Robert Schuller once went from door to door asking people what type of church they would like to attend. His mission was to change his church to a place where non-Christians would feel comfortable enough to come in and then eventually “accept Jesus.” This would be accomplished by preaching only positive messages! It seems the apple didn’t fall far from the tree….
The Crystal Cathedral’s [Sheila Schuller Coleman daughter of Robert Schuller] announced Sunday that she was leaving to start a new church, a move that appears likely to split the congregation.
“This is the last Sunday we will be worshiping in this building,” Pastor Sheila Schuller Coleman told congregants during an emotional 11 a.m. service in the 10,000-pane glass cathedral, designed by architect Phillip Johnson.
Schuller Coleman’s announcement came one day after her parents, church founder Robert H. Schuller and his wife, Arvella Schuller, resigned from the Crystal Cathedral’s board of directors, which oversees the ministry’s trademark “Hour of Power” broadcast. The future of the show and the bankrupt Crystal Cathedral Ministries is unclear.
Schuller Coleman said she was leaving because of her family’s “adversarial” relationship with the board. She pointed to the recent firings of her sister and brother-in-law, Jim Penner, who served as the executive producer of “Hour of Power” since 1999.
Looking back, Robert Schuller Snr’s success came from preaching the new “Gospel of Positiveness and Success”. Focusing on self esteem and life enhancement it was instantly embraced by numerous unbelievers, Muslims, New Agers and quite a large number of Christian leaders as well. Schuller believed he had found a basic defect in Christianity. He said in his book Self Esteem: the New Reformation, “What is that basic flaw? I believe is it the failure to proclaim the gospel in a way that can satisfy every person’s deepest need – one’s spiritual hunger for glory. Rather than glorify God’s highest creation – the human being – Christian liturgies, hymns, prayers, and scriptural interpretations have often insensitively and destructively offended the dignity of the person…”
Sadly Robert Schuller’s self esteem has led to a legacy that is a frighteningly aberrant form of religion parallel and distant to Christianity. The crystal indeed has shattered into shards of confusion, division, mistrust and (yup) a church split. Surely what does it profit to gain the whole world and lose your soul at the altar of “self”?
It’s sad that his daughter appears to be oblivious of the errors of her once powerful and almost larger than life father.
Or may be I just need a new (be) attitude. 😉