Carte Blanche interviews church after biased media report on spanking probe

Derek Watts (left), co-anchor of Carte Blanche and Andrew Selley, Senior Pastor of Joshua Generation Church (JGC), will feature in M.Net's Carte Blanche debate on the spanking issue at 7pm on Sunday (October 6). The two met under surprising circumstances days before the Carte Blanche team visited JGC.
Derek Watts (left), co-anchor of Carte Blanche and Andrew Selley, Senior Pastor of Joshua Generation Church (JGC), will feature in M.Net’s Carte Blanche debate on the spanking issue at 7pm on Sunday (October 6). The two met under surprising circumstances days before the Carte Blanche team visited JGC.
Watts up with ‘Godincidence’ on plane?

A “damaging” and inaccurate Sunday Times report about the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) investigation of  his church over its corporal punishment doctrine prompted Carte Blanche to request an interview with him, said Joshua Generation Church (JGC) Senior Pastor, Andrew Selley.   

He said he had been in America for two days, after leading a pastors’ conference in the United Kingdom, when he got the telephone request from the Carte Blanche investigative current affairs TV programme team. JGC had been working hard to defend its name and the world’s perception of Christ and his Church following the biased newspaper report and so he decided to fly back to South Africa for the interview and back to the US two days later to continue his work with a church there.

There was a big surprise for him on the flight to South Africa. “Flying home for the interview I ended up sitting next to Derek Watts [co-anchor of  Carte Blanche] on the plane and got a chance for him to see me and chat before the interview. We both were amazed at the “coincidence”, but I was seeing God’s hand giving us favour,” said Selley.

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Prior to interviewing , JGC, the Carte Blanche team met with Adriaan and Hannah Mostert, the couple who lodged a complaint against JGC with the SAHRC, said Selley. He said the Mosterts have stated on the SA Secular Humanists and Atheists Facebook page:”I know our numbers are limited, but we do have laws that are on our side, that is what we can use, and the human rights as our vehicle to drive our rights forward to block their [JGC] backward ways.”

“Apparently they [the Mosterts] made some outrageous statements about us to Carte Blanche, which we were able to clarify,” said Selley. He said the team from Carte Blanche arrived on Sunday to film and were ‘blown away’ by the church — it was nothing like they expected. Derek Watts kept saying over and over how amazing the church was and mentioned that if he went to church this would be the kind of church would join”.

God’s presence
He said: “God’s presence was incredible in worship, and the sense of family tangible. We had run two holiday clubs — one in Sunningdale, and the other in Khayalitsha (for our over 300 orphans  and underprivileged children). By coincidence there was so much feedback about this from those involved, as well as amazing testimonies of marriages being restored through a recent marriage course we held. The kids did a dance to begin worship and the Carte Blanche camera crew got all of it on film.

“They had planned to film only a few minutes of the meeting, but ended up filming the church for over an hour! My interview went very well and I felt God’s nearness as Derek Watts began grilling me with the allegations made against us, and on my thoughts. God gave me the answers and for over an hour they flowed easily and well. Our feeling is that if Carte Blanche is honest and unbiased the footage should show us as good reasonable Christian people, who love our kids.I was able to give multiple strong arguments to show the reasonableness of our stance on spanking and also religious freedom in SA.”

Selley said their interview lasted more than an hour but will probably be cut to around 10 minutes of the Carte Blanche programme on Sunday night (October 6) that will be devoted to the spanking issue. He said there was therefore a risk that “they could twist the interview very much, but we are hoping and praying that they will show the truth”.

He said that after leaving JGC the Carte Blanche team left to interview the Anglican Archbishop, Thabo Makgoba, who is anti-spanking and against a literal interpretation of the Bible on ‘sparing the rod and spoiling the child’.

“So again the church will seem confused and divided — the spiritual implications being that a house divided will not stand (Matthew 12:25)! Positively though- our support from other parts of the Christian church has now grown to leaders representing 8.9 million Christians. Also every religion (except Hindus) has come out ‘pro-spanking’, and all (including Hindus) have said they see this [the SAHRC investigation] as an attack upon religious freedom and want the State to back off! “

Temporary reprieve
He said it seems that the outcry by much of the Christian church in response to JGC’s call for a united stand against attacks on religious freedom have led to a temporary reprieve as News 24 has reported that the ANC says it will not drive the anti-spanking Bill through until after the election.

He said the SAHRC has not yet responded to JGC’s submission to them on September 17,  in response to their probe.

He urged churches to “hold our precious unity together in these matters” and appealed to churches who have not yet joined the united stand against the State attack on religious freedom, to do so.

“We remind churches to sign the freedom charter [Charter for Religious Rights and Freedoms] and also to send notice that they have done so to Also letters of support of us are still rolling in, so keep them coming please.”

