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post #41 of 81
The thought of spanking a 9 month old child just makes me sick to my stomach.
post #42 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by benj View Post
i'm jewish so i have never followed the new testament...however, the christian bible that people use today to justify physical disipline has been translated and rewritten so many times. the reference to stoning a son who is unruly, actually was referring to a grown-man who is a drunk and steals money from his parents. there are many things in the bible that we do not advocate today. there was incest and parents were allowed sell their children into slavery. you can't really use the text as a guide until you use it relative to the way society has evolved today, not the norm thousands of years ago.
Yes. I do believe God speaks to me through the Bible -- but I also believe much of it shows where mankind was at in maturity, at the time of the writing (it especially shows the maturity and perceptions of the individuals writing).

I believe that to a great extent, God has been very hands-off and patient in terms of allowing mankind to grow up and grow into various realizations about what is truly loving and moral. When I read historical accounts of prevalent attitudes in earlier time-periods, it seems to me that human societies were nowhere NEAR as empathetic as many humans are today -- especially toward those who are most different from them.

Within the last year, I've kind of done a huge double-take and about-face, in terms of what direction I think human society is going in. I used to be much more fundamentalist, and thought it was just getting worse and worse, as the fundamentalist Christian leadership tends to insist. But when I really started looking at it objectively -- I realized I'd much rather be a woman living and raising children today, than I would 500, 1000, or 2000 years ago --

And NOT so much because of modern conveniences, as because of modern tolerant and caring attitudes.

So ... while I believe God speaks to me through the Bible, I don't believe He wants me to take it all literally as His Word for me to follow today. I believe a great deal of it just expresses how mankind USED TO see God, and not how God really IS.

I'd love to talk about this more in-depth! What do you guys say we see if the moderators will move it to Religious Studies -- or is there anyone here who doesn't have a high enough post count yet to go over there? I sure wouldn't want to leave anyone out!
post #43 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by dearmama22 View Post
The thought of spanking a 9 month old child just makes me sick to my stomach.
Me too, Like seriously want to break down and cry.
post #44 of 81
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dearmama22 View Post
The thought of spanking a 9 month old child just makes me sick to my stomach.
Thats what i assumed most people would feel. But i was shocked and appauled that i was the first person to say anything about it being wrong!
post #45 of 81
Quote:
Within the last year, I've kind of done a huge double-take and about-face, in terms of what direction I think human society is going in. I used to be much more fundamentalist, and thought it was just getting worse and worse, as the fundamentalist Christian leadership tends to insist. But when I really started looking at it objectively -- I realized I'd much rather be a woman living and raising children today, than I would 500, 1000, or 2000 years ago --

And NOT so much because of modern conveniences, as because of modern tolerant and caring attitudes.

So ... while I believe God speaks to me through the Bible, I don't believe He wants me to take it all literally as His Word for me to follow today. I believe a great deal of it just expresses how mankind USED TO see God, and not how God really IS.

I'd love to talk about this more in-depth! What do you guys say we see if the moderators will move it to Religious Studies -- or is there anyone here who doesn't have a high enough post count yet to go over there? I sure wouldn't want to leave anyone out!
I would be interested in this topic- how high does my post count have to be?
post #46 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by momma_unlimited View Post
I would be interested in this topic- how high does my post count have to be?
http://www.mothering.com/discussions...play.php?f=265 is the forum link. I think you need 50 posts and to have been a member for 30 days.
post #47 of 81
I would point out that the bible urges parents not to be to harsh with their children and that starting to hit a child when they are nine months old seems to be a harsh reaction that is done out of anger. I wouldn't get into a huge debate about it though because it is unlikely to change anything and it is an energy drainer and very stressful and I find that when I am engulfed in stress and my energy is drained I can't be the calm mother that I want to be.
post #48 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by beansmama View Post
As another atheist I'd have to disagree. If you are a christian you believe Jesus IS God...so although Jesus' example may have been more compassionate...God was vicious in the old testament...and since the Bible claims God doesn't change, doesn't make mistakes, etc...Jesus is just as bad as God.
Noooo... if you are Catholic, you believe that Jesus IS God. there are a number of Christian denominations that recognize that they are separate beings.

On topic, I don't think it is any big surprise that different passages in the Bible contradict one another, and that some seem to be pro spank and others pro gentle discipline. Very few people really read their entire bibles thoroughly enough and with enough scholarship to make well educated judgements about what the message really is.

