Paul's Passing Thoughts

Latter Day Parenting

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on April 3, 2016

ppt-jpeg4Contemporary parents are producing a mass of demonic sociopaths. Said parents are marked by their own lazy thinking. On the secular side of things, it is assumed that good parenting flows naturally from narcissism while the religious use faith as a license for oligarchy. Apparently, there is only one thing worse than losing one’s freedom; the responsibility of thinking. But in either case, it’s just plain laziness. While applying themselves diligently to making money or other self-centered endeavors, they are lazy parents. Their children are barley more than roommates.

It’s rare, but some children rise above the laziness and ignorance of their own parents. But for the most part, today’s children are the product of ineptness regarding the art of living and parenting skills in particular. How bad is it? Almost every misbehavior is labeled as a medical disease. That was easy. Problem-solving and the gaining of applied parental wisdom; hard work, are replaced with medication and coping. Parents who don’t want to be inconvenienced let others raise their children, viz, Hollywood and the public school oligarchy.

True, according to the Bible, the works of God’s law are written on the heart of every individual born into the world; we are created in His image. In other words, parents get a head start, but soon squander the asset via laziness. Others will soon teach the child that inner inclinations towards virtue are misguided, uncool, unhip, and politically incorrect. I saw this in action just the other night. A toddler held a door open for Susan which shocked the parents. The response was something like, “Where did he get that?” How easy it would have been for me to erase their incredulities by suggesting that he got it from the Disney Channel.

The other day, Susan and I took our grandson Blayne to an aquatic museum. One thing is clear; children keep those places in business. Why? Their natural desire to learn about the world. This is another natural head start for parents. Why would people who dare to call themselves “parents” farm-out that responsibility to strangers?

I suppose it is time for me to confess what has incited this rant. In my wonderful new career, the best career on earth, I work with the disabled. In many cases, this involves a severely disabled parent. In these situations, the lack of compassion found in the children towards the disabled parent is a breathtaking reality. However, I believe these situations merely undress the reality of our day and expose our cultural parenting for what it is. We are truly raising a generation of brute beasts dressed in Oshkosh B’gosh. The coming of a new predator is just another intoxicating pagan celebration that laughs at the future whether wedding or baby shower. “Eat and drink for tomorrow we die” replaces sober optimism for what our child’s mark will be on the world.

How ignorant are the lazy thinking parents of our day? They don’t even know why they are having a child. Ask them, and the answers you will get are incredibly shallow. Scarier yet is the fact that people of Western culture are woefully uneducated about their own state of being. They think they are going to raise a child, but they don’t even know who they are much less the person they are bringing into the world. At least the Nazis knew for what purpose they were having children albeit for a so-called master race. Someone should do a survey to find out how much consideration is given to bearing a child by women beforehand, or by a married couple if that’s the case. Would the overall substance of the decision speak to the value that this culture puts on life itself? I think it would.

Parenting is hard, selfless work. Why? Because life is of high value. How parents invest time is telling. From the earliest years, love for good and hatred of evil must be taught and modeled at every moment. We must also endeavor to raise thinkers. Parenting must focus on opportunity to teach, not one’s own inconvenience. Get a grip; is cancer yet uncured because a child was not properly invested in? I think that is a possibility.

What will your child bring to the world table? Sure, he/she might bring much to the table despite your laziness, but that will be rare. Parenting is a major factor in the wellbeing of an individual and their impact on the world. If you raise your child without diligently looking for the gift within and the development thereof, you are making a statement about their life value…and they will get the message loud and clear. They don’t need Ritalin to quiet the results—they need you. Come to grips with the fact that you cannot parent any better than a bottle of pills, and change.

Be different. The Bible clearly predicts what the children of the latter days will be like, and it is eerily similar to what we see in our day…

“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.”


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Children as Master Manipulators

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on July 29, 2015

Whether lost or saved, people in general want to know how to do life. Protestantism has forfeited this angle as a way to recommend God because the Reformation was all about interpreting reality through redemption with very little emphasis on wise living. From a commonsense perspective, lost people assume God knows what makes people tick. So, if Christians don’t know how to do life any better than non-Christians, the latter will be little moved by the gospel.

