Spank That Child!

FROM the East Coast to the West Coast and from the Canadian border to the Mexican border we have permissiveness in Government, in courts, in schools, and in the homes. But permissiveness is not a new thing. It goes back, way back to Old Testament times. . .

-Pastor, Hunfsville, Texas, at the time this article was written

FROM the East Coast to the West Coast and from the Canadian border to the Mexican border we have permissiveness in Government, in courts, in schools, and in the homes. But permissiveness is not a new thing. It goes back, way back to Old Testament times.

The first high priest of Israel fell into that trap. Aaron lacked the force of character to discipline his two sons---Nadab and Abihu. When they came to the priesthood, they had never obeyed their father. Consequently, they did not obey God. They offered common fire instead of sacred fire, so God destroyed them by fire.

A later priest, Eli, had the character of his predecessor, Aaron. Hophni and Phinehas, too, profaned the priest's office and Cod destroyed them.

Samuel, dedicated to God from his childhood, grew up under the tutelage of Eli. He saw and knew all that happened to Eli's two sons, yet, amazingly, he failed to discipline and control his own sons. Result: When they were made judges in Israel they "turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment" (1 Sam. 8:3).

The fact that God rejected and destroyed these three sets of priests' (ministers') sons, shows that God is not a permissive heavenly Father. He will discipline, He will control, He will correct, He will chasten, He will be intolerant of permissive-waywardness on the part of His people.

The end result of God's chastening is much to be desired: "For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.... Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless after ward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby" (Heb. 12:6-11).

Permissiveness Today

All of us are frightened by the annual increase of crime. Crime is advancing five to six times faster than the population. Almost 3 million people were arrested last year for assorted misdeeds, and that fact, believe it or not, includes more than the entire male population of the State of Pennsylvania.

In addition to those arrested, tried, and incarcerated, there are more mil lions who are never apprehended, and millions more who are released through the machinations of clever lawyers. It is well said that there are more criminals outside the penitentiary than in. One would be shocked if he knew how many robbers, rapists, and murderers he meets and passes on the streets every day.

Judges and juries have "gone soft" on criminals, and criminals were the first to know it. And yet there are notable exceptions.

Samuel Leibowitz was a tough New York judge for some 30 years. He protected the innocent but meted out severe punishment to the scum guilty of crimes against public safety and public order.

The other night retired Judge Leibowitz was on the Dave Susskind show. He called for a return to respect for parents and to fear of God, and to effective punishment of the guilty. --Baptist Bible Tribune, Oct. 29, 1971.

Is Poverty the Cause?

When it comes to finding the cause of increasing crime, sentimental theorists at once pounce upon poverty, unfavorable environment born on the wrong side of the tracks, they say. Yet, this nation was never so rich and affluent as today. This present generation of youth complains about and criticizes the generation of their fathers and forefathers. But the generation under criticism is the one that has built the greatest, the most powerful, and the most affluent nation that has ever been.

This nation has more automobiles, more TV, radio, boats, better housing and most of it has come since World War II. This is the world that this generation of revolutionaries and criminals was born into.

No other nation in history has given so much to the have-not nations--more than $100 billion in twenty-five years. Few other nations have such an extensive welfare program, providing for the aged and unfortunate.

Poverty is not the cause of crime's increase. In the great depression of the thirties, when people were really poor, when they were really scraping the bottom of the barrel, crime decreased--not increased.

Crime Due to Permissiveness

A survey of prison inmates is most convincing that crime and its increase is due rather to the permissive attitude now so prevalent. The raped and murdered victim is forgotten, and the so-called poor, benighted, rapist-murderer gets the sympathy, the breaks, and too often his freedom to rape and murder again.

Permissiveness has its inception in the home with the parents. The idea that the child should not be inhibited is as erroneous as it is dangerous. I read not long ago of a three-year-old who spit in his mother's face when she put him in the crib. Being a permissive parent, she bent over the crib to talk and reason with him. He spit in her face again so she shook him lightly and he did it again. Now, completely frustrated she rushed out of the room, the loser in the battle. The child knew he had won and that mother was never able to gain control. At thirteen or fourteen the boy was completely delinquent.

If parents do not teach a child to obey, how can he learn it? No way! The Bible speaks about training up a child when he is young. And here is more inspired ad vice: "Withhold not correction from the child" (Prov. 23:13). "Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying" (chap. 19:18). "He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him be times" (chap. 13:24).

"He that spareth his rod hateth his son." It is not love that spares the rod; love applies the rod: "he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes." It is well established that a baby can be spoilt. Well, if he can be spoilt, he can be trained. Counsels to Parents and Teachers says this:

At a very early age children can comprehend what is plainly and simply told them, and by kind and judicious management can be taught to obey. Never should they be allowed to show their parents disrespect. Self-will should never be permitted to go unrebuked. The future well-being of the child requires kindly, loving, but firm discipline. Page 112.

