Shame shame

Today’s NZ Herald has an article titled: Most mainstream churches back ‘Yes’ vote in smacking referendum.

This is the ungodly effect of the the world in the church instead of the preserving and guiding salt-light effect of the church in the world.

What more can I say except “Shame shame.”

And “May God have mercy on us.”

I will not be publishing anymore comments for this post. As author of the blog, I’d like to have the last word and suggest that those interested [click here and] read my other posts on the subject, which I think amply address the concerns raised.
My sincere thanks to everyone who participated.


  1. I was thrilled to hear that churches were speaking out to support children. It’s good that they’re showing New Zealand that not all Christians twist the words of the bible to suit them.

    • Coming from India where smacking is common, I am not sure I agree with you that banning this is a “support” for children. While growing up, the rod was not spared on me at home, or even at school. Looking back at my childhood, I feel grateful that my parents and teachers loved me enough to discipline me. This reminds me of a precious passage from the Bible in Hebrews 12:5-13

      My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
      nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives. It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.

      • Firstly the ammendment to section 59 does not ban smacking. I was foolishly hoping that you might actually understand the law that you are advocating the scrapping of. I’m saddened but not surprised that you don’t understand it.

        You can still smack your child under the law. This is the official wording.

        Every parent of a child and every person in the place of a parent of the child is justified in using force if the force used is reasonable in the circumstances and is for the purpose of:

        (a) preventing or minimising harm to the child or another person; or

        (b) preventing the child from engaging or continuing to engage in conduct that amounts to a criminal offence; or

        (c) preventing the child from engaging or continuing to engage in offensive or disruptive behaviour; or

        (d) performing the normal daily tasks that are incidental to good care and parenting.

        Now your next point – I think it’s deeply worrying that you believe smacking is the ONLY way to discipline and/or show love for your child. I know many parents who don’t smack. Are you suggesting they’re not disciplining their children? Or that they don’t love their children?

        If you believe there are other ways to discipline outside of smacking then your passage is redundant. Because you’re still doing what your God wants you to do. You’re just not smacking. Which he never mentions anyway.

        And in terms of your passage – Nowhere in that passage does it say that Jesus used physical punishment on his ‘sons’. Nowhere in the bible does it advocate smacking.

        Also I don’t understand why you’ve used the term ‘spare the rod’. “Spare the rod and spoil the child” is actually from a line from a poem about sex by Samuel Butler.

        So maybe you could explain the context to me?

      • Below are my comments on the main statements made by you:

        Your statement #1: “You can still smack your child under the law.”
        You cannot smack (to correct the child) according to the law. This is made clear in Point 2 and Point 3 of this law, which you have not quoted.
        Click here
        to read the whole law, all four points of it.

        Your statement #2 “. . . you believe smacking is the ONLY way to discipline and/or show love for your child.”
        Neither Peter nor I, nor anyone else who votes No in this referendum, believes this. Smacking is only one of many ways to discipline the child, but it is a good tool in some situations, and we’d like parents to decide which method to use (and when), thanks.

        Your statement #3 “Nowhere in the bible does it advocate smacking”
        Smacking is definitely a method that the Bible endorses (as you can see from Prov 22:15, Prov 23: 13,14)

        Your statement #4 “Also I don’t understand why you’ve used the term ‘spare the rod’. “Spare the rod and spoil the child” is actually from a line from a poem about sex by Samuel Butler.”
        Peter has not used that quote. Long before Samuel Butler, the Bible speaks of sparing the rod. “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.” In fact it is this scripture to which Samuel Butler alludes. Incidentally, Hudibras by Samuel Butler, is not a sex poem. Whatever gave you the idea!

        Thanks for your patience.

  2. Boganette, I appreciate your desire to want to do what is best for children. However, I believe spanking is a God-ordained part of a parent’s toolkit in child-rearing. The passages that Nahomi referenced, convincingly demonstrate this fact. But it goes beyond being just a technique. It has been borne out in my experience as a child of my heavenly Father (and also in that of every other child of God), and I want to imitate Him as I raise my children.

