Theology of Children

Barnados has recently submitted a paper entitled “Theology of Children” by Nove Vailaau. Strangely,  the first part of the document sounds very “un-theological” entitled “Moving away from corporal punishment”. There are problems with this document from a theological standpoint. Most importantly, it misses out some very relevant portions of theology. It provides for us these:

Proverbs 13:24 says ‘he who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him’
Proverbs 22:15 says ‘folly is bound up in the heart of a child; but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him’.
Proverbs 10:13 ‘Wisdom is found on the lips of him who has understanding, But a rod is for the back of him who is devoid of understanding.’
Proverbs 26:3  ‘A whip for the horse, A bridle for the donkey, And a rod for the fool’s back.’

But, it misses out this theology:

Proverbs 23:13-14 says ‘Do not withhold correction from a child; for if you beat him with the rod, he will not die. You shall beat him with a rod,  And deliver his soul from hell;

Hebrews 12:5-11 ‘And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:

“ My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD,
Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
For whom the LORD loves He chastens,
And scourges every son whom He receives.”

If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.’

There are many other theological  problems with this document, which seems to be more of a secular apology for the abolition of corporal punishment, dressed up with God-talk.

Proverbs 13:24 says ‘he who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline
him’; Proverbs 22:15 says ‘folly is bound up in the heart of a child; but the rod of discipline will drive it
far from him’.
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