Welcome message

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

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Trip Down A River to the Source - Part One

A Trip Down A River to the Source - Part One

I recently saw some really beautiful photographs of a mother carrying her recently born baby girl and the images really took me back to the times when my own girls were small.

I also recently got to hold a six month old baby, which is not an everyday occurrence for me especially when you have an eleven and seven year old.

These recent experiences reminded me of some very powerful Biblical texts that describe motherhood and I was able to see something that I had not really appreciated before.

What I saw was a new way of looking at our compassionate God, a loving Father, who chooses to express His love and compassion using the most interesting of terms and some of them exhibit a pretty deep connection to the femininity of motherhood. For example, note the following:

Rejoice with Jerusalem “Before she was in labor she gave birth;
before her pain came upon her she delivered a son.
Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things?
Shall a land be born in one day?
Shall a nation be brought forth in one moment?
For as soon as Zion was in labor she brought forth her children.
Shall I bring to the point of birth and not cause to bring forth?”
says the LORD; “shall I, who cause to bring forth, shut the womb?”
says your God. “Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her, all you who love her;
rejoice with her in joy, all you who mourn over her;
that you may nurse and be satisfied from her consoling breast;
that you may drink deeply with delight from her glorious abundance.”
For thus says the LORD: “Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river,
and the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream;
and you shall nurse, you shall be carried upon her hip,
and bounced upon her knees.
As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you;
you shall be comforted in Jerusalem
 (Isaiah 66:7-13 ESV)

This passage comes to mind when I saw these photos from this new mother. The pictures really show a deep mother/child connection, the essential natural experience of nurture through breast feeding, the closeness of carrying your child, the sheer joy of playing with them and of course describing humanity's redemption using birth imagery. This is what these photos conveyed and it is the exact picture being displayed in the above text.

I guess being a resident of Jerusalem, the home of the Mother Church of Christendom, (which was built originally on the Mount of Olives near a cave where not only did our Lord reside and teach his disciples when He visited the Jerusalem area, but where He was also raised from the dead) gives me a special connect to what St. Paul was saying: 

"But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother." (Galatians 4:26 ESV)

The picture that this text is also showing us is a glimpse of heaven come to earth and most importantly, the experience that Isaiah and Paul chose to make this comparison is the mother child relationship! This should come as no surprise to anyone who has even the most basic understanding or experience with maternal love. It is without equal and one of the most powerful expressions of love in existence. This is what Isaiah is telling us. It is to be compared to heaven coming to earth!

This also gives us pause when we think about what Paul says about the Jerusalem above and how he calls her "our mother"! Quite a statement from someone who saw the third heaven and it definitely gives us all something to think about. (II Corinthians 12:4) 

Yet, there is something in this text of Isaiah which is so important and which I saw a connection to that I had not heretofore seen before and herein I found an opportunity for learning something else, because this missing element I think helps us to see a different view on the maternal side of God.

Honestly, some people (none of them mothers) seem to get very nervous when you start talking about the maternal side of God. However, this is only the case in religious environments where men are firmly in control and women are marginalized. But thankfully, in serious and mature Biblical academia, there is no nervousness or lack of comfort in discussing these Biblical texts because they are given the deep respect they demand and are taken to their logical and natural conclusions for mature Christians who have "eyes to see" and "ears to hear" their true meanings. 

They show us really the integration of femininity into the Godhead in a way that allows us humans to appreciate it in a practical way. After all, all of us have mothers that we know, love and feel close to (under ideal and normal circumstances we hope).

But before we get into the details of this text, let's give a general survey of some of the more specific female features associated with God. Yes, you read correctly!

 Here I am fortunate to have been taught these things when I was younger by my late father who published a number of important papers on this subject. Note a comment here where he discusses this issue of God's feminine side. He goes right to the top academic sources to discuss some important texts which address this issue directly. 


Controversial: To Spank or Not to Spank by Matt "Coach" Furey

Controversial: To Spank or Not to Spank by Matt "Coach" Furey

Note: I would respectfully like to thank Matt Furey
for giving his permission for me to post this article
from his newsletter, which I thankfully received
from a close friend. I believe there is an opportunity
to learn from this post. Please check out his website
- www.mattfurey.com - I am very much looking
forward to reading more of Matt's wisdom, especially
 on this subject. His post begins below.

 Over the past two weeks I've been listening to accusations of
child abuse involving NFL running back Adrian Peterson
and his four-year old son.

The allegations go way beyond a slap or swat on the
rumpus. Word is that the boy sustained welts and
bruises all over his body. Some of the wounds supposedly
drew blood.

Last Wednesday, whilst driving to practice Tai Chi, I turned on
the radio and instead of music, I listened to a call-in
show. Guess what the topic of conversation was?

"Should you spank your child and if you do, when does
a spanking cross the line and equal abuse?"

Both men and women rang the station. The announcer
himself talked about how he got beat regularly by his
parents - and even told how he doesn't just threaten
his children with "the belt" - because threats aren't

Yep, at times he takes off the belt and  gives his children
an unspecified number of lashes.

Although i was only listening for about 40 minutes, I
didn't hear a single parent say that spanking your child
is wrong under any and all circumstances.

Neither will I.

But what I will say is what was taught to me long ago
by an Aikido martial arts master.

