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Location: Allentown, PA

I'm a Christian wife and a mom to three daughters and two sons. I'm a member of the board of directors of EmPoWeReD Birth. In my "spare time" I'm a doula, and a certified childbirth instructor.

Friday, January 28, 2005

The "Latest Spiritual Gobblydeegook?"

In response to one of my recent blogs, Molly commented:

I dunno...the whole thing smacks of the latest "spiritual" gobblydeegook. I don't expect any brownie points for that opinion, so don't worry... It just ignores basic scholarship in favor of recent social trends. Because somebody abuses a truth makes the thing itself no longer true?


This was basically her response to the concept that spanking a child might not be a Biblically sanctioned method of discipline. Greg, whose comments followed hers, echoed similar sentiments.

When I was in college I participated in an InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, and at the end of each year I had the opportunity to attend "chapter camp." This was a one week camp to dig deeper into issues of spirituality. The first year I went I participated in the "Jesus the Lifechanger" track. We spent one week studying the book of Mark. We ripped it apart. It was awesome, and lived up to it's name--we learned about Jesus, and it was life changing. As I recall, we dug so deep that even after 7 days of spending about 6 hrs per day in Bible study, we had only gotten through 7 chapters! It was there that I was first introduced to the principles of basic hermenuetics, though I did not know that term, I just knew that I learned how to really study the Bible. I applied the principles I learned on a regular basis after that.

Saddly, after a few years I quit doing the hard work to really study and interpret the Bible, relying instead on quick study, and perhaps a cursory glace at a commentary if I felt I wasn't quite understanding something. Even sadder still, since that seminar I took nearly 15 years ago, I have never encountered a situation in church where people were actually being taught those very important principles of how to properly study scripture.

Some years ago I "met" a pastor who goes by the name of "Metochoi" on-line. He was kind enough to write up several "lessons" on Biblical Hermenuetics. These lessons parallel what I was taught back in Chapter Camp, and formed the basis of my study of interpretation of the "rod" verses in Proverbs--using some quotes from Tedd Tripp's book Sheperding a Child's Heart to make points.

#1 = Interpret LITERALLY.
Tripp asserts on pg 108 that “the rod” means “a parent, in faith toward God and faithfulness toward his or her children, undertaking the responsibility of careful, timely, measured and controlled use of physical punishment”
This rather symbolic definition of the rod violates the very first basic principle of Biblical hermeneutics--interpret LITERALLY. The word "rod" is literally a noun, and as used in scripture in places other than the verses used to justify spanking refer to a thick and heavy stick or a ruler's sceptor. Yet Tripp's definition transforms it into a verb, and then symbolically transforms it to a vaguely stated "use of corporal punishment." To be fair, the Proverbs are a collection of often symbolic passages (for example, must a husband really sit at the city gates talking while his wife conducts business such as buying and selling land as depicted in Proverbs 31?), and many interpretations of the rod passages assume that the “rod” is meant symbolically. However, to follow other principles of hermeneutics we must be able to find clear evidence somewhere in the scripture—and truly throughout the body of scripture, to support a symbolic interpretation. I fail to find support for such a specific and very highly symbolic interpretation. Further, a similar interpretation is rarely applied to Proverbs 14:3 “A fool’s talk brings a rod to his back” or Proverbs 26:3 “A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool's back”--both verses which clearly refer to adults and have been used in the past to justify wife beating.

#2 = Understand the HISTORICAL-CULTURAL background.
It is important to remember how families were structured at that time. Childrearing was left primarily to the women, men would take over the raising of boys only when they approached bar mitzvah age. Solomon is addressing this book to his adult son (this point relates the concept of interpreting scripture in context), who would have had very little dealings with his young children. Further, the Talmud, which was essentially the Jewish equivalent of a modern day Bible Commentary, specifically forbade fathers from striking their children, as the children may lack maturity and strike back, dishonoring their parents and thus violating the commandment to honor their parents. Even if a child is outwardly controlled and does not strike back, many, if not most, children who are dealt with via corporal punishment at times wish to strike their parents. Christ states that to think in the heart of sinning is to have sinned, so the parents are tempting their children to sin. Corporal punishment of young adults was officially conducted by governmental authorities in OT times, NOT the parents (of course it is unrealistic to think that parents never struck their children, just as it is unrealistic to think that husbands never struck their wives).

