Thinking Out Loud

July 5, 2011

Schullergate Continues

The architect who designed the Crystal Cathedral was an openly gay man. 

You probably didn’t need to know that, but otherwise, the gist of the Orange County Register story on Sunday is that Robert H. Schuller has been ousted from the board of the Crystal Cathedral he founded all those years ago.

GARDEN GROVE – The Rev. Robert H. Schuller, who started his ministry in an Orange drive-in theater more than five decades ago, has been voted off the board of Crystal Cathedral Ministries, which has been torn apart by debt and familial disharmony for the last several years.

Sheila Schuller Coleman - daughter to Robert H. and sister to Robert A. (OC Register Photo)

The church has not released information about the board meeting where Schuller, 84, was ousted, but his son Robert A. Schuller, who was himself forced out of the cathedral by his sisters and brothers-in-law three years ago, confirmed it Sunday.

He said his father wanted to enlarge the board, which was not received well by the others.

“A majority of that board consists of paid employees of the church and that’s a serious conflict of interest,” Robert A. Schuller said.

None of the board members or church officials could be reached for comment Sunday.

Schuller said his mother, a board member, voted against it, but was in the minority.

“It’s a very sad day and unfortunately, I know how that feels,” the younger Schuller said.

The article also hints that the family infighting which led to the departure of the younger R.S., Robert A Schuller, shows no sign of letting up:

Robert H. Schuller has been at odds with his daughters over how they have chosen to run the church. The cathedral recently switched over from a traditional worship format to a Gospel-style choir – much to the chagrin of many long-time members. Coleman also required choir members to sign a covenant acknowledging Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and the belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman.

For readers here, the issue is very simple:  How do show honor and respect to the person who founded a ministry organization while at the same time recognizing that at a certain age it might be time to step aside?

But equally important is the question, With a power shift to the next generation, is there justification for at the same time changing the ministry’s brand identification and core values?

Thanks again to the OC Register for relentless close-up coverage on this ever evolving saga.

Related item on this blog:  A Good News Story About The Crystal Cathedral

Previous Schullergate story:  CC Land and Buildings to be Sold

 

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1 Comment »

  1. This is the classic example of a church being all about appearance rather than faith. Sadly there are many churches like this but on a smaller scale; it is all about the beauty of the building and the showmanship of the worship leaders rather than a true seeking of the Holy Spirit and God’s will for our lives. Inevitably outward appearances will collapse as true worshippers seek something more; the infighting among the leaders only goes to prove that there is a basic lack of spiritual integrity at the church’s core.

    Comment by evamagdelen — July 5, 2011 @ 1:00 pm


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