Spanking Deception

I have to be honest, this isn’t an easy topic to discuss. Parenting is highly individualized and each child is unique. The type of discipline one child responds to may not be the type of discipline that another child or even a sibling responds to. To assign one major discipline technique and use it in a cookie cutter approach to discipline and behavior modification is at least dangerous if not abusive. The idea behind discipline is to modify behavior and to teach/mold/shape a child. To that end discipline methods should be carefully chosen and implemented based on the child’s personality and needs.

This topic could essentially go in many different directions. Talking about spanking could lead to parenting styles (i.e., Baby Training vs. Attachment Parenting), child personality development, conduct disorders, and so forth. The main goal of this section, however, is to discuss the idea of spanking and the dangerous manner in which the Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination teaches and promotes it.

Now before I get started let me set the record straight on how I feel about spanking:


    • Do I think that spanking done in the proper context and in a loving, non-harsh, and proper manner is harmful for a child? Not really.


    • Do I think that spanking demonstrates aggression and that children who are spanked will tend to be more aggressive? Not really.


    • Do I think there are better, more effective ways of disciplining children? Absolutely!


    • Do I think that spanking can be very dangerous when done in anger? Absolutely!


    • Do I think that people blindly follow what is being taught in the church about spanking without thinking it through? Unfortunately Yes.


Spanking, if done at all, should only be used as a last resort.

My focus here is on the Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination’s mentality regarding spanking and the manipulation of scripture they used to justify it. I will also be talking about the abusive manner in which the Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination promotes spanking and the parents who blindly follow the instruction without regard to child differences, parenting style or any other unique facet of parenting and child growth and development.

I did a meta-analysis in my Masters Program on spanking and the empirical evidence both against and for spanking is inconclusive at best. I have made the Introduction section of my paper available online. If you would like to read it Click Here to open it in a new window. It is in .pdf format.

One of the things that makes me so angry about this issue is the blatant misuse and misinterpretation of the scripture used to support spanking. The reason for this misinterpretation is due to the use of the King James Version. You can read more about KJV Onlyism by Clicking Here. The focus of the controversy regarding this topic is with the word that had been translated as “rod”. As I researched scripture and sought guidance on the original language I don’t think there is any question as to the proper translation of this word. Almost everyone agrees that the “rod” connotes some type of physical or corporal punishment.

But is that were we should stop when interpreting scripture? Absolutely NOT!!! When a group makes a literal interpretation of a verse or a group of verses and neglects to consider them within the contextual theme of the passage, chapter or book, misinterpretations abound. The Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination has made such an error. Taken literally, the Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination promotes the idea of physical punishment as the best means of child discipline. If you read the context surrounding the major verses used to promote spanking, you can see that there is a different theme to the passage than one of corporal punishment. Furthermore, anyone who has even the least amount of training in child behavior or child development knows that corporal punishment is not only the least effective way to discipline, but also carries with it the risk of backfiring and the risk of abuse.

With that in mind let me go over a few of the verses that the Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination uses to support their promotion of corporal punishment. There are actually many verses in the KJV Bible (I’m referencing the KJV since it is the version that the Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination use) that use the word “rod”, and there are several uses for that word. The word “rod” can be used for:

  • It is used in regard to punishment:
    • Pr 13:24 He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.
    • Pr 22:15 Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.
    • Pr 23:13 Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.
    • Pr 23:14 Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.
    • Pr 29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.
  • It is used to reference an instrument or tool of a Shephard:
    • Leviticus 27:32 And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD.
    • Psalm 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
    • Psalm 2:9 Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.
    • Isaiah 28:27 For the fitches are not threshed with a threshing instrument, neither is a cart wheel turned about upon the cummin; but the fitches are beaten out with a staff, and the cummin with a rod.
    • Exodus 21:20 And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished.
  • It is used as a symbol of Godly Heritage:
    • Psalm 74:2 Remember thy congregation, which thou hast purchased of old; the rod of thine inheritance, which thou hast redeemed; this mount Zion, wherein thou hast dwelt.
    • Jeremiah 10:16 The portion of Jacob is not like them: for he is the former of all things; and Israel is the rod of his inheritance: The LORD of hosts is his name.
    • Jeremiah 51:19 The portion of Jacob is not like them; for he is the former of all things: and Israel is the rod of his inheritance: the LORD of hosts is his name.
  • It is used to symbolize the authority of the wicked:
    • Psalm 125:3 For the rod of the wicked shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous; lest the righteous put forth their hands unto iniquity.
    • Proverbs 22:8 He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity: and the rod of his anger shall fail.
  • It is used as a punishment for a “Fool”:
    • Proverbs 10:13 In the lips of him that hath understanding wisdom is found: but a rod is for the back of him that is void of understanding.
    • Proverbs 26:3 A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool’s back.
  • It is used as a symbol of man’s authority:
    • II Samuel 7:14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:
    • Ezekiel 19:11 And she had strong rods for the sceptres of them that bare rule, and her stature was exalted among the thick branches, and she appeared in her height with the multitude of her branches.
    • Ezekiel 19:14 And fire is gone out of a rod of her branches, which hath devoured her fruit, so that she hath no strong rod to be a sceptre to rule. This is a lamentation, and shall be for a lamentation.
  • It is used as a symbol of God’s authority:
    • Job 9:34 Let him take his rod away from me, and let not his fear terrify me:
    • Job 21:9 Their houses are safe from fear, neither is the rod of God upon them.
    • Psalm 89:32 Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes.
    • Isaiah 10:5 O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation.
    • Isaiah 10:15 Shall the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith? or shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it? as if the rod should shake itself against them that lift it up, or as if the staff should lift up itself, as if it were no wood.
    • Isaiah 11:4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.
    • Lamentations 3:1 I am the man that hath seen affliction by the rod of his wrath.
    • Micah 7:14 Feed thy people with thy rod, the flock of thine heritage, which dwell solitarily in the wood, in the midst of Carmel: let them feed in Bashan and Gilead, as in the days of old.
    • Ezekiel 20:37 And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant:
    • Ezekiel 21:10 It is sharpened to make a sore slaughter; it is furbished that it may glitter: should we then make mirth? it contemneth the rod of my son, as every tree.
    • Ezekiel 21:13 Because it is a trial, and what if the sword contemn even the rod? it shall be no more, saith the Lord GOD.
  • It is used to symbolize the authority of a Nation:
    • Isaiah 9:4 For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian.
    • Isaiah 14:29 Rejoice not thou, whole Palestina, because the rod of him that smote thee is broken: for out of the serpent’s root shall come forth a cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent.
    • Isaiah 30:31 For through the voice of the LORD shall the Assyrian be beaten down, which smote with a rod.
    • Micah 5:1 Now gather thyself in troops, O daughter of troops: he hath laid siege against us: they shall smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek.

It’s important to distinguish, here, the verses that the Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination uses to promote Corporal Punishment. Every time I’ve heard an Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination church teach on spanking or defend it’s practice they will use a combination of several verses in Proverbs. They are:

    • Pr 13:24 He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.


    • Pr 22:15 Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.


    • Pr 23:13 Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.


    • Pr 23:14 Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.


    • Pr 29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.


Now at first glance it would very much seem that those verses are promoting spanking. The problem is, however, those verses are almost always taken out of context. To understand the context of Proverbs, it’s important to look at the theme of Proverbs.

I very much dislike the word “beat” used in the KJV in these passages. We all hopefully know that it’s NEVER right to beat a child. Unfortunately there are Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination church that take a literal interpretation too far here and teach its congregation that God is instructing parents to actually beat their children into submission and obedience.


    • Jack Hyles, founder, Hyles-Anderson College, as quoted in his book How to Rear Children (1972)
    • Sometimes spanking should leave stripes on the child.
      Citing Proverbs 20:30


  • The spanking should be administered firmly. It should be painful and it should last until the child’s will is broken. It should last until the child is crying not tears of anger but tears of a broken will. As long as he is stiff, grits his teeth, holds on to his own will, the spanking should continue.



  • The [spanking] ritual should be deliberate and last at least ten or fifteen minutes. … It should be a ritual dreaded by the child. He should not only dread the pain but the time consumed in the ordeal.



  • Don’t bother buying the book or reading it. It’s pretty much worthless and full of VERY dangerous errors like the ones quoted above. Unfortunately his book is available online for free, but I’m not going to provide a link. I can’t in good conscience promote it. If you really want it you’ll have to find it on your own.


This is one of the reasons I don’t like the KJV. It uses words that are either out dated or have a VERY different meaning in today’s society. It can be VERY dangerous and lead to some awful misinterpretations. I talk more about this in the KJV Onlyism section.

