To Train up a Child: Who Decides if it is Biblical or Not? When is it Abuse?

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Johann and Kimery Jorg Abuse Case: HSLDA has given us homeschool liberties, but at what cost? A closer look at homeschool freedoms and parenting and safety of children

 

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Photo credit: Reading is Fun by John Morgan

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Homeschoolers have fought for years to have the freedom to legally homeschool their children. Homeschool Legal Defense Association has worked to ensure that parents in every state has homeschool freedoms and to keep government away from the God-given right of parents to raise and educate their children “in the way they should go.”

In my 22+ years of homeschooling, this seems to be the verse I have heard the most from homeschool leaders as they have encouraged us to be good Biblical parents:

Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.  

Proverbs 22:6

But what does Biblical training children look like?
Who decides what it looks like? And what happens when parents cross the line from “Biblical parenting” into abuse?
Who will safeguard those children? Will the homeschooling community intervene?
Does the government have a right to intervene in the training up a child in the way he should go?

 

Homeschool parents, 61-yr old Johann and 53-yr old Kimery Jorg were first foster parents and then became adoptive parents to four girls ranging in age from seven to thirteen years.  The children came from abusive homes before the Mr. and Mrs. Jorg adopted them. Anyone who understands abuse knows that children of abuse will often have extra challenges to work through.

I wish the news reports shed more detail into the background of the Jorg family. I wish I knew what kind of church they attended, their doctrinal beliefs, and their primary influencers. But we can learn a bit from the various articles around the internet. They were obviously a devout religious family (I shudder to type the words “Christian” and you will soon see why).

The children were expected to memorize Bible verses. They were disciplined for sinning: specifically for lying and stealing. Mrs. Jorg took careful notes of her daughters’ sins and made sure to address each one with what she deemed to be appropriate punishment.  Mr. Jorg reportedly spanked his fully clothed daughters when there were discipline issues.

Now here’s where it gets very sad and I must issue a strong trigger alert to those who might have difficulty reading about physical abuse.

 

Responses to Lawsuit Filed against Sovereign Grace Ministries

 

Mr. and Mrs. Jorg were recently charged with felony intentional child abuse with intent. And when they mean intent, they were not kidding. Let me show you how they were intentionally “Biblically training” their children:

Kimery Jorg reportedly told police that the girls have so many punishments, she often can’t get through them all so she writes notes to remind herself of the remaining punishments the girls “owe” her, according to court records. Police said they found dozens of Post-it notes in the kitchen. (Source)

Police spokesman reported:

“When we brought them in, they again stood by the fact that this was in the best interest of the girls,” Jacinto said. (Source)

Again, take note of the response by the Jorg parents. They feel completely justified in how they punished their daughters with the goal of training them to be loving and nurturing:

 According to court records, the Jorgs told police that the home-schooled girls had been fairly punished for lying and stealing.

    “She (Kimery) described all of her disciplinary measures as attempts to train the girls how to be ‘loving and nurturing,'” the records said. (Source)

I do not believe that most parents abuse their children. I also have a hunch that most abusive parents are in denial that they are in fact abusing. Read more of the court documents of how Mrs. Jorg described their system of discipline:

Source

For lying, the child has to apologize for the lie, get swatted on the buttocks with a wooden paddle (# of swats equal to their age), have apple cider vinegar sprayed in their mouth (# of sprays equal to their age), hold it in their mouth for 15 seconds, swish it around for 15 seconds, then swallow. This is fallowed [sic] by a time-out of standing against a door wit [sic] hands behind the head for a number of minutes equal to their age plus one. After the time-out, the child can get a drink of water to remove the taste of the vinegar. Then the child must run outside in the heat for 60 minutes straight then write several bible verses 3 times each (# of verses equal to their age). If there are three or more mistakes the child must re-write the bible verses four times, then repeat, increasing to five, six, etc. for subsequent errors. The child must then explain the bible verses to their mother, and memorize and recite all the bible verses. If there are any mistakes, then time gets added to their 60 minute run. The punishment for stealing in the home is identical, except with the added task of mopping the floor for 45 minutes followed by cleaning the tile grout for 45 minutes, or some other comparable task. (Source)

 

Above, you read what was unashamedly told to investigators by the mother. Now it’s time to read what these young girls endured and what investigators found.