To paraphrase the story:

One day an Aikido master saw a father angrily beating
his child. As he hit the boy, the father yelled and screamed.

The master interrupted the scene and pulled the boy's
father to the side. In typical Zen fashion, he did NOT
condemn the father for his actions. Instead, he gave him
another way of experiencing life with his son.

"You can hit your son anytime you want," said the Aikido
master. "But ONLY under one condition."

"What's the condition?" the man asked.

"When you hit him, you cannot do so with anger. You can
only spank him if you feel love in your heart for your child."

The next time the boy stepped out of line, the father
remembered the master's advice. Instead of hitting
him, he rid himself of the anger and replaced it with

Surprisingly, after doing this, he felt no need to hit his
son. He spoke to him instead - taking his time to teach
him right from wrong.

The father did not hit his son that day. Or any other day


Because it is almost impossible to hit or spank a child
when you are not angry with him. If you take the time to
clear your anger and replace it with love, chances are
you'll rethink how you handle your interaction with your

Now, you might think the above is "just a story."

It's not. It's real life.

There are many parents who actually believe if they don't hit
their child, the child will NOT respect them. Or obey.


There are many ways to win the respect and obedience of
your children without spanking them. And no, I'm not talking
about "timeouts."

I'm talking about challenging them in a physical way that
highlights "who's the boss" without hurting anyone.

For example, is it plausible that Adrian Peterson could
lightly wrestle with his son to get the point across?

Come here, son. You don't want to listen? Okay, let's 
wrestle for a few minutes and if you can beat me, then
you call the shots. 

I'm betting that it would be a great match. Adrian's son
would squirm and maneuver with all his might - yet be
controlled with light pressure. I'm also willing to bet the
match would end with laughter and a very different level
of respect.

No belts necessary. No switches. No punches, hits or

Just the tentacles of a giant human octopus (that's what he'll
feel like to his son).

Yes, I realize a lot of parents think they aren't physically fit
enough to wrestle with their children. But an NFL football
player does fit the mould of someone who can.

Controlling your child with the least amount of force necessary
makes a lot more sense than whacking him with your fist - or
hitting him with a belt or switch.

As I've observed, parents who feel they must spank their children,
rarely make a lasting impression. That's why so many of them feel
the need to spank their children so often.

Having a heart-to-heart with your child may not feel very easy for
you. Using a belt or switch might seem like it's much faster, quicker
and easier.

As a parent, I can tell you that the word is mightier than the belt.
Your children will remember your words and use them to make
themselves better, if you choose them wisely.

About all they'll remember from the beatings is the desire to
"pass it on."

Here endeth today's lesson.


Matt "Coach" Furey

P.S. T heatre of the Mind is filled with many stories and examples
to help any parent become better than his or her parents ever
thought of being. Grab your copy NOW for $40 off the normal
retail amount.

Copyright, 2014, Matt Furey Enterprises, Inc. and the Psycho-Cybernetics Foundation, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any portion of this email is strictly prohibited without the express written consent of Matt Furey Enterprises, Inc. and/or the Psycho- Cybernetics Foundation, Inc. I may be compensated for any link you click in this email. Matt Furey Enterprises, Inc. Psycho-Cybernetics, LLC 10339 Birdwatch Drive Tampa, Florida, 33647, USA 813 994 8267 Phone 813 994 4947 FAX email: matt@mattfurey.com 

Friday, September 05, 2014

Jesus and the act of driving out the Moneychangers

Jesus and the act of driving out the Moneychangers

Some Christians are quick to point to the example of Jesus when he went to the temple in Jerusalem at the Passover season mentioned in the Gospel of John[1] as Jesus’ endorsement of bodily punishment. At that time, Jesus responded to the scene of rampant commercialism that had taken over the Temple area. In response to this scene, Jesus made “a scourge of cords.”[2] This scourge of cords was not, as the context clearly shows, designed to be used on people. The Bible indicates that “he [Jesus] made a scourge of cords, and cast all out of the temple, both the sheep and the oxen.”[3] He then “poured out the money of the changers, and overthrew their tables; and to the dove sellers he said; ‘Take these hence; make not the house of my Father a house of merchandise.”[4]

            The strong indication we get from this story was that the scourge of cords was directed at the animals, not the people. There is little evidence here that Jesus used the scourge to hit the people. In fact, it is quite possible that according to the Law of Moses, it would have been forbidden for Jesus to do so. This is because according to the Law of Moses, it is forbidden for one Jew to strike another outside of the legally sanctioned environment of the court of justice.[5] Had Jesus struck one of the people with the scourge, he could have been convicted of a crime at that time on the basis of the above-mentioned law. Those who are quick to point to this as evidence for Jesus’ approval of bodily punishment may need to reconsider this position in light of the laws that governed the actions of the Jewish people at that time. People could not just go around beating other citizens. Such behaviour was illegal at that time as it is now.    

[1] John 2:13-17
[2] John 2:15
[3] ibid.
[4] John 2:16
[5] Exodus 21:18

This text is an excerpt from Samuel Martin's free ebook - "Thy Rod and Thy Staff, They Comfort Me: Christians and the Spanking Controversy - Available free here: whynottrainachild.com/2013/06/22/download-martins-book/ or endhittingusa.org/resources/sam-martin-s-biblical-studies-about-spanking