The Reformed actually address this issue straight away. It goes something like this: being a testimony to the world is futile because on our best day we have shortcomings that the world will see. Therefore, the gospel should be about God and not us—we should point to God and not our own testimonies. Well, trust me, the world ain’t buyin’ it.

One of the things that excites me abundantly about the growing exodus away from the wicked false gospel of justification by faith is the rediscovery of kingdom living. That’s the other good news about life more abundantly in the here and now as we move on from the foot of the cross and the gospel of first order. It’s about having a life built upon a rock through the application of God’s wisdom and glorifying Him accordingly. The world understands that we are not perfect; what they take note of is overall quality of life and life patterns.

People will, and do judge us by our children’s behavior. If you are unable to control your 3-year-old, you are a poor representative of the gospel. Christians should be smarter than a 3-year-old.

The fact that young children are utterly self-centered is not altogether a sin issue. They are in total discovery mode. They have been recently introduced to the world with limited intellectual resources. Their perspective is strictly outward. They have NO conscience and NO concept of right or wrong.

More than likely, what they learn about right and wrong as they grow intellectually will inform their consciences which in turn will accuse or excuse their behavior with bad feelings or good feelings. However, for many different reasons and varying circumstances, children will attempt to manipulate others; an art they possess that is normally underestimated in apocalyptic proportions.

This is one of many categories critical to parenting: knowing WHY children do what they do. Once you know why they do it, you can then communicate that knowledge and instruct them in a better way.

In my own living of life, an excellent example was shared with me today, and therefore I type. It is an example of a 5-year-old rendering two grown adults utterly disarmed and standing speechless, hurt, and dumbfounded. That would include me also, because when I heard the testimony, I was also without answer. Hence, we have 5-year-olds standing triumphantly over adult overseers, a scene far from being uncommon.

What’s going on? This kid is good; I had to think about it long and hard before the lightbulb went on. Then, once I figured it out, I had to think about a proper response. Let’s first examine the verbal judo that was used on the parents. It went, in essence, something like this: “I don’t love you. I know some adults that are good parents and you are not. I wish I could live with them instead of you; that’s why I don’t love you.”

This is pure genius. Can you really punish a kid for saying he/she doesn’t love you? Can you really spank a kid for having an “honest” opinion? Through observing life, the child knows the answer is probably, “no.” What’s going on, and what should the response be? What I am saying is that much of parenting should be twofold: discerning of motives and teaching. Unfortunately, some sort of punishment usually takes the place of discernment because discernment is harder than doling out retribution. ALL, I repeat, ALL parenting shortcuts will NOT end well.

Your response doesn’t have to be immediate. Once you discern the situation and the proper response, you can revisit the issue, ie., “Remember when you said this the other day…” One may also use that time to get counsel.

What would my counsel be? First, like all judo, the goal is to control the opponent and that is what is going on in this case. If you think the mere fact that the child has said such a thing indicates a failure on your part, the child has already flipped you over and pinned you to the ground. The child has attempted to disqualify the parent as a worthy parent, and therefore, disqualifying the parent’s right to tell said child what to do. The goal is to control the parent by dismantling the parent’s confidence as a parent. Parents who think they are unworthy parents will be crippled accordingly and much easier to control.

You could start by informing the child that you know what he/she is up to as a response, but in this case, the child’s use of words can be used to teach. By the way, what this child has done is indicative of what Susan and I see when we counsel adults.  All of the same manipulation techniques are taken into adulthood and refined. The key is the child’s definition of “love.” This is an opportunity to correct and teach the child what love really is. If the child accepts the counsel, he/she will respond accordingly. Punishment is primarily for a refusal to respond to counsel. The adult’s response might sound like this:

“Love doesn’t do what it does for the purpose of getting something in return. Whether you love me or not, I am going to be the daddy/mommy that you need because I love you. This is why I don’t give you candy or some other reward for obeying—obeying is an act of love that does not obey to get something in return. I try to do everything with you out of love regardless of whether you love me or not. I am not going to stop loving you just because you don’t love me—that’s not love.”