The 13-yr old girl weighed just 61 pounds at nearly 5 feet tall and is currently hospitalized for severe malnutrition. She had blisters on her feet (from running on hot pavement) and abnormal growths on her legs. She also had “leathering” on her skin which court documents suggested had to do with repeated beatings. The 11-yr old also was malnourished. The younger daughters were not shown to be malnourished or abused as their older sisters.

The older girl was hospitalized over concerns of “refeeding syndrome.”

According to the court documents, “This condition is usually seen with concentration camp survivors and the like.”

She also had abnormal growths on her legs, likely due to the combination of malnutrition and exercise, according to the documents.  (Source)

 

What is very fortunate in this case is that the parents actually sought out help for their older daughters for their “behavioral” problems (go figure):

Police said the Jorgs came to the attention of Child Protective Services when they went to a behavioral health facility for help with their 11- and 13-year-old daughters. When the parents told workers how they had been disciplining the girls, the facility called CPS, who then called police. (Source)

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A decade or so ago, when we were members of Homeschool Legal Defense Association, their literature instilled fear into the parents of homeschoolers. I remember a pull-out checklist that we were to hang inside our cupboards of what to do if someone from the government came to our door while I was homeschooling my children. We were to instruct our children on how to respond to any adult who came to the door. CPS and the government were painted out to be the enemy of Christian homeschoolers.

In this excellent article, you can see key homeschool leaders who have sought to end CPS entirely:  End Child Protection: Doug Phillips, HSLDA, and the 2009 Men’s Leadership Summit.

 

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Homeschool parents, I urge you to not take this subject lightly. We have been fed a lot of fear from homeschool leaders. This fear has led to abuse that has been covered up, failure to report, and we now have Second Generation Adults – adult children who were raised in homeschooling environment – who see the problems and are speaking out and forming groups to address what their parents did not:  Coalition for Responsible Home Education.

I am aware that CPS does not have a perfect record, neither does homeschooling. In this case, because this mother thought she was doing right in her parenting, but sought help from a behavioral health facility. Many Christian homeschoolers would have advised this mother against going to any government agency for help. Thank God she did, and action was taken to protect these precious children.

I do not know where the Jorgs received their parenting instructions, how they wrongly interpreted Scripture, or if someone else was giving them poor parenting advice. But this family was ill-equipped with even basic common sense having let their children go so malnourished. Yet they felt they were following Biblical mandates. This is very, very sad.

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photo credit: rachelkramerbussel.com via photopin cc

 

 

 

54 comments on “To Train up a Child: Who Decides if it is Biblical or Not? When is it Abuse?

  1. JA, There is a whole lot that is biblical but NOT CHRISTIAN!!!! Especially in the OT! Murder, rape (and the raped required to marry the rapist!), abuse of power, enslavement, lying, adultery, etc., etc., etc. One should be very careful of carrying some idea from the OT into our lives as Christians today, including a lot of the so-called wisdom literature. Some of it is not so wise after all.

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  2. An Attorney, when I was trying to put together this post, I picked up the Family Shepherds book by Voddie Baucham (no, I didn’t buy it, he sent it to me after a post I did on spanking – I think he thought I’d change my mind after reading it in context). Anyway, the first chapter he mentions the Old Testament quite a bit. I was not sure why he was excited about the parenting guidelines he found in the OT.

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  3. BTW, were the children “stealing” food. As malnourished as they were, I suspect that a lot of the theft has one explanation: HUNGER!

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  4. This is the sort of thing that makes me so furious I am afraid to comment. God help those girls. Praying for them.

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  5. Who will intervene? Mike Donnelley of HSLDA said a few months ago in an interview I heard that it is the responsibility of the individual states to make sure everything goes okay, and in his opinion, they were all doing a fine job. This kind of thing is fine with him?

    I brought this up with a friend recently, along with the issue of educational neglect. She said that it was only people “in the sticks” that have these problems with both poor training and abuse. I argued with her and talked about the people in the densely populated community that I lived in just outside of Baltimore, ten minutes from my house in both directions. And that was in a state where there is some oversight.

    I mentioned that I took one girl who was a teen and doing math I remember learning in second grade and had her up to algebra in eight weeks. I mentioned another who had no learning disabilities but didn’t read until she was twelve. My friend said that she didn’t see that as a problem. ???? I said that it was a serious one. It isn’t that these kids couldn’t make up for what I think of as lost time, but why should they have to do so? This isn’t neglect?

