Paradise Found, Then Lost and More on Ezzo – Caveat Emptor!

“There is no finer investment for any community than putting milk into babies.”  Winston Churchill



Before addressing today’s topic, I thought it might be beneficial to share some information about my own faith journey. I could write a book, but I’ll spare you …

In the late 1990s my family left our United Methodist church in order to find a more conservative congregation. My husband had been raised Southern Baptist and Adrian Rogers had significantly impacted my life through his television outreach, so we decided to join a church in that denomination. Prior to making the switch, I had become aware of the conservative takeover of the SBC and thought it was a very good thing. Paige and Dorothy Patterson were members of the church we joined; however, I never got to know them because their travel schedule prevented them from attending much of the time. Dr. Patterson was serving as both president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

During our first year there, the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message was passed and embraced by the SBC. I remember Dr. Patterson delivering a Mothers’ Day sermon at my church and calling attention to his cowboy boots which demonstrated his allegiance to his native state of Texas. When the service ended, I walked up to Dr. Patterson, shook his hand, and asked him to tell Adrian Rogers that someone in North Carolina has been deeply impacted by his television ministry. Patterson and Rogers were very close friends.

Several years later we heard that a new Southern Baptist church was being planted near our home, so we began to visit. After we had been attending for about a year, the church was officially launched and we became charter members. Within a year or so an internal conflict arose concerning the pastor, whom we dearly loved.

Dr. Danny Akin arrived at SEBTS around the time the conflict escalated, and someone from our church asked if he would become involved. He committed to meeting with the elders on Wednesday evenings over a period of months. A friend and I took turns preparing food for elders since their weekly meetings commenced at 6:00 p.m. My husband and I wrote Dr. Akin a letter thanking him for his involvement in the situation. Some months later, our pastor stunned the congregation by announcing his resignation. We felt called to leave the church when our pastor did. Prior to being hired, he had been a professor at SEBTS, and he resumed his teaching position after leaving the church.

My family began spending more weekends at our family farm located two hours away from our primary residence, and we began attending a Baptist church there. It was a great comfort to us during this extended period of time. Some time later, our former pastor was called to become the interim pastor at a small Baptist church in the area, and we were thrilled! We began attending this church and joined after he was hired permanently. It seemed like paradise found to my family.

My older daughter was graduating from high school and planned to attend UNC-Chapel Hill, an extremely liberal university. She had a deep faith, which we hoped she would continue to nurture in college. Our pastor recommended that she attend The Summit because he knew J.D. Greear extremely well and had taught him in seminary. The only problem was UNC freshmen were not allowed to have cars on campus, and our daughter had trouble finding transportation to the church. During her first semester, she took advantage of a shuttle service provided by a church close to campus. However, my daughter still wanted to visit The Summit because of our pastor’s recommendation, and I wanted to make that happen for her.

Shortly after the start of my daughter’s second semester, Greear came to SEBTS to speak during chapel (February 8, 2008). By this time I had attended quite a few chapel services at the seminary, even though I wasn’t a student. After delivering his message, J.D. prepared to leave through the front door of Binkley Chapel. I walked up to him and introduced myself. I explained that my daughter really wanted to attend his church but did not have a way to get there. He explained that college students carpool to The Summit and that if my daughter had any difficulty finding transportation, she should give him a call and he would help her. Then he handed me a card with his name and phone number. It was a very friendly exchange.

As I recall, my daughter didn’t begin going to The Summit until the beginning of her sophomore year when she was allowed to have a car. My husband and I wanted her to be able to drive to church, and we were so happy that each week she was taking other students with her who wanted to attend Greear’s church. My daughter has been attending The Summit for almost three years now, along with most of her friends. It has been an extremely positive faith building experience for them.

My husband, younger daughter, and I decided to attend The Summit for the first time on August, 29, 2010, and we called our older daughter on the way to church (she was already back at college) to let her know. She arrived a few minutes before we did, and she was seated in the main auditorium. We were directed to the overflow section. The sermon topic was “Thou Shalt Have Great Sex” from Exodus 20:14. Greear was preaching a series on the Ten Commandments and just happened to be speaking on the Sixth Commandment – “Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery” – that day. My older daughter, knowing we were there somewhere, panicked. She later explained that she thought to herself – of all the days for my parents to come, this would be the topic…

Yes, it was a sensitive topic, but Greear handled it extremely well. It was a timely message with so many students going back to college, and I was glad that both of my daughters were there to hear it. During the weeks that followed, my husband made several complimentary remarks about Greear’s sermon. Both of us received the message extremely well.