The child must not be allowed to define love in a way that suits an agenda and efforts to control. This is the exact same techniques that adults use. It also has a blackmail angle. If you don’t do what I want you to do, I won’t love you and that will hurt you because I know you love me. Again, this same technique is commonplace in adult marriages. Correcting the child now has a long-term effect in regard to the future. Likewise, as another example, how a child does a chore is indicative as to what kind of adult employee he or she will be.

Primarily, in this case, the child is seeking to control the parent via a self-serving and erroneous definition of love while holding the parent hostage emotionally. The ransom is the child’s love for the parent. The child is also attempting to disqualify the parent as a way of stripping the parent’s authority.

As in most cases, the why must be discerned and the response must be teaching. Punishment is for a refusal to heed wise counsel resulting in blatant rebellion.


Deuteronomy 21:18-21: The Parent Trap; Stoning and Good Parenting are Mutually Exclusive

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on August 29, 2013

ppt-jpeg4Any good Protestant is always confused. It’s how the Reformers wanted us, and they did their job well. As William Marshall admitted in The Principles Of The Westminster [Confession Of Faith] Standards Persecuting, free thought and interpretation was only for Reformed leaders and not the spiritual peasantry. Like their Catholic predecessors, taking the sword to those who disagreed with them was in the confessions of faith, and fully embraced by Reformers like Knox, Calvin, and Luther. All three demanded the freedom to interpret Scriptures according to their own consciences, but this was never meant for the masses.

And obeying the Reformers was not a violation of one’s conscience; they were to assume their consciences did not know better than the Reformers. Likewise, the church state of that era declared by divine royal decree that obeying the state in violation of your conscience was not a violation of your conscience because the state declared it so, and since the state declared such, God would bind it in heaven.

Hence, confusion reigns in the evangelical church (because we are stuck someplace between freedom and orthodoxy), especially in regard to the relationship between the Old Testament and New Testament. Some sort of socio-historical metaphysical dichotomy is assumed. So, when we read Deuteronomy 21:18-21, confusion reigns:

18 “If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and, though they discipline him, will not listen to them, 19 then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gate of the place where he lives, 20 and they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This our son is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ 21 Then all the men of the city shall stone him to death with stones. So you shall purge the evil from your midst, and all Israel shall hear, and fear.

There is nothing strange from another socio-historical reality here, this is merely good counseling for parents. God made a promissory covenant with Abraham, used Egypt to grow his family into a nation, and then formed the nation at Mt. Sinai. They were his chosen nation among the nations, and it was a theocracy. The Law given was the national standard that covered civil, health, and wise living concerns. This also included good parenting. God would know about these things.

Right now, because of Israel’s rebellion, the kingdom is temporarily in heaven and not on earth during the times of the Gentiles. When that time is ended, God will reinstate his chosen nation on earth, and it will be a theocracy with Jesus Christ ruling the nations with an iron rod from upon David’s throne in Jerusalem. You know all of that persecution Israel has suffered from other nations over the years? That won’t be the case. See all of the injustice all around us? Won’t be happening. It will be nations done right. Perhaps that will be the motto: Israel; we do nations right. I think the Millennial Kingdom is the righting of wrongs prior to the new heavens and new earth where righteousness will dwell in perfection.

Now here, God’s counseling for parents to Israel posits some principles in regard to human nature, and specifically of the adolescent variety.

1. Loving parents sometimes had their children put to death. This wasn’t a process to save children from bad parents.

2. This act is not a reflection of poor parenting. In fact, it showed their overall wisdom as parents.

3. Children, once they reach a certain age, are responsible for their own actions. Imperfect parenthood will not save them from culpability before God. Bad parents were not stoned to death, bad children were.

4. Some children are simply stiff-necked, stubborn, rebellious, self-consumed, without conscience, haters of wisdom and wise counsel, and unable to be reasoned with. And they resolutely refuse to change.

5. Accountability in lesser forms brings about positive change away from being uncounselable.

6. Accountability in lesser forms can save a child from death.

7. The possibility of death saves from death. In other words, consequences teach us something about the actions leading up to the end result. Hence, removing consequences is a form of hatred that often feels like love, using some occasional opportunities to teach about mercy notwithstanding.