Advertisement - Digital Discipleship (300x250)

Ministry reserves the right to approve, disapprove, and delete comments at our discretion and will not be able to respond to inquiries about these comments. Please ensure that your words are respectful, courteous, and relevant.

comments powered by Disqus
-Pastor, Hunfsville, Texas, at the time this article was written

November 1972

Download PDF
Ministry Cover

More Articles In This Issue

Famous Last Words

LUDICROUS in the light of reason, but in the light of history, sublime . . ." is the way one expositor described the missionary proclamation of the risen Christ, recorded for us in the closing paragraphs of St. Matthew's gospel. The ex-taxation man pushed aside his inkhorn and laid down his stylus at that. . .

It Is Time To Say It

THE time has come for our ministers to speak out specifically on wills, trusts, and legacies. Not in pressure but in sound education of the church. And it should come from the pulpit and from the counseling room. . .

Illness: Fundamental Causes

Where did illness come from?

That Two-Syllable Word

PEOPLE who speak (and who doesn't?) often use a mangled word that is so overworked that it becomes annoying and objectionable. I refer to the perfectly good word and. to which the second syllable a or uh has been added. . .

"The Minister's Call. . . And How to Ruin It"

THERE is one who leaves his family, possessions, and the safety of his home daily. He rises early in the morning, prepares himself for the day's toil and shoves his frail craft into the salty Atlantic. He has one goal for the day: he will catch fish. He is the Brazilian fisherman, o pescador. All along South America's vast coast lie tiny fishing villages, their shores lined.with seafaring vessels of every sort. . .

Common Folk?

GORDON is a hyperactive business man in his early forties. He spends the winter in Weiser, Idaho. Summertime finds him with his family and crew contracting for the Forest Service in eastern Oregon. His enthusiasm and love for Christ add sparkle to his eyes and spread from his grin like a contageous disease. . .

Academy of Adventist Ministers

THE South-west Region Conference was privileged to sponsor the Academy of Adventist Ministers, May 14-19, at Richardson, Texas. The lectures were held at the union office and every courtesy was extended by the union officers to help make this seminar one of the finest to be held anywhere. . .

Put That New Convert to Work

ONE question often discussed in church nominating committee meetings is whether or not to elect a new member to office, or how soon he should be involved in definite responsibilities in the church. Some feel that as a matter of encouragement a new member should be given some office as soon as possible after baptism; others feel that he should be in the church at least a full year before holding office. . .

We Work In Alaska

Today I'm writing inside a comfortable little cabin at Gambell on Saint Lawrence Island near Siberia. Outside a storm is up. Wind is blowing snow through cracks in the door. It is sifting like flour over things in the porch. The chimney is shaking, pulling on the guy wires that anchor it to the roof. Hardly anyone is going out The date is May 18 and the weather is about normal. . .

A Look At Revelation 2 and 3

ALTHOUGH the message of each of the seven letters to the churches has a special application to the period signified by the name, and the symbols used reveal the condition of the church at different periods, each message applies in some degree to every period. In attempting to decide what period is symbolized by each of the churches of this prophecy, I have in mind the time when the element referred to predominated. The period A.D. 100-323 would, therefore, symbolize Smyrna, and A.D. 323-538, Pergamos. . .

The Essence of New Testament Preaching (Conclusion)

PAUL is direct and clear sermons are born, not from within but from above. "We too believe, and so we speak" (2 Cor. 4:13). 1 Preaching is not a matter of giving all you've got within you. Such is not the work of an ambassador whose solemn task is to deliver personally a message for his king, or of a herald whose task is to make an official announcement. . .

The Challenge of Islam (Part 6)

A SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST evangelist who wishes to cross the chasm that exists between Adventists and Islam must be concerned with the quality of his endeavors. A suitable approach to Muslims---and there are several---will certainly include the power of the Holy Spirit. The commission to preach and to make disciples requires the best that we have. Yet the work of conversion is God's work. . .

The Deaconess and the Communion Service (Conclusion)

THE Lord's Supper, a symbolic meal Christ instituted on the night of His betrayal, is celebrated by most denominations at various times and in a variety of services. As the Seventh-day Adventist denomination developed, the sacramental supper became a regular part of the "quarterly meeting. . ."

View All Issue Contents

Digital delivery

If you're a print subscriber, we'll complement your print copy of Ministry with an electronic version.

Sign up
Advertisement - Southern Adv Univ 180x150 - Animated

Trending

Recent issues

See All
Advertisement - Digital Discipleship (160x600)