That was the only time we have visited The Summit. As I have explained numerous times before, beginning in the fall of 2008 (about ½ year after meeting Greear) I began investigating some of the topics discussed here at TWW – early marriage, CBMW, ESS, Calvinism, the SBC/SGM connection, Patterson’s misogynistic attitude toward women by advising them to stay in physically abusive marriages, etc. By January 2009 my husband and I became so alarmed that we felt we had no choice but to leave the denomination, and we communicated that to our pastor. It was heartbreaking to leave our church; however, like Martin Luther, we believe it is dangerous to go against conscience. We could not in good conscience remain in the Southern Baptist Convention. That was over two years ago. Almost two months after leaving my church and the SBC, Dee and I began blogging about our concerns. If you’re new here, you can check out our varied topics under the “Categories” heading.

While I believe J.D. Greear is a fine pastor, I am concerned about several of the books he recommends on his website. We mentioned them in our previous post. The book that concerns me the most is On Becoming Babywise: Giving Your Infant the Gift of Nighttime Sleep by Gary Ezzo.


As stated in our previous post, there has been a huge outcry against Ezzo’s teachings, specifically: Grace Community Church (where John MacArthur pastors) has issued an open letter against Ezzo, Christianity Today published several articles highlighting the problems with Ezzo, the Christian Research Institute (Hank Hannegraaf) has researched Ezzo and issued their findings about his teachings, and the American Academy of Pediatrics has issued a warning about Ezzo’s methods.

I wonder whether Greear and other Christian leaders who endorse Ezzo realize that many highly respected Christian authorities and organizations have voiced their concerns about Ezzo’s methods. Please go here to view the list. 


Here is their summary of concerns: 


“ – exhibits/encourages tendency toward legalism (even while it advises parents not to be legalistic)

– uses prooftexting and scripture twisting to give weight and urgency to ideas presented

– confuses biblical principle and application, sometimes elevating the Ezzos' favored application to the level of actual biblical principle, making it the moral standard

– emphasis on the moralism of good behavior — as defined by Western etiquette — rather than hearts turned toward Jesus

– Portrayal of other parenting approaches as unbiblical by mischaracterizing their beliefs and results


Critics acknowledge that some good, practical and biblical ideas may be found in the Ezzos' material. However, the presence of the above dynamics can make it harder for parents to glean the good, and may contribute to an overly eager or rigid way of applying the ideas.”


What is extremely alarming to us is the fact that Multnomah, which at one time published Ezzo’s books, returned the publishing rights (see below). Link


“The notice announced that Multnomah Publishing was returning publishing rights to self-styled parenting expert Gary Ezzo, author of such bestselling books as On Becoming Babywise and On Becoming Babywise II. *


Although Mr. Ezzo was one of Multnomah's A-list authors, the publisher decided to drop him as an author after an internal investigation was conducted of claims of medical misinformation in his books as well as serious character problems involving him.


Apparently, in an effort to protect itself from potential legal liability for publishing medically inaccurate information, Multnomah announced its decision to drop Ezzo in carefully nuanced and vague terms.

The statement blamed Mr. Ezzo's critics for being unwilling to meet with Ezzo at a "reconciliation" meeting hosted by Multnomah officials. The statement gave the impression that the critics' refusal to meet was the reason that Multnomah decided to drop him as an author. This is a nonsensical explanation.”


According to the article at the above link, the more likely reason Multnomah dropped Ezzo’s book is because “medical errors involving newborn infants would be especially troublesome for a reputable publisher.”


One would think that pastors/churches would be especially careful in making book recommendations that could lead to potential lawsuits in the event of an infant death attributable to following Ezzo’s methods. Imagine a devastated parent testifying in court: “Your honor, my pastor recommended Ezzo’s book, and now my baby has died.” A church’s potential exposure could be staggering…

Since being dropped by his publisher, Ezzo self-publishes his resources including On Becoming Babywise. To understand how he does this, read the information under the heading “Ezzo Creates Two Paper Organizations For His Vanity Press” at the above link. The linked article concludes as follows:

“There is nothing inherently wrong with self-publishing, but Gary Ezzo seems to have gone out of his way to hide the fact that his former publisher dropped him after investigating both the medical misinformation and character issues surrounding his books."


