Michael & Debi Pearl

Michael and Debi Pearl are the creative force behind No Greater Joy ministries, a source for all the resources discerning fundamentalists needs to end up in jail for beating their children.

Who knew that a book called Smack That Child Until She Stops Whimpering could end up having such terrible consequences? Ah, well. those kids probably deserved it.

Ah, but the insanity doesn’t just stop with with their child rearing advice. Here are a few video jewels from Michael’s video series where he answers Bible questions…

I don’t drink but after watching that mess, I’m thinking that it’s never too late to start. And yet many, many fundamentalists will quote these folks as the final authority on child rearing. It boggles the imagination.

157 thoughts on “Michael & Debi Pearl”

    1. What do you brew? I have a friend who brews ginger beer … it’s amazing stuff. But I stick to baking; brewing is a little ambitious for my apartment.

      1. I don’t have a large place either. If you stick to small batches and LME you shouldn’t have to worry about space so much. I’ve done Oktoberfests, I’ve done weizens. Pretty much any type of Ale I’ve done. Currently I have an Arrogant Bastard clone sitting in my fridge. If you stick to a ready made recipe it is pretty easy I do a lot here http://www.austinhomebrew.com/

      2. I’ve done some great home-made fruit wine and mead in a tiny apartment. You do need to have a safe, clean little nook with consistent temperature and out of direct sunlight to store the fermentation vessels and later, the bottles. Having a bathtub is a great help for sterilizing equipment and racking (transferring from one vessel to another to remove sediment).

  1. The second clip is awful. First, I don’t really care to see him clean that fish.

    Secondly, what in the world is he talking about with the tithes thing? I am aware of the Scripture in Hebrews but he has got it so twisted and convoluted that it is impossible to decipher any meaning out of what he is saying.

      1. Yeah, that makes sense! That’s why they have to gird their loins with sackcloth, so they can have somewhere to carry their tithes. Elijah went one better and had a leather girdle for his loins–but he was a preacher so he probably had to have leather to carry all of the members’ tithes.

  2. I didn’t make it more than 90 seconds into either clip. Who would listen to this person? Seriously, who would listen to anything this person says regarding God, the Bible or child-rearing? ❓

    1. Who? F-U-N-D-I-E-S do… that’s who. 😈
      Now if you would have asked “Who in their right mind…” the answer would be easy: No one.

  3. Haven’t watched the second clip yet. The first is breath taking in the confidence he exudes in teaching nonsense.

    And yet many, many fundamentalists will quote these folks as the final authority on child rearing.

    Oh, many regard him as the final authority on scripture as well as child rearing, I guess despite teachings like these. I have honestly puzzled over the appeal and can not figure it out. Maybe a desire to reject elevating credentialed seminary-educated folks, by following the teachings of a “regular guy” country preacher? I’m still puzzled…

    1. Remember, in the fundy Dimension (at the sign post up ahead)
      the self-anointed call to ministry trumps all other qualifications.

    1. “They laugh when Daddy is coming home. The laugh when it is time to do more homeschooling. They laugh when it is time to practice the violin and piano. They laugh when they see their Big Papa coming (that’s me) because Big Papa is laughing and they don’t care why just as long as he laughs with them.”

      This guy’s got a Mexican jumping bean for a brain.

      1. And don’t miss this gem…

        “Even my chickens are laughing . . . well, actually it more like cackling, because they just laid another organic egg for my breakfast and they know that it was that same piece of ¼ inch plastic supply line that trained the dogs not to eat chicken….” 😯

        1. Not only would I not want to be this lunatic’s child, I wouldn’t want to be his dog or his chicken, either.

      2. {sigh} mostly because if they don’t laugh, they will get it for having a disobediant attitude. Disciplining behavior is one thing but forcing kids to deny their thoughts and feeling can lead to real issues down the line. One of (many) reasons I dislike the Pearls.

    2. so…. according to him….. Every single successful person was spanked as a child? And only Christians have “cutting edge innovation”?


      how arrogent. Not even remorse over the poor dead child.

      Sick, sick people.

  4. Somehow crackpot ramblings and absurd heresies are more interesting when they’re delivered by somebody who is simultaneously gutting a huge fish. 😕

  5. I know I’m hopelessly naive, but can anybody tell me if there’s really a book called “Smack That Child Until She Stops Whimpering”?
    I couldn’t find it on the No Greater Joy web site.

    1. No, I made that up.

      If there was any truth in advertising, though, they would definitely have that in stock.

      1. Darrell, I don’t know if this is a compliment to your writing skills or an indictment of how crazy fundies can be, but I didn’t think twice about the title of the book.

      2. Or try, “Created to be his Enabler” by Debi Pearl. A practical guide on how to support your husband as he abuses your children.

      3. Isn’t it poor journalism and bad advertising, Darrell, to insinuate No Greater Joy is partly responsible for the murder of a child when the abusive parents may not have been using NGJ material? From the link to the article you posted:

        “He [the District Attorney] said it’s not clear at this point whether the Schatzes [the abusive parents] ever visited the Web site in question, which Ramsey stressed ‘does not endorse hurting or beating a child.'”

        I agree, this guy is a cultural and theological nutcase. But blaming him for a child’s death, when the DA on the case doesn’t see a connection…?

        1. To start with, I’m not a journalist; I’m a satirist. My job is not to observe and report, it’s to observe and write commentary.

          This is what I observed:

          This couple used the Pearl’s weapon of choice and punished their kids “for hours” in the manner that the Pearls prescribe for “breaking a child’s will”

          Of course the Pearls pay lip service to “not abusing” your kids. They just say to keep hitting them until they stop crying about it. What’s abusive about that?

          If you look at the facts of what this abusive couple did, you see a modus operendi that is very, very familiar. There’s not a doubt in my mind that the Pearls’ philosophy of discipline inspired this crime.

          I’ve given my opinion. You are entitled to your own.

        2. Thanks for the resource, Don. The video did a better job linking the Pearls to the case than the article linked on the post did.

          Darrell, I was looking at the facts; that is, of the sources you posted. Based on the NGJ website and article, there was thin ground (from what I saw) to get the Pearls involved. Obviously, the video(s) Don posted make it more explicit.

          If I ever heard someone misquoting you or SFL, I’d question them just the same. The Golden Rule applies to Fundies and ex-Fundies alike…

        3. Quoting lowercase dave: “Thanks for the resource, Don. The video did a better job linking the Pearls to the case than the article linked on the post did.”

          If you are interested. . .

          This is about the autopsy of Lydia Schatz.

