Etikettarkiv | authority

The TRINITY – Jesus in the Godhead, who shared the glory with the Father

trinity

The Bible teaches that Jesus is God

These are just some of the evidence for that Jesus is God who once came in the form of flesh to live as man here on earth. Between Genesis and Revelations there are numerous verses which tell us about the deity of Jesus – for instance prophesies in the old testament which prophesy about the upcoming Messiah and savior Jesus Christ (and NOTHING existed before him) who shares the glory with God the Father, despite that the Bible also says that God alone created the earth and doesn’t share his glory with anyone. If we refuse to accept that our King Jesus is the one he says he is – equal with God the Father, one with God the Father and has always coexisted with God the Father – then we are left with a long list of Bible inconsistencies that are impossible to get around. God the Father is usually called just GOD (in English), and he calls his son GOD in Hebr. 1.

John 17:21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one

The context for John 10:30 ”I and the Father are one” is totally different from the context of John 17:21-22. In the latter verses it’s about having the same goal/approach/attitude, whereas John 10 is about being one with God as in the same authority and spirit. This is especially obvious when we consider that the jews picked up stones to stone Jesus to death for blasphemy when he claimed to be one with God. Why would they do this unless they felt Jesus was truly guilty of this crime? There is no Jewish death penalty for stating that we are to share the same goal as God, but there is a death penalty for claiming to be of the same authority as God and to be equal with him.

God the Father ONLY does wondrous things, but Jesus does too…

Ps. 72:18 Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who ONLY doeth wondrous things.

John 3:2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.

The First and The Last – both God the Father AND God Jesus Christ

The first words of the Book of Revelation begin ”The revelation of Jesus Christ” and the last things that Jesus says are ”I, JESUS have sent mine angel to testify unto you all these things”. We can clearly see that both God the Father and Jesus Christ used the names/terms ”I am the first and the last” and ”alpha and omega”. Either Jesus is not God and only wants to confuse us by constantly taking God’s name on himself, letting himself be worshiped, making himself equal with God, not correcting people who call him God, etc, OR he really IS God. Only the latter option eliminates Bible contradictions.

Isa 44:Thus saith the Lord the King of Israeland his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.

Isa. 48:10 Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.11 For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another.12 Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last.13 Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens: when I call unto them, they stand up together.

Rev. 1:And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

Rev 21:And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

Rev 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.—16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

Rev. 22:And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.

Rev. 19:And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

Acts. 10:25 And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him.26 But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.

Both God the Father AND God the son are the Lord of LordsJesus4

Isaiah 42:8 I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.

Deut. 10:17 For the Lord your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward

Ps. 136:O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Phil. 2:11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

1 Tim. 6:14 That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:15 Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords

Rev. 17:14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

Rev. 19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.—15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King Of Kings, And Lord Of Lords.

Who raised Jesus from the dead?

GOD raised him from the dead

Acts 10:39 And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:40 Him GOD raised up the third day, and shewed him openly

Acts 2:23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:24 Whom GOD hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.—32 This Jesus hath GOD raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.

Acts. 3:26 Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.

Acts. 4:10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom GOD raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.

Acts.5:30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.

Acts. 13:23 Of this man’s seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus—33 God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.

Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Galatians 1:1 Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead

1 Thessalonians 1:10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

2 Corinthians 4:14 Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also BY JESUS, and shall present us with you.

The HOLY SPIRIT (who dwells in us) raised him from the dead

Romans 8:11 But if THE SPIRIT of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in youhe that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

JESUS raised himself up from the dead

John 10:17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

The Holy Spirit is given by God:  Isaiah 48:16, 63:11, Acts 5:32, 15:8, 1 Cor. 2:12, 2 Cor. 1:22, 3:3, 5:5 Gal. 3:5, 4:6, 1 Thess. 4:8, 1 John 3:24

The Holy Spirit is given by Jesus:  Zechariah 12:10, Matthew 3:11, Mark 1:8, John 3:34, John 15:26, John 16:7, John 20:22

If the Holy Spirit is said to be given by GOD, and also by JESUS, could this mean that Jesus is GOD? Yes!

We are cursed if we trust in man instead of the Lord, yet we are told to put our trust in the son

Jer. 17:Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.—Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.

Psa 2:12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

If this verse is not about Jesus Christ – WHO is it about?Jesus birth

Isaiah 9: For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty GodThe everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

God the Father created everything all by himself – and the son Jesus Christ too…

Prov 30:Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son’s name, if thou canst tell?

Psalm 8:When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet

Isaiah 45:18 For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord; and there is none else.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.The same was in the beginning with God.3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.In him was life; and the life was the light of men.And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.—14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.15 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.16 And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.18 No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

John 17:And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

John 8:40, 58 I tell you the truth, before Abraham was born, I am!

Hebr. 1:Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;—10 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:

Hebr. 2:But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man that thou visitest him?Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands:Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

Col. 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

There is only ONE that you shall worship, and JESUS allowed himself to be worshiped

It would have been so easy to quench the idea that Jesus is God by showing Jesus correcting those who worshiped him, but not once did he do that. John was corrected by the angel who he bowed down to in Revelations, and Cornelius was immediately corrected by Peter when he was worshiped in Acts. To Jesus will every knee bow and every tongue confess:

Isaiah 45:21 Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the Lord? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.23 I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.

Zech. 12:10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon ME WHOM THEY HAVE PIERCED, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.”

