A Cult? Horst Schaffranek’s disciples

Some German believers are in town this weekend. The group they represent has a reputation for strong divisive words as well as disrupting church services, as they did 20 years ago in this town and around Europe. (read this report where the Evangelical Times called them a “Cult“) But some people here are thinking about giving them a few minutes to speak in church tomorrow. I am lined up to preach at this Baptist church.

What do you think? Do we shun them or invite them in? Does anyone have experience with this group?

Andrew

Andrew Jones has been blogging since 1997. He is based in San Francisco with his two daughters but also travels the globe to find compelling stories of early stage entrepreneurs changing their world. Sometimes he talks in the third person. Sometimes he even talks to himself and has been heard uttering the name “Precious” :-)

22 Comments

  • I knew nothing about them until a couple of weeks ago when 2 of the ladies shared in my home church. Nothing too contraversial, just about persecution and unity in the body, but the pastor did have to step in to stop them going on too much! They were a bit too keen to hand out their pamphlets at the end though.
    Interesting to hear they’re “doing the rounds” in the UK.

  • hi andrew,
    i would not invite them to speak, as long as i only know them from protesting against most of the bigger meetings i have been part of in the last years [including freakstock]. as far as i can see they have a very strong dualism in their teaching, calling anything ecumenical directly linked to hell… most of the people i know here would consider them something like a sect, thinking they are the only ones on the right track.
    greetings
    daniel

  • Although I lived in France for a number of years and helped lead a church in Paris, I have never heard of these individuals. (Not surprisingly, I guess, given the rather “closed toward outsiders” nature of most French congregations. Smile…sigh…!)
    I am charismatic in theology and experience, but I strongly urge you NOT to allow these people to intervene in your meetings…! From the little bit that I have read of your blog, it appears that your community has some measure of experience in the operation of prophetic gifts. That being the case, I think it would be extremely unusual for God to need to use an outside agency that you have no God-given relationship with to speak a “word” to you.
    As you and your leaders pray and walk with God, listening to what He would say to you through Scripture, your own inner sense of His “voice,” and those prophetically gifted people you are already in relationship with, He will communicate to you what you need to know. I urge you to only allow these people to speak if you and the other most spiritually seasoned people in your community SPECIFICALLY sense an inner conviction that you should do so. Do NOT just “take a chance on it being God.” He is your friend, and as you walk with Him, He knows how to speak to you and get your attention when He needs to…!
    Blessings and peace, my brother…!

  • we are thinking right now that they could share in our open sharing time [ everyone is invited to respond to the message] but we will be very strict with time limit and graciousness towards letting others speak also.
    like a 2-3 minute message with the leader holding the microphone and not them.

  • Paul said let everything be done decently and in order. I am charismatic as well, but anyone who is insulting, is not exhibiting the Love of Christ. Disrtupting meetings is called rebellion and is also a violation in scripture.
    Allowing them to speak in open meeting times might be alright with strict controls. Maybe someone should go to them and ask straight up what their purpose and intention is and hold them to it.
    I like to be open and give people opportunity to share. But if these are wolves in sheep’s clothing, there is a place to put a stop to it as well. I certainly wouldn’t want them spreading some of the theology the article says they follow.
    But maybe, you can show them a more excellent way.
    Peace
    John Lunt

  • thanks everyone
    let me make it clear. These people get up and share whether or not they are invited. There is one story of police intervention to get them to shut up
    what i am also planning to do is [pray for wisdom and peace] and :
    1. warn the other churches
    2. have a copy of the “cult” article on my overhead to project on teh wall if things get nasty
    3. have a few people with video cameras in the congregation so there can be a witness.

  • Dear Andrew,
    please do not invite them. They are dangerous. They seem to be good and friendly in the beginning, but only then. I had very close contact to their founder Horst Schaffranek for a couple of weeks around 1998. I met him in a youth service at a protestant church and we shared some thoughts and opinions. He seemed to be very trustworthy to me, so I gave him my address and telephone number. But I wasn’t prepared for what followed our first meeting. He would call me twice a day and talked to me about different topics. Still very friendly and kind during the first few talks. But later on, his opinions became stranger and extremer. He tried to force me to leave my homechurch and join his group. He would send me tracts and told me to read them. What he told me on the phone started to confuse me. I couldn’t think right anymore and almost numb in my head. Until I woke up one morning with a clear warning of the Holy Spirit in my mind, where he told me to tell this man to never call me again and that I have no interest in his teachings anymore. Thank God he did what I told him and never called again.
    Later on I found out, that a whole group had been gathered around him and saw their extrem actions going on. I think their leader and founder is a very dangerous and strange man and his followers are brainwashed. I don’t want to judge them, but brainwashed was what I felt after a few conversations with Mister Schaffranek.