          Quote from http://www.knvn.com/content/localnews/story/New-information-on-alleged-beating-death-of/jbF3C2lmaUimUdY16v5x6A.cspx

          “On Tuesday (3/16/10), the autopsy results were released. The coroner’s report shows Kevin and Elizabeth Schatz’s 7 year old daughter died from Rhabdomyolsis.

          “The condition is a rapid breakdown of muscle tissue that releases by-products into the bloodstream, damaging the kidneys. Prosecutors say the girl’s parents repeatedly hit her with a plastic pipe as a form of punishment. The couple’s 11 year old daughter was also hospitalized with kidney damage but has since recovered.”

          In summary, rhabdomyolysis describes how Lydia’s body received repeated strikes to the point her muscle tissue started to break down. The body could not cope with the tissue breakdown.

          Quote from http://www.emedicinehealth.com/rhabdomyolysis/article_em.htm

          “Rhabdomyolysis occurs when there is damage to the skeletal muscle.

          “The injured muscle cell leaks myoglobin (a protein) into the blood stream. Myoglobin can be directly toxic to kidney cells, and it can impair and clog the filtration system of the kidney. Both mechanisms can lead to kidney failure, which is the major complication of rhabdomyolysis.

          “Significant muscle injury can cause fluid and electrolyte shifts from the bloodstream into the damaged muscle cells, and in the other direction (from the damaged muscle cells into the bloodstream). As a result, dehydration may occur. Elevated levels of potassium in the bloodstream (hyperkalemia) may be associated with heart rhythm disturbances and sudden cardiac death due to ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation.”

          Michael Pearl’s book which teaches repeatedly striking a child until they submit was found in the home. Plumbing supply line, which is recommended for spanking a child, was found in the home. The parent’s actions were in line with the “consistent” strikes that are taught by the Pearls. The death was due to breakdown in the tissues, easily a result of the repeated strikes. This is why people a linking Michael Pearl with Lydia Schatz’s death.

          And. . . this isn’t the first child who has died related to Michael Pearl’s teachings. Just a few years ago, it was little Sean Paddock. How many others have been beaten and injured by haven’t died, so we haven’t heard of it?

    2. Big Gary, No Greater Joy’s article on whining actually promotes quite the opposite of repetitive beating:

      “to eliminate [whining]… tell her to stop crying… and go to her and switch her on the leg (one lick)”

      1. Wait.. are you saying that this is good advice? You may as well say “give them a towel whip if they don’t shut up – make sure you twirl it first and wet the tip”. A switch hurts. It can cut. It stings even more than a whip from a wet towel. I wouldn’t do it on a kid ever. If you need a literal rod to beat your kid with, you shouldn’t be a parent.

    3. And they also suggest that there are circumstances when you should AVOID spanking:

      “There is no place for vindictiveness or aggression in training children. The rod should not be applied at the end of an intolerance curve. Where the supreme motivation is anything other than the child’s good, the rod should not be used.”

      “The younger children should not be punished, and the very young will not need chastisement.”

      “You are abusing the child when it starts doing harm to the child… If your child is broken in spirit, cowed and subdued, you have a problem. Children should be happy and cheerful, full of enthusiasm and creativity. If your children are fearful or anxious, you should get some counsel.”

        1. I think he’s a theological gasbag. But I’d like to think we’re above misquoting and/or misrepresenting anyone, even if they’re a fringe loony-bin…

        2. No need to exaggerate. What they say is bad enough.
          I’ve got no sympathy for anyone who hits a child, especially using a weapon (a switch, belt, paddle, rod, rope, bludgeon, knife, or whatever).
          Pick on someone your own size, bullies.

        3. Where was there a misquotation?
          The Pearls book was found in the home and the other children testified that the parents disciplined according to the practices found in the book. A little bit of googling will find the weapon, condition, and duration of what took place the night Lydia Schatz was murdered and her sister put into ICU with her injuries.
          No, the Pearls may not have been there physically participating in the beatings but their instructions were there and were being carried out by fundie zelots looking break the will of two children. That’s not parenting, that is behavorial modification to produce social conformity.

      1. 😕

        No. He can’t throw in a couple of sentences that say “don’t do it in anger” and get absolved from all the terror he encourages.

        The fact is that baby-whackers present a Catch-22 for parents. If you wait until you’re not angry at your kids, you can usually find a better way to address the problem then spank them. This “never do it in anger” is just setting up the parents for utter failure.

        Pearl is a heretic. He believes in sinless perfection, and he believes that he is sinless. Never trust a teacher who asserts that. Never.

        He also believes that children prior to the age of 3 are no different from animals. They are not “born in sin” nor is there any moral obligation to them as human beings. If your 2.5 yo has a potty accident, you do the same thing for him that you do for a dog — you take him outside and hose him off.

        I have written about Pearl. I have direct quotations from his own mouth about his heresy:


        He is no one to defend.

        May God have mercy on his soul.

      2. You’ve quoted a few fairly normal-sounding CYA passages, but there are plenty of Lord-please-let-him-not-be-saying-that passages about parenting:

        QUOTE:”If you have to sit on him to spank him then do not hesitate. And hold him there until he is surrendered. Prove that you are bigger, tougher, more patiently enduring and are unmoved by his wailing. Defeat him totally. Accept no conditions for surrender. No compromise. You are to rule over him as a benevolent sovereign. Your word is final.”

        QUOTE: “Otherwise, tell him to bend over on the bed or couch; and while he is in this position give some choice admonition. You have his undivided attention. Slowly begin to spank. . . . I found five to ten licks usually sufficient. Sometimes, with older children, usually when the licks are not forceful enough, the child may still be rebellious. . . . A general rule is to continue the disciplinary action until the child is surrendered.

        QUOTE: “Any spanking, to effectively reinforce instruction, must cause pain. . . For the under one year old, a little, ten- to twelve-inch long, willowy branch (striped of any knots that might break the skin) about one-eighth inch diameter is sufficient. . . . A one-foot ruler, or its equivalent in a paddle, is a sufficient alternative. For the larger child, a belt or larger tree branch is effective.”

        From To Train Up a Child, Chapter 6: Applying the Rod

        Did you get that?
        “a belt or larger tree branch is effective,”
        “hold him there until he is surrendered.
        “Prove that you are bigger, tougher, more patiently enduring and are unmoved by his wailing.”
        “Defeat him totally.”
        “five to ten licks usually sufficient”
        “continue the disciplinary action until the child is surrendered.”

        Striking a child with an implement until the child is surrendered? Over and over if the child is perceived to be rebellious? Repeated if judged necessary? This is why, lowercase dave, the Pearls’ teachings are abusive.

