How Many Churches Allow and Even Encourage Abuse

Valerie Tarico looks at the problem of  Christian discipline leading to abuse in “Bible-based” discipline has led to child abuse in Salon Magazine.  I am seeing non-believers getting more and more concerned with this issue and rightly so.  It breaks my heart that abusive Christians are giving Christianity a bad name.  Of course, it is only natural that they are trying to find a way to stop the abuse.  My only concern with that is that their definition of abuse often includes teaching children that they are sinners in need of salvation, which is the heart of the Gospel.

Because of that article, Pastor Doug Bursch (who was raised in a grace-filled, loving home) discussed the problem with M. Dolon Hickmon on his Christian Talk Radio show, Live from Seattle 820AM.  This conversation is extremely interesting as well as important.  Dolon explains how important it is for Christians to recognize abuse.  Not only do churches fail to notice abuse, they often inadvertently encourage it.  He explains how each person listening to a sermon about spanking has a different definition for the words being used.  Both abused children and their parents assume that the word, “spanking” means exactly what they are currently doing and are being validated that they should continue, even if the pastor preaching means nothing of the sort.  Raising awareness is very important and he has a lot of hope that the book he wrote will go a long way towards that.  You can get information about his book here.  ****Warning!  Book very triggering for survivors of abuse****

 

Enduring Sound Doctrine

The pastor of Calvary Baptist Church of Temecula says in a post called, Enduring Sound Doctrine:

One writer who started out with some fairly sound material on raising children but has moved subtly away from sound doctrine is Michael Pearl.  I have recently removed all of his material from my personal library and from the church library because of the misguided nature of what he’s lately been teaching.  After some research, I found a number of serious errors in his teachings.

Personally, I do not believe that Mr. Pearl’s doctrine has changed much over the years.  It’s just that the more he writes, the more his doctrine is exposed.

Here are two quotes from his first book, To Train Up A Child, which I feel show some rather questionable doctrine:

The guilt burdened soul cries out for the lashes and nails of justice. Your child cannot yet understand that the Creator has been lashed and nailed in his place. Only the rod of correction can preserve his soul until the day of moral dawning.

The parent holds in his hand (in the form of a little switch) the power to absolve the child of guilt, cleanse his soul, instruct his spirit, strengthen his resolve, and give him a fresh start through a confidence that all indebtedness is paid.

Of course, there are many other quotes from that book which show some very questionable child raising advice. For more analysis of the Pearls’ doctrine, please see these posts as well as the Parenting in the Name of God series.

Why churches are failing

Thriller Author has written a blog post at HubPages called Why Churches Are Failing.

This is a rather harsh wake up call for all Christians to consider and I believe that it is warranted. The Pearls’ teachings are mentioned in passing along with Ezzo’s.

I don’t know exactly what these HubPages are but I notice that they also have a positive review of To Train Up A Child. Needless to say, I do not agree with her conclusions of this book. It looks like members of this Hub can vote for the pages and affect their ratings. Hmmmm . . .

For more realistic reviews of To Train Up A Child, please see my list of reviews.

Fundamental Baptist Warns Against NGJ

David Cloud of Fundamental Baptist Information Service has updated his Warning Against No Great Joy Ministries. While he agrees with a lot of what the Pearls teach, he has some serious reservations:

1 ) Exalting the family over the church.
2 ) Sinless Perfection
3 ) Michael Pearl’s duplicitous dealings with the author
4 ) The teaching that Jesus became a sinner (!)

He then includes some testimonies of people who have written to him in response to his previous writings. That is where you will find some discussion of Rebekah Pearl and her dreams.