Monday, May 13, 2013

Mother knows best, God... not so much

Just in time for Mother's Day, Billy Graham steps forward to offer more terrible advice... 
Mothers everywhere can model God's love

DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: What advice do you have for a new mother? I didn’t grow up in a stable home, and I don’t want to make the same mistakes my mother made, even if they weren’t always her fault. — V. M.

DEAR V.M.: Tomorrow is Mother’s Day across our nation, a time when we should not only honor our mothers, but also thank God for all they’ve meant to us. Perhaps your mother wasn’t perfect, but she still gave you life and took care of you when you could not take care of yourself. One of the Ten Commandments declares, “Honor your father and your mother … so that … it may go well with you” (Deuteronomy 5:16).

How can you be a better mother? First, love your children — and let them know you love them. They are a responsibility God has entrusted to you and your husband, but they also are a God-given gift, to be loved, treasured and enjoyed. One of the ways you love them is by teaching them about life. The Bible says, “My son … do not forsake your mother’s teaching” (Proverbs 6:20).

Then don’t be afraid to say “no” when your children do wrong, and to back it up with appropriate discipline (but not in anger). Be sure you and your husband agree, however; children are very adept at playing off one parent against the other! Always letting a child have his or her own way may seem like the loving thing to do at the time, but in reality it’s a sure recipe for problems later on.

Finally, put Christ at the center of your family — and your life. Read the Bible and pray with your children; help them realize why church is important; let them see Christ in your relationship with each other. May God bless you — and every mother — on this special day.
Ah, good old cherry picking Bill. I find it funny that he references when Deuteronomy 5:16 says to "Honor your father and your mother", yet leaves out Luke 14:26. If you remember that's where Jesus himself says, "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters--yes, even their own life--such a person cannot be my disciple." Real pleasant huh? So Billy conveniently calls on the commandment to honor your parents, while the Bile also says to hate them... Talk about miked signals, and dishonest reporting as to what the Bible really has to say on the subject!

Graham also goes on to call children a gift from God, to be treasured, loved and enjoyed. Okay, I'll agree that children are a responsibility, but also ones that you can enjoy and teach. But what about God's gift to the mom's? Well, make childbirth terribly painful of course. Golly, what a swell guy... Supposedly, child birth was and easy affair prior to 'the fall'. So what does God do to show his displeasure? He causes child birth to be terribly painful, and dangerous enough that the mothers were often in danger of death before the medical advancements that have improved conditions greatly. Again, not exactly an example of love that I think anyone should be striving to mimic.

Billy then stresses the mother's duty of teaching by referencing Proverbs 6:20 which reads, "My son...  do not forsake your mother's teaching". But then there's 1 Timothy 2:12. "I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet." Okay... so women aren't allowed to teach, but honor their teachings. That's about as clear as mud!

We continue on to find Graham advocating discipline when children misbehave, and telling them 'no' when need be. I'd agree with that, but certainly not in a Biblical sense. What if your child is being disobedient? Well, you have to stone them to death of course!
Deuteronomy 21:18-21 "If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them:

Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place;

And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.

And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear."
 Yeah... I think we can all agree that the Biblical guide to discipline is a really really bad guide for parents to raise their children by. But there's also the aspect of God's discipline. Remember, God makes a threat that the price of 'sin' is eternal Hellfire. Kill someone, steal, lust after a woman, wearing poly-cotton blended clothing, getting a memorial tattoo, eat the 'wrong' kinds of bugs, eating pork, trim the edges of your beard, working on a Sunday, touching a football, touching a menstruating woman, planting two crops in the same field, etc. The punishment for doing ANY of those is the same. Kill someone = burn forever! Eat a ham sandwich = burn forever! Anyone else see a huge problem here? 

I feel that this shows that the god of the Bible is a horrible source to go to for parenting advice. 'God's love' is a ridiculous zero tolerance policy. Any good parent (and anyone with common sense) should be able to tell you that you do not have the same penalty for every transgression. Maybe you'll make their curfew earlier for one thing, a spanking for one thing, no allowance, grounded for a week, grounded for a month, no friends allowed over, etc. A different punishment for the severity of the rule broken, and different punishments for different ages. Not so for God though. With him, it's fire and torment for all. But it gets worse. The punishment is eternal. What good parent would prescribe infinite punishment for a finite wrongdoing? I'll tell you... none! 

In short, it's a wonderful thing that mothers tend not to subscribe to God's model of love. My mom didn't. She (and my father) raised me well, and lovingly. She taught me, she cared for me, and she disciplined me when I did wrong. But she did not follow the insane example presented by God. My parents instead raised me right, and I love them for that.

-Brain Hulk

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