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Dear friends,

Welcome to my blog. I am honored to have you visit. I hope you'll find my articles a blessing. I welcome your input and especially comments and questions.

I write as a Christian from Jerusalem, Israel about Biblical subjects.

I am particularly interested in the subjects of children, families, women's issues, corporal punishment, science and nature as these subjects relate to the Holy Scriptures.

For more information, see my website: www.biblechild.com

With every good wish - Samuel Martin

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Corporal Punishment/Spanking/Smacking: The dialogue no one seemingly wants to have

Corporal Punishment/Spanking/Smacking:

The dialogue no one seemingly wants to have

Since 2006, since I first published my book “Thy Rod and Thy Staff, They Comfort Me: Christians and the Spanking (or Smacking) Controversy, I have been fairly active in sharing my views and research on this issue. [Today, I give my book mentioned above away freely as an ebook - download it here - http://whynottrainachild.com/2013/06/22/download-martins-book/] I have been especially interested in seeking dialogue with Christian advocates of Corporal Punishment/Spanking/Smacking of children.

But I have to make an admission here. In this regard, I’ve failed. I’ve been unable in large part to engage many advocates of Corporal Punishment/Spanking/Smacking in the religious community. This is, I believe, not for lack of trying. Let me give just a couple of examples of how I’ve tried to reach out over the years.

Last year, I was invited to participate in a discussion that one of my friends on Facebook was having with a pastor from Arizona. I joined the thread and started to share some of my views. I was making a number of statements which the pastor was disagreeing with and at the conclusion of the discussion, I proposed a solution: I would send my book directly to the pastor and we would continue the “dialogue” we opened up. I sent the book and never heard a word from that pastor again.

A similar circumstance happened to me about three months ago. I expressed an interest in engaging and opening a dialogue with interested parties who wanted to discuss the issue with the view to coming to a greater understanding of the truth. I was approached by another individual who expressed the willingness to read my book to critique it and to “dialogue” and with the view to the development of a better mutual understanding. I was really hoping for some constructive feedback or to show me where my manuscript could be improved. I sent the book and so far no “dialogue.”

This has not been the case with just pastors of churches or laypersons. I have experienced the exact same thing with theological scholars. In one case, I learned of a theological scholar who is a member of one of the USA’s largest Christian denominations. Knowing of his view due to seeing a book review done by him of another scholars book (which dealt with the subject of Corporal Punishment in fact), I wrote that scholar asking for “dialogue”. This was especially the case in light of the fact that Christianity Today recently came out with a very courageous article and they embraced a position which is much closer to what I believe. See their January 2012 issue. 

This particular scholar answered my query which sounded “very interesting”, but the scholar had no time to engage in any discussion or “dialogue” with me concerning my assertions in my book.

I wrote the scholar back in a way appealing to the need to “dialogue” on this issue with those who held different views due to the seriousness that is these days surrounding this issue. I appealed to the fact that a number of children that we do know about have died at the hands of their parents and have been judged guilty in courts of law. These points once again did not to open up the “dialogue” I have been seeking.

I have also engaged in a very short “dialogue” with a leading figure in the Christian psychological community. But that “dialogue” also went nowhere when the psychologist wanted to continue the discussion with me on terms I was simply unable to engage. I was unable to engage in a discussion about psychological studies and evidence undertaken by university professors showing that corporal punishment was not so bad after all.

On this note, I had to bow out of the discussion because if I have any gifts or know anything about this issue, it certainly is not in the area of what psychologists or sociologists think or believe.

I’ve been approached again of late by an online friend urging me in a friendly way to enter into a “dialogue” with Michael Pearl hoping I might be able to engage him and at least get him to read my book. I was and still am very willing to do the same. 

Were Michael Pearl or anyone advocate of corporal punishment be willing to engage in a meaningful dialogue concerning what the Bible may mean when is speaks about corporal punishment, I would definitely welcome that. 

I, in fact, am willing to go to great lengths on my blog and in my newsletters to see that take place. I am stretching out my hand in “dialogue” over and over, but so far hardly anyone that I know has been willing to meet me half way. 

I am praying that the LORD will open some doors to those who are concerned with what the Scriptures mean above all other considerations.

If any of you have any ideas about how I might get better results, I would love to enter into a “dialogue” with you concerning that issue. Write me at: info@biblechild.com or connect with me on www.facebook.com/byblechyld.


Unknown said...

I have posted some links at: http://otrym.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=TPWWfO%2fscFs%3d&tabid=38&mid=380 At age 60 I am still in therapy for the corporal punishment that was heaped on me including beating in school for not responding to the teacher in first grade when I had a hearing loss they had not detected. As a result I am now on SSD.

Today God is using my "been there, done that" in a youth outreach. www.otrym.org.

Unknown said...

http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2011/12/01/video-ungodly-discipline-2/ my youngest son is crying about more than hits with a board. This has to stop.

Christie M said...

It is interesting that your requests at dialogue are conversation stoppers. :/
I think people are uncomfortable talking about it, especially if they have spanked in the past, or currently support spanking. They don't want to be viewed as Child Abusers.

Cindy Foster said...

I think it has more to do with the fact that they would have to admit they were wrong, change their thinking which opens up the possibility that there could be more wrong thinking to consider. No one wants to open up that can of worms-especially when it comes to beloved traditions masquerading as sound biblical doctrine.

author@ptgbook.org said...
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Samuel Martin said...

Becasue I believe that corporal punishment/spanking/smacking is one of the most misunderstood teachings and many who promote it are in my view seriously mistaken in what they are often teaching, especially when they are in positions of leadership.

As a firm believer in CP, maybe the easiest thing to do is for you to read my book and offer your written response to show where it is in error?

I could also comment on a book or a position paper you have on the subject.

My blog is open.

author@ptgbook.org said...
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Samuel Martin said...

Thanks for your post.

I give my book away free without cost.

I will send it to you right away.

All of my writing on Biblical subjects is done voluntarily. I do not earn a living from my writing.

I would welcome a review of my book if you would wish to do one.

As I mentioned, if you have some position paper you've prepared on the subject, then I could comment on that.

Wishing you the best,

Samuel Martin

Thanks so much,

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Anonymous said...

I followed you here from The Wartburg Watch. Thank you for contributing to the dialogue there. This discussion is much needed, because there are many of us who are searching for answers.

Alicia said...

You personally may not be able to get much dialogue, but I promise that the book is being used. I have shared it with several people who believed in corporal punishment. One example is my mother. She read it and told me later that she wished this book was around 30 years ago. She is sharing the book with some of her friends as well. Keep up the good work. God is using what you wrote even if you can't see it all the time. :)