Phi 2:Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Matthew 4:10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

Acts. 4:10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Daniel 7:13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

John 9:35-39 Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, ‘Do you believe in the Son of man?’ He answered, ‘And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?’ Jesus said to him, ‘You have seen him, and it is he who speaks to you.’ He said, ‘Lord, I believe’; and he WORSHIPED HIM 

Hebr. 1:And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.—But unto the Son he saith, THY THRONE; O GOD, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.

God doesn’t share his glory with anyone, but shares it with Jesusjesus 4

Isaiah 42:Thus saith God the Lord, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein—8 I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.

Isaiah 48:11 For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another.

Matthew 16:27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

John 5:21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:23 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.

John 17:And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

Phil. 2:Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Col. 2:Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power

Hebr. 2:7 Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands

30 pieces of silver

Zech 11:10 And I took my staff, even Beauty, and cut it asunder, that I might break my covenant which I had made with all the people.11 And it was broken in that day: and so the poor of the flock that waited upon me knew that it was the word of the Lord.12 And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.13 And the Lord said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the Lord—17 Woe to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock! the sword shall be upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened.

Matt 26:14 Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, 15 And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver Him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. 

Jesus is God!

John 20:24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

Mark 2:When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.But there was certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts,Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?

Do read this article about; if we can also be called gods

SPANKING KIDS with a rod – supported in the Bible?

spank kidDo you spank your kids thinking ”science” and the Bible support this kind of treatment? Science investigations are at best ”inconclusive” whether spanking will increase good behavior in a child (apart from an immediate obedience) and at worst it can affect the child in a very destructive way and harm him for life. The problem with having no laws against spanking kids, is that parents could get away with beating their kids really hard by suggesting in court that ”I only meant to spank him softly but ended up spanking him harder than I intended”, and they could win the case despite severe bruises and even injuries on the child. Having laws against spanking doesn’t mean you can’t even touch the child or grab him hard around the arm and pull him away from some activity. There are also other ways to discipline a child than physical abuse.

Does the Bible say anything about giving a child a little spank on his behind by using a hand? No, IF you would like to obey Proverbs literally you should beat him with a ROD and not stop even if he cries! Do you?

We can read about disciplining a child (or rather a youngster) physically in Proverbs, and Proverbs is a book well-known for its poetry, similes, metaphors and hyperboles. So how can we be certain of that those few cases should be read literally? Do you obey these verses literally if this is your true aim? Proverbs doesn’t say anything about spanking a child gently (or not gently) on his behind but that you should BEAT HIM WITH A ROD! Do you also believe that it’s OK to not stop beating the child even if he is crying (as in ”let not thy soul spare for his crying”) and do you also do this to a five-year old child? Do you also do this even if the child doesn’t deserve to be beaten, only because you’re afraid of disobeying the words ”Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell”? Meaning that if you realize that your child is approaching his/her teenage years and you have so far not found any reason to beat your child, you must hurry up to do this for no reason at all in order to be obedient to this verse in Proverbs that you understand as literal – just to be on the safe side. All this because you interpret a verse to say that the child can risk hell if you don’t?

If we don’t pay attention to words, context and in which book in the Bible we are reading, things can go very wrong. The truth is that a good shepherd does not beat his sheep with his rod. He uses his rod to show authority over his sheep and his aim is to keep them safe and sound. This goes together well with the saying ”Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me”. The fright of sudden noise can induce a shock in the sheep that suppresses fertility, so beating sheep with a rod wouldn’t serve any purpose. Dog experts advise against beating dogs for very good reasons, and they can become very aggressive if treated in the wrong way. Can we really say that it’s improper to beat sheep and dogs but perfectly fine to beat children? A rod could be as symbol for authority and correction. We can read in James that we put bits in the horses mouths so that they may obey us, and no mentioning of using physical punishment to make horses obey us. A shepherd could use a rod/crook to move a sheep should it be necessary, and something like this could be used for horses as well – but not as in a punishment but as in steering the animal and making him move.

James 3:For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!

What the Bible says about spanking

Proverbs says we should use a ROD, which would be a shebet, which during this time could be a large walking stick, a shepherd’s crook or a king’s scepter. So it does not say that a parent should use his HAND but a ROD, as in a stick, bat or cane. If you want to take these verses literally, then you should not give yourself the right to switch the rod to a little twig, wooden spoon or your hand. If you can amend the verses to make them say ”spank with your hand” instead of ”beat with a rod”, then perhaps it’s an even better alternative to NOT change the verses but to understand them metaphorically as in ”discipline your kids and don’t spoil them”. Even if we don’t want to spank or beat our children, it’s oftentimes necessary to take hold of an arm and say ”NO, be careful!” or similar. Not being allowed to spank your children doesn’t mean you can’t touch them! To grab an arm can also be felt physically and it gives less humiliation than spanking the kid on his behind.

Here are the verses in Proverbs that speak about chastening youth. We should absolutely use discipline as a method to bring the children up, and ”rod of correction” could simply be symbolism for correction made by an authority. If you have found no reason to beat you kid, simply because he has done nothing to deserve it, does this mean you hate him? Must you then hurry up to beat him just to show that you don’t hate him?

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

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

Prov 19:18: Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying 

Prov 13:24: He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes (diligently).

Prov. 23:12 Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge.13 Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.14 Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.15 My son, if thine heart be wise, my heart shall rejoice, even mine.

