, 75 tweets, 22 min read Read on Twitter
TW. For abuse, 'discipline' and stories of child abuse. Do mute this thread to avoid.

Thread 2 of my live-tweet reading of To Train Up a Child by Michael and Debi Pearl. #exvangelical #ExposeChristianDiscipline
Before I go into Chapter 5, its worth asking the question, do these Christian Extremist parents actually like children? As in, children for who they are, what they bring, the way they see the world, their frustrations and playfulness, their insights and annoying traits.
I would argue, not necessarily.

But then why do they have so many?

Because, they want to make new Souls (to be prepared for Heaven) and new Soldiers (my dad often spoke of growing an army not a football team)
There are other reasons, they see it as obedience to God's call to make families (even though you can "go forth and multiply" in but ways, adoption, shared family, building community), it doesn't always have to be a DNA built family.
Maybe they don't believe it is right to use contraception? They have sex and the natural result is more children, which they don't like that much, but must bring up. Now, I'm not being funny, but Christian Extremists talk a lot about celibacy and celibate relationships for LGBT+
Perhaps they could consider this option?

Now, don't get me wrong, if you WANT a big family and can bring it to life and you are going to love it, even if you can't always cope (who can?) GO AHEAD! I'm with you!
But tbh if you don't like children, and you want silent, hidden, instantly obedient, never questioning, clone mutant soldiers. Just try not to breed, would ya? 🤷‍♂️🤷‍♀️🤷‍♂️ #sexeducation
"It is impossible to like a whining selfish, self-centered, spoiled brat." <--- a direct quote from Michael Pearl, Train Up a Child
Final warning, the Pearl's are about to get graphic.
"Let's talk about spankings - - sometimes called 'whippings.'

'He that spareth the rod hateth his son; but he day loveth him chasteneth him betimes.' (Prov. 13.24)"

No contextualisation, no Jewish take on the verse, just verses popped out of chapters like pills.
I'm gunna nip through the way they talk about certain Bible verses, and also the fearmongering that they instill in parents in this chapter, then go back and refute a few of their teachings after.
Something that stands out to me in the way they talk to parents:
You don't understand
You don't love your child
You are putting your ("self serving") feelings ahead of truth
You don't understand God
Your child will suffer later in life
You are weak
"True love is disinterested."
I can remember seeing in my parents (especially my mother) a conflict where they could sens that what was happening was wrong, but they HAD to do it for God's sake
'This is hurting me, more than its hurting you,' they would say while you lay over their lap waiting for the strike of a cane.
My dad would make us Thank him for caning us and tell him we loved him for (not in spite of) causing us physical pain. #ExposeChristianDiscipline
Right, here's a few of the Bible verses they use and I'm gunna pop some sassy gifs under them to brighten up the room:
"Chasten thy son while there is hope and let not thy soul spare for his crying..." Prov 19.18
"Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him." Prov 22.15
"If thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, vs shalt deliver his soul from hell." Prov 23: 13-14
"The rod and reproof give wisdom." Prov 23.15
"Whom the Lord loveth, he chasteneth, and scourgeth every sin he receiveth. What son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, then are ye bastards, and not sons." Heb 12; 6-8
"No chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous..." Heb 12.11
So, pretty much, they've trawled through the English translation of The Bible (which they believe to be literal, the one true translation of God's words and will) and plucked out all the verses which contain the word 'chasteneth'.
You can see why Christian extremist parents, picking up this book (back in the days before a quick google could teach you about alternate understandings) would think, this must be The Truth (tm)
Also, if you have a natural inclination towards violence, here's your chance to back it up.

For second generation kids, they've been taught unquestioning obedience to authority, what greater authority than God's Word, what can they do EXCEPT follow these strung together verses?
I gotta get to work now, but I will be back with further thoughts (and heaven help us, further quotes) later or tomorrow, in the meantime, here's a really great blog response to those verses from Proverbs:

Here's a thing - - to get to the point where you think the Bible is condoning present day physical violence against kids, you have to WANT to believe that for a start. You're looking for it. #ExposeChristianDiscipline #exvangelical #discipline
I used to think the Bible advocated physical violence against children, but I KNEW that couldn't be right. Though it has taken me a long time to dare have a look at why it's wrong, I knew it wasn't ultimately true and I would actively look for another explanation.
I come to the Bible with this thought, 'when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.'

