It's not about either of you. You two were having a discussion about the difference between the law of Christ and the law of Moses. Ron's take seemed to be that the focus with Christ's plan was in forgiveness and repentance. Your take seemed to focus on the whole punishment aspect of the law of Moses. The part of the puzzle that I felt wasn't being discussed was that the "punishments" may not be punishments that God will be giving out personally, but rather punishments that natural consequences will be dealing out. Seeing the punishments in this way puts God as our defender and mentor rather than as some kind of a two-faced psycho out there telling us how much he loves us, but at the same time tossing out huge and cumbersome commandments for us to follow and happily tossing the disobedient into huge lakes of fire and brimstone.
In my story, both of the fathers cared deeply for their children. But, because one of the sons was literally but unknowingly on his death bed, the urgency of it all demanded that his father resort to drastic measures to save him. What the father did may have looked overly harsh, but compared with an early death, it wasn't. At the very least, what the father did gave his son more time.
I don't condone physical abuse of children. It was just for the sake of the allegory. The law of Moses was very definitely unpleasant and I couldn't think of a different way to portray it in the story.

I didn't quite get it either. Are Ron and I the grimy kids, or the
fathers in this story? And if so, would Ron be the kind-hearted father? I don't recall ever striking my kids like the first father, so I know it
doesn't apply to me, however I also wasn't so neglectful as he was to
just say a few words and then walk off. My kids cleaned their rooms
because it was expected of them, and if they didn't do it, they were
punished (groundings, etc).
I see God doing the same thing. Yes, occasionally our actions create
their own illness/punishment, but on many occasions, God brings his
wrath down upon his children. If you don't believe it, just read the
scriptures. As it is, the 2nd Coming is described as the Lord coming in
red clothing to stomp the grapes of the vineyard with a fury.
Yet, there is also a softer side to God, as he patiently works with each
of us--as long as we are willing to be worked upon.

So, portraying God as either a harsh taskmaster on the one hand or as a
milquetoast on the other is to paint God as being two dimensional. He
isn't either of these, yet is both of them.

And as I raised my children, I used both methods. And as I work with
those around me, I use both methods as necessary. I don't just sigh and
lecture from the bedroom door. I step into the room, offer to help clean
things up, and insist that it is cleaned.
Gary Smith

-- Jonathan Scott

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