world magazine makes link between Pearl teachings and death of child

I am so happy to see that World Magazine is recognizing the connection between the teachings of Michael and Debi Pearl and the death of little Lydia Schatz.
It is so encouraging to see that a well-respected evangelical publication has rightly discerned their teachings and is making sure that parents are warned.

Tulip Girl’s updated list on links to articles about the death of Lydia Schatz and the Pearl connection it is also encouraging to see how this list has grown over the weekend. I pray that more and more individuals and groups will be willing to stand among those who see this for the horror that it is.

It is also important that we make it very clear that this isn’t about “spanking,” it is about child abuse.

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  1. says

    In regards to your final statement….it seems to me that many folks are trying to make this issue about “spanking” …. it seems, that even speaking firmly to your child, in order to discipline, or to instruct in righteousness can now be observed to be “shaming the child” and hence “abusive” and bordering what has happened to poor little lydia Schatz….at least in “some circles”… I have, based on some of these remarks, backed off this topic completely… It would appear to me that the pendulumn is swinging wildly… and good old fashioned common sence, along with reason are being tossed out the window in far to many of these discussions on line… That said, I am, as always to see, you have your head on strait, and are as usual, walking in Grace and Truth….
    ah…. breathing in FRESH air…
    The loss of Lydia, of any child is HORRIFIC, to loose our parental rights, because of abusers is also quite horrifying. It is a frightening to think that teachers such as the Pearls and others like their kind will wound people to such an extent that the stone throwing has begun. That rather than dealing with the issues at hand… MURDER of an innocent, and FALSE teaching…. along with Cultic Practices… we should see stones being thrown at one another over whether or not one chooses to spank or not, chooses to use a time out or not, chooses to withhold a privaledge or not… Where is the Grace in that?
    Many parents are able to loveingly discipline their children with OUT abusing them, and yet some stumble, and find this difficult, and choose NOT to use certain forms of disciple… rightly, and wisely so.. We each are accountable to the Lord, and yet, we need to make certain we are conversing in ways that build up the body, build up one another in the Lord, encouraging good works, encouraging the confession of sin, and not the alienation of one another, nor the condemnation….
    I am on one hand glad for the open discussion of this important topic, for I have LONG been disturbed by these and a few other teachers, but… I am growing equally disturbed by how reactionary some of my brothers and sisters in Christ are responding… not in Love.. not in Grace… and I find myself… praying much…
    wow, this is the most I have said on the topic outside the confines of my house … 🙂
    I too am glad to see World is addressing the rather obvious connection…
    Far too many would like to pretend there is none ..
    Blessings to you!!!!!! 🙂

  2. says

    i was not in anyway referring to such an ammendment… or to michael farris.. but to our place in our childrens lives, the rights and graces the God has given to us, to raise them, to follow Him as we are led…
    Why is it to mention ones rights as a parent is to presume I am discussing anything but basic human rights… nothing more but practical, holistic, real truths… why must it be catagorized, and labled…? How is this different than the gal in another conversation who said she believed spanking, done carefully, and not in anger but in grace and love, as a form of instruction was one option for disipline, being told it is always abuse, and one can NEVER spank unless in a rage.?

    i am growing weary of the labeling and boxing… thank you for the article.. it was good… but i don’t really see it’s relavancy on my thoughts… forgive my scatty mind… my inability to grasp where you were going with your comment….

  3. says

    What I was hoping to echo was your concern that there are some people who abuse their “parental rights” such as in the situation with the Schatz family and that could cause problems for all of us. The point of that article is the same, that in the process of demanding “rights” we could lose the good ones we have now. Does that make sense? I was affirming what you said!

  4. says

    I am so thankful to have misunderstood… 🙂 thank you for the grace… things can be very loud here 🙂 with four blessings, all wonderful works in progress, I try to comprehend things as best I can… I liked the article, and perhaps that is where I was confused… It seems there has been so little affirmation in the body on this topic lately, please forgive me for failing to recognize it my sister! 🙂 how awful of me… you are always such a blessing to me, and to the Christian community at large.. not only the home educating community..
    Thank you for the encouraging words, for the clarification, and the grace you have, once again extended to wary, silly, frail little me 🙂
    you are LOVED!!!!!!!!!
    < anika

  5. Elaine says

    I feel it’s sad and outrageous too that the Pearls’ teachings are so badly followed as to hurt a child. The Pearls never advocate a hard plumbing pipe to be used, but a soft flexible tool like a willow branch, and applied on the buttocks, not the back. You could never kill a child or do kidney damage with something like a willow twig; it stings and does not cause permanent damage. Moreover, the Pearls are strong believers in the Lord and his atoning work on the cross. I believe they show in their books how pain, as a part of chastisement, and which is not pleasant at the time, produces righteousness, as many verses in the Bible speak about. The Bible also speaks quite clearly in Proverbs and elsewhere about the benefits of the rod. The Pearls are outspoken perhaps and some people do not like their message, but they cannot be held to blame for the deaths of any children if people who supposedly follow their teachings do so incorrectly. It is natural to try to blame someone else when a horrible act has occurred, and I hope the families affected will receive comfort. BTW, there are many Christian leaders who advocate spanking, and they too could be “blamed”, e.g. Dr. Dobson. It is so, so sad that this child died, but ruining someone’s reputation is also sad and unChristian.