When interpreting Proverbs, it’s important to remember that the Proverbs were written by Solomon and are about wisdom. The central theme to the book of Proverbs can be linked to Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” This theme of centrality of the knowledge of God runs through the entirety of the book. The instructions that are given, although they are for everyday circumstances, allude to humankind’s uprightness before God. The thought pattern that the reverence and respect for God in all circumstances brings true knowledge is encouraged in this book.

The book centers on the willingness to learn as important. God’s people were taught to believe that God’s law is something that is part of life and is a duty, and this required obedience. Proverbs calls this kind of obedience the fear of the Lord. This obligation, which is similar to the knowledge of God that they had from the prophetic books, involves reverence, gratitude, and commitment to do the will of God in every circumstance. The main goal of Proverbs is to define clearly what it means to be fully devoted to God’s will and seeing his will accomplished in this world.

Given the theme of Proverbs and the context, to take a literal interpretation about the “rod” is to miss the greater picture of what the Lord is attempting to communicate with these passages in proverbs. If you read the context of these passages, you will see that the whole idea is one of discipline, NOT JUST spanking. The message is that parents shouldn’t be worried that their punishment will harm a child or make a child love the parent any less. See parents who fail to properly discipline their children often fail because they are worried that their harsh discipline will hurt the relationship between them and their children and that the child will despise the parents for the punishment which is not true. In fact the opposite is true.

Most parents today are more concerned with being a friend to their children then they are being a parent or authority figure. Believe it or not, children want parents to discipline them. It helps the child know that the parent cares enough to protect, shape, mold, and teach them. Children often act out as a way to gain the authoritative attention from the parents that they crave.

As a Marriage and Family Therapist I see families with a child who is misbehaving. We call this child the symptom bearer of the family dysfunction. The misbehaving child is the one who is most burdened with the family dysfunction and it trying to find a way to help. The “symptom bearer” is often the most healthy member of the family. Parents often make the mistake that their child is misbehaving because they are bad. In actuality the child’s misbehavior is an attempt to keep the family together and decrease the dysfunction. The child unconsciously reasons that the family desperately needs to be united and the only way he/she knows how to do that is to act out so that the family unites to solve his/her misbehavior.

I believe that the Lord, in His infinite Wisdom, knew this and that’s why He wrote Proverbs. These passages in Proverbs are about this very thing. When parents properly discipline their children, the children will respond naturally by behaving properly which will in the future guide them to making right decisions which will lead to their safety and moral growth. Their Salvation will be easier for them to grasp which will keep them out of hell (see Proverbs 23:14). A parent shows more love to their children when they discipline, whether it is in the form of spanking, time out, grounding, etc. then when they let their child do whatever they want (see Proverbs 13:24).

Another VERY important thing to remember here is that ALL 36 references in the Bible to the “rod” are in the Old Testament. As with Tithing, it’s important to remember that we are no longer under the Old Covenant. To my knowledge, someone feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, there is no reference to “the rod” in the New Testament. It is an exclusive interpretation from the Hebrew. We should be careful about taking verses from the OT literally since they often reflect ceremonial and other laws that NT Christians are not required to follow.

The Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination has taken these verses (see above) and developed an entire philosophy of child discipline on them! The Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination tells parents to use spanking as a primary form of punishment or discipline, but this teaching is not found in the Bible.

When we read about Jesus, we read that Jesus is described as a shepherd who gently guides and corrects us. He is “long suffering” and patient with us. The shepherd used his “rod” to guide the sheep, not to beat them! Psalm 23 uses “shebet” to describe the shepherd’s “rod” which is the same word “shebet” that is used in the Proverbs verses above.

Needless to say, I hold to the figurative interpretation of these verses.

Updated: September 18, 2012 — 8:28 am


Add a Comment
  1. I attended Temple Baptist Church and School in St. Paul , Mn. We had a demerit policy at school in which so many demerits resulted in a “paddling” from the principal.

    As an adult I am working on recovering from the abuse of the church and school.Part of that healing was using Google. I learned that 2 of the pastors have spent years in legal trouble. Our youth pastor beat his wife and children and she ended up killing him. Our music pastor was convicted of a mortgage scam and had legal troubles result from that.

    Back in college a a Baptist University, my dad called and told me that one of the pastors had gotten up in church and called those of us at this particular college sinners and many other names from the pulpit because we were smoking cigarettes.

    Last year I called our head pastor and asked him about shaming from the pulpit. He said ” Sometimes a little shaming is a good thing”. I asked him how he would feel if I went public with my knowledge of his daughters legal troubles….he said “I hope you wouldn’t”. I mimicked his reply and told him that a little shaming can be a good thing.

    I have heard stories of my fellow high school students that have abused their children….all in the name of what we learned at church and school.

    Fortunately I was able to break the cycle of IFB when I became a parent. I was sexually, mentally and physically abused by my dad who served as a bus captain for Sunday School.

    I still have a personal relationship with Christ but have not stepped into a church for over 25 years. I just do not trust them.

  2. Wow!!! This guy who runs this website sure has a lot of time spend just pointing what’s wrong with this IFB denomination. That’s why I can’t be convinced with this whole Christianity business. This what you “Christians” do to one another. Despicable. Seriously get a life!

    There’s more love for one another amongst the atheist. You guys are a bunch of idiots trying sound better or right than the other. You all learn the same book so you can equip yourself with ammos to fire one another. This is sad.

    Who wants to be a Christian if this is all you do with your spare time.

    1. Spoken from someone who obviously has no clue. The reality of what is said here is that Christianity like other things in life can be damaged by focusing on a culture of rules as opposed to the truth of the text. Just as in any other institution the church is full of sinnners and needs to be evaluated regularly to avoid getting away from a Christ focus. Correction is needed in any organization and this is appropriate.

  3. Whew! Hot topic!! Before we decide to go literal or figurative with words, why not do a word study? Afterall, the Lord tells us to MEDITATE on His word, which goes deeper than read it and decide what it should mean. I believe preaching should be done the same way, but that’s just my personal opinion, eh? The best way to train or discipline a child is to be the example first and those that are closest to them to be careful of the influence. They will take after their parents in some ways, but they learn mostly from what is done vs. what we say! There is a dvd my husband and I are viewing about parenting and it goes over three questions you ask YOURSELF before deciding any form of correction. #1-Did the child hear me? #2-Were they able to understand and were capable of carrying out the task #3a- Have they deliberately disobeyed, 3b- with/without repentance? I’ve known about the verses mentioned above, but have no clue what it meant by “rod” because of course it’s not to bruise or have an effect as needed with an animal. Eph 6:4 talks about fathers (and mothers?) bringing their children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Especially in time of correction because it means protection, encourage,develop. Admonition means a mild rebuke, friendly reproof, or warning regarding a fault. Your third to last paragraph talks about not following things from the OT…how do we know what to live by from the OT? I mean, the ten commandments are there, abominations like incest or molestation, bestiality, and so on. Some friends of mine and my husband and I have thought the same thing with no resolve. Romans 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Where is the line drawn?

    1. Hi Nett,

      Thanks for your thoughtful comments. I don’t have time currently to address everything you’ve written in all your comments, but I wanted to take a moment to answer your questions about the OT in this comment. I plan on writing an article on this topic soon so please sign up using our RSS feed or “Follow” tool and you’ll be notified of new articles if you’re interested.

      You wrote:

      “Your third to last paragraph talks about not following things from the OT…how do we know what to live by from the OT? I mean, the ten commandments are there, abominations like incest or molestation, bestiality, and so on. Some friends of mine and my husband and I have thought the same thing with no resolve. Romans 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Where is the line drawn?”

      You should familiarize yourself with the difference between moral law (e.g., the Ten Commandments), ceremonial law (e.g., laws of cleanliness such as no intercourse with a woman who is menstruating) and civil/judicial law (e.g., Leviticus 25:29-31 – the buying and selling of land/property) in the OT.

      Moral laws are timeless, do not expire and are universal in application. They were given to us to help us follow our God given internal moral compass.

      Civil/judicial laws were given to the Israelites for everyday living such as business transactions, land ownership, payment of debt, criminal behaviors, etc. Civil/judicial laws were limited to that time and place and, similar to our current judicial laws, do not apply to other cultures, locals, and/or citizens since each society would have their own distinct judicial laws to follow. We have our own governments and civil/judicial laws of our own society that we are required to follow (e.g., traffic laws, land ownership laws, criminal laws, etc.) and as such are not expected nor required to follow the civil/judicial laws of the OT that were given to the Israelites.

