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July 19, 2006

Ezzo Week 2006 -- Ending With a Bang!

Guess what? I've been named over on the EzzoTruth site!

I guess that means I've made the big time. (Thanks, Hank, for letting me know!)

While I haven't quite earned the distinction of being spotlighted like Dr. James Dobson, Pastor John MacArthur, Hank Hanegraaff and Kathleen Terner, Frank York, Rebecca Prewett. .. still. . . singled out by name by Tom Reed and Gary Ezzo? I feel honored. *grin*


What earned me this distinction? I stumbled across a messageboard for alumni of a certain school, and saw someone on staff from Grace Community Church affirm that GCC's original concerns regarding Gary Ezzo are ongoing and unresolved, and posted about them here at TulipGirl.

I considered it signficant that GCC's concerns are current. Some have said that the problems with Gary Ezzo and his teachings have been addressed through revisions in his books and Ezzo "starting over" at a new church. Others have said that these character issues are of no current importance, as Grace Community Church's original statement was in 1997 and the latest public statement was in 2002. (The church discipline and excommunication statements from Living Hope Evangelical Fellowship, Ezzo's church following GCC, were published in 2000.) Ezzo's character concerns are ancient history, some have implied.

When I saw someone from Grace Community Church affirm the church still considered the matter with Gary Ezzo unresolved and a significant concern, I believed that was noteworthy.

I did not contact the author of the post before making it public. After all, what is posted publicly online is considered to be in the public realm. To clarify the context, the author of the post was writing on an alumni discussion board, informally with people he knew, and did not realize his words would be distributed in the way they were. Hence, he used the imprecise phrase "disciplined out of our church."

To state it precisely, Gary Ezzo was not "discipline out of" Grace Community Church.

However, the elders did meet Gary Ezzo and called him to accountability especially in regard to the content of his teaching. Gary Ezzo assured the GCC elders that he "was making himself accountable to a group of men he trusted--the pastor and elders of Living Hope Evangelical Fellowship (LHEF)." LHEF elders--those whom Gary Ezzo stated he trusted and was being accountable to--eventually proceeded to excommunicate him.

Grace Community Church did not excommunicate Gary Ezzo. However, the elders of GCC have stated "his departure from Grace Church left a disturbing number of conflicts unresolved and concerns unaddressed."

Those are the actions taken. Consider them for what they are. Actions taken by a church and board of elders, in concern for a member and leader in the church. Church discipline?

Then reflect on the vigorous protests from Tom Reed of EzzoTruth about the wording "discipline out of" --claiming it to be "false, possibly to the point of absurd. . . erroneous and slanderous. . . the sin of lying about the Ezzos, spreading gossip, cheating them out a chance to defend themselves, and stealing their reputation. . ."

That is a pattern that has been commented on repeatedly by others--Gary Ezzo's (and now Tom Reed's) propensity to focus on a matter such as wording and to ignore the substance of an issue, like church discipline.

I did hesitate to remove the original statement from my blog—and honestly, it would have been wise to write what I’m writing now when I did remove it. I hesitated in removing it because of the very scenario which we are seeing played out right now: a vicious attack on the original poster in avoidance of the real issues.

Tom Reed states, “It was also posted to the anti-ezzo forum, TulipGirl on June 1st, 2005. She has since removed the post from her site after ezzotruth communicated with her about the documented evidence that [the original poster] lied, knew he lied, but did nothing to remedy the situation.”

In the interest of factual accuracy, Tom,

1. TulipGirl.com is my personal website and blog. This is not an “anti-ezzo forum,” though issues related to Gary Ezzo, GFI, and Babywise are discussed here and “Ezzo Week” has become an annual event.

2. Tom Reed's “documented evidence” and veiled threats of legal action did not prompt the amendment on my blog.

3. I edited the post out of consideration for the orignal commentor. His words were intended for a small circle of friends, and reflected that Grace Community Church remains concerned about unresolved issues with Gary Ezzo--albeit through a regretable phrasing of words.

4. The fact that there have been disciplinary actions in regards to Gary Ezzo is indisputable.


Simply speaking, regardless of how it is worded or who states it, the truth remains that Gary Ezzo has a pattern of eschewing accountability and church discipline, and has unresolved issues related to both Grace Community Church and Living Hope Evangelical Fellowship.





This post is part of the Ezzo Week 2006 series, raising awareness about the concerns with "philosophy" of parenting promoted by Gary Ezzo.





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Comments

hehe...a compliment, no?

Posted by: Amie at July 20, 2006 01:44 PM

"There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?" James 4:12

Posted by: Anonymous at July 20, 2006 02:42 PM

As a professional journalist - ok, at least one who some idiot has decided to pay for what he writes - I have to say you handled that very well.