Further, the use of the rod in the OT bore little relationship to modern day spanking - best anyone can tell it was used on the back, not buttocks; it was used on adults with no evidence that young children were subject to it; and by modern standards the rod beatings were often violent enough that parents would be arrested for emulating them.

#3 = Analyze the GRAMMATICAL structure.
In analyzing the grammatical structure it is important to remember that the scriptures were not written in English, but rather Hebrew/Greek. The “rod” verses use two words that are important to look at. The word “na’ar” is translated into “child,” and the word “shebet” is translated into “rod.”

The Hebrew language had several words to describe different ages of children, including words that specifically defined babies and young children. Neither of these words are used here. “na’ar” is used 238 times in the OT. 3 of the uses are in the Proverbs “rod” verses. 200 of the uses, or 85%, are used in ways that clearly do not refer to small children (lad, servant, young man, youth, 7 of 16 uses of young , 24 of 51 uses of child(ren)). In some cases the age of person being referred to cannot be determined (young-9, boys-1, child-19: about 12%) . That leaves only a few uses that clearly refer to refer to young children (babe-1, child-5: about 2%). While it would be incorrect to say that the use in these verses can’t apply to young children, it certainly seems likely that it doesn’t, especially using other hermeneutical rules.

The word “shebet” refers to a large branch, a walking staff. Some spanking advocates have insisted that this can be interpreted as a hand, while others use “flexible objects” (such as spatulas, belts, leather straps), thin dowel rods, paint stirrers, or wooden spoons. Clearly none of these fit the definition of a large branch. Another meaning of “shebet” is a ruler’s scepter. This again was a fairly thick rod, but it was a symbol of authority that was not used to strike people. It was also used in reference to a shepherds rod, which was used to gently guide sheep or to fight off attackers, not to strike the sheep.

In analyzing the grammatical structure, it is important to recognize that the Proverbs contain many symbolic texts, and also were considered to be wisdom texts rather than commandments. Whether corporal punishment—if it is indeed supported by scripture—is wisdom or a command makes a significant difference. If parents are commanded to use corporal punishment on their children, was Mary in sin since we can assume that she never used corporal punishment on Christ? How about the foster parent that is forbidden by law to use it? Dwight L. Moody, who by the accounts of his children did not spank them? The parent whose child has a medical condition (brittle bone syndrome, leukemia or other conditions that cause easy and excessive bruising) that prohibits corporal punishment? How many times must a parent use corporal punishment on a child to be in obedience to the command? Is one use enough? How do we draw the line about what age to start/stop using it?

#4 = Use SYNTHESIS [Compare scripture with scripture].

Just to start you off, consider Proverbs 23:13 and 14;
"Do not withhold correction from a child; for if you beat him with a rod, he will not die. You shall beat him with a rod, and deliver his soul from hell."
The Bible does say that beating someone with the rod could lead to death (Exodus 21:20), and parents certainly have beaten their children to death with a rod (a wooden spoon in one case I read about), citing Proverbs as evidence that the beating couldn't be the cause of death despite what doctors said.

Also compare it to Ephesians 2:8 and 9:
"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast."
If the Proverbs rod verses refer to spanking, then they state that parents can literally save their children through spanking. Yet the New Testament makes it quite clear that we cannot save ourselves through works - is it logical to argue that God won't allow us to boast of saving ourselves, but happily gives us the right and opportunity to boast of saving our children?

If the rod in Proverbs refers to God's word, and we use the New Testament methods of discipline outlined in Matthew 18 and other passages in the NT (i.e., challenge people who are sinning with God's word), then we are following Romans 10:17 ("Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God"), and the Proverbs rod verses fit neatly with New Testament theology. But if the Proverbs rod is a literal one, then the verse is saying that parents can do what the New Testament says only God can do.

Another point to make in comparing scripture to scripture, is to consider Ephesians 6:4, which admonishs parents not to provoke their children to wrath. The Greek word used in this passage is “parorgizo” and the “Blue Letter Bible” states that this word as used in the New Testament means “to rouse to wrath, to provoke, exasperate, anger.” Most spanking advocates would admit that spankings often provoke anger, even wrath. Tripp addresses this by stating that the parent should spank longer, which seems inconsistent with the goal of avoiding provoking anger and wrath.

