Religion Ted Tripp, the Paradox, and How to Wield the Power of Christ Against Your Children
posted by September 22 at 13:28 PMon
Ted Tripp—pastor of Grace Fellowship Church in Hazleton, PA, and an outspoken advocate of corporal punishment—spoke before a congregation of new parents and young couples at Mars Hill Church in Ballard on Friday evening and Saturday morning. Tripp came to Mars Hill to deliver an essential lesson in Christian living: How to put the fear of God into your children.
Tripp, who’s been in the news lately because of the controversy surrounding his advocacy of corporal punishment, stood next to a drum set and amps on MH’s stage, which sometimes doubles as a live music venue called the Paradox. Tripp’s image was projected on four giant screens as he condemned modern society for being “obsessed with equality” and refusing to accept the authority of God.
Tripp stuck to dopey jokes about how children try to trick you and told the couples gathered at the Paradox and those watching the live feed at MH’s other campuses how to “win the battle for your boys’ souls.” Apparently female children are beyond saving.
Tripp’s argument for spanking was abstract: because God commanded that ancient Hebrews use “the rod,” that’s the best way to get your children to submit. “I would never have spanked my children if it wasn’t something I felt God was calling me to do,” he said. His directions, in contrast, were much more specific: “remove [the child’s] drawers,” because “we don’t want the spanking to be lost in the fabric of the pants.” Then, “take him on your lap and remind him how much you love him.” Smack him, and make sure you use a paddle that “spreads the shock over the wide area.”
The young couples nodded and eagerly took notes on how to get their children to “joyfully accept their authority”. They were all about the same age as me—college age or a little older. No one in the room looked like they were too old to be one of Tripp’s own children.
There was no sign Saturday morning of the protesters who had staked out the church the night before. During the coffee break, I spoke to a young woman about my age, who said that she’d read Tripp’s book and was glad to be able to hear him in person. Outside in the lobby, Mars Hill members were snapping up copies of Tripp’s book like they were communion wafers dipped in chocolate.