I am just finishing a great revival for Dan and Peggy Jamison in Oroville, CA. I had preached here about 10 years ago and was blessed to see two men again, Chris and Clint, doing well in the church. This church is a sanctuary church, a place where lives can be restored in an atmosphere of love. Many rough lives are getting some smooth edges. The church is attracting folks from the recovery houses that populate Oroville.
There is a connection between sin and losing individual freedoms. The power of the state to intrude and control your life once your alcoholic or drug sin has been discovered by the state is scary. Programs, half-way houses and all that goes with it can serve to get a person started in the right direction, but those very same programs serve to keep them tethered to their addictions. Breaking free through Christ calls for breaking free from an overbearing system that robs the individuals of dignity. It can be a slow process.
Yet, the system has no choice but to take these actions because sin has caused such a disintegration of the basic family structure. I preached my child training sermon for the first time in a while. The sermon was well received and I think some parents and children were helped. Afterwards, I discovered that in CA no one is allowed to spank a child with any instrument. A family that is not captured by the system could probably discipline their children God’s way without any interference from the state.
A family that disciplines properly has children who respect their parents and understand that their spankings were caused by their refusal to do what their parents said. Disciplining children properly brings about an atmosphere of love and respect that most likely will continue from one generation to the next. The state would never have reason to interfere.
I have a first reaction to laws that prevent parents from disciplining their children. I want to claim that it is something connected to my religious beliefs. But, the Muslim religion calls for some violent acts. So if my religion allows me to avoid the laws of the land then so would a Muslim’s. So we have to live in a land where the letter of the law can sometimes negate the spirit of the law. The reason we have to endure this is because sin has destroyed families, marriages and the basic motivations of parenthood have been marred by sin.