I.E. If I know what is life, and I come to the Bible and it seems to promote death, that is impossible, so I DIG for the core. #eXvangelical
So, right away, I'm looking at this verse about beating your child with a rod, and I'm like, 'Okay, get me a translator STAT.'
There are incredible people out there doing incredible things with the original Hebrew texts, the historical culture, and a growing understanding that the Bible should be understood in conversation, not verse by popped out verse.
Before we get back to #ToTrainUpAChild and Michael/Debi Pearl, and the book itself, I want to share a few clips from alternate understandings of the ???!?!???? verses above.
Alternate Understanding of Proverbs on Discipline. #ExposeChristianDiscipline #discipline #childtraining
Now, our parents didn't have google, but they did have humanity, eyes, ears and hearts. What were they thinking? We may never know.
And here's a further point which reminds us that translation of any Scripture is to be questioned, that we can't take for granted that Solomon said our meant what we think he did, and that Proverbs were SPECIFICALLY whittisisms, not Law.
Let's jump back into the book:

"You may have strong feelings that prevent you from spanking your child, but it is not love. The God who made little children, and knows what is best for them, has told parents to employ the rod in training."
"Love is not an emotion at all. Love, in its purest sense, is goodwill and good doing for your fellowman. True love is disinterested. There is no thought of personal return not personal loss in the act of loving."

Parent, they say, BURRY YOUR LOVE.
"An emotionally weak mother...the pitiful look in her son's little eyes just breaks her suffering heart. It would hurt too much to obey God in training up her child."
"God spanks his children."

Clip below from a different, Christian Education curriculum.

Excuse me while I go bleech my eyes now thank you please.

#ExposeChristianSchools #ExposeChristianDiscipline
To illustrate that God SPANKS his children, they pull out a verse from that great Hebrews chapter which begins, 'Therefore since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witness, let us run---'

But they focus on, "Whom the Lord loves he chasteneth..."
One sad effect that we see in today's Churches is that a concept of "God Punishes" murmurs through every tragedy.

For everything that goes wrong in a life (or seems to go wrong), there are whispers that this is a punishment.
Ableism pulls up and settles in beside this teaching:
A. That being differently abled is less than,
B. That it is probably a punishment to you or your parents

(There are incredible teachings from wonderful disabled folk who talk intimately about living under that false teaching)
TW. Ableism

Going to your Church Community with personal problems, becomes a nightmare under this teaching:
Car crash? Run out of money? Death in the family? Headache? Miscarriage?

Whispers and separation happen as folk think, 'Is God spanking them?'
This is the natural follow-on teaching from a belief that Discipline means physically hurting your children, and that God as a Father, will do the same. But there are other ways to see that word:
Worth noting too, that these verses in particular was serving as a bit of a warning to new Christians that they wouldn't really want to CHOOSE to lean back into the Law, now that they are under Grace.

Weirdly the Pearl's don't mention this 🤷‍♂️🤷‍♀️🤷‍♂️
"If God's love is expressed by the 'whippings' he gives, then can we not live or children enough to chasten them to holiness?“

Yes, parents, go right ahead and whip your children to holiness. 🙄🙄🙄 Jesus WEPT.
"I've heard a rebellious teenager say, 'If only they loved me enough to whip me.'"

Didn't happen, did it, Pearls.
"Recently, a mother told us that after cracking down on her children with a consistent use of the rod, one child thanked God for making his Mama sweeter."

