By Diane Webb ©2008
I love you when things are going well
And when things are going badly
I love you when you hurt me
And when I hurt you
I love you when I don’t agree with you
And when you don’t agree with me
I love you on good days
And on bad days
I love you when you are loveable
And when you are unlovable
I love you when I act lovingly
And when I act unloving
When love is real…right…unconditional…
It doesn’t always make sense
It’s not always logical
It just is…
Real love is like God
You can’t always see it
You can’t always hear it
You can’t always feel it
You can’t always prove it
You just have to believe…
I love you
I have been avoiding it for so long. I told myself there are other more well spoken, knowledgeable bloggers out there that have been active in bringing the truth of this tragedy to light. I told myself it’s too painful to read the references I must cite again. I just don’t want to think about it. I want to pretend I live in a world where this does not happen. Ever. At least not “in the name of God”. My mind simply cannot accept the horror of it.
I’m talking about the Lydia Schatz case. You can read about it here or here if you are not familiar with it. A 7 year old girl was beaten to death by parents who were following Michael and Debi Pearl’s methods of “biblical chastisement” to the letter. This is not the first time this has happened. The parents stand charged with murder, torture and abuse of their other children. They must be monsters, right? That’s what I thought too until I read this blog post written by someone who knows the family personally. If you read nothing else I link, read this. These were parents who loved their children who were told if they didn’t beat the sin out of them, their children would burn in hell. You hold an eternal soul in your hand.’ .On his website he tells people where to buy the instrument used to beat Lydia to death. “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. Just the high profile of their accessibility keeps the kids in line.”
Some would claim these parents took Michael Pearl’s teachings to an extreme. Not so. MP teaches that you should continue whipping until the child is cheerful and compliant. If you have a neurotypical child or a child with any issues whatsoever, that could well be never. Lydia Schatz was adopted. She may have suffered from RAD or PTSD as many adopted children do. You can read more about that here. I am confident that my son with severe ADHD and until recently undiagnosed food allergies would easily be beaten to death by anyone strictly following MP’s teachings. That breaks my heart. He needs unconditional love and grace even more than most children because of those things. Testimonies from former Pearl followers.
Child discipline is not the only thing Michael Pearl teaches that is quite damaging. His entire theology is heresy. Both these links are from quite mainstream conservative sources.
In “Living Parallel Lives in the Same Space,” No Greater Joy, Jan.-Feb. 2005, Pearl says: “WE SHOULD AND CAN SIN NO MORE! … I have been preaching AND LIVING this gospel of sanctification for many years.” MP claims that he is living in sinless perfection and so can you and your children as long as you do what he says.They claim that corporal punishment will absolve the guilt of sin for children who are not old enough to understand substitutionary atonement
That brings us up to date and the reason I am writing this post. Today Michael Pearl published this statement on No Greater Joy’s facebook page. I hate to post it here, but I’d rather do that than link to it.
‘Laughing’ By Michael Pearl
It has come to my attention that a vocal few are decrying our sensible application of the Biblical rod in training up our children. I laugh at my caustic critics, for our properly spanked and trained children grow to maturity in great peace and love. Numbered in the millions, these kids become the models of self-control and discipline, highly educated and creative-entrepreneurs that pay the taxes your children will receive in entitlements. When your children finally find an honest mechanic or a trustworthy homebuilder, it will be one of ours. When your children apply for a job it will be at a company our children founded. When they go to a doctor, it will be one of our Christian children that heals them with cutting edge innovation. When your adult kids go for therapy it will be one of our kids-become-psychologist that directs them to the couch and challenges them to release their self-loathing and embrace hope for a better tomorrow. When your children grow old and realize their mortality and seek to make peace with their Creator, it will be one of our children that shares with them the message of God’s love and forgiveness. My five grown children are laughing at your foolish, uninformed criticism of God’s method of child training, for their kids-my 17 grandkids-are laughing . . . because that is what they do most of the time. They laugh when Daddy is coming home. They 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. My granddaughters laugh with joy after giving their baby dolls a spanking for “being naughty” because they know their dolls will grow up to be the best mamas and daddies in the world-just like them. People all around the world, in places like Russia, China, Germany, New Zealand, Guatemala, Peru, Africa, and fifty other countries are laughing with joy because after applying the Biblical principles found in our books they finally have happy and obedient children. Even my chickens are laughing . . . well, actually it is 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.LAUGHING? HOW DARE HE? A girl is dead and he laughs at those who want to know how this can happen? In fact on his website he speaks of silliness being a serious sin that should be driven out with a whipping. He laughs. He even makes a point to bring up the 1/4 inch plumbing supply line used to kill her. Sadistic.
Dear Jesus, please protect “the least of these”.
Ephesians 1:3-8 (New Living Translation)
3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. 4 Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. 5 God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. 6 So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.[a] 7 He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. 8 He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.
We are blessed. We are loved. We are holy and without fault in His eyes. We are part of His family. We are fully redeemed and forgiven.
Ephesians 2:13 (New Living Translation)
13 But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ.
We are one with Him. We are close to Him.
Ephesians 3:6 (New Living Translation)
6 And this is God’s plan: Both Gentiles and Jews who believe the Good News share equally in the riches inherited by God’s children. Both are part of the same body, and both enjoy the promise of blessings because they belong to Christ Jesus
We are His children. We belong to Him.
Ephesians 3:17-19 (New Living Translation)
17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
He lives in our hearts.We are complete in Him.
Isaiah 43:4 (New Living Translation)
4 Others were given in exchange for you.
I traded their lives for yours
because you are precious to me.
You are honored, and I love you.
We are worth dying for. We are precious. We are loved and honored.