”Chastening” doesn’t have to mean a physical punishment, and if we also understand the ”the rod of correction” and ”the rod of reproof” to be a figure of speech, we actually don’t have many verses left in Proverbs which might encourage literal spanking/beating children with a real rod. We only have one passage left that could possibly be used as support and that is Proverbs 23:13-14 above (highlighted with purple) where we can read that we should BEAT a son with the rod, and also a promise that he will not die from it. A sad fact is that children indeed have been killed by parents beating them to death with a rod, and it’s actually enough to beat a child a couple of times in the wrong place and too hard, and he can die from it. Could the ”the rod” spoken about in Prov. 23:12-14 (and also in Proverbs 13:24 and all other verses) be the same type of rod spoken about earlier – the rod of correction? This term could be figure of speech for correction, chastening and discipline, something that children will indeed NOT die from (unless we’re talking about a physical punishment) and it could also place him on the right path away from hell.

These passages presumably reflect Solomo’s parenting beliefs with respect to his son, Rehoboam. Solomo says:

Prov. 22:Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

The problem is that Solomo, in all his wisdom and knowledge about how to bring up a child, ended up getting a son who became a very hated ruler due to his evil deeds. This shows that Proverbs cannot always be taken literally but oftentimes as a ”general” truth and at other times as metaphors or hyperboles. The Father of the prodigal son is considered to be a wise Father (and he is compared with God), but this still doesn’t mean that there were no risks involved for getting a rebellious son, which he ended up getting. So Prov. 22:6 is clearly not true in all cases. As an adult, Rehoboam was vicious, inconsiderate to his subjects, had no regard for human rights, and was widely hated. He barely escaped assassination at the hands of his own people.

1 Kings 12:12 So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the king had appointed, saying, Come to me again the third day.13 And the king answered the people roughly, and forsook the old men’s counsel that they gave him;14 And spake to them after the counsel of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke: my father also chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.

There is a mention here that Solomo whipped his servants (and his son did this even more), so is this too a procedure that you would like to use on your employees? I’d rather believe that both ”chastised you with whips” and ”chastise you with scorpions” are just metaphors or figure of speech and that there were no actual whips or scorpions involved – and no literal yokes either for that matter.

God explained to King David that his son Solomon would be chastened by him (God) by using the rod of men and with the stripes of the children of men. Did God do this literally? No, he never used a literal rod against him but he did chasten him in various other ways. 

2 Samuel 7:13 He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.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

Proverbs also mentions some other things that we would hesitate to understand literally:

Proverbs 22:He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity: and the rod of his anger shall fail.He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor.10 Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease.

Is this always true? And here too we can read ”rod of his anger”, as in a figure of speech.

Proverbs. 23:1 When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee:And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite.—Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose thy sweet words.

This is a command to not eat too much and not to slit your throat. Likewise, when reading that you should beat your child with a rod, it could be a command to discipline and have authority over your child.

The Hebrew word Naár can mean  youth (young and unmarried), or literally he who shakes off or shakes himself free. Not necessarily a child under 12. But baby Moses was also described as naár and baby Samuel when weaned and taken to the temple – so as in the meaning of ”shaken off”. The word for beat is the same as for ”the sun beat down on Jonah”, as in a constant presence. We should have a constant presence of authority in our children’s lives.

If it was so important to beat a child (rather than using other forms of discipline), wouldn’t it be a good idea to state this in the law of Moses or elsewhere, instead of a book well-known for its poetry? Instead we can read instructions how to handle a son who does not ”obey the VOICE of his father or mother”, and what to do with a rebellious son with no hope for improvement (that you actually wouldn’t risk getting in the first place if Prov. 22:6 was literally true). There is no mention of beating or spanking children in the Mosaic law, but we can read about VOICE of the parents, which could make the reader believe that we ought to discuss and reason with our children and to apply various means of chastisement, but this doesn’t have to mean a physical punishment. We can read that if the rebellious son despite much chastening from his parents still refuses to obey and hearken (to their voices) THEN his parents may lay hold of him and bring him to the elders of the city. A valid reason for taking this route would be if their son was a glutton and a drunkard – so clearly not a young child but rather a teenager/youth – and it’s of course up to the parents to decide when there is no hope to ever get their son back on track. The punishment was then stoning. There is no known recording of parents who have ever taken this severe step, and that’s rather understandable knowing the outcome would be a sure DEATH for their own loved child.

Deut. 21:18 If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them:19 Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place;20 And they shall say unto 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.21 And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.

In the New Testament there is no mention of spanking or beating children, but we can read about chastening and disciplining them. The point being made is that we should not question chastening from our Lord because this is a sign of love and not hate. Normally fathers chasten their sons in one way or the other – because of love for them.

Hebrews 12:6-7: ”…the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son. Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?”

Moreover, Paul tells us that children must obey their parents in ALL THINGS. What about parents who teach their children to participate in theft, drug use and bullying? Clearly Paul is speaking about a situation where both parties – parents and children – obey his recommendations, and maybe that is why he says ”parents IN THE LORD”. Paul is also asking Fathers to not provoke their children to anger, and it’s common that children who get spanked/beaten feel anger and resentment, and an urge to make a revenge towards someone. Children who get beaten, often end up beating their own children when they grow up.

Col. 3:20 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.21 Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.

