Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The preacher is at fault

kw: christian faith, faith healing, false prophets

I purposely avoid most matters of politics and faith in this blog. The Schaible case must be an exception.

The facts of the case are simple. Herbert and Catherine Schaible of Philadelphia had seven children. When the two-year-old caught a cold, they prayed. When the cold got worse, they had church leaders come pray with them. They had been taught, at the First Century Gospel Church, that obtaining medical help is a sin; that they must rely on God alone. I suppose they have since been told, "God answered, 'No.'," because the child died of pneumonia. They were found guilty of manslaughter and have been sentenced to about ten years in prison.

This unfortunate couple is innocent of the criminal charge. They are only guilty of following a false prophet. Most Christians regard medical treatments as gifts of God. I am sure glad a surgeon was available to cure me of my cancer ten years ago. Luke was a physician. Paul advised Timothy to settle an upset stomach with "a little wine", rather than with prayer alone. If you break a bone, it makes sense to set it with a splint. Then pray for faster healing, but prayer alone won't make you able to walk on an unsplinted broken leg.

I serve a small congregation as one of the elders. A family came several years ago, and as it happened, the man had been a surgeon, but gave it up when he came to have the opinion that medicine is sinful. We let him know that we would not allow such teaching in our church. Naturally, they went elsewhere.

The one who is most at fault is the false teacher who misinformed the Schaibles.

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