  • thanks tom. sounds like you are judging correctly. Horst S. was here in Orkney 20 years ago [which is why his followers are targeting orkney this weekend among others] and was not allowed to speak at the churches. but he stood outside the church of scotland church in stromness and shouted anyway.
    they still have a complete list of all the church leaders from 20 years ago but almost all of them are now gone.
    James set up a meeting with them tonight but they are in the city of Kirkwall instead. They say they may come back to stromness tomorrow.
    in which case, they would come to the baptist church which is where i have been invited to preach, and therefore will be the guy who will have to deal with them.
    fact is, i was a street preacher for 5 years and having people shout at me while i am preaching is not as intimidating as it is for most people.
    still . . a few prayers to God for a shield from division and disunity would not go astray . . .

  • Andrew, forget it. In Germany, we have a long history with these guys. They often habe to be thrown out by police (which only confirms them). They are a cult for sure. He and his gang have turned sour long time ago.

  • Andrew, the stories here remind me of Phelps and Westboro here in America, just not quite on the same scale. I pray that God would grant you wisdom for this morning (it should be about 4 or 5 AM there right now). I also pray that no one at your church or in Stromness would be deceived, and that their eyes would be open to discern what is right and wrong. Let us know how it goes.

  • Well dear…. from a prophetic gifting aspect…. we can all LOOK and Sound LIKE Balaam’s ASS…..
    The prophetic needs to be invited into the conversation. my only thoughts are to put the Cross of Christ before you and around the “sheep”…… We all see in PART… set in place so that we would need the body… and not deal with self-sufficiency. So the Word of the Prophet… is subject to the Prophets… (and you do walk in that gifting…) This issues is begging for attention in the “CONVO”

  • Well, I used to be a youth pastor in the church that he (and his disciples) formerly attended in Lemgo, Germany. They have disrupted lots of services here, Catholic, Lutheran and evangelical churches. After a sermon two years ago, I was invited by a nice older lady to join her house study group. She gave me some tracts – yep, Horst Schaffranek.
    A few days earlier, they had disruped a christian funeral where a siamese twin had died (which made big news in Germany, because the state would pay for an abortion, but not for an operation), calling us christians bad things.
    They belong to the One-Church movement and believe that each town should only have one church. Guess what church this should be…

  • I just saw the video on Brians blog and I will post what I posted over at his site…(with a bit extra)
    Sorry to see this, we had someone speak over a service (not cult members) and we engaged them and the service turned into a discussion.
    As an ex cult member the reaction in this church was exactly what you come to expect, and the fear of the Christians here just confirms all your leader has drilled into you – reaction like this only affirms the cult member.
    The behaviour of the man trying to physically force them to sit is way worse than anything these women did or said…there is one power that nobody can resist, a wee bit of love and gentleness.
    Sorry Andrew, I know she did not follow protocol and adhere to the plan and timetable, but I think engaging them from the front may well have engaged everyone there and allowed them to be publicly exposed for the admonition and correction and instruction of all who were there.
    You say you had info on the internet, but maybe people needed to hear that info with these women present.
    It would have been interesting to see them debate openly their preaching of ‘new doctrines’.
    Maybe just worth taking note of for next time…but as I say above, any cult leader worth his salt will instruct his followers that this is the reaction they will get and that this proves the validity of the message, however weird that may seem it is a physcological trigger.
    Most well meaning believers who engage in cult reachout only ever succeed in driving the cultee deeper into the bondage.
    Sorry if all that differs from the general opinion here, just wanted to tell you my heart.
    Peace
    Dave

  • dave
    the info i was talking about on the internet was being projected on teh screen as i talked – which is why i was leaning over to trigger my computer
    we did engage them – read my next post and see their response.

  • Dave,
    you can not embrace every cult member into your church and let them discuss their doctrines on your stage. That might be wordly tolerance, but isn’t the christian way of love.
    Well yes, everybody can come to church and we should love everyone with the love of Christ. But this love should be shown to the PERSON and has nothing to do with their teachings or doctrines.
    Every cult member is sorrounded by some kind of spirit that is not the Holy Spirit. In opening my pulpit for their false teachings I would automaticly open all spiritual doors and windows for the spirits they operate under and would invite them into my church.
    That is the same as if the shepheard would tell the sheep to go and play with the nice wolfes from the neighbourhood. Sorry, but that is not very wise. (To use nice words here…)
    Tom

  • There is a widow in our neighbourhood who is a disciple of Horst. she has started to invite people from our church to dinners on friday evening where she starts to share with them those wicked doctrines. One of the families is still new and seems to have swallowed the bait.
    They are inviting other people from our church to these friday dinners. We are still waiting and watching and praying in the spirit against the deception that is creeping in…..some advice please….

  • Don’t invite there heretical scumbags!
    Their leader claims that the bible is just a second source of revelation and that his is first.
    They as such are antichrists and not Christians.
    They are just as bad as the roman catholics.
    Stay clear of them.
    G-d bless,
    Erol

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