Eph. 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

According to science, spanking/beating children can cause many negative side effectsspank kid2

That spanking/beating children is not a good idea can be seen in this document from ”phoenoixchildrens.com”

meta study from 2002 with an analysis of 60 years of scientific studies about spanking/beating children draws the conclusion that such treatments are correlated to several disadvantages and give no advantages other than an immediate obedience in the situation at hand. The experience of getting spanked/beaten could be very traumatic  for the child and something that he will never forget. It’s absolutely possible that he will not repeat the particular offence that he was spanked/beaten for, but it could lead to that he will hold a grudge against his parents for a very long time which would affect the relationship negatively in the long run, and it’s a risk that he will subconsciously like to make a revenge by pouring out his anger and feeling of humiliation on others (siblings or friends).

It’s not possible to make a law where parents must sit down to discuss and reason with their children in love, but it IS possible to make a law where spanking/beating children is prohibited. This is done in many countries and means that parents are at risk of getting reported by others if they are detected to transgress the law. In Sweden there is an organization that encourages children, through ads in media and in schools, to call them if their parents spank/beat them.

If you compare Sweden with a country where spanking/beating children is NOT prohibited, do you think that perhaps people tend to REPORT spanking/beating to a greater degree in Sweden than in this other country?

I would think that you would say YES to this question! Why would anyone bother report spanking/beating children in a country where this is legal? And who would you report this legal procedure to in the first place? Yes, ABUSE is hopefully illegal also in countries where spanking is legal, but you would still find a LESS degree of reports of ”spanking/beating children” in a country where it’s a legal method. Would you therefore be surprised if you found out that Sweden has a higher degree of reported cases of ”spanking/beating children” (which based on Swedish terms would be filed under CHILD ABUSE) than in for instance the USA?

I ask this since this entire blog post is written under the inspiration of a podcast sermon that I listened to the other day, where an American pastor claimed before his congregation and for his listeners, that science supports that spanking kids was a good way to treat children and that it was likewise bad to NOT spank children. The truth is that science does NOT say that at all. Moreover, he claimed that crime reports among the youth increased with 430% (I think he said) in Sweden the year after Sweden made it unlawful to spank/beat children. THAT IS A FALSE CLAIM! Of course I don’t believe that this pastor purposely lied, because I prefer to believe that he read this claim somewhere and chose to believe it (perhaps because it went well with his own belief) without checking the source. Sometimes we simply don’t have time to check sources but we must try to be as truthful as we can we retell stories, and particularly if we stand behind a pulpit in a church. Anyone can make a mistake, but try to place yourself in my shoes. I wouldn’t mind if I someone claimed that Sweden is the country where the inhabitants are most negative towards Israel among all the countries in Europe, because that is the truth according to a major poll! Certainly not a fact that I’m proud of but it’s nevertheless a true statement. European countries have always considered to be negative towards Israel (unlike the US who has a much better approach), but Sweden takes the prize, which isn’t that surprising considering how Swedish mainstream media has chosen to display the conflict in the Middle East. But it’s annoying to listen to a sermon where the pastor makes such a tremendous incorrect statement about the country I live in, and it makes me wonder what else he is wrong about when he speaks? There are so many sermon podcasts to listen to so I can listen to someone else. It would also be correct to say that children/teenagers are not disciplined in Sweden, because that’s often the case. I oftentimes find that children show no respect for their parents. I don’t believe this is due to the lack of spanking, but due to that atheism is such a leading star and that discipline and correction are simply lacking. Sadly this is not a problem only for Sweden.

There is actually a DUTY to report violation of the law of child abuse (which spanking/beating children is considered to be) in Sweden and since also children are encouraged to call in if their children are abusive, this will NATURALLY be seen in statistics! Based on this self-evident fact, an honest person therefore do not draw the conclusion that there must be more child abuse in Sweden than in other countries, and neither that the law against child abuse which came 1979 (Sweden was first in the world to prohibit spanking/beating children) has been seen to increase child abuse and violence among youth, because this simply is not true.

”Children have the right to proper care, a safe environment and a good upbringing. A child must be treated with respect for his/her person and may not be affected by physical punishment or other types of humiliating treatments. ” (Sweden 1979)

The good thing with this law is that it will prevent a parent to use the excuse ”I didn’t mean to spank my kid so hard, but it ended up being much more severe than I intended”, whereupon his defense attorney could use this argument as an attempt to show the prosecutor that the parent didn’t have bad intentions and didn’t purposely harm the child – meaning the parent might get away with it. With this law the truth is that the parent shouldn’t spank/beat the child at all, so no excuses are valid. Pulling a child abruptly in his arm/ shirt, grabbing his arm, or pulling him back from a situation where he harms someone/something is not considered ”physical abuse”, unless you do this with such force that he gets harmed.

According to a study by the UN, 80 % of the children of the world have at one point been affected by spanking/beating. The USA is the only country in the world – among all the members of UN – together with Somalia and South Sudan that has not ratified the Convention on the rights of the child from 1989. (USA has signed it but not ratified it.) Somalia has plans to be a party of this treaty, leaving only the USA and South Sudan as the only countries that are not party of this treaty!

The following are excerpts from a study from 2011 and can be found in this article from Karlstad Universityspank kid3 

The 2011 national Swedish studies on corporal punishment and other humiliating behavior towards children are a follow-up of earlier studies performed in 1980, 2000 and 2006. The purpose of the studies is to describe the current situation for Swedish children and trends over time concerning various forms of humiliation, with special emphasis on events at home, but also those occurring at school.

A number of smaller investigations concerning child abuse have been performed in Sweden since the 1960s, but the first representative national investigation was carried out in 1980, the year after corporal punishment was banned through the Swedish Parental Act of 1979. The investigation in 1980 was an interview of 1105 families, where the parents responded to questions about their upbringing practices with respect to a specific child during the past year

National Swedish parental studies using the same methodology have been performed in 1980, 2000, 2006 and 2011 (current study). In 1980 and 2000 the studies were performed through telephone interviews, but in 2006 and 2011 postal questionnaires were used, mainly for economic reasons .

