Pastor John Piper Comments on Norway Law and Bodnariu Case!

9am Plenary Wed 20 October 2010 Photo: Micah Chiang

A reader in Norway writes in: “Hello Pastor John, thank you for all that you have done for the kingdom and for this podcast. I have a question regarding child rearing. You have formerly said that you would go to jail over the issue of spanking. I agree with you that spanking is biblical. But in my home country, Norway, as well as in many other countries, spanking is illegal. The consequences would then not only be that one may have to go to jail, but that the government would take your children. This has now happened in the famous Bodnariu case where a couple in Norway lost their children after spanking them.

[UPDATE: The children have been returned].

In cases such as these, one may never get one’s children back again, because the government may not see you as a suitable parent because you spanked your children. What would you do as a Christian parent in Norway? Wouldn’t it be better to NOT spank your children and be sure that your children will never be taken away from you? This is a big issue with huge consequences for us in Norway.”

For sure, this is an important topic and has great consequence — and Norway is not the only country. You can go online and see a graph of the countries in Europe and around the world where it is illegal to spank, and that is only increasing.

I read about the Bodnariu case some time ago. The government took away five children from this family with, in my judgment, it seemed, no evidence of child abuse. I came away from that story feeling the way Jesus did in Mark 3:5 where it says, “He looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of hard” — anger and grief, anger and grief, the mingling of those two emotions. You can’t help but feel them in this situation. All five children were seized by the Norwegian government and, as far as I can tell, there was no evidence of child abuse. It is an ideological difference about the best way to raise your kids.

And yes, I have said that I would go to jail over this. In other words, if they wanted to put me in prison because I believe that the best way to love my children was to spank them sometimes when they were disobedient, I wouldn’t sacrifice that conviction or that behavior to stay out of jail. But, of course, that kind of protest and threat is of no use when the person about to be put in prison is not yourself, but your children. And yes, I know they are not being put in jail. But the point is it is similar. They are being legally kidnapped from the family and put in places they don’t want to be. And so the willingness of the parents to go to jail is not the issue anymore. So when I said that, I probably wasn’t thinking as realistically as is proving to be the case.

So, the question for our friend in Norway — and other countries, I am sure — is: Should we risk losing our children to the high-handed tactics of the state, or should we relent in spanking our children? And, of course, there are many related questions that Christians in Norway and other countries are facing like: What does a pastor preach? I don’t know what the legal ramifications are if he preaches the true biblical teaching. Does he tell the people what the Bible says and encourage them to obey, or does he just ignore parts of the Bible, or does he show them how to compromise? How do parents teach their children the Scriptures? Do they skip those parts of the Bible in telling their children how to raise their children? And if they teach their children, what will they say if the children say: Why don’t you spank us since the Bible says you should?

Now, of course, the issues are far deeper than simply the nature of parental discipline. There is a view of human nature at work here that will have repercussions everywhere. There is a view of how to restrain bad behavior and get good behavior from children that the state evidently thinks is less psychologically damaging than simple, measured, loving spanking.

The issue here is not merely how kids behave in later life. Are they well-adjusted or maladjusted? That is not the main issue. But rather, the issue is how they view the whole world — especially themselves and God. That is the great issue, which, of course, the Norwegian government does not take into account, but which is the most important issue in the world. According to Hebrews 12, God himself uses corporal punishment. And treating kids differently will not serve well to help them know God and love God and believe in the God of Hebrews 12 and his holiness and his mercy. Of course, governments don’t take into account these great issues. They are only thinking at a very narrow, natural, historical, societal level — not a cosmic level, not an eternal level that includes heaven and hell and salvation and obedience to God and eternal destinies and the exaltation of the glory of God. None of that matters to governments, but it should matter infinitely to Christian parents.

So, if I lived in Norway, what would I do? I would pray earnestly for wisdom. I would not assume that this is a simple either-or situation. God is a God of wonders. God is a God of miracles. He has ways out of dilemmas that seem hopeless. We can’t think of any alternatives, but he can. He splits the Red Sea. That was an alternative nobody thought of. He stopped the sun in the sky. That was an alternative nobody thought of. He raises the dead. He walks on water. “All things are possible with God” (Mark 10:27). So I would pray earnestly that God would show me a way to be obedient to God and keep, keep, keep my children.

And if I really had to choose between spanking my children and losing them to the state and I knew it was a necessary choice, of course, I would choose keeping my children over spanking them. That is the answer he was looking for, probably.

