Thursday, March 04, 2010

Lydia The Child the Pearls Laugh at!

Posted by Hannah at 7:55 PM

I sit here with tears in my eyes as I read a story from Beauty For Ashes.  I'm sure some of you have read of the awful death of the child named Lydia.  Prosecutors say that earlier last month Kevin and Elizabeth Schatz of Paradise, Calif., 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.  Lydia's 11 year old sister was placed in the hospital in critical condition.  It seems her older sister was a bad influence on her siblings.  This couple is looking at life imprisonment.

Beauty for Ashes begins her piece:
Paul and I have just returned home from the funeral of a most precious little girl.  Lydia's smile could have lit a room. Now it reflects the glory of God the Savior for all eternity.
Yes they knew the family in question, because they had once attended their church but it seems left over doctrinal issues it seems.  This women had such grace that she showed as she spoke of this family.  The loss hit her and her family unlike most of us that read about this poor child on the news.  Its a bit different listening to how these types of things effect you when you listen to someone close enough to know them.

It seems the parents of the dead child  followed some of the teachings of Debi and Michael Pearl, and took their teachings of child discipline and raising up from To Train Up a Child a bit to far as Mr. Pearl states.  If you have read any of the portions of the book they seem to me to wish for you to break the child's spirit.  A child as young as 4-6 months wiggling during a diaper change is old enough to receive that spanking they mention in order to show the child WHO is in charge, and why they will NOT wiggle!

I linked to the book on the side so you could take look at its offerings.  Read the reviews, and you can read part of this dangerous book online.  Debi and Michael Pearl do claim that you are NOT to beat a child, rather:  On p.46 the Pearls say that if a child does obey before being whipped, whip them anyway. And "if you have to sit on him to spank him, then do not hesitate. And hold him there until he is surrendered. Prove that you are bigger, tougher."

The way they word things on how to prove whom is bigger and tougher as history as shown (2 dead children) isn't something that I feel the bible is trying to get across when it asks for parents to discipline their children.  When I hear terms like this it reminds me of how I'm trying to show my children to train up our new puppy.  They have never had a dog before, and I need to show them how to convey to this puppy WHO will be the dominate one in this house.  We have a new Black Labrador, and he will be large when he gets older.  It was just yesterday I was showing my son how to walk this puppy so that the puppy doesn't take HIM for the walk!  This puppy tried and tried to show my son how completely put upon he was, and on a side note?  Tee hee that dog is GOOD!  I showed my son how to hold the leash, and what do to when the dog went to fast or tired to drag behind.  I happy to announce both dog and child are doing well so far!  The advice above I have seen others use for dogs as well, and its very easy to take that to far.  What happens at that point?  You could end up with a very aggressive dog for one thing.  I don't want us to knock the puppy spirit completely out of this 3 month old, but on the other hand he will know WHO the boss is - or 'leader of the pack'.  I don't wish the same type of spirit being received from me to my children!

This is the second death they have connected their book to, and I found an article on how the Debi and Michael Pearl seem to be taking the criticism.  It made me sick!  I'm sure they feel totally committed to what they have written in the book, but if you look at their response to this child that died?  It shows a major heart issue to me.  We are to show grace, and have a humble spirit.  This characteristic that we are asked to live is totally missing in their response.  I'm sure they will claim it was in response to criticism towards them, but I guess common sense leaves the outhouse in the country.  They just couldn't connect the dots!

Their arrogance in the face of dead child named Lydia, and the fact they seemed more determined to not take a time out promoting it, but rather scoff at the questioning of their tactics.   Notice their marketing at the end of their opinion!

It has come to may 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.
They are to busy telling us how great their book is and the benefits of it, and how THEIR children will teach the world about love and forgiveness.  I wonder if they will also teach compassion, and a humble spirit?  You can feel their defensive nature starting, and yet let us compare that to those that are more close to the tragic event.

Beauty for Ashes states: It is likely my friend and her husband will spend the rest of their lives in prison. If the news and police reports are true, then this is the penalty their actions call for. Paul and I determined from the outset that regardless what happens we will continue to extend the grace and hope of the Gospel to them there. And with every new horror that I learn, I find I love them no less. They are sinners, and so am I. They need the grace of God, and so do I. I, as a Christian, have been called to the ministry of reconciliation. As a recipient of God's mercy, I am called to extend that same mercy to every sinner I meet - no matter the sin.