Selley said he believed the Church’s response to attacks on it are critical in this season.  “While praying recently I had a very powerful God moment where I was taken into a vision of heaven, where I saw a heavenly council discussing what Heaven would do with the Church in SA( much like in 1 Kings 22:19-22 & Job 1). I saw different angelic beings in a court type setting discussing before God what heaven’s response should be, with God being silent — waiting to act depending on how the church in SA would act.

“I had a distinct impression that this is a pivotal moment for the church in SA, and that our actions in this next season will cause heaven to act for us, or against us (like in Revelation 2:16 where Jesus warned he would fight against His own people if they did not act properly). The Spirit reminded me of 2 Chronicles 7:14 where God said ‘If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves  seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

“Heaven will respond to how we respond right now, and my sincere prayer is that we will take heed of the urgency of this moment and repent of our compromise, lukewarmness and lack of unity-standing together for Christ!

“I have a sense that somehow SA is key to Christianity in the West and with laws being passed almost weekly against Christianity in Europe, USA  and SA — that it is possible for us to turn the tide here, and begin to drive back evil around the world — but we must respond properly, or we will be judged(1 Peter 4:17) most severely, as we did not heed God’s will and word.”

Selley said he was concerned by reports that the ANC hopes to drive the “Gender Equality Bill” through Parliament before the elections.

“Though well meaning this Bill (as I understand it) clearly states that religion (amongst other things) has held back women from holding key leadership positions. The implementation of the Bill in SA for the church, would be that the church would no longer be able to teach male headship in the family, as well as the State could, by law, demand that every church has a 50% representation of women in their senior leadership/eldership.

“While scripture commands men to actually lay down their lives and honour women above themselves in the leadership that God has given them, this Bill would demand that the church changes the teachings of scripture regarding the roles of males and females within the church/family communities and those who do not comply could face 5 years in prison.

“Unfortunately this too is another controversial subject today(which will undoubtedly divide the church further), but the ramifications of this Bill being passed would outlaw a large percentage of the church’s understanding of scripture in SA. We will need to rally again on this subject and while recognising that women have been unfairly marginalised in the public workforce, and that it is good for ladies to be paid what they are worth, we need the State to make a concession for religious communities to act according to their own central scriptural beliefs.Thus it will be another attack upon religious freedom in SA if we do not act quickly.” 

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  1. May the Lord grant us the courage we need to continue fighting the good fight of faith!May we find favor in Him!

  2. vincent holloway

    “The Church” is not a building but “The Body” & “Bride of Christ” the level of Compromise determines the level which God can Bless them. “either for me or against me, either gather with me or scatter abroad” Either we adopt The Worlds ways or His the fruit from our choices is evident through the History in the Bible and since.

  3. The Lords will be done on earth! Amen

  4. Allan Verreynne

    Well done Andrew! God bless you in this defence! We continue to pray from the victory that is in Christ!

  5. My understanding of scripture is that we all need to obey the laws of our land! BUT if any law is in conflict with HOLY SCRIPTURE, then we MUST obey GOD, rather than man made laws!!!By Choice

    • And that precisely is what the problem is.

      Murder is illegal yet Deuteronomy 21:18-21 and Leviticus 20:9 both state that stubborn, rebellious children and those thay curse their parents should be put to death.

      I suppose though you’d say these verses are being taken out of context? But everyone has their own interpretation hemce why the laws of the land must take precendence – not words from the different holy books of each religion.

  6. Mat 5:10-12 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

    Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

    Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

  7. I think the truly humble approach which reveres Scripture as God’s Word does not take it at face value and literally but rather takes the time and effort to understand the spirit of the law rather than the letter of the law. Come on JoshGen, in your hearts you know how you need to respond: Repent of relying on your own understanding and waging war as the world does: in your own strength. Sure you need to be as wise as serpents … but only when you’re ALSO being as innocent as doves. And in this you are being arrogant and incorrect. You are embarrassing mature Christians everywhere by taking this so literally and being so close-minded and dogmatic about His (not your) Word. Eat some humble pie and grow up. Don’t be overly sure that you have arrived at the full truth already. That is a sure sign of immaturity. Different Christians interpret this differently. The right ones are those that don’t condemn and exclude the others in a pride-filled and fellowship-breaking way.

    • Lance; your exact same comment could have been leveled at Paul, or even Jesus Himself.

      • Yep, Craig, absolutely. The difference being that Jesus is God and JoshGen is not. Lets try not to get them confused!

        • Lance, your comment made the point that the “right ones” don’t exclude others or break fellowship; but Jesus and Paul, and all the apostles for that matter; would certainly disagree with you. Jesus called people white-washed tombs, and dogs; and Paul called people mutilators of the flesh wishing they would castrate themselves. Trying to maintain fellowship at the expense of truth would be acting contrary to Jesus and all the apostles, and all the great men of church history.