      3. Um, anyone can convince themselves that they’re doing all kinds of horrific things out of concern for the good of others. Psychopaths murder people out of (what their twisted minds believe is) concern for their victims’ well-being. Good intentions aren’t enough if they result in harmful actions.

  6. The fellow, though repulsive and at times slightly less than coherent 😛 , is also consistent. For fundamentalism requires one basic theological assumption, and that is Pelagianism. And in the second clip, he preaches pelagianism, though by twisting Scripture this way and that. I also noticed his quoting Finney, himself the father of modern (semi-) pelagianism, whose theology held me and others in thrall, unknowing of the Freedom which there is in Christ.

    1. Louis, did you used to be a member of GMT? If you don’t know what that means, then don’t worry 🙂 I think I know you too.

        1. NM 🙂 There is another louis on here with an hispanic sounding surname who has a photo in his profile. I think he might be the guy I am thinking of. He looksd awfully familiar.

        2. No – my surname is French, and I don’t put my photo in my profile. Don’t want to frighten folks…

          But, you have piqued my curiosity. If you tell me what GMT is, i’ll tell you what KSB is 🙂

  7. I read their HelpMeet book a few years ago, and was left with the impression that I would never want to be around the Pearls or any other couple that follows their principles. Frankly, they scare me, and I don’t want my future wife to be anything like her. What really confuses me is that my former church uses their materials, promotes them, yet behind the scenes most of the pastors will admit to disliking the books.

    Go figure.

  8. Oh geez. I’m not gonna watch the clips, because the man creeps me out with his evilness. But… yeah. Nope, that’s all I’ve got. I have a real hard time taking someone seriously about pretty much anything once I find out they like the Pearls.

      1. Right, right. That last sentence was kind of an aside, as I sat pondering over my (former?) friends who have expressed that they like their books.

  9. He doesn’t actually seem all that crazy to me. Basically it’s 1) he thinks Eden referred to the whole earth and 2) he explains the idea of federal headship.

    Oooookay. . .and then he goes on about God’s sperm. . .right then.

    Now, if you’ll give me a second, I have to go hit my kids to teach them that hitting is wrong.

    Also, this guy really looks a lot like the fundy guy I work with, if he only looked a bit more like a medieval miser.

    1. godsperm? That sounds familiar. Anyone know of pirate nutcase brandon barthrop. He is some manifest sons of glory heretical pentecostal who is in a constant state of “bliss”. He spoke about some weird god sperm thing in some odd prophecy. I couldn’t watch it. People in trances freak me out.

  10. Wow. People are willing to take dangerous child rearing advice from a guy who thinks Eden was another planet?

    This is one of the confusing things about fundies. They really want to take the Bible seriously, but they give legitimacy to an unorthodox guy like this by promoting his books and following his teachings. And they’re particular about which parts of the Bible they take seriously. They see Proverbs 23:13-14 as a vital, literal command, but shy away from Proverbs 31:6-7. 😉

    1. Unless I missed it, he only said he thinks Eden was a term used for the whole planet earth. I don’t think he’s right, but it’s not *that* wacky.

      1. Well, the questioner says “…you mentioned Eden was a planet prior to being a garden on Earth. I have never heard of Eden referred to as a planet **separate from Earth** before. Would you mind backing that up with Scripture?”

        He doesn’t correct the questioner’s interpretation of whatever lesson they were referencing. And he proceeds with an argument that Eden must either be a larger plot of land or a whole planet. He claims that, since the Bible says Satan ascended to someplace above the clouds to commit his sin and since his sin was tempting Adam and Eve in the garden, the garden must have been in a place above the clouds, meaning a planet, and that this planet “above the clouds” was called Eden. And then after Satan’s sin in Eden, he was cast down to the ground, namely, to Earth.

        I could be missing something, though. His speech is a little disorganized.

    1. Some of my punk-rocker-type acquaintances used to have a great time watching “Doctor” Gene Scott. It was like using hallucinogens, but cheaper.

      I always thought he was sort of like Oral Roberts, if Oral Roberts had smoked a huge amount of Angel Dust every day.

    1. I personally think he looks creepy and get bad vibes from him. Never would I EVER let him around my children.

  11. The Pearls are not baptists.

    And while I know fundies that like him personally, I havent heard of a church endorsing them because they are so controversial. Both fundy churches I have been a part of have not liked the Pearls at all, and on baptistboard.com the debate was heated, with the majority NOT being for them.

    When I was a fundy, I liked their books. Now I see the danger in them.

    but I do spank my children. One thing that ttuac showed me was that spanking is actually biblical. Beforehand, I was all into non-spanking, but on one of the first pages of the book, it lists all the scriptures that have to do with spanking children. I can ignore the Pearls, but I couldn’t ignore scripture.

    Im pro spanking

    but Im anti-Pearl.

    It should be said though, that their methods are not really anything new. They essentially state the hillbilly rules to parenting and throw bible there. My sil raises her children almost identically to what they write, and she “aint never” read a Pearl book never!

    It really is just old fashioned stuff. 70 years ago, it wouldn’t be shocking to spank a child for whining or crying out of control. It’d be normal. Whining and complaining was not acceptable from chidlren. ..and really, we could use a little less of it. Its not really necessary.

    1. Anonymous spanker,
      over the clothes or under and do you do it “in love” 🙁 ?
      Wait, don’t answer.

    2. Slavery, polygamy, concubinage, cousin marriage, and stoning children who talk back to their parents are Biblical, too. Do you practice them, too?

      1. BG – You obvisously are not rightly dividing the Word of God. You must be a liberal compromiser. At the earliest time possible you need to walk the aisle and get right with God. Hay-Men? We will also be checking your tithing record. 😆

    3. “One thing that ttuac showed me was that spanking is actually biblical. . .it lists all the scriptures that have to do with spanking children.”

      Actually, spanking is a cultural application. When reading the usual passages that are used to promote spanking, we are reading them with our own cultural assumptions. “Hit a child on the bum with a hand or implement” is what we often see when we read the word “rod.”

      I’ve found that when we leave that cultural assumption behind and study the Bible, we don’t find spanking mandated or endorsed there.

      1. It is amazing how on the one hand people demand interpretation X because the Bible is clear and they want to remain as close the Bible as possible, but even interpretation X is contextualized to a date far from the biblical times. We understand the Bible through the lens of our cultural experience. Then they stand back and judge anyone with interpretation Y, Z or W because they contextualized to a bit more of a modern date.

        For me part of the phrase the Bible is alive means that it changes as society changes. That doesn’t mean that truth changes or that the truths within those biblical passages change. Indeed to not discipline your child would be disastrous, but the point was *too* discipline not how.