This is not choosing disobedience over obedience, because it would be disobedient to surrender your children to the state. One thing is crystal clear in the Bible: God holds parents accountable for the raising of their children, not the state — which leads to one other consideration: leaving a country where you can’t exercise your faith legally. America was founded by people who did that. They left their homelands so that they could exercise their faith in the way that they thought they should, and they were coming to an absolute wilderness. Half of them died in the process, which shows how important it was. And I have had people come to my church here in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA from Europe because they wanted to homeschool their children and weren’t allowed to in the country they came from. I know it is happening today.

So, I will pray for my brothers and sisters in lands like Norway where increasingly unjust and evil laws put the Christian between two terrible choices. And we are all moving toward that situation, and we will need great courage and great wisdom.

Taken from Desiring God (here)

Photo: Micah Chiang

Professor Marianne H. Skanland’s Discourse at Anti-Barnevernet Protest in Oslo June 11th 2016


Barnevernet – what must happen now?

Speech held at Eidsvolls plass before Stortinget (the Norwegian parliament)
in Oslo, on 11 June 2016

What must be done for Norway to achieve a child protection service which protects children?

We have come some way in that many more thousands of people, in many countries, now know how the Norwegian system operates to the detriment of children and parents.
What is the next thing we need?


Let us think back to the last local elections. There was a trial project going in some municipalities: Young people down to 16 were allowed to vote.
Very well.
At the same time these 16-year-olds are not allowed to decide where to live? At least not if Barnevernet has confiscated them. Barnevernet holds them by force until they are 18.

So what must happen?

The government must announce something we can call an amnesty.
Under normal conditions an amnesty is something given to people who have broken the law. That is not the case here. But for children who long for home but are held captive in foster homes and institutions against their will, and without having done anything criminal, this is punishment. It is as if they and their parents are doing something criminal by wanting to be together.
So the abolishment of this duress is an amnesty.

The government must issue a clear order that all foster children who want to, can go home to their families freely, and will if necessary receive help to get home. Do not let foster persons try to pressure them, or impose conditions, or stop them taking their favourite teddy-bear with them, or keep back a pet of theirs in the foster home.

Instruct the police that Barnevernet no longer has the authority to call upon them to fetch children from their parents with force when the children themselves want to be with their parents. Regardless of age, every foster child who says it wants to go home, must have the right to go home. Without delay.
Those children who want to continue in foster homes, shall of course also have the freedom to do so, but not the freedom to speak on behalf of all those who want to go home.


And then one more step:

Again we should think back. This time back to the time when the Soviet Union had begun practicing “glasnost’” (openness). In 1988, Gorbachev cancelled the yearly exams in the subject history! Down at school level.
When accurate information was available in the Soviet Union, it became clear that one could not continue with the incorrect version of history which a faulty ideology had led to. New textbooks were needed, and new teaching, from basics.

In the same way our country must put a stop to the present teaching of Barnevern going on in the colleges.
New students of child protection are due to start classes in the autumn. The same teaching is also dished out to kindergarten personnel, to law students, to the police and many other professions.
It must be stopped and the present text book literature done away with. Teaching personnel who promote today’s understanding of how children are protected, must be prevented from doing so.
It is bad enough that it will take time to replace child protection workers who practice a harmful ideology. But we must at least prevent new classes of students being taught the same thing.
Quite new, different resources must be enlisted, new textbooks, new personnel to take students on for practice, so that we can end the harmful actions which today’s Barnevern so often carry out.


There is a whole series of things which must be done for families in Norway to become safe against obliteration by our own country’s authorities. But the two things I have mentioned here are among the most important to get off the ground.

Thank you!



History Tests Canceled for Soviet Youngsters :
Decision, Affecting 53 Million, Will Provide Time to Correct Stalinist ‘Lies,’ Izvestia Says

Los Angeles Times, 11 June 1988

Moscow Summit: Unmaking History and Debating Rights;
Soviet Pupils Spared Exams While History Is Rewritten

New York Times, 31 May 1988

Mikhail Gorbachev’s Glasnost, no date

Barnevernet Observed “My Daughter Hugging Me a Lot…”

Delight in Truth commentator Julian Chan writes:

“My 11-year-old daughter was observed hugging me a lot, which Barnevernet interpreted as flirting. At least they acknowledged that I didn’t initiate it, but still they accused me of not putting a stop to it, telling me that it’s only OK to sit down and put an arm around her occasionally.