          • which version of the truth? whose truth? yours? thabo makgobas? mine? God’s? who amongst us can claim to fully know the mind of God? Jesus’ harshest words were reserved for the religious leaders of his day and the Pharisees… that is precisely why JoshGen needs to stop and take a careful look at themselves. Theyre claiming the higher moral ground. That is what the Pharisee did. What you seem to be struggling to comprehend is that different children of God understand this differently. And that’s okay. What’s not okay is to get all dogmatic about one’s understanding or interpretation of Scripture … rather lets not lean on our own understanding and trust Him to lead us into all truth in His time. Have you arrived yet?

          • Interestingly Paul’s derision at the mutilators of their own flesh could also apply to joshGen’s stance on corporal punishment!!! Essentially I understand him to be saying we need to trust in God to sanctify us … not in our own efforts. It seems to me that JoshGen is doing too much Trying … and too little Trusting. Just something for you to mull over…

        • Lance, if Paul took your relative view of truth, we would all still be being circumcised, we’d still all be living under the law, etc, etc, etc. If he were alive today you definitely be telling him the same things. But anyway, you’re welcome to stand aside; but no matter what your interpretation, the situation remains that the state wants to force those of us who believe differently to you to follow their belief. We’re not trying to be dogmatic, we’re simply asking to be allowed the freedom to believe what we believe.

          • We are trusting Lance; our faith has lead us to do something; to do something. For example, imagine if William Wilberforce just “trusted” and never “did” anything. He fought and struggled for what he believed in. We can’t just sit back as God’s church and just “trust”. James says that faith without works is dead. Faith needs to lead us to action. If the church is to be the pillar and foundation of truth, she can’t sit back in faith without works. Jesus was the rock of offense and we are the body of Christ called to follow His example. The church isn’t out to offend, but she is called to be the pillar and foundation of truth. If you can’t settle on what is truth and what isn’t, then you can’t possibly be that. You’re right in that we’re not perfect and don’t know everything, but we’re simply asking the state not to dictate to the church what they can and can’t believe. My last comment on this.

    • Lance, I’ve been reading your comments and it’s obvious that you are not who you are pretending to be. You have just enough knowledge of the Bible to almost successfully pose as a Christian, but Bible knowledge does not a Christian make. Your real agenda is to try and cause dissention amongst Christians against Josh Gen, and try to make out that there is division in our ranks. But when you saw the article ‘Ex-gays face discrimination, SAHRC told’, you just could not help yourself, and you just had to have a go at an ex-gay as well. And you’re quite an expert on homosexuality matters, aren’t you Lance ? Quite the expert !Go ahead, complain to the editor and try and have this letter removed, but I am exposing you as an imposter. So Lance, or whatever your real name is, go and take your deception elsewhere where you won’t be so easily exposed. As for me, while I don’t fully agree with everything Mr Selley says or does, on principle, he has my full support. Unlike you, Lance, Mr Selley is a brother in Christ, and unlike you Lance, Mr Selley walks in the light.

      • Patrick don’t call unclean what God has called clean. And don’t judge. Your assessment is hopelessly inaccurate although I’d give it 100% for imagination (although yours may have run away with you a bit). You are indeed speaking to a brother in Christ who has walked with Him for around 35 years now, who has studied His Word for much of that time including at a university level … but most importantly who God has been working on for a very long time now. Stop being silly. (I think you may be projecting some of your own issues onto me in the absence of knowing anything about me beyond a few things I have written in this article). Don’t mistake being challenged in your thinking by a brother for deception and don’t mix up disagreement with dissension. If you do you will never mature in Him. I’m sorry if my words are upsetting to you but I felt the need to say them … and maybe God can use them to help you become a bit more loving and a little less of a drama queen?

    • Well said.

  8. I understand the temptation to react the way JGC have in this case. However the likely outcome is precisely what Andrew is fearing, that this like so many issues before this and dare I say, so many still to come, will merely serve to divide the Church and consume all our God given energy in arguing with each other. Surely we should rather decide upon what essentials we need to believe in to unite us against the common enemy. After all, we all know that no law that requires us to ignore His law will be obeyed. No true believer to my knowledge has ever partaken in an abortion for instance, yet it is the law of the land.

    • Well, the law doesn’t require anyone to have an abortion, whereas these laws would criminalize obedience to biblical truth. There are laws that allow behavior that true Christians wouldn’t partake it, but when laws start to make obedience to God a crime, a stand needs to be taken.

      • I agree with Mike. Craig, you do yourself a bit of a disservice when you say ‘biblical truth’ rather than ‘my understanding of biblical truth’. What makes you so sure your understanding of this correct and mine is incorrect? Isnt that just a bit arrogant? Isnt it better not to assume we are infallible and more humble to admit that we dont have perfect understanding of the Omniscient God’s Word quite yet? Especially in issues which are far from central to our faith. Do you know what bibliolatry is?

