Senseless Tragedy

A mother who “disciplined” her adopted 4 year old son to death in the area where I am from got her “advice” on childrearing from the Pearls. Yes, the vast majority of those who read the Pearls don’t kill their children, but the Pearls’ views of the family and discipline are incredibly warped. Where is the grace that is offered to us in scripture? Parents are the first impression of God that children will ever have — we are their view of omnipotent beings. I don’t want my children to believe in the God that the Pearls’ parenting advice portrays.

10 responses to “Senseless Tragedy

  1. Rebecca (gamomof2)

    Oh, how heartbreaking.

  2. I just read this on another blog, it’s apalling. I hope that it’s a wake up call to Christians to finally speak out against this dangerous unbiblical teaching.

  3. Still crying and fuming at the same time.

    I remember a woman giving that same book…twice. I guess she thought I needed it but I threw it away…twice.

    My heart breaks for these precious little ones who ought to be loved and nurtured in Jesus’ name.

  4. I’ve read the Pearls’ book and I don’t remember it advocating wrapping in blankets… Maybe I should look it up.

  5. I don’t think it does. I was just saying that her mindset of discipline came from the Pearls and it is clearly abusive.

  6. Miz Booshay

    It is so horrible that a child has died due to his mother’s temper and unwise actions.

    Kristen,
    Do you view all spanking as bad?

    Respectfully,
    Donna

  7. Her mindset of discipline came from a sinful, evil desire to abuse….it would have come out no matter what child rearing book she used. This woman was out of control.

  8. We can all agree that she was out of control, and that she is fully responsible for her actions, but I do think that the wrong books and influences can definitely warp someone’s views to the point that they can’t think clearly or have common sense.

    My friend Meggan shared her very personal story about this here.

  9. Oh, words are impotent to express Jesus’ sadness…

  10. If you’re right, Kristin, then imagine the nightmare the mother will awake to in a year when she realizes how deeply wrong she was from start to finish. I’d never heard of the Pearls before, but there are so many slightly cultish ministries within evangelicalism that remind me of what your friend describes, and those I know intimately enough to agree with you that there’s some sorting that takes place between people hungry and susceptible to a certain brand of blind leaglism, and those who are looking for followers.

    One thing about parenting is that it’s incredibly dangerous to have a one-size-fits-all philosophy because of the considerable heterogeneity even within a single bloodline. So often, parents will have an absolute angel of a first child, and they’ll attribute the success to whatever policies they followed. But spurious correlations can lead to a lot of problems when one tries to take those same policies to either the next child or to some other child.

    I really like something Doug Wilson once said in an article about parenting. He used this phrase called “respect and direct” when dealing with bad behavior. Respect is the idea that God has created a unique creature with a certain disposition that needs to be deciphered by the parent. Direct is about disciplining appropriately such that the sin is distinguished from the createdness of the child and he’s dealt with appropriately. He used an example of a child jumping from the sofa to the recliner. There’s a good part to that action, even if he’s not supposed to be doing it. Maybe it’s that he has some kind of adventurous spirit or whatever.

    Still, I think parents should have a strongly empirical philosophy when it comes to parenting. If you detect that something really is not working, it doesn’t mean that you’re a bad parent to try to do something else. It definitely doesn’t mean you’re a pagan if you decide to shelve the Pearls and try some other things. In my experience, the warped legalistic bond to the philosophy is partly because of how deeply wrapped up these family philosophies are in our very discipleship.

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