Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Is spanking a "salvation issue"?

(This post is having major formatting problems. No idea why!)

Is spanking right or wrong? Some Christians dismiss themselves from spanking discussions by saying, "well, it's not a salvation issue, so it doesn't matter to me." But, is it a salvation issue? 

What do we get saved from? Hell?

Matthew 1:21
She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

Galatians 1:3-5
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forevermore. Amen.

Jesus came to save us from sin here and now, not future hell. 

How did He do that?

Ephesians 2: 8-9
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

What has "saved" us is God's forgiveness, isn't it? And, it's given to people who do not deserve it. the tricky part of grasping the concept of forgiveness. 

Mostly, people, even Christians, will not forgive unless they believe the person deserves to be forgiven...and in instances that people do not deserve it they hold fast self-righteously to their unforgiveness.

For example...
Your small child is run over in the a little old lady who has just had a heart attack while she was driving to the church to do volunteer work. Can you forgive her?

Your child is run over in the a drunk teenage boy who was out partying and illegally driving his father's pick-up 30 mph over the speed limit. Can you forgive him?

God doesn't see as we see and doesn't forgive as we do...and yet He expects us to try to see how He does. We're to be imitators of Him. He doesn't judge sin on a scale...He forgives and expects us to do likewise...

Mark 11:25
Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions. [But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.”]

Matthew 6:12
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

Matthew 6:14
For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

Jesus came to save us from sin...
We are saved from our sins thru forgiveness...
Forgiveness is given to those who do not deserve it...
If we don't forgive...we can't receive forgiveness...

So, God says, "when they're old they won't depart" from how we're raised, right?
So, when we start off each person's life when their brain is laying all of its foundational pathways of dealing with life by punishing them each time they do wrong...what if they do not depart from that? 

What does punishing and spanking teach us about our salvation as we are growing up?

Think about that. Every day that passes...the future adult Christian spends their formative years being taught every time they do wrong that they must be punished in order for peace to once again reign in their world. In other order to be "saved" from their sins...they must be punished. 

And, God says they won't depart from this...HOW will they receive and give forgiveness if this is what is instilled in them from their very beginning?

Are they going to magically reach age 18 and suddenly feel free to BE forgiven without being punished? Will they suddenly be able to receive forgiveness from God? 

And, what about when they are wronged? Will they be able to forgive people who do not get punished for wronging them? And, if they can't will they receive forgiveness of their own sins?

There is a tragic story in the news right now of a 16 year old boy who made an irresponsible choice and ended up killing four people. I saw on the news that the judge decided to attempt to salvage his future by giving him probation rather than tossing him into jail until he's ready for a midlife crisis. The judge saw fit to allow this young man to continue moving forward and get an education and a job and start building a life...but with supervision. Probation for 10 years.

One of the victim's family members had this to say:

""There needs to be some justice here," Eric Boyles, who lost his wife and daughter, told CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360" on Wednesday night. "For 25 weeks, I've been going through a healing process. And so when the verdict came out, I mean, my immediate reaction is -- I'm back to week 1. We have accomplished nothing here. My healing process is out the window," he said."

The fact that these four people were killed is a clear injustice. But, I have to wonder how punishing someone who has caused an injustice brings about justice? Does putting that young man in jail suddenly make their deaths "fair"?

What is sad is that somehow, the victims families have been raised up in a culture in such a way that the only way that husband can feel peace over the loss of his wife is to see the person who made that error punished. The only way the husband will be at peace is for the child who killed his wife to also lose his life. 

The husband says, "We have accomplished nothing here."
Nothing? The judge has stepped into the young man's destroyed life and offered him "salvation" from his sins, so to speak. The judge has made a way for that young man's sins to not put him "in hell" for the rest of his life because of one (but huge) mistake he made...and nothing has been accomplished?

If one could speak with the victims...would they feel better knowing that the person who caused their deaths was in pain and also "dead" to this life...or would they feel better knowing that their deaths and the reaction of the judge have perhaps pulled that young man out of a life of futility and selfishness and sent him on a good path? Would they feel better knowing that good...or more bad...had come from their deaths? What would they feel made their deaths have meaning?

"Judge Jean Boyd told the court she would not release Couch to his parents, but would work to find the teen a long-term treatment facility.

16 year old Ethan Couch (the drunk driver that killed 4)

"There are absolutely no consequences for what occurred that day," said Boyles (husband and father of victims). 

No consequences? No consequences to what occurred that day? 

Aren't 4 people dead? 

Aren't there many people in grief? 
Aren't there babies who won't be born? 
Christmas packages that won't have anyone to open?
Friends who will never speak to their friends again? 
Hasn't Ethan's life changed forever? 
Won't Ethan forever be "the boy that killed 4 people while drunk driving?" 
Won't Ethan have to remember that he killed 4 people every day for the rest of his life? 
Hasn't Ethan's face been plastered across the internet so that his social media life will forever be plagued with haters? 
Haven't Ethan's parents lost their son? 
Haven't Ethan's parents been opened up to public shame over what their son's done especially now that the judge has declared that Ethan's killed these people because of horrible parenting and judged that taking him away from his parents is what's best for him? 
Won't Ethan's parents have to pay half a million dollars for their son to get "rehab"?
Aren't those just a few of the consequences?

The many consequences of Ethan's bad choices that day that will ripple far into eternity...

If the family members felt that the car's driver deserved forgiveness (like if the driver had been the old lady on her way to charity work having a heart attack) they would be well aware of the consequences and hoping to relieve the driver of feeling those every day. If they felt the driver deserved forgiveness they would express how badly they felt for the driver and how much they hoped the driver could move on with their life.

But, because the family members believe that Ethan doesn't deserve forgiveness they are trapped in their unforgiveness, resentment, grief, and anger. The husband's words sadly show that he has been somehow trained that punishment is the consequence for mistakes and because he can only be free from unforgiveness if the boy is punished...he is trapped. Because that boy is not being punished it is leaving some people in misery and hell...

So, is spanking a "salvation issue"? I believe it's nothing but a salvation issue.

The mother of one of the victims said menacingly to CNN reporters about the boy going to a treatment facility rather than jail, "He'll feel the hand of God..." She meant it as a "threat" but, this 16 year old boy who has hope for a future...already has...It's just too bad that in this tragedy the only person able to feel it is him...

Romans 4:7
Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven, And whose sins have been covered.

The CNN Report:

2 Corinthians 2 
But if any has caused sorrow, he has caused sorrow not to me, but in some degree—in order not to say too much—to all of you. Sufficient for such a one is this punishment which was inflicted by the majority, so that on the contrary you should rather forgive and comfort him, otherwise such a one might be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. Wherefore I urge you to reaffirm your love for him. For to this end also I wrote, so that I might put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things. But one whom you forgive anything, I forgive also; for indeed what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, I did it for your sakes in the presence of Christ, so that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes. 

Luke 11:4 
'And forgive us our sins, For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.’” 

Luke 23:34 
But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” 

Ephesians 1:7 
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace 

Ephesians 4:32 
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. 

1 John 1:9 
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 

Jesus...God...came to a fertilized go thru life just as we give His life for save us from sin and the power of the devil. Don't let the devil deny you and your children that first and truest Christmas gift...

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