        • Lance, you are utterly arrogant and incorrect.

          • Thanks for that Hanno. God bless you. (If this is the calibre of Christian defending this stance then I rest my case … your side is clearly willing to judge what it doesn’t understand and take up arms as Peter did in Gethsemane. But Jesus is capable of saving the day AND growing you up… so I rest in His peace and victory.

        • Do you believe that God gave us the bible to be understood? Are you a proponent of bibliolatry? Have you heard of biblical hermeneutics or biblical exegesis as opposed to eisegesis? I simply believe that God’s word can be understood in its proper context, language, and audience; as opposed to bringing our preconceived beliefs into bible interpretation.

          • yep,Craig, I know exegesis, eisegesis and hermeneutics well. And I believe exactly the same things about these as you do. And so does Thabo Makgoba. Yet we still come up with different understandings and interpretations. God is bigger than the Bible… and our minds are too small to understand His thoughts … so let’s not get too confident that we understand His Word the ‘right’ way … I think He is quite okay with its complexity and difficulty … because it forces us to trust Him not ourselves… to lean on Him not on our own understanding. The minute we think we have got it / we have arrived is the minute that we are lost.

          • Okay Lance; let’s just agree to disagree. Jesus has called us to make disciples and teach them to obey all that He has commanded. If you believe the bible can’t be interpreted or understood, then you could never use it to teach, correct, rebuke, train in righteousness, etc as your position allows for relative interpretation (no one’s is ever right). So you continue with your conviction and we’ll continue with ours. Thanks for the chat. God bless!

          • yep it has been good chatting Craig and I think we are both mature enough to agree to disagree as you have suggested. I do just want to point out before I go that I actually am not a moral relativist at all (I believe my understanding of the truth is correct obviously and also different to yours – as you do … but this does not mean that I am overly sure that I have it all yet! im sure I have a lot to learn still and please God i will). I also do not think that being passive is correct and believe that works flow from faith but we need to be careful that they do not come from a legalistic, works-based mentality. It can be tough to discern the difference. I think this spanking debacle is based on a works-based, not a grace-based approach. Finally I do think the Bible can be understood – I just think we need to be humble, tentative about it and open to others understandings so that we can grow and challenge our own (if we’re secure enough to do that). We need to remember even Peter pointed out that the writings of Paul were difficult to understand and could become misunderstood / confusing (and this to an audience who lived at the time and understood the original language! How much more likely would we have difficulty with Pauline texts!). What I am advocating is less dogma and more humility (and the tentativeness is entails). You may think this would erode our confidence. It does. It erodes our confidence in ourselves and our own understanding. And this is a good thing because it necessitates FAITH in His grace. Which I’m sure we both agree can only ever be a good thing! Shalom.

  9. Andrew Morrison

    I think that when all is said and done, and although mistakes have been made, the heart is in the right place and the battle was well handled. This is such a pinnacle moment and at very least God’s word is being defended, and lifted up above the ideas of men. How it unfolds from here is neither here nor there because the flag has been raised and we trust God to add. Well done Andrew S

  10. Please God be with us.

  11. I must say that I don’t remember Jesus saying anything about spanking children or men being in charge. His focus was on love, which includes compassion and serving others.I don’t have a final opinion, but I’m not convinced that Jesus would be in favour of these issues in the modern era. Just some thoughts.

    • Applying the Scriptures to Every Sphere of Life and Thought,
      Promoting the Biblical and Christian Worldview

      Coalition on Revival – Reform 500 FIRE – Manual
      EDUCATION : page 55-62

      How should Christians discipline their children? What does the Bible say?

      How to best discipline children can be difficult task to learn, but it is crucially important. Some claim that physical discipline (corporal punishment) such as spanking is the only method the Bible supports. Others insist that “time-outs” and other punishments that do not involve physical discipline are far more effective. What does the Bible say? The Bible teaches that physical discipline is appropriate, beneficial, and necessary.

      Do not misunderstand—we are by no means advocating child abuse. A child should never be disciplined physically to the extent that it causes actual physical damage. According to the Bible, though, the appropriate and restrained physical discipline of children is a good thing and contributes to the well-being and correct upbringing of the child.

      Many Scriptures do in fact promote physical discipline. “Don’t fail to correct your children. They won’t die if you spank them. Physical discipline may well save them from death” (Proverbs 23:13-14; see also 13:24; 22:15; 20:30). The Bible strongly stresses the importance of discipline; it is something we must all have in order to be productive people, and it is much more easily learned when we are young. Children who are not disciplined often grow up rebellious, have no respect for authority, and as a result find it difficult to willingly obey and follow God. God Himself uses discipline to correct us and lead us down the right path and to encourage repentance for our wrong actions (Psalm 94:12; Proverbs 1:7; 6:23; 12:1; 13:1; 15:5; Isaiah 38:16; Hebrews 12:9).

