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Televangelism Empire In Chaos Over Family Split
SFChronicle ^ | January 31, 2009

Posted on 01/31/2009 9:49:07 PM PST by Steelfish

Televangelism empire in chaos over family split

By GILLIAN FLACCUS, Associated Press Writer Saturday, January 31, 2009

Once one of the nation's most popular televangelists, the Rev. Robert H. Schuller is watching his life's work crumble.

His son and recent successor, the Rev. Robert A. Schuller, has abruptly resigned as senior pastor of the Crystal Cathedral. The shimmering, glass-walled megachurch is home to the "Hour of Power" broadcast, an evangelism staple that's been on the air for more than three decades.

The church is in financial turmoil: It plans to sell more than $65 million worth of its Orange County property to pay off debt. Revenue dropped by nearly $5 million last year, according to a recent letter from the elder Schuller to elite donors.

In the letter, Schuller Sr. implored the Eagle's Club members — who supply 30 percent of the church's revenue — for donations and hinted that the show might go off the air without their support.

"The final months of 2008 were devastating for our ministry," the 82-year-old pastor wrote.

The Crystal Cathedral blames the recession for its woes. But it's clear that the elder Schuller's carefully orchestrated leadership transition, planned over a decade, has stumbled badly.

It's a problem common to personality driven ministries. Most have collapsed or been greatly diminished after their founders left the pulpit or died.

(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: california; christian; christianity; crystalcathedral; hourofpower; orangecounty; robertschuller; schuller; televangelist

1 posted on 01/31/2009 9:49:08 PM PST by Steelfish
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To: Steelfish

I grew up watching the Crystal Cathedral on tv. Yes, as the article states, “It’s a problem common to personality driven ministries.” While personalities fade, the Bible and His church never fades.


2 posted on 01/31/2009 9:58:31 PM PST by Falconspeed ("Keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage with others." Robert Louis Stevenson)
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To: Steelfish

A sorry story for a good man.

Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral started out as a drive-in ministry at a closed Drive-In Theater. People then, and up till the last time I looked (in a very limited capacity way in the parking lot), could stay in their car and listen to the audio using a provided Drive-In speaker.


3 posted on 01/31/2009 9:59:36 PM PST by OldNavyVet (Character counts)
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To: OldNavyVet

Seems like a low-power radio transmitter would have been a good upgrade.


4 posted on 01/31/2009 10:05:01 PM PST by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: Steelfish
I would love to hear the details on what differences they have...specifically why he fired his son.

Wikipedia states:

However, where his father's preaching tends to be heavier on psychological reference and lighter on scriptural reference, Robert A. Schuller's messages rely considerably on scriptural reference, hermeneutics, and apologetics, making the role of "positivism" secondary and more in line with mainstream evangelicalism.

5 posted on 01/31/2009 10:12:27 PM PST by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: Steelfish; Jeremiah Jr
"The final months of 2008 were devastating for our ministry," the 82-year-old pastor wrote. The Crystal Cathedral blames the recession for its woes.

A sandcastle cathedral won't weather the storm.

6 posted on 01/31/2009 10:13:40 PM PST by Ezekiel (The Obama-nation began with the Inauguration of Desolation.)
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To: Ezekiel

Like PTL, these so-called churches are really family owned and operated businesses conveying a marshmallow spirituality to a hungry world.


7 posted on 01/31/2009 10:17:18 PM PST by Steelfish (Our Winning Video)
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To: Steelfish
a marshmallow spirituality to a hungry world

I liken it to melamine.

8 posted on 01/31/2009 10:23:17 PM PST by Ezekiel (The Obama-nation began with the Inauguration of Desolation.)
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To: Steelfish
It's a problem common to personality driven ministries.

The problem is that the only "personality" in genuine Christian ministry is Jesus Christ, the Lord.

We do not and may not follow men. Such cults of personality an unbiblical evil thing, I Cor. 1;12,13; I Cor. 3:4-7.

9 posted on 01/31/2009 10:25:00 PM PST by verklaring (Pyrite is not gold))
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To: Gondring
I would love to hear the details on what differences they have...specifically why he fired his son.

According to this and this, Junior was sacked because of a "lack of shared vision and the jeopardy in which this is placing this entire ministry."

Reading between the lines, it appears Junior simply failed to attract the necessary audience (and donors) to the TV broadcast which sustains the church during his three year stint at its helm.

The younger Schuller blamed the program's format and wanted to change it in in a manner which would supposedly make it appeal to a younger audience. The older Schuller felt the show's format was just fine and blamed Junior for failing to deliver the ratings. The older Schuller won the boardroom battle.

Bottom line: It was money, not doctrine.

10 posted on 01/31/2009 11:05:42 PM PST by Zakeet (Socialism is like prohibition, it's a good idea but it won't work.)
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To: Steelfish

Good riddance. Shuller has all the depth of a puddle.


11 posted on 01/31/2009 11:22:01 PM PST by eclecticEel (Wall Street isn't a charity ... so why are we giving them money?)
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To: eclecticEel

new age doctrines of demons

good riddance


12 posted on 02/01/2009 12:03:04 AM PST by captmar-vell
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To: eclecticEel

I kinda agree with you.


13 posted on 02/01/2009 12:08:47 AM PST by napscoordinator
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To: Zakeet

Thank you.

I figured that was likely it...though I had wondered if the son’s approach (not focused so strongly on grace) was hurting his fund-raising abilities. Perhaps it had...people don’t like being told to be holy.


14 posted on 02/01/2009 12:30:10 AM PST by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: Steelfish

I’m suspicious of any church who has father/son pastors.
Seems like the sons get into it for the $$$.


15 posted on 02/01/2009 1:31:30 AM PST by BunnySlippers
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To: Falconspeed

He began his ministry at the Ivanhoe Reformed Church in the early fifties on 143rd and Wabash in Dolton, Illinois - a southern suburb of Chicago. That’s the town I lived in until I was 12.


16 posted on 02/01/2009 3:34:01 AM PST by Bluebird Singing
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To: Gondring

Transistors basically did not exist in those days, much less microchips.


17 posted on 02/01/2009 7:29:29 AM PST by OldNavyVet (Character counts)
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To: verklaring

“We do not and may not follow men.”

Every church on Earth calls for following men claiming to represent God.


18 posted on 02/01/2009 7:33:40 AM PST by OldNavyVet (Character counts)
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To: Gondring

You said — “I would love to hear the details on what differences they have...specifically why he fired his son.”

That quote that you included from Wikipedia, is also what I read elsewhere, as to the cause of the split. It seems that a more conservative approach to the Bible (by Schuller’s son) was too much for the elder....

In that case, good riddance for the Crystal Cathedral...


19 posted on 02/01/2009 8:46:17 AM PST by Star Traveler
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To: Zakeet

In one of those referenced articles you supplied, I saw this quote...

The real minister’s name that we honor is Jesus, not Schuller,” he said to thunderous applause.

And that’s definitely a lie. It was a lie when the elder Schuller was running everything himself, as one could easily tell from listening to his complete absence of Biblical doctrine from his sermons.

And now, in *contrast* to his son using the Bible more and appealing to its authority, it’s apparent that the elder Schuller is still leaving the Jesus Christ of the Bible out of his messages (and by proxy, those others who are preaching in his stead...).

Matthew 7:21-23

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.

22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’

23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’


20 posted on 02/01/2009 8:53:01 AM PST by Star Traveler
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To: OldNavyVet

I misunderstood...I thought you meant more recently.


21 posted on 02/01/2009 10:21:48 AM PST by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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