#5 = THEN you can APPLY the passage!
I believe that the Bible does not endorse spanking, and a careful reading of the entire work of scripture to me would seem to actually prohibit spanking.

#6 = At every step, rely on the ILLUMINATION of the Holy Spirit.
I have sought to do this, as I honestly believe that many spanking proponents have prayed and sought the Holy Spirit. However, I believe that many spanking proponents have made the mistake of attempting to interpret scripture without doing careful work to cover the first 4 steps of proper Biblical interpretation—which is just as much of a mistake as doing the first 4 steps without relying on the Holy Spirit (okay, well maybe not…I think that sometimes the Holy Spirit will choose to supercede our short cuts…).

#7 = Interpret in CONTEX
This point is addressed as comments interwoven in the explanation above. Specifically, in understanding the “context” of Proverbs, one must understand who it was addressed to, what cultural practices were being referred to, and what the style of the writing was (often symbolic).

What NOT to do:
#1 = NEVER make your point at the price of the proper interpretation.
#2 = NEVER rely on superficial or shallow study.
#3 = NEVER allegorize or spiritualize unless the text itself calls for it.
#1 The passages in question clearly do apply to parenting, so this does not apply.
#2 I believe I have done rather in depth study of the verses in question, so this does not apply.
#3 I believe this is what spanking advocates do when they change a “rod” into “spanking with a flexible instrument”

Not all of this was my original work. Over the years I have collected quotes here and there from others that I have retained, for example, the first 2 paragraphs of #4 are borrowed.

16 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jenn,

Good post and you make your case very well.

It's always been interesting to me that those who say that we should take the rod verses literally always stop short of doing just that. If you're going to take it literally then stop pretending that a rod can mean a switch or a hand. And then start lining up the "fools" to lay open a few backs. That's in there too.

Sozo
www.reasonswhy.org

10:54 PM, January 28, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good principals for exegesis. Coupla’ things - 1. Don't use extra-Biblical sources (Talmud or "modern day commentary" for example) to justify clouding a clear reading of Scripture. 2. Avoid eisegesis while attempting exegesis. I've been guilty of the same thing many times. It leads to awkward allegorical "literal" interpretations and unnecessarily truncated definitions of terms.

If you would, help me interpret the passage about "if you beat him with [God's Word], he will not die. You shall beat him with [God's Word], and deliver his soul from hell."

Is that a literal beating or a figurative one? How do I figuratively beat my child with the Word? And, isn't that God's job anyway?

You missed my point from my previous post. I'm not trying to talk anyone into spanking their children. If you don't do it right, you shouldn't do it at all. My point is that as the head of my household I have been given a solemn responsibility to raise my children to be faithful to the covenant. Just because Solomon waited until his kids were teenagers to teach them does not mean that is what God intended when he issued His instructions in Deuteronomy 6.

Anyway, thank you for the dissertation and for reminding me about the wife beating thing. I am going to talk to my wife about that. It might do her some good.

Grace and Peace,

Greg
Father to four still happy, healthy, faithful, and non-emotionally scarred kids
Husband to one awesome wife.

11:00 PM, January 28, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am very glad to learn how to interpret the Bible now. It's funny, because in all those years I went to Bible College, I never learned how!

:o)

(that was a JOKE, by the way)...


My dear, I think we can just agree to disagree. And I'm afraid we'll have to. From reading your blog, we disagree on more than just this issue.

Warm Regards,
Molly
http://threepennies.blogdrive.com/

11:03 PM, January 28, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Greg, great comments.
Thanks for sharing.

And I'm a little mad. Why did you pick on me more than Greg? Was it because I used the wonderful word "gobbledeegook" and that sounded like a cooler title? If so, I can't blame you--I like that word too...

*grin*

Blessings in Yahweh,
Molly

11:18 PM, January 28, 2005  
Blogger Jenn said...

Molly, Greg,

Yes, I picked Molly's passage to quote because of the word "gobblydeegook."

I didn't go to Bible college--I went to a secular college to study Biochemistry. My husband went to Bible college though. He learned the same rules to interpret scripture that Metochoi sets forth. If you learned different rules of Bible study than set forth by Metochoi, I'd be interested in hearing them, and seeing you use them to justify spanking as Biblically supported.

