To Spank or Not To Spank:
How is an Equally Important Question

©  2001 Sid Galloway

A recent news article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution ( entitled, "Church Faces Abuse Probe Over Whipping of Children" (1), highlights a serious problem among "churches" that name the name of Christ.  Way too many "Christians" have no clue, at least no genuinely biblical clue, how to use corporal punishment in a loving and effective manner.  As a result, real abuse can and does occur in some Christian families.  When it does, then the testimony of Jesus Christ and the Bible is severely distorted in the eyes of a watching world.  As my wife, Linda, and our six children have traveled around the country presenting family seminars, "How & When to Spank" is one of the most commonly asked questions.

Conservative, Bible-believing churches are quick to proclaim the truth that "spanking" is a biblically valid and necessary part of child training (Prov 29:15).  But very rarely have I ever seen, read, or heard a church offer a detailed training opportunity to teach parents basic principles for practicing it in a Christ-honoring and effective manner.  So among Christians, the different ways of spanking range from being so mild and minimal that it is a joke to the child, to the other extreme where the practice is so harsh and hurtful that the children are provoked to bitterness (Eph 6:4).

"Church Faces Abuse Probe Over Whipping of Children"

"Authorities are investigating a massive case of alleged abuse by parents of as many as 60 children from the same northwest Atlanta church.

Already, state social workers have removed 19 children from the homes of three members of the House of Prayer, 1194 Hollywood Road. Another church member said Friday evening that social workers had indicated they soon would take 11 of his children.

Atlanta police and social workers are looking into reports that church members systematically held down their children while beating them with belts and other objects - allegedly under the direction of the pastor, the Rev. Arthur Allen.

The Bible, Allen said, gives parents the authority to "whip" their children.

.... The alleged abuse came to the attention of authorities on Feb. 28, when a first-grader at Atlanta's C.W. Hill Elementary complained to his teacher about back pain.

The teacher found welt marks and called in social workers, said Seth Coleman, an Atlanta Public Schools spokesman. After an investigation, three social workers came to the school on March 9 and took the first-grader, his younger and older sisters and three other children from another family, Coleman said.

A 7-year-old boy told detectives that his uncle whipped him with a "big switch" at the church while three other men held him down, according to a police report. The beating left him with bruises on his abdomen and back, the boy said.

A 10-year-old boy told police that an adult beat him on his back at the church as another adult held his arms and two men held his legs. The boy said that Allen, the pastor, was "watching and telling them when to stop," according to the police report.

....Allen said children from the congregation have been beaten at church, at school and in their homes. He said he tells parents to restrain their children "so that they would not hit the child in any vital spots to hurt the child."

... "My children are big," Smith said. "It's hard to whip them. Sometimes they move around." He denied abusing the children.

"It's the church they're after," he said of investigators.  "I'm in the church. They're going after anything to get something on the church." 

David Duncan, the father of the 10-year-old boy who described his beating to police, declined to answer questions about how his children were disciplined.

"The only thing I can say," Duncan said, "is, Jesus is Lord."

This article will be completed soon . . . . the Lord willing.


1 - Atlanta Journal Constitution ( entitled, "Church Faces Abuse Probe Over Whipping of Children" (3.18.2001)

2 - 







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    Thank you.

Ex-newager,  ex-zookeeper, fell in the lion's den, now my brother's keeper  
  (Still a shepherd - even Moses & David began with the animals)

Sid Galloway, B.S., M.Div., N.W.J. (Nothing Without Jesus) (Working on God's Ph.D. = Doctor of Phatherhood)
Pastor -
Family Bible Church,             Director - Biblical Family Soulcare
Linda Galloway, B.S., B.S.N., R.N. (Now a full-time homemaker) (Children: Steven, Kathleen, Amy, Michael, Lisa, David
3823 Coventry St. Slidell, LA 70458 (New Orleans area) USA

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