To our knowledge no other country had been able to perform regular national studies of this kind, where both parental behavior and children’s experiences of punishment have been recorded. For this reason the studies have been of interest not only in Sweden but also at an international level.

Since the mid-1980s, suspicion of child abuse has gradually become more frequently reported to the police forces in Sweden. Due to the substantial increase in reports during the 1990s the Governmental Committee on Child Abuse and Related Issues commissioned BRÅ to study this in detail. It was shown that the increase depended on a greater tendency to report abuse and there were no indications whatsoever that severe abuse of children had increased in Sweden. 

After the great decrease from fifty percent in 1980 to twelve percent I 2000 with respect to pushing and shaking children it has gradually increased to twenty six percent in 2006 and to thirty percent in 2011. This behavior is most prominent towards children between two and nine years of age. No parent admitted to have shaken an infant. This may hopefully be a result of the intense information campaign against shaking small children carried out in the interim since the 2006 year study.

Parents born abroad state that they have beaten their child more often. Since the very substantial decrease of parents beating their children (during the preceding year) from 1980 (28 %) to 2000 (1.1 %), there has been a slight and gradual increase to three percent in 2011. It should be noted in this context that the study in 2000 was performed using interviews and that the studies in 2006 and 2011 were performed using non-identifiable postal questionnaires

Children born abroad, particularly boys, state that they have been beaten more frequently.

The outstanding risk factor for corporal punishment is, however, violence between the adults in the family. This gives a ten-fold risk increase compared to families where there is no inter-adult violence. This risk decreases insignificantly when adjusted for other risk factors such as single parenthood, weak family economy or immigrant status. If parents were affected by alcohol or drugs when the conflict with the child occurred, there was a significant risk (60 %) that the child was beaten.

As in the former studies in 2000 and 2006, children with chronic diseases and disabilities state that they have been beaten twice as often as the healthy children. They also live to a greater extent in families where family violence occurs.

Beaten children have a much greater tendency to be involved in bullying than other children. They perform less well at school, have substantially more physical and psychological symptoms and have been involved in accidents more often. There have been speculations that Swedish parents, who no longer beat their children, instead are insulting them. The statements from the pupils point to the contrary. There is indeed a very strong connection between humiliation and corporal punishment.

Parents who claimed to have spanked/beaten their children were reduced from 28% 1980 to about 1 % the year 2000. Since then there has been a slight increase to 2,4% the year 2006 and 2,9% 2011 (figure 5.1. Brottsförebyggande rådet). (Compare this with the number for ”suspicion of spanking/beating a child”.)

Brottsförebyggande rådet says that two well-known MYTHS that are common in other countries are that ”Swedish prisons are filled with parents who have spanked their kids” and ”The juvenile crime rate in Sweden sky-rocketed immediately after the law against physical punishment started to be in force 1979”. It’s particularly common to hear these myths in countries such as the USA where spanking is allowed and where individuals seek to find support for that laws against physical punishment of children are bad. This misunderstanding has been sorted out in the scientific world thanks to international cooperations between Swedish scientists and other scientists (Gilbert et al. 2009). Studies show that the rate for child abuse and violent death among children is considerably lower in Sweden than in other countries. There has always been a great focus on Sweden due to the law against physical punishment which was enforced 1979, as first in the world, and the duty to report evident child abuse. The development in Sweden has been described in detail in other international literature (Janson, Långberg & Svensson 2011) and Sweden can lean on all the national studies that have been made in Sweden ever since 1980. There are no similar studies made in other countries and that is one of the reason that Sweden has been so much in focus. Literature from Regeringskansliet, Rädda Barnen and Allmänna Barnhuset (Regeringskansliet 2010) have been of great value and translated into many languages.  More countries have enforced laws against physical punishment. Most children live outside of Europe and that means that 95% of the children of the world are not protected by any such laws.

Just like when it comes to gun control, it’s a risk that people read and accept articles/film clips if they happen to say what fits a certain agenda. You can read my views about gun control here. (I have no reason to mistrust all world charts that show that countries with gun control also have a low homicide rate.)

I’ve been spanked and it did me much good?

Other children have said the contrary, and some can never forget the humiliation they had to go through. Children of course handle physical punishments to various degrees. For some children it’s enough to realize they are doing something unwise if a parent only raises an eye brow, whereas it takes a lot more than that to change the behavior in other children.

Once when my son was about 7 and playing with a friend, he had apparently driven a toy car too close to her so that she got hurt – which he didn’t do with purpose but he was nevertheless not cautious. I know that his friend was a rather ”confident” little girl (for instance she didn’t feel too concerned at one time when I made it known to her that I didn’t approve of her taking one of my skirts to smear in an expensive face cream into a mirror in our house) and it’s possible that her Father expected my son to be just as ”unconcerned” whenever he gets criticized. That could be why he upbraided him just as severely as he would do his own daughter. This father was rather surprised when I later told him that the very first thing that my son said when he came back home was  ”Mom, I’m dumb!”. I asked my son what he meant and if he felt that he had been dumb with purpose, and he said this wasn’t the case but continued to say he was dumb because this is what he had been told. He eventually explained that he had hurt his friend during the play with those toy cars. He is not normally clumsy at all and treats his friends with care, so I said that I hoped he said ”I’m sorry”, and if this is what he did he wasn’t dumb at all but just had to be more careful as he normally is. The girl’s father probably didn’t realize just how much his words affected my son, and was very surprised that my son commented on this situation as soon as he stepped into the door. Had he known this he would of course have used another tone, and he was probably just used to his own daughter who might just have shrugged her shoulders and move on right away. It’s quite possible that my son didn’t enjoy the rest of the stay with his friend at all but just longed to go back home. 

