Challies reviews TTUAC

After his review of Created To Be His Help Meet a few days ago, Tim Challies has decided to review To Train Up A Child, which he does in 2 parts:

Tim Challies Review of To Train Up A Child Part 1 in which he looks at training versus discipline, and his concerns with Pearl’s training.

Tim Challies Review of To Train Up A Child Part 2 in which he looks at the innocent child, the redemptive rod, and gives his conclusion.

Is It Wrong To Speak Out Against Other Christians?

Cindy of Under Much Grace has posted a sermon by E.L. Bynum called, “IS IT RIGHT: To Judge, To Expose Error, and To Call Names?” I am so glad she did because I, too, have been told that it is wrong of me to speak out against other Christians. When I gently explain that I am only exposing false teachings, they generally have no response. In this sermon, Brother Bynum explains that:

I. It Is Right To Practice Biblical Judgment
II. It Is Right To Expose False Teachers
III. It Is Right To Name Names

Also check out her  post about Considering the Biblical Model of Examining Behavior to Identify a Spiritual Abuser .

I would also like to share Paul Proctor’s essay about whether we are required to apply Matthew 18 before exposing false teachers.

Bill Gothard and His Definition of Grace

Cindy of Under Much Grace explains more about Bill Gothard and his erroneous definition of grace in Merging Justification and Sanctification: More About Gothard’s Thanksgiving Letter and Concerns About Grace

A Closer Look At The Pearls’ Teachings and Adoption

Christine Minich takes a look at The Pearls’ Teachings in:

The Disturbing World of The Pearls in which she looks at Doublespeak and Definitions as well as some examples of his abusive teachings.

and The Disturbing World of The Pearls Part 2 in which she takes a look at their heretical Theology.

Also, TulipGirl tries to shed some light on the underlying philosophy of the Pearls’ Teachings with On The Pearls And Parenting, Once Again.

The Toronto Sun has an article about the Pearls’ Teachings in Was child abused to death due to advice from book?

Missizzy posted a Recipe For Disaster on  the Websleuths.com message board which explains what happened to Lydia and Hanna.  You might be interested in the rest of the conversation, it is really quite interesting.  I hope it is ok for me to link to this.  If anyone objects, please email me at hermanalinda@whynottrainachild.com and I will remove this entire paragraph.

I also thought I’d mention this post from Civil Thoughts about Adoption Education because that is so important.

Michael Pearl: Heretic?

Becky, from Created To Be His,  shares how she changed her mind about Michael Pearl’s teachings after 10 years of following them in Michael Pearl: Heretic?

Spanking to Remove Guilt?

Back in October of 2010, Michael Pearl published an article where he claimed that he had never taught that spanking absolves a child of guilt.  He does, however, teach in that same article that they need the spanking in order to absolve themselves of guilt.

It is clear in all my writing that the forgiveness of which I speak is the parent forgiving the child. The two-year-old does not feel guilt before God. When he has willfully transgressed against his parents’ rules and he hides his misdeeds in shame, he has a psychological need to be cleansed of his guilt and restored to fellowship. This the parent can do through the proper application of the rod and reproof.

I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree on that point.  However, in his latest article of Feb 2011, he says that spanking can heal a child’s very soul. I don’t believe that anything or anyone but Jesus can heal our souls.

What a joy to possess the ability to instantly gain compliance and instill discipline in our children. However, the most mysterious, almost miraculous, fruit of the properly applied spanking is its ability to heal the child’s soul and create a sweetness of spirit.

I have here some quotes from other teachers which show this same doctrine about spanking being taught:

[Read more…]

The Burden of Legalism

Rach at the Incorrigible Gingers posts about the Burdens legalistic teachers are placing on the Believers’ backs.

Speaking of Legalism, there is an interesting article at NLQ about Why the Quiverfull Movement is called Legalistic?

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Spanking is NOT God’s Will Part 8

More information on the Book, Gentle Firmness, by Stephanie Cox

( part 1 ) ( part 2 ) ( part 3 )

What is grace?  This is the question running through my head as I wrestle with a bit of discouragement as children continue to be harmed by well-meaning people who want so badly to obey God in their parenting.  As I continue to hear the same comments from pro-spankers who seem almost desperate to defend themselves for fear of being wrong.  As I hear on the morning news that two teenagers were shot and killed by their own mother because they were being “mouthy.”  As a book that advocates spanking infants may be being used by people that I know.  What is grace?  Who deserves grace?  Is the Bible Truth or something that can be used however we want in order to support our own beliefs?  What does it mean to be Spirit led and to take up our crosses and follow Jesus?  Why do some Christians proclaim, “God hates fags?”  Why is there so much division in the Body of Christ when God commands us to be “like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind” Philippians 2:2?

Another thing that keeps popping up in my mind and during my Bible study is the following verse:

“So he said to me, ‘This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty” Zechariah 4:6.

