Prequel: No More Dead Kids
The other verse that I couldn’t quite put my finger on yesterday was this one: Matthew 5:40 – “If someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.”
This verse has a sense of submission to it. In keeping with Ephesians 5:21 “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” But Michael Pearl had that excitement. That challenge. He wants to be pulled in to court. He wants to go and have a grand show about him and his book. He wants the media coverage. Pride. Not once during the interview did he express remorse over the deaths of those three children. Not once did he express sadness for that these children and their families have gone through as a result of Michael Pearl’s advice. True, he doesn’t believe the parents followed his advice, but the parents sure did (as do the investigators in Lydia’s case) and even if they weren’t following the advice correctly, the fact is that they were trying to. They were trying to do what Michael Pearl advised and they killed their daughter. But Micheal Pearl has not even once mentioned going back over his book to be sure that the fellowship is what’s emphasized (as he claims) or adding another section of warnings about when to stop if the spankings aren’t working. He is sure, without wavering, that no bad could have come out of what he wrote. Arrogance. There is something very strange, and very unsettling, deep in my soul, watching someone completely unphased by the mention of a small girl having been beaten to death.
And what Christian can hear about what is being done “in the name of Christ” and not feel misrepresented? Or betrayed by these fellow believers? Children are dying and being told that the beatings are what Christ wants for them. What follower of Christ can hear that without flinching? In my life, I’ve seen this from people who have already started reading the publications by Michael Pearl and No Greater Joy Ministries.
The other day I heard that the author of a book I’ve started (and liked) wrote a blog post degrading women. The post has since been removed, and the author seems to believe that what he wrote was wrong. But I still see the book differently. I have a clearer picture (a la 1 Corinthians 13) of the author and his character and his sin. He’s more human and less idealized and that reminds me to check and question everything he wrote. Because he is not Christ. He is imperfect. I’ve never seen that response from a follower of Pearl. The adhesion to his principles must be dogmatic and unquestioning if they are to work. And that adhesion seems to glue those followers to him as well. Sad. Because Christ didn’t seem to believe you could serve both him and another person.