July 18, 2012

Spare the Rod and Spoil the Child?

On June 8th of this year Prosperity Preacher Creflo Dollar (yes, that’s his name) was arrested for assaulting (choking involved) his 15 year old daughter when she would not co-operate with his ban on her going to a party after midnight. In my life time, the issue of corporal punishment and whether it is acceptable or not an acceptable practice for parents to use with their children has become a contested and controversial one, whereas when I was a child, not only was it seen as an accepted means of dealing with a disobedient child, it was also seen as an accepted means of dealing with a disobedient student in school. Principals and vice principals had ‘boards of education’ that they were not afraid to use on the backsides of recalcitrant or rebellious students. Nowadays, our culture has other ideas about this matter, and some would even call the use of any physical discipline, including spanking, an example of child abuse or assault.

What should we think about these matters as Christians? Is there really no difference between physical discipline and assault or child abuse? And what does the Bible actually say on the matter? Well there is a famous verse in Proverbs used to justify physical discipline, and perhaps it would be useful to look closely at it first.

Read the rest here.