My daughter was devastated when I told her what they had said. Perhaps it’s different in different cultures, but in my view a father and daughter can hug and show affection without either of them seeing it as incestuous. In our case it’s just a “I’m glad that you’re here with me” sign.

According to my experiences with bv, it’s better to just leave Norway if you ever get involved with them. If there’s no obvious problem they’ll find one to escalate. If they don’t find one they’ll invent one and look for evidence that could support it. In my year(s) of contact, they were implementing “guidance” and “help measures” but still even now have not properly defined what they have been concerned about.

But now that my daughter has fled the country due to bv – and I will be following – I guess we’ll never know for sure.”

United Kingdom: Legal Intimidation in the Florin Barbu Case


Not only is Florin Barbu being threatened with jail time by proceedings in the London Borough of Haringey family court for posting pictures of his children and information about the homosexual couple who is trying to adopt his children, but now the lawyers against Mr Barbu have taken it to the next level.

Threatening letters went out to Facebook users on the other side of the world who shared Mr Barbu’s posts, asking them to seek urgent legal advice because they are being taken to court. 

Following his children’s confiscation by the British CPS, Florin Barbu has not seen them in over a year. He protested his children’s upcoming forced adoption with an 18 day hunger strike in France in front the European Court of Human Rights, but his failing health caused him to stop the hunger strike and continue a regular protest.

He has been posting videos everyday updating a large following on Facebook about how the system is stacked against him, defying family court orders to not post pictures of his children.

There are many things gone wrong in this case, but this latest intimidation tactic toward random Facebook users who are not even under British jurisdiction seems comical.

First of all, the children in question are not British citizens. They are Romanian citizens and they should be returned to the Romanian government who can place them with family. It is unclear at this time whether significant proceedings have begun on behalf of the Romanian government to recuperate their citizens.

Second, Mr. Barbu is being threatened with jail by a UK court, but he is not in the UK. He is protesting in France, hoping that the ECofHR or some European Union body will help expose his case and help him at least get the children back to their mother.

Third, there is this little concept called freedom of speech, a basic human right still in effect on social media sites. As far as I know. I see people sharing videos of Muslims decapitating Christians in Syria, all kinds of rants against authority, indecent content, etc, without being censored… but now people are being sanctioned for exercising their freedom of expression on the internet? People are being taken to court because they shared a post on Facebook?

This actually shows the weakness of the UK CPS, a similar weakness found in the Norwegian Barnevernet. They are afraid of exposure. They are afraid that people will start digging into their proceedings and find children are being confiscated without merit. They are afraid that the ECofHR will pick up their cases and the world is going to find out about human rights violations.

In the wake of the Bodnariu victory, the Romanian government needs to step up and help Florin Barbu recover his children.


Chris Reimers is publishing this story and subsequent analysis of the Norwegian CPS:

by Elsa Christensen

Part 1

It is Ascension day, Thursday the fifth of May, this year. A mother walks through the gates of Vilde “Home for Mothers,” never to return.

She takes her son with her, a boy of about five months.

The next days will be the first days that the mother and the baby get to be together without any public surveillance in a governmental institution, surveillance by the CPS […]

Continue reading below…

via THE RISE AND FALL (?) OF THE NORWEGIAN CPS — Wings of the Wind

Barnevernet Boss Comments on the Bodnariu Case

Go away. Everything is fine. Nothing to see here…

That seems to be the attitude of Solveig Horne, the Norwegian Minister of Children and Equality, as if the Bodnariu case was just any other CPS case.

She said as reported by The Local: “I’m glad to hear that the parents and Barnevernet have come to an agreement and will cooperate so that the children can move back in with their parents. Now we will respect the children and the family by complying with their request for peace.”

No mention of the international uproar that has foreigners emigrating away from Norway in fear of Barnevernet. No mention of official proceedings against Norway in the European Court of Human rights and the Council of Europe. No mention of street protests and media fury against her CPS.  She only  mentions the cooperation that Barnevernet will now have with the family. Nevermind the international pressure which brought about this cooperation!

I will echo what Marius Reikeras mentioned in a public post. Why hasn’t Barnevernet cooperated with the Bodnariu family BEFORE confiscating their children? Why cooperate now, after Norway has been shamed on the international stage?

We know the answer.

Barnevernet never intended on returning these children.

