No Greater Joy Ministry

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by abcgrad94, Mar 31, 2008.

  1. abcgrad94

    abcgrad94
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    I was recently given a book authored by Debi Pearl. It seems she and her husband Michael, have founded No Greater Joy Ministries, which teaches godly parenting and marriage. I'm not familiar with this and don't want to recommend them until I have more info.

    Here's my question. Are they Baptist and/or is No Greater Joy a trustworthy source of godly advice? I've checked out their website and read a bunch of reviews of their books, which only raised more questions instead of answering them for me. On one hand, they seem to have a following, on another hand I read that they teach questionable discipline practices.
     
  2. annsni

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    I've done extensive research on the Pearls and their books (I have Created to be His Helpmeet and To Train Up a Child right next to my computer) and I can safely say that I will never recommend them AND I will be absolutely vocal against them.

    They are not Baptist - and their theology is messed up. In his series on Romans, Michael Pearl says that he's the ONLY pastor who teaches the truth on the subject of sin (from Romans 9) and that even the 20-30 commentaries he's read teaches error on this. He states that he lives in sinless perfection (which, if you read the CTBHHM, he's not) and that all believers should. He also does not believe in being born with original sin or with a sin nature.

    The Helpmeet book was my project last summer. I can sum up the entire book for you right here: If anything is wrong in your marriage, it's the woman's fault. Even if a man is into porn, it's the woman's fault. If he's angry, it's the woman's fault. If the wife will change her ways, they can have what they call a "heavenly marriage".

    In the Train up a Child book, he advocates setting your child up to failure through temptation and says that it's right to do it because God Himself tempted Adam and Eve by putting the tree in the middle of the garden where they saw it day in and day out. His advocating spanking a few month old is abuse pure and simple.

    Here are a few sites that I've saved with some good information. I was going to write a huge review on the Created to be His Helpmeet but this blog said exactly what I was going to say: http://createdtobehelpmeet.blogspot.com/

    Here are other sites with good info:

    http://allthings2all.blogspot.com/2005/09/michael-and-debi-pearls-no-greater-joy_30.html
    (Not into David Cloud but he has good points) http://www.wayoflife.org/fbns/awarning-nogreaterjoy.html
    http://allthings2all.blogspot.com/2005/07/review-to-train-up-child-by-michael.html
    (look down the page for a chapter by chapter review) http://razorbackmama.blogspot.com/
     
    #2 annsni, Mar 31, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 31, 2008
  3. tinytim

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    I agree with Annsni... I have ran onto some of their stuff.. and they are warped.
     
  4. tinytim

    tinytim
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    Hmmmm... Pocadots will like that!
     
  5. annsni

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    LOL - When I told DH that the basic premise of the book is that it's all the woman's fault, he asked "What's wrong with that??"

    Yeah - he slept on the couch that night. ;) Chateau Bow-Wow!
     
  6. Dale-c

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    I must agree with you there.
    My wife was given the helpmeet book justbefore we got married. I have never cared for them and believe they are very legalistic.
    In fact, they are worse that Bill Gothard in the legalist department if that is possible.,

    That all said, I have friend and familiy who think they are great.
     
  7. bapmom

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    I've read Created to be his Helpmeet, and I believe it has some good insights in it in regards to the different types of men......but I'd not recommend any other book by them. And I'd only recommend the Helpmeet one if you take it with alot of Scripture.....a grain of salt.
     
  8. blackbird

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    I'm not a "disciple" of the Pearls but have read a good deal of their work

    What you're gonna get on this thread is mixed feelings----some are gonna dispise the Pearls----some are gonna think they'er the best thing to come along since sliced bread.

    Much of their work is hard to accept especially by those who have been reared by the "Oprah" & Dr. Phil agenda who are anti-christ to the core!!!
     
  9. Beth

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    Agreeing

    Agreeing with you on this, Ann.
     
  10. Dale-c

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    I would agree, however, I was not reared in this manner at all.
    The problem is that they are really too much like Dr. Phil from what I have seen.
    Their solution is always law and not gospel.

    I have not read a ton of their material, mostly because I never can stand what I have read.
     
  11. abcgrad94

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    Thanks for your input. I finished reading the Helpmeet book last night and some of the stuff really bothered me. It seems they think God made women for the sole purpose of glorifying a man. Any woman who is not married has not fulfilled her purpose and must be out of God's will.

    Also, they believe the woman's behavior is what controls her husband's actions. Nowhere are women told to pray for God to change their husband's heart, they are just supposed to cook better, plan better, seduce him more, etc. If the husband is wrong, it must be the wife's fault. Wow! What a great copout for any man who wants to sin and not take responsibility for it.

