Friday, April 11, 2008

Debi Pearl's "Created to be a helpmate"

Posted by Hannah at 8:55 AM

LINK to page "Created to Be His Help Meet" discussion

I have written on the misteachings this organization offers, but this blogger actually is taking it my sections. The above link as to do with the domestic violence section. This is not to say that everything they have to say is incorrect, but they clearly are misinformed on some things. Its a shame that they continue to place such a burden on ladies in this situtation. The link above is the this section, and while you are there read section 8 as well!

Page 79: “A Command Man who has gone bad is likely to be abusive. It is important to remember that much of how a Command Man reacts depends on his wife’s reverence towards him. When a Command Man (lost or saved) is treated with honor and reverence, a good help meet will find that her man will be wonderfully protective and supportive. In most marriages, the strife is not because the man is cruel or evil; it is because he expects respect, and is not getting it. When a wife plays her part as a help meet, the Command Man will respond differently. Of course, there are a few men who are so cruel and violent that even when the wife is a proper help meet, he will still physically abuse her or the children. In such cases, it would be the duty of the wife to alert the authorities so that they might become the arm of the Lord to do justice.”

This quote puts the pressure on the wife to prevent her husband from abusing her. It suggests she can prevent abuse by obedience, honor, and reverence. This doesn’t work. Research on domestic violence shows that an abuser will hit his wife for a matter as simple as burning the dinner or him having a bad day at work or coming home drunk. Debi doesn’t seem to understand the pleasure of power, especially absolute power. It is the wife’s inability to prevent violence, even by her diligent attempts to obey, that perfectly expresses the abuser’s absolute control. The power is God-like, determining good and evil beyond her ability to comprehend. Men love power, especially Command Men.

This quote puts the guilt of abuse on the wife’s head (except for a very few unspecified cases). Even though it says that a few men are so bad they should be reported, there is no specification of when to make this distinction. An abused wife reading this book could, in retrospect, always identify some thing she thinks she could have done to stop her husband’s violence. Advice like this serves only to continue a cycle of submission and abuse often described in domestic violence studies. We believe, no matter what a wife does or does not do, a husband should never be abusive toward her. Abuse for any reason, even if the wife is not submissive or reverent , is cruel and evil.

Says the author about one section of the book!

Michael uses 1 Peter 2 & 3 to teach that women in abusive situations should suffer in silence in order to bring glory to God. 1 Peter 2 encourages slaves when they suffer for doing good and uses the example of Jesus’ suffering which brings us salvation. The beginning of 1 Peter 3 encourages women to submit to their unsaved husbands in hopes of bringing them to salvation. Michael ties these two passages together and teaches that women are to suffer in silence, even at the hands of abusive husbands, in order to bring glory to God. Here are some representative quotes:

Page 263: “Lady, you were created to give glory to God. When God puts you in
subjection to a man whom he knows is going to cause you to suffer, it is with
the understanding that you are obeying God by enduring the wrongful suffering.
And when you suffer wrongfully, as unto the Lord, you bring great glory to God
in heaven.”

Page 263: “Has your husband reviled and threatened you? You are exhorted to respond as Jesus did. When he was reviled and threatened, he suffered by
committing himself to a higher judge who is righteous. You must commit yourself
to the one who placed you under your husband’s command. Your husband will answer
to God, and you must answer to God for how you respond to your husband, even
when he causes you to suffer.”

Page 264: “You can freely call your husband “lord” when you know that you are addressing the one who put him in charge and asked you to suffer at your
husband’s hands just as our Lord suffered at the hands of unjust authorities… I
know that this must be an amazing doctrine to many of you. Nonetheless, it is no
less radical than Jesus was radical, and it is God’s way.”

Page 265: “For the eyes of the Lord see all that take place. His ears are open to your prayers when you obey him and obey your husband. And then comes the
promise: if you are following God, no harm will come to you by doing what is
good… You will receive a blessing when you suffer for righteousness’ sake, that
is, when you obey God by obeying your husband and not returning evil for evil.
You will be happy, so don’t be afraid or troubled by the things you must

Again, the Pearls have enough truth in this teaching to make it dangerous for a wife who is being seriously abused by her husband. Jesus does call us to (and is our example for) a life that includes suffering – both daily suffering in the sense of taking up our cross, and suffering that arises specifically from following Him. Sometimes (and again, Jesus is our example in this, as 1 Peter 2 points out) such suffering can be redemptive.

1 Peter 2 encourages slaves to serve God in submission to their masters (just or unjust), and to suffer in silence for doing good. This was a God-empowered response to someone in a position from which he or she had no escape – a free and grace-filled choice a slave could make from a position that involved little or no other freedom. However, this teaching has not prevented Christians from reading the rest of the Bible and being at the forefront (and rightly so, we believe) in ending slavery around the world, bringing South African apartheid to an end, and working to ensure equal rights for African Americans here. The Bible teaches a strong message both about God’s concern for the powerless and dispossessed, and about the imago dei – the image of God stamped on each person, male and female. We are called to treat all men and women with respect and reverence simply because they bear God’s image and are important to Him. We believe that we, as Christians, should speak and work against abuse and violence wherever it occurs. This includes abuse and violence within a marriage. CTBHHM does not do this.

The link is above, and it goes into different portions of the book as well!

Point 8: The writing often lacks grace and compassion towards those struggling, calling women names that should never be used to describe human beings made in God’s image.