Likewise, the wording on his copyright page and acknowledgment in the 2001 edition of On Becoming Babywise and on the Parent-Wise Solutions, Inc., web site lead a reader to think that this is a real publishing company-and part of a larger company known as Charleston Publishing Group.


Caveat Emptor!


Purchasers of his books have the right to know that his "publishing companies" are merely paper facades that hide his self-publishing efforts-and his inability to acquire a reputable publisher for his questionable theological and medical advice.


What should this mean to potential purchasers of his books? It means that Gary Ezzo now has far less accountability for accuracy in his books than he ever had before. If Multnomah dropped him over concerns about medical misinformation in his books, potential customers should heed the warning: Let The Buyer Beware!”


The more we are learning about Gary Ezzo, the more alarmed we have become. It’s incredible that Pastor A defended Greear’s inclusion of On Becoming Babywise on his Recommended Readling List and accused us of assaulting Ezzo’s character. We are simply quoting facts. Dear readers, do you believe that Ezzo’s methods are “very biblical” as Pastor A claimed in his response to us?

When Ezzo developed his teaching years ago, he asserted that you would know how well you raised your children based on your relationship with them when they grow up. Well, both of the Ezzo daughters are grown and estranged from their parents. You can read about it at this link

Here is a shocking excerpt:


“Sadly, several years ago, both daughters and their husbands cut off contact with the Ezzos, and they remain estranged. Both couples have confirmed this to One couple, the Luedkes, indicated that their decision was based on their personal observation of the same types of character issues raised by others and that it was done only after much prayer, consideration, and counsel.


This situation is a true tragedy, but churches and parents considering the Ezzos’ parenting advice deserve to know that the pattern of broken relationships they have left behind them extends even into their own family.”


After reviewing all of this evidence, do YOU believe we are being “uncharitable” toward Ezzo and condemning his character? We would appreciate your feedback.


I recently purchased the latest edition of On Becoming Babywise: Giving Your Infant the Gift of Nighttime Sleep and am in the process of reading it. Soon I will be reviewing it here at TWW, so stay tuned… Just remember, Caveat Emptor!


Lydia's Corner: Numbers 33:40-35:34 Luke 5:12-28 Psalm 65:1-13 Proverbs 11:23






Paradise Found, Then Lost and More on Ezzo – Caveat Emptor! — 15 Comments

  1. Deb, so far I think your analysis of Ezzo has stuck to publicly available facts, usually backed up with copious source material. Quoting his church’s statement, his publisher’s statement, and Christianity Today are hardly personal attacks. Quoting his book and the medical evidence against it isn’t an attack; it’s simply providing truth that ought to be known.

    I believe strongly that we owe it to other Christians to be charitable in our judgment. I also don’t think, in this instance, TWW is violating that judgment. If you had ever starting assigning motives to Ezzo that couldn’t be backed up, then I could perhaps understand that particular part of Pastor A’s response. In the case of Ezzo specifically, though, the blog queens have been most distant from seeking to judge his heart. I think this is right of you as you handle people who are with the best or worst intentions spreading what appears to be significant error.

  2. You might also want to look at the website: It will give some additional perspective that is missing from some other sites.

  3. Toni,

    I have previously visited

    Do you know whether the Ezzos have reconciled with their two daughters? According to one source I found, there were still estranged in 2008.

  4. Toni,

    I started reading On Becoming Babywise today and will be reviewing it here soon. FYI, I have discovered by reading Ezzo’s book that I was an AP (Attachment Parenting) mom who ALWAYS did Demand Feeding with both of my daughters. They are now all grown up (ages 18 and 21) and are confident, independent, and extremely close to my husband and me. We must have done something right by doing the exact opposite of what Ezzo recommends.

    In my book review I will be explaining to our readers how Ezzo uses scare tactics and manipulation to coerce the reader into following his PDF (Parent Directed Feeding) methods. It really is incredible. Looking forward to sharing my findings here at TWW.

  5. You know, I have always questioned even Dobson. Where in scripture are most of the things they teach? We have overarching principles in scriptures that relate to ‘teaching’ our children but so much of what they teach is extra biblical. Dobson was not so bad except his focus on gender roles.

    And these people made their big splash when their children were very young. No one could see the fruit of their teaching. Dobson’s son has some strange doctrine but of course makes a living from ministry.

  6. Dee,

    I just read this short review of the new book by Rob Bell pastor of Mars Hill Bible church. I think the writer had some great insights, in addition to saying more poignantly some of the ideas I have tried to communicate, not to worry though She rags on atheists too! Just curious how you would relate to some of the things she said.