Don't know what Tom's day job is but he would make an excellent spokesman for any number of Eastern European oil companies.

Posted by: The Liberal Media at July 20, 2006 02:45 PM

Thanks for standing firm, tulipgirl. As a mom who really had the first few months of her colicky baby's life made miserable by trying to "babywise" him, I really appreciate your exposition of Gary Ezzo for who he really is.

Posted by: ChosenbyGod at July 20, 2006 05:58 PM

Tulipgirl, you can choose to post this or not- I will leave this to your discretion.

My husband attended The Master's Seminary from 1996-2000. We moved to SoCal in August of 1996 and began attending what formerly was the "Ezzo Sunday School" class (Joint Heirs), which had recently been put in the charge of Dr. Wayne Mack. We were in that class in October when Dr. John MacArthur spoke to the class at large concerning the Ezzo's departure. He made it a point to say that the Ezzos were not being disciplined from GCC and that he still considered Gary Ezzo to be a friend. "However," he said, "Gary Ezzo is a proponent of a philosophy that tells a mother to ignore her God-given instinct to respond to her baby when he/she cries." That statement left such an impression on me.

My husband and I know the Ezzos personally and we have even been overnight guests in their home. Some who oppose Ezzo teachings want others to believe Gary and AnnMarie sport horns and a pointed tail- not so. They are two of the most personable and hospitable people you would ever meet. But I think that somewhere along the way, perhaps a method- their method- became elevated above the principle of nurturing your children. I have to believe that we in the 20th and 21st centuries have made a bigger deal out of breastfeeding than really ought to be made. I mean, really, can you imagine women in centuries gone by wringing their hands trying to determine if they should feed their crying baby now, or wait 20 more minutes?

We, as many others, have used the Ezzo method, particularly with our firstborn. And we pray daily for God's grace to deal with the repercussions from it.

Just my thoughts, insignificant as they may be. Thanks for your time on this.

Posted by: Sherri W at July 20, 2006 07:20 PM

Way to go! Really, you are doing a tremendous service to many. Keep up the good work and keep loving your kids. That's the key to a great future.

hugs to you

Posted by: Rachel Ann at July 20, 2006 11:37 PM

Dear Anonymous,
Tulipgirl is judging Ezzo's teaching, for the most part, something the Bible encourages us to do in more verses than these:

John 7:24
Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment.

Luke 12:57
Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right?

Posted by: Lynn at July 21, 2006 05:35 PM

Tulipgirl, you are a such a blessing. Thanks be to God for all the work you do; only He knows how many parents lives you have enriched through your honest and courageous online encouragement of grace filled parenting, but my husband and I are amongst them and I know there are many many many many others accross the world who feel the same. We look forward to meeting you in person when our Lord returns and calls all of his beloved to glory. Have a peace-filled week-end.

Posted by: Amy at July 21, 2006 08:28 PM

Way to go TulipGirl!!

Posted by: skerrib at July 22, 2006 05:00 PM

TulipGirl,

We were given a set of these books to bring back to Ukraine by a well meaning person in a church in the Pacific Northwest. I glanced through them and thought they sounded really harsh and not at all the way we parented our children. Our three kids turned out pretty well ... we are proud of all three and we have great relationships with all three, plus our son-in-law. They love the Lord, and that is the most important thing of all!

On the flip side, my husband's brother was involved in a Christian cult for several years and these books could have been their child rearing manual! His kids are still suffering from their early upbringing and one is currently in jail.

The books have sat on a shelf for two or three years now, and I think they will stay there. I won't get rid of them, but have them in case I need to talk to a Ukrainian about them some time.

Thank you for all of this info!!

Posted by: Columbine at July 22, 2006 05:03 PM

Well, I'm torn between laughing and crying. Laughing because some things never change, and the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. I think I've seen almost that exact wording and misrepresentation of what is said against the Ezzos about 100 times. And then I just almost want to cry that the Ezzos and their ilk can't see their own dishonesty, and that they've "come after" you. Uggh.

Posted by: chewymom at July 24, 2006 09:30 AM

Columbine,

To my knowledge the Ezzo materials are limitedly distributed in Ukraine. (Though I was given a copy of the Pearl's TTUAC in Kyiv.)

They have been promoted by a couple in Russia, and I believe translated by them as well. They are friends of a friend.

However, if you do come across a Ukrainian family interested in Ezzo/Babywise, I have our experiences translated and available online in Russian.