Debi and Michael instead of showing grace and love towards this awful tragic event instead decides that laughing at their critics is a better way of handling it!

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. The 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 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....

Do they see God in heaven laughing at those that do not choose to follow his word?  No.  We read that he mourns for them.

We find in parts of the bible that he is angry at the sin in the world, but he never laughs or cackles at them.

The Pearls do not like to look at the portion of the population that use their approach to child raising incorrectly.  They don't see what is wrong with dominating children in this fashion.  Its the spirit of the domination that they speak of, and not the 'biblical chastisement' as the put it.  For the most part I don't see Christians so much having an issue with the 'spanking' per say, but their methods that incorporate the spankings is what they feel is dangerous.  THERE IS A HUGE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO!

Their attitude of how if you don't do it their way your children will be A, B and C - all negative.  There are plenty of children that respond to other methods of discipline, and you don't have to use spanking.  Adults aren't totally obedient either, and so that perfect child can't be possible either.  This world is trouble if only Pearl Followers are our doctors, social workers, etc if they parents did not also show them how to receive criticism - even if it is not correct - in a proper and Godly manner.  Something it seems the Pearls have not yet mastered.  Maybe one of the children could write a book for them?!

Whether you feel directly responsible or not for the death of Lydia it would seem that responding with compassion instead of laughing about how the world doesn't get it would be more appropriate.   The "Happy" children this couple left behind may not be so 'thankful' for YOUR (the Pearls) response to their sister's death once they get older.  I have wonder what they will think when they realize their parents aren't coming home as well.  You don't defend your book empire as you giggle and scorn your critics in this case.  YOU truly should be ashamed of your selves they way you (the Pearls) are handling this.

Debi and Michael Pearl seem to think that is just a small number of critics, and that is hardly the case.  It would seem to me if they felt they needed to continue to sell this book?  Adding a chapter or two talking about the 'line' these parents crossed would be needed after two deaths connected to the book.  I realize we can't stop them from publishing it, but acknowledging these tragic events would only be responsible.  Another trait I would assume they would wish their children to live by.  As you read their response (since we can't stop them from selling the book) you take away a sense of their lack of Christian Charity towards people's concerns, hurts, and mourning.  Its much MORE than just the subject of if you should discipline your children in the means of spanking, etc.  They are SO blind that they can't see how much more there is to the event, and how some take their handling of this issue as hurtful to say the least.

I don't buy the country attitude, but maybe its more  not connecting with reality.  Myself and my family came from such a background as well, and even we can see a wrong response.  Its sad that no one close to them can show them how completely cold and dangerous they come across.  People will claim the opposite of course, but as we all know their actions towards this death speak for themselves.

So that's what we find ourselves dealing with - and the pain of loving the people misled by this religious system. None of this absolves our friends of the responsibility which they bear, nor am I making excuses for them. But, I believe they are not the only ones who bear responsibility. They were deceived, and were also ensconced in a little sub-community which encouraged them that what they were doing was the best thing, and even the most godly thing. The Pearl's system does not just mold children, it molds well-meaning parents into the kind of people who think they can and should expect perfect obedience and perfect behavior from imperfect and defenseless little creatures. In fact, it teaches them that if they don't succeed in this, they are not fit to be to be parents at all.
I think she pretty much sums it up nicely.

Tulip Girl has a listing of 'vocal few' that seem to be growing in numbers.  Those that feel they must:

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
Speak up and judge fairly;
defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
Proverbs 31:8-9
The list is growing as churches, groups, individuals, etc are speaking out.

I have written about Debi and Michael Pearl before - Twice in fact, and it seems they prefer legalism to compassion.  I pray that enough people speak out so we don't have to read about another tragic event like what happened to Lydia.  I would also pray that the proper compassion towards this family is shown from the Pearls.  You don't lead your flock to show that is acceptable to mock, ridicule, and giggle at the deaths of children.  I must say I highly doubt God is in Heaven laughing with you!  If he doesn't find it funny that at least should make you stop and think - I don't know....maybe it isn't something to laugh at!

Lydia - The child the Pearls Laugh at!  I will pray for her and family instead!  YES I will even pray for the Pearls, because I truly think they need it as well.

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Anne on 9:40 AM said...

Thank you for sharing this. I feel another blog post coming on.

Hannah on 11:22 AM said...

You go GIRL! Amen!

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