Without massive pressure at multiple levels like government, media, social media etc, Barnevernet would have proceeded with their ANNOUNCED intent of forced adoption.

This case will have a lasting effect in Norway, and we see some evidence of it. An article in Dagbladet today is very critical toward the Norwegian media which has been a tacit bystander while CPS commits human rights violation.

The pressure must now intensify on cases like the Nans and Avramescus.

Time will tell how Norway will respond.

photo: Solveig Horne from



Hundreds of thousands of protesters in the streets across the globe. Hundreds of thousands of social media posts, mailings, e-mails, phone calls and meetings.

Tens of millions of hits on various domestic and international news articles in the United States, Europe, Australia and Asia. Millions of visits to various blogs and news outlets.

Approximately 270,000 visitors/views at Delight in Truth, and many more at Agnus Dei, Popas Pentru Suflet and other blogs.

After 6 and a half months of THIS tremendous international pressure, Norway is returning all 5 Bodnariu children to their parents. 

But in this difficult process, God has accomplished something much greater.

God has used the suffering of one family to expose an entire system. He has awakened the sleeping giant, the world-wide evangelical Romanian church to unite and to show the world what is going on in Norway and other European countries.

Due process violation and state sponsored child traffic is no longer a tacitly approved secret in the Nordic countries. A Bodnariu victory is now the flame that give hope, real hope, for thousands of Barnevernet victims who had their children confiscated unfairly.

And hope cannot  be underestimated.

Cases like Bodnariu will make their way through the Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights, to the shame of Norway, and everyone will find out that a modern and progressive country like Norway harbors this dark secret.

How was this decision accomplished outside of a tribunal in the judicial system? Professor Marianne Skanland explains:

“Since this agreement has been reached only during or as a conclusion of the County Committee’s hearing, and since Barnevernet’s proposal was that all 5 children should be taken from the family permanently, the only probable interpretation is that the CC has put pressure on Barnevernet, and Barnevernet has not been too sure of winning so they have given in.

If they had entered into an agreement to return the children voluntarily, it could and would have been done months ago. So they have been pressed into it. For the CC, or a court, to put a certain amount of pressure on the parties to a case is of course quite regular; to reach agreements or compromises is one of the justice system’s regular functions.

All the best to the Bodnarius! Let us hope and pray that they may all recover as soon as possible and that the actions against the children by Barnevernet will not have too bad after-effects.”

We are now hoping that the great people of Norway will wake up and be repulsed at the confiscation practices of Barnevernet. They have the power to change their CPS and hold those who abuse their power responsible.

Norway Prime Minister Comments Publicly on the Bodnariu Case



For the first time since the Bodnariu children were confiscated by Barnevernet, prime minister Erna Solberg issued a statement in the form of a comment on her FB page. The comment is authentic since it contains the blue check mark issued by FB to personalities who have authenticated their high profile official FB accounts. She wrote in response to Bodnariu supporter Monika David:

“This is an ongoing police investegation on violence against children.”

It turns out that the prime minister got a lot more attention with her comment than she bargained for…

Hundreds of FB users have descended on the post with hundreds of comments and reactions explaining the ignorant and callous nature of the statement.

I left this comment:


Now we know a few things

  1. The PM is clearly aware of the Bodnariu case and the international uprising against her country
  2. The PM is watching the case
  3. The PM unfortunately has been fed CPS propaganda that this is a police issue. She seems to be uninformed that criminal action has not been taken in this case, in fact only care orders and county board hearing were pursued.

Erna Solberg needs to look at the details of this case to see why the world is protesting. In fact, after the fury of comments on Monika’s post, Solberg may have already looked deeper into the case, and has already seen the red flags and irregularities. One would hope.

Now it is up to the county commission who will review the case next week.

The PM is watching.

The world is watching.

God is watching.

“Let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever flowing stream” Amos 5:24

German Family Defeats Barnevernet!

Fantastic news brought to us by Steven Bennett.

The Schabel family lost their 4 children ( age range 3-9) to the Norwegian CPS while they were living in Norway 4 months ago. The children were secretly confiscated while in school, which seems to be how Barnevernet operates.

Steven writes:

“After dialogue with the German Embassy in Norway, the children were transferred to Germany around four weeks ago. Fortunately, the German CPS follow the European Court of Human Rights (EHCR) laws, and don’t recognise the County Board as a court, something that Norwegian authorities could make a note of.”

For the last month the children were fostered in Germany while the German CPS cleared up matters and inspected the family home.

