Leaders Voice Concerns

Christian Leaders & Organizations Voice Concerns

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The following is a partial list of Christian leaders and organizations that have publicly stated their concerns about the Ezzos and/or their parenting curricula.

Dr. James Dobson, President, Focus on the Family, Radio Broadcast August 25, 1999: in response to on-air question.

Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend, authors of Boundaries, Boundaries with Kids, Raising Great Kids, and others.

Dr. Kevin Leman
, author: written statement to inquirers.

Steven Arterburn, founder of New Life Ministries, response to questions on New Life radio show.

Father Val. J. Peter, Executive Director, Boys Town, Nebraska: letter to Our Sunday Visitor, April 1998.

Rev. Chuck Smith, founder of the Calvary Chapel movement and host of The Word for Today radio program; commentary on radio broadcast of "To Every Man an Answer", January 9, 1998, September 21, 1998.

Dr. Ralph Winter, founder of the US Center for World Mission

Dr. Philip Ryken, author and senior pastor, Tenth Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia: article at

Dr. John MacArthur, pastor-teacher, Grace Community Church: Public Statement about character issues and the Ezzos' excommunication from Living Hope Evangelical Fellowship, July 25, 2000.

Dr. Tedd Tripp, author of Shepherding Your Child's Heart: internet comment at

Dr. Randy Carlson, President, Family Life Communications, response to questions on Parent Talk radio show, January, 2002

Dr. Grace Ketterman, psychiatrist and author: cited in Terner and Miller, April-June 1998, listed above.

Dr. Brenda Hunter, author, comments in her book, The Power of Mother Love

Kevin A. Miller, editorial director, Christian Parenting Today magazine, November 2, 1998

Hank Hanegraaff, president, Christian Research Institute: commentary on radio broadcast of The Bible Answer Man, July 28, 1998, October 6, 1998, October 8-9, 1998, October 26, 1998, October 27, 1998, March 25-26, 1999.

Phil Johnson, elder, Grace Community Church and executive director, Grace to You radio broadcast: "Questions about Growing Families International, Grace Church, and Gary Ezzo," December 11, 1997. (A follow-up to the October 16, 1997 Grace Community Church Elders' Statement.) Also, a written response to questions about Grace Community Church's Statement dated December 11, 1997 is available at:

Rich Buhler, radio pastor and counselor: commentary on radio broadcast.

Kathy Eshleman, wife of the director of the Jesus Film Project of Campus Crusade for Christ: letter of concern, July 18, 1997.

Barbara Curtis, author, The Mommy Manual; Ready, Set, Read and other books: "Whose Way, After All?" June 16, 1996.

Rev. Doug Haag, pastor of family ministries, Evangelical Free Church, Fullerton (California): theological review in "Religious Parenting Programs: Their relationship to Child Abuse Prevention," presented by the Child Abuse Prevention Council of Orange County Parenting Program Review Committee.

Cynthia Henseler, Minister to the Family, at the 15,000-worshipper Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, pastored by Rick Warren.

Dr. Clifford Penner, psychologist and author: cited in "The Brave New Baby," by Thomas Giles, Christianity Today, August 16, 1993.

Rev. Marvin Warman, Mdiv, MFCC and Joyce Warman, Warm an' Loving Ministries: letter of concern, October 28, 1997. Rev. and Mrs. Warman teach pre-marital courses at Lake Avenue Congregational Church and lead marriage seminars throughout the United States.

Kathy Nesper, president, Apple Tree Family Ministries: cited in "A Matter of Bias? Examining the Response of Growing Families International to Criticism," by Kathleen Terner and Elliot Miller, Christian Research Journal, October-December 1998, pp. 32-42.

Rick McKinley, senior pastor, Imago Dei Community (influential post-modern church in Portland OR): Father's Day sermon 2007


United Methodist Church--General Board of Discipleship: the board reviewed the material and will recommend that they not be used.

Focus on the Family: letter of concern regarding GFI, original letter 1993 with revisions at varying intervals, current revision released August 20, 1999. Although the wording of Focus on the Family's letter has varied, the organization has consistently stated that it does not recommend GFI's materials to its constituents.

CareNet, umbrella organization for crisis pregnancy centers: letter to affiliated centers, December 1996.

Grace Community Church: "A Statement Regarding Gary Ezzo and Growing Families International by the board of elders of Grace Community Church." Gary Ezzo developed his materials while a staff member at Grace. The church has publicly disavowed all association with GFI. Original statement issued October 16, 1997:
Revised version:

Living Hope Evangelical Fellowship: Elder's Statement Regarding Gary Ezzo's Church Discipline, Granada Hills, California. Public statement about character issues and the Ezzos' excommunication from Living Hope Evangelical Fellowship, Nov, 2000.

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