This from a drifting toward agnosticism former Christian.
post #49 of 81
[QUOTE Very few people really read their entire bibles thoroughly enough and with enough scholarship to make well educated judgements about what the message really is. [/QUOTE]

I totally agree. Having studied the Bible in college, I really began to understand why their is so much "contradiction" between OT and NT- because God was relating to man on two different levels, or "covenants". The first was based on man trying to save himself- which he essentially "asked for" in exercising free will to disregard God's original plan- and is characterized by tit for tat, legalism, "an eye for an eye". The second is based on God saving man- grace and mercy- "greater love hath no man than that he lay down his life for his friend". Therefore, I find it to be very ignorant for a person to claim being a gentle mother is anti-Christian; the theme of the NT (the way God relates to us currently) is laying down your life for the sake of others, which is what, as a mother, I do all the time- especially when my kid's behaviour is bothersome.
post #50 of 81
Quote:
=momma_unlimited;13897338][QUOTE Very few people really read their entire bibles thoroughly enough and with enough scholarship to make well educated judgements about what the message really is.

I totally agree. Having studied the Bible in college, I really began to understand why their is so much "contradiction" between OT and NT- because God was relating to man on two different levels, or "covenants". The first was based on man trying to save himself- which he essentially "asked for" in exercising free will to disregard God's original plan- and is characterized by tit for tat, legalism, "an eye for an eye". The second is based on God saving man- grace and mercy- "greater love hath no man than that he lay down his life for his friend". Therefore, I find it to be very ignorant for a person to claim being a gentle mother is anti-Christian; the theme of the NT (the way God relates to us currently) is laying down your life for the sake of others, which is what, as a mother, I do all the time- especially when my kid's behaviour is bothersome.
the reason why there is so much contradiction is that the stories of the two testaments were orally recited way before they were written down. the "gospels" in the new testament were written generations after jesus supposedly lived...and no one knows who wrote them. there are practical reasons for the contradictions.
post #51 of 81
Tell them that in the bible the shepard uses his staff to guide his sheep...not beat them.
post #52 of 81
Quote:
the reason why there is so much contradiction is that the stories of the two testaments were orally recited way before they were written down. the "gospels" in the new testament were written generations after jesus supposedly lived...and no one knows who wrote them. there are practical reasons for the contradictions.
I really think a debate over whether the Bible is a compilation of oral recitations turned into a game of "telephone" is beyond the scope of the OP's question. I'd love to dish it out right back at ya , but I think that would be thread hijacking.

My point, coming from a religious family who spanks, is that the religious reasoning behind spanking is often based on the idea that we should all still relate to each other on a system of legalism and punishment for wrongdoing; a "gentle Christian mother" can in fact exist when we change our framework to one of grace and mercy, laying down your life; believing the punishment a justice-seeking God cannot ignore for wrongdoing already has been exacted upon a perfect substitute.

Whether or not anyone thinks God is nice or He is vicious, can't we try to keep this conversation focused on the OP's question? It could be an informative dialogue... instead of inflammatory remarks on beliefs people hold dear, or assuming Bible-believers are ignorant/hypocritical to their own faith *not to spank*, we could try to understand why some people think God wants them to hit their 9 month olds and why others reading the same book don't... perhaps that would be enlightening?
post #53 of 81
It is because of the acceptace and encouragement of the local community and leaders, not so much an individual's interpretation.

In other words, the point of change is not so much finding individual phrases in the Bible (we all know you can find contradicting ones for every topic) but what specific communities are agreeing is the "right one". Finding leaders and groups who are spiritual and moral examples (not Bible phrases) are key. Finding preachers, groups, etc. within their denomination that are against it is more important in convincing people than finding just the right line from the Bible.

If the preacher spends his time talking about unruly kids, obedience, quotes only the "punishing" lines, and hands out books that describe spanking as a way to manage kids... it becomes part of the accepted culture (or was there already and the preacher is reflecting that). A preacher who talks about patience, forgiveness, gentleness, and respect will either intitate or reflect THAT communities values.
post #54 of 81
Quote:
It is because of the acceptace and encouragement of the local community and leaders, not so much an individual's interpretation.
I agree- and when an individual breaks away from it, it is because they read their Bible with a new understanding... right?
post #55 of 81
correct me if i am wrong but wasn't jesus rather fond of children?

i like the shepherd thing too... they don't beat their flocks with a stick, jesus didn't beat his flock, maybe we should follow those examples.
post #56 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeminijad View Post
Noooo... if you are Catholic, you believe that Jesus IS God. there are a number of Christian denominations that recognize that they are separate beings.