    I did more research last night and found more disturbing discipline advice, like using a switch on children less than 12 months old, and plumbing pipes and larger tree branches on older children. Discipline is geared to parental control but not teaching a child's heart about sin.

    I certainly will not recommend their materials to anyone.
     
  12. Dale-c

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    I have gotten this same impression.
    The whole emphasis is not personal morality and not grace
     
  13. annsni

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    I honestly cannot see how anyone can think that there is anything redeeming in the Helpmeet book at all. I have it on my lap right now and I will type some exerpts:

    On page 24 in a box speaking of the word "help meet" (which they make into 2 words as the KJV has it although in the Hebrew, it's just one word) and she states that it occurs just twice in the OT in Genesis 2:18 and 20. She says "...Eve was created to be a helper (noun) who was meet (adjective) , suited to Adam's needs." OK - so now she's no longer looking at what the word was (help meet is azer in the Hebrew and is a noun. She then goes on to say right after that "The New Testament use of the word meet throws some light on this word: Acts 26:20, Romans 1:27, 1 Corinthians 15:9, 16:4, Phil. 1:7, Col. 1:12, II Thes. 1:3, II Tim. 2:21, Heb. 6:7, II Pet. 1:13. I encourage you to look up these verses. You will be enlightened as to your position before God as a helper "meet" for your man." Which is all nice and good but since the original Hebrew doesn't contain the word "meet" as an adjective, then this is pretty bad study methods AND she's leading women astray as a "Titus 2 Woman"

    On page 27, she is telling the story of a couple she sees at the store. She describes the woman in this way: "The strange thing was that this woman was ugly, I mean, hillbilly ugly, which is worse than regular ugly." She continually uses this tactic to describe women - in very unChrist-like derogatory terms.

    On page 29 in a response to a woman who's husband is having an emotional affair, she states, "God has provided for your husband's complete sanctification and deliverance from temptation through you, his wife." She goes on to tell her that "Yes, he is wrong [the husband], but your response, though justified, will certainly lead to the destruction of your marriage." - See? It will be the wife's fault if the marriage goes south. She then uses threats of 'when you are alone and the children are in daycare, you're trying to pay the rent on a dumpy duplex, etc, you can always know that you stood on principle.' So her suggestion is to now play the game. You need to beat the competitor - make yourself more attractive, adore him, give him lots of rolls in the hay, show up at the office and be so thankful and sweet towards your husband that you make the "cheap office hussy" feel beneath your class. "It is in your best interest to learn to use the feminine wiles. A woman holds her man with the fragile threads of adoration, thankfulness, delight and just plain fun." Wow!

    "When a woman gets old and realizes that there is no man to love an dcherish her, it is sad indeed, for she has failed in the very purpose for which she was created - to be a suitable helper to a man" (pg. 58)

    On page 124, there's a paragraph that made me nauseous. It says "Jesus wants us for a friend. He wants a companion, someone with whom to discuss ideas. He wants a playmate, someone with whom to laugh and enjoy life. He wants a buddy with whom to spend time. He wants a lover, someone to care about and someone to care about him. He wants a help meet, someone to share his work of creation and management. He wants to be a groom, and he wants the Church to be his bride." That just sounds so....creepy to me. I understand the church being the bride and that God desires a relationship with us but He needs a buddy? A playmate?

    On page 139, she talks about how things aren't fair. "It doesn't seem fair that the wife is expected to honor and obey her husband even though he has not earned the fight; yet she must also earn the right to be loved." She then says "God made it so that we can actually manipulate him into fulfilling his God ordained duty. His very nature is made to respond to us if we will only treat him with reverence."

    There's a ton more but these were some of the things that stood out for me. There are way better books out there on being a Godly wife. I understand some say "Well, chew the meat and spit out the bones." but this is like eating a chicken wing tip. Wouldn't you rather have a meatier piece of meat? There's really so little in this book to make it worthwhile that it's best used for firestarter than a book to teach the younger woman to be wives.
     
  14. tinytim

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    It sounds as if it is downgrading men as well... It makes us stupid..
    It sounds as if she is trying to tell the women that they can manipulate us with their womenly wiles...

    This is the humanistic approach... the Pearls are very humanistic in their approach to child raising.. (behavioral conditioning... they compare raising children to training mules...) and now they are applying this principle to marriage.

    And I know that ABC is from KY and I am from WV.. so the hillbilly cut really offends me.

