Wednesday, March 18, 2009

No Juvenile Delinquents

There were no juvenile delinquents in Israel. At least, not for long.

Read this with me:

18 -20 "When a man has a stubborn son, a real rebel who won't do a thing his mother and father tell him, and even though they discipline him he still won't obey..."

Wait a minute! Does the text say mother AND FATHER! You mean, this rebel youngster was raised in a real home? There were TWO parents? Together? And they love this child, and discipline him? OK. I am starting to get it. Read on...

"his father and mother shall forcibly bring him before the leaders at the city gate and say to the city fathers, "This son of ours is a stubborn rebel; he won't listen to a thing we say. He's a glutton and a drunk."

So - his parents are together, and he is part of a caring community. There is order in the society. There are rules. The rules are to be followed. It is a moral society that does not approve of a rebel, an undisciplined no good, who takes chemicals to excess.

21 "Then all the men of the town are to throw rocks at him until he's dead. You will have purged the evil pollution from among you. All Israel will hear what's happened and be in awe."

The MEN are present. And engaged. They are role models. They have standards. And expectations. They carry out capital punishment. And yes, it IS for prevention.

I spent a very long time yesterday trying to find a picture that would work for this blog. In my searching, I ran across teen ranches, counseling for out of control teens, the whole gang movement, gang violence, violence in the schools. Even death row inmates.
I never found a picture that I could put up, that did not seem like a racial put down, or be insensitive to troubled young people.

Any picture I used would have to pass the test of my children's approval. One son-in-law is a youth pastor. His wife (my daughter) works with children. My other son-in-law was a teacher for many years. His wife (my other daughter) is a social worker, working with severly broken homes.

I gave up the search for the perfect picture. But my thinking ended up in a very different direction than it started. Most rebellious teens are reacting to divorces, or the knowledge that they are not loved, or parents that are dysfunctional or distracted. Gangs are all about family. They are a very violent, very harsh substitute for the deepest longing that God has placed in all of us. A relationship with God and a relationship with a loving, integral family.

Before I even finished this blog, my girl cousin, Heidi, commented about her brother and myself...

"I wonder how many times you and Bruce would have been stoned when you were teenagers!"
And she wasn't referring to marijuana.
So I guess that comment sums it up rather nicely!


Anonymous said...

I wonder how many times you and Bruce would have been stoned when you were teenagers!

Roy Peters said...

Imagine for a moment what it would be like today. The streets would be piled waist deep in 'evil pollution'. Daily things like shopping and driving to work would be extremely difficult!