A "simple and plain" reading of the scriptures in Proverbs would have us beating our children with rods across their backs, not swatting them on the buttocks with a hand, flexible object, belt... And this would not be proper use of scripture any more than putting a bunch of hot coals on someone's head is a proper interpretation of Proverbs 25:22: "In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the LORD will reward you." In order to properly understand this passage you can't just do a "simple and plain" reading--you need to understand what was happening in the culture. When this passage was written, it was common practice for people to put the coals from a fire into a special basket to keep them hot, then carry that basket on their head to where they wanted to build a new fire. The reference to heaping burning coals upon someone's head is in reference to giving someone some of your coals when their fire has gone out--you are doing a good thing for them, where as putting hot coals directly on their head would obviously not be a good thing!

The word "beat" can also be used in the sense of "the sun beat down" or "the rain beat down." It does not have to refer to causing someone pain by striking them. It can refer to saturating them with whatever it is you are refering to. So to "beat" someone with authority/the Bible could refer to having the authority/Bible teaching be a constant in the child's life. Life situations consitently being met with parental authority and teaching about how the situations are related to scripture.

And BTW, I didn't address this...but related to the comment "Because somebody abuses a truth makes that thing itself no longer true?" No. But I don't think spanking is supported by scripture...and even *if* the Proverbs verses were about spanking, one does need to keep in mind that just because something is in the Bible does not mean it is a good thing--for example, Rahab lied to protect the guards, does that mean we should lie? Slavery is discussed quite often in the Bible, does that mean we should own slaves? Even some things that are commanded in the Old Testament no longer stand under the New Covenant of grace where Jesus takes the punishment for our sins--for example, stoning is commanded for several different offenses, should we start stoning people?

8:00 PM, January 29, 2005  
Blogger TulipGirl said...

Just a few thoughts. . .

"Is that a literal beating or a figurative one?"

It's interesting. . . I know a lot of very lovely mamas who insist they are reading the rod Scriptures "literally" and yet would be sure to say they are NOT beating their child. Swatting, spanking, "love pats" whatever--but not beating. At the same time they insist they are taking the "rod" literally--but use their hand, glue stick, wooden spoon, or craft dowel. I only bring this up to illustrate that there are many people who really think they are reading things "literally" and the plain meaning of the text, but are reading their own assumptions into the text. Which is natural, of course. I think it is important, however, to recognize when we are doing that.


"I'm not trying to talk anyone into spanking their children. If you don't do it right, you shouldn't do it at all."
Doing it "right" or not--I'm more concerned these days about parents being taught by those they view as authorities that spanking (as done in a 20th century Christian subculture) is Biblically mandated. I'm not anti-spanking per se. I am anti-Biblically-mandated-spanking because I simply don't see support in the Bible for that.


"My point is that as the head of my household I have been given a solemn responsibility to raise my children to be faithful to the covenant. Just because Solomon waited until his kids were teenagers to teach them does not mean that is what God intended when he issued His instructions in Deuteronomy 6."
I think this is a very important point. The heart of the Bible's teaching on raise Covenant children focuses on the day-in-and-day-out diligent teaching, talking, walking (as Duet 6 says). As Susan Hunt says, "teaching the content of the covenant in the context of the covenant community."

Instead of that, there are many in the evangelical subculture that hyper-focus on behaviour control through punishment instead of discipling our children. It makes me sad that loving Christian parents think that is Biblical.

2:54 PM, January 30, 2005  
Blogger TulipGirl said...

Btw, I also responded to your earlier comments on this thread:
http://knittedinthewomb.blogspot.com/2005/01/reasons-for-not-smacking.html


And while it's a dated conversation, you might also be interested in this one (which includes a photo that may be more in line with the shebet of the Proverbs verses):
http://www.tulipgirl.com/mt/archives/000107.html

3:11 PM, January 30, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TulipGirl,

I'm sure I will never convince you that I am right, and I'm pretty sure that you'll never convince me that you're right. Nevertheless, I have enjoyed the dialogue and I am glad that I think we have arrived at some common ground on the issue.

For example, you said, "there are many in the evangelical subculture that hyper-focus on behaviour control through punishment instead of discipling our children. It makes me sad that loving Christian parents think that is Biblical."

