Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Revelation 1 & Revelation 2 from Niell

Revelation One and Revelation Too

The other day someone said that he has two reed like rods at his home. The one’s name is Revelation One and the other one is called Revelation Too. In the rare circumstances that he believes it is appropriate to apply the rod of correction to the seat of understanding, he allows the owner of the seat to choose between Revelation One and Too.

Is this good or is this bad? Is it right or wrong? Can someone who is not yet perfect himself spank someone else who is also still in training? Is it correct to outlaw spanking? Is it perhaps wise to outlaw spanking?

Good questions. I’m glad you ask. I’m sure you have many other questions as well. It shows that you are not taking these things lightly, and that is good!

But before starting I think it is important to first make one little distinction which I don’t often hear people make. And that is the distinction between discipline and punishment.

In short, punishment is what you get for doing something wrong in the past. Discipline is given so that you will do the correct things in the future. I think it is important to take note of that.

Back to spanking – Someone said there is not a single example in the Bible of a physical spanking.

Is this true?

To this question my unambiguous response would be – Maybe!

However, I think there is more!

I would like to refer you to the interesting incident in John 9 which reads as follows in the Bester paraphrase:

As Jesus walked past a blind man, his disciples wondered whose fault it was that the man was blind. Jesus told them that it was no one’s fault, but it was a great opportunity to show what it meant to be the light of the world. So he made a special dough with his spit, applied it to and anointed the man’s eyes and then told him to go wash it. He did and he could see. So, the people started asking questions – Is it him? Is it not him? Does it just look like him? And so on.

He told them – Hey guy’s, it’s me. So how come can you now see? – they enquired. He told them about Jesus. So they wanted to see Him, but He had vanished momentarily. And because the people had no previous experience they struggled to accept that a guy born blind could be healed, so they called the Pharisees.

Needless to say, this all happened on the Sabbath.

The Pharisees arrived and in their own ignorant way continued asking the same questions that were previously asked and got the same responses.

And then, based on some form of something the Pharisees made the conclusion that Jesus could not be from God. Why? Because He didn’t keep the Sabbath.

Others said – No, a sinner won’t be able to do such signs!

And along came the division, together with the author of confusion.

Then they asked the opinion of the blind man and he told them that he reckoned that Jesus was a prophet.

But the unbelieving Jews couldn’t accept it and kept on with the same line of questioning. Later they called the man’s parents and enquired from them. Apparently nothing could change their unbelief.

But the healed man stuck to his story saying – I don’t really care what you say. I was blind, now I can see and whether you think Jesus is a sinner or not makes very little difference to me. Your religious theory cannot make me doubt.

So they called the ushers and told them to throw the man out of the Sinagoge.

So what is the point?

The point is that some people struggle to reason from principle. In the above case, the Jews and the Pharisees were examples of that. They said that because of the fact that they hadn’t seen such thing before and didn’t have a practical example – it never happened.

Back to spanking – Does it matter whether you have a practical example or not? And if there is none, can you perhaps reason from principle?

But let me give you a snippet of how God, the perfect father, disciplines. Then you can decide how this should be applied by you.

I believe that, in a large way, maybe not the only way, the Father disciplines through natural law and principles. You see those universal, non-optional laws of cause and effect are at work all of the time. (It should be noted that Natural Law is not the same as Moral Law.)

So perhaps it would be a good idea to disciple by applying the principles of natural law.

By the way, there are many other instances where there are no specific examples in Scripture, but it seems like somewhere, someone reasoned from principle and came up with conclusions, sometimes good, other times less so.

Just think of schools, even wedding ceremonies and perhaps even all these big churches that are around, and so on. Where are our examples from Scripture? I wonder…

I’m sure this is not the end, but it’s enough for now

1 comment:

Donnette said...

Neill, I have to say that I disagree with punishment or corporal punishment of any nature when it comes to inflicting our "morals" and "principles" on our children.

I do have to concede that I wholeheartedly agree with corporal punishment in the event of a human being knowing right from wrong, intentionally disregards both the Natural Law and the Moral Law. Which makes me ask "What is the Natural Law?" Natural Law is the survival of the fittest, how do they survive in the wild? Aaah but we do not live in the wild, so therefore we cannot apply Natural Law as a blanket. Moral Law is man-made to the largest extent. Is this not a complete contradiction of my first sentence?

At the end of the day it is, as you correctly point out, who are we, as imperfect as we are, that we hold such a high regard for ourselves that we can inflict punishment on our children? Nope, I have a very definite POV on this. I do not physically discipline my children, I believe more gets accomplished by talking and reasoning and discussing and explanation. That is not to say I don't get frustrated and want to smash a table or a glass. I do. Hurting my children is not why I was put on this earth. My role is to love and nurture and guide, and learn from my own mistakes and try and pave the way for my chlidren not to repeat my mistakes (and there have been many, many, many) without inflicting physical or emotional pain on them.

This is a good piece of writing and I appreciate it. I am sure that it is also an extremely controversial issue and will raise many comments when I post it to my blogs...lol