      The ceremonial laws had 4 main and distinct functions: (1) to help distinguish and set apart the nation of Israel as God’s chosen people, (2) to epitomize a proper relationship with God, (3) to provide an example of Christ’s future atoning work of the cross, and (4) to celebrate the protection and provision the Israelites had received. These laws are specifically pre-New Covenant laws and ended when Christ ushered in the New Covenant.

      A clearer understanding of these differences will help you find out where the line is drawn and how to know what to live by from the OT.

      Spanking as corporal punishment is restricted to Proverbs which is a book of Wisdom – Godly advice not commands. We know that spanking was NOT a moral law and therefore was either civil/judicial law, ceremonial law and/or simply a recommendation or a guideline, if you will. As such, it is NOT universal in application and not a requirement for NT Believers. The societies of our era have laws about physical punishment of children and it is our responsibility to follow our own civil laws.

      Regarding Romans 15:4 – it appears that you are using that verse to justify a belief that the entire OT is applicable to NT Christians? Am I reading that correctly? (I’m getting that vibe because of the context of your comment as well as from my experience with similar philosophy in my IFB experiences). If so you’re sadly mistaken. Romans 15:4 is the middle of a thought and taken out of context is incomplete. Roman’s 15 is about living our lives to help and encourage others in self-sacrificial ways. Verse 3 references Psalm 69:9 and then verse 4 goes on to say “such things…” (i.e., such things as what Psalm 69:9 says about such as insulting people) “…were written in the scriptures long ago to teach us.” (or if your reading the KJV – “whatsoever things…” (i.e., such things as what Psalm 69:9 says about such as insulting people) “…were written aforetime, were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”)

      I hope to reply to your other comments soon.

      Thanks again

      1. Oh ok, thanks for the info. I didn’t add the verse to justify anything, but curious why its there and ask rather, does it mean we’re suppose to keep the OT. I haven’t known about the different types of OT laws such as ceremonial, judicial, etc and was just wondering where to draw the line of following the OT. The info you gave helped with my questions and as far as spanking goes, I’m learning (as mentioned in my post) about how there are other forms of correction and discipline that comes before any physical discipline.

        1. Nett, the best thing you can do is ask the Holy Ghost, who teacheth us all things, to teach you. The author of this website has an agenda to push, and its clearly to cause division. Here’s why, there isnt a church denom. in this world that does not have problems. The answers are in Gods Word. This person has attacked an entire church denom. over the mistakes of a few. Is spanking clearly taught in the bible? yes! God convicted me when my son was 5 to begin to spank him because he was out of control and i tried every way but Gods way. My son is 8 now, an honor roll student and loves the Lord, and his dad & family. God never says to abuse your children, but to love them, including discipline that sometimes calls for spanking.

          Liberals have written articles like this to cause division which is an abomination. Every church has perverts, hustlers, and scumbags pretending to be believers, tares among the wheat. The other thing that they do is attack God’s preserved, inerrant Word. God always has used sinners to write his word, and guess what, God has used sinful men to preserve His Word. What im saying is in the bible, God promised to preserve His Word, and because of that we as english speaking Christians must find out what bible is perfect, inerrant, and infallible (1 Peter 1:20-25) Nowhere in the bible does God say that the “originals” in greek, aramaic, and Hebrew are the only trustworthy scriptures, quite the opposite, God says that His words shall never depart from the believers mouth, and it’s preserved forever. There are dozens of scriptures that support the doctrine of bible inspiration AND PRESERVATION! The attack on Gods Word has been going on since the garden when satan said to eve “yae hath God said” did God really say that???? says the serpent, like the critics today when they attack the KJV. A little prayerful research into the subject will show that there’s a huge deception concerning the inspiration and preservation and it comes down to this: its a matter of faith, do you believe that God is big enough, loves us enough to give us a source of truth that’s perfect. God cannot lie and he promised to give us his word but there’s more, he said that his words are holy and will abide forever. God isnt a liar,and the english in the KJV isnt archaic or “Victorian” but its Gods english. Does anyone try to modernize Shakespeare?

          I wouldn’t worship a God that was a liar. WE have God’s Word preserved in the Authorized King James Bible, nothing compares to it and all the other per-versions have major doctrinal issues, it’s not just “thee and thou”

          This is a topic worth looking into,a s it will affect your walk with the Lord Jesus.

          In conclusion, this person has an opinion THAT WROTE THIS ARTICLE, BUT CLEARLY DEFIES GODS AUTHORITY AND CLEAR INSTRUCTION. There is abuse in every walk of life. Police misuse their authority, and doctors as well, but should we shut down hospitals as well as police stations? I attend an IFB church it isnt part of any denomination, yokes up with no committees, but follow the clear teachings in the old book as to how to run a church. like it should be. I am a youth director and love my youth to my best ability like the Lord loves me. I have had my life threatened and my wife and son over the bible issue, bad people do bad things and are held accountable by God and man if they’re found out. Spanking isnt the only form of dicipline but is a necessary tool provided by our Lord to be used wisely and with great discretion and care.

          1. So your response to my apparent “attacking an entire denomination” is to attack and accuse me? Fight fire with fire I guess? Is that the IFB way? Is that God’s way? You can read about my “agenda” and my view of the IFB here: Had you read that first before you attacked me you’d understand that I’m not “attacking an entire church denomination” but rather sharing my experiences and the similar experiences of thousands of other people who’ve confirmed my fears about this cult like organization.

            There’s no such thing as the KJB. You can read more about that here:

            I’m going to assume that you haven’t done any reading on my site to actually find out what I actually believe and why I believe it so I won’t waste more time pointing out your assumptions about me. I’d be more willing to engage in a discussion with you if you weren’t just like every other IFB drone that has come here to attack me. At least your comment can serve as proof that what I write about is accurate. Thanks.

  4. Since we are all His children do you also believe that adults should be spanked when they do something wrong or hurtful? I believe in Christian Domestic Discipline and feel my wife and children where given to me to make sure they behave in God’s love. Am I wrong for this or not? If a women, or a man, came to you for confession would you spank her for her sins?

    Sorry to be 7NW

    1. I think you’ve misunderstood the article.

      And I have no idea what 7NW means.

  5. @Almost3

  6. @Readyourbible
    I agree and understand what you meant about the difference of beatings! I never was beat as a child, but some parents just think you don’t correct at all! Yes, a spanking should hurt, but not to the point where it’s abusive! Some parents go overboard with their spankings and punishments! There is a RIGHT WAY AND A WRONG WAY of correcting your children!! You see more and more of the Bible full filling everyday! We see more kids today that rule the parents and the children are kicking, biting, cussing, controlling Mom’s and Dad’s! It is just heartbreaking to see this go on! ANYONE WHO CLAIMS TO BEAT YOUR CHILD IS NOT RIGHT! I JUST WANT TO SAY AGAIN ON HERE THAT JUST BECAUSE SOME EVIL ACTIVITY WENT ON IN AN IFB CHURCH DOES NOT MEAN THEY ALL ARE THAT WAY!!! I FIRMLY AGREE THAT WE HAVE THE GENERATION RIGHT NOW THAT SURELY WILL NOT COME TO PASS AS THE BIBLE SAYS!! WE ARE LIVING IN THE LAST DAYS!

  7. @Michelle
    Wow!! I don’t know what kind of IFB Church you went to, but that is not NORMAL! I have been a member of one now for over 3 yrs and never heard such things! Especially, beat your child! Yes, I believe a parent should correct their child and show them they are the boss, not them, but never beat them! So sad you had to go through that! I do not have any kids, but I am a firm believer in sparring the rod! NOT BEATING THO!! Some children you can talk to firmly and they straighten up, some you may have to stand in the corner, or what I did with my brothers and sister n law when they were little, was make them write sentences. Boy, did they hate that I think worse than being spanked! I just don’t want people thinking that ALL IFB CHURCHES TEACH YOU TO BEAT YOUR CHILDREN, CAUSE THAT IS NOT TRUE! Just want to defend my Church and simply it breaks my heart with all this stuff I see on here! 🙁 Glad to see things have worked out for you and your family!

  8. @Dominika
    I’m actually with you on this one. This illustration drives me crazy! Whenever I hear some old preacher stand up and say something about a baby’s crying because of his sin nature I want to yell at him! I don’t know who started saying that, but it is just moronic! Children ARE born with a sin nature, but they are also born without the ability to speak, and crying is their sole means of communication. I feel terribly sorry for any baby whose mommy or daddy who heard “that baby is just a sinner” and ignored their child’s tears. 🙁 Thankfully, we seem to be leaving some of those silly man-made ideas behind us.

  9. Kelly – You said “I will not enter into the discussion about dicipline that is going on here.” …..then why post on this topic?……..”Since it is quite obvious that there is no respect for God’s word here by the majority.” …..I simply don’t see that, and certainly the moderator took great care in his handling of this delicate/serious subject and was extremely careful about his handling of God’s precious word.