This verse is in context with an angel showing Zechariah a vision seemingly related to the coming of a future Messiah to rescue the people.  Yesterday in church, the pastor discussed the uneventful way that Jesus quietly came on the scene amidst the crowds that were waiting by the Jordan River in order to be baptized by a relative, John The Baptist (Matthew 3:13-17).  Everyone thought that the Messiah would come and mightily restore Israel with a mighty sword.  But instead, Jesus came as an infant and lived in humble settings.  He didn’t even look like a powerful king that everyone expected Him to be.  Look how Isaiah the prophet described Jesus: [Read more…]

Spanking is NOT God’s Will Part 3

( Part 1 ) ( Part 2 )

I finished Samuel Martin’s book, Thy Rod and Thy Staff They Comfort Me today.  Here’s more of what I have learned about God’s Word.

Many Christian advocates of spanking children quote the following Proverb in order to support their philosophy that spanking children will save their souls from Hell.  It says: “Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.   14Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell” Proverbs 23:13-14 (KJV). Now, the Hebrew word for Hell is Sh’ol.  However, throughout the Hebrew Bible sh’ol doesn’t always mean the eternal, fiery Hell that we immediately conjure up in our minds.  Look at Jonah 2:1-2 where Jonah is talking about being stuck in the whale’s belly:

“From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the LORD his God. 2 He said:
“In my distress I called to the LORD,
and he answered me.
From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help,
and you listened to my cry” (NIV).

Obviously, Jonah wasn’t in eternal Hell or permanently dead.  In Job 17:13-16, Job speaks of his only hope in following his family to the grave, sh’ol is translated as grave and corruption.  Sh’ol is also translated as pit as in falling into a pit.  It is clear that the Hebrew word sh’ol does not always mean the eternal Hell and it’s not used in this way any place in the book of Proverbs.  The new NIV translation shows a bit more accurate translation of Proverbs 23:13-14: [Read more…]

Spanking is NOT God’s Will Part 2

(Part 1)

After reading and studying more today in this wonderful book by Samuel Martin and doing my own Bible study, here are some things that God has revealed to me.

First, the book of Proverbs is the oldest book in the Holy Bible.  While King Solomon and King Hezekiah wrote most of Proverbs, according to Martin’s book, some of it was also written by authors of ancient Egypt hundreds of years prior to King Solomon and King Hezekiah.  In the Hebrew Bible, The Wisdom Literature which are Job, Psalms, and Proverbs are arranged in a different order than they appear in our modern day Bibles.  Instead of Job,  Psalms, Proverbs; it’s Psalms, Proverbs, Job.  These Holy books were inspired by God to be written primarily for young men.

The Hebrew language breaks up each stage of childhood in the Bible into specific names from birth to adulthood.   I will not list them here at the moment, but what is key to point out here is the Book of Proverbs was written for young men (Hebrew: Na’ar).  Na’ar is the teenage years, 12 years to roughly 19.  During this stage of life during biblical times, young men were considered ready to learn the Law, looking to marry, and able to understand abstract concepts.  This makes sense as reknown psychologist Jean Piaget recognized that people 12 and up were in the Formal Operational stage of cognitive development.  Young children cannot think abstractly.  That is why a young child will run to the window if you say it’s raining cats and dogs.  The young child truly expects to see cats and dogs falling from the sky.  The young takes everything at its literal meaning.  [Read more…]

Spanking is NOT God’s Will Part 1

I am reading a wonderful book by theologian, Samuel Martin, Thy Rod and Thy Staff They Comfort Me. It’s clear from historic, contextual, Hebrew info on the book of Proverbs that we are NOT to spank (hit) children. The book of Proverbs was not meant for verses to be taken out of context. Even Jewish scholars believe that spankings are for boys 12 years & up and only as an absolute LAST resort. Proverbs was written under the Law of Moses. Christians are under the Law of Christ.  What is the Law of Christ?  Grace, peace, mercy and love.  ” But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law”  Galatians 5:22-23.

Jesus freed us from the Law.  “But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law”  Galatians 5:18. When we spank, we are parenting under the Law.   We are not accepting the grace, mercy and forgiveness of Jesus.  Jesus died for us.  He was beaten to a bloody pulp for us.  Why do we feel we must beat, spank, and hit our young children who do not understand sin nor physical punishment.  “In regard to evil be infants” 1 Corinthians 14:20b.

Even Jewish scholars forbid the use of physical punishment for children under 6.  The very age Christian advocates of spanking say it’s best for.  Every time you hit a child, even “lovingly,” you create confusion, anger, fear, and resentment which breed sin later on. [Read more…]

Review of Good and Evil by Michael Pearl

Glenn E. Chatfield from Watchman’s Bagpipes reviews Michael Pearl’s Comic Book Version of the Bible (illustrated by a former Marvel cartoonist), Good and Evil.  He lists everything he considers to be unscriptural and/or extra-biblical.  His main concern is the inclusion of the “Gap Theory.”

What Does Mr. Pearl Really Believe?