    4. “And while I know fundies that like him personally, I havent heard of a church endorsing them because they are so controversial. ”

      My mother’s Baptist church gave me a copy of TTUAC, and offers copies to mothers on Mother’s Day and on Baby Day. The pastor is a TTU grad and the youth pastor is a PCC man.

      so, now you have heard of a church endorsing them.

    5. It’s heart-breaking to read that you didn’t believe in spanking but now you do. Saying that the bible says to “spank” is “adding to scripture” in my opinion–a horrible offense.

      It’s not scriptural….nowhere, and I mean “nowhere” in the bible does it say to hit a child over and over again on the buttocks (spanking). This was “not” a Jewish concept. Further digging shows that sometimes a rod was used on a young male’s back, but this was only for a horrible offense, such as endangering his own life or others’ lives–not simply because he misbehaved. :-/ I would think this was something that almost never, ever happened in a Jewish household.

      Did you know that not too long ago husbands used to “correct” and “spank their wives” (and I’m talking about for “punishment” here not foreplay) and they believed it was “scriptural” to do so?! :-O I’d say they “misinterpreted” scripture and added to it, wouldn’t you?

      Also, why is the New Testament (new covenant) left out? Jesus gives us “grace!” Adult Christians aren’t perfect and children shouldn’t be expected to be either.

      A child will respond to loving correction better than being hit by the person who is supposed to love and care for him.

      My parents spanked me growing up, and thankfully, not in a violent or creepy way, but though they had the best intentions and were loving parents, I look back on those few spankings (they were a rare occurrence) as wrong, and I sometimes struggle with the fact that they actually spanked me–a concept I find very weird.

      I’m a Christian, and because of that, I believe it’s “wrong” to spank children.

    1. “Paddlin’ the school canoe…oh you’d better believe that’s a paddlin’!”

      Pure GOLD!!! 😀

  12. My brain is still spinning at the audacity to defend these dirtbags. This is the truly nasty side of free speech. One can only hope they get caught implementing their abusive teachings and shown the same amount of merciless rage they’ve unleashed on children.

  13. I wasn’t defending the Pearls.

    I was defending spanking.

    Big Gary

    those other things you mention are actually sin. They were practiced, but they were sinful. God doesnt endorse those.

    Spanking however… well… We’ll just have to agree to disagree. I believe in the rod of correction. No discipline seems pleasant at the time…especially when your 3 year old is walking around the house disrespectfully kicked you because you wouldnt allow him to wear his Lightning McQueen shoes inside… or when they wildly and rambunctiously keep getting out of bed and laughing at you when you try to put them back 6-7 times before you resort to screaming at the poor thing and putting him into shock. .. and time outs? LOL!!! My first son at 3 years old, having never been spanked but also having a dedicated mom there at every step lovingly disciplining him with words and encouragements and boundaries was seriously out of control. He screamed at me DAILY that he didnt love me, just to try and see if he could make me cry. I was exhausted, and he did make me cry, and he loved every second of it. This was not for lack of boundaries and non-spanking discipline. There was plenty of that. He was like this because there were no consequences for his actions that were negative enough for him to be motivated to stop. He could do whatever he wanted, and at worst, I would put him in a corner which he would scream and cry and move around for as long as I kept him there. A new mommy can only take so much, and I firmly believe that he needed to be spanked.

    Sometimes there are no built in natural consequences and a parents words mean NOTHING without something to back them up. A nice firm, controlled spanking backs up the parents words. This whole non-spanking thing… its new. My last 3 children NEVER had a tantrum. Some of you would actually think thats a bad thing…that Im not allowing them to express their feelings. We’ll have to agree to disagree. My children are allowed to express their feelings and tell me what their desires are. They are allowed to cry and get mad. They are even allowed to say they dont like my rules, but they are not allowed to have sreaming fits of uncontrollable (spankings have proven to me that they are controllable actually)rage. They are not allowed to hit me or scream at me or each other. They will be met by the ruler (or wooden spoon) of correction for that…actually And outright disobedience. They aren’t allowed that either. But my kids are mostly happy kids. Pleasant to be around. they do what we say, and we aren’t rule heavy in our house. They aren’t perfect, but life isnt hellish as it was when my first son was 3. Honestly, once I started spanking him and got him completely under control (but still himself. He didnt lose his will or his spunk) I didnt understand how parents survived without spanking. My last 3 have naturally been much more easy and havent needed nearly as many.. and it is possible that if I had had one of them first, I would have stayed non-spanking for much longer, but God blessed me with a wild son first, and both my husband and I were completely at our wits end trying everything EXCEPT spanking. So when a friend challenged me to read ttuac and I was confronted by all those scriptures, it opened my blind eyes and I started disciplining my out of control son. Within a few weeks, I had a different child. A MUCH HAPPIER child who came in for hugs and snuggles and laughs. We could DO things together for once because he wasnt so busy being wild and out of control and I wasnt busy pulling my hair out.

    I wasn’t defending the Pearls. I was saying that most baptists I know do not like them, and in fact say that they are heretical. I initially liked ttuac, but now I do not. I see that they go too far. Even though I spank, I would not ever go as far as they do. I dont want my kids mindless robots. And I read created to be his help meet as well. There was lots of garbage in that book as well.

    I was simply offering the other (silent) side that just because some freaks go too far with their spanking advice, doesnt mean that spanking is not biblical. It is. I did the grace based parenting thing before. It wasnt graceful. I’ll go ahead and spank my children when they need it so we can enjoy eachother. I have no idea what kinds of kids you all have. Maybe they dont need spanking. Thats great! Mine did. (especially my first) and I am glad that I did. I wonder what my oldest would be like today if we let him stay on the path that he was on. I think I know, and it aint pretty.

    1. I’m with you anonymous. Spanking is not abuse. If more people practiced it then maybe restaurants would not have to post signs saying that “screaming children will not be tolerated.” The punishment needs to fit the offense and sometimes a “time-out” just won’t cut it. 😥

        1. So since Christ died on the cross, there’s no need to discipline (sometimes by spanking) your children. Wow! That’s a new revelation. Granted his death does fit the offense of sin. It does not remove our responsibility to our families. Sometimes children need immediate consequences to teach them right from wrong. When my kid does wrong from now on, I’ll just say that’s OK because Jesus died on the cross. If he’s rude, mean, hateful, or what ever I’ll just tell the horrified onlookers not to worry because Jesus died on the cross. Hey, it’s a witnessing opportunity. Let the kid raise Hell so I can tell everyone that Jesus died on the cross.