One of the funniest examples to illustrate this point (p. 217-219) involves a letter a woman named Vicki wrote to Debi because she was “tired and discouraged”, frustrated that her husband wouldn’t fix the sink or the screen door. Debi opens her reply letter by asking Vicki to take the “Standard Dumb Cluck” test. The first question in this test is “Does natural healing not interest you?” Indeed, all of the questions in the “Standard Dumb Cluck Test” except the last have absolutely nothing to do with the original letter. Debi follows this test with, “Well, are you a dumb cluck?”, then writes an extremely harsh letter about how Vicki should get her lazy self off the couch, learn to use tools, and take some initiative. Not knowing the situation, we’re not disputing Debi’s advice, but are disturbed by the complete lack of courtesy and compassion in the letter, a style unfortunately carried over into many of Debi’s other letters. Debi is essentially presenting this woman (whom she knows nothing of except for a one-paragraph letter) to thousands of readers as a silly, lazy “dumb cluck” bum.

The verse just before Titus 2:4-5, which Debi spends so much time exploring, says this: “Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good.” To label another woman (all of the following are direct quotes from her book) a “cheap office wench”, “cheap office hussy”, “lazy, complaining wife,” “cranky, demanding leech”, “skinny swine”, “rebellious”, or “hillbilly ugly, which is worse than everyday ugly” in a book to be read by thousands, simply based on one letter or observation, comes dangerously close to slander. At the least, this approach does nothing to show the love of God or the respect we should all show to people made in His image (women included, we believe!).

This hard to believe that a Christian would resort to name calling in this fashion!

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Jeannette Altes on 9:25 PM said...

"This hard to believe that a Christian would resort to name calling in this fashion!"

Hard to believe for a reason. Jesus said they would know we are his followers by our love for one another. He was talking about his disciples loving each other, by the way, not everybody loving everybody, no matter what they do. I have learned the hard way that just because someone calls themselves a Christian does not mean they actually are. Their actions - and their words - in this case they put their words in print, which is an action ;-) - speak loud and clear. When someone does something to hurt you then, in response to your protest, whines, "But you're a Christian! You're supposed to love me!" they are identifying themselves as an abuser. Walk away. Actually, anyone who uses the Word of God to justify abusing you is twisting the Scriptures. From such, walk away.

Hannah on 5:58 PM said...

I agree with you!

In the bible Jesus speaks about the Pharacee's handing people extra burdens in life, and what they should be doing is lightening that load.

The Pearl's tend to make it quite heavy as well.

Anonymous said...

Debi's language may be harsh, but I find it refreshingly honest. Thanks to Debi and her faith in the Scriptures without contaminating it with man's wisdom, my marriage - like all the testimonies in the book you ignore, is HEAVENLY!!
and I am a much more godly woman and so satisfied with the changes in myself. My husband drank, did drugs, lied, was violent, and was distant. I shut my mouth and served and honored him and all those things fell away. In 1Peter, after the slave part, it does say "IN THE SAME WAY you wives be submissive to your own husbands" 3:1. And 2:18-25 does say suffering for doing right, patiently enduring, not reviling, entrusting ourselves to God who judges rightly. Obviously you ladies don't believe God sees or cares about what is happening in our lives. Even my kids know that nothing happens that God doesn't allow. The Pearls do say to contact authority for abuse and give no guidelines, which I thought was no restrictions - especially for physical abuse. I would way rather trust God than any restraining order anyhow!!
I was not doing my job as a wife. "the wise woman builds her house (husband), but the foolish woman tears it down with her own hands"!!

Anonymous said...

Shoot, sounds good, I did it too, complete total and utter submission without a word meeting all his needs. Things were better for a little, then the tyrant came out and needed more and more. Now we are in the process of a divorce. I am so burned out and have now been diagnosed with stage two breast cancer after serving and meeting his every need. And him yelling screaming and taking advantage of me for years. It's over now. I will never believe this lie again. And i hope that you break free one day when your "husband-king" is no longer satisfied and like a two year old if he gets what he wants, always ends up wanting more.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous wrote: "Debi's language may be harsh, but I find it refreshingly honest. Thanks to Debi and her faith in the Scriptures without contaminating it with man's wisdom, my marriage - like all the testimonies in the book you ignore, is HEAVENLY!!"

Since when is witchcraft teaching heavenly? Just like her husband, Michael Pearl, Debi Pearl teaches that sex is worship. \

The sex as worship occult doctrine is reinforced in Debi Pearl's book, Created to be His Helpmeet via a letter authored by "Brenda" who wrote to the Pearls thanking them for reassuring her that worshiping her husband during sexual relations is God's will:

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Pearl,

When I picked up your book, Holy Sex, I was afraid to read it. I thought you would tell me that what I was feeling was wrong--but you didn't, and instead you have given me a wonderful gift . . . Enjoying my husband has always been fine with me, but I have experienced a deeper longing and a "hunger" for him. I thought this was wrong. Times when I kissed and touched him from head to toe, for me were feelings of adoration and sometimes worship of him, and I felt it was wrong. I loved him so much, I desired to pour all of my being into him, but I struggled with whether it was right to do so.

(Quote source: Created to be His Helpmeet by Debi Pearl pg 171) [bold emphasis added]

According to Debi Pearl, Brenda's experience—which includes her feelings of worship for her husband during head to toe kissing—is what God intends for all married couples:

"This couple is experiencing what God intends for all married couples. In husband-and-wife relationships, God always speaks first to the wife, telling her to submit, and then to the husband, to love. Brenda's relationship with her husband started with her attitude of honor and thanksgiving toward him. You can see where it took her."

(Quote source: Created to be His Helpmeet by Debi Pearl pg 171)

In her book, Created to be His Helpmeet, under the heading, Several Good Reasons to be Sexy for Your Man, Debi Pearl indicates that sex is intended by God to be an earthly example of divine worship:

"It is intended by God to be an earthly example of divine worship and intimacy."

(Quote source: Created to be His Helpmeet by Debi Pearl pg. 176)

Quoted from: No Greater Joy's Occult Doctrine: Sex is Worship

There are many more witchcraft markings on No Greater Joy. See:

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