    It would appear that you are coming from a very rigid KJVonly/legalist perspective (I may be wrong) but you certainly don’t seem to want to set with fellow christians and have a serious dialogue.

    I wish you well.

  10. I am follower of Jesus Christ and a firm believer in the authority of the Holy Bible. The bible clearly states that in the end days many would go about deceiving and being deceived. It says that with eyes they wouldn’t see and with ears they wouldn’t hear. My point in all this is that modern philosophies and ideals have crept into the church. Many people today only want freedom and grace. They embrace an easy belief system. The idea that we can walk in rebellion to the authority of the Holy Bible and think that we are saved is pure nonsense. I will not enter into the discussion about discipline that is going on here. Since it is quite obvious that there is no respect for Gods word here by the majority. Modern philosophy and God’s word are complete opposites. While God’s word is spiritual, modern philosophy is man’s attempt to make sense of things apart from God. Those who would seek to mix the two are very unwise. Putting aside the clear instruction of God Himself from the Holy Bible for some modern perverted understanding is wrong!

  11. One sermon illustration heard regularly is that when a baby cries in the crib after having been fed, and cleaned up, it’s because of his/her sin nature. But maybe the baby cries because of a headache, earache, stomachache, or just because he wants to be around people, and what’s wrong with that?? That is one lame illustration. I wonder if hearing it doesn’t change parents’ perception and response when their baby cries. What a mess. And I used to hear it all the time. It’s as if someone said it once, and it’s been parroted ever since.

  12. I came across this blog after the 20/20 episode on the IFB churches and the girl who was raped appeared on AOL’s stories. I watched the whole episode and thought to myself – wow – God – You really had protected me (and my son) from some seriously dysfunctional churches.

    I’m posting on this thread because this was primarily the reason I left an IFB I’d been attending. (I’ve had experiances with several IFB churches; but never really thought “cult”/”cultish” until seeing that 20/20 program and compairing the experiances I’d had. There was a particular consistancy in all these churches.)

    I have a child who’s Autistic and has problems processing language. This church had said some things that just didn’t seem quite right to me and when my son had an anxiety attack after pulling into the parking lot one Sunday morning – I knew something was really wrong. I turned the car around, went back home and never went back again. Now we go to an Orthodox Presbyterian Church and man what a difference!

    Anyways; thank you for this blog. Even though I’ve had my fair share of “bad church experiances” (Some of which I’ve written about on my own blog. This blog was eye-opening.

  13. I was raised by a baptist mother who thought the purpose of spanking was to break a my will and who thought spanking should not be done using the her hand because that hurt her hand more than it hurt me. Her “rod” of choice was the wire end of a flyswatter and the buckle end of a belt. Because I appear to be someone who’s will was not easily broken I received much more corporal punishment that my siblings.

    Notwithstanding my childhood I have made a good life for myself. I have a good marriage, a successful career and three great kids (all now adults) who have never been spanked.

    Even though it is hard to overcome the kind of abuse I suffered as a child it can be done.

    The one question that stays with me the most about my childhood is “where were the other adults in my life”? For those of us who care about this issue, we can make sure we are not one of the adults who ignores the pain of a child around us.

  14. Readyourbible :

    No one is saying that we should hurt our children. It is out of love that we are disciplining. I was abused as a child, and can tell you the difference between a biblical “beating” and a “beating”.

    Where I come from (Earth), “beating” a child hurts them. If you are advocating “beating” a child then you are advocating hurting the child.

  15. I love how the author of this puts his “research” for his masters degree over just trusting in the Word of God. He tested the scriptures out, and decided for himself that it didn’t work, or was wrong.

    Sir, who are you to decide what should be followed, or how things should be interpreted in light of modern “wisdom”.

    So the same God that commanded people to be stoned to death, doesn’t want a parent to SPANK his child to the point of pain? It doesn’t add up in light of scripture.

    Also, this country has been following man’s wisdom too long. I would say that the lack of Biblical discipline has led us to the generation we have today. A generation wise in their own eyes, and respecting no authority over themselves.

    No one is saying that we should hurt our children. It is out of love that we are disciplining. I was abused as a child, and can tell you the difference between a biblical “beating” and a “beating”.

  16. I wish people would not take their unfortunate past experiences to paint every IFB church with the same broad brush. I will be the first to admit that there are churches out there with MAJOR problems, but there are just as many out there that teach the right way. I’m sorry for those who have been hurt or abused by those in IFB circles, but those things happen in EVERY circle! It’s an ugly world out there folds, and we aren’t in Heaven yet! I’m also sorry that they let these experiences taint their view of Baptists and Christianity as a whole.

    If someone is in a church that advocates abuse in any form, they should get out and find a good one! But to say that every IFB member is a child abuser is as ludicrous as saying that every US Postal Worker is disgruntled and homocidal, every U.S. President will have affairs in the oval office, every foster parent or step-parent is evil, every Muslim beats his wife, every Catholic priest is a pedophile, etc, etc, etc. I am a mom, a wife, a S.S. teacher, a nursery worker, a babysitter…and as those things I take extreme offense that anyone would say because I attend an IFB church that I am hurting children, probably abusing them in some manner, and ruining their lives. My church takes drastic measures to ensure that no child gets hurt or abused in our church, and anytime an issue has come up with a child, the police and social services have been notified. So you can’t say that all churches are the same, because they aren’t.

  17. After reading the all of the posts on this page, I may have the following adjustments to make in my thinking:

    * The IFB is a Denomination (as I understood it, they are autonomous and not a Denomination)

    * The KJV of the Bible is an evil to be shun

    * There is never a good reason to inflict physical pain to any human (or animal)

    * The Bible is VERY old, especially that Old Testament which has no wisdom for us to draw upon and should not be included in ‘the whole counsel of God’

    * I need a modern education to squelch the Biblical influence in my life, so I will no longer be an abuser

    * Jesus never set such an example as bearing & rasing children, so we should not have any either (apparently)

    * I should encourage my children to exersise their rebellious will over authority (after all the 60’s proved the value of that)

    Overall I find this debate a good one, just a bit sad to people do what they do best: Form and shape God & the Bible in their own image (the image as to how they think things should be, especially from their personal experience).

    I know it is hard, but I will continue to attempt to apply the Bible correctly in it’s proper context of Absolutes, Concrete, Relative, and Abstract applications. When we don’t do so, we are in error.


    1. Fundementalist, you are perfect stereotype of the IFB. I spent 15 years in the IFB church, it absolutely IS a denomination, even if they refuse to call themselves such. They follow strict patterns, and copycat the “big” IFB churches like Hammond, IN down to the tiniest details. The IFB churches are so similar, you could be in one in Indiana, and another in Texas and barely be able to tell the difference. Also, like most IFB followers, instead of debating with actual Biblical knowledge, you resort to taunting your opponent, blowing their viewpoints into RIDICULOUS exaggerated extremes, to the point where you are literally claiming we non-IFB Christians are saying these ridiculous things. You are literally telling lies about those who disagree with you… you know what the Bible says about those who bear false witness? Proverbs 19:5 ESV “A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who breathes out lies will not escape.” How do you not see this deceitful practice of the IFB church? You’re not debating, you’re just insulting those who disagree with you. That shows your ignorance, that you are not capable of an actual scriptural debate. You claim that others are “shaping God into their own image”, yet you blindly follow and obey the KJVonlyism and IFB interpretation of the scripture. I’m sure you believe women wearing pants are rebellious, too. Not because the scripture says so, but because some church leader you worship said so. Did you know that IFB leader Jack Schaap (I once attended his college) claimed in his delusions that scripture supported his infidelity with a 16 year old girl, that she was “God’s gift” to him. You can go ahead and take random scriptures out of context, and twist it just like Schaap, but it doesn’t make you right. You insult those of us who left the IFB, who actually study the Bible, instead of blinding obeying old cult teachings from the Hyles era. But when we get to Heaven, my conscience will be clean before God, that I sought Him first, and looked for His will instead of blindly obeying someone like you.

