The Christian pastor who ministers Catherine and Herbert Schaible gives the couple a big theological thumbs-up for letting two of their children die through medical negligence.
The Schaibles lost one child in 2009, and another this year. In both cases, they declined to call a doctor for their ill offspring, choosing to rely on prayer instead.
The Rev. Nelson Clark, of Philadelphia’s First Century Gospel Church, told the local newspaper that the Schaibles are going to have to pray harder and truer next time, as the couple suffers from a “spiritual lack” that can only be remedied with more faith.
Clark [photo] was the spiritual adviser when the Schaibles’ 2-year-old, Kent, died from bacterial pneumonia in 2009, which led to a manslaughter conviction and probation for the couple. And he ministered to them last week when 8-month-old Brandon died, a case now being investigated by police.
In an interview with The Inquirer, Clark said God did not want the Schaible children to die. Instead, he said, the children died because of some “spiritual lack” in the Schaibles’ lives — a flaw they need to correct to prevent future deaths.
“They realize they must get back to God, to seek wisdom from him, to find where the spiritual lack is in their heart and life . . . so this won’t happen again.”
There is no question Herbert Schaible would turn to prayer again if any of his six other children, whose ages range from about 8 to 17, fell ill, Clark said. Just as any First Century member would. “He would confess his sins and repent to God and ask for a healing touch,” Clark said.
The Schaibles would not call a doctor, even now, Clark said. “Oh, no,” he said. “That thought would never enter his mind.”
Other highlights from the Philadelphia Inquirer article:
• The church has 525 members, including many large, young families.
• First Century Gospel Church authorities counsel against college, because it is “fraught with drinking and immorality.” A “basic high school education” is OK.
• Herbert Schaible teaches in the church-run school — “all subjects except faith.” Only Pastor Clark teaches faith.
• The parents are not behind bars even now. They come to church faithfully, and the congregation has rallied around the Schaibles, Clark said. “They would do anything for Herb.”
• Pastor Clark seems less distraught by the likelihood of other congregants’ children dying for lack of medical care, than he is about the Schaibles’ remaining six children possibly getting placed in foster care with “nonbelievers.”
Because clearly, what those kids need most is more Christianity in their lives.
[image via Joy 105]