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Unprepared for Parenting (Ezzos, Pearls, Etc.) *Public* Support and information for those affected by the Ezzos, the Pearls, and other punitive and adversarial methods of child-rearing.
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Old 02-25-2010, 08:42 PM   #1
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Default A GCM Statement: It's Time to Speak Out Against the Teachings of Michael & Debi Pearl

A GCM Statement: It is Time to Speak Out Against the Teachings of Michael and Debi Pearl

This statement may be re-posted in its entirety.

The admins of Gentle Christian Mothers (GCM) have felt led at this time, as we mourn the loss of seven year old Lydia Shatz[1], to issue a statement of disagreement with Michael and Debi Pearl and their child rearing methods. Not only are their methods extreme and outside the realm of normal and healthy child rearing practices, but the doctrinal foundation for these methods contain a level of heresy, including denial of the Christian doctrine of original sin[2][3], which leave them without biblical basis and at odds with the truth that all are in need of salvation which has been provided through Jesus alone[4].

Though the Pearls affirm the value of relationships in parenting in their attractive "tying heartstrings" message, their harsh teachings are in diametric contrast to building healthy relationships. They advocate "training" and "chastisement" of children, starting in infancy[5][6], using methods and means not described in Scripture -- including using ¼ inch plumber’s supply line as a spanking instrument[7] and claiming that a "proper spanking leaves children without breath to complain"[8] -- for stated purposes of absolving guilt and cleansing the child's soul[9].

The combination of an adversarial us vs. them mindset where the parents must "win," physically "disciplining" children until they surrender their will and show total submission, and false doctrine makes the Pearls' methods dangerous. They present a very distorted picture to the world of what it means to be a follower of Jesus and a Christian parent in the world today. It is time for Michael and Debi Pearl to be held accountable for their teachings. We urge other Christians to join us in speaking out against what Michael and Debi Pearl have been teaching for far too long.

References

1. Godly discipline turned deadly: A controversial child "training" practice comes under fire -- this time from Christians themselves, Lynn Harris, Feb. 22, 2010
2. Second Council of Orange (529)
3. Teaching tape on Romans 5:12-21 by M. Pearl
4. "Michael Pearl on Original Sin: An Analysis," Catez Stevens, October 11, 2005
5. To Train Up a Child, M. Pearl, D. Pearl, chapter 1
6. "In Defense of Biblical Chastisement Part 2," M. Pearl, October 2001
7. Ibid.
8. "Angry Child," M. Pearl, August 1998
9. "In Defense of Biblical Chastisement Part 1," M. Pearl, May 2001
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Old 03-31-2010, 09:07 PM   #2
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Default Re: A GCM Statement: It's Time to Speak Out Against the Teachings of Michael & Debi P

I reposted it in its entirety as a facebook note and tagged a bunch of people.
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Old 04-26-2010, 10:07 PM   #3
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Default Re: A GCM Statement: It's Time to Speak Out Against the Teachings of Michael & Debi P

Just wanted to say "thank you" for this! It seems that the "To Train Up a Child" is the number one book people contact me about. I love having this statement to return to as I advocate for gentle discipline. Even as I'm just meeting all of you here, I'm so thankful for you! Blessings on you and your work, ladies. I'm honoured to be here and learn from you.
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Old 07-13-2010, 08:28 PM   #4
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Default Re: A GCM Statement: It's Time to Speak Out Against the Teachings of Michael & Debi P

Thank you for standing for the Love that exists in the Life of Jesus. I appreciate this heartfelt response after reading some of 'To Train Up a Child' and feeling a bit confused at whether such tactics are really necessary for parenting children responsibly.

When I spanked my children it felt wrong and I asked the Creator for alternatives. In that my heart has awakened...

I realize we each have our own journey and I hope each parent looks inside their heart to find the answers. Books and experts have their place, but the heart is pure.