On topic, I don't think it is any big surprise that different passages in the Bible contradict one another, and that some seem to be pro spank and others pro gentle discipline. Very few people really read their entire bibles thoroughly enough and with enough scholarship to make well educated judgements about what the message really is.

This from a drifting toward agnosticism former Christian.
Catholic??!! That's quite a bit narrower than the reality, which includes the Orthodox, the Anglicans, Lutherans, Calvinists, Anabaptists..... The church as a whole spent a lot of time hashing this out in its early years, and the two-different guys version was rejected resoundingly. Now, some of those groups have survived, but have not really been considered part of the cChristian Church for a long time - and more have appeared since the Reformation, but to restrict it to Catholics, by which I assume you mean Roman Catholics, is not really very accurate. The Trinity is one of the definingfeatures of Christianity, once you move beyond it you have a structurally very different theology.

I'd be interested to know what denominations are really committed to spanking. While I have known Christians who spanked, none of the really common ones here seem to support it as a theological position.
post #57 of 81
i grew up catholic and we weren't spanked. neither were most of my friends. my mom was raised catholic and they were spanked though... tbh i don't know what the official position is.. or if there is an official position. the nuns and priests in my life were always gentle and kind ... i just cant imagine them striking a child. when i think of the saints i knew the most about and was most fond of growing up they are all gentle people. i am sure there are some non gentle saints out there though.

i don't know anyone who was spanked b/c of religion. i know religious people who spanked their children but it was more of a you do what you know kind of thing.
post #58 of 81
Oh, I'm so glad this is in Religious Studies now so I can share more in-depth about my journey!

I will say here, though, that many Universalists do accept the whole Bible as God's Word -- but just don't take the same parts literally as many fundamentalists do. I.e., they point out that the word that often gets transated as "hell," really means gehenna (sp?) -- or garbage-dump -- specifically the burning garbage-dumps outside the city where the fires never went out. (You can read about this more on the Tentmaker site -- http://www.tentmaker.org/)

As a matter-of-fact, I can't remember if I read about this on the tentmaker site, but there are Christians who believe the end-times prophecies were fulfilled within the First Century AD -- specifically in the sacking of Jerusalem in AD 70. At that time, believers had already been dispersed through persecution, or any who may have remained believed in Jesus's warning to get out of Jerusalem prior to this horrible event.

So it was unbelievers who were there and made to go through the horrible seige, until finally their dead bodies were cast into the blazing garbage dumps outside the city (I've learned a great deal about this from a woman on the RadChristianUnschoolers list I'm part of -- here's her blog -- http://shalomdena.blogspot.com/) ...

Anyhow, I thought I'd share here that much of my journey away from believing in a punitive God, stemmed from a comment made by a friend who was worried over my girls' souls. She disagreed with my decision not to spank, and worried that since they were just getting to know God as Lamb and not Lion -- how would they cope when they learned about the God who inflicts pain???

This got me thinking, and I started realizing I no longer viewed God as punitive as my friend did, and as I had been taught to believe myself. In my case, I now feel that much of the Bible is a reflection of the maturity and perceptions of people in the time period the words were written, and is not God's Words directly to me --

Rather, it's about God's conversations with earlier people, and it's really about God meeting them where they were at (as He meets us), and being patient, and allowing them to interpret things in their own ways -- as He is patient with each of us in our many misconceptions. And of course I believe God sometimes speaks to me through the Bible -- and He is ever-eager to commune with me and speaks to me in any way I will listen to Him.
post #59 of 81
Oh, and I no longer perceive God as a vengeful Being with a compulsive need for sin to be punished before He can commune with us.

In The Shack by William P. young, the idea is introduced that God has never been separated from us. This idea has developed further in my mind through reading the ideas of Dena, the woman whose blogspot I just linked to above. Dena points out that The Fall in the garden didn't result in God separating Himself from man -- but, rather, God was still intimately-involved in their lives, making clothes for them.

Dena seems to feel (and I do, too) that The Fall represents the point in human consciousness where man became aware of himself as a self-determining being who could make his own choices -- this is similar to what Jean Liedloff says in The Continuum Concept -- that every culture carries some sense of "innocence lost," and she feels this may represent the point in human evolution, I can't remember her exact words, but it seems similar to what Dena says about man becoming self-aware of his ability to make choices.