This story has of course nothing to do with the question of parents’ right to spank their children, but my point was only to show that children have various degrees of sensitivity towards punishment. For some ”No!” is enough whereas other children wouldn’t even stay corrected even if spanked. I wouldn’t be surprised if Solomo’s son was a pain in the neck as a child, because he grew up to be a very cruel leader for his people, with no regard for their well-being. Maybe this is why Solomon expressed the need to use the rod of correction (as in using authority and not necessarily spanking his son) instead of spoiling his son, because this could lead to that the son will perish in the end.

The problem with allowing parents to spank their children is that they might not always combine this with explanations and good reasons, but rather with verbal abuse. They might just lose their temper and start to spank their children and if this is not prohibited no one can do anything about it. If you say that you spank your children and they love you anyway, it’s actually not a good argument. I saw a documentary where a girl expressly said that she loved her father even though he had done despicable things to her. Children tend to love their parents.

While I’m at it, I think I will take the chance to write down a couple of other examples in my own life.spank kid4

Once when I was very little, perhaps 3 1/2, I was with my older brothers who were throwing small pebbles on my grandfather’s car. He saw it and came running towards us and we all got scared and started to run – including myself who did not participate. My oldest brother run passed by a shed, and my other brother and I ran into the shed where my brother squeezed himself through an opening in the window where the window pane was gone. He was quick but not quick enough to give me the time to do the same, and the only one that my grandfather therefore managed to get hold of was me and he gave me a physical punishment. Maybe he just pulled my hair or something together with shouting and verbal abuse, but enough to make me sad and deeply upset. I don’t have that many memories from this early age in my life but I do remember this episode because it affected me very much, and I wonder if I would have let my anger spill over on a younger sibling if I had one. I can easily understand that children who get physically punished start to build up a stock of ”anger” and irritation that they consciously or subconsciously pour out on younger siblings. This could in turn cause the younger siblings to give revenge on others that they have power over, and if parents detect this they might react with yet more spanking. A vicious circle. Anyway, many years later my grandmother reminded me of what happened afterwards and it was something that surprised her and my mother. Later that evening when I met my grandfather again for a meal in our kitchen, I told him ”Grandfather, it’s time for a talk”, and I pursued to tell him how unfair I felt that he treated me. I don’t remember exactly what he replied back, but I seem to recall it was something like ”How could I have known that you didn’t participate in that mischief?” as though it wasn’t his fault,

That would have been a similar response as the one I received from my other grandfather about the year after. I’ve had a couple of  similar encounters with him too.

Once when I was close to 5 years old I was staying in my grandparents’ house and I wanted to go to their neighbors to play with their kids. My grandparents said that it was fine but instructed me to not go anywhere because we were later going away somewhere and they made plans to pick me up at our neighbors’ house when it was time. So the last thing they reminded me of was to not go anywhere but to remain in the house with my friends. I didn’t think that would be hard to obey at all because each time I had gone over to their place, someone had always been at home and I certainly didn’t expect to go anywhere else. When I got there they were all making themselves ready to go for a walk and they asked me to join them. I told them that I was not allowed to go anywhere but to remain in their house. Unfortunately I was not wise enough to tell them WHY I had to remain in their house, and if  I had explained the reason to them, they would surely have either asked me to go back home or they would have waited with their walk until I had left. Instead they told me ”But you can join us because we will only go for a little walk near our house. We won’t be long at all”. I once again told them ”But they told me to not leave the house”, and was again assured that they would take care of me and that we wouldn’t be long at all and that there was not necessary for me to go back to my grandparents because they liked my visit. I was not mature enough and old enough to realize that I could have made a better decision, and I felt uncomfortable arguing with adults. So I felt there was no better alternative for me but to do as they said, but it was rather hard to know which adult to obey. So we left, and it didn’t take long before we saw my grandfather’s dark car on the dirt road behind us. As soon as he stepped out of the car he went straight up to me and pulled my hair, and he said something like ”Did I not tell you to not go anywhere?!”. His angry words were worse than his treatment of me, and I was told to sit back in the car. I was humiliated and I cried, maybe all the way into town. I’m sure none of my grandparents could ever understand how I could be so disobedient and unable to obey a simple rule, and I had no good answer.

At another time when I was about 4 years old I was in my grandparents house together with my brothers. They were investigating a large lamp (rather carelessly if you ask me) and I think they were among other things trying to see how they could turn the light on. I don’t remember if I joined them by free will to see if I could find the button, or if they tricked me to join them and purposely asked me to press a certain button instead of them so that I would take the blame if something went wrong. There was a button that caught my attention and it certainly looked like it could be the right one. Pressing it didn’t work, but I tried to turn it and that made the whole lamp head sink down half a meter because I had reached a button that adjusted the length of the lamp pole. I didn’t destroy the lamp in any way, but of course one should be more careful when adjusting a large lamp. As soon as this happened by brothers ran as fast as they could down the stairs in order to tell my grandfather what happened, and I remember hearing one of them whining when he realized that he wouldn’t be the first to disclose the news, for our grandfather, that would definitely get me in trouble. My oldest brother won the competition down the stairs and was the first to tell my grandfather that I had played with the lamp and damaged it (but I don’t think it was damaged), whereupon my grandfather became very angry and irritated. He found me wherever I was hiding and pulled my hair and told me some angry comments about disobedient children who played with his lamp with the risk of ruining it. I could not defend myself because I knew I was the one who had turned the button.

