Why Did the Schaibles Let Their Children Die?

Herbert and Catherine Schaible are devout members of the First Century Gospel Church, which strictly believes in divine healing—meaning no doctors or medicine are allowed. Two of their children died after they became ill, and the couple is now facing third-degree murder charges. The writer attempts to understand the couple’s actions by visiting their church, and talking to other members of the community:

One hot night in Lawndale, Dave and his brother Richard—the next brother of nine Schaible siblings—sit at Dave’s dining room table and talk about how the burden is on us, to make sure God is listening to our prayers.

“God will show you where you’re out of line,” Dave says. “You’ve got to be willing to correct that. If our heart is right with God, He will show us a hidden resentment toward somebody, or hatred, or anything. But He’s also a jealous God, and when you put something between us and Him—it says in the Bible, ‘There should be no other gods in your life.’”

I remark that it seems an incredibly demanding command to live by.

Published: Oct 25, 2013
Length: 22 minutes (5,640 words)
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