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German cult leader gets 20-year sentence 
24th-May-2006 11:52 pm
According to latest news, the German leader of the "Colonia Dignidad" cult in Chile has now been sentenced to 20 years in prison. Good to see that he still lives to see his criminal conviction, but his worst condemnation is yet to come. He too once was "the servant of God" for his followers.
25th-May-2006 12:23 am (UTC)
Good to see that he still lives to see his criminal conviction, but his worst condemnation is yet to come.

As long as he is alive, there is still a chance for him to repent and accept Christ as his Savior. Let's hope that he can receive the true servant of God, rather than putting himself in Christ's place.
25th-May-2006 11:36 am (UTC)
As long as he is alive, there is still a chance for him to repent and accept Christ as his Savior. Let's hope that he can receive the true servant of God, rather than putting himself in Christ's place.

I'm not sure about that. Experience showed that none of the real, abusive, wicked cult leaders of the kind of Schaefer, in the past and presence ever really repented. They went too far. They burnt their own conscience. They don't even know any more what repentence is.

Remember, the Bible has passages like this:

If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," and again, "The Lord will judge his people." It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Those cult leaders often apply such passages to their poor, anxious followers. But in reality, such passages apply to these cult leaders themselves, to people who were not anxious, who knew how to guilt-trip others but could not be guilt-tripped because they never felt guilty.

I'm not sure if it would be "theoretically" possible for such a person to repent (there are Bible passages saying everything is possible for God but Heb 6:4 has also the word "impossible"), but if it would be possible, than it would be even 1000x harder for such people to repent than a rich man to enter the kingdom of God, and you know how difficult this is already.

Just my personal opinion and experience. (By the way, his followers have repented and disassociated from Schaefer. But Schaefer himself is denying the charges and says they are fabricated. That's typical for a cult leader.)
26th-May-2006 12:45 am (UTC)
Peter denied Christ and Paul persecuted Christians. Both repented and were used greatly by God. Of course, many others did not repent. Judas committed suicide, Saul went to a witch, and Cain built a city. Many cult leaders will not repent, but who knows what 20 years in jail can do to change the man. God can certainly use jail to humble him. He will not be much of a recruiter in there - he's the one who will likely be recruited - into some groups he has never imagined.
26th-May-2006 03:43 am (UTC)
Schaefer is 80 years old. After 20 years in jail, he will be 100. I do not believe that he will change. Such people cannot be humbled.

I do not deny that all kinds of evil and wicked people can repent and come back to God. All kind of sins can be forgiven, but there is one sin which is unforgivable, called the "sin against the Spirit" in the Bible. As far as I understand it is the sin of actually knowing about God and being convinced by the Spirit, but still mocking the Spirit. It has also to do with perverting the spiritual truth. My conclusion is that this is what these "spiritual leaders" are doing. What Peter did was something completely different - he just had fear. And Paul was kind of "blinded". He did not know about Christ. He had zeal for God and the truth (something cult leaders do not have). When the truth was revealed to him, he immediately stopped persecuting Christians.

Apropos Peter, in 1Peter 2 he writes a whole chapter about "False Teachers and Their Destruction" (as it is titled in the German and NIV Bible), where he too says that "blackest darkness is reserved for them" and does not mention a possibility for them to repent.

I believe, yes, *if* they repented, they would not be condemned, but such people are just inable to repent, they robbed themselves of this possibility by systematically destroying their own God-given conscience and sense for truth and what's the voice of God and what's imagination. They "played" so much with the truth, and abused the Bible and the Spirit to manipulate and guilt-trip others, they usurped the throne of God for others and proclaimed their own truths, that they are now unable to discern truth and fabrication, and cannot be convinced and reached by the Spirit any more. Because, actually, only the Spirit can convince you and make you repent. If you cut your connection with the Spirit, by mocking Him and abusing this channel to God, you have no chance to be convinced and repent.

Also, think of people such as Saddam Hussein or Slobodan Milosevic and how they behaved in court/jail. Such power mongers will never repent, they will rather accuse their accusers. They are their own Gods. They have no concept of higher justice. But these people were only "political" power mongers, not "spiritual" power mongers which is even worse.

Therefore, I started to understand that neither Bible nor experience give us much hope that real cult leaders will ever repent. According to my understanding, 1John 5:16 seems to say that we should not even pray for such people any more.

You cannot deny that the Bible speaks of "unforgivable sin", "inability to repent", "sin to death". It is not a main topic in the Bible, and it does only apply to very few people, but it is definitely something the Bible talks about. The only satisfying interpretation for me is that it is the kind of behavior that can be seen in cult leaders.

That's also why I stopped praying for people such as Sarah Barry. We wrote her a long letter; she does not even care. And I know that this was not the only admonition she got in her life.

Titus says: "Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him. You may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned." This does not seem to indicate that we should have much hope and pray for such people. It's not that we shall condemn them, they are "self-condemned." I think we should care much more for all other kind of people, but not for these cult leaders. May God Himself deal with them.
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