Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Good Old-fashioned Stoning

Photo by suzettesuzette on Flickr
It is a sad commentary on our nation that the liberal left has been so successful in discouraging parents from carrying out their Biblical responsibility to stone rebellious children.  The Bible clearly commands this in Deuteronomy 21:18-21:
 18"If any man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey his father or his mother, and when they chastise him, he will not even listen to them,
 19then his father and mother shall seize him, and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gateway of his hometown.
 20"They shall say to the elders of his city, 'This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey us, he is a glutton and a drunkard.'
 21"Then all the men of his city shall stone him to death; so you shall remove the evil from your midst, and all Israel will hear of it and fear. (KJV)

Yet the permissive parents of this age ignore this passage, claiming that it is cruel and unnecessary.  All you have to do is look at our society to see the results.  Look at the liberal areas where stoning is frowned upon, even outlawed, and compare them to the conservative areas where it is commonplace.  In countries where stoning is still acceptable, children are respectful of their parents, their religious leaders, and governmental authorities.

However, in order to be a Godly stoning, it is important that it should always be done in love, and never out of anger.  A loving, righteous parent will gather the child in his arms and explain why he is stoning her.  He will clearly explain how the child has transgressed and why, in obedience to God, the parent must stone her.  Pray with your child and make sure that the child understands that this is done in love. If this is done correctly, it will lead the child to true repentance.

The parent will then choose a stone.  The stone should be larger than a softball, but smaller than a basketball.  A boulder that is too large might be too harsh, and also unwieldy.  Because the parent is using stones rather than his hand, the child will know that it is not the parent causing the pain, but only the rock.  This will ensure that the child continues to love the parent, even while hating the stone.

The child may become distressed or cry or attempt to dodge the stones.  This must not be tolerated!  Remind the child that any attempt at avoidance will only provoke further stoning (as should prolonged moaning, screaming or any other noisy indication of pain).  Also, remember that a  Godly stoning should only hit the child in the areas above the knees and below the waist.  This will require careful aim by the parent, and is another reason why the child should not attempt to move out of the way.  This is a battle that you must win!  Remember, the Bible clearly commands stoning disobedient and disrespectful children!  If you do not follow through, you are not a righteous parent.


Consider the following story from Astrid Lindgren (author of Pippi Longstocking), told as part of her acceptance speech for the German Book Trade Peace Prize:

"Above all, I believe that there should never be any violence.  When I was about 20 years old, I met an old pastor's wife who told me that when she was young and had her first child, she didn't believe in striking children, although spanking kids with a switch pulled from a tree was standard punishment at the time. But one day when her son was four or five, he did something that she felt warranted a spanking - the first of his life. And she told him that he would have to go outside and find a switch for her to hit him with. The boy was gone a long time. And when he came back in, he was crying. He said to her, "Mama, I couldn't find a switch, but here's a rock that you can throw at me."

All of a sudden the mother understood how the situation felt from the child's point of view: that if my mother wants to hurt me, then it makes no difference what she does it with; she might as well do it with a stone. And the mother took the boy onto her lap and they both cried. Then she laid the rock on a shelf in the kitchen to remind herself forever: never violence. And that is something I think everyone should keep in mind. Because violence begins in the nursery - one can raise children into violence."

Not only is this from one of my favorite childhood authors, but even better, it is about a pastor's wife!

If you believe that the Bible teaches spanking, please, please get a Hebrew lexicon and check the words that are used.  The Proverbs verses *do not* in any way condone spanking children.  Nor does any other passage.  The Biblical support for stoning is actually far stronger, and I do not believe that the Bible really teaches us to stone our children, nor do I know anyone who does.  I have linked to and in the past.   Please do not spank out of a misguided notion that God encourages or requires violence toward our children.


Amy said...

I have only recently become aware that some Christians think that spanking is a Bible-sanctioned / mandated form of child discipline, and was quite shocked by that! I am grateful that I did not grow up in that particular Christian tradition.
I really like your analogy to stoning. Spanking is culturally accepted enough to not be too shocking to many people if used sparingly, but if you think of stoning a child instead, I don't think anyone would find that acceptable! But a stone is not really that different from some of the implements people choose to use for spanking.

Pippi said...

Very interesting point of view. Thanks for posting this.

Mike and Christie said...

I just saw this.... Awesome post! :)

Kelly said...

Amazing post! Want to know what's funny? When I was a boy growing up, we would play street football all morning until 10 am on the weekends. At 10 am we ran inside to watch Pippi Longstocking, she was our hero!

Anyway, excellent satire, I love it and totally agree. Blessings!


Mike and Christie said...

I just linked this on my blog. Thanks.