KEYWORDS: sentence, discipline, word, time, god, people

Home Discipline

David Berg

—Law Without Enforcement Is No at All!London, 12/3/72DO 1712

[HomeARC note (9/98): The Charter is the current source of Family policy and rules regarding the discipline of minors and/or errant members.]

1. ALL OF A SUDDEN, WHEN THE DEVIL FINDS HE'S STUCK HIS NECK OUT TOO FAR & IS ABOUT TO GET IT CUT OFF & he begins to realise what it's going to cost him, & he doesn't want to get kicked out‚ he will often act very meek & submissive in an attempt to escape judgement!

2. THOSE DEVILS CAN REALLY BE RAMBUNCTIOUS AS LONG AS THEY THINK THEY CAN STAY, but when they see they're losing their happy abode—either in the person or the place the person is in—they'll frequently beg for mercy or ask to be sent here or there.—Like the demons asked to be sent into the swine. At first they were real sassy: "Are you come to torment us before our time?" But when they saw Jesus was really going to throw then out‚ then they begged for mercy & asked Jesus to please let then go into the swine. (Lk.8:26-36.)

3. WHEN THOSE LITTLE DEMONS SEE THAT IT'S NOT AS MUCH FUN AS THEY THOUGHT IT WAS GOING TO BE & they see what it's going to cost—losing their status, power & position where they can't cause trouble any more—then they're sorry they're caught! They're not really repentant though, & that's when they get real quiet.

4. THE ONE THING OF ALL THINGS THAT THEY DON'T WANT‚ IS TO BE CAST OUT! That's what they fear most of all—whether it's a demon out of the body or troublemakers out of the Church! If you keep fiddling with them & pampering them & nursing them, that's exactly what the Devil wants! Above all, they want to stay in the nest & be a problem child—that's their mission—so that's what they fear most of all.

5. AND THAT'S WHY YOU SHOULDN'T HESITATE TO THREATEN THEM WITH EXPULSION, & THEN CARRY OUT YOUR THREAT! You folks have had entirely too much tolerance & babied them along too long. You've got to tell them, "One more problem with you & that's the last one!" By the time it comes to the top leaders' attention, the leaders shouldn't have to spend more than half-an-hour with them explaining their crimes & bad record. Just like a judge, tell them, "This is your last chance! Now what are you going to do about it? If you're truly repentant & promise to straighten out, we'll suspend the sentence & put you on probation. But the first false move you make, you've had it!"

6. YOU HAVE TO SET A TIME LIMIT & GIVE THEM THE FINAL ULTIMATUM! That should be the next step before the end, When you bishops give them the final ultimatum. If they blow it, the sentence is automatically invoked & you don't even have to see them again. Your job as judge is to tell them their problem & make them understand that if they blow it again, their sentence will be automatically carried out. "From this there will be no appeal if you're reported to cause us any trouble at all." And when you, as a top leader‚ have that final session with them‚ you should make it clear what their sentence will be.

7. ONE OF THE DANGERS OF THIS TYPE OF THING IS NOT MAKING THE SENTENCE CLEAR! In World War II, Chamberlain never made it clear to Hitler what the British would do about entering Poland, because he had kept backing off in the past. So Hitler took a gamble that Britain would not go to Poland's aid this time, but would again back off & let him have it. Hitler was pretty sure Chamberlain would back off again. If England had made it very clear & had set down conditions & made up their mind: "We've put up with so much, & that's it! If you invade Poland, it's going to be war!"—Hitler might never have invaded!

8. THAT'S WHY YOUR PROBLEM CASES GET AWAY WITH SO MUCH—BECAUSE YOU DON'T LAY DOWN THE ULTIMATUM & EXECUTE POSITIVE SENTENCES & DISCIPLINE THEM! When you've given your word, you have to carry out the sentence, whether you want to or not. I always made sure with you kids that I did what I told you I was going to do. If I didn't keep my word‚ then there was always your hope you could get away with it. The promised sentence has to be carried out. God did the same thing with Adam & Eve‚ Israel & many others.

