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FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
 

FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL

SYNODOS
(Part 28)

LIBERALS IN HIGH PLACES - 3


February 12, 2015

Now this is about members appointed by Pope Francis to the special commission on the sexual abuse of children. Pope Francis says spanking is OK. This lady says spanking is wrong.

Spanking of course is OK, as it is Biblical, and makes a lot of pastoral sense (if you care to read further, I have attached below what I wrote in the book “Families in the Holy Spirit”). The reality is that many children have gone astray because of the lack of right discipline in the home, especially from fathers.

But the bleeding-heart liberals and modernists simply reject this. They talk of the rights of the child (while murdering the unborn child in the womb in gruesome ways). They talk of the negative effects on the child, citing human psychology rather than Biblical wisdom.

What has happened to tough love?

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Abuse commission members question Pope's statement on parents spanking children

Catholic World News - February 09, 2015

Members of a special papal commission on the sexual abuse of children took issue with public comments by Pope Francis on spanking, during a press conference on February 7.

During his regular weekly public audience on Wednesday, February 4, the Pope had said that there was no inherent problem with spanking, provided that parents did not harm the dignity of the children.

Krysten Winter-Green, a member of the papal commission, said that she hoped to have an opportunity to speak with the Pontiff on that subject, and perhaps change his mind. She said that any use of force, by someone in a position of power over a child, is wrong.

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(From “Families in the Holy Spirit” on “Discipline”)

The third way by which we raise our children in the Lord is through discipline.

Discipline has to do with instruction, with correction, with chastisement. It is intended to make a child realize what is the right way of speaking or acting, or to realize the folly of what is said or done, such that it will not be repeated. Discipline is intended to result in orderly conduct, in accordance with God’s ways.

For young children, from about one year old, what may be often needed is physical discipline, in the form of corporal punishment. The effective method of corporal punishment is spanking. The wisdom of the Bible tells us that “Folly is close to the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.” (Prv 22:15).

Now the modern world frowns on spanking, perhaps seeing the many instances of child abuse from parents. But God intends physical discipline to be a sign of love, as a manifestation of our desire to put our children on the right track. And if we do not do such discipline, then this may actually be a failure in love! From the Bible we learn that “He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him takes care to chastise him.” (Prv 13:24).

Physical discipline should be done in love, with the right motivation. It should not be done out of anger and should not be disproportionate to the wrong said or done. A clear explanation should be given as to why one is given a spanking. And after the spanking, the parent may express words of comfort (not apology!) to and manifest acceptance for the child, affirming one’s love. Also, at this time or some time later, the parent should take this occasion to instruct the child how to act rightly in the future.

The Bible gives further instructions. “Withhold not chastisement from a boy; if you beat him with the rod, he will not die. Beat him with the rod, and you will save him from the nether world.” (Prv 23:13-14). We are clearly instructed not to withhold chastisement. And when we do spank our children, this will inflict pain, but will not result in serious injury. The proper form of spanking is on the buttocks, and God has provided a good amount of padding on children’s behinds such that they will feel the sting of a good spanking, but will not have any lasting pain or injury. What hopefully will last is the lesson learned. And with the lesson learned, with orderly conduct restored, with life back on track, the child will be on the way to living a life that will lead not to hell but to heaven.

As children grow older (there is no set upper age limit), and as parents have consistently administered physical discipline, such that their authority would already be firmly established in their growing children, there should be less and less need to administer spanking. More and more, discipline can take other forms, such as verbal correction or the withholding of privileges.

Many parents need to realize that discipline, done in the right way and with the proper motivation, is truly a sign of love. Indeed, “Better is an open rebuke than a love that remains hidden.” (Prv 27:5). Parents normally just want what is best for their children, for their children to be happy and fulfilled in life. More specifically, Christian parents ought to want their children to live a life in the Lord and ultimately make it to heaven. Our joy as parents ought to be in seeing our children grow up knowing, loving and serving God. One way we assure this is through correction and discipline. As the Bible assures us, “Correct your son, and he will bring you comfort, and give delight to your soul.” (Prv 29:17).

A future of comfort and delight is assured not only to parents, but to the children themselves who welcome discipline. As the words of Scripture exhort them, “My son, from your youth embrace discipline; thus will you find wisdom with graying hair.” (Sir 6:18).

Discipline is something that God himself does to us as his children, in order to keep us on the right track. Moses told God’s chosen people that they “must realize that the Lord, your God, disciplines you even as a man disciplines his son.” (Dt 8:5). If we parents are to stand in God’s place and take care of the children He entrusts in our care, we need to use discipline, just as He himself does.

Discipline in youth helps people gain the wisdom to see future trials in their proper light, things to be endured as part of the discipline of God, which ultimately leads to holiness. Thus the writer of the letter to the Hebrews advises us not to forget the exhortation addressed to us as sons (and daughters): Citing from Proverbs 3:11-12, “My son, do not disdain the discipline of the Lord or lose heart when reproved by him; for whom the Lord loves, he disciplines; he scourges every son he acknowledges.”, he then continues, “Endure your trials as ‘discipline’; God treats you as sons. For what ‘son’ is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are without discipline, in which all have shared, you are not sons but bastards. Besides this, we have had our earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them. Should we not then submit all the more to the Father of spirits and live? They disciplined us for a short time as seemed right to them, but he does so for our benefit, in order that we may share his holiness. At the time, all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain, yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who are trained by it.” (Heb 12:5-11).

This passage of Scripture tells us some very important points about discipline:

  • A child who is not disciplined by a father is not a son but a bastard. In other words, discipline in the family is a sign of love and care and belonging.
  • Discipline is for the child’s benefit. Thus children should not disdain it. Further, they should not only submit to it, but also respect their parents for it.
  • Discipline may be painful for the moment (as it is intended to be), but will bear the good fruit of a life of peace, righteousness and joy.

Discipline is of God. Discipline is God’s own way of dealing with us His children. Discipline is an important means by which we raise our children in the Lord.

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