There were many things we were taught that were sin that are laughable. As I go back in my soul to various times, these come to the surface. One that was a WTF moment for me was our youth minister telling us that biting our fingernails was sinful. His justification for it was that it was an unnatural act that gave us pleasure!
Pearl’s methods include making children who are challenged with potty training take cold baths, denying food to disobedient children, and whipping them with quarter-inch plumbing line. Pearl sees nothing wrong with applying his techniques to infants. One expert recently denounced Pearl’s techniques as interfering with child development. Most alarming, some children have been seriously abused by adults who were followers of Pearl. Three children have been killed.
The most recent incident of a homeschooler following the Pearl’s advice to dire consequences are the Schatz family who, according to CBS Crimesider, were said to:
beat their 7-year-old daughter to death with quarter-inch plastic tubing because she mispronounced a word. They say the girl’s parents held her down and whipped her for hours causing massive tissue damage that resulted in her death.
And, there have been other known cases in which a child has suffered in the name of To Train Up A Child’s advice. Sean Paddock of Raleigh, NC died on February 26, 2006 after being beaten with the same kind of plastic tubing. But, when he did not change his behavior after the whippings, his mother wrapped him tightly in blankets, and he suffocated. He was just 4 years old.
Both families have one common thread: No Greater Joy Ministries of Michael and Debi Pearl who wrote the book To Train Up A Child. In the book they speak of what they refer to as “the sensible application of the Biblical rod,” referring to the scripture in Proverbs 13:24 that reads: ”Spare the rod, spoil the child.” The Pearls go on dishing out their form of “discipline” and will continue giving advice to homeschoolers and anyone who will listen even to the point of death of a child with no apologies.
In further response to critics of their advice, and in the Pearl’s own words:
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….