Thursday, May 31, 2012

Pastor Sent to Prison for Advocating Spanking

I will admit up front that I know nothing about Aleitheia Bible Church or Pastor Philip Caminiti. I had never even heard of them before reading that Caminiti was sentenced to two years in prison for teaching that spanking is biblical.

Yes, this happened in America. Madison, Wisconsin, to be exact.

Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi wanted to send a message that "child abuse" would not be tolerated. "What is important to me," she said, "is there was and continues to this day no expression of remorse or repentance for the consequences of those actions, or what the whole chain of events has led the family and the community through."

Again, I will confess to being ignorant of all the facts in the case. Is it possible that there were instances in which parental discipline may have gone too far? Yes, I suppose it is. But keep in mind that the imprisoned pastor was never charged with abusing a child. His "crime" was instructing parents in his congregation to spank their children.

As far as I can tell, no crime was ever committed. Wisconsin law states: "Reasonable discipline may involve only such force as a reasonable person believes is necessary. It is never reasonable discipline to use force which is intended to cause great bodily harm or death or creates an unreasonable risk of great bodily harm or death." I guess it all depends on what a particular court deems "reasonable."

I was reminded of something my own pastor, John Piper, once said about spanking: "I just think spanking is really healthy for children. It is a measured deliverance of a non-damaging act of mild pain that makes the child feel the seriousness of what he's done. It is not beating. It is not abuse. There is a clear difference. The very word "spank" exists because there is such a thing as a loving way to whop a child on his behind or his chunky thigh."

Spanking is "really healthy for children"? There are many people out there who would have a difficult time trying to wrap their minds around that concept. "He's saying parents should hit their children! How barbaric!" Nonsense.

We are designed in such a way that pain actually serves to protect our bodies. The pain a child feels when touching a hot stove keeps his hand from becoming badly burned. Likewise, a quick swat on the bottom can help a disobedient child avoid even worse consequences associated with sinful behavior.

This is a very important issue, and what has happened in Wisconsin should concern Christians everywhere. What many fathers and mothers consider to be a normal, biblical part of parenting could be reason enough for the state to tear them away from their children and throw them into prison.

But, then again, this is a nation that has little use for scriptural truth. What else would we expect?

Friday, May 25, 2012

This Week in Calvinism - May 25, 2012

Friday, May 18, 2012

This Week in Calvinism - May 18, 2012

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Friday, May 11, 2012

This Week in Calvinsim - May 11, 2012

Friday, May 04, 2012

This Week in Calvinism - May 4, 2012

  • Calvinist pastor Chris Roberts has introduced a resolution for consideration at the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting seeking unity in spite of theological differences.

  • Greg Forster, author of The Joy of Calvinism, has written a series of articles on evangelicals in politics for Public Discourse. (part 1, part 2, part 3)

  • Relevant features a "debate" on Calvinism in the form of interviews with Michael Horton and Roger Olson.

  • I appreciate an article critical of Joel Osteen as much as the next guy, and this article in Salon makes some pretty good points. But was it really necessary to attack Calvinism in the process? The author writes: "Osteen's serene depictions of God's eternally uptending designs for the fates of individual believers are a sort of inverted Calvinism. Where the Puritan forebears of today's Protestant scene beheld a terrible, impersonal Creator whose rigid system of eternal reward and punishment dispatched many an infant and solemn believer to the pit of damnation, Osteen's God is an intensely personal presence, guiding believers out of pitfalls into inevitable glory and joy — not so much a raging Patriarch as a genial cruise director." That kind of ignorance lends little to journalistic credibility.

  • The gospel shines brighter through the lens of the doctrines of grace.
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