      In order to apply discipline correctly and according to biblical principles, parents must be familiar with the scriptural advice regarding discipline. The book of Proverbs contains plentiful wisdom regarding the rearing of children, such as, “The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother” (Proverbs 29:15). This verse outlines the consequences of not disciplining a child—the parents are disgraced. Of course, discipline must have as its goal the good of the child and must never be used to justify the abuse and mistreatment of children. Never should it be used to vent anger or frustration.

      Discipline is used to correct and train people to go in the right way. “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:11). God’s discipline is loving, as should it be between parent and child. Physical discipline should never be used to cause lasting physical harm or pain. Physical punishment should always be followed immediately by comforting the child with assurance that he/she is loved. These moments are the perfect time to teach a child that God disciplines us because He loves us and that, as parents, we do the same for our children.

      Can other forms of discipline, such as “time-outs,” be used instead of physical discipline? Some parents find that their children do not respond well to physical discipline. Some parents find that “time-outs,” grounding, and/or taking something away from the children is more effective in encouraging behavioral change. If that is indeed the case, by all means, a parent should employ the methods that best produce the needed behavioral change. While the Bible undeniably advocates physical discipline, the Bible is more concerned with the goal of building godly character than it is in the precise method used to produce that goal.

      Making this issue even more difficult is the fact that governments are beginning to classify all manner of physical discipline as child abuse. Many parents do not spank their children for fear of being reported to the government and risk having their children taken away. What should parents do if a government has made physical discipline of children illegal? According to Romans 13:1-7, parents should submit to the government. A government should never contradict God’s Word, and physical discipline is, biblically speaking, in the best interest of children. However, keeping children in families in which they will at least receive some discipline is far better than losing children to the “care” of the government.

      In Ephesians 6:4, fathers are told not to exasperate their children. Instead, they are to bring them up in God’s ways. Raising a child in the “training and instruction of the Lord” includes restrained, corrective, and, yes, loving physical discipline.

      Read more:

      What does it mean to ‘spare the rod, spoil the child’?

      The phrase “spare the rod, spoil the child” comes from Proverbs 13:24, “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.” The Lord uses discipline to reveal our sin to us. This is also how parents reveal the truth of our need for a Savior to their children. When a child does not feel the consequence of his sin, he will not understand that sin requires punishment. The Lord provides a way to salvation and forgiveness through Jesus, but that means little to those who do not see their sin.

      Furthermore, correction shows us that we are not above reproach and that we are accountable for our actions. Our natural pride blinds us to our need for a Savior, and discipline reveals the truth of our wretchedness (Revelation 3:17). Since salvation is the most important choice the child will ever make, it is imperative that parents are leading them to Christ, and discipline is critical to this process. Proverbs 23:13 says, “Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die.” In the context of verse 13-14, “die” means spiritual death of hell. Children who respect authority and feel sorrow for their sin are much more likely to ask Jesus to forgive them and be saved.

      All children are born sinful (Romans 5:12-19). Their natural self is destructive and unrighteous. That does not mean they aren’t infinitely valuable and worthy of love (Psalm 127:3). It means that they are not born with any natural “goodness” in them. That is why all children need discipline. 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.” Discipline is critical for wisdom (Proverbs 29:15), and a child who obeys his parents will be wise (Proverbs 13:1). And even adults who do not heed correction will feel the consequences of their foolishness (Proverbs 10:13).

      Some people believe in discipline, but not in physical discipline such as spanking. However, the Bible is the final word on what is truth; it is not mere opinion or theory. The word “rod” indicates a thin stick or switch that can be used to give a small amount of physical pain with no lasting physical injury. A child should never be bruised, injured, or cut by a physical correction. The Bible warns that parents should never abuse the power and authority they have over their children while they are young because it provokes the children to righteous anger (Ephesians 6:4; Colossians 3:21). Physical discipline is always done in love, never as a vent to the parent’s frustration. It is also just one part of discipline and should be used when the child shows defiance to a clear limit, not in the heat of the moment.

      God instructs parents to parent their children the way He parents His children. Hebrews 12:5-11 tells us that God disciplines those whom He loves to perfect their righteousness. God only disciplines His own, which proves that Christians are His beloved children. Notice that David says that the Lord’s rod comforts him in his time of trouble (Psalm 23:4).

      Finally, we know that no discipline feels good while it is happening, but afterwards the rewards are rich (Hebrews 12:11). Godly character, fruit of the spirit, and peace are rewards of God’s discipline. The same is true for our human children. Children who have learned how to take responsibility for their actions are much happier people (Proverbs 3:11-18). The importance of the rod of correction is that it steers the heart of a child toward Jesus and forgiveness of sin He offers. When parents trust God’s methods over their own, they will see the blessings for their children and themselves.

