He Who Denies Me, I Will Also Deny Him
The other day I found a study on German fundamental evangelicals in the newspaper. The statistics explained that more fundamentalists tend to discipline their children than “mainstream” Catholics or Protestants. The writer strongly criticized evangelical preachers for orienting their advice on child rearing so much on the Bible because it contains verses like, “Whoever loves his son has a rod prepared for him,” or, “The rod and reproof give wisdom.”
I thought it surprising that the study criticized those who believe because they obey the Scriptures and apply them to their daily life. And this in a “Christian” nation? Even more surprising was that in the following articles all the criticized preachers denied disciplining children or advising others to.
I wondered if they just denied it due to the Germany mentality of not rocking the boat, fearing persecution, because the fear of the government is still ingrained in everyone’s soul. Christianity appears to be a religion, at least in Germany, that always tries to assure the state that it will not take the Word of God seriously.
A bit of dishonest reporting
Later, I looked at the complete study of Mr. Pfeiffer and saw another result of his statistics. Children of fundamentalists who grew up with corporal discipline were less involved in crimes later on than others. The authors are surprised that the more religious the parents, the less violent the children turn out to be as youth and adults:
The result that free evangelical youth display the lowest rate of violence and that the rate of violence proportionally decreases with the rate of religiosity is surprising within this group, based on the findings of intra-familial violence.* (Pfeiffer and Baier, 2012)
Unfortunately, this fact was not included in the appraisal. This bit of dishonest reporting is significant, isn’t it? It’s actually why righteous people say that discipline is good, and desire to discipline their children, because they know the results are good. Children raised by parents who love them become honest, moral, and law-abiding.
The Bible is often treated in a similar way. People just take out the verses they like. They reason that spanking comes from the Old Testament, but do they not notice that it is in the New Testament, too? For example, it’s in Revelation 3:19, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten,” which is just the same as Proverbs 13:24, “Whoever hates his child, spares the rod.”
The early believers did not compromise when they “were spoken against everywhere” (Acts 28:22). Peter claimed several times that he “had to obey God rather than men”—actually at the risk his life. He must have believed what his Master had said:
Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven. (Mark 10:32-33)
And that is what the Apostle Paul also wrote to Timothy:
For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him; if we endure, we will also reign with Him; if we deny Him, He also will deny us; if we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself. (2 Timothy 2:11-13)
The God of our own Making
In Germany we supposedly enjoy freedom of religion, which must include the free exercise of our belief. But are we worthy of this freedom if we do not stand up for what we believe? Perhaps we Germans are just afraid, so we yield to men, obeying them, and disobeying the Word of God. So in Germany we must not only take out the Proverbs, but the book of Acts, the book of Hebrews, and many other passages here and there that speak of discipline. Then we can say we obey God — the god of our own making: the State.
Calling apples oranges
* You can call an apple an orange. There’s no law against calling something it is not. We still have freedom of speech. But that does not make an apple an orange. An apple remains an apple and an orange an orange. You can call discipline violence, and if it were, it would produce the fruit of violence. But as even the study shows, it produces the fruit of non-violence. You only call an apple an orange if you have an agenda. You only call discipline violence if you hate authority, especially the authority vested by God in parents. Tolerating such authority is idolatrous…if your god is the State.