You know, each time I write one of these posts (like this, or this, or this)…each time there are new stories about the children who are abused in the name of God…each time I hear of something horrific done to a little one, I pray that it will be the last. It never is, though, and it seems like it never will be.
Today’s horror can be laid at the feet of best-selling Christian novelist Lori Wick. Her son was among those arrested for abusing children deliberately and repeatedly, at church and at home, in the name of the Lord.
PTAC of Mental Harm to a Child (4 counts)
Intentional Child Abuse-Bodily Harm (4 counts)
Mental Harm to a Child (4 counts)
- Andrea L. Wick, age 26 of Mazomanie
PTAC Intentional Child Abuse-Bodily Harm (2 counts)
- Timothy J. Wick, age 27 of Mazomanie
Why is this related to her? Well, according to sources, it’s her money that founded the church. Her hundreds of thousands of dollars handed over to a pastor who says things like “the scripture is never wrong” and “pain is a good way to teach children.”
How is this different from Pearl, or Dobson, or Tripp? you may ask, since shamefully enough, that’s pretty standard “Christian” parenting advice these days. This pastor urges – and at least 6 other members of his church complied with – the doctrine that a SIX WEEK OLD BABY should be hit for making noise in church, being grumpy, crying when handed to someone other than the mother.
Let that sink in for a minute.
And then realize that they advocated, and used, wooden spoons. And EIGHTEEN INCH LONG sticks for this.
Here, while you think about it? Go ahead and look at these adorable photos of The Boy.
Here’s a passage from one of Ms. Wick’s books, Cassidy, describing a good way for a father to treat a 10 week old baby:
He spoke with quiet firmness to his crying daughter, bending over her cradle but not picking her up. “We have trained you to feel that you need to be held all the time. I’m sorry we did. You are dry and fed. You do not need to be held.” He watched her cry, working to harden his heart, and eventually walked away.
Given that even though the majority of the mainstream churches teach that it’s ok to hit kids, most of them would still be appalled by the thought of hitting an infant with a stick, one assumes she had to leave her true feelings out of this.
Just ’cause I love The Boy…here’s one of him at the age that she suggests letting them scream while you watch and ‘harden your heart’ and walk away…
I really, truly can not wrap my mind around churches and people that condone that kind of treatment of infants.
I promise you, dear reader – I *know* what it’s like to be in that postpartum fog. I really do know what it’s like to be nursing your baby for the second time in an hour and look ahead of you and think “will this ever end?!” I know what it’s like to be handed those parenting books and to get the phone calls and to hear the sermons that tell you that the baby who is crying for no reason you can understand is really doing it to manipulate you, that he or she is learning selfishness, and that the only way to make them be a productive member of society is to never ever ever let them “win”, to hit them and call it ‘discipline’, to isolate them and call it ‘training’.
And I am sitting here with laptop in hand today to tell you this.
You are being lied to.
Let me say it again.
I don’t know their reasons, only God can (and WILL) judge their motives for spreading such wrong things in the Name.
I do know that no parenting method, no isolation, no sleep training, no ‘hardening your heart’, no strikes with a stick will make them grow up faster than they were created to grow up.
Sure, it may make them an ‘easy’ baby if by ‘easy’ you really mean ‘this child that I bore has given up hope that I will ever respond to his needs’. But you can’t hit Jesus into them.
I’d hope that everyone who reads this post is appalled at the thought of hitting a 6 week old infant.
But if you are of the persuasion that says “well, 6 months is a good time” (the Pearls) or “18 months sounds about right” (Dobson and Tripp) then I ask you to stop for a moment, and do the math. Count up your child’s life in days and weeks. Look at the lifespan that the Bible has set. And ask yourself “Do I really believe that hitting them now will bring them to a level of maturity God didn’t design them to reach until their teen years?”
I take a very firm stance that, as parents, we are called to discipline and be the authority to our children. But God never gave us His task. We are NOT the Holy Spirit. Think about it for a minute…
When your child grows, and God starts talking to them and wooing them to Himself – will you have been a clear reflection of His longsuffering, patience, and Grace? Or will they have to push through the doorway you fill, the one where you stand and drop burdens impossible to be borne on the back of your little one?
It’s wonderful that these charges are being brought against these parents – it gives me hope to see prosecutors using the law to defend the helpless. I can’t help but wonder, though – where are the Christians? Where are the public outcries, the holy anger, the overturned tables?
I know that some of you will be upset that I’m calling out other Christians in a public venue. I know that so many times, the Church is afraid to take anything public because “the world might misunderstand” or “the world doesn’t need to know” or “we’re so persecuted in the media that it’s a sin to add to it ourselves”.
The thing is, I grew up on the scripture “Blessed are you, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.”
But we, the corporate body of Christ we, don’t get to yell “persecution!” – we don’t get to make this our own personal martyr-for-Jesus-in-the-secular-godless-liberal-media-story – when we are being reviled because we condone hitting a defenseless baby. It’s not a glorious persecution for righteousness in that case, ok?
It’s time that the body of Christ takes a very public stand against this. Me? I’m starting here. Feel free to leave your link in the comments when you post to join me.
They shouted to the Lord and said, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you judge the people who belong to this world and avenge our blood for what they have done to us?”