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  6. It seems obedience is the primary “virtue” in many of these hyper-Biblical families. Any sign of independent thought or action by a child that doesn’t line up with the parental value system is an opportunity for punishment. I have seen up close the results of this type of training. There was no physical abuse, but the children grew up with no ability to make decisions without checking it out with mom or dad. In one case, the 26 year old daughter’s marriage ended in divorce, because her Dad’s opinion superceded any choices her husband would offer up to her. Physical abuse is always heinous, but I think stunted emotional growth is a more typical outcome of these “high control” families.

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  7. It’s only neglect if she failed to learn submission to male headship. (Snark mode on)

    But seriously, some in Patriarchy really do not care much about the education of girls as long as they can cook and possess homemaking skills.

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  8. I remember in the 80’s when we had our last two kids, the entire Christian Community was paranoid about CPS. My then 3 year old had a bruise on her thigh from falling off her bike. I was afraid to take her to swimming lessons lest someone should notice the bruise and report us.

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  9. “It seems obedience is the primary “virtue” in many of these hyper-Biblical families.”

    An author of WW2 history had an interesting analysis that speaks to the issue of obedience. He said that Brits fought for King and country. Americans, for the guys next to him in battle but the Germans automatically obeyed superiors. (As did the Japanese in those days)

    The last thing we want are little Nazi’s who only know how to obey but not to think.

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  10. An attorney said “There is a whole lot that is biblical but NOT CHRISTIAN!!!!”

    Your’re right. but too many mainstream christians let these abusers define christianity instead of standing up and loudly and clearly comdemning these actions. Until more “TRUE CHRISTIANS’ stand up and clearly defend the children, I and many people will think that “true christians’ are ok with child abuse: physical and sexual.

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  11. “An Attorney,” there is no requirement in the Bible for thre raped to marry the rapist. The requirement is for the rapist to marry the raped.

    As you may read in Ruth regarding a similar requirement for the brother to marry a brother’s widow, Ruth was not required to marry anyone, but she could require someone to marry her.

    The Bible does also treat all these other things that you mention, but not necessarily to prescribe them.

    Jesus said that the scripture cannot be broken, including those that you despise. It’s always reasonable to consider the possibility that Jesus knew the scriptures better than we do, and that therefore isn’t necessarily mistaken in his opinion. I’ve discovered myself that it is often necessary to argue with God, but in light of the record up to now, I can expect that I’ll be changing my mind, and not he.

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  12. Peter, my point is that a lot that is OT is treated as if it is prescriptive or proscriptive when it is actually descriptive of an ancient tribal group and not a civilized people. And Jesus put a bit of a different spin on the whole OT by making the law about our love for God and for other people, even our cultural enemies. The children described in the post were not being loved as children need to be loved. Starving children and punishing them for being hungry and eating food that is in sight is not loving them. Abuse is not love. And the application of the scripture to justify this kind of treatment is evil and not Christian. And your comment is also not loving to those who are being or have been abused.

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  13. In this particular scenario, it’s absolutely abuse given the physical condition of those kids. As for emotional abuse…that’s tougher. Can you call it brainwashing and abusive when you consider that the majority of kids raised in Christian homes do not turn out like this? And the tactics are widely frowned upon by most Christians, let alone CPS?

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  14. “Jesus said that the scripture cannot be broken, including those that you despise. It’s always reasonable to consider the possibility that Jesus knew the scriptures better than we do, and that therefore isn’t necessarily mistaken in his opinion. I’ve discovered myself that it is often necessary to argue with God, but in light of the record up to now, I can expect that I’ll be changing my mind, and not he.”

    Peter, would you mind terribly giving us the location of that passage you mention above.

    The absolute biggest mistake we can make is to NOT read the OT juxtaposed against ancient pagan culture. If we do not it turns into a monsterous life manual for today. Big mistake.

    One thing we do know for sure is Jesus certainly smashed the paradigm they had about the OT. The other irony is that OT law meant nothing to the Gentiles but many Jews were insisting they had to become Christians as Jews first….because of the law.

    We tend to give the OT law way too much creedence. It was for a specific people who had been slaves of pagans for several generations and had taken on pagan ways. Why do we often miss that part? God did not even want to give them the law just like He did not want to give them a king.