Well this is a lie, but okay. 👌

What you mean is, The child learnt performative complience to avoid further pain.
They go on to talk about how a child's natural lust and fleshy nature will build up into guilt and self loathing until, "The guilt burdoned soul cries out for the lashes and nails of justice."
So, what your saying is that if you burden your child with guilt (both natural and unnatural) and teach them that the out way to feel better is to feel physical pain, they'll want a caning to feel better? Okay, Pavlov, thanks for your input.
Yes, I can attest to this. Being taught that only a spank can eliviate guilt in yourself DOES lead you to want that. Here's a story:
So, I was out playing by myself one afternoon, climbing a tree, escaping from an imaginary villain, on the run. When the invisible villain caught me, I screamed it, 'Go to hell!'

And was FILLED with guilt for swearing.
I was flushed. I felt sick. I was afraid that I'd left open the door to Satan. I appologuised to the imaginary, but it made no difference. I'd lost my temper (in the game) and sworn (in real life) and the guilt was a creeping, choking thing.
I pulled a branch from the tree and took myself behind the goat shed to try and switch myself. But no matter how I tried I couldn't bend that way
So in the end, I went to dad and told him what I'd done. He didn't end understand why I felt guilty, 'What do you want me to do?'

I asked him to cane me, which he reluctantly did, and I then cried and hugged him and went back on my way.
I can feel the burning shame I felt that day even typing this and the confusion on my dad's face and how he legitimately didn't WANT to cane me that day (maybe because he wasn't in control?)
I also remember reading about Absolution, and early church understanding that you might crawl up and down stone steps till you bled to absolve you of sin. I believed deeply that Pain Received washed away guilt felt.
Children trained this way MIGHT say, "Thank you for caning me," but they are also setting themselves up for a life of pain. #ExposeChristianDiscipline
I've hardly even started, by the way, there's a shit ton more to follow. Take a break. Get some water. Look out the window. #ExposeChristianAbuse #ExposeChristianDiscipline #totrainupachild
"Your child cannot yet understand that the Creator has been lashed and nailed in his place. Only the rod of correction can preserve his soul until the day of moral dawning."

And, tbh, if you believe in God as Father punishing Jesus as Son, yeah, everything above makes sense.
I'm not gunna deep dive into THAT box right now, but it took me YEAR'S to get over the concept of a Father God killing his Son Jesus, rather than (at the very least) understanding Jesus as equal party to Father in choice and sacrifice. *deep shudder*
"I observed a small child being caught in a misdeed, turned her backside to the patent, pulled her diaper down, and gave herself three slaps on the bare bottom."

I........ What the fuck.... I.... What.....

"The offering, though cute, was not accepted."

Let me tell you something, the specific SOUND of a cane (bamboo stick) switching a diaper stays with you. My parents did this to my siblings. It's a soft thwack.

A harder sound to hear as a ten year old, is when the stick misses the diaper, and cracks againsy tiny bony ankle, or chubby leg. I buried all remembered images of welts below nappy lines, but they are all back.
Nappies often have these elasticy bits at the edges which tuck in against the legs and hold everything in place. My distinctive memory is of cane lines along the nappy edge.

I remember discussions about health visitors not seeing them. And parental relief.

I don't have words.
I remember children being pulled out of their highchair, legs all tangled in the straps, to be switched across the nappy for one teadon or another.

I distinctly remember the shape of baby tears at the dinner table. And my being allowed to comfort them.
My older sister shared a room with our younger sister when she was still in a cot. At night, the baby would cry and stand up in the cot, and be switched for doing so. My sister would have to leave the room and go sleep in mom and dad's room because it was too much to deal with.
I can't apologise for not doing anything to stop it. I don't even know how to formulate the excuses of why I didn't. I wish I could go back and stand in the way, take the punishments, do whatever it takes to stop it. I did not, however, and I am to blame for that.
"Do you comfort your child with the rod? If you have not seen the rod as a comfort to your child, you have missed its purpose."

I think I speak for all of us when I say, Fuck You.
Back to work now till late, so I'll not be back till tomorrow probably, love your all lots and lots. You've got this! Take care of yourself.
Dearest @threadreaderapp , would you be so kind as to unroll the above?
*not being allowed to comfort them
*love our
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to Matt Drapper
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!