is very important and he has a lot of hope that the book he wrote will go a long way towards that.  You can get information about his book here.

 

A Survivor Speaks

M. Dolon Hickmon shares about the abuse he endured while growing up and how being spanked “The Right Way” almost destroyed him in (*triggering*) A Survivor’s Conversation With Christianity.  This post serves to introduce his Opus (a work of fiction)  which apparently needs backers. However, it does seem like it could be of interest to my audience, especially since works of fiction have been known to be the catalyst for social reform in many cases.  Some notable examples would be Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Ramona and The Grapes of Wrath.

Here is the author’s response to the question of why he doesn’t just get a publisher.

Update:  The book has been published and got a favorable Kirkus Review.

More Investigation from CNN

CNN continues its investigative report of abuse among fundamental Christians and how it relates to the Pearls’ teachings.  Jocelyn Zichterman, who was raised in this culture and started Freedomfromabuse.net, explains the concept of Breaking The Will and how spankings must continue until the child submits even if it takes several hours. This video seems to cut suddenly, I’m wondering if this series will continue.

The Effect of Spanking on Children

Carissa Robinson shares a true story of how spanking affected one child growing up in Lock ‘Em Up, Throw Away the Key.

The Right Way to Spank?

Dulce de Leche questions the common idea that spanking is not harmful when done without anger in Spanking In Anger — What Does It Matter?