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  15. Where in the world did these nut cases get the idea that they had the Biblical right to force these children to run in the heat for 60 minutes or make these children drink vinegar or suffer starvation? I think these “parents” forgot that these children belong to God.
    I believe that all abusers, abusers of children or spouses, forget that God created each person in His image and one day will demand an accounting of our every thought and action. If we harm/abuse those whom God created for His pleasure and entrusted to our care, what hope can there be for us when He judges us?

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  16. “If a man meets a virgin who is not betrothed, and seizes her and lies with her, and they are found, then the man who lay with her shall give to the father of the young woman fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife, because he has violated her. He may not divorce her all his days.” (Deuteronomy 22:28-29 ESV)

    Contrary to Peter Atwood’s assertions, it certainly appears to me that God’s requirement in cases of rape was to force the victim to marry the perp. At least Peter sees the necessity of arguing with God about such absurd nonsense. Whatever the outcome of the argument, I am quite confident that a requirement of marrying one’s rapist does not conform to God’s perfect will. As was the case with the requirement that a woman be given a certificate of divorce, the requirement that a woman marry her rapist may have ameliorated a greater harm that would have otherwise resulted according to the culture and practices of the times (possibly in regard to the child of rape), but it was not and is not God’s perfect will.

    I suppose I should be careful not to despise the Scripture, as Peter suggests I am doing, but I absolutely despise the understanding that this particular Scripture is normative and mandatory in a culture that has been sufficiently transformed so that neither the victim of rape nor her child will be condemned, ostracized, and generally stigmatized.

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  17. “Whatever the outcome of the argument, I am quite confident that a requirement of marrying one’s rapist does not conform to God’s perfect will.”

    No. In fact, the only way to understand this is to know what the Pagan’s were doing about rape. If one was required to marry the woman he raped, he might think twice. The pagans had no such requirement so women in that culture were left ruined and often starved.

    And do we even understand the pagans were sacrificing children to gods?

    When we read God’s laws of the OT against the pagan backdrop, God comes off very merciful dealing with people who were taking their ques from pagans instead of Him.

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  18. It was some years ago, but I recall a social worker having bemoaned the fact that, while we must obtain a license to drive a car, anybody and everybody is permitted to have children without the consent of the state. How offensive! Well, the Jorgs were adoptive parents. They were not able to become adoptive parents without the consent of the state. The requirement of state consent was not enough in the case of the Jorg family. Rather, a large part of the problem where the Jorgs are concerned is that they were able to remove their children from the public view of both their neighbors and the state.

    To the extent that HSLDA has succeeded in enabling abusive home schooling parents to escape public scrutiny, they are complicit in the crimes these parents commit. HSLDA is complicit in crimes committed against “the least of these” who are these abusers’ own flesh and blood.

    I submit that HSLDA’s contemptible lack of concern for the natural outcome of their advocacy is hastening the day when the state will regulate human reproduction. We dare not suppose it can only happen in China.

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  19. I’ll say that’s a “Trigger Alert”! I’ve never experienced anything close to that, and even I couldn’t read all the way through that sadistic torture regimen.

    Who dreams up this stuff? Who would do this to their own kids!? If the Jorg’s thought up these punishments on their own, I have to wonder about their emotional development, let alone that of their kids.

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  20. I am sure that some would find this heretical but If I read something in the Bible which seemed to proscribe cruel or unfair practices, I assume that something has been mistranslated or I am misreading it. I would certainly never violate my conscience and do it or support it.

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  21. “If he called them gods to whom the word of God came—and Scripture [literally ἡ γραφή, hē graphē, the scripture] cannot be broken—” (John 10:35 ESV)

    It is not legitimate to use this passage to support a wooden imposition of OT regulations on all people in all cultures for all time. For one thing, though it is not apparent form the modern translations, Jesus was referring to a particular passage (“THE Scripture,” c.f. KJV: “the scripture cannot be broken”). For another thing, Jesus was referring to a non-metaphorical descriptive passage as opposed to a prescriptive passage. Finally, with respect to the prescriptive regulations of the OT, we are specifically told:

    “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people” (Jeremiah 31:31-33 ESV)

    And:

    “In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.” (Hebrews 8:13 ESV)

    Why are these observations relevant to the topic at hand? Because the Jorg’s were applying a particularly harsh set of rules and regulations, OT style, which is utterly inconsistent with the law of Love our Lord is writing on believers’ hearts. “Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” (Romans 13:10 ESV) The Jorg’s, the reconstructionists, the theonomists, and all their ilk are quite mistaken in their misguided literal, and dangerous, application of OT prescriptions to the present day.