Posted by: TulipGirl at July 24, 2006 06:45 PM

Hi, TulipGirl,
I just wanted to say thank you for putting together this Ezzo Week. I have heard of this man and his teachings, but only peripherally. I am not in the Church so I think it was just through a friend.

I learned quite a bit from your posts. I wrote a short article about it today on BlogHer and I invite you to check it out. Of couse, I didn't go into the detail you do, but I do hope that it will help to educate others about what isn't wise about the Babywise philosophy.

Great work! I can tell you are passionate and honest about this subject.

Posted by: Mary Tsao at July 25, 2006 04:53 PM

"This is the quote from Ezzotruth.com to which TulipGirl responded in case those of you reading these posts could not find it.

Pastor Adam Bailie, an assistant to the Executive Pastor at Grace, made a statement on an Internet forum that the Ezzos were “disciplined out of our church (Grace).” For those of us who were even casual observers of the Ezzos’ ministry in 1996 knew that Mr. Bailey’s claim that the Ezzos were “disciplined” from Grace Community Church was false, possibly to the point of absurd. This erroneous and slanderous statement was picked up by several anti-Ezzo forums such as Steve Rein’s ezzoinfo (the main repository of anti-ezzo gossip) and the information has undoubtedly found its way around the world. It was also posted to the anti-ezzo forum, TulipGirl on June 1st, 2005. Pastor Bailie told ezzotruth that he later asked her to remove the post from her site but that she refused to comply with his request (documented conversation). She has since removed the post from her site after ezzotruth communicated with her about the documented evidence that Adam Bailie passed on information about the Ezzos that was not true and that by posting Pastor Bailie's comments, she became a willing party to a lie.

After three phone calls to Adam Bailie from Ezzotruth in 2006, he finally returned our call and he was confronted with the untruthfulness of his statement about the Ezzos. He admitted that he was wrong in making that statement in the first place, that the statement was not factually correct and that he relied on erroneous information given to him from another source. We have documentation of his admission of guilt. However, when confronted with the sin of lying about the Ezzos, spreading gossip, cheating them out a chance to defend themselves, and stealing their reputation (something that he could never repair), Adam Bailie refused to offer even a simple apology to the Ezzos."

There is more to this story at http://www.ezzotruth.com/john-macarthur-grace-community-church.html

Posted by: abundantlife at July 28, 2006 04:37 PM

http://www.ezzotruth.com/downloads/Sidel%202005.pdf

Letter from Ron Seidel, Granda Hills Community Church. Phone and fax included for those wanting to verify his findings.

Proverbs 15:28a
The heart of the rightewous weighs its answers.

Proverbs 17:15
Acquitting the quilty and condemning the innocent--the Lord detests them both.

Posted by: lifeabundant at July 28, 2006 05:05 PM

Got an unexpected email tonight from someone who disagrees with my thoughts on this subject. She is entitled to her opinion, but ... . I have seen what a legalistic lifestyle can do to a family. Where one person, or two or three, decides what is right for you and for your children. There are control issues involved here. And when someone decides that they need to control me, or how I raise my children - then they are trying to take the place of God in my life. Letting a baby cry for hours (I have heard it with my own ears) because the baby has been fed, clean diaper, etc. and is just showing his sin nature by wanting attention is child abuse is the cruelist form - emotional battering. The child is growing up emotionally stunted, has a hard time relating to others, a very hard time trusting others. How can this child understand that God is always there for him when his parents were not? Oh, they were in the next room, but his need for physical and emotional comfort was no concern to them (because someone told them it was wrong to feed him or hold him except at prescribed times). There is a LOT of pain in our extended family because of this. It is not theory with us, or possibility, the results are being lived out in pain. The family members who were involved in it have repented of their sin, but the damage is done to the 6 older children and the 2 younger ones suffer because of it.

Sorry, I just had to vent. Yes, there is a lot of pain....

Posted by: Columbine at July 28, 2006 06:01 PM

I'm one who had the Ezzo materials back in 1996 but never went through the course. I found some of the scheduling info to be helpful, but I chose what to use and what not to use. It was really just common sense stuff that my mother, had she lived nearby, might have shared with me. To be fair, I think someone gave me a copy of only a portion of the materials. Only later, when we moved to So Cal and joined GCC did we learn of the controversy.

I wonder if it would be fair to say that the Ezzo's were under church discipline and left GCC rather than repenting? In other words, they disagreed with the discipline, did not repent, and then chose to leave rather than wait to be asked to leave. That is often an undesirable result of church discipline (the goal being restoring the believer to fellowship). Just a thought.

Hey to Sherry W, if you are who I think you are!

Posted by: Suzanne J at July 29, 2006 12:47 PM


 
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