  6. says

    Elaine, last week, I made a trip to two plumbing stores to take a look at 14″ plumbing supply line. I specifically asked for that item by name and what I saw was not like a “willow branch.” One man even told me that you can get such an item in copper or steel or even plastic covered in steel mesh. All are called the same thing. Nothing I saw or heard described by plumbers resembled a “willow branch.” Even then, I believe a willow branch would/could leave stripes.

    Again, I want to be clear about this. What the Pearls and some others describe, as noted in the many links provided here and on other websites and blogs, is not “spanking.” However, the more I read and research this topic, the philosophy and theology behind this sort of chastisement is becoming more and more alarming to me. The expectations of children that lead to this sort of “discipline” are probably the most troubling. Is conformed behavior righteousness? If I choose to not murder someone so I won’t go to jail rather than because I know it is wrong, is that righteousness? These are questions I am wrestling with right now.

    RE: Dobson. I recently went back and read Dobson’s take on spanking and the example he gave about beating his dog, Siggy, into submission. Where I live, even not providing adequate shelter and food for an animal is considered to be a felony.

  7. says

    Elaine, here is another quote from Michael Pearl:

    ” Where on the body (to chastise)?

    The Bible says, “the rod is for the back.” That would include anything that is not the front—the back from the shoulders down to the feet. When training, and not chastening or punishing, any convenient place on the body is effective. When you have told a child not to touch, and he reaches out, you can thump or swat his hand. If he is trying to climb down from his chair after being told not to, you can swat his legs. But when you are engaging the child in serious chastisement, the small of the back down to the thighs is the most effective. You can spank half as hard on the back with a light, stingy switch and be more effective than spanking harder on the bottom or thighs.”

  8. says

    Elaine, here is another relevant quote from Michael Pearl:

    “The most painful nerves are just under the surface of the skin. A swift swat with a light, flexible instrument will sting without bruising or causing internal damage. Many people are using a section of ¼ inch plumber’s supply line as a spanking instrument. It will fit in your purse or hang around you neck. You can buy them for under $1.00 at Home Depot or any hardware store. They come cheaper by the dozen and can be widely distributed in every room and vehicle.”

    According to local news stories, a fifteen inch length of 1/4″ plumber’s supply line was exactly what the Schatzes used on Lydia and Zariah. Police confiscated several from the family’s home, which suggests that the Schatzes perhaps were taking Michael Pearl’s advice and having these monstrosities “widely distributed in every room” throughout their home.

  9. says

    Chris, when I first read about the notion of wearing one of these things around your neck it really bothered me. And then a young mom mentioned to me that the neck and the breast are places of comfort for a child and the contradictory message that would send. She is correct.

  10. Erik says

    Sorry everyone. Got 7 beautiful kids. Most of them grown up. Used to read the Pearl books. Used plastic plumbing rods on their bottoms. You really can’t spank with ANY instrument without causing some kind of mark. Never killed any of my kids. Not even close. We have a good life and a good family. I’m not talking about salvation here I’m talking about basic behavior modification like the world, the workplace, school will give you. What’s next? Stop using guns because of hunting accidents? Stop driving cars? If you don’t like difficult biblical passages in the face of a changing world maybe its time to re examine our base: Evolution vs. creation, works vs. faith, modern psychology vs. biblical wisdom. Hey. I know some pretty cool and sharp atheists. C’mon. You don’t REALLY want to take the Bible literally now do you? Real flood? Real Adam and Eve? Real miracles? Real Jesus? (I’m being facetious) Hmmm? Careful now. With all the love that heaven has to offer this is not that complicated an issue. Obviously behavior modification doesn’t save a person’s soul but there is no substitute for obedience to a basic biblical principle.

  11. says

    Quote: “Used to read the Pearl books. Used plastic plumbing rods on their bottoms. You really can’t spank with ANY instrument without causing some kind of mark.”

    You are right there.

    And while your kids are still alive and kicking. . . others aren’t. Like Lydia. She died one year ago today.

    For the many who haven’t died, though. . . abused, wounded. . .parents wanting to do the “right” thing and yet hurting their kids? This has to stop.

  12. says

    Erik, here is a website and a book I suggest you check out.

    And, btw, I think salvation IS central to parenting children. Jesus himself said that it would be better to have a millstone tied around your neck and be plunged into the deepest sea than to harm one of his little ones. Behavior modification is great at helping raise little hypocrites but the Gospel message permeating hearts is what brings about confession, repentance, and the fruits of the Spirit.

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