Skip to comments.Televangelism Empire In Chaos Over Family Split
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 ...
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.
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.
Seems like a low-power radio transmitter would have been a good upgrade.
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.
A sandcastle cathedral won't weather the storm.
Like PTL, these so-called churches are really family owned and operated businesses conveying a marshmallow spirituality to a hungry world.
I liken it to melamine.
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.
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.
Good riddance. Shuller has all the depth of a puddle.
new age doctrines of demons
I kinda agree with 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.
I’m suspicious of any church who has father/son pastors.
Seems like the sons get into it for the $$$.
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.
Transistors basically did not exist in those days, much less microchips.
“We do not and may not follow men.”
Every church on Earth calls for following men claiming to represent God.
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...
In one of those referenced articles you supplied, I saw this quote...
The real ministers 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...).
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!’