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?

Debra’s Random Thoughts

Deb at Debra’s Random Thoughts is no longer updating her blog.  Her blog is still worth visiting, as she has written some very interesting posts about the Pearls’ teachings.

Check out, for instance, her critique of the story in To Train Up A Child where Debi trades blows with 2 yr old in order to teach him not to hit.  Her link  to the book is no longer there so  here is another link so that you can check out her quotes: http://www.quicksilverqueen.com/ttuacbook.html.

This is the post she wrote when she found out about the death of Lydia Schatz.  In this post she explains how dangerous the Pearls’ teachings really are.

She explains why she doesn’t believe in First Time, Cheerful Obedience.

She also has the series about the life of the Pearls’ eldest daughter Rebekah Pearl Anast

 

 

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.

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.

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.

Secular Homeschooling Magazine

The homeschooling movement is taking notice of the Pearls. Secular Homeschooling is a rather large magazine and they have written an exposé of the Pearls and their teachings. She looks at all aspects of the Pearls and gives some advice on how to respond when offered the book at a homeschool gathering.

To Train Up a Child: The Greater Problem by Deborah Markus

Debra’s analysis of Rebekah Pearl Anast

Debra of Debra’s Random Musings has started a  series on The Pearls Adult Children.  She starts with Rekekah, the eldest.

Debra of decided to write about Rebekah after someone posted Rebekah’s Form Letter to her site.

Her response to that letter is here: I Got Rebekah’s Form Letter.

Part 1 is here: Rebekah Pearl Part One–Her Childhood

Part 2 is here: Rebekah Pearl’s Young Adult Years

Part 3 is here: Rebekah Pearl Anast Part Three-Life After Marriage