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.

Living Creatively’s book review of TTUAC

Living Creatively has posted a book review of To Train Up a Child called, To Train Up a Child OR you could call it How to Abuse a Child.

She started her research when a friend asked her about the book and was properly shocked. She gives her own thoughts and then shares another review and some good links.

This blog writer is not against spanking, she says so in the comment section of her post, so I am tagging it appropriately.

Homemaker’s Corner Examines the Pearls

At first glance, Mary Stephens of the Homemaker’s Corner looks like a typical Pearl follower.  She is strictly King James Only and believes strongly in submissive wives who are keepers at home.  However, she uses God’s Word as her light and the Pearls’ persuasive prattle did not fare well under the searching light of Scripture. She has written an in depth examination of the Pearls. This is not limited to Michael and Debi, but also includes Rebekah and her husband as part of the Pearl Family.

This is quite an undertaking she has started.  She apparently has not had time to finish her study, having only answered 3 out of the 8 questions she presents.  However, she already has quite a lot up there and I find it quite interesting on a few levels.

For one thing, this is the first time that I have noticed someone who feels strongly that the King James Bible is the only real Bible speaking out against the Pearls. While Michael Pearl does, indeed, use KJV only; she determines that he does not always use it correctly.  She also brings up the very valid concern that Pearl appears to believe that the KJV more than the original Greek. (!)

She exposes the fact that the Pearls use very little scripture to back up their conclusions.  She actually counts the scriptures they use.  The has done a very thorough investigation here. Her conclusion is:

From reading their material it appears that the Pearls are basically offering their own homebrewed child psychology. A little psychology, a little Bible and a lot of the Pearls’ philosophy and ideas go into the mix.

Another good  observation is how Pearl seems to have undue influence over his followers and how dangerous that is.  Here is another quote from the link in the above paragraph:

Please notice how the Pearls’ speaking, leadership and words have become so important in these people’s home. This is pathetic. Where is God’s word? Why is it that she feels they would benefit so much more from having the Pearls right there to help them? They have the God of the universe, the Almighty, the Great I AM, the Creator of the human race and the Institutor of the family indwelling them if they are saved! And, if they possess the King James Bible, they have His very words and instructions for mankind in their own hands and language. Isn’t that enough?! Apparently the Pearls’ teachings have conveyed to them that God and His word are not enough! This is horrifying.

She also has posted a critique on Debi Pearl’s study of the book of Esther.

I have not found her saying anything anti-spanking so I’m going to assume that I have found another pro-spanker speaking out against the Pearls teachings and tag it according.  I also base this assumption on what she said about discipline in her ABC’s of Raising Children (under D for Discipline).

Edited to add: Mary has clarified her position on spanking in a comment to this post.

Another pro-spanker speaks up

Another negative book review of TTUAC by a pro-spanker. I’m praising God that more people are taking a stand against this book. Jenni Lenc has good insight as to some of the major problems with these teachings, although she is careful not to be too harsh in her condemnation of them. A very good piece to share with Pearl followers who are asking you to explain your concerns.

To Train Up a Child by Michael and Debi Pearl from His Story In Lenc

Quotes from NJG website

This Review of the Pearls is from someone who agrees with many of the Pearls’ teachings (including the concept of training) but cannot get past some of the more outrageous quotes on their website.

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.

Sermon – Beating a Child to Death

Ellen from GCM shared this link to a podcast by Kevin Swanson (who advocates spanking,) called, Beating a Child to Death
She says,

this critique of the Pearls is a great message for a conservative homeschooling advocate to be putting out there. He does not explicitly name the Pearls or NGJ, but he explains the Schatz case and gives a clear denunciation of the Pearls’ teachings and methods.

Pro-Spankers’ arguments

Michael Pearl alleges that only those who are anti-spanking oppose his teachings. He has no idea how wrong he is. For your convenience, here is a compilation of arguments and concerns from Christians who approve of spanking:

To Train Up A Child (Book Review) by Tina Jobe

To Train Up A Child: An Examination of the Pearl Method by Rey Reynoso who had done a great job of digging deep and analyzing the Pearls’ teachings using the Bible to refute them.

Is Michael Pearl Responsible For a Girl’s Death?
Pearl Of Too Great a Price and
The Behavior Modification Gospel by Matthew Raley, a pastor who uses Tedd Tripp’s teachings in his church.

Fundamental Baptists warning about No Greater Joy Ministries

Michael Pearl’s Duplicity is the answer to Pearl’s response to his critics in Oct 2007

The Pearls and Your Child’s Heart from Raising Olives.  In case you need proof, she mentions her belief in spanking in the comments of this post.

To Train Up A Child? book review from The Watchman’s Bagpipes.

Michael and Debi Pearl – sample wisdom by Barbara Curtis from Mommy Life

Reflections on TTUAC by Jen at His Grace His Glory who has found much good in the Pearls’ teachings but has some concerns to share.

Michael & Debi Pearl, & Questions of Ministry Credentialing by Pastor Jack from New Covenant Living

Chucklestravels has a few posts about Michael Pearl as well as Debi Pearl.

Child Discipline or Child Abuse? by Virginia Knowles

The Parenting In The Name of God series from Scitia Scienda who tells me that when he “corrects NGJ’s theology and parenting advice, he does so from a very solid positive experience of being “traditionally” parented by Christian conservatives who did believe in spanking, who have attended KJV-only and other fundamentalist/independent churches, who homeschooled their kids.”

For more, please check out my tag.

Christy’s Testimony

We know the Pearls very well as we have followed their ministry since almost its inception. We have read nearly every article and book, listened to every CD and watched nearly every DVD. We would have come to their defense in a heart beat before we adopted our son but two years ago the Lord showed us clearly that the one size fits all method of parenting that they espouse was not going to work with our son with attachment disorder. We are so thankful for our son now and what God began to teach us about his love and that he began to show us a “more excellent way” (I Corinthians 12:31) and that was love.

We could see very quickly that this child would die before he would give in or allow his will to be broken. The Pearls would never say that they condone beatings or murder but the problem is that they say [Read more…]