John MacArthur's letter to Gary Ezzo

A photocopy of this letter, dated July 18, 1995, was attached at the end of GFI's (Gary Ezzo's org) lengthy public response to Grace Community Church in November of 1997. Emphasis added.

"....At this point I think the best approach to take for the sake of unity and to decrease the workload of everybody embroiled in this constant dialogue is to put these things to rest. I don't feel it's productive to debate over terminology but I do think we have to recognize what are the issues at hand. Let me summarize them:

1. We all agree on the doctrinal statement of GCC. I know you are honestly committed to that statement as expressed in What We Teach so in my mind we're not dealing with issues of foundational doctrine. I don't question your theology.

2. We're not dealing with an issue of motive. Everyone wants to serve the Lord as best they can and be as true to the Word as possible.

What we are dealing with is differences in understanding some applications of biblical truth, differences in terminology, a certain conflict over what is biblical and what is non-biblical (preferential). What is most important is that submission, love, forgiveness, humility, kindness and support prevail and I haven't always seen that on your part. Though the issues here are certainly between brothers who hold the same sound doctrine, it's really an old story, Gary. I'm still grieved about unkind statements, innuendos and sarcasm. All each of us can do is be certain our own heart is right before the Lord and all the rest will work out even with those with whom we have a disagreement.

You and Anne Marie have been a blessing to so many. Your teaching and material has so much to commend it and I trust with careful attention will become better so that it has even a greater impact. There's no desire on our part to be anything other than precise with Scripture and thus to honor the Lord.

Regarding what we sell at the Book Shack, I'm quite confident that if all the books there were subject to this level of scrutiny and held to the standard of what is required of pastoral staff members and elders of Grace, our shelves would contain fewer volumes. But we understand that there's good to be gained in those books with which we do not agree in every point. But when someone is an elder at Grace or a staff member and there is some disagreement, that creates a different issue. I think that's what we have been trying to deal with.

Also the whole transition to Stuart Scott's leadership from what was a strong profile as you've had is a difficult transition and when you add the whole scenario and other relational difficulties in which it appears that you and all the people in your ministry were pitted against church staff, it compounds the issue.

I received your resignation with a measure of regret but believe it is the right alternative. Let me encourage you to be continually supportive of our leadership as you now place yourself under the authority of the men the Lord has shepherding the flock here at Grace.

I love you brother and thank the Lord for you and Anne Marie....I want to see it be everything it can be and I don't want to burden you unnecessarily. At this point I think further dialogue might constitute unfair burdening. Carry on and expect that our staff will use whatever they feel is most beneficial....

  • Professionals Say
  • Signs of Hunger
  • Recent Research
  • A Mom Says

Rosemary Shy, MD , FAAP
Director, Children's Choice of Michigan Ambulatory Pediatrics
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Wayne State University, Children's Hospital of Michigan, Detroit, Mich

"It is dangerous to do it the way he describes," Pediatrician Dr. Rosemary Shy says of Ezzo's technique. "It puts these babies at risk for jaundice, at risk for dehydration, and at risk for failing to thrive, all of which we’ve seen." -- Wilson, Steve, "Baby Care Controversy," WXYZ-Detroit, November 14, 2004


Arnold Tanis, MD, FAAP
1999 recipient, John H. Whitcomb Outstanding Pediatrician Award, presented by the Florida Pediatric Society and the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

"There is no scientific basis whatsoever in their philosophy....It is contrary to what nature intended.

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Watch Your Baby's Signs of Hunger

Although Babywise says to feed a hungry baby, it usually instructs parents to observe a time interval between feedings, or a certain order of events, such as only feeding the baby after she wakes up. There's another way to tell that your baby is hungry. You can watch your baby for her own signs of hunger.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends watching for the following early signs or cues by which your baby lets you know when she's hungry.

  • Small movements as she starts to awaken
  • Whimpering or lip-smacking
  • Pulling up arms or legs toward her middle
  • Stretching or yawning
  • Waking and looking alert
  • Putting hands toward her mouth
  • Making sucking motions
  • Moving
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Maternal use of parent led routines associated with short breastfeeding duration.

Published Feb 12, 2014
Brown A, Arnott B (2014) Breastfeeding Duration and Early Parenting Behaviour: The Importance of an Infant-Led, Responsive Style. PLoS ONE 9(2): e83893. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0083893

"Results: Formula use at birth or short breastfeeding duration were significantly associated with low levels of nurturance, high levels of reported anxiety and increased maternal use of Parent-led routines . Conversely an infant-led approach characterised by responding to and following infant cues was associated with longer breastfeeding duration."

Raising Emotionally Healthy Children - 2014 Video

This KET Special Report looks at the importance of social and emotional development in the first years of life, featuring experts on infant and child development in Kentucky.

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Our first child was born in the summer of 09, and I promptly began trying to apply the Babywise method. The book had been highly recommended by a distant relative, and promised structure and sanity amidst the exhaustion and upheaval I felt as a new mother. However, our baby did not respond the way the book promised he would if we followed the schedule. All my attempts to adhere to the book led to deep frustration, arguments with my husband (who knew better than to let a book dictate our newborn's schedule), feeling like a failure, and the worst--resentment of my infant. Why couldn't he sleep and eat like the book said he should be doing? The Ezzos presented their arguments as infallible.
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Babywise and Preparation for Parenting

Free downloadable parent education brochure

research-based answers
print and share with your pediatrician
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Key Documentation

Excommunication Statement

Statement about Ezzo - Materials

Statement about Ezzo - Character

"The Cultic Characteristics of Growing Families International"
(originally titled "More than a Parenting Ministry")

(orginally titled "A Matter of Bias?")

Unprepared to Teach Parenting?

Babywise Publisher Plans Contract Cancellation

Media Alert