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  22. The OT verse above about rapists marrying their victim is talking about what we today call seduction of a young woman, or statutory rape perhaps not forcible rape. Forcible rape involves abduction ( holding a woman against her will) and abduction is punished by death under OT law.

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  23. Gary, Check out Romans 8

    ” 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.'”

    I had also read that some Roman emperors were calling themselves sons of god. (However, when need to realize the word “God” is translated as Yahweh. The I AM.)

    I found all this interesting and have been doing some search on that John 10 passage.

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  24. Scott,
    I have heard that dodge before. And I have it on the authority of one of the foremost theologians of the OT that what you said is exactly, a dodge. Unless the rapist removed the woman from the location in which he encountered her, that dodge would not apply, even to a forcible rape. And in those days, there was no such thing as “statutory rape”.

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  25. Scott,

    I’m wondering where you get the idea that Deuteronomy 22:28-29 is addressing a situation where a young woman is seduced. You may be on to something, but the translation I quoted speaks of a man who “seizes” a woman and lies with her (KJV: “lay hold on her, and lie with her”). That sounds like forcible rape to me.

    Plus, even if the passage applies to the seduction of a young woman, I can’t see how that makes a forced marriage any more palatable. I don’t know if you have a daughter, but surely you could not be happy at the thought of your 12 or 13 year old daughter being forced to marry, for example, a fifty-eight year old lecher (such as maybe a youth leader or “pastor”) in whom you had trusted her spiritual welfare, who then proceeded to seduce her. This example may be something of a reductio ad absurdum, but it is a situation to which your suggested interpretation of the passage would apply.

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  26. I feel like doing something horrible to the Jorgs. I really do. I have a very hard time dealing with the anger that rises in me when I read about such evil.
    And they did this to teach them to be “loving and nurturing”? They apparently don’t know how to act like normal, decent human beings themselves.

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  27. Lydia,

    It seems ESV contains 11 references to “sons of God.” How does this relate to the topic at hand? It was of children that Jesus said “to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” Mt 19:14. When people like the Jorgs follow the teachings of the likes of Voddie Baucham and attempt to beat their children into submission, they assault those God counts as among the very angels. “[B]ut those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead . . . are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.” (Luke 20:35-36 ESV)

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  28. That pagan inspired patriarchal culture was cruel. If a women was not pure she would end up starving eventually without a husband and sons. These “laws” were a way God was working through their hard pagan laced hearts to protect those who were subclass in that culture.

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  29. Gary, I agree. I was more concerned with Peter’s position referring to John 10 and I think he misunderstands the OT:

    He wrote:

    “Jesus said that the scripture cannot be broken, including those that you despise. It’s always reasonable to consider the possibility that Jesus knew the scriptures better than we do, and that therefore isn’t necessarily mistaken in his opinion. I’ve discovered myself that it is often necessary to argue with God, but in light of the record up to now, I can expect that I’ll be changing my mind, and not he.”

    This brought on the discussion of the sons of God. I really really think we totally misunderstand the reason for the law in that pagan culture. And it even goes further back in not understanding what Image of God meant in the very beginning.

    Does anyone have a reference for where we might find in the OT where this is from? John 10:

    “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods”’

    I have tried a search but not bringing much up.

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  30. Consider also that Voddie follows Covenant Theology — and to figure out what Old Testament law applies to you, you must first categorize it and then only follow the moral law. (Especially with the patriarchy movement, they reclassify civil and ceremonial laws as moral ones, then demand that they be followed.) This is intensified by the view that the assembly in the Old Testament is no different from the church in the New Testament. Some of these characters associated with the homeschooling movement also teach that a parent’s sins will follow their children for four generations.

    Voddie also teaches that, essentially, Ephesians Chapter 6 is just a retelling of the Shema in Deuteronomy Chapter 6, and then he focuses on Deuteronomy. It is a variation on his version of Replacement Theology. Others in the movement use elements of this interpretation to justify paedocommunion — and that is a part of their ecclesocentric ideas that church membership is more important (salvific) than personal faith. They are the new seed of Abraham physically, and they’re on an Old Testament quest to save the world. But so much of it depends upon what becomes Old Testament legalism or a type of salvation by works. Grace, justification, and sanctification become a thing to be earned through good works and piety.