Michael Pearl has a very interesting article on his website where he responds to Pastor Raley‘s warning against his teachings in his church bulletin.  Now, in this article, Mr. Pearl says that he did not say what Pastor Raley says that he said.  I found that very interesting and so I decided to go through the articles and get to the bottom of this.

I clicked on the links where Pastor Raley cites his quotes and used CTRL F to search for them.  Here are the quotes Mr. Pearl claims that he did not write and my findings.

When a descendant of Adam reaches a level of moral understanding (sometime in his youth) he becomes fully, personally accountable to God and has sin imputed to him, resulting in the peril of eternal damnation.

When man reaches his state of moral accountability, and, by virtue of his personal transgression, becomes blameworthy, his only hope is a work of grace by God alone.”

These quotes are found in Mr. Pearl’s article, What We Believe.

If you put yourselves under my authority, you can learn the secret to getting rid of your sins.”

This was a generalization which I don’t believe that Pastor Raley meant to attribute to Mr. Pearl.

…age of accountability.”

I do not believe that this was meant to be a quote from Mr. Pearl either.  I think Pastor Raley meant these as “scare quotes.”

…a work of grace by God alone

This was found in Mr. Pearl’s article, What We Believe.

In the next 4 paragraphs are quibbling about whether or not he used certain words which he certainly did use in the article, In Defense of Biblical Chastisement.   Michael Pearl says,

The next paragraph attributed to me contains 118 words. The first 50 words are entirely false and certainly do not represent anything I have ever written or said. It contains words I have never employed and concepts I have never endorsed, like “To the child, a righteous parent is a surrogate god.”

It is especially interesting to me how he protests that he never used the words, “Eternal God,” when he certainly did. He says in the article,

I wrote “the higher powers” with “powers” in plural and in all lower case letters. If I had wanted to say “The Eternal God” I would have done so. I ask, why does my critic want me to say something different from what I said? Why did he find it necessary to change my words in order to find fault? His quote is a lie, his criticism slander. Why? To what end?

The quotes are there, exactly as Pastor Raley quoted them, in In Defense of Biblical Chastisement.  I think that Mr. Pearl owes Pastor Raley an apology for accusing him of lying and slander.

He also claims to have not used the word, “give,”  although he uses it 8 times in that same article.

Apparently there was some confusion as Mr. Pearl thought that his book were being referenced and in actually it was his website. It seems a bit odd to me that he forgot to check the website, especially as it will pop up in a Google search of the first quote, but maybe I’m missing something.

In the rest of the article, Pearl argues that what he said is not really what he meant and that he fails to see how anyone could possibly think that he could have meant what we accuse him of meaning.  He further insists that to even suggest that he means such things makes it obvious that we have evil intent.  Ok, he did not actually say those words, I am paraphrasing. Of course, I’m probably misunderstanding him, so I’d better stop putting words in his mouth and quit while I’m ahead. I have proven that did write the quotes which he claims to have not written. I’ll leave the rest of the article for someone else to answer.


Update:  On Dec 10, 2010 Michael added a retraction to the bottom of this article to explain that he did, indeed, write one of those quotes.  He still maintains that he did not write the rest, especially the one which was meant to be a paraphrase.

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.

Unstringing the Pearls: A Critical Pastoral Assessment

Unstringing the Pearls: A Critical Pastoral Assessment is a warning from a pastor to his church, updated from a 2006 email. Since this pastor recommends Tripp, this is obviously another argument from someone who promotes spanking and will be tagged appropriately.

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.

Addressing Parenting Techniques

Scita Scienda has a new post Addressing Parenting Techniques.  It looks like it could become part of the introduction to their Parenting in the Name of God series.

total depravity theology

Elizabeth Esther looks at How the “I am a worm”/total depravity theology hurts children. She links this belief with abuse and makes some good points.

Parenting In The Name of God part 9

Parenting in the Name of God, Part 9 is up. To pique your interest, here is an excerpt:

At this time, we want to review the anecdotes offered by No Greater Joy’s articles and books of newsletter reprints. If anything, the theology of conditioned morality and holiness is fully connected in the object lessons and examples offered by the Pearls. We’ll see if we can trace the doctrinal threads of:

–revision of the moral nature of man
–revamping the nature of God
–restructuring the work of the Cross
–redefining human holiness

Rebellion

Matthew Raley’s series about rebellion and the Christian continues. In this entry, he mentions how Michael Pearl’s teachings are designed to break, not soften, a child’s will and why we don’t want that.

Rebellion and Stubbornness

Parenting in The Name of God Series

If you haven’t read the Parenting in The Name of God series lately, you are totally missing out.  Do not miss part 7 and part 8.

Update:  June 25, 2011:  The ebook, “Parenting In The Name of God” has been released.

Parenting In The Name of God Part 4

Parenting In The Name of God Part 4 is up at Scita Scienda. If you have missed any part of this series, there is a link to it in my sidebar under Anti Pearl Resources.