        2. I didn’t mention anything about discipline, correction, training or consequences. I was talking about punishment. Does God punish His children? It’s a key question.
          Thankfully, parenting is not a competitive sport. None of us would win! 😉

        3. Camille, please expound on how a defense of not spanking your children is based on Christ dying on Calvary. God disciplines His children. We’re talking what that discipline looks like, not if confessed sin is under the blood. Besides, confessed sin is forgiven, but consequences are not necessarily avoided.

        4. Discipline = teaching. Not punishment. We have conflated the two for a long while. And it’s not biblical. At all.

          I teach my children. But I don’t need to punish them. I don’t need to purge the sin out of them. I don’t need to add pain to natural/logical consequences. That’s illogical and pagan.

        5. Camille,
          I see the problem with the wording, but that still leaves the verses mentioned a bit further down in Proverbs that clearly advocate physical discipline. It seems that you have to simply chuck those out to keep in on track with where your line of thought is going. It all comes down to application, right? Discipline can easily be agreed upon, but what does that look like? I would submit that the Pearls have perverted the Scriptures. But I would also suggest that simple ‘teaching’ and allowing the consequences of sin work their good work is riding the pendulum to the other side. There are no doubt times when you have to let the consequences have their effect, but at what point does that come? If your child has a fetish for trying to pull pots of boiling water off the stove, do you take him to a biology book and explain how water boils and the effects it can have on your skin if dumped there?
          As always, the Scriptures must be our guide and I only advocate digging in to the whole counsel to found your beliefs.

      1. If you have evaluated you opt to spank because you find that fits best with the overall situation in your home and your child . . . that is one thing.

        If you spank because you believe it is Biblically mandated and the proscribed scriptural method. . . that is something completely different.

        Studying Scripture, as I said before, when we leave cultural assumptions behind and use good hermeneutics, we don’t find spanking mandated or endorsed. When spanking is taught as something directed by God, then it is ADDING to the Bible.

        It can be argued that to spank or not to spank is within Christian liberty. If you or other parents choose to spank because it “works” for your family. . . *shrug*

        If you or Michael Pearl or anyone else says that spanking is required by God, then it is leading children and parents away from the Gospel.

        1. Errr. . . that first sentence should be, “If you have evaluated the situation and you opt to spank…” A little confusing before. *grin*

        2. I didn’t mention anything about discipline, correction, training or consequences. I was talking about punishment. Does God punish His children? It’s a key question.
          Thankfully, parenting is not a competitive sport. None of us would win! 😉

        3. So for the sake of clarity for the proponents of spanking, the position of the non-spankers is that Prov. 10:13; 17:10; 22:15; 23:13-24 and 29:5 are interpreted as physical discipline of some sort, but not necessarily spanking? Though spanking is a cultural form of discipline, what other physical disciplines would be more appropriate that fall in line with the Scriptures? Of course, if you are Big Gary and don’t take the Bible literal, you have to wonder if Christ actually did die on the cross! 😉

        4. The question is not really whether he died, but whether he rose again. I say he did, but I don’t base that judgment on any narrow proof-texting.

          Saying merely, “the Bible says so” doesn’t solve that problem. If Jesus isn’t alive, why does it matter what the Bible says? On the contrary, Christians are interested in the Bible because they believe Jesus lives, not the other way around.

        5. There have been, of course, some sects that said Jesus only sort of swooned on the cross, and then awoke in the tomb and went on to do a bunch of other stuff on this mortal plane, but I’ve never followed that school of thought.

        6. Big Gary,
          I would humbly suggest that you study the Bible on the matter of the Bible. The scriptures do not allow us the luxury of believing their validity only if they agree with some external evidence. The Scriptures are God’s Word to mankind and that is absolutely enough. I very much agree that the resurrection of Christ is the key and Paul agrees with us! But I believe it because the Scriptures have revealed it. Your doctrine of inspiration is weak.
          I will admit that books such as F.F. Bruce’s The Canon of Scripture is encouraging, but only because it verifies the claims made by Scripture – not proves them. What other means do you have to such specific revelation of God?
          I’m not debating you at this point as much as pointing you to the reality of the Christian faith. And don’t worry about the whole ‘circular reasoning’ argument. Everyone has circular reasoning – everyone has to have an ultimate authority to go back to. Christianity claims that authority to be the truth revealed in the Scriptures.
          Best to you. 😀

        7. LHWYCO: You have anticipated my response, but “The Bible is true because the Bible says so” has got to be the king of all circular arguments. I think it even beats out “The Pope is infallible because the Pope says he is” in the lack-of-logic competition. It’s what logicians call Begging the Question: “The proof that my claim is true is that my claim is true.” That’s not proof, it’s just restating your claim.

          I’m not saying there is no possible way to demonstrate that the Bible is literally true in every particular, but that one argument does not fly at all.

        8. By the way, I don’t agree that everyone has recourse to an ultimate authority. Many people form their judgments as “This is the best theory so far, because it fits best with the evidence I have seen so far,” but remain open to other possibilities.
          This isn’t relativism; it’s just an acklnowledgement that human understanding is limited and fallible. Human wisdom is foolishness to God, and all that.

        9. BG,
          I think I’m tracking you on this, but it seems like a mighty fine tight rope. I guess I would have to ask re: the person who has not ultimate authority – where do they get the idea that man is fallible? And what about the evidence that his current belief is based on? Where did that come from? I would suggest the evidence comes from the reasoning and observation of men – and fallible at that. Our complete trust in conclusions based on the evidence brought forth by fallible men ultimately goes back to the truth of Romans 3:23. You may want to say experience proves fallibility, but I would argue that experience only serves to support truths we already hold because of our ultimate belief in something. And when we have an experience that counters that belief, we reject the experience as misunderstood. Or, we alter our belief – which then shows that our ultimate authority is our own experience – which is based on the interpretation of a fallible man.
          Kind of a Mere Christianity discussion going here! Thanks for the sharpening.

        10. The idea that people are fallible strikes me as one of the easiest things to discern based on experience alone.

          Anyhow, I pretty much hold with Wesley’s suggestion that ideas should be tested in the light of scripture, tradition, reason, and experience (I don’t think Wesley was the first to say this, but he helped popularize that checklist). If any of those four tests are omitted, errors are likely.

        11. “Anyhow, I pretty much hold with Wesley’s suggestion that ideas should be tested in the light of scripture, tradition, reason, and experience”

          BG – That makes sense. To the fundie it would be “ideas are tested against scripture and their interpretation of scripture and their sacred traditions” alone.
          According to the fundies experience and especially reason are for the liberal compromisers. (There’s that phrase again 😀 ) Please take no offense.

        12. Beautiful! I have not heard that before, but I like it. Now the only question is how much weight is given to each. I suppose the answer would define your belief system.
          Thanks, BG. Good stuff.

