A Pennsylvania couple was jailed after another of their children died from lack of medical treatment.
Herbert and Catherine Schaible were jailed after their 8-month-old son, Brandon, died from diarrhea and breathing problems. The Schaibels refused to seek medical treatment for their son. Another son died in 2009 after contracting pneumonia–again without receiving medical intervention. The Schaibles were convicted of involuntary manslaughter in that case and placed on ten years probation. See full USA Today article here.
The Schaibles belong to the First Century Gospel Church near Philadelphia. Members of this church are taught to believe that it is a sin to seek medical treatment. A sermon from the church said: “It is a definite sin to trust in medical help and pills; and it is real faith to trust on the Name of Jesus for healing.”
That is a bald-faced lie.
It simply isn’t true. And it is spiritually abusive. Yet folks continue to believe such distorted teaching. I have written more extensively about faith healing here.
In short, what these groups believe is a simplistic misinterpretation of scripture. While the Bible does talk about praying for healing (James 5:13-16), it never says that every prayer for healing will be answered, nor that great faith will guarantee healing, nor that medical treatment is sin. Indeed, one of the Gospel writers was a physician (Luke), and the Apostle Paul prescribed medical treatment for Timothy.
Let’s continue to educate ourselves and others about what the Bible actually says about faith healing: trust in God, yes, but also see a doctor. Maybe the miracle you’re asking for is disguised within modern medicine.
Update, 2/20/14: The Schaibles were just convicted of third-degree murder and sentenced to prison time and probation. “Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge Benjamin Lerner told the couple that it was not their son’s time to die. ‘You killed two of your children … not God, not your church, not your religious devotion — you,’ the AP reported.” Here’s the link to the HuffPost article.