  18. wow. i was raise ifb too and my only comment here is that first of all, the author of this article has obviously been abused probably in several ways. He or she admits they are writing from their own personal experiences, not generalizing as a whole. so my comment here is why is it the ifb commentors who are so judgmental and even down right rude? should we not be compassionate? i also agree from the ifb posters here that you all make ifb seem to say that anyone who disagrees with ifb church doctrine such as this, which the Bible isn’t even specific about, are not true Christians.

    beating with a rod is in the Bible. we should all read everything in context. but the methods described in the “Christian” parenting books are not based on purely scripture. they are opinion and should be taken that way. whether they work or don’t work, pushing it as absolute Biblical parenting is wrong wrong wrong. aside from the few verses including the word “rod” the Bible is actually quite silent about parenting. eg, dr hyles specifically says to NEVER put your child in bed with you. that is not scriptural that is his opinion and imo a personal choice. in fact the only mention of children and bedtime in the Bible advocates co-=sleeping. he also says it’s important to leave your baby with a sitter for date night. i have nothing against that but if a baby is breastfeeding, a lot of times it is not physically possible to do so. my 2nd child literally will not take a bottle. she will starve herself into hysterics until i get to her again. point being, having a date night is great, but NOT having one is not wrong. my issue is not the advice so much as the way it’s presented. as in, the ONLY way.

    sorry to go like that, but i get absolutely sickened when people use scripture as an excuse to push NON scriptural parenting techniques. ESP when those people have such a great influence over others. we have to be VERY careful what we teach others over whom we have influence that it is purely from the Bible. if it is our opinion we should be honest enough to admit so. not pushing our own agenda because everyone believes their opinion is the right one.

  19. Background: I was abused as a child. I thought adults were stupid for corporal punishment. Corporal punishment didn’t work on me. When I had children, I tried to discipline them by teaching them. Unfortunately when I was frustrated and angry I resorted to physical discipline. It didn’t work on my children. I learned, through fear of Child Services, to control myself. Then I got saved at an IFB church. I saw parents hit their kids for the simplest of things. The one mom was not successful in training her children. The one dad I saw ended up getting curtailed by his wife because his behavior was abusive and counterproductive. I would like our pastor to go into more detail in his sermons, esp. over the years I hear the same overview without details or substance. I feel this type of preaching (generalities) can lead to hurtful interpretations. Thank God I read the Bible on my own and learn more than the periphereal taught at my church. I recommend all Christians to do the same – use the brain and heart God gave you !

    1. Anne, your story is touching.

      You are so right about corporal punishment, if administered incorrectly it can be the source of many problems.

      You are also right about churches not teaching specifics that WORK! Most pastors are wieners that have no backbone, and if they try to have some they come across as condescending or some other things (as mentioned on some valid posts here).

      Corporal punishment works kind of like the Bible itself:

      1 Tim 1:8 – But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully…

  20. It never ceases to amaze me that the nastiest people on this site and others are kjvonlys/ifbers. Pastor Owens where in the scriptures do you find justification to speak to people the way you do. Its ok not to agree with the posting, but why do you then think its ok to question someone’s salvation. Do you really think you are going to change someone’s mind by your smart-alecky attitude. Do you think Jesus would have responded the way you did?

    And now these three remain; faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

    Because He lives,

    1. Now with Pastor Owens’ post, I can now say with a certain hint of certainty that IFBERS/KJVOnlyist DO believe that salvations IS found only in their church.
      Sorry about their minds. Moreso their hearts for being HOLIER-THAN-YOU!

  21. An IFB church tried to tell me that my now 4 year old was out of control because he hated to be touched and would scream if someone did touch him. (He has a medical condition that causes pain when touched) My response was, “don’t touch him then.” My now 9 year old questioned them in their standings on some issues, and even told them that hate of all kinds is wrong and isn’t what Jesus taught. They told me that he was disrespectful. I told them that I was proud of him for learning love instead of hate.

    1. Many IFB church are full of leadership which is ignorant to a fault. They try to ascribe a direct Bible verse in an absolute sense to everything, including situations such as your 4 year old’s touch issue. Keep in mind that many churches would want your child exercised of the evil within him.

      Your 9 year old is wrong however about the subject of hate. We are hate evil for example, and God ‘hates’, but that requires a word study. When a teacher says that my child was disrespectful, it doesn’t surprise me, they are very capable of such.

  22. And you wonder why are children are out of control. the King James is not out dated…you are just in rebellion to it and God and I’m sorry if you have any kids. The Book means just what it says. Fool.

  23. Have you ever read No Greater Joy by Mike Pearl? He advocates training so that discipline is not necessary. :))

  24. If only more people could read about this..

  25. When I asked my second question you had not answered the first.

    1. I answered it just shy of 30 minutes after you asked it. The date and time are stamped on each comment. Even so, you have to give me some time to reply. I do have things that occupy my time other then this website and I can’t always reply to questions or posts immediately.

  26. @Grace
    Grace, I think that the way you talked it through with your child is excellent, and sometimes it is all that is necessary. Do you think though, that when you allowed your child to continue riding his bike later on that it was inconsistent with the consequences you told him?

  27. Steve, again I ask if you have children. Having children of our own is much different. How do correct/recommend correcting/disciplining children? If you could please give references, to where the Bible would suggest time outs, and so forth.

    1. That’s why I said yes, KR. Yes, I have children. I don’t know how to answer that question any differently.

      Disciplining a child is about training and teaching them NOT punishment. Yes, there are times when punishment is appropriate, but if done correctly it’s a child will be punished with the consequences of his or her action. If consequence are laid out for a child to understand then it doesn’t matter what that consequences are it as long as they are allowed to experience the consequence. Whether it’s time out, grounding, loss of privileges, positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, etc. as long as the child knows what the consequence of his/her behavior is and that consequence is applied when the child doesn’t follow the rules then the child has been disciplined. Being clear with boundaries and expectations are essential to successful discipline.

      Discipline should be tailored to the child’s individual needs, personality, characteristics, developmental stage and circumstances. There is no cookie cutter approach to child behavior modification. It should be as unique as the child. What works for one child may not work for another child. There are plenty of ways to discipline that are less harmful, more appropriate and work better then spanking. That’s why Proverbs 22:6 states: “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it (emphasis mine).” It doesn’t say spank or punish a child and when he is old he will not depart from it. We are to train children in the way they should go. This is about determining what’s appropriate and proper for your child. Training children should be based on their individualism, the way they are wired by God. Parents run into trouble when they try to fit the child with the punishment rather then the punishment with the child.

      The Bible is full of examples of being gentle and patient towards children. See Ephesians 6:4, Colossians 3:21 (those are the only two that come to mind at the moment). The Bible doesn’t directly suggest time outs, etc., but there are principles in the Bible that suggest gentle guidance and teaching for child discipline not harsh punishment by way of spanking.

      1. Steve,

        THANK YOU! I agree. My 3 kids are 15, 7 and 2 yrs old and never been spanked. They are wodnerful, respectful, well behaved girls and I am very proud of how we are raising them. Each one is different and we get creative with punishments, when we need to. It takes a little more time and work to discipline without spanking, but in the long run I KNOW that we are doing the right thing. Anyone that knows my kids would agree with me. It’s working out great!

        The bible was written a LOOOOOOOONNNNGGGGG time ago! We do a lot of things that are never mentioned in the bible. Just because the bible doesn’t talk about “time-out” does not mean that it is not a great method. 😉

  28. What bothers me is the refrain to “break the child’s will”, how disgusting is that ! Who do these people think that “will” came from ? God gave us the desire to defend and protect ourselves, without these God given rights we become doormats for people that would use and abuse us-but I guess that works out well in a legalistic organization. Anyone who breaks down a child has created a disfunctional adult. Child rearing is about common sense, its not about getting off on bossing someone around .

  29. Steve, do you have children?

  30. On what basis does Bill Owens judge another person’s salvation? Is it for offering another interpretation of those verses in Proverbs, or is it for daring to disagree with the IFB “doctrine” of child discipline? How is this perspective on the interpretation of these verses grounds for questioning his salvation AND how is it tearing down the church? These vidictive comments suggest a resentment simply over the fact that he does not agree with the traditional IFB interpretation of these Proverbs. This site is being viewed as a rebellious “loose cannon” that must be brought back under proper “control.” Jesus warned about leaders lording their authority over others, and said that it was not to be so among His people.

    Regarding the issue itself as a former IFB member, it NEVER made sense to me that the same God who said “suffer the little children to come unto me” would also comand his people to “beat” those children. It does not fit. Christ never set such an example. Some would ask what about when he drove the moneychangers out of the temple–He used a whip there. Keep things in context–Christ was dealing with a grave offense committed by adults in the temple.

  31. @Bill Owens You seem compassionate, but you’re still judging his salvation. This person is not tearing down the church of God. He was abused. You are a legalist. KJV-onlyism. The Southern Baptist Convention’s church’s are NOT KJV-only.

  32. My friend, I feel sorry for you when you stand before God. I am an Independent Baptist Pastor. I in no way teach my congregatgion to beat their children. I do not teach my congregation to “punish” their children. I do teach them that spanking is a form of discipline and it is Biblical.