        13. Wesleyan theologian Schubert Ogden has said that you can categorize the different religious camps according to which of these inputs, or what combination of them, they tend to rely on:
          Baptists: Scripture
          Catholics: Tradition
          Unitarian Universalists: Reason
          Quakers: Experience
          And so on.

        14. TG,
          You are an absolute breath of fresh air! Thank you for saying it “adds to the bible.” I completely agree.

    2. I’m asking this, not to be judgemental, but to understand. AnSp, did you discuss his behavior with your pediatrician, with the idea that your child might have had a problem, emotional or neurological, that was fueling this disobedience and rebelliousness? Someone down thread mentions that their child was autistic, and they didn’t know. Did you or your husband look into a physical/emotional cause as a possible explanation? Because when I read about your child’s actions, I immediately thought, “There’s some physical problem here, like ADHD.”

    3. Anonymous Spanker,
      You make a lot of good points here, and I feel for you situation. I do wonder though if more gentle parenting techniques could have been tried? I don’t understand how violence can make an unruly child happy, but I can also understand being at your wits end.

      However, why hit a child on their butt? Nowhere does the bible say to strike a child’s butt, which is a “private” area and one that science shows has…big surprise…sexual nerve endings (but is it really a surprise?). People really need to be aware of this. Granted, with most biological parents there is “nothing” sexual going on in their heads, and it probably doesn’t feel sexual to the child (for me, it was just punishment, but I always knew that if a male, non-family member spanked me…), but still, it’s an area that should be respected and not have forced, repeated, unwanted contact. I was mildly/rarely spanked growing up by loving, well-intentioned parents, and even though I wasn’t spanked in a violent or creepy way, I find the practice “so” weird, and it kind of freaks me out that my parents actually thought they were being biblical by spanking me. I love my parents and when the topic comes up, I’m usually okay, as I realize my parents were just normal Christian parents, but sometimes it really messes with me (I almost lost my faith because of it at one time until the clouds broke up and the sun shined down when I realized the bible did not endorse spanking!).

      If you “must” hit, why not on the thigh? People say the butt has more protective “padding,” but if that’s your fear then you’re hitting too hard anyway.

      As for your oldest child being happy, it might also be that he was very, very spirited and not sensitive enough to be bothered by spankings, but I think a lot of kids are emotionally damaged by spankings. For me, I always wanted to behave, so it was “never” necessary to spank me. I felt unloved when I was spanked and actually believed my parents were harming me (I was just a kid after all). It also made me angry, because I never felt like they had the right to hit me.

  14. My mom gets their magazine and we’ve had many fights over it. I think they’re crazy, she thinks they’re amazing.

    For those who are not convinced of their nuttiness (which on this site is probably not many), read this article of theirs.


    Michael actually says women should stay with their husbands if they are “repentant” pedophiles.

    Him and his wife make me nauseous.

    1. That’s some really sick stuff there.
      Hospitals and morgues are full of women who took advice similar to what’s in that article (Don’t divorce or leave your abusive spouse, even to save yourself or your children). I’m not exaggerating; ask any police officer or emergency-room nurse if you don’t believe me.

      If you want to know why many people believe that all religion, or at least all Christianity, is evil, you need look no further than texts like that one.

    2. But if they are truly repentant, why would a spouse leave? I’ve counseled women to separate from their husband in potentially abusive situations, but true repentance does not give room for personal preference according to the Scriptures.
      Obviously, the statement made regarding pedophiles is not as simple or succinct as anything that will be discussed here, but think about the statement before you react to it.

      1. “True” repentance does not equal trust.

        If a wife has taken her husband back time and time again and there is always the “true” repentance only for him to repeat the cycle of abuse. Then according to your logic the next time he repents, “truly” repents.. she is obligated to take him back, again, and again….

        If there is no trust then there is no basis for the marriage. Sometimes God never joined them together, they join themselves and sometimes divorce is the best thing that could happen. Unless you believe in marital slavery.

        1. Actually, my logic is based on Scriptural repentance and not the repentance that you are referring to. I completely agree with your statement that repentance does not equal trust. I’m completely for protecting the wife and the children. I was only pointing out that the statement referenced, in itself, is not incorrect. Repentance brings sorrow and change, without that there is no repentance. What you added to the equation is man’s perversion of repentance. I agree that that a pattern of abuse shows a lack of repentance and that is a completely different situation. Pearl is dangerous and not equipped to give counsel, that is clear. I was just trying to bring balance! 😀

        2. Ok.
          Just remember in the fundy world there is no such thing as “balance.” In the fundyverse “balance” = compromise, and tolerance = liberalism, and integration with anything other than the IFB, KJVO is heresy.

        3. @Don, so ironic! My husband from the beginning always said he wanted his ministry to be “balanced.” Now we’re starting to step away from fundamentalism because although we thought we could find a way to balance praise songs with hymns and reading other versions, we found that there was no wiggle room at all when it came to reaching out to the community in tangible ways. That was seen as the “social gospel” and it was anathema. So maybe you’re right that there truly is no such thing as balance in fundamentalism.

        4. Dead on, Don! My use of the word balance is evidence of my being ‘kicked out’ of fundy land some 12 years ago! :mrgreen: Happy Days ever since!

        5. @pastor’s wife
          yeah, I know what you mean. There was a small group of us that tried to initiate the same in our rural fundy outpost. It didn’t go well. We were rejected, and the core returned to the sloppy preaching of the self-anointed, self-called, numbers conscious, altar call at every meeting, hit-n-run evangelism, legalistic, works sanctification, M-O-g’s, and the same old southern gospel anthems. The very thing we were trying to shed light on and get to real expositional preaching, line upon line, precept upon precept, theology, ad doctrine. We had folks tell us that was over their heads and they could not comprehend. They did not understand words like sanctification, justification, and eschatology (even with a definition attached.)
          So in order to keep the peace our little band of refugees just left.
          So, yeah I totally understand.

      2. Repentance and reconciliation followed by escalating violence is part of the standard domestic abuse cycle. Abusers are often very, very good at faking remorse and the ‘repentance’ often fits into an overall pattern of convincing the victim that the abuse is entirely her/his fault. It tends to go something like ‘I was willing to try and put all that behind us and change, but you just kept on making me lose my temper!’. Needless to say, the victim is usually walking on eggshells and the excuses for ‘losing my temper’ tend to become more and more trivial over time. I’m not saying that abusers can’t ever reform, the ones who really do have an emotional control issue (the most dangerous abusers don’t actually show physiological signs of anger during an attack, because they’re enjoying themselves), a drug or alcohol problem, or who are abusing because that’s what they were brought up to do – those people can often be helped. But I wouldn’t take any amount of protestations of repentance myself, I would want to see concrete, sustained changes in behaviour and evidence that they truly do understand how damaging their past behaviour was.