Love,
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Old 10-18-2010, 03:51 PM   #5
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Default Re: A GCM Statement: It's Time to Speak Out Against the Teachings of Michael & Debi P

http://responsivereiding.com/2008/03...eview-sort-of/

A very good review recommended in a previous thread by Wonder Woman.
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Old 02-01-2011, 09:13 PM   #6
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Default Re: A GCM Statement: It's Time to Speak Out Against the Teachings of Michael & Debi P

Feb. 6, 2011 marks one year since the death of Lydia Schatz.
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Old 01-12-2012, 11:40 PM   #7
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Default Re: A GCM Statement: It's Time to Speak Out Against the Teachings of Michael & Debi P

It's so sad when people assume that all Christians agree with the pearls teachings. That breaks my heart. The Pearls really are misquoting scripture
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Old 02-04-2012, 01:51 PM   #8
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Default Re: A GCM Statement: It's Time to Speak Out Against the Teachings of Michael & Debi P

I'm saddened that people follow teachings like this and don't even questions the questionable!
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Old 02-07-2012, 07:29 AM   #9
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Default Re: A GCM Statement: It's Time to Speak Out Against the Teachings of Michael & Debi P

We had to l,earn the hard way. We were in a church that said that we HAVE to discipline by "spanking in love". Can there really be any love in that????
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Old 05-30-2012, 03:24 PM   #10
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Default Re: A GCM Statement: It's Time to Speak Out Against the Teachings of Michael & Debi P

Thank you!
I've been thinking a lot about Grace based parenting lately. Thinking about how God deals with us when we sin.
Your post lines up with a lot of what I've come to think about the Pearls.
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Old 09-13-2012, 05:57 AM   #11
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Default Re: A GCM Statement: It's Time to Speak Out Against the Teachings of Michael & Debi P

Thank you so much for sharing this! Until now, I had no idea what the Pearls' teachings were about, although I am familiar with their names. I am definitely going to do more research and speak out against these teachings.
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Old 12-31-2013, 10:16 PM   #12
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I'm happy to see people openly calling these methods abusive and dangerous. Too many children have been harmed or killed because of them.

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Old 01-08-2014, 02:23 PM   #13
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Default Re: A GCM Statement: It's Time to Speak Out Against the Teachings of Michael & Debi P

I still remember when my mom first read To Train Up A Child. I was in my mid-teens at the time. It was awful. She felt like she needed to do things just to irritate us (me and my siblings) so that we could "learn" to be better people and practice submission. It was bizarre and totally alienating.

When I had my son in my mid-20's, she gave me a copy of that book and one that I found to be even worse titled My First Thousand Babies (or something very similar to that - this was about 7 years ago and I haven't kept the book). The second book was all about how babies are manipulative and must be put in their place from birth, immediately put on very strict schedules, never allowed to cry... it broke my heart just reading it. Nothing ever felt so wrong as envisioning implementing the systems in these two books. It felt so incredibly foreign and a strange way to treat a little baby. But, I had no friends who were moms at the time and little support. So, I had no one to talk with about these things. That was the worst part. Fortunately, I'm independent enough to have decided that I didn't want to follow those systems, but settled for a modification of the Ezzo program. My mother approved. I wish I had never read any of those books - including Ezzo's. I'm so thankful that God kept working on my heart to pull me away from those principles. These programs caused a great division between me and my son his first six months of life, and we didn't really fully bond until around 12 months. It was horrible and my heart aches just remembering that time... I actually no longer even let my children stay the night with my mom because she still adheres to the Pearl's principles. She has done some misguided things with my son (now 6.5) that have really hurt him emotionally, hopefully temporarily.

So, thanks for posting your objections to the Pearl's books! I wholeheartedly agree with you.
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Old 10-18-2014, 04:06 AM   #14
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Default Re: A GCM Statement: It's Time to Speak Out Against the Teachings of Michael & Debi P

Thank you for speaking out against this. I finally tried to read a copy of this book to educate myself further and I have not even made it beyond the first chapter or two. This is abuse in every way.
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Old 10-18-2014, 11:38 AM   #15
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Default Re: A GCM Statement: It's Time to Speak Out Against the Teachings of Michael & Debi P

My stepmother is very pro Pearl and Ezzo. She subscribes to No Greater Joy magazine. She and I are polar opposites when it comes to parenting. It is no wonder why my brother has the issues he has. He has never had "normal" rebellion in his teen years, but when he did, he was severely punished. I, on the other hand, was told I was a HORRIBLE teen for true, normal rebellion. It's a part of growing up.

On a side note within the same vein of this topic. . .I absolutely adore my mother-in-law. We attended her Sunday School class two weeks ago when we were in Austin, and she is teaching "Boundaries with Teens" by Cloud and Townsend. Such good nuggets of wisdom.
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