  7. Karl

    I liked this article. I am not a universalist and I do believe in hell although my perspective on hell is a bit different. Here is why I liked this article. As a Christian community, we have embraced an all or nothing view of the faith. I am NOT talking about Jesus, salvation, the creedal confessions. Christianity has become the basic faith+my Bible version, my view of creation, baptism style, Reformed, my,my,my….whatever. I also believe that thoughtful Christians go through times when the question issues such as annihilationism, etc. In fact, if they don’t then i wonder about their faith. Do they even understand its theological underpinnings. For some, it takes time to work out these issues. To say they are not Christians while in process is silly.

    Somehow, a pedophile can be a christian but not a guy who questions the concept of hell boggles my mind a bit. Why can’t people like piper say something different than-“good-bye Rob Bell?” Why not something like, Well , we disagree and I think this point is crucial and we need to talk this through?

  8. Hey Karl

    Did you read Muff’s last comment? He thinks that we will be nice to him (self-described lefty liberal socialist Christian) because we let you hang around.See, you give our blog a certain something-what that something is I am not sure but it is something! 🙂

  9. Dee,

    Just how missional are those New Calvinists like John Piper? I think his response to Rob Bell gives us a glimpse of Piper’s heart condition. And all the Calvinistas will fall in lock step behind him.

    I’m not a universalist either, but what a lame response! The world is watching…

  10. Yes, I do bring a certain je ne sais quoi, to the table 🙂

    Quote of the Day:
    Jesus tells his apostles, “ye shall sit upon the twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” I wonder which tribe Judas is judging?

  11. Hi Karl
    Actually I was thinking of that “je ne” phrase but didn’t have time to check how to spell it. Have you formally introduced yourself to Muff and Numo? They now represent the liberals on this blog and your represent the atheists. I am now seeking a Scientologist to round it out.

    Karl, I think you are trying to trip me up. I know you know that Paul was the replacement-well there was that little issue of drawing lots but most think Paul’s the guy. So, what do you know that I don’t know-lots to be sure.

  12. Do these guys know how to talk or just attack? It reminds me of the “assault his character” comment. Could it be that they are so threatened by someone who thinks differently that they do not know how to respond in a thoughtful manner? Maybe they think that no one is supposed to struggle and work things out. Nope-just say as i say and shut up.And, as you know, I am NOT a universalist but I do think there may be a couple of surprises in heaven.

    BTW, there are people within the Calvinista way of thinking that believe that newborn babies go to hell and that God takes pleasure in doing so. Frankly, I would rather have a universalist as a friend than one of those guys.

  13. The church that I attend has been offering GKGW for 20 years. Gary and AM have even visited (about 15 yrs ago). My wife and I even facilitated in GKGW in the past (we haven’t for the past 10 years). I agree that GKGW is full of gratuitous assertions and Gary has serious integrity issues. We have been out of the child rearing loop for some time, so only recently were we made aware that GKGW is still being offered (it hasn’t been mentioned from the pulpit until just recently). I just would like some suggestions on how to approach the elder(s)/pastor on this matter. They have to know of the controversy. My family has been members of this church from it’s inception (23 yrs) so you can appreciate my hesitation, but it is something I need to do. Thanks.

  14. Hi John

    This is a very tricky subject to approach with pastors. Pastors are particularly loathe to admit that something that they have endorsed is now discredited. We approached one local pastor who went nuts and said we were “assaulting the character” of Ezzo. I almost said, “What character?” but held my tongue.

    I think that the most probability of success is to take the approach that Ezzo has been flying under the radar for years and that you have gradually become aware of the issues. Remind him that you have taught this curriculum and that you, too, feel duped.

    Then, you can hand him some info on the medical dangers of the Ezzo method. You could mention that a church could be held liable if medical complications arise for pushing such a method and that you believe that church needs to protect itself from such a possibility.

    You could even offer the evidence of how Ezzo has lied about his background and how John MacArthur threw him out of his church.

    I wish you well in your discussion. Jesus called Himself “the Truth” and will honor you as you seek to educate others about the realities surrounding the Ezzo method..

  15. Dee:
    Thanks. That’s wise and insightful advice. You covered the main areas of concern. My fear is as you stated, that there could be over reaction or defensiveness and I would be rendered “controversial” (damn the messenger). I will continue to research and pray before confronting the church. Anybody have any insight about Ezzo’s involvement w/ the Mormons &/or Bill Gothard?