Do not hold back discipline from the child, although you strike him with the rod, he will not die. You shall strike him with the rod and rescue his soul from Sheol. Proverbs 23:13-14
A national debate on spanking children has been taking place over the last few weeks (watch, for example, a recent segment on ESPN NFL Countdown) after one of the National Football League’s top running backs, Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, was charged with child abuse after spanking his four-year-old son, causing visible cuts and bruises.
The Bible, most specifically in the Book of Proverbs, commands parents to physically discipline their children (Proverbs 13:24, 22:15, 23:13-14, 29:15). And yet our culture today—and even many professing Christians—say that a child should never be subjected to corporal punishment (i.e. spanked). In fact, parents can have their child taken away if the state decides that “abuse” is taking place.
What is the difference between spanking and abuse? Why does the Bible command “using the rod,” and for what kind of transgressions should a child be spanked? Are other forms of discipline just as effective as spanking?
Dr. John Street and Dr. Ernie Baker, Professors of Biblical Counseling at The Master’s College will join us this weekend on The Christian Worldview to answer these questions and others on spanking. Between them, they have raised ten children, and thus have the experience to go with their expertise.