    How can you be a Bible student and not see spanking as a form of discipline? I used a paddle to discipline my children. After the discipline we hugged and prayed. The transgression was forgiven.

    I do not forbid other forms of discipline. I agree that spanking should be a last resort. I do not disrespect the right of parents to choose their means of discipline. They are in no way looked down upon if they disagree with me. They may teach or minister in any capacity. But, to say that spanking is forbidden is ridiculous. I think you have stated that is should not be forbidden.

    I do in fact use the KJV and I am not about to trade it for a watered down version. I would be interested to know how much Greek and Hebrew training you have had. If you are trained in those languages you know that most Independent Baptist are teaching the TRUTH. The proof of the matter is in the final product. God is trying to do a work in each of His children. God has a purpose for us. Psalm 139:13-16.

    How do you measure success? I think success is measured in the degree to which we accomplish God’s purpose with our life. Children are the Bible says an “Heritage of the Lord”. They are not mine or yours. They are His. and I think He has the right to tell us how to rear them. The purpose is to help them find the will of God and do it. This is accomplish through training and discipline. I love my children and grand children and if I live long enough I will love my great grand children. I love those who attend our church and have the greatest admiration for those who are striving to bring up their children in the nuture and admonition of the Lord. To say that those who actually follow the Bible standard do not love their children is a lie.

    Get out your old KJV Bible. Read it. If you can not understand it, which I believe you can, then get a good commentary. The King James Bible has endured the test of time. You bring up Scripture and then excuse it away. When you stand before God, that will not work. I pray for your salvation.

    All have sinned.
    Rom. 3:23

    The wages or payment for sin is death.
    Rom. 6:23; Rev 20:14-15

    Jesus Paid the price for your sin.
    1 Peter 2:24; 2 Cor 5:21

    If you will repent
    Luke 13:3,5; Acts 17:30

    and receive Christ
    John 1:12; Acts 4:12

    You can be saved.
    Rom 9:9-10, 13

    The greatest desire that the Bible believing preacher has is that world might come to Christ. If you are not saved, why not trust Christ today. If you are, then why not spend as much effort in reaching others with the Gospel as you spend tearing down the church of the living God.

    1. Bill,
      I feel sorry for your children. A hug and a prayer does NOT make it okay to hit your child with a paddle. There is NEVER any reason to use ANY form of physical punishment on ANYONE. How could you possibly inflict pain on someone you claim to love? Your children are supposed to be the people that you love most of all. I have 3 daughters and I have and will NEVER hit or spank them and I will NEVER anyone else to either. My chilren are well behaved and we use NON-abusive forms of discipline in our home.

      What you are talking about here is called ABUSE.

      1. So what did you do when your children tried to do things that were harmful such as play with a light socket or reach for the hot stove? Give them a cookie? A 2 year old does need to be trained. “No Junior, don’t touch the stove” with an admonishing slap on the hand might hurt him for a few seconds, sure, it will cause a little pain, but it will cause a lot less pain than a 2nd-degree burn would. Obviously, parents who love their children and who genuinely seek God’s wisdom in raising their kids know that it is never acceptable to “beat” your kids or abuse them. And anyone who attends a church that teaches you need to leave marks on your child or hurt them or anything awful like that need to find a new church. I am a member of an IBF church and I do not know anyone who believes that “beating with the rod” should be taken literally. People need to use common sense.

        And for anyone referencing the Raising Kids God’s Way books, if you actually read the books without bias, you would realize that the purpose of their methods is to spank LESS, developing a relationship based on mutual respect and friendship as the child grows into maturity.

      2. NO, simply NO it is not.

        NEVER is strong word….and btw you do not know the end result of your parenting methods yet….How could you inflict pain on someone you love? Are you implying that Pain is NEVER good for us…im sorry Holly your world view has be interrupted by this worlds programming

  33. I hope many christians get a chance to read this or anyone else speaking out against this way of child-training BEFORE they listen to others in the IFB church and apply these destructive techniques!

    We had the child symptom bearer! We tried to follow the book, To Train up a Child, and for that matter, Growing Kids God’s Way. Although the latter book isn’t as bad, it is discouraging. Not being raised in an IFB, my husband and I were first taught that our own parents were inadequate, so we needed them to tell us how to raise our children- or else, we will experience extreme rebellion. Ofcourse, my husband, although not from a christian home, never went through rebellion. I did, but there were problems. I do not think my parents were inadquate- I am extremely grateful for them. Although times were tough, they are still together and I can’t think of a better gift! I am thankful for my imperfect parents who are still together and love their large family. But, in the IFB, I was taught that they were no good. I had bad feelings about them for a long time. Why would a church encourage disdain for parents? I thought the church was about love, respect and reconciliation. We were encouraged to have a pious attitude towards our own parents.

    Not only that, we were taught this “right” way to train our child. It only caused frustration! They aren’t listening to you the first time? You didn’t spank hard enough. You didn’t spank enough times. You aren’t consistent enough. There is no such thing as a stubborn child. If you are doing it right, their method will work- no question. So, I was always doing it wrong.

    What was normal behaviour for a toddler (I now know because I have 5 children), I then saw as terrible rebellion. Everything was blown out of porportion. I once had a teacher tell me my child was teaching witchcraft in class. My son was always in trouble at church. He was rebellious because he didn’t sit for class. He was rebellious because he was too shy to sing. He was rebellious because he wouldn’t eat all of his food. He was rebellious because he wouldn’t finger paint (he didn’t like the goo on his hands.) So, I didn’t see NORMAL challenges in the right light- I saw him as rebellious.

    I regret ever listening to them! It only got worse when we changed churches and standards became a huge issue. By the time he was 11, we were cussed at, holes were punched in our walls, he hated God, etc. Everything we were trying to avoid- rebellion and hate for God, we now had in our home. He is now 14, and things are much better, but he is not completely sold on God. We have changed churches, and he is beginning to see not all christians are what he experienced.

    It wasn’t the church’s fault- it was mine for listening to them and not using discernment. I had those red flags, but out of a desire to please these people and be told- “What a good mom!” I did what they said. Out of a desire to not be the “bad example” they preached about, I listened and zealously obeyed. But the philosophy is flawed!
    Our son was acting out because he knew love was missing. He knew righteousness wasn’t what a person wore. He is smart and could see the hypocrisy. It’s amazing to me that he went through this rebellion at such a young age. Most parents are able to be “successful” with this type of training until they are about 17 or so, then the child goes crazy. I know some parents with this philosophy who are apparently successful. The families seem strong. I don’t think they are doing it the way I was encouraged to do it though. Spank for every little thing- how frustrating can that be for a child? First time obedience- who is that perfect? My son is a very smart, insightful child. I’m glad we went through the hard times because we finally realized it wasn’t because we were rotten parents like we were reminded every Sunday, it wasn’t because he was practicing “witchcraft” (since of rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft), it was because we were working with a FLAWED philosophy! And since he went through this so early, we still have time to work on our relationship with him.

    Our children are not horses. Our children are not to perform first time obedience “tricks” for us so we can brag about how successful we are as parents and make fun of the “bad” parents in the restaurants who have unruly children that throw their food. I used to be told that I am not a light if my children behave badly in the store or restaurant. Well, when I see children misbehaving in a store or restaurant, I see cute children with parents who have their hands full. Parenting is a tough job. We don’t need other Christians condemning us everytime our child does the opposite we say.

    I used to be told that if your children are perfect angels when you take them out, then you are “showing God to the world.” I don’t believe that. We are showing ourselves to the world. Who doesn’t feel good when their children actually have a good day at the store! When others see well-behaved children, they don’t think, “I need to get saved!” They think, “How did you do that?” You can have your child acting poorly, and still be an example of Christ by the WAY you handle it. People notice the love you and patience you show. We all know we NEED the Lord for that!

    I hate all the pressure they place on parents to make perfect children so “people can get saved.” It puts an immense pressure on children as well. Why is it their responsibility to “show God to the world” when they don’t even know Christ yet?

    My first 2 older children are my toughies. My youngest 3 are happier- because even though we were still in that church, we didn’t spank them like they wanted us to! At the age of 3 they are expected to sit in the pew for a LONG time. If they wiggle, you spank. We did that with our first 2. That was stupid. They weren’t being bad- they were BORED. Sometimes I was bored! I remember being in a boring service once as a child- not being rebellious, but bored. Why train a child to sit still with a paddle? They get itchy, they get restless, they have energy. It’S NORMAL to not want to sit when you are 3. We just quit going to church at nights because that’s when my 3-year-old was the most wiggly. We were considered backsliders, but we weren’t going to spend the whole night NOT hearing a sermon anyway, and spanking our child for something we didn’t want to spank him or!