      Read more:

      What does the Bible say about child abuse?

      The Bible does not specifically use the term “child abuse.” There is no record of a single instance in the Bible where a child is being abused. What the Bible does tell us is this: children have a special place in God’s heart and anyone who harms a child is inviting God’s wrath upon Him. When Jesus’ disciples tried to keep children from coming to Him, He rebuked them and welcomed little children to His side, saying, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these” (Mark 10:14). Then He took the children in His arms and blessed them (v. 16).

      Children are abused and mistreated in several different ways, all of which are abhorrent to God. Too many children are the victims of angry beatings and other physical abuse as their parents take out their own anger and frustration on their children. Anger is almost always sinful, and anyone who abuses a child in anger commits multiplied sins. “An angry man stirs up dissension, and a hot-tempered one commits many sins” (Proverbs 29:22). There is no place for unrighteous anger in the life of a Christian, as Paul reminds the Ephesians: “In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold” (Ephesians 4:26-27). Anger should be confessed to God long before it comes to the point of physical abuse against a child or anyone else.

      Psychological and emotional abuse is also forbidden in Scripture. Ephesians 6:4 warns fathers not to “exasperate” or provoke their children, but to bring them up in the “training and instruction of the Lord.” Harsh, unloving discipline alienates children’s minds from their parents and renders their instructions and corrections useless. In addition, it often leads to sin against God, as it is difficult in the best of children to be angry and yet not sin. Parents can provoke and exasperate their children by placing unreasonable requirements on them, belittling them, or constantly finding fault, thereby producing wounds that are far worse than any physical beating can inflict. Colossians 3:21 tells us not to “embitter” our children so they will not become discouraged. Ephesians 4:15-19 says we are to speak the truth in love and use our words to build others up, not allow rotten or destructive words to pour from our lips, especially toward the tender hearts and minds of children.

      So, even though the Bible does not specifically mention child abuse, it is abundantly clear how God feels about the issue. Anyone who suspects a child is being abused has the obligation to report it to appropriate authorities.

      Read more:

      What does it mean to train up a child in the way he should go?

      Solomon’s advice to parents is to “train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22:6). Raising and training a child within the context of this proverb means that it begins with the Bible, as “all Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training…” (2 Timothy 3:16). Teaching children the truths of Scripture will make them wise for salvation (2 Timothy 3:15); thoroughly equip them to do good works (2 Timothy 3:17); prepare them to give an answer to everyone who asks them the reason for their hope (1 Peter 3:15); and prepare them to withstand the onslaught of cultures bent on indoctrinating young people with secular values.

      The Bible tells us that children are a reward from God (Psalm 127:3). It would certainly seem fitting, then, that we heed Solomon’s wise counsel to train them appropriately. In fact, the value that God placed on teaching our children the truth is clearly addressed by Moses who stressed to his people the importance of teaching their children about the Lord and His commands and laws: “Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:7-9). Moses’ thoroughness underscores his deep concern that successive generations maintain obedience to God’s laws to ensure they would “live safely in the land” (Leviticus 25:18), that all would “go well” with them (Deuteronomy 12:28), and that He would bless them in the land (Deuteronomy 30:16).

      Clearly Scripture teaches that training children to know and obey God is the basis for pleasing Him and living victoriously in His grace. Knowing God and His truths begins with the child’s understanding of sin and his need for a Savior. Even very young children understand that they are not perfect and can grasp at an early age the need for forgiveness. Loving parents model a loving God who not only forgives, but provides the perfect sacrifice for sin in Jesus Christ. Training up children in the way they should go means, first and foremost, directing them to the Savior.

      Discipline is an integral part of raising godly children, for we know that the “LORD disciplines those He loves” (Proverbs 3:12). Thus, we should neither take discipline lightly nor become disheartened by it as the Lord “punishes everyone He accepts as a son” (Hebrews 12:5-6). And we know that God disciplines us for our good, so that we may share in His holiness (Hebrews 12:10). Likewise, when we discipline our children, they receive wisdom (Proverbs 29:15) and they will bring us peace (Proverbs 29:17) and respect (Hebrew 12:9). In fact, even at a tender age children are able to discern that discipline is rooted in love. That is why children who grow up in homes without discipline often feel unloved and are more likely to disobey authority as they grow older. Now, the discipline administered should be commensurate with the offense and physical discipline, such as spanking (rightly motivated), is certainly condoned by the Bible (Proverbs 13:24, 22:15, 23:13-14). Indeed discipline, though it may seem unpleasant when received, will produce a “harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:11).

      Parents should have the same zeal for teaching their children that Moses did. Parents have been given the privilege of being stewards of their children’s lives for a very short time, but the teaching and training they provide is eternal. According to the promise of Proverbs, a child who is diligently trained in the “way he should go” will remain true to that way in this life and reap its rewards in the next.