Dena describes the fall as a phase in our growing up, and she feels it was actually time for us to move out of the garden, into the world, and branch out. But she feels The Fall also caused us to lose our awareness of our connectedness to God -- similar to what was said in The Shack, she feels that this is when we began believing, wrongly, that we were separated from God by our "sin," or really our independence.

The Shack also says (or seems to me to say) that when Jesus felt God had forsaken Him on the cross, this was Him feeling what mankind had been feeling ever since The Fall, but that God was really still with Him and never left Him.

And this reminds me of what I've learned about new babies essentially seeing themselves as part of their mothers, and then eventually realizing they are separate people -- and of course Erickson talks about the phase of autonomy versus shame and guilt. But the reality is that, even as our kids grow up and branch out, they are forever, as the old saying goes, pieces of our heart that are now living outside of our bodies --

We parents can feel the everlasting ties -- but for many young people, it takes a while for them to come full circle and realize they have never been outside of our love and our family.

So, the logical question here is: if we've never been separated from God, and if God doesn't "need" to extract blood and suffering for sin -- then why on earth did Jesus need to come and die?

The Shack describes the law as something we needed in order to feel some sense of control, after the fall and our resulting (and false) sense of independence and separation from God. To me, the law now actually seems like it was even man's attempt to control and manipulate God -- as in, If I do X, then God "has" to do Y for me (or give me Y) in response.

Once we lost the assurance of the reality that we were eternally-connected to God, it was just too scary for us to feel so alone and vulnerable to whatever might happen to us. So we needed to make ourselves some hoops to jump through, in order to feel we'd earned God's protection and provision.

But it became very burdensome, because we weren't capable of fulfilling all the law's requirements -- yet we were convinced that fulfillment was necessary before we could count on God to help and save us. Yet no matter how much we sacrificed for our sins, we still felt condemned and burdened under the weight of all these laws and our obvious insufficiency.

So I now believe Jesus came to BE the Perfect Sacrifice -- in order to satisfy the requirements of our own legalism -- a legalism that was compelling us to extract more and more blood and suffering, from ourselves as well as others, before we could feel that we/they were right with God.

Of course, "..now (I) see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face" -- I feel that in this lifetime, I will never be "done" learning the truths about the death of my Lord -- just as I will never be "done" learning the truths about His wonderful life that continuously-pulses through all of us, whatever we believe.

So ... this is no completed, "case-closed," theology -- and I am so happy that God has freed me to move into an ever-open and expanding theology ... and for more ideas on this, anyone who's interested might stop in on another thread I started in this forum, on the debate between Reza Aslan (progressive Muslim) and Sam Harris (Atheist).

Oh, and Disclaimer: though The Shack and Dena have greatly influenced me in developing my views on Universalism and God not needing to punish sin -- my views are not necessarily the views of the author of The Shack or of Dena.
post #60 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by KristaDJ View Post

I'd just point out that the instructions to beat the devil out of them and not spare the rod are OLD testament and that since we are under Christ and grace we are not bound by those laws anymore. The same as we are no longer to seek revenge ("an eye for an eye") but we are to "turn the other cheek."
Pardon me, but this is wholly inaccurate. If you're going to debate how Christians justify spanking based on their interpretation of the Bible, be my guest. But attributing that justification to the Torah (your "Old" Testament) is based on a complete fallacy.

There is Not. One. Place. in the Torah that would tell anyone to 'beat the devil' out of anyone. Such a thing is completely out of bounds.

The whole supposed 'legalism' argument is also based on an utterly flawed understanding of the Torah. Yes, we have mitzvot (what you call laws). They are G-d's instructions to us about how to bring holiness into the world. They require correct understanding/interpretation (in the form of the Oral Law). And they do not justify beating children.

(By the way, the 'eye for an eye' verse has nothing to do with retribution or revenge. Its real meaning is about just compensation for an injury. If you don't understand the original language and/or the Oral Law that explains it, you would have no clue about this).

A 'rod' in Hebrew is used to guide sheep, not beat them. That is the meaning of the verse in Mishlei (Proverbs). You won't find any Jewish texts defending the beating of children in any context, for any offense. (If you come across a verse you think justifies it, provide the original Hebrew, and I'll tell you what it really means).

Don't make this about rejecting the so-called 'legalism' and 'retribution' of the 'punishing G-d' of the "Old Testament." This has nothing to do with that; Christians (who presumably all follow the New Testament) may have theological debates about spanking children, but those of us who live the life of Torah don't -- it's forbidden, and that's it.
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