Hubert Schabel (the father) writes:

“I still don’t exactly know about the role the german embassy played here, but I am convinced they had a role. Yesterday morning I woke up, did not know about the positive change the day will bring. Continued to renovate our house here in the south of Germany. I was looking for something, entered the children’s bedroom. Empty and tidy, unused, the feeling inside me was like a graveyard.

Unnaturally. I found out, that I did not enter the room since we are here for other reasons than searching things. I did not like to enter it, like I do not want to enter the graveyard where my beloved parents and brother are buried. The feeling inside that room was comparable to recently have somebody beloved gone. I continued my work, not really knowing how live will go on.

Barnevernet took away our reason to live and the germans denied returning the children, depending on the “doom” of the fylkesnamnda (county board).

Then came the phone call from the german authority. They wanted to meet us, immediately, and talk to us about the “new” situation. They asked, if they can come to our house and look at it. When they arrived, they told us, that the court decided, that the fylkesnemndas decision is not valid in Germany. They looked at our house, told us, it is no palace, but no danger for the children.

After they have left, we jumped (really!) into our car and drove the 25 km to the village, where our kids have been placed. We rang the doorbell. Heavenly noise broke through the silence of that little village, the angels must have been dancing to this music, our hearts made the beat, and the beat was fast and strong, deeply bass. The door opened. Our kids were informed two minutes ago. They jumped around our necks, we all had tears in our eyes. No one understood a word, all were talking at the same time, but we were one, one family, the reason to live for.

Complete again and for all time. No one should dare to tear us apart again, we fight, we bite, and we never give up until we die!”

We now hope to publish a similar story for the Bodnariu family. Soon. Very soon.

Mr. Knut Nygaard Writes a Letter to Help Bodnariu

If you spend any time on Delight in Truth, you know Mr Knut Nygaard. He is an employee of Barnevernet in the larger city of Bergen, Norway, and he has been defending the CPS as a whole. Having said that, Mr Nygaard has had reservations about the way the Bodnariu case has been handled in the small municipality of Naustdal.

Today he wrote a letter to the CPS leader in Nausdtal (here) and followed up with this comment to DiT: “… it may give me an earlier retirement. If the CPS in Naustdal makes a complaint to my employer accusing me of interference in their ongoing work I think I’m off duty in the near future.”

Here are some excerpts from the letter (google translate from Norwegian – the meaning of the message is preserved despite the rough translation) :

“It is reasonably painful that the Municipal Councilman in Naustdal is willing to go down with the municipal flag to prevent these four [older Bodnariu kids] to get the opportunity to return to their own [family]. Probably it is uncertain what will happen with Ezekiel.

It is not in the child welfare social task to destroy an ordinary family of 7.

I’m in the final stretch of my working career and much of it has been happening and will still take place in the municipal child welfare. The last 23 years I have worked in one of the now 8 CPS areas in Bergen. My main responsibilities are receiving, investigations and measures.

At our office, we received 475 messages in 2014 – higher likelyhood of acute evaluations. In Naustdal they received a total of 27 messages and something tells me that it can be very far between emergency assessments.

If it is true that this [Bodnariu] family has never had contact with Barnevernet before and theme is spanking, then we have at our office handled approximately 100 such cases only one of which led to the use of 4.6, 2nd paragraph, and there was marked violence – like using a belt and water immersion.

I am of the view based on the information that has been leaked from what lies behind the [Bodnariu] emergency decision made in Naustdal that it most likely would have been – if this had been a rehearsal case – that few municipalities would have ended up so drastic with a family where the theme is spanking – parents have admitted their actions – at least partially – they are willing to take remedial action – they have no history of child welfare – this is their debut [with CPS] and they have never had or been able to demonstrate that they cannot both change and cooperate for the good of their children and their family.

I would venture to say that small municipalities lack the training behind an everyday in our office where we several times a month make emergency reviews – yes, sometimes several in one week.

It is not okay – if – and probably this if – had this family lived in Bergen, the family would have been reunited with relief efforts

…but in Naustdal so ….

There is a big difference in managing a case of correctly correct – which you receive assistance from the County Administrator – to make the right assessments in the vicinity of corresponding with what other municipalities would have done with a case like this.

It is hoped that you come to your senses and withdraw the case.”

Indeed, we all hope that the Naustdal Barnevernet comes to its senses and withdraws the case against the Bodnariu family.