True, context is important here. We are not in that time or under that Law, so there are some modifications in APPLICATION, but the wisdom in regard to raising children is nonetheless to be drawn out.

In our time, this portion of Scripture is the key to dealing with out of control adolescents. There is hope for out of control adolescents if they understand that they are responsible for their own actions and those actions will increasingly compound and end in a bad way. This will save a child from death, teach about sin, bring peace to homes, and bring about change in thinking and behavior.

Unfortunately, many parents refuse to do two things that save their children from death:

1. Define their children biblically because they think it reflects on their parenting. It must be their fault that their child is uncounselable and cannot be reasoned with. However, God was a perfect parent to Israel; but yet, they rebelled and even murdered His Son.

2. Hence, they bear the blame and refuse to hold their children accountable.

This often results in their own death at the hands of the child (I TIM 1:9), the deaths of others in general, or the death of the child via the state or other circumstances. Parents do not see accountability as a vessel for wisdom and change. How bad can sin be if it has no consequences? Instead, the message is sent that children can always depend on mercy. The following of every desire that enters into their mind can depend on the mercy safety net because after all, God is a God of love.

He is, but He also hates children who don’t honor their parents. That fact can’t go away no matter how much we want it to. Parents think God will always forgive their children if they do. This isn’t so. Consequences in life point to eternal consequences if God is not honored as well. If children will not honor their parents, they will not honor God.

The commandment to honor parents is the “first commandment that has a promise.”  By teaching our children to honor us and making this an unnegotiable option with increasing consequences for not obeying, we bring many blessings into their lives. Instead, parents make it about themselves by obeying their own unbiblical bad feelings. This particular issue has even led me to give merit to the idea of “false guilt.” If there is such a thing, this is it. Calling our children what God calls them is an act of love, but telling them they are good when they are rebellious is an act of hate that will lead our children to death. Hence, many of the vile think they are good because mommy told them so. And because they are good and God is so loving, the following of every evil desire will ultimately lead to a soft pat on the head by God. This is a most horrifying thing to put into the minds of children.

Be sure of this: it explains the abominable adolescent behavior that we hear of in today’s media.

Please note, the parents had to take the child to the ruling elders, or judges and state their case. They couldn’t do it on their own judgment or authority. This also pertained to older children still living at home. Apparently, this refers to one who will not listen to counsel, is lazy, and refuses to make their own way in life:

This our son is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.

Please note: here is the case that had to be made and judged by the elders:

and, though they discipline him,

The child would not be stoned to death in cases where the child was provoked to anger by the parents:

Ephesians 6:1 – Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3 “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” 4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Please note: parents don’t punish, they discipline. And they instruct. This is worthy of repeating from a different angle:

Parents don’t punish, they discipline and instruct. Punishment makes it about the parents being inconvenienced. Punishment is what the government does. Punishment is the end of the line in many cases. Discipline has to do with hope, punishment is hopeless, and can also be likened to the final judgment of God. Life disciplines, hell punishes. Consequences as part of the discipline process warns of impending punishment.

The situation we have here in Deuteronomy is a full orbed construct of parental discipline and instruction that warns of an ultimate consequence for refusing to be teachable and insisting on being a perpetual source of sorrow to one’s parents. Here we have sorrowful parents leading their own son to a slaughter that they warned him of continually with tears. We know this because they were instructors, not punishers.

But even here there are certain realities that cannot be dismissed: a pleading along the way, and a change of heart as the stones come pouring in. The end result can discipline. These processes instruct. Perhaps the son finally sees the end of his folly and makes a final appeal to God. Perhaps he becomes like the thief on the cross.

There is also another angle that cannot be dismissed as well: parents are not assigned to a hopeless situation with no end in regard to adolescents who cannot be reasoned with and refuse to change. Even secular authorities understand that this situation will never end well, and as a necessity, offer parents a final solution. In most states, it is against the law for adolescents to be “unruly.”

Sadly, when an adolescent is entered into the program, it begins with a “contract” between the probation officer (the child is convicted and automatically put on probation), the parents, and the child. The contract is really a pretty good discipline plan. A continuum of contract infraction eventually leads to the final end: incarceration.  I say this is sad because the secular authorities are way ahead of Christians on this. While we look at Deuteronomy 21:18- 21 as a contemporary metaphysical anomaly, in principle, it would make perfect sense to secular authorities.

