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Old 11-12-2011, 12:01 PM   #4
BarefootBetsy
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Default Re: John Piper on spanking?

John Piper answers the question "Would Jesus Spank a Child?"

-http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/ask-pastor-john/would-jesus-spank-a-child

Someone posted this in response to my Proverbs and Spanking series on the Dare to Disciple blog and I was appalled by Piper's response

My response to Piper was:

Quote:
The website you linked to reads:

Quote:
The place that I would go to help a person see that he would, when they can’t imagine that he would, is Matthew 5 where he said, “Not a jot nor a tittle will pass away from the Law until all is accomplished.” In other words, all the Law and the Prophets stand until they’re done. And the Law says, “Spare the rod, spoil the child.” That’s a paraphrase. The book of Proverbs says, “If you withhold the rod, you hate your son.” Jesus believed the Bible, and he would have done it.
My simple response is that Proverbs is not a book of law. Proverbs is not a book of commandments. To take those verses out of Proverbs and apply them as a command or as part of the Mosaic Law is to ignore the entire context of the book. I do not believe that Jesus would have ignored the context of Proverbs in order to justify hitting a child. You are free, of course, to disagree with me, but given that hitting a child directly contradicts quite a lot of what Jesus exhorts us to do, I will continue to believe that Jesus would not go so blatantly against His own teachings which are not contradictory to the Old Testament law.

The author also erroneously (IMO) extrapolates “spanking” from the word “discipline” in Hebrews 12:6. The word “spanking” does not appear anywhere in the Bible and discipline for a child does not even need to include punishments, let alone physical pain! That God disciplines us is very true and I discipline my children – somehow God manages to discipline me without whacking me on my backside (or anywhere else, for that matter) and I do the same with my children.

At the very end of the article:

Quote:
I just think spanking is really healthy for children. It is a measured deliverance of a non-damaging act of mild pain that makes the child feel the seriousness of what he’s done. It is not beating. It is not abuse. There is a clear difference. The very word “spank” exists because there is such a thing as a loving way to whop a child on his behind or his chunky thigh
So, he just “thinks” that spanking is “healthy” for children. Really? Wow. There are no words. Where is his Biblical justification for that belief? Where even is his logical justification for that belief? Children have died from the “measured deliverance” of “Biblical spankings” given by well-meaning Christian parents. Spankings can kill and yet this person believes that they are “healthy” for children?

Personally, I think the word “spank” exists because it sounds better and more sanitized than “hit” does – not because there is a “right way” to hit someone else without their consent (lovingly or otherwise). Both “spank” and “hit” have almost the exact same definition. They are the same thing… but when one talks about hitting a child it sounds much worse. I say, call a spade a spade. Spanking (in my opinion, of course) is nothing more than the societally-sanctioned hitting of a person who is often less than half the size of the person doing the hitting.

I do like a fair amount of what John Piper has to say, but even someone who can get so much right, can be mistaken about other things. I stand by my findings: That the Bible only endorses hitting a child if you take the Proverbs verses completely out of context and ignore the vast majority of the New Testament teachings – including the doctrine of Christ crucified.

~B.
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Barefooting through life with dh (2003), dd1 (11/05), dd2 (7/07), dd3 (11/09), and ds (8/13).

Unless explicitly stated otherwise, any views or opinions presented in the above posts are solely those of BarefootBetsy, the GCM member, and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of anyone else in the entire world.
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