    My younger children are happier, more pleasant. Yes, they misbehave….but I’d like to know a child that doesn’t! Do they run the opposite way when I call their name? Yes. Do I do the unpardonable, and chase them because they won’t come when I call? Yes. Do I love my children, yes. Even though I would be told I don’t because I don’t spank them enough. Does God beat me every time I make a mistake, forget to remember a rule, or not do something he prompts me to do right away? NO.

    So, if you end up with the book, To Train Up a Child, put it where it belongs- the trash! Your child is not a horse or a circus animal! Your child is not meant to do tricks! We are meant to love them, and teach them about a loving God. We are going to make enough mistakes as parents- we don’t need a book like this to multiply the difficulty of being a parent!

    Well, that’s my 2 cents…..

    1. “So, if you end up with the book, To Train Up a Child, put it where it belongs- the trash! Your child is not a horse or a circus animal! Your child is not meant to do tricks! ”
      This is at the bottom of your opinion and I take offense to it, even if you are discussing child abuse.
      Animals of any type, should NEVER be abused…NOT for any reason!!!! Did you realize that police are trained to look for child and spousal abuse when called for animal abuse? That’s correct…serial killers start with animal abuse. So don’t ever act as of abusing animals is ever an ok thing…it is far from it!
      By the way, this IFB cult should be imprisoned. They are nutbags to the max.

      1. This post is too good to ignore.

        The rights of animals appear to be far superior to you than the right of people when trying to follow the Bible.

        Yeah, I know a lot of those nut jobs. I’ve even taught many how to administer a proper spanking. If that doesn’t grate on you, this will:

        I get a 2 year old dog for my daughter’s birthday. This dog was poorly trained and very immature. Afraid of nothing, trusting everything around here, she was clueless about the dangers of cars driving past our house. So 2 weeks later, she gets hit & required $800 vet bill. I chose to save her life because she was a present.

        After she healed up, I proceeded to train, discipline, admonish, etc, in the evils of the road we live on. Most people told me that I had to lay out the cash for fencing, shock device, chain, or some other lame thing. Wrong, just like my children I show her incredible love and attention, then proceeded to beat her if she was tempted to cross the road.

        Oh, I should be locked up right? Some whack jobs might say that. But the result is that I have a very happy dog that stays in my yard, regardless of the temptation of exploring across that road. I too am happy, not having to beat her any more.

        BTW, my 6 children are happy and plan on using the same techniques applied to them, when necessary.

    2. Michelle, I know it is about 6 years later, but THANK YOU for your beautiful testimony. I have seen families whose children are spanked, forcefully, for every little thing. I do not want to raise my children like that. Oh, and I had that awful book, and threw it in the trash a few years ago when going through old boxes, (along with Jack Schaap’s book on marriage!!!). I can relate to your comment about a child not being like a “circus” animal… growing up on a farm, we had the opportunity to raise horses. One traditional method was to beat your horse for every infraction, and put a VERY painful straight bit on his mouth to force obedience, I assume this is the harsh method you refer to in your reference to circus animals. However, we had far more success by “gentling” our horses, building a relationship with them, where they wanted to be ridden, and were excited to get saddled up to go for a ride. I used the same method a few years ago with my dog, a rescue, and he is very well behaved and a dear member of our family. Interesting that these same methods of “gentling” and building a relationship of obedience through love and trust apply to both animals and children. I think some of these replies to your post misinterpret your reference to animals, but they miss the point, that beating for every little misstep is completely inappropriate, and beating your children just so they will “appear behaved” in the grocery store is a gross misinterpretation of God’s Word. Thank you again for sharing, God Bless!

    3. (I know this has been many years since you wrote this post)

      I experienced the same kind of scrutiny with my children. They were always the “bad” ones. When I would go and pick my 2 year son up from his classes the teachers would humiliate him and me by saying really loud “I am glad you are here to pick him up he has been horrible.” They would say this because he wouldn’t sit in a seat for 45 minutes straight listening to stories.

      And then there were those parents who wouldn’t let their children play with my children because I let them listen to country music and my daughter wear pants.

      Goodness I could go on for hours on this subject. The way my children were treated for years is what finally made me break away from this religion — the same church I grew up in with the same pressures and expectations. At 17 I thought if I am already a rebellious sinner for wearing pants and going to the movies why not go all out which is exactly what I did. When it hit me one day that my children were going down the same destructive path I had gone down myself I knew something had to change…

  34. “We call this child the symptom bearer of the family dysfunction. ”

    Exactly! This is the best concise statement of what I’ve been trying to say about this. WHY is the child acting out? There is a reason – and it isn’t because they are in rebellion against God and need the devil beat out of them. This is no more true than with “troubled teens” who bear even greater wrath in IFB churches, frequently being sent to abusive “prisons” for the crime of being troubled about their family dynamics and their own profoundly unmet – and completely legitimate – needs.

    I like your site; so glad to have found it. Former IFB’r myself and also speaking out.

    — Danni

  35. The fact that the IFB church promotes this type of “punishment” makes me sick. The Bible doesn’t teach us to “punish” our childern it teaches us to “disipline” them. There is a HUGE difference in these words.

    An example of how I disipline my child…

    Last week he wanted to go outside to ride his bike. I got down on my knees and looked into his eyes and explained “You may ride your bike, but here are the rules. You may only ride your bike from the driveway to the sidewalk in front of the house. There are cars in the street and I don’t want you to get hurt. If you do ride your bike in the street I will know that you are ready to put your bike in the garage for the rest of today and tomorrow as well.” When I caught him riding in the street just 15min later, I called him to the garage and said “Well I guess you are ready to go in the house for the day, please put your bike away and go play in your room. About a half hour later I went to my son’s room wher he was now playing with his cars. I, again, got down to his level and spoke to him about the bike. “do you understand why you had to put your bike away today?” “Yes mommy. I rode it in the street where the cars could get me.” With this I allowed him to go back to riding his bike and restricted him to the driveway only. Now when he wants to ride his bike he tells me “Mommy I want to ride my bike today, I promise to stay on the driveway and the sidewalk in front of the house. I won’t go in the street where the cars can get me, cause I don’t want to put my bike away for the rest of the day.”

    He learned the lesson with just one time of disipline. He understood that when he disobeyed me he made a choice to quit riding his bike.

    Do I believe that sometimes there is just not other option? Maybe…only if EVERY other option has been tried and failed.

    Just my thoughts…for what they’re worth.

    1. This study has a number of assumptions which I consider in error. I would find your assertion that Biblical discipline would not be considered punishment to the child. Our goals as parent are not to punish, but most children would consider most of it punishment for sure.

      2Sa 7:14 talks about the ‘Rod of men’. I agree the rod symbolized authority, but here it is used to correct iniquity by beating them.

      It’s easy as this webpage state (in error I might add) that we get to throw out the ‘old ….’ in replace it with the ‘new … (aka Jesus, you know the guy that has a sword for a tongue).

      Not picking just on you, but your post is the first on this list.

      1. Funnymentalist er I mean Fundamentalist wrote:

        This study has a number of assumptions which I consider in error.

        I’d be curious to know what you “consider in error”. It’s one thing to say that something is “in error” it’s quite another to actually point out those errors and make an attempt at correcting them.

        Funnymentalist er I mean Fundamentalist wrote:

        I would find your assertion that Biblical discipline would not be considered punishment to the child. Our goals as parent are not to punish, but most children would consider most of it punishment for sure.

        But the article isn’t talking about what children perceive is it? The article seems to be addressing the parent.

        Funnymentalist er I mean Fundamentalist wrote:

        2Sa 7:14 talks about the ‘Rod of men’. I agree the rod symbolized authority, but here it is used to correct iniquity by beating them.

        I’ve read that verse in 14 different translations and not one of them use the word “beat” to describe what the rod should be used for. Hmmm…

        It’s interesting to note that the KJV uses the word “chasten” which literally means “to inflict suffering upon for the purposes of moral improvement.” The NLT and other modern translations actually use the word “discipline” which literally means “training to act in accordance with rules.” So tell me, which do you think children would respond more to… “inflicting suffering” or “training”? Which do you consider more moral… “inflicting suffering” or “training”? If anyone tried to “inflict suffering” on my children I would kill that person without hesitation. Why would I want to “inflict suffering” on my children when I wouldn’t let anyone else do it?

        This is perhaps crossing over into the KJV debate, however, it’s a pretty good example of why the IFBer get this one wrong. The translations that use the word “discipline” actually are the ones that get the translation correct in this verse.

        Both “chasten” and “discipline” by the way connote punishment. Hmmm… When interpreted correctly we can see that training a child is the proper way to discipline rather than beating a child.