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  31. Some of the above may answer an earlier question about where people get these ideas that causing a child to suffer brings spiritual purity. They believe that they are saving their souls. I’m also sickened by the fact that these children are also adopted — as have been other cases of child death under “child training.”

    The Evangelical Christian subset of the homeschooling movement focuses on image and outward appearances. Initially, I believe that it was a part of legitimate concern about suspicious neighbors filing complaints to CPS, but it became a built in paranoia that has endured. The movement was also highly influenced by not only Covenant Theology but also by Gothard who taught outright that grace was something to be merited after you receive salvation. He taught that it was some mystical force that one could bank up because “God gives grace to the humble.” Suffering then becomes a virtue which adds to one’s spiritual prowess.

    If you read Laurie Mathers’ blog about the Schatz Family (reblogged at NoLongerQuivering for the original), she explains that the family was on a quest to beat the sin out of their kids. Kevin Schatz had been pondering teachings that it was possible to live without sin — part of the gnosticism that is believed by many Evangelicals. Essentially, it is salvation by works — but the parents have some belief of spiritual ownership of their children, so the harsh discipline becomes the parent’s manifestation of a quest for perfection. Michael Pearl teaches this also. If the parent does not “break” a child, they are essentially throwing them right into the fires of hell personally. So the child’s “sins” (the natural traits of children) must be broken. But sadly, many of their bodies break long before their wills.

    They’re trying to be perfect so that they can be restored to something more like Adam in Eden before the Fall. Bob Wright talks about this freewillism in his book which talks about how Calvinists use God’s sovereignty like some kind of disclaimer to enjoy the liberty to sin.

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  32. There is also an element of human psychology that I’d like to suggest, too. People ask, “How could this happen?”

    In studies of authority and of doing things for the common good (that which came out of studies to try to understand how Nazism became so “banal”), it was discovered that people are prone to “moral disengagement.” We can selectively engage or disengage our moral standards if slip into the pitfall of letting the end justify the means. We don’t even know that we’re doing it.

    In the Fundamental Baptist movement, parents are taught a literal interpretation of Proverbs 20:30 and that the blueness of the wound drives away or scrubs away evil, and that beatings purge evil from the soul.

    Add to this that which Lydia notes as the “vipers in diapers” concept. We are all fallen sinners and have no good in us — totally depraved if not utterly depraved. In Calvinism, there is no “age of accountability” concept. The best that the parent can do is disciple their children to understand their depravity — and many believe that they are rightfully punishing sin.

    Moral disenagagement is used in every human war we’ve ever fought. The enemy is dehumanized first, and then one can justify doing anything that they need to do to beat that enemy. We’re just killing savages. We’re just killing those Godless Yankees for the Holy Cause of making the Union of the (United) States Christian. Along with dehumanizing your enemy, you add to it the element of scapegoating them for the world’s problems. Then you can justify doing anything to that person for the greater good or for their ultimate good — as you define and understand it.

    Moral disenagagement is key to what happens in these discipline situations gone wrong.

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  33. Cindy, you are so right! This concept of the “other” is a major component in convincing people that anyone outside their own group can be a threat. Even if what they are doing isn’t working, to them it is better that the alternative, “outside influences!” Some people use this idea to hold onto their power over others. However, I believe others are simply fearful of change or “contamination” from the outside. The smaller your world, the more dangers are perceived on the outside. Why else would a parent refuse to talk to their adult child who leaves the fold to live in the “world”? This isn”t even Biblical. Even the prodigal son was joyfully welcomed home despite his rebellion and the taint of the world on him.

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  34. Ann, his father was even joyful to see him coming from afar and was filled with compassion for him. In that case, the son had done wrong. With these children — what have they actually done wrong? They were guilty of being children and foster children who — well, God only knows what they’d endured before they made it to the foster home.

    That dad didn’t wait to hear that son repent to start rejoicing, either. We are wooed and loved to repent through kindness by God. Why would we be different with children? Repentance and contrition can take time sometimes. The attitude of some of these homeschooling parents is more akin to the jealous brother.

