In our Churches do we (Inadvertently) encourage "Behavior Manipulation" instead of Spiritual Transformation?

Here, our group discusses our own experiences in church.

Frank discusses how we use the John Rosemond article to explain Spiritual truths.

God desires for me to grow  in my understanding of Him.

Adapted from newspaper article by John K. Rosemond

Christians, irrespective of IQ, do not think correctly. In this regard, all too many of today’s pastors and leaders are trying to pull the horse with the cart.  They think discipline is all about shaping proper behavior by manipulating reward and punishment.  That’s not discipline; that’s behavior modification, and as I’ve said in previous columns, that how one trains a rat, not a human being. 

Discipline is the process by which a Christian is taught to think properly.  A Christian who thinks properly will behave properly, but the converse is not true. 

A Christian who only learns what behaviors are appropriate to what situation may well become nothing more than a clever manipulator.

Therefore, a Christian is properly disciplined (or more accurately, discipled) by being taught right from wrong and the preferably classical reasons why right is right and wrong is wrong. 

Discipline, then, is about values.  Proper behavior is the measure, not the object.

Nonetheless, until the Christian’s values are formed, he/she must be restrained from doing what he/she wants to do and directed to doing what he/she does not want to do.

The article referenced is used by permission. The excerpt was taken from an article, "Living with Children" (Copyright 2009), by family Psychologist John Rosemond, a nationally and internationally known speaker and author. To learn more go to


Romans 12:2  Do not be conformed to this age, but be trasnformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God. 

1 Samuel 16:7 Man does not see what the Lord sees, for man sees what is visible, but the Lord sees the heart.

2 Corinthians 3:18  We all, with unveiled faces, are looking as in a mirror at the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory; this is from the Lord who is the Spirit.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18  Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day.  For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Godly behavior is the natural outcome of His continuing inward transformation of my convictions and values.

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