        I think what sets off a lot of people about the ‘repentance’ statement, is that a lot of us have been in the position of seeing someone repenting verbally and even making a public show of it, getting public approval, and then going right back to abusing again as soon as the spotlight switches off.

        1. And on the ‘repentant paedophile’ thing. Paedophilia has one of the highest recidivism rates of any offence and paedophiles are notoriously difficult to re-habilitate, often the only thing that will work is reducing their opportunities and training them to avoid tempting situations. I don’t agree with the tendency to demonize released paedophiles to the point that they cannot find a place to live or a job (especially since that public outrage is so selective in its targets), but I also wouldn’t give them easy access to kids, like allowing them to live in the same house with their partner’s children.

        2. It’s a popular misconception that pedophiles have a very high recidivism rate. Sex offenders in general have a lower redicivism rate than people convicted of many other types of crimes. Some types of pedophiles are apparently more likely to offend again than others, but their recidivism rate in general is not higher than that of people convicted of burglary, assault, drug possession, and so forth. It also appears that treatment is often effective– not necessarily in “curing” pedophilia, but in preventing repeat offenses.

          See, for example, this discussion:

          “I don’t agree with the tendency to demonize released paedophiles to the point that they cannot find a place to live or a job (especially since that public outrage is so selective in its targets), but I also wouldn’t give them easy access to kids, like allowing them to live in the same house with their partner’s children.”

          I agree completely with the above statement.

      3. I wasn’t reacting just to the statement about pedophiles; I was reacting to that whole article (I followed the link and read it). In it, Debi Pearl says that under no circumstances should a woman separate from her abusive, adulterous, non-supporting husband. There’s no presumption there that he has necessarily repented.

        True repentance brings about a complete change of behavior. As Theadosia says, though, repeated bouts of fake or temporary repentance and reconciliations are an integral part of the classic cycle of domestic abuse. Unless the abuser’s whole view of life, self, and family relationships changes (which does sometimes happen, but only in a minority of cases), though, the abuse begins again and again. Some abusers do change, but women’s and children’s safety should never be held hostage to this possibility.

        1. Ha! I didn’t see this before I posted above! Please disregard my response to your response regarding what repentance is. Interesting point in read through these posts on repentance is the number of quotation marks around the word ‘repentance.’ 🙂

      4. The truth is that the Bible does not demand binding and immutable marriage. In Fundamentalism divorce simply is not an option even in the worst of conditions. There was a family in my church growing up. The husband was arrested for money laundering. Of course the authorities recommended that the wife get a divorce or she too could face financial issues from the IRS and possibly other legal issues. It was horrible to watch it play out. She did eventually get a divorce, but I’m not sure that church ever supported it. Then there are the countless other situations where wives stay “married” to their husbands despite the fact that he left long ago. Or literal abusive situations that threaten the lives of the woman and children, but they are compelled to stay because of this teaching that marriage is immutable no matter what. Ever heard, “you made your bed now you have to sleep in it”? It makes me sick. Marriage shouldn’t be malleable or not as much as it is today, but it is not immutable either. No where is it commanded as such.

  15. Anonymous Spanker wrote:
    “[T]hose other things you mention [‘slavery, polygamy, concubinage, cousin marriage, and stoning children who talk back to their parents’] are actually sin. They were practiced, but they were sinful. God doesnt endorse those.”

    I agree that God does not approve of those practices (based on my belief in a loving and just God), but I can’t find a word against any of them in the Bible. Not only is slavery not condemned, but there are extensive rules on how slaves should be treated (including instructions for selling one’s own daughter into slavery), and Noah cursed Ham and all his descendents to be slaves to Ham’s brothers (because Ham saw Noah drunk and naked??!?). There’s no indication in Scripture that Noah’s punishment displeased God.

    Putting rebellious children to death, which is probably the item on my list that most modern people would find most objectionable, is actually a commandment. It’s on the next page after the Ten Commandments (Exodus 21:17: “And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death.”) God is said to have given Moses this law, right along with the other Commandments (the famous Ten are privileged by tradition, but are not set apart in the Biblical text).

    Obviously, I’m not a Biblical literalist. Or, as Scorpio would have it, I’m a liberal compromiser. You no doubt have thought through the issue of punishment and reached a solution that seems right to you. But to say that something is in the Bible as your sole justification for doing it, is to trap yourself into having to explain why you don’t do EVERYTHING that’s in the Bible. As you will know, knowing the Bible perhaps better than I do, the examples I mentioned are just the tip of the iceberg.

    1. Noah only cursed Ham’s son Caanan. Caanan was one of four sons(Cush,Mizraim and Phut being the other three.) ” do wonder why Caanan?” though.

      I do not know that ten are priveledged only by tradition on the basis of Exodus 34:28, Duet 4:13, and Duet 10:4. All three verses use ten commandments




      1. I apologize that I linked the whole passage for the two Dueteronomy passages. Bible Gateway would not bring up the verses alone on Dueteronomy for some reason. and my previous comment should say “the phrase ten commandments”

      1. I don’t want to start another calvinism/whatever debate (it’s not as narrow as calvinism vs arminianism), but I cannot comprehend this (And I’ll try and not misrepresent)

        If man is unable to respond to the gospel because he is totally depraved, then it is up to God to make man willing to respond. So God elects and chooses to save some, to show his mercy and love, and passes over others to show his justice and holiness. And all this is done according to his good pleasure and the mystery of His will.

        Here is what I cannot comprehend. Man is unable to respond. God must make man willing.

        I see a problem. God did not make all men willing, when He could have? In other words, God, who is love, does not love all men, because He chose to damn them (whether you believe that God simply did not choose (ie, he passed over them when electing), or God predestined them to Hell, the outcome is the same).

        We have fallen mankind, incapable of turning to God in faith and repentance. We have a God who calls men to faith and repentance. And yet we have a God who will not give all men the faith and repentance when He is able to do so. And this is apparently to show His justice and Holiness.

        But was not the ultimate expression of His Justice completed and demonstrated at Calvary? The sins of the world paid for by the just one? I cannot comprehend God getting “glory” from people going to hell.

        I do not see how it is Just to withhold faith and repentance from those who need it, and can’t even see their need for it until it is given.
        I do not see how it is Merciful to save some, when He could have saved all. If God shows mercy to some, but not to others, when ALL are in sin, then it is unjust, because He could have showed mercy to all. And if God shows his justice to some, when all deserve it, then it is unmerciful, because he should have showed justice to all.