      Read more:

      Hands Off My Children! Stop SA Government from Banning Spanking
      The Silent Majority
      We were the only organization present that supports the right of parents to spank their children! However, Pearl reports that several individuals came up to her afterwards and said they supported our views, even though in their official capacity they are required to advocate for a ban on corporal punishment.

      Will Parents be Jailed?
      The government proposes to change the law on corporal punishment. Will ordinary parents risk jail for spanking their own children? Given what has already happened to some parents under existing anti-smacking laws in Sweden and Scotland we do not think that this prospect is far fetched.

      The government says that they want to stop “cruel and degrading treatment”[1] of children and claims that non-abusive parents who spank their children will not be jailed. This sounds good on the surface, but the problem is that many social workers and childcare “experts” openly believe that ordinary smacking (or spanking) and “harmful and degrading treatment” are one and the same thing. They will be the people who implement the new law. They will be the ones investigating parents. They will be the ones reporting cases to the police. They will be the ones giving evidence in court. This is cause for concern.

      What are the real causes of child abuse?
      There are many factors that make children vulnerable to child abuse in South Africa, some of which have been unleashed by the SA government’s own ill-conceived and counter-productive laws.

      Abortion is the Ultimate Child Abuse

      The proposed spanking ban from children’s rights groups – touted to reduce child abuse – is ironic in the light of fact that abortion is the worst form of child abuse – it kills an innocent and defenceless baby and leaves the mother emotionally and sometimes physically wounded. So according to such advocates, a parent can kill their child but not discipline them!

      The Exploitative Pornography Industry

      We all agree that child pornography is a heinous crime, but it is adult pornography that helps to fuel the prevalence of child pornography and it is often the addicts of pornography who abuse children.

      Aggravating Child Abuse
      The flood of sexualized media on television and billboards, and the immoral, explicit sex education taught in schools that teaches children the mechanics of sex, should also be considered child abuse. The evolution brainwashing: “you came from nothing, you are going nowhere, life is meaningless” and situation ethics taught in schools, could equally be considered child abuse.

      Fuelling Child Abuse
      Other major contributing factors to child abuse that have been detailed in two UNICEF Research Reports[2] include drug and alcohol abuse, family breakdown, and children not living with biological parents.

      UNICEF Report
      Interestingly, in the 2007 “An Overview of Child Well-Being in Rich Countries” UNICEF report, of the 10 top countries that were deemed safest and promoted the highest level of well-being for children, six had not banned smacking. The safest country in the report (the Netherlands) had not banned smacking. In other words, to try and suggest that a smack is child abuse, is simply not true, and is an insult to good parents.

      Responding to Critics
      In our updated submission sent to the Child Care Forum, we cite an example of a Scottish father who was jailed for spanking his daughter. He overreacted but was not abusive. This arrest caused more trauma to the children than the spanking. We also provide responses to 10 common arguments given by anti-spanking supporters.

      Existing Law is Firm Enough
      “Unreasonable chastisement” is currently against the law and this is firm enough to execute justice against genuine child abusers. However, to specifically outlaw “reasonable chastisement” is to force parents to neglect their Biblical and civic duty to discipline their children.

      Misdirecting Limited Police Resources

      An outright ban on smacking could not be consistently enforced. It would waste police time on trivial incidents, while genuine cases of child abuse go unchecked.

      Biblical Discipline of Children
      The rod is the family’s symbol of authority: “Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die. Punish him with the rod and save his soul from death.” Proverbs 23:13-14. Of course, the rod is not the only instrument of discipline available to parents (others are verbal instruction and correction, denial, withdrawal and disinheritance). As the parents discipline their children by using suitable methods, including the rod, they are performing an important role within society in building character and thus preventing delinquency and immorality.

      In the first instance, the fear of God ought to restrain parents from abusing their position. “See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in Heaven always see the face of My Father in Heaven.” Matthew 18:10

      Biblically, the state’s legitimate interference in the family is limited to when parents commit crimes against children, or children commit crimes, including against their parents (Deuteronomy 21:18-21).

      “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.” Proverbs 13:24

      “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.” Proverbs 22:15

      “The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother.” Proverbs 29:15

      What You Can Do:

      The Department of Social Development is exploring options for preparing a Bill for Parliament. You have an opportunity to send in a submission until 21 June. Contact Neliswa Cekiso: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Please include sound research in your submission, if possible. View the Christian Action Network’s Submission here. We will keep you informed should such a Bill come before Parliament again.
      Write a letter to your local newspaper, favourite magazine or phone your local radio station and voice your concerns about this threat to your family. This is an opportunity to educate the public on Biblical methods of discipline.

