which got me curious. What’s been going on with that notorious icon of religious excess?
I don’t know how I missed this story, but in March of this year the church put forth an edict that practicing homosexuals can’t sing in their choir. All choir members were asked to sign a covenant that was explicit about marriage being the only place to have sex. No such document had been necessary before and members were understandably upset by the new “Do as the Bible Says! Or Else!” type rules.
According to The Orange County Register, part of the covenant states: “I understand that in an era where images of family relationship and personal sexuality are often confused, Crystal Cathedral Ministries believes that it is important to teach and model the biblical view. I understand that Crystal Cathedral Ministries teaches that sexual intimacy is intended by God to only be within the bonds of marriage, between one man and one woman.”
Coleman explained that the covenant clarifies expectations placed on staff and volunteers and is part of an “ongoing effort to grow the leadership.”
“[A]ll ministry leaders are expected to live a lifestyle exempt from sexual immorality … because these are improper for the Lord’s people,” she said.
Coleman being Senior Pastor Sheila Schuller Coleman, a woman who is currently guilty of ignoring the bible herself. She’s breaking a god law by not submitting to her husband and letting him do everything for her, especially the preaching. (Ephesians 5:22) Why only teach and model part of the biblical view, you hypocrite?
They still owe more than $50 million to creditors and a “For Sale” announcement came out in May. The intent was to get funds from the anonymous buyers (said then to be a real estate group that would lease it back to them) and start paying people back.
“We are pleased that we are able to honor the debt that we have incurred and to honor the creditors who are due their payment,” Pastor Sheila Schuller Coleman said. “We are thankful to the vendors for their patience and we are so sorry for any pain that they have incurred. To pay them back 100 percent has always been a top priority and we are grateful to God for providing the resources to be able to do just that.”
If there really was a god capable of “providing the resources” they never would have had to go into debt in the first place. At the time, Christian Post stated that the deal was set up with an Orange County developer, the lease being $212,000 per month. The sale itself would earn them around $43 million so they’d still come up short.
In July, Robert H. Schuller was rumoured to have been dropped from the board of directors completely, but officials for the church claimed it was just a case of restructuring and he’s still around, but in a different position. More to the point, they took away his right to vote.
The move is apparently aimed at relieving the 84-year-old pastor of administrative burden so that he may have more time for speaking and writing.
“This will free up Dr. Schuller’s time for more speaking engagements and a writing project he has wanted to tackle. He will also continue to speak in the pulpit of the Crystal Cathedral and on the Hour of Power, and meet with staff in creative and vision-casting meetings,” the statement added.
Son Robert A. was convinced it had more to do with divisions growing between his dad and the rest of the board members (one being that covenant. Schuller the elder was against it). Only they’ll know who’s more right.
The elder Schuller had been pressing to add more members to the board, a move resisted by the other members.
“A majority of that board consists of paid employees of the church and that’s a serious conflict of interest,” Robert A. Schuller added.
Especially when the church is trying to get out from under decades worth of debt. Can’t afford to pay more board members, you old fart…
Robert A. was ousted three years earlier, for reasons not mentioned in the article. Wikipedia highlights “a lack of shared vision” help lead him to the decision to resign, though.
Daughter Sheila isn’t a board member either but her husband is president. (I guess that’d be a way she’d argue she’s following submission guidelines.)
Sister Gretchen still runs the ministry on the TV side.
They’re dealing with all their money woes in bankruptcy court and are desperately trying to avoid losing the property. They’ve launched a pledge drive now to help raise funds but a recent MSNBC article reports that a Roman Catholic diocese hopes to buy it out from under them anyway.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange has submitted a bid of $53.6 million, the court papers show.
The diocese has offered to temporarily rent space to the church’s ministry, but it envisions eventually using the cathedral as a new home for its congregation and would require the ministry to move in three years, court papers say.
Their initial plan was to build a new cathedral from scratch but with Crystal Cathedral struggling like it is, the possibility of buying that instead looked like a better, far cheaper option. It’s a prime location with everything already set up and established. Change the name on the door and pass the Eucharist!
Not so fast; unfortunately for them, the property looked promising to a Christian university, too, and they launched a bidding war.
Chapman University, a rival bidder that is affiliated with the Disciples of Christ Protestant denomination, is offering $50 million for Crystal Cathedral, the minimum amount the creditors’ committee will accept, court papers say.
But the university’s offer also would allow the church ministry to repurchase the cathedral and other buildings for $27.5 million, if it can regain its financial footing, court documents show. The school is also offering to lease space to the ministry to continue its activities.
The current board actually thinks it’s possible for their congregation to raise the $50 million required to save their asses. Either group could easily rescue them and would let them stay on the grounds to continue their work but they balk at it, believing God will fix this for them somehow. The wonders of faith yet the sad reality of delusion:
“I believe with every fiber of my being that God turned the eyes of the world on Crystal Cathedral because God wants to make a big bold statement,” Sheila Coleman, director of ministry at the church and the daughter of Schuller, said during the service.
“He wants the world to know that he is a God who still does miracles,” she said.
In the “economic down-turn” age Americans are living in right now, it sure as hell would be.
On the ninth of August it was announced that a third but anonymous buyer was interested and a couple lesser groups also expressed desire to buy but can’t beat the other offers. And, it’s coming down to crunch time for the board:
If the church does not cooperate with the [creditors] committee, a buyer could be chosen without leasing and buyback options, and the ministry could have to find a new home sooner than expected.
Unless some philanthropist on his way out wants to bail them out before he dies so he can be assured a seat in heaven, I think this last quote is where their future truly lies.