Joy-Anna Duggar Forsyth’s in-laws, Terry and Roxane Forsyth, have defended a controversial decision to allow Mike and Debi Pearl to speak at their family camp at Fort Rock.
Mike and Debi Pearl of No Greater Joy Ministries have released a book entitled To Train Up a Child which encourages parents to use corporal punishment on their children. The book has gained notoriety since at least three children’s deaths have been attributed to the harsh punishments set out in the publication.
Someone concerned with the promotion of the techniques sent a message to the Fort Rock Family Camp, stating that they felt corporal punishment was questionable and that they would withdraw their support of the camp if the Pearls were allowed to speak.
In response, the poster got a message from either Austin Forsyth or his brother (it is unclear who wrote the letter) stating that his wife’s parents used these techniques on his wife and on him and both of them now have a better relationship with their parents. The author of the letter also says that the Bible tells parents to “train and correct” children, but that Fort Rock Family Camp does not, and never will, condone child abuse.
The author of the letter went on to state several Bible verses that condone hitting children, such as “spare the rod and spoil the child,” as quoted in Proverbs 22 and Proverbs 23, which states that children should be corrected. Proverbs 23, in the version of the Bible the author quoted, also states that you can beat a child to correct him or her as long as they do not die.
Fans have subsequently been concerned for Joy-Anna Duggar Forsyth and Austin Forsyth’s children, as they now believe that the pair will use corporal punishment on him or her. The pair are expecting their first baby sometime later this month.
This isn’t the first time a Duggar family has faced controversy over possible corporal punishment. The family has previously been criticized for using “blanket training” on their children, which forces them to be swaddled against their will and hit if they move too far off of a prescribed area.