    I agree with Ann... women, start a fire with the book in your fireplace.... throw a little wood on it,
    (maybe the switches they encourage to beat babies with, and the branches to beat older kids with... personally, I think they should be investigated for child abuse!!!!)
    and then have a candlelit dinner with your husbands... with the crackling of the wood in the background...
    The glow of the fire will encourage romance.

    (And will keep your husbands straight!! lol)

    That is the only thing the book is good for.
     
    #14 tinytim, Apr 1, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 1, 2008
  15. annsni

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    LOL Tim! According to Debi, a roll in the hay is all you guys need to keep you on the straight and narrow!

    So true about how she regards men. I see them in the book as being the head because God said so but they're really dumb, easily manipulated and absolutely blameless in their marriage and relationship with God.

    I have to say that my hubby would not allow me to buy either book but I noticed that there were women at church who had been given the books as gifts and another pastor's wife who I really respect loved the Helpmeet book. I told hubby that I wanted to get my own copies so that I could write notes in the books and such - so I had them for reference (like for this thread) but he still said that I couldn't buy the book because that would be supporting that ministry. So I started asking around online and a very kind woman had been given the books and she was willing to send them to me. So now I have both books - and DH wrote on the covers in red marker "Garbage - Do not read this book" LOL
     
  16. TaterTot

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    There is a family in our community that lives the way the Pearl's promote. When my children were small, she gave me "To Train Up a Child" and told me that it was wonderful, and it was how they raise their (9) children. I was apalled. It is complete trash. Especially the part about breaking the child's will like that of a mule. GRR!
     
  17. Salamander

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    As if your wife doesn't man-ipulate you!:laugh:

    Boy, does SHE have YOU fooled!
    That is probably the most outlandish thing I ever seen you say!

    If TT doesn't like it, it automayically becomes "humanistic" in his eyes.

    Although I don't agree with everything they say, and I don't always agree with everything I have said earlier in my life, I have learned to evaluate what some one says about life and eat the meat and throw away the bones.

    The real legalists are those who attack the enitre teaching of a fellow Christian because they either appraoch what they say with bias and preconceived notions, or they are just plain synical.

    So all of what they refer to as Scripture is also for your fireplace?:tear:

    "Why don't you lay the apron aside and let the wifey get back to the dishes?"

    (An idea of what should be a quote from the Pearl's book.)

    :tongue3:
     
  18. Salamander

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    Please explain how it has ever hurt your marriage?

    Who is speaking here, the male because of his pride won't admit it, or the female because she doesn't want her husband to find out the truth?

    As I asked TT, are all the Scripture references also "garbage"?

    I believe the aspect of "working out your salvation with fear and trembling" would aptly be applied to all commentaries upon the Bible in teaching anything, and anything at all times.
     
  19. Salamander

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    I hope you'll continue to read it from an objectionable stand rather than a critical one.

    Not soley responsible for his actions, but definitely a contributor. I belive these type of comments are a misrepresentation by using excerpts rather than the whole book to make these claims.

    Plain and simple, if you don't "parent" your children they'll tell YOU what to do!

    By experience, and not on a 12 month old or younger, or even less than 18 months, a little switch can accomplish much.

    "Plumbing pipes"? I don't think for even a moment th Pearls are suggesting a stick of 4" cast iron applied to the backside of any child. This is what I referred to as porbably a misrepresentation, you should be more specific.

    I recommend them with an objectionable approach. At least they are not afraid to speak on the subject and condemn others for their lack of applied "science".

    We have used a PEX supply line on our children before, learning not to be to aggressive due to the possibility of leaving whelps. Anytime the "whopping stick" is threatened, they remarkably respond in a corrected manner.

    (Gee, and to think God is RIGHT that a child who is spared the rod is spoiled!)

    Note that I have already stated, I don't agree with them on everything, but reading their materials has helped me to discern my faults and failures as well as some areas they are truly over-emphasising certain things.

    Any of their ideas can be incorporated at times, but not everytime in every case.:godisgood:
     
  20. Salamander

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    You have just been awarded the title "talebearer".

    You could learn much from both sources if you'd get off the "legalist" approach.

    Bill Gothard, though not a Baptist, has MUCH to offer Biblically, so do the Pearls.

    It's probably more the problem you have with things they've said that pricked your heart is why you condemn them in this way to call them "legalistic".

    Calling some one legalistic identifies the one caling the name to either be overly critical or they do not know the definition of the word and use it in the form of a weapon of attack on the person they called legalistic.
     

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