Child abuse in the church

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Deacon, Oct 15, 2010.

  1. Deacon

    Deacon
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    Using biblical texts:

    Does the bible address child abuse?

    What is an abused child to do?

    What is our response after we observe abuse?

    Rob
     
  2. ReformedBaptist

    ReformedBaptist
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    Matt 18:6
    Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.


    An abused child is to report the abuse to a trusted adult or authorities.

    If we have observed abuse we should intervene and plead the cause of the child, get the child to safety, confront the abuser, involve the state.
     
  3. Deacon

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    "Devil's advocate"

    For the sake of argument, let me take an opposing view.

    ***************************************

    … the reproofs of discipline are the way of life,
    Proverbs 6:23

    … he who hates reproof is stupid.
    Proverbs 12:1

    Whoever spares the rod hates his son…
    Proverbs 13:24

    Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.
    Proverbs 22:15

    Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die.
    If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul from Sheol.
    My son, if your heart is wise, my heart too will be glad.
    Proverbs 23:13-15

    Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart.
    Proverbs 29:17

    Could the LORD (God) be accused of child abuse?
    Should He be reported to the state?

    Years in the desert, generations of death, "some were tortured, ... others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated—" (Hebrews 11:35–37)


    And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees,
    Hebrews 12:5–12
     
  4. menageriekeeper

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    Let me help you with your definitions:

    Discipline: Helps a child to grow

    Abuse: Stunts a child's growth

    See the difference?

    I'd put forward the scripture about fathers not provoking their children to wrath. That is the very definition of abuse imo. (sorry I'm not where I can look up the scripture reference, I think it is in Ephesians)
     
  5. Deacon

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    So where is the line drawn biblically? ...or is it?

    Is where the line is between discipline and abuse totally up to the parents? ...the church? ...the state?

    If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and, though they discipline him, will not listen to them, then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gate of the place where he lives, and they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This our son is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of the city shall stone him to death with stones. So you shall purge the evil from your midst, and all Israel shall hear, and fear.
    Deuteronomy 21:18–21

    Rob
     
  6. menageriekeeper

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    How many children do you know that are drunkards or gluttons? My belief is that this scripture describes an older teen(or young person not quite ready to be self sufficient) and not a child. The difference here is that the son described above is old enough and has already been taught the Law (the one we no longer abide by and thus don't drag our rebellious teens out to be stoned).

    It is abuse when a child is demeaned and humiliated. When the "discipline" is applied because the parent is frustrated/angry over other things besides the actions of the child (ie, dad comes home mad at his boss and smacks the first kid he sees or mom is mad at dad and shakes the baby when it cries for food)

    Remember my definitions, discipline helps a child to become a productive adult, abuse stunts that growth.

    The line is: Bring up your children in the nuture and admonition of the Lord. How does God nurture us? How does He admonish us?

    Does He smack us around because it makes Him feel good? or does He rather chasten us, when we do wrong, because it will make us better Christians? This is where we should take our example from.
     
  7. psalms109:31

    psalms109:31
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    Rod

    We are to lead our children with a rod, not beat them with it.

    Has anyone seen a Shepherd beat a sheep with a rod
     
  8. annsni

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    Nope but I HAVE seen a shepherd hit a lamb when it was going into danger or not staying with the rest of the heard. Not hard but a definite swat on the side or backside to get it to go where it should.
     
  9. psalms109:31

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    I was hopping to hear from some who physically seen it. They don't abuse the sheep to get it to go the right direction
     
  10. annsni

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    Yep. Usually just a prod works enough but sometimes you need a little whack to get the point across (especially if the wool is thick). :)
     
  11. menageriekeeper

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    Sorry Deacon, I missed this question. However, the scripture you quoted answers your question: Who gets to decide? The parents, followed by the state. Notice, the parents of the rebellious son weren't to stone the boy themselves, but take him before the elders/state. It was up to them to decide if the parents were correct in their estimation, before stoning occurred.
     
  12. Hawaiiski

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    "Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell." (Prov. 23:14)
     
  13. psalms109:31

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    My weakness

    This is a weakness when used wrongly, So many use that verse wrongly to justify their wrong action . This is very thin ice to walk on.

    Ephesians 6
    Children and Parents
    1Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2"Honor your father and mother"—which is the first commandment with a promise— 3"that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth."[Deut. 5:16 ] 4Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
     
    #13 psalms109:31, Oct 18, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 18, 2010
  14. saturneptune

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    I can beat that one. I used to make my kids drink tobasco from a bottle. If I was in a really bad mood, I made them walk on mouse traps.

    Seriously, this thread does not have one ounce of common sense. If anyone as a parent does not know the difference between abuse and loving a child while they bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, then they have no business being parents. A Christian parent knows what is right and wrong bringing up children. Someone asked earlier what is the line between discipline and abuse. It is called Scripture and common sense.
     
  15. Deacon

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    Common sense is what I think abuse is, I'm just not so sure about your common sense. :laugh:
    In near-by New Jersey, if you were to simply spank a child you would be excluded from adopting a child.

    That's "common sense" in Jersey. (I've always thought they were a bit daft)

    ...but I didn't ask for an opinion, I asked for Scripture... show me some!



    Personally, I feel that taking a "rod" to a child could border on abuse ... depending upon the thinkness and weight of the "rod" and where you were to strike a child.


    I'm generally agreeing with everything said so far.

    But why would you report abuse to the state rather than handle the matter in a Christian way by "going to the brother" (Matt 18:15) and handling it "gently" (Gal 6:1)?

    Again, please provide scriptural backing for your opinion!

    Rob
     

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