Susan and I counsel people to first implement the secular contract (we have obtained a copy of it) in the home, and make the filing of an unruly child complaint the final solution there. The final solution of the secular process that still takes place in the home is incarceration. The parents take the child to be incarcerated rather than stoned. Unfortunately, most parents don’t see these processes as curative discipline/instruction and focus on the possibility of incarceration. This is the utter shame of the parent. Perhaps the children got rejection of wisdom from the parents themselves.

God said that this policy/counsel would have the following effect:

and all Israel shall hear, and fear.

If the government’s policy on unruly adolescents was more known among parents and society in general, would their be far less instances of youth crime and rebellion? I think so.

Fear is a great motivator. Remove fear of consequences, and the flesh will run rampant. The church’s overall ignorance in implementing practical anthropology in the sanctification process is evident. When was the last time you heard of this happening?:

1 Timothy 5:17 – Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves his wages.” 19 Do not admit a charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses. 20 As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear.

so that the rest may stand in fear.

Making much of consequences, noting the end of sin, has always had a purifying effect on the saints:

Acts 4:10 – Immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. When the young men came in they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things.

Parents must love their children by accessing them truthfully and biblically, and holding them accountable. This is discipline and instruction, not punishment. Paving a road to punishment in this life and the life to come is not love, it is hatred. We assume that loving our children comes naturally; that’s not true. We are commanded to love our children because we can unwittingly hate them by paving for them a road of death.

This is the ultimate parent trap.


“Rebellious Children” Verses Abused Parents

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on July 4, 2012

In husband and wife relationships, according to the “experts,” almost everything a husband does that changes the chemical balance of the wife resulting in bad feelings is “abuse”; i.e., “emotional abuse” and “verbal abuse.” Years of this kind of abuse (unwise conflict resolution) is considered “extreme cruelty” in divorce cases. In regard to women, actual physical harm to the husband can be considered abuse when it’s not in “self-defense” (which includes defense against emotional abuse) which is rare. Indeed, an odd anomaly in a day when we strive for equality between men and women.

But for those of you who are now offended, don’t bother—this arrangement/reality is neither here nor there to me; it’s not the point. Abuse (in any form) shouldn’t be going on anyway. BUT, if that is the standard, and a mother is a woman (and she is), what’s up with children, both unemancipated and emancipated, being labeled “rebellious” when they abuse their mothers? Also, the abuses take the exact same form: verbal, general disrespect/disregard, physical, and in many cases, murder. Moreover, do mother abusers eventually become wife abusers?

Let’s think about this. A wife abuser is disdained in our society, and counseling for wife abusers is a tacit concern in most cases. But a mother abuser is merely “rebellious,” and as one reader stated here on PPT: “Rebellion is usually the result of poor parenting.” But waaaaiiiiittt jjjuuuuussstttt a minute here—how do we respond to those who blame wives for provoking their husbands to abuse and victims of sexual abuse for the way they dress?

Our child centered society shouldn’t get away with relabeling abuse to “adolescent rebellion.” As I heard one pastor say, “Rebellion is the teenager’s job—to pushback.” Oh really? Imagine if he said, “Abuse is the husband’s job—to push back.” Well, actually, many pastors in our day do say that, if you know anything about the Patriarchy Movement.

Abuse is abuse, and by the way, even the secular realm is catching on to this. Teens can be locked up in most states for being “unruly” which includes incessant talking back, verbal abuse, refusal to obey instruction, and especially physical abuse which can result in short term incarceration  without due process.

And in conclusion, what about dysfunctional families where there is both abuse by the husband and rebellious children? Hmmmm. Let’s call it what it is: that’s a situation where the wife/mother is being abused by the husband and the children both. Funny though, the wife will often get rid of the husband and take the abusive children with her who probably learned their abusive behavior from the father. At the most, the X will receive abuse counseling while the children will receive some other kind of counseling predicated on the all-pervasive mantra, “Children are the victims of divorce.”

I’m not so sure.