    The main reason I believe in discipline is because my heavenly Father uses it. Along with personally experiencing God’s amazing grace and mercy, I have also often experienced His heavy hand of discipline in my life. Just recently it happened again, and I remember praying: “Lord although this is very painful, it demonstrates to me how much you love me – that you do not want to let me go. Thank you”. I think this is what David meant in Psalm 23, when he wrote: “Your rod and your staff, they comfort me”. For me the verse: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” is not a cliche, but a foundational fact of life. Biblical truth has been cemented in me through experience. God disciplines his children on earth, because He wants them to spend eternity with Him in heaven. The passage in Hebrews says “Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live?” The implication is – and it is also sprinkled all over the Bible – that left to myself without His discipline I may one day find myself in hell. Our hearts are extremely deceitful. It is very easy for us to fool ourselves that we are Christians, and in reality have no real relationship with God. I am convinced that countless professing Christians are in this category, and are ignorant that they are on the “broad way that leads to destruction”. So the Bible gives us many tests. One of them is that if we persistently do wrong, that is evidence that we are not His children. In the light of this, it becomes clear why it is great love that causes God to discipline His children. He does this to draw them back to a relationship with Him. The Bible says of God’s children: “nothing can separate us from the love of God”. This is because He is the One who keeps us secure in Him, and he uses discipline liberally as part of the process.

    Now – if God is a model Father, then discipline needs to be a critical component of the fathering of my children. As Nahomi said, smacking is one of the ways, although by no means the only one. A fact worthy of mention regarding school: the teachers I respect the most are the ones who spanked me – and they are the ones I have most tried to keep in touch with, after I graduated from school.

    I hope this helps to explain why we would vote against this amendment.

    • It in no way explains why you would vote against the ammendment.

      Before the ammendment to section 59 parents who seriously abused their children used ‘reasonable force’ as their defence in court.

      As was said during the sub-committee meeting for the legislation:

      “In the best interests of children, the New Zealand National members of the committee believe it is imperative to lower the usage of section 59 of the Crimes Act 1961 as it is being used as a shield to conviction by some parents and guardians who have obviously abused their children.
      Some high-profile recent cases involving severe beatings with implements are seen as obvious examples of child abuse, yet no convictions have resulted when the accused have successfully used the ‘‘reasonable correction’’ justification offered by section 59 in jury trials.”

      Child abusers were being let off because of the law. Now you can still smack your children – I’ve given examples from the ammendment itself but you cannot abuse your children and claim reasonable force as a defence.

      Nowhere in the bible does it say that child abusers should be able to get off child abuse charges in court under the grounds of reasonable force.

      Your comments on your God disciplining his followers are neither here nor there. From your comments it’s almost like you believe your God actually “spanked” people. And also you’ve already said that there are other ways to discipline outside of smacking. Therefore you’re still being disciplined/punished by your God or by followers in the name of your God without smacking.

      This law is designed to protect children of all faiths and children of non-believers. You should consider them – not just your somewhat extreme personal beliefs.

      And once again in terms of the ‘rod’ you are meaning a weapon aren’t you?

      • I will not be publishing anymore comments for this post. Thanks to everyone who participated. As author of the blog, I’d like to have the last word and suggest that those interested [click here and] read my other posts on the subject.

  3. 1) You’re incorrect. You can still smack your child under the law. I have provided the examples of when you can smack your child (under the law). Please refer to those comments.

    2) With the statement “I feel grateful that my parents and teachers loved me enough to discipline me” Peter is clearly making a judgement call against parents who do not to smack their children. He is implying they do not discipline their children or ‘love’ their children enough to hit them. If smacking is only one form of discipline (according to you and Peter) then you are still able to successfully discipline your children without hitting them. Leaving Peter’s previous passages redundant.

    Also I find it disingenuous that you claim you know the reasons and motive behind every single no vote in NZ. That’s a dangerous view to have.

    3) If we’re to take the bible’s statements literally you should be using a weapon (a rod) to hit your child. This would be illegal in NZ. Well before section 59 ammendment change. A smack – as I understand it and I sincerely hope I’m right for the sake of children in NZ – is hitting a child with an open hand.

    Nowhere in those passages does it say anything other than using a rod (weapon) on children.

    4)Hudibras is the standard for satire. ‘Spare the rod spoil the child’ is an obvious and clear double entendre about sex and contraception. I suggest you read it – in context – again. It has nothing to do with the bible and there’s zero chance that Samuel Butler is alluding to the scripture. It’s astounding to even suggest it as if every writer/poet/artist has read the bible and finds it inspiring in any way.

    But it really is a fantastic piece of work so it is worth you reading it again (or at least that passage – Part II, Canto I, ll. 839-44).

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