THE Kirk has said Jesus would not approve of parents smacking their children after another church said his Father supported it.

The Church of Scotland will tomorrow tell MSPs that Jesus would “not have countenanced violence against children” when it gives evidence on a smacking ban.

At the same session in Portree on Skye, the Church of Scotland (Continuing) will say smacking is gift from God to help parents show their love for their children.

READ MORE: God supports parents smacking children, church tells MSPs

The smaller church has submitted written evidence citing several Biblical passages to justify its opposition to a legal ban on smacking.

These include Proverbs 22: 15, which refers to the “rod of correction” driving out “foolishness” from the heart of child.

Other faith leaders will also give evidence on Green MSP John Finnie’s ban Bill at a special meeting of Holyrood's equalities committee.

The Bill would end the Scots law defence of “justifiable assault” for parents and carers who physically punish children short of using a blow to the head, shaking, or “an implement”.

Critics say the proposal is hugely unpopular with the public and would criminalise parents.

There have also been concerns that it would affect certain religious groups more.

Rev Peter Nimmo, the minister of Old High St Stephen’s Church of Scotland in Inverness, will tell the committee that the Kirk is supporting the proposed new law based on “theological and humanitarian reasons to oppose physical punishment of children”.

He said on Thursday: “Scripture constantly challenges social norms, both from the time when it was written and today. Through scripture we are encouraged to ask difficult questions about how we live and are in the world.

"In doing this our primary example is Jesus, who consistently challenged violence and highlighted that children were central to world he called us to create.

"We believe that God would want us to give children the same protections as adults, ensuring they are able to thrive and flourish.”

The Kirk also said there was a body of research that hitting children can have a “lifelong negative impact and is connected to aggressive behaviour in adulthood and reduced success in life as well as mental health challenges”.

Also giving evidence tomorrow are the Evangelical Alliance and Christian Institute, which oppose a smacking ban, and the Quakers and Humanist Society, who support one.

In their written evidence, the Presbytery of the Outer Hebrides of the Free Church of Scotland (Continuing) said it was staunchly against a smacking ban.

It said: “Reasonable chastisement, in the form of a mild physical punishment such as a smack, is one of the means belonging to parents whereby they are able to discipline their children when they are disobedient, out of love for them and for their good.

“It is a means which has been given to them by God (see e.g. Proverbs 22:15; Hebrews 12:9), and the state has no right to remove it from them.”

It said a legal ban would turn loving parents, including members of its congregations, “into convicts” and Holyrood ought to be tackling the harm done to children by family breakdown and “sexual immorality and other harmful behaviours”.

The church’s Rev Richard Ross will give evidence in person on the matter.

Mr Finnie has said his Children (Equal Protection from Assault) (Scotland) Bill will bring Scotland into line with international best practice.

He said this week: “Given the indisputable evidence that physical punishment can be harmful to children I’m not surprised that all the credible witnesses support my proposal.”

Simon Calvert, of the pro-smacking Be Reasonable Campaign, said Mr Finnie’s comment was “the kind of condescending attitude which infuriates ordinary mums and dads”.