Skip to comments.A Warning About Michael Pearl's No Greater Joy Ministry
Posted on 06/07/2007 8:36:33 AM PDT by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus
Over the past few years a number of people have asked me about Greater Joy Ministries operated by Michael and Debi Pearl, and as I have traveled on preaching trips I have found that many families in good fundamental Baptist churches are using their materials.
The following is a report on my investigation into this ministry. I have read two of Michaels books as well as issues of No Great Joy magazine, and I have looked carefully through the material available at their web site.
There is much to praise in Greater Joy Ministries. The Pearls book To Train up a Child contains many very helpful things (though it often goes beyond clear biblical precepts and enters into a legalistic Pearlosophy, which is presented as dogmatically as the parts that are supported directly by Scripture, such as some of his teaching about education and other things that almost require an Amish-like lifestyle). The Pearls rightly avoid Christian psychology. They promote godly husband-wife relationships. They teach parents how to reach the childs heart rather than being content with enforcing mere externals. They focus on how crucial it is for the parents to live what they preach, to avoid hypocrisy. They teach a biblical approach to corporal punishment without apology. They teach parents how to jealously and carefully protect their children from evil influences. They give some excellent and timely warnings about the danger of the average church youth group that throws young people together in a secular fashion and thus allows strong but worldly personalities to corrupt heretofore innocent youth (which is exactly what happened to me as I grew up in a Southern Baptist congregation). They are clear about parental responsibility, that the buck stops here with Christian parents in regard to child training.
(Excerpt) Read more at wayoflife.org ...
"The most grievous error that I found in No Greater Joy ministries is the heresy of sinless perfectionism or entire sanctification. We see this in the article Living Parallel Lives in the Same Space from the Jan.-Feb. 2005 issue of No Greater Joy.
The doctrine of perfectionism is first of all clear from what Michael Pearl plainly states. He has entitled his teaching Sin No More (p. 21).
He says the doctrine of sanctification does not consist of principles for you to apply (p. 11), meaning there is nothing to do to achieve sinless sanctification but to understand and accept ones position in Christ.
He speaks of the gospel of sanctification (p. 11) and refers to the gospel of justification through grace as half of the gospel (p. 20). Yet the Bible nowhere refers to such a gospel. There is only one true gospel and that is gospel of the grace of Christ (Gal. 1:5-9). That one true gospel is defined by Paul as follows: For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures (1 Cor. 15:3-4). This is the gospel that Paul preached, nothing more and nothing less. Notice that this gospel does not consist of sanctification, though it results in sanctification. Holiness and godly Christian living is an important doctrine of the New Testament, but it is not the gospel and it is very dangerous to use such terminology."
I don’t know anything about the Pearl’s theology but from my research their ideas concerning marriage and child rearing are dangerous.
Yes, he was the one who said a wife should invite a husband who’d molested their children to move back home. After all, he might have repented while in jail!
Earth to Planet Zongo ... how’s the weather up there?
I could do a search but since you already know what are his ideas?
that’s the dude....and that she should bring the victimized children with her when she visits him. And that she should not report the molestation until he has privately had an opprotunity to repent, and if he says he has, well then that just the end of that.
In the end I find that their attitude towards men “carnal animals” is very demeaning. And I totally disagree with the notion of “breaking the will” when it comes to raising your children. I believe that a parent’s duty is to form their child’s will....but not break it.
I could go on....but I think planet Zongo sums it up quite well.
You only say that because the Jesuits have gotten to you and enlisted you in their vast Rome-wing conspiracy.
I thonk breaking anyone’s will is a great way to make them into a permanent vitim.
The point is to “train” them through pain responses to instantly obey any command ... the way you’d train an attack dog. His theology (such as I recall - I threw “To Train Up a Child” in the trash, lest I be responsible for inflicting it on someone whose parents found it at the library sale) is totally upwhacked.
You’re also (iirc) suppose to switch your child if he or she cries over a minor injury or frustration. Now, I will give my 10-year-old a lecture if he’s overwrought over some little thing, but my toddler gets two minutes of effusive sympathy .. and then shoo’d off with a pat on the head. “Everyone will love your matching bruises, James! Go race, and look where you’re going!”
Ooooh, we’ve got Nepal thoroughly infiltrated, have we? I missed the memo ... my husband probably lit the barbecue with it. He doesn’t understand the Big Picture.
Gives me the creeps, too.
After about 3 my boys didn't cry much. In fact my oldest son fell one night at a party when he was 8. He never cried but every once in a while he'd say eeeeeee and wince. I wanted to take him to the hospital but people were pointing out that he wasn't crying so he must be okay. Mom of course knew better and they were visibly rolling their eyes when I took him to the hospital and shocked when I returned and told them that he had broken his clavicle. They kept saying "but he wasn't crying!"
I didn't even try to teach them not to cry, now caterwauling was a different story.
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