9. YOU CAN FIND VERY FEW PLACES IN THE BIBLE WHERE GOD COMMUTED THE SENTENCE. Once God had laid down the sentence & they rebelled, He had to carry it out, because He had given his Word. You have to teach people you mean what you say! You kids knew when I told you, "Next time you do that you've had it"—that I meant it! And that's the only kind of discipline that works: The kind where you mean what you say & you keep your word & your kids know it! They know if they do that & get caught, they're really going to get it!

10. BUT YOU GUYS HAVE BEEN JUST LIKE THE PARENTS WHO KEEP PROMISING PUNISHMENT & IT NEVER HAPPENS! Instead‚ you promote them & give them special junket trips & conferences for hours with top leaders & speaking engagements. I would have done just the opposite I would have sent then to the boonies & left word that their sentence should be carried out automatically if they blow it again!

11. LAW WITHOUT ENFORCEMENT IS NO LAW AT ALL! If you don't enforce it‚ your word means nothing. The law is then of none effect. One reason I respected my Mother & Father was, once they gave their word on something, I knew they were going to do it! If ever I got away with something, I lost my respect for my parents. Law without enforcement is no law at all. Rules without discipline are no rules. Crime without punishment becomes no crime at all.

12. WHY DO YOU THINK GOD SAYS‚ "SPARE NOT THE ROD FOR HIS CRYING"? (Pr.19:18) They start yelling long before you sock them with the rod, because they're afraid of the rod & don't what to be spanked! A lot of these people will scream louder before their sentence than afterwards, trying to forestall punishment. What did the demons do just before they were cast out?—Every time they made the biggest fuss of all before hand!

13. WE NEED TO LEARN A FEW THINGS FROM THE SYSTEM! In the justice system of the United States & in most countries, they have what is know as suspended sentences for first-time offenders. If it is not too serious & perhaps they are repentant & sorry, they may be give a light fine or scolding. There is one dramatic moment when they give the sentence, & then they say: "But in view of the fact that this is your first offense, we will suspend the sentence!" He really scares the hell out of you first & your heart sinks! But the next time you're caught for this offense or any other, you will be sentenced not only for the crime you commit next time, but this sentence will be invoked & added to it! You'll suffer doubly next time if you ever get caught doing the same thing!

14. IN A WAY, THE EXILE THESE PEOPLE ARE GETTING RIGHT NOW IS THE LAST STEP BEFORE EXECUTION OF THE SENTENCE, & frankly, if these same people are caught up to the same mischief again, I wouldn't hesitate to absolutely throw then out!—Or maybe send then back to the States, which to them is just about as bad! They always cry before the spanking, & then they're never spanked.

15. I TOLD RALPH, "YOUR TEARS ARE JUST CROCODILE TEARS! YOU'RE NOT SORRY—YOU'RE ONLY SORRY YOU GOT CAUGHT! SO SHUT UP!' We had a problem with Ralph demanding the services of his wife above her duties to the Revolution, & he was prophesying falsely, So I gave him a warning: "No more prophesying until further notice, & wood-chopping for you! You are not on probation, & whether you're restored & allowed to minister spiritually depends on how you respond to this discipline of doing dishes & chopping wood!"

16. YOUR METHOD OF DEALING WITH PEOPLE IS NOT WORKING! We have ceased being an army & become a country club when we're afraid to say anything against the members! We told Ralph, "If you do this again, … your wife [wants a temporary separation] & [we'll] put you on permanent KP until you respond!" So when we discovered he was at it again, we called him in & said‚ "Remember what we told you? We're going [back your wife's decision to separate] & put you on KP until you respond. If you respond all right, we'll consider suspending the judgment, but if you don't, & we ever hear of another word of murmuring, out you go! You're going to be put off the Team!"

17. DID IT DO ANY GOOD? Well, a lot of times you think so, when they're only smoldering, waiting for a chance, but we again heard he was causing trouble! We did take him in & have a counselling session until he broke—but he broke every time we talked to him! He was the spoiled only child of his mother, & he was just pulling those tantrums for fear of being judged! Did I say, "Oh, I hate to lose him! We don't want him to go back. He'll be an enemy, & he used to do so good"?—No It's much better to have an enemy on the outside than on the inside!