        And that is why I find the “doctrine of God’s love” impossible to believe from a reformed perspective.

        I’m a Free Grace believer. I don’t say that to say “I am right, you are wrong” but rather, so you know where I am coming from. I’m not “pelagian” or “semi pelagian”.

        1. exIFB, you’ve outlined why I’m not a Calvinist. I guess I’m an Arminian, if you want to put it that way. God gives grace freely to everybody. It’s up to us whether we accept it or not, but God’s grace is also prevenient– it helps us to comprehend our fallen state and our need of grace.

        2. @exIFB i honestly don’t know where i am in the calvinism/arminianism/Luthern debate. i lean toward calvinism, but have some reservations. the debate’s not really that important to me.

    2. Big Gary,

      In the old testament, they were told to do many things that we would not do today. They way the Israelites handles war for instance doesnt sit well to my modern ears at all, however, if it were a direct command from God for our men to do it, I would obviously have to say that God would be right.
      As far as putting a disobedient child to death, well, that sure is severe, but it probably had much to do with keeping the jewish bloodlines pure and obedient to God. I actually do not know for sure. However, if I were a child who knew that stoning were my future if I was disobedient and rebellious, well, I’d probably stay in line. The stakes were really high. I dont think this applies to us in the New Testament because of Christ, but I do believe that disciplining a child does. I still have to live with my child. I might have gone crazy if things hadnt gotten better with my oldest. Seriously. There were days when I woke up near tears because I didnt want him to wake up and start “hell” all over again. It was that bad.

      The word against the other things (aside from cousin marriage actually. I thought about that later. I think maybe its not such a bad thing for cousins to marry biblically speaking. It seems to be a good thing in some places).. but anyways, the word against things like polygamy I believe come in the New Testament when Jesus talks about marriage.

  16. Spanking is neither encouraged nor forbidden in the Bible, it’s just a cultural thing we have right now. In fact, the Bible doesn’t even mention spanking–using a rod on a child, back in the day, would have been closer to a beating than a spanking. Both of my two children have received spankings when necessary, but they worked well for my son and very little for my daughter. The difference? My daughter is autistic, and we did not know it until she was five. Thank God we stopped our harsh, Pearl-based spankings of her when she was three, or who knows how much we would have hurt her. All the time we thought she was defying us by refusing to do as we asked, she didn’t even understand what we were saying! The Pearls and their followers really need to get a grip on the fact that not all children are the same, and not all of them react to spankings the same way. Keep a lot of tools in your disciplinary too chest, and use the ones that train a child without wounding their spirit.

    1. I’ve read that Lydia Shatz, the little girl beaten to death for misspelling a word, was adopted from a country where she may have experienced or seen really horrific things, which may have caused her to be remote and unable to express her feelings. A child like her might not have been able to correctly display the right repentant expression that the Pearls teach that children should do. As you said, children are not the same, and any disciplining that doesn’t take that into consideration is foolish and potentially dangerous.

    2. I don’t believe that the spankings in the bible were more like beatings. Can you prove that?

      1. I’m reasonably sure you can’t prove exclusively from the Bible one way or the other what a “rod” entailed. But that’s why we have historical culture studies and other secondary information. The Bible is wonderfully vague when it comes to some things, which leads me to believe that God gave it room to fit in different cultures and different times on some issues.

      2. QUOTE: “I don’t believe that the spankings in the bible were more like beatings. Can you prove that?”

        See. . . even in this question is a cultural assumption. . . “I don’t believe spankings in the Bible. . .”

        “Spanking” isn’t a term or concept used in the Bible. We (in the current American church) read verses and put the term and idea of “spanking” into the verse.

        So. . . the whole question is based on cultural assumptions. To rephrase your question “Can you prove “spankings” are in the Bible? Is the action of spanking as is applied in the current American church the action intended by the Biblical author?”

        1. What’s really sickening is that some modern translations actually put the word “spank” in Proverbs 23:14. I just found this out about my beloved NLT translation, which I will no longer be using. I find that a “huge” flaw–what else did they take liberties with? I’m now using the HCSB.

          You are so correct that the concept of spanking (hitting a child on their butt) was never mentioned in the bible, and I highly doubt it was ever done in that culture–it probably would have been seen as inappropriate to hit a child over and over on their “butt.”

        1. Quote: “Was Mike Pearl friends with L. Ron Hubbard? Mike sounds like kind of a hillbilly Scientologist.”

          *snort* Sounds like it sometimes, hunh?

    1. one of the best quotes from the website http://askmikepearl.com/ “Hi, I’m Michael Pearl. We’re going to be answering some of your Bible questions. Now I haven’t seen any of these questions, so they’re going to kind of catch me by surprise here.”

      i wonder why he doesn’t read the questions before recording the video. he’s not doing a live show with people calling in.

      the best i can figure, he wants to impress his audience with the range of his bible knowledge…not impressed.

      i witnessed something similar a couple of years ago from a traveling evangelist peddling his “unique” scripture memory plan. he polled the audience of several hundred for their favorite bible verses and promised that he or one of his sons could quote all of them by heart…they couldn’t…in fact they knew fewer than half of them.

      failure notwithstanding, what was the purpose of this little venture? the cynical part of me thinks “better sales” or foolhardy arrogance. but perhaps it was just misguided fervor (he was obviously passionate about memorizing the bible).

      why pretend to have the answers to every question when you don’t? pride…

  17. By the way, I don’t agree that everyone has recourse to an ultimate authority. Many people form their judgments as “This is the best theory so far, because it fits best with the evidence I have seen so far,” but remain open to other possibilities.
    This isn’t relativism; it’s just an acklnowledgement that human understanding is limited and fallible. Human wisdom is foolishness to God, and all that.

  18. Btw, today was the day that Kevin and Elizabeth Schatz were in court for a “trial readiness conference.” I’m not a lawyer, so I don’t exactly know what that means. The “Jury Trial – Long Cause” is scheduled to begin November 1st.

    For those who aren’t aware, the Schatz parents beat their adopted daughter to death. There is strong evidence that they were influenced by Michael and Debi Pearl, and the Pearl-endorsed “plumbing supply line” was the weapon involved.

    Lord have mercy. . . Defender of the fatherless.

  19. As I’m watching the first clip, I’m thinking, “What the @#$% are you talking about?”

  20. It is *so* refreshing to read about other Christians who strongly oppose spanking children. I wish there were more of us, as I find it so crazy and creepy that the majority of Christians think this very odd/weird practice is “biblical.”

    And in regards to the Pearls…without even having to watch the videos…does anyone have a barf bag? …a whole case of them perhaps?

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