Pearl’s reaction to the problems the Duggars have faced fits his M.O. perfectly. He continues to give the same advice that the Duggars were already following and insists that it works, in spite of it not working for them. I don’t doubt that in his mind, the fact that it didn’t work is proof that they did not follow it correctly. It appears that he cannot or will not consider the possibility that his methods don’t work.
Do you have any parenting tips?
Who doesn’t? We all learn things along the way, that we end up sharing with people whether they like it or not. 😉 There are 3 books I consult along with long conversations with my sister-in-law, mom and few good friends. The books that guideline raising our children are the Bible, Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp and To Train Up a Child by Michael & Debi Pearl. My parenting tip of the day is … consistency; it’s key.
This article also discusses the Duggars and possible endorsement of the Pearls, which we have already discussed here.
Tulipgirl reminds us that it has been ten years since we lost Sean.
Lisa has said very well what I have had neither the time nor energy to write so I am going to give her comments the exposure they deserve.
I read the article, also, and I was appalled. A prayer should not ever need excuses for why it sounds like a prayer for another human being’s death.
What if they had asked God to open their eyes and hearts and show them ‘if there is any hurtful way in them, and lead them in the everlasting way’? What if they had asked God if they had a log in their eyes that they needed to remove in order to see more clearly? What if they had asked God to bless these people?
When Jesus said to pray for our enemies, I think he meant to pray for their good and their welfare. I think that if someone attacks you, the very first thing you should do is examine whether there is any merit to their complaint. After that, humble oneself and depend on God.
I think that to compare any human beings to attacking dogs is a mistake. The Psalms may contain references like this but these are preshadowings of Christ’s affliction. We are not Christ, and we are now in the New Testament and Christ has taught us to love our enemies and do good to those who would despitefully use us. None of the apostles, nor Steven, prayed for the death of their enemies.
Finally, if I had ever written a book that led 1 other person (much less 3) to abuse their child to the point of killing them, I would be devastated beyond description. I would take that book off the market and burn every copy and repent on my face before God. Wouldn’t you?
It would appear that the Pearls are facing legal problems over the damages their teachings have caused. Vyckie Garrison reports on this in an article entitled, “Evangelical couple begs God to strike critics dead over child abuse claims.”
When I saw this article, was surprised. I feel that I know quite a bit about the Pearls and I know that they strive to be good Christians. I disagree with fundamental aspects of their teachings on child rearing to the point that I consider much of it dangerous. However, I do believe that they are sincerely trying to serve the Lord. So, I read the article right away, looking for what Debi Pearl really said.
She starts out describing a time when Mr. Pearl was brutally attacked by dogs while serving the Lord. She explains how this was really a satanic attack. She then likens it to this new legal attack. She decries her attackers which she explains are also led by the forces of darkness. She then tells of a time when the Lord delivered them by destroying their attacker. She did not say that someone died, but it is easy to come to that conclusion. She exhorts her followers and ends by asking for prayer, giving her followers a sample prayer. Here the excerpt in question:
…we ask that you step in and bring down the evil that is set against Michael Pearl’s family. Bring to an end all those that testify in lies and deceit.
Now, I can totally see where people would interpret that to mean that they are asking for people’s death, but I also suspect that they would be shocked and offended at that interpretation. I suspect that are asking for an end to the evil and that a change of heart would cause there to be no more people testifying against them. Of course, I can’t speak for them, but that is how I read their words.
Either way, the prayer is appalling. One of my commenters expressed why very well here.
In a recent post, I shared discussion of an addition to To Train Up A Child by Michael Pearl. There is an exerpt from the chapter on the No Greater Joy website. In this article, Michael Pearl refutes studies which have shown spanking children to be harmful and shares the results of some other studies which he claims show the opposite. Of course, there are flaws in his logic. Here is an example. He states:
Child psychologist Elizabeth Owens, scientist at the Institute of Human Development at the University of California, Berkeley, conducted a study. She concluded, “If you look at the causally relevant evidence, it’s not scientifically defensible to say that spanking is always a horrible thing. I don’t think mild, occasional spankings in an otherwise supportive, loving family will do any long-term harm.”
I have warned people about the Old Schoolhouse before, telling them that its founders, Paul and Gena Suarez, promoted the Pearls’ teachings and defended them. When I visit their Facebook page, I am always surprised to see that some of my friends like that page. Maybe the fact that they support and defend the Pearls (while old news) is not well known.
I have discovered that not only do they promote the Pearls, but they are now being accused of horrible abuse. A family member had written about that, but has since removed the posts.
Update: Homeschoolers Anonymous has an investigative report on this story here.
Calulu has a book review of M. Dolon Hickmon’s book 13:24. ****Triggering book**** She gives the book high marks for being a very enjoyable and gripping mystery story. Although The Pearls and their book are not mentioned by name in this book, Calulu finds it clear that the story directly relates to his teachings. She also shares a little about her own encounter with followers of Pearls’ teachings:
I’ve written many a time about my first encounter with Michael Pearl’s ‘To Train Up A Child’ upon joining my old church. My youngest was 4 years old and had been in and out of the hospital with spinal meningitis and idiopathic thrombotic purpura (a bleeding disorder) and she tended to cling to me all the time. People at the new church gave me Pearl’s book and I was told I must physically discipline Laura to make her stop clinging to me. Yes, I was told to beat a child with a rare bleeding disorder to stop her from what I knew was natural behavior in a child that had been in and out of the hospital. That type of cruelty is at the heart of ’13:24′.
Also, don’t miss this book review from WND.
*****Warning! Book very triggering for survivors of abuse *****
Kiley Crossland of World Magazine takes a look at the Pearl’s teachings in To Train Up A Pharisee.
A writer from The Verge is working on a story about the Pearls for publication on The Verge website. He would like to talk with anyone who has experience with the book or the Pearls firsthand. If you are interested in taking part in this, please send me (firstname.lastname@example.org) your contact info and I’ll pass it on to him.
A reporter from the BBC is working on a story about the Pearls for publication on the BBC website. He is doing a lot of research and would like to talk with someone who was raised by the Pearls’ methods. If you are interested in taking part in this, please send me (email@example.com) your contact info and I’ll pass it on to him.
Thank you for your help, everyone. The interview is over. If I hear of another opportunity, I will be sure to post. 🙂
So, I guess many of you noticed that this blog was down from Tuesday, November 19 at 1:00 PM PST until today. I’m sorry to disappear without warning, but the truth is that I did not even know about it until 2 hours after it happened.
I did notice on Monday the 18th that my traffic had gone up ten-fold, but I did not know that my host would pull the plug over that. They put up with it for what I assume was 24 hours and then advised us that they had placed a temporary block on the account because “This account was found to be consuming an inordinate amount of processor time, to the point of degrading overall system performance. While we do limit each account to no more than 25% of a system’s CPU in our terms of service, we do not actively disable accounts until they greatly exceed that number, which is what happened in this case.” Wow. [Read more…]
Sarah at Field of Vision has started a small series of posts looking at the Pearl’s teachings and specifically their attitude towards children. This series focuses on one particular article by Michael Pearl called, Emotional Manipulators.
Part 1: Parenting and the Power of Perspective in which she discusses how Michael Pearl assigns negative intent to a 4 year old child and her mother.
Part 2: Michael Pearl and Responding to Attention Seekers in which she discusses Michael Pearl’s diagnosis of the child and his very harsh proposed remedy.
She may post more of this series in the future, in which case I will add them to this post.
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****