So Sad

Every time I hear a story like this, it tears me apart on the inside.

Since I can’t seem to get the link function to work, this is the address http://www.newsobserver.com/102/story/418676.html.

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8 responses to “So Sad

  1. Tragic. On many levels. Tragic for the family, the kid, the people who knew him, and the (legit) Christian community at large, because these are the kind of stories the left uses to demonize believers and a few malignant social workers use when they target (legit) Christian homes to destroy.

    I’m wired a bit differntly that you–and most people (surprise, I know. My first instinct for stories like this is “Get the *#!% who is responsible,” or in this case, all of the #*@@&.

    Oh–if the parents want to be technical about “sparing the rod,” they might want to know that “rod” refers to a living switch (like the kind my mom cut off the peach tree in back of our house). Not even Justice Stevens methods of interpretation can turn “switch” into “metal pipe.” Once again, the Devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.

  2. But the article is not at all out of in line their analysis of the Pearl’s material. Their stuff is horrible, and their theology is even worse. Camille would be the best person to comment on this one.

  3. Again, we have the Devil citing Scripture.

    Too bad we Protestants don’t have a formal church structure. Then we could excommunicate *#@@&! like the Pearls.

    I’ve never looked into Camille’s arguements on not spanking at all. That’s a far cry from what we have here, but I know better than to dismiss something she says…

  4. She’s got a really well devlopled theory, although I’ve only been able to see it in little pieces. I’d love to see a complete start-to-finish discussion of the topic. So much of what she believes resonates so well with how God treats us. It’s a much more hopeful and grace-ful way of parenting.

  5. OK, let’s take that theme that we should treat our kids as God treats us. Makes sense, and the overwhelming majority of the time it points toward grace, forgiveness, patience, self-sacrifice, and teaching. Following that model would change how a majority of parents in the circles in which we grew up parent a majority of the time. Al Gore would be happy because fewer switchs would get picked off trees.

    But what about the final 5%? Can we rule out the passage in Hebrews about God scourging disobedient children, and that disobedient children who are not scourged as bastards? I’m not sure how to one can escape the fact that despite His overwhelming preference for grace, sometimes God uses more painful (note I did not say more powerful, as it is the Kindness of God that leads to repentance) methods of disciple in extreme circumstances.

    Should not earthly parents do the same thing?

  6. “Scourgeth” in Hebrews? Mastigoo (http://www.blueletterbible.org/tmp_dir/words/3/1142636494-7533.html) in that context is closer to “discipline” than beat. Like a teacher who allows the natural consequences of a failure to settle in. God doesn’t necessarily protect us from natural or logical consequences. You drink and drive, you may die or kill someone else. You don’t prove your love for a child by protecting them from the consequences of their poor actions. Punishment is adding pain and shame to those natural or logical consequences.

    Besides “son” and “child” in every instance in Scripture where the rod is mentioned (the 4 verses in Proverbs and that one in Hebrews 12) does not mean “little one.” It means, usually, a 15-20 year old!

    The Pearls are the worst. THe absolute worst. We as Christians must rise up and stop this mania. I don’t even know where to begin with how horrible they are. . . . I can find some links. Have you looked at their website? Gary Ezzo and Tedd Tripp aren’t much better. Tedd Tripp is the source that everyone in our world recommends, and he advises to “spank them until they’re happy” and to even give bare-bottom spankings to 8 month-old babies for wriggling on the changing table. I’m not kidding. And this is what passes for sound BIBLICAL advice in our world.

    Three better alternatives to Pearl, Ezzo, and Tripp are Clay Clarkson’s _Heartfelt Discipline_, Tim Kimmel’s _Grace-Based Parenting_, and Jeff VanVonderen’s _Families Where Grace is in Place_ — in that order.

    A good article summarizing the case for Biblical parenting is here: http://www.fix.net/~rprewett/millstones.html

    When we offend one of these little ones, we’re offending Christ Himself.

  7. On the Pearls, I had never heard of them before. Does anyone else here find it disturbing that churches in our circles openly condemn anyone who is not separated enough, but never openly condemn people like the Pearls by name? Shouldn’t we be just as wary of them as we are of someone who advocates setting foot in a movie theater?

    Another thing I don’t think I have put together before is the millstone verse. Normally we hear that verse in context of those who teach heresy, who don’t discipline kids, abortionists, child molestors, etc. But I agree with Camille that it does, and should, apply to those who discipline their children in any way (especially spanking) that consistently fails to reflect the character of God.

    I defer on the interpretation of “son” in any language but English. 🙂 That does seem at odds with the overall policy of parents who spank little kids but not older teens.

    The link to Prewett makes sense to me; I can’t find anything to disagree with there. We need more teaching like that in our churches. Discipline is certainly never done to control a child.

    I suspect in practice, my own views on spanking would not look much different from Monica and Camille (not that I will have opportunity to put mine into practice). But I think the readers of this blog understand the substantial difference between arguing that some action is wrong most of the time, in most of the ways in which it is currently practiced, and arguing that something is ALWAYS wrong. There is a gap, and nothing I have yet read bridges that gap.

    I confess to being a devil’s advocate here, but I am not yet persuaded on the always point. I can reconcile the questions Prewitt asks with spanking, although only in rare circumstances. Camille makes an outstanding point that often the best discipline is when children face the consequences of their own actions rather than pain and shame introduced from an outside source. But what about wrongoing where the consequences are diffuse and distant?

    I could rattle off exceptions, but will pass. It’s just that none of the arguments I have yet read, here or elsewhere, seem responsive to the question of whether spanking is wrong on ALL occations as opposed to merely ALMOST ALL.

    Oh, and I could try and argue that my parents did a decent job on this point. I think they did, but but then, yall might know my sister and I so well that my arguement would be counterproductive!
    🙂

  8. I’m not Camille, but maybe. . . bard and monica. . . you wouldn’t mind if I commented on a few things that stood out?

    “Oh–if the parents want to be technical. . .”rod” refers to a living switch . . . Not even Justice Stevens methods of interpretation can turn “switch” into “metal pipe.”

    The article states the parents in question did not use metal pipe but “plumbing supply lines,” which is in line with Michael and Debi Pearl, “a light, flexible instrument will sting without bruising or causing internal damage. Many people are using a section of ¼ inch plumber’s supply line as a spanking instrument.”

    Gary Ezzo teaches that children ought to be “chastised” with a “biblical rod” which he describes as “somewhat flexible, not stiff or unbending” instrument (GKGW, p.220). Ezzo families sometimes describe this being a wide strip of rubber tubing, a rubber show sole, a thin razor strap, or a large glue stick.

    Credenda Agenda suggests, “. . .wood seems the obvious choice. Look for something about a cubit long that flirts with flexibility, but be sure it’s strong enough. . .” Volume 14, Issue 4.

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