On that point you and I agree wholeheartedly. That is why I said if you don't do it right, don't do it at all. Obviously, I do not believe in Biblically MANDATED beating (I'll use the word - I'm sure it's a shocker to some. However, language is fluid and what it once meant is not necessarily what it means today. Connotation vs. denotation and all of that).

However, I cannot agree with you that Scripture prohibits beating - I think that is an amazing feat of exegetical gymnastics.

You say, "I only bring this up to illustrate that there are many people who really think they are reading things "literally" and the plain meaning of the text, but are reading their own assumptions into the text. Which is natural, of course. I think it is important, however, to recognize when we are doing that." That was exactly my point regarding "anti-beaters" in my previous post. It is what leads to exegetical gymnastics.

"The heart of the Bible's teaching on raise Covenant children focuses on the day-in-and-day-out diligent teaching, talking, walking (as Duet 6 says). As Susan Hunt says, "teaching the content of the covenant in the context of the covenant community."" Absolutely, yes, and AMEN!

Grace and Peace
Greg
(Father of four happy, healthy, non... wait a minute... Kids, are you still non-emotionally scarred? Just checking, go back to bed... sorry, non-emotionally scarred beautiful blessings)

8:26 PM, January 30, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greg said :

<< Obviously, I do not believe in Biblically MANDATED beating... However, I cannot agree with you that Scripture prohibits beating - I think that is an amazing feat of exegetical gymnastics. >>

Did I miss something? Jenn said that she thought a " careful reading of the entire work of scripture to me would seem to actually prohibit spanking" but she actually didn't attempt to exegete this. So I'm confused about the gymnastics that your talking about. She did attempt to exegete some of the Proverbs passages to show that you can't use them as support for mandatory beating/spanking - and you seem to agree with that.

Simply put, the scriptures are silent on the subject of corporeal punishment in general and specifically spanking as we know it today. It neither explicitly endorses it or condemns it.

sozo
www.reasonswhy.org

9:27 PM, January 30, 2005  
Blogger TulipGirl said...

Greg,

I'm pretty sure you and I are a lot closer on these things that many in the Christian subculture. *grin*

I do want to clarify something you said that Sozo touched on, "However, I cannot agree with you that Scripture prohibits beating - I think that is an amazing feat of exegetical gymnastics."

I have not stated that Scripture prohibits beating. I agree that would be exegetical gymnastics to state that it does.

However, I do see in the Christian subculture (and sadly, among those who are most vocal about building the family) a misuse of Scripture that leads to declarations that spanking is Biblically mandated. Which, IMO, is also a feat of exegetical gymnastics.

The more I study theology, the further I get from the punishment-focused parenting that is taught in many circles. The more I understand my need for the Gospel of Jesus Christ each day, the more I want to communicate that to my children.

I am concerned that there is a hyper-focus on performance among parents, especially in the Church. When kids "behave" they make parents look good. Parents, often unintentionally, are sending messages that there love is conditional and based on "obedience," ie, performance.

And you know what? A lot of parents and kids are good at that. I was one of those kids. Followed the rules, did everything right. And while I would have NEVER said that my good behaviour was earning my salvation, you bet my attitude and actions were saying that I was winning spiritual brownie points by doing all the "right" things, as prescribed by the Christian subculture.

But, that's missing the heart of the Gospel. That's ignoring grace. I would much rather help my children recognize the sin in their hearts and their natural bent to rebel against God. I want to help them recognize those things and turn to God in repentance, rejoicing that they are in Christ and that in His sacrifice Christ has been punished for their sin. And then, lean into God for grace to obey, be motivated to obey because of what God has done for them and is doing in their hearts.

I want my kids to understand the Gospel and God's grace on a heart level, on a day-in-day-out basis. And I believe that core is missing from much of the teaching about parenting in the Christian world.

4:29 AM, January 31, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apologies Tulip Girl, the comment about Scripture prohibiting beating should have been directed to Jenn. I picked up that inference from her statement "Even if a child is outwardly controlled and does not strike back, many, if not most, children who are dealt with via corporal punishment at times wish to strike their parents. Christ states that to think in the heart of sinning is to have sinned, so the parents are tempting their children to sin." I presume that the Bible would forbid me from tempting my children to sin...thus it follows if beating tempts them, it is prohibited. This is the gymnastics that I refer to Sozo.

