Originally Posted by kindergirl77
Originally Posted by heidirk
well...there was that one incident with the whip and the moneychangers in the temple...
It is ridiculous to think that Jesus whipped anyone. Read the verse. He used the whip to drive out the animals- not to hit people with!
-----And I also wanted to mention that 'Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child" is not found anywhere in the bible. More on that in Crystal's site www.aolff.com
Also- the Rod is a symbol of authority. We are called to be the authority in our children's lives- and yes, to discipline them. But disciple means to TEACH. We are to correct them by teaching them. Not by hitting them.
LOL, so Jesus wouldn't hit people--He would only hit animals?
What version of the Bible are you using? At least as the King James Version reads, I don't really think it's fair to call a literal interpretation of this passage "ridiculous."
"13And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
14And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:
15And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables;
16And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise.
17And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.
A literal (and standard grammatical) interpretation would take the phrase "and . . . he drove them all out" to refer to the merchants and moneychangers, since they were the subject of the first part of the sentence (right before the connecting "and"). It would be a complete sentence even leaving out the next phrase which says that He also drove out the animals. So basically he drove the moneychangers and
their animals out of the temple with a whip (that he made with his own hands, BTW).
Either way, he was at the very least using the threat of violence, and violently turning over tables and dumping out money. His righteous anger was strong, and he wasn't exactly gentle about defending His Father's house.
Jesus sometimes acted harshly, and sometimes even used force. He knocked people over, killed a fig tree that wasn't bearing fruit, spoke extremely harshly to people, etc.However
, my understanding is that He did not direct his harshness or his judgement at children, sinners or the repentant . . . it was directed at the hypocrites and those who had ultimately rejected Him and were beyond hope. Children definitely do not fit into that category (and even if they did, I don't think it is our job to decide that they are beyond hope or to exact God's judgement upon them in that way).
Jesus spoke very highly of children and very harshly against anyone who would hurt a child, turn one away from him, or cause one to stray.I agree with your conclusions that we should correct children by teaching them, not by hitting them.
But an honest and accurate reading of the Bible is very important to me, and I think it's important not to perpetuate the myth that Christians who don't advocate physical discipline of children don't really understand the Bible or take it literally and seriously.
I know that, for some people, those kinds of arguments (Jesus was never violent, the rod passages couldn't possibly mean a literal rod, etc.) are convincing. But they weren't at all convincing for me.
So, just in case someone runs across someone like me, I'll try to explain the arguments that are and are not convincing to me personally.
true that the exact phrase, "spare the rod and spoil the child" is not in the Bible. It's basically a folksy way of summarizing a few different passages such as:
|Proverbs 13:24 "He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes."
Prov. 19:18 "Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying."
Prov. 23:13-14 "Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell."
Saying, "spare the rod and spoil the child isn't in the Bible" is not a convincing argument to me. Because the Bible clearly does
convey that general idea even though it doesn't use those exact words.
To me, it is an equally unconvincing argument to say that all references to the rod or to beating in the Bible are figurative.
The "poetic symbolism" argument does
apply to passages like those in Psalms and perhaps Proverbs, that are (or at least arguably could be) speaking symbolically. But it doesn't do anything for me in understanding passages like those in the books of the Law such as Exodus 21:15, 20-21
, Deutoronomy 21:18-21
, etc. that are clearly talking about beating servants and stoning sons to death, etc.
For me, it is important to acknowledge that there are
passages that talk about literally hitting people with literal rods and whips or using other violent physical punishments. Pretending that those passages aren't there, or that they aren't saying what they are saying, will only give an excuse to disregard arguments against spanking. A different approach can be much more effective.
Understanding the type of literature and common ways of communicating can help a lot in sorting through which passages are symbolic and which are literal.
For instance, to me, a much more convincing argument is that Proverbs is, by its very nature, a set of true-isms. They're a poetic/folksy type of literature that are basically nuggets of wisdom. They are a wise man's observations of general principals, not laws or promises. So the basic underlying principle is not to reject the training and discipline of your children--to take teaching and directing them seriously. That doesn't mean we're required to do that in the same way people in the very harsh Old Testament culture did it, or in exactly the same way as in the example Solomon mentioned.
Also, it's also rather telling that Solomon's own kids didn't turn out particularly well, so that could reasonably affect how much weight we give to his parenting advice.
Some sections of the Bible, such as Proverbs, Psalms, Song of Solomon, and Ecclesiastes are a very different type of literature--and are generally interpreted and understood very differently--than sections such as the law portions, the historical narrative portions, and the epistles and more directly instructive portions. So making an argument from the type of literature, as with Psalms and possibly Proverbs being figurative, can be convincing. But trying to say that Leviticus isn't really talking about literally beating/stoning/killing people is a much harder sell.
I think it's pretty convincing that most of the non-poetic, more literal passages that show violence toward people are either (a) Old-Testament Law that does not apply to us today (i.e. the order to kill unreformable disobedient sons by stoning them) or (b) they are descriptive (narrating/telling what happened in a specific event) rather than prescriptive (instructing readers what they themselves should do).
For an example of prescriptive vs. descriptive take the story of David and Bathsheba. It's a historical account of what happened, but of course nobody believes that because the Bible talks about it, then we should all go out and murder people to take their spouses for ourselves, KWIM? It's not telling us to do that--the message is actually the opposite. The story shows the consequences of sin. It's descriptive, not prescriptive.
I find that, for me, a good response to the Lev/Ex/Deut passages is the argument that Old Testament law doesn't apply to us. OT law regulated things like slavery, polygamy and divorce that most people now understand clearly are wrong or at least less than ideal. It didn't necessarily mean that God condoned those things, but He did often meet people where they were at and work within the culture they lived in.
Jesus is quoted many times in the New Testament basically saying that the old, harsh laws no longer apply . . . for instance, where He says that the one without sin should cast the first stone, and that "eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth" no longer applies, but we should forgive and show grace.
If we look at the prescriptive passages about how to treat others, especially others in the family of Christ, in the New Testament, they are all about grace, love, mutual submission and gentleness.
|Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
Or, as the amplified version says,
|BRETHREN, IF any person is overtaken in misconduct or sin of any sort, you who are spiritual [who are responsive to and controlled by the Spirit] should set him right and restore and reinstate him, without any sense of superiority and with all gentleness, keeping an attentive eye on yourself, lest you should be tempted also.
IMHO that's a strong argument for treating our children with gentleness and grace when we find them in a fault.
These ideas are discussed quite a bit in this old thread
Anyway, I hope some of this might be helpful for anyone conversing with a person who is used to a more traditional and literal interpretation of these passages.