At another occasion, my grandparents asked me who I liked the most of the two of them, and I refused to answer. I didn’t feel it would be polite if I would favor one over the other. But they insisted, and I therefore felt forced to answer, and I of course said ”grandmother”. They wanted to know why, and I said that it’s because my grandfather had pulled my hair unlike my grandmother. They explained that this is needed when a child is disobedient. It’s possible that I responded here that there had been occasions where I’ve been innocent, and that the response to this comment from my grandfather was ”I couldn’t possibly have known that you were not involved”, or similar. It’s a good chance it’s true because I regret that I didn’t respond ”But shouldn’t you have made sure I’m guilty before you punish me?”.

I’m NOT saying here that it’s always bad to pull a child’s hair or grab a child’s arm, and I don’t think anyone would report a parent who did. My point is that angry words are often (but not always) more than enough for a child to understand, and spanking would do no good.

Maybe many who are for the right to spank their kids feel it’s fine because they follow a perfect ”dream scenario” where the child is first warned, and if no progress the child is spanked a little in his behind together with a clear explanation about what transgression he is guilty of, and when it’s all sorted out the parent and the child part with a hug. The problem is that this is just that; a dream scenario which sadly is hard to force parents to follow. It’s a LOT more likely that a child is just spanked in the heat of the situation and perhaps doesn’t even realize what he did wrong. He will then inadvertently be taught ”When a person gets irritated it’s fine to lose the temper and spank another person”. 

I’ve heard Americans say that ”It’s none people’s business if I spank my kids, or how much I spank my kids”. A Swede would normally not reason like that! I feel the responsibility to react if I saw someone spanking a DOG. Luckily I’ve never seen this happening, but I do react if I’m in a country where dogs are running around loose. A normal Swedish reaction would be to either find a home for the dogs, or shoot them! Anything but to let them running around on the streets with no food. I would also feel the obligation to report a farmer who mistreats his animals, or if I have found evidence for that someone has loads of cats which are not treated well. If we would do this when it comes to mistreatment of animals, of course we would react if we saw someone spanking/beating a child.

All are not teachers, and about submitting to elders and other authorities

We are to be present in the body of Christ – not just spiritually

As the body of Christ we are supposed to come together physically so that we can edify each other in various ways, like praying and prophesying for each other. (If we can of course, and if there is a decent assembly to join.) The Bible tells us that we are different members of the same body, and the body is likened with a human body. All are not an ear, an eye, a knee, etc. If all would be an ear, then something would be utterly wrong with the body of Christ. The Bible tells us for example that all are not teachers, so it’s wise to not let anyone rise up to teach in Church. The greatest risk to end up with false doctrines  would be if we let unqualified teachers do the teaching in a teaching situation within a christian assembly.

1 Cor.12:27Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. 28And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. 29Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all TEACHERS? are all workers of miracles? 

Rom. 12:6Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith7Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that TEACHES, onTEACHING;

We should of course always be prepared to share the word of God and try to make disciples in various ways, but in an assembly we should let the teachers do the main teaching. This doesn’t exempt us from our responsibility to always act like the Bereans and compare all that we hear with scriptures (and test all things), and we must be prepared for that qualified teachers could still be wrong. Peter was an elder who exhorted other elders. Even if all of us are not teachers, we can still contribute in an assembly in many ways. We are encouraged to speak in tongues if there is a translation, make prophesies, share revelations, sing songs, pray for one another,  heal someone if we have this gift, etc. But all must be done in order!  Just because we are encouraged to share, it doesn’t mean we are allowed to jump off from our seats and burst out in a song or make a comment whenever we feel like it. That would be very annoying both for the teacher and for the listeners.

Some could be better used for teaching than serving tables. But also those who were appointed to serve tables in Acts. 6 must be qualified for it. They would have to be of honest report and full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom:

Acts 6:2Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. 3Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. 4But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. 5And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch: 6Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them. 

Jesus himself gave some to apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers:

Ephesians 4:10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 

And for what purpose?

12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 

For how long?

13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ

What would be the benefit of not allowing other people to be teachers?

14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine 

2 Peter 2:1But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.  

With other words there is a risk that we will be caught up with false doctrines if we let unqualified people teach. We should be on our guards! When listening to a teacher we should show him much respect. Most churches that I have attended have allowed people to say ”amen” or ”hallelujah”,  and making brief questions and comments even in the middle of the preaching. Thankfully the comments never got out of hand, but I’ve heard comments which should have been made after the sermon instead of in the middle of it.  We must always show respect both to the teacher and to other listeners so we won’t disturb anyone. Who would like to be constantly interrupted when having a little lecture? If there are 50 listeners and half of them have a question, then the teacher would be forced to deal with 25 questions and could easily lose his thread. That could very well lead to chaos and that is exactly what Paul warns us against. He even says:

1 Cor. 14:34Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. 35And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home:

James tells us to NOT be many masters (teachers, instructors), and when we are sick we are asked to call for the ELDERS so they can pray and put oil on the sick person:

James 3 1My brethren, be not many MASTERS, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.