18. JUDGEMENT WITHOUT LOVE IS ALSO JUST AS BAD! You may just reap in your children exactly what you sowed—especially if you don't discipline them!—Especially if you're that way & you don't want to be punished & God lets you get away with it! Then you're apt to think you ought to let your kids get away with it. And if you don't do it with love, it hasn't get the right effect either.

19. SO I CALLED RALPH IN & WAS VERY SWEET & LOVING TO HIM. I said, "I hate to do this, but you remember what I promised? If you were caught murmuring again I was going to have to ask you to leave. We've talked to you wife & she doesn't want to leave, But she wants to put God & the Revolution first." I didn't say to Ralph‚ "What do you want to do? Do you want to stay?" No, I had to carry out the suspended sentence & had to ask him to leave.

20. I SHOWED I WAS CONSIDERATE & THOUGHTFUL & DIDN'T WANT HIM TO BE PUNISHED TOO CRUELLY, so I gave him some money & asked him if he wanted a ride into town since it was raining. And he took somebody with him—they almost always do! They seldom ever backslide alone. Their infection spreads rapidly & they try to infect as many people as they can by spreading their murmuring & division. They have to do that to justify themselves for leaving, & persuade as many people to do the same thing to show they're right & they're not they only ones who feel that way. They organise their rebellion against authority & against their Colony & their leadership & have special little meetings together to plan their rebellion.

21. I GAVE RALPH ONE LAST CHANCE AFTER SEVERAL STAGES OF DISCIPLINE. Before him & before witnesses, we had to show it was his wife's choice to stay. I even told him then if he ever changed his attitude, we might forgive him. … And we were very nice about it & I gave him some money for food, etc.

22. ONCE YOU HAVE ACTUALLY PROMISED SENTENCE‚ YOU MAY TEMPORARILY SUSPEND SENTENCE & PUT THEM ON PROBATION. But once you have said, "Now you're on probation & we've decided we're going to do thus-&-so with you, exile you to such-&-such a Colony or [endorse your wife's desire to separate]" or whatever the probation is, & you suspend the sentence for right now, tell them, "But if you don't respond to this probation & straighten out, then such-&-such an exile or complete excommunication will immediately occur!"

23. THE GREATEST DANGER OF THOSE PROBLEM CASES IS SOWING FURTHER DISSENSION‚ DISCORD & MURMURING & POISONING THE CAMP! For example‚ I told Ralph, "If I hear one report that you have criticised or said one word of murmuring of any kind whatsoever, if I get one little report from anybody that you've got the wrong attitude or speak any ill, that's it!—Just one little word!" Because that's the greatest danger—what they say!—Poisoning the camp & murmuring!

24. WHEN I TAUGHT HIGH SCHOOL FOR THREE YEARS, DISCIPLINE WAS THE MAJOR PROBLEM, because without discipline & order in the classroom, people being on time & behaving, nobody could learn anything or get anything done! So I had to figure out various ways of disciplining the guilty ones. One of the most difficult problems about it is how to discipline the guilty so the innocent will not have to suffer with them.

25. I DISCOVERED THAT IT IS VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO DISCIPLINE THE GUILTY WITHOUT MAKING THE INNOCENT SUFFER IN SOME WAY.—Either taking class time or time after school or a school busload waiting or losing my own lunch hour staying in with somebody. When one member suffers, all suffer. (1Co.12:26.) When one member is punished, all are punished. When one is disciplined, all are disciplined. Like my Father always said, "This hurts me more than it hurts you!" But without discipline‚ you'll never get anything accomplished! if you don't learn to behave & obey, how do you expect to teach others?

26. SO DISCIPLINING YOU IS ONE OF MY MAJOR JOBS!—TEACHING YOU TO DO WHAT YOU'RE TOLD! So there must be some discipline for our leaders & Colonies which is swift & sure & effective‚ & it must be carried out! From all I can hear & see, you have no form of discipline whatsoever except counselling, & then they finally "break." But counselling is not necessarily a form of punishment—it's attention! Who is being punished? The people you are counselling are being given a vacation from their regular work or whatever they're supposed to do, while you are neglecting feeding the good sheep!