        Funnymentalist er I mean Fundamentalist wrote:

        It’s easy as this webpage state (in error I might add) that we get to throw out the ‘old ….’ in replace it with the ‘new … (aka Jesus, you know the guy that has a sword for a tongue).

        I have no idea what this paragraph means, but I find it interesting that you focused on the example of Jesus with a tongue as a sward (which is only used ONCE in the Bible and it’s in reference to the second coming) but ignore the 39 verses that describe Jesus as “full of grace, mercy and forgiveness” – all addressed to the NT Christian. Hmmm..

        I really wonder who has the errors you or Steve? I vote for you.

        1. I’d be curious to know what you “consider in error”. It’s one thing to say that something is “in error” it’s quite another to actually point out those errors and make an attempt at correcting them.

          – If you think that it has no errors, I will not cast the first stone… Guess what, the KJV only folks think the same thing about their thinking.

          But the article isn’t talking about what children perceive is it? The article seems to be addressing the parent.

          – Ok, we’ll leave the child’s keen perspective out of it:
          Heb 12:11 – Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

          – Word study time: How about words like grievous=KJV, sorrow=YLT, lu’pe=Greek, Of grief=DBY, Traurigkeit (sadness)=German

          – Interestingly enough, this verse teaches us about all of us, adults as well as children. So yeah, the Bible itself deals with such perception in this passage.

          I’ve read that verse in 14 different translations and not one of them use the word “beat” to describe what the rod should be used for. Hmmm…
          – Wow, are you looking for the word ‘beat’ to understand that the Lord used other nations to beat the snot out of Israel??? Here’s another word study for ya: Rapture. Good luck finding it in our English translations, it isn’t there. Does that mean it’s not a reality? How about the teaching on the Trinity? These are all ideas derived from more than just a word study.

          – Your definition of chasten is incomplete. I’m not sure if you really want to go there, but what I think about what children would respond better in ‘suffering’ or ‘training’ doesn’t matter, my opinion in the matter is yielded to God’s opinion. That is what (I think) many are debating on this site.

          – BTW, one of my sons finished boot camp recently. They call it ‘Basic TRAINING’, but he would tell you about all of the infliction and suffering they were put through and how it was good for them. It’s funny that the first thing they do to them is to ‘break their will’, something that liberated Christians think is terrible. Good thing it wasn’t your kid, you may end up in prison for kill someone over their suffering.

          – One of the errors which I could address is the idea that if you an IFBer, you are KJV only, this is far from the truth. It is the case that many KJV nut jobs camp in IFB churches, but when you are the I as in Independent, you get to congregate with like minded people. I don’t bother defending the book that God has used the last 400 years, nor do I debate which other English translation has the least number of errors in it.

          Both “chasten” and “discipline” by the way connote punishment. Hmmm… When interpreted correctly we can see that training a child is the proper way to discipline rather than beating a child.

          – Spanking IS the corporal form of discipline. To be used when appropriate, just like turning your child in to face a death sentence if he commits 1st degree murder. Many people don’t have the guts to do it, and I may be one of them which couldn’t. But I do have the guts to swing a paddle properly.

          It’s easy as this webpage state (in error I might add) that we get to throw out the ‘old ….’ in replace it with the ‘new … (aka Jesus, you know the guy that has a sword for a tongue).
          I have no idea what this paragraph means, but I find it interesting that you focused on the example of Jesus with a tongue as a sward (which is only used ONCE in the Bible and it’s in reference to the second coming) but ignore the 39 verses that describe Jesus as “full of grace, mercy and forgiveness” – all addressed to the NT Christian. Hmmm..

          – Really, if you didn’t understand the statement, how could you jump all over my reference to Jesus the coming avenger and judge?

          – That reference was to some other posts on this page (my bad). The kind of thinking which would take Jesus, who is the Word of God (Old and New Testament), and make him into something he is not. Jesus did deal with his brethren the Jews and their illegitimate heaping of man’s laws upon God’s will, this is one way in which He fulfilled the law.

          – Remember that the one who is ‘full of grace, mercy and forgiveness’ also created a lake of fire where the devil, his angels, and all unsaved souls will go into torment forever… So I’m not sure your word study method is serving you well.

          Thanks for your comments.

        2. Hey Come on…weak arguments all around, lets be honest. I am speaking in terms of just intellectual honesty and debate/logic basics. FYI I have yet to read below so if you all covered these topics in further discussions then I have yet to see it but the tone and general affect thus far, along with content, was enough for me to want to hop in…Just for fun.

          For one Katie you stated “I’d be curious to know what you “consider in error”. It’s one thing to say that something is “in error” it’s quite another to actually point out those errors and make an attempt at correcting them.”

          It is not an unfair statement alone, but just completely inconsistent in your demands of opions as the author of the original article DID THE EXACT SAME THING…. The author just goes …( paraphrased/satirical ) “is spanking the best? no way but I won’t tell you what is …btw I am MFT…And while getting my eh em Masters degree I researched all sorts of translations ect and did a research study…” Beware of those who like to wear long robes…

          Idk but I think it says somewhere in the Bible not to be called Master, Father or Rabbi, but who cares right? The KJV is totally wrong in all the places that this world has said is uncomfortable topics , phrases or even other weird translations that juuust may have important connotations such as when the new Bibles say ” the morning star,” instead of ” Lucifer,” in ISAIAH 14:12…That seems important, considering that is what Jesus is called REV 22: 16 but again that is pretty late in the book, and the weird thing is, the new verses kept the moniker “morning star,” in the Rev. for Jesus but changed it Isaiah from Lucifer – Morning star…If only I could find some non believing EXPERT in Hebrew AND greek or a “progressive,” christian who follow the wisdom of man and lust after their own passions to correct me ( not with spanking, the better way..) …no biggie tho, the KJV is terrible.

          My point is that we are explicitly told as christians not to follow the wisdom of this world. It is hard to hear people talk about all this worlds knowledge, such as MFT and obviously seeing the secular world influence in statements with underlying non-biblical views used as authority….for instance that PAIN should not be involved in must be in one sense or another and so is fear, or why correct the behavior which is giving the individual some sort of reward…trust me, I got PLENTY of education in psychology and child development in the years before I realized that this world is ALWAYS WRONG when it contradicts the bible. Yeah yeah I know , it’s ALL about the right interpretation and contextual understanding, which is like the go to move when trying to change an obvious truth in the bible to something one wants to be different. The context of spanking your child or using physical punishment is pretty darn clear in the Bible no matter what your post doc. thesis meta analysis supported. Anything can used wrong BTW, go to your room…for 3 years. The basic problem is this…Professing to wise they became fools.

          Also, there seems to be this idea that because Jesus came in the flesh and did establish a new covenant that we do not use the OT anymore…in Katie fashion..HMMMM…I think it says that all doctrine is profitable for teaching.. and wait…. CORRECTION as well… interesting. Oh and Katie, it seems as though you are stating that Jesus is ALL grace and Love and mercy….I think he also rebukes, chastens, calls people names ( gasps yikes ) Judges, condemns, threatens destruction…oh not to mention Jesus is the same God from the OT btw so..yup…to read the Bible in context is to read it cover to cover and not to pick and choose what is literal and what is figurative based only on the things you WISH were not literal so you don’t have to change your behavior.

          1. @Chris,

            You state in one sentence that you will use intellect and logic to make your argument, but then you decry the author’s (and commentor’s) use of it. So let’s start there if you really want to have a debate. If you claim that the author can’t use extra scriptural knowledge and deductive reasoning for making his point then you must also follow that same rule, lest you become a hypocrite. So why don’t you start again? How would you like to proceed… would you like to debate using logic and reasoning or would you like to debate using scriptural context?

            BTW, your assertion that the author can’t be correct because of his psychology degree is called a “Poisoning the Well” fallacy (a type of Ad Hominem). Trying to discredit the author simply because he has a degree that you deem unimportant isn’t honorable nor is it intellectually honest. So if your wanting to use intellect and logic, you’re not off to a very good start.

    2. Grace, thank you for your excellent and detailed example! I know this is years later, your little one is probably a teenager now. My little one just got his first tricycle for Christmas, and I plan on using your method to discipline him to stay safely in the driveway. Isn’t it amazing how God can use you to be a blessing, years later, to a complete stranger? I was raised in a home where spanking was the go-to punishment, by one atheist parent and one IFB parent. I did not learn self discipline until years later, when the Lord moved in my life and I chose to discipline myself. External, excessive corporal punishment is not the best teaching tool, yet as a parent I find I have to work hard to learn a better way to raise my children, or I tend to slip into the same bad habits. Thank you again, God bless!

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