James 5:14Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders (presbyterous) of the church (ekklesias) ; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: 

There are special rules, compared to others, when it comes to accusing an elder for something, and if he is caught in a sin.

1 Tim. 5:19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. 20Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.

Peter seems to focus on exhorting the elders instead of exhorting the entire flock, since it’s the elders of a church who are supposed to be shepherding the flock in the right direction and feed it. The elders are compared with shepherds (so naming an elder ”pastor” makes perfect sense) and in a Church we are NOT supposed to take turns to be the shepherd. The elder/shepherd must be qualified and confirmed for this position, and no others should be elders. It would be great if there were more than one elder per church, but if that isn’t achievable then we would have to settle with one. The younger are asked to submit to the elder:

1 Peter 5 :1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: 2Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; 3Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock. 4And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. 5Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder

We don’t need to be qualified teachers in order to share something from the Bible also within an assembly, but I’m referring to the actual ”teaching” here.  There are of course loads of examples of churches where the pastor is teaching falsehood, but this only means he should never have been confirmed as an elder in the first place. Thankfully ALL churches don’t work in the wrong way. It’s possible that people with an aim to be ”democratic” would like to open up for others to do the teaching, but if we don’t follow Paul’s instructions about elders and teachers, there is a risk for deception and that is why many churches don’t work as they should:

Titus 1:10For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: 11Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake. 

2 Tim. 4:2Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. 3For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves TEACHERS, having itching ears; 4And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 5But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry

Hierarchies?

It’s possible that people are terrified for anything that might smell like hierarchies in Church, and while the NT does not support an assembly where people are of different levels of importance, we can’t get way from the fact that we are different parts of the same body, resulting in that not all are apostles, teachers, elders or shepherds. The shepherd is equal in value compared to the flock, but the shepherd is still supposed to guide the flock and not the other way around. This does not mean we should follow the shepherd blindly. All members of the flock have a free will and a responsibility to follow God (the Bible) more than man.

Below is an example of an issue which could not be settled in the local church but had to go ”up” to the apostles and elders in Jerusalem so they could settle the matter. The apostles and the elders had the authority to give instructions, decrees, exhortations and confirmation of churches:

Acts 15:2When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders (presbyterous) about this question. —6And the apostles and elders came togetherfor to consider of this matter.— 22Then pleased it the apostles and elders with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas and Silas, chief men among the brethren:—25It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,— 30So when they were dismissed, they came to Antioch: and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the epistle:—31Which when they had read, they rejoiced for the consolation. 32And Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, exhorted the brethren with many words, and confirmed them.

Paul and Silas delivered decrees for the assemblies to keep, which were ordained by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem. We are not able to read that the assemblies complained about this procedure, as though it would be unfair that some people can decide which rules others should keep. You might call this a ”hierarchical system” and therefore something that should be forbidden, but we are to submit to authorities (if they are godly). If we had all obeyed those instructions at all times from the beginning, then the apostles would be able to teach a group of people and confirm them, who could teach another group of people and confirm them, and so on. Clearly we have not always obeyed the instructions concerning elders because today there are some assemblies where the elders have many shortcomings – in traditional churches and particularly in Home churches. Each one should make sure to ”lay hands suddenly on no man” (confirming someone to be an elder) as Paul also instructed Timothy: 

Acts 16:4And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem. 5And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily.

1 Timothy 4:14Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the HANDS of the presbytery.

1 Timothy 5:22 Lay HANDS suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure.

Paul gave Timothy instructions to make sure the assembly in Ephesus teach ”no other doctrine”. Timothy should also make sure they would not give heed to fables. Hopefully the assembly in question accepted Timothy’s authority and didn’t tell him” Who do you think you are, trying to teach us all those things and exhorting us? Mind your own business because we can take care of ourselves, thank you. We don’t need anyone over us and we don’t believe in a hierarchical system”: 

1 Tim 1:2 Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord. 3As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, 4Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do. 6From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; 7Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.

Timothy was to reprove, rebuke and exhort, and the reason was the risk for false doctrines which might sneak in:

1 Tim. One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; 5(For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)6Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.

Read the above concerning some of the instructions for an elder. We are told that if his children don’t behave well, it’s doubtful he could keep the flock in the church of God. Being a pastor/elder in a church is likened with being the authoritative Father in a household. In a household a Father doesn’t take turns with his children to be the authority and the Head of the family. He should always be the authority! This of course does not give him the right to run his household in any way he wants, but he should always treat others the way he would like to be treated himself . Neither does it mean that he could not give his children a certain amount of liberty and responsibility. But it’s never the children who decides how much freedom and responsibility to give to their Father, but it’s always the other way around. 

The above verse is also yet another verse which confirms that a church gathering is often 1) away from home and 2) in a building and 3) RULED by someone. Here the church of God is CONTRASTED with a home, just like so many other verses.  We don’t always take the church with us, but we can GO to a church, and we can even be thrown out of a church by a person who is not even a true believer:

 3 John 1: 9I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. 10Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.

The Holy Ghost has made some people overseers over a flock, to feed the church of God. Paul knows that after his departure grievous wolves will enter in among ”you” (the listeners here were the elders in the church of Ephesus, but this concerns all of us) and that’s why he wants them to take heed.

Acts 20:28Take heed therefore unto YOURSELVES, and to all the FLOCK, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made YOU OVERSEERS, to feed the CHURCH OF God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.29For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in AMONG YOU, not sparing the FLOCK.