"And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord."
Ephesians 6:4 NKJV
Several weeks ago we received a message on The Wartburg Watch HOTLINE from a caller in Canada. She was terribly disturbed that so-called spiritual leaders in America like Michael Pearl are instructing parents to beat (spank) their children. I returned the call and had a wonderful conversation with Cathi, a Christian mom who lives in Manitoba.
Cathi maintains a website that warns her readers about the Pearls. Since we have previously written on this topic here at TWW, she wanted to know what Americans — particularly pastors — are doing to address concerns with the Pearls’ teaching on child discipline. I informed her that it seems the vast majority of pastors are not willing to speak out about the Pearls, probably for fear of being sued. I then told Kathy that the secular media appear to be the primary voices sounding the alarm about the Pearls’ To Train Up a Child methodologies.
To prove just how reluctant American pastors appear to be in rocking the boat, we share the following example. We were contacted via e-mail by a megachurch pastor about one of our posts. In our response to him, we asked this pastor to consider removing a certain book from his recommended reading list. That book was On Becoming Babywise by Gary Ezzo. Ezzo is another questionable "authority" on childrearing. In fact, he had been roundly criticized by some high-profile leaders like John MacArthur, who was at one time Ezzo's pastor. What was this megapastor's response to our request? He accused us of character assassination! If this pastor's response is any indication of how American clergy view potential child abuse issues then we are in BIG TROUBLE!
Getting back to my enjoyable dialogue with Cathi, she called us after learning about the brutal beating of a child in California who died at the hands of her parents and then reading our post — Are Plumbing Lines Weapons of Child Destruction?
Here is what happened, according to CBS News:
“Prosecutors say that earlier this 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.”
Tragically, another child died over the summer near Seattle, Washington. Larry and Carri Williams, who already had six children, adopted a boy and a girl from Ethiopia. Their adopted daughter Hana died a painful death, and the parents have been arrested according to this Huffington Post article: Religion And Discipline: Report Explores Punishing Children In The Name Of Religion (link)
Here is an excerpt:
"Last month, Larry and Carri Williams were arrested and charged with homicide by abuse in Washington after their adopted daughter Hana was found naked and unconscious in the family's yard and pronounced dead at the hospital, the Skagit Vallery Herald reports. Hana, 13, showed signs of physical abuse and malnutrition, which were thought to have contributed to her death."
We encourage you to read this article and watch the CNN interview that has been embedded. Beginning at the four minute mark you will hear the prosecuting attorney in the Schatz trial explain that he believes the Pearl material influenced them. Immediately following this clip is Michael Pearl listing various items parents should use to discipline their children, specifically: a belt, a wooden spoon, or a plumbing supply line.
If you haven't done so, please read out post about the use of devices like plumbing lines to beat children into submission. Why plumbing lines? They leave few, if any, marks but hurt terribly! We dare you to go a hardware store, buy a foot or two of it like Dee did, and swat yourself with it. Where did the Schatz parents get the idea to use plumbing lines to discipline their parents? Most likely the Pearls.
As I was finishing up this post, I couldn't believe my eyes when I logged onto the internet and saw this Forbes headline: On Judge William Adams Beating His Daughter and Internet Revenge. (link)
"They say revenge is best served cold. In the case of Hillary Adams, a Texas woman who recently posted a very disturbing video of her father violently beating her, the revenge nearly has freezer burn.
The video of the abuse was made in 2004. Adams posted it last week on YouTube explaining that her father “took a belt to his own teenage daughter as punishment for using the internet to acquire music and games that were unavailable for legal purchase at the time.” Her father is not just your average abusive Texan. William Adams is a public figure, an Aransas County Court-at-Law judge.
The video went viral after she posted it to Reddit, a site where users would be especially sympathetic to a judge’s corporal punishment for illegal downloading. Redditors launched a vigilante campaign, posting numbers for local law enforcement and media outlets (as well as pranking the judge by ordering pizzas to his home). From there, the horrific video gained national attention within a day, from blogs as well as local media in Texas. The sheriff’s office is now launching an investigation."
The Huffington Post just published this article: Judge William Adams Beating Of Teen With Cerebral Palsy Sparks Outrage. (link)
That article begins as follows:
"Police in Rockport, Texas, have started an investigation after the alarming circulation of a video depicting the brutal abuse of a teenager with disabilities that was uploaded onto Reddit and YouTube.
Authorities are checking the veracity of the video and trying to determine whether a local judge was involved, they reported on Wednesday.
"We were made aware of the video last night and it has been assigned to our criminal investigation division. An investigation is ongoing at this time," Rockport Police Chief Tim Jayroe told The Huffington Post.
The seven-and-a-half minute clip, which has nearly a half-million views, shows a teenage girl being brutally beaten with belts by an older male and female. According to a description of the clip, the girl has ataxic cerebral palsy and is being punished for "using the Internet to acquire music and games that were unavailable for legal purchase" at the time."
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then what is a seven-and-a-half minute video of child beating worth? You be the "JUDGE". Now that this video has gone viral, there have been close to a million views in a short period of time. We made an editorial decision to include this upsetting video.
Just as pregnancy support centers show expectant mothers an ultrasound of their developing baby in order to convince them of the humanity of their child, we want American pastors and fellow Christians to understand just how serious child abuse is. It's one thing to talk about using a belt to discipline a child; it's quite another to actually see it.
WARNING! Extremely Graphic Material. View with caution.
Lydia's Corner: 2 Chronicles 29:1-36 Romans 14:1-23 Psalm 24:1-10 Proverbs 20:12