Announcement: As of May 4, 2012, Samuel Martin's book "Thy Rod and Thy Staff, They Comfort Me: Christians and the Spanking Controversy" is now available for free - To download the book for free, visit these sites:
It may not exactly take a village to raise a child,
but what happens in the village certainly contributes to and can influence the raising of children. - Part 1
I was thinking of late about a book written by our Secretary of State, and wanted to say something about it because I think that this book may have within its pages some learning opportunities which we all may be able to profit from.
I myself have not read the book and I do not at this time plan to. I am not recommending that anyone necessarily buy the book. Having said that, I think that there may be in the idea of “It takes a village to raise a child”, a small kernel of truth which some of us interested in looking to extract from the Holy Scriptures a more accurate picture of ancient times can perhaps profit from.
I know this is a controversial book because many of the political opponents of Mrs. Clinton quickly countered her arguments saying that she was wrong and the focus solely should be on the role of the immediate family rather than the village. Such political discussions are not of interest to me. What I want to know is what influence did the concept of “village” have on the people who lived in ancient times in the Biblical context and how did that concept influence their behavior? What I want to know is the following:
1. Did the Biblical society influence the collective behavior of people?
2. Does today’s society influence the collective behavior of people?
3. Do societal rules influence the behavior of those who are members of that society?
4. If so, what role did the use of “the rod” for “corrective purposes” have in that society?
This could be a very complicated and intricate argument, but I am going to do my best to keep this discussion on the light side.
Generally speaking, many Christian advocates of the “rod of correction” demand that parents use the rod on children with little seeming discussion or regard for the social environment in which the use of the same rod is (or was) taking place. Were they to look at the whole picture of what was not only happening in ancient times, but also what might be happening even around us today, we might find that what may have been the case at one time, might not be relevant for today. We can also say that what was taking place under one faith environment might need to be modified under a different faith environment. More on that later.