Roanoke Church of Christ

Bulletins

“NEW LIFE” BULLETIN – VOL. 23, NO. 31-33 – BEAT UP A CHILD AND AWAY HE SHALL GO

The title comes from both the Bible and the title of a book by Michael Pearl. Pearl’s book uses Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go…”

If you go to the internet and type in Pearl’s name you will find an abundance of information about him and his ideas of child discipline. One is to use a piece of ¼ inch PVC plumbing supply line as a “rod”, as in “spare the rod and spoil the child”. Those who have used his methods have been convicted both of murder and child abuse.

Now, many of us have been “switched” as children, some to the point of drawing blood, which is a beating. It could have been a belt, a leather shaving strap, whatever, it was a beating.

I can remember at least one or two spankings I received as a child. As I remember, both of them had more to do with my mother’s anger than my infraction. Both were with a pancake turner, a spatula. What is also interesting is that at least one of them, if not both, had to do with food. The one I can well remember had to do with pork chops she’d overcooked. My mother was a good cook, but these were dry as a bone in the desert. I was trying to get it down, but couldn’t get enough saliva moving to soften it up to swallow. So I gagged. Not a good idea when your mother has worked all day and then tried to fix a meal. After a gag or two, out came the weapon of choice.

When I think of spankings I seem to find a good number of them involve food. I’m not sure why refusing to eat, or even gagging brings about such anger. I know I have been guilty of getting upset when my children refused to eat what was prepared. I wonder, since food and love are psychologically tied together, if the rejection of food by the child is inwardly seen by the insecure parent as a rejection of their love. I’ll leave that to the experts. Man! That pork chop was dry!

I know endless stories could be gathered and turned into a massive book (“the world could not contain…”) about how mom and dad beat the kids and they all turned out to be great, with a second equally large volume about how that does not work. Statistics show a large percentage of people who murder, abuse and otherwise cause pain, have been abused themselves, either emotionally or physically.

While searching the internet for information on Michael Pearl, I ran across a video taken in a church, where the woman conducting whatever it was she was conducting, had a large number of children around her. None of them looked to be ten years old. She had them chanting something. Then she began to tell them how bad they were and how they were phonies and sinners. The camera went from face to face showing the tears and torn emotions and their little hands raised to indicate they were indeed as bad as she said. What bothered me as much as the joy the woman seemed to have “damning” these children, was that somewhere there were parents who approved of her actions.

What makes a parent look at their children and see something that has to be broken before it can be whole? On the adult level what breaks the stubborn spirit is not God, but the circumstances the person goes through. The father in the story of the prodigal son did not toss his son into a strip joint full of prostitutes and then the pig pen. These were the results of the son’s choices. Does that mean the child should be left on it’s own to learn? That depends. If they are learning to be a person among other equal persons, there will need to be, “Johnny, that’s not how you are going to act.” What measures are taken to enforce that may vary, but not by trying to beat the action out of Johnny.

Why is it so easy for some parents, to allow another person or persons, to misuse supposed Bible-given power, to reach the point, as one family did, that beat their child to death for Jesus?

I understand some children have serious behavioral and mental problems. I can understand how that could strain the resolve of any parent. I have heard of children who are so dangerous they might kill the other children in the home. That must be heartbreaking to the parent who just wants to love and care for their child. Nothing about human nature or the lack of it is simple. I’m speaking about the average family who turns to a Christian (?) minister or teacher for advice on child rearing. It is simply wrong to use those passages from the Bible that were written for a different time and understanding.

Sadly, too many people are fond of picking out Old Testament passages and treating them as if they were (and are) the law for all times. The law about stoning a rebellious child is one. Stoning girls who couldn’t “prove” their virginity is another. Even an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth is claimed by some. Some advocate stoning homosexuals.

But what happens if we actually read the book? What a novel idea! What happens if we read the stories of Israel? How many children would have been stoned in the books of Kings and Chronicles? Let’s see, Eli’s sons, as well as Samuel’s. David’s son, Absalom. Then there’s Saul’s son, Jonathan, who broke a kingly death sentence command, but was spared, just to name a few. How many women committed adultery and were spared? Think Bathsheba, for one, and add David as well. What about the marriage laws? Read the story of a half-brother who wanted his half-sister in II Sam. 13:1-14, especially vs. 13. By the way, there were prophets of God who never said a condemning word about the breaking of these laws, or polygamy, for that matter. The people who broke these laws are often the heroes of the story. Think Samson.

Some say, “God said it. I believe it. That settles it.” That could be a statement of faith. But usually it is about a narrow, closed-minded view developed by fear and prejudice that has found a scripture that can be used to support their preconceived ideas.

It’s hard to meaningfully sing “Jesus loves the little children” and think of him beating them at the same time.
Keith kswrev@aol.com

CONCERNS: Judy Hall is recovering from a broken bone in her back. A friend of Martha Foy has lost a son, her name is Sharon Breeding. Ron Matney has been ill for a few weeks with various problems. Jenn McCready, who works with Dr. Bolin, has a serious eye problem. Former members Margaret and Tom Kincannon are in Russia teaching the Bible. Helen Nicklas has been dealing with pneumonia. Eleanor Crush is about the same. Jennie Cullum is having some problems with arthritis. Remember Wilma Cullum, Alma Martin, Joni Beach’s mother, Randy Conner, and Tim Elder.

OUR DAILY BREAD: NOV. 21-26
Monday: Genesis 2:1-14
Tuesday: Matthew 3:1-17
Wednesday: I Thessalonians 3:1-13
Thursday: Matthew 21:28-44
Friday: II Peter 1:16-2:10
Saturday : Psalm 33:1-22

OUR DAILY BREAD: NOV. 28-DEC. 3
Monday: Genesis 28:10-22
Tuesday: Matthew 18:1-14
Wednesday: Luke 5:1-11
Thursday: II Samuel 12:15b-25
Friday: Acts 19:23-41
Saturday: Psalm 91:1-16

SYMPATHY
Our hearts go out to Connie Crites and the rest of her family in the death of her father. It was somewhat expected due to an inoperable aneurism near his heart. He was 92. He was found in his favorite chair by a son who lived with him. The funeral was Saturday in Wisconsin.

BAPTISM
We were excited to learn that Brad Hager’s father was baptized a week or so ago in West Virginia. As we have mentioned before, he is 92

SUPER SUNDAY
Today, November 20, is Super Sunday. Keep this in mind and plan to attend the fellowship meal following the service today. November birthdays and anniversaries will be served first. Enjoy!

THANKSGIVING
It has been a tradition here for several years not to have a Wednesday evening service the day before Thanksgiving. Due to those who are traveling, or expecting guests, as well as the food preparation, we just want that evening to be one of anticipation for Thanksgiving. So, no evening service, Wednesday, the 23rd.

THE TROOPS
A box of goodies is about to be sent to some of our troops in Afghanistan. Erma would like to include Christmas lights and some Santa hats. See her about these items and when she needs them. Her plan is to send the first box this week.

IMPORTANT DATES
Here are some dates you need to take note of. The teenage luncheon will be December 4 in the afternoon. The teenage class will conduct the service on December 11. The date for the annual adult Christmas Party is scheduled for Saturday, December 17. Look at your calendar now to set aside that date.

THANKS
Our thanks to Wayne Phlegar and Del Bolin for bringing the sermons during the Wagner’s vacation. Lots of good comments were expressed. ALSO: Thanks to Judy McWhorter for sharing with us her experiences at the Ezell Clinic in Guatemala, as well as her experiences with the people of the country.

REMEMBER
If you would like to receive the bulletin via e-mail, please let it be known. Hard copies will be on the foyer table.

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