Anyway, I do agree that Scripture does not MANDATE beating. It does MANDATE training and instruction, and that training and instruction encompasses exactly what you refer to, TulipGirl, "I want my kids to understand the Gospel and God's grace on a heart level, on a day-in-day-out basis. And I believe that core is missing from much of the teaching about parenting in the Christian world."

AMEN and AMEN!

10:42 AM, January 31, 2005  
Blogger TulipGirl said...

See, Greg, I knew we were closer to viewing things the same way but were talking past one another. *grin*

Some further clarification. . . I do believe that while the Bible neither mandates nor forbids spanking, that it is one of the least effective means to teach and train our children to the glory of God. Furthermore, I have a problem with the punishment-focus of spanking for children who are in the Covenant.

The families in which spanking appears to work best are those families where parents' love is unconditionally communicated and the Gospel is integrted into their chid-rearing. And I would suggest that these same families would probably do just fine without spanking, were they free of the idea that it is Biblically mandated.

1:46 AM, February 01, 2005  
Blogger Jenn said...

I responded a couple of times previously in these comments--one time somehow my comments got labeled as being from "anonymous," the other time they got creditted to me. I want to go back and hit a few points I didn't before.

Greg-- You questioned my use of the Talmud as a source. This source was used to establish the culture context of the Proverbs writing, and as such, it is a reliable source. It was written B.C.

You then further questioned:

"If you would, help me interpret the passage about 'if you beat him with [God's Word], he will not die. You shall beat him with [God's Word], and deliver his soul from hell.'

Is that a literal beating or a figurative one? How do I figuratively beat my child with the Word? And, isn't that God's job anyway?"

As I said, I believe that this verse refers to constantly exposing the child to the authority of scripture. It is NOT my job to deliver my child's soul from hell, and that is sort of my point. If we are to say that the "rod" refered to in these verses refers to spanking, then we are saying that through the act of spanking we can save our child's soul. But if we say that teaching the child Gods word will save the child...well isn't this a "no brainer" kind of "wisdom" comment? The Proverbs are, after all, a book of wisdom. It's not like it is a guaruntee or anything...but if you teach the child the Bible, they are more likely to get saved.

Then you said:

"Just because Solomon waited until his kids were teenagers to teach them does not mean that is what God intended when he issued His instructions in Deuteronomy 6."

You missed my point. I'm not saying that parents should wait until their kids are teens to teach them...I'm just saying that this was the culture into which the Proverbs were given, and we need to understand that to help us understand what age bracket is referred to with the word "na'ar." Solomon's son would not have listened to Solomon and thought "gee, I need to spank my toddler." He would have thought his father was talking about his adolescent son.

You also say a few times that you think parents should not spank unless they do it correctly. But you also say that you do not believe the Bible prohibits beating. Now I've got to agree with you on that, I don't think the Bible ever directly prohibits beating (though the Golden Rule might be called into question on this as *indirectly* prohibiting it). However, I wonder if you are saying that beating children is in line with a definition of "correct" spanking of children? How exactly do you define "correct" spanking?

7:36 PM, February 02, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some anti-spankers claim that the 'rod' in the Bible was never meant as a means of 'hitting' the sheep but of 'guiding' them. A shepherd would never hit his precious sheep, they say.

Now I have never owned sheep, but I did grow up on a dairy farm, so I know something about herding animals. When you herd cows, you bring along a stick or a whip. You use it on a cow who strays from the herd or gets out of hand in any way. That doesn't mean beating the animal into unconsciousness but 'spanking' her, if you will. No sane farmer would injure his cow with a stick or whip, not only because she is worth a lot of money but because most farmers love their animals (I did).

Again, I don't know too much about sheep, but my semi-educated guess is that a farmer might have to sometimes use physical force against them with hisrod. So so much for the view that the 'rod' in the Bible was merely a means of guidance.

Then again, some of those anti-spankers appear to have the same amount of gray matter as the sheep do, so don't expect them to understand this!

The last paragraph is meant to be a joke... well, sort of!

Emily

3:24 PM, February 14, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Emily,you certainly cleared that up... "So so much for the view that the 'rod' in the Bible was merely a means of guidance."

But I guess since I don't have the brain power of you pro-spanking types, I'll remain lost in my little brainless, whoops... I mean sheep for brains non-spanking little world.

11:31 AM, February 17, 2005  
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