It certainly is harmful to be told that abuse (physical and sexual) is “deserved” and “good for them”. And this is often done by abusers towards their victims.
I do not believe it is harmful to tell my son that he deserved his appropriate punishment, and that I was punishing him because I love him.
Here we are getting back to the distinction Auggy is making between abuse and punishment. We all agree that abuse is bad. And we all agree that some punishment is abusive. But does this mean that all punishment is abusive? I would say that not all punishment is abusive, as I tried to illustrate in the story about my son.
Sidebar, To put more of my cards on the table, and to show some areas I believe we may have in common:
I disagree with penal substitution, and am in the beginning stages of trying to sort out what I believe about the atonement.
I have a very difficult time with Old Testament passages where God commands his people to murder others. I am not and have never been an inerrantist, but in the past have said that scripture is Inspired (capital I)and Authoritative. Now I am leaning further in the direction of scripture being inspired (with a lower case i). Capital “I” Inspiration would be limited to the scriptures. Lower case “i” inspiration would be something that happened with the scriptures in the same way that it happens when you wrote your book, or when Matt, or Dave, or Ruth or Bob or I write things that come from the Spirit. And so our Spirit-led writings would have some dross in them as well. So I’m trying to sort out my doctrine of Scripture and Epistemology, too.