27. WE NEED STRICTER DISCIPLINE & SOME SPECIFIC PUNISHMENT OR CHILD-TRAINING TO LET THESE PEOPLE KNOW WE MEAN BUSINESS! We need to tell them what the price of breaking the rules is & that the penalty is going to be enforced!—That you are going to keep your word & not be a liar! Because if you tell them something & don't do it, you are a liar & the one to blame & they won't believe a word you say & they won't respect you. Whenever my parents did let me get away with something I knew I should have been caught for & punished for, I lost my respect for them & had contempt for my own parents.

28. YOU WONDER WHY THERE IS SO LITTLE RESPECT FOR LEADERSHIP RIGHT NOW?—I THINK THAT'S THE MAJOR REASON!—NO DISCIPLINE! You don't keep your word. You've got no sentences & no punishments, & you don't carry them out. You let them get away with it, & your own disobediences right here are a sad example of it!—Because of my tender heart & not wanting to punish you. It hurts me to punish you, but it's going to hurt a lot more for all of us pretty soon if I don't start keeping my word!

29. BETTER NEVER TO HAVE PROMISED THAT SPANKING THAN PROMISED IT & NOT GIVEN IT!—Because then your child will really know you're liar & you don't intend to keep your word & you're a very lax parent! Disciplining a child is hard work‚ just as hard, if not harder, on the parent than on the child! Spanking & lecturing & punishing & keeping up with a child & catching him in everything he's done wrong is hard work! You can't let him get away with a thing‚ otherwise you'll end up with a spoiled child who thinks he can get away with murder, & sometimes he might!—Or try to!

30. THE CHILDREN OF GOD ARE BECOMING SPOILED CHILDREN, & IT'S NOT GOD'S FAULT!—In that vision, that big hand that wielded that ax was swift & sure! (See No.290.) Judgment delayed a gives hope of postponement & maybe total elimination. "Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of man is fully set in them to do evil!" (Ecc.8:11.) I feared my father & respected him & was afraid to do anything wrong, because I knew if I got caught I'd get it swift & sure!

31. THEY BREAK DOWN & CRY TO MAKE SURE THEY WON'T GET PUNISHED, TO SOFTEN & TENDER YOUR HEART SO YOU WON'T SPANK THEM! So you put your arms around them & pray with them & they're not a damned bit sorry!—They're only sorry they got caught & are afraid you're going to punish them! Pretty soon they're not even going to break any more, because they're not a bit afraid of being punished!

32. THEY MURMURED AGAINST MOSES BECAUSE HE'D MARRIED AN ETHIOPIAN, when he'd just issued the laws from God that they weren't supposed to intermarry! Did God punish Moses or the murmurers? Which was the greatest sin?—The murmurers were very rigorously disciplined! (Nu.12:1-10.) As the children of Israel so often found out, when they murmured against something & didn't like it, God took it away or gave them so much—like the meat from Heaven—it killed a lot of them! (Nu.11:33.) Murmuring against God & leadership is one of the worst sins. So he gave them the desires of their hearts, but sent leanness to their souls! (Ps.106:15.)

33. SOME OF THESE PEOPLE WHO WERE AT THE OFFICE & WHOM WE HAD TO RELIEVE OF THEIR DUTIES HAD JUSTIFIABLE COMPLAINTS, BUT THEIR MURMURINGS WERE NOT JUSTIFIED! If they had come in the right spirit & told these things, all right, but the spirit was wrong! There is only one thing that will make a murmurer happy, & that's to keep on murmuring & murmur until he destroys the work! The only time those little demons get scared is when they think they're going to have to go. The Devil always accuses you of what he himself is guilty of. There's only one thing that keeps a demon happy—to stay in the body where he's causing the trouble! Just be sure the punishment or rules or sentence you lay down is Spirit-led & not too hard or hard to keep, & not done in anger or without prayer.—Amen? (1984:—And this is just as true today as when first proclaimed many years ago!—How about you?—Are you a disciplinary problem?—A problem child?—Or a problem parent! God help us to discipline both!—In Jesus' name‚ amen!—D.)