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  35. I don’t understand the HSLDA connection. Have they ever advocated for the end of CPS? The only evidence I saw in the article was that they spoke at the same convention as Kevin Swanson. Since he seems to have a strangle hold on Colorado homeschooling leadership it would be impossible to avoid him. Same goes for Doug Phillips and Vision Forum speakers in its heyday – they were at every major homeschool convention. HSLDA is a co-sponsor of lots of state homeschool conventions, usually with the state homeschool organization they coordinate with for legislation work. I know HSLDA does not always agree with everything that is said at homeschool convention. Several years ago at the Ohio CHEO convention a CHEO leader came down to the HSLDA booth to correct what the lawyer had said during his talk. It was a theological difference (don’t remember exactly now). The HSLDA lawyer stood his ground and said he would not correct his talk and what he had said was biblically sound and quoted some scripture to the leader.

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  36. Rebecca – I will speak of my experience of HSLDA in the 90s. I think we were members for maybe 2 years or so. They instilled a fear of the government and CPS. In their newsletters, they told of the horrible stories where CPS interfered with homeschooling families, removed children, etc. There was so much fear, that I did not let my children play outside during normal school hours for fear that a neighbor would report us. HSLDA told us to be wary of nosy neighbors and family members who might report you. Over the years I have read many similar stories of families reacting the same way. This fear was what got people to renew their membership each year because HSLDA came riding that white horse to save the homeschooler family’s day and year and life. And we all lived happily ever after because of HSLDA defending our right to homeschool. Amen.

    I’m kidding on the last part. $$ was tight and one year we did not pay membership. We survived. I decided to take a risk the next year and the $$ savings became habit forming. Now I’m upset at the whole thing – the patriarchy they endorsed, Reconstructionist ties, etc. I wonder really how much of their time is spent defending the rights of homeschooling or lobbying their political Dominionst/Reconstructionist agenda.

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  37. He taught that it was some mystical force that one could bank up because “God gives grace to the humble.”

    Wonder if that’s Cee Jay’s favorite verse?
    (HUMBLY, of course.)

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  38. @Lydia:

    That pagan inspired patriarchal culture was cruel. If a women was not pure she would end up starving eventually without a husband and sons.

    But to the Patriarchs on top…
    “Problem? What problem? The System works just fine!”

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  39. @ WFTT2:

    Abusers count everything.

    Sounds like my grandfather who is a hoarder. He even does this with things he gives to other people. He knows exactly how much he paid for it 20 years ago, what he said when he gave it to you, and how you’re obviously not using it the way he wanted you to. Reminds me of Smaug sitting on top of his gold – if even one coin is out of place, he’ll know.

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  40. Exactly. My mom would recite a list of every single thing she ever bought for me and use that as a weapon against me whenever I had a disagreement with her trying to “own and control” me and my then-hubby and my kids. She has always equated money with power, control and ownership.

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  41. I do agree that in the 90’s homeschoolers were in a fear of social workers showing up at their doorstep. I think it was a mixture of homeschooling being illegal in some states and partly from several national news stories that had highlighted kids being taken away from parents based on wrong information. HSLDA is not the only ‘kid’ on the block defending homeschoolers anymore. I heard David Gibbs III of NCLL speak at the Cincinnati Homeschool Convention last month. (Cincinnati is now the largest homeschool convention in the US and has greatly eclipsed the CHEO convention with its one-size-fits-all lifestyle convention and lost the majority of their attendance years ago.) David Gibbs talked about social workers showing up at your door and he had a less strigent stand than HSLDA. I think the competition will be good between the two groups and will help bring out new ideas and ways of handling these situations.

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  42. JA:

    “I wonder really how much of their time is spent defending the rights of homeschooling or lobbying their political Dominionst/Reconstructionist agenda.”

    Or trying to get laws passed in states that would affect all homeschoolers, but don’t necessarily reflect the views of those outside their membership. Because of their early and aggressive leadership, HSLDA became the defacto face of homeschooling for a long time, especially where state legislatures were concerned. Not sure how much influence they still have, though.

    (Cincinnati is now the largest homeschool convention in the US and has greatly eclipsed the CHEO convention with its one-size-fits-all lifestyle convention and lost the majority of their attendance years ago.)

    Boy, I can remember when CHEO was the only game in town. I also remember going to the Cincinnati one when it still met at that Baptist church on the north side. The Duke Energy center is more convenient for multiple states, plus I think that particular convention is just more inclusive and not so hung up on lifestyle stuff, although that can be found– at least in the vendor hall.

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  43. Sad, does anyone know what has become of the Jorg’s two biological daughters? They would now be in their twenties.

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