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****

 

Debate with Pearl in The Christian Post

Back in March of 2012, Jan Heimlich debated Michael Pearl in a video which was featured in The Christian Post.  Although, I did mention the debate at the time as well as Samuel Martin’s Rebuttal to one of his statements, I never gave my own rebuttal.

I would like to respond to some of Mr. Pearl’s statements.  Rather than transcribe his comments myself, I will use the quotes given in the Christian Post article.

… In our book, To Train up a Child, we clearly point out that parents should not spank when it doesn’t work; they should not spank when they’re angry. We point out that they should spank five or ten licks, no more. And we point out that the spanking should be in accordance to the size of the child. We point out they should never leave marks.

I really don’t know where he says not to spank when it doesn’t work. I would appreciate some help with that.  All I can find is him saying that if you are consistent, it will work.  Here is an example from To Train Up A Child (TTUAC)

 Those who are MOSTLY consistent must use the switch too often. Those who are ALWAYS consistent come to almost never need the switch.

[Read more…]

Williams Trial – Day 29: The Verdict

Monday, September 9, 2013 the jury returned the verdict. Carri Williams was found guilty of homicide by abuse and
first-degree assault of a child. Larry Williams was found guilty of first-degree manslaughter and first-degree assault of a child. There was no verdict on homicide by abuse charge for Larry.  The jury was unable to agree and/or the judge declared a mistrial on that charge.  Sentencing  is up to the judge and I heard that it would be in mid-October.

Here is the story in the Seattle Times.

Certainly, there will be many articles written on this story. In an effort to get this breaking news to you right away, I will post this now and add in a few links to the best articles as I find them.

Here is Maureen’s report.

Here is the story on KiroTV.

Here is the preliminary story in the Skagit Valley Herald, and here is the complete story.

Here is the story on Komo News.  In this story I found out that Larry’s Defense plans to file an appeal.

Here is the story in the US edition of The Guardian which appears to be an overseas paper.

Here is Janet Heimlich’s report of the story on her blog, Religious Child Maltreatment.

Rebuttal to Pearl’s Statement About “Traditional Child Training.”

Samuel Martin has posted a rebuttal to a quote Pearl made during his debate with Janet Heimlich in The Christian Post.

Pearl Debates Heimlich in The Christian Post

The Christian Post reports on and shows the video of the debate about Biblical Chastisement between Michael Pearl and Janet Heimlich.  Be sure to read Teri’s rebuttal to Pearl in the comments below.

Speaking of debates, when Christian Today took their stand against spanking, they were criticized by Author and theologian Denny Burk.

More from Under Much Grace

I would like to draw your attention to some more interesting posts from Under Much Grace.

What It’s Like to Experience Only the Right Side of the Brain in the Way that Children Do (A Neuroscientist Experiences a Stroke on the Left, Analytical Side of the Brain) which debunks the Pearls’ claim that very young children exercise their diabolical wills to dominate their parents.

More from Janet Heimlich on Problematic and Abusive Corporal Punishment within Evangelical Christianity which debunks the common belief that spanking is non-optional for Christians.

And speaking of the science of children’s brains, you might be interested in How Stress Affects Your Child’s Brain.

Remnant Fellowship’s Abusive Teachings Exposed

Under Much Grace exposes the history of child abuse of Remnant Fellowship.

Religious Child Maltreatment

Janet Heimlich has written a book,  Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light On Religious Child Maltreatment (Prometheus Books, 2011), which is due out June 1.   More information on her website.  If anyone reads this book and sends me a review of it, I will be glad to post it here.