Quoting Quiverfull: Defending The Pearls and “To Train Up a Child”?

Quoting Quiverfull: Defending The Pearls and “To Train Up a Child”? January 22, 2014

by Paige Coleman of Delivering Women From the Snares of Death blog – Pearls Before Swine

For those of you who left nasty comments online, please be adequately informed before you raise your voice in protest. Humbly consider what you say to your children and what you say to others.  If you call for the banning of “To Train up a Child” because of the actions of those who read it, then by following your own logic, I could call for the banning of the examiner’s website.  After all, the author of the article clearly provoked you to anger.  Let’s blame him instead of you!  If Michael Pearl is responsible for Carri Williams’ anger, then the examiner (sic) is responsible for yours.

If you are a Christian, carefully consider the source of the articles you read and soberly consider the devices of Satan that are within your midst. Be well-informed in the ways of Christ so that you can identify a lie when you see one. Remember that those who are “falsely accused for [their] good conversation in Christ” (1 Pet. 3:16) will be justified, avenged, and glorified by God the Father Himself. I would not want to be put to an open shame before God for pointing an unjust finger at them while on this earth, would you?

Comments open below

QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders and ask our readers: What do you think? Agree? Disagree? This is the place to state your opinion. Please, let’s keep it respectful – but at the same time, we encourage readers to examine the ideas of Quiverfull honestly and thoughtfully.

NLQ Recommended Reading …

Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich

Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce


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  • Nea

    Jens Gems has also put up a spirited defense of Pearl, in much the same victim-blaming language. Apparently, if you have the “discernment” and “spit out the bones” you won’t actually abuse your child.

    That this discernment means throwing out 3/4 of what is actually written and hewing to the parts that could have been written by any secular child rearing book… is not discussed.

    Also, I see that this poster feels that “anger” is JUST the same as *abusing a helpless child to death.* Nice complete lack of perspective there.

  • Saraquill

    What’s there not to be angry about in an easily preventable death of a child?

  • Independent Thinker

    The Pearls and their followers have a twisted obsession with anger. Anger is not always bad. The reaction to anger is more important than the emotion itself. For example being angry at a politician simply means you might vote for someone else. If you plan to harm a politician with violence then we have problems. I read To Train Up A Child and the book has a central theme of violence is ok as long as you are joyful in caring it out. It’s quite obvious Debi and Michael have no grasp of child development or even the basics of psychology.

  • Trollface McGee

    Yay, more whining about Christians being persecuted – and if you “persecute” the Pearls by pointing out that their books – which explicitly endorse beating children starting when they are babies – endorse child abuse – God is going to send you to Hell.

  • Nightshade

    I think the Biblical story of Jesus chasing the moneychangers out of the temple probably included some healthy, justified anger that the purpose of worship had been twisted into robbery. Maybe, just mayyyybe, he would be angry with the Pearls for twisting the purpose and process of child-rearing into abuse.

  • Brennan

    A friend of mine recently posted to Facebook “When asking ‘what would Jesus do’ remember that ‘flip some tables and call them all thieves’ is an option.” 😉

  • Astrin Ymris

    Literalistic Christians seem to consider being criticized “persecution”. Therefore– by Paige Coleman’s own logic– they themselves should refrain from saying anything critical about LGBTs, Pagans, atheists, mainline denominations, liberal Christians, etc, etc, and so forth…

  • Allison the Great

    There is absolutely no defending the Pearls. There is something seriously wrong with those two and their family to think that it’s okay to beat babies and treat people, women, the way they do.

  • gimpi1

    I’ve been fascinated by the corruption of the word “discernment” as it’s used in fungagelical. So many words appear to have different meanings in this sub-culture.

  • gimpi1

    You forget, Astrin. Because of their “discernment,” their criticism is valid and reasonable. Our criticism is not “discerning” and therefore, an attack. (end sarcasm)

  • Nea

    Frankly, I was left with the opinion that in this case it meant “I’m smarter than you” more than anything else.

  • Nea

    It’s simpler than that, even. The Pearls are right because they are authorities and authorities by definition are always right and justified… just like God. No matter what atrocities they commit…. just like God.

  • gimpi1

    I have heard even weirder “definitions,” NeaDods. Some people who are deeply into the Evangelical belief-system seem to feel they have a sort of Hot-Line to the Holy Spirit, and that they are being constantly “guided.” Because I’m not “saved,” I don’t have that Hot-Line and my views, opinions and knowledge aren’t to be trusted. No one who isn’t in their specific sect can be trusted, due to this telepathic “guidance” that we don’t get. And these beliefs are held by people who violently condemn “witchcraft.” It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad.

  • gimpi1

    Unless those authorities are Democrats elected to office by a majority-vote. Then they are obviously illegitimate, tyrannical and “we must take our country back” from them.

  • Nea

    Yeah, funny how it always works that way.

  • Nea

    Wow. We don’t hear the voice in their head, so that makes us the crazy disconnected ones?


  • Sara Lin Wilde

    I don’t think banning ‘To Train Up A Child’ is at all the right strategy. I want to see the book publicly critiqued so far and wide, it’s practically impossible to avoid hearing exactly what’s wrong with the Pearl’s methodology.