      For practical advice for parents on discipline, see the following articles from Focus on the Family:

      The Biblical Approach to Spanking
      Discipline With Actions and Words

      Recommended Book
      Reforming Our Families (118 pages, R58) – Lenora Hammond.

      Available from Christian Liberty Books: Tel/Fax: 021-689-7478, E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , Website:

      Africa Christian Action
      PO Box 23632
      7735 Cape Town
      South Africa
      Tel: 021-689 4481
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      [1] These were the words used in the Children’s Amendment Bill in 2007, later dropped from the Bill.

      [2] “Child Maltreatment Deaths in Rich Nations

      Proposed spanking law should be opposed
      July 31, 2013 – Errol Naidoo – Defending Faith, Family & Freedom / 2 comments

      Defending family, faith and freedom

      Social Development Minister, Bathabile Dlamini is currently formulating legislation that will effectively criminalise parents for disciplining their own children – ostensibly to combat child abuse.

      Government’s knee-jerk reaction to the alarming rates of child abuse in SA is an admission of its failure to enforce laws already in place. Parents, therefore, present a soft target for government abuse. However, there is no evidence to suggest that outlawing spanking will reduce child abuse.

      Government’s intrusion in the family unit is a recipe for disaster. Apparently, the SA government cannot make the distinction between parental discipline and actual child abuse.

      Feel good legislation like this is usually driven by liberal “experts”, who often do not have children of their own. The Minister irrationally claimed, “Spanking can lead to child abuse.”

      But the Bible warns parents not to withhold discipline from their children. “He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly.” Proverbs 13:24.

      Christian citizens in SA must vehemently oppose this destructive legislation. FPI will keep you informed about its progress and equip you with the tools to defeat this abuse of authority.

      While government plans to criminalise parents for fulfilling their God-given responsibilities, a government agency unbanned a movie that depicts child pornography. Another government agency, ICASA, gave a failed pay-channel the green light to broadcast hard-core pornography in SA.

      Easy access to hard-core porn on the internet and TV is a genuine example of child abuse. Yet the SA Government has chosen to contribute to the problem rather than combat it.

      The UN has launched a global campaign against “discrimination against homosexuals.” This signals an intensifying of the war on religious freedom including Christian free speech.

      Global spokesperson for the “gay rights” movement, Desmond Tutu confirmed he will not be going to heaven when he announced “he will not worship a homophobic God.” Tutu and his ilk claim the Church’s Scriptural stance on sexual sin is what drives crimes against homosexuals.

      The Church will never condone crimes against homosexual citizens under any circumstances.

      But singling out crimes against homosexuals as a national priority, while thousands of heterosexual citizens are raped, murdered and assaulted every month in SA – is a travesty of justice!

      Family Policy Institute is committed to opposing unjust laws, defending the natural family and advancing Biblical values in society – like the rights of parents to discipline their own children.

      FPI is facing many challenges in the months ahead and need your prayers and partnership.

  12. Let God be the judge not man.

  13. I missed this article and thread due to other time-constraints this past week.
    Yet again, I wish to emphasise that this is an attack against the Church by servants of the accuser of the brethren. The following facts are salient:
    Adriaan and Hannah Mostert are the couple who lodged a complaint against JGC with the SAHRC, and the Mosterts are aligned with the SA Secular Humanists and Atheists.
    Fellow believers in Jesus Christ, do not allow the enemy to sow division in the body of Christ. The spanking issue is not a salvific one, and while we may differ in our views, no-one is advocating abusive beatings.
    The Mosterts don’t really care about the welfare of children, or they would be helping, or motivating intervention for, genuinely abused children. This is an attack on Christians, the Church and religious freedom in this country.

  14. Ethel Pittaway

    Joshua Generation Church (JGC) Senior Pastor, Andrew Selley states “The implementation of the Bill in SA for the church would be that the church would no longer be able to teach male headship in the family, as well as the State could, by law, demand that every church has a 50% representation of women in their senior leadership/eldership.” I certainly will be praying that this Bill is passed and that the state will demand it considering that women are in the majority in churches! Does this statement mean that JGC would not consider Junia, the apostle, Phoebe the deacon or Priscilla who possibly wrote Hebrews as elder material! I appeal to Christians to read and research the bible for themselves instead of following like sheep.

  15. Pingback: Carte Blanche interviews church after biased media | Die Lewegewer

  16. over and above the religious aspect of this issue, has no one noticed the state Britain is in since they passed this law. ?????
    Children are not accountable to anyone.
    Kids rule and chaos prevails.

    The fate of the “future of the family” hangs in the balance.
    Why are christian families lulled into complacency ?
    Time is short.
    Dont you love your families enough to fight for them??????
    For such a time as this !!
    Stand up and be counted before it is too late.

  17. It’s actually very complicated in this busy life to listen news on Television, thus I just use internet for
    that reason, and get the latest news.